A Mystery Discovery (and Others)

One day, I’ll post about what I read last week.  Until then, you get what I was reading last year – here are more Goodreads cross-postings with additional thoughts.

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The Affair of the Mutilated Mink (Burford Family Mysteries, #2)The Affair of the Mutilated Mink by James Anderson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A new-to-me find in the Golden Age Detectives mystery field! Though there are only three books in this series – sigh.

I found this book reminiscent of Heyer’s and Christie’s mysteries with the 1930s British country house setting. The ending was completely unexpected but lovely, and I of course bought the other two books immediately.

And oh, the references to other fictional detectives (Wimsey and Alleyn) made me laugh.

Yes, I did really like this series.  James Anderson sadly passed away in 2007 – he’s written some other fiction but I haven’t read them (yet?).  The three books in this series were written more than twenty years apart apparently – not that I could tell when reading them. 

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The Affair of the 39 Cufflinks (Burford Family Mysteries, #3)The Affair of the 39 Cufflinks by James Anderson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wish James Anderson had written more than three books in this series!

I loved the 1930s setting and the twisty plot – admittedly the ending didn’t catch me by surprise as much as the previous book, but the numerous red herrings, the wonderful Wilkins, and the Earl of Burford and his entertaining family kept me happily occupied for a couple of hours.

This wasn’t the cover of the edition I read – in fact, I’m not sure any of the three cover pictures are – but I love seeing the different styles.  So no, I’m not very particular about selecting the “correct” version of the book I read on Goodreads – are you?

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The Affair of the Blood Stained Egg Cosy (Burford Family Mysteries, #1)The Affair of the Blood Stained Egg Cosy by James Anderson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have really enjoyed all three books in this series – I read them out of order but I don’t think that matters.

If you’re looking for a 1930s country house mystery, this would be it. Delightful characters with a spot-on period feel. Like the other two, there are twists and turns and red herrings galore. This one ends on a slightly ambiguous note, but fitting to the story.

And this was the first book chronologically, but the one I read last.  I should really have read them in order, but like I said, I don’t think it matters massively.

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Dragon Bound (Elder Races, #1)Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

For some reason, I expected urban fantasy but got paranormal romance instead. There was massive hype around this book, which led to high expectations on my part – and unfortunately they weren’t met.

I liked the modern, slightly snarky feel to this story, but didn’t connect with the world-building. I thought it lacked depth somewhat, and felt as though random elements were just thrown together. The POV was slightly off at times which jarred me out of the story.

All in all, it was okay – a bit cliched and nothing groundbreaking in the field of PNR. I probably would have enjoyed this more if it hadn’t been for the high expectations I had going in.

I haven’t bothered to get the next book in this series, and probably won’t.  Unless I come across a review from someone who had a similar experience but loved the other books…

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Making it UpMaking it Up by T.C. Blue (m/m romance)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

New-to-me author – I enjoyed this book and would track down TC Blue’s backlist.

A funny and heart-warming read overall, though there was just too many characters and POVs for me to really connect with them. I liked the small-town community feeling in this one. There was an attempt at angst but I don’t think that really worked.

Hmmm… I think I did get more of the author’s backlist but nothing is coming to mind immediately…

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Ordinary Girl in a Tiara (Harlequin Romance)Ordinary Girl in a Tiara by Jessica Hart

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I have been buying quite a few Jessica Harts, after reading (and loving) Juggling Briefcase & Baby.

This one unfortunately didn’t quite live up to my expectations – too much head-hopping (pet peeve of mine) and also umm… less realistic than previous Harts (I know, I know – it IS an M&B, but I think I prefer something more rooted in reality).

Oh well. I did think the release was spot-on timing-wise, what with Wills & Kate’s wedding at the same time.

Nothing really to add to my notes above – I am still reading her books though, and will probably get her most recent release WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS at some point.

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When Beauty Tamed the Beast (Fairy Tales, #2)When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was initially disappointed that this had a different cast of characters to the first book A Kiss at Midnight but you know what? I quickly forgot about about AKAM after the first few pages.

Great take on the Beauty & the Beast fairy tale and the dialogue between the hero and heroine kept me smiling the way through. Yes, it has a bit of a modern spin which means the book’s not going to win any prizes for historical authenticity, but it was totally funny and charming. And the romance was sexy and steamy.

Loved the secondary characters – the parents, the butler – and there was a nice bit of angst to finish the story.

Frothy? Possibly yes. Good? Absolutely.

