Thursday, October 31, 2013

review: tiara trouble by lane buckman

The first book in the Destinee Faith Miller series finds the former beauty pageant contest at the center of a pageant murder mystery. No one was too suspicious about the death of the local emcee, who’d been Destinee’s mentor, but then others involved in the pageant died as well. However, Destinee and many of the competing girls’ mothers are determined the show will go on.

Although Lane Buckman’s novel provided an interesting look at the pageant world, Tiara Trouble had a number of issues. Tiara Trouble consists almost entirely of exposition and little dialogue. Page after page passed without anyone speaking as it was all Destinee narrating what happened. It got to the point that I wanted to scream, “Show, don’t tell!” And the sentences went on for days. Here are two examples to demonstrate:

“I didn’t stay the whole night because my mother would have me up a tree if she thought I was out catting around like that. I may be twenty-five years old, with a thriving business and a place of my own, but I’m still my mother’s daughter and she would skin me alive if she thought I was devaluing myself like that.”

“She reminded me that all work and no play make for glassy, dull eyes that not even her lashes can pop, and pretty soon we were hunkered down in a corner booth at the El Vaquero, with margaritas as big as your head.”

Not only are the sentences here quite long, but the scenes could’ve easily been written as interaction between Destinee and the other party rather than narration. Tiara Trouble was also very formulaic right down to the scene where the killer tells Destinee everything.
Review copy provided by Chick Lit Plus.


  1. Thank you very much for taking the time to read and review Tiara Trouble. I do appreciate it--I know what a drag it is to have to slog through something you aren't enjoying! ;)

    1. The story itself was enjoyable, the writing just needs polishing.