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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Audiobook Review: An Uninvited Ghost by E.J. Copperman

Series: Haunted Guesthouse Mystery
Publisher: Audible
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 Performance 3.5 Story

Alison and her resident gumshoe ghost are on their next case when the deceased Scott MacFarlane floats in worried that he accidentally killed a prominent local woman. Turns out she's still alive...that is, of course, until she's murdered - in Alison's house. Now, between the demands of her guests and the arrival of a reality television crew, Alison must find the killer before she sees reality from the other side.


Another amazing book in the Haunted Guesthouse Series.


Here’s what’s going on. Alison’s guesthouse is finally up and, thanks to Paul (one of her resident ghost), she now has her private investigators license. If Paul and Maxi agree to help Alison put on a show for the senior tour group Edward Rance has booked, she has agreed to help Paul on cases since neither he nor Maxie can leave the house.


Their first case comes in the form of Scott MacFarlane, a ghost who believes that he may have inadvertently murdered an elderly lady named Arlice Crosby. Luckily, Arlice is alive although she’s soon murdered during one of Alison’s séances that’s being put on for the tour group. Now Alison and her group of family and friends, both living and dead, must figure out who murdered Arlice.


And to make matters more confusing, her guests include contestants of a reality show that’s being filmed in her house.


So, this one was such an interesting cozy mystery and, like the first book in the series, this one pulled me in and it held my attention all the way through.


Alison is now running her guesthouse so she’s dealing with her resident ghosts as well as living guests. She’s also just received her P.I. license and has agreed to help Paul take on cases of other ghosts. To make matters trickier, Alison has also agreed to allow a reality show to film in her guesthouse. She’s not as frantic as she was in the first book and she’s more accepting of the ghosts, which I enjoyed.


In addition to the regular lovable cast of characters, Alison’s intuitive and charming daughter, her Pollyanna-type mother, her two best friends—one who amusingly refuses to acknowledge the ghosts, Paul and Maxie there is also a group of new characters. We have the senior tour group that Edward Rance has booked and the young, and somewhat annoying cast of the reality show Down the Shore. They really shake things up and make things interesting.


What I enjoyed most about this one was the mystery. Someone wanted Arlice dead. They were hoping that Scott, the ghost, would accomplish this but when he failed, they realized they had to have someone else do the job. I was never really sure who the murderer was until the end then it actually made sense.


Like in the previous book, Detective Macaloney allows Alison to work with her on the case and actually steers Alison in certain directions. It’s refreshing to find a detective in a cozy that’s actually interested in working with and not against the main character.


So, there’s an inkling of a romance between Trent, the producer of Down the Shore, and Alison. There’s a lot of flirting but it never really goes anywhere. And I was a bit disappointed that they never touched on what happened with Ned Barnes, Melissa’s history teacher and Alison’s love interest in book one.


Once again, Amanda Ronconi was brilliant. I especially loved the Scottish accent she used when reading Scott MacFarlane. And the book seemed to fly by.


Overall, I really enjoyed this one. I never would have guessed the murderer and that nice. Although I never really felt onboard with the whole reality show thing thrown it. It wasn’t bad, and it did add to the show, but, at times, it just seemed annoying.

*Review also posted on Simply Angela

Visit Angela @ Simply Angela

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Little Pieces of You and Me

Title: The Little Pieces of You and Me
Author: Vanessa Greene
Publisher: 21 April 2016 by Hachette Australia - Sphere
Pages: 320 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: womens fiction, contemporary
My Rating: 3 crowns

Best friends Isla and Sophie made each other a promise a long time ago: to never let life pass them by. Years later, Isla is in love, living abroad and fulfilling her dreams. But for Sophie, things haven't turned out the way she was expecting and she hasn't achieved any of the things she and Isla talked about.
And then, in one sudden moment, life irrevocably changes for both women.
Isla and Sophie have hard decisions to make but above all else they must face up to the uncertainty that lies ahead. It's only when they realise that this is easier together, two friends standing side by side, that each woman can embrace whatever the future holds for them.
Emotional, poignant and uplifting, The Little Pieces of You and Me is a story about old friends, new beginnings and what happens when being strong is your only choice. It will take your breath away.
My Thoughts

"Life was no longer about the little pieces of her, of him - of anyone. It was about the big picture - about what happened when those pieces fell together into a whole."

Having read a Vanessa Greene book before, I was eager to dive into another of her famous female orientated stories.  With yet another tea cup on the front cover - reading and tea ... the two just go together so naturally, don't you think - I was ready to pour a cup myself and sit down to read. 

With Greene's tales you are guaranteed some good female leads, beautiful settings and just an all round feel-good ambiance. Friends coming together to battle some antagonism and never giving up hope.  This particular story focuses on two firm friends and, although there are the obvious relationship dramas, I particularly enjoyed the health aspect twist to this one. If you are looking for a read on genuine friendship and fresh starts, then this is the book for you.

However, I have to confess that although I very much enjoyed my first Greene book, I found this story to be lacking somewhat, I found myself wanting that little bit more, that extra something. Overall it did not really work for me and I think the problem was that things all seemed a bit contrived and too convenient. The potential was there, however, there was not enough depth to evoke real sympathy. For example, personally, I found the whole saga with Sophie hypocritical - just as she herself labelled it - so there went my true sympathies out the window.

This was a 'nice'/3 star/average read. I wanted to like it so much more, but it was just a bit too simple for me. Perhaps it needed more tea included and not just the lone cup on the cover. 

"Life can be complicated - but those complications don't make it any less worth living - in fact, sometimes they're the very things that make it worth living. Those little pieces are what make you, you , and me, me". 

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.