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Four Fast Reviews – Peters, Marquez, Unger and Fluke

When my reviews outstanding hit four I have decided I just have to stop procrastinating on the perfect way to describe my feelings about the books and post my thoughts quickly otherwise I will never keep up with my reading pile! So here goes my first ‘Four Fast Reviews’ post:

CROCODILE ON THE SANDBANK by Elizabeth Peters
Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody, Book 1)
BOOK RATING: The Story 5 / 5 ; The Writing 5 / 5
BOOK REVIEW: I am not normally one to gush, but I adored this book! Absolutely loved it, did not want it to end. Why did I love it so much? Two reasons – the characters and the audiobook narrator.
Peter’s main protagonist and narrating character, Amelia Peabody, is a feisty, fearless feminist. She does not let British societal norms (particularly what is deemed appropriate behaviour for a lady) or any man get in the way of her doing what she wants. Her opinionated and often dry observations of other character’s behaviour continually brought a smile to my face. The narrator of this audiobook, Barbara Rosenblat, is brilliant. The subtle but distinct differences in voices she used for each character, along with her impeccable timing, made this audiobook a real pleasure to listen to. I cannot recommend this audiobook more highly, and I’ll certainly be going back for more titles in the Amelia Peabody Series.
This book counts towards my participation in the Cozy Mystery Challenge and the Global Reading Challenge (Africa).
ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE by Gabriel Garcia Marquez Amazon, The Book Depository
One Hundred Years of Solitude

BOOK RATING: The Story 4.5 / 5 ; The Writing 5 / 5< /div>
BOOK REVIEW: Enchanting. This is a book you simply find yourself swept away by. I thoroughly enjoyed becoming immersed in the surreal lives of generations of Aureliano’s in a little town called Macondo. I found the family tree provided invaluable as the family had a penchant for passing names down the generations. Marquez deftly blurs the line between reality and the magical. I believe it is the surreal mist through which the story is told that makes the often confronting actions by the characters easier for the reader to consume. Although the male descendants come and go, it is the family matriarch, Ursula, that remains an enduring force. Marquez’s prose is luxurious, elaborate and artful, and the story told a prophetic one. This is novel that lingers in your mind long after the final page. I highly recommend it for those with slightly more mature reading tastes.
This book counts towards my participation in the Global Reading Challenge (South America).
SLIVER OF TRUTH by Lisa Unger
Sliver of Truth: A Novel 
BOOK RATING: The Story 4 / 5 ; The Writing 3 / 5
BOOK REVIEW: I enjoyed the multiple layers and escapist storyline created by Unger in this gritty psychological thriller concerning the life of young woman Ridley Jones. There were twists and turns galore and refreshingly I did not pick the ending. There were however a couple of things lacking for me in this one. Firstly I listened to this title in audiobook format and while narrator Elizabeth Kaye’s voice was easy to listen to, I found her somewhat laid-back style and timing lacking in what I felt should have been heart pounding passages within the story. My only other criticism would be the use of what I believe is termed second person narration – it just didn’t quite work for me in this case, most likely because I had not felt a deep connection with the narrating protagonist Ridley Jones. I can imagine this one may be better read than listened to.
CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE MURDER by Joanne Fluke
Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder
BOOK RATING: The Story 3 / 5 ; The Writing 3 / 5
BOOK REVIEW: This novel, the first in Fluke’s Hannah Swensen Series, was a fun read. One could warm to protagonist Hannah – who would not want her and her endless supply of delicious cookies around – never fear Hannah and her cookies are here! Although fun and escapist, I did find some elements a little too unbelievable – for instance, what were the real police doing while she was solving the murder? While this was a warm and cozy mystery, the plot was just that little bit too formulaic for me right now. But as I said, it was still enjoyable in a light and fluffy way – this could well have been a case of right book, wrong time for me in this instance.
This book counts towards my participation in the Cozy Mystery Challenge.


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