Tour’s Books Blog

October 31, 2013

Short, Short Reviews

Like most readers, I read a LOT more books than I have time to review, so I thought a periodic Short, Short Reviews would help peg winners, losers, and worth a look – or not.  Here we go.  Speed reviews, take one.

thirteen by Kelly Armstrong

Dear Ms. Charlaine Harris – This is how you end a series.  Respect the characters, respect the readers, and revisit you prior characters with proper context and give your new characters their just due.  Thank-you Kelley Armstrong for the good example.

Won in a book swap and going out to another reader.  Thirteen was a satisfying coda to the Women of Otherworld series.  Books do not have to be read in order, but it does help to have some familiarity with past characters here.  Gets a solid B (4*) and is more appreciated given I read that God-awful Dead Ever After first – the perfect BAD example of how to end a series.  Available in mmpb for $8.99 or at used book stores.

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Buried in Bargains

Average characters, average plot, average writing.  Buried in Bargains is for die hard cozy fans only.  This is not an inspired series.  My grade is C (3*), well below Amazon.  Apparently cozy fans like trite.  Purchased on line for $4.79 and barely worth it.

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Death Al Dente

Death al Dente is another foodie mystery set in Montana.  Nothing particularly good or bad about it.  Just your average cozy with and average, not hard to work out, solution.  Another C (3*) book that won’t be missed in the plague of foodie cozies.  Got my copy free thru a book swap site, and I am soooooooo glad it cost nothing.

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swamp sniper

Swamp Sniper is the latest installment of the Miss Fortune series featuring Fortune Redding a CIA assassin hiding in Sinful, LA.  It’s a bit too heavy on the farce, almost to the Lucy and Ethel stage.  DeLeon needs to dial it back to more substance like her first two entries.  Still, a few scenes are just hysterical and the mystery is decent, if less developed than it should be.  Pressure to release another installment probably drove the author who self publishes this series – so successfully it has a website!  Sinful Ladies Society

My grade is B- (3.7*) and suggestion to get the ebook as it’s more cost effective.  Purchased from Amazon as it’s published in Create Space.  A fun read for anyone enjoy the series, but weaker than the first two stories.  Ebook available for Kindle, iPad and Nook.

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Cadger's Curse

This is an older title I waited patiently for thru Paperback Swap and finally won in a swap.  A literary mystery with a very modern twist featuring D.D. McGill as an insurance investigator who get asked to look into thefts at a super high tech company, by of all people, her late lover’s bitter, obnoxious brother.  The characters are strong and well developed and the mystery is satisfying.

A Cadger’s Curse earns a B (4*) rating for being a very interesting mystery that has appeal outside the usual limits of a cozy – which this is not – yet is not so mainstream mystery that cozy fans would reject it.  Only problem, so far the author has only written 2 books and then disappeared.

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afoot_in_st_croix

I should have known better after reading the painful Adrift on ST John, but no, I had to go and buy another wordy, dull, boring excursion into the Caribbean – Afoot on St Croix.  There is no real saving grace here for the reader.  Yes, she has St Croix down, just as she did St John (my favorite of the US Virgins), but the writing is just so dull, I could not care less about any character and the plot was beyond belief.

My grade is D+ to C- (2.7*) for another very tedious and oddly lifeless excursion into the US Virgin islands.  Wait and buy it used if you feel some overwhelming need to punish yourself by reading it.

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Time thief

Katie MacAlister is know for light, humorous touch with her various paranormal romance series and Time Thief is no different.  It has some Gracie Allen George Burns moments, though who is Gracie and who is George tends to switch back and forth.  Moving away from her dragons and Aisling Grey characters, she focuses on Roma, only here what they steal for a person is time.  An interesting concept, but strictly played for laughs.

If you want a cute, entertaining, rather mindless read, Time Thief  is the just ticket.  My grade is C+ to B- (3.5*)  First in a new series.  I won this in a book swap and like most of her, it’s heavily wish listed, so it will get passed along.

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