Reading Roundup: Murder, Mayhem and Ghosties Galore!

I’ve been reading like a fiend this past month—and not one review to show for it! In a perfect world, I would spend my days reading on the chaise lounge with my chubby cat and my nights toiling away on my book, which has been left stagnating in Scrivner for months. Needless to say, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to keep up with my poor little book blog! So in the interest of saving time, I bring you some short and semi-sweet reviews for a few books from my reading list.

The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

15993203I really wanted to love this book. It’s got everything I could ever ask for in a paranormal-infused historical mystery filled with hunky bluebloods and soul-sucking demons from the bellows of Hell! But alas, I could not pay attention to the story to save my life. As the narrator droned on and on about the setting—in excruciating detail—my mind kept drifting off to my to-do list….not a good place to be. Really, my dear readers, I tried to get into it. I’m pretty sure my iPod sighed as I continuously hit the playback button. By the time the story finally picked up, I was too annoyed d to continue. The whole “Dark Days Club” storyline did not appeal to me in the slightest. I like paranormal thrillers to be rooted in some sort of lore. This just seemed like a bunch of arbitrary nonsense that stemmed from a bad dream. Another reason why I chucked this thing into the DNF pile is that I couldn’t connect with any of the characters – least of all Lady Helen. Supposedly she and Lord Carlston are headed toward a steamy bodice-ripping scene, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Aside from some “amused smiles” (romance authors love that shit) he shows no sign of affection whatsoever. In fact, he treats her the same way an annoyed brother bats away his little sister. Why he is so rude, I do not know. Nor do I care. I’m just glad Audible has such a great return policy!

Scents and Sensibility by Spencer Quinn

23492835After chucking a lame book into the DNF pile, I always turn to an author who I love and adore. It’s like going to my favorite restaurant that guarantees delicious food and fabulous service. So of course I had to check out the latest installment of Spencer Quinn’s Chet and Bernie mystery series! They are the best private investigators in the Arizona desert! The genius of the series is that it’s narrated by Chet, a 100-plus pounder of a dog who will stop at nothing to capture the bad guys and keep his partner safe.

It sounds kind of silly, but this concept really works! Oh how I wish I could meet Chet in person so I could scratch him behind the ears and spoil him with Slim Jims. All the books are great, but this one might be the most suspenseful! There’s a lot of danger – in both the crime-solving and romance departments. Not only are they pursuing a bunch of cactus-smuggling murderous thugs, they’re also at risk of leaving their beloved desert and moving to gloomy old London. NO NO NO! This cannot happen. I have always loved Bernie’s on-again, off-again girlfriend, Suzie Sanchez, ever since she rescued Chet from the pound. However, I will cross her off my Christmas card list if she whisks them away from their home! The books will never be the same without Bernie complaining about the aquifer, a concept that is completely lost on Chet – or their sunset rides through the desert in Bernie’s beatup old Porsche.

I truly enjoyed this book, but I’m worried. I hope I’m wrong, but the author seemed to be dropping hints that it’s coming to a close. Bernie would miss a clue and ask himself, “Am I losing it?” And after another dog-napping attempt, he starts to wonder whether or not he should retire Chet from the Little Detective Agency.  Nope, not having it!

If the series does end, I hope that a new one will pick up with the new Chet-lookalike puppy. Until then, I will just have to cross my fingers and hope that the end is not near for my beloved ace detectives!

Buzz Kill by Beth Fantaskey

imagesLet me start off by saying that Millie Ostermeyer is a girl after my own heart. She’s a Nancy Drew fanatic, a junk food connoisseur and an ace reporter—pretty much everything I could ever ask for in a young amateur sleuth.

It was a lot of fun tagging along with this girl detective as she solved the case of the murdered high school football coach. Considering Coach Killdare’s long list of enemies—including Millie’s widowed father—she has a lot of ground to cover. And when her dad becomes Suspect No. 1, she will stop at nothing to hunt down the perp.

Good thing she has the mysterious high school hunk on her side. Together, they search for clues and narrow down the long list of suspects with ample motives for wanting the coach (aka Hollerin’ Hank) dead. And if clearing her father’s name isn’t stressful enough, she must also deal with her mean girl nemesis who is determined to turn the crime into tabloid fodder for the school paper. She’s also falling in love with a boy who’s dealing with a LOT of emotional baggage. Oh and her father is dating the school librarian on the sly. Is nothing sacred in this sad, cruel world?

If you love a fun mystery with lovable characters, witty dialogue and cliffhanger chapter endings, I highly recommend this book. Fans of Peter Abraham’s Echo Falls mystery series are sure to enjoy this fun little whodunit.