Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Bookish Mewsings: Grave Reservations & Flight Risk by Cherie Priest

Leda Foley of Leda Foley's Far-Fletched Flights of Fancy cringed at her phone screen. ~ opening of Grave Reservations

Grave Reservations
 (The Booking Agents #1) by Cherie Priest
Atria, 2021 
Crime Fiction; 304 pgs

Business is not exactly booming for travel agent and inconsistent psychic Leda Foley who is trying to keep her business Foley's Flights of Fancy afloat, but she is managing the best she can. Seattle PD detective Grady Merritt isn't too thrilled when his travel agent changes his flight at the last minute, but it isn't long before he realizes she did it to save his life. As a last ditch effort to solve a cold case he is struggling with, he reaches out to Leda for help. The more Grady and Leda dig, there are signs that a mystery from Leda's past may be connected to Grady's cold case.

Leda, sometimes joined by her best friend Niki, can overwhelm Grady at times, but they make a good team when all is said and done. Leda is not very confident in her psychic abilities, but she is gung ho about helping Grady in his investigation. And if if helps her figure out what happened to her deceased fiancĂ©, all the better.  Grady's more practical thoughtful approach balances out Leda's more impulsive one. Their methods and teaming up may be unconventional, but it makes for an entertaining mystery.

Some of my favorite moments took place at the nightclub Castaways where where Leda hones her psychic skills by performing karaoke, singing whatever song come to mind after she touches someone's personal item. While these scenes may not be directly related to the mystery, they offer more insight into Leda's character and that of her growing abilities. 

Author Cherie Priest mixes humor, the paranormal, and mystery in the first of a promising new series. I enjoyed the back and forth between the characters and the twists and turns of the mystery. Which is why I did not wait too long before jumping into the second book in the Booking Agents series, Flight Risk

The man in the red plaid shirt fought to get away. ~ opening of Flight Risk

Flight Risk (The Booking Agents #2) by Cherie Priest
Atria, 2022
Crime Fiction; 304 pgs

Since her success in helping to solve a murder case in Grave Reservations, people have reached out to Leda to find their missing objects and pets, but now she's being asked to find a missing person. The missing woman's brother is desperate to find her. Leda warns her client her psychic abilities are inconsistent and do not always lead to results, but they both agree she will give it a try. 

Meanwhile, detective Grady and his teenage daughter come across an unexpected discovery while searching for their runaway dog, Cairo, in Mount Rainier National Park. They find him, alright--carrying a detached human leg in his mouth. Through some luck, a DNA match comes back fairly quickly, and Grady has a lead. Although, nothing proves to be quite that easy. Where is the rest of the body? And what exactly happened? 

It's a given Leda and Grady's cases must be related somehow--but I will keep mum to avoid spoilers. Leda and Grady team up to work with each other, along with the occasional help of Leda's bestfriend, Niki. Leda's psychic hunches and Grady's policework can hopefully lead them to the answers they are looking for.

Leda and Grady make a very unusual team--a generation of differences which stand out more in this novel than the last, but those differences work to their advantage more often than not. I admit there were a couple of times I cringed on Grady's behalf when Leda and Niki overstepped the bounds of the investigation--but that could be more because I relate slightly more to Grady as a character. Leda is a great character in her own right though, and I am always rooting for her. 

Like in the last book, Leda's Klairvoyant Karaoke performances were among my favorite moments--I cannot help but wish I could take part in one of her shows! This second book in the series was as funny as the first, the mystery even more tangled (in a good way) and an overall enjoyable read. 

© 2022, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: Defining a Cozy Read

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely Jana at The Artsy Reader Girl.

I devoted a significant amount of my reading this year to cozy reading, gravitating towards books that would take me out of my reality for awhile because, well, it's been a rough year and that's what my soul needed most. For this week's Top Ten Tuesday topic, I am sharing some of the qualities that define a cozy read for me (alone or in combination). 

Magic ~ I cannot resist a book with an element of the paranormal or the supernatural. Especially if there's a witch.  

Romance ~ There is something to be said for the predictability of a romance novel, which is comforting. I also just really like to lose myself in the story of people falling in love and overcoming obstacles to be together, whether internal or external.

Humor ~ A little bit of humor can make all the difference. A book that makes me laugh out loud is great, but I am happy with just a chuckle or smile too. I love a good witty narrator or dialogue. 

Quirky or Eccentric Characters ~ This really depends on the type of the book, but sometimes quirky or eccentric characters offer a sense of levity to a scene or two. Not to mention they can be fun and interesting. 

Mystery ~ These days it's cozy mysteries (bookish and/or paranormal are my favorites) with the small town amateur sleuth, violence off the page, but sometimes I find comfort in something more intense with high suspense. Oh, and I can't forget historical mysteries, another favorite cozy read of mine.

Light-Hearted ~ I do not mind serious topics in a cozy read. Many take them on, in fact. It's a matter of how much and how they are handled that make a difference. I really like books that make me drown in or strongly bring out my emotions, but when I want a cozy read, those are not the books I am drawn to most. 

Holiday Themed ~ These types of books often fall into the sentimental and feel good category--and for good reason. 

Middle Grade Novels ~ The characters are often young and hopeful and can tackle any problem that comes their way (not without a struggle, of course). Plus, they tend to be fast reads. 

Happy Endings ~ Or happy for now, at least. I do not always need a happy ending (it depends on the book), but one of the things that makes a book a cozy read for me is the expectation that whatever conflicts that arise will be resolved. Like with romance, there's a predictability in that which is comforting. 

Atmosphere ~ I live in the wrong climate and location for my perfect cozy reading setting (sitting on a glider on a covered porch overlooking the lake and mountains, rain falling steadily). In lieu of that, I will take the comfort of the couch in my home library, surrounded by my books, my snuggly blanket across my lap, the windows open letting in a nice breeze, sunlight streaming in, and the cats keeping me company.

What qualities defines a cozy read for you? Do you have any recommendations?

© 2022, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.