Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Book Review #1: The Last Reading by Gillian Larkin

The Last Reading, by Gillian Larkin (Book Review)
Title: The Last Reading
Published: August 13th, 2014
Page Count: 77
Format Read: Kindle
Series: Storage Ghost Cozy Mystery #1
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Date Read: October, 2015
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Recommendation: Recommended

Summary: Grace Abrahams works with her brother's second-hand shoppe by attending storage locker auctions to pick up merchandise for the store, and she meets ghosts in the abandoned lockers who are attached to items in the lockers. 

In The Last Reading, Grace meets Mae Moonshine, a psychic reader who was killed during a psychic fair. now she must work with Mae to find the killer and answer the questions the befuddled ghost has about why she had to die.

Thoughts: I enjoyed this quick and easy cozy mystery. In the last few years I've read a number of mysteries which cannot be solved based on the clues given to the reader, and Larkin successfully built a solvable story that wasn't so completely obvious that I groaned and rolled my eyes when I reached the climax of the story. She has considerable skill as a storyteller, which is what got me through this book. 

Before I get into the specifics, I do intend to pick up more books in this series to give them a further read. I liked the book and would recommend it.

That being said, I do feel that the characterizations were a bit thin and that the author could do with hiring a good editor with a mind toward fleshing the prose out. There were moments in the book when things changed unexpectedly -- and not in a good way. One example that comes to mind is that Grace is confident throughout the story that she can use her sleuth powers (like Jessica Fletcher, on Murder, She Wrote) to solve the mystery, and then she very suddenly loses all confidence and has a meltdown in front of Mae.

The characters could do with more definition, but were likable and I feel that all in all, these characters will follow through with more development in future stories.

It bears mentioning that while this book is the first in a series, it is a continuation from another series. Grace and her brother Frankie, as well as Pearl (the ghost of the thrift store) are characters from another series by the same author. This may be confusing if you don't understand this point from the beginning (as I didn't).

I like Ms. Larkin and would love to see more from her. 

Did you read The Last Reading? If so, what did you think of it? If not, do you plan to?

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