Self-published authors have gained more public attention in the last couple of years than ever before, as ebooks have reduced the cost of production, and increased the scope for distribution. Now, you can debate the extent to which this is a good thing, but there's an undeniable curiosity about the phenomenon. Rosen Trevithick - already a successful self-published writer, has taken the zeitgeist's pulse, looked at her fellow authors (and, I suspect, at herself), and judged that the time was right to satirise the growing trend of self-published writers.
Pompomberry House, however, has wider aims than just satirising the pompous, deluded arrogant writers who think they're bringing down a centuries old publishing industry with hackneyed romance and thriller novels. Hilariously observed as these parts of the book are, these grotesques are an easy target for mockery, and probably self-indulgent to boot. So Trevithick combines this 300 page satire with a sinister murder mystery, and a dash of chick-lit flustering.
The plot twists and turns, and regular readers of mystery fiction will spot some of the twists, but by no means all of them. There is real humour and heartbreak among the disappearing evidence, sinister clues and huge red herrings. Everyone gets a dig in the ribs, from the deluded authors themselves, to fanatical readers and acerbic reviewers. Whatever the future has in store for books and publishing, Pompomberry House is an entertaining and solidly written snapshot of the 'indie' scene as it exists now, and far more accurate and plausible than some readers (ie, other authors) will like to admit.