Book Review – New Pizza: A whole new era for the world’s favourite food by Stefano Manfredi.

3 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank Murdoch Books for providing me with a free paper copy of this book in exchange for an open and honest review.

Oh look, me reviewing another cook book – surprise! What can I say, I have a bit of a cook book habit and always feel I have room for just one more… or maybe it’s if I own enough of them I can justify getting a bigger house? 😉

But, enough silliness and down to business. I found this book very interesting as it wasn’t just a cook book about pizza. It was almost a love story retelling the history of pizza and the best ingredients to do this dish justice… and then introducing the characters (the different chefs) and allowing them to retell the story with their own take on pizza today. We then got into some of Mr Manfredi’s recipes too.

Yes, okay, I can be a little too arty farty at times but hey, I feel the description is apt due to the stories that come with each of the initial recipes and sometimes each ingredient. This isn’t just a cook book, it’s a book of passion shared… and that passion just happens to be about how to cook a great pizza!

But if all you want is just a good cook book and advice on how to perfect your pizza making skills, don’t be put off by my above description! As ‘New Pizza’ does this too! There are very in depth, detailed sections on different doughs and how to make them, how to shape the doughs, etc.

And I must emphasise the ‘in depth’ as making the perfect dough in ‘New Pizza’ takes on a scientific element of equations and measurements that I initially found quite daunting – and I’ve been cooking for decades! But I then looked at it from a different angle and decided it just added to the desire of Mr Manfredi to share his passion for the perfect pizza. He could have kept his perfect dough equations to himself, but instead he is teaching them to the reader so that they too can experience pizza at its best. True gentlemen and true artist!

Then we go into the specifics of pizza itself – it’s not all just round, flat tomato and cheese! There are the Pizza Rosa – red pizza (tomato base), Pizza Bianca – white pizza (olive oil base), the Roman pizza – rectangular, fried, sweet… oh so many choices and not enough time to make them all! 😀

Courtesy of ‘New Pizza’ by Stefano Manfredi.

And if, like me, you are wheat free, there is even a good spelt pizza dough recipe. Though, if you have intolerances to gluten, dairy, allium or seafood… yeah, I did find the book lacking a little in that department for me. But that is my own problem and no fault of ‘New Pizza’. Some people are blessed with being able to eat everything – they will love this book. Me? Well… Next time I feel like falling off the wagon, I think I will use ‘New Pizza’ as my guide. I will “die” happy. 😀

Please note – I probably won’t ACTUALLY die, simply have to live with all the issues I get from eating foods I know my body can’t handle. 😉

As to the editing and layout of ‘New Pizza’ it is good. I, personally, found the book a little too chunky and cumbersome in the kitchen and it was too big for my cook book stand and looked more like a coffee table book that had gotten lost in my kitchen… but again, that is just me.

Modern cooks will appreciate the fact there is not only step by step picture instructions for the important things like how to shape the dough, but also a picture of each of the finished pizza to help entice you into wanting to make it. The pictures are amazing! There MAY be drool marks in my copy.

There were, however, a couple of typos scattered throughout the book. Usually I would say – no biggie, they will pick them up in the final edit. But I say that with eBooks and this was a paper one. I have let Murdoch books know of the issues and they did take it very seriously – they are professionals after all. What I do feel may have happened is a bit of a language hiccup? This is just a guess as I am in no way fluent in Italian… but as the majority of typos were ‘am’ being used instead of ‘an’… I am wondering if they are as interchangeable as ‘im’ and ‘in’ in German? Yeah, I’m not that fluent in German either and this is all one big guess.

Too be honest, if you skim the words, you probably won’t even notice! So don’t mind me! It does not, in any way, detract from the information ‘New Pizza’ is giving the reader. I am just one of those perfectionist who is perfectly imperfect… so will spot a typo in someone else’s work and then be blind to several clangers I make myself! 😀

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes I would, but I would advise them that ‘New Pizza’ is for those who truly want to learn exactly what a pizza is and how to truly make it into more than just a take away meal. I am talking friends who have wood fire pizza ovens in their backyards and the like – you know they are serious about pizza and this would definitely be a book they should buy.

Would I buy this book for myself?

Now, I will remind you that I was sent a paper version of this book already and so that can make this section tough to answer, as it’s hard to ask if I would buy it when I already own it… But I will say that if I was to see it in the shops I probably wouldn’t buy it. Not because it is a terrible book, simply because I do not feel I could do it justice as a cook. As in, I don’t think I would really use it that often.

