Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mini-Reviews - More New Series for Tutu

I had so much fun last month reading series and sequels, that I continued on with some I didn't finish in September.  I never got into the first Debbie Macomber series (Cedar Cove), but she's a very popular author at our library and has just started a new series.

The Inn at Rose Harbor, the first in a new series, was available via the audio download, so I grabbed it, loaded it on my MP3 and headed to the pool.  This is a very cozy cozy.  There are some interesting characters presented and a delightful sense of place. The writing and dialogue border on the banal. The plot is not brain-taxing, and since I haven't read any of the previous series, I can't tell if any of the story or inhabitants are carry-overs.

Basically, this one is chick-lit without the steamy romance.  Jo Marie Rose, a recent widow uses her inheritance to buy an old but well-managed inn in Cedar Cove Washington.  In this first of what the author promises us are many stories set at the Inn, we are introduced to two troubled people, we meet the town librarian, the resident dog, and a potential romance - although I suspect that won't bloom for at least 4-5 books.  It was a pleasant read.  It won't win any Pulitzers.  It may give some people a sugar sweet overdose, but it will certainly be enjoyed by those who followed the first series.  I'm at least willing to read the next two or three to see how the lives of these characters evolve.

Cleo Coyle has a wonderful series set in a coffeehouse in Manhattan.  In this latest one in the series, Murder by Mocha, Clare Cosi, the owner finds that her wonderful custom blend of coffee is being used in a rather irregular (and perhaps illegal) recipe to promote a powder to be used as an aphrodisiac.  There's a wonderful cast of characters and a well-plotted mystery (is there a murder or isn't there?)  I read the first two in the series but so long ago that this was really like reading a new series for me. I got this one in a BOGOF offer through Audible.  These cozies are terrific to listen to when you don't have the energy for intense concentration.  The coffee and food discussions provide enough verbal caffeine to keep me interested, and I'll certainly be on the lookout for another.

Now so many of my LibraryThing reading buddies, and my library patrons, love this series so much, I decided I'd read ONE to see what all the fuss was about.  I don't usually like a lot of hot steamy chick-lit romance, and I gave up reading Nora Roberts several years ago, but I gotta tell you, this one has a hook in me.  I've already started book #2, although I'm not sure I'd be able to take all 44 of these in a concentrated dose.  Maybe one or two a year.

I was surprised at how much I liked the characters- they are strong, well-developed, believable.  Eve Dallas, a NYC police homicide detective is a seriously emotionally crippled woman and the first book gives us just enough background to see that handicap and what caused it.  Her main love interest and antagonist is a stunning stud called Roark.  The on again, off again relationship is one that is going to give rise to lots of sparks in the future I'm sure.  The plot was intense, at times scary, and with many possible suspects, it kept me guessing for quite awhile.

The setting, a rather futuristic sci-fi  arena, is fascinating, and one I wouldn't have thought I'd like.  The year is 2058, and science, food prep, space age weapons, legal acceptance of prostitution, and other exotic methods of travel and communication make the story just bizarre enough to be believable.  Not what I expected at all, but I'm definitely going to be reading more.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE the Coffeehouse mysteries. I plan to read MbM next year, as I am reading them in order. Have you visited the website? It is really full of info, recipes, etc. So much fun.


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