I enjoyed the setting and the main character. However, the three endings grated on my nerves. It was as if Smith couldn't decide how he wanted to wrap...moreI enjoyed the setting and the main character. However, the three endings grated on my nerves. It was as if Smith couldn't decide how he wanted to wrap up the plot and so he put his three options in. Not as bad as the theatrical release of Return of the King with it's seven endings.
But if you like police/detective procedureals set in foreign countries, this is not a bad read. It has it's faults - long description at strange times is one of them, a bizzare romance and as I mentioned, three endings. But otherwise great for a plane ride or daily bus ride. (less)
This is Book 9 in the Indigo Tea Shop Mysteries. The Indigo Tea shop is gearing up for Charlston’s first Movie Premier and week long fundraiser event...moreThis is Book 9 in the Indigo Tea Shop Mysteries. The Indigo Tea shop is gearing up for Charlston’s first Movie Premier and week long fundraiser event for the Historical Society. The old theater has been completely renovated and there is a full contingent of producers, directors, actors and techy people descending on the town. It’s opening night, the audience and judges are set and a director is murdered before everyone. In the coming days, Timothy Neville, chairman of the Historical Society, asks Theo to “look into things” because his granddaughter has been questioned by the police. Theo, unable to just say no, is off and snooping, getting caught up in intrigue, threats and generally going where she shouldn’t go much to the chagrin of her friends (who oddly enough, don’t do much to talk any sense into her).
The Tea Shop mysteries are pure brain candy, full of tea and wine trivia and lots of references to historical Charlston and surrounding areas. People seem to drop dead with alarming frequency around Theo and her group, but Childs does it well, tying in the murders to events that bring people to town. Still, there are the unanswered questions at the end, bits and pieces that weren’t quite tied up nice and tidy like that keep these books in my “fluff” category. I read these as a brain break between my more solid and stoic SF. (less)
This was just a fun brain candy book and why I liked it in particular was because it was set at a fantasy convention and, having attended SF&F con...moreThis was just a fun brain candy book and why I liked it in particular was because it was set at a fantasy convention and, having attended SF&F conventions for the past 15 years, I could so totally relate to the setting. Costumed fans, boring panels, a dealers room, issues with the hotel, masquerades, auctions...yup, been there, done that!
Premise of the book revolves around Meg Langslow and her actor-boyfriend Michael, who is required by contract to attend a certain number of publicity events for the hit fantasy serial show Portafina. Nearly the whole cast and crew are here for this Convention and they are none to happy about it.
Our cast of characters is The "QB", as she is referred to - owns the rights to the comic book, the show and everyone's contract. Not well liked and she refuses to come out of her room for her autograph signings and discussion panels. Michael’s friend and evil nemesis on the show, Walker, just received notice the QB was going to fire him. Nate, the show's writer, can't stand QB because she mangles his scripts. Tabitha is the QB's personal assistant and the only assistant to last more than a week. Iceboat Dully is not who he seems. Chris is the shows weapons master and womanizer. Everyone adores Maggie and Salome the tiger is looking for a new home.
And if the cast weren't enough to contend with, someone let loose the parrots and monkeys and they are now running amok in the hotel.
Yes, the plot has issues, especially with the escaped monkeys, parrots and a tiger on display. Yes, Meg spends the book running about between her booth in the dealers room and trying to solve the mystery. But it was just a fun read anyway.
In Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon Meg has to moved to Caerphilly to live with Michael. After smashing her hand with a hammer, Meg has agreed to work...moreIn Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon Meg has to moved to Caerphilly to live with Michael. After smashing her hand with a hammer, Meg has agreed to work temporarily at her brother's computer business, Mutant Wizards. Rob thought something strange was going on at the company and asked Meg, under the pretences of working there, to find out what.
Mutant Wizards is a looney bin full of computer people and several offices of therapists, who are just as loony as the computer people. Not more than a couple days into the job, the office joker, Ted, is found dead on the mail cart, strangled with a mouse cord. The question is now, who would bump of Ted? Drop dead georgeous Jack, who's had his ideas ripped off from Ted? The disgruntled dismissed employee who's been lurking around the building? The company's lawyer, tired of his practical jokes? From Meg's view, it could be anyone of them, except her brother of course.
Meg starts to dig into the murder because the police are going to botch the job and lock her brother up in the slammer. In the course of her investigations she learns that one employee used to be a hacker, a lurker is a spy for another company, the office veternarian is a former PETA radical turned animal therapist and Michael bought a run down house with all it's occupants.
Fun. Fluffy. More errors in this one than I've noticed in others. And I'm wondering why everyone in Meg's life must be a nut job. Still, I'll read the next. Possibly this week even...(less)
I munch through these mysteries rather quickly, and still needing a brain break after finishing Nova Swing, I consumed b...moreThis is book 6 in the series.
I munch through these mysteries rather quickly, and still needing a brain break after finishing Nova Swing, I consumed book 6.
Premise of the book is Meg and her actor-boyfriend Michael finally decided to buy the Victorian mansion they discovered in a previous book outside of Caerphilly. The house comes at a price though, the previous owner, Edwina Sprocket was an eclectic hoarder and left behind room and rooms and sheds and barns full of various sundries. And there is a lot. Meg and Michael decide to hold the yard sale of yard sales and she enlists her eccentric family to help.
