Here we are into the third entry into the Bewitching Mystery series. So what's Maggie into this time? The murder of an Amish ladies' man, one who's ma...moreHere we are into the third entry into the Bewitching Mystery series. So what's Maggie into this time? The murder of an Amish ladies' man, one who's married and has young kids, at that. She also has struggles with her love life and is overcoming her fear of the "unknown" and becoming more adept at using her gift.
May contain minor spoilers of previous books.
A few times throughout this short book (246 pages), I felt like throwing in the towel. After reading the first book, I really felt this was a series for me. One that I connected with and would be able to read book after book. Sadly it has not panned out this way. Mostly because of the main character, Maggie O'Neill, who I really liked in the first book. While there's nothing inherently wrong with her, I cannot relate to her and I don't like her too much either. She's rather a dull fish. Also, some of her thoughts feel forced, especially the "humorous" kind, which might be a big part of why I'm not liking her anymore. Well, whatever it is exactly, she's just not quite working for me. Though now that she's using her gift more, this may liven her up in the future, I don't know. The other thing is her presumptions, or rather the one presumption about the "relationship" between Marcus and Liss she's had since the first book. Where she ever got that idea in her head, I haven't a clue, but at least it was resolved by the end of this book. On the up side, she wasn't as dumb as in the previous book, A Charmed Death. All the other characters in the series I like and feel really add to the series, with maybe the exception of Tom, who is very closed-minded and basically just irritates me as a modern woman. I suppose a character who is that way is needed, and he is making some strides in opening his mind to new and frightening (to him) things, but I don't get Maggie's attraction to him; it just has not come across in the three books I've read. As for Maggie's other love interest, Marcus, while he's definitely way (way, way, way, way, way) more interesting than Tom, and I'm going to flip this, but I totally don't understand Marcus's interest in Maggie. I cannot think of anything that would intrigue him about her. I honestly can't, other than she's nice. A nice, boring, girl-next-door-type. Well, I guess that's something. So, the mystery.... Surprisingly, it seemed very minimal in this installment and the baddie very easy to figure out since there wasn't many, or any, other suspects. Still, it was tied up pretty neatly and made some sort of sense.
At the beginning of every book there is enough of a recap of characters and what's been going on so each book in the series can easily be read by itself, and not necessarily in order. While that is nice for a new reader or one who has gone a long time inbetween books, it makes for a repetitive nature if read too closely together, so I think it'll be a while before I pick up the next entry.(less)
This second installment of the Bewitching Mystery series focuses on the murder of a popular teenage girl who may have been hiding a seedy secret or tw...moreThis second installment of the Bewitching Mystery series focuses on the murder of a popular teenage girl who may have been hiding a seedy secret or two. Maggie delves into the case, while also developing her newfound powers and going on her first N.I.G.H.T.S. investigation.
After the slow-moving first seventy to eighty pages that was mostly background information on the town, the shop, characters and a recap of the last book, the story actually moved onto the main mystery in this book. I found the mystery very intriguing and well-done (I could easily envision it on TV, heck, I wouldn't be surprised if I had seen a similar story-line), and the author shed more light on Marcus, which was nice, but was also detrimental to other secondary characters, namely Felicity (a.k.a. Liss, which the first time Maggie mentioned that nickname I forgot for a minute who she was referring too. That probably should have been clarified more, I may have read the first book less than a month ago, but I can't remember everything and it's not like it's Melissa/Liss which I would have picked up on immediately. :P). So less Felicity, and also Steff and Tom, surprisingly enough. Any interaction Maggie had with Tom was strained, sometimes strange, and there was a bit at the end I didn't buy in regards to the two of them. Maggie herself was exactly the same as in the first book, except a bit dumber but I'll come to that a moment, so that disappointed me. It's not as if I expect her to grow every book, but a little development here and there or something new we didn't know about her wouldn't hurt. Although her development of her 'powers' has been nicely and realistically done, and the only problem I had was a scene at the end that seemed more magic than magick. Now we come to Maggie doing a couple of stupid things I never thought she'd be dumb enough to do, one of which led to her 'showdown' with the murderer. In that instance, she really had no need to do what she did to get him/her arrested or for any reason. It just seemed a contrivance to put her in the murderer's path. Overall, after the first fourth or so of the book, it was a decent yet flawed read, and I am going to pick up the next in the series with the hope that any minor problems I had will have been just a fluke.(less)
A well-written, engaging mystery with a protagonist, Maggie O'Neill, I (mostly) connected with and a plot nicely developed. The author did a good job...moreA well-written, engaging mystery with a protagonist, Maggie O'Neill, I (mostly) connected with and a plot nicely developed. The author did a good job setting up the series while maintaining the mystery within and developing Maggie and her quirks. Easy to read and smartly paced, with an engaging writing style, I'll definitely be picking up the next book in the series, if not all of them.(less)
Minview: I wish I'd read this closer to when it first came out. I think I would have enjoyed it more had I not gotten to know the characters these char...moreMinview: I wish I'd read this closer to when it first came out. I think I would have enjoyed it more had I not gotten to know the characters these characters (oh boy, almost got confused there!) are based on better and found the book's portrayals lacking. :/ Why would Richard Castle write his fictional counterpart as a wimpy idiot? And yes, I know that Castle (view spoiler)[is fictional himself. I was quite heartbroken to find that out. ;P) (hide spoiler)].
