This is a very dark historical tale/mystery following disturbed people with diseases, sexual desires, secrets, and religious delusions. Some of the ocThis is a very dark historical tale/mystery following disturbed people with diseases, sexual desires, secrets, and religious delusions. Some of the occurrences within shocked me. It made me think of a historical Patricia Cornwell novel with this heroine, Maddie, as the historical Dr. Scarpetta.
It's very long ago France. Women still wear corsets. Men inherit everything. Women are NOT supposed to be doctors, let alone coroners or the like, but Maddie wants to do this above all else and a carriage accident finally provides her the chance to step into her father's shoes for a while and get in on a case involving dead bodies on ice, wolves, a convent, and nasty little mites in the nose.
And then there's a very dashing professor who suddenly has his sights on Maddie.
There were lots of twists and turns in this story. The mystery is not easy to piece together. Too many of the characters withhold information. I was kept guessing and as I said above, repeatedly shocked. The heroine is strong but not unbelievably so. She has her moments in which she's shaken by what's she witnessed--understandably. She has good intentions and a lot of drive.
I think the story lacked emotion though. There were many instances with her, her father, the professor, others, that I felt exhibited too little emotion for the situation; they were a bit too robotic. Despite this, the writing itself is stellar.
The ending didn't adequately explain some things for me. It's hard for me to convey what I mean without putting spoilers in this though. There are many things in the story that I mustn't reveal.
And to be frank, I found some things just a bit too perverted. I was saying, "Um, seriously? That's sick."
I'm enjoying this historical mystery series. In this one we follow Mrs. Stayton (I still rather think of her as a younger Miss Marple though) and herI'm enjoying this historical mystery series. In this one we follow Mrs. Stayton (I still rather think of her as a younger Miss Marple though) and her companion Lucy as they board a Titanic-like ship in the late twenties, departing England and going to America, where Mrs. X (Stayton) plans to confront a literary agent who for reasons unknown rejected her first mystery novel.
And it wouldn't be a Mrs. X book without a murder.
Think Clue but on a ship.
We know the weapon was a scarf...but was it Mr. Farquhar, with the scarf, in room B1, or Simone Wainwright with the scarf in B25? Gerald maybe, on the promenade?
The murder occurs a bit late and from that point on it's very climatic and then it's like reading a tennis match with the whodunit changing every other page, but this was done in an exciting way. Like I said, Clue.
And I was chuckling from the very first page, with her letter to the Red Star Line. What a terrific way to start a story!
The cast of characters, though unlikable, is very entertaining. There's a woman and her husband who survived the sinking of Tatiana due to her incredible grip. There's a crabby Russian countess. There's adultery, foot fetish...each page contains a surprise.
And I never figured it all out, not until Mrs. X was laying out some clues. That's when I pieced it together.
I really like these stories, the writing style, the bits of humor, all of it. I look forward to the next one. My only quibble would have to be that Mrs. X is far too perfect and nice, to the point it's not really believable....
Harriet is a P.I. Her thing is scams. But people keep bringing her murders...and that's no exception in book four of this Dirty Harriet series. Her foHarriet is a P.I. Her thing is scams. But people keep bringing her murders...and that's no exception in book four of this Dirty Harriet series. Her former flighty Boca babe friend is in rehab to get clean from a coke addiction. While in there, she's certain that teenagers are being murdered daily... At first Harriet thinks her friend has lost her marbles, but a visit to the clinic has her checking in herself (and her inner vigilante).
And don't think for a second that Harriet's being checked into a clinic means she doesn't manage to get a little help from her friends and our favorite characters: Enrique, her new stepdad, the Countess...
And who knew Lana the alligator had a great nephew?
I felt like this one was a little shorter than the other books, but that could just be me. I get so engrossed in these funny, witty stories with this tough, kick-butt heroine, I really never want the books to end. The humor, though tamer this time around, was still rampant--more in sarcasm and observations from Harriet than actual happenings. The book has mystery, anticipation (she really sorta needs to get this thing solved in 24 hours so she can see her sexy karate (Crav Magna?) instructor, humor, and this time around we also get to see a more vulnerable side to Harriet as her situation brings back things from her past.
