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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 2017-04-16 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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review 2017-04-09 11:16
Aunt Dimity and the Buried Treasure (Aunt Dimity, #21)
Aunt Dimity and the Buried Treasure - Nancy Atherton

This is one of those books I read because I've been reading the series from the start and a certain amount of loyalty is involved.   As with a lot of series, it started off strong, but has levelled off over the years to become gentle stories that resemble morality tales.

 

Lori stumbles across an old piece of jewellery in her attic one day, resulting in a search for the man who gave it to Dimity, back after WWII, while in the village, the good people discover the joys and pitfalls of metal detecting.

 

Recent books in the series were getting on my nerves because Lori was gullible and tended to jump to the most ridiculous conclusions imaginable, but this time around she was far more competent and rational; there was still a level of anxiety, but it was much more believable.

 

Atherton has an incredible way of bringing wartime London to life and I think it is this more than anything that keeps me coming back every year for the next book. 

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review 2017-04-04 05:29
Elementary, She Read (Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery, #1)
Elementary, She Read - Vicki Delany

A British expat running a Sherlock Holmes bookshop on Cape Cod, finds what appears to be an incalculably valuable original of A Study in Scarlet hidden on her shop shelves.  When she attempts to return it to the woman she suspects of hiding it there, she finds a dead body instead.

 

I wasn't sure about this one at the beginning.  Gemma (how is that pronounced anyway?  Soft g or hard?) is obviously supposed to be a modern day, female version of Holmes with superpower levels of analytical skill and a slightly detached personality.  The thing is, Delany doesn't seem to appreciate the subtle difference between absent/single-mindedness and thoughtlessness.  Gemma is thoughtless a couple of times at the start of this book, without remorse or shame.  Holmes was cold-bloodedly objective, but he was always a gentleman.

 

Things get better in the second half of the book, although the use of the evil nemesis trope had my eyes rolling around in my head a bit.  The mystery plotting was really excellent, and while I suspected something wonky, I didn't see where the author was taking me until I was there.

 

Overall, it wasn't as strong as it could have been, but it was good.  I enjoyed it enough to look forward to coming back to it.  Not sure if I'll read the next one or not though.  Maybe.

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