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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Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen by Vicki Delany

Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen by Vicki Delany

Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen is a fun cozy mystery set in the quirky town of Rudolph, New York. I love Rudolph, where it’s Christmas all year round. Rudolph is a tourist town and it's December, the time of year when they have the most visitors and make the most money. But then a poisoned cookie kills a journalist who was doing a feature on the town. Was the journalist the target or is someone trying to ruin Christmas? It’s up to shop owner Merry Wilkinson to figure it all out, to keep her best friend Vicky, the baker of the cookie, out of jail and save Rudolph's reputation. While Merry is smart and resourceful, she gets some help from the locals, who are all charming. And her family is fabulous, from her Santa Claus dad to her former opera singer mom. Everyone in town, except for the killer, pulls together to salvage what they can of Christmas and the tourist...
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Christmas at Snowflake Lodge by C.P. Ward

Christmas at Snowflake Lodge by C.P. Ward

Can I please go to Snowflake Lodge for Christmas? It's a magical place with decorations and hot chocolate and the nicest staff. There's skiing and ice skating and sleigh rides pulled by real reindeer. Jessica is there to work - she's a plumber, and to keep an eye on her grandfather. She's also escaping from her terrible renter/roommate. Honestly, I wanted to escape from Doreen too. I didn't enjoy the scenes with Doreen and her friends. She was a really awful person and I don't understand why Jessica put up with any of it. Once Jessica decides to take the job at Snowflake Lodge, the book becomes a fun read. Grandpa is a great character, funny and adventurous, and maybe a bit of a skirt chaser. Jessica's love interest, James, is sexy and sweet. Christmas at Snowflake Lodge is part romance and part family reunion, and almost everyone gets a happy ending. ...
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Holiday Hexes by J.L. Collins

Holiday Hexes by J.L. Collins

We are back in Holiday Haven where this time the chaotic Christmas disaster has to do with the Master List. The toy and mail departments are in a mess and it looks like lots of kids may be disappointed this year. And this is on top of the other mysteries in town which are briefly mentioned. Star is visiting her mom and wants to help solve the problem. Star is a good character. She has built a toy business outside of Holiday Haven and the North Pole. She has done it through hard work, good ideas, and no magic. The mystery here is a perfect one for Star to solve. She learns some things about herself and other people, becomes closer to her, even meets an nice, attractive man. I didn't love this one. It was Christmassy, but I was not invested in the potential romance. The mystery, while high stakes in that world, was rather bland. I'm enjoying this series a...
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The Christmas Walk Caper by J.B. Michaels

The Christmas Walk Caper by J.B. Michaels

The Christmas Walk Caper features Mac O'Malley, a retired Chicago cop, who is attempting to write a memoir of his last big case. When Mac learns that Patricia, the owner of The Tiny Wanderer, has been found dead in her home on the morning of the annual Christmas Walk, his cop instincts are telling him she didn't just die of old age. If the local cops, including his brother Vince, don't agree, maybe he and his girlfriend, Millie, can do some investigating on their own. The small town at Christmas setting was charming. The Christmas Walk sounds like an event I'd love to participate in, touring people's decorated homes. For a novella, the mystery was well-done. We had a couple of suspects and clues but not so many that the conclusion felt rushed. I liked Mac, although he was pretty quick to discount the abilities of the local police. I found the fact that he started investigating as a way to put...
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Thin Air by Richard K. Morgan

Thin Air by Richard K. Morgan

I tend to say I don't read a lot of sci-fi. That's probably not true. This is my 7th sci-fi book this year, which compared to the number of mysteries I've read is small but compared to the amount of sci-fi the average person reads is probably a lot. I do think when you're reviewing genre fiction it does matter how much you read. It affects your expectations, your familiarity with structures, how original the work seems, your enjoyment of the book. I guess that makes me a casual sci-fi reader. But Thin Air is not solely sci-fi. I'dsay its more noir with a sci-fi backdrop. Veil is our "detective," an outsider with an attitude who takes the job both because he needs the money and because his honest cop friend wants him to. We've got lots of violence and several sex scenes. We've got the dark underbelly of the city where everyone lives in shades of grey, where corruption runs...
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