[ARC Review] Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield

cvr9781476711959_9781476711959_lgTitle: Bellman & Black
Author: Diane Setterfield
Format: Kindle eGalley  
Genre: Historical Fiction; Thriller; Ghost Story
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
ISBN: 9781476711959
Release Date: 5 November 2013
Rating: ⭐ ⭐

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I received Bellman & Black as an advanced, uncorrected reader’s proof from the publisher.  I really wanted to enjoy this as according to the synopsis it had all the elements that would make for a really great ghost story or horror story or thriller, but sadly it falls short.

At times I felt as though I was reading Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol. William Bellman has a very distinct Scrooge-like characteristic. He is always with his abacus, always crunching numbers, and always coming up with ways to make more money.  The only difference between Bellman and Scrooge is that Bellman treated his employees with the utmost respect from the beginning.  Black when the reader finally ‘meets’ him is an amalgamation of the three spirits.   Continue reading

[ARC Review] A Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovett

Title: The Bookman’s Tale: A Novel of Obsession 
Author: Charlie Lovett
Forma: Kindle Edition
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Shakespeare
Publisher: Viking Adult
ISBN: 0670026476
Release Date: May 28, 2013
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 1/2

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I passed by The Bookman’s Tale several times on my weekly trips to the bookstore.  I picked it up, read the description and a few passages, and found it intriguing. I was perusing NetGalley one day and noticed the publisher was offering it, so I requested it. Thankfully my request was approved and I received an uncorrected proof from the publisher.

I really wanted to like this book.  It has murder, romance, sex, and the Shakespeare authorship controversy, so how could anything go wrong?  For me there were just a few too many things going on and a few times I got lost and when I tried to go back and get un-lost I couldn’t. Continue reading

[Book Review] The Return by Håkan Nesser

Cover of "The Return: An Inspector Van Ve...
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The Return: An Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery
by Håkan Nesser
Paperback, 322
Translation Published June 2007 by Vintage (First Published 1995)
Translated by Laurie Thompson

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Håkan Nesser’s The Return began with great promise but quickly fizzled.  I was immediately hooked with the first line, “It was the first day and the last day” (pg. 3).  With this line the reader immediately knows that nothing good is about to happen, but whose impending demise should the reader expect? Did the newly released prisoner really meet his demise or will he upon his return go back to his criminal ways?

The novel continues to pick up steam in Chapter 2 with some rather bad and rambunctious children out on a field trip.  Kids that I, myself, Continue reading

[Book Review]The Bat by Jo Nesbo

51Jf6U30dZL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_The Bat by Jo Nesbo
Kindle Edition/Paperback, 369
Translation Published 2012
First Published 1997
First Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Edition, July 2013
Translated by Don Bartlett
Rating 3/5

I was absolutely ecstatic when I found out earlier this year that Jo Nesbo’s The Bat would finally be available in the U.S.  It saved me from ordering it from the U.K. or Canada or even Australia.  But I was even more ecstatic when I received a galley copy of the book from the publisher (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group) before its actual U.S. release date.

The Bat is the first book in the Inspector Harry Hole series and the latest to be released in the U.S.  Inspector Harry Hole from the Oslo Crime Squad is sent to Syndey, Australia to assist in the murder investigation of a young Norwegian woman, who is minor television celebrity in his homeland.  However Harry soon finds out that he is to be a mere observer and to look at his time in Australia as a vacation.  However as the investigation progresses Harry finds himself more and more involved in solving the murder or as he discovers murders. Continue reading

Book Chat: Borkmann’s Point by Hakan Nesser

Borkmann’s Point: An Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery
Håkan Nesser
Paperback, 321
Translation Published June 2009 by Vintage (First Published 1994)
Translated by Laurie Thompson
Rating: 3/5

Could it be true there is

a necessity behind most murders, a compulsion stronger than anything behind [an]other action? (BK — 294-295).

Perhaps it’s true or perhaps it’s nothing but pure hokum.  The Axman in Håkan Nesser‘s Borkmann’s Point certainly thought murder was a necessary means to an end.

Borkmann’s Point is the second installment in the Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery series.  I didn’t enjoy Borkmann’s Point as much as I hoped.  Even after the second read.  The plot was very thin and the characters, except for Beate Moerk, remained static.  Oddly enough I didn’t like DCI Van Veeteren as much in this novel as much as I liked him in Mind’s Eye (click here to read my review).

Inspector Van Veeteren is on vacation and asked to assist with two gruesome murders in nearby Kalbringen in which the heads of two victims have been severed with what is suspected to be an ax. Van Veeteren is just as cantankerous Continue reading