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|Print List Price:||$14.95|
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Invitation to Die (Emily Castles Mysteries) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 209 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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- The Emily Castles Mysteries to Invitation to Die (Emily Castles Mysteries)
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My original review of Episode 1:
One of my favorite things about reading is getting a sense of how an author's mind works. I've read several of Helen Smith's books, and I've come to expect fun stories and fascinating characters. The first episode of Invitation to Die is already fitting the bill quite nicely.
From the opening paragraphs, we all know who is expected to "get it in the neck" (poor lady), but who, pray tell, will be doing the dirty deed? And why? Not to mention when and how?
What follows is an introduction to a marvelous cast of well-fleshed characters, each one with a quirk (or two) that could very well lead to the committing of a villainous act.
I'm delighted by the chosen setting for the story: a conference for romance writers. When a group of talented, creative, extremely ambitious women are thrown together, anything can happen. (And I mean anything. Believe me! I've attended my fair share of romance writers' conferences. The stories I could tell would curl your hair. Perfect setting for a murder mystery.)
The last serial I read was years ago, when The Green Mile was published in installments. I can remember arriving at the bookstore, impatiently standing by as the bookstore owner broke open the carton of books. I feel exactly the same now. I want episode two of Invitation to Die! And I want it now!
Now that the series is complete, I want to add to my original first episode review and give a better idea of the book as a whole. Every book in the Emily Castles Mysteries has painted a better picture of who Emily is. There is something very appealing about this character. She finds herself in these random and bizarre circumstances and yet remains inquisitive and unflappable. I think part of what I like the most about Emily is that she is so down to earth and "normal" and yet she is constantly surrounded by these eccentric personalities that are so well developed and described by Helen Smith.
It is not necessary to have read any of the other two Emily Castles stories to read and enjoy Invitation to Die but if you haven't I highly recommend that you check out Three Sisters (Emily Castles Mysteries) and Showstoppers (Emily Castles Mysteries). They are both great!
I find her writing poetical without being overstated, very descriptive, and her characters are filled out as you read. I really like the way that Emily solves these mysteries in a shyly confident but almost haphazard way. I'm still learning how to read this genre, but I think this story is golden.
I got this for 99 cents and it is maybe worth that. The first several pages (contained in the sample) are the best...the person's "beginning of everything" excitement and the husband's reactions brought a cloud to my eye as I remembered some aspirations of my own. However, the rest of the book just did not live up to those, in terms of character depth or interest. The characters are just a list of names/types and it is impossible to care about any of them. The plot trudges along, then is "wrapped up" in a jumble.
There’s an extra pleasure for romance writers and readers in Invitation to Die because it takes place at a romance writers & readers conference. Every little bit of the story shows someone who knows and loves the genre as well as being aware of its foibles. You will recognize the sort of authors and bloggers teasingly portrayed with a sense of fun but also realistically enough to be more than mere caricatures. I laughed out loud a lot while reading this. There are some great passages including an epic blogger dream of success but it’s near the end so I don’t want to give anything away. Here are a few good bits:
Surely there was a more appropriate word than gathering: a pash, a kiss, a smooch of romance authors?
“I have never been so humiliated!”
Cerys whispered to Zena, “There speaks a man. Never had a smear test or a mammogram.”
“I think, if you don’t mind, I’ll start at the end and work backward.”
“Who are you? Martin Amis?”
Smith is more than just amusing, however; the mystery is well spun and will keep you guessing right up until the end. Emily Castles is an unassuming young woman, not a snoopy busybody. She’s motivated more by curiosity than anything else and quietly observant of the people around her. She’s nice which seems to be a rare attribute in heroines. I loved the professor Dr Muriel, too. Perhaps there’s just something delightful about an intelligent older woman who speaks her mind.
Check out Smith — you’ll be delighted.
Most recent customer reviews
Droll humor and wacky characters are the best parts of this book.Read more
Morgana Blakely (president of the committee, romance writer/author) had...Read more