Reading Log October 2018: Inspector Singh, Precious Ramotswe, Stephanie Plum, and Hannah Swensen

Following-up on my post from September, this post features a list of books I have finished reading this October and a little bit about what I thought about each of them.  It just so happens, by sheer coincidence, that every book I read in October had a yellow cover.

Disclosure: The book cover pictures below contain affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul

This is the second in Shamini Flint’s “Inspector Singh Investigates” series.  I read the first book in the series probably close to a year ago and loved it.  The southeast Asian setting is one that was very new to me, so I was very much intrigued to immerse myself in a world other than the US or England.  The author, Shamini Flint, had a career as a lawyer in Singapore prior to becoming a writer, which gives additional credibility to her ability to accurately portray the setting. (I am particularly wary of authors who write about settings they don’t have first-hand experience with.)

The protagonist of these stories, Inspector Singh, is very reminiscent of Hercule Poirot, with his love of good food and order and cleanliness.  This particular book in the series tells a story of a murder entangled together with a terrorism plot and made for a gripping story.

Morality for Beautiful Girl

This is the third in Alexander McCall Smith’s “No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” series.  In a previous post, I mentioned how the series doesn’t necessarily follow a single mystery and this is the case in this one.

There are multiple smaller puzzles to unravel, and the focus is perhaps less about the mystery and more about the protagonist Precious Ramotswe’s life, and what her life and life in Botswana can teach us about life in general.

One for the Money

Since I have fully caught up on Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, I wanted to go back to the beginning.  I already wrote about the book in a previous post, but I did want to add that re-reading the first book in the series was quite a shock.  The running joke throughout the series seems to be that Stephanie never really changes, but the series has certainly taken some major turns since the beginning.  If you’ve started reading the series with some of the more recent books, be forewarned that the very first book in the series is significantly more intense.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder

This is the first book in Joanne Fluke’s culinary mystery series starring the protagonist Hannah Swensen. If you like culinary cozies then this book about a bake shop owner in small-town Minnesota might be for you. [Edit: Also a great book if you love baking and are looking for new recipes.]

I must admit that this series really wasn’t for me, and I got through a good 60% of the book before I started getting into it and caring what happened next.  Mainly, I disliked the inconsistencies in the narration — e.g. Hannah’s mother keeps calling her and asking her to call back, but never says anything when Hannah sees her later at a party.  I also had a problem identifying with the character — mainly because it had third person narrator that was too objective, and thus throughout the novel I felt the author assumed that I would have the same feelings and perspectives about certain things that the author did.

However, I think this was mainly due to some of the author’s growing pains as a writer.  The copy I borrowed from the library was a new edition that included a follow-up novella, “Candy Cane Murder”, that was written 6 years after the initial release of Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder and it seemed to me like the writing had vastly improved.  Therefore, I’m willing to give the series another shot.


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