Kicking off a new blog is a whole new kind of mystery, but I feel at home. I’ve been a student of thrilling reads, television shows and movies since forever. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, because I don’t feel that old… most days. When it comes to content, however, I’ve logged some serious hours. I see this as my chance to share some of the cool books I get my hands on, as well as anything else in the Mystery World that could be of interest to you!
And I’m open for suggestions. If you’ve read something you think I should read, please let me know. (BTW, this is a NO SPOILER zone. My reviews are just an overview to help you decide to read or not to read the book.)
Sometimes, it’s just fun to go to the bookstore and grab something off the shelf and read it. That’s how I found Ellery Adams. The book cover says that Ellery Adams is a New York Times bestselling author of the Books by the Bay Mysteries and the Charmed Pie Shoppe Mysteries. Congrats Ellery! I’m always impressed by an author with multiple series.
Of course, I did not pick one of the books from either of those bestselling series. Oops. Did I goof? I grabbed the first book in a different series which is one of three books, so far. It’s called the Book Retreat Mystery series and book one is Murder in the Mystery Suite. The series is set in a fictional town in rural western Virginia. What’s unique about the town, Storyton Village, and the main attraction — Storyton Hall — is that all the buildings were transported stateside from England in the 1830s. This is not explained until Chapter Two, so it’s a little confusing at first. (I thought they were in England, but now that I’ve told you, no worries.) The slight confusion aside, I was caught up in the location. Storyton Hall is a champion of literature! It’s a resort getaway for everyone that loves a good book, and loves enjoying it in a pampered English setting. You know, without needing a passport or a ton of air miles to actually go to Britain. So, right from the start, I felt good about my book choice.
I’m a believer in reading reviews. Amazon helps this addiction. For the purposes of this blog, however, I am only reading other reviews AFTER I’ve read the book. I find it useful, as a writer, to see how other readers felt about the storyline. (As a writer, I’ve learned a lot from reader comments.) In a way, it’s like a book club. My number one rule, though, is to keep it constructive.
I found that the majority of readers on Amazon really loved this book. However, there were a number of three star reviews and lower that had a few issues. I’d have to agree with most of those issues, but I tend to give an author the story reigns, and not let small things trip up my reading. I’m willing to take the ride the author puts me on, until I get the whole story. Which means, I completely enjoyed my time spent at Storyton Hall with these diverse character. I found the read an interesting mixture of mystery, a little romance, and a heavy dose of classic literature history. While the storyline had a few hiccups, the main character’s inner dialogue kept me reading.
The Pros & Cons and My Final Verdict:
Pros: Engaging main character, Jane Steward, and a twist that sets up tantalizing future adventures. Plus, while this isn’t a romance story, I really liked the love interest and want to see how that develops for Jane. Nice sparks!
Cons: Jane’s boys seemed much older than mentioned, and I did worry at first that the premise would borrow a bit too much from the television series The Librarians, but it covered different territory. Where The Librarians are more like museum curators dealing with artifacts more than books, Murder in the Mystery Suite just stuck to books.
Final Verdict: On a scale of Hmmmm to Fun Read to Must Read…
Murder in the Mystery Suite gets a FUN READ!
I look forward to reading the next book in the series!