Sometimes I luck out and find a good free book on the Kindle. Murder in Wonderland, by Leslie Leigh is a great example of this. The first in the Allie Griffin Mysteries series, it features Allie – a plucky widow trying to break into the upper crust of her hometown Verdenier by hosting the local book club in her own home only to have one of the snootiest of the snooty fall over dead in the middle of her Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland themed table.
There are various direct quotes and clever connections to the Alice books through out the story. The main character is obsessed with the book and it shows.
The cast of characters at the book club are all rather interesting, some with some rather sordid pasts. The author (and main character) cleverly align them with people out of the Alice books. It certainly made them stick in the mind more and was a wonderful way to add characteristics to them without having to go into high detail. After when you hear RED QUEEN you don’t exactly think sweet little widow lady.
This book is light on violence, no sexual content and no true profanity… instead Allie will often say the word. Something I found rather humorous and not the least bit annoying.
The mystery is an interesting one and the ending a surprise to me. Which I love. There is a shady police officer but he is more of an annoyance than a major thorn in the side. This is balanced out with another more capable and realistic officer thankfully.
So, literary references, humour, fun characters and a mystery that keeps you guessing! Not bad for a random free read, not bad at all!
And now for a hunt on the kindle to see what I downloaded randomly as a free book. And the winner is… the first book of the Tassamara Book series, A Gift of Ghosts by Sarah Wynde. I am telling you right off the bat, a GREAT book. Romance, the supernatural, engaging characters, a bit of mystery. This book has it all in spades. I honestly sat down with this one, not remembering picking it up and proceeded to set down my crochet project and read the night away!
Let’s start off with the main character’s name… Akira… love that. The fact that she is a genius physicist with what she calls a “quirk”, the ability to talk to ghosts (not the dead JUST ghosts). After writing up a small paper in a magazine in regards to spirit energy her credibility and her current job are on the way out. Enter Zane, a nondescript office room and a job offer draped in secrecy and the unknown. What does she do but take it and head out to Tassamara:
“In Tassamara, believing in six impossible things before breakfast is taken for granted.”
I will warn you, there is one semi graphic sex scene that is handled with humour, science and romance. And the relationships both romantic and platonic are hilarious and totally grow on you. The potential for further stories is blatantly obvious just with the core characters in this first installment. You cannot help but want to know more about the main family – the Latimers, but the town and the people in it as well.
I love Akira’s internal dialogue and her logical thought. She has a sense of humour and a fragility that is both entertaining and endearing. And Zane is hilarious as are the ghosts around them.
This book feels well thought out and researched. The characters have depth and plot drug me right on in. I am definitely going to work to get my hands on further volumes! I dare you to NOT get so invested in the story and the characters that you don’t just read on into the evening!
Sometimes you just log in on Amazon.com at the right time and get a limited time freebie worth reading. Confection Connection by Lizz Lund (with free recipes) is one of these. I snapped this one up for my Kindle in February. This is the third in her Mina Kitchen (yes that is the main character’s last name) Mysteries. I have not read the first or the second but found I was able to get to know the main character and the crazy and unusual friends and family members she surrounds herself with.
I have to straight out that this book was more of a quirky light romance with a mild mystery attached. I figured out rather quickly WHO did the crime, though the why was interesting and a wee bit unexpected and the HOW not hard to figure out but entertaining all the same.
Mina Kitchen WANTS to be a caterer but is in the middle of transitioning to that position and through out the book takes on a variety of hilarious and unusual jobs. In the mean time she is also doing little catering events for friends and family (and alwayss making too much of everything). She has unfinished business with a chef she helps out from time to time and a family who is there to support her.
I don’t want to give away too much as it is a relatively simple mystery, but I did get some giggles out of this one. I found a lot of the characters around Mina Kitchen to be absolutely hilarious. Her ex Jewish mob neighbour, her friend who is wealthy and completely disconnected from the reality of having to DO anything… honestly I would say read it just for the characters, the story is an additional entertaining bonus!
So if you want a light read do try Confection Connection. If I come across the early ones in my travels I will definitely read and review!!