CHAMPAGNE: THE FAREWELL, by Janet Hubbard
1/series. I struggled with this review. I know first hand how it is to write a book, to spend years getting it right. I also know too-well how difficult it is to get published, how you can edit and re-write and polish and agonize and still get nothing but rejections. But what I don't know is how this book, despite its beautifully-presented setting, got published by the prestigious Poisoned Penn Press. Why am I gobsmacked? A lot of things. The dialogue is nearly indistinguishable between characters: everyone sounds the same. Motivations are unclear, dialogues float in and out of existence with little relation to plot, the heroine gets dragged all over the place by the French judge...enough. I get irritated all over again just thinking about it. On the nuts-and-bolts side, words are missing from sentences, quotes are missing from dialogue (sure, a good galley review should have caught these and, sure, many novels have typos, but this is way beyond acceptable), and the only thing that is thoroughly covered is the endless consumption of Champagne. It's a 2.