I listened to the Spellman File on audiobook and the results were rather wonderful. If I were going to use the word "quirky" to describe anything it wI listened to the Spellman File on audiobook and the results were rather wonderful. If I were going to use the word "quirky" to describe anything it would be this book. A very character driven story we have a cast that is both very odd in their own ways and constantly at odds with each other. It was fun and it held my attention the whole way through.
Despite being shelved as adult fiction this book reads a lot like a young adult novel. If you were to ask me to point to something specific in the story itself that makes me feel this way I probably wouldn't be able to, however, the tone and writing style are very reminiscent of the young adult genre. ...more
As a long lover of the Spellman family I was not surprised when this latest read disrupted my already odd sleeping hours. This installment has carriedAs a long lover of the Spellman family I was not surprised when this latest read disrupted my already odd sleeping hours. This installment has carried the same amazing writing and insane situations shown in the first two books. This time around focusing on the new changes of the each character and Isabel's relationships in and outside of the family as we still deal with the aftermath of the previous book.
Of course there's also case #001, which brings it's own set of over the top problems and detours, along with the new rift between Rae and Henry.
I loved every second of reading this book. The wonderful combo of humour, mystery and problems much more complicated then my own make reading the series something I just can't not enjoy. I'm looking forward to seeing how the Spellmans problems are farther explored and perhaps concluded(?) in the next book....more
Having been a fan of the show for a while now, I was incredibly excited when I learnt there were book adaptations. This is the first of the Psych bookHaving been a fan of the show for a while now, I was incredibly excited when I learnt there were book adaptations. This is the first of the Psych books that I've read and now that I'm done I can say that I did enjoyed the story but not in the ways that I thought I would knowing the show.
My problem with the book was that a lot of it was build up for the plot. I expected more Shawn-Gus banter and I was disappointed of how little interaction there was between the characters.
Something that I guess is to be expected, is that Psych is a character driven show but Rabkin doesn't have much he can do in terms of character development in the book since their main stage is still the show. He can't contradict future Psych plots and his writing seems very conscious of that. However, the story as a whole outside of the characters is great! The mystery was "out of this world", but if this wasn't a Psych story I would not have enjoyed it as much as I did.
I found Seaside to be little bit creepy, definitely strange, and very compelling. As someone who primarily reads YA or "cozy" mysteries Seaside took mI found Seaside to be little bit creepy, definitely strange, and very compelling. As someone who primarily reads YA or "cozy" mysteries Seaside took me out of comfort zone when it caught my attention while browsing and didn't let it go. Although I didn't find the experience perfect, I did enjoy reading this book much more than I expected to. I didn't know it was part of a series and had never read anything by Thomas before. I was incredibly disappointed when I discovered that this was the only book from this series that they had at my library. ...more
The second I picked this up I should have known it was part of a series. Would it kill people to stick a "#6" somewhere on these things so I know whatThe second I picked this up I should have known it was part of a series. Would it kill people to stick a "#6" somewhere on these things so I know what I'm getting into? Regardless, I didn't find this book as interesting as the description, which made me want to read it in the first place. I felt like the story fell a little flat, but that could have easily been because I was expected as a reader to already be familiar with the characters and setting. I wanted more character development, more exploration, and a bit better pacing. Overall, I think this book was just okay, but I should know better than to read a random book in a random series....more
It's a known fact that I love television crime dramas, especially crime dramas that follow female protagonists, so you can imagine my excitement and iIt's a known fact that I love television crime dramas, especially crime dramas that follow female protagonists, so you can imagine my excitement and inevitable disappointment when I feel in love with Women's Murder Club's short live stint as a TV show. It featured so many wonderful actresses that it was almost too good to be true. I watched all it had to give me and was sad when it never returned to my screen, so you can imagine I knew I had to check out the book series. This was something that was going to happen.
Needless to say, 1st to Die wasn't exactly what I was expecting. It wasn't ba and I really enjoyed the mystery, but I just expected more. It was a little darker than the show (duh) and a little more focused on Lindsay than I would have preferred. I think it could have been better and to be honest, for my first James Patterson book, I expected a lot more in terms of the writing and character development. So far I have not felt the motivation to pick up the second book in the series and I think, as a completionist, that says something.
