Book Review Policy


Dear Authors,

Welcome to my review blog – “Views She Writes”.

I take great pleasure in reading books and that is how I started to review them as well. Giving back something to the society  is why I started reviewing. Therefore, I try my best to do the most deserved justice to both the books and the authors while writing reviews.

PREFERRED GENRE TO READ

My most favorite type of books are

  • Murder Mysteries 
  • Cozy Mysteries
  • Psychological Thrillers

However, if the book is really interesting, it might get selected for reviewing. Please feel free to write to  me for reviewing. If it does not appeal to me, I  shall revert to you stating the same. But, I strongly keep away from intense violence, torture, dark theme, paranormal, horror, erotica, LGBT and the like.

I am open to new authors as well. In fact most of my reviewed books are of Indie authors. So anyone is welcome to contact me for reviewing.

PREFERRED FORMAT OF THE BOOK TO BE REVIEWED

The book shall be accepted for review only in HARD COPY. Soft copy in any form is not preferred. Kindly contact me only if you would be willing to send a Hard Copy of your book across to Toronto, Canada.

Please note that this is a non-negotiable topic and request you to adhere to the same.

HOW THE RATINGS ARE DONE

In a normal 5 pointer rating, the Ratings shall be done considering the following aspects (For 10 Point rating, the stars will be doubled)

  • Grammar and Language
  • Complexity of Characters
  • Flow of the Story
  • Style of Narration
  • Overall feel of the story

The Author and Publishing Company does not influence my rating in any way. So this supports the fact that Indie Authors get equal chances of scoring as established Authors.

The explanations of the rating are as follows:

  • 1 Star – The book / story was so bad I could not even finish it
  • 2 Star – Merely passable. Not recommended to buy.
  • 3 Star – It is OK. You can read it at your own risk
  • 4 Star – It was really good. Something could have been better
  • 5 Star – Exceptional. Possibly the next best seller

REVIEW DISCLAIMER

Once I do select the book, you can be assured that the Review shall be completely honest. If you are trying to get only positive reviews, please do not take up my review. I give it as I get it.

The Review will be directly published on the blog. It will not be shared in a draft format with the author. Once the Review is final and released, it will be shared with the  Author. The Author can suggest technical changes, like if I have misspelled the name of a character or some circumstance. But the thoughts regarding the book will remain uninfluenced.

I also reserve the right to not complete reading the book, depending upon the story. In case I find it disturbing or realize that I will not be able to give a positive review at all, or any other reasons, I will not complete the book. The author shall be informed immediately and with reasons for not completing the book. However that does not necessarily mean that should not stop the author from contacting me again. Any other book which suits my requirement can be submitted to me again and we can take up the partnership from there.

SITES WHERE THE REVIEW WILL BE PUBLISHED

Once the review is finished, the author shall be informed of the same and shared a link to my blog where the review is published. Other than that, the review is also published on the sites mentioned below (Click on them to go to my reviews on those sites)

If there are any other sites you want me to publish my review, please do let me know when I send you the Review Link. I shall post it as requested.

I also request the authors to post the reviews on their pages and websites so that the review and my blog shall get its visibility. Any posts shared on the authors’ websites or anywhere else should have a redirect link to my blog.

Posting of my reviews without the redirect link shall be considered Plagiarism and strict actions shall be taken against such posts. Kindly refrain from the same as I am putting in a lot of effort to get the review published.

HOW AND WHEN TO CONTACT ME

You can contact me through my Goodreads account or directly mail me at devinair.reviews@gmail.com. I try and reply to all the mails at the earliest convenient time.

Best wishes and thanks again
Devi Nair

Book Review of “DIAMOND RINGS ARE DEADLY THINGS (WEDDING PLANNER MYSTERIES #1) by RACHELLE J. CHRISTENSEN


Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things (Wedding Planner Mysteries, #1)

Genre: Cozy Mystery / Contemporary Romance / Series

Blurb

Adrielle Pyper knows how to plan a wedding, and she’s especially good at pleasing bridezillas. But when her biggest client and best friend is murdered just three days before the wedding, Adri’s world falls apart. She moves to the resort town of Sun Valley, Idaho, and starts from scratch. Thanks to Adri’s impeccable taste and unique style, she  ands two celebrity clients, and her business seems headed for success that is, until someone vandalizes the specialty wedding dresses she imported from overseas. The race is on to uncover a secret hidden within the yards of satin and lace before Adri becomes the next victim.

