Showing posts with label series. Show all posts
Showing posts with label series. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Mrs Fix-it Mystery Series Reviewed

Cozy Mystery Series

fix it tools
Fix-it Tools courtesy of Pixabay.com
I have always loved a mystery and have become quite enamored with the Cozy Mystery books over the last few years. A few weeks ago I was searching for something new to read and stumbled upon a bundle deal for the Mrs.Fix-it series.  

There are several reasons that I enjoyed this series. The first being that I could purchase them all in a nice little bundle package. All neatly packaged and ready to read. 

The next thing that caught my eye was that the female sleuth was a handy-woman by trade. She goes around her community fixing things for her neighbors. I really liked that idea for an occupation for a woman. Growing up in a single parent household I learned that if something needed to be fixed that a girl could do most things just as easily as a boy could. My Mom taught me from an early age to be comfortable with the items found in our little toolbox. So, having a gal in the stories that could solve mysteries and be a Mrs. Fix-it was quite appealing. 

I wasn't disappointed! Belle Knudson did a wonderful job of creating a cast of characters that were believable and well thought out. Each mystery could stand alone but was even more enjoyable as I read through each book of the series. The recurring characters developed more as each story progressed. 

The author does a good job of keeping the reader guessing, too. There were several times that I thought to myself, "I didn't see that one coming." Ms. Knudson has also put a few sub-plots in each book, too. As with most Cozy Mysteries there is a love interest that grows but the author added even more to her books. For instance, it takes a few books to finally discover what happened to Kate's (Mrs. Fix-it) husband that disappeared several years before. 

I really enjoyed each of the books in the series. There were several unique and interesting murders to be solved in each one. Cozy Mysteries are not known for a lot of violence at least the reader isn't shocked with a lot of gory details about the murder involved. Although a victim might have met their end with a violent act, the reader isn't bombarded with a descriptive narrative of what it looked like. That is one of the things that I love about the genre.

If you love a good mystery with a little romance thrown in, I highly recommend this series of books by Belle Knudson. She is creative with her plots and thinks a little outside of the box with her characters and sub-plots. I think you will enjoy them as much as I did. I was a little sad when I came to the last page of the 15th book. I miss the characters.... 




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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Ken Follett’s The Century Trilogy Books Reviewed

Ken Follett’s The Century Trilogy Books Reviewed
I am thoroughly enjoying Ken Follett’s the Century Trilogy and totally unable to put it down.

The three books are based on what happened in world history between the years of 1911 and 2008. Those story lines include the Russian Revolution, the suffrage movement, the rise of Nazi Germany, World War II, the atomic age, the Cold War, civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements, Vietnam, the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidential impeachment, revolution, rock and roll and of course both good and bad from all of those time periods.

To tell this story, Follett skillfully weaved together generations of five families from America, Russia, Germany, England and Wales.

I picked up the first book, FALL OF GIANTS, as a good long read for our recent Panama Canal cruise and I have been steadily working my way through the series for a couple of months. I am often pulled away kicking and screaming from books in order to turn my attention to an “assigned” book club book. Leaving the second book, WINTER OF THE WORLD, for a grumpy old geezer in A MAN CALLED OVE was downright difficult although worthwhile in the end.

Currently, I have had to put the third book, EDGE OF ETERNITY, down to read LEAN IN, a book about women, work, and the will to lead, which is not compulsive reading for me and definitely not middle-of-the-night when-you-cannot-sleep reading.

Ken Follett FALL OF GIANTS Century Trilogy 1

Ken Follett Winter of the World Century Trilogy 2

Ken Follett Edge of Eternity Century Trilogy 3

Anyway, in case you cannot tell from my enthusiasm, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Ken Follett’s Century trilogy. I caution that as a world history book it definitely has violence and it also has sexual content. However, I believe that most of the violence and some of the sexual content was required to tell this realistic story.

The three-book series contains 2,991 pages and each book is encyclopedic in length so for ease of reading I highly recommend purchasing it as an eBook or if not an eBook, then as a paperback book. We own the hardcover version and each I just weighed them and discovered that each one weighs an average of just over 3 pounds. They are heavy. Ordinarily, I prefer to read physical books because I spend much of my working life using a computer but in this case because of the sheer weight of these books I really, truly preferred to read them on my cellphone.

You can find the Century Trilogy in hardcover, paperback and electronic versions on Amazon by clicking right here. I looked for and with some difficulty eventually found a boxed set both in paperback and hardcover editions. You can find the gift sets here. I believe that this series would make an absolutely brilliant gift idea for anyone male or female who likes a good historical novel. Of course, gifting the first volume alone would be a good idea, too.

