I picked this book up for several reasons but mostly because I needed something fast, easy and entertaining. The front flap promised a murder-mystery, a genre I hadn't read in a long time (and that almost always is fast, easy and entertaining), in a setting that was right up my alley - a writing class. Perfect!
Jincy Willet's The Writing Class is a mystery set within the social parameters of a group of adults who meet weekly to learn writing. Their teacher is the reclusive Amy Gallup. She runs the class well, its twin pillars being practice and critique. Everyone reads and critiques everyone else's writing in an organized and rule-governed way. Her current class has 12 lost souls who blend together as well as can be expected of disparate lives with one weekly get-together in a cold, drafty public school room. But this time there's a difference: there's a murderer in the group.
I really enjoyed this book. I think I read it in two days. There's a lot of characters - 13 of them - but Jincy pulls it off. Each character is quirky and well developed. She writes humorously about the art and craft of writing as well as those who aspire to be writers (wannabes, very much like myself).
The Writing Class is a two-fer. It’s a fall-off-your-chair-funny, yet gently sad murder mystery and, through Amy's clear-eyed observations on the craft and rigors of writing, it also works as a manual for writing in any genre.