2020 Reading Challenge

2020 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 6 books toward her goal of 240 books.

Book Review: The Tenant by Katrine Engberg

This one is fine. That’s it. Fine. There’s nothing wrong with it, but nothing jumped off the page as particularly right either… The characters, the setting, the pacing, the atmosphere – they were all, well, fine. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, I know – but on the other hand, I can’t say there was anything particularly wrong with it or point to what would have made it a more compelling read for me.

I guess my biggest issue is that I never felt like I connected with either of the detectives, and in scandi Noir that’s usually not the case for me – the main characters are usually damaged in a way that resonates with their victims and makes for a compelling back and forth as the mystery is revealed. Not so much here. Honestly, the two detectives felt a little flat to me. I never connected with them – or the landlady and her unusual friend or the victim or the roommate or frankly anyone… And without some feeling for the characters, I struggle to truly fall into a story.

I read this in fits and starts, which is unusual for me in this genre as the stories are usually so darkly engaging that I can’t put them down. So maybe part of the problem is how I read it. I’d set it down and pick it back up the next day, and realize I had very little recollection of what had happened… This one never got under my skin and on the whole just wasn’t for me…

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my obligation-free review copy.

Book Review AND Bonus Excerpt: A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen

This time it’s Harlequin’s Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Tour, and I’m pleased to bring you the latest from the exceptionally talented Mike Chen. The book wasn’t to my taste, as you’ll see (in point of fact, I never finished it), but he is a force to be reckoned with regardless, possessing as he does a marvelous mastery of language… There’s an excerpt at the end so you can see for yourself if it’s more in your wheelhouse than it was mine – enjoy! Oh – and there is one expletive in the excerpt, so if that bothers you, know that it’s at the end of the fourth paragraph from the end.

I tried. I really REALLY did. I LOVED Mike Chen’s Here and Now and Then, and when I saw this new title available through the Harlequin Winter Book Tour, I was delighted at the chance to jump into another one of his worlds. H&N&T was an incredible story – character-driven, with a solidly original and entertaining plot line and a deeply complex consideration of family relationships. This new title sounded so promising – not many authors go into what happens AFTER cataclysm, after all, with most focusing on how the end comes and how things are scraped together in its aftermath… Continue reading Book Review AND Bonus Excerpt: A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen

Guest Post: Your Checklist While Writing Suspense and Great Mystery Novels by Lorna Adekaiyaoja

Today I’m pleased to bring you a very interesting – and useful – post about writing mysteries from author Lorna Adekaiyaoja. Enjoy – and if you like her writing here, don’t forget to check out the actual novel, The Plea on Oath!

Your Checklist While Writing Suspense and Great Mystery Novels
by Lorna Adekaiyaoja

It was an interesting but tedious task plotting my new mystery and suspense novel The Plea on Oath, I have been inspired by great works of James Patterson, Lee Child, Laura Shapiro and Ayobami Adebayo.

James Patterson knew how to hold his audience in suspense, you will keep on guessing where he is heading, you just keep on turning pages. I once took one of his books – Alert – from the bedroom to the bathroom, then to the living room and then back to the bedroom. Just kept on reading till I finished. Continue reading Guest Post: Your Checklist While Writing Suspense and Great Mystery Novels by Lorna Adekaiyaoja

My 2019 Year in Books

Hard to believe another year is over, but here is the summation of my 2019 year of reading – there were a LOT of excellent finds, most but not all highlighted on the blog, so if you’re curious what else I was up to when I wasn’t posting, check it out!

Click here to visit my 2019 Year in Books!

Book Review AND Bonus Excerpt – First Cut by Judy Melinek, MD and T.J. Mitchell

Today I’m pleased to bring you another in the Harlequin Blog Tour series. This one is a dive into the dark and gruesome – but utterly fascinating – world of forensic medical examination. There’s a bonus excerpt at the end – trust me when I say it’s worth the read!

Book Review

What a fabulous find this was!

I’m fascinated by what forensics and forensic medical examiners are able to uncover based on the remains – no matter how degraded or diminished – of the human body… In this excellent story, Melinek and Mitchell have crafted a world that is sinister and scientific and full of secrets, and they’ve wrapped a messy but enthralling mystery inside of it. Add in a cast of characters that are complex, well-developed, and full of quirks and foibles and you have the making of a compelling story that I couldn’t put down until I knew how it would all end… Continue reading Book Review AND Bonus Excerpt – First Cut by Judy Melinek, MD and T.J. Mitchell




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