With a delightful blend of mystery, toe-curling kisses, humor, and spine-tingling thrills, Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things is a romantic suspense novel that will keep you turning pages long into the night.

Review

Star Rating: 5 stars

Weddings are fun. Wedding planners are even better. But when a mystery is added to the pile, it simply becomes irresistible.

Adrielle Pyper’s Dream Weddings, Where happily ever after is your destination

Adrielle Pyper is a quirky, interesting character, who you would love to have plan your own wedding. Her attention to detail, listening to the couple’s needs and ability to create a miracle dream wedding is unparalleled. These same qualities which make her a wonderful planner also turns her into a brilliant detective.

The story is funny, engaging and has all the qualities to become a perfect series. I wish I could rate it higher than 5 stars. The writing of Rachelle Christensen and the reading / narration by Kirsten Potter is just too addictive. I could never have enough of them.

Adrielle Pyper and her friends are sure to become your best friends once you get introduced to them.

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Book Review of “PEACH PIES AND ALIBIS (CHARMED PIE SHOPPE MYSTERIES #2) by ELLERY ADAMS


Peach Pies and Alibis (A Charmed Pie Shoppe Mystery, #2)

Genre: Cozy Mystery / Fantasy / Paranormal

Blurb

Ellery Adams serves up a mystery that’s a real peach…

Ella Mae LeFaye’s Charmed Pie Shoppe is wildly popular in Havenwood, Georgia–which is not surprising since Ella Mae can lace her baked goods with enchantments. The shop’s extraordinary success seems destined to continue when Ella Mae meets an engaged couple who hire her to handle the dessert buffet at their wedding.

But Ella Mae has a lot on her plate. She is also searching for the origin of her magical powers–and hoping to determine if the spark of attraction she feels for the handsome Hugh Dylan is authentic or just her new abilities gone awry.

Then Ella Mae discovers a high-standing member of the community dead, and a wedding guest becomes seriously ill at the event she’s catering. Now she’ll have to use all her sleuthing skills and culinary talents to prove her pies don’t contain a killer ingredient . . .

Review

Star Rating: 4 stars

Yet another wonderful Charmed Pie mystery, with the writings of Ellery Adams and read by CSE Cooney.  The story builds up in the 2nd part in the series. A lot of Ella Mae’s background and the nature of her powers are described in length, also linking the lineage to the age old world of King Arthur and Arianrhod, the Welsh goddess. The linking of history to the story is very interesting and gives a believable aura to the tale.

However, the reading by CSE Cooney (I am reviewing the audiobook version here) was not upto the mark. Pauses and extensions at unnecessary intervals made the a dent to the flow of the story. It gets slightly annoying at times when with a certain pause, a feeling of mystery settles it, only to realize later that the pause was completely uncalled for. The lack of feeling in the reading made me take off 1 star from my rating.

The story and the series, otherwise, is brilliant. For anyone who likes a dash of romance in a paranormal tale of coven rivalry and building a theme over a series, this one would tickle the right bone.

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Book Review of “LETHAL WHITE (CORMORAN STRIKE #4) by ROBERT GALBRAITH


Lethal White (Cormoran Strike, #4)

Genre: Mystery / Thriller / Cozy Mystery

Blurb:

“I seen a kid killed…He strangled it, up by the horse.”

When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike’s office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic.

Trying to get to the bottom of Billy’s story, Strike and Robin Ellacott—once his assistant, now a partner in the agency—set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside.

And during this labyrinthine investigation, Strike’s own life is far from straightforward: his newfound fame as a private eye means he can no longer operate behind the scenes as he once did. Plus, his relationship with his former assistant is more fraught than it ever has been—Robin is now invaluable to Strike in the business, but their personal relationship is much, much trickier than that.

Review

Star Rating: 2 stars

Cormoran Strike strikes again. This book has all the elements of a typical cozy mystery but gets into the category of a suspense novel. Be warned – the book has almost 1000 pages.

Galbraith does know how to draft a mystery but lacks the talent of making it into a novel. With an over indulgence into trivia, the story extends where it is not required. This one could have very well been written in less pages than it has currently. So much excess information and red herring in the book ensures that you could never guess the killer. But at times, it also put me off especially when it was evident that certain facts could be omitted and the pages could be reduced.

I have read a lot of reviewers writing they wouldn’t mind reading a very long Strike novel as they love Cormoran Strike and Robin. I too love them a lot and would love for them to get together soon but adding pages just for the sake of increasing the story length is not something I am in favor of. Quality should precede quantity, and in the latest Strike novel, Quantity seems to have taken a precedence over good quality.

I don’t think I shall be looking forward so eagerly for the next Strike novel this time. it may most likely exceed the 1000 pages limit

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Book Review of “PROPOSALS AND POISON (WEDDING PLANNER MYSTERIES #3” by Rachelle J. Christensen


Proposals and Poison

Genre: Cozy Mystery / Contemporary Romance / Series

Blurb

Love can be a very dangerous thing.
At least it seems that way to Adri Pyper, the premier wedding planner in Sun Valley, Idaho. When one of her clients dies mysteriously, Adri takes the advice of the local detective and swears she will stay out of the investigation . . . this time. Luke Stetson’s involvement in the case, along with the possibility of a kiss between the two, should be enough incentive to keep Adri out of trouble. But when a dog-themed wedding is almost ruined by a suspect, Adri and her assistant, Lorea, are thrust into private eye mode. When poison enters the picture, even a reluctant sleuth can’t steer clear of danger.

Review

Star Rating: 5 stars

Yes I probably should have started with the first book but I started with the last book available in the series. However, that did not affect the reading (rather listening) experience one bit. Adri and her friends do make such a wonderful story set up in the Wedding Planner series. The fun and joyful way of writing especially contributes to the wedding feel all throughout the book. A special mention to the narrator Kirsten Potter for bringing out the feelings through her narration, so much that the feelings and emotions though the book are felt in her voice and her words.

Even though it is a cozy mystery with a murder engraved between the pages, the festive set up all across the story does not dim right till the end.

Happily ever after are not mere words. They are feelings and those feelings issue though the story bringing it right across the reader’s heart and soul. I love the series and the characters in it. Rachelle Christensen has created magic with words and it should definitely be passed through the reader’s community

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Book Review of “VEILS AND VENGEANCE (WEDDING PLANNER MYSTERY #2)” by Rachelle J. Christensen


Veils and Vengeance (Wedding Planner Mysteries, #2)

Genre: Cozy Mystery / Contemporary Romance / Series 

Blurb

When wedding planner, Adrielle Pyper, goes to Hawaii to orchestrate a destination wedding, she isn’t prepared for what she finds.

After the trauma of her previous event, the beautiful isle of Kauai is the perfect place for Adri to unwind and do what she does best – plan. She even lets herself indulge in the attention of the groom’s handsome brother. But just when everything seems to be perfect, an afternoon snorkeling trip turns to murder when Adri discovers the body of a young woman.

Shaken, but unable to let it go, Adri’s sleuthing leads her into more danger than she could imagine. When a number of “accidents” threaten her own life, it soon becomes apparent that someone will do anything to keep Adri from interfering with their vengeance.
For great craft tips, visit Adri’s website, www.mashedpotatoesandcrafts.com.

Review

Star Rating: 5 Stars

Yet another beautiful and simple story for a fun weekend read. Adri and her friends are at another adventure in Hawaii and this time, snorkeling in the ocean find death along with life. With a love triangle etched into the story and many cute wedding recipes and trinket ideas, Veils and Vengeance packs yet another punch into the wedding-y cozy mystery.

Wedding Planner Mystery series is a unique kind of cozy mystery with enough fun element embedded into the story which takes the edge out of the starkness of death. The lightheartedness of the story and wedding planning makes for a chick-lit feel to the book while maintaining the secrecy associated with mystery novels.

