eBook Review: Gone with the Ghost

Gone With The Ghost (Murder By Design #1)

Gone With The Ghost by Erin McCarthy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The blurb: Bailey Burke has had a rough six months—it’s not easy thinking your romantic overtures toward your best friend caused him to kill himself. Except that’s exactly what happened. Ryan is very much dead, having shot himself with his own police-issued gun. Guilt and grief shouldn’t cause hallucinations though, but six months after Ryan went into the ground, Bailey is freaking out and swearing his ghost is standing in her kitchen. Which he is…

Ryan claims he didn’t commit suicide, but was murdered, and he needs Bailey to help him find his killer so he can earn his ticket out of purgatory. Ryan’s counting on a stairway to heaven, as opposed to wings, since that might be a little unmanly for a cop, even a dead one.

An expert in home design, with her own staging business, Bailey can tell you where to place a couch to improve flow and comfort, but solving a crime? Not her area of expertise. But with help from Ryan’s former partner, Marner, she is unraveling the mystery of what happened to Ryan that day… and unwittingly putting herself in grave danger.

My review: I’ve had an hankering to read a cozy mystery lately, so when I saw this ebook being offered for free, I thought I’d give it a go.

Imagine waking up one morning to find your dead best friend standing in your kitchen asking you to solve a murder, their murder. That’s the basis of this book.

Whilst the book was entertaining and amusing, the main character’s obsession with breasts (hers as well as every set she sees) really irritated me. It was over the top. Too much. I got sick of reading about double Ds and how tight or wet her t-shirt was. Enough already. It almost made me stop reading. Almost.

Right, now that’s out of my system, back to the review.

As I was saying, the book was entertaining and amusing, for the most part. I enjoyed the other aspects of the main character, and the other characters felt easy to identify, even the dead one. It was good to see the ghost own up to how he stuffed up his life too. That was important, in my opinion.

I especially liked the mystery. There were a couple of instances where I gasped and thought “no one would act like that … or do that”, if they were in the same situation. If I received a text message like that, there’s no way… (I don’t want to spoil it, so I’ll stop there.)

The mystery was well done, in my opinion. I didn’t make the connection. Didn’t come close, so that’s a good thing. I liked how the clues were there. It all came together in the end.

And something else I liked about the book, was the author’s writing style. Not the DD thing, but the way she strung sentences together. The humour and serious stuff mixed well together, complimented each other. It was well written. I felt connected enough to continue passed the irritating stuff and read right to the end. And I even feel connected enough to look into getting the second book and that’s saying something.

I recommend this book, especially if you are looking for something light-hearted to read.

Audiobook Review: Polly

Polly (Edwardian Candlelight Series, Book 1)

Polly by M.C. Beaton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The blurb: Polly was a bewitching young girl, that pretty Polly Marsh, and she knew it…

Polly also knew that beauty could be her passport into the castles where she had always known she belonged. So she set her sights for a duke and joined the firm of Westerman’s as a stenographer. Surely one of that noble family would notice her and then all of her dreams would come true! The trouble with Pretty Polly Marsh was that she just didn’t know her place. But others did, and were only too happy to remind her that dashing Lord Peter was merely playing at love when he appeared to be paying her court.

My review: This is the first book I’ve read by the author, and I believe she goes by several names and I haven’t read any books by any of the them. I do, however, have a couple of cozy mysteries by M.C. Beaton on my bookshelf, so I thought I was reading a cozy mystery when I started this book. I soon realised that this was not a mystery, it is an historical romance. But that wasn’t a problem.

Polly is a social climber. She is ashamed of her cockney family. She wants more, better. And she believes she deserves it. She falls in love with a duke and sets her sights on marrying him, but is it real love. That’s the real question.

The character’s are humorous. And I must say at this point that the narrator, Emma Powell, certainly played a part in bringing them to life. She did an excellent job of narrating the story. I could picture this book as a romantic comedy movie, to be honest. You know the type I mean, the ones you sit and watch on a cold, rainy afternoon to cheer yourself up.

In all honesty, I didn’t find anything about the book fabulous or unforgettable, as the plot was quite simple really. Nothing spectacular there. I’m not even sure the historical parts were accurate. But all that aside, I did find the characters and storyline entertaining. I enjoyed the book and recommend it to anyone who wants a light read that will bring a smile to their face.

Audiobook review: Loyal Creatures

Loyal Creatures

Loyal Creatures by Morris Gleitzman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The blurb: Like many of his mates from the bush, Frank Ballantyne is keen to join the grand adventure and do his bit. Specially as a chest full of medals might impress the currently unimpressed parents of his childhood sweetheart. So Frank ups his age and volunteers with his horse Daisy…and his dad.

In the deserts of Egypt and Palestine he experiences all the adventure he ever wanted, and a few things he wasn’t expecting. Heartbreak, love and the chance to make the most important choice of his life.

From Gallipoli to the famous charge at Beersheba, through to the end of the war and its unforgettable aftermath, Frank’s story grows out of some key moments in Australia’s history.

They were loyal creatures, the men and horses of the Australian Light Horse, but war doesn’t always pay heed to loyalty. This is the powerful story of a young man’s journey towards his own kind of bravery.

My review: At a whim I looked for a book about animals, because I wanted to feel warm and fuzzy inside, and I came across this one. Years ago I had a huge involvement with horses and decided this would be the book I would read next (or listen to, in this case). I didn’t read the blurb. I knew nothing about the storyline. I picked the book purely because of the horse on the cover.

The book turned out to be about the Australian horses sent overseas during WWI. Specifically, a breed of horse called walers, which were sturdy, hardy horses, able to travel long distances in hot weather with little water.

Loyal Creatures is about a young (under age) boy and his horse, who join the Australian Light Horse and go to Egypt, and later to Gallipoli. The boys innocence and the horse’s loyalty are touching. Their adventure together is something to be proud of and memorable, yet filled with heartbreak. The boy soon grows up as he faces the reality of war, death and having to make hard decisions.

This is a story of fiction, but it is easy to believe that it could have happened to a boy of the same age in real life. The character’s are vivid, believable, complete. The story was the same.

With ANZAC day just around the corner, I must remind everyone to remember those who gave their lives for us, including all the animals, not just the horses. Recommended.