Book Review: Finlay Donovan Rolls The Dice (Finlay Donovan, #4) by Elle Cosimano

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Finlay Donovan Rolls The Dice (Finlay Donovan, #4)  by Elle Cosimano opens with Finlay Donovan and her nanny, Vero, planning a trip to Atlantic City to pay off some debts, find Javi, and retrieve a stolen car.  But first, they come up with a cover story that backfires miserably.  Finlay and Vero have to be clever and sneaky to accomplish what they set out to do, but will they have to come clean? Thank you, NetGalley, for the Advanced Readers Copy (ARC) of Finlay Donovan Rolls The Dice (Finlay Donovan, #4) by Elle Cosimano.  This is one of the books I was most excited about being able to read before it was in stores.  I received the eBook for free in exchange for my honest review. The fourth installment picks up where the last book ended and ties up the loose ends from Finlay Donovan Knocks Them Dead (Finlay Donovan, #3)  . . . so much so that I thought that this was going to be the last book in the series.  However, Finlay Donovan Rolls The Dice ends up having a couple of cliffhangers,

Book Review: Curse of the Spellmans (The Spellmans, #2) by Lisa Lutz

the spellman files
Much to my surprise, I won a copy of Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz on a First Reads Giveaway on Goodreads.com in return for an honest review. It was one of the first books I ever won on the site. Super excited that I'd won this book, I picked up the first book in the series The Spellman Files off of my bookshelf so that I could read it before I got the book I won in the mail from the publisher. (Typically, I won't read a book in a series unless I have read all the ones that came before it.) It was kismet that I had found the first book in the series at Barnes & Noble in the bargin bin!

Curse of the Spellmans takes place in San Francisco, California and is about a family of private investigators. In this installment, Izzy Spellman has been arrested four times in three months and has to be bailed out of jail by Morty, her aging lawyer because her parents (and managers) refuse to do so. While Izzy is busy surveying her next door neighbor, her sister Rae is busy stalking Henry Stone, Izzy's best friend who just happens to be a cop. On top of that, a copycat is vandalizing Mrs. Chandler's lawn display, and it's eerily similar to what Izzy and her best friend had done in 1991-1992.

This isn't your typical mystery book . . . so don't be surprised when it doesn't read like an Agatha Christie or P.D. James book. With that being said, it is a terrifically funny mystery that had me laughing out loud in several places. Something that sets this series aside from others is that the author has footnotes throughout the book where she goes into further detail. It's done quite well and doesn't detract from the experience at all. As far as character development, I think Lisa Lutz did a great job in giving us insight to the characters personalities. I felt like I really knew them.

If you don't like books that jump back and forth between the present day, the future, and the past, then the Curse of the Spellmans might not be for you because it did quite a bit of this. I typically am not bothered by this, but it was a little hard for me to keep up with it. I gave Curse of the Spellmans 3 stars out of 5.

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