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text 2020-07-14 01:26
'The Last Of The Moon Girls' by Barbara Davis - abandoned at 25%
The Last Of The Moon Girls - Barbara Davis

The Last Of The Moon Girls' is a catchy title. The cover is eye-catching and has a wistful feel to it.


The premise also has promise: our heroine is the last of a long line of Moon women, each gifted in their own special way, who have lived at Moon Farm in a small New England town. She's stepped away from The Path, fleeing the farm after her grandmother is assumed to have murderer two dead girls whose bodies are found on the farm. Eight years later, after her grandmother's death, our heroine returns to tidy up affairs and stays to clear her grandmother's name.


Sounds like the basis for a good mystery/thriller with a twist of magic to add spice.


But it isn't.


From what I've seen so far, this is a romance. It's wrapped in an investigation into the murder of the two girls and tied up with a bow of pagan magic but its got in its DNA it's a Romance.


I could roll with that except I don't find the people believable. Our heroine seems barely to have grown up. The man helping her is so nice, butter wouldn't melt. The woman staying at the farm is a psychic from central casting.


Everything seems a little too neat and tidy to be real. It's like those shows on American TV where the actors all seem to have been taught the same set of facial expressions so that they can emote on command: I always know what they mean. I just don't believe they really mean it.


If you're looking for a cosy New England romance with a few trope twists and a garnish of mystery and magic then I think you'd enjoy 'The Last Of The Moon Girls'.


I'm setting it aside as a poor buying decision on my part or at least a poor selection from the free books Amazon offered this month.

 
 

 

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text 2020-07-13 11:41
Reading progress update: I've read 17%.
The Last Of The Moon Girls - Barbara Davis

Ok. I think I get this now.

 

This is a romance. It's wrapped in an investigation into the murder of two girls and tied up with a bow of pagan magic but its got romance in its DNA.

 

So my earlier comments about it not feeling real need revision. It's not meant to be real. It's meant to evoke archetypes and twist tropes and it's doing that fairly well.

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text 2020-07-13 10:18
Reading progress update: I've read 12%.
The Last Of The Moon Girls - Barbara Davis

I'm not sure this one is going to work for me.

 

It's an intriguing idea but everything seems a little too neat and tidy to be real. It's like those shows on American TV where the actors all seem to have been taught the same set of facial expressions so that they can emote on command: I always know what they mean. I just don't believe they really mean it.

I'll try a few more chapters and then decide if I'm in or out

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review 2020-07-13 09:30
'Her Final Words' by Brianna Labuskes
Her Final Words - Brianna Labuskes

Tightly plotted and tensely told mystery that kept me guessing and gave me a strong sense of a place and its people.

 

 

The only thing I didn't like about 'Her Final Words' was the opening. It's the hook the rest of the book wriggles on: a teenage girl from rural Idaho drives for five hours, crossing a State line, to the FBI field office in Seattle, asks for agent Lucy Thorne by name, confesses to having murdered a twelve-year-old boy, explains that the boy's body has a bible verse carved into it and then refuses to say more. It's a great hook that was never going to need much to sell it, yet I felt like everything in the opening was too bright and too loud and trying too hard to tell 'look how dramatic this is!'


I almost stopped there. Except it really was a great hook and I wanted to wriggle on it a little so I persisted. I'm very glad I did. The tone changed as soon as Lucy Thorne arrives in Idaho, with a long weekend to check out the details of an apparently open and shut case that feels off because there is no motive. The image of the Sheriff standing in the rain waiting to meet Thorne and take her to where the body was found was dramatic without being pushed hard.


It quickly becomes clear that the teenager who confessed to the killing and the boy who was killed were both members of a local Church/Cult and I wondered for a while if we were up for Federal Government rescuing the poor country folk from an abusive cult sort of story, because that never ends well but, thankfully, Brianna Labuskes was more ambitious and more original than that.

This is a story where good guys and bad guys are hard to tell apart. Where everyone is connected to everyone else but how and what it means are not clear and where the only thing the FBI agent is certain about is that she doesn't understand what's really going on.


The false simplicity of 'the bad cult must be to blame' is quickly replaced with something denser and more textured. I liked the way Brianna Labuskes brought out the geographical isolation of this rural community while showing how aware everyone is of what everyone else is doing and who they're doing it with.


Telling the story through multiple points of view and cross-cutting timelines that flip from 'Now' to 'Three Days Earlier' really tightened the tension and kept the surprises coming. The more Agent Thorne learns about the people and their history with one another, the more complicated the puzzle becomes and the fewer people she can trust. Discovering the story from the point of view of the teenagers involved and the Sheriff as well as Agent Thorne made everything more personal and more human as well as deepening the mystery.


The plot, the characters and the tightly controlled pace kept me engaged all the way through. The denouement was unexpected, memorable, believable and deeply sad.


I'll be back for more of Brianna Labuskes' stories.

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review 2020-07-07 22:47
Review ~ Great read!
Murder Walk - Melissa Bowersock

Book source ~ Kindle Unlimited

 

Medium Sam Firecloud can see ghosts and while they don’t actually talk to him he can get impressions from them. Enough for his wife, private investigator lacey Fitzpatrick, to research who they are and find how to help them on their way. In this story though, it’s Sam’s son Daniel who suddenly discovers his dad’s gift has passed to him when his best friend tries to communicate that he was murdered. Poor Daniel. He’s struggling with the loss of his best friend and now this? That’s a bit much for any teen, right?

 

Sam does the best he can to guide Daniel while still letting Daniel do things in his own way. Even if that means Daniel ignores his newfound gift. Lacey helps and they eventually find who murdered Jason. In addition, Daniel has a new girlfriend and he hopes she won’t think he’s a freak. But it’s all good. Kenzie is pretty cool and she likes his gift and his family. And on top of all this, Sam has quit his construction job and is starting his own pottery business. So he’s searching for a place and buying equipment and supplies. Whew! A lot going on in this one. All-in-all this is a great read.

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2020/07/murder-walk.html
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