Mystereity

Review
2.5 Stars
Mission Impawsible
Mission Impawsible - Krista Davis

I wanted to love this, because who can't resist an entire pet friendly town, cute pets and a great mystery? I know I can't.  Unfortunately, this one just didn't live up to my expectations. I've read the earlier books in this series and enjoyed them, but I just couldn't get in to this one.  The matchmaker storyline just felt...forced.  I wasn't feeling it any more than Holly was.  While the plot was intriguing and interesting, I felt like it just dragged on too long, there were parts in the middle where it just lost my interest, and it took me a few tries to get through it. While I'll continue to read this series, this book just underwhelmed me. 

Review
4 Stars
A Tale of Two Kitties
A Tale of Two Kitties (Magical Cats) - Sofie Kelly

I've read this series from the beginning, I always enjoy a visit to Mayville Heights and Owen and Hercules never fail to put me under their spell. A Tale of Two Kitties is the perfect addition to this wonderful series, I enjoyed the the exciting plot; a pair of estranged brothers, a love triangle, and a decades old death combine lead to a present day murder, tearing a family apart. I love the extra layer that Kathleen and Simon's friendship adds, that what-if feeling it gives me. I mean, Kathleen and Marcus spend almost no time together. They've been together how long and they haven't moved in together yet? Clearly this relationship is going nowhere. Yes, I'm shipping Simon and Kathleen, make this happen, for Mia's sake. The trove of lost mail discovered behind a wall at the post office was a fun way to tie the story together and add some Mayville Heights history to the story. Combine all of it together and you get a suspenseful and enjoyable cozy mystery with Owen and Hercules saving the day. Irresistible!

I see Booklikes is back to its old tricks

Review
1.5 Stars
Engaged in Death
Engaged in Death - Stephanie Blackmoore

Underwhelming. I was really looking forward to reading this, but it just didn't do it for me. Although the plot was intriguing, the characters didn't appeal to me and I skimmed most of the book just to see whodunit but overall, I wasn't very impressed.

Whew

With all the reviews I posted yesterday and today, I have left to do

2 reviews for books I've already read

3 books I've promised authors I'd read 
4 Net Galley books I requested last summer

 

 

All to do by the end of the year (my goal I set for myself)

Review
4 Stars
Review: Death Distilled
Death Distilled - Melinda Mullet

The second book in the Whisky Business Mystery series, Death Distilled is a solid tale of old secrets, revenge and murder, both in the current day and hundreds of years ago. And that's what I liked best about this book, the blending of mysteries from two separate time periods and then tied together at the end. Add in secret passages and you've got an intoxicating cozy mystery.

My only gripe is there was too much packed into the book and I felt like it rambled a bit too long. At around 2/3 of the way through the book, I started to get a little bored. If a few scenes in the middle were trimmed or removed, it would've heightened the tension and suspense.

The colorful cast of characters and the side plot historical mystery really made the book engaging. I was far more interested in the historical mystery (and the hope of more secret rooms and passages) than I was in the minutae of the rock star soap opera. The conclusion was both thrilling and tragic and a great ending to the story.

Overall, an entertaining and enjoyable read and I liked it well enough to look forward to the next book in the series.

YOLO

Surfed Netgalley, requested 4 books and already received one.  YOLO

 

Also trying to make my way through Death Distilled, the second in the Whiskey Business Mystery series and  Good Christ this book feels like it goes on forever.

 

Review
5 Stars
Review: Quackery
Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything - Lydia Kang, Nate Pedersen

Equal parts mortifiying, morbid and fascinating, Quackery is a guided tour through the horrifying world of medicine and health care in days gone by. I eat these kinds of books up like candy, who doesn't like lurid trivia of the not-so-good ol' days? I know I do!

 

I really liked the layout, it's akin to my favorite magazine, Mental Floss with little factoids on every page to highlight the subject. Very well organized, full of stomach turning stories of medical mistakes and maladies, it kept me turning pages and very thankful I live in the modern day.

 

Getting Closer

One more review to write for a Netgalley book I read months ago and I'll be pretty much caught up. I've accomplished more in the last day than I have in the last 5 months :)

 

Do I dare peruse the available mysteries on NetGalley? Oh I do, I do

Review
3 Stars
Review: Killer Party
Killer Party (A Tourist Trap Mystery) - Lynn Cahoon

I liked this, but I didn't love it. While the mystery was interesting and intriguing, I didn't care for any of Greg's friends, and that made me feel a little apathetic towards solving the murder and seriously Jill, get over the whole relationship angst. The surprising and exciting ending was a great way to end the book, and overall it was entertaining and enjoyable. Mostly, I just enjoy another visit to South Cove and catching up with Jill, Greg and the Coffee, Books & More gang (And I really concerned about Aunt Jackie!)

Review
4 Stars
Review: Murder in Mayfair
Murder in Mayfair: An Atlas Catesby Mystery - D. M. Quincy

Murder in Mayfair is an excellent debut historical cozy, with a labyrinthine plot that pulls you deep into their Georgian era world from the very first page. It was so easy to lose myself in the world the author created, from the picturesque English countryside to London's dirty streets, the attention to period detail was adept without weighing down the story. This was the kind of book where the characters become almost like familiar friends, from the enigmatic Lilliana to the brilliant Thea to the dashing and witty Atlas Catesby (that name, right? I feel like I need a jaunty cat named Atlas Catesby.) and the suspenseful plot kept me turning pages well into the night.

Overall, Murder in Mayfair is a lovely introduction to the world of Atlas Catesby, with a taut, suspenseful plot with many twists and turns, a charming early 1800s setting and riveting characters it will definitely be a series to watch for.

Unngggg...

Must....review...NetGalley books...so...I...can...request....more....

