Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Couple of Cozy Mystery Reviews

A street in Old Town Scottsdale, Arizona, USAA Street in Old Town Scottsdale, Arizona - Image via WikipediaJust a quickie update, and a couple book reviews for ya.

While I haven't been working on my novel due to lack of time and winter blahs, I have been reading and I started a new picture book, so there has been some wordy creativity over here.

I've been reading Cozy mysteries lately. Very quick, light reads, with a nice happy ending. They've perfectly suited my mood. Here's what I've recently read, with a mini-review about each one. As always, please take my reviews of cozies with a grain of salt. You might have a different reading experience than I do.

(Disclosure, the Amazon links below are affiliate ones, so if you purchase something through Amazon via these links, I would get a small commission.)

Fatal Flip by Peg Marberg

Strengths - The little town in Indiana which this story was set was well conceived, and I really enjoyed the relationship that the main character had with her husband and pet. For the most part her characters were very well drawn. I liked how plucky the main character was, and her bad smoking habit, and the way she had to sneak her sleuthing so that her husband and cop son-in-law didn't find out about it.

Weaknesses - As usual with these cozies, I really disliked how the main character, an ameteur sleuth, questioned her subjects. Basically like she was a cop, or a card carrying PI. Real people wouldn't talk like this in my opinion, but I'm beginning to suspect it is a trope of the genre. Also, this wasn't a first book in the series, so the character's sluething habit was already well established, and probably so was her interrogation methods.

Sprinkle With Murder by Jenn McKinlay

I thought this book was terrific. The first in a series, this book centered around two friends who owned a cupcake store in Scottsdale, AZ. When their best friend Tate's fiancee is murdered, Melanie, the main character becomes a prime subject.

Again, I didn't totally buy the amateur sleuthing (too many references to terms only cops would use, not cupcake bakery owners) but the childhood friendship between the characters, the easy-to-hate personality of the victim, plus the interesting secondary characters kept this a nice fun read. I definitely recommend this one if you like cozies. I might even try the sequel, Buttercream Bump Off (Cupcake Bakery Mystery).

Lastly, since I lived in Mesa, Arizona, I really enjoyed the setting of Old Town Scottsdale and the references to places I've actually been, such as the Arizona pizza chain, Oregano's. YUM. I do miss their food! Especially their Roasted Garlic Chicken Lasagna. Totally recommend it if you're out that way.

There was a third cozy that I recently tried, but I hated it so much I couldn't finish it, and I think I've blocked the title from my memory. If I can remember it, I might talk about it later. In the meantime, I've got a library bag full of books I need to get to, including a couple YA's and a memoir that our county library is recommending as their spring read. Hopefully I can get to all of them before they're due. I've already renewed them once.
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