Gated Prey by Lee Goldberg

Gated Prey by Lee Goldberg

Gated Prey is a popcorn book for me. It's the kind of book that seems like a mystery/action movie or tv show. I mean that as a good thing. It's action-packed and the setting and characters are described well. Eve and Duncan are on an undercover sting operation, trying to catch some home invaders. The sting goes wrong and all three of the perpetrators end up dead. While still investigating the robberies and whether there was an accomplice, they get called to what should be a routine stillbirth in another of the gated communities, but it turns out to be much more complicated. For once, the two mysteries are not actually connected. Gated Prey is the third in the series and I would recommend reading them in order. Eve's background and previous cases definitely affect what's going on here and even though they're mentioned, you'll have a better idea of what's going on in the background if you've read the others...
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Body at Buccaneer’s Bay by Josh Lanyon

Body at Buccaneer’s Bay by Josh Lanyon

Ellery once again finds a dead body, this time while diving with his boyfriend, Chief Police Officer Jack Carson. The body is sealed into an old diving suit they find in a shipwreck. Then, Odette Wallace, a wealthy widow, hires Ellery to find out who is trying to kill her. Apparently, she's a big believer in the ability of amateur sleuths. Of course, the two mysteries are connected The mystery was interesting. Everyone on the island has an idea about who the man in the suit was, but no proof. Odette and the step-children are not the nicest people, and Ellery probably shouldn't have taken the case but he needs the money. Ellery figures out the solution in the end, just a step or two behind Jack. The wrap-up was a bit anti-climactic though. Ellery is his usual smart, but bumbling self. Jack is very competent, and to me his concerns regarding Elliott getting swept up in cases make sense. I...
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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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Death by Unknown Event by Eliza Smith

Death by Unknown Event by Eliza Smith

I had never heard of the Cindy James case before, but Death by Unkown Event, another podcast available on Audible Plus, caught my eye. Cindy James suffered for 8 years, filing multiple reports of harassment and assaults. The podcast takes us through the events in Cindy James' life, and looks at the investigators in her case, her ex-husband, the psychiatrists, neighbors, private detective. It's a devastating story. We see all the theories and options, but at the heart of the case is that everyone failed Cindy. I think that's the writer's point. Regardless of how you see the case, Cindy asked for help again and again. And ended up dead. ...
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