Blog Tour Book Review: Aunty Lee’s Chilled Revenge by Ovidia Yu

Aunty Lee's Chilled Revenge cover

About Aunty Lee’s Chilled Revenge

• Paperback: 368 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (April 5, 2016)

Rosie “Aunty” Lee—feisty widow, amateur sleuth and proprietor of Singapore’s best-loved home cooking restaurant—is back in another delectable, witty mystery set in Singapore.

Slightly hobbled by a twisted ankle, crime-solving restaurateur Aunty Lee begrudgingly agrees to take a rest from running her famous café, Aunty Lee’s Delights, and turns over operations to her friend and new business partner Cherril.

The café serves as a meeting place for an animal rescue society that Cherril once supported. They were forced to dissolve three years earlier after a British expat killed the puppy she’d adopted, sparking a firestorm of scandal. The expat, Allison Fitzgerald, left Singapore in disgrace, but has returned with an ax to grind (and a lawsuit). At the café one afternoon, Cherril receives word that Allison has been found dead in her hotel—and foul play is suspected. When a veterinarian, who was also involved in the scandal, is found dead, suspicion soon falls on the animal activists. What started with an internet witch hunt has ended in murder—and in a tightly knit, law-and-order society like Singapore, everyone is on edge.

Before anyone else gets hurt—and to save her business—Aunty Lee must get to the bottom of what really happened three years earlier, and figure out who is to be trusted in this tangled web of scandal and lies.

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Happy Monday everyone! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Aunty Lee’s Child Revenge by Ovidia Yu. I want to send my thanks to the author, TLC Book Tours and the publisher Harper Collins for giving me the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Aunty Lee’s Chilled Revenge is the third book in a mystery series centered around the main character Aunty Lee whose passion is feeding people great food, being everyone’s nosy old aunt and acting as a sort of amateur sleuth helping to solve murder cases with her uncanny knack for reading people.

This is the very first cozy, foodie mystery that I have ever read so I was pretty excited to be introduced to this genre through reading this book. I am bummed that I came in at the third book in this series but it is definitely a book where it’s not absolutely necessary for the reader to have read the first two. I think it’s a good stand alone but it would definitely be nice to have a little background on Aunty Lee going into this story as well…it definitely wouldn’t hurt. I really liked our main character Aunty Lee. I thought she was feisty and funny, definitely very nosy which was an awesome quality for her to have in the context of this book. She definitely reminds me of what I think of when I try to picture what a nosy aunt would be like.

 I had fun reading it and enjoyed reading it. I don’t know that foodie mystery’s are really my thing but I am definitely willing to keep on exploring the subgenre. I would definitely read another book about Aunty Lee so I will more than likely be picking up and reading the first two books in this series and seeing how I like them. They are referenced in this story which I thought was fun and sounded interesting. I got into this book pretty fast because the case has to do with a woman who adopted a dog and later had it put down and lied about it (plus a whole lot more, that is just the background). That was definitely enough to pique my interest but I did feel like there was a piece of the book that didn’t have alot happening in it. I liked the cast of characters and I think a mystery is great when I can’t decide or figure out who the killer is because everyone seems to have some sort of motive and this was one of those stories where I couldn’t figure it out and that is always, always a good thing.

If you are into cozy mysteries, especially foodie mystery’s definitely check this book out.

Ovidia YuAbout Ovidia Yu

Ovidia Yu is one of Singapore’s best-known and most acclaimed writers. She has had more than thirty plays produced and is also the author of a number of mysteries. She received a Fulbright Fellowship to the University of Iowa’s International Writers Program and has been a writing fellow at the National University of Singapore.

Connect with her through Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

Audiobook Review: The Shamrock Case: Amelia Moore Detective Series Volume 2 by Linda Weaver Clarke

22298496Title: The Shamrock Case: Amelia Moore Detective Series Volume 2 by Linda Weaver Clarke;  Narrated by Diane Lehman
Genre: Fiction – Mystery
Length: 4 hours and 27 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Publication Date: November 13, 2015
Publisher:  Red Mountain Shadows Publishing
Rating – 4/5

Amelia Moore, the founder of the Moore Detective Agency, specializes in missing persons. Her cases have taken her to some very interesting places and put her in some dangerous situations, but she always solves the case. With the help of Rick Bonito, her new partner, her business is flourishing. When Amelia is hired to search for her client’s grandparents, the case takes them to Ireland. Kate must learn about her heritage. Who are her grandparents and could they still be alive after all these years?

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I received an audiobook copy of this book on audible from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was really excited to listen to this because I had listened to the previous book in this series and really enjoyed it. You can view my review for that first book here: The Bali Mystery Review.