I figured out the mystery before Harriet did, but I must give the author points for a totally new idea. I can honestly say I've never read a situation like this one. It's def unique and intriguing. I think my only complaint about this story is...the setting. Harriet is usually out riding her hog and getting into all kinds of trouble. But in this tale, she's confined to the rehab clinic. This bothered me for some reason. But it was certainly bothering Harriet too, so maybe we're intended to feel that way along with her!
Not for me. Too biographical and not fiction feeling enough. And the italics....in which the author seems to be talking TO us and relating a ton of faNot for me. Too biographical and not fiction feeling enough. And the italics....in which the author seems to be talking TO us and relating a ton of facts has really messed the whole thing up for me. ...more
I zipped through this novel in almost a day. I love a good mystery. I love being kept in suspense. I love the idea of this story. At first it starts iI zipped through this novel in almost a day. I love a good mystery. I love being kept in suspense. I love the idea of this story. At first it starts in 2015. A young wanna-be writer is inspired when she walks through another woman's art gallery. She determines she's going to write a book based on an unsolved murder on the coast of Oregon.
Then it goes back to 2005. Megan Cahill is found carrying a gun, staring out to sea on the beach by a photographer. The famous photo is taken, shooting the photographer to amazing career heights. Megan's husband is dead in the house behind them. Her ex-husband is found dead later that week. Everything seems to surround Megan. Surely she has something to do with it all...
It also takes us back about five years before this murder, and delves into the connection between a prosecutor investigating the Cahill case and the photographer/witness who had a drug problem.
It seems everyone is tied into the mess in some way, even if they don't realize it--a former prosecutor, a former pro football player, all kinds of interesting characters. I'd like to add that characterization was superb. Despite all the people involved and changing POVs, I always knew who was who by their distinctive personalities.
I confess I knew whodunnit a lot sooner than I would have liked, but the story still managed to keep me in suspense. While I knew who the main culprit was, I honestly thought others were involved too and was constantly trying to pinpoint just who was involved and how it was all done.
And though I really enjoyed this novel and mystery, I did find a few things that bugged me. 1. The lack of emotion/feeling/description. This was almost too much telling, not enough showing. I found it kind of funny when the novelist in the story thinks, "What did the wind off the ocean feel like when Megan Cahill stood on the shore looking out to sea? What did the sand feel like as she walked across the beach from her house?..." The writer in the book seems to realize she needs those details while the actual writer didn't. 2. It's almost 2015 now, as I write this, just a week to go...and I'm just your average computer user--nothing fancy--but even I know how to flip and reverse photos in Paint program.
It's not often I pick up a Kindle freebie by an author I've never heard of before and find a gem of a story. They are usually so/so. This one is quiteIt's not often I pick up a Kindle freebie by an author I've never heard of before and find a gem of a story. They are usually so/so. This one is quite good! Think Miss Marple, forty years younger, with twice the humor.
Young Mrs. X, widowed now three years, fancies herself a mystery writer all of a sudden and her and her companion set off for a house in the country...where between a very wacky family and servants, they run into a REAL murder.
The style takes some getting used to at first. The narrative is in first person--not a problem--but it's as if you're reading the manuscript of her story. It even has little notes to her editor or agent in parenthesis. This irritated me at first, but I came to understand it and once I got over the initial feeling of being "jarred" by it, I was no longer bothered.
I enjoyed the heroine and laughed so many times...I lost count. From the dog named Bugger to the sarcastic remarks exchanged between these family members who loathe each other so much... There's not only a murder mystery here, but secrets from the war, the mystery circumstances of her own husband's death, the way she calmly handles the personal questions...there's actually a lot going on in this "little" story.
This is a light mystery set in 1911 London. Actually, the word "light" is probably wrong. After all, a woman is shot to death in Hyde Park. That's serThis is a light mystery set in 1911 London. Actually, the word "light" is probably wrong. After all, a woman is shot to death in Hyde Park. That's serious stuff. But the telling of it all, the lack of emotions from the characters gave it a light feel.
