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Search tags: Paranormal-Mystery
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review 2017-06-21 12:05
Nightshade for Warning (Enchanted Garden Mystery, #2)
Nightshade for Warning - Bailey Cattrell

I had been looking forward to this book, because I was pretty impressed with the first one. Although I'm a fan of Cattrell's other work, I really fell for this series' backdrop of a woman who creates a beautiful garden and uses what she grows to distill her own essential oils, mixing custom perfumes in her small shop.  I'm not overly interested in the perfume angle, but the gardening and the tiny house she lives in all sound, not to put too fine a point on it, enchanting.

 

This sophomore entry doesn't disappoint as far as the garden and the distilling goes, and the slight hint at paranormal gifts that was in the first one is expanded upon here, but there's a love triangle in the making, which is always disappointing.  Luckily, the murder mystery was pretty good; the resolution managed to take me almost completely by surprise.  

 

I'll definitely read a third one, if it's in the offing, and there's a recipe for lavender shortbread in the back of this one I'm itching to try.

 

 

 

 

 

Total pages: 306

$$:  $6.00

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review 2017-06-13 11:45
Review: The Turn
The Turn: The Hollows Begins with Death - Kim Harrison

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

Since The Hollows is one of my favourite urban fantasy series, and probably one the series that got me hooked on urban fantasy in the first place, a prequel to the Hollows was a must have. I put in a Netgalley request as soon as I saw it. (Even though I’m only up to book 7 in the series).

 

Though after reading it, I can’t honestly say I liked it all that much. It was okay, somewhere between a two and a three star read for me. The first half of the book was full of science stuff that I found incredibly boring and a slog to get through. I’ve never DNFed a Kim Harrison book before, so series and author love made me determined to finish it.

 

 I found it quite confusing, it didn’t help also that I could have sworn there was a Trent Kalamak in the Rachel Morgan series. It was only when I was reading reviews on Goodreads and saw the questions about this book section that someone else had asked the same thing that was puzzling me. Not the same character, two different characters (though there was a ding! moment towards the end of the book that made me go aaaah, that’s why).

 

One or two familiar characters also popped up, demon Algaliarept (who’s name I can’t pronounce to save my life) was his usual delightfully obnoxious (and somewhat amusing in a snarky way) self and Quen.  One of the vampires makes an appearance towards the end as well.

 

This is all about two dark elf scientists who are fighting it out for funding, Trent and Trisk, both of whom hate each other, Trisk’s created a genetically engineered tomato that will supposedly end third world hunger. Forced to work together each have their own separate agendas. As I said, the first half was all very technical and the two of them playing off each other to get to their own goals. (I had to keep reminding myself this was set in the 60s as well). Favourite classic songs are on the radio as new music.

 

But of course, jealousy rears its ugly head and one thing leads to another, something goes hideously wrong. This resulting in a wide spread disease that nearly wipes out the human race, bringing out the fear and repercussions of a bunch of vampires, witches and other species trying their best to get head of it and survive as well.  While at the same time Trisk and a companion, the Dr who created the virus in the first place, there’s links to her genetic tomato, and Trent trying to keep on top of things.

 

The second half was much more exciting as things went from bad to worse and Trisk and her friends try to fix the problem. There’s something – satisfying is not the word I’d use – but there’s definitely a so that’s how it all happened feeling about now knowing how The Hollows all started, but it’s certainly not a favourite novel. Though I am glad I read it, and would certainly recommend to Hollows fans.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books for approving my request to view the title.

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review 2017-06-04 02:04
Paws and Effect (Magical Cats, #8)
Paws and Effect - Sofie Kelly

It does't sound good that my favourite character in this series is Fred the Funky Chicken, but it's true.  The other characters are all likeable in the best cozy-mystery way, but my heart goes out to Fred the Funky Chicken every time.**

 

I'm not going to pretend that this book isn't everything a modern cozy is; the magical cats pretty much give the game away.  But Kelly does't over-play that magical hand and doesn't try to hide the deux ex machina-like effect this has on her ability to plot her mysteries.  She also creates likeable, believable, characters that enjoy a reasonable amount of realistic conflict; some of which is resolved and some of it isn't.  

 

The murder plot was decent-ish.  I was side-eyeing the murderer for awhile but there weren't any puzzle pieces to play with, just one big whopper of a clue that solved the whole thing for everybody at once.  Or at least, for the reader and the MC; everyone else would need more proof, of course, thus allowing our MC to stumble into mortal peril.  A reader comes to understand this is the nature of cozies though, and at least this peril was believable.  Sort of.  (How did the murder find them??)

 

So Paws and Effect is everything you'd expect a contemporary cozy to be anymore, but better than most of the rest; a bit more solid and well written.  A fun, fluffy bit of fiction for lazy afternoons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page count:  315

$$:  $3.00

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review 2017-04-11 12:03
Deadly Forecast (Psychic Eye, #11)
Deadly Forecast - Victoria Laurie

I used to really enjoy this series and always read them as soon as they came out, but the ninth book in the series, Vision Impossible was so... ridiculous, it really put me off the newer books, even after reading and enjoying #10.  Which means this one languished on my TBR for over 3 years before I finally forced myself to pick it up yesterday.  

 

Boy I'm glad I did; it was really good.  I didn't realise it was a cross-over book that included the MC from her other series (which has since ended), and it worked really well.  The book begins with Abbey coming to consciousness on her wedding day to discover a bomb strapped to her chest, the latest victim of a serial killer.  From here the book switches between dual timelines and POV's:  Abbey's and M.J.'s.

 

Normally I'd hate this, but it really worked here. Abbey's POV is the flashback to what led to her being strapped to a bomb, and M.J.'s POV is present tense, trying to find Abbey and the killer before time is up.  It's tense and it's gripping.  

 

Victoria Laurie herself is a professional psychic, so the paranormal aspect of the storytelling is handled realistically; it never gets so far out there that it becomes difficult to suspend disbelief.  There was at least one small error of logic, and I often twitched about Abbey's high level of internal emotional drama, but overall I couldn't wait to pick it back up again.

 

This is good news, because I still have two other books in the series to read sitting on my pile.  And now I'm much more optimistic about tackling them.

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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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