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Search tags: Cozy-Mysteries
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review 2017-03-09 05:34
Bookman Dead Style (Dangerous Type, #2)
Bookman Dead Style - Paige Shelton

Good.  Not great, but good.  I like the setting; the shop that fixes typewriters, restores books, does small batch publishing on an old Gutenberg replicate.  I like the characters too, although I'm not really invested in any of them.  I sort of expected this though; I've read two of the author's other series and felt the same way.


The mystery plotting was sketchy; I didn't guess the murderer at all, but I don't think the author made that possible.  For all the sleuthing Clare does, I'm not sure she really finds any clues that are useful to herself or the reader.  She doesn't deduce anything, but rather is lead to the culprit at the end by their own behaviour.


Still, in a market that has become rapidly shallow over the last few years, this is a pleasant, entertaining cozy mystery.  I'll happily read the next one.

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review 2017-03-06 04:46
Pot Luck (Elliott Lisbon, #4)
Pot Luck - Kendel Lynn

If, from a bibliophilic perspective, the unthinkable should happen, and I was only able to follow 10 cozy series, this would definitely be one of the keepers.  There's just something wonderfully competent and enjoyable about Kendel Lynn's writing; the characters she's created feel like the kind of people I grew up with and the community resembles the kind I grew up in.


Having said that, this one didn't work quite as well as the rest.  It was still better than your average cozy, but she didn't hit it out of the ballpark.  The plot felt scattered, but as I write this I wonder if that wasn't part of the point.  Elliott feels scattered and disconnected to her own life and job in this book, wondering what happened to her focus; the plot definitely mirrored her inner turmoil, so perhaps that was the point.  If so, I still maintain the book wasn't all it could be if I didn't feel emotionally invested enough to immediately see the connection.


I'm also a little bummed at the lack of romantic spark in this one.  She's got all the elements at hand, and she spent the last three books setting it up, but either she's got us in a holding pattern, or she's jumped past all the good stuff.  I hope it's the former; I'd definitely like Ransom to play a more active role next time around.


For all the grumbling though, I'd still recommend this series in a New York minute.  It's solidly plotted, with an intelligent female lead who is surrounded by strong intelligent women and interesting (and intelligent) men.  Very few stereotypes, no caricatures.  Moderate humor.  I'm a solid fan.

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review 2017-03-01 11:27
Elementary, She Read
Elementary, She Read - Vicki Delany

Author: Vicky Delany

Series: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #1

Rating: Solid 4 stars


I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.


Book BlurbGemma Doyle, a transplanted Englishwoman, has returned to the quaint town of West London on Cape Cod to manage her Great Uncle Arthur's Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. The shop--located at 222 Baker Street--specializes in the Holmes canon and pastiche, and is also the home of Moriarty the cat. When Gemma finds a rare and potentially valuable magazine containing the first Sherlock Homes story hidden in the bookshop, she and her friend Jayne (who runs the adjoining Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room) set off to find the owner, only to stumble upon a dead body.

The highly perceptive Gemma is the police’s first suspect, so she puts her consummate powers of deduction to work to clear her name, investigating a handsome rare books expert, the dead woman's suspiciously unmoved son, and a whole family of greedy characters desperate to cash in on their inheritance. But when Gemma and Jayne accidentally place themselves at a second murder scene, it's a race to uncover the truth before the detectives lock them up for good.


This was a highly enjoyable first in a series. Probably one of the better ones I've read. The main character is supposed to be a distant relative of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and therefore possesses some of the quirks of the famous detective. She oversees a bookshop that contains all things Sherlock. I liked the premise.


Gemma as a sleuth is entertaining. She doesn't understand why her condescension and deductions annoy people, and it was interesting and amusing to be inside her head as she came to her conclusions. She's logical but likable and very human. She struggles with her nature and wants to be liked.  Also, the trivia concerning Sherlock Holmes drizzled throughout the story was great for fans of the original books and all its many spin offs, books,tv series, memorabilia  and the like.


The mystery was decent, not terribly difficult. The strength of this story lies in the characters. In the end, I wanted to read more about them. So I will definitely be reading the next in the series. 


Definitely recommend. 



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review 2017-03-01 04:36
It's Your Party, Die If You Want To by Vickie Fee
It's Your Party, Die If You Want To (A Liv And Di In Dixie Mystery) - Vickie Fee

It's Your Party, Die If You Want To by Vickie Fee is a fast-paced cozy mystery about party planner Liv McKay. It is full of action and kept me guessing. The characters are well drawn and it's entertaining. I gave it four stars.


I received a complimentary Kindle copy from Kensington Books and NetGalley. That did not change my opinion for this review.


Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1496700643/

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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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