What Was Lost by Catherine O’Flynn

 I saw this one mentioned on a blog and picked it up from the library.  The premise is that a precocious ten year old private detective, who of course is an orphan and currently lives with a relative who want to pack her off to boarding school, disappears.  A young man is suspected and it ruins his life and his family’s even though nothing is ever proven.  The story picks up again when the adult sister of the suspect  and the security guard of a local mall where Kate hung out before she disappeared meet and pieces of Kate’s story come to life as clues are discovered.  sigh…it was just so boring.  It felt contrived and filled in with meaningless detail but things that would have been interesting are omitted.  I actually skimmed parts because it just was so uninteresting.

A Few More Books…

Haven’t gotten much reading done since I have been back from vacation, but I did finish these three.  Death of An Expert Witness by P.D. James is the sixth Adam Dalgliesh novel.  This one concerns the staff and security forces of a forensics lab.  It has the appearances of a locked room mystery except in this case a “locked lab facility”.  Dalgliesh has to sort through a plethora of suspects with varying motives for dispatching the unlikeable, but pitiable Dr. Lorrimer.  I have been reading my way through the Adam Dalgliesh series and I would have to say of the ones I have read so far this was not may favorite.  A decent mystery but somehow the characters fell flat for me, particularly the “whodunnit”.  I do plan on continuing with the series, I just think this particular one was a miss for me.

It Happened One Wedding by Julie James was an impulse buy at Barnes and Noble.  I sat down and started reading it in the store and decided to pay for it and bring it home to finish.  I would say that this was an okay romance/chick lit.  The characters were a little silly at times but I think that is about par for these summer read type books.   I will say that perhaps I didn’t take as much away from this book as other readers due to the fact that it is book 5 in a series and I didn’t read the others.

No Man’s Nightingale by Ruth Rendell is this month’s read over at the Kindle English Mystery Club.   I am very torn about this book but I don’t really feel that it would be fair to rate it negatively for a couple reasons.  The first, it is number 26 in a series and I have only read number 1 (which I also remember not enjoying).  This is probably why the sleuth, Wexford, felt flat to me.  I am sure there is a great deal of build up for his character over the series.  The second is simply that I had a headache when I pushed through this so maybe it was just me.  It certainly seemed like I should have enjoyed it. I read a great deal of British crime novels and police procedurals, so I am not really sure why this didn’t work for me.

The book contained two mysteries and they bob and weave not letting you know until the end whether they are connected or not.  I found one mystery much more interesting than the other, but both were resolved satisfactorily.  Ruth Rendell is certainly a renowned novelist and her books are held in high regard, so I am going to be neutral on this one.

Vacation Reading

Just got back from taking my daughter back to college and visiting New Orleans.  Had pretty spotty wifi at the hotels so just a catch up post here:

Before leaving I loaded my Kindle with some Diane Mott Davidson’s books from the Goldy Bear Culinary mystery.  I have read many books in this series but not in order and I was not entirely sure which I have read and which I hadn’t.  Anyway on my trip I read:

I really enjoyed these books, one of which was a reread.  I love everything about these books.  The characters, especially Goldy, Tom and Marla, are likeable and I have found watching their relationships and friendships evolve completely engaging.  Every time I read a book from this series it is like visiting old friends or a home town.

The mystery plots are fun and interesting with lots of suspects and twists and turns.  The setting is charming and the food theme is well done.  The recipes sound  good and I marked a few to try.  I would highly recommend this to anyone who likes food based cozies or themed cozies in general.  Well written, fun light reading.

  I picked this one up at a bookstore in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on my trip.  I usually like Emily Giffin’s books, but I could not get into this football-centric story.  It might have just been me letting the football distract me from the story.  I don’t know. I think that football and romance fans would probably like it.  The characters were interesting and unique.

 My daughter recommended this Joe Hill book to me.  She picked up his other book, Horns, and I grabbed this one.  This is a horror/ghost story  similar to some early Steven King.  The character of Judas was very well done and not stereotypical at all.  Craddock is a terrifying villain, who is hiding a horrible secret.  My only issue was that I pretty much guessed the “twist” surrounding Craddock and his “girls” relatively early on.  A decent read for fans of horror.

