Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder

GIVEAWAY

MCMILLAN, RACHEL
THE BACHERLOR GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER

Beneath the façade of a wealthy aristocrat may beat the black hear of a killer.

In 1910 Toronto, most bachelor girls are perfecting their domestic skills and finding husbands.

But Merinda Herringford and Jem Watts have never been ordinary. As the two detectives launch their business, the deaths of young Irish women lead them deep into the mire of the city's underbelly.

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 who Jem takes a more than professional interest. Merinda could well become 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.

My Review:

If you are a fan of the Canadian television series, Murdoch Mysteries you will want to leap right into the pages of this book. The same quirky ambiance of the TV show can be found in The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder. Just as campy. Just as fun. Glimpses into the sordid side of Toronto at the turn of the century and the inner workings of the constabulary provide the perfect backdrop for an intriguing murder mystery.

Merinda and Jem outrageously flaunt propriety by living alone with only a disapproving housekeeper as a chaperone. And then they push society boundaries even further when they open their own detective agency. Where Merinda leads, Jem follows and it's always into trouble. Merinda is almost tyrannical in her pursuit of the killer and I found her lack of empathy off putting at times.

But this is largely Jem's story. At the beginning of the book she seems to be Merinda's unwilling shadow. Not quite as keen or convicted, this is her journey towards finding herself and while she does achieve a personal epiphany, she never quite shakes loose of Merinda's influence which bodes well for future books in the series.

It took me a while to get into the rhythm of the story and that's largely because there's a mix of point of view styles that had me floundering at times. A lot is relayed through a narrator's lens and though the technique fits with the time period, it served to keep me distanced from most of the characters. In addition, the author frequently addresses her readers with witty asides in the form of footnotes which pulled me out of the story as well.

I liked Ray's scenes the best. They were from his point of view and revealed so much about his work, his family, his back story. He just seemed more fleshed out, and therefore alive compared to the other main characters. He cuts quite the dashing figure -- suitably contrary but of noble intent with a penchant for a certain female detective.

I was surprised by the lack of a significant inspirational thread (this is a Harvest House publication, after all). There was lots of potential to dig deeper -- especially in Jem's storyline. I read Christian fiction with the expectation of a solid faith thread. It doesn't have to be preachy or consume a story but I want to come away feeling uplifted and convicted in some way. I know this is a current trend in the Christian publishing industry, but as most of you know, it's not one I'm particularly fond of. :-)

This is Rachel McMillian's debut novel -- the next book in the series is due out in the fall. Her combination of wit and mayhem is perfect for readers who enjoy their cozy mysteries with a bit of an edge.

My thanks to Harvest House Publishers and Litfuse Publicity Group for providing me with a copy of this book.


GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of  The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday April 17 2016. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

In addition to my giveaway, the author is doing her own. Details below. Please follow the link at the bottom of this post in order to enter for Rachel's giveaway.

Rachel is celebrating the release of The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder with a Murder Mystery Prize Pack giveaway (details below) and an author chat party on April 28!
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One grand prize winner will receive:

One copy of The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder
A magnifying glass necklace
A bowler hat
A pocket watch
A $30 Amazon gift card
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 4/28. The winner will be announced at The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Rachel and other readers, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!
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RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 28th!

29 comments:

  1. I adore Murdoch Mysteries, so I'm pretty sure I would enjoy this book. I have been contemplating getting it just because of the cover. I'm liking this design trend.
    duhpaynes[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. Another Murdoch Mystery fan! You'll enjoy this read then for sure. And the cover is unique, isn't it? Quite eye catching. Good luck, Anne.

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  2. I am looking forward to this one. I am also a fan of Murdoch Mysteries so that clinches it for me. Thank you for the review and giveaway!
    momrain(AT)aol(DOT)com

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    1. This is a great series for you, Loraine. There are four books that I know of and they are being released fairly close together which is so much fun for the reader. Plus the author seems to be releasing a novella that goes along with each book too. Good luck.

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  3. I don't think I've ever seen Murdoch Mysteries but I'd probably enjoy it ... off to search Netflix! I'm another person who loves the cover design of this book. Thanks for hosting this giveaway. :o) volunteervalATaolDOTcom

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    1. I think it has a different title in the states...The Artful Detective maybe? Good luck, Valerie.

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  4. Oh my, I have wanted this since first hearing about it!! Sounds SO good!
    lattebooksAThotmailDOTcom

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    1. It's totally unique and definitely intriguing. Good luck, Susan.

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  5. I am certainly intrigued by this one. Thank you, Kav!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. You're welcome, Melanie. Good luck.

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  6. Never heard of the Murdoch Mysteries so I'd have no comparison. I do like a good mystery though!

    It really is sad when publishing companies are straying from a strong faith theme, a shame really. Do they want to lose the Christian reader audience? Like you said, they don't have to be necessarily preachy, but I do expect to come away from the book changed somehow!

    That being said, I'd give this book a chance :-)

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. LOL -- I read an interview with Rachel McMillian on readingismysuperpower blog. She addresses the issue of the subtle faith message and it is with the hope that the book will crossover into the general market as well. Here's the link if you want to read it yourself. http://readingismysuperpower.org/2016/04/14/author-interview-rachel-mcmillan/ You might have to copy and paste that into your browser bar. Anyhow -- good luck, Trixi!!!!!!

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  7. Being Canadian, and a fan of the era, this highly appeals to me. Thank you for the chance!

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    1. You're welcome, fredamans. Good luck.

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  8. So excited about this book! I've been looking forward to it and can't wait for a chance to read it!

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  9. I enjoy cozy mysteries and like the cover of this one. I'm looking forward to reading The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder. Thanks for your review and the chance to win it.
    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. The cover is really catchy, isn't it? Good luck, Pam.

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  10. I've enjoyed Rachel's humor for years on facebook so I'm thrilled for what's to come for her with this series! I'd love to be in the drawing for the book. The cover is so catchy and clever and I'm glad Rachel had input on it. I trust her mad skillz,eh?
    debraemarvin at the big yahoo in the sky

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    1. LOL sneaking in some Canadian lingo, eh? Yes -- the cover is so campy and different and I've seen the other covers posted elsewhere and they are all really striking and in the same style. Good luck, Debra.

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  11. SQUEEEEE!!!! I am so excited about this series!
    psalm103and138 at gmail dot com

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    1. Squeeeeeee right back at you. Totally different from anything out there. Good luck, Caryl.

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  12. Sounds like an interesting book and such a clever title and cover!
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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    1. It's so different from anything out there. Good luck, rubynreba.

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  13. 6 Months ago I read an interview with Rachel McMillan and decided to get this one for my fellow Sherlockian fan friend and her daughter. tlhcoupon(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Sherlock fans will love it. Good luck, Terrill.

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