 

Review
5 Stars
Review: Death Plays a Part
Death Plays a Part (Cornish Castle Mystery, Book 1) - Vivian Conroy

With her theater closed for renovations, Guinevere lands a summer job cataloging books at a castle on Cornisea, a small island off the coast of England. Together with her little dachshund Dolly, she sets off, expecting an idyllic summer exploring the tiny island. When she arrives, she’s delighted to learn that the castle is hosting a re-enactment of a historic trial, but when a man is found murdered in the dungeon and her new employer is accused, Guinevere jumps into action to find the real killer, uncovering a greedy plot and family secrets.

 

Thoroughly enjoyable first in a new series, with a charming location, rich plot and of course, an adorable Doxie.  What more can you ask for in a cozy?  I loved this from the very first page,  I felt like I was right there along with Guinevere as she got off the train heading for Cornisea, I could almost feel Dolly tugging at the leash!  The pace was perfect, introducing the characters with just enough detail to make them jump right off the page and setting up the puzzling plot full of twists and turns that kept me glued to the book.  I enjoyed watching it all unfold, locked room mysteries are my favorite and I really appreciated Guinevere’s thought process in solving it,  no sudden AHA! moment for our girl, she sat down and figured it all out rationally.  Go LOGIC!

 

Overall, Death Plays a Part charmed the socks off me and I can’t wait for the next book to come out in August.  Will Oliver and Guinevere let their sparks fan into a relationship? Will Lord Bolingbrooke ever catalog all of his books? Will the treasure be found? I’m gonna stay tuned for more!

Review
5 Stars
Review: Sweet Tea & Spirits
Sweet Tea and Spirits (Southern Ghost Hunter) (Volume 5) - Angie Fox

After a puzzling phone call predicting a murder, Verity and gangster ghost buddy Frankie are hired on the sly by Julia Harper Youngblood to investigate who is leaving the Sugarland Heritage Society’s mannequins in compromising positions at a Civil War era home for widows and children. When she later finds Julia dead, she’s going to need the ghostly inhabitants to help her find a killer, and uncovers a very salacious history that no one expected.

 

Every time I read the newest book in the Southern Ghost Hunter series, I rave that it’s the best book so far. So, it should come as no surprise to you when I say Sweet Tea and Spirits is the best one so far in this series! Virginia, the MIL you love to hate, offers up a few surprises and even gangster Frankie shows off an unexpected side. I loved the glimpse into Verity’s family history, and I hope Ida will make an appearance at a later point. The exciting ending capped up a suspenseful plot that weaved a bit of saucy Southern history with spectral shenanigans into a thrilling adventure sprinkled with humor.

 

Overall, Sweet Tea & Spirits is an excellent addition to the Southern Ghost Hunter series and a must read for any paranormal mystery fan.

Review
4.5 Stars
Review: The Prawn Identity
The Prawn Identity - Morgana Best

This is a light and entertaining cozy mystery series, I love heading into the outback to visit Sibyl and her friends and this time around, property developer Greg Summers and his wife Lisa are staying at Cressida’s boarding house on their honeymoon. Greg’s company is currently planning to develop a large area of ecologically sensitive bushland, and this brings protesters out in full force. One morning, Lisa is killed when a balcony collapses. Was it just a tragic accident? Was it related to Greg’s development deal? Who was the real target? Sibyl and her friends set out once again to catch a killer and as if things couldn't get much worse, the village’s building inspector is trying to close down Cressida’s boarding house for being unsafe and even Sibyl can’t catch a break when Blake’s ex-girlfriend shows up in town.

 

The Prawn Identity (LOL love the titles in this series!) is a great addition to the series. The entertaining plot kept me guessing with lots of surprises and plot twists and no shortage of suspects. There was lots going on in this one, and I liked that it kept the pace moving quickly, but there wasn’t so much that you couldn’t keep track of what was going on. As always, there’s a lot of laughs (Tiny and the poodle!) and I love the banter between Cressida and Mr. Buttons, and I would love to know more about their back story! Why does Cressida only paint gory death scenes? Was Mr. Buttons really a butler? I need more info!  The surprising ending wrapped up the book nicely, and  the sprinkling of romance between Sibyl and hunky cop Blake adds the awwww factor that makes this series irresistible.

 

You really can’t go wrong with the Australian Amateur Sleuth series and I definitely recommend this series for any cozy mystery fan looking for suspenseful plots, a unique setting and entertaining characters.

Review
5 Stars
Review: Held for Ransom
Held for Ransom - Russell Atkinson

The first in the Cliff Knowles series, Held For Ransom is a nail-biting thriller following the FBI’s investigation into the kidnapping of a wealthy tech executive. Written by a retired FBI Special Agent, what really sets this series apart from the usual police-thrillers is the ultra-realism and attention to detail that puts the reader right in the middle of an FBI investigation, watching the events unfold like you’re right there in the middle of the action. Told from the perspective of Special Agent Cliff Knowles and the victim, Carl Fischer, it’s a gripping story that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

 

I really enjoy this series, so I picked this one up to “see how it all started” after reading several of the later books, and I and wasn't disappointed. Cliff is a likable, unflappable investigator (I loved the patience he had while trying to keep the victim’s wife on track to get information. I’d have lost my marbles!) The story unwinds bit by bit, drawing me into the heart of the investigation and it reads like one of those docu-crime shows on cable, where each clue teases just a bit more of the story. I loved all the FBI terminology and procedures, it really enhanced my understanding of the actions and reactions of the characters and the story feels like it plays out in real time, moving at just the right pace and the exciting ending kept me frantically turning pages.  This is the perfect series for any fans of gritty police procedurals or docu-crime shows on cable and one I definitely recommend.