A new Wells and Wong mystery is fast becoming the highlight of my reading calendar. This is one of my favourite series and each book is a genuine deliA new Wells and Wong mystery is fast becoming the highlight of my reading calendar. This is one of my favourite series and each book is a genuine delight to read. I usually devour them in one sitting - the perfect bun break treat!
The newest title is set around Christmas time in the gorgeous setting of snowy Cambridge. Hazel and Daisy are spending Christmas with Daisy's Aunt and her brother Bertie. They have no expectations beyond exploring their ancient surroundings and enjoying buns galore in Fitzbillies. Well, that's not entirely true, as the two girls always have a nose for any possible mystery that might arise! Instead of a quiet Christmas with family, they stumble upon a murder mystery after a terrible incident occurs. Determined to investigate and solve the crime, they face competition from the Junior Pinkertons, Alexander and his friend George, who want to prove that they are the best detective society in Cambridge.
As usual, the mystery is fiendishly clever and such fun to untangle. There are lots of clues presented along the way and suspects identified but I'm always in awe of Daisy and Hazel and their powers of deduction. They make a great team. People always seem to underestimate a pair of girls, which plays in their favour and allows them to investigate all kinds of different avenues. Stevens, also uses this to highlight the differences between the two genders and the fact that even in the 1930s, women were still in an inferior position and treated as such by men.
I loved the Cambridge setting. I've never visited but would love to, so it was great getting to live vicariously through Daisy and Hazel. Plus the ancient buildings sound gorgeous and are the perfect place for a murder mystery to occur.
A five star fabulous read, I was head over heels for 'Mistletoe and Murder'. I love the fact that it took place during my favourite holiday season and I can't wait to see our intrepid duo back together again for their next mystery. This is one series that I hope will go on and on and on. ...more
I thought I would adore this book because a) I love New York, b) I love Christmas and c) I do indeed believe that romance can blossom in the most unexI thought I would adore this book because a) I love New York, b) I love Christmas and c) I do indeed believe that romance can blossom in the most unexpected of places. Unfortunately it didn’t quite match up to my very high expectations. I liked elements of the book but as a whole I’m not sure that it was the right read for me.
I was really drawn to the premise of ‘Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares’, which features a kind of secret hunt/quest across the city of New York. I was excited by the possibility that almost anything could happen and I wanted to climb inside the book and join in! There’s a sense of magic and wonder throughout the book and that came across throughout the whole story.
My main problem with this title was that the characters of Dash and Lily didn’t click with me at all. The chapters are alternatively penned by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, leading to two distinctive narrative voices but I’ll admit that I just couldn’t warm to them. They are unlike any other teenagers I’ve ever known. I mean does anyone that age really talk like they do except in television shows? I found the language they used a bit pretentious and this started to irritate me after a while. I also didn’t really get some of the humour they used which passed me by a lot of the time. I think if I could have found some common ground with the characters then I would have enjoyed the book a lot more.
Fans of these two authors will probably enjoy this offering but although I thought the plot was original and quirky, on the whole the book left me feeling distinctly underwhelmed. ...more
I decided to wait to read this one until December so that I could enjoy the Christmas themed stories in the run up to the big day. You definitely wantI decided to wait to read this one until December so that I could enjoy the Christmas themed stories in the run up to the big day. You definitely want to start this title when you're curled up by the fire with a big mug of hot chocolate in your hands. 'Let It Snow' consists of three festive and inter-connected stories by bestselling YA authors John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle. Each is extremely unique and quite quirky. Personally I'm not a big fan of short stories as I often find that I'm not given enough time to become properly acquainted with the characters or that I'm just getting into a story when it's suddenly all over. I did find this was the case with this collection although I still enjoyed it.
The first story is called 'The Jubilee Express' by Maureen Johnson. It's about a girl called Jubilee who is on her way to stay with her grandparents for Christmas when her train gets stuck in the snow in the small town of Graceland. Here she meets an interesting cast of characters who also feature later on in the book. This is followed by John Green's 'A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle' which features Tobin and his friends trying to get to the Waffle House after finding out that fourteen cheerleaders have descended there after being stranded in town. The final story called 'The Patron Saint of Pigs' by Lauren Myracle was actually my least favourite. It centres around Addie who has promised to collect her friends teacup piglet but can't seem to focus after having split up with her boyfriend Jeb.
Each story centres around the themes of love and friendship. They feature romance and new beginnings, as well as what happens when friendship turns into something more. There's the promise of forgiveness and starting over, with all the characters' stories concluding in quite unexpected ways. It's not the best Christmas book I've ever read but I still enjoyed this wintery, festive collection which would make a great present for the holiday season. ...more