Book Review: Abby Cooper Psychic Eye

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Summary: Abby Cooper is a psychic intuitive. When one of her clients is murdered Abby can’t help getting involved in the investigation. Especially since the cop investigating is a major hunk who she starts to fall for.

My rating: 4/5

I really enjoyed reading this book. In fact, I couldn’t put it down. I read it in two days. I also grabbed book 2 of this series and book one of another series by the author.

I loved the authors voice. This book was just a pleasure to read all around.

I enjoyed the main character and many of the side characters though at times Abby missed things that should have been pretty obvious to her. She mentions it in the narrative as well with things like “If I had only known then” which was a bit annoying at times.

My only other real complaint about the book is that there was no introduction of the murderer before the big reveal. I am used to cozy mysteries where someone the sleuth has met before and usually interviewed is the killer. In a way, this came out of left field.

So, if you are looking for a mystery that follows tropes and conventions maybe this isn’t for you but it is a ton of fun to read anyways.

I loved the psychic elements of it too.

I would recommend this to readers who enjoy light and fun reading in a mystery. I think people who enjoy the Janie Austen series by Laura Levine and don’t mind a pinch of paranormal will really enjoy this series. Also if you enjoy the Charlaine Harris Sookie books and the Betsy the Vampire Queen by MaryJanice Davidson. That is kind of what this book reminds me of stylistically.

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Book Review: Buddy(How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man)

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Summary: Brian marries into a family which includes two step daughter and a chicken named Buddy.

 

My rating: 3/5

The truth is that I would give this book a rating closer to 2.5. Isn’t bad enough to justify a 2 but I didn’t really like it enough to categorize it with my other 3/5 either.

I am a huge animal lover so I was drawn to this book because it is about a man and his relationship to a pet. Sorta.

Honestly, I spent the first part of the book begging the narrator to get to the point. He goes off on tangents about his first dog and how awesome that dog was. He talks about a ton of other things that are barely relevant to plot. He isn’t very likable (though, as the book is autobiographical props for being so honest) either.

In a nutshell the narrator hates the chicken and is kinda a jerk. The chicken is a loyal pet to his step kids even if he is a pain in the butt at times. Moral of the story is be loving and be present. Takes the author whole book to realize this and it is a very long and often dull journey there.

Brian’s new wife and kids were spoiled brats. I got really frustrated with them throughout the books as they showed now gratitude or respect for him. I thought the kids were spoiled and the mom was unreasonable much of the time.

If you are looking for a feel good or even a humorous story about a city family and their adorable pet chicken this isn’t that story.

I almost quit reading it several time and mostly only finished to see if the author ever explained how the chicken made him a family man because for the majority of the book I wasn’t sure he was ever going to get there.

Not for me.

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Book Review: The Art of Detection

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Summary:

Kate is a San Francisco cop called to investigate the homicide of a man obsessed with Sherlock Holmes. As evidence mounts it seems that the victims passion for mysteries might just have gotten him killed.

My Rating:

4/5

 

I liked the book. I didn’t quite love it but I absolutely liked it.

This is the only book I read in the series and I probably won’t read any more but it was a good mystery and a decent book.

I was drawn to the book because I like Sherlock Holmes and having a murder based around a fan of his was fun.

I liked that the book could be read without having ever read another book in the series. I generally think mysteries should be stand-alones but I find that many are hard to understand if that is the only book you have read.

So, just being an enjoyable stand alone is a ton of points in this books favor.

I really enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes themes to the book. It was a lot of fun.

There is a pretty large section of the book that was a story within a story. I wasn’t nuts about that at first but it ended up being fun to read. I do think it took away from the main action in the book a little but it is pretty important to the story.

So if it was neat why am I not going to grab more? I thought it was neat based on Sherlock Holmes theme but nothing about characters or writing made me hungry for more.

Also, and there is no PC way to say this, but there was just so much focus on gay issues. Kinda turned me off.

I am pro gay marriage. I have no problem with people being gay. Heck, I have written a gay romance and am about to start writing another. I just thought it was excessive in the book.

The main character is a lesbian (no problem there). *Slight Spoiler* Then the main plot and the sub-plot mysteries both involve gay issues. Basically murders would both have been prevented if people would mind their own business about the sexuality of others and let people love who they want.

Again, I agree in principle. I even tell my daughters when they play video games that involve relationships (Stardew Valley mostly) that they can marry a girl or a boy. Both are fine options. Their choice. The problem with the book wasn’t the ideology but how I felt like it was made into a huge deal in the story.

