The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin My rating: 1 of 5 stars I’m not sure what this was supposed to be: A mystery? There’s nothing really mysterious here apart from the fact who Westing and his ex-wife might be. The “bomber” (whose motives I never fully understood)? That’s just plainly revealed at some point. The writing itself might be a mystery because at times I felt like I read in some truly foreign language because the story as told by...

The Untold Story by Genevieve Cogman My rating: 5 of 5 stars »And here in the Library, even if our outer layer is order, we have an inner heart of chaos. We read too much for it to be anything else.« When I first encountered “The Invisible Library” I was intrigued: A library beyond space and time; an autonomous realm that sends out its spies to “acquire” unique books in order to safeguard the balance between chaos and order not in just ...

The Drowning Girls by Lisa Regan My rating: 4 of 5 stars Phew… After the disappointing book 12 I was afraid I might have had a fatal overdose of Josie Quinn. This thirteenth book in the series was firmly on-track again, though, and mostly free of the overbearing ghost of you-know-who. In fact, despite the fact this is a mass-produced series, the premise is interesting enough (notoriously good girl vanishes, her and her family’s dirty laundry ...

Her Deadly Touch by Lisa Regan My rating: 2 of 5 stars Josie whines about her dead granny.Josie finds a body.Josie whines again about her dead granny.People vanish. Joise: “My poor dead granny!”Josie is in the morgue, sees a body and, yes, you guessed it…And so forth till the very end. (Don’t get me wrong: Practically everyone from previous generations of my extended family are dead. Four during the last three years alone. I know grief bu...

2021 on Goodreads by Various My rating: 4 of 5 stars As I look back on reading in 2021 I find another mixed bag: Just like in 2020, my average rating was a mere 3.5 Goodreads tells me and that feels about right. The year started on a high and hopeful note when Amanda Gorman recited her poem “The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country” at Biden’s inauguration. If Gorman’s ideas took hold, we’d really “raise this wounded world...

Hush Little Girl by Lisa Regan My rating: 4 of 5 stars An isolated, hidden house in the woods, half a family murdered, a cancelled wedding, lots of suspense, a major personal loss… “Hush Little Girl” is one more mystery/thriller from Regan’s production line – she writes three to four books in this series per year. Thus, it cannot really surprise anyone that while these books are fairly entertaining, they’re all derived from the sa...

Risen by Benedict Jacka My rating: 4 of 5 stars In this final instalment of the Alex Verus series, we accompany Alex on his “farewell tour” and the final siege that will decide the fate of all mages – Dark and White – in Great Britain. Over the run of the previous 11 (!) books Alex has had a formidable run: From a former Dark apprentice and shop owner he has risen to become a major force among mages in Britain. He has made a few f...

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik My rating: 4 of 5 stars Well, this was a fairly mixed bag of a read… A school for kids learning to control their magic, surrounded by hostile creatures and even the school making life as hard as possible for its pupils. Pupils who are left entirely on their own – no teachers, hardly any protection and a deadly competition for resources, power and the arcane… It sounds all so well and, indeed, I was draw...

Das Ereignis by Annie Ernaux My rating: 5 of 5 stars »(Vielleicht wirkt diese Beschreibung irritierend oder abstoßend, oder sie mag als geschmacklos empfunden werden. Etwas erlebt zu haben, egal, was es ist, verleiht einem das unveräußerliche Recht, darüber zu schreiben. Es gibt keine minderwertige Wahrheit. Wenn ich diese Erfahrung nicht im Detail erzähle, trage ich dazu bei, die Lebenswirklichkeit von Frauen zu verschleiern, und mache mic...

The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny My rating: 5 of 5 stars I’ve long been a fan of Louise Penny’s series about Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Satisfyingly, Penny is more than capable of writing thrilling mysteries but additionally she has never been shy to address the major topics of our time (this book being no exception…). Then there is the almost mystical village of Three Pines in which most of the novels play out and which features ...

The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin
Book Review/ 21. January 2022

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin My rating: 1 of 5 stars I’m not sure what this was supposed to be: A mystery? There’s nothing really mysterious here apart from the fact who Westing and his ex-wife might be. The “bomber” (whose motives I never fully understood)? That’s just plainly revealed at some point. The writing itself might be a mystery because at times I felt like I read in some truly foreign language because the story ...

