Saturday, April 26, 2014

Life From Scratch-A pleasant way to pass some time

Life From Scratch by Melissa Ford

This is absolutely not a genre I read very often, chick-lit romance.  The reason I picked this one up was because I had just received my Kindle as a gift and this showed up on a freebie list.  So, I read it.

I was pleasantly surprised that I did enjoy the story.  The heroine has gone through a painful divorce and copes by learning to cook and blogging about it.  While this is what the story is based on, you won't learn much about cooking or blogging here. It definitely focuses on the relationship issues of Rachel and her best friend.  The writing is easy and crisp.

There's nothing deep or life-changing here, just a pleasant way to pass a few hours.  I was very happy with the ending.  It matches my sense of how life should work. 

While this is not a genre I will spend a lot of time in, I enjoyed this one.

Would I pay money for it?Yes
Would I read more by this author? Yes
Would I recommend this to a friend? Yes

Purchased as a freebie December 22, 2012

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Sourdough Wars-An entertaining look at San Francisco several decades ago

The Sourdough Wars-by Julie Smith

I had not read the first book in this series when I read this, the second one.  There were a few things that I would had a better grasp on if I had, but not enough to stop my enjoyment of it. After finishing this one, I immediately found the first of the series and read that one also.

This book is an interesting view of San Francisco from a few decades ago. The characters, starting with Rebecca Schwartz, were entertaining and the answer to the mystery wasn't immediately obvious which, of course, is what I want in a mystery. I learned more about sourdough bread than I had ever known before.

The mysteries written in the 1980s and 90s have a different feel than today's cozies.  They are slightly grittier and less cutesy.  This was originally published in 1984 and you can feel the difference.  Sometimes I prefer this feel.  It kept me engaged and entertained.  I'll be looking for the others in the series.

Would I pay money for it?Yes
Would I read more by this author? Yes
Would I recommend this to a friend? Yes

Purchased as a freebie January 21, 2013

Thursday, April 17, 2014

City of Light-Victorian mystery in my favorite city

I enjoyed the mystery and the characters in this book very much. I also enjoyed the historical information about the Eiffel Tower and the Paris Exposition. Even though I have been to the Eiffel Tower, I learned things about it in this book that I didn't know before. I did, however, find the topic of the mystery to be disturbing and not something I needed quite so much information on. I also agree with other reviewers that the editing needs to be better. I do enjoy this series and will keep reading them but they aren't as cozy as I usually prefer.

Would I pay money for it?Yes but with a little hesitation because of the topic
Would I read more by this author? Yes
Would I recommend this to a friend? Yes but again with a little hesitation.  Would depend on the friend.

Purchased as a freebie February 5, 2013

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

City of Silence-The Victorian CSI team heads for Russia

This story, the third in the City of Mystery series, is very intriguing and the setting, St. Petersburg Russia, is an uncommon one for historical mysteries. Queen Victoria, traveling to Russia to check on her granddaughter Ella and the prospects of her other granddaughter Alix to  marry the future Czar, takes what has become a fledgling forensics team with her.  Of course, they end up needing to solve a mystery and the Russian authorities are not keen on having English help.  The plot is set in the Winter Palace which almost becomes a character in itself. It actually made me want to do further research on the Palace.

I do think that the characters in this series will be much more understandable if you read the series from the beginning, rather than jumping in with this book. They feel very real and by this third story, are becoming good friends to the reader. The story itself will keep you interested right from the first page. I'm becoming a big fan of this series but it would be best to read them in order.

I enjoyed the first two in the City of Mystery series but like many others, I noticed all the editing errors. This one, while still seeing a few, was much better edited.

Would I pay money for it?Yes
Would I read more by this author? Yes
Would I recommend this to a friend? Yes

Purchased as a freebie March 6, 2013

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Dyeing Shame-A fluffy piece of fun!

A Dyeing Shame is a fluffiest of the fluffy type piece of fun.  A cozy mystery with an 80 year old sleuth-heroine set in a small town with the murder in the town beauty parlor?  Can't get much fluffier!

Myrtle Clover is a retired English teacher with a Chief-of-Police son.  She writes a helpful tips column for the local paper but that isn't enough to keep her mind busy and when a dead body shows up in her local beauty parlor, she can't help herself.  She has to find out what happened.  Over the protests of her son and the state police detective, Myrtle sets out to solve the case.  Since all the suspects are her friends, neighbors and acquaintances, she might have more luck than the officials!

This book is light, fun and, as I've said, fluffy.  The characters are definite "types", the stressed out mom, the socialite, the old maid, the reformed bad girl.  This isn't a drawback, it's one of the things that makes it comfy.  Quick and easy reading, nothing stressful, controversial or disturbing.  A fun way to spend a couple of hours and you could recommend it to your 13 year old daughter or your 83 year old grandmother.

Would I pay money for it?Yes
Would I read more by this author? Yes
Would I recommend this to a friend? Yes

Purchased as a freebie February 22, 2013