Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Benedict Cumberbatch Reads Sherlock Holmes’ Rediscovered Railway Mysteries: Four Original Short Stories by John Taylor

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*No Spoilers*

In a drawer in his bureau, Dr. Watson keeps a locked cedarwood chest – a ‘box of secrets’. It contains an archive of notes referring to some of Holmes’ cases that, for one reason or another, never saw the light of day. Now, for the first time, Watson has decided to reveal the truth to the world… In these four thrilling stories, Holmes experiments with the science of ballistics; locate some missing gold bullion; investigates the theft of a large amount of money and solves the baffling mystery of the Stovey murder.

Inspired by Arthur Conan Doyle’s original Sherlock Holmes stories, John Taylor has written four more mysteries featuring the world’s greatest detective. Read by acclaimed actor Benedict Cumberbatch, these new adventures share all the suspense of the original tales.

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I originally discovered this audiobook in an Audible Ad. I am a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch and his portrayal of the famous fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes. So I was lucky my library had it available and I was able to listen to it for free.

I could tell that the author was a huge fan of Author Conan Doyle’s original works. These felt like they were written with love and care.

My favorite story is the story about the missing gold bullion. I felt this case was the easiest to follow and understand Sherlock’s logic. Sometimes, I felt like I know who the bad guy is and how he pulled this off! However, as always, Sherlock adds a twist and makes the crime even more clever.

Benedict Cumberbatch’s narration was awesome and entertaining to listen to. He gave each suspect their own unique voice so it made it easy to follow along. His narration made me want to go back and rewatch his Sherlock Holmes run on the BBC.

Overall, this audiobook was a nice discovery, and I enjoyed listening to all of the stories. I would highly recommend this for lovers of Sherlock Holmes, Benedict Cumberbatch, and classic mystery novels.

Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmbergo

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*No Spoilers*

Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic… forever.

Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Magician Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined — animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.

An Excisioner — a practitioner of dark, flesh magic — invades the cottage and severely injure Magician Thane. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure and reveals the very soul of the man.

I’ve seen this series floating around on my book clubs and groups. The premise seems intriguing, a magician who can wield paper is rather an odd concept. So I jumped into this novel, cautiously optimistic.

On Goodreads, this is not classified as a “romance”. There are certainly romantic themes in this novel. As Ceony is off to rescue her mentor and starts to learn about him, his past, his hopes, and dreams. She steadily falls in love with her mentor, and this drives her further into figuring out a way to rescue him.

As the journey kept going, I started to grow less and less interested. The romance got to be very boring, and sure it was interesting to learn more about Magician Thane. However, her slow progress as “time is ticking away” aspect doesn’t feel like it doesn’t meet expectations sort of like it actually doesn’t matter.

My opinion being what it is, I don’t really want to recommend this book, but if you are still interested this book would be better suited to someone who prefers books about romance.

Buy it on Amazon!

Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: The Run-Out Groove by Andrew Cartmel

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*No Spoilers* 

The Vinyl Detective is on the case again! He is hired to find out where a famous musician’s child is after her suicide. Normally he hunts records, but now the stakes have been raised. They know they’re getting close to the truth when their lives are put at risk in various and dangerous ways. Will he solve the case? Or will he even live to tell the tale?

I have read the first novel in this series and I fell in love with the series! I thought the fact that this is a “detective” who finds rare and collectible vinyl was very unique and intriguing. I was not disappointed with this newest installation in the series.

My favorite character was Celeste Drummond. She had suffered an emotional breakdown after her sister committed suicide. She plays piano and is really amazingly talented with the black and white keys.

I would recommend this for people who love musical mysteries. The hunt for vinyl records isn’t in much of the novel as the first one. However, I wouldn’t let that detour you from this one. The action is thrilling and kept me glued to the pages!

You don’t need to read the first novel in the series to understand this one. I know that’s a huge question concerning jumping into the middle of a series. They do reference the first book a bit, but not enough to be spoilers or confusing.

Buy This Book on Amazon

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: The Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. James

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*No Major Spoilers*

This thrilling novel follows Ellie Winter, a psychic/medium in 1920s London. Many are searching for answers for the loved ones they lost in the war. There are both real psychics who want to help people and those who feed off of the grieving to make a living.

When one of Ellie’s colleagues is a victim of a gruesome murder, it’s up to Ellie to investigate. She uses her powers and receives help from a couple of resources; James Hawley and George Sutter, to interview people who were at the scene of the crime.

As she closes in on who the killer is, other psychic mediums start dropping dead or fleeing London for safety in Paris. Will she be able to solve this mystery before she becomes a victim too?

In anticipation of her upcoming novel The Broken Girls. I wanted to review one of Simone St. James’ past works. Broken Girls will be hitting bookstores March 20, 2018.

I loved this book! The well-written atmosphere, the attention to detail of the characters made it easy to put me in Ellie’s shoes and solve the mystery with her. The romance between Ellie and James felt natural and real. To be honest, this book would have been fine without the romance angle, but it’s nice to find a genuine story where the guy saves the girl.

The ending was a huge plot twist! I did not expect where that was going to go, but it does make sense on how it worked out in the end. I had to chew on the ending for a bit to see if it felt right to me. The book wrapped up nicely and left no loose ends.

I would recommend this book who loves historical London. Those who love mysteries and the paranormal. The romance was PG-13, so don’t expect a filthy romance here. This book is getting my Choice Award (I’m trying to be critical I promise). So if you’re looking for an awesome read, this is where you’ll find it!