Category Archives: Book Reviews

Lots of fun and fake spacecraft

At Wits’ End: A Doyle Cozy Mystery (A Wits’ End Cozy Mystery Book 1)

By: Kirsten Weiss

Rating: 5 of 5

This is the first in this series that I have read. I have read another series (Pie Town) by this author in its entirety. As I laughed my way through that series, I was hoping for more of the same in this one.

I laughed and laughed and then, for a change, I laughed myself silly. I wanted to share bits and pieces with my husband but I knew he would want to read it for himself. Boy, it’s tough to keep a straight face with he’s around, so I read it when he wasn’t sitting right next to me.

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Meh, meh, and more meh

Sixteen Scandals

By: Sophie Jordan

Rating: 2 of 5

First of all, regardless of the blurb, there is nothing in this book that brings Jane Austen to mind. Miss Austen’s books dealt with her time and place. She skewered personalities with deft skill. This book is shallow and the characters are trite.

There is enough going on that I would not call the book wholesome and clean but, I am sure, compared to the normal steamy historical romances that Ms. Jordan apparently writes, it must seem so to her publisher.

The main character, Prim, turns sixteen. She was to come out in society but that was not to be. She sneaks off to Vauxhall Gardens and, bad decision after bad decision, proves that she is not really adult enough to be trusted. That is not what the author would have you feel but it is the truth.

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Russell, Holmes and Transylvania, oh my!

Castle Shade: A novel of suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes

By: Laurie R. King

Rating: 5 of 5

This series is one of my favorites. I always look forward to seeing a new book by Ms. King which features Russell and Holmes.

I enjoyed this book and laughed quite a lot as I read the first third. While there are usually bits of humor tucked into the Russell stories, this one had a bit more than usual.

It was also different in that, throughout the book, we were treated to Holme’s investigation when he was not with Russell. It made for a nice change of pace as I read my way through the book. I had to fight with myself to put it down so I could savor it for three days instead of a marathon read in a single one.

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Another lovely read by Jill Mansell

And Now You’re Back

By: Jill Mansell

Rating: 5 of 5

I’ve been a fan of Jill Mansell for many years. Her books always leave me feeling happy. While the endings are feel good, there is much of real life also included.

In this book, we follow the relationship between Didi and Shay. They were together as teenagers but split apart when Shay moved away following a huge blow up. Years later, Shay is back in town but Didi is engaged and is to be married shortly.

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Good for bedtime reading

The Anatomist’s Wife (A Lady Darby Mystery Book 1)

By: Anna Lee Huber

Rating: 3 of 5

I’m a big fan of historical mysteries set in the Regency or Victorian periods. This series starts at the tail end of the Regency period and goes forward.

I was intrigued by the idea of a female artist taking part in the production of a book on anatomy. However, when her participation is forced, it put that particular interest to bed.

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A Mime, Magic and Murder

Beyond a Reasonable Donut (A Deputy Donut Mystery Book 5)

By: Ginger Bolton

Rating: 4 of 5

This series is always fun to read. In this book, Emily who co-owns a donut shop with her late husband’s father) is working at a carnival. Assisting her is Nina, who is also an artist getting ready for her first big gallery showing.

A magician and a mime upset the two of them and for good reason. There is also a very strict and almost nuts, coordinator at the carnival who has it in for Emily.

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Great new mystery series set in Ireland

Murder in Galway (A Home to Ireland Mystery Book 1)

By: Carlene O’Connor

Rating: 5 of 5


I’ve read all of another series by this author. While it was also set in Ireland, it was told from the perspective on a born and bred Irish woman. This series is told from the perspective of an American woman who is visiting Ireland for the first time.

I found it easy to relate to many of the attitudes of this character, least of all of her attitude towards black and white pudding. I’ll leave it to you to read what it is and what she thinks of it.

Tara has arrived and is there to spread her mother’s ashes in Galway Bay. Well, that was her intent on her first day.

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Suspenseful and engrossing

Aftermath

By: Terri Blackstock

Rating: 5 of 5

This is a compelling and suspenseful story with Christian overtones.

I wasn’t sure what to expect as I have read only one or two books by this author in the past. I found myself glued to the novel, waiting for each step to unfold.

An explosion occurs that kills two of three friends who were attending. The one that survived is filled with remorse about not being able to save her friends. It sends her into darker and darker thoughts and all she can figure out to do is to wreck revenge upon the culprit.

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Enjoyable read in this series

Deadly Ever After: A Lighthouse Library Mystery

By: Eva Gates

Rating: 4 of 5

I’ve read most of this series (minus a few of the first ones) and enjoy it. The amateur sleuth is Lucy Richardson, who works and lives at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library. Now that she’s engaged to mayor, Connor McNeil, they have started looking for a home of their own. Finding one that they can afford is proving troublesome.

At the same time, Lucy’s ex-boyfriend, Richard, from Boston has shown up with his overbearing mother in tow. The mother keeps pushing Lucy and Richard together ignoring the fact that Lucy is in love and engaged to Connor. When Lucy’s mother, from Boston, shows up, she wonders what is going on.

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Such a slow and tedious read

The Gilded Shroud (Lady Fan Mystery Book 1)

By: Elizabeth Bailey

Rating: 2 of 5

I had read and enjoyed a Georgian romance novel by Ms. Bailey, so I was looking forward to a period mystery series by the same author. To say the book did not meet my expectations is putting it mildly.

While the historical period is portrayed nicely as is the language (for the most part), the book became quickly tedious as it was overly long and I solved the whodunnit within very few pages.

It felt, to me, that a lot of the story was filler. The intrepid widowed companion turned sleuth, Mrs. Ottila Draycott could not do anything spontaneous. She would think of something, then think about it again, spending pages in doing so. She would then do the thing she had thought about and then think about it. Then she would tell someone, generally Lord Francis Fanshawe, about what she had done. Then they would discuss it. Next, they would tell someone else. Then another discussion would ensue.

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