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review 2018-11-13 10:24
"Beau Death" by Peter Lovesey
Beau Death - Peter Lovesey

I bought this book because it's set in Bath in the UK, a city I've just returned to after sixteen years away, which may explain why I've missed the previous sixteen books in this series featuring the career of Police Detective Peter Diamond dealing with crime in Bath.

 

I dived in to the latest book, without starting at the beginning of the series, because the idea of a skeleton, dressed in what appears to be the style of clothing worn by Beau Nash, being discovered in an attic of a condemned building in Twerton during its demolition was just so Bath I couldn't miss it.

 

The plot of Beau Death is a pergola supporting an artful display of Bath past and present. Diamond does investigate two deaths in this book and finds the guilty parties through a mix of detailed police work and imaginative insight but these activities seem secondary to exploring Bath, its neighbourhoods, its history, its remarkably diverse and often eccentric citizens and of course, the phenomenon that was Beau Nash.

 

The book is peppered with humour. One incident that made me laugh was a pet shop owner is giving the police the code to a smart lock. She tells them her mnemonic is "Hampsters".  They look blank. She explains that hampsters are cannibals. They still look blank. Then she tells them the code (read it aloud and you'll get the cannibal thing); 181182

 

I've been living in Bath since 1985 so I remember the Bath that the young police officers in this book think of as olden days. I recognised all the places and I remember how they used to be as well as how they are now. For example, for years Beau Nash's house contained a restaurant called Popjoy's (the name of Nash's mistress), It's been called something else for years now but it's still Popjoy's to old folks like Peter Diamond and me.

 

There's a lot of close observation of how class and wealth (not always the same thing) work in this town and a firm understanding of how policing here has changed (there is no real Police Station in this town of nearly 90,000 people any more - the old station now belongs to the University and the Police commute from halfway to Bristol when they're needed.

 

This is a pleasant, easy, entertaining read that works well as an audiobook. If you want to take a slightly unorthodox virtual tour of Bath, I recommend letting Peter Diamond be your guide.

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review 2018-11-10 02:56
Jewel of a family
Diamond Fire - Ilona Andrews

I had so much fun.

 

I did not expect to engage much with 18-year-old Catalina, and picked it up mostly out of author faith a desire for some fast entertainment. I was pleasantly surprised. The passing of the torch was done well, and the humour and length helped a lot.

 

Blast! Now I want to go over the whole saga again.

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text 2018-11-10 01:45
Reading progress update: I've read 111 out of 197 pages.
Diamond Fire - Ilona Andrews

“Mmm, delicious cyanide. Old school. Histotoxic hypoxia on you, histotoxic hypoxia on your house, histotoxic hypoxia on your cow. Wait.”

 

LMAO! The poison tester rocks

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review 2018-11-07 12:43
Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews
Diamond Fire - Ilona Andrews

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I loved this novella! Absolutely loved it! It is hard not to gush over how much I loved this book so I am just going to go with it. I adore the Hidden Legacy series and have read the original three books two or three times each already so I was really excited to learn that the series would be continuing. I was really excited to see this world through Catalina's eyes and I was not disappointed. I had so much fun with this story.

I love Nevada and Mad Rogan but I really like the rest of Nevada's family as well so I am more than okay with the torch being passed along to Catalina. I like Catalina even more after reading this story. I felt like I knew her before I got started with this novella but the amount of character development in this short piece was extraordinary. In this story, readers actually see more of Mad Rogan than Nevada which I think worked perfectly since it gave Catalina a chance to really stand on her own for the story. I also fell in love with Rogan's mom. She was amazing in this story and I hope we get to see a whole lot more of her in future books.

There is a mystery that needs to be solved on top the upcoming wedding. There is a big group of Rogan's extended family in town for the wedding and causing a whole lot of trouble at the same time. This is not a very likable group overall and it was hard to trust most of them. It was a lot of fun to watch Catalina navigate such a complicated group of individuals and get to the bottom of it all.

I would highly recommend this story to others. I think that it could work as a stand-alone but I think that it really works better when read in series order. This series is amazing and you don't want to miss any of the books anyway so I would suggest starting with Burn for Me. I can't wait to read more from this fantastic series!

I received a digital review copy of this book from Avon Books via Edelweiss.

Initial Thoughts
This was beyond amazing! It's a shame that I can only give it 5 stars since it clearly deserves a few bonus stars. Ilona Andrews packed more story and character development into this novella than most books with 5 times as many pages. Fans will not want to miss this one!

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review 2018-11-05 16:47
Diamond Fire / Ilona Andrews
Diamond Fire - Ilona Andrews

Catalina Baylor is looking forward to wearing her maid of honor dress and watching her older sister walk down the aisle. Then the wedding planner gets escorted off the premises, the bride’s priceless tiara disappears, and Rogan's extensive family overruns his mother’s home. Someone is cheating, someone is lying, and someone is plotting murder.

To make this wedding happen, Catalina will have to do the thing she fears most: use her magic. But she’s a Baylor and there’s nothing she wouldn't do for her sister's happiness. Nevada will have her fairy tale wedding, even if Catalina has to tear the mansion apart brick by brick to get it done.

 

My preferred retail bookstore had this novella on the shelf several days before the release date, so I hurried in to pluck it quickly before someone realized the error! (I was also on a Christmas shopping mission for my 2.5 year-old great-nephew, so it was a two-birds-one-stone shopping excursion).

I have read and re-read the Andrews’ Hidden Legacy series more times that I care to admit right now. I’m not exactly sure why this fantasy world appeals to me so strongly, but it does. When the authors wrapped up the initial trilogy and weren’t sure if they would be able to publish more, I verged on despondent! Three books was simply not enough for this world and these characters! I wanted more!

This charming little novella is the bridge between the Nevada-Rogan plot line and starting a new series that stars Nevada’s sister, Catalina. The first chapter features Nevada’s point-of-view, which the reader is used to, and then we are transitioned over to Catalina quite easily.

Catalina is in the throes of learning how to use her newly-acknowledged magic, to be an adult investigator for the family business, and to interact more comfortably with people outside her immediate family. I think any young person can relate to the last two, as can older people who remember those years. Her magic (labelled Siren by the testing committee) is unusual and powerful, leading to interesting situations. This makes the upcoming series very appealing and I will be watching eagerly for the release date in 2019 of the first book.

Thanks to the Andrews for continuing on with the series and to Avon for agreeing to publish them.

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