But this is due to my food intolerances and allergies making pizza not the best food for me. I can’t eat wheat, dairy, seafood, allium… you know? All the stuff that makes pizza GOOD!

Don’t get me wrong, now that I have a copy I am determined to try and learn how to make that perfect pizza dough from those in depth equations – I have a thing for equations – and my kids can eat most of that stuff… so, yeah, while I own it I will try and do ‘New Pizza’ justice, but I feel I am just not the right person to honour the passion and recipes within its pages.

 

In summary: A fantastic insight and lessons into how to make pizza the old and new ways.

Until next time,

Janis.

 

Ready or Not! – 150+ Make-Ahead, Make-Over, and Make-Now Recipes by Nom Nom Paleo by Michelle Tam, Henry Fong.

4 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing me with a free electronic ARC of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for an open and honest review.

Well, I have to start by saying this is a very different cook book to the ones I am used to reading and reviewing and, for a while, I wasn’t too sure if I was finding it refreshingly different or just a little too off centre for my liking. So, yeah, mixed feelings about the layout and formatting, but we will get to that later.

What I did love about ‘Ready or Not!’ is that it is my sort of paleo. I am a whole foods, make from scratch but nobody’s perfect sort of person… In fact I am known for calling myself perfectly imperfect and sometimes just eat cereal for dinner (gluten free and in activated almond milk but still cereal)!

And I really do find the term ‘Paleo’ has been given a really bad name in recent years as it’s gone from a generic term for just plain and simple whole food eating to anti this and ban that and “it’s all meat and you must hunt it yourself or you’re not a Paleo”…. I hate labels. And so refuse to call myself paleo due to all this negativity. It’s not a cult people! It’s a suggestion on how to eat food!

Which is why I loved ‘Ready or Not!’ as it not only seems to follow a similar perfectly imperfect lifestyle, but also seems to have gone back to the old style, far more flexible approach to paleo and so I am not ashamed to say I have read it… Or now follow ‘Nom Nom Paleo – Michelle Tan’ on Facebook. What can I say? Her food looks amazing and the recipes are simple and very easy to follow.

I will state here and now that my own personal food allergies and intolerances (recapping for those who don’t know me – wheat, allium, seafood, dairy to name a few) mean that not all recipes were suitable for me… while some could be fine-tuned to suit my needs and others were perfect to just go with… I’m looking at you Pina Colada Tapioca pudding!

So another reason to have mixed emotions as not every recipe in ‘Ready or Not!’ could be made in my house. And so as much as the book tempts and excites me with its differences… I am also disappointed it is yet another cook book that is hit and miss for my diet. Won’t anyone think of the allium intolerant? 😉

Okay, back to the layout and formatting of ‘Ready or Not!’ and me stating it’s very different to the norm. I mean, my 12 year old daughter loves it, but she is really into Manga and graphic novels – as well as inheriting my cook book addiction. It is indeed rather… unique being set out like a manga book but then again I think our modern new home cooks would like it as it has the set by set pictures and instructions, it has the smiley faces and constant chatter of making it like a one on one cooking conversation and would give them that feeling instant gratification the younger generation seems to need.

But for me? And my love of 100 year old (and then some) cook books that consist of a paragraph or two and the belief the reader knows their way around a kitchen and doesn’t need to be spoon fed each ingredient… yeah, I can’t say I enjoyed the manga style that much. A little too dumbed down and babyish for me.

Oh, and it is written for an American audience so uses imperial measurements and the American names for foods – such a cilantro rather than coriander. This may be a stumbling block for some new cooks here in Australia but who knows? Do Aussie kids still say capsicum rather than peppers? Maybe I am just outdated again. 😉

However! What I did love about the layout was how the recipes were broken down into different “are you ready?” sections… Hence the name ‘Ready or Not!’ I guess.

There is the intro that tells you all about how the book is laid out, then then prep section for sauces and other basics. Then we hit the section where you have all the time in the world to cook. The section for having some time to cook and the section on having no time and just wanting a wholesome family meal ASAP. This was great as I have days like this where I either have all the time in the world, a little time or none at all and so the idea of having a go to recipe idea for each time limit was great. Again, not all the recipes in any of these sections suited my personal dietary restrictions, but I really did love that layout as I honestly feel it a great way to encourage more people to skip the instant meals and take away and try their hand at some simple but tasty whole food home cooked meals.

