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May 7, 2010

CSI: Killing Jar & Aunt Dimity Down Under

I know it's been a while since I've posted links to my book reviews, but that's because there haven't been any new ones for a while.

However, that has now changed. Two new reviews have gone up on Curled Up With a Good Book. One book is an excellent story if you're into the television show CSI. The other one is a cozy "mystery" that is really pretty terrible. Thankfully, it was a very quick read.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: The Killing JarThe first book is CSI: The Killing Jar. Written by Donn Cortez (a pseudonym, I believe, and if it's the same guy, I actually attended a panel discussion he had at the V-Con SF convention up here in Vancouver a couple of years ago), this book centers on Gil Grissom (William Petersen in the TV show) and his love of all things bugs. From the review:

"A teenager is found dead in a hotel room, killed by millipede poison. Gil Grissom, Nick Stokes and Riley Adams are forced to face off with a deranged killer whose knowledge of entomology rivals Grissom's own, and who uses that knowledge to not only kill but also to explore the effects of his murders. He may be Grissom's toughest opponent yet. Meanwhile, Catherine Willows and Greg Sanders are investigating the death of a Hawaiian man engulfed in hardened wax after having his fingers cut off. He's the overlap between the world of crystal meth and the art world, and these two crossing is never a good thing."

If you love the show, you will love this book. It delves into the characters about as much as a television tie-in novel can (TV tie-in novels for ongoing series can't make any major changes to the characters or reveal any big information about them, as that's the responsibility of the TV show itself).

It's well-written and will definitely keep your attention.

Aunt Dimity Down Under (Paranormal Detective)The second review is for another one of Nancy Atherton's Aunt Dimity books, called Aunt Dimity Down Under. The conceit behind this series is that Aunt Dimity is an old family friend of Lori Shepherd who died some time ago. She left her estate to Lori and Lori moves her family over to the friendly English village of Finch to live there. Dimity communicates with Lori via a journal that Lori has. Lori opens it and talks, and Dimity responds in glowing letters on the page.

This book takes Lori down to New Zealand on a rollicking adventure! And when I say "rollicking," I mean it's good if you want to know what might be interesting to see in New Zealand. It's a travelogue wrapped up in a story, and the story is quite uninteresting.

"Love is in the air in the sleepy English village of Finch as Lori Shepherd and the rest of the townspeople prepare for the wedding of the town's Romeo and Juliet (without the harsh ending). Yes, it's finally time for Kit Smith and Nell Harris to have the wedding of the century. Unfortunately, all this preparation goes for naught when it's announced that Ruth and Louise Pym, the village's eldest residents, are dying. They have an unusual request for Lori: track down their long-lost brother Aubrey before death claims them. Lori's search will lead her to New Zealand and a trek that will span the entire country before she finally finds what she's looking for. But will what she finds want anything to do with the Pyms?"

I read and review these books so I can get free copies of them for my mother-in-law, who loves the series. The last four books have been decent enough that I haven't minded them. This one, though, was atrocious. Thankfully, Atherton's made a couple of changes in the Finch setting in this book, so I'm optimistic that this one is an aberration.

Though if you like thrillers, stay *far* away from this series.


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