Heh, I think I loved this one… It ended up as one of my top favourite reads of 2011.

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A Fool Again (Duchess Quartet, #1.5)A Fool Again by Eloisa James

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked – although it took me a tad bit too long to actually figure out who the hero was meant to be! Which does tend to be a trait in Eloisa James’ books, although I’m not quite sure it works for a short story.

I’m still a die-hard EJ fangirl.

I just like her writing.  Though I tend to leave it quite long between books, and then read a couple at a time.

11 thoughts on “A Mystery Discovery (and Others)

  1. I’m not very particular about selecting the “correct” version of the book I read on Goodreads – are you?

    Indeed I am. I’m so anal I applied and got GoodReads Librarian to be able to correct mistakes of editions and add ones that weren’t on GoodReads yet. It gives me a sense of satisfaction to add a new book with as much info as possible (the pages look nice because of their own software, but the info has been gathered by me. As a teacher my work at school depends a lot on how the class is feeling that particular lesson, no matter how well the lesson is prepared – I’m fairly sure that has something to do with my satisfaction as a GR librarian) – I go hunt for cover shots on publishers’ websites, etc.

    • I quite enjoyed Dragon Bound for the dialogue and the heroine’s interaction with the hero but was disappointed with the second book, so I haven’t bothered with any more. I knew it was PR when going in, though. From what I remember the author has written contemporary romance before.

    • Hah – I applied for Goodreads librarian status too recently, but that was more to do with the Amazon feed being cut off. I have added a cover though 😉

      I didn’t feel DRAGON BOUND was anything *different* from what was already out there. Like I said, I think the good buzz around this book raised my expectations… however, if not for the hype, I probably wouldn’t have bought it!

  2. I haven’t seen very many people around who didn’t like Dragon Bound so I was interested to see your thoughts. One of these days I will get around to reading it!

    I prefer to use the correct edition at GR too, but I haven’t gone as far as becoming a librarian in order to do so!

    • I think 90% of reviews I read were positive about DRAGON BOUND, so obviously a lot of people really liked it.

      I do try to select the edition I have when it comes to new releases, but when it gets to older books with numerous editions, I’m not too bothered. I do like seeing the different covers though.

  3. Oh, thank goodness I knew that Dragon Bound was PNR, otherwise I would have been highly disappointed too. I enjoyed it for the fun of it. I didn’t find the world building to be anything really ground breaking either. I just had fun with the book. However, I didn’t really enjoy the second book much and have not read the rest.

    • I can completely see how knowing it was PNR going in would have made a difference. I haven’t seen that many reviews of the following books, IIRC – I get the impression that there were fewer reviews compared to the first (though that could just be selective filtering on my part).

  4. Two posts in a week? Woohoo 😉

    Funny how the covers for the James Anderson books are so different! It’s fun to see what you pick up, because I wouldn’t have given these a try ^_^;

    Finally, someone who isn’t in love with Dragon Bound. Although I did grade it higher than you. I agree with you, it isn’t very different than what’s out there. Actually, I really get a feel similar to the Psy-Changelings series. Not the world per se, but the factions and politics. I wonder if it’s because it’s the same publisher. And all in all, I think the world building isn’t as well executed or interesting as Nalini Singh’s.

    Too bad about the Jessica Hart. I don’t like books that involve royalty… Its’ just so disconnected of this world. Especially if the countries are imaginary ^_^; Guess I won’t be picking this one either.

    Woohooo on the Eloisa James. It was a grade book 🙂

    Oh and yes, I try to choose the correct cover. Just because I try to keep track of the books I own as well with GR… and you know, if it’s there, might as well be as accurate as possible 🙂

    • LOL – I know, two posts in a week!

      James Anderson was a completely random discovery – think I stumbled across the second book in the library by chance. I love it when that happens.

      DRAGON BOUND – interesting comparison! I don’t recall the politics reminding me of the Psy-Changeling world, but then again, it’s been a while since I’ve read it.

      Re royalty and M&Bs, Kelly Hunter wrote a couple of books (connected) with a fictional European monarchy (IIRC) that I did like. So I’m not massively opposed to royalty stories, but this one didn’t really work for me.

      I note whether the book was a library loan or not on GR, but I don’t use it to keep track of my books… maybe I should.

      • Sometimes, royalty works… but I find most of the time, it’s harder ^_^; Even in historicals, where royalty does exist, I find it a hard premise….

  5. Pingback: Mixed Bag | Me and My Books

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