Dune House Cozy Mystery Boxed Set: Books 1 – 4

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Oh boy, another Cindy Bell series. Can you tell that I like her little fluff novels yet?

Suzie gets a notice that her uncle passed away a few weeks prior, and he had bequeathed his house/bed and breakfast to her. Suzie, ever being the adventurous one, along with her friend Mary, pack up to go check out the house. Quickly, as soon as she arrives, she starts to notice something about her uncle’s death doesn’t quite add up. After some poking around and meeting her cousin, Jason, her investigative journalism senses were tingling. She quickly finds out that not all is as it seems in the small town.

I really like this book. Suzie and Marie were given a great background to work with. They are both older, so they aren’t spring chickens. We do meet a few of the townsfolk, however, this book was really focused on Jason, Suzie and Marie. Though at first Jason seems a little standoff-ish, but we quickly find out what the reason behind that was. I enjoyed Suzie as a character and her desire for the truth is quite nice. I enjoyed seeing her try to get to the bottom of it. We also get to see her future love interest in this book, however, only for like a second.

The book is a good beginning to a series. I really enjoyed this one, and I hope it will be like her other series.

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The girls are finally getting used to living in Garber. At a local fair, they find a beautiful artwork that was painted by a local artist before her suicide. After moving the painting from one frame to another, they find a map leading to a potential location. Suzie, being her, starts to dig into the artist’s past and decides to follow the map. After reaching out to Paul for a lift, the group quickly realize that they might have actually gotten into more than the fun little treasure hunt that they were expecting.

I really enjoyed this mystery. When characters look into a death from the past, and no new bodies pop up it’s a lot more interesting than most stories to me. I enjoyed how while Suzie was looking into the past death, she discovers some information about the town and its history. It helps build the environment and the feeling around the town, it’s especially interesting when it’s at the beginning of a new series.

The characters of Suzie and Mary are expanding really nicely. Bell did add a lot of details into the first book of this series, however, they are still developing. Paul is still an enigma in this book, however, I can see him becoming Suzie’s boyfriend as that is what the author is edging towards. Paul doesn’t have much backstory as of yet, which will hopefully be rectified in later books.

Overall, this was a very interesting book.

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After all of Suzie and Mary’s hard work, the Dune house is finally open to the public. Their first-weekend open seems to be going great until the plumber that they hired from one town over is found dead under the house. Normally there would be a lot of suspects, but there were only 4 guests in residence there is only a limited suspect pool and Suzie has her eye on two of the guests.

This was a slightly different take on the one room mystery as it encompasses the entire house. I did really enjoy the way that Jason handles Suzie in this book, after all, she is the standard cozy novel heroin and doesn’t know how to deal with interrogations as that is not their job. The mystery was interesting and actually allowed us to find out a little more about the town in this book. The history of the little town is quite nice and interesting.

I enjoyed the growth that Suzie goes through in this book, however, Mary was the one that really shines in this story. After all the years having to take care of her children, it makes her very good at managing customers at the inn. The friendship between Suzie and Mary is very light and fun, they rely on each other but can also have a good laugh.

I enjoyed this book, and have high hopes for the series.

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Suzie and Paul are enjoying each other’s company and enjoy getting to know each other. However, when a fishing expedition turns deadly and Paul goes missing Suzie starts to freak out. The police start assuming that Paul had something to do with the murder, and Suzie is just worried that something will happen to Paul next. Now it’s a raced against the clock for Suzie to follow Paul’s clues and find him, hopefully, alive.

I really got to learn a lot about Paul in this book. which was really nice. His protectiveness over Suzie was sweet but scary at the same time. Though you know you’ll never be in danger, let’s hope that the anger isn’t directed towards you. Though there was a mystery, I felt like this book was really about telling the story of how Suzie was coming to terms with her feelings for Paul. They both grew so much and the story was so focused on them that the mystery fell away.

I would say that it was an ok book but not the best out of the four. I still really like this series so far.

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Death Master (DI Yvonne Giles #1)

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When murdered women are starting to be found around Oxford, the police start to worry. They quickly discover that there is maybe a serial killer in their midst. However, when all the women have seemingly nothing in common, it becomes increasingly hard to figure out how they all might have met their killer. DI Yvonne Giles is on the case, just after getting back from leave, though even the best DI needs help. The police force decides to call in a criminal psychologist before any more women show up dead.

I really enjoyed this book, however, I did have some difficulty getting into it. It’s a little bit of a slow start and doesn’t draw you in right away.  I enjoyed the dichotomy between Yvonne and Tasha as well as how they both grow as characters together. They work well together as a team in this book, and they even develop the beginning of a friendship. This book did have a lot of character development so we have a good base for the characters. For it is the first book in the series I was surprised how connected I started to feel to the characters.

The storyline in this book was interesting, along with the character developments, the murder mystery intriguing and in depth. We get to see the story from the point of views of the police, victims and murder which makes the story more interesting and adds depth to it that some stories lack. The story was detailed and it really allowed us to get into the mind of the killer and his motives behind everything. It was also interesting to see how the victims fell into his grasps as well. There was one person that didn’t really make much sense until the very end.

Overall, it was a great read.

