The Landlord 

This was a very was mystery, it didn’t feel very dark or grim. And the ghost story to me, was not all that frightening. 

 But nonetheless, I did enjoy it as Allie continued to search about the mystery 200 years ago. All the while the flashbacks 200 years ago are good, revealing much more and giving us the full story. As Allie discovers it, the flashbacks are quite well placed to show what happened. 

Although this mystery is the main one, I would still have preferred if it really tied back to reality. That the entire story had a real reason why someone wanted to uncover it, like a treasure, a reason. More than just a potrait. 

It does seem a little strange there, but the ending is rather nice too. The way it settles everything and ties it up. However, I would say that the main issue is that it really doesn’t feel very clever. It doesn’t feel mysterious or move me to think about the mystery. Or really give me a reason why Allie should be spending all her time. 

As for the ghost story, the only place where it really occurs is where Lizzie is talking to Allie. But I would have wanted more interaction, more clues, and also a deeper motivation to do so in the first place. Lizzie was just there, in the present, and the other characters who were more involved were all missing in the present. 

Since this is a ghost story, I wish there was more liberties taken with the ghosts. The mansion which is over two hundred years old, and possibly the secrets behind it. The various owners could have done a lot. 

As for the affair between Lizzie and Thomas Fitzroy, being one sided and quite horrible. I could see that from the very beginning, and fell a little flat at the end. It wasn’t all that I expected, and I would have preferred a deeper exploration of his obsession with her. Why was he so interested in her, and why no matter what he wanted her. To the point he kept her portrait in the house. 

I also didn’t feel the parallels to this, or how it links to the present timeline. The mystery, to me could have been explored further. Explored and related the current situation. Although it was a nice ghost story with the flashbacks over two hundred years ago, being very well researched and explained. There are still points where I believe it needs work too. But, overall I really enjoyed it. 

Rating: 3 out of 5


Death Sworn 

What did I like about it? It doesn’t have a heroine who becomes either too perfect or too stupid by the end of the book. She is somewhere in between, and she is extremely relatable. She is someone that basically lost all that mattered to her, yet I don’t read about her moaning about her loss of power. 

She instead just chooses the best routes, the best choices for herself. She makes the decision herself. And I like the way even after being bullied, she doesn’t give up. She doesn’t make excuses for herself. 

Even though the scope of this book is small, we are restricted to a cave. Nowhere else. A cave. Filled with assassins who are male. I get the feeling that many of you would be thinking that this would be a reverse harem. Nope, none of them are interested in her. 

The one guy that even has some form of feeling for her, still isn’t the usual idiot who would sacrifice all for her. He is guarded, he has his own plans. And his loyalties is to the master first. He doesn’t just magically fall in love with her. 

The way it deals with familiar tropes and the way it keeps many safely out of the way. I would say is the best part of this book. More importantly was the running theme of whether one life saving many would be worth it, such as the assassins who kill to save so much more. To create a better world. 

This are all important parts of the book. And the romance never takes over. It is more about Ileni trying to find the murderer, training. And the ending, was perfection. That was something I never saw coming, and I look forward to the next book dealing with it. That Ileni would be in the Empire, and the way it was written. It fits her so. 

She is someone that doesn’t like killing, it is explicitly shown and she never changes. She treasures life. She is realistic, she doesn’t whine when life is unfair. To me, that is a real heroine that I would admire. 

So overall, pick this book up if you are sick and tired of the usual tropes. The usual storytelling. And expect something that is quick, but isn’t too heavy or dark.

Rating: 4 out of 5


Stalking Jack The Ripper 

This book is utterly perfect. The mystery of Jack The Ripper, and the main character. To me, this was perfect in my eyes. Even if I could have seen where it would head with the characters, and who would be the murderer at the end slightly before it was revealed. The murderer’s motives were at least plausible and decent enough to be real. 

And from the beginning, Audrey Rose was a fantastic female characters. She isn’t obsessed with propriety, or even about how deserving of their fate those women were. She only thought that they also had mothers, they may also have children, they would definitely have a family. They might have only done this out of pure necessity not because of their choice. And that is what I like her for. 

Also, for the fact that she is skilled at forensic science and always tries to fulfill her curiosity. At the very beginning, against her father’s wishes she finds a way to do what she likes. And all the while, she doesn’t just fall head in heels for the first guy she meets. Their relationship is a developing one, where it goes from banter and eventually he helps her when it is most needed. 

Thomas comes off as conceited and arrogant from the very first page he is introduced. He knows a great deal, and loves to show off his knowledge. But the one thing that does set him apart is that he isn’t a complete jerk, he gets it that Audrey still needs her reputation, and he respects her for who she is without ever demeaning her. The way he acts arrogant is one that is in his personality, but never sounding incredibly rude if you ask me. And having his own charm lying in the way he speaks not his good looks, which I have been waiting for years for such a character. 

