Despite some intriguing premises, this mystery seems to miss the mark.The plot flailed There was too much going on, and it did not, in the end, come together in a coherent way that made sense of the previous events.Like most cozy mysteries, this one had a full cast of eccentric characters I wish they had been coherently depicted.And the cats Sigh I read this because of the cats These cats, while at least they do not speak English, are all to anthropomorphic tiny humans in fuzzy coats as much or than they are CATS I mean cats WANTING to model JEWELRY on a RUNWAY REALLY Not only is that unrealistic, it is arguably insane.Not to mention someone able to identify real diamonds at a glance, when it normally takes very high magnification and various tests to tell the difference between the real thing and fakes.I will add that washing cats was in no way intrinsic to the plot.I wish Hale had done a better job at exploring an intriguing premise As it is, I will not be reading of the series. Sorry about it, but no to this one No, every noun does not need two adjectives No, I don t appreciate that the cats are better characterized than the characters I find that true enough real life And no, I will not spoil the ending for you because I have no idea what happened.This has the potential to be a solid beach read, but stylistic problems got in the way It s one of those books that makes you think The next one might be better So maybe it is I will tell you later. Two Cats Are Better Than One First In An Adorable New Series A Deceased Uncle And A Surprising Inheritance Propel A Woman And Her Two Very Curious Cats Into The Mystery Surrounding His DeathAn Investigation That Starts Amid The Curios And Novelties Of A San Francisco Antiques Shop Follows A Twisted Trail Of Dangerous Deception That Leads All The Way Back To The Days Of The Gold Rush Itself For complete review check out my blog at Well, this book had a lot of potential for a good mystery but it just didn t quite get there for me I spent most of the book wondering what the real mystery was The main character what was her name are we ever told lacked definition and other characters were not well developed either which caused me to confuse a couple of them The main character I don t know what to call her didn t trust Monty but never had the backbone to stand up to him, which I found annoying The story line itself was not cohesive enough to build any suspense and I thought the ending was weak and inconclusive The cats were the best thing in the book for me This appears to be the author s first book so I m sure this series will hopefully improve as it continues. This is one of my favorite genres, so I was left feeling completely disappointed that I didn t like ANYTHING about this book The characters, the setting, the language, the writing Hell, I m not even sure I liked the cats WHAT Basically most of the language felt like the author had picked up a thesaurus for every second word A good example is using the word callous to describe the wind In a modern mystery novel, described from the POV of a mystery character that never gets a name, it just seemedwrong On the other hand we have He told people he couldn t bare to destroy the lovely, old building Couldn t bear or bare Those charactersgrrrr Monty is a noisy bothersome character that could have been killed off and I would have been happy The unnamed protagonist was beyond terrible, but I could never work out why She was spineless, yes, but there was zero connection as well The flattest read I ve had all year I won t be going back to this series again. I quickly found myself being drawn into this book I love the mix of history and mystery The author takes a different approach to the typical cozy Having read Ms Hale s Mystery in the Islands series, I knew her writing would not disappoint me In looking at other people s reviews, you either love this book or you hate it For me, it was a success I really liked the combination of story lines and eclectic characters Rupert and Isabella are adorable feline sidekicks The mystery of the lead characters name never even dawned on me until I got to the end of the book I m excited to continue this series and see what other antics are in store. I really wanted to like this book It was originally a self publication that was picked up by Berkley, so I was definitely rooting for the author It has a great title and a considerable amount of charm in the premise However, it s very over written, particularly in the first few chapters She reminded me of students I had when I taught freshman English who felt they needed to use obscure adjectives to impress me I wasn t impressed As the book continued, the plot meandered and never seemed to get anywhere When I realized I was probably invested in figuring out what was going on than the main character, I decided to call it quits I was three quarters of the way through There are too many books in the work to waste time on one s that aren t good.Basically, this is a great first draft that needs substantial editing and rewriting The author thanks no one in the book, so either she didn t ask anyone to read it and give feed back or she s downright rude You do really need feedback even if you re doing self pub What s really shocking though is that Berkley put this out seemingly without significant editing Shame on them This could have been really great. In this book, the owner of the Green Vase antiques shop dies in mysterious circumstances and leaves the shop to his niece who moves in with her two cats She is immediately latched onto my Monty Carmichael whose nosiness helps her with the mystery It turns out that the fate of her uncle is intricately linked with the fate of William Leidesdorff, a man who was influential in the early days of San Francisco and the gold rush.It was only when I went to make notes for this review that I realised that I never knew the name of the main character When I visited the author s website it is revealed that the anonymous narrator is a cunning way to indicate that she is introverted and shy and to reflect the ongoing struggle to find out who Uncle Oscar was In reality, the book held my attention so poorly that I didn t really notice that the main character didn t have a name Sorry, all of that cleverness was lost on me and I think that most readers felt the same way too.I found the San Francisco and gold rush history tedious maybe this is because I am not American and I felt that the author got carried away with the historical side to such an extent that the mystery part of the book was lost It seemed that the author was trying to be a little too clever for her own good and probably as a historical novel, the writing style would have worked well, but as a mystery well, I wasn t so convinced Clues that were meant to be subtle stood out like a sore thumb and when it came to the climax, it was so rushed that even when I re read the last chapters there were a host of question marks over what happened Maybe this is to leave things open ended for the next books, but instead of it piquing my interest, I just felt meh.It seemed like such a promising book, but all I wanted to do was to finish it as soon as possible so I could read a book that I actually enjoyed. Several times as I was reading this book I stopped and thought what is the mystery in this book I found the book somewhat confusing and even now as I have finished it I don t feel like I really got the story I even went back this morning and reread the end Maybe I m trying to make too much of it, but I just feel confused I would be interested to hear from others that have read the book and hear what they thought.
NY Times bestselling author Rebecca M Hale lives in Western Colorado with her feline writing associates when she s not off researching future books set in San Francisco, the Caribbean, or wherever else her wandering spirit takes her.
- 295 pages
- How to Wash a Cat
- Rebecca M. Hale
- 24 July 2019 Rebecca M. Hale