The Oakwood Mystery Series

Book Review – The Antique House Murders (The Oakwood Mystery Series Book 2) by Leslie Nagel.

4 out of 5 stars

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

Gosh I seem to be giving a lot of 4 out of 5 stars of late… obviously I’ve hit a seam of excellent books in my TBR pile!

‘The Antique House Murders’ is book two in ‘The Oakwood Mystery Series’ by Leslie Nagel and, being open and honest, I fell in love with this series with book one ‘The Book Club Murders’. So was thrilled to be given the opportunity to review this second book. I just feel I need to apologise for not reading it sooner! It’s been a crazy year for me and let’s leave it at that. 😉

Okay, so for those who haven’t read the first book in the series let me just say – why not? Come one people, keep up! 😀

Actually, what I was going to say was that ‘The Antique House Murders’ can be enjoyed as a stand-alone book if you must. There is enough recapping on Charley’s love, life and adventures to get the reader up to speed pretty quickly. And, thankfully, not so much recapping as half the book seems to be reminding you what you’ve missed. I do so hate books that do that… maybe why I loved this one so much?

The story picks up a few months after the first book and involves the mysteries of an old manor house and the secrets surrounding it and the family that lived there. Charley and her shop ‘Old Hat’ get involved via some estate sold clothing and accessories and that fiery red head just takes it from there.

‘The Antique House Murders’ was definitely my kind of cosy/ mystery and it honestly had me up until 1:30am (on a school night – if it wasn’t the school holidays) just as I simply HAD to finish it. The intrigue, the adventure, the padding and the red herrings – a perfect balance.
What I think I loved the most is it took me a while to figure out the full ‘whodunit’. Yeah, cocky me thought it was so and so… but wait – not that person at all! Then I clicked it was such and such… and it was! But then… Oh!!!! Yeah, I was almost shouting at the book by that point, but it was after midnight and I am playing my “I was sleep deprived” card as my excuse. 😉

So, yes, a perfect blend of cosy/ mystery for me that literally had me guessing until right near the end of the book. And guessing in a good way, not a “this is just too convoluted to understand” way. Nope, Ms Nagel had me on tenterhooks throughout and I just NEEDED to know! The way she kept weaving ideas, story lines, padding and red herrings together – brilliant.

A quick mention to the formatting of this eBook – it was a bit garbled in places (spaces and paragraphs appearing where they shouldn’t) and there were a few typos and formatting issues… but this was an ARC and they’re allowed to get away with such things. I am sure the final edit is perfect… But you know I do like to mention these things. EBooks shouldn’t be second class formatting.

Would I recommend this book to others?

Gee, I think I’ve given myself a way here, right? Yes, I most definitely would. Again, I feel the reader should do ‘The Oakwood Mystery Series’ the justice it deserves and read ‘The Book Club Murders’ first. But yes, I would recommend this book to lovers of the modern day American cosy/ mystery. Very well written and highly enjoyable.

Would I buy this book for myself?

Yes I would. I am most definitely in love with this series and happily buy them. I can’t wait for the next one either!

In summary: A good, solid second book in a great murder mystery series. Highly recommend.

Until next time,

Janis.

Book Review -The Book Club Murders (The Oakwood Mystery Series) by Leslie Nagel

book-club-murders

4 out of 5 stars

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

So, I have finally gotten a chance to read this book and it was so worth the wait! Well written, well mapped out, good strong characters and the right smattering of red herrings to get we mystery lovers all aquiver! 🙂

Okay, I will admit I found the array of secondary characters a bit too similar and confusing the start with  – the Agathas – but I put that down to the fact I started reading ‘The Book Club Murders’ while I was still finishing off another book and so was confusing myself. Not the writer’s fault at all. As, honestly, once I devoted myself full time to this book all the characters became easy to identify and remember as individuals.

I think the thing I really loved about the story is it handed you the clues as it went in such a casual way that not all of them even appeared to be red herrings… while also giving you info that you recall at the end as being important with a “duh, the book did tell us that!” I loved it! I do love a good mystery that tells a story, gets to the point, doesn’t pad things out too much and doesn’t try and drown you in so many red herrings you smell fishy for weeks later. ‘The Book Club Murders’ didn’t do any of that and so was a great read.

The protagonist was easy to relate to, as were her friends and family and there was just that nice bit of spice and sexy romance to really cover all the bases of mystery lovers – crime, colourful characters, a strong protagonist, great sidekicks and sexy men. What more could my cosy crime driven heart desire?

However, I do have to say the name of her shop kept giving me the giggles. As, you see, I read a lot of Regency stuff and have learnt a lot of the dialects and cants used in that era. And, well, “old hat” isn’t exactly a polite word to use. Google it if you need to know more. “Often felt” – giggles every time.

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes I would, especially as it is the first book in a new crime series and I do love starting a new series at the first book and not coming in it at book three or so… which sometimes happens – you don’t often see those reviews as I don’t like finishing books that I come into mid-series and I rarely post reviews for DNF (Did Not Finish) books.

But yes, lovers of cosy crimes and American Mysteries would love this book and I would indeed recommend it to anyone wanting to try something new.

Would I buy this book for myself?

I think I would. With some series I need to read the first few books before I can decide as to whether I would want copies in my physical or electronic library, but with ‘The Book Club Murders’ I would happily own a copy in my eBooks selection. And I look forward to finding the next one in ‘The Oakwood Mystery Series’!

In summary: A well written little murder mystery that had just the right amount of everything. A great read.

Until next time,

Janis.