Death of a Ghost is the 32nd installment of M.C. Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth series. Ghost finds our Scottish hero once again dealing with murder, slightDeath of a Ghost is the 32nd installment of M.C. Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth series. Ghost finds our Scottish hero once again dealing with murder, slightly inept underlings, completely inept supervisors, and botched relationships. Hamish, though, seems to handle everything with amazing dexterity, managing to solve murders without losing his cozy position to promotion. I have felt frustrated the last several books with Hamish’s stagnation and lack of growth as a character. However, Ghost gave me a glimmer of hope that these books might finally be moving out of the mire. For Hamish fans, let’s believe that is the case....more
Kate wants to flee to India, away from her scandalous family in Regency England. The only way she can get that freedom is to accept—and reject—three mKate wants to flee to India, away from her scandalous family in Regency England. The only way she can get that freedom is to accept—and reject—three marriage proposals.
The only likable character in Julianne Donaldson’s Blackmoore is Henry, owner of the titular estate. Henry’s mother and sister are atrocious. Kate’s mother and sister are atrocious. And Kate, herself, is rather atrocious. I had little care or concern for her destiny and thought nothing recommended her to the story’s hero. I am a sucker for a good romance, but this book wasn’t romantic at all. Instead, it was an almost painful read due to the characters’ unattractive personalities. ...more
Selva, the daughter of a former Ottoman pasha, defies her family to marry Rafael, the son of a well-known Jewish doctor. They relocate in France but fSelva, the daughter of a former Ottoman pasha, defies her family to marry Rafael, the son of a well-known Jewish doctor. They relocate in France but find their lives in peril as Hitler invades the country.
Ayşe Kulin’s Last Train to Istanbul was an interesting read due to the history it presents. I have never before seen WWII through the lens of the Turkish government and people. I feel like I need to do further research on the topic, but if the history presented in this book is true, the government and its representatives have much to be lauded for in terms of their conduct during the war. Again, though, I need to do my research.
Overall, I was invested in the book and the characters, but it was at least 100 pages too long and could have benefited from more focus. I read the book in translation, so it is somewhat difficult to judge the writing, but the story tended to meander, introducing too many characters and seemingly forgetting most of them by the end. If nothing else, though, this book inspired me to read the history of Turkey during WWII....more
In a Dark, Dark Wood could have been titled Mayhem at the Hen Party. As an American, I'm more accustomed to the idea of a bachelorette party, but theIn a Dark, Dark Wood could have been titled Mayhem at the Hen Party. As an American, I'm more accustomed to the idea of a bachelorette party, but the concept is familiar. Nora, mystery writer and recluse, has been invited to her childhood friend's hen party and reluctantly agrees. The weekend forces Nora to face a past she's both avoided and dwelled on for the last ten years, with predictably disturbing results.
I enjoyed Wood more than Ware's more recent novel, The Woman in Cabin 10. Perhaps I was more prepared for Ware's unnecessarily opaque writing. I enjoy mystery and surprise but find deliberate and inexplicable withholding of information to be a cheap writing device. That said, I was more quickly invested in Nora and the secrets of her past and more willing to forgive Ware for hiding Nora's story. The ending was predictable but satisfying. I am ready, though, to read a mystery that relies on mystery instead of just hiding information....more
The Naturals series is seriously disturbing. In Bad Blood, Cassie and the young, "natural" profilers are on the trail of the cult of serial killers frThe Naturals series is seriously disturbing. In Bad Blood, Cassie and the young, "natural" profilers are on the trail of the cult of serial killers from previous books. Though not overly descriptive, the book is graphic and upsetting. As Ally Carter said, it's like "Criminal Minds for the YA world." I don't know how comfortable I'd be with my young adults watching Criminal Minds or reading Bad Blood, but I certainly enjoyed the thriller....more
I read Kiera Cass’s The Selection at the recommendation of my 16-year-old niece. The Selection is a Bachelor-type process that the Prince of Illéa goeI read Kiera Cass’s The Selection at the recommendation of my 16-year-old niece. The Selection is a Bachelor-type process that the Prince of Illéa goes through to find his new bride. America Singer has been selected and decides to participate in order to raise herself and her family from Illéa’s strong caste system. Though her heart is elsewhere, America learns to like Prince Maxon.
The Selection is truly a Hunger Games meets The Bachelor hybrid. It is typical of dystopian novels, but America lacks the character to truly make me care. She is unaccountably emotional and rude to Prince Maxon at times, but inexplicably he finds her unstable personality charming.
The Selection is also the first of a trilogy and Cass leaves her readers hanging. I appreciate series where each book could stand alone, and The Selection does not. Rather than invest in the last two novels, though, I just read a summary online and am glad I didn’t waste my time on the other two books....more
Curiosity, and a good review from USA Today, prompted me to read Stephenie Meyer's The Chemist. “Alex,” aka “The Chemist,” is a former government emplCuriosity, and a good review from USA Today, prompted me to read Stephenie Meyer's The Chemist. “Alex,” aka “The Chemist,” is a former government employee that is on the run after her superiors decided she knew too much. Action, adventure, and romance ensue as she tries to survive.
Despite Meyer citing the Bourne books as inspiration, the book falls into the thriller/romance genre. Nothing about the content stood out as especially superior or inferior to similar books by Iris Johansen, Karen Robards, or Sandra Brown. What did stand out was the length. At 518 pages, it was at least 200 pages longer than it needed to be. A good editor could have easily resolved the problem. Like in her Twilight novels, Meyer also relies on unrealistic romantic relationships that perpetuate the myth of love at first sight. Overall, though, The Chemist is an easy, brainless read that is sufficiently entertaining....more
Lo is a travel writer on the maiden voyage of a luxury cruiser. She is struggling with her own demons when she’s convinced a crime has been committedLo is a travel writer on the maiden voyage of a luxury cruiser. She is struggling with her own demons when she’s convinced a crime has been committed on board.
I struggled to get into Ruth Ware’s The Woman in Cabin 10. As seems to be the trend in popular fiction, the main character isn’t exactly likable, perpetuates stereotypes about women, and makes cringe-worthy choices. However, after about 200 pages, I was hooked and needed to see what happened. This book should please fans of The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl....more
I found Jakob Arjouni’s Happy Birthday, Turk! while googling about the television series Cenk Batu: Undercover Agent. Cenk Batu is a German of TurkishI found Jakob Arjouni’s Happy Birthday, Turk! while googling about the television series Cenk Batu: Undercover Agent. Cenk Batu is a German of Turkish ancestry, and my google search introduced me to a world of Turkish-German television series, movies, and books. Happy Birthday, Turk! was highly recommended on several sites, so I quickly ordered an English translation through my library’s interlibrary loan program.
Turk! was a fast read. Kemal Kayankaya is rough-living private investigator that is hired to investigate the murder of a Turkish migrant. I am not sure if it was the translation, but the reading, though fast, was not smooth. I never felt invested in Kayankaya and wasn’t sure how such a lazy, angry, drunken young man was able to solve this crime.
This book was valuable to me, though, as a perspective on the Turkish experience in Germany. Though Kayankaya has no ties to Turkey, he suffers from the same discrimination as other Turks in Germany. I shouldn’t have been surprised by the racism and prejudice the Turks experienced in this book, but I was....more