I couldn’t get through Death of a Kootch Show Girl. I tried, but in the end I put it aside. I admire the author for what he was trying to achieve, but I just didn’t like the book. Each chapter is narrated by a different character - told from their point of view complete with their individual speech patterns. That means there are some overlaps. The same event is described by different characters in different chapters. This takes some skill. While I initially was intrigued by the content based on the description, the more I read, the more I disliked the characters and the story. The mannerisms of the different characters also grated on my nerves as the story progressed. Normally I love mysteries and novels featuring carnivals, but Death of a Kootch Show Girl was far from appealing. Many will find its attitudes and de...
Felix the Railway Cat
The adorable story of Felix, the Huddersfield Train Station cat
by Kate Moore
Penguin UK - Michael Joseph
General Fiction (Adult)
Pub Date 23 Feb 2017
I am in love with Felix. She is more than just an amazing cat, she is the glue that keeps the Huddersfield community together. With more than 100,000 likes on Facebook she is more popular than many celebrities. Having a cat at the station makes everyone happy - from workers to irritated commuters. Even those who originally doubt the value of a station cat are quickly won over by her personality, beauty and persistence. She is far more than her job description- Senior Pest Controller.
Kate Moore’s book is all about relationships. It is tender, funny and quintessentially British. It isn't just Felix who has charm, but all of her friends and coworkers as well. I enjoyed how Moore takes readers from the very start, when she was just an idea through her kitten hood, trai...
Death by Chocolate Lab by Bethany Blake
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 28 Feb 2017
Bethany Blake gets a blue ribbon for her “paw”sitively charming dog cozy, Death by Chocolate Lab. From the get-go, the pets steal the show. It is hard to decide who was more appealing, Artie, the one eared bulging eyed chihuahua with a weak chin, overbite and a tendency to drool or Socrates the philosophical basset. Bethany Blake’s love for dogs shines through every page of this fun mystery.
Daphne has a PhD in philosophy but spends her time doing what she loves most, taking care of dogs. When her sister Piper’s ex turns up dead at the agility trial she is hosting, not long after Piper was seen arguing with him, Daphne decides to prove Piper’s innocence. After all, there is no guarantee that the handsome and irritating Detective Jonathan Black will look further. Also, Axis, Steve Beamus’s black lab is missing, and the police don't have the time or the inclination to se...
Malice in Maggody is as hilarious today as it was when Joan Hess first published it. Maggody is the epitome of a hick town, filled with bizarre characters that you can’t help but like - well maybe not “like” but reading about all of the wild goings on is a pleasure. Arly Hanks, Maggody chief of police, is a voice of sarcastic reason, while her mother Ruby Bee and her mother's best friend Estelle manage to contribute to the chaos by “helping” Arly with her investigations.
Malice in Maggody is a fine introduction to Hess’s popular series. Mayor Jim Bob Buchannon and the rest of the city council have a plan to save Maggody. Needless to say it goes awry. I can’t even begin to describe what happens. Yes there is a murder, but it is second to all the comedic mayhem accompanying the disappearance of a local official. (The murder happens about ⅔ in). I can say that the ending is fantastic. It i...
It has been done before, but that doesn’t make 101 Amazing Things About Dog Lovers less likable. The book contains an array of short passages, each taking on a different topic or focusing on a fun about dogs (not about the humans who love them, but more accurate titles have been already been taken). Don’t expect a heavy scientific tome. Instead 101 Amazing Things About Dog Lovers is a light read perfect for sharing with younger family members. The title is classified as Christian because it contains a short bible quote after each “fact” about dogs. It’s a nice idea, but many of the quotes don’t really fit with the text. Though the quotes are good, it appears their inclusion is more for marketing than content.
The book is nicely done, but it is more acceptable than exceptional. There is nothing th...
A Good Death exemplifies everything I look for in a police procedural - a well developed set of investigators who are believable on and off the job, one or more well plotted mysteries, an interesting variety of suspects/supporting characters. There are three cases in A Good Death: a death that takes place during a house fire, a man who goes missing on the eve of his wedding, and the death of a researcher. Superficially they are very different, but thematically they go well together. The results are quite surprising - Collett is good at providing readers with twists. I liked Constable Kevin "Brown", the new addition to DI Mariner's team. Despite being almost painfully clumsy, he is dedicated, smart and highly competent. I hope he has a place in the next DI Mariner novel.
A Good Death is a very human police procedural. Personal lives affect the professional lives of DI Mari...
The hallmark of a good novel is that it lingers in the mind long after the last page has been turned. Gilded Cage is such a novel. It is a dystopian fantasy, but far better than the majority being sold. The characters are captivating, particularly Silyen, the youngest son whose magical gifts far outstrip his family’s. While his father is ruthlessly ambitious, Silyen has a far more complex plan in mind - a plan that will shake the foundations of their world.
The people of the Gilded Cage are divided into two groups, the commoners and the wealthy aristocratic families who possess magical abilities (The Equal). Commoners are all required to spend 10 years in slavery. That is how it has always been. Abi and Luke’s family try to schedule their slavedays in a way that allows them to stay together. The plan goes awry when Luke is sent to a slavetown while Abi and...
Crooked Street was a mystery far different than I expected, but I liked it. When a young husband disappears it quickly becomes clear that his perfect life is a lie. Instead of working as an executive accountant, Jadon runs a payday lending firm. It is the kind of business that destroys lives. Desperate people borrow money, and the exorbitant interest rates make it impossible to repay. But so many people having a motive doesn't help when the body is nowhere to be found. The second death is practically a gift to the reader and to Piercy and her team - otherwise they never would have found the killer.
The part of the novel that doesn't fit are the chapters about an elderly woman moving from her remote cottage into a care facility. She has no connection to any of the characters or events apart from her cottage b...
Cold cases are intriguing - how do you investigate a murder when a number of the parties involved are dead? Old Bones is well done, both as a cold case procedural and a police drama. DCI Bill Slider is on the outs with higher-ups because he uncovered corruption in the ranks. A cold case is perfect, because it offends no one and solving it makes the police look good. Thus, when human remains are found in the yard of the house where a teen when missing decades ago, it is assigned to Slider and his team.
Cynthia Harrod-Eagles doesn't take the easy route. Instead she offers readers a complex mystery. Even if you guess before the end where the story is going, you won't be disappointed with this character driven mystery.
I received a copy of Old Bones from the publisher and netgalley.com in exchange for an honest revi...
Sally Spencer's new series featuring private investigator Jennie Redhead is off to an auspicious start. The Shivering a Turn is a compelling mystery set against the rapidly changing culture of 1970s Oxford. I like Spencer's other novels, but I think The Shivering Turn is her best thus far. It does an excellent job of capturing the flavor of the time.
Jennie's investigation into the disappearance of a young woman leads her into the murky world of Oxford's privileged classes. Before her disappearance, Linda was spending time with members of an exclusive Oxford student club - The Shivering Turn. Money and connections make the young men practically unassailable, but Jennie is convinced they were involved and is determined to prove it.
Jennie is far from perfect, but she is principled and determined - part of the reason she i...