Review: Single Malt Murder by Melinda Mullett

Single Malt Murder by Melinda Mullett

Series: Whiskey Business Mystery #1

Genre: Mystery, Cozy

Setting: Scotland

Source: Audiobook, purchased

Narrator: Gemma Dawson

Publishing Date: 2017

278 pages

Synopsis: When Abi inherits her uncle’s quaint and storied single malt distillery, she finds herself immersed in a competitive high-stakes business that elicits deep passions and prejudices. An award-winning photojournalist, Abi has no trouble capturing the perfect shot—but making the perfect shot is another matter.When she starts to receive disturbing, anonymous threats, it’s clear that someone wants her out of the picture. But Abi’s never been one to back down from a fight.

Arriving on the scene with her whisky-loving best friend, Patrick, and an oversized wheaten terrier named Liam, Abi seems to put everyone in the bucolic village on edge—especially her dour but disturbingly attractive head distiller. Acts of sabotage and increasingly personal threats against Abi make it clear that she is not welcome. When one of Abi’s new employees is found floating facedown in a vat of whisky, Abi is determined to use her skills as an investigative journalist to identify the cold-blooded killer and dispense a dram of justice before he strikes again. But distilling truth from lies is tricky, especially when everyone seems to have something to hide.

My thoughts

Another book I read in 2018, but am finally reviewing now!

I really enjoyed this cozy mystery. It takes place in Scotland and is about a whiskey distillery. The mystery is interesting and kept me guessing. I figured out some of it, but not all of it which is always nice.

Audiobook

I listened to the audio version of this book and the narrator–Gemma Dawson–is excellent. She did an excellent job with all the different voices and really increased my enjoyment of this book.

Abi, Liam and other characters

Abi inherits her uncle’s distillery in Scotland when he dies. Her uncle raised her after her parents died so she was very close to him. However, she had never visited him in Scotland. She was busy with her career as a photojournalist traveling the world and she resented the fact he’d sold their home in London to buy the distillery. After he dies she wishes she had found out more about his life in Scotland and had visited him there.

Abi is a good character–not perfect, but not stupid or irritating either! Her wheaten terrier Liam is a great character, too. I like a number of other characters, too. Abi’s best friend Patrick comes with her to Scotland and helps her. And it’s understandable why some of the distillery employees don’t like Abi since she never visited her uncle in Scotland. They’re also worried about what will happen to the distillery since she doesn’t know anything about whiskey. And there’s a whiff of romance in this first book.

Threats and Sabotage

Even before she travels to Scotland someone delivers a threatening message to her and that continues after she’s in Scotland. She also discovers someone is sabotaging the distillery. Abi doesn’t know anything about single malt scotch, but she’s determined to honor her uncle’s memory and his faith in leaving the distillery to her. She wants to find a buyer for the distillery who will continue to make special single malt scotch. The sabotage at the distillery continues and the threats to Abi escalate. A murder occurs at the distillery. Abi isn’t sure who she can trust. A good mystery indeed!

A good cozy

I like Abi and I like finding out more about the distilling of scotch and about Scotland. I look forward to reading the next book in the series! The fourth book in the series–Died in the Wool (which I featured in a Can’t-Wait Wednesday earlier in March)–is set to publish in June.

My Rating: B+

Narrator Rating: B+

Have you read any books by this author?

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Died in the Wool by Melinda Mullett

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months. So I have a while to wait!

I love finding out about books which will publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

Died in the Wool by Melinda Mullett

Series: Whiskey Business Mystery #4

Published by Random House

Publishing date: June 18

Genre: Mystery

Synopsis: No good deed goes unpunished in the Whisky Business cozy mystery series as distillery owner Abigail Logan uncovers dark secrets—and murder—at a local charity.

