Wednesday, May 11, 2011

One bad apple by Sheila Connolly

Book: One bad apple by Sheila Connolly

Series: An Orchard Mystery


Extras: Apple based recipes

Plot (Goodreads):
Meg Corey has come to the quaint New England town of Granford, Massachusetts, to sell her mother's old colonial home and apple orchard. Instead, she becomes embroiled in development plans that include her land, and her former flame from Boston. When he's found dead in the new septic tank on her property, the police immediately suspect Meg, whose only ally in town is the plumber Seth Chapin. Together, they'll have to peel back the layers of secrecy that surround the deal in order to find the real murderer, and save the orchard

My four-sentence or less take on the plot: Meg Corey (Core-y--ha! Apple based puns!) moves up to a dilapidated Massachusetts Colonial house to quickly flip it. Of course, it's a giant money-trap style disaster, complete with fading Orchard. When her ex-husband is found dead and stuffed in her septic tank, she's an obvious suspect and has to clear her name.


What worked: I liked this book. I learned quite a bit about apple orchards and I thought the state of the house (and orchard) was believable, especially as a rental with out-of-state owners. I also liked that Meg wasn't immediately accepted in to the small town--I always find that very hard to believe in cozies.

What didn't: I wasn't surprised at all by the "big reveal". I like more of a mystery than this book gave me.

Keep reading?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Buzz off by Hannah Reed

Book: Buzz off by Hannah Reed

A Queen Bee Mystery

Honey based recipes

Plot (Goodreads):
It's September - National Honey Month - in Moraine, Wisconsin. After her mentor in the honey business is found suspiciously stung to death in his apiary, beekeeper Story Fischer must sort through a swarm of suspects, including her ex-husband.

My four-sentence or less take on the plot: Story Fischer is shopowner who is also dabbling in beekeeping. Her beekeeping mentor is murdered, honeybees are implicated, and Story and her ex-husband are both potential suspects.


What worked: I liked the beekeeping concept--it was different, which is saying quite a bit in the cozy mystery world.

What didn't: I hated (HATED) the bulleted points that are sprinkled throughout the book. It also felt like I was reading a guidebook about Wisconsin at times. I expect to learn during a cozy mystery but I don't expect it to be so obvious. I know the character of Story's mom was supposed to be off-putting but she was so incredibly unlikeable it was distracting.
The cheating ex-husband in a small town trope is getting pretty played out in cozy mysteries.

Keep reading?
I will give the next book a chance.

Monday, May 9, 2011

An Uplifting Murder by Elaine Viets

Book: An Uplifting Murder by Elaine Viets

Series: Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper


Extras: Bra shopping tips (yes, you read that right)

Plot (Goodreads):
On Josie's latest assignment, her former teacher-now working in a lingerie shop-is in need of some serious support when a customer is found murdered. Unfortunately, the teacher's alibi is flimsier than the camisoles she sells, so Josie will need to bust out her sleuthing skills to expose the real killer...

My four-sentence or less take on the plot: Josie Marcus, a mystery shopper, is evaluating a lingerie chain, in which one of her old high school teachers now works. Of course, she is immediately embroiled into a murder investigation when she stumbles on a corpse in the toilet.


What worked: Not much in my opinion. Even the characters are starting to get pretty repetitious. I like Viets Dead-end series much better.

What didn't: Look, I can suspend disbelief while reading a book. I can believe that detectives wouldn't get incredibly suspicious about a person who always "happened" to be around dead bodies. I can even take the "cops find it helpful that I'm investigating" bit. But WHY would anyone accused of murder ask a mystery shopper (not a cop, not a PI, not even a reporter) who they haven't seen in about 15 years, to look in to the murder they are getting charged with? It defies belief to an extent that throws me right out of the book.

Keep reading?
I'm not sure. Probably give it one more shot.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

UF Sunday: Prince Charming doesn't live here by Christine Warren

Book: Prince Charming doesn't live here by Christine Warren

Series: The Others


Extras: No

Plot (Goodreads):

Danice Carter is not one for glass slippers. A stilettos-wearing lawyer at one of Manhattan’s most elite establishments, Danice has a very strong grip on reality. So when she’s asked by one the firm’s founding partners to take on a personal case, Danice knows she’s in for the opportunity of a lifetime. All she has to do is convince her top boss’s granddaughter, Rosemary, to file a paternity suit. Sounds simple enough…until Danice arrives at Rosemary’s home and is pounced on by a handsome stranger.

Private investigator McIntyre Callahan’s was only following his powerful client’s orders: Find Rosemary—at all costs. Instead, he’s found a super-hot lawyer prowling around looking for answers he can’t give. The half-human, half-Fae Mac tries to warn Danice that she’s way in over her head—that Rosemary may roam among The Others, and may have dangerous ties to the Unseelie Court—but she won’t be deterred. Even if that means following Mac to the ends of the earth to find Rosemary…or surrendering to his supernatural powers of temptation…until death do they part.

My four-sentence or less take on the plot: Danice Carter is a lawyer who is strong-armed in to hunting down the missing daughter of her boss. McIntyre Callahan is a half-Fae private eye. Events occur.


What worked: This is my first DNF review, so not much.

What didn't: Danice is an incredibly stupid character. She makes stupid mistake after stupid mistake in this book. People tell her to be quiet in front of fae royalty, instead, she constantly shoots off her mouth. Mac spends a lot of time trying to convince Danice not to be an idiot and, yet, it doesn't seem to ever work. And, of course, Danice and Mac have to have frequent magical sex. Apparently this book is a reworking of a erotic short story written much earlier in Warren's career and that is exactly how it reads.

Keep reading?
I just ordered the recent book off of Paperbackswap for some reason.