Strawberries and Crime by Elle Brook White

Book #2: Finn Family Farm Mystery Series

Source: NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books

Rating: DNF

The Bottom Line:  One of the great things about cozy mysteries are the quirky characters all collected in a single small town.  A great cozy mystery will have such an array of crazy, fun characters all pulling together to solve a mystery.  When the characters are so flat as they are in this book, there’s nothing for me to truly enjoy and want to know more about.  Even the idyllic setting and promise of yummy food descriptions were not enough to overcome the flatness of the characters for me. 


The Orphan Witch by Paige Crutcher

Source: NetGalley and St. Martin’s Griffin

Rating: DNF

The Bottom Line: Oh, how I wanted to like this book!  In an effort to get through this book, and hopefully thoroughly enjoy it, I tried both reading and listening to this one.  Although there are some fun bits in here – the invisible library and witchcraft – the story just isn’t interesting.  I normally love a story with loads of backstory/history, but I believe the author’s writing style did me in on this one.  I never could find a flow or rhythm to the writing that would allow me to keep reading/listening. 


The Glitter End by Vivian Conroy

Book #3: Stationary Shop Mystery Series

Source: NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press

Rating: DNF

The Bottom Line:  UGH!  I pride myself on the variety of locations my beloved cozy mysteries take place within.  I have ice cream parlors, bakeries, tea shops, veterinary clinics, and a music box shop.  Having a stationary shop just added to my happy little list, but the time has come to mark this particular locale off my list.  After multiple, multiple attempts to enjoy this book and series, I must accept it is never going to happen.  The greatest issue with this book/series is how very flat the characters are.  I need my characters to feel like friends I can drop in on and visit with about their latest bit of shenanigans.  There just isn’t enough here for me to keep coming back.

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The Woman at the Gates by Chrystyna Lucyk-Berger

Source: NetGalley and Bookoutre

Rating: DNF

The Bottom Line:  The stories and tales related to the Holocaust are historically among my top reads each year.  This is a time in history I both abhor and find endlessly fascinating.  I gave this book multiple tries and never could get anything, characters, or plot, to resonate with me. I understand the need to lay some groundwork/provide some world building, but the bit I made it through, was repetitive and, truthfully uninteresting.  At some point, one just has to call it a day and I did so with this book.

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