Book Review of “The Mystery Of Hollow Inn (Samantha Wolf Mysteries #1)” by Tara Ellis


Blurb:

Twelve-year-old Samantha Wolf, and her best friend Ally, are excited to spend part of their summer break in the mountains of Montana. But unknown to them, Hollow Inn is bathed in mystery and legend. After arriving, they soon discover that things are not going well for Sam’s Aunt and Uncle, who own the Inn. There’s vandalism, ghostly sightings, and rumors of lost treasures. Determined to help, Sam and Ally embark on a challenging journey to discover the truth.

Genre: Cozy Mystery / Detective / Thriller / YA
My Review:

It has been ages since I have read the stories of Enid Blyton. Secret Seven and Famous Five were some of my favorite stories while growing up. Now Tara Ellis has recreated that magic with her book “The Mystery of Hollow Inn” with Samantha Wolf and her best friend Ally.

The story setting is just perfect with its little dark but mysterious setting and two very curious girls who want to help their uncle and aunt with their Inn. The language is simple and wonderful. It appears dark but not at all. Enid Blyton feel comes alive so wonderfully that I almost felt nostalgic after finishing the story. The mystery is juicy enough to keep you engrossed but yet soft enough for Young Adults to enjoy them as well. There was nothing I could find fault in with the entire story. It is absolutely lovable and Samantha Wolf is an awesome character – strong and clear minded.

Looking forward to the next book in the series.

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Book Review of “Little Sparrow, A Kiowa in Love” by R.A. Winter


Blurb:

A romantic comedy with a bold Native American twist.
Karen ran away, leaving her family and her dreams behind. She returns for Thanksgiving only to slept with a man who could end her career, the most important thing to her. She thinks.
Richard didn’t need anyone in his life since his wife died. Work consumed him, until a storm delayed him.
He’d ended up in bed with Karen, only to have her run out and vow never to see him again. But he needed more.
For Karen, Thanksgiving had turned into a complete fiasco when she realized that her Mother had invited Richard to Thanksgiving!
They never guessed who was behind all. Who the grand instigator was.
Enter Grandfather, he raised his daughters the Kiowa way. He needed his heritage to be passed to the next generation. But Karen kept running away from him.
Grandfather took one look at Richard and decided to put him through the trials. No one courted his granddaughters unless they were worthy.
But even if Richard passed the trials, could Grandfather convince them that they belong together? And more importantly, with him?

My Review:

Little Sparrow is a love story between a woman and somewhat older man. The setting is a typical Native American story.

Karen is a workaholic and does not think she will be comfortable in a relationship. Richard is still recovering from the death of his wife and has immersed himself in work. Richard’s dad is dating Karen’s mom and both of them set their children up as they feel they are perfect for each other. Soon sparks fly between the young couple. However before Richard can be a part of Karen’s life, there are some tests he should pass. And even if he passes those tests, does Karen want him in his life?

The story is a typical love story. Man and woman meet and fall in love. What felt off with the story was the tests. The way these tests were designed in the book was kind of a bit strange to be conducted. That felt out of place for the story. Other than that, it was a nice story with a cozy reading atmosphere. Nothing spectacular. Just regular

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The Golden Cup of Victory


A Cricket blog to support my country’s team

Thoughts

India lost the chance for winning the World Cup 2015 by losing to Australia in Semi Finals. Since the time World Cup started, in fact even before that, the hashtag #WontGiveItBack had started. I cannot deny, even I had used that hashtag extensively.

Yes, I want to write about the World Cup 2015. No, I do not know much about cricket, except what a layman knows. But then this post is not supposed to be a ball by ball analysis on India’s performance.

All of us were glued to our screens during the Semi Finals. We reacted to every single deliveries done by both the teams. Every catch, mis-field, fours, sixes, run outs and everything else got tremendous reactions from all of us. So when our beloved Dhoni and team could not win against the Aussies, we all felt bad. But we did not hate our team. We acknowledged that…

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Book Review of “A Good Day (Lucy Collins Series)” by Francis Yamoah


Blurb:

After her father’s death, newly promoted Detective Constable Lucy Collins of the Metropolitan Police Service have had to move to the small town of Kennet in order to take care of her seriously ill mother.

