Mini-Review: Auraria, Devil’s Bargain and Grounds to Kill


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.


Title: Auraria

Author: Tim Westover

Genre: Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Folklore

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Water spirits, moon maidens, haunted pianos, headless revenants, and an invincible terrapin that lives under the mountains. None of these distract James Holtzclaw from his employer’s mission: to turn the fading gold-rush town of Auraria, GA, into a first-class resort and drown its fortunes below a man-made lake. But when Auraria’s peculiar people and problematic ghosts collide with his own rival ambitions, Holtzclaw must decide what he will save and what will be washed away. Taking its inspiration from a real Georgia ghost town, Auraria is steeped in the folklore of the Southern Appalachians, where the tensions of natural, supernatural and artificial are still alive.

Review: Auraria offers an intriguing blend of folklore, paranormal, history and even some facts, since it takes inspiration from a real Georgian ghost town, and the folklore of the Southern Appalachians. A whimsical, fun experience, with captivating writing. The main character borders on being one-dimensional though, which was a letdown, but overall, I enjoyed it.

Devil’s Bargain

Title: Devil’s Bargain

Author: Rachel Caine

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Jasmine “Jazz” Callender is on the downhill slide to ruin. Once a decorated homicide detective, she’s lost it all: her former partner’s been convicted of murder, she’s been cashiered out, and she’s drinking away what little self-respect she’s got left. But Jazz has a talent for trouble, and somebody knows it. When a mysterious, sexy stranger comes looking for her with a fateful red envelope in his hand, she’s about to make the deal of her life…for good or bad.

The deal requires her to enter into a partnership with a stranger and investigate cases that arrive in special red envelopes…which is odd enough, but gets weirder as she and her new partner Lucia realize that they may be working for someone with supernatural abilities.

And maybe they’re not on the side of the angels anymore.

Review: Romance only plays a minor part in this book, and that’s a good thing. Detective Jazz is on a downhill slide, but when she gets a red envelope from a mysterious stranger, proposing her the deal of a lifetime, it’s her way out of this mess. The deal requires her to enter a partnership with a strange, and investigate cases arriving in red envelopes. Things get weirder soon, and Jazz finds herself in a complicated moral dillemma. Excellent writing and character development – I absolutely loved Jazz, and wouldn’t mind reading more books in this series.

Grounds to Kill

Title: Grounds to Kill

Author: Wendy Roberts

Genre: Mystery, Cozy Mystery

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Barista Jen Hanby’s coworkers give her a hard time for bringing coffee and pastries to a homeless man who sits outside her café—but she has a secret. The scruffy man is her father.

She’s also hiding the little matter of why her palm itches. But how can she explain that her hand has a mind of its own and writes messages from the beyond? Right. That’ll get her Employee of the Month.

When she finds herself scrawling your boyfriend is cheating on you! to herself on the bathroom mirror, she immediately dumps the guy. But then his little fling—who just happens to be her half sister—turns up dead, and suddenly Jen’s homeless father is the prime suspect.

Jen knows he is being framed and must take matters into her own hands to protect him. But will anyone believe that the crazy old man is innocent? Or that his spirit-writing daughter holds the truth?

Review: Cozy mystery with a touch of paranormal. Jen is a barista with a homeless father and an itching hand that writes messages from the month. Unfortunately, her life is about to get worse – her boyfriend is cheating on her, his fling turns up dead, and her Dad is the number one suspect. Interesting mystery, but the main character lacked personality, and the story was riddled with adjectives. Suspenseful, at times humorous, but all in all, just “okay”.

Speak Your Mind