Monday, May 28, 2012

Wild, Wild Death plus It Takes a Witch and other cozy Mystery titles and ponderings


A few months ago, I responded to a request for reviewers for the Kings River Life Magazine and quite a few weeks later I was sent a couple of titles that I had requested as well as some bonus books that I was asked to either review or pass on to someone else to review.  I am happy to say that thus far, all of them have been interesting reads.  I have a few cozy mystery series that I tend to follow (although I have been so inundated with review books that I haven't had as much time to keep up with them as I would like)...including the Nancy Atherton 'Aunt Dimity' series, Earlene Fowler's 'Benni Harper' series, Blaize Clement's 'Dixie Hemingway' series, and Ann Ross' 'Miss Julia' series to name just a few. 

The title that attracted my attention from this person's offerings was by Casey Daniels and is part of her 'Pepper Martin' series.  If you are not familiar with these stories, Pepper is a very fashionably dressed but somewhat down-on-her-luck woman who inadvertently attained the ability to see and talk to ghosts when she fell and bumped her head in a cemetery.  She has very expensive tastes but minimal income and is reluctantly working as a cemetery tour guide when she gets involved in investigating a very old murder.  I love the wicked sense of humor displayed by the author's titles and although I am definitely NOT a fashionista, I am vaguely entertained by reading about the exploits of someone who cares about her designer threads being sullied even as she is running for her life.  There is a definite maturation of the character over the course of the series and I like her much more than I did when it started since she doesn't seem quite so superficial any longer.  I still skip over the descriptions of the designer clothes and accessories but that's just my personal bias.  The mysteries themselves are entertaining and these make great quick reads.  My review of Wild Wild Death is at this link (along with a review of the cozy mystery It Takes a Witch by Heather Blake).

The first in the Pepper Martin series is the tongue in cheek Don of the Dead

Which leads me to my ponderings....
I had to sign an agreement which precludes my putting the reviews for Wild Wild Death and It Takes a Witch on Amazon for a few months so, unless I take the time to write entirely new ones, I guess I will have to remember to mark the calendar so that I can post them.  I could just write entirely new reviews and I just might if I have the time over the next few weeks but I was a little surprised by the stringent requirements being imposed since I would be fine ascribing ownership of the review just as I do for the Night Owl Reviews that I transfer to Amazon.  I have also run into sticky areas recently because I had one author indicate that I could NOT write a review (which I really wanted to because I thought it was a fantastic read) since I had been provided with a copy of the book from the author in exchange for helping publicize the work.  I also have had the great fortune to have been hired to proofread another author's work and enjoyed the story so much that I offered to write a review for that one as well.  That author also has some concerns about conflict of interest.  So, I am curious...would people really think one's review can be bought for such relatively paltry sums? (no offense to either author intended)  What's the point of compromising oneself and pimping out a good review?  I've already received a copy of the work so would it be in hopes of getting future titles?  I consider it as wearing a different hat...reviewer's vs. copyeditor vs. ?   It is always understood that copies of the titles are provided in exchange for honest reviews.  I try not to be insulting when I don't like a particular work but definitely rate those I didn't like accordingly, even if I like the author as a person.  And, in the long run, these are MY, even if I get paid for pointing out typos or editing...I think I am still entitled to them.  So, for the purpose of truth in advertising....most of the books that I review on my blog have either been provided to me for a review, have been checked out of the library, have been purchased or traded for or in a very small percentage of cases, I have had the great thrill and fortune to help edit in some small way.  I will try to remember to point the appropriate category but if anyone is ever curious...please ask!  Ok, clambering down from my soapbox now....


  1. I'm a little surprised...ok, maybe a lot surprised by this. How is it a conflict of interest just because you did some copy edits or have helped spread the word about a book while promoting it. If you read the book and liked it or disliked should be able to write a review and post it wherever you want.

  2. Yes, I was a little puzzled by the concerns but I am also curious about the reason I get a fair number of negative votes on Amazon...if someone disagrees with the review that's their prerogative but I think I try to write decent reviews. Oh well, I guess that's what keeps the curiosity bump active, lol.

  3. You get negative votes on amazon? I read your reviews and see no reason for that. Some people have nothing better to do, obviously.

  4. Thanks for your vote of confidence, I do try to work hard to write a decent review so I am always disappointed and wonder what the objection is when I get negative votes (-: