I Love the Whipping Boy by Katherine Thomlinson

I read a lot of eBooks. When I moved to a small town with a really small library I started reading eBooks because a lot of them are free or almost free. I wish I could say you get what you pay for but for ninety-nine cents I might get the next great American novel or drivel so bad it wasn’t worth reading if they paid me. But I keep reading eBooks because nothing is more fun than finding a great book among all the rejects. Whipping Boy is one of the great ones. I took a chance since it was on sale and I loved it to pieces. It is a little rough around the edges, but the characters are fun, the mystery is intriguing, and the Hollywood name-dropping makes for a sassy story.

Who is KatherineThomlison?

I have no idea. She has no Amazon author page and there is nothing about her on Google except the titles of her books. She is published by Dark Valentine Press and they have no information about her either. I don’t mind, I enjoy a book whether or not I know anything about the author, but I find it interesting that in a world where an author platform is considered necessary that she has nothing.

Why do I love this book?

I enjoy mysteries but hate it when the characters are depressing or are dealing with problems that have nothing to do with the plot. In Whipping Boy the cast of characters are interesting, varied, and a little weird. Just what I like. The setting is in Los Angeles but the talk is all about the Oscars. The combination of hard-hitting police work and Hollywood gossip worked perfectly. There is a little romance, but it doesn’t overpower the story, it just provides a shiny ending.

No book is perfect. This is what bugs me…

The world of self-publishing has come a long way in a short time. When I worked at Borders six years ago I wouldn’t touch a self-published book and I didn’t recommend them to anyone either. Now I consider myself a self-published author and hope that I provide a quality story to my readers. But no matter how good of an editor an author uses the finished product is still going to feel like it was self-published or published at a small press.

I read tons of books. I read self-published eBooks because the price is right and I enjoy them a lot. I might read ten self-published books and then one traditionally published book. When I read the traditional book I feel like a weight has been lifted off my chest and I can breathe again. The writing is just that much better. Don’t get me wrong. I think self-published authors can write a great book. But they never seem to have the polish of a traditionally published book.

What I can’t figure out is why. Is there really something in the water of New York City that causes the editors of the big publishers to put out a better book? Is it because the big publishers have more money to spend on editors and cover art? I love the plots of a lot of the eBooks I read and I think the quality is fine. I just wish I could figure out what they are missing that makes them feel slightly different than a traditionally published book. Perhaps someday the difference could be erased and a utopian book world would emerge, benefiting both the reader and the writer. Or perhaps a self-published book is supposed to feel different. What do you think?

Why should you read this book?

If you like to read mysteries and want to get them for a bargain than I suggest you try eBooks. If you want a mystery that is has quirky characters and a fast-moving plot then check out Whipping Boy. I am waiting for the next one in the series and wish it would come out sooner. You will, too.

A Quote Worth Quoting

“One of the things that was spelled out right in the job description of an LAPD criminalist was the warning that you’d often work under “unpleasant conditions.” That was an understatement. I once took a pair of dress slacks to the dry cleaners to have a stain removed. “What exactly is that?” the woman processing the clothes asked. Brain matter and bile, most likely. “Not sure,” I said. “Something organic.” Katherine Tomlinson Whipping Boy