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review 2018-10-07 12:54
Ghosts of Tsavo
Ghosts of Tsavo (Society for Paranormals Book 1) - Vered Ehsani

Meh. For a book called Ghosts of Tsavo, Beatrice (the narrator) didn’t spend much time investigating the titular beasts. And more’s the pity, because what I got instead was a bunch of scrambled, incomplete backstory, anachronisms, boring domestic scenes, a whole lot of set-up for subsequent books – and a teeny tiny bit of paranormal research. Also, I really didn’t like Bee. I adore a snarky protagonist, but more often than not the humor misses and she just comes across as bitchy. The editing was subpar. I’m guessing this is a product of self-pub. The beginning is a disjointed mess and a more thorough copy edit would have done wonders for the whole thing. I’ve got the next two books so I might as well give them a shot. If they’re just as meh, at least they’re short and I only paid $0.99 for all three. There’s at least $0.99 worth of entertainment here.


I read this for the Halloween Bingo 2018 Ghost Stories square.


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review 2018-09-30 07:49
First Hit of the Season
First Hit of the Season - Jane Dentinger

This was a decent follow-up to Murder On Cue. It fast-forwards a bit to a point where Jocelyn and Phillip have been dating for some nebulous period of time (a year? more?), and while I was disappointed to miss out on all their awkward firsts, I did like the way Dentinger played on the personal repercussions of Jocelyn helping her detective boyfriend snoop on her theater friends. In the first book she was clearing her own name, but without that motivation she entered a vastly uncomfortable moral grey area that impacted her relationships with all involved. That part was well done.


The editing, on the other hand, took a nose dive. The first book had a few typos and a stylistic choice or two that I didn’t agree with (“alright” instead of “all right” and sudden POV skews in the third person close narrative), but nothing I couldn’t shrug off and plow through. The proof reader must’ve been asleep for this one, though, because in addition to the alrights and POV skews, my Kindle version is rife with missing punctuation, missing/wrong words, and more than one instance of Phillip’s last name being misspelled. And, my personal favorite, the woman who drinks wine with her fingers:


“We were going to be married in the spring, did you know that?” Courtney asked dreamily, as a long-fingered hand picked up the glass of wine and drained half of it.


Courtney’s anatomy must be FASCINATING. I’ll keep going with the series, but my inner pedant is going to get ranty if the quality issues continue.


I read this for the Halloween Bingo 2018 Murder Most Foul square.


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review 2018-09-28 12:50
Murder On Cue
Murder on Cue (The Jocelyn O'Roarke Mysteries) - Jane Dentinger

This is a fun little cozy with a late 70’s/early 80’s (I think?) theatrical setting. I’m guessing the year based on the vintage payphones (I strangely miss payphones), the casual homophobia (ick, why?), the total lack of computers, and the fact that nobody got screamed at or fined for smoking in public buildings. I was a bit skeptical going in because I’ve seen this plot umpteen times on television, but it turns out a bunch of cliché stereotypical actors suspected of murdering one of their own is always quality entertainment.


Jocelyn made for a good amateur detective, perceptive enough to spot vital clues and out of her depth enough not to recognize others. I wish I could’ve seen more of Detective-Sergeant Phillip Gerrard. Their instant attraction wasn’t obnoxious or unbelievable, and I’m happy to read the next book in the series to see where they take it.


I probably didn’t get half the theatrical references thrown about, and I’m willing to bet bigger theater buffs will get more out of it than I did, though I certainly got enough to enjoy myself.


I read this for the Halloween Bingo 2018 Amateur Sleuth square.


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text 2018-08-28 21:22
Halloween Bingo 2018 - headstart selection - CREEPY CARNIVALS
Carousel - Barbara Baldwin

This is one of those Kindle freebies I've had sitting in my files since forever.  It has been republished as Spinning through Time.  (Current cover below.)  How much textual difference there is between the edition I have and the current one, I don't know.  The formatting has been improved - mine has block paragraphs with no extra space between them; the revision has indented paragraphs.


I may check my Amazon account to see if there was a notice that the revised/retitled edition was available to purchasers.


I'm only a few pages in, and while it's mildly entertaining, I'm already finding some details that pull me out of the story.  I'll save those for a formal status report.





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review 2017-10-19 15:48
Vampire Square - Tomb of Dracula
Tomb of Dracula (1972-1979) #1 - Gerry Conway,Gene Colan,Neal Adams

This is the first issue of a Marvel series that brings Dracula to the 1970s.  It is very Hammer House of Horror, and somewhat predictable if you have read comics from the 50s or 70s  - those horror comics.  It's not bad and somewhat enjoyable.  I love the credits square at the start of the comic.


Its a standard romantic triangle vampire tale.

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