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Review:LavenderBlue says:
Hey there! LavenderBlue here with your requested review. Crime drama. YEAH. You mentioned that this is your first murder mystery? I'm excited to see how it unfolds. I plan on leaving a review both for this chapter and the next.

You've set a good stage here: a controllable cast of characters, an immediate plot point (the murder investigation), and an identifiable goal for the protagonist. The fact that Taryn wants so badly to prove herself and to not screw up this assignment raises the stakes from the beginning. Those are some solid story-telling building blocks.

You've given us a good amount of detail on your secondary characters. Craig is a semi-antagonist to Taryn and is hindering her goal. Jeanette benefits from Craig's nepotism, but she's also got a tragic story of her own. Marcus looks like he may be a potential love interest? And Trenton strikes me as the old, wise, seasoned veteran of the group. It's a varied enough cast to make things colorful.

What I'm most interested in is Taryn's characterization. I think you've got a good start here: novice with lots of guts trying to prove herself. However, at the moment, her character is falling just a bit flat for me. It takes some guts/independence to wander off on her own and break down a door when she's never done a raid or crack-down before. What gives Taryn that courage? Does it also get her into trouble? Can it border on foolhardiness? In this chapter, she also seems to experience some self-doubt. Could you pick up on that and flesh it out? Basically, I'm looking for a protagonist who's a bit more flawed. That way, when she does awesome things like kick down a door, she doesn't seem too good to be true.

Also, be sure Taryn acts consistently. There's no problem if a character is hypocritical or contradicts herself. But you do have to make sure that she acts consistently with her established personality. If Taryn is the sort of person to assert herself and confront potential trespassers on her own, would she so easily let these other (I'm assuming magical? :]) investigators alone? Wouldn't she be more likely to keep grilling them, to ask what they'd already found out, to be sure that their badges really were legit? In the first half of this chapter she strikes me as inquisitive and assertive. I like that! So don't sacrifice her personality for plot, incorporate it!

DEAN THOMAS? Poor Dean. :( I really like your POV here. It's unique, coming at this story from a purely Muggle perspective. You've chosen a great angle and allowed yourself lots of unique possibilities that just aren't open to a wizarding perspective. As Harry Potter fans, we all know who Dean Thomas is and can suspect the identity of these mysterious other investigators. Taryn doesn't, of course, so this adds a layer of textual tension that keeps my interest as a reader. I've never been introduced to Next Gen Albus Potter this way before, and I like the uniqueness of the approach!

Lastly, just a note on some grammar/syntax. There are some issues with comma placement and punctuation throughout, but the main typo I picked up on was this:

"'Fine,' I lamented" -- Not the appropriate use of 'lament.' The verb implies deep sorrow, and I don't think that's what you're going for! When in doubt, don't shy away from just using "said" as your dialogue tag. It may seem repetitive when you're writing, but it does a good job of focusing the reader on the actual dialogue and not getting tripped up by unusual verbs. :]

This is a very promising beginning! I'm looking forward to delving deeper into the mystery in chapter two.

Author's Response: Your reviews are absolutely amazing and are honestly just making my day! I'm really glad that you feel the way I've introduced the characters are unique and also a good cast of characters to have for the story. I will definitely keep my eye out for those errors and try to fix them! thanks so much for reading and reviewing!


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