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review 2019-01-18 05:41
The Spirit in Question (Lila MacLean Mystery, #3)
The Spirit in Question - Cynthia Kuhn

I enjoy this series a lot - it's cozy without being twee, and the mysteries are reasonably well plotted most of the time.  I also love that Kuhn shows way more than she tells; this might be the only reason I'd tell someone to read these in order.  The stories don't require it at all, but the author doesn't waste her established readers' time by going over all the backstory.  New readers might feel lost if they started with book 3 instead of book 1.

 

The Spirit in Question isn't anything I can rave about, it was just an enjoyable story.  My first inclination was to give it 3.5 stars, but that's more a reflection of my bias against mysteries that take place in the theatre.  It's a haunted theatre though, so that gave it an edge for me.

 

The plotting was solid; I had no idea who the killer was.  But on the other hand, the motive for the killer felt a little weak.  Possibly, maybe, one that unconsciously falls back on an old stereotype that feminists would grind their teeth over.  It didn't bother me, but I did notice it.

 

My only complaint about the series overall is that she doesn't write them faster.  I need more solid, dependable cozy/traditional series in my life like this one.

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review 2018-12-31 12:54
A Devilish Spirit (Devil Springs Short Stories Book 2) by Jennifer Bramseth
A Devilish Spirit - Jennifer Bramseth

 

 

Strange things are happening in Devil Springs and Bramseth invites us along for the ride. A Devilish Spirit finds Henry caught in the middle of an intriguing mystery. Add in a transition in both his professional and personal life and Henry may be in over his head. Prepare to charmed.

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review 2018-11-12 19:52
The Return of the Water Spirit by Pepetela
The Return of the Water Spirit - Pepetela

This is a brief novella that takes aim at the hypocrisy and arrogance of Angola’s ruling classes. The political situation is symbolized by a couple: Carmina, a communist youth leader who later embraces exploitative capitalism when political winds shift; and her husband João, a well-meaning but ineffective man who retreats into computer games as the capital city of Luanda crumbles around him – quite literally, as buildings mysteriously collapse, leaving their occupants unharmed.

Knowing nothing about the country going in, I found this a fairly engaging read, and the story is well-translated, but it would likely work better for readers familiar with recent Angolan history. Magical realist and absurdist elements – like the dispossessed protesting by going nude in public – obscure the actual history, leaving the foreign reader wondering what really happened. And while it is difficult to separate the personal from the political in such a short and pointed story, there is this recurring notion that all is right in the home when the husband takes the reins and publicly chastises his wife; I wasn’t sure how much Pepetela finds Carmina’s ruling the roost objectionable simply because she’s a woman, and how much because this specific woman is morally bankrupt.

Nevertheless, this is an interesting book from which I did learn a bit about Angola, and at 100 pages it’s a very quick read.

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text 2018-10-31 11:37
Happy Halloween!

Seen in a Corsica winery, last week.  No pumpkins, but let nobody say the French (well, the Corsicans, anyway) don't keep the spirit of the season.

 

And with that, I'll raise a glass to Moonlight and OB for hosting another fabulous Halloween Bingo!  I had an enormous amount of fun, and it was great watching everybody else's Halloween reads and comparing notes.

 

Thank you so much!

 

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review 2018-10-17 07:50
REVIEW BY MERISSA - Spirit Shattered (The Guardians #4) by Tessa McFionn
Spirit Shattered (The Guardians #4) - Tessa McFionn

Spirit Shattered is the fourth book in The Guardians series. I have read book 1, Spirit Fall, but not books 2 and 3. I would say you don't HAVE to read them all, as the stories pretty much standalone. However, if you want more background snippets that are given in each book about their world, then yep, read them all.

Danika is a combination of light and dark. Life has been hard for her, and she has the scars to prove it. She could go 'all dark' so easily, but she fights for her nephew, determined to protect him. There is light within her, but it is getting more shadowed every time something else goes wrong. She helps Anton when an old adversary get the better of him, and turns herself into a prime target for both sides.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, seeing Danika's struggles and yes, even what she has to deal with. It makes it all the more understandable, and really makes you yearn for her to get a break! Anton's character is very innocent, something that gets commented on by Eamon. Together, if Danika can beat her demons, they would make the perfect pair.

This was once again excellently written, with no editing or grammatical errors to disrupt my reading flow. The pacing is fast, and yet perfect for the story. If you like tall alpha males, and smaller yet feisty females, then I can definitely recommend this book.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *

Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

Source: archaeolibrarian.wixsite.com/website/single-post/2018/08/20/Spirit-Shattered-The-Guardians-4-by-Tessa-McFionn
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