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review 2019-03-22 14:54
The Five Red Herrings / Dorothy L. Sayers
Five Red Herrings - Dorothy L. Sayers

The body was on the pointed rocks alongside the stream. The artist might have fallen from the cliff where he was painting, but there are too many suspicious elements - particularly the medical evidence that proves he'd been dead nearly half a day, though eyewitnesses had seen him alive a scant hour earlier. And then there are the six prime suspects - all of them artists, all of whom wished him dead. Five are red herrings, but one has created a masterpiece of murder that baffles everyone, including Lord Peter Wimsey.

 

Give this volume about 3.5 stars, I think. For me, it has been the least enjoyable installment of Lord Peter Wimsey. And still, it had its great moments. Dorothy Sayers is the only author that I have read who had produced Scots dialog on the page that hasn’t annoyed me to death! I found it was effective and even a bit humorous from time to time.

Where this book fell down for me was the intricacy of the clues. I know that Sayers prided herself on not “cheating,” giving the reader all the clues that they needed to solve the mystery right along with Wimsey (see Dorothy L. Sayers: Her Life and Soul by Barbara Reynolds). However, I would have needed to make myself a detailed flow chart if I was going to solve this mystery! So I just drifted with the flow of her writing and enjoyed other details along the way.

The last few pages, including the re-enactment of the crime, were absolutely the best part of the book. I don’t usually laugh out loud when I’m reading, but I know for a fact that I produced several outbursts as I enjoyed this production! Well worth enduring all the train time tables!

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text 2019-03-20 10:21
REVIEW TOUR, EXCERPT & #GIVEAWAY - Slaughtered (Jack Slaughter Thrillers #1) by K.A. Lugo
Slaughtered (Jack Slaughter Thrillers #1) - K.A. Lugo

The Texter

Fallen homicide detective, Jack Slaughter, closes the door on the home where his perfect family has been brutally snatched from him. Moving across the city, he works as a private investigator to fund his own investigation into what happened to his family—who killed his little girl, Zoë, and where is his wife, Leah?

Every three month for the last three years, Jack receives a simple text telling him where he can find his missing wife. There’s a body at each location, but none of them are Leah.

Jack hates missing person’s cases, but they’re his bread and butter. He only takes the case to find Carl Boyd's missing wife because the details of her disappearance closely match Leah’s. He hopes by finding Bonnie Boyd, he'll find his own wife.

The Butcher

Following the leads in the Bonnie Boyd case, Jack discovers someone has been killing women all over the city for the last three years, a fact Jack’s ex-partner and still best friend, Ray Navarro, has neglected to tell him. The city has a serial killer and officials haven’t been able to find a single lead on the person they’ve dubbed The Butcher.

Could Bonnie Boyd’s disappearance be linked to The Butcher? More important, was Leah one of The Butcher’s victims? Could he have gone so far as to murder a child?

With every clue Jack weaves together, the more his own life unravels.

 

@GoddessFish, @hotchoc84 (Charlotte), @ka_lugo, #Thriller, 4 out of 5 (very good)

Source: archaeolibrarian.wixsite.com/website/single-post/2019/03/20/REVIEW-TOUR-EXCERPT-GIVEAWAY---Slaughtered-Jack-Slaughter-Thrillers-1-by-KA-Lugo
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review 2019-03-20 03:41
The Spy of Venice (Brandreth)
The Spy of Venice: A William Shakespeare Novel - Benet Brandreth

I enjoyed, but at the same time was slightly disappointed in this volume by the son of Gyles Brandreth. The latter has given me many pleasurable hours with his Oscar Wilde mystery stories, where he reimagines a literary great as a solver of mysteries. Benet Brandreth has taken advantage of that big gap in Shakespeare's known biography to set up the beginning of a series of adventure stories - not mysteries, but more action-oriented - featuring Will on a fictional but historically possible trip to Venice; presumably this volume's sidekicks, Nick Oldcastle (who was the real-life inspiration for Falstaff) and Heminges, fellow-actor and eventual publisher of the First Folio, will also continue to play a part in sequels.

