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review 2018-09-22 22:16
A Death at the Dionysus Club (Lynes & Mathey #2)
A Death at the Dionysus Club - Amy Griswold,Melissa Scott

This is a solid sequel to Death by Silver. There is still no steam here, and while there is some focus on Julian and Ned's relationship, this is first and foremost a mystery. Anyone looking for romance and smex will need to either look elsewhere or adequately adjust their expectations before diving into this. 

 

The mystery here had several layers to it and took awhile to untangle them all. The suspects were many, and the motivations just as numerous. It was fun following along as Ned and Julian tried to figure out what was going on, and learning more about how the magic in this world works. There's old magic, or non-conforming, now considered uncouth. And there's the new magic, or conforming magic, that's been designed to be more humane (no need for animal parts or blood, for instance). Of course, the two systems don't clash well at all, and when a particularly nasty bit of non-conforming magic starts to kill off men, it leaves Ned, Julian and Hatton in a bind on how to handle it, much less even figure out how it works and who is working it.

 

Complicating matters further, it seems that the culprit is part of the Dionysus Club, and Julian and Ned have every bit as much of an interest in keeping connections to the club and its membership away from the police investigation. They could face jail time or hanging themselves in their private inclinations become publicly known. This is not a world progressively-minded people or "as long as you're happy" platitudes, and these men have to be very careful who they trust with the truth, and even those who might know and support them - or at least be willing to turn a blind eye - aren't reckless enough to come out and say it.

 

We get to meet one of Miss Frost's friends, and more of Julian's crowd from his wilder days. Miss Barton is a hoot, and Julian didn't exactly have the best taste in men in his youth to say the least, lol. And then there's Challice, who I couldn't help feeling sorry for. 

 

This is a tightly-written book, with smart characters who are actually good at their jobs (so many books that claim their characters are the best in their fields are actually filled with rampaging idiots) and who know how to communicate with each other when they discover things the other needs to know. Fancy that! They're not as good as communicating when it comes to their relationship, but Ned and Julian find ways to do that as well, no matter how uncomfortable it might make them. 

 

This could have used another pass through by an editor, since there was some unnecessary repetition and a lot of missing words. A less misleading title wouldn't have gone amiss either.

There never is a death actually at the Dionysus Club, but I guess "Deaths of Dionysus Club Members" doesn't have the same ring to it.

(spoiler show)

But those are my only quibbles.

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review 2018-09-09 18:23
Steam Train, Dream Train - Sherri Duskey Rinker,Tom Lichtenheld

The dream train pulls into the station and the cars begin to fill up. Polar bears pack the ice cream, elephants fill tanks with paint, and turtles load race cars. One by one animals load the cars until the train leaves the station. 

 

A great read-aloud for kindergarteners and later a great addition to book boxes. 

Lexile: AD720L

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review 2018-09-04 04:15
Lane's (Life According to Maps #3)
Lane's - Nash Summers

This was a fun little conclusion to this trilogy. I got a hoot out of Benji and Perry's hate-like relationship, they really stole the show. Stacie was only on page for two sentences, thank god. Maps was back into oblivious, OTT mode. Not that he really got out of it in the previous book but he seemed to be making up for lost time.

 

Since this is a short story, there's a lot of jumping from one plot point to another, which keeps things moving but also made it feel like I was missing things. 

 

My idea of Maps's parents as he drives off to college:

 

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review 2018-09-03 05:00
Diamonds (Life According to Maps #2)
Diamonds - Nash Summers

Cute!

 

Maps is less obnoxious here, though still adorkably oblivious and overly dramatic, and I only had to endure Stacie for one scene. Perry was a fun addition to the cast. Those little adjustments made this work much better for me. Though I did want to smack Maps a few times for ignoring Lane and not letting him explain thing. The "neighbor" thing was pretty bad on Lane's part, I do admit. 

 

Already reading the next one. :D

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review 2018-08-30 03:40
Merlin in the Library (The Agency #2)
Merlin in the Library - Ada Maria Soto

This is an adorable little follow up to His Quiet Agent and a much appreciated insight into Martin's POV. Martin's still banged up from his ordeal and still had a long road to full recovery, but he's got Arthur, he's learning to take care of himself, and he's well enough to get back to the library for story hour with the kids. 

 

I wanted it to be about a hundred pages longer. :D *crossing fingers for another full-length book with these two*  

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