Review: Deadly Dozen Box Set from Imajin Books

    Review By: Aislinn Pearce Genre: »

    Title: Deadly Dozen Box Set
    Authors: Catherine Astolfo, Alison Bruce, Melodie Campbell & Cynthia St-Pierre, Gloria Ferris, Donna Galanti, Kat Flannery, Jesse Giles Christiansen, Rosemary McCracken, Susan J. McLeod, C. S. Lakin, Linda Merlino & Cheryl Kaye Tardif
    Publisher: Imajin Books
    Published Date: September 14, 2014

    My Book Fairy Rating & Review: 5 of 5 stars

    Boxed Set Review: The TL;DR [too long didn't read] review is as follows:

    Overall, this entire set is WELL worth the investment. The current price is less than you often pay for a single e-book and there are 12 stories in total. Even if every story, or every author isn't what you would typically read I HIGHLY recommend this set to expose you to a wide variety of Imajin published authors.

    From stories that keep you on the edge of your seat, to ones which keep you guessing until the very end I was highly entertained with each story and am glad to say I've added several new authors to my regular "to be read" list. These reviews are shorter than a typical review just to ensure that this post isn't too long and is able to include all 12 books.

    Individual Reviews: Varies

    Book: THE BRIDGEMAN by Catherine Astolfo
    Star Rating: 5 of 5 stars
    Review: As an avid reader and one which my spouse refuses to play Clue with, I very rarely find a story that I can't figure out prior to the end, and end up losing interest. This story kept me going from start to finish. I felt like it was a classic small town with dirty secrets tale, but so much more than that. This story also, in my opinion, includes a "story within a story" as you are taken along with Emily while she reads the diary of Nat in twist of events that can shake a small town to its core. Drawn in from the first page, I couldn't put this story down.

    Book: DEADLY LEGACY by Alison Bruce
    Star Rating: 4 of 5 stars
    Review: This story reminded me of the "whodunnit" and murder mysteries I grew up reading. Set slightly in the future, the characters and technology aren't beyond belief and the author is an amazing storyteller, but you don't feel like you're being told the story, it unfolds in front of you. The writing style may feel a bit "slow" to some. It seemed realistic that there is no "quick fix" when an investigation is afoot, but I do feel that it may detract somewhat from the overall action of the book. Definitely an addition to any "must read" list.

    Book: A PURSE TO DIE FOR by Melodie Campbell & Cynthia St-Pierre
    Star Rating: 3 of 5 stars
    Review: This interesting mystery about a series of deaths starts out face-paced and continues that way until the end of the book. The characters interactions are relatable, but I just couldn't connect to the storyline and felt no real connection to the fashion/design aspect that it brought up in the book. That being said, I will still give other books by both these authors a try.

    Book: CHEAT THE HANGMAN by Gloria Ferris
    Star Rating: 4 of 5 stars
    Review: This story is not your typical mystery story which kept me coming back to the book time and again. I was able to related to the protagonist and the characters in a realistic way, even when the situations were outside the realm of today's "normal". I enjoyed the aspect of secrets from the past coming back to "haunt" you and the humor. I could easily see this as a series.

    Book: A HUMAN ELEMENT by Donna Galanti
    Star Rating: 4 of 5 stars
    Review: This story has a mixture of sci-fi and mystery that makes it hard to put down. I read half of it before I realized it was 6 am in the morning. I think that even though the situation isn't personally relatable, the characters have heart and feel real. It's a story that keeps you going and makes you think, a great addition to this bundle.

    Book: LAKOTA HONOR by Kat Flannery
    Star Rating: 4 of 5 stars
    Review: I haven't read a story with a western setting since I was young and used to take my mom's Louis L'Amour books to read. The characters were believable and you find yourself feeling their emotions throughout. This story has everything you love - a strong female character, a "conflicted" leading male character and romance. Kat is truly an author worth adding to your library and I look forward to more stories of hers in the future.

    Book: PELICAN BAY by Jesse Giles Christiansen
    Star Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
    Review: This story has been called a love letter to the sea and that's true. It's the story of a young man, his first love and the interesting Captain Shelby. This book is now book two in the Captain Shelby trilogy. You're introduced to a small coastal town and the dark secrets it harbors. Is an inquisitive mind a good thing, or dangerous or both? Jesse Giles Christiansen is an amazing author, even though I felt at times his "inner poet" slowed this story down it was still well worth the read. You can see the full review here.

    Book: SAFE HARBOR by Rosemary McCracken
    Star Rating: 3 of 5 stars
    Review: As a mother and wife, I could identify with Pat and I can't imagine what my response would be thrust into the situations that she is, but I feel like I would do whatever necessary to protect my family. Could I accept a child that wasn't mine as my own? I would like to think so, under the same circumstances. The plot moves on in a timely manner and keeps you looking for more, thinking "What would I do if this was me?" I do feel like some characters and plot points could have been developed further, but it may have weighed down the overall story, so I am pleased. 

    Book: SOUL AND SHADOW by Susan J. McLeod
    Star Rating: 3 of 5 stars
    Review: I absolutely love books that include ancient cultures and mythology, especially when you add mystery to the mix. The plot point was interesting, but I felt it was a little too similar to major plot points contained in the movie The Mummy, even if the information was executed differently. As part of a series, I really appreciate when books can stand alone, but this one ended abruptly and left so many questions. That being said, I still want to look further into the series before I let the characters and story go, and I will definitely try other books by this author.

    Star Rating: 3 of 5 stars
    Review: This story reminds me of a murder mystery I once read many years ago in which a guests to a private island resort go missing and end up dead one by one. The writing style of the author was enjoyable, but unfortunately it's rare that a mystery goes unsolved for me until the author is ready for it and I often determine the plot too soon. It seems like the typical "unpopular in youth, popular later in life, revenge story" with a murderous twist. I think this book may have been better as multiple books, as it had a lot going on which made it hard to follow at some points and could have been better developed by turning one story into two or three to develop all the aspects more fully without slowing down the story line. Despite that I could relate to Lila in more ways than one, although I can't say that revenge is my ideal reason for a reunion. 

    Book: ROOM OF TEARS by Linda Merlino
    Star Rating: 3 of 5 stars
    Review: This story has been considered a tribute to 9/11 and those lost on that horrific day so many years ago. I felt as though Diane was mostly one of the more believable elements in the book, and I cried many times throughout this story. I felt like there were a lot of things going on in the story, from paranormal events and a question of faith, to a heartfelt attempt to help others sort the events through a fictional tale of the aftermath that tragedy left behind. I appreciate that the author, Linda, was trying to cover so much in one story, but it left some parts making no sense or at least not in flowing with the rest of the story. It could be because it's an emotional topic, so I would definitely give this author another try.

    Book: DIVINE INTERVENTION by Cheryl Kaye Tardif
    Star Rating: 5 of 5 stars
    Review: Again, it's not often that a mystery story keeps me guessing until the end and I don't figure out the plot and storyline in advance of where the author has set to reveal everything, but this story did just that. It's easy to see why this author is award winning and this story is a best seller. Cheryl kept the characters real enough to be believable and draw you in even with the paranormal aspects to the story. The story was fast paced, but didn't seem rushed, I definitely enjoyed this story and look forward to adding her to my regular list of authors to check out.

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