The book can be enjoyed as a stand alone, although reading in the order of series would make the story flow more easily for the reader. A wonderful book with the soothing story line works perfect as an in between among intense thrillers for mystery lovers so that the mystery element is retained along with taking a break from the fast pace of thrillers.

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Book Review of “PANDA-MONIUM” by STUART GIBBS


gEPanda-monium (FunJungle, #4)

Genre: Cozy Mystery / Zoo Mystery / Series

Blurb

Teddy Fitzroy returns as FunJungle’s resident sleuth when the zoo’s newest addition goes missing—before she even arrives!

FunJungle is frenzied, awaiting the arrival of its most thrilling animal yet—Li Ping—a rare and very expensive giant panda that the zoo went to enormous lengths to secure. But when the truck transporting Li Ping shows up, its precious cargo has vanished into thin air. The FBI steps in to investigate, and Teddy is happy to leave the job in their (supposedly) capable hands. After all, FunJungle has never encountered a crime this serious. But when someone threatens to blackmail Teddy’s girlfriend, Summer, if he doesn’t solve the crime, his involvement in this mystery is no longer black and white.

Review

Star Rating: 5 stars

Having a 13 year old kid pit against the FBI definitely creates an interesting premise to a story. And that is what Panda-monium is about. In all the other stories, Teddy only had to deal with the staff of Fun Jungle. But with an internally acquired Panda missing, FBI has taken up ropes and Teddy is having a tough time keeping on by himself – especially when the lead FBI agent is Large Marge’s much hated sister.

Although completely unbelievable, Panda-monium was a fun story to go through. The adventures of Teddy and Summer along with his other school friends and Large Marge surely gives a lot of laughs. The 4th book in the FunJungle series does ensure that the fun element of the series is not lost along with adding new elements to the strength of the story. Having read all the other books, I can vouch that although Panda-monium can be read as a stand-alone, it would be highly recommended to read the previous books in the series to get the underlying meaning of a lot of situations which occur in this one.

Also having finished the last book in the series released so far, I am looking forward very eagerly for the next book to be released to join Teddy and Summer in their next adventure at FunJungle.

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Book Review of “THE THIRD VICTIM” by PHILLIP MARGOLIN


The Third Victim

Genre: Thriller / Legal / Police / Mystery

Blurb

A woman stumbles onto a dark road in rural Oregon–tortured, battered, and bound. She tells a horrific story about being kidnapped, then tortured, until she finally managed to escape. She was the lucky one–two other women, with similar burns and bruises, were found dead.

The surviving victim identifies the house where she was held captive and the owner, Alex Mason–a prominent local attorney–is arrested. Although he loudly insists upon his innocence, his wife’s statements about his sexual sadism and the physical evidence found at the scene, his summer home, is damning.

Regina Barrister is a legendary criminal defense attorney, known as “The Sorceress” for her courtroom victories. But she’s got a secret, one that threatens her skill, her reputation, and, most of all, her clients. And she’s agreed to take on the seemingly impossible task of defending Alex Mason.

Robin Lockwood, a young lawyer and former MMA fighter, has just left a clerkship at the Oregon Supreme Court to work for Regina Barrister. The Alex Mason trial is her first big one, a likely death penalty case, and she’s second chair to Regina. Increasingly, she’s worried her boss’s behavior and the details in the case against their client don’t quite add up.

Review

Star Rating: 5 Stars

One of those very few moments where wishes come true. All through reading the thriller, I wished for a particular character to be the culprit so that the thriller would truly be mind blowing… and it came true.

I had put up a request suggestions for such books on Facebook and got this one as a recommendation. Still, I had forgotten about it when I started to read and therefore, was completely caught off-guard when it came to the closing.

I have read a lot of reviews from other readers about this book that it was predictable for them, but not so for me. I was thrilled, surprised and taken on a wild goose chase through some red herrings throughout the story.

Phillip Margolin has brought out a wonderful book filled with believable characters. Right from Regina Barrister to Alex Mason, all the characters feel like taken right out of a random subway ride. The thrill is believable to the extent that once the book is finished, you need a breather to come to regular world.

