Book Review: “Mystery at Maplemead Castle” by Kitty French

Title: Mystery at Maplemead Castle (Chapelwick Mysteries #2)
Author: Kitty French
Genre: NA/urban fantasy
Date Read: 21/06/2017 – 22/06/2017
Rating: ★★★

Review:

As with the first book in this series, this installment was a lot of fun, though a bit long, and I could have used a bit more focus on the ghosts.

Melody Bittersweet’s second gig with the Girls’ Ghostbusting Agency is to clear Maplemead Castle of ghosts before a film crew shows up the following week. The new owners of the Castle love media attention, so she has to work with her ex, Leo Dark, around again,  as well as put up with the presence of Fletcher Gunn, who is doing a story on her for the local newspaper. Fletcher continues to to seek to discredit Melody’s ghost-seeing abilities, but at the same time, the attraction between them can’t be denied.

If I’m honest, the mystery itself was fairly basic, and could have been solved a lot earlier if some of the characters had just communicated a bit better. However, the way in which the ghosts ended up finally able to move on required the characters to spend time together first, so I guess it is fair that the story was strung out a bit longer. I did still really enjoy the ghost characters, even though their story ended up quite sad.

A lot more of the book was spent on the tricky love-hate relationship between Melody and Fletch. For the most part, the lustful banter was fun and there was a pretty great phone sex scene in there as well. I still felt a little ambivalent about Fletcher, though, and the tragic backstory we learned about in this book felt a little forced and at odds with the snark and innuendo he was throwing around so often.

The other side characters, from Melody’s colleagues Marina and Arthur, to her mother and grandmother, and the owners of Maplemead Castle, were all well drawn and fun. They all have their own distinct personalities which makes for an entertaining ensemble cast. While I don’t feel these books are any kind of literary masterpiece, they are definitely the perfect book for when you need something light and frothy and I will definitely be continuing with the series.


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“Growing up as a Bittersweet, I’ve come to rely on a different set of life skills to most girls.” // Review of “Melody Bittersweet and the Girls’ Ghostbusting Agency” by Kitty French

Title: Melody Bittersweet and the Girls’ Ghostbusting Agency
Author: Kitty French
Genre: NA/urban fantasy
Date Read: 22/07/2016 – 26/07/2016
Rating: ★★★

Review:

melodybittersweetgirlsghostbustingagencycoerI love the cover of this book and it was definitely a cute story. However, there were a few things that prevented it from getting a higher rating.

Melody Bittersweet comes from a family of psychics, and when she opens the Girls’ Ghostbusting Agency with her best friend and young man called Art who came recommended by the ghost of his dead father, their first case pops up nearly straight away. They need to rid an old house of its three ghost inhabitants, but to do that, they would need to solve a 100-year-old murder.

Melody and her two assistants are great characters. Melody’s best friend Marina is loud and outspoken, while Art is painfully shy and only just finding his feet. Melody sits somewhere in the middle of these two, and the three of them make a great team.

The mystery was my favourite part of this novel, though it honestly wasn’t a very complicated one. I did enjoy watching Melody tease out details of the family from the three ghosts, Jasper, Lloyd and Isaac, all three of whom had individual, well-established personalities along with a long family history.

What I didn’t enjoy so much was the romance element, as I didn’t like either of Melody’s love interests. Both Leo Dark, a rival psychic and also Melody’s ex, and Fletcher Gunn (I’m going from memory here, but I think that was his name), a skeptical reporter determined to expose both the Bittersweets and Leo Dark as frauds, are Class A Alpha Male douchebags. Both of them were rude and unlikable, and only redeemed themselves a little by assisting Melody with the case towards the end. To be fair, Fletcher was fully open about the fact that he was in lust with Melody rather than in love, but in a book calling itself a romantic comedy, I expect some proper romance, dammit!

This is a cute series opener, and I recommend if you are in the mood for some light-hearted urban fantasy. I will probably check out the next book in the series when it comes out, but I won’t be waiting with baited breath for it.


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#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 27 July, 2016

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This is a blog hop hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for today, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

  • What are you currently reading?

ashalawolfcoverStill going with the audio of Paper Daisies by Kim Kelly. It’s going on a bit, but I’m kind of at that “Well, I’ve committed now” point.

In print, I have started The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina. This is one of my Indigneous Australian author reads for the Australian Women Writers Challenge. I only started it today, but I like it so far and I’m hoping it might be the book that ends my long slew of 3-star reads and gets a four or a five.

  • What have you recently finished reading?

islasinheritanceAs expected, I finished Wonder Women by Sam Maggs, and my review went up on Monday. I do want to go back through it and note down some of the books written by the featured women and bios written about them, because I would love to find out more.

I then proceeded to finish Isla’s Inheritance by Cassandra Page very quickly (less than 24 hours). It was enjoyable enough, but I didn’t feel compelled to continue the series.

melodybittersweetgirlsghostbustingagencycoerAfter that, I finished off Melody Bittersweet and the Girls’ Ghostbusting Agency by Kitty French, which I saw on someone else’s WWW posts in the last couple of weeks. It was cute, though I did not like the love interests at all, which did put a damper on the “romantic comedy” aspect. I did really like the mystery, though.

Last night, I read the preview excerpt of Vicarious by Paula Stokes, which is available on NetGalley in the lead-up to the release next month. If I had actually read the listing properly and realised it was a preview, I probably wouldn’t have requested it, but it was interesting.

I also posted my review of Blood of My Blood, the third in the Jasper Dent series by Barry Lyga, on Friday.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

I also Am I Black Enough For You? by Anita Heiss out from the library for the AWW Challenge, so it may well be next. I also have a few books of my own that I’m going to try to read soon.

wednesdaybannerAnd now for WIPpet Wednesday. This is another blog hop in which writers share excerpts from their current WIP that somehow relate to the date. Clicking the blue guy on the right will take you to the linkup for this one.

In this scene, Frederick has just told Grace that he shouldn’t teach her any magic, and should instead tell her to go back to her room and never think about it ever again. Seven sentences for the seventh month.

Grace looked at him with a wry expression. “You think you can just tell someone to forget about this sort of thing?”

“No,” he replied. “I know you can’t. No one can. That’s what makes it so powerful. The second you get a taste for it, it has a hold over you.”

Frederick does have his reasons for showing Grace the magic in the first place. I’m not saying they’re good reasons (in fact, they’re pretty weak), but they are reasons nonetheless.

This week I’ve been writing from Frederick’s POV, and that’s been interesting. He’s very private but I’ve managed to needle out a lot of his past, which has been good. I also had an epiphany the other day (after writing the first 16k, of course!) that the whole thing would work a lot better if Grace were the governess to Frederick’s children, rather than a maid in his household. So I’ll have to a whole lot of revision there, but that’s okay.

That’s it from me, as I have a few things I need to get done tonight. I also need to consume the rest of this delicious lemon meringue pie sitting next to me. See you on your blogs!

~ Emily

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