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The Hog’s Back Mystery by Freeman Wills Crofts

The Hog's Back Mystery (British Library Crime Classics)The Hog’s Back Mystery by Freeman Wills Crofts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I keep saying the same thing. All the mysteries of the British Library Crime Classics I have read so far have this cozy setting, lovely landscape, typical country people and all that stuff. Absolutely entertaining, if you love that kind of thing.

The Hog’s Back Mystery is no exception, but I found the solution to the mystery slightly annyoing, as it was too complicated for my taste. If a mystery plot relies too much on minutes in the timeline I am not buying it anymore. This solution so much depended on exact timing of a couple of people that it was just not realistic any longer. And to be honest, with all the different locations and various murders I completely lost track of who did what regarding which crime.

A nice touch was that when the solution was presented the clues that were given were referenced with page numbers so the reader could actually go back to the exact spot in the book where it was mentioned or revealed. However, reading the story on a Kindle made this bonus pointless as I cannot go back to page 78 – bummer!

All in all, good as far as ambience was concerned, but plot wise I was slightly disappointed. There is a second book by the same author on that list which I will definitely check out to see if it has the same kind of complicated vibe.

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No more wasted time by Beverly Preston

No More Wasted Time (The Mathews Family, #1)No More Wasted Time by Beverly Preston
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

No angst, no drama, no conflict, if that’s your kind of thing, you’ll be happy. The only minor problem arose because the woman is a complete idiot who doesn’t trust her instincts but automatically assumes the worst without letting the poor guy even finish one sentence to explain (even though he did NOTHING wrong). A pet peeve of mine, so I was not impressed.

Also you have to overlook the following: that the woman is in her mid forties, had three kids, but looks like and has the body of a sex goddess. That the hotel staff of a top class resort is the most unprofessional that I have every heard of. That the guy has never even snorkeled before and then dives down 12 feet to see some manta rays. Sure.

Now to a couple more details that most people won’t care about…

The girls discussed Greece with Tom. He told them about a great little café they should try , an art gallery to stop at, and several other places they might like to see.

Wait a minute! Someone goes on a cruise around the Greek islands (I assume that is where they were going, there was not one specific location mentioned throughout the whole book, except the Aegean Sea, Tuscany and Bora Bora) and gets a recommendation for this café and that art gallery? Of course, just go to Greece through the entrance gate, follow the main road and turn left once. There you will see the café to check out. Greece is not some one horse town, it’s a friggin’ country!

“So, where are you flying today for your film?”
[…]
“Right outside of Germany. It’s a war movie, not the typical type of film I do.”

And where exactly would that be? Poland, Austria, Belgium? To name just a few of the places that are “just outside of Germany”. WTF? Can you be a little more specific? Not that it matters one way or the other where the bloody movie is being made, but to call any country “just outside of Germany” just shows a lack of respect (and/or lack of research, even though to have to do any kind of research in order to get European geography rudimentally right is already sad in itself).

Those guys hopped around Europe as if it was the second best place on Earth (the best would be Bora Bora) and couldn’t even be bothered with naming one specific location. At one point they are at a restaurant “in Greece” filled with “old-world” ambiance. Described as follows: “crisp white table clothes [sic] with blue napkins dressed the tables and pictures of Greece hung on white textured walls”. Totally old-world ambiance, right?

Sorry that I am harping on about these details but that sort of stuff sets me off, and not in a good way.

I’m not saying this was a bad read. It was entertaining in a very unproblematic, angst-free way. If there was more attention to the little things I’d have liked it more, though.

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The Sussex Downs Murder by John Bude

The Sussex Downs Murder (Superintendent Meredith, #2)The Sussex Downs Murder by John Bude
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am usually absolutely oblivious to any clues and any hints as to who is the murderer. Really, I never know beforehand. Exception: this one. After about half way (and this indicates that every other reader knows after the first chapter) I figured who the killer was and had to wonder what was wrong with the inspector that he couldn’t see it. What was going on was obvious.

Nevertheless, this was a very enjoyable read (and for once I was ahead of the police) with great surroundings, typical English countryside atmosphere and a story that kept you interested.

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The secret of High Eldersham by Miles Burton

The Secret of High Eldersham: A British Library Crime Classic (British Library Crime Classics Book 1)The Secret of High Eldersham: A British Library Crime Classic by Miles Burton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Highly entertaining! The setting is as good as it can possibly be. A secluded village in East Anglia with inhabitants that are more than odd, the through roads are little more than country paths and basically no stranger has ever reason to set foot into it. Strangely enough no vicar this time, but who needs one when you have a cult leader making up for that lack of cleric support?

I liked the characters, Desmond Merrion and his sidekick Newport are very promising. I am not sure if Inspector Young is in the following novels as well but I wouldn’t mind. Those two work well together.

The occult angle is explained in a satisfactory way and I found the atmosphere dealing with that part of the story really exciting. The first mention of the wax doll was already doing its job but when it came to Desmond spying on the coven at night I was devouring the pages. Thank God that the leader didn’t turn out to be mad (something I was afraid of), but his strange disposition was explained in a credible way.

All in all a very good read that made the time just fly.

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Connection Error by Annabeth Albert

Connection Error (#gaymers, #3)Connection Error by Annabeth Albert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Connection Error is the third book in the #gaymers series, but the first book that I have read (in the series and by this author). It can easily read as a stand alone as the previous books’ characters appear in it but play only a very minor part.

Josiah and Ryan were likeable characters who both had issues that were dealt with in a very realistic way. There was no head over heels in love, no unnecessary drama and none of the usual contrived miscommunication. There were feelings developing slowly, misgivings that were perfectly understandable and a lot of time apart. The few sex scenes were not too explicit or drawn out (surprising for me, but maybe that is Annabeth Albert’s style) but sensual nonetheless. A lot of online meetings were only mentioned and not described in detail, but it didn’t take away from the story. The slow burning plot was a very good touch and made the scenes when the guys got together and emotional even more rewarding.

Even though the issues standing in the way of a relationship were quite serious I didn’t think this was too angsty – on the contrary. The hurt and angst was wrapped in such a way that you didn’t feel like you had been through the emotional wringer after finishing. A good thing in my book. A very enjoyable read.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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