Introducing Psycho Cat (and a Sucker)

July 28, 2015 at 1:08 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , )

61OhIWNdMOL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Title: CATastrophic Connections

Author: Joyce Ann Brown

Genre: Cozy Mystery

First of all, I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.  Second, however, I chose it out of a long list of options from a ton of authors because 1. I’m a sucker for cozy mysteries 2. I’m a sucker for cozy mysteries that feature pets 3. I’m a sucker.

In this case, I’m totally ok with being a sucker.  I’ll admit there’s a tad more “psycho cat” than I enjoy –  but I’m not a big cat lover and the few cat mysteries I’ve read involved the cat being a swanky background character, not a constant topic of discussion.  Die hard cat lovers, though, would probably love this book.  (I’m a dog person. *Gasp*)  I imagine that Lilian Jackson Braun fans will be the best fit for this series, but I haven’t actually read her books yet.  (I tend to lean toward the Cleo Coyles of the genre.)

The mystery is fun an upbeat, which fits the bill for a cozy; and a lot of the action is driven by dialogue.

What won me over, in the end, were the quotes at the beginning of every chapter.  I’m a sucker for that as well and love jotting down references for me to find and read later.  Better than that, I love already knowing the reference and nodding my head along with the witticisms and wisdom of Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Allen Poe, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the rest of them.

Brown has an easy breezy writing style, appropriate for a summertime cozy.  I’d recommend this series for a road trip or plane ride, something to dive into to pass the time that won’t take too much energy or focus to read while things are going on around you.  If your attention strays just the slightest bit, you have a friendly nudge back into the story: “Must I remind you? We are essentially in the middle of a detective mystery.” I tend to enjoy a little meta-fiction every now and then.  Also, there are many short chapters, rather than fewer long ones, which I find makes for better vacation reading because it’s easy to find appropriate stopping points at a moment’s notice.

I already downloaded the second book in the series to my kindle and look forward to spending some time with Joyce Ann Brown’s characters again.

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The Curse of Cozies

July 22, 2015 at 10:44 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

The curse imagesof cozies is that they completely suck you into worlds of absolute silliness, and mid-read, you’re totally ok with that.  Why?  Because, inevitably, there’s coffee, fuzzy pets, books and knitting, and a few dead bodies that require you to summon your inner Nancy Drew for.

My latest cozy mystery read was Victoria Abbott’s The Christie Curse, the first in a book collector series – that I now, of course, have to collect.  It can share shelf space with my Laura Childs and Cleo Coyles, with my Alice Kimberly series, and D.R. Meredith books… as they all tilt ther hats to their parents: Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie – who have inadvertently become the founders of the genre though they weren’t known for knitting or cooking themes.

The Christie Curse has proven itself to be one of the better books of the genre, especially if you count the other book themed cozies I have already read.  Homicide in Hardcover by Carlisle is another bibliophile cozy 61OhIWNdMOL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_mystery, and I enjoyed it, but the story didn’t hold a candle to Abbott’s book.  Researching Agatha Christie, chasing top secret book industry scoops, browsing personal library collections filled with first editions… The Christie Curse is simply full of all my favorite things, including the Irish uncles who aren’t exactly on the up and up.  Add some bipolar cats and an adorable pug – of course I thought this was a great book.  Abbott didn’t pull any punches either, there’s a fabulous Italian lady who constantly shouts “Eat! Eat!” at our protagonist, and recipes in the back so that we, too, may partake in the deliciousness.

Currently, I’m reading CATastrophic Connections by Joyce Ann Brown and look forward to having an official review posted for you soon.

What cozies have you read lately?

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