Airs and Graces

Written by Roz Southey

Peel: A historical murder mystery with a touch of the paranormal; it is apart of the Charles Patterson mysteries. A seemingly open-and-shut case, with a girl murdering most of her family to escape back to London, quickly becomes tangled upon investigation.

To begin with, I have not read the other Charles Patterson mysteries. I still found the novel enjoyable, but would recommend others to begin with the first book. How the Patterson universe works in relation to other worlds and spirits for example, took me by surprise but was still simple enough to follow. The chapters also started with amusing lines from letters between two, unknown to me, characters.

The first chapter is a mere six pages, and it pulls the reader straight into the book with a heavy dose of suspense. Southey does a lovely job at building up the plot, and giving little details so one may try and solve this mystery. Between all the twists and turns the novel takes, it’s not obvious who the murderer is but it’s still possible to piece it together. The chapters themselves tended to be pretty short, and between that and the suspense the novel read rather quickly. I found this book rather hard to put down, and finished it in one read.

On the other hand, I don’t particularly like the idea of being able to talk to spirits and ask them to recount events. To me, that seems like cheating. I would have greatly preferred the novel without any jumping between worlds and speaking with the dead.

Nibble: “The English are never in error. At least, that’s what they tell me.”

I would recommend this to anyone interested in a quirky murder mystery.

My Rating: 8 out of 10 shimmering silver apples

I received a free electronic copy of this book from Severn House.

Roz Southey’s Site

Get the first book from Amazon ~ Dive into Airs and Graces from Amazon

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The Great Mystery

By Travis Slone

In this book we start off with a soldier going to the emergency room, and then we’re whisked off to another realm for an adventure. The main story is a male, Amir, and a female, Eva, trying to find the great treasure to unite the world. The book is a very easy read, and would be best for younger teens. I believe I would have found the book much more gripping and surprising if I had been younger. The allegory fell on the heavy side, though it tended more towards spirituality than religion. The allegory feels rather shallow as we don’t learn much about either of the protagonists’ until the end. At the end rather than there being character development, it seems like we’re first seeing their full characters.

I would recommend this book to younger readers in search of an adventure.

Nibble {first sentence}: “Outside the doors of a state-of-the-art medical center, a team of paramedics rushed in from their ambulance with a young soldier in critical condition.”

My Rating: 4 out of 10 apples with strange carvings

I received a free paper copy of this book from First Reads via Goodreads.

Promissory Payback

By Laurel Dewey

Dewey’s story is based around a detective trying to find out who killed a woman, and each of the suspects seems to have a motive. Dewey does a great job of setting the scene, her descriptions of place and person are rich and tangible. It’s a great quick read as you can immerse yourself for just an hour or two and see the mystery unfold, it reminded me greatly of watching a detective TV show.

There are a few abrasive and uncomfortable views in this story, mainly those of women and victims. Both of these shape the detective, Jane Perry. Personally I did not find her a sympathetic protagonist, although this is the first work of Dewey’s that I’ve read. Regardless I found her character intriguing. I also can imagine coming to root for her once understanding her perspective and past through the series.

One of the drawbacks of this story was how much, and how quickly, Jane pieces together the mystery. I would have liked a little less clarity throughout the story for more suspense.

Nibble: “Vengeance is an odd bedfellow- at once, quietly cunning and then unflinchingly aggressive, fulfilling its duty to destroy that which it sees as a threat.”

I would recommend this story to people looking for an afternoon mystery.

My Rating: 5 out of 10 granny smith apples

I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.