Karen F. (cosmichomicide) - Reviews

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Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye (Psychic Eye, Bk 1)
Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye (Psychic Eye, Bk 1)
Author: Victoria Laurie
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 543
Review Date: 6/23/2006
Helpful Score: 3


All in all, I believe I like Martha Lawrence's Elizabeth Chase series better, but this was a nice light read and basically well done. The ending could have been a bit more developed, but the characters are quite good and the premise is interesting without being hokey. Looking forward to reading the rest of the series as this is a good start.


The Alpine Obituary (Emma Lord Bk. 15)
The Alpine Obituary (Emma Lord Bk. 15)
Author: Mary Daheim
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 43
Review Date: 11/18/2007


A little too much angst and soul searching for my taste, but necessary to the character development. Nice solid mystery with all the quirky characters you have come to love in the Alpine series. Not the best, but a perfectly good entry.


The Alpine Pursuit (Emma Lord, Bk 16)
The Alpine Pursuit (Emma Lord, Bk 16)
Author: Mary Daheim
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 36
Review Date: 11/19/2007


Hm... tough one. Not as strong a mystery as usual, but good character advancement, so important to the series. Out of a very long and generally well done series, this is one of the weaker books. That said, fans will recognize a new chapter beginning in Emma's life and shouldn't skip this book. New readers - start at the beginning.


The Alpine Quilt (Emma Lord Bk. 17)
The Alpine Quilt (Emma Lord Bk. 17)
Author: Mary Daheim
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 40
Review Date: 11/28/2007
Helpful Score: 1


First, this book is ESSENTIAL to series readers - do NOT skip it. There is a ton of character and relationship development in it. The plot is solid and unfolds nicely without too much broadcasting of the resolution, the ancillary characters are strong, as always. I'm really going to miss Ben when he leaves and kind of wish that he would settle in Alpine. All of that said, I was a bit bummed by the resolution - not the ending, but I saw so many "could haves" in the wrap-up that didn't occur. Nice to see this series back on track after Obituary and Pursuit (which were both solid but weaker entries).


The Alpine Recluse (Emma Lord, Bk 18)
The Alpine Recluse (Emma Lord, Bk 18)
Author: Mary Daheim
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 22
Review Date: 12/4/2007


Not the best book in the series, but not the worst, either. Alpine Quilt was so good that I think this book would have rated better somewhere else in the series - the plot is good, though whodunnit was broadcast a bit more than Daheim usually does and the victim is also a bit weak and unlikeable, contributing to a bit of "who cares" in the main plotline. The regular characters are wonderful as expected, Daheim is an excellent writer and captures the Cascades perfectly. Worthwhile for series readers, new readers should start at the beginning and not rate the series by this review.


Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter, Bk 1)
Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter, Bk 1)
Author: Nalini Singh
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 289
Review Date: 4/15/2012
Helpful Score: 2


Two stars because the world premise had such promise. Beyond that it was a struggle to finish this book - I even stopped and reread the rave reviews looking for what I was missing. The plot was literally only a few pages in the first 2/3rds of the book with the rest consumed by what I assume was supposed to be the inevitable attraction and developing relationship of the main characters. I thought about just stopping because I was 99% sure of the ending (which also dragged out far longer than it needed to with little purpose or real suspense) but I kept hoping. A disappointing vehicle for a terrific idea.


April Fool Dead  (Death on Demand, Bk 13)
April Fool Dead (Death on Demand, Bk 13)
Author: Carolyn Hart
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 53
Review Date: 6/5/2007
Helpful Score: 6


Sadly for one of my favorite series, April Fool Dead feels forced and formulaic, like the author was reading down a checklist. Not a strong entry into the Death on Demand series, but a fast easy read through a perfectly good book. Definitely start at the beginning if you are new to the series.


Aquarius Descending (Elizabeth Chase, Bk 3)
Aquarius Descending (Elizabeth Chase, Bk 3)
Author: Martha C. Lawrence
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 21
Review Date: 7/30/2006
Helpful Score: 5


Wow - *very* well plotted book. When I first started on this series, I was sure I wasn't going to like it - now I'm wishing there were more.


Ashes of Aries (Elizabeth Chase, Bk 5)
Ashes of Aries (Elizabeth Chase, Bk 5)
Author: Martha C. Lawrence
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 20
Review Date: 11/9/2006
Helpful Score: 2


Another great entry into this series - here's hoping she does another one. Wonderful characters, tightly plotted, well written - a terrific mystery.


Ashes of the Elements
Ashes of the Elements
Author: Alys Clare
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 13
Review Date: 9/11/2007


The second book of the series brings Sir Josse to an estate near the Hawkenlye Abbey, Abbess Helewise and another series of mysterious deaths. As a fan of historic ecclesiastical mysteries, I am extremely happy to have found this well-written and plotted series - the characters have depth, the dialog is smart and well done, the twists and turns are plausible. Recommended (but start with the first book).


