Let’s Revisit First Chapter Friday…..

Thank you to Mareefe & Pexels for this beautiful picture! Photo by Mareefe on Pexels.com

Here we are, dear reader, two weeks out from our new feature of First Chapter Friday. If you recall, I was reading the first chapter of some random books on my list and giving you a heads up on what was good and what to skip. Now let’s revisit the ones I finished and see if the rest of the book lived up to the promise of chapter one.


Our first contender had a strong start. Simply Lies was so good I was on chapter four before I remembered I was going to stop at chapter one. I was so excited that it was a great setup and quite possibly another Baldacci home run of a book. Then, I hit the wall with it…not literally since it was an ebook but dangit it was so bad I would have tossed a ‘real’ book at the wall.

Let me paste in here my review I have posted over on Goodreads:

Oh, dear, this was disappointing. The first four chapters were very good…it all fell apart after that. The plot is a humdinger: Mickey Gibson is an ex-cop/single mom who now works from home doing research for a security firm; finding all the money and assets criminals try to hide. When she is asked by a coworker to run out to a big old mansion to do a quick walk through inventory, she jumps at the chance to get out of the house. Of course there is a body, killed most dreadfully, and (why not?) the coworker doesn’t exist. Maybe Mickey killed him? Never fear, dear reader, this is just the setup to what could have been another slam dunk from Baldacci. Sadly, it just stopped at that point and became a strange book with not much plot, boring characters doing dumb things, and a convoluted ending that still has me scratching my head wondering what the heck just happened. I also wonder if Baldacci even wrote the rest of this thing? He has, I think, two books out this year so maybe he just tossed this one out? Don’t bother with this one unless you are a die hard fan. 2 sad little stars from me.

I always enjoy a David Baldacci book so this one just couldn’t keep up the awesomeness of the first chapter through the rest of the book and totally let me down, definitely skip it.

I really enjoyed the first chapter of Cat Scratch Murder by Karen McSpade. It was funny with engaging characters, a hint of paranormal and cats. The rest of the book was just as good-Sydney heads to Florida to get her grandma out of jail and find out who really committed the murder. I was fooled (as usual) as to whodunit. There are witches and ghosts as Sydney embraces her ‘powers’ while the total cutie pie cop shows up to keep her out of actual trouble and provide eye candy to the story. Nothing new here, dear reader, this is a plot we’ve all seen many times. The difference is in the execution. I have said (over and over) that if you can actually write, then following a formula is fine. McSpade is a very talented writer and it shows through the tropes and makes this book a very engaging read…until the last chapter which wraps up the murder and goes right into book two that continues the plot, with a hard stop. So I was left dangling with part of a new book and had to go back to Amazon to download the whole thing. Now, I don’t mind reading a novella but dangit, I like to know up front. This awesome little book is not just a novella but more like a big book chopped up into parts and marketed as five books when it’s just a continuing plot over five (.99 each on Amazon or free on Kindle Unlimited as of today) separate books. Not a bad thing but unless you have a KU account or an extra five bucks. So, a heads up on that. As short books it was good. I will definitely read more from Karen McSpade but I’ll wait until she has four or five ‘books’ available and read them all at once. Having said all that, she is a good writer and I give the entire series 3 solid stars.

Let me jump back in real quick to add that I just today found out the entire five book series will be released (probably by the time you read this!) as a box set so you can get that and just read straight through the whole series. Check Amazon/Kindle Unlimited and your favorite booksellers. Lucky you-this is a great summer read that I know you ‘otter’ enjoy!

The big winner with 4 big fat stars is India Holton and The Secret Service of Tea and Treason. This book was so good, I urge you to stop reading this and start reading that…immediately. Book three in the Dangerous Damsels series is the best one yet and the other two were extremely awesome. Not quite a cozy or a thriller or an historical fiction, the series is a madcap mash up of pirates, witches, spies, flying houses, tons of fun and romance. The plot of book three is rival secret agents must work together, undercover as a married couple. They infiltrate a pirate house party in an attempt to stop an assassination and the mayhem begins. Action that never stops as the plot unwinds in the most delightful ways. Just when you think it’s over, there is another plot twist. There is a racy romance (golly, it was good!) that is not too spicy but also not tepid; more than a jalapeno but not quite a scotch bonnet, if I may use the Scoville scale as a reference. Dear reader, if you know the series you know what you’re getting and it is well done as always. Enjoyable fun and newbies to the series will fit right in.

That’s the wrap up of our First Chapter Friday books. I’m still struggling with The Rising: Awakening by D. Ann Hall. It just isn’t blowing my skirt up so I’m going to set it aside for a while. It’s a good story just not for me right now. But, overall, it was a fun First Chapter Friday so let’s do this again next month, ok? Now we ‘otter’ get back to our books!

Oh hi there 👋 It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox.

You 'OTTER' leave a comment-c'mon, let it all out and share your thoughts!!