Wednesday, January 11, 2023

First Review of the Year - A Mystery

The Stroke of Winter by Wendy Webb

A slow burning mystery / ghost story / haunted house story with elements of romance, small town charm, and dark family secrets. A bit draggy in places, the story doesn't really get going until close to halfway through. No huge climax but the final few chapters do wrap it all up.

This is basically a cozy but with an undercurrent of evil. (Future bed and breakfast setting, a couple quirky characters, foodie references...all that's missing are a few recipes at the end.) For fans of supernatural mysteries. 3.5 stars for me. Got it free as a Prime book of the month offering.

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This is my first review of the year (posted on Goodreads) in my quest to review 52 books in 2023. Here's the list so far...will update for each book read and reviewed. For the most recent post, click the label: book review (below this post, I think). I'll try to include links to my short reviews as I progress.

Books Read in 2023 (posted in order, plus review date)

  • Razored Land by Charles Gramlich - post-apocalypse (not yet published, not reviewed)
  • The Stroke of Winter by Wendy Webb - mystery (reviewed Jan 11)
Currently Reading
  • Feast of Fools, edited by Robert Poyton - an anthology of sword & sorcery
  • Blackfoot Dawn by John Legg - western, book 2 in Mountain Times trilogy
In my TBR Pile
  • Laws and Prophecies by L. S. King - sword and planet, book 3 in Sword's Edge Chronicles
  • Point of View - Better Writing through Stronger Narrative: Drake's Brutal Writing Advice by Maxwell Alexander Drake - non-fiction book on writing
For more booky blogs and reviews, head over to Book Date Monday - and yes, today's Wednesday, so I'm a little slow off the mark this week. What pages are turning in your household? Comment below.



31 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. It wasn't bad. I almost abandoned it at 20% (sort of my upper limit to read and get engaged by) but I could see the mystery developing and it was overall pretty good.

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  2. I don't think I've read this author before but it sounds like a really good book.

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    1. I saw in the back of the book that she has a good handful of books out now and this one is still selling pretty well, so people must like it. I enjoyed it but it won't be in my Top 10 at the end of the year, I'm sure.

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  3. Since I generally avoid paranormal, I'll steer clear of this one.

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    1. Yes, this one is definitely 'talk to ghosts' and has a bit of an occult feel to it, but not an evil "Omen" type of book - more of an emphasis on the mystery of how the paintings came about (the plot involves the granddaughter of a famous - for this story - painter).

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  4. Your current read - Blackfoot Dawn - got me intrigued by John Legg, so I just downloaded the first book in that series. Thanks for your visit to my blog!

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    1. Oops, I replied below but not in response to your comment! lol

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  5. Yes, I like "mountain men" stories of the western frontier. The first one was pretty graphic at times and used a lot of language - but I overall enjoyed (3 stars). Enough that I'm reading #2! ;-) Here's my review of #1 - https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4471691855

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  6. Happy New Years! I do like a cozy with a bit of an edge sometimes. Spooky but maybe not TOO spooky heh.

    Thanks for your comment on my post. I loved that Journey combination.

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    1. This one wasn't too spooky, over all okay, but not a Top 10 book of the year for me, I'm sure. But Journey - all eras - are in my Top 5 bands! ;)

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  7. I haven't tried anything by Wendy Webb, although I believe I have an older one of her books waiting its turn to be read. This one hits several checkboxes for me in terms of it being a mystery, a haunted house, a bit of romance, and dark family secrets. It's too bad it wasn't a stronger read for you. A slow start can make a lot of difference. Hopefully your next read was better! Have a great week!

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    1. A lot of people liked this, so give it a try. I think it's well written. Maybe I felt it was slow because I was reading a sword and sorcery story at the same time! haha

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  8. Great review - will definitely look it up. The others sound interesting. Happy New Year

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! Happy reading this new year!

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  9. I am sorry this mystery wasn't a little stronger book. The cover, title, and plot summary all sounded promising. Maybe you were hoping for a little too much? I know I do that sometimes.

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    1. A lot of people liked this book, though, so it's probably more a style issue for me. Enjoyed the premise - but yeah, maybe I was expecting something different.

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  10. This book sounds way to scary for me.

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    1. It's not so much scary as haunting, if that makes sense. But yeah, definitely elements of the supernatural and malevolence.

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  11. Apart from the fact that it's slow in the beginning, this sounds like one I might enjoy. I like cozies with a bit of paranormal in them. Thanks for the review! :-)

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    1. Give it a try. The author has a number of books that seem pretty popular. Thanks for dropping by.

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  12. I don't read a lot of fiction. The book on writing looks good though.

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    1. I've actually started it and it's entertaining and well as informative.

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  13. I have found a lot of books don't get going till after the half way mark and one has to stick with reading the novel till then.

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    1. True. I should probably give some books a bit more time. Thanks for dropping by.

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  14. Such an interesting cover. It's hard to believe it would be considered 'cozy'. I'm sorry it dragged for you but it does intrigue me. I'll have to check it out.

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    1. It is an interesting cover. And I don't think they intend for it to be cozy, it's more of a ghost story but set in a small town with pretty relatable characters, and a bit of romance. Felt between cozy and dark to me, lol

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  15. The cover is intriguing! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Yes, for sure. I picked it as an Amazon freebie probably based on that and the title!

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  16. Yeah for a decent book to review kicking off the year! Thanks for stopping by! Happy reading!

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    1. Thanks and yeah, I need to start reviewing a few more, I'm falling behind!

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Keep it clean and positive. (And sorry about the word verification, but the spmb*ts are out in full force!)