I alternated between speed reading and tip toeing from page to page in Rituals. Anytime I end a series I enjoyed so much it is bittersweet. I know I’m not unique in that thought. But, the last 50 pages really did takes me days to get through as I’d just nip at the end of this story, not willing to let it go.
As I look back on the whole series the first and last novels are the ones that really stand out. The middle three might not be my all time favorites but they got from from A to Z and that justifies their existence and the time spent reading them in every sense.
There is a lot to spoil here if I were to write about any of the plot and I would be loathe to spoil this story for anyone. All I can say is that if you enjoyed the first novel or even think it might be a novel you might enjoy, grab it, grab them all, and keep reading!
Trouble in Mudbug may not hit every check box for a label of ‘Cozy Mystery’ but it is where I would shelve it on my bookcase.
While there was one cringe worthy sex scene the majority of the book was what I’d expect. There was the kooky best friend, the love interest who is both insanely hot and part of law enforcement, a back story of a love/marriage gone wrong, the substitute parental figure, just enough paranormal to affect the plot but nothing so powerful that it is of any real use and a heroine who is smart, self sustaining, needs to solve a murder and somehow grow into her community.
The only ‘cozy’ things that were missing was the description of an excessively cutesy town and a pet. Given that the town itself is named Mudbug I can forgive the first one and for reasons I don’t want to spoil, the lack of a pet made sense too.
What I couldn’t get over in Mudbug was Maryse’s job and the way it handled the science going on in the background. To be clear, this is not a science heavy book and I am always OK with a bit of hand waving in fun mystery/romance novels. What irked me was that none of the obviously ridiculous things needed to be there, the plot and story could have been carried out just fine if a little more care had been taken with that aspect.
Maryse is supposed to be a character who is throwing herself into her work at the beginning of the novel. Her apparent incompetence at her job throws a wrench into believing this fundamental part of her personality. It kept yanking me out of the story as I either mentally or literally found myself rolling my eyes.
This was so close to being a 5 star book for me. The pervasive mistakes in the big details had me seeing stars flying off the page even as I kept reading because I really wanted to know who did the deed in the end.