Archive for February 2010
I wonder if this would be classified as a “cozy” mystery. Sure, it has its certain qualities that make it a cozy. Well, I would call this a “modern, trendy, and hip” cozy because of the theme and their main character. Who happens to be a tattoo artist. From what I gather, most cozies take place in small little towns, or villages. This one is in Vegas. Quite different, but has the same traits and characteristics of a mystery cozy with added humor. On a small note; don’t you just love the cover of this book???? I love it!!! it’s what caught my attention right away!
The Missing Ink is about Brett Kavanaugh (interesting last name, I think). A tattoo artist at a very trendy place called The Painted Lady. A potential customer asks for a devotional tattoo but never shows up for their intended appointment. It turns out the name she wanted on the tattoo was not her fiance (who is the son of a very wealthy influential business man in Vegas). Soon Brett is swallowed by a plot of two very different women who seemed to have switched identities, a big burly tattooed man who is stalking her, a handsome charming Englishman who might or might not be in this entire scheme, and several dead bodies. It’s up to Brett to find out who really is behind the murders and who is targeting her as the next potential victim.
This was a very interesting cozy. I liked Brett. She had humor, and her uncanny ability to always be there at the wrong time seems to follow her around throughout the book. She’s extremely stubborn and persistent (this behavior has caused her to become banned at certain places) but it helps her in the long run much to the chagrin of her brother Tim – who’s a police officer. Brett actually got more funny throughout the book and provided the majority of the comic relief (although her staff at The Painted Lady also had a hand in it as well).
I liked all the characters in this book. They were all likable and the majority of them had their funny moments with Brett. Bitsy especially, especially during their moment at an Elvis karaoke place. I’m not sure what to make of Brett and Simon Chase though, he seems really hot and charming and probably to swoon over, but there’s just something about him that I still don’t quite trust. Nevertheless, their flirting and what seems like a growing romance is interesting to read as I think Simon was very well written as a character.
The plot was good and seemed to flow quickly. It certainly started to really pick up the pace even more towards the ending of the book. What I liked the most, is how each ending of each chapter usually ended with a cliffhanger, so it made you want to keep going or in my case, late at night always wanting to go for “one more chapter!”. I certainly felt as if the plot went much faster this way as it piqued the reader’s interest and gained momentum to continue reading. At times, however, it did feel as if the plot itself repeated too much (ie: having Brett being followed, then having her meet up with someone, only to have that visit last a few second, and then having to meet that same person again for another ten seconds) it got old pretty quick and if it wasn’t for the quick pace and exciting chapter endings, the book would have been on the boring side. However, this shouldn’t deter you from reading this book as it certainly does set itself apart from your usual typical cozy mystery books.
Overall, one of the most interesting cozy mysteries I have ever read. With a smart, sassy protganist, and her funny entertaining set of staff and secondary characters to help with her sleuthing. I recommend this to cozy mystery readers who are looking for something different but don’t want to wander away from cozies. It was certainly a great entertaining read with a wonderful sense of humor to keep you chuckling to yourself.
I give it an 8 out of 10.
Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about a keeping books.
Do you keep all the books you ever buy? Just the ones you love? Just collectibles? What do you do with the ones you don’t want to keep?
- I only keep the books that I will keep rereading. Sometimes it’ll be a series that I really love (Dragonlance Chronicles, War of the Spider Queen series, Harry Potter, Drizzt Series are some examples) these series are the ones I reread constantly. There are some collectible books I also keep (for example some books authors have sent and are autographed). Otherwise the ones I don’t keep are either taken to the thrift store or to the library.
I was recently awarded The Bliss Award by Alayne at The Crowded Leaf! (thanks!)
2. Reading and being with the hombre because he always tries to get my attention by making me laugh.
3. Going to the library.
4. Visiting my dad and brother.
5. Blogging about books.
6. Watching the Canucks win.
7. Getting books as presents, especially if they went through the trouble of looking through my wishlist (thanks hombre!)