However, it should be noted that this review is being written well after I finished reading the book and my intimidate post-reading reaction was much more positive than this retrospective look may suggest. ...more
When I first heard that the fictional Heat Wave starring Nikki Heat was going to become a real life book written as a tie in to the show I was incrediWhen I first heard that the fictional Heat Wave starring Nikki Heat was going to become a real life book written as a tie in to the show I was incredibly excited. I love when television and literature bump heads. This book aims to expand the experience created in the TV show by showing the final product of Castle's ride-along experience. As a fan of the show I loved reading the book and seeing where the show and the novel intersect. When I imagined Castle's writing this is sort of what I had in mind. The mystery unfolds much in the same way mysteries unfold on the show and you can clearly see that the characters in the show and the characters in the book mirror each other. Part of me wishes that they had taken a more subtle approach when tying in the characters, but I didn't expect perfection and this was a fun, poppy book.
As a fan I expected to enjoy this and in the end I'm happy that I did. ...more
Naked Heat is a great sequel to the last book and an equally great kick-back to the show. The mystery was full of twist and turns that it tossed me baNaked Heat is a great sequel to the last book and an equally great kick-back to the show. The mystery was full of twist and turns that it tossed me back and forth enough to give me wipe lash. The over the top mystery and tangled personal relationships kept the story interesting enough to have me not wanting to put it down.
As a fan of the show [Castle] I loved seeing the little moments from Castle's writing experience on the series translated into the actual book. There are a lots of tie-ins to individual episodes and it made me giddy to spot them. However, the piggy backing of the shows characters can be enough to draw you out of the story completely, while this cannot be avoided, Naked Heat seemed to improve in this area compared to what I remember in the previous book.
The only downside for me was the occasional feeling that despite the twists of drama the detectives seemed to be taking each turn unnaturally well. It down played the unbelievable discoveries and made it feel less genuine.
In the end Naked Heat was a good story that I expected to enjoy as a fan and did.
Edit March 2013: It's been three years since I read this book and I just don't think it's worth continuing with the series. Although it is a fun concept having the book tie in with the show, I get enough of the show on my TV screen. Sometimes it's best to let a show breath and not smother it with too much attention. ...more
Sometimes it's nice to read a mystery that's fluffy and light. Although I didn't always mesh with the characters or the style of the narration I did eSometimes it's nice to read a mystery that's fluffy and light. Although I didn't always mesh with the characters or the style of the narration I did enjoyed the mystery. Not something I would jump to recommend, but still a fun read. ...more
Jennifer Crusie has quickly become my favourite romance writer and Agnes and the Hitman has only cemented my love of her. This adventure romance was aJennifer Crusie has quickly become my favourite romance writer and Agnes and the Hitman has only cemented my love of her. This adventure romance was a level of funny and sexy that went beyond what I normally expect from adult romances. Although I wasn't totally sold at the start by the halfway mark I couldn't stop reading. When I started this book I was in the middle of a terrible cold, which would normally have me curled up in a ball complaining like a small child. However, while reading Agnes and the Hitman I couldn't stop laughing! I wouldn't say it was a miracle cure, but it brought a smile to my face. The plot had a lot of twists and turns, which kept it interesting and I loved the incorporation of the crime element which (although fantastical) gave this book a little extra something-something.
Agatha Christie knows a thing or two about creating an interesting mystery with a cast of characters a mile long. In the murder of a young, pretty girAgatha Christie knows a thing or two about creating an interesting mystery with a cast of characters a mile long. In the murder of a young, pretty girl the suspects are many and all are suspect in some respect, but only Miss Marple will solve the crime.
Unfortunately, compared to my previous experiences with Miss Marple, this book was a disappointment. The murdered girl was unspectacular, the characters were all somewhat unspectacular, and the way everything came together would have me interested one minute and disinterested the next. I think the main issue for me was not the mystery itself, but the way that the character of Miss Marple is fantastically misused. The mystery was well constructed and had all the inappropriate twists and turns, however I wanted something a little more.
What I love about Miss Marple is the way that she investigates. For those unfamiliar, Miss Marple is an elderly woman who has enough experience to have had experienced it all. She knows human nature, she can spot a liar, and she knows how to follow clues in a humble way that makes her a marvel. No one sees her coming. What harm can an old woman do? Why not speak honestly, loosely, comfortably to a kind listener?
