Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Paw and Order (Chet and Bernie Mystery #7) - Spencer Quinn

Paw and Order is the 7th book in the Chet and Bernie Mystery series. As usual, Chet the dog is the narrator and his ideas and thoughts are often laugh-out-loud funny.

On this occasion Chet and Bernie find themselves in Washington DC, visiting Suzie Sanchez, who is Bernie's on-off girlfriend. She is now a reporter for the Washington Post and has picked up a keen interest in politics. She stumbles across a source for a story she wants to write about the upcoming elections and steps right into a murder. Chet and Bernie get involved as Bernie becomes a suspect in the crime. So their adventures begin!

I adore Chet the dog. He is funny, smart and gets side-tracked by things like food smells, squirrels, cats and loss of train of thought, but he always gets "the perp". Bernie is a loveable character, too, and the two are inseparable and work as partners in the Little Detective Agency which is based in Arizona.

If you want a different kind of detective/crime novel, filled with humour and narrated from an unusual perspective, then these books are the thing to pick up. Without fail each one has been an interesting adventure filled with all kinds of likable characters and Spencer Quinn makes Chet the dog's voice so realistic that I often find myself forgetting that he is a dog, that is, until he sees a squirrel!

Paw and Order goes on sale on August 5th. Be sure to get a copy, you won't regret it!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Divas Las Vegas - Belinda Jones

Friends forever, Jamie and Izzy share a dream: a glitzy double wedding in Las Vegas. At age 27, they’ve had enough of dodgy boyfriends and are ready for dodgy husbands—all they have to do is find them. And where better than Vegas itself, where the air is 70 percent oxygen and 30 percent confetti? But as they abandon their lives in sleepy Devon for the eye-popping brilliance of Sin City, their groom-grabbing plan starts to look less than fool proof. And those problems they thought they’d left behind—like Izzy's fiancĂ© and the alarming reappearance of Jamie’s first love—just won't go away

Firstly let me tell you that I have enjoyed all the previous Belinda Jones books I have read. I liked this one but only really got into it about one third of the way in and then wasn't madly in love with Izzy - hence only a 8.7/10

Having said that, the descriptions of Vegas, the shows and the atmosphere of the town are all spot on. The location always plays a big part in each Belinda Jones story and drawing a complete picture of the setting is one of the things she does really well in each of her books.

This was the first book she had published and it will not put me off picking up more of her work as she seems to get stronger as she progresses, if  some of her other work is anything to go by.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Fashionably Dead - Robin Peterman (Hot Damned Series #1)

Fashionably Dead is the first in a series of fantasy books called Hot Damned Series by Robin Peterman.

Astrid wakes up to find she has been turned into a vampire. Her world is suddenly manic and completely off the wall. She is now in the reliable hands of an angel called Pam who is the image of Oprah but with a serial liking for profanity and a fighting coach fairy called The Kev who is a dead-ringer for Arnold Schwartzenegger, speedos and all. Along with her best friend Gemma, these characters support and guide Astrid through the tumultuous times after her change. 

I really can't make my mind up about this book. The fashion references and Astrid's propensity for all things Prada are at times funny but sometimes annoyingly out of place in the setting. At times the writing was laugh out loud funny, particularly any dialogue including Pam, the angel who has the filthiest turn of phrase, and then other times I found myself skipping through mystifyingly boring bits! The basis of the story is very amusing and the style in which Robyn Peterman writes is in equal measure funny and quirky but something just didn't click for me so I cannot say I really loved it. Having said that, I can see how it has wide appeal and has received such high ratings.


Friday, July 4, 2014

A Hidden Fire - Elizabeth Hunter (Elemental Mysteries #1)

This is the first book in a series of four. I found it for free as an e-book on Amazon.com so downloaded it to take a peek. I was hooked immediately and by the time I got to 40% I went back to Amazon and bought the other three books in the series!!

I am not a massive fan of fantasy but having recently read and enjoyed A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness and after reading the blurb below, I thought I'd give it a try.

A phone call from an old friend sets Dr. Giovanni Vecchio back on the path of a mystery he'd abandoned years before. He never expected a young librarian could hold the key to the search, nor could he have expected the danger she would attract. Now he and Beatrice De Novo will follow a twisted maze that leads from the archives of a university library, through the fires of Renaissance Florence, and toward a confrontation they never could have predicted.

Elizabeth Hunter does such a good job of slowly creating a world of hidden beings and likable characters, it was enjoyable from the start. I was so enamoured by the story that I looked for other reviews. Someone posted one with pictures of what she thought Beatrice and Giovanni looked like, and it was exactly how I had pictured them too. Just like this.........

I can highly recommend this book and suggest you give it go, or, why not just buy the whole set!

And, of course, the moral of the story here is that marketing works! It seems that Amazon have nailed the ploy of offering free kindle books as bait to reel in readers to encourage them then to buy the rest of a series! It worked with me and I am so glad I found it.

Can't wait to get started on Book 2!