In The Shamrock Case we follow Amelia and Rick to Ireland where Amelia has been hired to track down the family of a young girl who had been adopted when she was a child. Of course when they get there they learn that there is more to the case than just making contact with her relatives. A whole lot of drama ensues with just a tinge of danger and romance.

I ended up giving The Shamrock Case four stars. I loved picking up right where we left off with Amelia and Rick, both in their new case and also in their relationship. I always like seeing how they go about investigating their cases and love that the cases always take them to really great locations especially this one: Ireland. I love the setting for this cozy mystery. I thought it was really fitting and it’s somewhere that I have always dreamed of going and listening to this made me feel like I had spent some time there. I liked hearing about the castle and the pub, I thought the author did a great job of bringing the setting to life.

I was happy that we not only got a new storyline to explore but also we got to see their bucket lists come into play again, which was also a really big part of the first story and is a pretty big vehicle for the romance plot line in these stories. I love the way it is featured in this one.

Although I definitely enjoyed this one, so far my favorite is the first one. I am excited to hear that there is also another upcoming book in this series with another mystery for Amelia and Rick to solve together. I feel like the first had a bigger element of danger to it and I missed that a little in this one although there definitely was a bit of danger to this one as well. One thing I loved returning to was the flirtatious back and forth between Rick and Amelia. It always makes for a good time. Just like in the first one I thought the narrator did a really good job with this story. I loved the different voices she used for each character and for her narration. It made following the story really easy and fun. The audiobook was a little over four hours of listening time so it actually went by pretty fast!

If you love cozy mysteries, especially ones with a female detective lead, definitely give this series a read or a listen! You can purchase a copy on audible!

 

Book Review: The Road to Ataco by Belinda Bennett

Road to AtacoTitle:  The Road to Ataco by Belinda Bennett
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Self Published
Length: 75 pages
Format: Ebook
Publication Date: September 11, 2015
Rating – 4/5 stars

Best-selling American novelist Charity Chalmers is in El Salvador to find inspiration for her next book. Cocooned in the luxury of the five star Plaza Hotel, she thinks she is in paradise. But the beautiful scenery of La Costa del Balsamo masks terror.

Danger is stalking her every move in this journey from paradise to hell.

Where beauty cloaks evil, there is No Mercy…

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Happy Friday!!! I hope everyone had a great week and is gearing up for a wonderful Halloween weekend! Today I am excited to share with you my review of The Road to Ataco by Belinda Bennett. I want to send a huge thank you to the author for giving me the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review!

The Road to Ataco is  a novella about author Charity Chalmers whom in the throes of extreme writers block and publisher deadlines, takes a holiday to beautiful El Salvador. Underneath the beauty of this vacation/tourist spot lies a dark side burgeoning with gang activity and tourist kidnappings. All too trusting and naive, Charity soon finds herself at the very center of the darker side of this destination spot.

I really enjoyed The Road to Ataco, it is probably my most favorite novella that I have read this year. It was a very fast read, I believe it can be read in an hour as it is really fast paced which I liked. It is a mystery/thriller so it kept me on the edge of my seat for the main character and the predicament she finds herself in. I feel like it’s also part cautionary tale for people who desire to travel to be vigilant. The writing and the plot were both so good that I almost wish this novella were longer! Everything Charity went through was pretty detailed , moreso than I would have expected in a novella and I really liked that. The writing was believable and the characters were believable and there was even a tiny bit of romance in this story. I don’t know if anyone else would have thought the ending a bit cheesy but I really liked it.

I ended up giving this novella a four star review as I really liked it and enjoyed it and I think other’s will enjoy it just as much. If you are a fan of suspense and thrillers, check this novella out. It is fast paced, thrilling and a really fast read. You can purchase a copy on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015AH5PMK?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Blog Tour Book Review: Wildalone by Krassi Zourkova

WildaloneTitle: Wildalone by Krassi Zourkova
Genre: Fiction – Fantasy
Publisher: William Marrow, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers
Page count: 374
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Rating – 4/5

 In this darkly imaginative debut novel full of myth, magic, romance, and mystery, a Princeton freshman is drawn into a love triangle with two enigmatic brothers, and discovers terrifying secrets about her family and herself—a bewitching blend of Twilight, The Secret History, Jane Eyre, and A Discovery of Witches.

Arriving at Princeton for her freshman year, Thea Slavin finds herself alone, a stranger in a strange land. Away from her family and her Eastern European homeland for the first time, she struggles to adapt to unfamiliar American ways and the challenges of college life—including an enigmatic young man whose brooding good looks and murky past intrigue her. Drawn to the elusive Rhys and his equally handsome and mysterious brother, Jake, she ventures into a sensual mythic underworld as irresistible as it is dangerous.

