The InBetween by Dick Wybrow


I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.

The InBetween is not my usual type of read, but I was intrigued by the description and I am glad that I requested it.  Painter Mann is the world’s best dead Private Detective.  Painter operates his private detecting business in the InBetween, the place for spirits who have not yet moved on to a more permanent location.  He investigates open questions surrounding their death in order to allow them to move on.  Lots of quirky, interesting well written characters, the mechanics of the dead and how they function and move are interesting and well thought out, and there is a great deal of  black humor.  The only issue that I really had with the book was at times it seemed that all the story lines seemed too disconnected and could be difficult to follow. A read for fans of black humor and quirky PI characters.

Purrder She Wrote & Mistletoe Murder


Purrder She Wrote is the second in the A Cat Cafe Mystery Series.  Maddie James is celebrating the grand opening of her Cat Cafe created in her Grandfather’s Victorian on Daybreak Island, a combination cat rescue, cafe, and retreat for cat lovers.  One of the more hot tempered volunteers has a go at a wealthy would be adopter, who is not known for treating animals well, and this leads to trouble when the wealthy woman is found dead on her private beach.  Maddie certainly doesn’t need this type of publicity for her new business venture.  Maddie investigates to be sure her staff member is innocent.  There are subplots involving Ethan, Maddie’s business partner, Val,  her sister, and Lucas, the groomer and love interest.  Fun, fast cozy read for cat lovers.

I picked up Mistletoe Murder because I wanted to begin Leslie Meier’s prolific Lucy Stone series.  I believe there are somewhere around 27 books now in the series.  I know I have read one or two of them, not in any particular order in the past, but as her life changes and she and her recurring cast age through the books, it is a series I think that benefits from reading in order.  As I was reading Mistletoe Murder, which is the first in the series, I realize that I had indeed read this one before so I ended up skimming as I remembered bits of the story.  Lucy Stone lives in Maine with her husband and young children.  She and her husband moved to Maine to escape city life and almost live a homestead type life style, complete with animals, home improvement, knitting, etc.  Lucy works night shift for a catalog company taking orders over the phone for a LL Bean-esque company.

It was really interesting reading this now, as it was originally written in 1991.  I was an adult during that time and this now has a very retro feel for me.  I remember the popularity of LL Bean and Land’s End style clothing and merchandise at that time, phoning in your catalog orders, running around Christmas shopping from actual stores, and having friends who wanted to get into homesteading, some of mine even did move up to Maine and up state New York.  I did feel that Lucy goes a little too far into that “superwoman” trope, but that feels true to the time.  I did enjoy this and I have already bought the 2nd in the series and will be reading that soon.