8. My cat who is my big furry baby.
9. The Three C’s : Chocolate, Chips and Coke (the soda people…come on..). This is my PMS food. It helps and stops me from being a red eyed hag.
10. Finding awesome bargain books and exclaiming: HEY THIS WAS ON MY WISHLIST.
I know I’m supposed to tag 10 bloggers, help yourselves. Every guest that comes to my blog is welcome to take this. I appreciate my readers and thank you all for taking the time to stop by and read my blog. Thank you. *Warm hugs and happy purrs from my furbaby*
The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn is the first of the Samurai mysteries which is geared towards Juvenile fiction readers. It’s about fourteen year old Seikei who is the son of a tea merchant but dreams of becoming a samurai. However there’s very little chance of becoming one as usually you have to be born into it. While on a journey towards Edo, a jewel intended for the shogun has been stolen in the inn where Seikei is staying at with his father. Seikei finds himself the only witness who has seen the thief, but he calls it a “ghost”. Judge Ooka (also known as the Japanese Sherlock Holmes) finds himself a mystery to solve and requests Seikei’s help to solve this case.
It’s a fairly well written book, and although you do get the solution as to who the culprit was, the main question was: why they did what they did. It was certainly interesting and it focused a lot more on Seikei and how he managed to help Judge Ooka capture the thief and find out the real reasons why the crime was done the way it was done. I think it was well written due to the fact that it paid close attention to detail and it was filled with good amounts of description to give the reader the feel for the time period and how it was like back then. It provided the reader with several tidbits of background information, so the reader won’t be lost in all the historical aspects of the book. However it’s well done so that you do end up getting a mini history lesson without being overwhelmed with information.
Although a mystery, it also did focus on the development and growing maturity in Seikei. Dreaming of becoming a samurai, he gets taught by several characters on how to behave and even fight like one. His behavior develops from a dreamy boy to someone slightly more mature and takes this samurai business more seriously. Although geared towards younger children, there are certain parts of the book where it seems more appropriate for young adults instead. That’s just my opinion about it though.
The plot was well done. It mixes the element of paranormal and with mystery and has it’s similarities with Sherlock Holmes where there’s always a logical explanation to everything. Judge Ooka steps up on this aspect and is shown to be a character with a quiet form of intelligence and stays in the background while Seikei does the actual work himself. In many ways they compliment each other perfectly and make a great mystery solving team.
Overall, I’m definitely picking up the next book after this one. This series has a great potential and has done a good job with this book. Pick this up for a good quick mystery read, with a small history lesson of Japan under Shogun rule.
I give it a 9 out of 10.
Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about a reference material.
Do you keep reference books on your shelves at home? What’s your first port of call when you need information – the internet or a book?
- I have very few reference books. An atlas, and a dictionary. Even a thesaurus. I usually resort to the web though, as the laptop is right in front of me while I’m reading.
What’s your answer?
Sometimes it’s a nice refresher to just stop reading what I usually read (for example; sci fi, fantasy, YA, historicals…) and just go for something different to broaden my horizons. The Swallows of Kabul is one such book. Totally not the sort of thing I read, but the information on the jacket flap caught my interest and I decided to give it a try. This is the first time I’ve actually read something that took place in the Middle East. (I think I’ve just about nearly travelled around the world in books!)
The Swallows of Kabul is the story of two couples. One couple features Mohsen and his wife Zunaira. The other couple are Atiq and his wife Musarrat. They are two couples living in Taliban run Afghanistan. Atiq has things somewhat easier for him. He’s a jailer and is (somewhat) a Taliban supporter. Musarrat is sick and dying in her home, whereas Zunaira feels locked and trapped in hers. These four will have their lives and fates intertwine by the sole action of the public execution of a prostitute.
