Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: im-back
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-03-24 21:37
Detection Club Bingo - Chapter 4
The Hog's Back Mystery - Freeman Wills Crofts

The Hog's Back Mystery is identified by Martin Edwards in The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books in Chapter 4, "Play Up! Play Up! And Play the Game!, as an example of the fair play mystery, where the author drops all of the clues needed to solve the mystery. As an added bonus, Crofts included a "clue finder" in the final chapter, where Inspector French walks the reader through the solution.


I've settled on three stars for this one. The first half of the book was really a two star read for me - I struggled with the pace and felt that it really dragged. I rarely take more than a couple of days to read a book, unless it is weighty non-fiction, so the fact that I started this all the way back on March 3 is pretty telling. I've finished at least 5 books since then, all of which were started after March 3.


However, the second half of the book was a four star read, and it flew by. I picked the book up again today, and within a few pages had gotten to a third disappearance, and suddenly I was completely engaged, and finished it in about an hour. 


I think that part of my issue with the book was really Crofts's focus on the "fair play" aspect of the mystery. He obviously wanted to use the clue finder technique, but to me, that bogged things down in unnecessary explication and tedious detail, to the detriment of character development. I had a terrible time even remembering who all of the characters were - I found them all fairly flat and interchangeable. 


Except for Inspector French, who I really liked a lot. There were also some little details that Crofts brought into the story to humanize him that I appreciated, such as the brief scene where he and his wife take a day trip out to the shore that was just so charming:

"They enjoyed every minute of it and found the breath of sea air invigorating and wholly delightful. These excursions counted for a great deal in both their lives. Though married for more years than French cared to contemplate, he and his wife remained as good pals as ever they had been."

I always love it when I see glimpses of good marriages in crime fiction, because they are so rare. All too often fictional detectives are depicted as dysfunctional cheating alcoholics with their lives in turmoil, so Inspector French's simple, prosaically happy marriage was a breath of fresh air that added some much needed complexity to his character.


It has long been clear to me that character depth and development is just as important to my enjoyment of a book as a compelling plot or a surprising twist. I will definitely give Crofts another go on the strength of my affinity for French, but for my money, he could forgo some of the tedious clue dropping and just get on with the story.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-03-23 19:49
Review: Back Talk
Back Talk - Danielle Lazarin

Even the best of short story collections are uneven. I used to find this odd—how could a writer who wrote such a fabulous story follow it with such a crap story? I realize now that it makes sense. I mean, after all, if you look at any author's complete body of works, you'll find great works and ho-hum works. No writer is one-hundred percent consistent. The difference is in presentation. We think of a collection of short stories as a complete work. A novelist's whole career is not held under the same scrutiny.

Danielle Lazarin's Back Talk is no different. There are stories I really enjoyed. And stories I could've done without. The difference was the grouping of these stories. Normally, a collection starts with one or two good stories and follows it with a dud, then another good story and several duds. Depending on the total number of stories in the collection and the ratio of good stories, all this may vary, of course, but often the middle contains several lackluster stories that lead into a final one or two good stories.

So when I started reading Back Talk and found that the first several stories barely held my attention, I assumed the whole collection was not for me. Midway, the stories really started to improve however. In fact, story after story was quite wonderful. At this point, I questioned whether it was me: perhaps some preconceived notion I had about the collection, or some blockage in my personal life. I decided that, when finished, I'd go back and read one of the first few stories that I found to be far from special.

On a second reading, the story I selected was slightly more enjoyable, but I still didn't love it. So maybe this collection is oddly uneven, but it does contain several wonderful stories. The best of these stories really get into the minds of their protagonists. They're quiet stories about everyday events, but they're full of heart. In these character-driven stories, I think it ultimately comes down to connection. I was pulled into the mind of some of these characters, not into the minds of others. Readers of character-centric short fiction should give Back Talk a try.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-03-23 07:10
Release Week Blast - The Backup Plan







About the Book:


I’m beyond help...


I threw a football before I could walk. Everything in my life revolved around football–and I loved every second. I was a star. Until, suddenly...I wasn’t. Now everyone thinks I’m the monster who killed his best friend. I’m an outcast on campus, silent and alone. Then Taylor Selmer walks back into my life. When will she learn–I’m beyond saving.


I need to save him...


Chase and I used to be friends. But after the accident, nothing was the same. We used to have something special–until we didn’t. But he doesn’t smile anymore. Doesn’t talk. Doesn’t play. It hurts me to see him this way, and I will do everything I can to get him back in the game. Whether he likes it or not.