What was going to be the sale of the season turns into the circus of the year when the body of a local antiques dealer is found dead in a trunk. Now it's up to Meg to find out who killer was so she can resume her yard sale as quickly as possible!
Another fun read - quick, full of quirky characters such as "Gordon-you-thief", the Hummel Lady, and the Sombrero Man. One of my complaints with this book was how the heroine seems to live this frantic life running around with her notebook and calling 911 to shout "I've got the killer! Oops, never mind...it's not him." Andrews did at a bit more realism this time with a brief argument between Meg and Michael regarding Michael's attempts to get Meg to talk to her mother about decorating the house, but I felt the resolution came a bit quick and fast.
Anyway, I'm not going to pick on the book because the whole point is it's just a fun read.(less)
Purely a fluff mystery. It’s a fun little story that almost dives into the world of fantasy. Really now - how can all these people work such flexible...morePurely a fluff mystery. It’s a fun little story that almost dives into the world of fantasy. Really now - how can all these people work such flexible jobs that allow them to continuously pop into the knitting store at whim? Seriously. I also found that there were too many characters, there was nothing to really distinguish them from each other and their characters were all rather flat. Less would have been more here. Being a knitter, I found the rate that all these “working people” were finishing projects the likes of sweaters simply incredible to the point of disbelief. And let us not forget the introduction of the future love interest, to whom Kelly took an immediate dislike.
Still, I liked the Colorado setting, the knitting theme was cool - I totally understood the whole sensory color overload when Kelly walks into the knitting store for the first time - and at least in this mystery, the heroine doesn’t act like a stupid ninny and confront the villain alone (like another theme mystery I like to read) only to require rescue by said love interest. I’ll read the next couple and see how this series fleshes out. (less)
This series is still fluff-fun. The main character Kelly is still learning how to knit, though she whines a lot when introduced to a new techique. The...moreThis series is still fluff-fun. The main character Kelly is still learning how to knit, though she whines a lot when introduced to a new techique. There are still way to many characters coming and going from the knitting shop who all seem to have these fabulous part-time jobs which enable them to drop in and knit at a moments notice.
My biggest complaint with this one was Kelly found direct evidence to link the murderer to the victim and instead of taking the information to the police, she grabs a freind and confronts the suspect to make them confess. If I were the police, I would be pissed as hell.
At least she's not running off to confront the killer all alone like another couple mystery series I know of.
I'm enjoying the knitting bits (except I swear that yarn shop goes through an incredible amount of yarn - they are always getting another shipment in!) and all the bits with the alpacas and sheep. Fun enough to keep reading.
Book #3 in the Knitting Series. Seftons characters are settling into place now. There are still way to many gals in the knitting shop, but they began...moreBook #3 in the Knitting Series. Seftons characters are settling into place now. There are still way to many gals in the knitting shop, but they began to take smaller roles in this book. I still don’t know how in the matter of a couple of months all these people manage to knit complete shawls and sweaters (remember - this series started in April) but each time a new book starts they are on a different project. Except Kelly. She’s still plugging away on her first sweater. And I still have a beef with all these part-time jobs that allow everyone to pop into the knitting store all at the same time each day so they can knit together before dashing off to...whatever it is they do.
But the one thing I like about this series is Kelly is not confronting the suspect on her own in some secluded place. In this one (don’t worry! No spoilers!), her police contact actually brings in back up to support Kelly’s plan which she carries out at an awards ceremony. Highly unlikely in the real world, but it works here. Kelly also did a better job of bringing evidence to the police this time. Again, this was just a fun quick read. I look forward to Number 4 (less)
A Killer Stitch is #4 in Maggie Sefton’s Knitting Series. It’s almost Christmas and Kelly is settling into her new home in Fort Connor, Colorado. Mone...moreA Killer Stitch is #4 in Maggie Sefton’s Knitting Series. It’s almost Christmas and Kelly is settling into her new home in Fort Connor, Colorado. Money is coming in from her Wyoming ranch and her accounting consulting work is keeping her busy, but a pall hangs over the festive spirit at the House of Lambspun. An alpaca ranchers death in Bellvue Canyon has the knitting regulars concerned. Diane, friend of Jennifer - and Kelly’s friend - is under suspicion of murder. But it doesn’t stop there, the group finds out Lucy, the spinning instructor, is pregnant with the dead man’s child. Jennifer is convinced Diane didn’t do it. Kelly thinks Lucy is hiding something more. Once again, Kelly finds herself unraveling a murder while trying to ignore Steve’s amorous advances, putting a bid in on Geri’s ranch (from Book 2), knit, work, play tennis for a charity event, helping Jayleen with a charitable children’s Christmas party and drinking her numerous cups of coffee.
