Psych: A Fatal Frame Of Mind By William Rabkin [Book Review]

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Book Review: Psych A Fatal Frame of Mind by Willaim Rabkin | Fiction | Mystery | Humor | Reading | RachelPoli.com

I bought the book on my Kindle.

Summary:

When the Santa Barbara art museum unveils its newest acquisition, the long-lost masterpiece by Dante Gabriel Rossetti isn’t the only surprise behind the red curtain-so is the museum’s curator. Dead. The case has everything Shawn likes: it’s bizarre, it’s baffling, and there’s a snack bar at the crime scene. But the investigation gets a lot less fun as he and Gus begin to realize that the clues are leading them towards a centuries-old cabal desperate to hide a terrible secret-and more than willing to kill the two detectives who are trying to reveal it.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

The cover hasn’t changed from 3 previous books or the season covers from the TV show. They’re all similar with Shawn and Gus posing. It works but doesn’t really convey what the book may be about.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I loved the TV show and when I discovered the books, I had to give them a try. It’s been a while since I’ve read the first 3 books, but it’s easy to pick up where I left off.Plot | RachelPoli.com

Shawn and Gus find themselves in their usual pickle when they take on a case bigger than they think. This plot is filled with a lot of twists and turns with the characters – and yourself – changing your mind about who did it and who didn’t.

The plot itself wasn’t bad and it was well executed. The wrap up felt abrupt, but that’s mostly because of the POV choice, which I’ll get to in a moment.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

When a book is based off a TV series, it’s hard not to compare the book to the show. So, that’s what I’m doing. The characters all stayed true to themselves as they are in the show. I could hear all their voices in my head down to the correct tone.

My biggest problem was that three of the six main characters were barely in the book. Detective O’Hara, Chief Vick, and Henry, Shawn’s dad, barely had any parts. Even Lassie didn’t have many though a few chapters were in his POV. I missed them and wished I could have seen more of the whole team.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

The book flowed well and the plot was executed at a nice pace. Nothing was too fast or slow and everything was easy to read and clear to follow. I just didn’t care for the POV.

The POV followed Gus’s thoughts, which is actually fine by me. I don’t mind seeing it through his eyes, but Shawn is the psychic. Shawn is the main one who solves the mysteries based on his hyper-observant skills. Being in Gus’s mind, there wasn’t much “psychic” going on that I saw because I wasn’t inside Shawn’s head. That’s the major premise of Psych so it was a little disappointing to miss out on that.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

Overall, this wasn’t a bad book and it was a quick read. It’s just not my favorite.

Psych: A Fatal Frame of Mind (Psych 4) by William Rabkin gets…
Book Review Rating System | 3 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com3 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Can you say that in English?” Shawn said.
“That was English,” Gus said. “In fact, it was more than English. It was specifically a point of English grammar, so you don’t get much more English that that.” –William Rabkin, Psych: A Fatal Frame of Mind (Psych 4)

Buy the book:

Amazon

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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The Call of the Mild by William Rabkin

Psych

Title: The Call of the Mild (Psych #3)
Author: William Rabkin
Genre: Mystery
How I got the book: I bought it on my Kindle

Summary (from Amazon):

Shawn Spencer has always hated the wilderness-by which he means anything outside the delivery radius of his favorite pizza place. But Psych has been hired to solve a baffling case of industrial espionage, and the only way to catch the spy is to join their client’s bonding retreat-a grueling seven day backpacking mountain trek.

But when one of the campers turns up with a bullet in the head, Shawn and Gus soon realize that sheer cliffs, rampaging bears, and freeze- dried pineapple aren’t the greatest threats they face.

My Review:

I love the TV show Psych and considering that the author of the book series helped write the show, I thought the book would be great as well.

Call of the Mild is the third book in the five-book series and while the first two were pretty good, this one was my least favorite.

The case took a long time to figure out and then everything fell into place all at once in the last twenty pages of the novel. I don’t even understand how Shawn Spencer, the protagonist, came across the conclusion anyway.

Shawn and his friend, Gus, get stuck on a retreat lost in the wilderness with a bunch of lawyers who work together in a firm. They all hate and distrust each other making the journey hostile and not fun at all. The lawyers start to be picked off one by one and they realize the killer is among them.

The premise of the book was interesting, but I just don’t think it was tied together very well. The case was introduced in a very different way in the beginning of the novel where a new character was introduced, but he was barely in the book. A few chapters were based around him, but that was it.

Plus, two of the secondary characters, Carlton Lassiter and Juliet O’Hara, were barely in the novel as well. I wish they had a bigger part because Shawn and Gus barely interacted with them.

This book did have less typos in it than the other two, but plot-wise I would have to say that this book was the least well-written.

