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review 2017-03-12 04:43
Goodbye Paradise - Sarina Bowen

Joshua & Caleb grew up together in a bit of a cult commune.  Feelings are not allowed.  Especially for a best friend who has never looked at you.


Caleb has many surprises in store for Joshua, if only they can get away safely.  There is danger everywhere.  Can the get to help in time?


Heartwarming and gentle, while being full of surprises!  I was rooting for the leads to get together from the get go.  It is hard not to when this author makes them so lovable.  I wonder what the next book in this Hello Goodbye series will hold?  I give this story a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!



***This copy was given in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-03-08 02:02
A fantastic, clever, & heartwarming mystery w/great characters & a tragic motive.
Death Stalks Kettle Street - John Bowen

Nothing against Adrian Monk -- either in book or TV form -- he was brilliant, fun, and his OCD was treated with sensitivity. But also for laughs -- the combination wasn't easy to pull off. But OCD isn't really a laughing matter -- just ask Greg Unsworth, the protagonist of John Bowen's compelling cozy mystery. Greg wants to be normal, he doesn't want to be kept awake because a tea cup might be out of alignment with the others, he doesn't want to lock and relock and relock and relock his front door just to be sure it took, he wants to be able to cross the road when he wants to. Partially this would be for his sake, but mostly, it's to help his brother out, because he's really bothered with Greg's OCD.


Beth Grue doesn't believe in normal -- she knows everyone is a little not-normal in their own way, she's fully embraced her non-normality. She just wants everyone else to treat her as no more different than anyone else -- cerebral palsy or no.


The two of them meet when they discover the dead body of one of Greg's neighbors together, which leads to a fairly unlikely friendship. They understand the others struggles, they accept each other for what they are (well, almost, Beth isn't as patient always as she wants to be). As the friendship develops, they begin to realize that the body they discovered was one of a pretty high number of accidental deaths in Greg's neighborhood recently. Not only that, but someone has been sending Greg advance notice of these accidents (which casts a shadow on the whole "accident" idea, no?).


There's a great subplot about Beth taking a class in mystery writing -- which allows Bowen to comment on the genre, while helping Beth to think both about her novel in-progress and the murders she and Greg are convinced are being committed.


And the mystery? It was pretty well constructed, and the reveal was wonderful. There's a handy red herring that was so obvious that the character might as well have been named Mr./Ms. Hareng Rouge. I didn't mind him at all because Bowen used it well; our protagonists learn how to investigate (and how not to investigate) through wasting time with the false trail; and the way Greg discovered just how wrong he'd been was so much fun.


Right up until a couple of pages before the reveal of the killer I had a 3 competing theories -- all of which seemed pretty likely (well, 2 of them did, anyway). I'm glad the killer is who it was, their motive -- and best of all, how Bowen handled the reveal. One of the most satisfying conclusions to a mystery that I've read in ages.


It wasn't perfect, but it got pretty close. I enjoyed the characters, their wants, their interaction, their fumbling attempts to solve the mystery - I can't recommend this highly enough, really. It's a cozy that has enough of an edge and dept to appeal to those who prefer their detectives a little more hard-boiled, without getting too messy, too violent, too un-cozy for the core audience.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2017/03/07/death-stalks-kettle-street-by-john-bowen
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review 2017-02-25 18:55
Rookie Move - Sarina Bowen

Rookie Move - Sarina Bowen 


I didn't go gaga over this like I did with the IVY YEARS series, but I thought it was cute. I'm a sucker for second chance romance and I was glad to see that Georgia and Leo got a shot to be together again.

I was a little ticked at her for almost screwing it all up...AGAIN, but I was glad that Leo was so freakin focused on not letter her get away for a second time.

I enjoyed the other characters and hope to get to know them better. I even hope to see Silas again. He got a bum wrap at the end. I'm thinking that there may be something between Becca, Georgia's roommate, and Nate, the team's owner. I look for more clues to that in the next book.

I listened to this one on audio and it was done by two new to me narrators. I thought they did a great job. 

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review 2017-02-07 04:04
In Farleigh Field: A Novel of World War II - Rhys Bowen

This was a great book with neighbors hiding secrets from other neighbors. Friends hiding secrets from other friends. Even family members hiding secrets from other family members. War is all around, the Germans are bombing all over London. People with puzzle solving experience are needed and kept from others, told to keep their jobs a secret from everyone. They are trying to break any coded messages they intercept from the Germans. English POW's are coerced into being German spies and sent back home to relay messages and information to German officials.

All this is going on and right in the center of all this is Farleigh Field. Home of Lord Westerham, his wife and five daughters. The book centers on his family, his neighbors and close friends of his family.

I found this book highly entertaining and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The mission to find the spy which the man in the parachute that didn't open led to a lot of suspects which just kept me guessing. I could have kept on guessing for days, because I wasn't even close. Ha!

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review 2017-02-04 18:53
A Conspiracy of Ravens - Lila Bowen

Suffers a bit from middle book syndrome, but still a fun read.  Some thoughts on the series.

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