Photojournalist Abi Logan is finally ready to put her hectic career on hold and set down roots in the heart of the Scottish countryside. Studying the business and art of distilling whisky at Abbey Glen and volunteering at the Shepherd’s Rest women’s shelter in her spare time seem a surefire way to find the peace and stability she craves. It’s also the logical way to take her mind off her personal life. Abi’s business partner, Grant MacEwan, is facing a career-threatening disability, and as much as Abi longs to be there for him, he seems to prefer the company of a rival.

But as Abi becomes more involved with Shepherd’s Rest, she discovers that their refuge is elusive. When the shelter is rocked by a murder/suicide, Abi is outraged by the police’s lack of attention to these already marginalized women. Increasingly confident in her own skills as an investigator, Abi steps in to find out what the police will not: who left one young woman dead and another missing. But when more deadly deeds come to light, Abi must race to unravel the connections between the shelter’s benefactors and the women they have pledged to protect—and expose the killer before he strikes again.

……………………………….

I read the first book in this series a few months ago and really liked it. I’m glad there’s a fourth book coming out and hope I’ll get to read the second book soon.

Can’t Wait Wednesday: Wild Fire by Ann Cleeves

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months. So I have a while to wait!

I love finding out about books which will publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

wild fire by ann cleevesWild Fire by Ann Cleeves

Series: Shetland Island series #8

Published by Minotaur Books

Publishing date: September 4

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

416 pages

Synopsis: When the Flemingsdesigner Helena and architect Danielmove into a remote community in the north of Shetland, they think it’s a fresh start for themselves and their children.

But their arrival triggers resentment, and Helena begins to receive small drawings of a gallows and a hanged man. Gossip spreads like wildfire.

A story of dysfunctional families and fractured relationships, Inspector Jimmy Perez’s eighth case will intrigue series fans and Shetland Island newcomers alike. 

…………………..

This is one of my favorite mystery series. I’ve read four of the books so far this year and am loving the characters and setting as well as the mysteries.

I only have a few more books to read to catch up to this current book. I hope she continues writing more books in this series.

Books that take place in another country

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week the topic is Books that take place in another country. I haven’t done a Top Ten Tuesday topic for quite awhile, but this topic inspired me since reading books set in other places is one reason I love to read. When I looked at my reading lists back to 2012 however, I discovered that I don’t read too many books set outside the United States. And the ones I do read are often set in the United Kingdom or Canada. I do have some books I want to read set in other places (Africa, Asia, Europe), but haven’t read them yet. I’ve included one historical fantasy that was set in Russia. The rest are mysteries.

As I finished up this post I see that I had a Top Ten Tuesday post from 2016–Books set outside the U.S. which has some of the same books. However, I didn’t write about those books (and I spent quite a bit of time on this!!) so I’m going to post it…lol.

I have broken out the books which take place in Great Britain into England, Scotland and Wales. In many ways they feel like separate countries! However, I think I wanted to pretend to myself that I have a more diverse reading experience than I do!

Note: All links in my title for the book or series go to Goodreads. In the case of a series the link and photo of the book are for the first book in that series. If I have a link in the part where I write about the book or series the link is to a review on my blog.

India

A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee

This is a book I’m listening to set in Calcutta, India in 1919. It’s a mystery about an English police officer who comes to Calcutta to join the police force there. India was under British rule at the time so the British are in charge of the government, but there are Indians who are part of the police force. India is shown here with Indians working with the British government as well as Indians who are working for India’s independence. The British are mostly a self-satisfied lot who’ve brought civilization to the savages. I’m really enjoying the book and am nearly finished.

England

The Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths

This series mostly takes place in Norfolk, England. Ruth is a forensic archaeologist and college professor who sometimes consults with the police. I’ve read eight books in this series so far and love them all. The tenth book comes out this spring.

Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James series by Deborah Crombie

I read quite a few police procedurals set in England, but probably my favorite police procedural series set in England is the Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James series set mostly in London though Duncan and Gemma sometimes travel outside of London and at least once I can think of there’s a mystery set in Scotland. I’ve read all the books written so far in this series, have reviewed most of them and love them all.