So, yeah, a bit of a like/ unlike relationship happening here. 😀 I love the passion, enthusiasm and talent shown by Ms Tan and her family and I do love the styles of meals as Cantonese food – via Darwin – is my childhood comfort food. And so there was some definite connection there that has made this book somewhat appealing despite my also dislike of it. Oh dear, I am getting a split personality over it! 😀

Would I recommend this book to others?

You know, I think I would. But I would be recommending it to the younger generations. I can’t see myself or my mother wanting to race out and buy it… but I can see myself buying it for my daughter to add to her slowing increasing cook book collection.
It is a good cook book, but just one meant more for the modern generation rather than an old fuddy duddy like me. 😉

Would I buy this book for myself?

Ummm, I MIGHT sneak an electronic copy onto my tablet as a “just in case” as there were some really appealing recipes in ‘Ready or Not!’ or I might buy a paper version for my daughter and pinch it from time to time. I really can’t be sure… it interests me and I love the vibe Ms Tan has created… but manga cook books just go against my grain. 😉

In summary: a great cook book for the next generation of whole food home cooks.

Until next time,

Janis.

Book Review – Backyard Chickens Beyond the Basics by Pam Freeman.

4 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank Quarto Publishing Group – Voyageur Press for providing me with a free electronic RC, via Netgalley, in exchange for an open and honest review.

When I first started reading this book I was a little worried it was going to be too location specific to be of much help to me… As in, it is very obviously written for an American audience and that can sometimes make a book not that useful to me – an Australian reader…

BUT! I was totally wrong. I mean, yes there are areas of ‘Backyard Chickens Beyond the Basics’ that were indeed location specific – like the predator section – but to be honest, that didn’t detract from the overall usefulness of this book.

For those who have not read my previous reviews, I am a chookie owner. I have six right now but spring is just kicking off here in the Adelaide Hills and so I hope to fix up the coop and figure out how to get me some more. Just don’t tell my husband. 😀

And so I am indeed qualified to give judgement on the usefulness of this book. And useful I did indeed find it. Yes there were sections I did skim a little as it was either something I already knew/ did or felt not relevant, due to my location – see how to deal with racoons. Goannas, snakes and red back spiders in the coop… would have been helpful (though I am pretty on to fixing those) but I can’t say racoons have even been a bother. Foxes on the other hand… hmmm, I best not tell my son the urine deterrent or he’ll be all over that… or have it all over everything. :-/

Oh, what? You suddenly realise I am a TMI reviewer?

So anyway, back to ‘Backyard Chickens Beyond the Basics’. I found the majority of the book very interesting and extremely useful. Especially the ideas on how to increase your flock and what to do with egg eaters.

I have other backyard chicken books that go more into diseases, illnesses and natural remedies than this book did… but that is not saying it is lacking as it did cover a lot of the basics and important issues too.

All in all I found it a great little resource for those wanting to have some chooks in their family as ‘Backyard Chickens Beyond the Basics’ will help guide them through to first few hurdles and then some.

As it is a resource book I will go into the layout, format, etc. It was okay, but please bear in mind that I was reading an electronic version and so any issues I had were mostly due to that format. The paper format will not have these issues… BUT! I did find it rather clunky and hard to read at times. Plus the pictures and little blurbs throughout the book did detract from what I was trying to read more than I wish they had. Again, if I had been reading it as a paper book these issues would not have existed.

Other than that it was a clear, concise, easy to read and easy to follow format and layout. Nice, clean, open pages and relevant pictures throughout made it into why I feel it would be an excellent resource book for those just starting out as being chicken parents.

Although I do feel ‘Backyard Chickens Beyond the Basics’ is mostly aimed at new chicken owners or potential chicken owners, I did find it useful myself and I’ve own chickens on and off my whole life. I wouldn’t call myself a chicken expert, more someone who knows how to be owned by chickens. 😉 So I honestly do feel like it justifies the “beyond the basics” part of its title.

Would I recommend this book to others?

I think I would, you know? Despite the minor location specific issues, I loved the personal stories and touches Ms Freeman added to the book and feel it makes it a good chook reference book to have. It’s not just a “how to” book, it’s written by a fellow chook addict who is there to help. So, yes, a book I can see myself recommending.

Would I buy this book for myself?

I would be sorely tempted to you know… For the same reasons as above. The personal touches help the reader connect to the book and the passion for chooks. I also found the blog style “how to” writing style easy to follow and learn from so could honestly see myself buying this as a reference book to go with my others.

 

In summary – a good, easy to follow guide to helping you raise backyard chickens.

 

Until next time,

Janis.

Book Review – Escaping From the Abyss (The Crossings Trilogy Book 3) by D.L. Koontz.

2 out of 5 stars

I obtained a copy of this book via Kindle Unlimited so only have myself to thank. 😉

Okay… there is going to be some constructive criticism within my review so please brace for it. It is not meant as a verbal attack, to be mean or to try and make the author look bad. It is simply an explanation as to why I rated ‘Escaping from the Abyss’ so low.

As we know the “bad stuff” is coming, let’s get some positives in there first. Well… it ended ‘The Crossings Trilogy’ to some extent. It did still include ghosts and was partially about the supernatural still. And… well, I read it to the end within about three days so it wasn’t a completely terrible tale. 😉

Basically, the constructive criticism is this – I really felt the author lost her way with this series. It started out as a promising tale of the supernatural that dealt with past and recent deaths and some growth allowing the protagonist to move on… and it ended as just a chick lit coming of age tale, with an unnecessary love triangle – or was that square? – that then tried to mash some supernatural like things into it to connect it to the original idea.

Sorry to sound so harsh, but that is really what it came across as. The first half of the book seemed to be more about the protagonist, her inner turmoil, her coming of age and her love life… and then, oops, this was meant to be about laying ghosts and demons to rest so we better try and do something that includes that.

What is worse is the continuity issues. In the first two books it was said that Clay had lost his leg… yet in the third book it had grown back and was merely injured? Another continuity issue was who was ‘Old Man Mint’ and why was his death on the same night as Mason and Clyde never explained? Was it just forgotten? Hmmmm, maybe I am being too nit-picky? I mean I am perfectly imperfect and so should let other people be that way too. I guess I got so annoyed by these and other flaws – that I won’t mention as they are spoilers – is because they seem to add to the feeling this book was hastily written by someone who was no longer really focussed on the original idea and, as it was a trilogy, thought it best to ensure there was indeed a third book.

I don’t know. Call me super critical… but it was just such a let down to what started off to be a promising and interesting YA supernatural mystery series.

And before everyone starts spamming me with unlikes just remember this is merely one opinion and to remember that magic mantra: “Pfffft, what would SHE know?!” It works wonders on those who leave reviews I don’t agree with. 😉

Would I recommend this book to others?

This is a really tough call simply because it is the third and final book in a trilogy. And so if I recommend the first book… I would then have to warn the reader that I felt the series went downhill from there. And I hate doing that as it can create a biased opinion of a series before it’s even started. So… after reading ‘Escaping from the Abyss’ I would have to say I would have to retract my previous statements about recommending any of ‘The Crossings Trilogy’ as I don’t want to be blamed for recommending a series that ended so weakly and so different from ow it started. Sorry. 😦

Would I buy this book for myself?

No I wouldn’t. In fact, I only joined Kindle Unlimited to read ‘Escaping from the Abyss’ and the previous book in the series ‘Edging through the Darkness’. I can’t find a heck of a lot of other books ON Kindle Unlimited that I would want to read and so I will be unsubscribing. Which will mean I lose these two books… not something that I will be that upset over.
In summary: A weak ending to a trilogy that started so well.

Until next time,

Janis.

Book Review – Edging Through the Darkness (The Crossings Trilogy Book 2) by D.L. Koontz

3 out of 5 stars

I obtained this book via Kindle Unlimited and so only have myself to thank. 😉

Okay, let me start by saying if I gave half star marks, this book would really be a 2 and a half stars and the first book in this trilogy – ‘Crossing into the Mystic’ – would have gotten a three and a half stars. As, basically, I found this second book a little bit of a letdown compared to the first.

Now, before you all start hitting the “unlike” options hear me out. I DID still like ‘Edging through the Darkness’, it just wasn’t as good as I had hoped it would be after the great lead up and ending that happened in the first book.

I could be wrong, but it was as if a great deal of time elapsed between when Ms Koontz wrote ‘Crossing into the Mystic’ and ‘Edging through the Darkness’ and didn’t quite get back into the storyline’s headspace as much as she could have. And I am saying this from experience with my own work. When writing a sequel I need to go back over the story so far, remember how to write like those characters and try and let it seamlessly flow… which is why I got the feeling some time had passed between book one and two as they were similar… but not quite the same story anymore.

The second book sticks to the original foundation themes… but seems to go off on a different tangent as to how the characters worked, thought about it and reacted. It was still a good read, and I read it in like 4 days so that shows I enjoyed it, but it just wasn’t the same. I wish I could put my finger on where the spark had died… but yeah. Not too sure.

There was still a lot of the supernatural theme happening, but it was as if the book was now more interested in moving away from it being a story about ghosts and helping them and more a teen coming of age tale. Perhaps the inner teen I used to read YA just got bored as I’ve never been a fan of coming of age tales. Growing up is hard enough on its own without books trying to show you how good it should be. 😉

Please don’t get the wrong idea, there is still some great supernatural and spiritual writing within this book and the history shared is obviously well researched by the author – showing a true passion for making the story a good read. But, yeah, just not the same (not as good for me) as the first book.

Would I recommend this book to others?

I would, but only if they had read the first book first. It is a fairly okay continuation of the story and if you were as hooked on the ending of ‘Crossing into the Mystic’ as I was, you will be wanting to see what happens.

The story is a little different than I assumed it would be, based on the first book, but who’s to say I am right? It is just one opinion and I freely admit I could be totally wrong about it all! 😀

I suppose you could read it as a stand-alone story, but it is obviously part of a series and I wouldn’t find reading just this book on its own as logical or fun as reading all three.

Would I buy this book for myself?

Well, I did join up with Kindle Unlimited just to finish reading this trilogy… but am going to be unsubscribing from it shortly as Kindle Unlimited just doesn’t offer me the books I want to read.

Saying that, when I do unsubscribe from Kindle Unlimited, it will mean I lose not only ‘Edging through the Darkness’ but the third book ‘Escaping from the Abyss’ and… to be honest… it won’t be a great loss to me. Nor can I see myself buying them when I can.

They are library level books (I will be reviewing ‘Escaping from the Abyss’ shortly). As in, something fun to borrow from the library to read and enjoy… not something I see myself ever owning as it just doesn’t hold that right spark to keep my attention. Meh, probably my loss, right?

In summary: An okay continuation and second book in ‘The Crossings Trilogy’ but not as good as first book.

Until next time,

Janis.

Book Review – Crossing Into The Mystic (The Crossings Trilogy, #1) by D.L. Koontz.

3 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank Brimstone Fiction and Xpresso Book Tours for providing me with a free ARC of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for an open and honest review.

Okay, so I have mixed feelings about this book… Not as bad as a love/ hate sort of thing… more a love/ mild dislike. 😉

But I believe that mild dislike comes from two things – Firstly, this is a YA book and as an old fart (I know it’s not PC to call a 40+ an old fart but I feel you should be allowed to call YOURSELF an old fart whenever you like) I felt the age of the protagonist too young for all the things she was able to do… BUT!

I can honestly say that, when reading these sorts of books almost 30 years ago I would lovingly eaten her adventures up with a spoon and idolised her freedom. So, you can see, being an old fart I needed to let my inner teenager out to read this book to me before I could accept parts of it.

Secondly, saying all that, I was very anti religion as a teen – especially Christianity – and so would have had major issues with reading ‘Crossing into the Mystic’ back then. These days I’ve mellowed, chosen my path and faith and am happily a Pagan who sees the good and bad side of all religions and faiths, my own included. And so old fart me needed to talk down my inner teenager to ensure the book was read and not thrown onto the DNF pile simply as it included some harmless faith references.

Can you see why I have mixed emotions now? Yes, yes it is because I am just a fruit loop, well spotted. 😉

All that aside I have to say this was a well-written and very enjoyable YA story. Don’t look down on it as an adult and say “a 16 year old would NEVER get away with that”, look up to is as a 14 or 15 year old and say “gosh I wonder if I can be that free and independent”.

The characters were a little sketchy at first and did stay a little two dimensional throughout the story, but if I’m honest, that’s nothing that unusual in a YA book for me so not a negative. The setting was well written, the house, towns, surrounds… that is what a teen wants their imagination to be captured by. That and the emotions portrayed by the characters. So, again, I felt ‘Crossing into the Mystic’ well-written for a YA tale.

It is also the first in a trilogy and so that “sketchy” nature can be explained away. The first book in a trilogy needs to not only be an entertaining story, but fit in a lot of the foundations and intrigue to keep you wanting to not only read it, but the next two books.

And, to continue with the honesty side of things – that ending!!! Yes I went on over to Kindle Unlimited and got the next two books there and then! No spoilers about it but yes, both the old fart me and my inner teenager were HOOKED and are now reading the next book in trilogy ‘Edging Through the Darkness’.

The supernatural side of it was well done too. Scary and a little goosebump making… but not so scary or gory that it became inappropriate for the YA genre. A good mix of ghosts and things that go bump in the night.

