2020 Reading Challenge

2020 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 6 books toward her goal of 240 books.
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Book Review: Shark’s Tooth: Emerald Coast Murder by Michael Guillebeau

This was a fun collection – and I’m not usually a fan of short stories! I have read the author’s full-length novel featuring Emerald Coast Beach (Emerald Coast: Free Money – which I have reviewed on here if you’re curious), which is what drew me to this collection. I loved that one – very fun and quirky characters and a fantastic setting – and wanted more set in that world/with those characters, and this title had been published previously so I agreed to take a look despite my long-standing antipathy to the format of shorts.

I found what I usually do: I thoroughly enjoyed the stories set in the world/with the characters that I already knew and loved. But I also found a surprise: I quite enjoyed a number of the others, with new (to me) characters as well.

As for the first of those comments: it was great to delve further into Terry and Blackie’s lives (the unlikely detective pair introduced in Free Money). I’m hoping Guillebeau will continue to write stories featuring the dynamic duo, I really enjoy them/their world (and hopefully Lizzie Borden, also from FM, will return also, as she is FABULOUS)…. I had a harder time with the Emerald Coast Beach stories that didn’t feature the detectives. I suspect it’s because I generally don’t like short stories, but when I do it’s because they feature characters/worlds I already know from larger series – that way it’s more like an extra bonus chapter instead of a short because it has the fullness of character/world development established already. That’s an issue with me as a reader, not the stories themselves, and should be recognized as such. I’m not a great arbiter of short stories in worlds/with characters I’m not familiar with as a result, since my tendency is not to favor this format.

I also really enjoyed the Josh Whoever backstory and peeks into his world. He’s a wild character with an insane world – in good ways. There is a full novel about Josh; I haven’t gotten to it yet, but am doubly intrigued by him as a result of what I read here. I’m also intrigued as hell by skinny girl; she’s CLEARLY got more going on than could be explained or addressed in this story, and I’m exceptionally curious as to what her deal is also.

The final story in this collection – Male Leary Comes Home – was fun but felt short-handed. I strongly suspect this is, once again, my issue with short stories rearing its ugly head, as opposed to any issue with the story itself. The reason for this: I found myself wanting to know more. The story has a handy little twist, and while it was fun to read, it felt like things tidied themselves up too quickly. I would have liked to see more character development and an expanded story line there – Leary was a great character and his world had interesting potential…

Thanks to the author for providing my reading copy. He sent it without asking for a review, but I liked it enough to write one anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚

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