Scotland

Shetland Island series by Ann Cleeves

This series takes place in the Shetland Islands of Scotland. I read Raven Black quite a while ago, but read White Nights this year. I enjoy this series a lot and have the third book in the series to read soon.

DI Marjory Fleming series by Aline Templeton

This series is set in southwest Scotland near Galloway. DI Marjory Fleming and her team of detectives are very good characters to read about. They don’t always have it easy and her subordinates and superiors don’t always like Marjory, but she’s a very interesting character. My favorite book in the series is the first book–Cold in the Earth. Very good! However, I’m bogged down in the sixth book in the series at the moment. I’m going to finish it soon though and I think I will end up liking it.

Wales

Constable Evans series by Rhys Bowen

This series takes place in Wales which in these books seems like a different country from England. The Welsh characters all speak Welsh–especially when they are around any English visitors! This is quite a lighthearted police procedural series. I’ve read the first two books in the series and am really enjoying them.

Canada

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series by Louise Penny

These take place in Quebec, Canada. It certainly feels very foreign to me since the main character is part of the French Canadian part of Canada. Though Chief Inspector Armand Gamache speaks excellent English he is most definitely part of the French Canadian community. I’m really enjoying these books and recently read books 6 and 7–Bury Your Dead and A Trick of the Light.

Constable Molly Smith series by Vicki Delany

These books take place in British Columbia, Canada. I’ve loved all that I’ve read (six of the eight books) and hope Ms. Delany writes some more. The last book was written in 2016 and Ms. Delany is currently writing several other series. I like this series best and do hope she will continue.

Rockton series by Kelley Armstrong (formerly called the Casey Duncan series)

I’ve read the first two books in this series and have the third book to read very soon! This mystery series is very suspenseful. I don’t usually like books which are too suspenseful, but I’ve made an exception for these. They’re set in the wilderness of northern Canada in a village which is “off-the-map”–which helps add to the suspense.

Ireland

Murder in an Irish Village by Carlene O’Connor

Set in a small village in County Cork, Ireland. I really enjoyed this book and have the second book so I need to read it soon!

Russia

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

This is a historical fantasy which set in a fantasy Russia. The book is told like a fairy tale and was really enjoyable. The second book in the series came out in January 2018 and I hope to read it this year.

Iceland

Reykjavik Nights by Arnaldur Indridason

I read this book in 2017. It’s a prequel to the series which is set in Reykjavik, Iceland. Not all the books are translated into English, but a few are and I’m hoping to read more about Inspector Erlendur.

What books do you like which take place in a different country?

 

 

Books set outside the U.S.

Top Ten

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted at the Broke and the Bookish blog. Each week a different topic is introduced and it is fun to see what everyone writes each week. Check out their blog for more information.

The topic this week: talk about the books we’ve read set outside the United States.

As I looked for books I’ve read set outside the United States I realized most of the books come from just a few countries. Also a number of the books I read are science fiction and fantasy with imaginary settings.

I do have books which take place in other settings. I just haven’t read them yet!

Ireland

Murder in an Irish Village by Carlene O’Connor

Medieval Ireland, on Viking ships, Iceland

Hush: An Irish Princess’ Tale by Donna Jo Napoli

Canada

In the Shadow of the Glacier by Vicky Delany

A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny (French Canada)

Scotland

Cold in the Earth by Aline Templeton

Raven Black by Ann Cleeves (Shetland Island)

Scotland, Belgium, Russia

The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley

England

Necessary as Blood by Deborah Crombie

Alaska Territory (1919)

Borrowed Death by Cathy Pegau

Australia

And All the Stars by Andrea K. Höst

What books set outside the United States do you recommend?

The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley

the-firebird-by-susanna-kearsleyThe Firebird by Susanna Kearsley
Narrated by Katherine Kellgren
Series: Slains #2
Genre: Historical Fiction
Setting: Scotland, Belgium, Russia
Published by Sourcebooks Landmark , 2013
Audiobook, purchased
539 pages
14 hours, 37 minutes
Grade: A-
Narrator grade: A
Synopsis: Nicola Marter was born with a gift. When she touches an object, she sometimes glimpses those who have owned it before. When a woman arrives with a small wooden carving at the gallery Nicola works at, she can see the object’s history and knows that it was named after the Firebird—the mythical creature from an old Russian fable.