Kennet is a calm and quiet town which has recorded the lowest crime rates in the whole country for the past ten years, chances are, the most serious crime she is going to investigate is going to be some kind of anti-social behavior; and her first day at Kennet Police Department is promising to be the most tedious day of her life. That’s until she sets down the path of investigating a car crash which is believed to be nothing but an accident.

Genre: Mystery / Suspense / Detective / Murder / Police / Thriller / Serial Killer
My Review:

It has always managed to surprise me how very few words manage to make, not just a story, but a super thriller, edge-of-your-seat murder mystery while at it. A Good Day is just 70 odd pages long, but it feels so much longer at the same time, too short while you are reading it. Francis has created a super charged atmosphere in the book with just few words.

This is the first book of Lucy Collins series, where we are introduced to an intuitive, talented and bold Detective Office Lucy Collins, who resigned her post from the city and shifted to the police force in a country side, so that she can be nearer to her ailing mother. The story starts with the day 1 where she is joining the police force. The day is expected to be boring and really slow, but suddenly a murder comes up, after 15 long years, and there starts Lucy Collins’ career as Detective Officer. Because no one else on the force has experience with murder, it is all on Lucy and her intuitions to solve the case and catch the murderer.

The way the story goes is thrilling and full of suspense. In just a few words, an amazing murder mystery has come up. From the time you start reading, it is near impossible to stop. Somewhere throughout the book, Francis has left clues for the reader to identify who the murderer could be. So that makes it a game as well, while enjoying a suspenseful half hour. The character building is impeccable. For a small town, the ambiance and people’s mind-set was properly matched. The simple-minded trusting people such as these are only ever found in country sides. But like Miss Marple says, sometimes it is the simplest of place that holds the deadliest of secrets. I could not find any fault in the book. For a short murder story, this is as perfect as it can get.

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Book Review of “Let It Bleed (Lucy Collins Series Book 2)” by Francis Yamoah


Blurb:

A BLOOD THIRSTY KILLER HAS TAKEN HIS FIRST VICTIM AND HE’S GOING TO KILL AGAIN.
On what becomes her last day as a uniformed police officer, Lucy Collins discovers the body of a woman at a construction site while on patrol.
THE INVESTIGATION TEAM IS FAST RUNNING OUT OF LEADS AND TIME.
The next day Lucy gets the news she’d been waiting for. She’s been promoted to Detective and she joins the CID team investigating the murder of the woman whose body she’d discovered. But every hopeful lead comes to a dead-end with no new ones on the horizon.
AND THE KILLER’S NEXT TARGET IS ONE OF THE INVESTIGATION TEAM.
Let It Bleed is a thrilling second installment of a highly enjoyable series.

Genre: Mystery / Suspense / Detective / Murder / Police / Thriller / Serial Killer
My Review:

Although this is the 2nd book in the series, the story basically goes back to the time before the first book. So the book is a prequel to The Good Day. In the first book, we see Lucy Collins as an already perfect detective. In this book, we get to know the training she undergoes to become that perfect detective. The book starts with Lucy being a uniformed police officer. But very soon into the book, she becomes Detective and the fun begins.

The story is about a psychologically deranged serial killer who targets women. Lucy coincidentally comes across the first victim and soon takes up the case as her own. The way a lady detective is portrayed is, although stereotypical in a way, but still inspiring and fun to read. Lucy is shown as a bold character who is not scared of anyone or anything. The way she goes over to an isolated house and looks around with a colleague is truly inspiring and interesting to read. The killer is also a creation, which again although is expected, but the details and reasoning for the way of the state of mind is wonderful and gives a lot of insight into psychology.

The only thing that put me off was the way the story ended. Since the focus was on Lucy and how strong she is, the story could have followed the trend right till the end and showcased her to be inferior to none. But other than that, Lucy Collins is an amazing detective and truly one to be followed for all the upcoming books in the series.