In The Body in the Library the mystery does not follow Miss Marple's investigation, but the many various police officials on the case. I believe there were about three or four of them in total. I didn't care about them in the same way I care about Miss Marple. I don't know anything about them, although they do appear in other Miss Marple books and are familiar with her knowing ways. I wanted more of her. The way the police handle things is all very by the book, the real interesting insights come from the very few interactions Miss Marple has. When she's centre stage, things are intriguing. You want to know what she knows.
The way the mystery ended was fun, I really wanted to know who did it. I just wish that the investigation was more captivating. The Body in the Library is a great little mystery that is easy to consume and just perfect for a cold winter night. For those in the mood for some unique British-speak murder, Agatha Christie is always perfection.
It first hit me on page 81, I was bored. So very, very bored.
My main problem and probably the reason I'm so disappointed can be summed up this way, oIt first hit me on page 81, I was bored. So very, very bored.
My main problem and probably the reason I'm so disappointed can be summed up this way, on the back of the book there is this a praise by Stephen King:
"Every novel [Ira Levin] has ever written has been a marvel of plotting. He is the Swiss watchmaker of the suspense novel." - Stephen King
I absolutely agree that Ira Levin is an amazing writer and to have come up with and popularized this story I give him full credit and praise. However, even the best of Swiss watches can't compare to an iPhone. ...I think it is safe to assume that I am part of the generation that has felt the trickle down of this novel and such social commentary on women's issues throughout my popular culture. This made the major draw of the book, the chilling implications of a woman's struggle in society, more of a mute point for me.
For the first 50 or so pages I enjoyed reading the narrative of a stay-at-home mother who had just moved to a suburb town called Stepford. The story takes place as she tries to balance the responsibilities of self, husband, and home while looking dubiously upon her neighbours who behave as 1950's housewives and lack all facets of personality. That right there was interesting, the plot was interesting! And having seen the 2004 movie I had the unspoken promise that I already had a general idea of where the plot would go (only general because the movie was remake.)
But then it hit me, by page 81 I was ready to be done with Stepford.
Suspense as a genre is all about the build up, creating tension and interest where there may or may not be something afoot and although The Stepford Wives has this excellent concept and is well written, gradually the book transformed from a novel to what felt like a very, very long short story. (Perhaps it is more of a novella?) I expected more, maybe too much but I at least expected to not feel like a book that is less then 130 pages to drag on.
I found that the ending although smart and suspenseful just wasn't worth it. A definite disappointment....more
Sitting in the middle of an autumn thunder storm with the heat cranked up and a whodunit by the fantastic Agatha Christie really is the perfect scenarSitting in the middle of an autumn thunder storm with the heat cranked up and a whodunit by the fantastic Agatha Christie really is the perfect scenario.
Although 4.50 from Paddington was a slow build the end result was just wonderfully murderous. By half way through I was thoroughly puzzled by who it could possibly be, both the murderer and the murdered. The hows and whys and who were simply fantastic as one unlikely scenario after another is brought to attention with no simple explanation in sight.
Something I've always loved about Agatha Christie, especially concerning Miss Marple is just how wonderfully unique it is. As a lover of crime-dramas and murder mysteries you've seen it all after some point. There are plenty of detectives out there and more often than not there's something undeniably special about them, like a superhero. But when it comes to Miss Marple and the people she ropes into her mysteries, there are no supernatural abilities here. She's just a intelligent older lady with an eye for murder. She could just as easily be your grandma and that's not something you could say about someone like a Sherlock Holmes.
The historical aspects of the book are also worth noting. There just something so quaintly sinister about the upper class English in this time period. This book takes us away from Miss Marple's village and to a manor, built on a snack food fortune, filled to the brim with resentment and family complexities.
What really brings it all together is Lucy. Lucy is Miss Marple's younger eyes and ears in as she works to help sleuth out a dead body. It was her character and her interactions with the family that really brought out the human and not so human side of each character. I was just as eager to know who she would be romantically involved with by the end of the book as I was figuring out who murdered the girl.
