Jack Sprat Could


MaryBeth Gilland and Gray Wheeler are complete opposites. She is a socialite in need of fast money. He is a lax, low-key private detective. Suddenly they are tossed together on a case that challenges them to succeed. Except, the new client doesn’t really have a case. She wants proof “Jack” Sprat is guilty of murdering her sister—who is still alive and in a coma. Comedy ensues as they investigate the case. 

The author has a clear skill in portraying the story, and the punchy narrative carried it well. However, it suffered from assorted issues. The conflict did not seem to exist and consequently there was little resolution to the story beyond who was responsible for the patient in the coma. The largest problem was believability throughout—from the storyline to how HIPPA was deader than the murder victim to the ethical and actual portrayal of the hospital staff. Sentences could be either endlessly long or be missing words or have the wrong word entirely. Characters shared POV in scenes, making it difficult to know who actually owned the scene sometimes.  Further confusion came from the swapping of character’s first and last names within paragraphs. While the premise of this story is cute (lean Jack Sprat and his beloved obese wife), it truly needs rewrites and feedback. With more attention, it could be rewritten into a clever tale. 

Emerson Matthews