September 2022 mid-month wrap up: two weeks full of mysteries

The Latinx Book Bingo starts today!!! Because of that, this is my wrap-up of the first 2 weeks of September. Weirdly, I only wanted to read and watch mystery/thiller books and shows, so that’s what I did and I had a lot of fun doing it.

The Appeal by Janice Hallett (4 stars): At first, I wasn’t sure if the epistolary format was going to work for me, but I ended up getting used to it and enjoying the book. The beginning – which was just correspondence between people involved in the case- wasn’t that fun, but once the interns of the law firm get more involved and we get their theories and commentary on the case, the book got more interesting to me. While the resolution was a bit predictable, I think that was the point, that the reader could solve it. Also, there were still a few details that I didn’t see coming or wasn’t able to figure out.

The Last to Vanish by Megan Miranda (4 stars): I really liked the writing in this book, the tension that was present throughout the story, how atmospheric it was, and the isolated, cold, dark setting. I felt a lot of dread while reading this and there was a strong sense of anticipation, which I appreciated. The ending wasn’t mind-blowing, but I was satisfied with it.

I’ll be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara (3,5 stars): I appreciate all the research that went into this book, I knew nothing of the Golden State Killer so this was a really interesting read. At the same time, the fact that the events weren’t in chronological order, that the book skipped certain parts, and jump around so much, made following the events that took place, the different victims, and the evidence very difficult. I often felt a bit lost in the first half of the book. The second half which focused on the investigation in the 2010s was a lot easier to read. Still, this was very well-written, the author did a great job of providing an unflinching but compassionate look at the events, and it was a quick read despite the fact that there was so much information to convey.

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz (3.5 stars): The first half of this was 5 stars and the second was 3 stars. I loved the mystery within the mystery, which it’s told in the first half. It was very reminiscent of Agatha Christie, who I love, it was entertaining, it had compelling characters and an interesting story. Unfortunately, when we switched to the storyline set in modern times, I found it really hard to get invested in that story since I was enjoying the other one so much, I didn’t find the characters as compelling and I guessed the resolution to the “real life” mystery early on. Also, once we finally went back and learned the resolution of the “fictional” mystery, I didn’t feel as invested. Still, overall it was an enjoyable read and I will continue with the series.

As I mentioned, this month my obsession with mysteries and thrillers books, also carried over what I was watching and since this wrap up is shorted than normal I thought it would be fun to share my thoughts on what I watched:

Only Murders in the Building – Season 2 (4 stars): Honestly I watch this show because it’s entertaining, it has its funny moments, the characters are easy to root for, and even with people getting murdered, it’s lighthearted. The performances of the entire cast were felt very earnest and the writing was excellent.

I’ll be Gone in the Dark (4.5 stars): I really enjoyed this docuseries, the mix between the story of the Golden State Killer and the story of the author of the book worked better in the documentary than in the book. Also, the documentary followed the chronological order a lot more closely and it had images and graphic representations of places, routes, and timelines, which made the story easier to follow. Moreover, the fact that there were interviews with the victims and detectives added so much depth. Lastly, the fact that they caught the killer while they were filming this, was incredible because it allowed them to give some sort of resolution to the narrative.

The Spinster and the Rake by Eva Devon (3 stars): This sounded like something I would love and I have heard nothing but good things, so I went in with high expectations. But this ended up being just ok for me, I really liked the interactions between the main characters but I didn’t feel invested, and since not a lot happened plot-wise, I was a bit bored reading this.

What are the best and worst books you have read so far this month?

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