Half-Off Ragnarok

Half-Off Ragnarok

by Seanan McGuire

17667009

When Alex Price agreed to go to Ohio to oversee a basilisk breeding program and assist in the recovery of his psychic cousin, he didn’t expect people to start dropping dead. But bodies are cropping up at the zoo where he works, and his girlfriend—Shelby Tanner, an Australian zoologist with a fondness for big cats—is starting to get suspicious.

Worse yet, the bodies have all been turned partially to stone…

The third book in the InCryptid series takes us to a new location and a new member of the family, as Alex tries to balance life, work, and the strong desire not to become a piece of garden statuary. Old friends and new are on the scene, and danger lurks around every corner.

Of course, so do the talking mice.

Half-off Ragnarock is the third book in Seanan McGuire’s InCryptid series. This is an urban fantasy series that follows the price siblings and their adventures in protecting modern monsters. Feel free to check out my reviews of the first two novels: Discount Armageddon and Midnight Blue-Light Special. The first two stories follow Verity Price but Half-off Ragnarock focuses on her brother Alex as he studies the reptile InCryptid populations of Ohio. Alex is the head reptile biologist at the local zoo and he is content to keep his nose in the books. But, then he is attacked by a lesser gorgon and it’s time for the family to investigate!

I’m just going to start this review by stating….this is my least favorite novel in the series. So, yeah.

And now on to the good stuff. I loved that we get to learn more about the Price family, especially Alex’s (and Verity’s) maternal grandparents. Grandma is from the same species as Sarah and we get a unique look at how see interacts with the family. Thankfully, we don’t have to wait to learn how Sarah is faring after the climax of Midnight Blue-Light Special. Actually, the interactions between Alex and Sarah have to be my favorite because they are so darn sweet! The majority of the storyline is focused on Gorgons and other snake like creatures, and well, I am terrified of snakes. I still managed to find the descriptions interesting, if slightly creepy. I was more interested in the family medical kit than the actual incryptids. And, my favorite character was definitely Crow! You’ll see why when you read it.

Now for the eh stuff. Alex was way too arrogant for my taste and the narration was from his point of view, so I found myself rolling my eyes a lot. There was just too many ‘everyone is going to do this because I say it’s the best way to handle this situation’ moments. The way he treated Shelby often pissed me off. His attitude was ‘here Shelby, let me put you in this dangerous situation around incryptids you know nothing about and then explain everything to you afterwards.’ NO! NO! NO! Shelby well trained and is already dating Alex. There was no need for him to continue showing off with his vast knowledge. He should prepare her before the dangerous situation. *eyeroll* AND, I needed more mice. Crow made up for the limited interaction with the mice, but I still missed the grand parades and feasts of the first two novels.

Here there be Spoilers: I am actually going to whine about a trope that showed up at the end of the book. So do not continue reading if you want to avoid this info. I am not a fan of the ‘I’m in love with your girlfriend even though she’s never looked twice at me so she won’t have to die if she agrees to be my sex slave’ trope. NO! I’m honestly surprised at how much this trope is used. Sure, it is used to keep Shelby alive and push Alex in to Rambo mode, but it just felt out of place. Once again *eyeroll*

Half-off Ragnarock just wasn’t as strong as the first two novels in the series. I prefer reading from Verity’s pov and Alex just fell flat for me. Am I going to stop reading the series? Probably not because I enjoy the world Seanan has created. But, I am not in a hurry to pick up the next book. Have you read Half-off Ragnarock? What are your thoughts?

Lindsay

Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos

Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos

by Donna Andrews

615408

Every year, Yorktown, Virginia, relives its role in the Revolutionary War by celebrating the anniversary of the British surrender in 1781. This year, plans include a re-enactment of the original battle and a colonial craft fair. Meg Langslow has returned to her home town for the festivities–and to sell her wrought-iron works of art. Except, of course, for the pink-painted flamingos she reluctantly made for her mother’s best friend–she’s hoping to deliver them secretly, so she won’t get a reputation as “the blacksmith who makes those cute wrought-iron flamingos.”

