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review 2018-10-22 20:30
Thoughts: Buried Leads
Buried Leads (A Headlines in High Heels Mystery #2) - LynDee Walker

Buried Leads

by LynDee Walker
Book 2 of A Nichelle Clarke Crime Thriller

 

 

It wasn't the first time I'd smelled a dead body, but the faintly sweet, acrid stench didn't get less putrid with repeated exposure.

The scene was quiet for a body recovery, just as I'd hoped.  Not another reporter in sight.


When an Armani-clad corpse turns up in a shallow grave in the Virginia woods, Nichelle Clarke is the first reporter on the scene.  The victim is a tobacco lobbyist with a mysterious past, and Nichelle suspects that his shady business connections are what's driving local politicians to push for a quick arrest.  She soon uncovers a web of astonishing corruption: A dark trail of illegal kickbacks and high-end call girls that stretches all the way to Washington, D.C.

For Nichelle, it could be the news story of the year.  But the power players at the center of the plot have everything to lose, and Nichelle's crusade for the truth lands her right in the crosshairs of the killer.



This second book in the Nichelle Clarke series was maybe a little bit more disappointing than I had hoped.  Sure, it was still written well, and I still like Nichelle.  But I think I would like her better if she didn't blatantly ignore warnings of danger just to trudge forward without a care.  As much as I hated the scene with the stuffed Pomeranian toy, I'm glad that it kind of gave her a wake-up call... even if she still didn't really see the danger in the story she was pursuing.  At least she was taking some action to keep her puppy safe, even if she wasn't taking steps to keep herself safe.

The story pacing and the writing is still winning, though.  As I stated, I still like Nichelle.  I like that she's smart, resourceful, and has a way with puzzles.  I didn't really care for her trying to edge into another co-worker's area though, because it left me feeling like she was trying to steal someone else's job.  She'd been spending time complaining about Shelby trying to steal her job since book one, so it felt a little contradictory.  At the very least, she DOES finally admit that she's not trying to steal Trudy's political beat, and goes to Trudy with questions as well as offers the scoop to her co-worker.

It's a little too convenient, however, that Trudy dismisses Nichelle's insights, thus giving Nichelle a green light for continuing her investigation, conscience-free.

I AM glad for the fact that Nichelle covers more than just the "mystery of the week."  In fact, there are more mysteries going on in this book than I'd expected, and enough to keep readers guessing for hours.  Simply the mystery of the missing white chocolate syrup was lingering in the background.

But to be totally honest, the ending wasn't really all that surprising to me, even if I didn't see it coming.  And I felt like it was kind of abrupt.  All the other incidents that Nichelle covered in this book felt like they should have been separate incidents, but everything tied together in the end, though.  I'm not sure if I like that everything ties together in the end, or if I would have preferred to see Nichelle working an article on an incident that had nothing to do with the "mystery of the week," just to show us that there's more going on in this world than the one big convoluted scandal that serves as the main conflict in this book.

Meanwhile, I'm not a big fan of love triangles, but I could smell this one coming a mile away.  I don't know how to feel about it at the moment, because not a whole lot of character is given to either male love interest--at least not enough for me to like one over the other.  And since I don't like triangles, I'm really hoping that this one doesn't keep up for too long and Nichelle either chooses one guy... or chooses no one.  At this point, you can kind of see her leaning more towards Mr. "Call Me Joey," though it could have just been because of the fact that she and ATF Agent Kyle have a history she's reluctant to get into.

At this point, I am kind of glad that Nichelle's world doesn't revolve around her love interests.  They're really just afterthoughts for her at the moment, even if she finds both of them attractive and alluring.

I'm still not digging the color commentary about Shelby's bedroom habits--nor am I feeling the necessity of Shelby's "Mean Girl" act.  I don't feel like it brings much to the table--Nichelle's urgent deadlines still stand whether or not there's someone actively vying for her position.  The fact that she's got a friendly rivalry going on with Charlie from News Channel Four also serves to keeps her on her toes as is.

Otherwise, this second book of the series wasn't bad.  It wasn't incredible, nor was it as exciting or entertaining as the first, but it was still enjoyable, and fast-paced enough that I finished it in a breeze.

 



 

Halloween Bingo 2018
(any murder mystery)


Other possible squares:  Cozy Mystery; Amateur Sleuth; Terrifying Women

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/10/thoughts-buried-leads.html
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review 2018-10-22 15:40
Only Skein Deep
Only Skein Deep - Maggie Sefton

I re-read this book because I have enjoyed the stories in the past. I borrowed it in two forms, Kindle and Audio so that I could read and listen as the needs happened. 

 

Kelly is very pregnant with her first child and she is spending all her time in the knit shop and cafe so her friends are close to provide help should she need it (mostly transportation to the hospital). She is drinking weak coffee and trying tea as people find a new flavor that she might enjoy. A woman is killed on the golf course and she is curious about the woman and who might have wanted her dead. She listens to people talk and shares the information she hears with her friend, who calls his friend the detective and mostly stays out of the mystery. 

