Friday, May 29, 2009

The Wonderful Demise of Benjamin Arnold Guppy by Gina Collia-Suzuki

Title: The Wonderful Demise of Benjamin Arnold Guppy
Author: Gina Collia-Suzuki
Genre: Satire
Publisher: Nezu Press
ISBN: 0955979617 (ISBN13: 9780955979613)
Format: Trade Paperback, 228 pages
List Price: $14.00US
Rating: 4 stars (4.4)
Warnings: Some language

Synopsis: A tale of nasty neighbors, dark comedy and, ultimately, the perfect murder.

What I liked: Well, it was hilarious. The story offers a glimpse into the mind of an otherwise normal young housewife, driven to murder by circumstances out of her control. I can't begin to imagine the horror described in this book, the lunacy of neighbors trying to extort money and resorting to attacks when none is forthcoming. I found the Guppy's attempts to drive their new neighbors away more funny than anything but that's probably because it wasn't happening to me.

What I disliked: Honestly, for me, it was a little slow-going at first. It picked up pace, however, and was a delightfully dark read after that.

Overall: 4.4 stars. My husband is looking forward to reading this. I may re-read it at a later date. :o)

The Cater Street Hangman by Anne Perry

Title: The Cater Street Hangman
Author: Anne Perry
Series: Thomas and Charlotte Pitt, Book 1
Genre: Historical Mystery
Publisher: Fawcett Crest
ISBN: 0449208672
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 287 pages
List Price: $6.99US
Characters: Thomas Pitt, Charlotte Ellison

Someone is killing young women in Cater Street. Thomas Pitt is called in to investigate and he meets Charlotte Ellison. More or less together, they try to uncover the identity of a killer dubbed the hangman.

What I liked: The characters. Ms Perry actually gave the reader a glimpse into each and every mind that she felt was important to the story. I was surprised by the POV switches even though they were separated by scenes and sometimes chapters, but it added well to the mystery. I didn't guess the murderer's identity until the second to last chapter. I also like the historical detail Ms Perry provides in her Victorian mysteries, giving the reader an accurate glimpse into the period with all its foibles and restrictions.

What I disliked: The romance. I know that sounds weird coming from a romance author but the romance felt contrived to me. This could be because Charlotte fought it and we never got to see inside Pitt's head to watch the gradual development of his regard. Which leads me to my other annoyance: We never got to see inside Pitt's head. Maybe this wasn't important to the story but I like him and would have liked to see how his mind works.

Overall: 4.2 stars. This was borrowed from my mom but I might borrow it again at a much later date. :o)

Note: The copy I read has a different cover and 287 pages instead of 288. The list price of the current edition available is $7.99US instead of $6.99US.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Marrying the Captain by Carla Kelly

Title: Marrying the Captain
Author: Carla Kelly
Series: ?
Genre: Regency Historical Romance
Publisher: Harlequin
ISBN: 0373295286 (978-0373295289)
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 288 pages
List Price: $5.99US
Rating: 4 stars (4.4)
Warning: Graphic love scenes

Synopsis: Eleanor "Nana" Massie's father, Lord Ratliffe, recruits Captain Oliver Worthy to spy on Nana at the small inn she runs with her grandmother. As soon as he meets Nana, he realizes Ratliffe is up to no good.

What I liked: I am a fan of Carla Kelly. I have read several of her older traditional Regencies and I LOVED them. I liked this one but not quite as much. The characters are likable, the plot is believable and the historical detail is just enough to put you in the time period without making you wonder if you'd purchased a history text by mistake. :o)

What I disliked: So there was one love scene in this book I skipped that contained a little more detail than I personally care for. I was disappointed that this scene was even in the book. Carla Kelly writes a wonderful, moving tale without detailed love scenes. I don't know if this was something she was told to do to get this story published or if she honestly felt it was necessary to the plot. (Traditional Regencies do not seem to have quite the following they once had.) The other thing that annoyed me was—and yes, I know this will sound nitpicky—the nickname “Nana” for the heroine. I'm sorry. When I hear Nana, I think grandma. It was distracting at times. My opinion.

Overall: 4.4 stars. This is probably a book I'll read again.

Sensitive readers beware: This book contains graphic love scenes.

View all my reviews on goodreads.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin