A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark

A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark

There are several short stories set in the same world as A Master of Djinn and I do wish I had read them first. A Master of Djinn does a fabulous showing us this Cairo and introducing the character, but the events from at least two of the stories are mentioned and I think reading them would have given me a better background. I may actually go back and read them now - I did love the world. A Master of Djinn is more or less a murder mystery set in a steampunk alternate 1912 Cairo where djinn live and work among mortals. Our investigator is Fatma from the Egyptian Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments, and Supernatural Entities. The dead men and woman are members of an Al-Jahiz Secret Brotherhood, all found murdered, their bodies, but not their clothes, burned to a crisp. Turns out an imposter claimant to be Al-Jahiz returned is running around town causing all kinds of havoc. Clark...
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Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies by Misha Popp

Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies by Misha Popp

Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies is not your typical cozy mystery. Yes, we have an amateur sleuth who is a baker; she has a dog and a couple of potential love interests. But we know who the killer is - Daisy herself. She kills men with magic and pies - but they deserve it. The mystery is who is threatening to expose her. I liked Daisy - but she does kill people. She's a fabulous baker and a statewide pie contest has some of her attention during the book. She has an adorable trailer she lives in and she wears vintage dresses. For someone in her line of business, she can be a bit trusting. We learn about halfway through who the blackmailer is, but by then we're invested in seeing how Daisy will solve the problem without crossing any of her lines. The book has the lightheartedness I expect from a cozy, but it does talk about serious issues...
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Enjoy the View by Sarah Morgenthaler

Enjoy the View by Sarah Morgenthaler

Enjoy the View is smart and funny and cute. It's the third in a series but works fine as a standalone. Come December, though, I might go back and read #2. River Lane was a Hollywood starlet, determined to still make movies, she has agreed to make a documentary about the small town of Moose Springs, Alaska. Sounds like an easy light job, but the locals are not welcoming to tourists. Undeterred, River is determined to do what she set out to do - film a documentary. A chance meeting with a mountain guide, Easton Lockett, leads her in the direction of Mount Veil. Naturally, she along with Bree and Jessie (her staff helping her film her documentary) all have climbing experience, so instead of filming the town, they film the mountain climb. Easton and River are adorable together. They're playful and joking but also have each other's backs, which is necessary on the mountain. The town has some quirky sweet characters...
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The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell

The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell

I didn't enjoy The Dogs of Riga. It started off interestingly enough, with two dead men in a life raft. Detective Kurt Wallander picks up the case, but it's frustrating with no crime scene, no motive, and no witness. Eventually, the two are traced back to Latvia and a Latvian detective comes over to Sweden to help. But then it goes off the rails a bit. The Latvian detective goes back to Latvia and gets killed. Wallender is summoned to Riga to "help" with the investigation but gets tangled up with crooked cops, revolutionaries, the widow. He blunders around and feels sorry for himself. By the time I decided to just quit, I only had an hour or so left, so went ahead and pushed through, but it wasn't worth it. Emotional, fish out of water detectiveWish I had dnf-ed it ...
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Love in Amsterdam by Nicolas Freeling

Love in Amsterdam by Nicolas Freeling

Love in Amsterdam was not what I expected. I have not watched the tv series, the cover just grabbed my attention when I was browsing at a bookstore a few weeks ago. From the blurb, I expected a typical, maybe dated, police procedural, and we get a little of that, but more about the relationship between the dead woman and the number one suspect. The mystery revolves around a woman named Elsa who is shot one evening in her apartment. The murder occurs about the same time that Martin, a former lover, happens to be walking on the same street where Elsa's apartment is located, seen by a policeman. Van Der Valk, our Dutch detective, decides to bring Martin in and question him. The first section is Van Der Valk's questioning Martin. The second section is the backstory of Martin and Elsa's relationship. The third section is Van Der Valk solving the murder with help from Martin of course. It's a strange...
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Murder at the Blueberry Festival by Darci Hannah

Murder at the Blueberry Festival by Darci Hannah

Murder at the Blueberry Festival is a fun, light read, but at the same time, it deals sensitively and honestly with issues surrounding Alzheimer's and memory loss. The author strikes a good balance between keeping the book entertaining and at times downright laugh-out-loud funny and treating the issues in a kind, caring way. The Blueberry Festival is being ruined by a series of pranks. Well, maybe not ruined - it is attracting more tourists than ever, curious to see what will happen next. But then Lindsey and her boyfriend, Rory, find a dead body floating in a boat just offshore from the lighthouse. With so much going on, the pranks, the murder, so many tourists, the police are a little overloaded, and of course, Lindsey and her crew can't turn their backs on the opportunity to solve a mystery. The small-town atmosphere is done well. Everyone knows everyone, the kids on the floats in the parade are adorable, and gossip...
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