Compelled to know more, Nicola follows a young girl named Anna into the past who leads her on a quest through the glittering backdrops of the Jacobites and Russian courts, unearthing a tale of love, courage, and redemption.

There are times when our victories have a cost that we did not foresee, when winning brings us loss.

and

“If we cannot be what we were born to be–the whole of it–we die a little on the inside every day we live the lie. I’d die for you in every other way,” he told me quietly, “but not like that….”

Initial impressions

  • I love this book. And I love that we hear about and meet a few of the same characters from The Winter Sea.

Cheers

  • The narration by Katherine Kellgren is excellent.
  • I love the songs sprinkled throughout the audio version of the book. The narrator sings them and it’s lovely.
  • This book is similar to The Winter Sea in the sense that the story has both contemporary and historical story lines.
  • This book is called Slains #2, but I think it can be read as a standalone book.
  • I can understand why Nicola doesn’t want to publicize her gift–that she can sense things from objects when she holds them.
  • Rob is such a likable character–someone I would want as a friend. He really cares about Nicola, but he wants her to accept who she is. Even so, he’s willing to go to Russia with her and try to help her.
  • I love the part of the story in Russia–both in the past and in the present.
  • Parts of the book are heartbreaking–especially the story in the past. The story about Anna is from the time she’s a little girl until she’s a young woman. She is wonderful to read about. The narrator really brings her to life and though she goes through many trials she still emerges a happy and optimistic young woman.
  • I love the way Ms. Kearsley writes. Her writing is really lovely–very poetic. Makes me happy to read or listen to. She makes me care so much for the characters. Sometimes I’m crying and sometimes I’m just so happy to read about these characters.
  • I think I like The Winter Sea a little better than The Firebird.

Jeers

  • None I can think of!

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I was so happy to listen to this book. The narrator is excellent and Susanna Kearsley’s writing is excellent. I’m looking forward to reading some more of her books.

Awards

  • RITA Award by Romance Writers of America for Best Paranormal Romance (2014)
  • Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Fantasy (2013)

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • Susanna Kearsley studied politics and international development at university, and has worked as a museum curator.
  • Her first novel Mariana won the prestigious Catherine Cookson Literary Prize and launched her writing career. Susanna continued her mix of the historical and paranormal in novels The Splendour Falls, Named of the Dragon, Shadowy Horses and Season of Storms.
  • Susanna Kearsley also writes classic-style thrillers under the name of Emma Cole.

Reading Challenges

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge
  • Audiobook Challenge–hosted by Hot Listens and The Book Nympho blogs
  • TBR Pile Challenge–hosted by the Bookish blog
  • Ultimate Reading Challenge–hosted by the Popsugar blog (a book set in a different country–Great Britain (Scotland) & Russia)

The Last Chance Christmas Ball by Putney, Beverley, Bourne, Rice, Cornick, Elliott, Gracie & King

the-last-chance-christmas-ball-by-Mary-Jo-Putney, et al.The Last Chance Christmas Ball by Mary Jo Putney, Jo Beverley, Joanna Bourne, Patricia Rice, Nicola Cornick, Cara Elliott, Anne Gracie, Susan King
Series: None
Genre: Historical Romance
Setting: Great Britain, 1815
Published by Kensington
Format: e-Arc (Release Date: Sep 29, 2015)
–I received a review copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
320 pages
Grade: C+
Synopsis: Christmas 1815. Upstairs and downstairs, Holbourne Hall is abuzz with preparations for a grand ball to celebrate the year’s most festive—and romantic—holiday. For at the top of each guest’s wish list is a last chance to find true love before the New Year…

