Review:

Perdido Street Station

by China Miéville

I don’t know how I missed the writing of China Miéville for so long!

If you appreciate the “entangled” school of exposition, You’ll lluuurve this one.

Perdido Street Station is a cruel, brutal, gruesome place, and we view it mostly from it’s underside, entering down a filthy, horribly polluted river. Millieu and character are intricately drawn, with relationships subtly revealed through narrative. Every person we meet, whether human, alien, beast, or even machine, some only mentioned as rumors, receives at least some attention, some growth (whether they survive or not) … The Mayor’s eyes, for instance … before the end. The character we drift in with, who remains sort of sidelined, slowly emerging throughout, is revealed in the last few paragraphs to be most changed of all.

My 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 reviews have become few and far between, reserved to indicate a profound and enthusiastic approval…
Perdido Street Station fully deserves this one.

Review:

Kiss of Midnight 

by Lara Adrian

⭐️⭐️⭐️⅝✩

This book starts off with a murder witnessed by our heroine, and quickly branches off into a parallel world of spooky locations and terrifying people. I was immediately caught up in the action.

I liked the idea of “hidden evil” and characters with ancient origins, but the thing that provided a “negative edge” for me was the fact that the “protectors” appear only slightly better than the bad guys in their attitudes. I mean, in 200+ years of life, it requires a last-minute “lifemate” to bring forth the realization that at least some people might be likeable

Ms. Adrian is up to the ’20’s, more or less, so a lot of people must appreciate this series. I’ll read on for the excitement, hoping they don’t become “cookie cutter” stories… too similar with only different names…

Review:

Burn for Me

by Ilona Andrews

Magic was “discovered” during the 1800’s by a mad scientist/alchemist type who produced a “serum” that was tried out indiscriminately with most test subject/victims dying. Those who survived were found to have various forms, to varying degrees, of magical powers. Governments got involved, then lost control.

Needless to say, in an Ilona Andrews world, power corrupted absolutely, and with the premise growing out of the narrative as usual, we’re off like gangbusters‼

Super world, super characters, and I’ve already read several books beyond… to bad there aren’t any more left that I can continue binging…

… produced for SOS Bingo Round 19

Review:

Burn for Me

by Ilona Andrews

As usual for these authors, I felt compelled to finish in one sitting… And I read late into the night!

World building is organic, a parallel universe growing out of the story with no dumps, fits, or spurts, where magic works because someone discovered a ‘serum’ in the late 1800’s, and the effects were heritable.

Even the weakest characters are well developed, and their relationships are what drive the exciting action story.

So of course, I’ll be reading on…

…prepared for SOS BSB Round 19, shelf one…

Review:

The Quick and the Thread

by Amanda Lee

It interests me to see how different authors, jumping off from essentially the same (or at least extremely similar) starting points, can find so many directions to travel.

Earlier for the DISCO shelf I reviewed the first (and ultimately read quite a few) of “The Vampire Knitting Club” books. For the SHAG shelf, I’ve chosen what turned out to be nearly the same beginning. The new owner discovers the previous one to be dead, killed in the storage room.

The starting points are of course coincidental. the dead person in the first one is the new owner’s grandmother, who joins the club in the basement and becomes a continuing character. The dead former owner in this one stays dead, becoming the first clue to the puzzle.

The locale of northern coastal Oregon is well drawn, and characters fully realized with a twisty plot that kept this reader pleasantly confused ’til the end.

I’ll be reading on…

Review:

A Muddied Murder

by Wendy Tyson

In the first of the “Greenhouse Mystery” series, we are introduced to the village of Winsome, Pennsylvania and it’s many characters, with our depth of ‘knowing’ smoothly increasing as they become more important … (or die, as the case may be)

I was thoroughly engaged as tension built, with the ultimate resolution of the puzzle with ‘just enough’ left over to prompt the next episode … which I’m now reading …

Review

Chili Con Carnage

by Kylie Logan

Living in an interesting gypsy/carny traveling ‘chili cookoff’ road show, our characters …at least those who survive… work their way through several days of mayhem. Red herrings abound, and lives are complicated and interwoven.

This is the first of three episodes, hopefully the somewhat sketchy character development will be filled in as we progress. So far, storytelling is straightforward with little of the humor that I have come to expect from a Kozy.

3½ ✪ ⦽ …”rounded up” for 5*system…

Review:

The Vampire Knitting Club 

by Nancy Warren

This is definitely a ‘Kozy’ … life happens, items are lost and found, people die from causes that are duly discovered, and carnal relationships are obliquely hinted at …

I needed comforting after discovering my boyfriend of two years, Todd, had stuck his salami in someone else’s sandwich.

Warren, Nancy. The Vampire Knitting Club

With an interesting setting, strong characters that you become engaged with, and plenty of action in a quick-moving plot, this series earns 4✫’s.

Review:

Room With a Clue

by Kate Kingsbury

This novel (and series) is set in very rural Britain shortly after the turn of the 20th century with all the social quirks of “british class” and suffrage. The miscommunications caused by these social mores contribute the difficulties to solving the puzzle.

I was entertained, so I’ll read on for at least a couple more to see how the characters develop, and if the puzzles become more complex.

3½ ✪ ⦽

REVIEW:

Rosemary Remembered

by Susan Wittig Albert

This is number four in the ‘China Bayles’ series…

Jumping into the middle, so to speak, always presents problems with back story. Known characters are only sketched in, filled out somewhat by further actions, leaving the reader at a disadvantage. This is the series author’s dilemma, too little or too much, for too much can lead to skimming when binging on into the series. I judge this instance as ‘just about right’, I guess, as the roles of supporting actors were made clear, and will probably remain so as the stories progress.

I’m fairly new to ‘Cozy’ as a genre, but I see why there is so much enthusiasm for it. Ms Albert’s character’s lives happen, and the mystery (mysteries?) just happens to get solved.

I’ll be joyfully reading on ’til the next subject is called…………………………………….