Mini Reviews: The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder + How (Not) to Fall in Love

MiniTime 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.

Title: The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder
Author: Rachel McMillan
Series: Herringford and Watts Mysteries, #1
Pages: 222
Publisher: Harvest House
Release Date: March 1st 2016

      “In 1910 Toronto, while other bachelor girls perfect their domestic skills and find husbands, two friends perfect their sleuthing skills and find a murderer.
      Inspired by their fascination with all things Sherlock Holmes, best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem launch a consulting detective business. The deaths of young Irish women lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city’s underbelly, where the high hopes of those dreaming to make a new life in Canada are met with prejudice and squalor.
      While searching for answers, donning disguises, and sneaking around where no proper ladies would ever go, they pair with Jasper Forth, a police constable, and Ray DeLuca, a reporter in whom Jem takes a more than professional interest. Merinda could well be Toronto’s premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever–if they can stay alive long enough to do so.”

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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.

Rating: 3/5

★★★


Title: How (Not) to Fall in Love
Author: Lisa Brown Roberts
Series: N/A
Pages: 352
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Release Date: February 3rd 2015 

      “Seventeen-year-old Darcy Covington never had to worry about money or where her next shopping spree was coming from. Even her dog ate gourmet. Then one day, Darcy’s car is repossessed from the parking lot of her elite private school. As her father’s business hit the skids, Dad didn’t just skip town, he bailed on his family.
      Fortunately, Darcy’s uncle owns a thrift shop where she can hide out from the world. There’s also Lucas, the wickedly hot fix-it guy she can’t stop crushing on, even if she’s not sure they’ll ever get out of the friend zone.
      But it’s here among the colorful characters of her uncle’s world that Darcy begins to see something more in herself… if she has the courage to follow it.”

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“My world was tilting on its axis and there was nothing to grab onto. I was flying into space, with no one to catch me.

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.

Rating: 3/5

★★★

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11 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder + How (Not) to Fall in Love

  1. Although both the books you reviewed caught my interest, I don’t know if I want to read them. For the first one: as much as I love mystery novels, I don’t really enjoy reading about the obvious outcomes. For the second one: I do not appreciate characters that go on and on about someone’s looks. It’s just simply annoying. Great reviews! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The name Darcy always triggers a warning: this will be a retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Was it? I have to read more romance books because so many girls want to read romances and I need to have more books to recommend. I’ll check this out.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Monthly Wrap-Up: July ’16 | A Kernel of Nonsense

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