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Search tags: Cozy-Mysteries
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review 2017-02-23 04:17
The White Cottage Mystery
The White Cottage Mystery - Margery Allingham

My first Allingham, and fittingly, her first too.  Definitely not my last.  


DCI Challenor's son is on his way home to London one evening when he sees a young woman stepping off the bus with a heavy load and stops to offer her a ride to her home.  Moments after leaving her there, he and the local constable hear the rapport of a shotgun and on returning find a man most definitely dead and a hallway full of suspects.


This is a very short read, relative to today's average mystery, coming in at just 157 pages.  But it's a fast-paced 157 pages and Allingham dispenses with anything monotonous or that might smack of filler.  The timeline jumps from one paragraph to another; sometimes by just a few hours, sometimes a few days, towards the end, a few years.  This might really aggravate some readers but if you're familiar with Golden Age mysteries, you won't find it unusual.


I thoroughly enjoyed it; so much so that it was 1am when I finally shut the light off, having finished the entire book in one sitting.  She had me guessing the entire way through, and not once did I come close.  I found DCI Challenor's advice at the end appalling; it would never fly in our time, but in the age it was written, it would have been standard.


A very good mystery and from my first peek, I'd say Allingham is under valued as a master of mystery, but to be sure, I'll have to read a few more - as soon as possible.

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text 2017-02-22 23:46
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Elementary, She Read - Vicki Delany

I really enjoyed this!


Will post detailed review closer to publication, but overall  -solid start to a series. 

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review 2017-02-16 06:47
Better Late Than Never (Library Lovers' Mystery, #7)
Better Late Than Never - Jenn McKinlay

McKinlay has to be the most inconsistent writer to have ever graced my shelves.  She creates fantastic, likeable characters, and then proceeds to play with them like a disturbed child pulling wings off of flies.


If someone purporting to love you, or at least be infatuated enough to want to pursue you, isn't listening while you repeatedly say "no, I'm not going to date you", it's not charming, even if he's British.  Making your normally intelligent, independent MC constantly roll over and accept not being listened to and laughing each time her feelings are dismissed isn't anything to be proud of either.  Mixed messages much?


"She was just lying there, with her arms crossed over her chest and her feet crossed at the ankles, looking perfectly peaceful - almost as if she was taking a nap."


Not if she was strangled, she wasn't.  Suffocation and strangulation are entirely different deaths and strangulation is never pretty.  This isn't an obscure fact; McKinlay was either wilfully ignorant or lazy.


Her plot twists weren't subtle, neither was her plotting.  In quite a few areas, the narration was unnatural and stilted; people don't talk like this is real life.


She did two things right, for which I'm happy to give each a star:  the love triangle is resolved, and boy howdy, McKinlay should stick to romance.  The moments between Lindsay and *ahem* almost made reading the book worthwhile all on their own.  The chemistry was palpable.  


She also ends this book with Lindsay swearing off sleuthing for good.  I don't know if this is the end of the series or just a weird cliffhanger-ish thing, but either way, it gives me the perfect opportunity to stop reading this series, always hoping in vain for improvement - for which I am heartily thankful.

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review 2017-02-15 16:03
The Crepes of Wrath
The Crêpes of Wrath: A Pancake House Mystery - Sarah Fox-Davies

Author: Sarah Fox

Series: A Pancake House Mystery # 1

Rating: 3 stars


Book Blurb: When Marley McKinney’s aging cousin, Jimmy, is hospitalized with pneumonia, she agrees to help run his pancake house while he recovers. With its rustic interior and syrupy scent, the Flip Side Pancake House is just as she pictured it—and the surly chef is a wizard with crêpes. Marley expects to spend a leisurely week or two in Wildwood Cove, the quaint, coastal community where she used to spend her summers, but then Cousin Jimmy is found murdered, sprawled on the rocks beneath a nearby cliff.
After she stumbles across evidence of stolen goods in Jimmy’s workshop, Marley is determined to find out what’s really going on in the not-so-quiet town of Wildwood Cove. With help from her childhood crush and her adopted cat, Flapjack, Marley sinks her teeth into the investigation. But if she’s not careful, she’s going to get burned by a killer who’s only interested in serving up trouble.


Not bad for the first in a series. I enjoyed reading it... for the most part.

What I liked:    The story moved at a nice pace. The mystery was decent - there were some nice red herrings to keep you guessing. The story does not seem to be weighed down by a love triangle so that's a definite plus. Yay!

What I didn't Like:    For some reason, I failed to connect with the characters in this series. I didn't feel they had any depth to them. Even the main character, Marley. When she's revealing a pretty dark back story - unusual for a cozy but kudos to the author for trying this - I felt a lack of empathy. The narrative didn't engender the right amount of emotion for what I was reading.  This is what kept the book at 3 stars for me. I kept reading to find out what happened, but I wasn't emotionally invested. I may pick up the next book, but I'm not going out of my way.



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review 2017-02-13 15:26
A Likely Story
A Likely Story - Jenn McKinlay

Author: Jenn Mckinlay

Series: Library Lover's Mystery #6

Rating: 3.5 stars


Being this is the 6th book in the series, I will keep it to impressions.  Our MC, Lindsey is trying to solve a murder of one of her patrons. She discovers him dead when dropping off his books.


1.  This love triangle is ridiculous. That last line annoyed me. 


2. That being said I loved the characters and setting. I want to live in this town. Though the crime rate is off putting...


3. The mystery was decent. You knew who it was, but the why was interesting.


4. Emma - the police chief and Medical Examiner Griffiths. I wanted to read more about them from one page of banter than I did Lindsey and Sully. Please make this happen.


All in all not a bad cozy read. I'm listening to the next book on audio.








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