The Informationist by Taylor Stevens

The Informationist (Vanessa Michael Munroe Series #1)The Informationist, Finished 12-10-12, rating 4/5, 315 pages , pub. 2011

She nodded.  “You and every person who serves merits thanks and commendation, and you most certainly have it.”  She was silent for a moment.  “I can appreciate patriotism, but that’s about as far as it goes.  I’m not like most people,” she said,  “I have no devotion or affinity to any particular country-for that I assume I’d have to experience a sense of belonging.”  She looked at him and searched his eyes for an indication that he understood, then added, “Patriots defend their homeland, Miles.  Where is my home?”

Chapter 7

Vanessa Michael Munroe is a tough woman in a man’s world.  She makes her living finding information and selling it to businessmen who need it to make a deal.  She speaks over 20 languages which serves her well since she spends most of her time overseas, blending in with the natives wherever she goes, even passing as a man is if serves her well.  She grew up in Africa to missionary parents and spent many years working for Francisco, a gunrunner, and when her latest assignment takes her back to Cameroon she runs into her old mentor.

Munroe is an interesting character, but a hard woman to like.  She kills with little remorse and doesn’t seem to have any moral boundaries.  It isn’t that she’s heartless, because she’s not, she can break just like the rest of us.  She’s complicated, but not necessarily in a way that attracts a lot of compassion.   Let’s just say that I wouldn’t want to sit down and have coffee with her, but if I needed to get information and I had millions of dollars, she’d be the first person I’d call.

I thought the African setting was great.  I learned so much and still never felt like I was overwhelmed with too much information.  It was a perfect way for me to experience some of the wilder parts of Africa.  And as much as I liked the setting the mystery was solid and kept me guessing til the end.  I am really looking forward to continuing on with Munroe with the next book in the series.

Many of you remember that I was able to spend a little time with Taylor Stevens at the Bouchercon in October and I am so relieved that I liked the book as much as I liked the author 🙂  I won this book at Book Den last year.  Thanks, Jennifer!

18 thoughts on “The Informationist by Taylor Stevens

  1. Lloyd Russell says:

    I read that early in 2011 and really wanted to like it more than I did. I gave it 2 out of 4. I just couldn’t justify a higher rating. But I understand the desire to like a book when you’ve had a chance to meet the author, and I’m glad that worked out for you.

  2. rhapsodyinbooks says:

    I wasn’t so enamored of this book either (as Lloyd) but it’s very well liked in the blogisphere. I actually had trouble following all the Africa travels! I felt like we needed detailed maps or something! And 20 languages? (insert raspberry emoticon). Still, I can SO RELATE to what you are saying about meeting the author and being relieved to like the book! I just finished a book by an author I met at SIBA and I loved the author but the book, ugh! … very traumatic for me, on the one hand, but on the other, I’m glad to see my predisposition toward the author did NOT color my evaluation, if you know what I mean!

  3. Sandy says:

    If you liked this book, you will love the second one, which is actually based on the author’s early life in a cult. She has an amazing story, Taylor does. I have so much admiration for her, and I really enjoy her books. I actually kinda like Vanessa, in a badass sort of way!

  4. Diane@BibliophilebytheSea says:

    Hi Stacy – this one is one I meant to try. I feel bad that I cannot respond to your comments about my posts through email. I just signed up for email notices of your posts, hoping that it makes it easier to respond to you??

    Hope u r having a good week.

  5. Amy says:

    I haven’t read this book yet but it’s on my shelf waiting for me. I’m happy to read you enjoyed it as I’ve read some mixed reviews. It sounds fascinating. I’ve read wonderful comments about Taylor Stevens. It’s great you met and talked with her.

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