Besides, she has taken on another responsibility–making sure none of her fellow crafters ruin the historical authenticity of the fair with forbidden modern devices–like wrist watches, calculators, or cell phones. She’s only doing it to keep peace with the mother of the man she loves. And Michael himself will don the white-and-gold uniform of a French officer for the re-enactment–what actor could resist a role like that?

Meg’s also trying to keep her father from scaring too many tourists with his impersonation of an 18th century physician. And to prevent a snooping reporter from publishing any stories about local scandals. Not to mention saving her naive brother, Rob, from the clutches of a con man who might steal the computer game he has invented. It’s a tough job–at least, until the swindler is found dead, slain in Meg’s booth with one of her own wrought-iron creations.

Now Meg must add another item to her already lengthy to do list: “Don’t forget to solve the murder!”

Fortunately, the more trouble Meg faces, the more fun the reader will have–and Meg faces plenty of trouble in this lighthearted and funny novel.

Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos is the third book in the Meg Langslow’s mystery series by Donna Andrews. This installment has Meg and Michael participating in the local history fair and reenactment. I am a history nerd and this is definitely the main reason why I enjoy this story. I am fascinated with reenactments and the details about the period costumes were enthralling. Plus, I’m a sucker for a good battle!

The body of a disliked man is discovered in Meg’s metallurgy booth with a knife in his back. He was a well-known scam artist who had his sights set on Rob’s new video game, so Meg is determined to protect Rob and keep him from trouble with the local law. Of course, hilarity ensues. Meg’s Dad is determined to be a murder suspect, the cannons sound through the night, and Meg is stuck keeping the peace between her fellow artisans and Michael’s mother, the tyrant in charge of the event.

I love the characters, the quick pace of the story, and the ‘ah ha!’ reveal at the end of the book. Donna Andrews is my favorite cozy mystery writer. Her stories always make me laugh and are my go-to when I’ve had a rough week. I continue to read them over and over; they are perfect for a trip to the beach! But, Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos offers more than a fun mystery and good laugh. This novel provides more character development, especially in the relationship between Meg and Michael. We see more interaction between the two, learn more about the competition between the two mothers, and delve in to more of Dr. Langslow’s odd hobbies.

Once again this is a quirky cozy mystery. You’ll probably figure out who-dunnit well before the reveal. You will read about some outlandish highjinxs. Do not pick up Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos if you are in need of a serious sophisticated read., but DEFINITELY read it if you’re craving a bit of fun. I promise you will want Meg’s wrought-iron flamingos by the end of the story!

Happy reading!

Lindsay

Fifth Grave Past the Light

Fifth Grave Past the Light

by Darynda Jones

Fifth Grave Past the Light (Charley Davidson, #5)

Never underestimate the power of a woman on a double espresso with a mocha latte chaser high.
– T-shirt

Charley Davidson isn’t your everyday, run-of-the-mill grim reaper. She’s more of a paranormal private eye/grim reaper extraordinaire. However, she gets sidetracked when the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, moves in next door. To further complicate matters, Reyes is her main suspect in an arson case. Charley has vowed to stay away from him until she can find out the truth…but then dead women start appearing in her apartment, one after another, each lost, confused, and terrified beyond reason. When it becomes apparent that her own sister, Gemma is the serial killer’s next target, Charley has no choice but to ask for Reyes’s help. Arsonist or not, he’s the one man alive who could protect Gemma no matter who or what came at her. But he wants something in return. Charley. All of her, body and soul. And to keep her sister safe, it is a price she is willing to pay.

Charley Davidson is at it again in the sexy, suspenseful, and laugh-out-loud funny fifth installment of the New York Times best selling series.

Charley is back to her old self in Fifth Grave Past the Light. Yeah, Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet showed us the more human, and vulnerable, side of our heroine, but it was tough seeing her so scared. She’s back in full snark-mode and it’s wonderful!

