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review 2018-09-24 04:42
Beastly Bones
Beastly Bones: A Jackaby Novel - William Ritter

Oh my goodness, this series is so much fun! I loved this second book every bit as much as the first. It was great to see Abigail assert herself more and get to flex her paleontology muscles and get a glimpse of what might have been had her first fateful dig not failed so miserably. Still, I can’t be anything but grateful for the failure that set her on the path to employment with Jackaby. These two may be my favorite duo of supernatural investigators.

 

I don’t think I’m going to be able to review this without squeeing inarticulately and dropping heaps of spoilers, so I’ll just say it’s a quick (too quick! I want more!), fun (so much fun!) read and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book.

 

I read this for the Halloween Bingo 2018 Shifters square.

 

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text 2018-09-23 23:03
Reading progress update: I've listened 33 out of 585 minutes.
Mr. Churchill's Secretary (Audio) - Wanda,Donada Peters McCaddon,Susan Elia MacNeal,Donada Peters

So it looks like here we have a British-born, American-raised MC working as a secretary for Churchill during the war.

 

Crossing my fingers...

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review 2018-09-23 17:30
The Wicked Lady by Mary Lancaster
The Wicked Lady - Mary Lancaster

Lady Kate Crowmore is finally free of her monstrous husband, but the ton that expects her to mourn the bastard, has also turned her back on her, since she was found in her lover's bed the night she got the news of Crowmore's death. So Kate has come to Blackhaven to lick her wounds and to forget about the scandal...Yet the townsfolk also cut her. Except the mysterious curate, Tristram Grant.

Grant knows there's more to the wicked lady that meets the eye, but he'll need all his cunning and perseverance to get under Kate's protective armor. He just hopes, he's in time, before someone kills her.


This story was love-at-first-sight on steroid. They only met and he already said he wanted to marry her. Sheesh. Needless to say, I wasn't convinced about the romance. I wasn't really convinced about the main protagonists, in fact. I found facade of wicked lady a little too abrasive at times (I know she had her reasons not to let anyone close, but still), and he came across as too much of a doormat sometimes. In the end, I felt they worked better as friends and confidantes than love interests.

It was really the supporting cast that saved the day. From the supposed French spy who turned out to be Tris's half-brother (I didn't really care much about the other brother, though), Kate's maid, the good doctor (some other man than in the first book) and his wife, the magistrate and his wife, the Muirs and the happy couple Wickenden (I liked the "wicked baron" better than in his own book, he sounded lighter and happier, I guess).

And then there was the suspense. A little less prominent than in the previous book, but still intriguing, even though the big mystery was revealed quite early on. Still, it kept the reader guessing just what might happen next and just how the hired hands would get about ridding the world of Kate Crowmore.
It was the "resolution" that left a big question mark on everything. Why was the suicide needed?

The romantic sub-plot also had a slightly iffy resolution with all the passing of Kate between the two brothers (figuratively speaking) and I'm still not sure just what was with all the haste. She's already made up her mind, couldn't he wait another day?

It felt like the story was all over the place, really, with various plot elements not really connecting fully, creating a rather disjointed reading experience. It would've helped a little if the romance was solid.

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review 2018-09-23 16:44
Death on the Saphire by R J Koreto (audiobook)
Death on the Sapphire: A Lady Frances Ffolkes Mystery - R. J. Koreto,Justine Eyre

Series: A Lady Frances Ffolkes Mystery #1

 

This is another one of the books that I stumbled across while looking for mystery genre audiobook possibilities at my library since I've been doing so much walking lately that I need to listen to something! Don't be scared away by my rating, for the reasons that I'll explain below.

 

Lady Frances (I think I'm using the naming convention correctly since her father had a title) is a very modern woman in Edwardian London (1901-1910) who has moved out of her brother's house upon his marriage (to a good friend of hers) to a respectable ladies hotel because she's just that kind of independent woman. She's involved in the suffragette movement too, naturally, and actually went to university in America (so she calls it "college"). She gets drawn into a mystery when a friend of hers asks her to help look for a manuscript that her brother (the friend's brother) was writing before his accidental death.

 

All that is well and good. The mystery was somewhat interesting, the narration was good, and the relationship between Frances/Franny and her maid, Mallow, was well done (Mallow got promoted to lady's maid partly because she used to cover for Franny back in the day). It was well-done but overall just average, and I'm giving it 2.5 stars instead of 3 because it was just a bit too American and Franny was just a bit too modern. At one point she calls trousers "pants", which was just a little bit shocking (I don't know when pants came to be known as underwear in Britain but to a modern ear it doesn't quite work), and her insistence that Mallow travel first class with her on the train just struck me as odd. Also, I think it may still have been just a little bit early for the upper class to be dining in restaurants for dinner/supper (I may be wrong on this point) and I'm pretty sure accepting a tête-à-tête dinner invitation to a man's house would have been outright scandalous.

 

There were a few other things, but to me it felt that Franny ignored her class just a little too much to really work for me. I like to read historical fiction books that try to understand the culture of the time rather than just overwrite it with modern sensibilities. Admittedly, some books piss me off when they seem to be doing the opposite (applying outdated notions to modern day settings). However, I do know that others enjoy modern women plopped into historical settings, and so if you're one of them you might want to look into this one. It is part of a series, and if my library has the rest of them, I may check them out.

 

Also, Franny's first suitor was far more interesting when the reader thought he was just trying to seduce her and/or take advantage of her.

 

I'm counting this one for the "Amateur Sleuth" square for the 2018 Halloween Bingo.

 

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text 2018-09-23 11:49
Reading progress update: I've read 132 out of 281 pages.
The Hundred Days (Aubrey/Maturin, #19) - Patrick O'Brian

This guy's prose! Mwuah! (Kissing fingers noise.)

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