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Book Review of “Crooked House” by Agatha Christie


Blurb:

In the sprawling, half-timbered mansion in the affluent suburb of Swinly Dean, Aristide Leonides lies dead from barbiturate poisoning. An accident? Not likely. In fact, suspicion has already fallen on his luscious widow, a cunning beauty fifty years his junior, set to inherit a sizeable fortune, and rumored to be carrying on with a strapping young tutor comfortably ensconced in the family estate. But criminologist Charles Hayward is casting his own doubts on the innocence of the entire Leonides brood. He knows them intimately. And he’s certain that in a crooked house such as Three Gables, no one’s on the level…

Genre: Mystery / Suspense / Detective / Murder / Police / Family / Thriller
My Review:

Yet another proof that Agatha Christie is a legend. Crooked House is a stand alone story, apart from the series of Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, Tommy and Tuppence etc. This one has criminologist Charles Hayward as the narrator. Charles tells us the story of his girlfriend and why she refused to marry him when he proposed. Agatha Christie has the tact of making something fabulous in the way of narrating a story.

The narration is flawless, the story is flawless, the characters are perfectly flawed, and the twist is admirable. You would never have seen it come, the way it came and hit you. Agatha Christie stories are those which are to be read when you want to know what real suspense / mystery / thrillers feel like. She paved the path for all mystery writers after her. The way her stories are – supple, intense, delicate and engulfing – describes an ideal mystery novel, like absolutely no one else can. And as for today’s mystery writers, there is only one thing to say – You can go high indeed, but you can never surpass your teacher, the one who lead the way.

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Book Review of “Tales of the 23rd Precinct” by Kevin Eleven


Blurb:

It is well documented that despicable acts in the form of murder, bank heists, snitching, and drug trafficking happen in the heart of New York City daily. However, no borough is more adept to the turmoil of the inner city streets than Brooklyn. In a unique presentation, readers will be able to follow the stories and individual background surrounding Detectives Deborah Lane, Luke Fisher & Frank Matthews. The three detectives must use their wit, competence, persistence and sly capabilities to maneuver throughout Brooklyn and wherever crime may take them. No matter what misguided notions they act upon or crossfires they may encounter, it is quite odd and compelling that each of their stories correlate into something frankly twisted.

Genre: Short Story / Mystery / Detective / Crime / Police / Compilation
My Review:

“Tales of 23rd precinct” is a very interesting type of story. It takes us through the life of three detectives related to each other. All the stories start from where the previous one has ended. So that gives a continuation but in a different way. The story starts with Deborah Lane, a police detective. First story leaves at a decisive point and the next story takes up the thread from there with the story of Lane’s partner, Luke Fisher. The second story ends in the same cliff hanger point manner and the last story takes up with the narration of Luke’s nemesis, Frank Matthews.

The story is well written and gives a feel of reading three different thriller with a continuing under-tone. It gives a true cop life feel with the factual status of what truly happens in a cop’s life.

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Book Review of “Leather and Lace (Tempered Steel #2)” by Maggie Adams


Blurb:

Sam Coalson, ex-Navy Seal, has returned to Grafton for the wedding of his brother. After being run out-of-town fifteen years ago for a crime he didn’t commit, he’s determined to claim what is rightfully his and take on anyone crazy enough to try to stop him.

Angel Devereaux is smart, sexy and definitely on Sam’s blacklist. After siding with Sam’s enemy fifteen years ago, Angel can’t help but wonder what if….what if Sam had never left? What if he could forgive her now? She had her reasons, but he won’t listen. So enough with words, sometimes action is exactly what’s called for.

Genre: Romance / Romantic Suspense / Suspense / Siblings / Family / Series
My Review:

 After Mac Coalson’s story “Whistlin’ Dixie”, I was really looking forward to the next in the Coalson brother series. Now Maggie Adams is back with Sam Coalson’s love story. After reading the story, I really felt that the wait was worth every anxious second spent. The book not only lives up to the expectations, but also goes beyond it.

Sam and Angel feel perfect for each other right from the word ‘go’. They were childhood sweethearts and it could have been a perfect happily ever after. However unforeseen circumstances and difficult choices from both ends separate them from each other and thus put an end to a perfect love story. But two people who are meant to be together, always do end up together. That is how the Universe conspires. And that is how it happens here as well.

