Play Dead (Andy Carpenter #6) by David Rosenfelt

Play Dead2

Before I get into my review, I’ll get into a brief history of how I started reading (and loving) David Rosenfelt’s novels. Based on a previous mystery novel that I had read, Goodreads suggested that I read one of David Rosenfelt’s novels. I had it on my-reads for a while and I ended up deleting it because I figured a story about a lawyer and his dog wasn’t too interesting (I was young and stupid haha!).

Then I ran a Turkey Trot race in 2015 and as part of the race kit pickup you got to select a few free books. David Rosenfelt’s Heart of a Killer was one of those free books. It’s a stand alone book and I loved it! Then I started reading the Andy Carpenter series (the series about a lawyer and his dog that I had turned my nose up previously) and it’s full of everything that I want from a book. I laugh so hard (and out loud) at Andy’s witty humour and each book comes with a killer court case that has me guessing until the very end.

In summary, I will never judge a cover with a dog on it again and if you like to laugh and to be amused, then check out this series (as well as Heart of a Killer). I have no shame admitting that the below Acknowledgements had me laughing out loud and interrupting my husband’s reading to share in the comedy.

Play Dead

In the 6th novel in the series: Andy Carpenter rescues a golden retriever from being put down and finds that the dog was supposed to have died five years before during an accident that resulted in his master being convicted of murdering his fiancee at sea. Encouraged by the prisoner’s sister, Andy endeavours to reopen the case by using the dog as a witness in court.

If you like courtroom dramas, then you’ll like this one because it has two of them! First Andy has to defend a golden retriever from being put to death and then defend that dog’s owner who is currently serving time in prison. The book moved at a quick pace and of course the case wasn’t as it seemed.

4 calculators out of a potential 5. Another nice and easy read in the Andy Carpenter series. Can’t wait to read more!

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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court Of

I’m going to keep my review pretty short on this one because I know there are a lot of fans of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. This is more of a “it’s not you, it’s me”. This book just wasn’t for me.

Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever. 

Reasons I didn’t like the novel:

  1. I didn’t love the writing style, some parts just went on and on.
  2. I never felt connected to the characters. Feyre reminded me of Katniss from the Hunger Games, but I didn’t feel much sympathy for her, partly because of reason #3.
  3. The plot was unbelievable. I felt that everything was too easy for Feyre and nothing went wrong.

2 calculators out of a potential 5. Disappointed that I didn’t enjoy the novel.

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Blood Lines (D.I. Kim Stone #5) by Angela Marsons

Blood Lines

A belated Happy Easter! I hope the Easter bunny was good to you all!

I have found a lot of similarities between the Kim Stone series by Angela Marsons and the Erika Foster series by Robert Bryndza. I have loved each book in each series and they are so unique from their previous novels. They are both in my top 5 mystery series. I would have to give a little bit of an edge to the Kim Stone series, just because the character of Kim Stone is so different from anyone that I have read before. She is so broken and doesn’t let anyone in. She’s not friendly, but there is something about her that you feel connected to and you want her to let you in.

In Blood Lines, the 5th novel in the series, there is a lot of things going on. First, Kim and team have a case where a woman is found stabbed in her car. To some it may look like a carjacking, but Kim knows better. When a second body of a drug addict appears with a stab mark in the exact same way as the first victim, Kim knows that they need to work quickly.

Then in my favourite part of the book, Dr. Alex Throne is back! It’s important to read the series in order since there is a history between Kim Stone and Dr. Throne. All I’m going to say is that it’s a showdown between 2 brilliant, hard core, bad ass women.

I loved every moment of this novel and I can’t recommend this series enough. I was shocked by who the killer was and it took me a bit of backtracking to understand everything. I loved how the novel came back full circle and everything from the stabbings to the diary entries made sense.

5 calculators out of 5!! Loved the main story, loved the showdown between Kim and Alex. Was flawless all the way though. Read this series!!

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Last Breath (Detective Erika Foster #4) by Robert Bryndza

Last Breath

I tend to worry when reading series that the books will start to go downhill. This isn’t the case with the Erika Foster series, as the novel tend to get better and better as the series goes on!

He’s your perfect date. You’re his next victim.

When the tortured body of a young woman is found in a dumpster, her eyes swollen shut and her clothes soaked with blood, Detective Erika Foster is one of the first at the crime scene. The trouble is, this time, it’s not her case.

While she fights to secure her place on the investigation team, Erika can’t help but get involved and quickly finds a link to the unsolved murder of a woman four months earlier. Dumped in a similar location, both women have identical wounds – a fatal incision to their femoral artery.

Stalking his victims online, the killer is preying on young pretty women using a fake identity. How will Erika catch a murderer who doesn’t seem to exist?

Then another girl is abducted while waiting for a date. Erika and her team must get to her before she becomes another dead victim, and, come face to face with a terrifyingly sadistic individual.

I love Erika and sometimes (well…most of the time) she doesn’t know when to keep her mouth shut and stay out of it. The first part of the novel, she is sticking her nose in a case where is no longer part of the team or department. She feels a connection to the case and she won’t let it go.

Throughout the novel, the reader knows who the killer is and I felt that it took away from the surprise factor. I enjoyed getting into his mind, but it was more about seeing how Erika and her team would discover him instead of the reader finding out with them.

4 calculators out of a potential 5. Love this series and can’t wait to read more about Erika and her team!

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Murder in Little Italy (Gaslight Mystery #8) by Victoria Thompson

Murder in Little Italy

For those who have never heard of the Gaslight Mystery series before, I would highly recommend it! I remember going in thinking that it was a cozy mystery, but oh man it’s not considered a cozy. There are some very mature themes in the novels and nothing is off limits.

The Gaslight series takes place at the turn of the century in New York City and follows midwife, Sarah Brandt, and police detective, Frank Malloy. In the 8th novel, a young married woman gives birth, but when Sarah goes in to check on her the next day, she is found dead. Now there is a fight between the in-laws on who gets the baby, which sparks a bigger Italian vs Irish rivalry which leads to another death.

I really enjoy this series and I always feel so cozy and warm when I can re-connect with Sarah and Malloy. I love the two of them together and really want them to get together!!

I found that this book was lacking compared to the other books in the series. I think it was because I guessed who the killer was right away. There was also not many subplots to get away from the main storyline. I can’t believe Malloy’s mother and son weren’t even in the novel!

3 calculators out of a potential 5. I’m still loving the series, but wished that there was more non-murder subplots that include Sarah and Malloy. I can’t wait to read the next book and I’m hoping that it will be focusing on Sarah’s late husband!

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