Tag Archive: amateur-sleuth



Agnes Barton Senior Sleuth Mysteries Box Set, cozy mystery (Books 1-3)
Agnes Barton Senior Sleuth Mysteries Box Set, cozy mystery (Books 1-3) by Madison Johns
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, I have finished with the first combined book that encompassed books 1-3. I have to admit that it was fun. By reading the books this way I was able to watch the characters grow into believable people. The story became more and more real. I felt the humor the author sprinkled in as hugs from a friend.

If you want to see the reviews for each of the books here:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/912149747
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/936450786
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/939739919

I bought them all individually but chose to read the books with the box set so as to get more deeply into Madison Johns’s cozy mysteries. Besides, when I find someone doing what I think is right, I try to support them with my money, meager as it is. In this case, I had been researching stories that featured older womyn. I don’t like mysteries, especially the murder-y kind. I would rather read science fiction or fantasy with crones, senior ladies, being the ones getting to have the adventures. When I think that the baby boomers are the largest generation, then having stories about us, especially the womyn, should be easy to find. But alas, that isn’t the case. Anyway, that is how I found this series and invested into it.

Cozy isn’t the word I would apply to murder of any sort. These books do contain that wicked element. But the author doesn’t spend time dredging up the blood or other details I’d rather not have in my head before going to sleep. The thrill is in watching the main characters sort through the facts and figure out the whodunnit and why. So I suppose that is how it rates the ‘cozy mystery’ tag.

These are great beach reads or quiet reads to accompany tea. One needs lighter reads like that, occasionally. By the way, I do have the next boxed set ready to read but I have a lot on my read-to-review shelf that I need to read first. I do plan to continue enjoying Aggie and El again, soon.

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Senior Snoops
Senior Snoops by Madison Johns
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This third in the series was better than the other two combined. The Senior Snoops are getting to winter in Florida. Nice! If they thought it would all be beaches and tans, though, they got a rude awakening long before they got to their destination. So murder and mysteries abound.

After the two previous books I feel I know Agnes and Eleanor as good friends. They have spunk and are active seniors. They are sexually active and enjoy the men in their lives with enthusiasm. And they are snoopy! They can get in more trouble than any twelve teens.

I did enjoy this book. There are a few editing issues, but they don’t get in the way of the story. I think my biggest gripe was the making Agnes become a sudden prude on nude beaches or in the strip club. I didn’t see her that way before this book so the few remarks that made her that way stopped the story short for me. Still, I have the next set of books set up. I have a few other books I am supposed to be reading first, but I’ll be happy to see what Madison Johns has these snoops up to next.

These are great light reading for when you need a break from heavier literary pursuits.

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Grannies, Guns and Ghosts
Grannies, Guns and Ghosts by Madison Johns
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Though I am giving this book a separate review, I am actually reading the boxed set with books one through three. I want the credit toward my reading goal of individual books while having the convenience…

That went nowhere. On to the actual review.

Ghosts. Really? Sigh. I don’t want to give any spoilers so I won’t get into it. This was a shorter book than the first one, maybe a novella rather than a novel. I was glad. This book felt less put together than the first. Editing is badly needed.

What did I like? I like Agnes and Eleanor. Those crazy ladies are fun even though they get into more trouble than they solve. There is a lot of humor in spite of the story being about murders. I am so glad someone has taken the time to write stories about senior womyn. For that reason alone I plan to read all these Senior Snoopers.

In fact… I’m off to read the next book.

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Armed and Outrageous
Armed and Outrageous by Madison Johns
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Though I am reading the three-book boxed set, I think it is fair to give a review of each individual book. Since I did buy both, and as I want to encourage writing for seniors, the reals ones not the ones in twelfth grade in high school. Besides, it doesn’t hurt my reading goals to review individually. 😉

It is so exciting to actually read something that includes people, womyn, who are not teens. Was it as well-written as I would like? Not so much. I would give this three and a half stars. This needed more editing. And did we have to fall into the trap of the romance? I like when womyn can think for themselves and stand without a man coming to their rescue. Agnes did that for the most part, but she got all weak kneed and girlie when the man of her dreams comes into view. I loved Eleanor, the ninety-something sex crazed side-kick better than the main character. She pulled no punches and got what she needed from the world.

That world is Tawas, Michigan. I’ve never been there so it seemed like another country, to me. The author did make it sound like the kind of place I’d like to visit sometime.

I love how Madison Johns, the author, captures all kinds of senior citizens within this book. She laughs at some who seem like they would enjoy the joke while holding respect and sympathy for those not so blessed or able. And I love how Ms. Johns addresses fem issues. You wouldn’t think that the issues would be so strong once womyn were no longer in the work force, but it seems to affects us all a lot more. Ms. Johns doesn’t draw attention to these issues, but rather, states them as is and moves on, leaving the reader to draw their own conclusions.

The tags ‘mystery, thriller, suspense’ are the most accurate. Chic-lit or cozy mystery seem too light for the contents. Rape, murder, and sex-trafficking are some topics involved which are dealt with in a serious manner. I found that fact a little too much to deal with. I don’t like reading stories that are too realistic. I get that on the news. Give me a good sci-fi or fantasy to get lost in, any day. But all in all this was a good read and I will continue the series with delight. Go, Seniors!

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