For the Love of Murder (Sky High Pies Mystery #17)

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Kate has wrapped into another mystery again. After a friendly face in the neighbourhood comes asking for some help from a friends, then later that same friend is found beaten, and his girlfriend murdered, this just looks a little weird. Soon things aren’t adding up, and it all seems to backtrack to a dating website. Kate looks deeper and deeper into the case and only manages to get more questions.

I will say, I don’t know it’s because I read it on my flight to Japan, or because I just couldn’t follow the story well. I knew who the murderer was, however, I was confused like nothing else when it actually came to the point of the murderer is arrested. I still didn’t quite get why he did was he did. I know that Trent explains it, but I don’t know, it didn’t add up to me. The characters were really developed well in this book, and it kind of just felt like they were going through the motions. I know that I love this series, but this book was a bust. I really wanted to get into it, but I just couldn’t.

That being said, I was heading to Japan when I read it so I might need to give it another shot when I’m not so distracted.

The Silver Eyes (Five Nights at Freddy’s #1)

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I will preface this review that I am an extremely big fan of the Five Nights At Freddy’s (FNAF) franchise. I have play all the games, watched multiple let’s players play the games, and even watched the Game Theorist’s series on the games. I really like the lore that is behind this series a lot. However, that doesn’t change what I think about this book.

This book follows Charlie and her old childhood friends that have reconnected again after being apart for many years. After a mutual friend was kidnapped and never heard from again, they all went their separate ways. Charlie is coming back to town for the reunion for the first time since her father passed away, and she insists on visiting her old house, as well as the old pizzeria that he father once owned. However, after she and her friends visit the pizzeria, they find out more about what really happened to their old friend on the day he was taken.

I will say, that though I like the story, the writing has much to be desired. Though you get a good feeling to the surroundings, and interesting back story the characters still feel flat some how. I did enjoy them attempting to give a least some personality to Charlie, it just didn’t quite make it. Coming from a literary stand point, that really makes the store drag in some parts because we don’t really get to connect to the characters. Knowing that one of the writers comes from a gaming background, I can see how this mistake was made but it didn’t help the story. The awkward attempt at a mild love interest was just that, awkward. I didn’t really enjoy that aspect an felt like the book could have done without. I will say though, is that you can walk into the book with out knowing a thing about the FNAF series and still mildly enjoy it, if you are the type of reader who really likes that novels to have a lot of back story and descriptions of the environments. There was a few aspects of the book that might go over a new comer to the series head, as a lot of information is given to Micheal Afton in the game series.

All in all, it was an ok book, not something that I would write home about, but if there is nothing else to read this isn’t a terrible option.

I’m Sorry… But I’m on Vacation

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Hello everyone,

So… I’m going to Japan!!!! However, that means this blog will be on hiatus for 2 weeks. I’m sorry. I tried really hard to get my books read and posts written in advance. However, I failed. Therefore, I got no back log. I will be reading on my vacation and writing reviews, so I should be able to have posts up when I get back.

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This trip has taken up all of my waking hours, and I’ve been really studying my Japanese to make sure that I can get around with ease while there. Leaving me very little time to read.

I feel really bad about this, but I want to enjoy my vacation and not stress about the posts.

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Dawn

French Silk & Cyanide (Sky High Pies Mysteries #16)

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Crescent Creek is all in the buzz when there is talk about an old indie rock band getting back together after a decade old falling out. However, when the lead singer is found dead in his own attic, things get a little weird. Katie get’s visited by the current girlfriend’s sister of the lead singer who was adamant that the supposed suicide wasn’t actually a suicide. Now the Katie gets dragged into yet another mystery.

This was an interesting premise that I’ve seen before in other book series. It is a classic murder option in mystery novels. The murder that was made to look like a suicide has many different ways that it could take place, however, in this book we got the classic hanging. I didn’t like how obsessed the sister of the victim’s girlfriend was about the murder and breaking laws to get access to information about the case. Despite that,  Katie worked hard to figure out that murder.

Sadly there wasn’t much Character development in this book. Most of the characters have hit the status quo, which I don’t like. We did learn about Sonny’s past which also gave a little insight into Katie’s high school years. This still didn’t develop or even add on to the character. I really hope the next book expands on the characters some more. There is always more to learn about the characters in a book series.

Murder Mystery Party (Senoia Cozy Mystery #9)

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With two business to balance, Felicity is working hard to keep everyone happy. However, when someone passes away at one of their parties, the group take on the case pro-bono. Looking into the incident due to the victim being Brittany’s friend, the trio gets sucked into another complicated mystery. Now, they must figure out if the victim was the intended victim and who would want to killed such a well liked girl.

As you are all well aware of, I dislike lack of continuity in books. Now due to me reading the previous book recently, I recall that Jack was fired from the police squad. Now in this book it’s mentioned that he left the force… um being fired is not the same as voluntarily leaving the force to start a PI agency… I did like when books don’t stay on on track.

I did liked the the character development between Jack, Jefferson and Felicity. Jefferson and Felicity are getting their sea legs with their new relationship, while also getting used to Jack being in the same building as them. Jack does some reflection in this book and grows a little which allows us to get to know him a little bit more. I feel like Jack’s insecurity in his relationship with Brittany is in full display in this book, which makes him act irrationally and not as professional as he should.

One more this to point out about this book. This. Book. Ended. In. A. Cliffhanger… Avid readers would know how much I hate cliffhangers. It probably affected my positive thoughts of the book with that one action.


Senoia Cozy Mystery # 7 – 8