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review 2017-06-21 15:09
The Trouble With Mirrors
The Trouble with Mirrors - Charlotte Elkins,Aaron Elkins

RATING: 4 STARS

 

This was an enjoyable entry in the Alix London series. It was light and there was some progress made on the personal front when it comes to Alix's love life. 

 

The cast of characters are back, and this time the story revolves around Tiny, a regular character and a reformed art forger who served as a surrogate uncle to Alix. He has gone missing and so has the painting he gave to Alix when she was a child. The mystery as to what happened to him and the painting isn't terribly hard to figure out, but I really enjoy the way the Elkins team flesh out their characters- minor ones get a rich backstory that makes you care, adding to the tension of the novel. 

 

Overall I enjoyed it. 

 

One thing that makes these novels stand out is the inclusion of real art pieces and how they are cleverly woven into the story. In this entry they featured this piece called The Marriage of Giovanni And Giovanna Cenami by Jan Van Eyck :

 

Related image

 

They talked about the reflection in the mirror, something I probably wouldn't have noticed being a novice and all. But I like that each book makes me broaden my horizons and provides some insight into a world I know little of.

 

Recommend if you are into cozy and/or mysteries in general.

 

 

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text 2017-03-17 14:14
Friday Reads! 3.17.2017
The Golden Cup - Belva Plain
Rewire: Change Your Brain to Break Bad Habits, Overcome Addictions, Conquer Self-Destructive Behavior - Richard O'Connor

I wasn't ready to leave the world of Evergreen yet, so I'm following my emotions and diving right into the next book,The Golden Cup.  Making this my fiction book for the week ahead.

 

My nonfiction will be Rewire  - Change Your Brain to Break Bad Habits , Overcome Addictions, Conquer Self Destructive Behavior.  I love reading about how to change- I believe strongly in our ability to and that it's an ongoing process in our lives, from a personal and spiritual standpoint.  I enjoy reading the science behind it. 

 

 

This is what I will be reading this weekend. My other plans? The weather is going to be meh. So I will be cooking vegetarian burgers with my boyfriend and family Saturday night, watching Rebels (cuz it's the Maul and Obiwan showdown!!! Round 2!!)  and we might visit a local museum after our religious meeting on Sunday.

 

Enjoy your weekend! 

 

Happy reading! 

 

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review 2017-03-01 20:44
Death By Chocolate Lab
Death by Chocolate Lab - Bethany Blake

Author: Bethany Blake

Series: Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery #1

Rating: 4.5 stars

 

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

 

Book Blurb: Pet sitter Daphne Templeton has a soft spot for every stray and misfit who wanders into the quaint, lakeside village of Sylvan Creek. But even Daphne doesn’t like arrogant, womanizing Steve Beamus, the controversial owner of Blue Ribbon K-9 Academy. When Steve turns up dead during a dog agility trial, Daphne can think of a long list of people with motives for homicide, and so can the police. Unfortunately, at the top of the list is Daphne’s sister, Piper—Steve’s latest wronged girlfriend.

Certain that Piper is innocent, in spite of mounting evidence to the contrary, Daphne sets out to clear her sister’s name—and find Axis, Steve’s prize-winning chocolate Labrador, who went missing the night of Steve’s death. Aided by Socrates, her taciturn basset hound, and a hyperactive one-eared Chihuahua named Artie, Daphne quickly runs afoul of Detective Jonathan Black, a handsome and enigmatic newcomer to town, who has no appreciation for Daphne’s unorthodox sleuthing.

Can a free-spirited pet sitter, armed only with a Ph.D. in Philosophy and her two incompatible dogs, find the real killer before she becomes the next victim.

 

I am going to say right off the bat, this book surprised me. The book blurb read like your standard cozy mystery and the cover did nothing for me. But I gotta tell ya, this was an excellent start to a cozy mystery series and goes on my must read list for series.

 

What I Liked:  The writing. I don't know how else to say it, Blake writes dog well. These dogs were characters, they each had their own unique personalities and it came across well on page. I loved waiting to see what Artie the chihuahua would pull next and Socrates the basset hound made me fall in love with basset hounds. Nothing supernatural or the like,  just dog behavior dog lovers and owners can relate to. It made me miss my dog so much.  

 

I also liked the relationship between Daphne and Jonathan Black. It is cliche for the MC to have a police detective as a romantic interest but this was written so well - that perfect mix of banter, tension and humor. I loved when they were on the page. Full disclosure - yes, there is a love triangle present but it's not as ridiculous as most. You know where this is headed and the other person is an afterthought. So it did not bug me. As much.

 

I also enjoyed the mystery- the culprit took me by surprise. I didn't see it coming, but it wasn't so out there I couldn't buy it.

 

What I Didn't Like: It's not that I didn't like it per se, but the philosophy angle came across as a touch gimmicky. The story and the writing stood so well on it's own that the series didn't need this as a hook. Though I reserve the right to change my mind if the angle plays out well in future books.

 

I recommend this if you like cozy mysteries or mysteries in general. Definitely would be an evening of enjoyable reading.

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review 2017-03-01 11:27
Elementary, She Read
Elementary, She Read - Vicki Delany

Author: Vicky Delany

Series: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #1

Rating: Solid 4 stars

 

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

 

Book BlurbGemma Doyle, a transplanted Englishwoman, has returned to the quaint town of West London on Cape Cod to manage her Great Uncle Arthur's Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. The shop--located at 222 Baker Street--specializes in the Holmes canon and pastiche, and is also the home of Moriarty the cat. When Gemma finds a rare and potentially valuable magazine containing the first Sherlock Homes story hidden in the bookshop, she and her friend Jayne (who runs the adjoining Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room) set off to find the owner, only to stumble upon a dead body.

The highly perceptive Gemma is the police’s first suspect, so she puts her consummate powers of deduction to work to clear her name, investigating a handsome rare books expert, the dead woman's suspiciously unmoved son, and a whole family of greedy characters desperate to cash in on their inheritance. But when Gemma and Jayne accidentally place themselves at a second murder scene, it's a race to uncover the truth before the detectives lock them up for good.

 

This was a highly enjoyable first in a series. Probably one of the better ones I've read. The main character is supposed to be a distant relative of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and therefore possesses some of the quirks of the famous detective. She oversees a bookshop that contains all things Sherlock. I liked the premise.

 

Gemma as a sleuth is entertaining. She doesn't understand why her condescension and deductions annoy people, and it was interesting and amusing to be inside her head as she came to her conclusions. She's logical but likable and very human. She struggles with her nature and wants to be liked.  Also, the trivia concerning Sherlock Holmes drizzled throughout the story was great for fans of the original books and all its many spin offs, books,tv series, memorabilia  and the like.

 

The mystery was decent, not terribly difficult. The strength of this story lies in the characters. In the end, I wanted to read more about them. So I will definitely be reading the next in the series. 

 

Definitely recommend. 

 

 

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text 2017-02-22 23:46
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Elementary, She Read - Vicki Delany

I really enjoyed this!

 

Will post detailed review closer to publication, but overall  -solid start to a series. 

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