Two Mini Book Reviews

Like so many other book bloggers, I’ve been having a really slow time reading, let alone finishing anything at the moment. There are many reasons not least loss of concentration. Nonetheless I have read and yes, managed to finish two books, neither of which I feel up to doing full blown reviews of, especially as one has already been well covered online and on Social Media: The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. The second is the first in a series and not a recent release, A Bad Day For Sunshine by Darynda Jones.

Richard Osman
Penguin, Mystery

Back Cover Blurb

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes; together they call themselves The Thursday Murder Club. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

When a local developer is found dead with a mysterious photograph left next to the body, the Thursday Murder Club suddenly find themselves in the middle of their first live case. As the bodies begin to pile up, can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer, before it’s too late?

What I Thought

While I loved that this is a mystery and a murder mystery at that, set in an OAP (Old Age Pensioners) retirement home, giving us a refreshing change of POV by a cast of characters right out of an Agatha Christie novel — though one updated for modern sensibilities — I never really got invested in either the characters or, the story as a whole. And I think that was in part by the way the author chose to tell the story. Not that this is a bad or negative thing, not in the least. But it was difficult for me to connect with what I was reading as I was always left wanting it to be a little more personal.

That said, I did thoroughly enjoy the romp by these savvy retirees still using every ounce of their smarts to come together and, with the aid of a marginalised police woman who they manage to get wrangled onto the case, try to piece together the clues and solve the case.

I’m also willing to give book two a read given that this one, while slow and a little meandering, wasn’t as bad as some have claimed (though likewise, not as great as others have either.) What you need to go into this series understanding is that (a) it is a series and (b) I’m sure the characters will grow as will the plotting.

Take this one slowly and just enjoy the ride.

Darynda Jones
St Martin’s Griffin, Mystery

Back Cover Blurb

Del Sol, New Mexico is known for three things: its fry-an-egg-on-the-cement summers, strong cups of coffee – and, now, a nationwide manhunt? Del Sol native Sunshine Vicram has returned to town as the elected sheriff – thanks to her adorably meddlesome parents who nominated her–and she expects her biggest crime wave to involve an elderly flasher named Doug. But a teenage girl is missing, a kidnapper is on the loose, and all of this is reminding Sunshine why she left Del Sol in the first place. Add to that the trouble at her daughter’s new school, plus and a kidnapped prized rooster named Puff Daddy, and, well, the forecast looks anything but sunny.

But even clouds have their silver linings. This one’s got Levi, Sunshine’s sexy, almost-old-flame, and a fiery-hot US Marshall. With temperatures rising everywhere she turns, Del Sol’s normally cool-minded sheriff is finding herself knee-deep in drama and danger. Can Sunshine face the call of duty – and find the kidnapper who’s terrorizing her beloved hometown – without falling head over high heels in love . . . or worse?

What I Thought

Oh dear, this really was not the book I thought it was going to be—a murder-mystery with plenty of dry humour—as it turned out to be a little something more given this one squarely focused on love-triangles and messy relationships that, well, just took over to the point my mind started skipping sections bored by this character looking drop dead gorgeous, or this guy being a smouldering hunk or this one who had the ripped bod or that one who …

Well, I think you get the idea. This just wasn’t my kind of read and, despite the dry, snappy humour and the quirky cast of characters, I ended up reading this one chapter at a time so that it really never flowed and, by the end, I really didn’t care who had done what to whom or why.

Too many distractions and too many sudden revelations dropped in so that, in the end, the sassy dialogue was not enough.

And there you have it. I hope you’re all enjoying your current reads and looking forward to so many great looking releases this year!

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