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Month in review

Reviews
The Archer at Dawn by Swati Teerdhala
Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
Breaking the Mould by Victoria Hamilton
Cast Iron Alibi by Victoria Hamilton
Cleopatra in Space: Fallen Empires by Mike Maihack
Curse of the Were-wiener by Ursula Vernon
Delicious in Dungeon, Volume 5 by Ryoko Kui
The Do-Over by Jennifer Honeybourn
Drawing Lessons by Patricia Sands
Grand Theft Horse by G. Neri and Corban Wilkin (Illustrations)
Here Comes the Body by Maria DiRico and Devon Sorvari
Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan
(Im)perfectly Happy by Sharina Harris
To Kill a Mocking Girl by Harper Kincaid
Love & Other Curses by Michael Thomas Ford
My Brigadista Year by Katherine Paterson
Not Like the Movies by Kerry Winfrey
The Pawful Truth by Miranda James
See You On a Starry Night by Lisa Schroeder
Six Cats a Slayin' by Miranda James and Erin Bennett
Starworld by Audrey Coulthurst and Paula Garner
Sun and Moon Have a Tea Party by Yumi Heo
These Witches Don't Burn by Isabel Sterling
The 13 Clocks by James Thurber
This is Edinburgh by Miroslav Sasek
The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez by Adrianna Cuevas
Trouble the Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed by Laurie Halse Anderson
Yak and Dove by Kyo Maclear and Esme Shapiro (Illustrations)
You Brought Me the Ocean by Alex Sanchez and Julie Maroh
You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

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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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Breaking the Mould: 08/11/20

Breaking the Mould

Breaking the Mould by Victoria Hamilton is the eighth Vintage Kitchen mystery. It's Christmas again and the historical society is getting ready for the annual Dickens Days. This year a family has moved into the house next to where they build the stalls. Evan Nezer, the owner, threatens to sue when the popcorn stand's supports are hammered into his property. That's the first of many run-ins the historical society will have with him until his untimely death.

Nezer leaves behind a wife, an ex-wife, a son, a housekeeper and her son. All of them are awful people in one way or another and one of them is probably the murderer. The basic set up reads like a mixture of two Miranda James mysteries: Classified as Murder (2011) and Six Cats a Slayin' (2018).

Namely it's a mixture of an awful family vs. murder at another Christmas party. But this one suffers from being too Dickensian. Evan Nezer isn't the only one with a similar sounding name to the characters from A Christmas Carol (1843). Each of the major players has a name that's akin to ones in Dickens's novel. The name choices are distracting and unnecessary.

Three stars

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