Tuesday, April 30, 2019

{I've Been Reading} Antiques Ravin'

The thirteenth book of the Trash 'n' Treasures mystery series by Barbara Allan, Antiques Ravin' has an appropriately dark theme. Newly elected sheriff Vivian Borne and her daughter are investigating a murder at the Edgar Allen Poe festival -- after her performance of The Raven. It's a fun fast read that I highly recommend. To quote Brandy, "For newbies just jumping in -- heaven help you," but it's easy to start reading this series out of order. Brandy and Vivian, who alternate chapters, will tell you what you need to know and frequently tell you what book certain events happened in. I've probably read half of the books in the series and I find myself curious about past events, but never feeling too lost. 

I picked up The Loch Ness Papers by Paige Shelton because the description sounded interesting. It's the fourth book in the series, but I frequently read things out of order and most of the time it works. This time, it didn't. Delaney Nichols works at a bookshop in Scotland and is preparing for her wedding. While going to make last minute arrangements to replace the pastor who was supposed to perform the ceremony, she meets Norval, an old man who is obsessed with Nessie and looking for someone to take over his research. When his nephew is murdered, Delaney tries to help Norval clear his name. 

The murder mystery and Norval's stories about his childhood encounters with the monster, who he firmly believes took his father, are interesting but I never really felt pulled into Delaney's world. She hears "bookish voices" which aren't explained at all until most of the way  through the book, and although she was planning a wedding I really didn't get any sense of her relationship with her fiance. Those are things that I probably would have known if I'd started with the first book in the series, but jumping in with this one wasn't the best idea.

Disclosure -- The publishers provided me with advance review copies. My opinions are my own. 

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