Sunday, March 11, 2018

The Undertaker's Daughter by Sarah Blaedel

Author: Sarah Blaedel
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Date of publication: February 2018

Already widowed by the age of forty, Ilka Nichols Jensen, a school portrait photographer, leads a modest, regimented, and uneventful life in Copenhagen. Until unexpected news rocks her quiet existence: Her father–who walked out suddenly and inexplicably on the family more than three decades ago–has died. And he’s left her something in his will: his funeral home. In Racine, Wisconsin.

Clinging to this last shred of communication from the father she hasn’t heard from since childhood, Ilka makes an uncharacteristically rash decision and jumps on a plane to Wisconsin. Desperate for a connection to the parent she never really knew, she plans to visit the funeral home and go through her father’s things–hoping for some insight into his new life in America–before preparing the business for a quick sale.

But when she stumbles on an unsolved murder, and a killer who seems to still be very much alive, the undertaker’s daughter realizes she might be in over her head . .

The Undertaker's Daughter was recently translated and released in the US.   Although I have a couple of this author's books in my TBR pile, this is the first I have actually read. The book involves Ilka Jensen who receives notice that her father, has died and left her his funeral home in the US.  She decides to travel Wisconsin to take care of his affairs and unload the funeral home.  

I'm not sure if there was anything that may have been lost in translation, but this was really dull.  It was a quick read and I only finished it because I was hoping to get to the mystery.  Apparently it was in there somewhere because when I got to the end there was a solution.    There was nothing mysterious or thrilling about this book.  If you can wade through all of the mundane funeral home stuff and the unlikable characters, you might be able to pick out the mystery for yourself

Ilka was strange and just boring.  Most of her actions and thought processes make no sense.  She is impulsive and not a nice person.  How did she expected to be able to run a funeral home in the US while she had no knowledge of US laws and regulations?  The other characters were equally as unlikable.  The motivations behind their attitude and actions toward Ilka didn't make any sense either. 

There was another story line that I thought was going to be the mystery, but it turns out it was a story arc that spills over into the next book.  Yep, this ends on a cliffhanger.  I'm not sure I will pick up the next one when it makes its way over to the US. I don't care enough about the main character to see what happens next. 


SavingsInSeconds said...

I really appreciate your honest review. It's the worst when I waste a day on a book that is the most boring ever!

Ethan said...

I'm working on a translated novel as well. I've had a hard time connecting with the characters, and I'm wondering if there is something lost in translation as well.

Kari Boardman said...

I know that sometimes in movies that are dubbed over, language is different so you lose some of the emotion. That could be the case here.