Books & Reviews 📚, Trinidad & Tobago 💙

Books #122-#124: Patterson, history and something cozy

Trying to read around the World Cup is proving to be doable. Also, I’ve acquired tons of new books and I am itching to read them, but I must finish at least another third of my TBR. I know I said that I was going to get around to doing some tags, but it’s highly unlikely at the moment. When the tournament winds down a little, I’ll get to them. 

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But I’m immune to coffee so let’s do some reviews. 😄

Book #122: The Murder House by James Patterson

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I am skeptical of characters called Noah. This one got a pass for his Matthew McConaughey hair. Wait, does Mc C even have nice hair? However, there was no need for the crucifixion reference on page 158 so I took away a coffee for that.

This book was peppered with too many F-bombs and Detective Jenna Murphy got her Irish up too many times.  I don’t think the book was particularly great. David Ellis could’ve done better and JP could’ve looked at the work before slapping his name on the cover. 1/5.

Book #123: Historic Landmarks of Port of Spain by Michael Anthony

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Although Spanish, POS has more of a French touch.

Imagine a Port of Spain in which trams ran and where horses were ridden into town. This is the POS that I wished I had known! Trinidad became an independent nation in 1962 and over the years, they’ve grown into their independence. 

This book covers the Great Fire of POS, however, POS was gutted by lots of fire over the years. It covers famous landmarks such as Woodford Square, the beautiful Magnificent Seven buildings, Globe Cinema and the Treasury Building. My utmost favorite part of POS is the Maraval area given that it’s rich in French history.

The book is divided into 10 parts so it is easy to navigate and the pictures are beautiful! 

A FEW HISTORICAL NOTES:

^ The 31-metre (103-foot) Colonial Life building on lower St Vincent Street was our first ‘skyscraper’. It was opened in 1954.

^ Fort Picton was built in 1803 on the Laventille Hill, but it was never used to defend POS.

^ The Church of the Holy Rosary is POS’s most outstanding example of late Victorian Gothic architecture. 

^ The Lapeyrouse Cemetery is on part of an old sugar estate established by Picot de Lapeyrouse after arriving from Grenada to Trinidad.

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#Yay4History

The book was a 6/5 for me. 

Book #124: Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander

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Okay, first, I want to look at this bit in the plot summary:

The silver lining? Jules’s high school sweetheart, Thomas, is the investigator on the case. His flirtations are as delicious as ever, and Jules can’t help but want to have her cake and eat it too. But will she have her just desserts? Murder might be bad for business, but love is the sweetest treat of all…

This was one big lie. Although one can tell that he is indeed smitten with his ex, Thomas did not flirt deliciously with Juliet and Juliet did not want to have any type of cake and eat it too because she was married to Carlos. These two characters have no sort of chemistry. Thomas is her ex-high school sweetheart and she is married. It doesn’t matter if she left her job on the ship because she had some problems with her Catalan husband, but she is married and she does nothing to state otherwise. She does not have any fantasy thoughts about Thomas and he doesn’t try to kiss her or touch her at any point during my speed reading.

That out of the way, this story is a tribute to Shakespeare *rolls eyes* and I think authors need to stop riding on the backs of old authors for attention. I am no fan of Shakespeare, but I read it anyway. To write a cozy mystery, you’ll need a small town (fictional if possible) where everyone knows your name.

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The town is Ashland, Oregan and everyone knows Juliet Capshaw’s name. 

The story starts off slow and eventually builds, but then it was back to slow again bordering on boring because most of the book was spent cooking. You know? Adding an ingredient to this, mixing things, pouring things, baking things! And when Jules isn’t baking, she is accusing EVERYONE of murder when she could’ve asked me for when I read the very first chapter I knew exactly who the murderer was no matter how hard the author tried to throw me off the train. So let us recap shall we?:

* Everyone in this story moonlights as a theatre actor even Thomas!