Except for a nervous Bridget (the niece) and a flighty sister, the women in the story were like robots: the assistant, the daughter. The men seemed to be fleshed out a little more, namely the beau and the nephew. (The husband didn't seem as affected as I would expect.) I guess that would be my main quibble with the book and I'll just get that out of the way. The characterizations were presented to us in such a way that while we're given lots of details (some of them impertinent to the story) about each character, we never come to care for them at all. At least I didn't.
The story itself, the plot, is really somewhat exciting. A wealthy married woman who writes racy romances in her free time and has a male companion (not her husband) taking her to shows and riding with her in the park is just shot dead one day. There's missing property, Russian connections, and strange secrets about her popping up here and there during the investigation.
At the heart of it all is the possible beau who really wants the woman's daughter, the robotic daughter, a bluestocking niece, a flighty sister, a husband with a missing gun, and a mysterious assistant as well as a nephew who runs a controversial newspaper. The story throws just enough details at you to throw you off and keep you guessing. What does one have to do with the other? Is this even relevant, you wonder as you read and pick up clues.
But it's rather slow and on top of my above quibble, I also grew irritated at the "jumping" around. Example: The scene is on Marcus. He is about to go visit the newspaper. Scene ends. Then it goes to the daughter and Marcus shows up to visit her. I thought he was going to the paper? Then he sits down to tell her about his trip to the paper and we jump to that scene.... I'd prefer it be in chronological order. There was also something off with the historical aspect. It's a historical setting--with horses, dresses, rules and etiquette, and a coronation, but I never felt transported as I tend to do with good historicals.
This is book four in the Louise Pearlie series. (I only read book three before reading this one and I haven't been one bit lost.) Louise is a woman whThis is book four in the Louise Pearlie series. (I only read book three before reading this one and I haven't been one bit lost.) Louise is a woman who works for the OSS during WWII, in D.C. What's the OSS? I can't remember what exactly it stands for, but think of it as an early version of the NSA. Louise's official task: filing clerk, but what she really does is decipher and translate and record mysterious data and notes and whatnot from spies overseas and searches for spies here at home.
What I really enjoy about this series, besides a heroine who knows her own mind, sticks up for others, and is intensely independent, is the historical setting. Through her we see the housing situation/rules in D.C. during that time, learn of all the political tension and how one must watch what they say, and meet a variety of characters. In this one we meet a returning war vet missing his arm and though it's a small side story, find out why he's so angry and tired of being asked about his Purple Heart.
Side stories such as his really happened and make for thought-evoking reading.
Ms. Shaber even managed to put bits of the racial tension/situation in the States in this installment. I applaud the author for keeping Louise at the homefront. Her series shows that there was a LOT going on here too during the war.
And as usual, Louise's file clerk duties get set to the side when a higher up asks her for some discreet help. A little blunder lands her on the case of a murdered man. Was he murdered? Or was it an accident? But if he wasn't murdered, where is his wallet? And why was he being investigated by the OSS?
Page by page, secrets are revealed, but never enough to make me solve the case. I love it when I have no clue whodunnit or am proved wrong. I like a good surprise. The case/story is topped off with a very intense storm, more bloodshed, and a fearful night during which I wasn't sure the Louise was going to get out of the mess this time...
I was very excited about this, the second book in this series following a tough woman cop and her German Shepherd sidekick. Though the mystery was reaI was very excited about this, the second book in this series following a tough woman cop and her German Shepherd sidekick. Though the mystery was really tame and not very climatic, the humor is just fabulous and I do love a good chuckle.
The first one was more exciting, to be honest, as it followed this crazy "tunabomber" and it made me laugh out loud more. This one follows this slightly OTT twenty-one-year-old girl--come to think of it, from what I've seen of the younger generation, maybe this chick isn't so OTT after all...LOL--who feels she entitled to all the finer things in life and doesn't want to work for any of it. She wants to steal it. And she chooses the rodeo for her playground, which happens to be where Megan and Brigit the dog are patrolling.
I enjoyed the funny narrative, the thoughts everyone has, especially Brigit's, but even the bad girl's. Every single page had me smiling or chuckling or relating to some funny remark or thought.
I do dislike one thing. I hated knowing who the bad "guy" was. I like mysteries that force me to think about how it could be. Book one had it down pat. Even though it went into the perp's mind, we didn't know who the perp was, who Megan was associating with or questioning that could be the perp. In this book, Megan doesn't even run into the perp until the end and we, the readers, know it all along. The lack of connection between Megan and the perp makes for a lackluster mystery. There really is no mystery.