As for her family, there are some issues with them. Her aunt is religious and rather pious, which was quite okay if you ask me. She didn’t play a rather important role. Liza on the other hands was slightly more interesting, given that she allowed herself to love a variety of men. And well, let’s just say I pretty enjoyed a quote that she said. That Liza chooses who she wants to be and in certain times, she shows different sides of herself. To me, that was a rather interesting side of the story too. 

As for her father, I do admit that he has his faults but at the end he redeems himself instead. I rather like the ending for his decision and realizing that he wasn’t doing a pretty good job. Well, you would find out what would make him reflect on his choices. And well, I did like the ending where Audrey would leave to learn forensic science in Romania, which is why the next book is set there. Well, I definitely will be catching and continuing this series should the next book also have the same sort of mystery this provided me with. 

Since the ending, and no matter what the murderer will be someone that hurts Audrey rather deeply. And well, I cannot wait for the next book to be released since this has given me so much of a joy. 

Rating: 5 out of 5


The Clockwork Scarab 

This was rather okay. Though, sometimes the writing put me off in some ways. Like really put me off. The plot was decent, and well the characters quite flat. But I did like the mystery, and the possibility of having time travel together and steampunk. 

But it just seems a little messy in my mind. It really does seem rather messy when I put together everything, and that the mystery didn’t feel like a mystery to me. Just a set of deaths, that really didn’t have twists which blew my mind. 

Although both Mina and Evaline are decent characters. I can rather relate to both of them, and neither seem to be obsessed with getting married or constantly trying to prove that they are different. I’m fine with them just acknowledging and doing what’s required of them. 

As for Ms Irene Adler, I was half expecting something of her intelligence to be revealed. Like she could work out who was the Ankh in actual reality, or Mina having that moment where she revealed the Ankh for who she is. But really, I didn’t really get that sort of closure. A lot still remains a mystery, such as the motives to why the Ankh chose to do so or even why she killed so many people. 

And having Mina fail at some point made their more believable that she was still learning, and despite her lineage, she isn’t faultless. I really preferred her over Evaline Stoker, who lacked some personality really. It seems that all she really cared about was proving herself and finding the murderer. But I rather like her brother Bram. 

But really, the only letdown was the failure of really giving a good closure to the mystery. And then turning it to a rather usual route, bad guy threatens, they accept and go to the designated location. Although there was some sleuthing dine, but I was expecting something a little more clever, not having Evaline and Mina going their separate ways. And only coming together in times of need, and turning the situation into one that didn’t feel like a mystery anymore. 

Overall, my main issues was with the execution of the mystery. How the murderer was really handled. The rest was pretty decent. 

Rating: 2.5 out of 5





Zoe Kalo
Genre: YA/Gothic/Ghost/Multicultural

Word count: 55,000 

Release date: February 2017
Kicked out of school, 17-year old Paloma finds herself in an isolated convent in the tropical forests of 1970s Puerto Rico, where she must overcome her psychosis in order to help a spirit and unveil a killer. 

An isolated convent, a supernatural presence, a dark secret…
17-year-old Paloma only wanted to hold a séance to contact her dead father. She never thought she would be kicked out of school and end up in an isolated convent. Now, all she wants is to be left alone. But slowly, she develops a bond with a group of girls: kind-hearted Maria, insolent Silvy, pathological liar Adelita, and their charismatic leader Rubia. When, yet again, Paloma holds a séance in the hope of contacting her father, she awakens an entity that has been dormant for years. And then, the body count begins. Someone doesn’t want the secret out…
Are the ghost and Paloma’s suspicions real—or only part of her growing paranoia and delusions?


The story was quite fine, I had really enjoyed Paloma as a character really. She was quite decent, had made plenty of mistakes and was suffering for it. But the only complaint was how abrupt the ending was, since it didn’t really tie up what I had wanted to see in mind. 

It just didn’t feel complete. But the ending chapter to me where the murdered was revealed was the best and felt more like a climax than a ending. Although it is rather surprising how well it was done that the mystery had eluded me for quite some time.  

I do like the time and detail spent into the convent, and how abuse can take place with very little help. And how nuns can help this so-called troubled kids. Mostly, it was how that parents would be likely to turn a blind eye to this matters. And most of the parents here, they are either drug addicts, or want their child gone, or perhaps didn’t really care much for them. 

I really liked Adelita, she was rather unique in a sense and had a lot of my sympathy, seeing as what she went through. Same for Maria, although she had the best back story of them all, with just a loving mother who has no means of supporting her in the least. 

The plot, had been rather well executed with many twists that I didn’t see. And many deaths that I didn’t see incoming either, keeping this mainly a mystery. And all the while clearing up names, or trying to figure out who was the murderer. All the while Paloma tries to convince the convent that she was still sane despite what she said. 