The thing to look out for in this book is not the romance. The romance is typical and anyone who reads Romance novels know that the protagonists always end up together. The factor that is a USP here is the way the story goes. The flow of the story, the suspense in between and the perseverance of Sam and Angel at various points of the story is catching factor here. It is said that a healthy relationship does not consist of two strong people; it consists of two people who take turns to be strong when the other one is weak. Maggie brings this line perfectly into use with the story and that holds the crux of Sam and Angel’s relationship. The story feels as real as any true love story. Coalson brothers do have a knack of nailing the lessons of relationship deep into the readers’ mind. Read it to know how a relationship truly is, with all of its ups and downs.

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Book Review of “Connor (A Kendall Family Novel, #2)” by Randi Everheart


Blurb:

When Sophia Turner comes home from college for the summer, she has no idea her stalker is planning to kidnap her – and worse. But she escapes with the clothes on her back and nothing more, searching for safety and somewhere to stay.

Connor Kendall is looking forward to a quiet summer running his bed and breakfast, but when a barefoot Sophia turns up looking scared and with no bags, he takes her in despite concern she may have brought trouble with her. She’s hiding something, he’s sure, and yet he vows that nothing will harm her as long as she’s staying with him, but the promise might be harder to keep than he’d ever imagined.

Genre: Romance / Romantic Suspense / Series / Siblings / Family / Drama
My Review:

Kendall Family is back again with another brother in love. But just like the first one, this love is also tough to get. Randi Everheart had me captured with Tristan. With such an engrossing story, when it came to an end, the curiosity to read the next in the series was too much to handle. So when Connor came out, I was on the book like cat on milk. And it definitely made me happy.

Connor is 4th in the 5 sibling family of Kendall. But love seems to be targeting in descending order for them. Soon after the youngest got hitched, it is Connor’s turn to find true love. But with Sophia, true love comes with a price – a deadly stalker-ish price. There are some points in the story where I felt the concept of true love is taken literally and very much like a fairy tale. But that gave a very uber-romantic ambiance to the story.

Connor is very much like any olden fairy tale minus the frills and royal kingdom. That gives a very lovable feel to the entire story. It is very easy to imagine the flow of the story as it goes and the feel-good factor at the end is just another amazing thing about it. With the novels of today which gives a hard-hitting reality, stories like Connor helps you believe that knight-in-shining-armor do exist and true love, although hard to find, is definitely there.

Waiting for Riley to get shot by Cupid’s arrow now 🙂

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Book Review of “The Mystery of the Missing Bear (A Clarissa and Paw Mini Mystery, Vol. 4)” by Sandra Baublitz


Blurb:

Clarissa and Paw, her Saint Bernard, are visiting their friend, Mrs. Booksteen, when her neighbor boy’s bear goes missing. Where could it have disappeared to? Paw soon finds the bear, but then the real mystery begins. Why is there a key inside the stuffed bear? What does it go to and who put it there? More importantly, why is the boy’s stepdad so determined to get the bear back?

Clarissa and Paw will have to dig up clues to solve the case.

Genre: Mystery / Short Story / Animal Detective / Amateur Detective / Woman Detective / Woman Sleuth / Adventure / Series / Crime / Detective
My Review:

And Sandra Baublitz is back again with another Clarissa and Paw adventure. Before I start the review, let me tell you that it is going to be completely biased. I am a huge fan of Sandra and her books and can never find any fault in it. Volume 4 of the book totally lives up to the expectations once again. It shows the talent of an author when they are able to provide a complete package with adventure, mystery, and thrill in 5000 words and less. Be it this or any of the other 3 books of Sandra, the way a complete detective story is said in just 5000 words really gets to you and amazes you in multiple ways.

On that note, let us go to the book. In this volume, Clarissa and Paw encounter a smuggling racket right next door to their friend, Mrs. Booksteen. There is also a slight romance budding for Clarissa in this book. I hope it catches up in the next book (wink). The mystery brings out yet another way in which Paw shows how clever he is and Clarissa shows how much faith she has in her knight i.e. Paw.

There is a nice humor touch in the writing which makes reading very enjoyable. With Clarissa and Paw, of course, you cannot help but love them for their kindness to others, protective nature and love for each other. The bond between them is truly amazing. Sandra created yet another magic with Volume 4. I am always looking forward to Sandra’s next magical adventure.

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