I Am Providence (2016)


Like most of Mamatas’ books this is a rather short one, though even at that length it felt more tedious than I hoped it would. It’s a murder mystery against the background of a convention of Lovecraft fans, and while I didn’t care much for the main plot or the main character, the description of the convention and mainly its attendees was captivating enough to string me along till the end.

My biggest problem with the book, and this may be by design, is that the main POV, Colleen, became increasingly and unhealthily fixated on solving the murder of her one-time roommate, and occasionally it felt forced how Colleen kept at it, when a sane person would have just left. Sure, amateurs who solve crimes in lieu of the police are a staple of fiction, but (again not sure whether accidentally or by design) Colleen didn’t strike me as the greatest detective, though her powers of observation when it came the other con-goers were more insightful and amusing.

Another thing was that half of the time I felt like a lot of things were references to something and I was missing context to understand what they implied, as I’m neither a con-goer nor a Lovecraft/horror fan.

That said, the book had one highly quotable line “Fandom is the social network of last resort“, that succinctly summarizes the books whole approach.

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