Monday, April 29, 2024

Overdue Reviews - Night of a Thousand Stars + Day of Vengeance

Goodreads:  Night of a Thousand Stars by Deanna Raybourn

Blurb:  On the verge of a stilted life as an aristocrat's wife, Poppy Hammond does the only sensible thing—she flees the chapel in her wedding gown. Assisted by the handsome curate who calls himself Sebastian Cantrip, she spirits away to her estranged father's quiet country village, pursued by the family she left in uproar. But when the dust of her broken engagement settles and Sebastian disappears under mysterious circumstances, Poppy discovers there is more to her hero than it seems.

With only her feisty lady's maid for company, Poppy secures employment and travels incognita—east across the seas, chasing a hunch and the whisper of clues. Danger abounds beneath the canopies of the silken city, and Poppy finds herself in the perilous sights of those who will stop at nothing to recover a fabled ancient treasure. Torn between allegiance to her kindly employer and a dashing, shadowy figure, Poppy will risk it all as she attempts to unravel a much larger plan—one that stretches to the very heart of the British government, and one that could endanger everything, and everyone, that she holds dear.

My Thoughts:  Oh I wanted to love this one.  1920s adventure and hijinks are usually right up my alley but I just couldn't get enjoy it the way that I wanted to.  The plot is completely unrealistic but I can usually overlook that if the story is fun enough but Poppy drove me crazy. The fact that she was the one who inserted herself in the situation and then fully believes she knows exactly what's going on when she clearly doesn't was maddening.  The woman never saw an assumption she wouldn't jump to.  If I was Sebastian I would have left her about 50 times along the way.   By the end of the book I was inventing ways to take her out and I couldn't help but roll my eyes at the solution.  This is still Deanna Raybourn so the writing is great and the scene setting is fantastic but that couldn't quite make up for Poppy.  My Rating:  Just Okay (2 Stars)

Blurb:  Dorothy Martin s husband, Alan Nesbitt, is heavily involved in the complex and lengthy process of choosing a new bishop for Sherebury Cathedral. The very day that the short list is announced publicly, one of the candidates is found murdered in his own church. With a long list of possible suspects, including Alan himself, Dorothy and Alan start to delve into the history of the victim, hoping to find some clue to a motive for murder.Then a second candidate is found dead, and the case becomes very complicated indeed. Who is murdering England s clergymen and why . . .?

My Thoughts:  I read this series years ago and I remember it being pretty cozy.  This book, however, I did not find cozy at all.  Yes, there's an amateur detective (an a not so amateur detective acting unofficially) and quite a lot of it takes place in a cozy village in England but the subject matter is far from cozy and honestly, I found the ending to be mostly just depressing.  I also didn't enjoy that the focus was mostly on the religious politics of the various candidates for bishop and not so much on secrets of their past.  It got a bit preachy feeling which is one of my least favorite things in a book and it didn't help that I never really warmed to Dorothy.  I remember enjoying this series years ago but I must admit that I don't think it's for me any longer.  My Thoughts:  Just Okay (2 Stars)


  1. That's too bad you couldn't get into the Raybourne book. That cover would defintely get my attention.

  2. I sometimes wonder if there is a reason some reviews become overdue and it's because we sensed they were just okay.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  3. That Raybourn cover is very attractive.

  4. So both not winners, I laughed at your description of Poppy.