The chief delight of the novel is the interweaving of an endless succession of Shakespearian references. The more Shakespeare you have lurking in your brain, the more smiles of recognition will break out across your face as yet another familiar phrase or situation surfaces in an unfamiliar context. The story itself is also not bad: there's nothing wrong with Brandreth's imagination and he clearly knows enough about the 1590s (English and Italian) to navigate from spies in the Bearpit to vengeful Italian femmes fatales, with many minor characters biting the dust along the way.  It's a decent romp in an interesting historical setting (for me, the story picked up considerably once  it moved to Italy).

For me at least, there was one constant irritant in the style. All too frequently, we'd read a perfectly good declarative sentence. Which was unnecessarily broken and followed by a sentence fragment. I don't mind this device when it's occasionally used for emphasis or to characterize a speaker, but when it appears every other page in the general narrative, it's just a nasty (and unskilful) little tic, and I wish there had been an editorial foot put down on it. Comparisons are odorous, as Dogberry says, but the language of Benet's Dad in the Wilde series is pretty much irreproachable.

Will is still in Venice at the end of this novel, no doubt with much still to observe about Jews on the Rialto amongst other things. If I see the second in this series, I'll likely give it a shot, but with lowered expectations. It's still a worthy entry in that remarkably voluminous sub-genre, stories featuring Shakespeare as a fictional character.

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review 2019-03-17 20:18
Dead Over Heels / Charlaine Harris
Dead Over Heels - Charlaine Harris

What's the world coming to - when you can't relax with an ice-cold beverage in your own backyard without a body falling from the sky and landing in your garden? Part-time librarian and frequent amateur investigator Roe Teagarden has good reason to ask herself this question when the remains of one of the Lawrenceton, Georgia police department's finest catapults into her flower bed one beautiful sunny morning. Roe's friend and bodyguard, the long-legged, bikini-clad Angel Youngblood, is mowing the grass and Roe is reclining on a lounger when a small red-and-white plane flies low overhead and drops its unlikely debris more or less at Roe's feet. Roe's husband of two years, wealthy businessman Martin Bartell, immediately wonders if the killer chose his dumping place to send some kind of message to Roe. And the mystery deepens when two federal agents arrive in town to investigate the murder. It's only when Madeleine the cat provides a clue that Roe and Martin realize Roe herself may be in danger and that using Roe's yard as a temporary landfill for dead bodies was no accident.

 

What do you do when you’re suffering from a severe case of insomnia? If you’re me, you wander to your bookcase and say to yourself, “Which of these books is interesting, but I’ll be willing to set it down when sleep finally feels possible?” I gave up at about 2 a.m. on Saturday morning and started to read--finally, at 4 a.m. I managed to set down the book and sleep for a while.

I’d have to call this both a cozy mystery and a Southern mystery. Charlaine Harris includes so many of the details of Southern life--the churches that people attend, the community conflicts, the everyday lifestyles of her characters. Some readers obviously love these details--I must confess that they are why I chose it as a “sleeping pill.” 

Despite that, Aurora is a character that drew me in and made me care what happens to her. This is the fifth book in the series after all, I’m still reading them, and I have no doubts at all that I’ll continue on with her adventures when I have another sleepless night. 

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review 2019-03-11 17:44
Sleep - C.L. Taylor

After a traumatizing experience in London where Anna was involved in a car crash and two of her passengers/ colleagues did not survive and a third passenger was seriously injured,she feels ,apart from feeling guilty, as if someone is stalking her and very soon paranoia and insomnia sets in. So she decides to leave the Metropolis and move to Rum,a small Scottish isle, where she is helping David,the owner, to run a small country hotel. A group of 7 hikers arrive in this charming hotel and they all bring their own secrets and problems. When a storm hits the island and the hotel is completely cut off things start to become a bit uncomfortable. Anna feels more than insecure and is convinced that her stalker is in the neighbourhood... It starts very slowly and I had a hard time getting into this story. Of course,the fact that I wasn't particularly attracted to Anna and that her fate wasn't a major concern to me,well it didn't exactly help. Somehow this story had all the right building stones,(storm, invisible threats ,isolated house,strangers meeting each other for the first time...)but it just lacked something. The different POV didn't help and their were some strange passages for instance:" He's dead", I whisper again. Her eyes fill with tears."Her being the whisperer... I know that this is a 4 to 5 star rating on most major sites but somehow it had all the promises but it just didn't fulfil them...

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