domingo, diciembre 30, 2007

Assisted Living

Sheila Ortiz Taylor's mystery is a delightful novel, a cozy, a comedy-of-manners, and a new take on industry growth in the aging of Baby Boomers.

As a long-time reader of Ortiz-Taylor's fiction, I was thrilled to see in Violet March a reincarnation of the sharp and witty Aunt Vi from Faultline (1982). With her purple state-of-the-art walker, which she can turn on a dime, Violet March is an intrepid sleuth. The ensemble of supporting characters includes Diana Reyes, a Chicana lesbian accountant with a suspicion that someone is cooking the books. (Violet occasional envisions Death himself as an accountant.) I particularly like the sympathetic ways Ortiz Taylor portrays the different aged inhabitants of Casa de Sueños: a musician composes in his mind an Opera on Aging. I'm fascinated by the cosmology of the grounds (modeled on either Dante's Inferno or Paradiso, depending on your perspective). No doubt that is why people are dying to get in. and get out.

You'll enjoy this novel if you're looking for a murder mystery with a quirky heroine. Or, if you've just finished reading Ortiz Taylor's other novels, including Coachella, Faultline, or Outrageous, you'll be happy to reach for Assisted Living.

I really want to recommend this novel to specific people who I think would like it, but I'm afraid they might take it as some comment on their age...

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