A chance meeting beneath the mistletoe, a stolen glance across the dance floor—amid the sumptuous delicacies, glittering decorations, and swell of the orchestra, every duchess and debutante, lord and lackey has a hopeful heart. There’s the headstrong heiress who must win back her beloved by midnight—or be wed to another….the spinster whose fateful choice to relinquish love may hold one more surprise for her…a widow yearning to glimpse her long-lost love for even one sweet, fleeting interlude …a charming rake who finds far more than he bargained for. And many other dazzling, romantic tales in this star-studded collection that will fill your heart and spice up your holidays…

Initial impressions

  • The Last Chance Christmas Ball is a ball held every year for the last 50 years. Of course, this is just the name the bachelors who come give the ball, because Lady Holly is something of a matchmaker.
  • Most of the stories are second-chance romances where the main characters already know each other and for one reason or another separated. Many of the men were soldiers and fought Napoleon and the French. That war is now over.
  • As is often the case with an anthology I like some stories better than others.

The stories:

  • “My True Love Hath My Heart” by Joanna Bourne–C+
  • “A Scottish Carol” by Susan King–C
  • “Christmas Larks” by Patricia Rice–C+
  • “In the Bleak Midwinter” by Mary Jo Putney–B
  • “Flames Dance” by Cara Elliott–C
  • “A Season for Marriage” by Nicola Cornick–C
  • “Miss Finch and the Angel” by Jo Beverley–B
  • “Mistletoe Kisses” by Anne Gracie–B-

Cheers

  • As I state below I didn’t connect with most of the characters in these stories. However, a few of the stories had characters I like and remember:
    • Roxanne (Roxie) from Mary Jo Putney’s “In the Bleak Midwinter” is a memorable character. She’s self-confident, owns and runs her own property and a colorful character.
    • Lady Holly is a character in all the stories and the reason the Last Chance Christmas Ball happens. She’s an out-spoken old lady, has many godsons and goddaughters and is liked by all of them.
    • Clio Finch is Lady Holly’s companion. There’s mystery about her so that makes her interesting. Her story is “Miss Finch and the Angel” by Jo Beverley. The angel in the story is Lord Gabriel Quinfoy. He’s an interesting character and I like their story.

Jeers

  • Most of these stories just didn’t capture my attention. Perhaps because of the length of the stories I didn’t connect with most of the characters.
  • The ball takes place after Christmas and there really isn’t a lot about Christmas. In a few of the stories the characters gather holly and mistletoe to decorate houses and sometimes they sing some Christmas carols. However, I didn’t feel immersed in these stories as I want to when I read Christmas stories.
  • Also even though the characters are invited to the Ball many of them don’t actually get to the Ball or if they do that happens days after they meet and fall in love.

And a few thoughts . . .

  •  I chose this book because I usually enjoy short stories set at Christmas and I’ve read and enjoyed books by Jo Beverley, Anne Gracie, Mary Jo Putney and Joanna Bourne.
  • I don’t read very much romance these days so part of my reaction to these stories may very well be me not enjoying romances very much anymore. Others may enjoy these stories more than I did.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Reading Challenges

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge

TBR Review: Raven Black by Ann Cleeves

raven-blackRaven Black
by Ann Cleeves
Narrated by Gordon Griffin
Series: Shetland #1
Genre: Mystery
Published by Minotaur Books, 2006 (Macmillan Audio, 2014)
Audiobook, purchased
384 pages
11 hours, 21 minutes
Grade: B+
Narrator grade: B+
Synopsis: Raven Black begins on New Year’s Eve with a lonely outcast named Magnus Tait, who stays home waiting for visitors who never come. But the next morning the body of a murdered teenage girl is discovered nearby, and suspicion falls on Magnus. Inspector Jimmy Perez enters an investigative maze that leads deeper into the past of the Shetland Islands than anyone wants to go.

