Sunday, April 23, 2017

No Charm Intended

No Charm Intended by Mollie Cox Bryant is the second book in the Cora Crafts Mystery series. In this book Cora and Jane work more as partners in solving the mysterious disappearance of Jane's daughter's babysitter.  I really liked the more equal partnership and hope it continues in future editions.  We got more of an insight into Cora's romantic relationship(s) and no insight into where Jane's personal life is taking her.  I admit to wanting more Jane and less Cora at this point in the series.

This is a new series and the author is introducing the new characters.  Along with the returning characters, each book brings a group of students/retreat participants, who may or may not be the culprit. This is good because it makes the mystery harder to solve.  So far, I like the characters and the relationships, but I can see getting bored with Cora having two men who seem to "like" her.  I remember another series I read for a while and gave up on just for that reason, 30 somethings in platonic relationships with two men seemed unrealistic.

I would like to know more about Jane and have her find someone steady and continue to help with solving the mysteries.

All in all, this is a good series, with likeable characters, an interesting location, great scenery, fun crafts with instructions in the back, and not so easy to figure out crimes and criminals.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova

The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova was hard to put down. It was one of those books that kept me up until 4:00 a.m., two nights in a row, because I just had to know what was happening next.  Like her book, The Historian, the author wraps the reader into the pages and leaves us wanting more.

In The Shadow Land the author melds the past and the present into one story and tells the tale of a dark time in Bulgaria's past. A past (in the not so distant time) when a person could be taken from their family, with no warning or trial, and sent to labor camps until someone decided to let you out. Chilling and masterfully related to the reader by relating the experience of concert violinist Stoyan Lazarov.

Alexandra is a young woman who has come to Sofia to teach when she accidentally picks up the box holding the ashes of Stoyan Lazarov.  In her quest to return the remains to Mr. Lazarov's family, Alexandra is aptly aided by Bobby, the Bulgarian taxt driver with many secrets of his own. When they are followed to where the family is supposed to be, they discover that not only is the family in peril, but so are Alexandra and Bobby and they people they meet along the trip.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review. I honestly loved this book and highly recommend it to other readers.  I also recommend The Historian, which is on my top ten list.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Kneaded to Death by Winnie Archer

Perfect mystery, perfect characters, perfect ending with just enough hints of the future to keep the reader (me) coming back for the next book.
I was fairly confident I was going to like Kneaded to Death because I have loved everything I've read by this author.  She makes up the best characters and weaves them into relationships with characters that you wouldn't expect. Plus the upside is these characters can develop further in the upcoming books.
Set in Santa Sofia, California, six months after the hit and run death of her mother, Ivy Culpepper has moved home to help her father deal with his loss and because she needs family too. She visits a local bread bakery and is invited to join the group for classes. The first night of class, there is a disturbance in the parking lot and when the student bakers go out to investigate, they find one of the other students dead in her car.  As Ivy starts to investigate, she finds there are many mysteries in her corner of Santa Sofia.
Very enjoyable cozy mystery.  I can't wait to find out what happens in the next installment.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Give me a Chance

Give Me a Chance by Natalie Ann is the second book in a new series (you don't have to read all the books in the series, there are; however, visits with the characters in book one, Second Chance).  This installment is the story of Quinn, the foster kid from Chicago, and Max, the plastic surgeon from New York.
Max needs a nanny for his two young children after an unexpected divorce and move from New York to Lake Placid.  Quinn needs a full time job, a nicer place to live, and enough money to get ahead and help her three (now adult, but struggling) siblings who were split up when they were sent to foster care.
I liked this book because it is a feel good story and I was routing for the characters to shed what is in the past, leave it in the past, and make a connection. It's the perfect story to just sit back and enjoy an evening or two.  There is also the added enhancement of Quinn's mother turning up and trying to ruin Quinn's chance at happiness.
The kids add to the enjoyment of this book. They are just precocious enough and they need Quinn to help them heal after their mother's abandonment.