Tag Archive: murder-mystery



Bittersweet (China Bayles, #23)Bittersweet by Susan Wittig Albert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My librarian suggested this book knowing I wanted to try a ‘real’ book written by and starring a strong female. Now that I am finished with it I can say I did enjoy much of it. (I had to renew it–six weeks!)

“Oh, but here comes her complaints…” I hear some of you saying. And, yes, I do have some negatives.

The very beginning. I think it is highly unnecessary. When you read the Prologue you’re given the answer to the whole mystery. Many call this a cozy mystery. What, I ask you, is cozy about murder? Not just one but TWO? What is cozy about people who think more about money than the environment that we all have to live in humans, fauna, and flora alike?

At least the author uses this as an educational moment. That is what brought it up to four stars. Otherwise, I would have said I was rather bored. Though the excitement of the mystery gets wrapped up, the parts of the book I cared about, the main character’s mother’s husband’s health. It is the cliffhanger of that issue that brings this rating down to a three again. I didn’t like this story where the men of this book were being talked about. If women can grow, let’s show that men can grow, too. Many have been raised with sisters or single moms so they know the issues and don’t need to be cavemen.

I loved learning about the herbs and plants.

I never knew about the shooting-fish-in-the-barrel type hunting and moving the game to places they shouldn’t inhabit and the problems that brings. I will have to look into our area and see if that is here. I don’t have a problem with hunters. I hope we never get desperate enough to look to that as a food source, but if we do I guess I will have to accept it. Plenty of people around here do that for their food source. There are laws to keep it safe and less draining on the environment while filling the freezers with protein for cold winters. I’m a vegetarian because I don’t like the texture of meat, not a preachy one telling others what they should or shouldn’t eat. Anyway, the things I learned here made the rating roundup.

I don’t like to cook. Most of the foods in the recipes here did not appeal to me but I take no points away from the book for these. There are people who will love that aspect. I do appreciate that most of the recipes are at the back of the book where they don’t interrupt the story flow.

One more thing, I did get my eyes checked and will be getting new glasses soon. Meanwhile, I couldn’t read the hardback for very long at a time. Luckily, the Kindle version was available on our e-library to borrow. Once into that version, I was able to immerse in the story and rest my eyes as needed.

Check it out and tell me what you think of this book, regardless of version

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Shattered: Logan Book 1Shattered: Logan Book 1 by Valerie Davisson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an interesting story. I could have done without the mystery, especially the murdery bit. But I kept reading beyond when the book didn’t work for me.

As I have stated before, I have trouble reading tree-books. It has to do with my tracking abilities. But I am a life long reader that doesn’t give up that easily. So I set up my Kindle with black background and largish white font. Then I use the text-to-speech to track with what I do read. I don’t do well with just audio as I tend to ADD away with shiny things. But with both modalities working I can get into stories very deeply.

This version was difficult for me. I don’t know what happened but I couldn’t use the black background/white font. It only wanted white background black font or everything went black. The text-to-speech worked but I couldn’t follow with my eyes. I finally gave up. At about 60%! I do hope the author and or the publisher got that all fixed. Since I was asked to review this book I have to be honest, the font/formatting, was the worst for me.

I let it go for a couple months but the story kept haunting me. I wanted to know what happened. I had loved the research shown about glassblowing. Native American bits. And seeing what seemed to me a realistic look at bereavement. I loved the realism of teaching and use of music. Honestly, I didn’t need the murder bit. I did like the character that did the killing and I thought it gave her a humanity having lupus and all. But I guess some people like to have the tension a good old murder gives a book. Just not me.

Still, I can’t wait to see what happens next. For book two I have the Audible version. I’m getting better at keeping my hands busy doing sudoku, knitting, or drawing. So in the next few days I will review that one, too.

I think others will enjoy this story, too.

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Girl in SnowGirl in Snow by Danya Kukafka

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I want to thank NetGalley for letting me read this book. It did keep my interest.

That said, when you read like I do, using text-to-speech almost exclusively, books like this leave me feeling lost. I feel I may have missed the important sentences as to who-done-it and why. There were a lot of characters and they all sound the same, the writing style of the narrative is the same in the dialogue. That may not mean too much when visually engaged with the story, but I often didn’t know which characters thoughts/memories I was in.