This book did start off a little slow for me. I was patient with it though. It’s not supposed to be something that’s action packed and fast paced. It was slow, but the writing style is lyrical and poetic. The author really brings in the feeling of emptiness and despair of Kabul during this time period. I think the writing is extremely well done, it describes Kabul and its’ people and you can feel what they feel. You can picture the hot climate and the dry desert almost accurately. This book is basically written for the reader to feel the emotions of the main characters but also to experience how it is to live there during that time.
The characters are all right. It’s Atiq that really develops throughout this book. I liked Musarrat the most. She had this inner strength within her despite her health deteriorating and I admired her devotion and loyalty especially towards the end. I also pitied her the most as she had tried so hard to love Atiq and understand him. When she finally does though, it just seems too late. Which reinforces the feelings of sadness and despair which seems to be the main theme in this book.
Aside from the slow pace which sort of put me off, I couldn’t help but continue reading. I wanted to know what happened to these four people. My heart went out to them because of what they had to live through and the eventual outcomes of their lives towards the end of the book. Don’t expect any happy moments in this book (I can only think of one, and it didn’t end so nicely). You find yourself immersed in this story because of the way it’s beautifully written, and the emotions it can trigger while you’re reading it.
Overall, although it’s a short book, it might feel as if you’ve been drained of all emotion. Don’t let that put you off of this book. It’s written with a wonderful lyrical and poetical skill and with great detail to emotion and description that you’ll feel as if you’re actually there with the characters and going through their personal tragedies.
I give it a 9 out of 10.
I came across this book at a store when browsing through. Never gave it a second look but put it in my wishlist in case I feel like coming back to it again. By chance I found it at the library and decided to give it a go.
City of Bones is the story of a girl named Clary who by chance at a nightclub, sees a murder committed by three teens her age with strange tattoos and weapons on them. However when trying to explain it to her friend Simon, she realizes she was the only one who witness the crime and the body had just dissapeared. The three teens confront her and introduce themselves as Shadowhunters – a group whose mission is to get rid of demons from the Earth. However her mother than suddenly disappears, and Clary is left with her own questions on how she’s able to see things others don’t. As she searches for her mom, she also uncovers a lot of secrets that were meant to stay hidden about her past and her mother’s.
After trying to overcome a reading slump, this one was a great picker-upper. It was filled with action (it actually started in the first few pages of the book) and the plot kept me turning the pages and held my interest until the end. Normally, I’m not much into this whole faeries and the plots where a main character can see things, but others can’t. I found them a little dry and predictable and it would have taken a very good plot to keep me interested. So when there was a plot twist with Clary’s mother missing, that instantly got me hooked and left me with as many questions as Clary had about her mother and her past.
There were at least three moments in this book where I was completely surprised with the outcome and reactions of certain characters. This made me like the book even more as I have to admit, there were also some parts where I thought was completely predictable and made me feel as if perhaps I had made a mistake in reading this. However these little (or big) surprises caught me and it made the book even more enjoyable than I thought. The action sequences were entertaining and fun to read – albeit quite graphic in the violent department, therefore the book shouldn’t really be read with the younger age group.
Characters are a wide variety and very interesting and different. For a bunch of teenagers, the Shadowhunters themselves act quite mature (a little too mature in some cases) but it’s funny how they can quickly descend to acting like the typical behavior of teenagers when the situation arises. (The plot arc with Simon, Clary and Jace for example). When it comes to development, you really see only two characters develop (Clary and Jace) but since they are very central to the plot, it’s nice to see them very well rounded out. It was especially nice to see Clary mature so quickly once she was thrown into the Shadowhunter world.
Still, plenty of questions need to be answered, although quite a lot has been answered. There are still a few openings which of course leaves the reader to pursue the next following book. I will definitely be reading the next one. This series has me hooked for sure.
Overall a great read, especially if you were going through a reading slump like I was. This was perfect to get you back into your reading habit with its wonderful plot, great action, and its very interesting melange of characters.
I give it a 9 out of 10.