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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 2017-01-10 14:33
Buried in Beignets by J.R. Ripley: Mini Review DNF
Buried in Beignets - J.R. Ripley

I DNF'd. This book was pretty awful. I expected a fun little cozy with quirky characters but instead I got an irritating MC and the relentless disparaging of pretty much every other character in the book. I think it was supposed to be funny? DNF'd about 40 pages in. 

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review 2016-09-22 16:39
Cozy Giveaway – Gnarly New Year by Anna Celeste Burke @aburke59
Gnarly New Year! Corsario Cove Cozy Mystery #2 (Volume 2) - Anna Celeste Burke

What a fabulous cover for Gnarly New Year by Anna Celeste Burke. I want to be on that beach. How about you?



Gnarly New Year! Corsario Cove Cozy Mystery

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Paperback: 220 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1530845781





Gnarly New Year by Anna Celeste Burke is Book II in the Corsario Cove cozy mystery series. I would recommend started with Book I, Cowabunga Christmas.


Cozies have such fun titles and covers, I find them irresistible, even though they are not the hardcore mystery, thriller and suspense reading that I love the most.


Gnarly New Year by Anna Celeste Burke picks up where Cowabunga Christmas left off. The murderer had been found, but there were many unanswered questions.


We have the small town cop with an attitude and lots of surfers. Kim and Brien partake of the sport as they follow the trail to the…treasure. It’s not really a treasure, per se, but it is the object everyone is looking for.


The dialogue is fun and the characters entertaining, especially with all of Brien’s little quirks. He’s such a sweetie pie.


I received a copy of Gnarly New Year from Anna Celeste Burke in return for an honest review.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 3 Stars


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review 2016-08-17 09:19
Closed Casket: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery (Hercule Poirot Mysteries) - Sophie Hannah,Agatha Christie

Inspector Edward Catchpool has been summoned to the house of famous children’s novelist Lady Athelinda Playford’s home in Clonakilty, Cork. Also attending the gathering is the inimitable Hercule Poirot. But this is no ordinary gathering for Lady Athelinda has decided to change her will, disinheriting her two children and leaving her estate to someone who only has weeks to live. Poirot believes that he and Catchpool have been invited to prevent a murder. But why is Lady Athelinda determinded to provoke a possible killer? And when the murderer does strike can Poirot discover the motive behind Lady Playford’s actions regarding her will, and deduce who the killer is?


I’ll start out by saying that I haven’t read Sophie Hannah before, either her own creations or The Monogram Murders that first resurrected Poirot, so I went into the book with no expectations. Following in the footsteps of the doyenne  of crime fiction is always going to be difficult, perhaps more so, when you are already a highly regarded crime writer yourself.


It has been many, many years since I have read an Agatha Christie novel. I have, of course, watched various incarnations of her famous Belgian detective and these have somewhat skewed what I know to be my deep love of the written originals. I did try, however, to ensure this didn’t taint my thoughts regarding this book.

I felt that Poirot didn’t appear as much as I would have perhaps liked. He seemed more distant and often didn’t appear in the story for chapters at a time. Catchpool  features more heavily, understandable perhaps as he narrates the story.  I was soon transported back to the 1920s. The scenes where Poirot featured were treats, just perhaps not as generous as I would have liked. He was partly the Poirot that remains in my imagination, considered, cryptic and clever. I would have simply hoped for him to feature a little more so that his character didn’t appear as fleeting and sometimes lacking in dimension as I found him. As for Catchpool, I thoroughly enjoyed his character. He had a realistic and lovely relationship with Poirot, being both maddened by him and intrigued. There seemed a genuine fondness for his Belgian friend, together with the exasperation and feeling of being in Poirot’s wake that seems an inevitable part of knowing the detective. As for the other guests and residents of the house, many of them are not particularly likeable, with many far from hiding their frustrating character traits and in fact revelling in them. Even the butler Haddon is a contradiction to the usual butler, who has reached the stage where he would rather say nothing to any question, than provide the wrong answer. Some of the time I thought that I was not enjoying this story, as Poirot disappeared again, or one of the characters was being confusedly annoying. But then I realised I was actually enjoying the story, despite the issues I had with it. It was engaging and entertaining and the motive and dénouement was very well played out.

Part of the fun for me with crime fiction is trying to work out who committed the crime so I had a jolly old time discounting suspects and giving random motives to others as I read. I finally figured out the perpetrator about midway through the book. I could therefore sit back and enjoy Poirot exercise those famous grey cells to deduce why the dastardly deed had been committed and by whom. There was the inevitable gathering of the suspects, the circling of the room giving possible reasons why each character could be the murderer, then discounting them before moving on. This is the part where Poirot comes into his own, explaining his methodology, discussing the minutia of the case before the big reveal.


I was curious to see how someone follows in the footsteps of one the crime writing greats and now my curiosity has been sated. This was an enjoyable read, and it was lovely to re-engage with Poirot, in a new reimagined setting. Agatha Christie’s estate would only allow the return of the Belgian detective by someone with the suitable skill and flair to retain that character that is beloved by many. I think their faith in Sophie Hannah has been repaid in that she retains the spirit of Christie. She has certainly reignited my love of Christie’s work and made me want to go back and read her novels again. As for Sophie Hannah’s novels, now I’ve read one, I’ll have to try more of her books featuring her own characters in the future.

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review 2016-06-18 05:27
Dangerous Minds: A new forensic psychiatry mystery series (Claire Roget Mysteries) - Priscilla Masters

Dr Claire Roget was a psychiatrist. She got a wedding invitation from a patient she had seen in two years- Jerome Barclay. He had a severe narcissistic psychopathic personality disorder. He was totally unpredictable and Claire felt he was dangerous. Jerome hinted he had killed his family but was too smart to be caught and there was nothing Claire could do. Even though Claire had been trained not to feel when it came to her patients Jerome actually scared her. Now Jerome was to marry and his future in laws just won the lottery. Claire knew Jerome was inviting Claire to watch the events he had planned for love was not something Jerome could feel. Claire had other patients she seen st the clinic and on the wards she consulted for with two other psychiatrists - 8 wards between the three doctors in total. Somehow Jerome was getting information about her currant patients as well as where she lived and her phone number.

I am no sure how to put down the way i feel about this story. I definitely didn’t hate it nor did i love it. I did read the whole story even though slow moving it kept my interest to a good degree. It also had some twists in the story I didn’t see coming. Some questions I had just weren’t answered so that was a bit disappointing. So all I can say for me it certainly wasn’t a bad story nor was it great therefore I felt a three was a good score for this.

I received an ARC of this story for an honest review.

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