The Mysteries of Laura—A Good Run but I’m Done

The Mysteries of Laura is a tv show about an NYPD detective who’s also a single mom of twins. It’s one of the shows I watch with my mom—or rather, watched. I’ll explain below why I liked the show and why I’ve decided to stop watching it after two seasons.

1—The Mysteries

The actual mysteries in each episode are good enough—nothing spectacular but they didn’t bore me either. The first few episodes were a touch heavy handed with the “mom skills are being used to solve the crime” thing, but it often takes a few episodes for a show to find its feet. The Mysteries of Laura did and got better at incorporating Laura’s unique way of looking at the world with her police work, without having to shout about it. Continue reading “The Mysteries of Laura—A Good Run but I’m Done”

Conspiracy of Angels: A Novel of the Shadowside—Intriguing in All Senses of the Word

book cover of Conspiracy of Angels: A Novel of the Shadowside by Michelle Belanger
Conspiracy of Angels by Michelle Belanger

Conspiracy of Angels is the first in Michelle Belanger’s new Shadowside series of novels and while almost all current urban fantasy borrows a bit (or a lot) from horror, I wouldn’t call Conspiracy of Angels a horror story. Bordering on it—it’s dark, with plenty of monsters and fighting—but not outright horror. I need usually need a few mutilated corpses for that…though I suppose the zombies might count. YMMV (your mileage may vary). But whether borderline of full-tilt horror, when I finished the book, I was desperate to read the next—which isn’t out yet, dammit. Harsh Gods isn’t due out until October (2016). But on to the review of the first book.

1—Angel Unaware

Zachary wakes up on a lakeshore with no memory of who he is (actually not the first time I’ve encountered this setup) and no idea he’s not human. He’s one of a tribe of angels that reincarnate, and which I’ll get into later. So biologically human, but he’s also got these wings and extra muscles that only show up on the Shadowside, another side of reality. Continue reading “Conspiracy of Angels: A Novel of the Shadowside—Intriguing in All Senses of the Word”

Her Royal Spyness—A Fun First Outing

cover for Her Royal Spyness novel by Rhys Bowen
Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen

Her Royal Spyness is the first in Rhys Bowen’s Royal Spyness Mysteries series of novels. A light, fun romp through the underbelly of the upperclass of 1930s Britain.

1—The Build Up

Most of the first half of the book is build up, but I don’t mind—and in fact prefer. As Georgie—the heroine—isn’t a detective or any sort of investigator (yet), I’m glad the author takes the time to set things up. And there’s a lot to set up. The world—both in the sense of the time and place, and in the sense of Georgie’s social world as minor English royalty. All the pieces must be set on the board, so to speak—it wouldn’t be a mystery without plenty of suspects. And of course, the all important stakes, which gradually build until Georgie’s family home and reputation, and personal freedom, are at risk. Continue reading “Her Royal Spyness—A Fun First Outing”

Bepuzzled Jigsaw Puzzle Mysteries—My Family New Year Tradition

Bepuzzled Logo
The Bepuzzled Logo

Ok, so this will be a short post as I’m still recovering from Christmas. One of the things my family does every year is start a jigsaw puzzle on or after Christmas and try to finish it before midnight on New Year’s. Well, a few years ago—seven, maybe?—my mom and I found a puzzle that was also a little mystery story. By solving the puzzle, you get the clues you need to solve the mystery. It seemed like fun, and was—so much so that these mystery puzzles replaced regular ones as our New Year’s tradition.

The company that makes the ones we’ve like most—and each short story does vary in quality—are made by Bepuzzled. Like I said, they’re fun. There are also puzzles that are done as a full on dinner party, with roles for the guests to play, but we’ve never done those—too much trouble. But we’ve enjoyed the mystery puzzles we’ve done, and I always read the story aloud, complete with voices. Here’s some of the puzzled we’ve played.