The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library #1) by Genevieve Cogman

21416690Summary (from http://www.goodreads.com):
The first installment of an adventure featuring stolen books, secret agents and forbidden societies – think Doctor Who with librarian spies!

Irene must be at the top of her game or she’ll be off the case – permanently…

Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she’s posted to an alternative London. Their mission – to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it’s already been stolen. London’s underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book.

Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested – the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene’s new assistant is also hiding secrets of his own.

Soon, she’s up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of danger, clues and secret societies. Yet failure is not an option – the nature of reality itself is at stake.

Review:

Oh my goodness! How wonderfully fun was this book?! Another recommendation from a fellow bibliophile, this was an addictive read.

Irene is a spunky, resourceful, professional spy who collects books for the mysterious Library. I enjoyed Irene’s asides (written in parenthesis) and the humour with which Cogman voices her. Kai, Irene’s apprentice, is powerful and enchanting and a trusted colleague. The interaction between Kai and Irene is, for a lack of a better word, fun to read.

I can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed this book. The mix of magic and mystery and adventure and a strong female lead has made this one of my favorite reads of this year (well, in the last two weeks!). I’m already on to the second book, The Masked Library (The Invisible Library #2)!

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2014 Summer Reading Review – Part 1

So far, my 2014 Summer Reading has been eclectic. I’ve read everything from history to fantasy to young adult and to mystery. However, from what I have read so far, the novels that I enjoyed the most and would recommend to others are: Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan, The Salinger Contract by Adam Langer, and The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker. These novels were suspense-filled, wonderfully written,  and just absolutely magical. Happy reading!

Review: Inspector Singh Mysteries by Shamini Flint

11053574Summary (from Amazon.com):

The fourth in the series about the corpulent, chain-smoking, likeable inspector from Singapore’s police service is set against the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Inspector Singh is in Cambodia, wishing he wasn’t. He has been sent as an observer to the international war crimes tribunal in Phnom Penh in the latest effort by his superiors to ensure that he is anywhere except in Singapore. But for the first time the fat Sikh inspector finds himself on the verge of losing his appetite, when a key member of the tribunal is murdered in cold blood. The authorities are determined to write off the incident as a random act of violence, but Singh thinks otherwise. It isn’t long before he finds himself caught up in one of the most terrible murder investigations he’s witnessed, the roots of which lie in the dark depths of the Cambodian killing fields.

S6483055ummary (from Goodreads):

Inspector Singh is back, but this time on secondment to Bali. A bomb has exploded and Singh has been sent to help with anti-terrorism efforts. But there’s a slight problem: he knows squat about hunting terrorists. He’s much better suited to solving murder! So when a body is discovered in the wreckage, killed by a bullet before the bomb went off, Singh should be the one to find the answers – especially with the help of a wily Australian copper by his side. But simple murders are never as simple as they seem – and this one has far-reaching global consequences.

17738824Summary (from Goodreads):

Inspector Singh’s expertise is required in China in his sixth adventure, as he battles political intrigue to get to the bottom of a very murky and complex crime. Inspector Singh is on a mission to China, against his better judgment. The son of a bigwig at the Singapore Embassy has been bludgeoned to death in a back alley in Beijing. The Chinese security insist that he was the victim of a robbery gone wrong, but the young man’s mother demands that Singapore’s finest (in his own opinion) rides to the rescue. But solving a murder in a country that practices socialism “with Chinese characteristics” is a dangerous business, and it soon becomes apparent that getting to the bottom of this calamitous killing will be his toughest case yet.

Review: 

Okay, so you must have realized, dear reader, that the novels above are not listed in order. This is because I didn’t read the books in order because these books don’t need to be read in order. I chose to begin with these because I’ve visited one place and want to desperately visit the other two.

Inspector Singh is introduced in detail in each book – his eating habits (love of curries and beer), issues with his wife, the difficult relationship with his boss, and his love of white sneakers. This way, the reader is introduced to (first timers) and reminded (returning readers) of all that makes Inspector Singh, Inspector Singh. Each novel is focused on a crime that has many twists and turns leading to an unexpected resolution.

Inspector Singh is larger than life and jumps off the page, the settings are researched and described in detail, but the writing could be a little tighter. However, I have enjoyed the three mysteries I have read so far, and will most definitely read the rest. Recommended.

Review: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (Cormoran Strike #1)

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Summary (from Goodreads):

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you’ve never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you’ve never seen them under an investigation like this.

Review:

This is how mysteries should be written – intelligent, suspenseful, flawed, human characters, and full of old fashioned noir! With every new clue, interview, and revelation about Cormoran Stark and the main suspects, I found myself hoping, praying the pages would not end. I cannot put into words how much I enjoyed this novel, and how I hope there will be another, another, and another. Highly recommended!