Fit to Be French Fried by Celia Kinsey

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Fit to Be French Fried by Celia Kinsey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Mrs. Dunn, a resident of a retirement community, isn’t exactly everyone’s favorite person, particularly on account of the loud, pesky parrot she keeps around. When Mrs. Dunn collapses one day after leaving Felicia’s food truck, most everyone assumes the older woman just had a stroke or something, but Felicia suspects there’s something shadier to it in Fit to Be French Fried by author Celia Kinsey.

I was specifically looking for short reads when I ran into this cozy mystery I’d guess is a novelette.

While liking the fun, clever title and the quirkiness suggested by the equally fun book cover (which could totally make me hungry!), I checked the blurb to see if it would mention Felicia stumbling upon a dead body. Nothing at all against readers who enjoy quirky cozies about murder, but it’s hard for me to fully enjoy the humor and quirkiness of a tale when it’s centered on human life having been snuffed out.

That’s just me, so I like finding murderless mysteries when I can. And yes, this one delivers on humor and an entertaining plot, but it’s also not utterly silly. Though I was taken aback by an image stuck in the middle of the story advertising an unrelated series by the author (an ad right there?), and I had some issues with the verb tense choices in one scene and a few other grammar and punctuation errors in the book, those weren’t enough to lessen my enjoyment of this quick and satisfying read.

I’m looking forward to reading this author again.

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Here’s my review of Book Two in the series, Hamburger Heist.

 

The Case of the Missing Will by Agatha Christie

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

The Case of the Missing Will by Agatha Christie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

The late Andrew Marsh, who never agreed with his niece’s academic aspirations, has left all of his wealth to his niece in his will—but only if she can locate the deliberately hidden document within a year’s time. So she employs the help of Detective Hercule Poirot in The Case of the Missing Will by author Agatha Christie.

High-five to young Miss Violet Marsh for knowing her gifts and having the courage to use them, even when her uncle (as well as the narrator of the story and Poirot’s sidekick, Captain Arthur Hastings) doesn’t believe her scholastic pursuits to be becoming of a woman.

My interest in this short story slackened somewhat during the middle. But as I headed toward the end, I should’ve known it was getting too easy, that there would be a twist coming. And it came, despite my having gotten lax in my anticipation. What’s more, even with Poirot’s being rather puffed-up about himself, I couldn’t argue with his conclusion about Miss Marsh in the end.

It turned out to be well worth the fifteen minutes or so it took me to read this short and fun little mystery.

 

Desert Duet by Debra E. Marvin

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Desert Duet by Debra E. Marvin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

It’s 1933 during Hollywood’s Golden Age. Thea Knight, who works in RKO Studio’s costume department, uses her holiday break to go back and help out at her family’s Arizona ranch. There she meets Eugene Tanner, a lyricist seeking inspiration to help create what he hopes will be an award-winning song for a Western film. But Thea and Eugene soon find themselves caught up in a ghost town mystery near the ranch in Desert Duet by author Debra E. Marvin.

Well! I believe this is the first inspirational historical Western romantic mystery Christmas novella I’ve ever read. A mouthful, if I’m even saying it right, but whatever the case, I enjoyed this read.

I immediately appreciated the voice carrying the story, with a clever and upbeat but unpretentious and down-home kind of wit. The main characters come off as real and likable, and the romance is natural, without sappiness or melodrama. Hints of big-city glamour, Hollywood ambitions, 1930s popular culture, and the sting of the Great Depression are woven into the grit of country life and the danger lurking in the Arizona hills and desert.

And without snowmen, sleigh rides, or fragrant evergreens twinkling with lights, this tale pulls out its own country Christmas. Worth the read for sweet and inspirational historical Western romantic mystery/suspense fans—or some combination of what I just said!

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When you go looking for this novella, you’ll find it with the newer book cover below.

 

The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding by Agatha Christie

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding: A Hercule Poirot Short Story by Agatha Christie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

More than holiday cheer awaits Detective Hercule Poirot at a Christmas celebration when a jewel thief is in the midst. And Poirot may have to watch what he eats—for reasons beyond the gastronomical—in The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding by author Agatha Christie.

This is the second Poirot short I’ve read recently, and I got a bit nervous in the middle of reading this one, unable to recall if it was supposed to be a murder mystery. While I do read murder mysteries from time to time, I have certain preferences concerning the tone of such stories, and I can’t say that murder and Christmas are two ingredients that I’d be eager to mix.

Nevertheless, I’m so glad I read this tale all the way through. The old-fashioned English Christmas elements are downright charming, as are the little nods to romance. Even with the story’s shortness, the mystery has got a good number of clever twists, and I’m all for the quirky-and-proper flavor I expected to find in a read like this.

I hoped to like this short holiday story, and I wound up loving it.