Review: Paws, Claws, and Magic Tales: A Fellowship of Fantasy Anthology

Paws, Claws, and Magic Tales: A Fellowship of Fantasy Anthology Paws, Claws, and Magic Tales: A Fellowship of Fantasy Anthology by H.L. Burke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pretty good read overall.

The first story nabbed my attention with the first sentence. Loved it and it is worth buying the book. It set a really high standard for the rest of the stories, and for the most part they all lived up to it. Just one story I couldn't get into so didn't finish it. But the rest were good. That is high praise because I'm not generally a fantasy fan.

You don't have to like cats to love these stories. I have always had a cat for a pet and now I have two. They keep me laughing all the time, and these stories have some great chuckles in store for you. Yep, a worthy buy.

I received my ARC from the authors in eBook format. This is my honest opinion :)

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Review: The Secluded Village Murders

The Secluded Village Murders The Secluded Village Murders by Shelly Frome
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm glad I didn't know that Shelly Frome is male before I read this book. I have sort of a prejudice against male writers trying to get inside female heads and making the character believable. Female writers trying to get inside male heads gives me almost the same shudders, but not quite.

Therefore, I was surprised when I went to review this book and there's a photo of the author! A professor no less. While there wasn't quite the kind of female introspection in this story as in stories written by females, I thought it was the stiff-upper-lip type of British through processing. I like that writing style so didn't think much of it. That's the only difference I can tell.

If you don't like British style humor, or British style mysteries, then you won't like this book. The humor comes from the characters, and they are quirky, and they are wonderfully developed. I've met people just like these, and it was clear from the outset that Frome understands elderly people very well. After seeing his photo, I now know why. There is a great small town flavor about this story with all the small town secrets and busybodiness, too. It is a wonderful combination.

The story drags in a few places, but don't skip them because you'll miss some important clues. One thing I like about this book is the reader is given all the clues necessary to solve the mystery. Another thing I liked is that I figured it out, but not too early.

A most satisfying read.

Five of five stars.

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Review: A Printer’s Choice

A Printer’s Choice A Printer’s Choice by W. L. Patenaude
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This has a bit of a slow start. Instead of starting with the murder, we are with the one man who can reason with the human-like printers. Then we backflash and jump heads a bit. It isn't so much confusing but quite disturbing to the reading flow. I wasn't gripped by this story because the characters didn't seem full-blown, living color to me at first, so I didn't care about the murder or the man who was going to solve the mystery.

However, the story grows on you. If you keep at it you'll find some literary gems that lend a good flavor to this story. There's a brief moment when I was transported back to my college campus movie night, blankets on the grass, the smell of mosquito repellant and the strains of 2001 Space Odessy, and Hal's voice ringing into the night air. Those are the almost human Printers that brought that memory back.

This is more a study in human condition than a murder mystery, in my opinion. I wanted to read it because of the mystery. Found a different kind of story, and it was enjoyable, just different.

Received this book from Netgalley. This is my honest opinion.

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Review: The Murder at Redmire Hall

The Murder at Redmire Hall The Murder at Redmire Hall by J.R. Ellis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have been having lots of fun watching several different British cop shows, one of my favorites is DCI (Detective Chief Inspector) aka Boss Banks. This book reminded me of that show. The top detective is quite personable, even though he is a DI and not DCI, and his trusty DS, detective sergeant explore the murder of Lord Redmire.

I found the characters are all distinctive and believable. In fact, the blending of characters and their subsequent reactions to situations, and add to that the mystery of the room, and it almost made me not really care whodunit. Just an enjoyable read. Not a lot of English slang so it is very understandable. There is some dry wit (my favorite kind of humor).

Four of Five stars for making me not really care whodunit, which is the purpose of a murder mystery!

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