from descriptions: An old friend’s sister disappears without a trace. There’s no sign of foul play, but she’d been acting very peculiarly . . .
Meanwhile, Liz’s cousin Christie comes to stay. She takes an immediate — and uncharacteristic — dislike to the local bookshop owner, Gina. Why does everyone put up with her awful behaviour?
Joy Ellis is one of my favorite authors, but the Matt Ballard series is not my favorite of her three series.
Gina is a game player, a manipulative woman who manages to berate and coddle, denigrate and reward her employees and friends. Christie sees this, but Gina's victims make excuses for her.
Ellis manages to bring to life some of her characters: Tom's mother Margaret, Ian, even Pip and Dominic. Strangely, the more important characters don't fare as well. The inability of Tom, Delphi, and Jane to see through Gina makes them seem quite dense.
Mystery/Suspense. July 8, 2021.
Although Lin is the Emperor's daughter, she is unable to recall certain memories after her illness. Her father pits her against Bayan, a young man he has fostered and appears to favor, teaching him the bone shard magic he refuses to teach Lin.
Jovis, a smuggler, is searching for his wife who was abducted 7 years ago. He sails the Endless Sea, from island to island searching for her, financed by a powerful criminal group to whom he owes money. When an island collapses into the sea, Jovis escapes with a young boy he has rescued from the tithing ceremony and saves a strange little cat-like creature from the sea.
Mephi, the strange cat-like creature, gradually rescues Jovis from his grief and encourages Jovis to continue rescuing children.
Phalue is the daughter of the governor of one of the islands and Ranani is her girlfriend, who is working with the rebels.
Sand lives and works on an island where the inhabitants don't know where they came from and believe they have been there forever. An accident reminds Sand that she hasn't been on the island forever, but regaining that specific knowledge doesn't give her back her memories.
All of these threads will unite eventually. In the meantime, each one has a powerful story involved. The book moves back and forth between the characters and their stories easily.
When children across the island kingdom are eight years old, a tithing requires that each child has a shard of bone excised from its skull. The shard belong to the emperor who uses bone shard magic to supposedly protect the islands. Part of this involves the creation of "constructs," an amalgamation of animal parts plus the bone shard(s). The bone shards implanted in these constructs contain commands from the emperor. Shades of Dr. Moreau. Creeeepy.
The magic seems to be science gone mad.
So...what did I think? I was all in--able to tolerate inconsistencies and curious about each of the different storylines, completely absorbed in this compelling tale. Sadly, I will have to wait for the release of the next in the series.
Hatchett Audio Book; Narrators: Feodor Chin, Natalie Naudus, Emily Woo Zeller
Fantasy. 2020. Print length: 448 pages.
Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn was a strange choice for me. I was looking for something a little light, and this one sounded like a rom/com about a calligrapher. I don't usually read "romance," but this sounded like something a little different.
And it sort of was and there were parts I sort of liked. Yet... somehow it didn't work out for me. I liked the characters fine. The interior monologues about words, fonts, and letters was almost like Meg had a form of synesthesia, interesting, but maybe a little over done.
It was a nice little romance, even with the flaws, until the second half of the book. I don't equate detailed sex scenes with romance, and in the end the good points weren't enough to satisfy any "com" in the "rom."
Ah, well. You win some, you lose some.
from description: When a guest dies in the B&B she helps her aunts run, a young witch must rely on some good old-fashioned investigating to clear her aunt's name in this magical and charming new cozy mystery.
I liked the aunts. Their personalities were such a contrast. Brynn, their niece, has always been able to commune with ghosts and when Constance (the guest) dies, Brynn seems the perfect person to have a little conversation with Constance to find out what happened, especially since it appears the her Aunt Nora is the chief suspect! Brynn, however, has been unable or unwilling to use her powers since her husband died. She is determined to clear her aunt without using her powers and isn't even certain that she could use them if she wanted to.
In the Company of Witches is a fast read, and if you enjoy cozy mysteries this might be one you would like.
