Tag Archives: Mystery

The Cuckoo’s Calling

The Cuckoo's Calling

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

I’m late to the party. I totally know, but this J.K. Rowling lady knows what she’s doing. Don’t get me wrong. I adored Harry Potter (cue flashback music: I had to move from Kansas City, MO, to St. Louis, MO, on the day Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was released. The UPS man showed up with my copy at 9:00 a.m. sharp. For the next four hours, I sat in the corner reading, while my husband, father, father-in-law, and sisters packed and loaded up boxes. Listen, a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do, and sometimes it’s sit silently reading for four hours straight and then for the next four hours in the car. Haters gonna hate. Not my problem.) Still, I’d been holding off on The Cuckoo’s Calling for nearly two years. It’s been on my shelf since Christmas Day 2013. I was nervous. I didn’t want to be disenchanted with Ms. Rowling’s writing. I love her too much for a break-up. This month I faced my fear, and praise Jesus I did!

The book begins with a dead body—Lula Landry’s to be specific. It appears the supermodel has committed suicide. Fast forward a year, and the story truly begins. Lula’s brother John hires Cormoran Strike to investigate. John’s convinced it’s murder not suicide. The rest of the world—including Strike and his new secretary—not so much. From there, the methodical mystery takes off. For most of the story, Strike interviews and re-interviews the last ones to see Lula alive. In his spare time, Cormoran is trying to navigate a new world now that he’s lost his fiancée and his home. Robin, his accidental secretary and much more useful than Cormoran thought, becomes a kind of sidekick rather than a paper-pusher/phone-answerer. Slowly but surely, I started noticing holes in the suspects’ stories of Lula’s last night. In fact, I thought I had picked up the thread of the murderer about three-quarters of the way in, but man was I wrong. Strike’s final reveal and confrontation with the killer was a complete surprise to me, but not the kind where I felt cheated. All the breadcrumbs were there. I just didn’t pick them up.

I’ve read reviews claiming this book was slow and focused too much on Cormoran’s actual life versus the mystery. To be honest, the attention to character is what I loved. Cormoran for all his quirks and oddities feels real. A good guy who’s down on his luck. He finds the perfect foil/sidekick in his temporary secretary Robin. I love her, and I totally identify with her fascination with detective work. It also helps that Robin’s inner-Nancy Drew kicks in quickly. What I really love is the chemistry between Robin and Cormoran. Their relationship plays a huge role in why the book works. They fit together well and not in a romantic way (at least not yet—however, I think Ms. Rowling isn’t going to keep that door closed forever). Coromoran and Robin’s connection is truly refreshing. Honestly, the whole book is refreshing. The story definitely reawakened the mystery lover in me. So much so, that I ran to the library this weekend to pick up The Silkworm, so I can be ready for Ms. Rowling’s October release of the third in the series, Career of Evil.

Bottom line, read this book. Read it yesterday.


John, the brother, did it. He wanted her money. The black “suspicious” guy who was on CCTV was a half-brother Lula tracked down. He’s the one that she actually left her fortune too. John also killed his little brother Charlie.

Heir Untamed

Heir Untamed (Latvala Royals, #1)

171578234 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

This book is a dream come true for anyone girl who’s dreamed of falling in love with a prince.

Chey is desperate for a job when opportunity, literally, comes knocking at her door.  With nothing to lose, she uproots her entire life and heads to the small country of Latvala to become the official photographer of the royal family. Chey is stunned by the beauty of the palace and royal family, especially the flirty Prince Mattias.  But nothing is really as it seems.  Within days, Chey is attacked in her own room.  Is someone jealous of her budding relationship with the prince? Is Sander, the mysterious head of security, hiding information that may keep her safe?  Chey needs to figure it out before she ends up dead.

Listen, I’m the kind of girl that reads the last three pages of a book before beginning it.  This book still kept me guessing to the very end.  The premise is a little sketchy, but once I was a chapter in I totally forgot.  The mystery kept me on my toes, and my head was spinning as to which romantic interest I wanted to win out.  The most delicious part of this book is the happy ending. Still, I’m not so sure this mystery is really solved.  I’m very sure the royal family has a few more secrets up its sleeve, and I can’t wait to read about it in the next installment.

Plot: 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

This story is clearly a set up book.  The plot moves quickly, but the entire time, I knew it was setting me up for bigger, better (or badder as the case may be) things to come.  The story line is a bit unbelievable, but it’s easy to suspend your disbelief and get wrapped up in the royal intrigue.

Writing: 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

As I mentioned, there are a few plot holes, but the author makes up for it with witty banter throughout the book.  I love how she writes the chemistry between Chey and Sander and Chey and Mattias.  Also there’s hella good bitchy sister writing.

Characters: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

The characters are the highlight of the book.  Chey is sweet but smart.  Sander is super hot, and Prince Dare is quite the mystery.  I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love Mattias.  If nothing else, read this book to meet these characters.

It turns out Viia is the bad guy, maybe.  Also, Sander is actually Prince Dare.  I know.  I didn’t see that coming at all (yet it was still so obvious when it happened).  What can I say, I was a little wrapped up in the story.