Friday, August 25, 2023

Friday Fives - Five Quick Reviews For Books I've Read Recently

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.  The Pagan Stone by Nora Roberts - This book is the final book in the Sign of Seven trilogy and was such a fantastic ending.  Like in most of Roberts' trilogies there are 2 sets of friends conveniently made up of 3 guys and 3 women who all have somewhat different personalities.  Gage and Cybil were the characters that I knew the least about and Gage was definitely the least likable of the 6.  I'm not entirely sure that I liked him at the end but I did understand him a bit more and his feelings for Cybil seemed real and genuine.   Cybil is brilliant and interesting and beautiful as well as determined and a genius and figuring out problems.  The way this series concluded was very well done and satisfying.  My Rating: Really Liked It (4 Stars)

2.  Single Malt Murder by Melinda Mullet - This is the first book in a cozy mystery series involving a photojournalist who inherits a whiskey distillery in Scotland from her uncle and it happens to come with a bit of sabotage and a murder in the mix.  I enjoyed the setting and seeing how whiskey is made.  At times Abi seemed a bit dense with how she deals with people and how she picks up on context clues.  When it comes to the investigation she does a good job of not going over the top with nosiness but she switches her main suspect with dizzying speed.  As well there is a fairly large cast of characters who are new to the reader and to Abi and I struggled a bit to keep up with who was who.  This could have been because I listened to the audio but it did detract from my enjoyment.  I am curious to see how this series develops but not in the biggest rush to pick up the next book.  My Rating: Liked It (3 Stars)

3.  Murder in Old Bombay by Nev March - I picked this mystery set Bombay, India during the late 1800s.  I found the premise fascinating.  While recovering from war injuries Captain Jim Agnihotri becomes invested in the mystery of two women jumping to their death from a clock tower after reading a letter from the widower of the women.  He meets the widower, Adi Framji and the man's family and begins investigating just what happened to the women and becoming close with Framji family - particularly Adi's sister Diana.  I enjoyed the read and came to really care for the characters but I did feel like the book could use a bit of editing.  There is SO much crammed into it.  There is war, bands of orphans, human trafficking, blackmail, past secrets, politics, religion, boxing, and a whole host of other issues.  The mystery didn't just go from point A to point B but hit every other letter on the way and I could have dealt with a few less side trips and far less self doubt on Captain Jim's part.  I did love the ending once we got there and I can't wait to see what happens next with these characters. My Rating: Liked It (3 Stars)

4.  Quiet: The Importance of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain - This was an interesting look at how being an extrovert became the accepted standard of behavior and the differences between extroverts and introverts.  I wouldn't say it reads like a novel but I didn't find it too dry and enjoyed the case studies and the different aspects of behavior.  I did struggle a bit trying to find where I fit into the book as I am not shy and have no problem speaking in public and dealing in small talk but find it draining to the point of exhaustion and require a bit of time by myself to recharge.  Because of this I don't really resemble most of the examples of introverts the author focuses on showing quieter deeper thinkers.  Other than that this was an interesting look at being human that is talked a lot about but rarely deeply examined.  My Rating:  Liked It! (3.5 Stars)

5.  Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica -
I almost didn't pick this up as it violates my no children in peril rule but I've heard such good things about this book and this author that I finally gave in and I'm so glad I did!  I picked up the audio of this one and right from the start I was pulled in to the story and completely hooked.   It wasn't quite cleaning baseboards as an excuse to get more audio book time but it was close!  I was completely caught up in the story trying to figure out just what exactly had happened and was fully invested coming up with multiple theories as I listened.  My heart broke for Delilah and Leo as they were really just pawns in the story that was developing around them - though the staff at Leo's school needs a serious talking too for allowing that level of bullying to go on.  The ending stretched belief a bit but I was okay with it because I enjoyed it so much.  I will definitely be reading/listening to more of this author's books.  My Rating: Really Liked It: 4 Stars


  1. Great post - I love your reviews, Katherine:)). The book that caught my eye is Murder in Old Bombay as I have a weak spot for whodunits in an Indian setting. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Well they all seem kind of middling but at least you liked them or really liked them.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  3. Great reviews as always. I read The Pagan Stone series ages ago, if I read it again it would seem like new. Such is age! I think there must be a wide range of introverts and having to recharge by yourself after interaction I think is one sure sign.

  4. I am pretty sure that I read The Pagan Stone when it was first released and remember liking it. Local Woman Missing sounds like another one that I would like.

  5. The title The Pagan Stone is intriguing. ☺