Friday, June 17, 2022

Friday Five - Five Mini Reviews

I'm taking a bit of a break from my usual Friday Linkups to try something a little different.  I'm in a list making kind of mood so I thought I'd start making random five lists.  Sometimes they'll be bookish other weeks not so much. This week I'm sharing 5 quick reviews for books I've read recently.

1.  Mrs. Jeffries Dusts for Clues by Emily Brightwell - While I'm a big fan of this later books in this series I had some issues with the first book when I read it recently.  However, my main issue (Inspector Witherspoon being so clueless) didn't seem to transfer over to this book.  Witherspoon is a capable investigator unknowingly helped by his clever household staff.  This was a fun mystery with a likable cast of characters.  This is a very classic feeling cozy mystery that I feel like most mystery readers will enjoy.  My Rating:  Really Liked It!

2.  A Hex for Danger by Esme Addison - I liked the first book in the series and was hoping the second book would be stronger.  This one didn't quite work as well for me.  I felt like it was too detailed (ie I don't need to know the hairstyle of the EMT who has approximately 2 minutes of page time) and I didn't like the relationship between the main character and her boyfriend.  The mystery didn't really grab me though I did enjoy the side characters and the setting.  My Rating: Not For Me

3.  Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters - Oh this was fun!  I'm a huge Barbara Michaels fan but hadn't read many of her books under this name.  Michaels/Peters was actually an Egyptologist which makes this even more interesting.  I love Amelia Peabody and she reminds me a bit of Veronica Speedwell in her straight forward practicality (I would not be shocked if Peabody factored into the inspiration for Speedwell).  She meets her match first in the softer Evelyn and then again in outspoken stubborn archeologist Emerson.  This was a fun mystery with an immersion into Victorian Egypt.  I'm so looking forward to reading more of the series and getting to know Amelia better and seeing what new adventure she falls into!  My Rating:  Really Liked It!

4.  Unmasked: My Life Solving America's Cold Cases by Paul Holes - I watch a lot of true crime but while I read a lot of mysteries I don't read much true crime.  This was fascinating.  Paul Holes is definitely not the hero of his own story and I really was impressed with how open he was about his anxiety and how his mindset affected other aspects in his life.  Listening to the details of his years long investigation into the Golden State Killer was fascinating as was all the information he shared about his role in processing crime scenes.  My Rating: Really Liked It!

5.  The Secret Life of Miss Mary Bennet by Katherine Cowley -
This is the story of the Bennett sister we know the least about - Mary - and how her life unfolds after the marriage of three of her sisters and the death of her father.  We see many characters from Pride and Prejudice at the beginning of the book including Mr. Collins who is just as awful and pompous as one would expect.  I can't say I particularly liked Mary.  She's socially awkward and while intelligent is given to trapping people with long lectures and recitals of music, poetry, or sermons.  She's also is not great at reading people and is frequently convinced of her own superiority.  However, I couldn't help but feel sorry for her.  She's never quite fit despite desperately wanting to and not truly understanding why she doesn't.  She isn't close with her sisters and has a difficult time making friends.  Since she is a constant outsider she excels at observation and being able to blend into the background.  This comes in handy as the book goes on and she must discover just what going on at the mysterious castle she's been invited too and what the residents want with her. I don't know that I will continue with this series but this was an interesting read and a fantastic concept.  My Rating: Liked It!


  1. Ah Amelia Peabody - I love that first book in the series and love the series as well. Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters was a wonderful writer and filled my younger days with lots of books. I suspect that Amelia was inspiration for many characters and I really need to read that Veronica Speedwell series.

  2. I've always felt a bit sorry for Mary Bennett too.

  3. I love Amelia Peabody series and actually all the series by the author.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  4. All sounding interesting. I do dislike it when an author just fills a couple of pages with non relevant details as you describe. Poor Mary Bennett, sounds like the author was fairly true to the P&P book. Mary sounds a bit like a Five on the Enneagram from the way you describe her here.

  5. The Mrs. Jeffries mysteries is another series I've enjoyed and left by the wayside after #27. Will need to catch up.

  6. At least you like almost all of those. :)