Tag Archives: book review

Review: Witch

WitchWitch by Barbara Michaels
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very entertaining and well written book.
It’s got elements of various genres I like: supernatural, thriller and romance (but not too much). I also like books set in villages and Michaels does a very good job is describing the village and setting the atmosphere.

The characters are also well written, those that you should like you like and those that the reader shouldn’t like are unlikeable and often you feel pity for them too.

The story itself isn’t special, about a cottage in which 200 years ago a witch lived, a village with some very religious people and a disturbed boy. Nothing gory or scary, it’s a cozy haunted house story and very enjoyable and easy to read.

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Review: Ripper

RipperRipper by Michael Slade
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The last third of this book makes up for the first two thirds. I thought this was a very confusing book. In the first two thirds you get a lot of information; many character (with no apparent main character), information about serial killer (especially Jack the Ripper) and many departments of the Canadian Mounties (and the acronyms). A lot of this information could have been cut to make a more comprehensible story. Only in the last third of the book does everything come together and becomes apparent who the main character is.

What confused me even more was Slade’s tendency to constantly switch by calling his characters by their first and last name, often switching between sentences. There are many characters and switching between what he calls them I was constantly thrown out of the story by having to recall what character he is referring to.

I almost stopped reading this book but I’m glad I persevered because the last part is good and hard to put down.

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Review: The Ghost and Mrs. McClure

The Ghost and Mrs. McClure (Haunted Bookshop Series #1)The Ghost and Mrs. McClure by Alice Kimberly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After reading the Epigraph I wasn’t sure I would like this book. Jack, the ghost of the title, was killed in 1949 and speaks in a too stereotypical way of that era. I’m glad I kept reading because I did really enjoy this book.

Not the greatest detective book ever, nor a great literary work, but a very entertaining read nonetheless.

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Review: The Apprentice

The Apprentice (Jane Rizzoli & Maura Isles, #2)The Apprentice by Tess Gerritsen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars
I really liked this sequel to the first Rizzoli & Isles novel. Whilst in the first book the focus was on Detective Moore and not on Rizzoli it has now shifted. Dr. Isles is also introduced but doesn’t play an important part.

The story itself is solid; everything fits together rights, there are no loose ends. The characters are also well written. Gerritsen is very good in writing a character who you are not sure about if he’s a good guy or a bad guy.

However well written the story and the characters are nothing really stands out. Within a couple of months I will probably find it difficult to remember the story without looking at a synopsis.

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Review: Case Histories

Case HistoriesCase Histories by Kate Atkinson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I would have given it 4 stars if it wasn’t for the ending.

I really liked this book, with the various intertwining mysteries. However, I didn’t like the ending because it didn’t solve all the mysteries and left a few things too open for my taste. Also, although the characters are likeable and believable I was never rooting or sympathizing with any them.

It’s the first in the Jackson Brodie series but I don’t know if I’m going to get the next.

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Review: The Curse of the Pharaohs

The Curse of the PharaohsThe Curse of the Pharaohs by Elizabeth Peters
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I like this second book of the Amelia Peabody series even better than the first. Amelia and her husband haven’t been to Egypt for several years because of their young son. When Lord Baskerville, who is financing an excavation, dies and his chief achealogist disappears Amelia and her husband are invited to take over to finish the dig. Of course, Amelia knows something’s up and suspects that Lord Baskerville has been murdered, especially when more strange things start to happen.

This story has a faster pace than the first book of the series. The ending, however, is rather slow because Amelia explains who was the murderer and why the murders happened.

In the first book the relation between Amelia and her future husband was fun. They pretended they didn’t like each other and were always commenting on one another and arguing, at the end of the novel they discovered they loved each other. Luckily the great interaction, arguments and commenting hasn’t disappeared. The other characters are also good, although some have only a little part to play.

The only thing I want to comment on is that it was hard as a reader to figure out who the murderer is because we are not given all the information.

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Review: Death of a Cad

Death of a Cad (Hamish Macbeth, #2)Death of a Cad by M.C. Beaton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the second in the Hamish MacBeth series and the main character, Hamish MacBeth, is much more likeable than in the first of the series. In the first book the story was told from the point-of-view of another character and it seems most characters seem not to like Hamish. Because this book is mostly told from his POV you understand that other characters misjudge him.

The story is very similar to the first; early on in the book it is obvious who will get killed, everybody who is part of the group surrounding the victim has a reason to dislike/murder him, police from the big city comes in to help but Hamish solves it using his knowledge of the local area and contacts around the world.

Although I did like this book I do hope the other books in the series have a bit more variation in set-up otherwise I’m afraid it will grow old very quickly.

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Review: Crocodile on the Sandbank

Crocodile on the SandbankCrocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Crocodile on the Sandbank is the first book in the Amelia Peabody series. It tells the story of a Victorian lady, Amelia Peabody, who inherets money from her father and decides to go on a trip to Egypt. Strange things start to happen, even before Amelia and her new friend start their trip properly and it’s up to Amelia and her friends to solve the mystery.

I loved this book; Amelia is somehow very realistic and likeable. Her thoughts and actions are all very understandable, for instance her annoyance with the clothes a Victorian woman is supposed to wear. Although some characters start out as a charicature they progress during the story, making them more likeable, or not, and more believable.

I did find that the ending could have been a bit shorter and more to the point, but Peters clearly wanted to build up to the grand finale.

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Review: Pompeii

PompeiiPompeii by Robert Harris
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I put off reading this book for a while, being afraid it would be rather boring. But the opposite was true. It was an enjoyable read.

Harris is very good at mixing history and fiction, although the ending is a bit too good to be true. I liked the way he started each chapter with quotes from academic resources explaining what happens before and during a vulcanic erruption, although some used a bit too much academic and scientific language for me to fully understand.

This book has motivated me to look for more books set in (Roman) history.

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Review: Death of a Gossip

Death of a Gossip (Hamish Macbeth, #1)Death of a Gossip by M.C. Beaton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really liked this book I did, however, needed some time to get into it because the main character, Hamish MacBeth, was introduced as a rather negative and unfriendly person. I took a while to warm up to him because the story is mainly told from the point of view of another character.

Although the murder didn’t take place until about halfway through the book it wasn’t tedious and drawn out. It was not hard to know who was going to be murdered but the way was it happened was original. I didn’t guess who the murderer was until nearly at the end of the book, although that was mainly because that character wasn’t as fleshed out as other characters of the story.

Although I did like this book both the story and the character could have been developed better but this won’t deter me from getting the next book in the series.

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