I felt this one was pretty good. I’m still convinced there are way too many characters - especially when the author starts introducing “outside” characters - friends of friends. I still applaud Sefton’s knack of bringing the murder to Kelly with witness present (lately Burt, the retired detective) rather than having our heroine rushing off alone to her great peril. I am getting tired of Kelly not acknowledging Steve’s romantic intent, though in this one his intent was more difficult to ignore. My guess is a marriage proposal is but a couple books away. So while the book has its quirks, I am still interested enough to keep reading the series. (less)
This is book one in the Needlecraft Mystery Series and this series came recommended by one of my fellow scifi book group members.
This was another bra...moreThis is book one in the Needlecraft Mystery Series and this series came recommended by one of my fellow scifi book group members.
This was another brain-candy, light mystery. I was particularly partial to the Twin Cities setting being from there myself and could follow the streets and highways and places. However, I was a little disappointed in that I figured out "who done it" almost immediately, but since I liked the characters, it wasn't hard to keep turning the pages. Another good beach or vacation book.
Theodosia finds herself tangled in another murder, finding the body of her ex-boy friend’s sister on a steeple chase course. It doesn’t help that she...moreTheodosia finds herself tangled in another murder, finding the body of her ex-boy friend’s sister on a steeple chase course. It doesn’t help that she had a rip-roaring fight with the now deceased TV anchor several months ago in front of witnesses. Theo is drawn further in the web of intrigue when Jory – the ex-boy friend – show’s up at her tea shop, asking her to help solve Abby’s murder. Soon after, Detective Burt Tidwell also puts in an appearance to ask the same thing.
Theodosia’s snooping takes her down to Savannah, out into the low country to the Mobley Plantation, and to and Italian Masked Ball. But the big question throughout the book, is how will she afford to buy the Carriage House Cottage of her dreams down by the Battery? (Which, having just been to Charleston, SC, and seen how MUCH it costs to live in the Historic District, is indeed a very good question.) Like I said, a very quick read. I am finding Childs conclusions a bit to pat and to quick – I think the resolutions could be fleshed out just a bit more. I always feel like there could be just a bit more explanation at the end – one more chapter to wrap things up after the “climatic capture of the criminal”. I did find myself being jarred out of the story once – Theo is zooming around the salt marsh on a Ski-Doo (which I have issues with for environmental reasons, but that aside), “Overhead, a pileated woodpecker drilled noisily into a tree and…” Ahh…no. Between the sound of the Ski-doo and the wind in one’s ears, a person is NOT going to hear even a pileated.
So, fun read and I look forward to the next. (less)
Set in Botswana I found this mystery to be a light and fun book - but then I love anything set in Africa. The book does not revolve around just one "m...moreSet in Botswana I found this mystery to be a light and fun book - but then I love anything set in Africa. The book does not revolve around just one "mystery", but is a series of smaller stories all woven together that really give a feel for what it would be like to live in Botswana.(less)
Henning Mankell is a Swedish author whose books have been popularized in part by the Wallender series on PBS. I fully admit, I bought this book becaus...moreHenning Mankell is a Swedish author whose books have been popularized in part by the Wallender series on PBS. I fully admit, I bought this book because I’ve watched all three episodes of Wallander.
Faceless Killers is set in the early ‘80s in Ystad, Sweden. Kurt Wallander is a 42 year old police sergeant whose wife has just left him, his daughter’s estranged, his Dad is going senile, he has the hots for the new prosecutor, and he is faced with one of the most gruesome murders he has the misfortune to have to investigate. An elderly couple has been tortured and beaten in a remote farm and nobody knows why. The only clue Wallander’s team has to go on is the dying woman’s final word of “foreign”. When the press gets a hold of this tidbit, in an already strained society that lets refugees cross in at any time, this is fuel on the flames and suddenly local refugee camps are the target of hate crimes. Wallander must quickly figure out why these simple farmers would be subject to such a brutal end while balancing his own precarious life.
This was an okay read, a bit typical in the detective genre (ie washed-up alcoholic cop whose wife left him and now he has to solve horrible crime). What I like about this book was I could feel the cold of Sweden, I could sense the desolation in the landscape, and I could see how everyone could be depressed. The story moves along pretty briskly, then seemed to peeter out a bit at the end, as if the author couldn’t quite figure out how to tie everything up in a realistic manner. Still, I think Mankell pulled it off.
As I mentioned earlier, this was the first book in the series and I’m willing to try a couple more to let the characters and setting coalesce. (less)
This is book #5 in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.
Precious Ramotswe is finding life quite busy in this selection. She has been hired by a local, w...moreThis is book #5 in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.
Precious Ramotswe is finding life quite busy in this selection. She has been hired by a local, wealthy beautician to ascertain if four men would be suitable for marriage. Meanwhile, her fiance, Mr. J.L.B Matekoni finds himself in quite the pickle as the Matron of the orphanage farm has arranged for him to jump out of an aeroplane for charity. And of course, there is the ever present question of when Mr. J.L.B Matekoni will agree to a wedding date.
The Full Cupboard of Life brings us back to life in Gabarone, Botswana, to the dusty edge of the Kalahari and reminds the reader of the simpler aspects of life; knowing who your relatives are, your friends, and where you stand in life. I thought this was one of the stronger books in the series so far, full of great little insights to life and the pursuit of contentment. Which can all be accomplished over a good cup of bush tea. (less)