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review 2017-09-21 05:21
Murder Past Due
Murder Past Due - Miranda James

From the comments I've been getting, quite a few of you have read this book so I'll keep it brief. 

 

Murder Past Due follows library archivist/amateur sleuth Charlie Harris and his trusty sidekick Diesel as they try to solve the mystery of the murdered mystery writer. Trouble is, Godfrey Priest is disliked by the majority of people in town and the suspect list just seems to keep growing. Can he solve the crime before his young boarder, Justin, is wrongfully arrested? Will Diesel ever get the head pats he so desperately wants?!!!

 

Silliness aside, I really liked this one. It's probably the most solid cozy mystery I've read. The plot was focused and there were a lot of clues leading throughout the story. It was a lot of fun to read and see what surprising twist lay ahead. The who-done-it made sense and didn't feel cheap at all. Overall this is just a really nice, really solid mystery. 

 

Diesel is, of course, my favorite character. In my opinion he's the best character in the book. I don't know if that's a good thing or not. On the one hand, should a cat really be outshining all the other characters? On the other hand, is it possible for a cat NOT to outshine everyone else?

 

My biggest critique is sometimes the dialogue, specifically the character's speech patterns, drove me nuts sometimes. For example, the way Justin called his mom "Mama" every time. Just felt weird for an eighteen year old to do. I speed read through Peter's scenes because I just couldn't stand the way he talked. I give James credit for really giving her characters unique voices, I just wish she made it more realistic because it did get very obnoxious. 

 

Final rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars, amended from the 4 stars earlier. It's a great book, little cheesy, but it has a cat and is just really cute. 

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review 2017-09-21 01:24
Murder Past Due - Miranda James

At work so the review will have to wait. Overall though a very fun and enjoyable cozy mystery.

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review 2017-09-18 19:16
Murder Past Due
Murder Past Due - Miranda James

Couldn't use the computers for hours at work this morning. Waiting for the situation to resolve itself I had to kill time ... and used it to finish off this cozy mystery.

 

Not bad. A bit slow moving. The MC is male, a librarian named Charlie.  Unusual and refreshing. He owns a Maine Coon cat which is basically a HUGE cat according to the author. They mention the cat's size over and over again in case you missed the cat's name which is Diesel.  Though that got annoying, it did make me want to see one IRL. 

 

The mystery in which a celebrity from Charlie's town is killed, wasn't terribly hard to figure out. But being that everyone hated him - and I mean EVERYONE - there were plenty of red herrings to keep you guessing. 

 

I wasn't thrilled by this book but I do want to read the next one. The series has a lot of potential and a depth to its characters that I enjoyed. If Ms. James continues to flesh out her characters, this series could be a keeper for me.

 

 

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text 2017-09-15 16:42
Friday Reads 9.15.2017
A Dark and Stormy Murder - Julia Buckley
Murder Past Due - Miranda James
The Big Chili (An Undercover Dish Mystery) - Julia Buckley
Suede to Rest - Diane Vallere

So this is the last weekend before the wedding.

 

I've been reading like crazy. It's helping calm me. My fiance is used to it  at least. lol

 

So these are some of the books I plan on reading in between last minute craziness and on the plane to the honeymoon. I like cozies. They're light, quick reading and I don't feel pressured to read or not read them. Pure escapism.

 

In the middle of A Dark and Stormy Murder  and I'm really enjoying it. 

 

Happy reading everyone! :)

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review 2017-09-14 03:12
You'll Be the Death of Me! by Stacia Wolf
You'll Be the Death of Me! - Stacia Wolf

You’ll Be the Death of Me! stars Allison Leavitt, a successful mystery author, and Jay Cantrall, a Los Angeles police detective who’s been temporarily transferred to Spokane after a scandal. They happen to be neighbors in the same apartment building, and although they’re both instantly attracted to each other, they also don’t entirely trust or like each other.

Allison is leery of men who only want to date her for her money, doesn’t really think that sex (aside from masturbation) is all that great, has body issues (due to some scars and, possibly, her curviness), and is still working through her feelings of guilt and terror over a past traumatic event. The only man who interests her anymore is fictional: Detective Ben Stark, one of the main characters in her mystery series. Shockingly, Jay looks like both Allison’s mental image of Ben and the image of Ben on the proposed cover art for Allison’s next book. She can’t decide whether she’s interested in Jay because he looks like Ben, or because she’s just interested in Jay.