* Too much talking and showing how to bake or cook fancy dishes; less mystery.

* This line: The man in black had to be a man. (Page 170) I don’t like it. ‘Person’ would’ve been a better fit. I laughed out loud because like I said, Ellie tried her hardest to throw me off the train. 

* This fool (Juliet) never locks the door to the bakeshop.

* The “Romeo & Juliet” reference. Know what? One day, I’m going to sit down and read some of this man call Shakespeare’s work and see what the hype was all about. Solomon was a better writer, of this, I am certain.

* It was annoying whenever Jules asked her mom about Torte (the name of the bakeshop) financially, someone/thing cut in avoiding the reply. This went on for about a million or so chapters. Also, Jules teased about why she left her husband Carlos for the entire book. Of course, it’s only natural for the reader to think that cheating was involved when she talked about letters she found and declined to elaborate further until the dying chapters. It turns out that Carlos had a son who was writing to him and he didn’t tell her and when she found the letters, she left him. I could understand why she left, but I thought it was selfish. As his wife, she should’ve stayed and listened to what his reason was behind in not telling her about his son. 

2/5. I am beginning to think that maybe Cozy Mystery is not for me. 

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Books & Reviews 📚

Book #59: Anything for a Story

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Stormi Nelson, best-selling romance author, moved into her huge Victorian house in the private community of Oak Meadows Estates. When her agent tells her that her characters are becoming too cardboard and that she needs to get out and mingle with people, she comes up with the idea of a Neighborhood Watch Program. The only problem is … she’s the only member.

On her first night of patrol, she stumbles over a dead body, meets a hunky detective, who happens to be her neighbor and clearly frustrated with her, and her mother, sister, niece and nephew arrive to shake up Stormi’s peaceful life. As she is immersed ever deeper into the mystery surrounding a neighbor’s murder, she decides to change writing tactics and write a romantic mystery based on her experiences. What follows is a frolicking good time as Stormi finds herself the nosiest neighbor of them all. Can she find the killer before she becomes the next victim?

Author: Cynthia Hickey
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 25, 2014)
Chapters: 24
Pages: 200
Series: A Nosy Neighbor Mystery (#1)

So.

We have Stormi Nelson, a popular romance writer who decides to become a mystery writer after tripping over a dead body, but here’s the thing, Stormi doesn’t know it was a dead body claiming it was dark, yet, she had a flashlight with her. She thinks solving the crime would help her accomplish being a mystery writer.

I did not like the author’s style of writing and I did not feel any connection with any of the characters. Mama Nelson was annoying and Stormie should have spent time putting her foot down for her uninvited mother and sister instead of tearing up like a little girl over everything.

Matt and Stormi had no chemistry. Matt spent the majority of the story kissing and halfheartedly threatening Stormie to stay away from the so-call on-going investigation. Some detective he claimed to be! As for Miss Wanna Be Detective, she spent the majority of the story telling us how hot Matt looks without a shirt and making assumptions instead of following through like a thorough detective. Like when the fool saw the blood and thought the Edgars killed Rusty. Even I knew they didn’t kill the poor thing.

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Every character in this book was annoying and not to mention superficial. No one even cared about the deceased victims.

Stormi is not only a nosy neighbor but a dimwitted nosy fool who jumps to conclusions quicker than you can say ‘dead body’. Also, she was juvenile-like and it irritated me a lot. Good mystery; obnoxious characters. Another thing that irked me was the fact that Cherokee became Cheyenne towards the near end and no one picked up on the sudden name change.

I think I’ll skip on the other volumes in this series.

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QUOTABLES:

“I’m perfectly serious. Another body would most likely give us clues. Don’t you watch Castle or Criminal Minds? They always shake things up with another murder.” (Chapter 6; Page 44)

I do like both shows, but I rate Criminal Minds above Castle. 

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VERDICT:

2

NEXT UP:

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Born Evil by Adrian Havill. Diving into some true crime!