Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Murder in the Dark by Kerry Greenwood

Yep. It's time again for another Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries review. Sorry, not sorry.

Murder in the Dark had a lot of action and a lot of drama. This one really kept me glue to the page. It showed a lot more of the seedy underbelly of drugs, sex, and partying that the rich set got up to back in the 1920's. It was quite thrilling! It didn't include a whole lot of her entourage that I love so much, but it made up for that with really interesting story telling. How Phryne metes out justice and lives to tell the tale is quite awesome.

I utterly enjoyed this book. It was dark and twisted, a little bit rougher than many of her books but I still loved very second of it.

Phryne receives and invitation to the Last Best party of 1928 being held by the Golden Twins whom Phryne knew from her days in Paris. It's a four day extravaganza, and someone has been sending her warning letters trying to keep her from going. Of course that isn't going to stop her. If anything it makers her want to go even more. There is a goat lady (complete with goat), female polo players, pipe smoking acolytes, flirtations, dancing, pleasure parties, and mint juleps. It's Phryne's type of party.

It was so interesting to read about the types of things they might have happened with the rich and popular back in the day. They kinds of trouble they could have gotten into made for a really interesting read. I don't want to give anything away, but if you like the naughtier side of things that tend to go on in these books, then you'll thoroughly enjoy this one!

Recommendation: If you're reading this and haven't yet picked up any of these books to read for yourself, then what are you waiting for?

Monday, July 24, 2017

Under Wildwood by Colin Meloy

This is the second book in the Wildwood trilogy. I've already read and reviewed the first book here if you'd like to know a little more about it.

This book has Prue McKeel heading back into the Impassable Wilderness. She finds herself being hunted by assassins sent by an unknown enemy and heads back into the wood to figure things out. She teams up with her friend Curtis again to start on a journey to bring unity back to the wood.

The side story in this one is all about an orphanage that uses the children as labour in a machine parts shop. The owner of this orphanage is obsessed with the Impassable Wilderness and he dreams to make it in and exploit it for his own gain. That's all that's on his mind, nothing else matters to him. I won't say any more but this does tie into the main story.

These books are just great. They are detailed and intricate but without weighing you down with so many details. The wood and it's creatures really come alive and you feel like you're going on the journey too. At one point, Prue came back to the world as we know it outside of the forest and honestly, I was in a hurry for her to go back. The author has created such a cool place that I want to know everything about it!

This is a young teen type of book because the main characters are quite young but the thing is that it doesn't feel like it. It's got a lot of awesomeness going on that reads like more of an young adult type of fantasy. It's very much a series that makes me think of the Chronicles of Narnia, and in no way is that a bad thing. It's a world where these kids are going to change everything for the better and I love it.

My only complaint was that the first book had a mission and it was resolved by the end of the book. I assumed this book would do the same thing and when things weren't explained/solved by the end of this book I was a little annoyed at it being a sort of cliff hanger. Cliff hangers drive me nuts! It's okay though, I've got the last book already on my shelf and I'm reading it next. This doesn't take away from my love of this book.

Recommendation: If you haven't heard of this series, or if you've not read the first one but you think maybe you'd like to find out more about Wildwood, start with the first book. If you've read the first but weren't sure about continuing, please just give this a try. This is for the fantasy world lovers who want to escape to a place where animals can talk and the woods are alive.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Blood and Circuses by Kerry Greenwood

Here we meet again, for another conversation about the Honorable Miss Phryne Fisher and her entourage of awesomeness that reside out there in the 1920's Australia.

This one has Miss Fisher going under cover without any back up or help in the Circus to solve the murder of one of the members of the band of misfits that make up the circus. She finds herself utterly bored and when a friend from her past shows up with a problem, she decides she should help. Mr. Christopher has been murdered and it's going to be pinned on the wrong person. In order to solve this mystery she has to join the circus. She must learn to stand up on the back of a horse for the show while trying to fit in and learn all she can about the victim and who might have wanted to kill.

They did an episode of the show about this book. Having seen it and now having read the book they are two very different things. Usually that totally annoys me but I'm not bothered as much in this case. The book dealt with some pretty serious emotional things that just wouldn't have translated as well onto the show. I found this book to be much darker and more serious at times than the show, or even a lot of the books tend to feel.

