Time for another round of mini-reviews. Every time I put together one of these posts, I grow to like them more and more. This week I’m sharing mini reviews for Rachel McMillan’s The Bachelor Girls Guide to Murder and Lisa Brown Roberts’ How (Not) to Fall in Love. Covers below are linked to Goodreads.
Rachel McMillan’s novel, The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder, is perfect for mystery novel fans and if you’re looking for a similar set-up to Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher series. Set in 1910 Toronto, Merinda Herrington is determined to show everyone that she and her best friend Jemina Watts are more than capable of solving crimes, despite society’s stringent expectations of women. The majority of the story is told from Jem’s perspective, and while Merinda is fully committed to their new business, Jem isn’t sure she’s quite cut out for the job. She brought a vulnerability to the narrative that was nicely balanced with Merinda’s tenacity. Of the male characters, I really liked Ray DeLuca, a reporter who sees the potential in these women. I especially enjoyed his growing relationship with Jem. I will say that I guessed pretty early on who the mystery murderer was, but it was really interesting reading out the Morality Squad and how they policed the behavior of women.
Lisa Brown Roberts’ How (Not) to Fall in Love is the perfect read for fans of Kasie West. It’s always important to me to pick up contemporary books that are more than about romance. Darcy deals with a lot of things when her father disappears and everything around her starts to fall apart. She finds solace in this new world belonging to her estranged uncle, while both of her parents check out in different ways. Darcy rises to the occasion, taking on many of the responsibilities that should be her mother’s, gaining confidence in herself even while her desperation to find her father grows. Her relationship with Lucas was very sweet. I’m always partial to relationships that begin as friendship, but I did find that somewhere in the middle of the book, I became frustrated with their interactions. There were elements of miscommunication and it drove me crazy how often I was told that Lucas was hot. Sometimes it felt that Darcy could never get past how attractive he was, and I wanted her to focus more on who he was as a person. He’s kind and caring and I think I would have felt more moved if I wasn’t told every time he showed up that he was so hot. Overall, I did enjoy this book and with a few changes, I would have given it four stars.