Tag Archives: 2020s

The Socialite’s Guide to Murder, by S.K. Golden

12 Oct
Cover for The Socialite's Guide to Murder; on a black background, there's a front elevation of an art deco hotel, rendered in golden/cream. Some of the windows appear to be 'open' and through them we see figures doing suspicious things. The moon peeks from behind the roof, and some clouds move overhead.

This is marketed as a debut (unless S.K. Golden is a pseudonym, of course), as well as the first book in a series, and I have to say that it shows.

Reader beware: wealthy white debutante, with attendant problematic behavior and perspective; closeted gay best friend (see: period setting); agoraphobia and PTSD; car accident; parental neglect; closed door sex.

Continue reading

On Borrowed Crime, by Kate Young

10 Oct
Watercolor-like illustration of a library, with bookcases and a large window in the background, and a desk with books, an old fashioned desk lamp, a magnifying glass, files, books, a mini recorder, and anonymous threatening notes scattered over the blotter on the desk in the foreground.

I had originally planned to read Ms Young’s Crime for the Books, the most recent title in this series; however, I realized that I have ARCs for the first two books, and since I have a thing about reading order, here we are.

Once again, I had not realized this series is narrated in first person past tense; I have a feeling a lot of the cozy mysteries in my TBR ARCs are going to be like this, and I should work to make my peace with it.

Reader beware: some graphic gruesomeness; whiteness (maybe one PoC character, though their race is not specified); old drunkard being a creepy lecher; a whole lot of class privilege; whiffs of domestic and/or intimate partner violence.

Continue reading

Christmas Wolf Surprise, by Terry Spear

7 Oct
A handsome, fairly muscular white man with dark hair wearing a longsleeve thermal-type of shirt and jeans; in the background, a small town street with Christmas lights, falling  snow and pine trees, and a worlf walking down the street.

I am trying to do something about the ungodly number of digital ARCs in my TBR, and as this book releases next week, I decided to try a timely review.

Spoiler: it did not go well; I tried, but I gave up at 52%, after skimming the last chapter, to see if there was something there that would make it worth it to continue.

Reader, beware: the world building is not well thought out; there’s sex on the page; and the disregard for informed consent (on becoming a wolf shifter, not sex) is appalling.

Continue reading

The Christmas Murder Game, by Alexandra Benedict

3 Oct
Cover for The Christmas Murder Game: on a black field, with light grey snowflakes falling, a string of beads zigzags from a star at the top, in ever widening segments, to form the silhouette of a Christmas tree. The ornaments are all white keys in different shapes...except for a poison bottle and a bloody knife.

I was done in by the cover. I mean. Look at the cover. It’s perfect! Then there’s the blurb, with all my catnip in one big serving, and so I ran to NetGalley to ask for an ARC, which I was beyond delighted to get.

And then, the let down.

How was I supposed to know this is told in my dead-least-favorite narrative voice?

So, reader beware: third person present tense narrative voice; PTSD; discussion of a suicide in the past; the main character has prosopagnosia, and one murderously dysfunctional family from hell. Also, several characters are queer (either bisexual or lesbians).

Continue reading