Cozy Mystery. Oct. 5, 2021. Print length: 336 pages.
After all the plenteous rains of May and early June came the heat and humidity. It may not be officially summer yet, but most of the country seems to be experiencing record heat. Summer used to be peak travel time, but honestly, I'd rather go somewhere in the fall or spring than in the summer.
There has been a lot less gardening and a lot more reading and stitching inside with AC.
I'm intrigued by the premise of The Bone Shard Daughter. Sounds like a lot going on and the characters seem interesting, too.ReplyDelete
I enjoyed it. The three different narrators were all good, and I got a lot of stitching and housework done because I was so involved. :)Delete
I'm not familiar with Joy Ellis. Which of her three series is your faavorite?ReplyDelete
I started with the DI Nikki Galena series and then the Jackman & Evans series turned out to be just as interesting to me. It would be hard to decide between those two. I don't miss anything in either series. :)Delete
My eye immediately caught on In the Company of Witches. That does sound like something I would enjoy. I'm sorry Love Lettering didn't work well for you. That's one I plan to try at some point. Hopefully I will like it more.ReplyDelete
Love Lettering was more romance than comedy. :)Delete
What a broad range of genres! I like how you mix it up. Romance and cozy mysteries are not really my cup of tea either, but every now and again, it is good to branch out.ReplyDelete
:) The heat, humidity, and mosquitoes have been keeping me inside more, and I'll read anything! I do like to mix it up occasionally, but I always return to mysteries, fantasy, and science fiction.Delete
Hasn't this humidity been awful? We're getting it too. Result of all that rain a few weeks ago in part. I really like Joy Ellis's series that set on the Fens. I have a couple of those that I haven't read. Have not read any of her other series as yet.ReplyDelete
All of them are set on the Fens and sometimes there is a crossover between series--Rory, the medical examiner, covers most of the Fens. He will appear in all three series, but gets the most time in the Nikki Galena series. :)Delete
Yeah I'd rather stay around for summer and travel in the off seasons .... It sounds hot where you are. I haven't been to the Shreveport area but I've been through Dallas, which must be a ways away. It seems like a few of these reads were outside your wheelhouse of usual reading ... which is nice to try things out.ReplyDelete
Especially with global warming and the current heat wave, summer travel isn't much fun at the moment. If I'm going to be diving for the AC the entire time, I'd rather travel when the weather is more pleasant.Delete
Yes, I tried a couple of books that were not my usual choice of genre. Sometimes it pays off to mix things up a little. :)
That's too bad about Love Lettering. I was hoping that one would be really good. Oh, well.ReplyDelete
It was OK, but not what I was looking for. A lot of folks will love it. :)Delete
I've been curious about The Bone Shard Daughter and In the Company of Witches sounds really good.ReplyDelete
We've had temps in the 100s with high humidity here. Even with the AC on full blast, it's been sweltering. Yesterday the humidity was lower, so it was more tolerable. I'm hoping this trend continues.
I really liked The Bone Shard Daughter, but not the wait for the next book. :( The humidity is a killer, isn't it? Hits you in the face when you open the door. Thank heavens for AC!Delete
I don't read cozies often now but the Witches book has a great cover and the premise sound s bit different from the usual. I have Love Lettering which I recently bought so I'll have to keep my expectations in check with that one! I was wondering if you were spending more time indoors lately due to the heat. It's like we went from spring right into the middle of summer in one day right? Stay cool and hope you are reading some great books now!ReplyDelete
I'm not much of a cozy reader, but every once in a while I try again. You may like Love Lettering more than I did--it's another genre I don't read much. Yes, more time indoors because it is so hot and humid. After a cooler spring it has been a jolt to meet what feels like August!Delete
The Bone Shard Daughter sounds so good — and the individual stories sound as interesting as the whole story.ReplyDelete
It was a good choice for an audible book. :) I got a lot of stitching done and then, just to keep listening, did more housework than usual. Mopping floors while listening to an audio book is much less boring.Delete