Now all I have to do is figure out which book in the series I should read next. I have a feeling I'll be reading a lot of Agatha this season. Autumn is just too perfect for mysteries. ...more
Out of the four Sherlock Holmes novel, I probably enjoyed this one the least. It was the second one I read and for all that I tried I just couldn't unOut of the four Sherlock Holmes novel, I probably enjoyed this one the least. It was the second one I read and for all that I tried I just couldn't understand it. I wanted to get into the story, but something was preventing me from becoming truly engrossed like I've been with the other three novels. Because of this I really do want to re-read this and see if taking another go after now having more experience with Doyle's writing style will change anything....more
Sherlock Holmes investigates a murder in Part I of The Valley of Fear and in Part II exits stage left to allow the American set story of Jack McMurdoSherlock Holmes investigates a murder in Part I of The Valley of Fear and in Part II exits stage left to allow the American set story of Jack McMurdo and the murderous society of the Scowrers in the Valley of Fear to take centre stage and bring everything full circle. And it all ends in an rather unexpected turn of events!
Sherlock and Watson are two of the most iconic literary characters ever written and when you read their stories there is always that little bit of extra weight that comes with them, the weight that tells you as you're reading that this is a classic. This is a classic. A classic! This is the third Sherlock Holmes novel I have read and up till this point I have yet to truly be impressed. Arthur Conan Doyle had not really blown me away in the manner that I am with other more modern mystery novels and I wasn't expecting the Valley of Fear to be any different. Perhaps it is because I'm more accustomed to a different style of writing, but I've always been left wanting something more from the story that it just wasn't giving me. Like eating a bar of "healthy" chocolate. It's great in it's own way, and great for you, but leaves you wanting a bowl of jello instead.
However, I enjoyed reading Sherlock and Watson go through the motions of Douglas's murder in Part I of the story. There were so many different possibilities surrounded by the building tension of Moriarty and his involvement, as well as a rather perplexing moat.
Yes, there is a moat, though a rather non-threatening one.
The mystery had a flow to it that kept everything moving, even if it was a bit slow to start. The nature of the murder itself was interesting, although the suspects were a bit so-so and the conclusion wasn't really a conclusion at all.
Continued in Part II, we are transported to America, to reveal the secretive past of Douglas in amazingly descriptive detail. The time and place is depicted so vividly that by the time I was finished it had such a great impact on me.
Although, not all things were smooth sailing. While nearing the end of Part II I was ready for it to be finished. I enjoyed the descriptive writing and overall story, but it seemed to be dragging a bit. I understand why it was necessary to build the characters for the Valley of Fear and add depth to the mystery that happens years later, but it seemed like the point of "these are terrible people, who do very terrible things" was being driven home a bit too at length. ... Then came the twist and I was wowed by the deception.
It took all that build up to get to that point and it was, for me at least, amazing. I was not expecting things to take that sort of turn and it brought everything together in a way that saved me from feeling like all Sherlock Holmes was is a "classic" instead of a truly excellent mystery....more
This is the final Sherlock novel for me to read, now with all four under my belt, I'm excited to say that this one was probably my favourite.
The HounThis is the final Sherlock novel for me to read, now with all four under my belt, I'm excited to say that this one was probably my favourite.
The Hound of the Baskervilles has a mystery that edges on the supernatural as our Sherlock and Watson duo go up against a Hell dog in the bleak English country side. This mystery was just plain ol' fun to get into. I loved how the idea of the Hell dog constantly hinged on reality. If a hound is really involved how would such madness actually translate to murder?
Much to my surprise most of the book is spent with just Dr. Watson solo (as Sherlock is predisposed) and I found that this worked really well. Watson sort of comes into his own, he's still just the observer, but is decidedly working to collect facts and clues without Sherlock's guidance. That fact alone really played into the mystery, we didn't always have Sherlock looking two steps ahead. Instead we were introduced to a situation where the murderer is still lurking, and with a doubt planning to strike again, without Sherlock there to see it coming.
This book has a very different feel then my second favourite Sherlock novel The Valley of Fear. This one is a continuous story, more about the chase and trying to pin down the killer then understanding the crime. The reason this book is probably my favourite has a lot to do with the ending, so I won't go into that here, but the excitement created with those final events was excellent!
In the end, this book has gotten me really looking forward to reading more Sherlock and getting into those short stories sooner rather then later!...more