This book won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but it is a decent mystery that reads as a stand alone.

 

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Book Review: Murder in the Bowery

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Summary:

Frank is asked to find a newsie. He locates the boy but later the child is killed. Frank believes he led the killer to the boy and he needs answers. He soon finds that the boy’s death is connected to the death of a young lady who was the lover of a very powerful and dangerous man.

My Rating:

3/5

This book was fairly typical of this series. Nothing new or mind blowing. I wasn’t entirely sure who the killer(s) were until near the end but it wasn’t a huge surprise when it was revealed.

I did not love that the author went back to a previously used motive that was fairly unsettling last time. I know there are only so many reasons to murder someone but, without spoilers, this one has been done by her before and is not what one would necessarily expect in a Viictorian era mystery.

I also was not sure how I felt about “justice” in this book. I know that in many of these books the bad guys can’t just be turned over to the police. That is part of the point of this series. Still, I didn’t really feel like justice was served by how things ended.

I also feel a little “meh” about the overall story arc at this point. I am excited that Frank got his agency but much of the series overreaching story arc is neatly tied up with a bow. I certainly didn’t feel the sense of “I need the next book right NOW” that I have at other times in this series. Sarah does have a new pet project which is opening a hospital but for me it just doesn’t have the same stakes as the story arc up until this point.

In the earlier books in the series there was a secondary plot of will Sarah and Frank get together, who is Catherine, what will happen to Brian. All of those things are pretty much through. Hoping that the author can add some new exciting story arcs because otherwise this series will move from one of my favorites to just a decent mystery series.

Still, I recommend reading this series. It is one of my favorites. Start at book one though.

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Book Review: Murder in Morninsgside Heights

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Summary:

Frank has just opened his new private investigator agency and already he is called on to investigate a murder. The murdered woman is a teacher who was killed in broad daylight on school grounds.

My Rating:

4/5

This book holds a special place in my heart because it was the book that got me into this series. I picked it up when it was first released because it looked interesting. I read about a quarter through and realized that this was a great series but that there was way too much going on for me to catch up. I needed to start at book one.

So, this book launched my adventure into this series. It has been an amazing ride along the way.

The mystery in this book was only so so. It was pretty obvious who the killer was early on.

I was glad to have Frank and Sarah back after their absence in the last book. I would have loved another book between that one and this as Frank set up his agency but that is a very minor complaint. This book, in a way, launches a new chapter in the series. Frank has a private investigator business and Sarah starts work on a new passion project to take her back to midwifery.

My favorite thing about this book was that Malloy got attacked instead of Sarah. Much of this book deals with gender equality and honestly I was tired of Sarah always being the damsel in distress.

This is a great series and I am excited to see what happens now that Frank is a private investigator instead of a police officer.

 

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Book Review: Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue

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Summary:

Sarah and Frank are away on their honeymoon but that doesn’t stop murders from happening.

Una was found by police cradling the head of her dead husband. She claims she didn’t kill him but can Gino and Mauve prove it?

Rating:

3/5

This was my least favorite book in the series to date ( I have read every book up to Murder in the Bowery).

The mystery was just okay. I suspected who the killer was pretty early on so the mystery pretty much fell flat for me.

I love this series for Frank and Sarah. I do enjoy the secondary characters but it isn’t why I read the series. Frank and Sarah were mostly absent from this book which made it much less enjoyable of a read for me.

Una was unlikable and there just weren’t very many sympathetic characters in the story.

I love this series but this book wasn’t very exciting.

 

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Book Review: Murder on Amsterdam Avenue

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Summary: Sarah and Frank are preparing for their wedding but as usual death has other ideas.

Frank is asked to discreetly investigate the death of a man who appeared to have died after a long illness but instead may have been poisoned.

My rating: 3/5

This is the first case with Malloy off of the police force so the dynamics of the story changed some. It wasn’t bad but certainly different than before.

There was a bit of a gap between the events in this book and in the last that threw me for a bit of a loop. I really think there could have been another book in between this one and the last. Gino left for the army and returned. I have no memory of that even being mentioned up until this book. Also, Malloy moved into a house.

This novel was one of change for the characters and as a reader I did have a bit of trouble adjusting to all of those changes.

The mystery was a good one and kept me guessing until the end.

This book is good but not the best in the series.

I love this series and would recommend it to any fan of historical fiction and mystery

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