Monday, March 26, 2007

Dead as a Scone: A Royal Tunbridge Wells Mystery, by Ron Benrey and Janet Benrey



The coziest of the cozy mysteries I think I've ever read. It takes place in an English tea museum, for goodness sake!

Granted, the whole thing perhaps could have been avoided by the lead character being more insistent that a murder that had taken place. And the motive for the doctor covering up the murder was flimsy indeed. It really only served to stall the investigation long enough for the amateur sleuths to solve the crime in a full-length novel. But it was a great read! I learned about tea, there was a little old lady, some stodgy Brits, a nice little romance and even some small pets. I never wanted it to end.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Best in Show: A Melanie Travis Mystery, Laurien Berenson



Faster paced than some of her other books (the PCA show provides a great backdrop), there were things I figured out right from the beginning, a few red herrings (some of which turned out to be real answers), and a sufficiently tight ending.


****************SPOILER ALERT**********************

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Chow Down: A Melanie Travis Mystery, Laurien Berenson



Fun and satisfying. Almost makes me want to meet a poodle. Almost. The author is very thorough about details. Well, except that the dogs never relieve themselves...


Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Cat Who Wasn't a Dog, by Marian Babson



Alcohol figures heavily into the narrative of most Marian Babson books, but I think in this case perhaps the author had dipped into the bottle just a little too much herself. That at least would explain this completely nonsensical story. There is so much in this book that doesn't make sense that I only rushed to finish it so I could write down how much I disliked it. I guess every author has the occasional misstep. This is Babson's, to be sure.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Canapés for Kitties, by Marian Babson



One of the best Marian Babson books I've read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I figured out the killer and his motive before the end, but not too soon. The only thing that was detracting was the descriptive inner cover--it gave far too much away and pointed out the ending too much. Also the front cover depicts a scene that doesn't happen until the end. But I loved the meta-reality of a community of mystery writers. I think the Macho Magee character is based on Kinky Friedman actually! Although, to be fair, some of the meta-fiction that the main character writes is pretty unreadable stuff--I actually found myself skimming it. Otherwise, top notch!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Cat Next Door, by Marian Babson



It was all right. I read it in a day or so, which is a fairly good indication that it is compelling enough. But not exactly a big surprise at the end...maybe I've just read too many of these!