Mayhem at the Orient Express (League of Literary Ladies # 1) - Cozy mysteries based on other books; Sign me up!
Three different Booklikes reviewers clued me onto this series and I want to take this moment to say a big thank you to: Murder by Death, Lyssa's novel ideas, and Sheila's Reads!
I'll admit, my cozy mystery reading is a very on again, off again affair. It's not that I don't like series I pick up...I believe it's the sheer volume of what's out there. I generally don't try a series unless someone I know has read it and liked it and I just tend to be wary of them. However, when I saw the this and the second book come across my dashboard and read the reviews, I knew I had to read them.
And I liked what I found! The ladies are interesting, their interactions can be quite hysterical, and you really get the sense of a small town about the place. Bea, who is our lens onto this world, was easily my favorite. She’s complex; strong of times and vulnerable at others. While we learn some of her backstory, I feel there is more to discover and look forward to seeing if I’m right. Luella ties her. I love that woman! She holds the divergent group together and has quite a head on her shoulders. Kate and Chandra tie for my least favorites. While both get better over the course of the book, the two of them very easily get on my nerves. Kate can be a bit…much at times and Chandra is…hard to take sometimes. However, when the four of them get together – watch out Put-in-Bay!
The story did a good job of connecting to Murder on the Orient Express without completely stealing from it nor making its mystery too predictable. While you don’t have to have read Agatha Christie’s book, I highly recommend doing so because they do spoil the plot and it aids greatly in understanding what’s going on.
The mystery itself wasn’t bad. I guessed parts of it(show spoiler)
but other parts were definitely a surprise. All the suspicions didn’t feel contrived (though one does wonder if it always happens that so many people who hate a person just happen to show up at the exactly wrong time!) and the characters held up well as suspects.
I’m on the fence about Levi. One the one hand, anyone with that name can’t be bad! (Someone very close to me has that name.) But, I’m not sure about his and Bea’s…interactions is probably the best term. I get that he’s good looking, but Bea’s ‘oooh, look at him now!’ was a bit much after a while. I think I’ll have to see where things go in the future.
All in all, I liked this book! It’s on my list to buy and I already have the next book waiting for me at the library. If you like books (as most of you do on this site) and cozy mysteries, this is one I definitely suggest you try out.
Note: Thoughts on parts of the series (don't click if you haven't read!).(show spoiler)
1. [Warning: While there's nothing horrible in here, there is a bit of language.]↩