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text 2017-09-21 13:37
My Diverse Voices Square

For this square, I'm thinking about reading Cassandra Khaw's Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef.

Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef (Gods and Monsters) - Cassandra Khaw 

For some reason the publisher (Abaddon) isn't showing the same cover as the one I purchased, so mine looks like this:


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review 2017-09-20 13:20
Intriguing and involved
The Kingdom of Gods - N.K. Jemisin

Interesting and a story I found captivating, I really wanted to know what was going to happen with Shahar, Sieh and Dekarta and what their friendship would do with the world. They were three interesting people and what happened to Sieh was intriguing, his having to deal with issues he never had to before, particularly friendship and love.

Good end to the series, look forward to reading more by N.K. Jemisin.

This one is going to be used for the Diverse Voices square, though it could have also been used for supernatural and Demons and probably Chilling Children

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text 2017-09-12 11:03
Halloween Book Bingo

This is for my own reference and I intend to tick off stuff as I go (my work PC hates the image of my bingo sheet and I borrow books from my work - libraries).  Bolded is the squares I have, strike through is done and dusted, underlined is called.  I'm also going to list possible books and state the book I've read for the square here for my own reference.


The 31 spaces:

Locked room mystery: A subgenre of detective fiction in which a crime—almost always murder—is committed under circumstances which it was seemingly impossible for the perpetrator to commit the crime and/or evade detection in the course of getting in and out of the crime scene.

Country house mystery: A closed circle mystery, occurring at a gathering like a house party. Revenant of Thraxton Hall by Vaughn Entwhistle

Classic noir: A subgenre of mystery that includes authors such as Dashiell Hammett, James Cain, Raymond Chandler and Cornell Woolrich. Anything that also qualifies as "hard-boiled" will work for this square. The Thin Man by Dashiel Hammett

Murder most foul: any murder mystery! And only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander

Amateur sleuth: this mystery will have a main character who is not a member of law enforcement. Monk's Hood by Ellis Peters

Romantic suspense: any romance which has a significant sub-plot that involves mystery, thriller or suspense.

Serial/spree killer: any book that involves a serial killer or a spree killer, no matter what genre/sub-genre it involves.

Cozy mystery: a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community.

American horror story: horror, set in the USA.

Genre: horror: this seems obvious.

Gothic: any book with significant: a genre or mode of literature and film that combines fiction and horror, death, and at times romance. 

Darkest London: any mystery, suspense, horror or supernatural book set in London. Frail Human Heart by Zoe Marriott

Modern Masters of Horror: horror published in or after 2000. The masterful These Deathless Bones by Cassandra Klaw

Supernatural: mystery, suspense or horror books which include elements that defy current understanding of the natural world, including magic, witchcraft and/or crypto-zoological aspects.

Ghost: any mystery, suspense or horror which involves a ghost, or a character who believes that the events involve a ghost.

Haunted houses: any structure or location that is, or is believed to be, "haunted" qualifies - it doesn't need to be a house.

Vampires The Vampire's Protector by Michele Hauf.



Demons Enchanted Guardian - Sharon Ashwood.

Classic horror: horror that was published prior to 1980

Chilling children: any book tagged horror, YA horror or MG horror that includes a child or children as a main character.

Aliens: beings from outer space.

Monsters: any crytpozoological or mythological creature that isn't a vampire, werewolf, or demon. Or zombie.

The dead will walk: basically, zombies.

80's horror: any horror published between 1980 and 1989, or which is set in that time period.

In the dark, dark woods: a mystery, suspense, horror or supernatural book in which a forest/woods plays a significant role, or which has a forest/woods on the cover.  Awakened by the Wolf - Kristal Hollis

Terror in a small town: horror set in a small town.

Magical realism: a genre which expresses a primarily realistic view of the real world while also adding or revealing magical elements.

Terrifying women: any mystery, suspense, horror or supernatural book written by a woman.  Death by Water by Kerry Greenwood

Diverse voices: any mystery, suspense, horror or supernatural book written by an author of color. Kingdom of Gods by N.K. Jemisin 


I'm going to have to work on 80s Horror and actually anything with horror in the title, Diverse Voices (mostly because I don't pay attention to the race, colour or creed of an author, so now I have to look) and Locked Room Mysteries because I read a full book of these a while ago.  Easy ones are going to be Terrifying Women (90% of what I read are women) and Darkest London, because I have a Peter Grant Mystery waiting for me.  We'll see how we do.