I felt like this book brought me through a much larger emotional journey than I was expecting. I don't want to say more about that, because I don't want to give anything away. This book just wasn't as cosy and as light as a lot of them usually are. It touches on some rough and tough serious and dangerous things that surprised me, and really hit me hard while reading.

Recommendation: If you haven't read any of these books yet, don't start with this one. If you're familiar with the greatness that is Phryne Fisher, then have at it. It was hard but good.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

This is the first book in a relatively new YA trilogy that has to do with Sherlock and Watson. In this series, Sherlock and Watson were real people who've gone on to have families, and their descendants are still alive and well out there in the world carrying on the names.

This Holmes descendant is a girl named Charlotte. She's got the smarts, the habits, the behaviours, and the drama the surrounds the quintessential Holmes. The Watson descendant is a boy named Jaime. He's still trying to figure out where he fits in the big bad world, and comes into himself once he meets his Holmes.

They find themselves at the same boarding school in the states by some weird coincidence and they quickly make enemies of the same guy at school. It's all well and good until that guy winds up dead and the two main suspects are Holmes and Watson.

Honestly, I didn't know what to expect. I love Sherlock and Watson. Iterations of their greatness are always thrilling and this book did not disappoint. I loved it! A female Sherlock is something my heart has been missing for years. She comes complete with flaws and all, just like he did. I loved it.

The second book was recently released and I am super excited because, of course, I've already got it on my shelf. This is shaping up to be one great series and I am super happy that I found them.

There's just something so refreshing about series related to those characters being done with younger people, and a girl to boot. I was more than happy to go with the flow and just enjoy myself with this book.

Recommendation: If you've ever enjoyed a Sherlock Holmes story, movie, book, whatever before, than I think you'll enjoy this book. Totally for the fans who are open to a new twist.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Unnatural Habits by Kerry Greenwood

Well, hello! We are back with yet another Phryne Fisher murder mystery review! This one is the 19th book in the series and it's another book that is the basis for one of the episodes of the wonderful show.

The show is only what, an hour long? It makes sense that the books will have a lot more substance and detail in it than the show did. This was of course the case here.

This one deals with missing girls. They are pretty girls who have found themselves pregnant and in trouble. They were staying at the convent for wayward girls, being forced to work in the laundry which is one of the sources of income this convent uses to "take care" of these girls. Once they leave there and go off to another place to have their babies, they all go missing. The book starts with a female reporter on the hunt for these missing girls. It's not till the reporter goes missing too that Phryne steps in and takes up the hunt for these poor girls.

It's got murder, lots and lots of intrigue, and a whole lot more going on than the episode of the show did. I read this in about 3.5 hours, I almost couldn't put it down. It was a little darker than the show was, but it's got the same type of story to it that the show did. Don't start thinking you should skip this one because you know how it ends from the show, because you would be doing yourself a disservice. The book has so much more to it!

Recommendation: Read it. Just read it. You know you want to.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Cruellest Month by Louise Penny

It's been a hot minute since I've posted anything about the wonderful books by Louise Penny. She is still one of my favourite authors and I am still working through her books. I read this one last year I believe, but I think it's taken me so long to write the review because I didn't want to post too many reviews of books by the same author all at the same time, then I simply forgot!

I've got this book on my shelf as it came in this awesome box set. I think the reason I don't have all the published books in this series is because they are being published from a different company and because of that the book sizes don't match. Don't know if that annoys anyone else.

Anyway, back to the book. This is the third in the series following the wonderful Chief Inspector Gamache. It's held in the wonderful small town of Three Pines, which is supposed to be out there in Quebec, Canada. This mystery digs into the past of the inhabitants of this place again, revealing secrets. It's Easter and some of the villagers decide to hold a seance in an old house full of history. Someone dies during the seance. Was it of fright? or something else? The colourful cast of characters comes together again, trying to figure out who is the next killer, and who is going to next, and why.

There are so many different levels to these books that it's like they are their own special experiences. They make you feel things for people and situations that you wouldn't normally feel. It's hard to explain but it takes you into different perspectives and shows you other sides to things you wouldn't normally consider.

This book was great and I do recommend it, but of course, I recommend you start with the first one and get ready to enjoy yourself with these beautifully written mysteries.

Recommendation: For the lover of the more intensely human murder mystery type novel. Be prepared to feel.