Yuck! I’m batting 1000 this weekend with both books being just two stars. Both had great blurbs-I wanted to read them as soon as I got them because they just sounded so good. I wanted to like them and I really tried to like them both, but just ended up disappointed. Both main characters are too stupid for the level of intelligence they should exhibit. Both plots give away the solution to the murders way too early in the book; and neither book lived up to the potential of what they could have delivered. Ah, well, I have many, many more on my to-be-read list. Let’s get into why you ‘otter’ NOT read these two books.

Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder by T.A. Willberg

The plot is there is a secret underground tunnel system that houses a secret underground crime fighting/private detective group in London after WWII. Recruits join the organization for training and there are pneumatic drop boxes all over London for citizens to submit tips. That would be interesting if that was the book. But the twist is the author went off into pseudo-Harry Potter world with weird gadgets, apprentices & inquisitors, and almost magic gadgetry. There is a murder and some mysteriousness concerning a locked room that is so obvious I spent the next 70% of the book wondering why Marion is so stupid and didn’t figure it out right away. Then there is the added in potteresque subplot of poor tragic Marion that has no dad, but a helpful older man who mentors her in a fatherly way, a controlling grandmother and some kind of secret mom thing she can’t bring herself to talk about…until she suddenly can and reveals the whole story; nobody cared. The plot is convoluted, the characters were dull and uninteresting, the gadgets were an insult to Steampunk and I just didn’t like it very much.

Mammoth Drop: Murder, Mammoths, and Mimosas (Kea Wright Mysteries Book 3) by R. J. Corgan

Another 2 star book for me. To be fair,this is the third book of a four book series and I haven’t read any of the other ones. Kea is a geologist who visits her friend in the Black Hills. Of course he is found dead soon after and she MUST INVESTIGATE. There is a gay campground nearby called, of course, Woolly Hole. The murderer is quickly apparent and we have another heroine wandering around doing dumb things for 2/3 of the book. You are a highly educated person-why are you so stupid, Kea? The dialogue tries to be sparkling, witty, zany, quirky, and fun but it tries too hard and becomes awkward to read. All the angst is tiresome and this book sucked the life out of me as I waded through to the end. It was a freebie for a review from #NetGalley so I tried to like it but just couldn’t. There are a ton of four and five star reviews out there for this book and the entire series so maybe it’s just me. A book for every reader and I’m not the one this time.

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