4 out of 5 stars.
I would like to thank the author Barbara Venkataraman for approaching my via my reviewer blog and offering me a free ARC of this book in exchange for an open and honest review. No money has been exchanged, we are not associated with each other in any way and so I can assure you this is a totally unbiased review.
This was a box set of the first three book in the Jamie Quinn mystery series. And a really good little box set at that. The first story ‘Death by Didgeridoo’ was good, but a little too short to be a standalone – more a novella really – so by pairing it with the other two stories it rounded them all out into a good introduction to the series.
And they are stories best read as a series. Yes they could possibly be read as standalones – as there is enough catch up given in each book – but I really do feel the characters all develop and grow as the series does and feel the reader would be seriously missing out if they didn’t start at the beginning and collect them all.
The writing style was my sort of thing down to a tea. The perfectly imperfect protagonist – who uses sarcasm as a second language – and the mixture of friends and enemies throughout made each book an entertaining and amusing read. Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t a silly little giggle a minute series – it was a proper cosy crime/ mystery series. I just found the characters well written and very likable.
Some of the stories – I’m looking at you ‘The case of the Killer Divorce’ – did seem to only just scrape through as being a mystery and did seem more about developing the character of Jamie and her family. But it got there… I did find that story in particular a little rushed and the crime part a little confusing as it did seem to be the Jamie show with crime on the side.
BUT! That did not really detract from it being a good read and Ms Venkataraman was back on track when it came to ‘Peril in the Park’.
All in all, these are some really good fast-paced cosy crime/ mysteries and by putting them as a box set it gives you a great sampler to the series.
Would I recommend this box set to others?
Yes I would. Lovers of the American based cosy crimes/ mysteries will love this introduction to a new series. There is just the right balance of crime, personality, entertaining characters and intrigue to make them a fun read.
Would I buy this box set for myself?
I might. To be honest it is more at the ‘library’ level for the moment… as in, if I see if in the library I would borrow it but I can’t see myself buying it… BUT! I do see myself wanting to read more books in this series and, quite honestly, if they only way I can get them is to buy them… the one must buy a series from the beginning and so that is what I would do. 😉
In summary: A great little taster to a fun new cosy crime/ mystery series. And definitely a series anyone in love (like me) with the cosy crime genre should keep an eye out for. Definitely worth you checking it out today!
Until next time,