Monday, April 15, 2024

The Finlay Donovan Series

 The Finlay Donovan Series by Elle Cosimano

I read Finlay Donovan is Killing It as a Kindle Unlimited book and was immediately hooked! The library had the second but not the third, even though it was out already, so I played the waiting game.

Actually... I kind of forgot about this series until someone mentioned the fourth book was out.

Fourth?! I wasn't sure how I had missed that, but I knew it was time to re-read the series and catch up. By that time, the library had the third book but not the fourth. Once I found out there was also a digital short story as "book" 3.5, I figured I'd just buy that and the fourth book on Kindle so I wouldn't be waiting forever to finish the series (to this point anyway).

The first book makes me think of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series... or at least the first few books, before it seemed like she was phoning it in. I do think Cosimano is a better writer though. 

When I initially read the second book, it felt like a placeholder (as many second books are!), but when I re-read it recently, I really enjoyed it! The third one seemed a bit out of place and the storyline was a bit confusing to me, but I liked that the stakes seemed higher than in the previous books. I also loved how Mrs. Haggerty played a more prominent role!

Vero's short story might be my absolute favorite from this world, funny enough, since it's the shortest. I just love the character and it seemed like a nice cozy mystery with the bank issue. I felt like her sorority issue wasn’t really fleshed out in the books, and even here it’s a bit thin so I hope it gets wrapped up later.

Book four was a lot of fun. While book three took Finlay and Vero away from their home turf with the police training, I think the trip to Atlantic City in book four seems more natural for them. And I especially loved that everyone came along! Again, it gave Stephanie Plum vibes with Finlay's mother filling Stephanie's grandmother's role, but I think it's just different enough to work. The corpses seemed like overkill (no pun intended) but the cliffhanger made it worth it - I can't wait to see what comes next!

Have you read this series? What did you think of it? Do you have any book recommendations that read like these?

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

One Summer in Savannah by Terah Shelton Harris

One Summer in Savannah by Terah Shelton Harris

This book caught my eye as a "Together We Read" selection on Libby at the beginning of March. The start of the new year is typically a slow reading period for me and I know this, but that doesn't make it any less frustrating. I hadn't been reading much at all, and the books I was in the middle of weren't engaging. I didn't feel compelled to finish them. So seeing that I could check out One Summer in Savannah without a waitlist made me grab it to give it a try.

I'm so glad I did. This book blew me away. I read it in just a few days, dying to know the full story while also not wanting it to end. It’s a unique take on rape, forgiveness, life and death, and I love how Harris treated every character as human - there are no clear villains because almost everyone could have been “bad” and selfish in their own ways. I highlighted tons of quotes that got me thinking. I can’t wait to read more from this author. (I also love that Harris is a librarian since I am too.)