Friday, February 26, 2010

The Crime at Black Dudley: A Book Review

Title: The Crime at Black Dudley

Author: Margery Allingham

Genre: Mystery

Reading Level: 13 and up

A house-party with a glittering guest list. An imposing country estate with endless shadowy staircases and unused rooms. The breathless period between the two world wars. It’s the ideal setting for the classic English murder mystery, and bringing it to perfection is the introduction—in a supporting role for the first and last time—of Albert Campion, the consummate (if compulsively quipping) Gentleman Sleuth. The guests take some time to be grateful for Campion’s presence; he is a bit peculiar, and they have more than enough distractions, what with various complicated love affairs, a curious ritual involving a jeweled dagger, and a deadly game of hide-and-seek. But the savvy reader will be singing hosannas from Campion’s first appearance, knowing that it marks the beginning of one of the most intelligent and delightful series in the history of crime fiction.

My Review: This book is a really old fashioned british murder mystery. It's got everything we've come to expect, a house in the middle of no where, a large guest list, and of course murder. But shockingly only one murder, the large amount of guest stay intact. Anyway, I found this to be a super charming, funny, romp, and quite interesting, although I'm sure this will not be to everyone's taste. The plot doesn't just deal with the murder, there are vicious criminals running around and locking up the innocent hero's and heroine's while they search for a mysterious item of great importance. I've been immersing myself in a lot of british entertainment, so I really loved this book. The main character is a man named George Abbershaw, and he carries the book rather well. He is by no means the most interesting character in the book though. That honor will have to go to Albert Campion who becomes the central figure in the rest of the novels. He's hilarious, zany, and you don't know quite what to think of him. He also talks in old english slang, which is bit hard to understand at first, but really funny. I can't wait to read the further installments of the Albert Campion series!
Content: nothing objectionable, unless, you don't like murder. In which case, go read something else.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Recommend: yes for fans of old fashioned cozy mysteries.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Magic In Manhattan: A Book Series (so far) Review

This past month I had been looking for a cute book to read about witches that doesn't involve them running around trying to save the world from impending doom. I finally found a promising series when I noticed this eye catching cover on a Target Bookshelf. I have so far read the first two in the series (there are four all together) and decided it was high time to do a review on them. (:

Title: Bra's & Broomsticks and the sequel Frog's and French Kisses (Magic in Manhattan series bk. 1 and 2)

Author: Sarah Mlynowski (I'm not sure how to pronounce that.)

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Reading Level: 13 ad up

Summary(for Bra's and Broomsticks):
What if all your wishes could come true? Blink your eyes, drink a fizzing pink potion, and poof! Life is perfect. That’s Rachel’s situation. Except she’s not the one who suddenly has magical powers. Her younger sister is. And as Rachel would tell you, spell books are wasted on the young!

Yes, yes, of course world peace and cures for horrible diseases are important. But so is dancing without looking like she’s being electrocuted, winning back her best friend, stopping her dad’s wedding, and finding a date for Spring Fling.

Rachel’s not bewitched. Yet. . . .

My Review: Well what can I say about this book but that is really funny. I love the new and original concept that Rachel wasn't a witch her sister was. I love all the crazy ways she get's her sister to do spells for her, and the results are hilarious. Sarah Mylnowski has a great first person style, Rachel is a great character, easy to relate to and I love the way her imagination runs away with her in certain situations. This was a pleasant escapist read, for anyone who likes stories about witches but could do without the whole end of the world plot line. It has all the usual adolescent lessons: Don't sacrifice your values for the in crowd, it's better to be yourself, and people aren't always what they seem.

Summary(Frogs and French Kisses):Rachel has finally come to terms with the outrageously unfair fact that her younger sister, Miri, has inherited magical powers from their mom. But now the whole witchcraft thing is spiraling out of control. Mom is a magicaholic, Miri’s on a Save the World kick, and the one teeny tiny love spell that Rachel begged for has gone embarrassingly, horribly wrong.

Suddenly, the fate of everything is in Rachel’s hands.

Her family.

The world.

Senior prom.

My Review: This sequel was even funnier then B&B. I really liked it a lot better, I laughed the whole time. Rachel and her relationship with her sister get's better, they are a cute sibling pair to read about. If you like the first book this one is well worth reading. There's also a pleasant surprise at the end.

Content: 1st. Bk: some innuendo and I think language 2nd Bk: a lot of kissing, and some language.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Recommend: yes for fans of chick lit fantasy.