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Book Review of “The Couple Next Door” by Shari Lapena


The Couple Next Door

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Blurb

It all started at a dinner party. . .

A domestic suspense debut about a young couple and their apparently friendly neighbors–a twisty, rollercoaster ride of lies, betrayal, and the secrets between husbands and wives. . .

Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all–a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story.

Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco soon discover that the other is keeping secrets, secrets they’ve kept for years.

What follows is the nerve-racking unraveling of a family–a chilling tale of deception, duplicity, and unfaithfulness that will keep you breathless until the final shocking twist.

Review

Star Rating: 5 stars

Oh the suspense. Very rarely does one come across such a thrilling tale woven so intricate into a common couple’s lives. Written in present tense (which makes one live through the story like it is happening around oneself) a story of kidnapping a 6 month child goes to various lengths to show the dark secrets a family can hide in its folds. 

The web twists here and there and everywhere until every character is gray shaded and there is no one who could be trusted. 

Shari Lapena does a brilliant job in thriller writing. Her writing and thought process is truly immaculate and inspiring. The Couple Next Door is worth reading for any thriller and suspense lovers. The psychological aspect is brilliantly depicted and written in an addictive manner.

Take up this book for reading only if you have a 3-4 hours to spare because once you start, there is no putting this one down unless you finish it.

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Book Review of “The Case of the Missing Marquess (Enola Holmes #1)” by Nancy Springer


The Case of the Missing Marquess (Enola Holmes, #1)

Genre: Historical mystery / Series / Cozy Mystery

Blurb:

When Enola Holmes, the much younger sister of detective Sherlock Holmes, discovers her mother has disappeared—on her 14th birthday nonetheless—she knows she alone can find her. Disguising herself as a grieving widow, Enola sets out to the heart of London to uncover her mother’s whereabouts—but not even the last name Holmes can prepare her for what awaits. Suddenly involved in the kidnapping of the young Marquess of Basilwether, Enola must escape murderous villains, free the spoiled Marquess, and perhaps hardest of all, elude her shrewd older brother—all while collecting clues to her mother’s disappearance!

Review

Star Rating: 5 Stars

Although I had started in an odd order for Enola Holmes, I came to the first book at the very last after finishing all the other books. So although I journeyed through the roads of London, solving mysteries with Enola for a long time, I finally got to know now about her beginnings and her first journey to London.

Nancy Springer has created magic with Enola Holmes. Never has any other Holmes book brought in such a wonderful feeling as with Enola Holmes series. She is smart, witty, quick on her feet very much like her brothers at such a young age. 

There has been many follow ups on Sherlock Holmes since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle but so far, Enola is one of my favorite series. The story brings out the essence which we loved in Sherlock stories. 

Every word, every emotion brings out the Sherlockian in us and the mind rushes to associate Enola with the ever-loved Sherlock tales. 

I would strongly recommend this series to all Sherlockians. This is one series you should never miss. I really hope Nancy brings out more of Enola Holmes. 6 books are way too less for a Sherlock addict.

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Book Review of “I SPY WITH MY LITTLE EYE” by LEE STRAUSS


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Genre – Thriller / Series

Star Rating – 5 Stars

I shall start with the obvious – it is a very short read. It must have took me about 30 minutes or less to finish the book. And it was definitely an interesting read. Marlow and Sage are very interesting characters with some history about themselves (not each other).

Having said that, there is so much that is left unexplored in this book. After having read the story, it gives a feel that you have read a mystery novel but the background or the story building was left completely untouched. The story directly introduces us to our two main characters, Marlow and Sage, and puts them both straight into an adventure. In about 4 to 5 chapters, the adventure comes to an end and in about a couple of paragraphs, the story comes to an end. There is so much that is left un-said and so many questions left unanswered.

Therefore, this book should definitely not be the one to start with. This is supposed to be an in-between book betweek Book 1 and Book 2. Only reading this book would only leave you completely clueless and lost on the intention of the story.

However, in spite of being completely lost, the story in itself was wonderfully written and the flow was pretty smooth. It is definitely the work of an amazing writer. This is my first book of Lee Strauss and shall definitely not be the last one. Kudos, Lee. Keep writing.

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