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes I would. Probably more your teens and – in the case of my advanced reader G&T kids – some tweens too. Those older lovers of YA stories would need to be advised to let their inner teenager out to help them read it though to ensure they got full enjoyment from this tale.

Would I buy this book for myself?

Open and honest time – I was given a PDF of ‘Crossing into the Mystic’ and so probably will be a cheapskate and not but another copy of it… but as said already, I have gone and gotten the other two books in this series via Kindle Unlimited as I got so hooked by this first book. So, yeah, you could say that I would buy this trilogy and not just this book. 😉
In summary: An entertaining and thrilling first book in a YA supernatural trilogy and something I highly recommend.

Until next time,

Janis.

 

Book Review – Hanging Tobacco by Linda S. Browning.

4 out of 5 stars

I obtained a free electronic ARC of this book via Netgalley, where I am auto approved b Bookbuzz.net to access books from their catalogues.

So, I will freely admit here and now I went on search for a free ARC of this book as, quite frankly, I heard of it, have been loving all the works I’ve read so far of the author Linda S. Browning and I wanted to see what this new series was like before I bought it. Yes, I am indeed a cheapskate!

Was I disappointed? Heck no! It was almost as if her cosy crimes from the ‘Leslie & Belinda Tennessee Mysteries’ series merged with her love of the supernatural from ‘Pickett House’ and this was the end result. And, to me, it was yet another great story that looks to become a promising new series.

Oh, and please don’t think that my description of it being a bit of this and a bit of that makes it some sort of cookie cutter tales being chunked out for sale. Not at all! ‘Hanging Tobacco’ can be likened to Ms Browning’s earlier work… but it most definitely stands out as being its own person… so to speak. It is more a happy marriage of someone good at writing cosy crimes – as proven by one series – and who is good at writing about the supernatural – as proven by another of her books – has now hit the nail on the head by combining the two topics and her talents of weaving a good story and gone from there.

Does that make sense now? Yeah, no… I feel if I try again I am just going to make it even worse! 😉

So, anyhow, ‘Hanging tobacco’ is a great little stand-alone cosy crime/ mystery. It does start with a short story that sparked the inspiration for the main story and I loved that. It was like a two for one deal and the short story was a brilliant way to set the scene and get the reader into the right mindset for the main book ahead. It was like a reading appetiser! 😀

From memory, Ms Browning did this with the first Leslie and Belinda book too. A short story teaser followed by the actual full book. Loved it there too. Maybe it’s being a writer myself… but I adore how one little short story can then inspire a whole book, if not series. It just adds that extra touch of love and proof of passion about the work. Or maybe that’s just how I see it?

‘Hanging Tobacco’ was well paced (ie: addictive and having me read well past my bed time) cosy crime with a touch of the supernatural to add a twist to the usual crime sleuthing in small town America. I also do love how Olivia is a reporter so has a reason to be interested in the case.

Sometimes cosy crimes just have the main character coming across as nosy rather than sleuthing as her job and links to the crimes are miles apart with no real connection. But Olivia and the other characters were set up well to cover any grey areas without going to the other extreme of having access to everything, knowing everything and being some misunderstood super cop (the other end of the cosy crime spectrum). No, the choice of characters, the setting and the reasons for why things went the way they did was well thought out and a good balance.

Due to this good balance there was just the right amount of padding to the story, the right level of red herrings and I have to admit I honestly didn’t decide on whodunit until just before the book itself told me! That is rare! And it wasn’t due to the story being so convoluted it confused me… it was because the story simply had that RIGHT BALANCE of everything to keep me guessing, keep me entertained and make me satisfied with how it all wrapped up and was finished.

I really do hope the series continues as I would be more than willing to grab copies and continue reading.

Would I recommend this book to others?

Uh, I think I already have in all that flowery prose of how good it was to read. 😉

But for those who need the direct approach – yes I would. Lovers of a good American mystery/ cosy crime are going to really enjoy ‘Hanging tobacco’. For those worried there is too much supernatural in it to make it a true here and now cosy – don’t be worried, it’s fine. This is not a book on the supernatural that happens to include a cosy crime, this is a decent cosy crime book that just happens to have a touch of the supernatural to it. You will be fine, just buy, read it and enjoy!

Would I buy this book for myself?

Pretty sure I already answered this one too… but yes, yes I would. I follow Linda S. Browning on all the normal social media sites that allow me to be a fan and not deemed a stalker and will keep an eye out for any further books in this series and happily spend my money buying them!

 

In summary: A good author just created another great cosy crime/mystery series. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

 

Until next time,

Janis.