4 out of 5 stars.
New disclaimer due to new Amazon rules: I was approached by St. Martin’s Press and gifted a free electronic copy of this book, via Netgalley. I am not obligated, nor being forced, to post a review – I’m doing it of my own free will as I enjoy reviewing.
On advice from Amazon, and based on their emailed reply I can say – “My review is given voluntarily and the Author/publisher does not require a review in exchange for the book, or attempt to influence my review.”
As regular readers of my reviews know, I am not usually a fan of starting a series mid-way through. ‘Teetotaled’ by Maia Chance is most definitely an exception to that rule! I simply loved this book and found it a refreshing new area of cosy crime for me – New York state in the 1920’s. I have not recently read a lot of work from this era and so loved this new look on old styles. Most works I have read that are based in the 1920’s were actually written in the 1920’s and in England. So this modern revival of the style, language and characters of the time mixed into a cosy crime has created a simply scrummy cake… er, book.
I enjoyed it so much that I will not only keep an eye on more in the series – ‘Discreet Retrieval Agency Mysteries’ – but will be looking out for ‘Come Hell or Highball’, the first book in this series.
Okay, I can’t do all praise, sorry. I will admit now I found the characters a little sketchy and confusing at first but soon came to grips with all they were and things settled down as the story kicked off. I put this sketchiness down to it being the second book in the series as I got the feeling the things being skipped over had been covered in more detail in the first book. It didn’t deter me from the story, I was still able to be read and enjoyed as a stand-alone, but did start the book off a little wobbly. No biggie, if you stick with it is gets better quickly and is well worth the read.
A little more description on the characters for age, appearance, the usual stuff would have been nice too as that was another area I struggled with at times. I kept forgetting the ages and appearance of some characters. That and I suffered from my usual ‘characters with names that start with the same letter getting mixed up’ problem. But I do feel that is more my problem than the book or authors. I do it a lot. 😉
Would I recommend this book to others?
Yes I would. Although the second book in a series, ‘Teetotaled’ is very easy – and enjoyable – to read as a stand-alone story. If you like your female sleuths to be seeking the answers in a not too distant past, you will enjoy this tale too.
Would I buy this book for myself?
Yes I would, it was indeed my sort of cosy crime. I mean, yes I am a cosy crime junkie… but I am picky with what I choose when it comes to a new series and I can definitely see myself choosing books from the ‘Discreet Retrieval Agency Mysteries’ and I am just thrilled St. Martin’s Press asked me to read it as I’ve been trying to get them to let me review their cosy crimes for a while as they seem to do such good ones. However I am locationally challenged being in Australia and I know that puts a few publishers off choosing me as a reviewer.
In summary – Second book in a series, but enjoyable to read as a stand-alone tale. Lovers of cosy crime would definitely enjoy this book. Highly recommended, thank me later. 😉
Until next time,