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review 2019-02-20 03:10
Whack The Mole (Whispering Bay Mystery, #2) by Maria Geraci
Whack the Mole ( Whispering Bay Mystery #2) - Maria Geraci

 

 

Whispering Bay doesn't do boring. This beautiful small town hosts a ton of big city problems. To survive the drama residents need a nose for adventure, a wicked sense of humor and a thirst for a good mystery. Geraci is back to peak the interest and steal the heart with Whack the Mole. Hot on the trail of a dangerous mystery, Lucy and Travis lose their hearts to love. Cluelessly clever romantic suspense with it's own built in laugh track. Ms. Geraci makes zany, fabulous with a uniquely entertaining twist.

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review 2014-11-06 00:00
Out of Whack
Out of Whack - Susan X. Meagher Darcy and Tess are polar opposites. They are as different in every single way--upbringing, chosen professions, habits and outlook in life--as night and day. Darcy thrives on order and routine, while Tess suffers from lifelong wanderlust, appreciating the spontaneity and unpredictability of her travels. Both are fairly successful in their professions. It is entirely random that they meet and are thrown together in a life-threatening situation. Stuck with each other by circumstance and by choice, an unlikely attraction develops. But will it be enough to overcome their seemingly insurmountable differences?

That last sentence pretty much sums up the premise of every other lesfic romance. What makes this book stand out is the execution. And I don't mean the main plot point of the two ladies being on the run from the mob and the police. Granted, it's a smart page-turning plot device to liven up this book, and just realistic enough to be plausible, for the most part. But things are just a little too pat and convenient the bag of cash, the clumsy goon, the offing of the mob boss, unambitious ADA, but hey, that's why this book is labeled a ROMANCE, not a crime thriller. So what makes this book so entertaining? The characters and the scenes. I rarely give angst-free romance books more than four stars. But one of the characters here is so engaging and so lovable that anyone would move heaven and earth to be with her. I think what distinguishes Ms. Meagher from other romance authors is that even after so many books, she is always able to come up with characters that feel fresh and unique and stand out among the thousands I've come across over the years.

In much of the book, the two girls are stuck in close quarters. Rather than bore the hell out of this angst/action-junkie, the author managed to keep my interest in their daily goings-on and their interactions with sparkling dialogue, well-thought out scenes, and the occasional heart-thumping mob encounter. There were some confusing POV changes and character thoughts, but nothing a careful re-read won't solve.

4.5 stars
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review 2014-09-06 13:32
Whack of the P-Rex (Notebook of Doom #5)
By Troy Cummings The Notebook of Doom #5: Whack of the P-Rex (A Branches Book) - Troy Cummings

9/5/2014 ** An eagerly awaited next volume in the series.  I will have some jumping-up-and-down students on Monday.  They've asked all week when I'd have the new one in (spoiled kiddos - it just came out 5 days ago!!!)

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review 2014-07-27 14:57
Third Mystery Is Best Yet!
Whack A Mole - Chris Grabenstein

New Review! The Jersey Shore is now infamous for some really tacky people, but these police procedurals by Chris Grabenstein are a lot classier.

 

http://tinyurl.com/labzt3e

 

Even if people do get murdered. Like, a lot. But believe you me, there's still fun to be had! I gave it more than four stars.

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review 2014-03-29 01:28
Whack Job (Elliot Lisbon, #2)
Whack Job - Kendel Lynn

I received this book as an arc via NetGalley and Henery Press in exchange for an honest review.

 

Whack Job is the follow up to Agatha Award nominated (for best first book in a series) Board Stiff and I'm relieved to find it doesn't suffer from the dreaded sophomore slump.

 

I'll borrow from the books description for a summary (I couldn't do it better or heaven knows, more concisely):  

 

Elliott Lisbon blends her directorship of the Ballantyne Foundation with her PI-in-Training status by planning parties and performing discreet inquiries for charitable patrons. But when the annual Wonderland Tea Party makes everyone go mad as a hatter, Elli gets pulled into a shooting, a swindle, and the hunt for a Fabergé egg.

 

I had fun reading this book - great fun!  Elliot is smart, independent, and sometimes delightfully mouthy.  If someone pushes her, she pushes back; none of this dainty southern nonsense. She's a little bit of a germophobe, maybe a little OCD, but neither quirk ever overwhelms the story, thank goodness.  In fact, knowing what the reader does about Elliot's aversion to germs makes some of the scenes in this book all the more cringe worthy and humorous.  I do have to believe she is rather well paid though; she'd have to be to keep ahead of the ongoing destruction to her wardrobe.

 

The mystery plot itself is very well done.  We have a man desperate to find his egg, a murder and many mysterious, shady dealings going down.  Elliot is proactive and decisive, although oftentimes her progress is made in spite of herself, and I can think of at least one semi-TSTL moment.  (I say "semi" because I sort of understood the assumptions she was acting on.)  I can't say there were lots of suspects; there were enough, but the story itself was busy; there's a lot going on and I think the pacing kept me from ever really trying to figure out who the killer was.  I just wanted to read what happened next.  I stayed up way too late reading this book because I was having so much fun.

 

Ms. Lynn is a skilled writer and even though this is an arc, I found very few errors or even typo's.  The book rarely dips its toes into the deeper emotions but when Elliot is confronted with the potential loss of a best friend, her fear and longing is clear.  When she describes the death of her parents, it feels sincere, though never maudlin.  But the clear focus of the writing is humour and it's done with a deft hand; light, believable and never slapstick, even when it could be and would be at the hands of another writer.  Are there some magic saves here and there?  Sure - Elliot saves the day at the very last second a couple of times, but I don't care if this is realistic or not.  I want to believe it is.

 

So, this sounds like a 4.5/5 star review doesn't it?  Well, I'm not giving it that last star because the author is toying with a love triangle and I don't like it.  She's given me two very likeable men, both maybe vying for Elliot's attention.  I don't want to watch this play out over the series - I hate love triangles.  So I'm withholding that last star.  A quick resolution and the same engaging, high quality storytelling will make the next book a certain 5 star read.  I can't wait!

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