In this third entry into the Where Are They Now? series, Tilda Harper finds herself doubting her abilities as a journalist after two unfortunate incid...moreIn this third entry into the Where Are They Now? series, Tilda Harper finds herself doubting her abilities as a journalist after two unfortunate incidents go awry. Invited to meet and interview the star of the movie, which itself is based on a comic from the eighties that is now a cult classic, Tilda sets off. As she interviews the star, John Laryea, who was also in a musical-adventure television show as a teen, and various others involved with the film project, she witnesses the hit-and-run of Laryea and his assistant. While she discovers who was behind that "accident" and works to clear the main suspect's name, she also is hired to find out who Leviathan, the mysterious creator of the classic comic book series, Pharos, actually is.
A smart main character, Tilda may make some mistakes but she's never dumb and never annoying. She goes about her work in a very professional way even if she may have some sarcastic thoughts about someone or something. I really do like her, she's not a silly nitwit who gets by on luck or relies on a guy. The cast of characters are, as usual, interesting and incorporated very well into the plot. Along with the new faces, some familiar ones are here as well. Cooper, Tilda's best friend who always brings some lightheartedness, isn't as prominent in this book as he has been in the others, I believe it's only through phone conversations, but luckily the book doesn't suffer because of this. Tilda's sister, June is in it for a short amount of time that doesn't diminish her repartee with Tilda. Nick (Tilda's former and maybe future love interest) and his dad, Dom, are the two who feature predominantly since Dom's company is in charge of the film's security. Following the pattern of each book, a new roommate is introduced, though I'm sure she'll be gone by the next outing, this time the roommate is an animal collector, the latest being a snake Tilda's not too fond of.
The two plots are well-paced and complement each other nicely. Pretty much every page of the book was interesting, with clues so subtly embedded I didn't always pick up on them, that it held my attention to the very end. I love the concept of this series and while I liked the previous books, I believe this may just be the best one to date and hope there are many more to come.
After a somewhat rough and slow start, give or take the first 150 pages, BODY COUNT picked up steam with the turn of each page. Told in first-person,...moreAfter a somewhat rough and slow start, give or take the first 150 pages, BODY COUNT picked up steam with the turn of each page. Told in first-person, present tense narrative, the book introduces Australian transplant, Sophie Anderson, who now works as a profiler for the F.B.I. and is intent on catching the D.C. Slasher before he strikes too close to home.
Sophie is a sympathetic and smart protagonist, and I liked her even though she felt slightly distant to me; although her distance quite fit with her character. While many books feature headstrong females who idiotically go off half-cocked into precarious situations, I am happy to say Sophie was sensible enough that I don't remember her ever doing anything overtly stupid throughout the duration of the book. At first, I thought too much of the book was given to the romance between Sophie and Josh Marco, a fellow profiler, but luckily that trailed off and it became less of a focus. The psychic angle actually doesn't play as much into this series' first outing as I was led to believe from the synopsis, but it works in the book's favor, as it helps set up the characters and background, especially Sophie's.
Some parts of the book I thought unnecessary but they weren't anything big or too distracting to the plot as a whole. While it is easy to figure out who the serial killer is, if you've read enough mysteries, you're bound to determine who's the one; the fun is in how Sophie and the others get to that point. I did like the main motivation behind the killer and found it fresh and interesting. The passages told from the killer's perspective were especially well-done, very chilling and realistic, and they were at the end of most chapters.
