Concept: The sleuth owns a needlework shop in a small Minnesota town.
Integration of Concept: One of my favorite things about this series is that the needlework usually plays a part in the mystery; it's not just something else she does when she isn't sleuthing. There is also usually a pattern for the relevant item, in this case a hardanger bookmark.
Setting and Characters: This is the 15th in the series, and I have read all of the previous installments. The characters are pretty well established by now and while they aren't like incredibly original they are likeable. The setting is your pretty typical small town.
Writing: Not bad. The only thing that threw me was there was one area, maybe it wasn't edited well or maybe I misunderstood something, but there was a timeline that kind of didn't add up, and it wasn't like, a plot element, so there's that.
When did I figure out "whodunnit?" Honestly I was just enjoying reading it rather than trying to figure things out.
Can the mystery be solved by the reader: Maybe. It doesn't totally rely on information that the reader doesn't have, and there are some fairly obvious reasons to suspect the culprit.
Coziness level: 1. No cursing, sexual references, or even violent/gory deaths.(less)
This book is somewhere between young adult and new adult. The main character is a freshman in college, and dealing with issues relating to that, mostl...moreThis book is somewhere between young adult and new adult. The main character is a freshman in college, and dealing with issues relating to that, mostly.
The portrayal of main character Cath's anxiety was one of the most true-to-life I have ever read. For example, she doesn't eat lunch at the cafeteria for a month because she doesn't know where it is, and there are a lot of things about it you can't Google, like where to get in line, where to put trays when you're done, stuff like that. Cath's emotions felt very authentic to me.
The main character is a writer of fanfiction, and while that's not a culture I'm really into, this book did kinda inspire me to start writing a fic.
I read this in a few sittings, but I could have read it in one--I never really wanted to stop. I've heard so much buzz about this and Rowell's other book that came out this year and for this one at least it is much deserved.(less)
This is probably strictly speaking a 3.5, but I rounded up because I did quite enjoy it.
The basic premise is that words have power. Ok, we all know th...moreThis is probably strictly speaking a 3.5, but I rounded up because I did quite enjoy it.
The basic premise is that words have power. Ok, we all know that to be true. But in the world of Lexicon, certain people with a combination of natural talent and special training can use sounds to get inside peoples' minds and persuade them to do almost anything.
It's both a mystery and a love story and I almost hesitate to even label it sci-fi, but I think that's probably the genre it comes closest to.
This book also had one of my favorite gimmicks, which is that after most of the chapters, there was a "document" of some kind: post from a message board, newspaper article, etc, that tells a little bit more of the story than we get from the main narrative.(less)
I'd probably say this is really a 3.5, but I decided to round up.
Erik Larson is master of "literary non-fiction," basically history books that read li...moreI'd probably say this is really a 3.5, but I decided to round up.
Erik Larson is master of "literary non-fiction," basically history books that read like novels. This wasn't quite as much of a page-turner as Devil in the White City, but it was still fascinating and extensively researched.
When you learn about Nazi Germany in school (I mean like basic high-school history, not advanced education), you really only learn about things after America got involved, or maybe as far back as 1939. Most of this book takes place during Hitler's rise to power, when he was chancellor and Hindenburg was still president. It's amazing to read about the kinds of things that happened, and the denial and facades that prevented the world from knowing what was really going on. Larson makes it interesting to read with his foreshadowing and dramatic reveals of important historical personnages.
If you absolutely hate history, I don't know if the interesting writing and story would be enough to save this book for you. But if like me, your only real problem with reading history books is the dry tone in which most of them are written, then this might open your eyes to what good non-fiction writing can be like.(less)
*Possible spoilers for Game, the first book in the trilogy*
In this sequel to Game, we pick up after protagonist HP has spent almost a year travelling...more*Possible spoilers for Game, the first book in the trilogy*
In this sequel to Game, we pick up after protagonist HP has spent almost a year travelling the world with the money he was able to steal from the Game. In Dubai, he is accused of a murder he didn't commit, then makes his way back to Sweden to get to the bottom of what is really going on.
While the first book focused more on HP's experience playing the Game, this one is about manipulation of the Internet. HP gets an amazing sounding job, basically being a net-troll. He works for a company whose clients hire them to influence public perception by posting blogs, tweets, comments, etc. I know it's possible to pay for Amazon reviews; I wonder how much else of what de la Motte describes actually goes on.
Like the first book, this is a thrilling page-turner with a bit of a surprise at the ending that provides a perfect hook to get the reader ready for book three.
Henrik "HP" Pettersson is a 31-year-old slacker whose life changes dramatically the day he finds a cell-phone on the train and enters "The Game." An a...moreHenrik "HP" Pettersson is a 31-year-old slacker whose life changes dramatically the day he finds a cell-phone on the train and enters "The Game." An anonymous Game Master gives him tasks to complete, each one more dangerous and more rewarding than the last. But what exactly is this game? And what will happen if he decides he doesn't want to play?
I LOVED the premise of this book. You get tasks, you don't know why or from whom, but you do them anyway. For those of you to whom this sounds implausible, I've actually witnessed this happen). Henrik isn't the most likeable guy, but his motivation is clear, even when the things he is asked to do become less and less innocuous. This one is definitely a page-turner.
I had a few problems with what was presumably the translation. There was a point where it seemed like Henrik had been sleeping with his sister, and I had to go back and reread pages several times to realize that was not the case. There were also a few sort of odd word choices but again I think that's a translation issue rather than a problem with the original text. I might be more forgiving about things like that than some, plus I have a review copy so those things might be ironed out in the "real" edition.
This is part of a trilogy. This book ends with not exactly a cliffhanger, but more of a hook for the next book, which I'll be reading shortly. I really like reading books about games intersecting with real life (there actually are several of these) so this was right up my alley. If you've read the entire Millenium trilogy and are looking for another gritty Scandinavian crime series, here you go.
Concept: The protagonist is the owner of a kosher deli in Nashville.
Integration of concept: Aside from the fact that the victim was delivering bread to the deli, it wasn't really relevant. The scenes in the deli could pretty much have taken place in any business.
Setting and Characters: Unlike most other cozies I've read, this one takes place in a bigger city (Nashville) as opposed to a small town. I don't think it really made a difference, although it would have been cool if the author had brought more of the personality of Nashville into the story. The characters were ok; this is only the third of these books so it seemed like characters were still getting introduced and fleshed out.
Writing: Meh. Nothing stood out to me as especially good or especially bad. This falls under the umbrella of "storytelling" more than "writing."
When did I figure out "whodunnit?": Page 169/200. I had an initial guess which turned out to be wrong.
Can the mystery be solved by the reader: No. (view spoiler)[The motive for the murder isn't clear until the very end, and relies on a piece of information we learned earlier that turned out not to be true. (hide spoiler)]
Coziness Level: 2. Some mild language and overt sexual references.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)