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Month in review

Reviews
Bad Neighbors by Maia Chance
Bat and the Waiting Game by Elana K. Arnold
The Bicycle Spy by Yona Zeldis McDonough
Bloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli by Kyo Maclear and Julie Morstad
Canada and the Canadian Question by Goldwin Smith
Dear Mrs Bird by A.J. Pearce
Don't Cosplay with My Heart by Cecil Castellucci
Flo by Kyo Maclear and Jay Fleck
A Friendly Town That's Almost Always by the Ocean! by Kir Fox and M. Shelley Coats
The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis
Locke & Key, Volume 3: Crown of Shadows by Joe Hill
The Mad Apprentice by Django Wexler
March: Book Two by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
The Mushroom Fan Club by Elise Gravel
My Boyfriend Bites by Dan Jolley and Alitha E. Martinez
My Little Pony: Micro-Series: #2: Rainbow Dash by Ryan K. Lindsay
My Little Pony: Micro-Series: #5: Pinkie Pie by Ted Anderson
The Night Garden by Polly Horvath
Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf
The Orphan Band of Springdale by Anne Nesbet
Ratscalibur by Josh Lieb
Rhymoceros by Janik Coat
The Sandwich Swap by Rania al-Abdullah
Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore
Secret at Mystic Lake by Carolyn Keene
Slider by Pete Hautman
Soupy Leaves Home by Cecil Castellucci
Sunny by Jason Reynolds
This is Paris by Miroslav Sasek
The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones by Will Mabbitt
The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant

Miscellaneous
April 2018 sources
April 2018 summary
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (May 07)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (May 14) It's Monday, What Are You Reading (May 21) It's Monday, What Are You Reading (May 28) Reading Current

Road Essays
Getting there: it's the road, stupid
In the upside-down: the hobo life in Oz
Re-Mapping the road narrative project
Sibling magic on and off road in the fantasy and horror road narrative
Small towns and out of the way places
Traveling party

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish



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Bad Neighbors: 05/30/18

Bad Neighbors

Bad Neighbors by Maia Chance is the second of the Agnes and Effie mysteries. The remodel of the inn has gotten the green light and while progress is slow it is coming along. Agnes finds out, though, that her aunt's inn will get its first real test when a fall colors tour bus breaks down and the passengers need somewhere to stay. While most of the passengers can go to established inns, there just aren't enough rooms available, so Effie's inn has to help out.

Meanwhile, one of the mechanics in this small town is found murdered. It looks like Otis, Agnes's new boyfriend, is the prime suspect. With a tag along crew of elderly tourists, Agnes sets out to prove his innocence.

Agnes and Effie are such an odd couple: the jaded twenty or thirty something, and the exuberant, live life to the fullest aunt. Either one by themselves would be a archetypal cozy mystery sleuth but I can't recall a pairing of these two in any other series I've read, especially when there is a familial bond, rather than a romantic one.

Effie, especially is a throwback to a kind of character I haven't seen in other recent series. She reminds me of Endora from Bewitched, minus the magic of course. She's that aunt or mother figure that everyone should have but no one necessarily wants. She's the one who has tried everything at least once and is still finding new things to try.

Agnes, meanwhile, is the millennial down on her luck and forced to move home. She's a breath of fresh air to the flood of Baby Boomer generation of protagonists that have flooded the mystery series market in recent decades.

Admittedly the mystery is still a little rough around the edges but the clues and the pacing are different and fresh. I like where this series is going and hope to be able to follow it for a bunch more books to see how it grows and evolves.

Five stars

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