Mini-Review: Dead Letter Office, As She Left It, Shakespeare vs. Lovecraft


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Dead Letter Office

Title: Dead Letter Office

Author: Kira Snyder

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Paranormal

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

When Celia’s father is killed in Afghanistan, she moves with her mother to New Orleans, the city where her father grew up. Struggling to adjust and haunted by troubling dreams, Celia finds comfort in new friends like Tilly, a practicing witch, and Donovan, the son of police detective. On Halloween, bizarre supernatural occurrences rock the city. Celia meets the mysterious Luc and finds a letter, over a hundred years old, addressed to her.

The paranormal repercussions continue when Celia learns that Luc is the restless spirit of a young man murdered in 1854, only able to assume solid form at night. And then, to her shock, Celia finds that the letter, which describes the suspected murder of a man in 1870, contains uncanny parallels to the present-day death of Abel Sims, a homeless veteran.

With help from Luc, Tilly, and Donovan, Celia races to solve the murder—and the mystery of the letter—using both magical and forensic clues.

Review: Started off great, but quickly went downhill. The idea is wonderful, reminiscent of those choose-your-own-adventure books, but it falls short. The setting, New Orleans, was great, and I loved how the book even brought a ghost into play. Unfortunately the plot seemed far-fetched, and the characters were one-dimensional. Celia was all right, but the secondary characters lacked personality. A so-so read.

As She Left It

Title: As She Left It

Author: Catriona McPherson

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Rating: 5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

When she was twelve years old, Opal Jones escaped her mother’s endless drinking. Now, returning to their small Leeds cottage after her mum’s death, Opal feels like she’s gone back in time. Nosey Mrs. Pickess is still polishing her windows to a sparkle. Fishbo, Opal’s ancient music teacher, still plays trumpet with his band. And much to Opal’s delight, her favorite neighbor, Margaret Reid, still keeps an eye on things from the walk in front of her house.

But a tragedy has struck Mote Street. Margaret’s grandson, Craig, disappeared some ten years ago, and every day he’s not found, shame and sorrow settle deeper into the neighborhood’s forgotten corners. As the door she closed on her own dark past begins to open, Opal uncovers more secrets than she can bear about the people who were once her friends.

Review: Mysterious atmosphere, suspense palpable from the first page. Opal is an intriguing main character, and I felt for her, and all the hardships she went through. I enjoyed how the mystery slowly unfolded, and we figured out more and more about the characters. Solid mystery read.

 Shakespeare vs. Lovecraft: a Horror Comedy Mash-Up

Title:  Shakespeare vs. Lovecraft: a Horror Comedy Mash-Up

Author: D.R. O’Brien

Genre: Horror Mash-Up

Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

In the same putrid vein as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Shakespeare v. Lovecraft slithers hideously onto the literary mash-up scene, whispering of cosmic horrors and eldritch tales whilst espousing sweet soliloquys and profoundly contemplating mankind’s place in the universe.

Prospero, driven dangerously insane by prolonged exposure to the dread Necronomicon, makes a terrible pact with the titanic alien beast known only as Cthulhu. Now only his enchantress daughter Miranda and a handful of history’s greatest heroes are all that stand between humanity and blasphemous eternal subjugation.

It’s a bloodbath of Shakespearean proportions as Cthulhu and his eldritch companions come at our protagonists from all manner of strange geometric angles in a hideous and savage battle for supremacy.

This horror-comedy novella of 36,000 words will seize you in its clammy grip and not release you until you have gone positively mad with delight! Witness all this and more:

Histrionic Heroes vs. Tentacled Terrors!!! Endless Soliloquys vs. Unnatural Silences!!!

Romeo vs. Mi-Go!!! England’s Royal Beasts vs. A Shoggoth!!!

The Author vs. Iambic Pentameter!!!

Review: Great premise, to combine Lovecraft’s characters and Shakespeare characters. Unfortunately the plot falls short. The first chapter is riddled with adjectives that have little purpose being there. Characters lacked depth and personality, and I didn’t much care for them. A ‘meh’ read.


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