And some things were just off. Even Texas does background checks when you buy a gun.
Lexi is back and better than ever. Having read all the previous four books (I still think book two was the best), I noticed that Lexi has more confideLexi is back and better than ever. Having read all the previous four books (I still think book two was the best), I noticed that Lexi has more confidence and backbone in this, book five. She really knows how to stand up for herself this time around, as she finds herself a "prize" on a geek dating reality TV show. (She's actually undercover, trying to find a "cracker/hacker" who's manipulating the voting.)
"Apparently I'm not being very clear. As a result, I'll give you three options. No, no way, and hell no. Clear enough now?"
For those new to the series, Lexi is a computer whiz who once worked for the NSA and now works for a private company owned by her sorta boyfriend. She tracks down computer criminals. She has rather awkward social skills...
Moffett once again fills the story with fabulous humor, not only from Lexi quips but also with incidents as Lexi goes on "dates" with these geeks and has typical Lexi mishaps.
Some food for thought comes from her friend Basia, who appears on the scene towards the end for moral support.
"Don't we all grow and expand as individuals when we try new things in life?" is her reply when Lexi starts feeling insecure and out of her element. The show is getting crazy; she's becoming embarrassed... Isn't that true though?
I'm getting sidetracked. What I enjoyed about this story besides the humor was the cast of characters. It had every geek stereotype possible in it, from a geek who wears suspenders to a geek who speaks through a sock puppet and only TV show quotes...it's crazy and hilarious. No offense to geeks. I'm anti-stereotype, but at the same time I also know people who honestly put themselves in a stereotype expected of them, so really, I took this as a lighthearted, fun read, and it is.
I love Lexi. She's one of the most likable and fun heroines I've discovered in a mystery series. She's a geek--smart, loves math, and is a bit awkwardI love Lexi. She's one of the most likable and fun heroines I've discovered in a mystery series. She's a geek--smart, loves math, and is a bit awkward in social situations.
In this latest installment of her life, she goes to Rome with the uber-hot and super-secretive Slash to help clear his uncle's name. Computers, hacking, pharmaceuticals, art, and secret agents all come together to form one interesting mystery with in-between munching on Italian food.
As always, the book follows Lexi and is punctuated with her witty and sarcastic thoughts and humor.
I'm reminded of the Stephanie Plum series again, only in this case, Slash is Ranger, Fin is Joe, and Lexi is stuffing her face with croissants instead of donuts, and Basia is far stretch from Lulu. LOL I enjoyed this story though, whereas I became quite tired of the Plum series a long time ago. Moffett knows how to keep us interested and doesn't tell the same story over and over.
At first, I was disappointed that Lexi brought the Zimmerman twins into the case. I was hoping she would save the day on her own, but she surprised me in the end, proving to be the case-cracker and heroine. I loved this!! I also like that unlike most heroines in books today, Lexi isn't throwing herself into a man's bed on page five. (She's also very realistic; any of us women can relate to her.) We're still skirting around Fin, Slash, and Elvis and I suspect things are getting there with Elvis. I'm dying to know for sure, so I'm looking forward to the next book already.
My only disappointment: I didn't find this as rip-roaring, bust-a-gut funny as I have found the previous two titles.
"I, Claudia Davis, a single, thirty-five-year-old therapist who wanted noting more than than to marry Edouard Marceau and have my baby girl, had been"I, Claudia Davis, a single, thirty-five-year-old therapist who wanted noting more than than to marry Edouard Marceau and have my baby girl, had been a prostitute in my past life. The only comfort was in the fact that even though Ruby had been a full-blown prostitute in the past, she sure as hell wouldn't be one now that I was running this show."
And there you have it. Modern-day pregnant therapist is torn from the arms of the man she loves and time-travels back to 1959 Paris where she's a murder suspect, a dancer, a prostitute, and best friends with her future grandmother. And she has to change fate...or lose her life and baby girl forever. After all, she hasn't been born yet...and what if she isn't?