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review 2017-09-10 23:33
Halloween Bingo - Diverse Voices - Breathless
Mycroft Holmes - Anna Waterhouse,Kareem Abdul-Jabbar





Ah, yes, that CloudLibrary thing was just toooooo tempting.  I've been wanting to read this for quite some time, but never think of looking for it when I'm at the library.  When it popped up on the Mysteries page of the CloudLibrary thing, I couldn't resist the temptation.  The Essex Serpent was too boring.


And no, I don't know the author!!!


Okay, let's start with this: I never, ever, ever again want to hear that complaint about Victorian women characters who are acting too far ahead of their time.


If it weren't for people, real life people, living out their visions for a better future, we wouldn't be where we are today.


The fictional Mycroft Holmes, as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar envisioned him, was generations ahead of his time, but he wasn't alone.  Neither was Cyrus Douglas.  Neither were those women we writers posit as being ahead of their time.  Charlotte Pitt?  No, not at all.  Someone had to do it.  Why not her?


Mycroft Holmes was a lot to take in.  Maybe too much.  There was sooooo much action -- and frankly, so much killing -- that I got a bit glassy-eyed toward the end. 


I had read most of the Conan Doyle stories when I was in high school or shortly after, then reread many of them in my early twenties.  Mycroft seemed more action and adventure oriented than mystery, but the hints of supernatural were there to be solved, and of course the underlying mystery of just what was going on and why; Sherlock's tales were more cerebral.  Whether the further adventures of Mycroft the character would be different remains to be seen.


The historical and technical details were a bonus, though I suspect they may have also stalled the action for some readers, who of course were free to skip over them if they so desired.


The text was not, however, without errors. (No text is.  Period.)


There were a couple of references to "pants."  One I remember in particular was to Mycroft putting something in a pants pocket.  Though of course written by Americans, both Mycroft and Cyrus Douglas would have spoken the Queen's English, in which pants are underclothes and trousers have pockets.


Then another that was just . . . oops.



The first "black" is unnecessary --  "The velvet that draped its ornate gold frame had once been black. . . ."  No, of course it's not a big thing.  It's nitpicky.  But it's there.  Not quite a Richard Collier penny. . . . but niggling.



Four hundred meters -- well, Englishmen like Holmes and Douglas would have thought in yards, and 440 yards is a quarter mile, so it's not likely they'd have been able to discern a body lying face down at that distance.


There were a few other historical details, some I checked and some I didn't, that might have pulled a reader out of the story.  Of those I checked, only one remained questionable, and it wasn't really important enough to worry about.


What was important was the way diverse history was presented, by a 20th century (mostly) author writing about a 19th century fictional character in the 21st century. 


A few more snippets might be of interest along those lines, especially because the book was written/published in 2015.



From page 53  . . .



From pp. 59-60 . . .





From pp. 89-90 . . .




"Moral insanity" was the common term in Mycroft's time; the suggestion in Mycroft Holmes is that Pritchard's term was synonymous with what we in the 21st century would call psychopathy or sociopathy, though the legal use of the terms is different. 


Fiction can be fun.  It can also have meaning.


A great read.  Slightly longish, but still great.

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review 2017-09-04 02:24
The Secret of a Heart Note - Stacey Covington-Lee

I feel in love with Stacey Lee's second novel, Outrun the Moon. I was super excited to have won an ARC copy of her newest book, The Secret of a Heart Note.


  • I love the herb alchemy
  • BFF is <3. She helped save the book when I was annoyed with Mimosa. 
  • It has all the typical cute, angst-y, confused, awkward, and adorable romance troubles. 
  • The twist was really obvious. It made the story feel a bit long and Mimosa a tad irritating. Like, just wanted to shake her and her mom so badly sometimes!
  • Mimosa's old school mom was realistically annoying and stubborn. She's good and loves her daughter but is her own person with her own issues. I'm really glad how their relationship was done all the way through. 


The Secret of a Heart Note is good and cute, perfect for all the YA contemporary fans wanting a little drama and magic. The Secret of a Heart Note has a unique premise with a typical plot and diverse characters with standard relationships. 


While I enjoyed The Secret of a Heart Note, it didn't capture me like Outrun the Moon


I adore Stacey Lee's writing and skill, so I'll be reading her other book Under A Painted Sky and anything new. 

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