I do really enjoy this ride, only that the ending left me unsatisfied and really let down in some ways. I was expecting some closure, not really an cliffhanger which left things at the edge. I do wonder whether there will be a sequel to this story, seeing as how it was left at the end. 

But overall, I really enjoyed this work and the author has once more wrote a good book which I would recommend to those who want to read about mystery and young adult. It won’t let you down, but expect a cliffhanger ending. 

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5



I have to admit that I took a very short time to finish this anime(technically three days). Firstly, it was mostly to kill boredom before it became an obsession with this show. I would say that this is less of a mystery but more of historical fiction. Mystery wise, it is very easy to solve it given who Victorique is. 

I would say that the plot is incredibly well thought out, with it simply being incredibly clever at many points. From the names, to the tales used. And even where it heads, the early mysteries merely set up the storyline before the ending. And all try cases are rather easily solved by Victorique, which is why I chose to place it under historical fiction, it isn’t a mystery when she can solve it with enough evidence which I would say to any detective might be sparsely any evidence at all, and less than is actually spent in investigation. 

But all the mysteries build up and is one piece of a puzzle to the next, perhaps not a chain reaction. But rather threads set apart and one day would come together, that is how the plot works and it comes together very smartly too. Even giving hints as to what happened to the characters at the end of the mystery if they were still alive. 

As for the characters, I do admit that they are well done. To me, Kazuya is a nice but kind hearted and also a badass(he fought in a war, and in episode two he managed to knock people out with brass knuckles). He’s clearly nothing compared to Victorique in terms of brains, but his combination is a nice for a main character. I might become pretty bored if it was solely Victorique. 

But the one whose past is even more important to the entire storyline is hers, with her history being of the most difficult to see. And that it explains her character rather well enough why she acts as she does, and why does she even treats Kazuya so incredibly badly. I mean, she has no social interaction up until Kazuya, I barely count conversations with her brother and her father. 

Another great thing is the last of support characters, where they might seem incompetent (Grevil at sleuthing or ridiculous(Cecile and Avril). But that all play a role in building towards the ending. 

And Grevil is one of the more developed, he is in love with someone else, sports a ridiculous hairstyle because Victorique made him too. And he has a personality, in certain ways being unkind to her yet helping her when he can. That makes him quite complicated, but also interesting. Particularly the part where he is a sleuth, he is absolutely useless as one, and depends on his sister, but not completely stupid and plays dumb when needed of him to. 

As for the characters later which draw my attention it would have to be Cordelia. She is by far the one with the most tragic back story, I mean being exiled for a crime that she did not commit, not really that bad. But what happens to her during the time where she brought Victorique to the world I really would not say, and even more after her birth. Rather insane if you ask me. And her end, I would say pretty tragic for someone of her life where she spent it moving from one terrible situation from another. She is clearly one which wins my sympathy in this case. 

Overall, I would say that this has been one enjoyable anime for me. Where I spent them putting clues together, some I managed to figure out, others, I couldn’t even begin to scratch the surface itself. And watching a romance develop to me, is something I enjoy if it is slow, and in this case it has to be as Victorique is clearly rather difficult to love immediately. 

Rating: 5 out of 5


The Steep And Thorny Way 

I really liked this books, for its themes which are handled well. To the mystery itself which is rather difficult to solve, and has a really important part in conveying the theme. 

Having a biracial character here, and her narration was perfect. Simplistic but not too difficult and all the while. 

The character was absolutely well done. I really could see that this was a strong character, she goes through a lot of development here. And decides to fight it through ways that she can, by choosing to change the situation rather than just getting back. 

And her father’s death, which was something suspicious and itself had been interesting with a lot of turns. And I’m still surpised how the author managed to intertwine so much of actual history into it. The whole setting may be horrible, and bleak, but it’s a great portrayal of it that spares no reader, and most importantly makes us thankful for the times we live in now. 

Especially knowing that you can be sterilized just because of your skin colour or your orientation. 

The entire situation was the best thing about the book and how it can cause a man’s death. It is a bleak future, but Hanalee still believes she can change it. And I really admire her for that, and all the more makes her a relatable character when she makes mistakes and assumed her father’s killer to what is reality. I accepted it, really and when everything came crashing down, I hoped that she would come out alive in this. 

As for the other characters many of them stood out. There is almost no romance here. Even the main male character isn’t interested in dating Hanalee, he’s more likely to date a guy instead. And I like the story for being about a biracial girl who wants to know the truth of her father’s death, only to find a really really insane cult against her, and one who wants to “purify” Oregon. 

I really really enjoyed this book, for it focusing more on the difficult issues rather than just romance. And it’s something you should pick up for a realistic portrayal of America in 1920s. 

Rating: 5 out of 5