Genre: mystery

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Steeplejack: Review

Steeplejack: Review

It’s interesting to ponder what qualifies as a fantasy and what exactly makes that so. You can have fantasy that takes place in whole other realms replete with magic and magical creatures. You can have fantasy that places in our very own world, but with elements of the wondrous. Then you have works like Steeplejack, in which there is no magic (or none yet presented) but the world it takes place in is not our own, and so it is a fantasy work. It just occurred to me while reading how interesting the many varietals of fantasy works are.  This is a book that reads very much like a historical crime novel that takes place in 19th century South Africa. But it is not 19th century South Africa, only a land in an unknown world that has many echoes and similarities to it. Does this seem like a complaint? Not… Read more »

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A Curious Beginning: Review

A Curious Beginning: Review

If you’ve been itching to curl up with an absorbing historical mystery that will make you laugh and swoon, then A Curious Beginning is right up your alley! I am not usually much one for mystery novels, but the combination of features here, Victorian London, an intrepid and super sassy heroine (also a lady scientist, yay!), and a developing romance hit all the right checkmarks for me. I’m glad I gave this one a try as it really is a super enjoyable set up to what could, finger crossed, be a long and rewarding series! The story begins with our heroine, Veronica Speedwell, burying  her last “relative” and remaining connection to her childhood. A foundling, Veronica had been raised by two spinster sisters, often moving at a whim around the country, causing constant upheaval in her life. Veronica soon discovers, though, that her very life is under attack, with mysterious… Read more »

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Every Word: Review

Every Word: Review

It’s comforting to know that there are certain authors out there that you can come to rely on for a satisfying, gripping story that is not only beautifully written, but also fraught with tension of both the actual danger and of the romantic varieties. In Every Word, the second installment in her Every series, Ellie Marney establishes herself as exactly that type of author for me. Everything that I loved in Every Breath, the action, the mystery, and the undeniable sexual tension, are not only present in Every Word, they’re amplified. We begin the story several weeks after the events of Every Breath. Rachel and Mycroft are processing their emotions after the events of Every Word and are trying to navigate the new world of their relationship. Complicating events are Rachel’s parents, who have taken appropriate and realistic measures (involved YA parents, my god, it’s a unicorn!) to try and… Read more »

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These Shallow Graves: Review

These Shallow Graves: Review

If you enjoy historical fiction with a spunky female lead, some romance, and a murder mystery thrown in for good measure, you might want to pick up Jennifer Donnelly’s latest book, These Shallow Graves. I admit, I was lured in by the promise of a spunky female lead in this case – a girl who secretly dreams of being a writer and defying societal expectations! – ’cause that’s my jam all the time. In turn-of-the-century America, no less! (An aside: my love for American history has been totally revitalized by the release of the soundtrack for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton: An American Musical, by the way. And this is … a century later! Where’s my Revolutionary War YA when I need it?) Anyway. Ahem. Back to business! Despite the spunky female lead, while I liked many aspects of These Shallow Graves, I didn’t connect with it emotionally in the way that I wanted… Read more »

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Every Breath: Review

Every Breath: Review

There are perhaps some things you should know about me before I embark on this review: I am not traditionally a fan of either contemporary or mystery I am not a fan of the popular BBC series Sherlock nor any other Sherlock adaptation I really do not like bad boy love interests I freaking adored this book When I saw that my friend Gillian was absolutely losing it over the ship in this book I knew I had to get my hands on it ASAP! And boy, did she not let me down! It’s going to take something really special to get this SFF loving gal to even read a contemporary let alone love it. Congrats, Ellie Marney. You succeeded in spades. Man, how good is the characterization in this book? I loved Rachel so much. It’s rare that I think that a character in YA comes across as an… Read more »

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Cuckoo Song: Review

Cuckoo Song: Review

Cuckoo Song is one of those books that I really struggled to find the words for. You know those books that have such an intense amount of complexity, beauty, and feeling? The kind of book that leaves you asking yourself, “How can I do this book justice?” Yes, this is one of those. I was expecting this story to be a creepy, horror-tinged, fantastical mystery. And it is those things. But I was not expecting it to also be a story about the devastating effects of war on both societal and personal levels and of how a family torn apart by grief can come back together again. It’s also somehow lovely. So, so lovely in the midst of such horror.. Imagine you woke up one morning with all memories fractured, able only to grasp at mere pieces of who you are. You went missing from your home last night, found… Read more »

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The Nethergrim: review

The Nethergrim: review

The Nethergrim is an enjoyable middle-grade fantasy by first time author Matthew Jobin. It tells of the adventure of three outsiders: Edmund, the son of an innkeeper, who spends what little money he saves on books of spells, legends, and histories; Katherine, the daughter and only child of the Lord’s master of horses, who should be learning how to be a lady but instead is riding horses and wielding swords; and Tom, an orphan slave, who serves as shepherd to an abusive farmer. They live in Moorvale, a village akin to one you might find in the medieval times. It’s all very primeval and gothic. Mysterious things have been happening: lost animals, missing children, and whispers of an old terrifying tale more suppressed than forgotten. You see, the town of Moorvale owes its existence to three heroes: Tristan, the greatest knight that ever lived; Vithric, the greatest wizard that ever… Read more »

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