एक बुक जर्नल: Books, Blogs and Bloody Murder - Michelle Ann Hollstein

Friday, January 31, 2020

Books, Blogs and Bloody Murder - Michelle Ann Hollstein

Read on 31st of January 2019

Edition details:
Format : E-book
Page Count: 62
ASIN: B0836LWW7H
Series: Aggie Underhill #15


Books, Blogs and Bloody Murder - Michelle Ann Hollstein

First Sentence:

Aggie sat across from Betty in the coffee shop at a local bookstore in Rancho Mirage.

Story:
It was a big day for Betty. She had to go to a book signing event at a local store. Betty was a successful blogger where she used to write a fictional mystery series  based on true experiences of her best friend Aggie Underhill.

Aggie had a knack of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and thus getting involved into various kinds of troubles.

These trouble served as a fodder for Betty's imagination and she used them liberally in creating her mystery series. The blog had been a hit and Betty with help of her cousin had decided to publish these stories as a book as there were demands from fans of her blog.

Betty was nervous. She had to sign a few books and talk to her fans. She didn't knew what she would say but she was thankful that Aggie had agreed to accompany her.

And then a woman was found dead in the bookstore during the event. Everyone thinks it was just an unfortunate accident. But Aggie has different opinion about it. And Betty's liking it. She thinks this may be a plot for her new mystery.

When Aggie's forced to investigate the matter, things start turning up which cement her opninon that something was not right in the way the woman died.

Was the death of the woman an unfornutnate accident as thought by every one else?
What made Aggie suspicious of the case? Was she right about her suspicions?
Was she able to find out the truth? What was the truth?

Major Characters
Aggie Underhill: A woman in her fifties who is famous as an amateur sleuth among her friends as she has been involved in various such cases.
Betty Wilcox - Aggie's best friend for twenty years and her neighbour. She is the writer of a blog where she writers fictionalised account of Aggie's adventures
Roger Dunlap: Betty's cousin who is an interior decorator in Palm Springs
Officer Tom Wood - Aggie's love interest
Anita - Anita's son is married to Aggie's daughter
Sarah - Aggie's Daughter
Shawn - Sarah's son
Sherry,Chuck,Melanie - Employee's at local book store/coffeeshop in Rancho Mirage
Frances Baxley - A customer present in the bookstore

My Views:
Books, Blogs and Bloody Murder is a novelette by Michelle Ann Hollstein. It's the fifteen book in the series but first book that i have read by her. The title of the story says that it's a short story but i think at 62 pages it's not short by any standard.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It is a short mystery which which i completed in a single sitting while coming from my home to my office.

It was the blog part in the title that had first grabbed my attention as i also blog in my spare time. I wanted to see what was it's blog connection. The blog is mentioned here but i guess it would be more prominent in the previous book in the series which i'm planing to read now.

Book, Blogs and Bloody Murder is a cozy mystery and I have found out that off late i enjoy reading cozy-mysteries more than the hard-bolied ones(which at one time used to be my favorite). I like the sweet and light atmosphere that is usually present in these mysteries. The characters in these books are interesting and funny which helps in lightening my mood apart from quenching my thirst for a good mystery.

This book is no exeception. The writing is good and it keeps you engaged till the end. The mystery is decent and i would have loved it more if Aggie had to do more work in solving it. Right now author has relied more on coincidence. I guess she had to do it to make the book shorter but i wouldn't have minded the extra few pages.

Although for me it is not the mystery but the characters that are the usp of this book. I liked most of the prominent characters in the book.

Betty is the blogger and the one who chronicles Aggie's experiences. This trope of detectives friend chronicling the stories has done various time but i found this one refreshing as here the author has not used first person narrative. This makes it possible for writer to show the relationship that exists between Aggie and Betty and emotions of both the characters. I have often thought that narratives like these would be best done in third person as it then gives the author opportunity to describe the situation with point of views of both the main characters. In this book too when Aggie starts getting more attention then her best friend then we get to see how that situation affects both Aggie and Betty. If the story would have been in first person we wouldn't have been privy to Aggie's emotions. We would have got only what Betty thought of the situation.

Anita is another one of the main characters. She is related to Aggie and seems like her arch nemesis. It was fun to read Aggie's thoughts about her and i enjoyed reading the parts where Anita was present in the scene. There banter is interesting.

Then there is Tom and his relationship with Aggie. I would love to see how it progresses.

There is Roger who is supposed to be a miser but we don't get to see his that side here. I guess there would be ample instances of him being miserly in the previous books. He seems connected though, doesn't mind applying some shady tactics to sell books  and was the one who swinged this book event. At the end of the book he also unknowingly becomes a major influence in making Aggie's mind about something thus giving the series a new direction. I would love to see how does he reacts to it although apart from it i didn't find him that much interesting in this one.

Books,Blogs and Bloody Murder is fifteenth book in the Aggie Underhill Mysteries but it can be read as a stand alone too. The characters are properly introduced and equations between major characters is properly set. You don't feel that you are missing out on anything. The references to earlier cases are there but they are not that much and are not such that one would feel confused about anything. Although, those reference did pique my interest in Aggie's world and i would love to read other books in the series.

In the end i would say that Michelle Ann Hollstein's Books, Blogs and Bloody murder is a delightful read which is set in a world populated by interesting and lovable characters. These are the characters that i would love to meet in real life. I loved reading this short mystery and would like to read longer works featuring Aggie and Betty. I loved both of them.  If you like cozy mysteries then do check this one out.

I also liked the way the author has ended the book. I would love to see how Aggie plans on doing what she has decided to do in the end and once she does it how she tackles with the situations that would come across her.

If you have read this book then do tell me what did you thought of it.
If you want you can get the book from the following links:
Kindle

Rating: 4/5

I have read other cozy-mysteries. You can read my views about them by clicking on the link below:
Cozy-Mystery

Some questions from my side:
Question 1: Do you like cozy mysteries or hard boiled mysteries?
Question 2: Can you name five of your favourite mystery novels?
Question 3: If you had to chronicle adventures of an imaginary character, whom would you choose to accompany?

©  विकास नैनवाल 'अंजान'

4 comments:

  1. I prefer Cozy over Hard Boiled.

    And I haven't read many Mystery novels yet and what I have read are of Poirot, Sherlock and Miss Marple.

    Murder on links is my Favorite.

    And for 3rd question, I would have definately choosen Joseph Joestar or Sherlock Holmes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cool... i'm also finding cozy to be intersting reads. Sherlock would be a cool character to follow but i don't like his personality. He is very condescending some times and a lit bit of crazy too. I would prefer going around with Poirot. He's a nice guy like an uncle who would take care of you or byomkesh bakshi. He too seems to be a cool fellow.

      Delete
    2. I like all of them Sherlock, Poirot and Miss Marple. But Sherlock's Stories have more Action and Chase, which is why he seems more suitable to accompany for Adventures to me.

      Delete

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