It's extremely exciting and fast paced. Everyone is just dropping dead around Ruby, the past-life heroine and she has to save herself, change what's to come without even knowing what's to come, and figure out who's killing people. I was wholly entertained and dying to know what happened next. It's more mystery than romance, I think, and I like that I wasn't able to figure out whodunit by page 50. Matter of fact, I thought I had a pretty good idea toward the end, but I was wrong.
The first-person narrative worked well, but I am disappointed that there wasn't more historical data. Traveling from 2012 to 1959 can't be peachy. A part of me couldn't help comparing it to another recent time-travel romance I read that jumped similar dates, Hindsight by Sarah Belle. While that author had details about trying to LIVE and perform what in 2012 are much easier tasks (Imagine not having a modern-day washing machine all of a sudden!), this book didn't even touch on that stuff.
It also tied up too quickly and too cheesily in the end. I was left with a lot of questions and it being such a long book, it's not like it didn't have the time to tie them up.
-"When I kill you, your soul won't ever be reborn."
Why not?? Huh? She was killed the first time around and still lived in another life.
-The wife following Ruby around...I seriously doubt she knew Ruby would be in that office and got there before her in time to plant that photo. No... The timing here was all off.
-How could you not notice you haven't had a period in four months? Get real.
-I was also slightly alarmed that the heroines always seem to go for taken men, in both lives, except for in the case of JP. I laughed when Claudia said this, "I'm not normally like this, running from one man to the next."
Errr. Married lover fathered your baby, and three months later the man you love is engaged and then you time travel and a mere three days after you have sex with a married politician in that life, you're having sex with another taken man.
Yet another awesome installment in this series. I liked this one even more than the last. In this story, my favorite historical medical examiner is onYet another awesome installment in this series. I liked this one even more than the last. In this story, my favorite historical medical examiner is on a vacation that goes terribly awry…in the form of a set of bones, a lord up to no good with the ladies, and a workhouse where bad things are happening to poor children. It’s Dr. Dody to the rescue.
And we mustn’t forget about Pike. Her love interest, the inspector, is back, and with him he brings the early days of gun forensics/ballistics. It’s obvious to me that the author did a massive amount of research for this story and I appreciate it. I love to learn new things while being entertained and this book did not disappoint. I not only learned the early method of ballistics, but also got an eye-opening look at life in the workhouse for unprotected children.
Ms. Young doesn’t stop there though. In this installment she also tackles sexual assault and its aftereffects on the victims.
It’s history, mystery, a pinch of romance, and a dash of education in one exciting novel. And at the heart of it is an incredibly strong and admirable heroine.
This is probably my favorite historical series featuring an amazingly strong heroine. Dody not only is a doctor at a women’s clinic, but also works wiThis is probably my favorite historical series featuring an amazingly strong heroine. Dody not only is a doctor at a women’s clinic, but also works with the coroner, and this occurs in a time when this was just not acceptable by society’s standards, Victorian England.
Book two has a new mystery and this time it includes a personal and professional attack on Dody herself. Lead poisoning, arsenic, illegal drugs, women dying from illegal abortions, and a big arrow in the form of accusatory letters and pointing fingers and paid-off lying witnesses says Dody is the culprit. If she doesn’t find the one behind these horrid activities, she’ll go down for the crime. It’s not only the end of her career, which was hard to start in the first place due to prejudices against women, but she’ll be in jail.
The romance between her and Pike continues, but is shaky. There’s a side story involving Pike and Mata Hari and spies. This has to be my only disappointment with the story. I feel so much more could have been done with a character such as Mata Hari. Part of me feels as if I’ve been teased.
I appreciate all the themes in this, skillfully and artfully entwined with the mystery. Remember, this was a time when a woman could not have a career and a marriage both. Marriage often meant job loss. What is a woman to do when she is offered something she desires, yet knows it will mean the end to all she’s worked for? As in book one, Dody faces a lot of extreme prejudice and I felt her frustration and moments of indecision. When is enough enough? To speak her mind usually leads to a man declaring her too emotional. Urgh. I wanted to jump in the book and smack a few people.
Also appreciated the birth control theme and Dody’s desire to educate the classes on pregnancy prevention. This was a hot topic back then and it made an interesting side story.