11.03.2014

Review: Death Comes to Pemberley


Death Comes to Pemberley
Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

My rating: 2 of 5 stars



I decided to give this a read as I began watching the Masterpiece Mystery dramatisation on PBS. It's not unusual for me to do this, what I've experienced as a first was that upon finishing the book, I'd absolutely no desire to continue with the PBS series. I abandoned the television version because I simply didn't want to be bothered with this story any longer. I am disappointed. Lizzie and Darcy aren't my favorite Austen couple anyway (Anne & Captain Wentworth, for me please) so I'm not so beholden to the original material to be aggravated like this is some travesty against literature. With that said, I was a bit bored and it felt like this had very little life as reads go. I was excited for the mystery but once the reveal was done, there was still a bit to go to tie it all up and I didn't feel all that was warranted. Admittedly, it's a short book but I still think it was over long. I don't know that I'd recommend this as I believe most people do have other things they could be reading than a book that's a little less than okay and more middling than anything else.



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10.27.2014

Review: We Are The Destroyers


We Are The Destroyers
We Are The Destroyers by D.K. Lindler

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I'm a huge science fiction fan but I must admit that I'm not entirely sure that this is science fiction. It read more like a fantasy with some scifi elements added in. Also, while a lot of things happened in the book with Bel'lar & Ry and their team who are in search of a new home for humanity after they've brought yet another world to the brink of destruction, I didn't feel like there was much of a story here, insofar as an actual plot. I do suppose that as a cautionary tale of humanity's propensity to extract and use up any viable resource and our tendency to repeat such actions over and over, that may be story enough but I was looking for something else or thought I would get something else when I read the summary that made me want to read this. The characters were okay but not a one of them will stay with me for any length of time. The author clearly has a vision for this world she's set out and perhaps it comes across more clearly in subsequent books (first in series books are often quite a lot of set up for the rest, so perhaps that's where some of my disconnect with the story came from). . I was satisfied enough with the ending that I don't feel a deep need to continue on with the series but I'm not sorry that I've read this either. Three stars as there are no half stars here, it's more than just okay but just short of a strong "like" for me.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.



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Review: A Place To Call Home


A Place To Call Home
A Place To Call Home by Carole Matthews

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I do love my Brit chick lit so it's no surprise that I really enjoyed this one. I rooted for Ayesha, Sabina, Joy, Hayden & Crystal the whole way through. I quite liked how each of their stories unfurled after first getting Ayesha's story. The cover pulled me in and the summary made this one a definite must read. I worried Ayesha's husband would find her. I hoped for Sabina's first words and wondered what those would be. I hoped Hayden got some help for his anxiety problems because no matter how nice the manse he lived in or how lovely the people who resided with him, I wanted him to get out into the wider world again after his terrible heartbreak. I thought Crystal was just a breath of fresh air even with her struggles and as soon as Joy's story of how she came to be living at the house was told, I had all kinds of sympathy and care for her, crankiness and all. I thought they were all endearing and I enjoyed reading about them. It's definitely the sort of book I'd recommend for travel or a long weekend if you're a chick lit or contemporary fiction fan. A satisfying read.



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10.20.2014

Review: Cloche and Dagger


Cloche and Dagger
Cloche and Dagger by Jenn McKinlay

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



Three stars. I read this on a little vacation and it was a quick read. It's very light on the mystery (to be clear, if you blink, you'll miss it & the wrap up is lightening fast too) but I enjoyed the setting and the characters were more enjoyable than irritating, so it's all good. I've enjoyed reading McKinlay's Book Lover's series and decided to give this one a try. I'll likely continue reading more in the series. Definitely recommended for fans of the author and anyone looking for a cozy mystery to while away a weekend.



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Review: The Monogram Murders


The Monogram Murders
The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I just don't know what to say. I was so eager to read new adventures of Hercule Poirot and was thrilled to get my hands on this book. I'm sorry to report that I didn't love it. It was a little more than okay but also a little less than a "like". I didn't take to Catchpool at all and as a substitute for Hastings, he falls terribly short. He has none of Hastings' endearing qualities as an accompaniment to Poirot. He's supposed to be a proper police investigator but there's no evidence of that in his personality or method. I wanted Japp to show up and flog him for good measure. Poirot was rendered in a way that I found very superficial to what I'm used to. And I can't quite put my finger on it. This is the first encounter I've had reading Poirot where he actually annoyed me. I'm still shocked about that! They murders and the backstory were well done and I thought the suspects were rendered well. Oddly, the one I found most memorable was the hotel manager, Lazzari. He reminded me of the railway director Bouc from Murder On the Orient Express.

As just a mystery, I liked the twists and turns and did feel this worked on that level. As a Poirot story, woefully short of my expectation. Perhaps I should not have had any expectations but as the cover has 'Hercule Poirot' & 'Agatha Christie' splashed across it (and Christie's family/estate approved this work), I did so... there it is. Now that I know what this is, I'll likely read the next in the series because a good mystery is still worth the read in my book life. I'd recommend this to mystery lovers but would recommend with my aforementioned caveats to Poirot and Christie fans.



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