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Search tags: Cozy-Mysteries
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review 2017-04-25 23:56
The Hog’s Back Mystery, A British Library Crime Classic by Freeman Crofts
The Hog's Back Mystery: A British Library Crime Classic (British Library Crime Classics) - Freeman Crofts

The Hog’s Back Mystery, A British Library Crime Classic by Freeman Crofts is a mystery that has lots of twists and turns and kept me guessing. Because the pace was slow I gave it three stars.

 

I received a complimentary Kindle copy from Poisoned Pen Press and NetGalley. That did not change my opinion for this review.

 

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Hogs-Back-Mystery-British-Classics/dp/1464203814

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review 2017-04-23 11:29
Gone With the Twins (League of Literary Ladies, #5)
Gone with the Twins - Kylie Logan

I'm not going to lie, I liked this book a lot in spite of knowing how it was going to end, and I might have bumped it up a 1/2 star because that title... I love that title!

 

Logan does such a great job with the characters and setting that even though the mystery plotting wasn't as intricate or clever as it could have been, I still did not want to put the book down.  I was less concerned about clues (probably because my confidence as to whodunnit was high) and way more concerned about Bea, her friends, her Inn and her love life.

 

This book reads like it could be the final one and if it is I feel like it's ending in a good place.  If it's not, I look forward to the next one!

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review 2017-04-20 07:30
Miss Dimple Rallies to the Cause (Miss Dimple, #2)
Miss Dimple Rallies to the Cause - Mignon F. Ballard

 Set in small-town Northern Georgia during WWII, this series gives a great sense of time and place; it reminds me a lot of that old TV series Homefront (early 90's?).

 

As for the mystery though, it was o.k., but overly-convoluted.  If Ballard had been able to structure it differently it would have worked a lot better, but as is, it's more than a little hard to follow.  A skeleton is discovered during a school outing, the money from a bond rally goes missing, the town slacker goes missing, Miss Dimple's landlady is getting mysterious notes and someone is shot during the follies.

 

There are a lot of characters in this book and, told in third person, from the POV of several of them, the first few chapters felt like a hot mess - I couldn't keep anybody straight.  Even after they sorted themselves out I never felt entirely confident about who was who as the POV shifted - I had to remind myself often about how someone was related to everyone else.  Each chapter starts with the internal dialogue of one of the characters, but it's never the same one, and they all remain unnamed.  This is likely done on purpose because it's the criminal, but when it wasn't, it became overly confusing.

 

The author kept using rifle and shotgun interchangeably; for someone who knows the difference, this is a big deal: a rifle shoots a single bullet at a time; a shotgun shoots a single shell full of tiny bullets (called buckshot) that spray outwards soon after exiting the barrel.  So, when a shotgun was reported missing, but later someone was shot and had a single bullet wound, it messed with the plot and my head; until the terms were used interchangeably again and it became obvious what was going on, I thought there were two weapons.

 

Still, I enjoyed the story and the characters.  The series is "Miss Dimple" but really the mystery solving is a team effort on the part of the women holding everything together while the war rages on.  At the end it becomes clear that there are several threads of mischief running through Elderberry at the same time, but really, I stuck around to see if Will would show up for Charlie one last time before being shipped off.

 

                                                                                              

 

 

Page count: 262
Dollars banked: $3.00

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review 2017-04-16 08:59
The Art of Vanishing (Lila Maclean Academic Mystery, #2)
The Art of Vanishing - Cynthia Kuhn

Good, but not great; I thought the first book showed a lot of potential because I liked the setting, I liked the characters and I liked that the author wasn't trying to make everything cute.  It exceeded my expectations, which have, admittedly, been lowered dramatically by the dreck published en masse the last few years.

 

What I liked about this, the second one:

*  It's a mystery, but not a murder mystery.  This isn't uncommon in the mystery genre, but it's not mainstream either so it feels fresh.

 

*  The continuation of a narrative that doesn't feel overly melodramatic: Lila is just trying to get through her days.

 

*  No TSTL stuff.  Lila isn't running around trying to act like Nancy Drew and interrogate everyone; she just pays attention and thinks.

 

* I liked the plot twist; when I read it I started to think "same old, same old" but she did something a tiny bit different that really didn't matter much in the scheme of things, but again, gave it that tiny bit of freshness.

 

 

What wasn't so great about The Art of Vanishing

*  What's up with this trend of needing to have an over-the-top nasty nemesis?  How is it that in the current age of anti-bullying authors seem so hot to include cartoonish bullies in every book?  And Lila gets two of them - two nemesis (nemesii?) is surely two too many.

 

*  Love triangle setup.  'nuff said.

 

These are short and I think, better written than most of what's out there currently.  I hate the cliche of the love triangle but I'll give it one more book to see if - hopefully - the author is just dangling it there as a red herring.

 

 

Page count: 216
Dollars banked: $3.00

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review 2017-04-12 10:07
Fatal Fortune (Psychic Eye Mystery, #12)
Fatal Fortune: - Victoria Laurie

Not as good as the last one, but a very decent read.

 

Six months have passed since Abby woke up with the bomb strapped on her chest, and she's enjoying her life being as dull and routine as possible, until she gets a voice mail from her best friend at 3am telling her "It's not what it seems" and asking her to immediately go to their shared office to get and hid a file.  Afterwards, she finds out Candace is wanted for murder - and the entire crime is caught on video.

 

The rest of the book is Abby's attempts to first find her friend for an explanation and ultimately to hopefully prove her innocence.

 

There's less sentimentality in this book, but the plotting feels a little nutty.  It's no more nutty than a bomb strapped to your chest, but that had the benefit of suspense... it was written to be a high tension story, while this one is a more traditional mystery.  It was still good though; I was able to read the whole thing in one setting today (an admittedly lazy day) because it was written more than well enough to keep my attention.

 

I've got one more in my pile, and I might be getting to it sooner rather than later.  It's been fun to be in Abby's world, and I'm not quite tired of it yet.

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