A Vision of Murder–Book Review

I’m going to just start by saying don’t bother with this book. There’s too much wrong with it to be forgiven. So, here’s my Goodreads review:

A Vision of Murder (Psychic Eye Mystery, #3)A Vision of Murder by Victoria Laurie
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I don’t usually review books I give low stars to. It kind of doesn’t feel worth my time. But this had some seriously terrible and offensive things going on, so I’m going to write about it.

First the treatment of the MC’s boyfriend’s college buddy. They visit him, and as they’re heading back to the car she starts teasing her boyfriend about his friend and what good taste he has and how he likes show tunes. And then she tells the boyfriend that his friend is gay and has a crush on him, and as backup for this they talk about how the friend did decorate the boyfriend’s house for him. This scene pulled out just about every cliche in the book.

Then let’s talk about the boyfriend. He’s supposed to be a good guy apparently. But the two characters drop into random, extremely childish fights for no real reason other than the story must have needed some drama at those points. But that’s not the worst of it. Frequently the boyfriend gets angry because the MC does things he told her not to. Like he has any right to tell her what to do! And at one of those times, when she went out when he told her not to because it wasn’t safe, he took her car keys. Including going into her purse to take her spare set. So that she couldn’t leave his house (where she was staying to nurse him from a bullet wound). So, controlling and abusive and really just horrible. This stuff is NOT a show of how much someone cares about someone else.

It took me this long to write this up because I was so angry about this horrible jerk that I couldn’t write about it without just screaming on the page. I’m really disappointed in this story because I really like the premise of the series. But I’m tired of the childish, ridiculous, and outright harmful behavior of these characters (I didn’t even talk about the MC’s sister and her completely outrageous and unreasonable behavior!). This is definitely not for me.

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What Abigail Did That Summer–Book Review

What Abigail Did That Summer (Rivers of London, #5.3)What Abigail Did That Summer by Ben Aaronovitch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It was wonderful to spend some time in one of my favorite fiction universes, and getting to know Abigail better was great. I cannot wait to see what she gets up to as she gets older! The foxes were a delight, too, and I really enjoyed getting a peek into their operations. And I wonder if Nightingale has any clue about her perception of their conversation at the end.

The only criticism I have is what Abigail said to Simon’s mother at the end. I didn’t catch that about Simon at all; I went over a lot of things and tried to make it fit, but I felt like Abigail’s comments about Simon came out of nowhere in a lot of ways. Although in hindsight I could sort of retrofit it, that felt more like a surprise twist than something that was really set up ahead of time. But this was fairly minor overall and didn’t detract from the story–I still loved it as I always do with these stories.

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Harrow Lake–Book Review

Harrow LakeHarrow Lake by Kat Ellis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was so good! It was set up like an old horror movie with the eerie atmosphere, and then it unraveled into something much deeper. And the ending was so satisfying! I thought we had a tragedy, but those last pages! I am so happy with where this went. All sorts of unexpected turns but with enough hints in hindsight that nothing seemed like it didn’t belong.

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The Secrets of Mystic Springs–Book Review

The Secrets of Mystic Springs (Mystic Springs. #2)The Secrets of Mystic Springs by Mona Marple
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was another fun read. I enjoy the town and the characters both human and ghostly. My one wish is that there would be less focus on Connie’s weight (she’s the main character). I don’t feel like we need her to be a large woman who constantly worries about her weight and how she looks and feels (when hugging) to other people, etc. I don’t feel like it adds anything to the stories, and I wish it wasn’t there.

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The Ghosts of Mystic Springs–Book Review

The Ghosts of Mystic Springs (Mystic Springs, #1)The Ghosts of Mystic Springs by Mona Marple
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really liked this book! I’m surprised by how much I liked it. I thought it was going to be a bit of a surface glitz sort of book, fun and fast and easy but without much depth. I was wrong. There were depths to the characters and plot bits that surprised me, and it was thoroughly engaging. I’m reading the next in the series right away, and maybe more after that, too. This was a wonderful reading surprise.

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Every Heart a Doorway–Book Review

Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1)Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was so much fun! I loved the concept, and the characters were strange and wonderful. The ending seemed abrupt, which is really the only thing that kept me from giving this five stars. And the scene at the very end? I did not expect that! Now I feel like I don’t know where the next book is going to go, and I’m really excited to find out.

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Better Read Than Dead–Book Review

Better Read Than Dead (Psychic Eye Mystery, #2)Better Read Than Dead by Victoria Laurie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the mystery part, but I really wish these characters seemed more like real people. Too much sudden jumping from one emotion to another that feels artificial. And the tarot reading scene where Abby learns to do the Celtic Cross spread, which is described as the easiest, in only an hour had me rolling my eyes. There were also an awful lot of cliches and stereotypes about mafia families. And the resolutions were too easy and felt contrived. I have an oddly large number of complaints about a book I also managed to enjoy. I’m sure I’ll read more of these, but I’m hoping for more depth.

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Abby Cooper–Psychic Eye Book Review

Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye (Psychic Eye Mystery, #1)Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye by Victoria Laurie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a fun and rompy kind of read. The characters are interesting, the clues to the mystery were just enough to make you think you might figure things out before Abby does. It was a perfect palate cleanser after reading something heavier, too. I think this is definitely going to be a fun bingey kind of series.

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Devolution–Book Review

Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch MassacreDevolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre by Max Brooks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a hard book to read. I loved the way we got the story–interviews and excerpts from a few sources plus a diary that’s been left behind. But from the beginning we know the dark outcome for the most part, so the story felt hopeless. We start getting to know these people, and we even have some empathy for them and understand them, and they become real, and we know what’s coming. I had to read this one with breaks to read other, lighter things. Also–that ambiguous ending! I would have at least liked a full wrap-up!

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