It was precisely midnight when he stepped through the door. Taylor had said he wanted everyone in the Incident Room an hour before first light the next day, but Perez wasn’t ready for sleep. As he switched on the kettle to make tea, he remembered he hadn’t eaten since lunchtime and stuck sliced bread under the grill, fished margarine and marmalade from the fridge. He’d have breakfast now, save time in the morning.

Cheers

  • This is my TBR Review for June. This reading challenge is hosted by Wendy @ The Misadventures of Super Librarian. We post a review on the third Wednesday every month and she provides a topic each month to choose our TBR read from. This is an optional exercise, but fun for me to try to find a TBR book that fits the topic. This month the challenge is to choose an author that I have more than one of her books in my TBR pile. I think I have four or five of Ann Cleeves’ books.
  • I really like this book. I like the way the author tells the story–from a number of points of view–as we as well as the police try to figure out why the girl was murdered. The narrator did a great job narrating the book.
  • This is a character-driven mystery. There’s not a lot of action. That’s what I really like about it–learning more about the people and motivations.
  • The story told from many points of view (POV)–Jimmy Perez, the inspector from Shetland Island; Fran Hunter who finds the body; Magnus Tait, the lonely old man whom everyone is sure killed a girl who disappeared in the past; Sally Henry a girl who doesn’t fit in with her peers.
  • Even though the main POV is Jimmy Perez’s, the police inspector, this isn’t really a police procedural, because we see so many other POV’s during the story.
  • The Shetland Islands setting is so important to the story. An island–the isolation, the weather, the islanders v. newcomers (mostly English) v. tourists are all part of this story.
  • I like reading about islands and the people who live on them. Islands are so unique as are the people who live on them.
  • I didn’t figure out the solution to this mystery until the end.

Jeers

  • In the next book I want to learn more about Jimmy Perez.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • This is a good beginning of a mystery series. I want to read more of the books.
  • I would really like to see the TV show for this series though I want to read the books first.

Awards

  • CWA Gold Dagger Award (2006)

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • Ann Cleeves is a British mystery writer–author of the Vera Stanhope series and the Shetland series–both series made into TV series.
  • She worked as a cook at the Bird Observatory on Fair Isle. While there she met a visiting ornithologist who became her husband. He was appointed warden to a small tidal island nature preserve. They were the only residents there and Ms. Cleeves found plenty of time to write. After that they moved to Northumberland which provided inspiration for many of her books. They now live in the North East.

Reading Challenges

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge
  • Audiobook Challenge–hosted by Hot Listens and The Book Nympho blogs
  • Cloak & Dagger Mystery Challenge–hosted by Amy @ A Bookish Girl
  • New Author Challenge–hosted by the Literary Escapism blog
  • TBR Challenge–hosted by Wendy @ The Misadventures of Super Librarian (an author with more than one book in my TBR pile)
  • TBR Pile Challenge–hosted by the Bookish blog
  • Ultimate Reading Challenge–hosted by the Popsugar blog (A book turned into a TV show–though I haven’t seen the TV show)

Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

 

the-falconer

The Falconer
by Elizabeth May
Series: The Falconer #1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy (historical)
Published by Chronicle Books, 2014
E-book, purchased
378 pages
Grade: B-
Synopsis: Edinburgh, Scotland, 1844

Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined for a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events – right up until a faery killed her mother.

Now it’s the 1844 winter season and Aileana slaughters faeries in secret, in between the endless round of parties, tea and balls. Armed with modified percussion pistols and explosives, she sheds her aristocratic facade every night to go hunting. She’s determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother, and to destroy any who prey on humans in the city’s many dark alleyways.

But the balance between high society and her private war is a delicate one, and as the fae infiltrate the ballroom and Aileana’s father returns home, she has decisions to make. How much is she willing to lose – and just how far will Aileana go for revenge?

“You know my mother thinks the waltz is indecent.”

I watch the couples dancing. They spin around the room, bodies pressed together. Close, intimate. The way dances should be.

“Your mother would find the sight of a chair leg indecent.”

and

Murder is the simplest thing for me in the world, uncomplicated by emotions. It’s just me and my victims. Hunter and prey.