Fast, fun, thrilling and full of twists and turns, BODY COUNT kept me riveted and refused to let me put the book down. Yes, it has some faults but they're minor and this book is a pretty darn good starter to the series.
One word to describe The Vanishing of Katharina Linden: Engrossing.
My interest in this book was piqued when I saw it described as a "charming horror...moreOne word to describe The Vanishing of Katharina Linden: Engrossing.
My interest in this book was piqued when I saw it described as a "charming horror novel," and while that isn't totally accurate, charming it is, horror it isn't, I very much enjoyed the book. Helen Grant has such an ease about her writing that I find it hard to believe this is her first novel. Her descriptions of Bad Münstereifel and its inhabitants are key to the book and provided most of the atmosphere; I could quite easily visualize everything and everyone in this little town. Pia was a realistic and relatable narrator who kept the story going at a fairly brisk pace. Sometimes she used words that I don't think an eleven-year-old would, but since the book is told by adult Pia reminiscing back, I'm willing to let that pass. The legends of this small town are wonderfully interwoven through the story and add an extra element of childhood innocence to the book. Some may find the mystery obvious or weak, but I don't think the mystery is reason for this book, it's Pia at a major point in her life, with major events happening that affect her and in turn, how she deals with them. Parts of the book are chilling, light, quiet, humorous, thoughtful, predictable, surprising, absorbing, and more, but altogether it is a book that impressed me. 4.5 stars
Received for review through the Amazon Vine program.
What do you get when you cross a down-on-his-luck private eye, a randy elf, a femme feline, a miniature horse, and a whole host of other oddball chara...moreWhat do you get when you cross a down-on-his-luck private eye, a randy elf, a femme feline, a miniature horse, and a whole host of other oddball characters? Well, if you answered, "The book this review is about, you dolt," or something to that effect, then congratulations, you are right (and slightly hurtful). You get a gold star.
Stalking the Unicorn instantly had me hooked with the appealing characters, interesting plot, and tongue-in-cheek humor. The story flowed well and at a nice, clipped pace for a good part of the book. Unfortunately, it fizzled out a little bit nearer the end and lost some of my interest. I think too much was revealed too soon and the book probably could have lost around thirty pages. However, the plot picked back up some of its steam at the end, which saved the book from being three stars. Altogether, this is an easy and fun read that's a good starter to a series, and which I look forward to the next installments. If you like absurd humor, zany dialogue, detective work, and an urban fantasy setting all mixed into one big stew, than you'll probably enjoy this book.
Fun fact: Mike Resnick is the father of author Laura Resnick. I picked both of their books up about the same time without realizing it until after I had read her first Esther Diamond book. :)(less)
Originally titled WITHOUT MERCY, CURSE OF THE KISSING COUSINS is a good start to the series, even with some flaws. The main character/sleuth/nostalgic...moreOriginally titled WITHOUT MERCY, CURSE OF THE KISSING COUSINS is a good start to the series, even with some flaws. The main character/sleuth/nostalgic reporter, Tilda, is smart and likable, funny and realistic - basically, a solid lead (no pun intended, originally :P). The plot is interesting and for the most part, flowed smoothly; the same could be said about the additional characters. My favorites were fanboy Vincent and the kinda-sorta-cliche gay friend/co-worker, Cooper, who both added a lot to the book. Actually, none of the characters were unnecessary or overdone, from the less-than-perfect roommate to the back-stabber at Entertain Me! to the the lecherous computer geek, all contributed to the book as a whole. However, with all the good the book had, there was just something missing, besides Mercy. I can't quite put my finger on it, but even though I really did enjoy the book, there was just something off. The idea behind this series is really cool and I hope it gets better as it goes along. I look forward to WHO KILLED THE PIN-UP QUEEN? 3.5 stars(less)
Definitely my favorite Monk book so far. As a whole, it's more solid than the previous two books and how can you not like Monk being made captain? Goo...moreDefinitely my favorite Monk book so far. As a whole, it's more solid than the previous two books and how can you not like Monk being made captain? Good, light entertainment. If you need more Monk, pick it up. :)(less)
As with the first book, this was an easy and entertaining read. The plot was a bit convoluted, but fun all the same, and I didn't notice anything that...moreAs with the first book, this was an easy and entertaining read. The plot was a bit convoluted, but fun all the same, and I didn't notice anything that didn't tie up nicely at the end.(less)