Originally posted on LiveJournal:
This was the lovely book sent to me to review by the ever-obliging Jimmy Olsen. AND I LOVED IT.
I did not expect Things in Ditches by Jimmy Olsen to be as good as it was. A murder mystery set in a small town in Minnesota? What could be interesting about that? Plenty, it turns out. Having lived in small towns most of my life, I was pleasantly surprised by the true-to-life foibles and quirks of the characters of Willow River, Minnesota, who seemed as though they could step out of the pages at any moment to give me their small-town gossip. This book especially shone in comparison to an anthology I have recently read, all stories claiming to be in small towns of just over 700 people, yet complete with street gangs, multiple insurance firms, and booming coal businesses.
The mystery itself was intriguing and kept me guessing, even, at times, laughing. The conclusion was all one could hope for, with a resolution to every loose end and a twist at the revelation of the true killer that infinitely satisfying.
One other aspect I found endearing, being from Winnipeg myself, was Olsen’s mention of it as the protagonist’s possible getaway point.
All in all, I give this novel 5 stars out of 5 and recommend it to anyone looking for a mystery that could be happening right now, next door.
Congrats to Jimmy Olsen for a stellar first novel.