The Bastard's Tale (Dame Frevisse, Bk 12)
The Bastard's Tale (Dame Frevisse, Bk 12)
Author: Margaret Frazer
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 35
Review Date: 6/23/2006
Helpful Score: 6


Wow, I really love this series but this book just dragged on and on. Normally I can't put a Frevisse book down, but this one I just couldn't get into. Maybe too much focus on setting up Joliffe's character for the other series, but the ending seemed rushed and unsatisfying after so much development. Read it if you are already into the series, if you've not read any, go back to the beginning and start there instead.


Best in Show (Melanie Travis, Bk 10)
Best in Show (Melanie Travis, Bk 10)
Author: Laurien Berenson
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 53
Review Date: 5/8/2006
Helpful Score: 4


A perfect book in this series - set at the national specialty there is plenty of dog show and several twists and turns to the mystery that keep the book moving right along. Great fun read for any cozy reader and terrific for the dog loving mystery fan.


The Big Dig (Carlotta Carlyle, Bk 9)
The Big Dig (Carlotta Carlyle, Bk 9)
Author: Linda Barnes
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 48
Review Date: 2/6/2006
Helpful Score: 4


Love Carlotta, love this series. Another great entry. The plot is a little convoluted, but then again, so is the Big Dig. Barnes does a nice job of pulling disparate threads neatly together while introducing some intriguing new characters.


Black Powder War (Temeraire, Bk 3)
Black Powder War (Temeraire, Bk 3)
Author: Naomi Novik
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 150
Review Date: 7/29/2007
Helpful Score: 4


I can hardly wait for the next installment in this series - like the first two books, Black Powder War advances the overall arc of the alternate history of the Napoleonic wars while carrying it's own complete and fascinating storyline of the aerial dragon corps, the relationships between the men and dragons and the military and civilian governments of the times. Just breathtaking.


Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, Bk 2)
Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, Bk 2)
Author: Patricia Briggs
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 884
Review Date: 7/1/2007
Helpful Score: 7


Top notch paranormal series that just gets better. Well written, great characters, solid plotting. This is the second book in the series which features shapeshifters as the primary paranormal characters but has most of the standard pantheon as well - including a vampire who drives a van painted like the Scooby Doo "Mystery Machine". A nice blend of action, humor and plot.


Blood Orange Brewing (Tea Shop, Bk 7)
Blood Orange Brewing (Tea Shop, Bk 7)
Author: Laura Childs
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 82
Review Date: 4/20/2007
Helpful Score: 6


Time to give up on this series, sadly. It has all the elements of a great cozy series, but continues to disappoint with wooden characters and failure to take advantage of the few with more than one dimension. On the upside, there was a murder and it did get solved.


Blood Rites (Dresden Files, Bk 6)
Blood Rites (Dresden Files, Bk 6)
Author: Jim Butcher
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 488
Review Date: 4/20/2007
Helpful Score: 2


Not my favorite, but still a great series. This one added a lot to the lore of the universe, though.


Bride and Groom (Dog Lover's Mysteries, Bk 16)
Bride and Groom (Dog Lover's Mysteries, Bk 16)
Author: Susan Conant
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 36
Review Date: 5/3/2006
Helpful Score: 9


Another less than stellar entry into an otherwise solid series. Ever since Holly suffered amnesia a few books ago, Conant has appeared to struggle in regaining focus. The normally fun cast of secondary characters is there, but never really come alive amidst an annoying amount of "Holly Searches The Web" and "Holly Pitches Her Book" scenes that seem to go on forever. There is a lot of character resolution in this one, so if you are a series fan, you shouldn't skip it, but if you are new to Holly, Rowdy and Kimi, don't start with this one.


Broken (Women of the Underworld, Bk 6)
Broken (Women of the Underworld, Bk 6)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 483
Review Date: 2/18/2007
Helpful Score: 4


I love this series which manages to stay fresh with its rolling collection of main characters taking the center stage in turns. A pregnant Elena takes on a "minor job" which results in Toronto being infected with zombies, cholera and rabid rats. You need to start this series at the beginning as there is a lot of character resolution in this entry.


By A Spider's Thread (Tess Monaghan, Bk 8)
By A Spider's Thread (Tess Monaghan, Bk 8)
Author: Laura Lippman
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 139
Review Date: 8/5/2006
Helpful Score: 2


Great plot and a wonderful subplot as Tess sees more of the Jewish side of her heritage in her client, an Orthodox Jewish furrier whose wife has disappeared with their children. Kitty and Tyner move forward in their relationship while Tess ponders hers and Crow's. As always, I highly recommend this series.


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