Weekly Wrap Up #books

Internet has been spotty at home and I don’t have access for extended periods.  Discovered the modem has gone bad and so hopefully will replace it and be up and running later today.

Briefly this week’s reads were:

Diane Mott Davidson’s Dark Tort  .  This is from one of the cozy mystery series that started me reading the American “theme” based cozies and I still have to say for me it is the best of the cooking based cozies.  This book was a fun quick read with all the loved familar characters.  4 stars

Deborah Crombie’s All Shall Be Well is book 2 in the Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James series.  I love the interaction between the partners and in this book that was a particularly strong element because the mystery concerns Kincaid’s neighbor and he takes a personal interest in the case.  Charmng series with great characters, a good read for mystery readers.  4 stars

Last Seen Wearing by Colin Dexter  is book 2 in the Inspector Morse series.  If you are a fan of Morse, the TV series, or the character you will enjoy this.  This is a mystery that allows you to see all the sleuths ruminations and how he thinks about the crime and it makes for fascinating reading.  Be prepared to face Morse’s rampant sexism throughout the book.  Very good mystery read 4 stars.

An Advancement of Learning by Reginald Hill is book 2 in the Dalziel and Pascoe series of which a TV series was made.  I borrowed season 1 from the library and enjoyed it, not as much as Inspector Lynley or Lewis but it was still fun to watch and the actors were a good match for the characters in the book.  Interesting mystery with twists and turns and a good look at how working cold cases is hampered by the lack of record keeping prior to computers.  I found the motives a little weak but still enjoyed it and will definitely read more in the series. 3 stars.

What She Really Wants and The Dream both by Barbara Delinsky  are not my normal type reads, pretty standard romances.  I picked them up because I saw her new book Blueprints at Barnes and Noble and reading the first few pages it pulled me in enough to order it from my library.  I am on the wait list so I grabbed these two of her books instead.  These were rather predictable and had no other story other than the romance, What She Really Wants is just a short story, while The Dream was about 250 pages.  On the whole the storyline and characterization was a little too simplistic and there was not really anything going on. 2 stars.

Two Fables & A Small Indiscretion

At the pool yesterday I read two graphic novels from the Fables series, 1001 Nights of Snowfall and Sons of Empire.

Both of these were good, 1001 Nights of Snowfall doesn’t really contribute to the story arc in the sense of pushing it forwrad but it does give background on Snow White and Rose Red as well as other regular Fabletown and Farm characters.  It also connects with the Arabian fables and Sheherazade.  Really well done story of the witch of Hansel and Gretel fame is included here.  Good read for fans of graphic novels or who like fairy tale adaptions.

Sons of Empire gets back to the current story arc and in it we get to see what is happening with the adversary and with Bigby and his family.  We also get a back story for Bigby, who is my favorite character so I quite enjoyed this one. As always, the artwork is well done.  In this volume, the tension is building for confrontation between the adversary and the refugees.  There is also a charming Christmas story in this volume that I enjoyed.  Another good read for fans of graphic novels and the series.

A Small Indiscretion was a Goodreads recommendation for a fans of Gone Girl and the like.  The book starts out with the severe injury of Robbie, Annie and Jonathon’s adult son.  He is in a coma and throughout his recovery we learn that Annie and Jonathon are seperated due to some indiscretion in London on Annie’s part.  We also get some sense of foreboding surrounding Emme, a friend of Robbie’s and an employee of Annie’s.  The book flashes back to beginning of Annie’s story revealng over time what she did and how it had far reaching effects, right up to her son’s accident.

This started out strong and sucked me in.  I was making dinner and running back and forth to read a few pages between steps, but somewhere in the middle it lost me.  I don’t know whether I have been reading too many Gone Girl-esque style books so this just seemed like more of the same or the fact that the “twist” was obvious fairly early on.  I would say that it is more family drama oriented than thriller, but it just fell a little flat for me.