What did I read over the weekend? Well, let me tell you all about it! My weekend read-a-thon was two books. One great, one not. First up-the great!
Lady Takes the Case by Eliza Casey
Manor Cat Mystery #1
Ooh, this was so good! The plot is simple and similar to Downton Abbey: Lady Cecilia Bates and her family live at Danby Hall in Yorkshire. Her mother is trying to set up a marriage between the heir, Patrick and an American heiress. Her money will save Danby Hall from being sold. There is a house party to welcome Annabel and announce the engagement.
Now the twists begin: a guest dies after mistakenly drinking from a glass meant for Annabel. Patrick is quite the expert in poisons but what would be his motive to kill his prospective bride? But who else could have done it? The mysterious stranger in the village? Is there more to the new footman than just a handsome face? The neighbors want to buy Danby Hall; perhaps they have escalated to murder to seal the deal? Or was there some other reason to eliminate the murder victim-what secrets did he take to his grave?
As scandal swirls around Danby hall, Lady Cecilia investigates. She finds an unlikely ally and possible friend in Annabel’s maid, Jane and her cat, Jack.
Very well done, likable characters, believable plot that twisted and turned. I was completely fooled as to the ending. Book two is not available as an ebook for some reason, so I’m waiting for my turn at the library to read the next one. 4 stars.
**UPDATE** It was an Amazon glitch-the ebook is available.
And now the not so great.
Purrfectly Dead by Dixie Lyle. This is the 5th book in the Whiskey, Tango & Foxtrot Mystery series. What to say about this book? Book four was published in 2016, so a bit of a wait for this one to be released. My honest opinion of this book is: I waited SIX YEARS FOR THIS? It was an okay book. 2 stars and will probably be best suited to fans of the first four books who are interested in what happens next.
The backstory is Foxtrot is the personal assistant to a very, extremely rich lady named ZZ. They live on a huge estate and entertain various interesting celebrities and socialites. The twist is that Foxtrot is assisted in solving mysteries by Whiskey and Tango, who are ‘magic’ pets. Whiskey is some type of shape shifting dog spirit and Tango is a ghost cat. How do they communicate, you ask? By telepathy-to each other and various other animals and supernatural creatures. Sometimes, they all talk at once and you will get a migraine trying to sort out all the snarky comments, it just gets tiresome.
Foxtrot is also the “Guardian” of a magic graveyard next to the estate where all the ghost animals cross the rainbow bridge to the afterlife. If the animal wasn’t loved in real life…well, let’s just say there are some seriously creepy ghost animals hanging out there.
Foxtrot is dating the chef of the estate who is also a Thunderbird-mythical weather shape shifter.
The estate has a zoo full of animals to telepathically chit chat with as we all look for clues.
I felt like the author threw everything at this book to see what sticks; and what sticks is a mishmash of a hard to follow plot with too many sidetracks that lead nowhere and just confuse everything. The telepathic conversations never end, please just make it stop. It is possible to skim this book and still get the main points of the plot. This one involves an escape artist and some mystical jibber jabber from some magic animals to explain why everybody is trying to kill everybody else and the weather sucks. There is a rock star with writer’s block and a seance, too. So, basically, something for everyone.
This is the end of the line for me with this series-if book 6 ever comes out I will be ignoring it.