Mary Marks

Book Review – Knot What You Think by Mary Marks.

4 out of 5 stars

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

‘Knot What You Think’ is the 5th book in the ‘A Quilting Mystery’ series and just as wonderful and entertaining to read as the other four. I have been a fan from near the beginning. I think I stumbled across the 2nd or 3rd book in the series on Netgalley, loved it so much I went to Amazon and bought the first books of the series and have never looked back. I am officially a fan!

And this book has not let me down. Another mystery, another dead body and one of Martha’s friends accused of being the murderer. I do love how the characters have evolved and grown with the series. No rehashing the same cookie cutter ideas each time. Many cosy series seem to do this and the characters make the same mistakes and do the same crazy things each book and seem surprised they get the same end results. But this is not the case with Martha et al. Oh no! They’ve been learning as they go and can officially now run rings around the police force also trying to solve the case. It’s wonderful that they know they really shouldn’t be doing what they do… but let’s just try this idea anyhow and hope for the best. A lot of chutzpah there Martha! 😉

But it’s not all about crime and dead bodies; there is still that interesting underlying description of LA that I simply can’t read elsewhere. Never having visited that city I can’t say it makes me know where I am… but I do like the way it does still link the reader to a real place and it somehow makes me feel more part of the story by letting me know where everything is.

Then there are the love and romances happening… some coming to the final commitment, some budding and new, some… well, some just all over the place making me want to shake someone by the shoulders and demand they just make up their damned mind! And that final line in ‘Knot What You Think’? Oh Ms Marks, talk about leaving your fans hanging and dying for more!

Let’s not forget my two favourite parts – besides the mystery – within this book. The quilting and the wonderful sharing of the Jewish Faith. I am a hand crafting nut with a passion to learn about how other people follow their faith and so simply adore both these parts of the tale… and would feel rather sad and lonely if they were left out.

All in all this is a wonderfully well rounded mystery/ cosy crime. It has a good balance of everything that keeps it entertaining and keeps we crime sleuths guessing. Well, actually I figured out the whodunit early on (bane of my existence that I do this) but I still needed to know the why and didn’t get that until the end. And all my questions were answered nicely without the book seeming to need to rush to finish or just stop. Which I hate in mysteries/ cosy crime stories. They tell you the who and why and then – the end. Any loose threads are left flapping in the breeze. But it didn’t happen with ‘Knot What You Think’. A true quilter knows how to deal with loose threads and tuck them all neatly away before displaying the final perfect piece.

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes I would, though I would strongly advise they read the first four books in the series before reading this one. It’s not a stand-alone novel, refers back to their other adventures quite a bit and I really feel the reader would be missing out and doing both themselves and Ms Marks an injustice if they didn’t read all five books in order.

Would I buy this book for myself?

Yes I would. I already own the other books in the series (bought via Kindle) and would be more than happy to add book 5 to my list when I can. I just had a bit of a buying splurge though so give me a few months. 😉 Owning the electronic ARC of a book is one thing, but putting your money where your mouth is and paying for a copy – because you respect the author – is totally another thing. Where possible I always pay for a copy of books I enjoy simply to give the author the credit and reward they deserve.

In summary: A fantastic follow on book to an already highly entertaining mystery series. Highly recommend!

Until next time,

Janis.

Book Review – Something’s Knot Kosher by Mary Marks.

Somethings know kosher

4 out of 5 stars.

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

Firstly, I will openly state here and now I am ‘A Quilting Mystery’ fan. I got given the opportunity to review book three of this series last year, loved it so much I went out and bought (then quickly read) books one and two and freely admit to doing a little happy dance in my Reviewer chair last week when I got the email stating I had been approved to read book four – ‘Something’s Knot Kosher’!

I have not been paid to say that, in fact I’m the only one who has paid when buying the first two books so my bias is all mine, and not one I have been asked to have.

And, in saying that – I loved this book! A fantastic follow on from the other three books and not your everyday cosy crime or mystery tale. Yes it has all the same factors – friends, hand crafts, crime, adventure, defeating the bad guys, solving the case without the cops – but I don’t know how Ms Marks does it, but she adds a fantastic little quirkiness to these books that does make them stand out above the standard American cosy crime/ mystery. So, maybe it’s a top shelf, gold plated cosy crime? 😉

Though I do feel I should warn people now this book should not be read as a stand-alone. I mean, I’m sure it could be… but the depth and richness, background knowledge and general cosiness would be lost if you did. Please, go read them in order – your life will fuller for doing so!

The only other minor quibble I have is that I found the book’s formatting a little shabby and occasionally the wrong name was used or spelt incorrectly. However! I was given an ARC and they are rarely the finished, edited to perfection piece, and so I will not mark it down for that. I was just a little put off by it… but if I will be impatient and grab an ARC rather than wait for the final product – the fault lies completely with me!