Is there a movie? No, there is not and Follett himself says in this Washington Post interview, that if they were to make a mini-series that it would be the longest mini-series ever made, that it would be very expensive to make at least partly because he would not allow it to be done cheaply and that a mini-series was therefore, not likely to happen.

Have you read Ken Follett’s Century Trilogy? Are there any other Follett books that you have read, thoroughly loved and would recommend to us?

See you at the bookstore!

Brenda
Treasures By Brenda

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Buy Ken Follett's Century Trilogy books on Amazon.












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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Aurora Teagarden Mystery Series Reviewed

Interesting Mystery Series With A Female Sleuth

mystery woman
Mystery Woman image courtesy of Pixabay.com
Let me introduce you to a new mystery series that I started reading last week. The Aurora Teagarden mystery series is a fun little series written by Charlaine Harris that I am finding enjoyable to curl up and read.

The female sleuth in the books is, as you might guess, Aurora Teagarden. I'm not sure if her mother was a fan of Sleeping Beauty or felt that she had a real princess in the mist when she decided to give her that moniker just after birth, but it is the name she gave her daughter.

Roe, as her friends call her, is a young 30 something librarian living in the southern region of the United States near Atlanta, Georgia. She is single and hasn't had much success in the dating game in the past and that bothers her just a little. She is also a fan of reading about the real mysteries of life, the murders of the past have always captured her interest. So much so that she belongs to a group called "Real Murders". The group meets once a month and discusses a crime from the past, as the first book in the series opens, Roe will be the presenter for the evening. 

As Roe arrives early to prepare for the evening's discussion she finds one of the members of the club dead in the kitchen of the facility where they meet, the local VFW. If that isn't bad enough, she realizes that the scene is staged to resemble the very murder she planned to discuss that evening. What sick person would do such a thing?

As the investigation unfolds other members of the club seem to be targeted. Some, will be found dead and staged as a famous murder case while others seem to be implicated in the murders. Someone seems to be playing a really grotesque game!

Ms. Harris has created an interesting cast of characters and a different story line for murder mysteries. Roe, Aurora, is a believable character who is smart, funny and a tad insecure. She isn't the beauty that her mother is, although she is much more attractive than she believes herself to be.

Do not be turned off by the murder part of this mystery series. So far, in the two books that I have read there is not a lot of gruesome details but instead an interesting journey to find out the culprit of the crimes. The ending of the first book was a surprise, as the solution was not what I expected.

The books are well written and have been well received. Hallmark actually made a movie out of book 1 so that says something! I think if you are a fan of the mystery genre and you enjoy a female sleuth, this is a series that you will enjoy a great deal. I know I am enjoying them.






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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Hank Mossberg Private Ogre Series Reviewed

Detective Series With A Twist

ogre illustration
Ogre Illustration from Pixabay.com
Do you enjoy a good detective story? How about reading fantasy stories involving the fae? If you happen to be like me and enjoy both then I think you will enjoy the series Hank Mossberg Private Ogre by Jamie Sedgwick. You might already be familiar with Mr. Sedgwick from my previous review of another of his works.  

Imagine the present day world only with a difference. In this world we humans are also living with creatures once only found in fairy tales. In this series of books there is an entire civilization of elves, dwarfs, hobgoblins, fairies and a variety of other non-human creatures that we don't even notice. Kind of cool, right? 

The books take place in modern day San Francisco with the main character being Hank Mossberg. In the world of the fae, Hank is unique. You see he is the last of his kind. As far as he can tell he is the last living ogre. For centuries an ogre has always been selected as the Steward. A steward in the world of fae is basically the law enforcement. Since Hank is the only ogre the job has fallen upon him. One might say he was born into his position.

One of the reasons that the Steward needs to be an ogre is that the magic of the other creatures does not work on ogres. They can see through any spells, they are not stopped by enchanted weapons nor does a security shield of magic block them from entering an area. If you remember your fairy tales, ogres are huge and powerful. That is another reason that they are good for keeping the others in line.

Hank, who in my opinion, is a lovable ogre, has opted to work in both the fae community and the human community as a private detective. Humans can see Hank. Because we humans typically only see what we want to see, we see him as a large man with a slight skin condition. Remember ogres usually have a green tint to their skin.

This series involves cases where Hank needs to solve a case or two in each book. He might be working simultaneously with a fae case and a human case. I find the stories easy to read with just the right amount of mystery and a welcome touch of humor. There is a little bit of violence scattered within the stories but not so much that it is off-putting. Overall the books are an enjoyable reading experience.

I like the mingling of fantasy and reality and the creativity of the author in the fae community. As in any culture there are good people and bad people. There are rules to follow or disobey. Jamie Sedgwick has created an engaging world of plots and mysteries for us to solve as we turn the pages of the books in this series. I have certainly enjoyed following Hank, the last living ogre, as he solves the crimes presented to him. I think you might, too.



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