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Search tags: MbDParanormalCozy
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review 2017-11-08 09:41
Grave Errors (Witch City Mystery, #5)
Grave Errors - Carol J. Perry

When you read enough books in one genre, you start to get a feel for the different styles of different publishers, and I've definitely read enough cozies to recognise patterns.  Kensington, for instance, tends to publish authors with creative stories and strong characters, but are almost always too light-handed with the editing.  Just enough to notice it but mostly not so bad you can't enjoy the story anyway.  

 

Grave Errors is a good example.  Lee is a strong, independent, likeable female protagonist with intelligence, who has an unwelcome gift for scrying that she can't control.  Instead of going all woe is me! she takes steps to deal with it.  She gets along with all the other characters and isn't TSTL.

 

The book (and series) has no love triangles, just a nice, subtle sub-plot romance that makes Lee's involvement in mysteries feasible and lends an additional air of well-adjustedness.  The story is set in Salem Massachusetts, which lends its atmosphere to a variety of plots.  And finally, the mystery is decently plotted.  Even though I think it was pretty obvious who the villain was from almost the start, the story behind the motive was, to me, so much more interesting. 

 

But man, this could have been so much better if it had been more tightly edited.  Small things, like red-lining blue-lining* the author's tendency to mention Pete's (the BF) discomfort with Lee's visions every time she tells him about one.  There were at least 6 visions in this book, and I'd gotten a clear idea of Pete's discomfort with them after the first 2.  

 

At one point she refers to a hurricane heading their way named Penelope, with top sustained winds of 60mph.  Storms aren't categorised as hurricanes until they reach a sustained wind speed of 74mph.  I get that as a Florida girl, that's something I'm going to pick up on more than a lot of readers, but it's a simple google search - you don't even have to leave the results page to find it.

 

I'm not trying to discourage cozy readers from reading this - it's a good story and I really enjoyed it.  But at a time when I feel like most cozies are turning into completely vapid crap, Kensington shows so much promise, publishing stories that are both cozy and interesting to readers that value intelligence in their fiction.  If only they weren't quite so stingy with their red blue* pencils.  

 

*Editors actually use blue pencils.  I did not know that.  But I googled it.  ;-)

 

I read this for Task 1 Calan Gaeaf:  Read any of your planned Halloween Bingo books that you didn’t end up reading after all, involving witches, hags, or various types of witchcraft.

 

(I originally said in my status update I was going to read this for Dios de Muertos, using my Book Holiday Joker card, but then realised it totally fits the Calan Gaeaf category without burning the Joker. Duh.)

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review 2017-09-24 01:47
Elusive Elixir (Accidental Alchemist, #3)
The Elusive Elixir (An Accidental Alchemist Mystery) - Gigi Pandian

This series started off with a chimera/gargoyle brought to life through backwards alchemy approaching the MC, pleading for help, as he was starting to revert to stone again.

 

This book is the conclusion of that particular series plot, while at the same time introducing a couple of other mysteries, including a murder.

 

The characters keep me coming back to these books, as does the alchemy backdrop which is always fun.  But the stories could do with a bit of tougher editing; it was difficult to get into the story at the beginning because of all the repetition of information.  I think the MC mentioned she was 300 years old at least 3 times in as many pages.

 

The plotting was great - I had little idea where the story was going - but the ending, especially the part concerning the gargoyle, felt a little to pat, a little too anticlimactic.  

 

It's a fun story with great characters, but if it had been a bit tighter all the way around, it would have been great.

 

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review 2017-07-27 03:08
Breach of Crust (Charmed Pie Shop, #5)
Breach of Crust - Ellery Adams

Boy has this series gotten 'out there'.  It's almost more fantasy than cozy mystery.

 

I liked the characters and setting as much as ever, but the plot of this one was just too much for me.  The murder mystery was well plotted, but the whole climax at the end was just too melodramatic and over-the-top; if it had been written to be an urban fantasy, it would have worked much better; as a cozy, it just comes across too cute to take seriously.

 

I loved the very end though; it was believably sweet.

 

 

 

 

 

Pages read:  278

$$: $6.00

 

(Book's characters have a direct connection to Camelot)

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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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