Meanwhile, Jay is leery of women who are more interested in his celebrity twin brother than they are in him. To be honest, he has trust issues with women in general at the moment, since it was his ex-girlfriend’s lies that resulted in the scandal that got him sent to Spokane. But there’s something about Allison that keeps drawing him in. Allison, her best friend Paige, and a landlady with an annoying Chinese crested dog that she believes can do no wrong make it hard for Jay to keep to himself.

I spotted this in a used bookstore clearance section a while back and snatched it up primarily because it was a Samhain Publishing title. Some of those can be difficult to find or incredibly expensive now that the publisher has shut down operations. What if it turned out to be really good and I missed out on it? And if it wasn’t good, well, it only cost me $2.

It didn’t take me long to figure out that I’d picked up a stinker. Allison in particular seemed to have way more issues to deal with than could properly be handled in such a short book, and the whole thing about Jay’s twin seemed incredibly contrived. In general, these two characters needed to spend at least a few months getting to know and trust each other before I could believe in them as a couple. Instead, they were together for maybe a week or two, enough time to drool over each other and have sex, but not enough time to truly trust each other once the issues readers could see from a mile away started cropping up.

I hated them as a couple so much. Anytime Jay made any kind of small talk that touched on money or Allison’s job, Allison immediately assumed that he was just another guy hoping she’d pay his bills in exchange for sex. I was more forgiving of Jay’s blowup when he inevitably spotted Allison’s newest cover art, but their arguments after that made me dislike them both.

They both refused to listen to or believe each other. In fact, Allison somehow still

believed that Jay was after her money even after he blew up on her about the cover art. How did she think that was going to work? Did she think he was simultaneously going to snarl at her for being more interested in his brother or her fictional character than in him and convince her to pay his bills? Besides that, a true gold digger wouldn't have cared if she only liked him because he looked like her character or his twin brother. It should have only taken a second or two of thought to realize that her conclusions didn’t make any sense.

(spoiler show)


But logic wasn’t exactly the author’s strong suit and, unfortunately, the result was extremely inconsistent main characters. For example, after spending most of the book up to that point thinking that Allison knew full well the effect she had on men (or at least on him in particular), on page 79 Jay suddenly divined that Allison was uncomfortable with her body and reacted accordingly. Then there was Allison, who spent most of the book saying that she’d never orgasmed while having sex with a man and could only get off while thinking about her fictional detective. Despite that, on page 104 this thought suddenly popped into her head: “it had been way too long since she’d made love.” Huh?

I hated how the author wrote about Allison’s issues with sex. Jay couldn’t even fathom that someone might not enjoy sex and became fixated on the idea that Allison’s previous lovers just hadn’t done a good job. He, of course, would do better.

“What did Allison need? Love, passion, romance? Him. She needed him. She needed him to teach her the better side of sex.” (106)

I could imagine him saying that out loud and me laughing in his face.

Sometimes things happened just because the author wanted/needed them to happen, and not because they particularly made much sense. For example, at one point Jay and his partner, Pearce, were doing a stakeout and Pearce, for some unknown reason, decided that he absolutely had to make up with ex-girlfriend right then and there. So he asked her to come see him during the stakeout. Yeah, you read that right. And then when the suspect recognized him and the stakeout went bad, Ping (the Chinese crested) accidentally got loose and Jay injured himself trying to avoid him. Allison blamed herself for Jay’s injury because she hadn’t kept a tight enough hold on Ping’s leash, and so she felt obligated to help him out a bit while he recovered. Pearce told her she shouldn’t be so hard on herself...and failed to say anything about his part in the whole incident. In fact, not a single person blamed Pearce for Jay’s injury, and there were no consequences for his actions. The author literally orchestrated the entire thing just to force Allison and Jay to spend more time with each other.

The book had other issues, but I think I'll wrap things up here. You'll Be the Death of Me! was a quick read, and yet it still wasn't worth the small amount of time it took to get through it. Even the dog wasn't very appealing.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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