Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Revisiting Amsterdam with a twist

The Good Thief’s Guide to Amsterdam
by Chris Ewan

First sentences:
“I want you to steal something for me.”

Charlie Howard travels the globe writing suspense novels for a living, about an intrepid burglar named Faulks.To supplement his income---and to keep his hand in---Charlie also has a small side business: stealing for a very discreet clientele on commission.

When a mysterious American offers to pay Charlie 20,000 euros if he steals two small monkey figurines to match the one he already has, Charlie is suspicious; he doesn't know how the American found him, and the job seems too good to be true. And, of course, it is. Although the burglary goes off without a hitch, when he goes to deliver the monkeys he finds that the American has been beaten to near-death, and that the third figurine is missing.

Back in London, his long-suffering literary agent, Victoria (who is naive enough to believe he actually looks like his jacket photo), tries to talk him through the plot problems in both his latest manuscript and his real life---but Charlie soon finds himself caught up in a caper reminiscent of a Cary Grant movie, involving safe-deposit boxes, menacing characters, and, of course, a beautiful damsel in distress.
source: Goodreads

My opinion:
If you haven’t already guessed by now I am a huge fan of mystery novels as long as they are not too thrilling. I like cozy mysteries and really well constructed but not hardcore murder mysteries.

Many years ago I bought my mum The Good Thief’s Guide to Paris for her birthday, not aware at that time that it was the second in a series. I just thought the concept was really unique and the title alone made me want to buy it. Some months ago she finally read it (Yes, there is a book buying problem running in the family. It seems to be genetic.) and loved it. So she went ahead and bought book one and started it immediately.

While we were in Amsterdam in May she often mentioned that book and how well the city is portrayed in it. More than once I had to tell her that I wanted to read it myself and beg her not to tell me more about the plot. So after returning I started reading The Good Thief’s Guide to Amsterdam and had to agree with my mum. It not only portrays Amsterdam really well, it is also hilarious and a really unique concept.

A mystery writer who is a part-time thief – that sounded intriguing. While Charlie is trying to figure out where the book he is currently writing went wrong he gets an offer to steal something from two separate apartments and deliver the stolen good to a stranger the night her receives the offer. This is usually not Charlie’s way of doing that so he declines the offer but curiosity gets the better of him so he decides to snoop around for a bit and see if the objects are still at the apartments, for him to take.

Immediately he finds himself in the middle of intrigues and murder and tries really hard to stay alive and as anonymous as possible.

The Good Thief’s Guide to Amsterdam is a brilliantly written murder mystery with some really unexpected plot twists, great characters and Charlie is a wonderful main character. Yes, he’s a thief and a con-man but you cannot help but like him a lot.

I cannot wait to solve a new mystery with him in Paris.

The books in the Good Thief’s Guide series are:
  • The Good Thief’s Guide to Amsterdam
  • The Good Thief’s Guide to Paris
  • The Good Thief’s Guide to Vegas
  • The Good Thief’s Guide to Venice
  • The Good Thief’s Guide to Berlin

For more information about Chris Ewan visit his Homepage, Facebook or Twitter page.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I need to read them asap

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. 
This week the girls want to know my
Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR List

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
Legacy by C. J. Daugherty
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
The Job by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger
Seeing Other People by Mike Gayle
Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini
The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

Sunday, September 21, 2014

I think my bank account is screaming at me

Showcase Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits & Tea.
It is a possibility for us to show what amazing books we got during the week.
I had an unintentional shopping spree over the last week. I felt the need to buy some books I've wanted for ages and others I just needed because they are part of a series I love. So I did some damage to my bank account and bought these 14 beauties. 
Fracture by C. J. Daugherty
Resistance by C. J. Daugherty

After the End by Amy Plum

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

The Unbound by Victoria Schwab

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Once in a Lifetime by Jill Shalvis

It's in his Kiss by Jill Shalvis

For my Kindle:
Alone with You by Shannon Stacey

Taken with You by Shannon Stacey 

Fallin for Max by Shannon Stacey

A Christmas to Remember by Jill Shalvis, Kristen Ashley and Hope Ramsay

The Abominable Snowman by Terry Pratchett

Friday, September 19, 2014

When Tess becomes Vanessa, chaos is near

About a Girl
by Lindsey Kelk
First sentence:
I never meant for things to get so out of hand.

I’d lost my job. I’d lost the love of my life. My mum wasn’t talking to me. My best friend was epically pissed off. And my flatmate probably had a hit out on me by now. I never meant for things to get so out of hand…

Tess Brookes has always been a Girl with a Plan. But when her carefully constructed Plan goes belly up, she’s forced to reconsider.

After accidently answering her flatmate Vanessa’s phone, she decides that since being Tess isn’t going so well, why shouldn’t she try out being Vanessa? With nothing left to lose, she accepts Vanessa’s photography assignment to Hawaii – she used to be an amateur snapper, how hard can it be? Right?

But Tess is soon in big trouble – she isn’t a photographer, she isn’t Vanessa, and the gorgeous journalist on the shoot with her, who is making it very clear he’d like to get into her pants, is an egotistical monster.

Far from home and in someone else’s shoes, Tess must decide whether to fight on through, or ‘fess up and run…
source: Goodreads

My opinion:
Lindsey Kelk is the author of the well-known “I heart …” series and “The Single Girl’s To Do List” and “About a Girl” is her next big hit.

I really liked the idea of the novel but had some difficulties with the main character, Tess. She is fed up with her life and in desperate need of some change but she can’t get her stuff together and move. She is a bit whiney at the beginning but as soon as she decides to take on Vanessa’s personality she becomes more open and starts enjoying life a bit more. She still is insecure and unsure of herself when she’s alone but in company she is outgoing and tries to live up to her roommate’s self.

The story is really cute and chick-lit-y. Tess flees from her life in London and takes a job as Vanessa, her roommate, in sunny Hawaii, where she’s supposed to do a photo shoot. There she meets someone, even though she is still hung-up on a guy back home but tries to figure out what she wants while enjoying her “vacation”.

I liked Tess, despite her sometimes annoying nature, but I really loved Albert Bennett, the designer she was supposed to do a shoot with. Al is a genuine and lovely guy who is devastated after the death of his wife Jane – yes, she was seriously called Jane Bennett – and tries to find her place in life again. The difference between Al and Tess are few but Al gives much better tips to get Tess out of her shell and get her to enjoy her life and decide what she really wants to do.

One really annoying thing is the ending of the book. Basically nothing is solved in Tess’ life so if we want to know what will happen next we need to buy “What a Girl Wants” to find out.

The books in the “A Girl” series are:
  • About a Girl
  • What a Girl Wants
For more information about Lindsey visit her Homepage and her Twitter page.