Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Book Review: 'Aunty Lee's Chilled Revenge' by Ovidia Yu

✰✰✰ Sidelined with a sprained ankle, Aunty Lee must rely on others to help her run her famous café, Aunty Lee's Delights. Nina, her servant, and Cherril, her business partner, prove to be more than capable. However, when Cherril becomes distracted by the death of a former acquaintance, Aunty Lee steps in to help solve the murder.

It seems that three years prior, Cherril was working for an animal rescue group. She got caught up in a scandal when an expat, Allison Fitzgerald, had the puppy she adopted put down. All of Singapore was in an uproar.

Now Allison has returned and is dead. The unpopular and unpleasant woman had several enemies, but which one actually hated her enough to kill her? Aunty Lee must race against time and solve the mystery before others end up dead as well.

The Bottom Line: Fans of food-themed cozy mysteries will delight in this light series. This weekend read is a little bit predictable, but includes many enjoyable characters. Also, this is the third installment of the series, but you do not have to read them in order. NOTE: Due to references of animal cruelty, sensitive readers may want to skip this one.

Details: Aunty Lee's Chilled Revenge: A Singaporean Mystery by Ovidia Yu. Paperback published by William Morrow in 2016. 368 p. ISBN: 978-0-06-241649-0 NOTE: I received an uncorrected proof from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This was made possible via the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Book Review: 'The Wishing Spell' by Chris Colfer

✰✰✰ Things just aren’t the same after Alex and Connor Bailey’s father dies suddenly. Although their mother tries hard, their finances are stretched to the limit, and she never has time for the twins. Thus, when their grandmother gifts them with a magical book filled with fairy tales, it is only a matter of time before the twins become immersed in it. An accidental discovery takes the twins to a fairy tale land where they meet the characters of their favorite childhood stories. It’s a dream come true, right? Well, unfortunately things are not all they are cracked up to be in the land of stories, and the twins are worried about their mom. As if things couldn’t get any worse, they learn that the only way home is by the wishing spell.

With the help of frog, a journal filled with riddles, and a bit of luck, the twins quickly gather the items needed to activate the spell. However, someone else is also longing for the wish. With the clock ticking, the twins are running out of time before they will be trapped forever in a fairy tale land filled with danger. Will they be able to make their escape in time? Check out this first, fast-paced book in The Land of Stories series to find out their fate.

The Bottom Line: Most of the characters in this charming tale will be familiar to middle grade readers. Recommended for readers who enjoy fairytale mash-ups, this book contains lots of adventure with plenty of twists and turns to keep kids interested.

Details: The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories) by Chris Colfer. Paperback published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in 2013. 464 p. ISBN: 978-0-316-20156-8

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Book Review: 'As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust' by Alan Bradley

✰✰✰✰ After finally putting her mother to rest, Flavia de Luce is suddenly banished from her beloved ancestral home, Buckshaw, and England. Transported to Canada, Flavia is enrolled in Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy like her mother had been. Before Flavia has time to settle into the boarding school, a gruesome corpse is discovered. Quick as a wink, Flavia is on the case. In between attending classes, making friends, and avoiding new enemies, Flavia must navigate a minefield of dangerous situations. Along the way she discovers that students have gone missing and that Miss Bodycote’s is no ordinary school. With danger around every corner, the stakes are high as Flavia rushes solve the mysteries and discover more information about her family’s secrets and her own personal destiny,

The Bottom Line: In this installment Flavia faces new challenges, while continuing to be as charming and brilliant as ever. This cozy series is a must-read for both adult and young adult mystery aficionados. Like previous installments, this book is a quick and fun read perfect for weekend or beach reading.

Details: As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust: A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley. Hardcover published by Delacorte Press in 2015. 416 p. ISBN: 978-0-345-53993-9