The Untold Story (The Invisible Library #8), by Genevieve Cogman
Book Review/ 14. January 2022

The Untold Story by Genevieve Cogman My rating: 5 of 5 stars »And here in the Library, even if our outer layer is order, we have an inner heart of chaos. We read too much for it to be anything else.« When I first encountered “The Invisible Library” I was intrigued: A library beyond space and time; an autonomous realm that sends out its spies to “acquire” unique books in order to safeguard the balance between chaos and order no...

The Drowning Girls (Detective Josie Quinn #13), by Lisa Regan
Book Review/ 9. January 2022

The Drowning Girls by Lisa Regan My rating: 4 of 5 stars Phew… After the disappointing book 12 I was afraid I might have had a fatal overdose of Josie Quinn. This thirteenth book in the series was firmly on-track again, though, and mostly free of the overbearing ghost of you-know-who. In fact, despite the fact this is a mass-produced series, the premise is interesting enough (notoriously good girl vanishes, her and her family’s dirt...

Her Deadly Touch (Detective Josie Quinn #12), by Lisa Regan
Book Review/ 4. January 2022

Her Deadly Touch by Lisa Regan My rating: 2 of 5 stars Josie whines about her dead granny.Josie finds a body.Josie whines again about her dead granny.People vanish. Joise: “My poor dead granny!”Josie is in the morgue, sees a body and, yes, you guessed it…And so forth till the very end. (Don’t get me wrong: Practically everyone from previous generations of my extended family are dead. Four during the last three years alone. I kno...

2021 in books
Book Review , Personal/ 1. January 2022

2021 on Goodreads by Various My rating: 4 of 5 stars As I look back on reading in 2021 I find another mixed bag: Just like in 2020, my average rating was a mere 3.5 Goodreads tells me and that feels about right. The year started on a high and hopeful note when Amanda Gorman recited her poem “The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country” at Biden’s inauguration. If Gorman’s ideas took hold, we’d really “raise this wou...

Hush Little Girl (Detective Josie Quinn #11), by Lisa Regan
Book Review/ 1. January 2022

Hush Little Girl by Lisa Regan My rating: 4 of 5 stars An isolated, hidden house in the woods, half a family murdered, a cancelled wedding, lots of suspense, a major personal loss… “Hush Little Girl” is one more mystery/thriller from Regan’s production line – she writes three to four books in this series per year. Thus, it cannot really surprise anyone that while these books are fairly entertaining, they’re all derived f...

Risen (Alex Verus #12), by Benedict Jacka
Book Review/ 1. January 2022

Risen by Benedict Jacka My rating: 4 of 5 stars In this final instalment of the Alex Verus series, we accompany Alex on his “farewell tour” and the final siege that will decide the fate of all mages – Dark and White – in Great Britain. Over the run of the previous 11 (!) books Alex has had a formidable run: From a former Dark apprentice and shop owner he has risen to become a major force among mages in Britain. He has ma...

A Deadly Education (The Scholomance #1), by Naomi Novik
Book Review/ 11. December 2021

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik My rating: 4 of 5 stars Well, this was a fairly mixed bag of a read… A school for kids learning to control their magic, surrounded by hostile creatures and even the school making life as hard as possible for its pupils. Pupils who are left entirely on their own – no teachers, hardly any protection and a deadly competition for resources, power and the arcane… It sounds all so well and, indeed, ...

Das Ereignis, von Annie Ernaux
Book Review/ 17. November 2021

Das Ereignis by Annie Ernaux My rating: 5 of 5 stars »(Vielleicht wirkt diese Beschreibung irritierend oder abstoßend, oder sie mag als geschmacklos empfunden werden. Etwas erlebt zu haben, egal, was es ist, verleiht einem das unveräußerliche Recht, darüber zu schreiben. Es gibt keine minderwertige Wahrheit. Wenn ich diese Erfahrung nicht im Detail erzähle, trage ich dazu bei, die Lebenswirklichkeit von Frauen zu verschleiern, und...

The Madness of Crowds (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #17), by Louise Penny
Book Review/ 11. November 2021

The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny My rating: 5 of 5 stars I’ve long been a fan of Louise Penny’s series about Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Satisfyingly, Penny is more than capable of writing thrilling mysteries but additionally she has never been shy to address the major topics of our time (this book being no exception…). Then there is the almost mystical village of Three Pines in which most of the novels play out and which...