Book Review – The Advice Column Murders (Book 3 Oakwood Mystery Series) by Leslie Nagel.

3 out of 5 stars

As I bought this book for myself (on a Kindle 99 cent special) I have no one to thank but myself. 😉 I am frugal, not cheap, people!

Okay, so ‘The Advice Column Murders’ is book three in the ‘Oakwood Mystery’ series and I really enjoyed the first two books so, when Ms Nagel was advertising that this book was on special over at Amazon, I went and nabbed myself a copy. What can I say? I really do occasionally buy myself books, but only when I enjoy the author and/or the series.

Now, in saying that, you will notice my mediocre 3 out of 5 star rating… and that’s because there was just something about ‘The Advice Column Murders’ that wasn’t as entertaining as the first two books. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a stinker or something I regretted buying… it just wasn’t as free flowing or attention grabbing as the first two books. This isn’t a biggie to me. It happens to series all the time and I don’t think there is a single author who can write amazing, top rating books every single time. The fault may even lie with me and the gap between when I read this book compared to the last one in the series? Who can say… but I can say I didn’t find ‘The Advice Column Murders’ as enjoyable to read as I did the previous two books in the ‘Oakwood Mystery’ series.

If pressed to say what I didn’t like… look I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining or making it out to be a terrible read so please take this as constructive criticism but not as the end all and be all. I, personally, found the main story line a little forced and jumbled. As if it didn’t quite fit well together. Meaning, the story was going to be about a murder caused by something written in the local advice column (this is not a spoiler, this is the blurb) but I feel the reasoning behind it all was a little jumbled, forced and hotch potched together to fill in the gaps. I feel like a heel for saying that, but it was how it came across to me. Sorry.

I do, however, want to emphasise it was not so bad as to put me off the series. We’re not all going to enjoy EVERY book we read, whether we love the series as a whole or not. And so I can shrug off my ambivalence over ‘The Advice Column Murders’ (my “it was meh” feeling) and keep on hanging out for the next book in the series. Which just happens to be ‘The Codebook Murders’, due out in May 2019, for those interested. See! I may not have totally enjoyed THIS book, but I am still hanging out for the next one. I have been making suggestions to friends and family that I need Kindle gift cards as presents this coming birthday and ‘The Codebook Murders’ is definitely one of the books on my wish list of how to spend them! 😉

Formatting, layout and the like – all well done and nothing to complain about. Yes there was the odd bit the copyeditors missed… but nothing major and nothing not seen in other good books.

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes I would, despite my “meh” response to it. Those who are regular readers of my reviews know that sometimes I just don’t seem to have been in the right mood for a book… so my review can come across as unimpressed. The fault is therefore with me and my mood, however, and not due to the quality of the book. I would like to feel that is what has happened here and so, to those who have read the first two book in the ‘Oakwood Mystery’ series – yes read this one too.

For those who have not read them… well, you COULD read this as a stand-alone, but you wouldn’t have all the great back history to rely on… and you would seriously be doing yourself a big disservice – so go and buy and read ‘The Book Club Murders’ and the ‘Antique House Murders’ first. Thank me later… think Kindle gift cards. 😉

Would I buy this book for myself?

I did! Snagged it at a bargain price, don’t regret it, and I am happily looking forward to buying myself the next book in the series too… if I can’t nab an ARC from somewhere. See – frugal, not cheap. 😀

In summary: Not my favourite in the series, but still a great series to read.


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