Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Book Review: A Dark and Twisting Path by Julia Buckley (Writer's Apprentice Mysteries #3)


Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong plot and charming characters keep the pages turning
Cons: Timeline issues in the early pages, but minor overall
The Bottom Line:
Sam is framed again
Strong third book in this series
Will keep fans happy




Lena’s Path Continues to be Enjoyably Twisty

After the cliffhanger that ended the second book in the Writer’s Apprentice Mysteries, I was really looking forward to learning what happened next in A Dark and Twisting Path, the next book in the series.  I’m happy to say that it didn’t disappoint at all.

It’s been a few months since we last checked in with Lena London and the rest of the residents of Blue Lake.  In that time, Lena and best-selling suspense author Camilla Graham have gone on a tour to launch their first official book written together.  However, there has been no sign of baby Athena, and Sam West, Lena’s boyfriend, hasn’t given up trying to help his ex-wife recover her baby.

Lena has hardly gotten back to town when she gets a call from her friend Allison, who has just discovered a dead body at the edge of her property.  While Allison’s husband recently argued with the victim, Lena recognizes the letter opener sticking out of the victim as one she gave Sam.  Why is someone trying to frame him again for murder?

For those who aren’t familiar with this series, Camilla is writer who specializes in Gothic books, so these books have a bit of a Gothic feel more than a traditional, straight cozy.  That means we don’t get the typical suspects and puzzle.  As long as you know that when you sit down to read the book, you’ll be perfectly fine.

Why do I say that?  Because this is a fast-paced book with something always happening to keep us engaged.  I hardly wanted to put the book down and finished it in two days.  I was very satisfied when I finished the book.

I do have a small niggle, however, and that is with the timing of events in the first few chapters.  The characters can’t seem to remember when certain events happened.  As you know, this is a pet peeve, but after the first 40 pages, it was no longer an issue, and the timing wasn’t a key factor to the story.

While the plot may not be typical of a cozy mystery, I’d argue that the characters are closer to it.  We get a strong main character in Lena, who is determined to see justice done and to help those she loves.  The supporting characters are a fun mix, with a few eccentric characters thrown in for good measure.  The villain?  That is pure Gothic.  Okay, so I haven’t read any Gothic stories I’m aware of, so I’m guessing, but it certainly feels right to me.  As an added bonus, we get to meet Lena’s father and step-mother in this book; I really enjoyed getting to see them on the page and see a different side of Lena as a result of their presence.

Fans of the series will be thrilled with A Dark and Twisted Path.  If you haven’t picked up these books yet, you really shouldn’t jump in here.  Instead, go back to the beginning.  You’ll be enjoying this book before you know it.

Need to back up?  Here are the Writer’s Apprentice Mysteries in order.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book.

Giveaway!

Thanks to the publisher, I have one copy of this book to give away.  Because it is a physical book, the contest is limited to residence of the US.

Just leave me a comment with your e-mail address so I can get in touch with you if you win.  I will pick the winner Tuesday August 21st, so please leave your comment before midnight Pacific Time on 8/21.  You will have until midnight on 8/26 to get back to me, or I will choose a new winner on 8/27.

26 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review. I really enjoy this series, and I’m looking forward to reading Book 3. cking78503(at)aol(dot)com.

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  3. Sounds like a great book. Carolyn 1cow0993(at)gmail(dot)com

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  4. Thanks for your review, Mark. Although I don't deliberately seek them out, I have read a few books with a Gothic feel. It adds an interesting angle. This book sounds like a good read as well. mbradeen [at] yahoo [dot] com

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  5. I just finished #1 and I am hooked! Great review! Thanks for giving away #3!
    debprice60@gmail.com

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  6. Love series

    Oneponychick66@hotmail.com

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  7. Thank you for the review! I plan on checking out the Writer's Apprentice Mysteries. myrifraf (at) gmail (dot) com

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  8. Thanks for the review. I really enjoy this series! Thanks for a chance to win! ljbonkoski@yahoo.com

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  9. Loved book one. Thanks for the chance to win. Great review made me want to get a copy. Candykennedy45@gmail.com

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  10. Haven't read any books by this author but some of them do sound good.
    catbooks72(at)gmail(dot)com

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  11. This series looks really good. Thanks for the contest. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

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  12. I have just found your books on Facebook. I like to find different authors to try. Thank you for the opportunity to try and win. Scoobyspenny@gmail.com

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  13. I would love to read a Julia Buckley I have yet to...this would be a good start. Thank you for the chance.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

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  14. Great review thank you, this sounds very good
    Penney
    penneyw(at)sbcglobal.net

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  15. Love reading an honest review, so thank you Mark! Cozy or not I still love eccentric characters and a caring heroine in a mystery. You had me at fast-paced book and the knowledge that you finished it in two days. Now that's definitely the sign of a good book and one that I definitely want to read! oh_bother88@hotmail.com

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  16. This is such a great series! Looking forward to book 3. Nice review, Mark
    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

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  17. Thank you for your review on "A Dark and Twisting Path" by Julia Buckley. Between your review and the book description, this book sounds like a book that I'd love the opportunity to read and I've placed it on my TBR list. Greatly appreciate the chance to win a copy!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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  18. Love this series. Looking forward to reading A Dark and Twisting Path. Great review. patwalkerp(at)gmail(dot)com

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  19. I read this one but haven't read the first two so while I did enjoy it I wasn't quite as invested as I'd like to have been. I do agree about the plot being non-cozy and the characters being cozy. It was definitely an interesting mix. I'm looking forward to going back and reading the first 2. I think I'd appreciate this one a lot more (though I did enjoy it).

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  20. I LOVE this series! Found the first one at the library while searching for another book and have been hooked ever since. Would love to win.
    clarksrfun at gmail dot com

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  21. I'm intrigued by the Gothic feel to this cozy. turtle6422(at)gmail(dot)com

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  22. Thanks for the contest stoeser1@pie.midco.net

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  23. This is a series I have not read but it sounds like something I would enjoy. Thanks for the chance to win. stclairck@gmail.com

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  24. I love gothic mysteries and this sounds like a great read. Thanks for the giveaway. pennyt5463 at charter dot net.

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  25. Buckley's books are always good. prentissg@gmail.com

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