Purchase Link: https://entangledpublishing.com/the-backup-plan.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38492056-the-backup-plan







Rafflecopter Giveaway:

(2) $25 Amazon Gift Cards


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Direct Link:






About Jen McLaughlin:


Jen McLaughlin is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of sexy books with Penguin Random House. Under her pen name, Diane Alberts, she is also a USA TODAY bestselling author of Contemporary Romance with Entangled Publishing. Her first release as Jen McLaughlin, Out of Line, hit the New York Times, USA TODAY and Wall Street Journal lists. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. She is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.


Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal-clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and three cats. Her goal is to write so many well-crafted romance books that even a non-romance reader will know her name. 


Jen’s Media Links:


Author Website: www.dianealberts.com
Author Blog: www.dianealberts.com
Author Twitter: http://twitter.com/DianeAlberts
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DianeAlberts6/
Author Street Team/Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/501457736573962/
Author Instagram: @jenmclaughlin66






Excerpt from THE BACKUP PLAN:


The door opened...making me fall backward into Chase’s pitch-black room. When I landed against something hard and naked, arms closed around me without hesitation.


A palm brushed my right breast, sending a wave of awareness shooting through me. I tried not to think about that, though.


Guys were nothing but trouble.


I had bigger plans than falling for a smooth talker with bright eyes and a fake smile who would do nothing but distract me. Once I managed to regain my balance, I spun on my heel and looked at him.


The room behind him was dark, but the hallway illuminated his hotness. And once it did? I wished I hadn’t looked at all.


He stood in the doorway, looking completely unfazed by the fact that he’d basically just felt me up, and glowered at the guy in the hallway. He was shirtless, and wearing nothing but a pair of black sweats. His chest was hard and chiseled, and his abs...yeah. I wasn’t gonna touch upon those for the sake of my own sanity.

Waxing poetic over his abs wasn’t part of my job description.

“Uh, hey...” the guy in the hallway said, trailing off after a feeble attempt at pretending he hadn’t been talking crap about him moments before.

Chase’s green eyes met mine before focusing on the guy in the hall again. His sharp cheekbones were the same as I remembered, and so was his short brown hair. He used to have dimples in his cheeks when he smiled, which had softened the harsh lines of his face and given him a softer appeal, but I had no idea if they still existed since he hadn’t smiled at me yet. Or...at anyone all day. Had he forgotten how?


He said nothing. Just stared the other guy down.


Even I had to admit his stony silence was impressive.


Of course, he kind of reminded me of his dad right now, something he probably wouldn’t like. Or would he? I had no clue.


“I didn’t mean to...” The guy backed up, his face pale, and looked back at me. “She a friend of yours?”


Chase didn’t answer him. He just motioned me inside, his jaw ticking ever so slightly.


When I didn’t move fast enough, he shot me a look with those gorgeous eyes of his, and I jumped slightly. “Um. Yes, I am.” I swallowed hard and inched past him, making sure I didn’t brush against his bare chest in the process.


Chase slammed the door behind me. I blinked across the inky blackness of the room, my heart hammering away in my ears. He’d been sitting here in the dark this early in the night? Had he been napping before hitting the books?


I’d learned college kids napped more than one year olds—and much more enthusiastically.

“Do you have something against lights?” I asked, forcing a little laugh at the end.

Dead silence met my joke. In all fairness, it was a pretty lame attempt. For a second I wondered if he was even in the room with me, but I heard him breathe. I turned my head, trying to figure out where he was. To my left, maybe.

“Okay. No lights, then. That’s fine. It’s cool. I’m not scared of the dark.” I paused. “Were you taking a power nap? I could use one. I got an hour of sleep last night.”

Still nothing.

I sensed him there, right next to me. He wasn’t touching me, but I swore he was thinking about it or something.

That makes no sense, Taylor.

I shivered, anxious and excited, all at the same time. “I don’t know if you remember me, but I’m—”

Without warning, Chase moved close enough for me to feel his heat. I backed against the wall until I couldn’t back up anymore. It wasn’t that he scared me. He didn’t. I just...
I just backed up, okay?


“You’re Taylor Selmer. Of course, I remember you. Why are you in my room?”






Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-03-18 13:52
AVR Weekly News ~ 237th Edition

AVR Weekly News ~ 237th Edition



Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2018/03/avr-weekly-news-237th-edition.html
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-03-17 01:20
The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo - Amy Schumer

I am going to come right out and say it. I'm a fan. I LOVED Trainwreck and her Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer. I know her humor isn't for everyone. I happen to love it. That being said, I do admire her, even if she is a bit too blunt at times. I do think women (in general) can learn a lot from her- she loves herself. Just. As. She. Is. And THAT is the big take away from this book. I bought the book from Target when it was on sale, but then realized she narrated the audio book. So I got the audio book from the library and this entertained me on my commute for the last 1 and 1/2 weeks.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?