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review 2017-07-02 17:12
A Rustle of Silk
Rustle of Silk, A: A new forensic mystery series set in Stuart England (A Gabriel Taverner Mystery) - Alys Clare

A Rustle of Silk is ... OK, I guess.

 

It's 1603, Elizabeth I is dead and England awaits the arrival of their new king, James VI of Scotland, who will be James I of England.  Meanwhile, Gabriel Taverner, a former sailor in the Royal Navy, and now a doctor (he claims to be a physician, but knows more about surgery), is trying to set up a practice in his old home town.  Someone's leaving him vile little "presents" of dead animals on his doorstep, and they don't suspect a cat.

 

And then a man is found dead.  It turns out to be his brother-in-law, a silk merchant.  Was it suicide, or murder?

 

The prose style and characterization were good. 

 

On the other hand, the mystery didn't make much sense at a certain level, and we had a villain with talking disease.  (No cat in his lap this time, though!)  Taverner seemingly can't decide if he's a physician or a surgeon, which were two very different jobs in the period, performed by different people of different experiences and social ranks.  (A physician learned his craft at a university, and observed clients and made prescriptions.  He might inspect their urine, but physical interaction with patients' bodies was usually limited to bleeding them due to an "inbalance in the humors."  A surgeon, on the other hand, was of a lower class in society, did not need to go to a university, and had the practical experience of removing limbs, with more or less success.  Physicians were far more respected than surgeons, who often did double duty as barbers.)

 

Also, the occasional word choice struck me as non-period ("opportunist" would not be in use for some 200 or 250 years after this is set), and in the understandable desire to avoid info dumping, Clare has Taverner unaware of some things he really should have known, despite having been 15 years at sea.  (In particular, that suicides could not receive a decent Christian burial in a churchyard.)

 

I might read another in the series, but I doubt I'd go out looking for one in particular.

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review 2017-07-01 01:54
TANGLED UP IN BREW by Joyce Tremel
Tangled Up in Brew - Joyce Tremel
  Max and Jake are in a brew and burger contest at the local beer festival. One of the judges is murdered and Jake is suspected. Max looks for clues as does her dad.

I did not figure it out until it was explained at the end. The story was good. I love the references to the different Pittsburgh neighborhoods. I enjoy these characters and look forward to reading more of them
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review 2017-06-05 14:48
Dying Brand - Wendy Tyson

Wendy Tyson's version of suspense gets tighter and more anxiety inducing with each book. In DYING BRAND, we get a clearer picture of who Allison Campbell was when we first met her in KILLER IMAGE. While in the previous novels the mystery/murder is something that Allison stumbles upon in one capacity or another, in DYING BRAND she is personally part of the mystery and that made me even more vested in the outcome. I won't give any spoilers, but Tyson quite literally had me leaning forward to get closer to the page because I was so nervous for Allison and her companions. Vaughn remains a favorite character and this latest installment only solidifies my love for him. If you haven't preordered DYING BRAND, do that now. You won't be sorry.

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review 2017-06-05 14:48
Deadly Assets (An Allison Campbell Mystery Book 2) - Wendy Tyson

I'm lucky in that I got to read this book before anyone else. And all I can say is WOW! As much as I loved KILLER IMAGE, DEADLY ASSETS offers so much more. Wendy Tyson delves deeper into the makings of the unlikely heroine and amateur private eye, Allison Campbell. Not only do we get to know Allison more, we really get to know Vaughn, Mia, and the rest of the cast of characters that Wendy creates in order to deliver a rich and moving story. But don't let the in-depth character development fool you, this is a fast-paced thriller that will have you flipping (or clicking for you e-readers) pages anxious to see what happens next. I read it on my computer and just couldn't stop after one (ok 20) chapter. I found myself deeply invested in the problems, families and lives of both victims. I won't spoil anything here, but I was utterly surprised by quite a few developments. And I'm hard to surprise as I'm an avid fan of thrillers/mysteries. Wendy Tyson has done the near impossible: created a sophomore effort that exceeds and already fantastic debut.

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review 2017-06-05 14:47
Bitter Harvest - Wendy Tyson

I have long been a fan of mysteries, particularly series mysteries. When I first came across Wendy Tyson's Allison Campbell series, I immediately fell in love with her writing. Now, never having been a fan of the cozy mystery genre, I was unsure when I heard about A MUDDIED MURDER, the first in the Greenhouse Mysteries. But, it was Wendy, so I gave it a go. All of my snobbery was completely unwarranted, at least as far as these books are concerned. I immediately felt at home in Winsome and knew all of the characters as if I'd grown up with them. Plus goats!

Having been privileged enough to read BITTER HARVEST in advance of the release, I can tell you that this one is even better. No really! Even better. There is depth to the characters, as one would expect in a series, but it is more than that. The depth reveals that everyone has secrets and sometimes they keep them out of love, not self-preservation.

Megan reads as if she and I would actually be best friends. We'd have tea or wine and talk about all of the odds and ends in our lives. Bibi would join us and I would hope she would immediately adopt me. If Emily Gilmore lived on a farm and embraced the organic life, she would be BiBi. I want to go to their farm, the cafe, and even the town events. And I cannot wait to see what develops for Denver and Megan! The vet is nothing short of dreamy and I want him to be my book boyfriend.

I'm not going to go into any of the details of the plot because I loathe spoilers, but.... Aunt Sarah is more involved, there's an Oktoberfest celebration, apples are important, beer matters, and I want all of the recipes from the cafe.

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