Monday, August 22, 2016

Relax with a great book!

Summer is a great time to catch up on some light reading. In fact, there's nothing better on a hot day than to take a mental day trip in a good book! Since books are readily available on mobile devices, you can take them anywhere... Heading to the beach or lounging by the pool for the day? Enjoy a good book while you soak up the summer sun!

This summer I joined the Random House monthly mystery book Chatterbox, via House Party, and had the awesome opportunity to read some new mysteries at no cost. Typically, I choose lengthy books. You know, the wordy, extra heady ones. However, it's often nice to dive into a quick who-done-it, and that's exactly the type of books that I perused while the kids were out of school.

My Random House mysteries included:

"Mug Shot", takes place in a small town, where the main character is the owner of a local coffee shop. It starts strong, and sucks you in. Unfortunately, I felt the book fell flat in the middle. The suspense died, and the plot unfolded quickly. It was a quick read with interesting characters, but it left me wishing it had kept its momentum. Since it was a decent book, and I liked the storyline, I give it 4/5 stars. I do wish there was a bit more detail, and maybe a surprise ending. For me, the culprit was way too obvious.

"Death at a Fixer Upper", is a book about a realtor who moves to a new town and tries to sell the unsellable. It's a murder mystery that's riddled with twists, turns, and a brief romance. It's a relatively short book, but it packs a punch! For a murder mystery, it's relatively lighthearted, and was a welcomed change to my usual deep-dark reads. I give this book 5/5 stars. It's well written, has a great plot, is chock full of descriptive details, and left me wanting more Home Sweet Home mysteries!

"Maggie Dove", is a book that I loved, then liked. It starts strong with amazing, relatable characters. Everything is well detailed, and you can really picture the town, homes, and individual characters. The plot has many changes that keep you guessing, and each pages unfolds more mystery. Maggie Dove, the main character, is an older woman with neighbor troubles. When the neighbor is murdered, this Sunday school teacher becomes a grade A detective. She's quick witted, and sharp as a tack! Unfortunately, I'm torn between 4/5 stars, and 5/5 stars for this book. Let's call it 4.5/5! It's a good read, but the end comes quickly. That's my only qualm with it--- It goes from detailed and slow paced to a quick unravel and it's done. It left me wishing there had been a few more pages!

"All These Perfect Strangers", was a book I was able to get into, even with its flaws. There's a HUGE lack of descriptive detail, and background. Plus, it's based in the UK, and uses verbiage that switches frequently between street talk and proper English. Unfortunately, this can become a bit confusing. However, I enjoyed the story, until the end. It's a college town mystery, with lots of twists. Just when you think you know who-done-it, you're wrong. It's very heady for a short novel, and often switches between the present and the main character's recollection of a fragmented past. The biggest let down is the end. It goes from an "ah-ha!" moment, to "what just happened... I don't get it". This book left me confused, and I give it a generous 3/5 stars.

"The Crepes of Wrath", was the last book that I read, and I really enjoyed it. It's well thought, and I found myself quickly sucked in. Luckily, it's not thousands of pages, or I'd never have been able to put it down! The sleepy seaside town that it takes place in reminded me of my town, and the locals and shops were nostalgic for me. The details, location, and characters, coupled with a true murder mystery plot, turned this book into a real page turner for me! It's definitely worth a 5 star rating!

All of these books could easily be enjoyed by adults, and young adults alike. With the exception of "All These Perfect Strangers". I personally don't feel it's appropriate for the younger crowd. There's a lot of partying, suggestive situations, and some brief sexual encounters in the book. No, its not at all like 50 Shades, but I'm not sure I'd want my kids reading it.

So, what are you waiting for?! Check out some new books this summer! Random House has tons of new books, of all genre's. Feel free to add your book selections in the comments. Or if you read the books I've mentioned above, let me know what you thought of them! 

Books provided complimentary, to read and review.