Cheers

  • I love the cover!
  • There are a number of young adult books with a similar premise–a young person able to see supernatural beings, hunts and kills them. The “normal” people can’t see the supernatural characters and she can’t talk about them so this gets her into trouble. However, I like the way the author tells this story and I like the characters.
  • Aileana is a sympathetic character. She finds her mother right after her mother is murdered by a faery. That changes her life completely. Now she lives for vengeance. She hunts and kills the fae while many in society thinks she killed her mother. She’s motivated by vengeance.
  • Aileana’s pixie, Derrick, is a fun character. He provides some comic relief, but he also is a useful ally.
  • I like Gavin who is her childhood friend. I like that they don’t want to marry each other!
  • Kiaran, Aileana’s mentor, is a more mysterious character.
  • There are steampunk aspects to the story, but they’re quite subtle.
  • I don’t understand what good a seer is. Perhaps I’ll understand when I read the next book!

Jeers

  • The book ends in a cliffhanger. The ending is very abrupt.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I read this book in 2014–I still have a few reviews to publish from 2014.
  • I like this first book and look forward to the next book.
  • This reminded me a little of another series I read a few years ago about a girl in London society who fights vampires in between parties. However, I can’t remember the name of the series or the author.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

  • 2014 Goodreads Challenge
  • 2014 New Author Challenge

Review: Now May You Weep by Deborah Crombie

d4cd8-nowmayyouweep

Now May You Weep
by Deborah Crombie
Series: Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #9
Genre: Mystery (police procedural)
Published by William Morrow & Company
E-book, purchased
416 pages
Grade: A
Synopsis: A gripping story of family rivalry, romance and sinister deeds, set in the haunting Scottish Highlands. When Detective Inspector Gemma James is persuaded by her friend, Hazel, to take a trip to the Scottish Highlands, land of mists and fine whiskey, she jumps at the chance. But Gemma soon learns that Hazel has ulterior motives, and that her friend has concealed more than one dangerous secret. At their remote B&B, Hazel encounters her former lover, Donald Brodie, now the owner of a well known local distillery. Their relationship had ended abruptly years before, when they had been driven apart by their parents. Now he is determined to win her back. But the lovers’ reunion yields shocking – and mortal – consequences. Suddenly all too aware of the distance between her and Kincaid, Gemma must come to terms with what she has learned.

It was a cold-blooded business, policing, thought Gemma, and for the first time, the knowledge that it had to be done did not make it seem more palatable.

and

“Hullo, love.” he said against her hair, his voice gentle. “I can’t let you out of my sight, can I, without your getting into trouble?”

Cheers

  • Such a good book!
  • I loved reading about the whiskey making in Scotland. I really felt like I was at a distillery smelling the angels’ share! (The angels’ share is the amount of alcohol which evaporates from casks while they mature.)
  • Scotland is also described lyrically. The quotes from Robert Burns and Robert Louis Stevenson are especially evocative.
  • In some ways the writing in this book reminds me of Susanna Kearsley’s The Winter Sea–also about Scotland and also a book I loved.
  • The mystery is good, but almost overshadowed by the personal events in the book.
  • Gemma discovers she doesn’t know nearly as much about her friend Hazel as she thought. Hazel has always been so calm and competent and so helpful with her insights and advice…a good therapist. We sometimes forget the people who help others are also human and make mistakes in their own lives. It’s easy to put people on pedestals and if they fall to feel betrayed.
  • Once again, the past affects people’s lives and we learn a bit about what happened in Scotland in the late 1890’s and the effects on the characters in the story. Though the effects were not exactly what I thought they were as I was reading. There were a few red herrings in this story!

Jeers

  • I don’t like reading about infidelity in marriage, but this book doesn’t glorify it. The ramifications and heartbreak are shown.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • As many of my blog readers know I’ve loved discovering and reading Deborah Crombie’s mysteries. Since September this is the ninth book I’ve read!

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

  • 2014 Goodreads Challenge