The first thing I noticed about Alison Wonderland was the contradictory reviews on Amazon.
Now, I made sure not to read the actual reviews, a very bad practice for reviewers in my opinion. (I am big on opinions, I know.) I did, however, notice the Star Ratings. Fours, twos, fives, threes… it was odd. Having corresponded through email with Helen Smith, I knew her to be articulate and very interesting so I was confused with the ratings I saw.
So I began to read. And read, read some more, remember I missed dinner, and read while I ate dinner. I was delighted! Helen Smith’s writing style is enchanting in it’s vibrant colors, neurotic characters and flamboyant plot-lines. It’s like listening to that wonderful friend, the one who travels all over the world; wears bohemian mixed with designer clothing; has friends with yachts and still can’t wait to regale you with her stories, talking non-stop into the night with bottles of wine piling up on your coffee table.
I can see where some would get confused if they tried to take the characters too literally and too seriously. Helen Smith is very clever in that she weaves many “Easter Eggs” into most aspects of the story. It’s like falling into the rabbit hole and discovering brilliant people who aren’t quit what you expect and scenes filled with double-entandre. I loved every minute of it.
Please do not misunderstand me, this is not a bizarro read in which nothing makes sense and you have to re-read every chapter to get it. In fact, it flowed for me and I became lost in the story. In fact, the story is very straight forward. (Smiles)
Alison Temple has hired an all woman investigative company. She wants to confirm that her husband is not cheating on her. She eventually becomes an investigator at that very office. Once she has become experienced her boss sets her on a very secret assignment and the adventure begins.
You will love her friend Taron who is just plain nuts and lovely. Her neighbor Jeff, who is madly in love with her, is an inventor of crazy but useful things. The relationships are refreshing and funny and believable.
This is a smart story. Fantastical and fun. A decadent read that I loved and strongly recommend to contemporary, urban fantasy, mystery and the curious! Just kick off your shoes, lay back and open your mind, then open the book…..
Here is the Summary from GoodReads but I warn you, it doesn’t do it justice. When Alison joins Mrs Fitzgeralds Bureau of Investigation as a private detective, her new job takes her on a series of loosely linked adventures involving an abandoned baby, a transgenic animal and secret tunnels under The Thames. She travels from London to the seaside town of Weymouth and back again with her new best friend Taron, a girl with a hundred candle smile. But someone is betraying her. Is it Taron? Is it Jeff, the sweet-natured inventor who writes her poetry? Or are there darker forces at play? ‘Only occasionally does a piece of fiction leap out and demand immediate cult status. Alison Wonderland is one.’ The Times