Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev

Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev

I really wanted to like Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors. It's a gender-swapped retelling of Pride and Prejudice featuring a rich Indian-American family, which sounds really promising. I expected a fun, light read - a little wit, a little charm, a happy ending. I got the happy ending, but that's about it. Trisha is a brilliant neurosurgeon, the only one in the world who can perform this life-saving surgery but is awkward and can come off as arrogant. She also puts up with her father being pretty terrible to her. DJ's a brilliant chef, Cordon Bleu-trained, who quit his job at a Michelin starred Parisian restaurant to take care of his sister but can come off as cold and a jerk. Clearly, these two dislike each other, but to be honest I had a hard time there were sparks underneath. I knew they would fall in love eventually, but I didn't enjoy the story getting there. Julia Wickham was maybe...
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The Borrowed by Chan Ho-Kei

The Borrowed by Chan Ho-Kei

Kwan Chun-dok is a Honk Kong detective who sees clues and puts them together in ways no one else can. He's intelligent, resourceful, kind, and not afraid to go around the rules in trying to do his job. We first meet Kwan at the end of his career, the end of his life, as he helps solve one last case. The Borrowed is essentially made up of six novellas, six mysteries all connected by the main character and Hong Kong itself. We start in 2013 and work our way back to 1967. The mysteries are each well-done, intricate, and interesting and Kwan, or Sonny Lok, his apprentice for lack of a better word, solves them through clues and intuition. It's like Holmes stories, in that each solution when presented makes sense, but no one aside from Kwan could have gotten there. A couple of the stories have major twists that I didn't see coming. The book is also about Hong...
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My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones

My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones

As I was thinking about what I was going to write about My Heart Is a Chainsaw, I had mixed feelings. Jade, the main character, is amazing in a damaged, determined, outsider way, but I didn't like where the story left her at the end. Actually, I didn't like how the story treated her all the way through. Even the adults that cared were disappointing. But I didn't realize it was the first in a planned trilogy. That gives me hope. Jade story isn't over. The opening of My Heart is a Chainsaw is perfect, sets the mood just right. Then we meet Jade. She's seventeen, knows all there is to know about slasher movies, and has a terrible home life. Things aren't much better at school or work either. When a new girl shows up, a potential final girl, Jade sees what she believes is a slasher cycle starting in her small town. The book moves slowly in parts, but...
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Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder by Tina Kashian

Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder by Tina Kashian

Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder is the fifth in the series, but the first I've read. I never felt lost. The author did a good job of introducing the characters and giving me enough background to let me feel like I knew them well. At the same time, I might have cared more about the relationship between Lucy and her boyfriend, Azad, which took up a lot of the book. The mystery itself was well-done. The victim was not a nice person and there were plenty of suspects in town. Lucy had a reasonable reason to be investigating - one of her friends is the prime suspect. The clues were placed well, along with a few red herrings. The story started off well, but the middle was a bit too slow and plodding. I did have a guess who the killer was, so that might have been a bit too obvious since I'm rarely right. I think this is the last of...
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A Corpse for Christmas by Rena Leith

A Corpse for Christmas by Rena Leith

A Corpse for Christmas is the third in the Cass Peake series, but the first I've read. For me, it took a while to get all the characters straight, and I think if I had read the series in order, that wouldn't have been an issue. I also would have felt like I knew at least Cass and the other recurring characters, including Doris the ghost, better. Cass takes on the job of doing a new video for a local college and hires some young people to help her out. It's the holidays so the campus is pretty empty, making it easier to film locations, but while working, Cass and her crew stumble onto a murder. Her obligatory cop boyfriend, George, doesn’t like her getting involved, but Cass of course can't let it go, especially when a neighbor asks for her help. There's a lot going on here. We have the project for the local college; it's Christmas so Cass' brother...
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