Mystery

If you like Agatha Christie books or TV series “Monk” or relish CSI Miami without the gore, then you will love this series!

Sapphire Beach Cozy Mystery Collection Volume 1 (Books 1 to 3)
Sapphire Beach Cozy Mystery Collection
  • Title – Sapphire Beach Cozy Mystery Collection [Volume 1]
  • Author – Angela Ryan
  • Books – 1) Condos & Corpses, (2) Surf, Sand and Skeletons, (3) Piers, Pliers and Problems.

I bought this series bundle during a deal from BargainBooksy. I wanted a change from my normal self help and romance novels. I am huge Agatha Christie fan but haven’t seen many authors write that type of genre in recent times. I enjoy thrillers (Daniel Silva, Robert Ludlum) but sometimes you just need a simple whodunit, without too much gore or ramifications for world chaos!

REVIEW SCORE: 5/5 *****

So glad I found this author. I loved the volume so much that I went ahead and pre-ordered the next few in the series!

The set I read has 3 consecutive books, but all the three can be read as standalone books. Think Nancy Drew or Monk TV series. A few ancillary story threads propagate forward, but you can get the context without having to read the previous books. In this case, the underlying threads are the budding romance between the heroine and a detective, as well as the heroine’s Fair Trade jewelry store.

Personally I loved that the books are set in Florida. Sun, sand and mystery – what else could a girl want on a gloomy day of quarantine! πŸ™‚ Here is an image I took on a vacation to Miami and the Florida Keys, to pique your interest further!

Florida beaches

Overall, I think its a great series for mystery lovers of all ages, young and old!

Similar Works:

  • Books – Any book by Agatha Christie, Nancy Drew, Dick Francis.
  • Movies – Murder on the Orient Express, Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit, Shattered Glass.
  • TV Series – Monk. Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Murder, She Wrote. Sherlock Holmes, CSI Miami without the grim violence!
  • Genres – Mystery, Mystery Anthologies, Action & Adventure

Until next time, Adieu & Happy Reading!

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This is the third book in the Cynster sisters trilogy and in my personal opinion, the best of them! It helps (a few scattered references) if you have read the other two, but no way diminishes the reading experience if you are a total newbie to the Cynster family tree.

Like all books by Stephanie Laurens, the heroine is a strong-willed character, smart resourceful and beautiful. In this story, the heroine Angela is only 21, yet thankfully not portrayed as dumb, naive or starry eyed idealist. I myself was stubborn, ambitious and super-focused at 18, so I totally related to the heroine! Cheeky disclaimer, I married a large, dark-haired hunk and knew he was Mr.Right the moment I saw him, so I might be a little biased in my judgement! πŸ˜›

  • Title β€“ Capture of the Earl of Glencrae
  • Author β€“ Stephanie Laurens
  • Series – Cynster family series, Cynster sisters trilogy

REVIEW SCORE = 4.5/5 *****

Some reasons why I loved this book:

1] Set in the gorgeous mountains of Scotland (Woohoo!)

2] Hero = Kidnapper! Definitely, not the usual romance plot. When I read the blurb, I had so many Qs – Why? What!!!! that doesn’t sound right? How does the situation change? Is this a case of Stockholm syndrome? Read the book to find out. I will say the author uses these questions to build up the suspense (and chemistry). Most of her stories involve some sort of drama or mystery, but this was the most intriguing among all.

3] The usual charm of Victorian romance – balls, gowns, castles and a villain.

4] The love scenes were tasteful, but she does tend to get repetitive. If you’ve read one, you’ve read them all. Won’t recommend this author to anyone under 16, but I admit I am a bit orthodox in many ways!

Overall, a great read, especially on winter days when you just want to curl up in bed with a steaming mug of hot chocolate and an exciting book.

Similar Works

  • Books β€“ Other books by Stephanie Laurens. Similar authors with historical romance series include Elizabeth Rolls, Emma Leech & Julia Quinn.
  • Movies β€“ Pride & Prejudice.
  • TV Series β€“ The Tudors without the extreme violence
  • Genres β€“ Historical Romance
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Title – End Game
Author – David Baldacci

REVIEW SCORE – 4.5/5

What’s to love about the book?

A thrilling, plot twister that will keep you guessing till the end. This is a book in the Will Robie Series, although I personally have never read the other books in the series. However, I am a big Baldacci fan, and his book “The Winner” and “Absolute Power” were my favorites for years in high school! This book reminded me why I was such a die-hard fan! It’s amazing how Baldacci can keep churning out plot after plot, without losing his touch to keep readers engaged and on the edge of their seats.

There are a lot of seemingly side stories, but the author doesn’t let us lose focus of the main story. The middle dragged a bit, but the end ties all the threads together, so the narrative is truly brilliant. You don’t see a lot of stories where the main characters are both assassins and detectives – sort of Jack Reacher meets Sherlock Holmes, so I loved it!

There is a lot of action and violence in the book, but of course the good guys win against all odds, due their brilliant mercenary skills. It also showed a lot of “grey” decisions that law enforcement officials often need to make – some decisions are unethical but necessary for the greater good, and some which seem correct at the time, feel foolish with hindsight. The Doomsday argument conversations felt a bit forced, but it did present some interesting perspectives that I wouldn’t have thought about, not being the uber-rich! πŸ™‚

As always, the action scenes are amazing, I could almost imagine the explosions and raining bullets as if it were a movie. And in all fairness, it would probably make an amazing movie plot like Fast and Furious or Jack Ryan type series.

Finally, big shout out to “BJs”, my local big box retailer which recently started selling bestselling authors at unbelievably low prices. Beats Amazon, Walmart and every other retailer, especially since my book is a mint condition hardcover copy! My bookworm soul and frugal-Indian brain are both ecstatic!

Who should try this book?

If you’ve never heard or tried Baldacci books, then you will love it if you like action or thriller books. Alternatively, folks who love the movies and authors below, will find it entertaining as well.

Similar authors – Daniel Silva, Robert Ludlum, James Patterson and Tom Clancy.
Movies & TV shows – Jack Ryan, Mission Impossible, Rambo, Fast and Furious.

Happy Reading!

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