The Call of the Mild by William Rabkin gets 3 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“He’d read enough Greek tragedies and seen enough Twilight Zone episodes to know that trying to avoid your fate only brought you to it faster.” –William Rabkin, Call of the Mild

How I Began Writing Mystery

Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest

There’s something about mystery that tends to draw people in. The suspense and thrill of it all is very enticing. Yet, I never imagined myself wanting to write mystery novels.

I’ve been writing since I was ten-years-old. The first novel I ever wrote was a young adult high school drama. The second was fantasy with superheroes.

I always enjoyed X-Men, Justice League, Batman, etc. I loved the idea of people with superpowers. Most of my novel ideas surrounded around that. I always thought that was going to be my forte.

Yet I’ve always enjoyed playing video games as well. My favorite being The Legend of Zelda series. The timeline for that series is absolutely amazing. The puzzles are great and the mystery behind the Hero of Time is fantastic. I always had a will to write as great as that.

Of course there are TV shows, as well. I enjoyed watching Burn Notice and Chuck, both shows about spies. My favorite is Psych which is about a “psychic” detective. I always enjoy watching shows like this and try to figure out the ending before the hour is up.

Then I discovered the video game series Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney with my sister, Kris. You play as a defense lawyer where you investigate crime scenes, talk to witnesses, then go to court and clear your client with a not guilty verdict.

This video game was the final push I needed to start writing George Florence, my mystery series. I began writing without knowing too much about the mystery genre. I sort of made stuff up as I went along.

I started reading more novels in the mystery genre when I started writing mystery. For example, I read the Psych series and the alphabet mystery series by Sue Grafton.

There have so many inspirations for my beginning and interest in the mystery genre. However, I look back at old novel ideas that I still plan on writing someday and each one has some sort of mystery or suspense aspect to it.

I guess I always enjoyed mystery, but just didn’t realize it right away.

You Are the Protagonist

“Every lie is built upon a kernel of truth.” –Henry Spencer, Psych

Fiction is a lie. Sorry to burst your bubble, but there is no Hogwarts, no Narnia, and no Shire. We all wish they exist (especially the men), but alas they don’t. We’re stuck on Earth with seven billion other people–95% of those other people don’t even know you exist.

Without these fictional places and characters, life would be pretty boring. There would be no imagination, no creativity, and no pretending. Such a sad life.

Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest

However, if fiction doesn’t exist… where does it come from?

Surely J.K. Rowling didn’t actually attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in a past life and of course C.S. Lewis didn’t discover a new world in his wardrobe when he was a child.

They created and imagined it. So, where does that creation come from? I’m going to point you back to the top of this post and look at a quote from my TV Dad, Henry Spencer (from Psych) who once said, “Every lie is built upon a kernel of truth.”

Fiction is the same way–authors put a little of themselves into their writing. It is from there that inspiration sparks an idea. An idea becomes a novel.

I’m sure if you knew your favorite author personally, you would be able to pick up small truths here and there in their fiction. For example, YA author Sarah Dessen is coming out with a new book this May. As her husband read the novel, she tweeted:

Writers have a way of taking reality and playing around with it until it’s something no one has ever imagined. However, they’re still sane enough to throw in a few bits of real life.

To me, that shows readers what the authors are into; things they like, things they don’t like. Often, when writers add themselves into a story, they get added in as a character. For me, I’m usually the protagonist. My protagonists tend to either have a similar personality, looks, age, or sometimes a mixture.

It doesn’t have to be a character, though. It can be anything like an object, a setting, a plot, or even an occupation. I tend to have a character who writes or teaches for a living because those are two of my passions.

I think that makes writing all the more fun and reading all the more like a puzzle. The questions will never be answered unless you talk to the author personally, but I’m sure there are some novels out there that would be easy to try to guess. Some truths are easier than others.

Further Reading:

7 Authors Who Wrote Themselves into Their Work
What’s Your Opinion?
Six Real Life Authors Who Made Themselves Into Fictional Characters

Friday Morning

It’s six o’clock in the morning and I did not write today. I could have gotten pretty ahead on my word count for NaNo, but now I’m behind yet again.

My psych professor always opens our weekly quiz on Thursday, so I usually take it Thursday morning before work… it’s timed for an hour, but it’s only five questions. It takes me 15 minutes to do. Of course I forgot about it because I finished my homework so early this week. I remembered it last night when I went to bed. So I took it this morning. No big deal.

Now I have to start getting ready for work soon so I’m not going to be able to get any writing. This blog post is going to be as close to writing this morning as I’m going to get.

I’m going to my friend’s house after work today to help her prepare for her baby shower this Sunday. Depending on how early I get home tonight, I will try to write before I go to bed. It’s Friday so I feel no obligation to go to bed early because I don’t have work tomorrow… if I can stay up that long.

Tomorrow I am going to Barnes and Noble with my sister for a big writing day. I hope to really catch up on my word count and go above and beyond.

We just need to see if I’m focused enough between the people coming and going and the Starbucks in my system.