Tuesday, 31 July 2018

The Quartet Murders - J.R.Ellis

The Quartet MurdersThe Quartet Murders by J. R. Ellis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the second of J.R.Ellis Yorkshire Murder Mysteries that I've read. Some time seems to have passed since the first instalment although I'm not sure how much. I gather it is a little bit of time though, as his sergeants seem to have moved from a date to a full-on relationship.

DCI Oldroyd and DS Carter are faced with joining another local force to try and solve a seemingly impossible murder. The story covers everything from murder to international smuggling and high-value theft. I loved the story and the twists and turns that it took. I managed to work out some of the solutions, but there was so much going on that I didn't solve the whole crime.

On the whole, I really enjoyed this book. It was well written and I enjoyed the mystery. The only slight problem was that the main solution was, I felt a little cliched. This might be unfair, but of all the solutions to murders that I've read, I've come across this one a couple of times and it's my least favourite. Despite this though, I still really enjoyed the book as a whole and am looking forward to reading more in this series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Tuesday, 17 July 2018

The Seven 1/2 deaths of Evelyn Hard Castle - Stuart Turton

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn HardcastleThe Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To begin with, I found this book a little confusing. There were so many characters and it took me a little while to get my head around who was who and what they were doing. Once I'd got a little way through, I couldn't put it down and was dying to know what was going on and where the story was going to go.

I loved the idea behind this book, a murder mystery where the main character almost holds the same role that we do. Switching viewpoints and viewing the case from different perspectives. I'm not sure if 'main character' is even the right term, as we learn very little about Aiden Bishop himself.

The mystery itself is very complicated, perhaps overly so in some ways, although I enjoyed the writing style and the idea behind the storyline good enough to let that go. I think that if it had been a straightforward murder mystery, then I would have been left scratching my head and feeling confused when it came to an end. As it was, the mystery didn't really matter.

This was a great book and I loved the idea behind it. It wasn't quite a five-star read, possibly due to the mystery side of it, but certainly solid 4-4.5 stars from me.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Saturday, 14 July 2018

The Body in the Dales - JR Ellis

The Body in the DalesThe Body in the Dales by J.R. Ellis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was in two minds as to whether to give this four or five stars. On the one hand, I really enjoyed it and thought it was a great start to a series. On the other hand, I don't like to give out a lot of five stars and I think that while this was good, there is still room for even better in later books. So, I'm going with a four plus.

This was a good detective story, with lots of hints, a puzzling case to solve and some interesting characters for both the investigating team and the suspects. So far, the main detectives haven't fallen into the cliches that a lot of police detectives seem to fit. The author clearly loves Yorkshire and the countryside almost appears as a character in its own right. It certainly helps to drive the plot and the mystery along.

I didn't solve this one, although I had ideas that weren't a million miles away I don't think that I'd really come close to narrowing it down properly. It was a good read and I already have the second in the series lined up and ready to go.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Monday, 9 July 2018

A Rogue For Emily - Catherine Hemmerling

A Rogue For Emily (Lady Lancaster Garden Society Series)A Rogue For Emily by Catherine Hemmerling
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I tend to find that historical romances come in one of two types, there are those that are highly researched and really have a feel of the time and those that are essentially modern people who happen to travel in carriages. This was the latter. The book was littered with modern language and Americanisms. At one point a 'Mom' even picked up her child. Combined with the action, ladies dressing up as working people and going out to help out some of these poorer families. Which, just wouldn't have happened. Ladies just wouldn't have behaved like that and there was no explanation of why they would have known about this family. It was almost as though the author was viewing London as a small town or village where everyone knows everyone, no matter what their status. I found historical accuracy to be very lacking. Particularly with the climax of the story, which I won't give away, but it just seemed so far-fetched and not possible at that time, I'm not sure even modern breweries would be able to do that.

There were a lot of other things that just didn't work for me. I can, however, usually let some of them go, if the romance is good. In actual fact, the romance was ok. I quite liked the hero, I liked the idea behind how they start to fall in love and know one another. Sadly though, the writing style wasn't for me. Far too much telling and not enough showing. I think that it was this repetition of telling us how they don't like one another in an early chapter with very little else happening that really stopped my enjoyment, I wouldn't have finished if I didn't feel that I should review for NetGalley.

I know that not everyone is bothered by lack of historical accuracy or the writing style, so this book might well be for you. It just really wasn't for me.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Thursday, 5 July 2018

A Necessary Murder - M.J. Tjia

A Necessary Murder (Heloise Chancey Mysteries, #2)A Necessary Murder by M.J. Tjia
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to admit that when I started this book, I wasn't sure that I was going to enjoy it. Although the storyline was interesting, there was something that just seemed to stop me from really connecting with the characters. As I read on, the story sucked me in and I found that I was really enjoying it.

When it comes to murder mysteries my usual tests are did I solve the mystery? If I did, was it too obvious and if I didn't, does the solution actually work and make sense? I have to admit that I didn't come close to getting this one. Fortunately, though, that wasn't because it didn't work, but just because it was quite complex and I didn't hook onto any of the clues that might have helped me.

The plot was great and I really enjoyed it. My only reservation with this book is some of the characters. I don't know why, but I found it hard to feel much for them. The main character, Heloise has a lot going for her, but somehow it just falls a little short for me. I don't know if she isn't quite of the period, or if it's something else. I don't think the switching between her viewpoint and then a third person viewpoint when following other characters.

This is only the second novel in the series, I will admit that I haven't read the first, perhaps this problem with characterisation might be ironed out in later instalments? I would certainly be interested in reading more and finding out. If you're looking for a gritty historical murder mystery that pulls no punches, then you won't go far wrong here.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Monday, 2 July 2018

Love letter - Rachel Hauck

The Love LetterThe Love Letter by Rachel Hauck
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a difficult book to review. Not because I didn't enjoy it, I did, but because it's almost like reviewing two books at the same time.

This is the story of four people. Hamilton and Esther, who lived during the American Revolutionary War. On opposite sides of the battle, they try to find a way to be together. The other two people are Chloe, an actress who is only ever given roles where she dies and Jesse, who has just written his screenplay.

The two couples are linked because Jesse's screenplay is based on a letter that was written by Hamilton to Esther and passed down in his family. Chloe is set to play Esther in the film and as a result, finds herself questioning her ideas about love.

There is a clear link between the two couples, although they are separated by time, which becomes clearer as the story progresses. That said, I think that this worked better almost as two standalone stories. I preferred the historical story and felt that it worked better than the modern one. It did leave at least one key point unanswered at the end though, which was a shame.

Although I preferred the historical storyline, the modern one still, for the most part, worked. The book was a little different to ones that I'd normally read, but I did enjoy it all the same.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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