In this shadow world that seems to mimic Greek mythology and the Bulgarian legends of the samodivi or “wildalones”—forest witches who beguile and entrap men—Thea will discover a family secret bound to transform her forever . . . if she can accept that dead doesn’t always mean gone, and love doesn’t always distinguish between the two.

Mesmerizing and addictive, Wildalone is a thrilling blend of the modern and the fantastic. Krassi Zourkova creates an atmospheric world filled with rich characters as compelling as those of Diana Gabaldon, Deborah Harkness, and Stephenie Meyer. (Goodreads)

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Happy Monday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Wildalone! Thank you to TLC Book Tours and Krassi Zourkova for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book for the tour!

Wildalone was a very unique read and I rather enjoyed reading it. It is about a young, gifted pianist who leaves her native country of Bulgaria to attend university at Princeton. This all sounds normal but it is far from it! She has unearthed secrets from her families past that ultimately drive her to America and Princeton. But what she finds awaiting her there is not only a whirlwind, complicated romance but also, the secrets of her family tragedy and heartache whose foundations lie in Greek mythology. Fascinating right?

This was definitely a unique story and didn’t end up going at all where I thought it would. I love how the narrative is propelled by these tragic myths and I loved travelling with Thea as she connects all the different facets of her experiences and the myths together to create the story of what happened to her family. That was definitely my favorite piece of this story.

I was, however, not really a fan of the romance between Rhys and Thea. I do think that there were some great moments there but I just didn’t like Rhys at all. He was so possessive and that just didn’t jive well with me. I did, however love the Jake romance angle. I was rooting for Jake the whole time and I just felt like they were just so passionate about each other…I felt like their connection was special…the Thea and Jake scenes were awesome but I did feel bad that they all got caught up in this terrible love triangle, although it really wasn’t a triangle at all now was it? The romance between Rhys and Thea reminded me a lot of the Twilight romance between Edward and Bella. Edward sometimes comes off as possessive and Bella just plays into that and lets him and that’s exactly what Thea did and that just annoyed me a little but that’s really the only thing about this book that I didn’t love.

Also, I have to mention that the writing was extremely beautiful and I commend the author for her superb storytelling and writing skills. The language was beautiful and the book is full of some of the most beautiful sentences I have ever read. Sometimes I would get to a passage that was just so beautiful that I had to write it down and save it. Do you ever find those sentences in books that just squeeze your heart and leave you breathless? I felt that quite a bit in this book. I will also say that this book kept me up ALL NIGHT. I was literally up until 5 o’clock in the morning reading this book because I couldn’t put it down. I love books like that, don’t you?

I wanted to share a few quotes from this book that I absolutely loved, so I hope you enjoy these as much as I did because WOW they are beautiful.

Something about his voice got to me. I wanted to keep hearing its sound. Warm. Quiet. Disarming like the sound of a piano when your fingers are barely pressing the key.” (38)

Hushed, delicate sounds filled the room with a haunting fragility I had never heard in music. Each tone drifted up and died in the air almost instantly, leaving behind a silence that made one’s heart fold in on itself with aching.” (91)

“I had imagined it so many times, but he erased everything. No one had kissed me before him. No one had touched me, or looked at me, or known that I existed. I began and ended there. He found me. Tasted me. Lost himself in me, as if I was the universe.”(279)

Swoon. Beautiful right? That’s only a taste!

I ended up giving this book a 4 out of 5 star rating which means that overall,  I loved it. I feel like this book fits comfortably into a few genres so I would recommend it to anyone wanting a good mystery, fantasy or romance…I also think elements of this story can be classified under supernatural and historical fiction! When I first read the synopsis, I leapt at the chance to be a part of the blog tour because it sounded so intriguing and I hope you feel the same way. If you decide to pick this book, please stop by and let me know what you thought of it!

Have a great Monday everyone and thank you for spending time with me! You can purchase a copy of Wildalone at Amazon, IndieBound, and Barnes & Noble. Also be sure to add it to your TBR list at Goodreads.

imagesAKrassi Zourkova photo credit Evonne Dunnebout the Author

A natural born storyteller, Krassi Zourkova grew up in Bulgaria and moved to the US to study art history at Princeton. After college, she graduated from Harvard Law School and has been practicing finance law in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles where she currently lives. Her poems have appeared in various literary journals, and her essay, Book Collecting in the Absence of Books, about compiling a personal library under Communist censorship, won first prize in essay contests at Princeton and Harvard. Krassi is an accomplished musician and was inspired by her love of Chopin and her national folklore for Wildalone.

You can connect with her via @zourkova on Twitter!

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