 

This is just a new way for her to solve mysteries while she waits for her baby to join them. It shows how she has changed and how life is changing for the whole group. 

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review 2018-10-22 03:29
On Borrowed Time by Jenn McKinlay
On Borrowed Time - Jenn McKinlay

In this entry in the series, Lindsey is setting up for one of the Crafternoon meetings that these books always begin with, only to discover her brother, Jack, hiding in their meeting room. At Jack's request, she doesn't tell anyone about him, lets him stay in the room, and makes up an excuse to have the Crafternoon meeting somewhere else. She's both shocked and worried when she goes to check on Jack and discovers that 1) he's gone and 2) there is now a dead man in the meeting room.

Lindsey is sure Jack didn't kill the man but knows it looks bad, so she reports the body to the police but doesn't mention Jack. She soon learns that Jack is involved in something very dangerous. If she wants to rescue her brother, she has to somehow figure out what's going on and who she can trust.

Jack apparently lives an overly exciting, globetrotting, and sometimes action-filled life. There were things in this book that made me think of James Bond - a coffee cartel, a dangerous and beautiful woman, and a boat chase. With all that action and Lindsey's worry over Jack, the murder at the beginning of the book was almost forgotten. Yes, I know it was part of the whole storyline involving Jack, but it didn't feel as much like the book's focus as the series' previous murders did. I was a bit disappointed by that.

In general, I found this book to be extremely frustrating. While I get that Lindsey was worried about her brother, her behavior made no sense. In the book just before this one, Emma Plewicki, the new police chief, demonstrated that she could keep secrets and wait for just the right moment to pounce. She's always been level-headed, careful, and trustworthy. I could sort of understand Lindsey stupidly leaving out her brother's sudden appearance in her initial report to the police, but her continued refusal to talk to Emma when things with Jack took a turn for the worse was just bone-headed. In a small town like that, there were ways she could have communicated with Emma that wouldn't have alerted Jack's kidnappers. But that would have required Lindsey to step aside and allow Emma and others to assume control of the efforts to save Jack, which McKinlay couldn't allow.

A lot of the things that were wrong with this book were due to McKinlay bending over backwards to make things more difficult for her characters. In addition to Lindsey's repeated refusal to involve the police, there was also the issue of the love triangle. I suspect even McKinlay didn't have much interest in Robbie as a potential love interest for Lindsey, because this was his second book and he still didn't have much going for him beyond being a good-looking charmer. And I couldn't help but wonder if Lindsey's primary appeal, for him, was that she kept resisting him.

Robbie and Sully's constant arguments about who should get to spend time with Lindsey and what rules they should be operating by grated on my nerves. There were a few nice scenes with Sully, including one where he finally talked about the event in his past that made him freak out when he thought Lindsey might still have feelings for her ex-fiance (I still think this was sloppily done), but they were always ruined by his arguments with Robbie. They were like two dogs fighting over a bone.

This is my least favorite book in the series so far, and if it weren't for how popular this series is with a few of my coworkers, I'd probably be quitting at this point. But I do like having books I can actually discuss with the people around me, so I'll be giving the next book a go. Here's hoping that at least the mystery portion of the next book is better.

Extras:

  • The Briar Creek Library guide to Crafternoons
  • Readers guide for The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  • Craft: Recycling candles (creating new candles from the remnants of old ones)
  • Recipes for Beth's Spinach Dip, Violet and Charlene's Meatballs, and Nancy's Fruit Cake Cookies. I don't plan on trying any of these, but the dip sounded easy and the meatballs were tempting.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2018-10-19 22:21
MURDER, SHE KNIT by Peggy Ehrhart
Murder, She Knit - Peggy Ehrhart
Cozy mystery where Pamela tries to find where the kitten she's been feeding is hiding but finds a body in her bushes.  She and the victim have a past but so do many others in the town. 
 
I enjoyed this story.  I liked the characters.  I also enjoyed the small-town gossip and mind set.  The knitting group are older women whose children are raised.  They get together weekly to knit.  There is also Roland whose doctor told him to take up knitting as a way to reduce stress.  Not so sure if it has or has only added to the stress in his life.  There is good world building here as this sets up the series. 
 
The story was good but I missed the clues to help solve the mystery.  They hinted at the back of my mind but never came together until the murderer was identified and the story told.  I am looking forward to the next mystery in this series.
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review 2018-10-19 22:07
HOPE NEVER DIES by Andrew Shaffer
Hope Never Dies - Andrew Shaffer
This parody of cozy mysteries is told from Joe Biden's point-of-view as he and Barack Obama chase down a killer.  I loved it!  I laughed so hard at times.  Suspend belief but you have to read it.  It was so much fun. 
 
I liked the characters.  Watching them solve the crime is a scream.  I liked how they view the current happenings in D.C.  I felt bad when Joe had to change some of his idealistic beliefs about others.  I hope there are more in this series.  I adored it.
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