After Alison Temple discovers that her husband is cheating on her, she does what any jilted woman would do: She spray-paints a nasty message for him on her wedding dress and takes a job with the detective firm that found him out. Being a researcher at the all-female Fitzgerald’s Bureau of Investigation in London is certainly a change of pace from her previous life, especially considering the characters Alison meets in the line of duty. There’s her boss, the estimable Mrs. Fitzgerald; Taron, Alison’s eccentric best friend, who claims her mother is a witch; Jeff, her love-struck, poetry-writing neighbor; and - last but not least! - her psychic postman. Together, their idiosyncrasies and their demands on Alison threaten to drive her mad…if she didn’t need and love them all so much. Clever, quirky, and infused with just a hint of magic, Alison Wonderland is about a memorable heroine coping with the everyday complexities of modern life.
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More Adventure Than Mystery- But Lots of Fun
It was beautifully wacky; the author has a wonderful sense of humor and fun. It is a book that seems to have been written with laughter; that is, I feel as if Helen Smith must have been laughing out loud while she wrote it; I certainly laughed aloud while I listened to it. The whole work is infused with the spirit of fun.
Every new character I was introduced to was a new joy.
Alison And Taron's Picaresque Peregrinations ...?But Alison Wonderland really captures the essence of the novel better than any title I can think of. Alison has a magical adventure and returns from it changed.
The story is more comic novel than mystery; it reminds me more of Daniel Pinkwater's Snarkout Boys (than which I can think of no higher praise) or John Dies at the End than of any mystery novel I can think of, except perhaps some of the odder works of Michael Innes. Anyway, it is amazing how much fun this story is, how it breaks rules of fiction that generally should not be broken (the book doesn't, for instance, have much of a feeling of compositional unity, somehow- I found that I was grasping after a central through-line and never quite finding one) and yet carries the listener through, giggling, to the end. I am charmed and enchanted by this book, and I hope you will be, too.
- Melanie "I like mysteries, especially funny mysteries. No heavy forensics, except when an author makes that somehow not boring."