Murder at the Magnolia Inn by Helena Marchmont

Murder at the Magnolia Inn by Helena Marchmont

I really enjoy the Bunburry stories. The characters are fun and quirky and the setting is a typical, lovely small town, with an incompetent police sergeant. This time around Alfie, Liz, Marge, and Emma agree to help the two women who are developing the old manor house into a hotel. At first, they're dealing with vandalism, then a man is killed. The characters are what bring me back to this series. Alfie is funny and in this one his women troubles are mostly set aside. Marge and Liz are smart older women and I wish I had their fudge recipe. Emma is caring and I don't know how/why she puts up with the sergeant. Oscar has an interesting part too. I'm hoping we start seeing him around Bunburry more. The mystery was a bit rushed, but the solution made sense and I liked that it took all of our investigators to find the various bits that came together in the end. I'm looking...
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The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

I have a soft spot for seasonal romances, and what is more perfect for October than The Ex Hex. We have two witches, Rhys and Vivi who had a summer romance that ended with Vivi having her heart broken. Rhys is back in town, nine years later, and the sparks are still there. But Rhys is having all kinds of bad luck and his magic is on the fritz - turns out Vivi and her sister's curse wasn't harmless. This was just so much fun. Rhys and Vivi make a fabulous couple. He's a good guy who seems to take everything in stride. Vivi is smart and more powerful than she knows. Their dialogue strikes just the right notes, angry and teasing and flirty. Of course, they spend a lot of time enjoying each other's company when the town might be in serious danger, but you'll have that in a romance. There's plenty of tension and suspense though. The Ex Hex is...
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The Fall of the House of Thomas Weir by Andrew Neil MacLeod

The Fall of the House of Thomas Weir by Andrew Neil MacLeod

I adore Edinburgh as a setting. I've never been there, but maybe one day. And it does seem a perfect place for the supernatural to bump heads with the rational. It's the 1770s and Dr. Samuel Johnson has come to Edinburgh to visit his friend, James Boswell, for a tour of the city and holiday in the Highlands. Hearing reports of ghouls haunting the Old Town, and about a series of burglaries in the houses of noblemen, Dr. Johnson can’t resist getting involved. Of course, Dr. Johnson is knowledgeable and experienced in occult and supernatural phenomena. We get a story of secret societies, conspiracies, and hideously deformed people living in the tunnels below the city. The story moves along at a good pace. The characters are well-drawn. Both Johnson and Boswell are likable in their own ways, but not without faults. Secondary characters are brought to life well, even if they have smaller parts. Edinburgh is described well: the sights, sounds,...
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Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie

Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie

I know to trust Agatha Christie, but her international thriller-type books are not my favorite. So, when Cat Among the Pigeons started out with a revolution in Ramat, I was a bit worried. Prince Ali Yusef is preparing to leave the country, but before he does, he entrusts his good friend with a fortune in jewels, asking that they be gotten to England and to the man who will know what to do with them. The jewels end up at a Meadowbank, a prestigious girls school, along with several people on their trail, and this is the kind of setting I like. It's a closed group of people, the students and the staff. Soon, the phys ed teacher is killed. The killer has to be at the school, but the investigation doesn't progress well, and two more people end up dead. Eventually (over 2/3 into the book), Poirot takes on the case. Poirot doesn't do much investigating here. A bit of talking...
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The Sandman: Act II by Neil Gaiman, adapted by Dirk Maggs

The Sandman: Act II by Neil Gaiman, adapted by Dirk Maggs

A reminder - I have never read the original Sandman comics. I rarely read comics or graphic novels, mostly because I'm not good at it and so don't enjoy them as much as I could. I tend to read the dialogue and miss the pictures. I can't tell how faithful the audio is to the original, but others say it's very close. I enjoyed this second act, which consists of two main arcs and several smaller stories. The Season of Mists was excellent. Dream travels back to hell to save Nada whom he had condemned for 10,000 years of torment… because she rejected him. Surprising twists and turns make it impossible to see where this one is going until it actually gets there. A Game of You was kind of blah for me. Barbie and some friends have to go on a quest to save a land but still manage to stay alive in our world. It was skippable. Fables & Reflections...
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Strange Frequencies by Peter Bebergal

Strange Frequencies by Peter Bebergal

I picked up Strange Frequencies for RIP's Peril of the Real. When it comes to fiction, I stay in the mystery aisles most of the time. Nonfiction, however, can be about anything. I can't say that I was really interested in the intersection of technology and the supernatural, but I can find most topics interesting and learn fascinating bits and pieces, especially when the writer/speaker presents it well. Bebergal covers a wide variety of topics, from golems to seances to electronic voice phenomena and he does it from the view of maybe a hopeful skeptic. He researches, but he also experiments. He talks about the history around certain devices or myths and contacts, when possible, experts. He also goes to the seance, tags along with the photographer, builds a Tesla radio, uses his dad's old tape recorder. My one complaint is that it jumps from topic to topic. I would have liked there to be more to it, not just...
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