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.