The “girls” are off on a road trip in this story, a sad one at that. Martha is still a zany, sharp minded cookie I’d love to adopt as a quirky Aunt and we not only meet up with some of the other regulars, but appear to maybe meet some new ones. And just because it’s a road trip, don’t think – how boring. As it’s not! It’s non-stop adventures of the bizarre kind!

I seriously can’t wait to get my hands on book five! Now to see who I need to make sad puppy eyes at to get me one! 😉

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes I would, but honestly only after they’d read the first three books. Yes it could be read and possibly even enjoyed as a stand-alone… but don’t do it! You will get so such more love and enjoyment out of reading all of them in order! You have been warned.

Would I buy this book for myself?

Just try and stop me! I am a seriously devoted fan to this series now and get major book hangovers when I am done… the books just don’t last me long enough! Write more! Please?

In summary: A great follow on to an already brilliant LA based cosy crime/ mystery series. An enjoyable read on its own, but all the better to be the next instalment in the life of Martha and her quilting friends. A series well worth a read!

Until next time,

Janis.

Book Review – Knot In My Backyard (A Quilting Mystery Book 2) by Mary Marks.

Knot in my backyard

4 out of 5 stars.

I bought this book so I don’t need to thank anyone. 😉

Another great edition to the ‘Quilting Mystery’ series. Okay, so if you’ve not been reading my other reviews, here is the low down: I was given the opportunity to review the third book in this series ‘Gone but knot forgotten’ and I enjoyed it so much I went and bought the first two books in the series. The first book ‘Forget me knot’ was good, but did suffer a little first book nerves. Caught up? Cool! 🙂

Let’s all hear a big hooray for the second book in this series showing that sparkle that attracted me to the third book so much. Yes, ‘Knot in my backyard’ was back on par with what I discovered in book three and feel I can safely say that I can see any other books that continue the series are going to be just as good.

It was fast-paced, entertaining, filled with gorgeous faith, love and big hearted friendships. All round it was what a Martha Rose adventure should be and I loved it.

So happy to have stuck with this series and now truly addicted and hanging out for my next hit! Especially with the ending – it got a snort out of me as she just sat there and made a cup of tea. You’ll get what I mean when you read it – no spoilers from me!

Would I recommend this book to others? Yes, double yes. True fans of the gorgeous cosy crime genre need to read not just this book but this whole series. Love it.

Would I buy this book for myself? Been there, done that, don’t regret a moment of it. Great book, terrific series, witty and clever author.

In summary: Yes the first book in this series is a little shaky, but never fear as it really was just first book nerves and it gets better from there. Not that the first book was bad… just pales in comparison to this and the third. The ‘Quilting Mystery’ series is something any true lover of cosy crime is going to enjoy and should go out and add to their collection.

Until next time,

Janis. XXOO

Book Review – Forget Me Knot (A Quilting Mystery) by Mary Marks.

Forget me knot

3 out of 5 stars.

I bought this book so I don’t need to thank anyone. 😉

An interesting start to a cosy crime series. I was introduced to this series when given the opportunity to review the third book ‘Gone but knot forgotten’. And as I loved the third book so much I went out and bought myself the first two books in the series to catch up on what I’d miss.

This book was okay as a cosy crime, but I do have to say if I’d read it first I might not have continued with the series. It wasn’t as gripping, fast paced or funny… But it wasn’t terrible, it was still good. I feel it merely suffered from first book nerves and wasn’t as smooth, witty or attention grabbing as the third. Please don’t take this as a negative, as it was still a GOOD book. Heck, I’m a fan of the cosy crime genre and can tell you there are some complete STINKERS out there. ‘Forget me Knot’ isn’t a stinker, it was entertaining and didn’t make me regret buying it. It just wasn’t as good as the third book. As I said – first book nerves.

I feel the characters were still establishing their personalities, still finding their groove and still settling into existence. And while doing so they were very entertaining… though I did work out the who, what, where and how pretty early on and kept waiting for the characters to catch up with me.

I also missed the Shabbat and other Jewish traditions heavily mentioned in other books in the series (I’ve read them all now). I’m not Jewish, but did really enjoy having this beautiful faith, strong belief and age old traditions woven into the story. So maybe by not having them in this first book it helped add to its minor flatness?

Would I recommend this book to others? Yes I would. It’s still a great series and I feel people should start with book one and just know it gets better as the author gets into her stride.

Would I buy this book for myself? Yes, already have done so, which is how I can give this review. I don’t regret the purchase, still love the series and feel all first books are a little light on compared to the rest of the series as the author has to start somewhere.

In summary: First book in a series, so expect some first book nerves. Still a good read an enjoyable cosy crime to have some couch time with and an entertaining tale. Definitely one to add to any true cosy crime fan’s collection.

Until next time,

Janis. XXOO