The best thing about Fifth Grave Past the Light is the main mystery. I LOVE the mystery! Charley’s apartment is rapidly filling up with the spirits of tormented blonde haired women. They are all barely dressed, covered in mud, and unable to focus on our spunky grim reaper long enough to give out clues. Charley is forced to get her hands dirty and search out their fates. Also, there is an arsonist determined to torch all of Reyes’ childhood homes and Charley is pretty sure the Son of Satan is responsible. And if all that wasn’t enough, the sultry Reyes has moved in next door! (I know you can’t see me but I am totally fangirl giggling over here. This has to be my favorite in the series so far!)

The plot is obviously quite complex and Jones handles it masterfully. The pace is quick and everything ties in smoothly. The full cast of characters is back, including personal favorites Uncle Bob and Cookie. We get to see a more personable side of Reyes that will leave you swooning. And we get to see Charley delve in to the depths of her grim reaper powers.

Once again, the strained relationship between Charley and her father is the only thing worth complaining about. I’m just ready for some solid information instead of fighting with Charley’s determination to ignore her father. I am hoping answers come soon!

READ Five Grave Past the Light and let me know what you think! Happy beach reading!

Lindsay

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

by Darynda Jones

13538992

Welcome to the world of grim reaper extraordinaire Charley Davidson. Try as she might, there’s no avoiding her destiny.

Sometimes being the grim reaper really is, well, grim. And since Charley’s last case went so awry, she has taken a couple of months off to wallow in the wonders of self-pity. But when a woman shows up on her doorstep convinced someone is trying to kill her, Charley has to force herself to rise above…or at least get dressed. It becomes clear something is amiss when everyone the woman knows swears she’s insane. But the more they refute the woman’s story, the more Charley believes it.

In the meantime, the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, is out of prison and out of Charley’s life, as per her wishes and several perfectly timed death threats. But his absence has put a serious crimp in her sex life. While there are other things to consider, like the fact that the city of Albuquerque has been taken hostage by an arsonist, Charley is having a difficult time staying away. Especially when it looks like Reyes may be involved.

Just when life was returning to normal, Charley is thrust back into the world of crime, punishment, and the devil in blue jeans in this hilarious fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling series.

Charley Davidson has just survived a brutal attack from a psycho killer, been arrested by her father, and had her detective agency temporarily shut down. Not surprisingly, she has locked herself in her apartment and refuses to come out for anyone until a desperate young woman shows up at her door. A young woman who is sure someone is trying to kill her. A woman who everyone thinks is crazy.

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet does not have the crazy, carefree feel of the first three books in the Charley Davidson series. But that doesn’t mean it lacks the snark and pace that keeps me coming back. We just see Charley in a very vulnerable situation and it actually deeps her character for me. 

Charley is dealing by purchasing everything she can to cover the blood stains in her living room. She is hiding but still remains close with Cookie and we see her develop a wonderful relationship with her sister. I like that Charley is having to deal with demons, both literal and figurative, and that she struggles to pull herself out of a state of fear. 

The only negative point I have about the story is Charley’s relationship with her father. Both are constantly making knee-jerk reactions. Plus, we never get a clear explained behind her father’s decisions. But that’s it.

I definitely recommend Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet for anyone needing a fun paranormal mystery. Believe me when I say the ending is AWESOME! 

What mysteries are you reading?

Lindsay

What to Expect

JUNE

Soooooo May the Month of Mystery was just sad. I managed to only post TWO book reviews. I swear that I am reading! I just struggle to find time to write my posts.
What can you expect in June? Well you can expect all the mystery reviews that were supposed to be done in May! You can also expect a few beachy/light reads because I’ve managed to sneak off to the beach a couple of times last week.


Thank you all for sticking with me. The last year has just been a long one but I am slowly making time for my passions.

What are you reading this month? What summer readsare you looking forward to?

Lindsay