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Search tags: H-Is-for-Homicide
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review 2018-09-23 02:48
Hollywood Homicide (Detective by Day Mystery, #1)
Hollywood Homicide - Kellye Garrett

This was a freebie I received at Bouchercon 2018 (the author was there, but I never met her and have no obligation to her or Midnight Ink).   When I saw this on the freebie table, I immediately grabbed it because it was obviously a cozy mystery, the first in a new series, and I've been looking for new series.  It was also an obvious fit for for the bingo Diverse Authors square and the back of the book made it sound like a great read right up my alley.  It was ticking all the boxes.

 

Ok, so maybe not quite all the boxes, as it turns out. There was a lot to like in this book and I think Garrett has found a unique niche for Day's investigations - the refreshingly mercenary angle of "doing it for the money", i.e. investigating the crimes the police are offering reward money for.   But there were also a few things that dragged the story down and left me feeling less than enthusiastic.  

 

What I didn't like:

The story was too long and the pace dragged.  Every scene was just too detailed and long.  A tighter editing process would, I think, have helped a lot without losing any of the story and it would have given the book a snappier pace.

 

One of the characters, the brains/girl with all the cool gadgets, spoke in text speak.  All the time.  Do people actually speak in text speak?  Because if those people actually exist, they should be smacked about until read words come out of their mouths.  It was annoying as hell reading it; I can't imagine remaining calm if someone started speaking it to me.

 

Slightly less annoying, although only because it's such a frequent device I've become numb to it over time, is the MC never seeing a conclusion she wasn't ready to jump to.  At least the author set her up to do it with a believable amount of desperation as a motivation.

 

What I did like were all the strong female characters; even the shallow ones were likeable and the friendships came across as believable and relatable.  I liked Day, the MC, too.  Her life is a mess, but she knows it; she has her head on straight, and even though she has a few too many TSTL moments, I found myself cheering her on.  I liked the plot too, though it would have been so much better for having had a tighter editing and fewer conclusion jumps.  As a reader, I should never lose count of how many people the protagonist has accused of a crime.

 

Overall, I think the author has a lot of talent for writing mysteries with a solid cast of characters.  A stronger editing would have made this a much better book though, and ffs, lose the text speak.

 

I read this for the Diverse Voices Square for Halloween Bingo.

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review 2018-06-25 13:27
Homicide Sanitarium by Fredric Brown
Homicide Sanitarium - Fredric Brown

This is a short story collection that might be best described as within the off-kilter section of the hard-boiled detective genre. There's humour, an Arsenic and Old Lace reference (which I suppose would have been pretty current when it was written), and a lot of people trying to get away with murder. Plus one guy who tries to convince another that he killed his wife while simultaneously trying to get away with murder.

 

I didn't love all the stories equally, but they were all entertaining. Probably my least favourite was The Cat from Siam. Or maybe Listen to the Mockingbird, since I keep forgetting what it was about (I keep thinking about it as the last story and not by its title). I'm not sure what my favourite was... Maybe Red-Hot and Hunted, the one that starts out like a play about a guy who tries to convince another that he just murdered his wife and the other guy thinks he's just trying to get the part of a guy who killed his wife in a Bluebeard play he's putting on...

 

Yeah, a lot of the stories are like that. They start off straight-forward and then Brown tweaks them and gives them a spin (generally a wobbly-spin). If that sounds like your cup of tea, and you see this collection available, you might want to pick it up.

 

Previous update:

119 of 194 pages

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text 2018-06-23 21:43
Reading progress update: I've read 119 out of 194 pages.
Homicide Sanitarium - Fredric Brown

So far so good with the short story collection by Fredric Brown gifted to me by Tigus.

 

I'll admit I was a little nervous about it because I'm not always a fan of the more hardboiled style of detective story, which is what it sounded like. And I always prefer liking books that are recommended to me although I don't always.

 

But this is good! I'm not sure how I'd characterize them so far, but "off-beat" (as it's put on the back cover) works. So far I've had a story where the main character is adamant that he's killed his wife and not auditioning for a part in a play, a ghoulish and I'm pretty sure impossible story in a morgue (but it's still good), a story about a detective going undercover in a sanitarium (I guessed the solution to this one but that didn't detract from my enjoyment), and a feel-good story about a guy whose telescope is used as part of a burglary.

 

There's also just enough humour to keep things interesting and flowing smoothly.

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review 2018-04-20 22:31
Hospitality and Homicide (Tourist Trap #8) by Lynn Cahoon
Hospitality and Homicide (A Tourist Trap Mystery) - Lynn Cahoon

Going to be honest, I was very generous with this rating. This is a real fluff of a book, with the mystery barely getting any page time. This was a book about Jill's staffing issues at Coffee, Books and More, her first semester back in college, and her relationship with Gregg. The B plot line involving a missing boy and Esmeralda's attempts to find him were more interesting than what was going on in the rest of the book. It was a fast read and I was happy to be back in South Cove with the gang, but I needed less fluff and more mystery. 

 

Honestly, only read this installment of the series if you are a completionist like me.

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review 2018-04-13 17:51
Ehhh Middling Kinsey Millhone
"H" is for Homicide - Sue Grafton

So though I have been re-reading some of the books along with Moonlight Reader, I have not re-did my reviews, I just reblogged them and left it to that. This is my first review for a Kinsey Millhone ABC book since Sue Grafton passed away. I love this series and will be forever sad we will not get to see how she would have ended things with Kinsey in Z. 

 

That said, "H is for Homicide" doesn't work that well. The first part with Kinsey investigating a possible insurance scam while running afoul of a corporate suit that is going to cause her working relationship with California Fidelity Insurance some angst. When Kinsey goes undercover that book fell apart for me. For a minute I thought I was reading a VI Warshawski book since that is the kind of mess that VI would get into.

 

Per usual we have Kinsey starting off the book giving us her vital statistics. She's wrapping up a case in San Diego and heads back to Santa Teresa. Going by her office that is housed in California Fidelity Insurance, she finds the police there working a homicide. She quickly realizes she knows the dead man who is her friend, Parnell Perkins. On top of the homicide, she starts to investigate a possible insurance scam that Parnell had passed onto another adjusted before he died. Kinsey quickly realizes that the woman, Bibianna Diaz, is possibly tied into Parnell's death and is close to someone that Kinsey used to know from her days back on the force. Kinsey goes undercover to see if she can catch the bad guys. 

 

I have a hard time with so many aspects of this book. We have Kinsey talking about being close friends with Parnell though he was never mentioned in prior books (believe me I looked). She is all c'est la vie with her "I don't know what it is" relationship with Robert Dietz. Why she puts herself in danger with running around with Bibianna and the man who is the architect of the insurance scam baffled me. I know that we have Kinsey always talking about taking risks and she loves to lie, but this was a little out there. 


I didn't like the character of Bibianna at all. She was definitely a user. But I also hated the man controlling her, Raymond. As Moonlight said in her review, I have a hard time thinking this man had the brains to put this whole together. He is obsessed with Bibianna and doesn't care that she doesn't want to be with him. There's a terrible scene where Raymond hurts someone close to Bibianna to force her to do what he wants and it's a mess. 

 

The book ran a little cartoony for me. With Kinsey staying close to Bibianna she puts herself in harms way. I didn't really understand why she was doing it, the justifications made no sense.  The flow was all over the place too. When Kinsey goes undercover I found myself rolling my eyes a lot of the time. 

 

This was a buddy read with Moonlight Reader and you can take a look at her full review here,  H is for Homicide

 

Next up, I is for Innocent. 

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