First, Middle, and Last Impressions – February 15, 2023

I love taking a look at a book cover and description and then coming up with my own idea of what the book will be about. Sometimes I’m right, sometimes I’m so wrong it’s almost funny. So I’ve decided to write about my first, middle, and last impressions of each book I read, as well as a little bit on why I wanted to read it because sometimes, when I’ve finished, I really can’t remember.

The first impression is based solely on the cover and description. What do I think it will be about?

The middle impression is kind of a check-in on how the story is going about halfway through.

The last impression is my final thoughts on the book, what I’m left thinking.

I hope you have as much fun with this as I will!

A little later than usual, but Monday had us going to the ER for an allergic reaction (everyone’s fine) and spending a few hours there and yesterday was Valentine’s Day, my favorite day, so I didn’t really have a chance to get this one scheduled and posted on time. Fortunately, I remembered this right before I fell asleep last night, even though it took some time to remember it again this morning. Happy Wednesday!

Play the Fool by Lina Chern – Mystery

play the fool lina chern

Why I want to read this: I don’t actually remember, but I’m intrigued by tarot playing a role in the story. I also just really like the cover and I keep thinking this is going to be an interesting read.

First Impression: I’m not really sure what this could be about and how tarot and a murder mystery could be related, but it sounds interesting!

Middle Impression: This is an interesting murder mystery, though I wish the tarot part were a bit stronger and contributed a bit more. I do love Katie, though. Reading her voice is a lot of fun. Her brother Owen is even weirder, but I love it. I’m finding the characters more interesting than the story, though it does seem to be heating up.

Last Impression: This was a fun murder mystery with some nice twists and a fun narrator. I loved how much of a disappointment Katie was to everyone as it actually helped her and her solving the mystery out quite a bit. I also loved her brother Owen, who appears to be on the autism spectrum. Their relationship was absolutely lovely. They and the detective, Jamie, made a really good team and I would love to see them in another book.

Ashes to Ashes, Crust to Crust by Mindy Quigley – Cozy Mystery

ashes to ashes crust to crust mindy quigley

Why I want to read this: This is the second in the Deep Dish Mystery series. Since I found myself enjoying the cast of characters in the first book, and loving that there’s a cat and plenty of food, I feel up for continuing this series.

First Impression: Sounds like a fun second book in the series! There’s a festival with food, so I think it’ll be delicious to get a look at some local flavors.

Middle Impression: This is so easy to read, but I’m not feeling as invested in the characters as I did in the first book. Maybe it’s because the focus is more on new characters than Delilah and Sonya’s restaurant crew. The story is, though, keeping my interest with some quirky characters.

Last Impression: There were some nice twists and turns, but it was also a little too predictable for my tastes, especially with a really small suspect list in an already small town. But I do like the changes and progress made in the characters’ personal lives. Delilah and Capone were still cute together, but it also feels like a huge step back. Butterball was, of course, amazing. I liked how the local history was a big part of the story.

The Tyranny of Faith by Richard Swan – Fantasy

Why I want to read this: This is the second in the Empire of the Wolf trilogy. The first book wasn’t completely my cup of tea, but I found the intersection of legal thriller and high fantasy fascinating, so I’m looking forward to what the second book holds as I think it might be more fantasy than legal thriller. I think, considering the way the first book ended.

First Impression: Well, based on the description, nope, it looks like it’s crossing crime/legal procedure with high fantasy. This time it’s a kidnapping instead of a murder, which seems a bit low key after the murder, but there’s also a lot of other things at play, so I think this will be interesting.

Middle Impression: So far I’m finding it more interesting than the first book since there are so many threads and some fascinating political maneuvering, though it sometimes feels like there’s too much to keep track of. The kidnapping plot line is interesting, but it somehow feels a lot more tame than the murder investigation in the first book, almost as though it was thrown in as an afterthought because I guess each book has to have a central crime? The high fantasy elements are more interesting to me, though. But I could do without the sudden romance development because I thought, from the first book, there wasn’t going to be that kind of relationship playing out and now I feel disappointed.

Current Progress: Page 379/546. I’m still getting the feeling the kidnapping was more thrown in than anything else. Clearly the main characters prefer to pursue the Claver story line, so, even while they’re trying to figure out who took the prince, they’re still working the Claver part. Honestly, that does feel like the more interesting story. Anyways, I’m hoping it all ends up working out together in the end.

What about you?

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