This was an ARC or early read copy so by the time others will read it these other problems may be fixed: Between sections, there is a line ___. Often that stops the TTS. And often the name of the person who is starring in the next section is totally left out with TTS. I assume these are formatting issues that will be solved and others who get to read this with their eyes will be able to stay with the story and find it all pulls together.

Using the thoughts of one who seems autistic or in other ways a little different than the norm, was a nice tool. I found the character Cameron to be very interesting. Others I found harder to understand. Maybe that says more about me than the characters being portrayed?

At any rate, I think others may find this book to be very good. I loved to see your comments. I may have to come back to this book and read again to see if I can find where I turned left when the writer turned right. ???

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Gods in AlabamaGods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A friend recommended this a while back. Our library finally had it on Kindle so I could read it. It was a fast read as the author kept me engaged.

On the tags, I have murder-mystery but it really isn’t a mystery. As you read, you may think you know what all happened but so much gets revealed at the end, keep reading!

I love that I got a little road trip from the main characters. But knowing that judgmental possibly bigoted family members wait at the end of the trip. And as we all know, you can never go back home. What you get is a new family with old themes and mysteries of the past that have never resolved.

This is a good read. It would be great for book clubs as there are many topics to be explored here. If you get the chance, read it!

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Divine InterventionDivine Intervention by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is going to be one of my shorter reviews. I think.

Though I love Cheryl Kaye Tartif’s writing style and enjoyed her other books thoroughly, I don’t like murder mysteries. The saving grace was I liked the main characters.

There is an added feature of parapsychological talents involved in solving the crimes. But mostly is was a murder mystery.

Still, I will read the rest of the series, Gotta know what happens next, ya know?

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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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The Girl in the Green Raincoat
The Girl in the Green Raincoat by Laura Lippman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the mystery book. I do not know how it came into my hands. It just appeared. I had let it sit on the shelf for a while and then finally decided that I could try with very good lighting and short reading times, that I could read it.For someone with good eyesight this may actually be a short read. But for me it took longer. I liked that the spaces between lines made it easier than most paperbacks. In fact, this is the perfect book for a summer read, or plane ride.

It was fun, even though there was murder involved. At least the blood and gore was kept to a minimum. As the author points out it was fashioned from the movie, Rear Window. One of the few Hitchcock movies that didn’t leave me shaking.

The characters were believable and likable. The stories within the story were all great asides without taking over and took me in. All in all, a fun short read (well not for me, but you know what I mean).

Because no one claimed the book I registered it on BookCrossing.com
BCID: 393-12573558

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Sacrificed in Shadow
Sacrificed in Shadow by S.M. Reine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The first time I read this book I hadn’t read the Cain Chronicles or any of the Descent series and maybe even a book or two from Seasons of the Moon. It was a great read and I loved the characters. But now that I have read everything in the right order this book makes a lot more sense. The personal histories of the characters and places are solid rather than leaving me with a vague feeling that I was missing something.

I was unhappy this time because it isn’t centered in Reno, NV. Nevada is mentioned a few times but this is on the east side of the country where I have no frame of reference. Still not a problem as I have never been to Heaven, Haven or Hell but I still have a relative idea about those places. 🙂

Elise Cavanaugh is still absolutely fascinating to me and I can’t wait to read more about her and her people.

Since I have already written a review on this book you can read it here:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/622966616

I love Sara Reine’s books!

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Review: Idolmaker


 

Idolmaker
Idolmaker by Jonelle Patrick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

Disclaimer: I was given this complimentary copy of Idolmaker by the author, Jonelle Patrick for an honest review.

 

I can’t believe I am finished with yet another of the Tokyo Mysteries. I so love this series. Though I have tagged this as romance, it isn’t led by that squishy, gooey stuff rather, these are people and caring is a part of their being.

 

These books do start with a murder and a wonder as to who did it and why. But the most important feature of the books is the character driven adventure of the two main characters, Yumi and Kenji. Thrown in the recent historical event of earthquake and tsunami, the criminal investigation is thrown for a loop.

 

The characters are believable and likable. I feel I have become friends with them through Jonelle Patrick’s ability to write from each character’s point of view.

 

Oh, what the couple goes through! Then the book wraps up nicely with only a small thread that gives promise that I don’t have to give up on my favorite Japanese couple. 🙂

 

Thanks for letting me read this, Jonelle!

 

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Location of Tokyo within Japan

Location of Tokyo within Japan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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