I love to curl up with a nice, steaming cup of tea and a free book to review. In fact I subscribe to three book review sites: Book Crash, Book Rooster and The Bookplex just so I can indulge in my favorite leisure activity. What’s even better is when an author contacts me for a review. If you’re an author looking for someone to review your book or short story, check out my Request a Review page.
Because I like to share the great reads I’ve found (and warn readers of the not-so-great finds), I developed a system:
- One cup — worse than a cup of luke warm black pekoe
- Two cups — it may be hot, but you’ll need plenty of sweetener just to tolerate it
- Three cups — it’s not my favorite, but it beats going without
- Four cups — nice and hot and only needs a smidge of sweetener to be perfect
- Five cups — loose leaf vanilla Earl Grey, yummy
Sometimes a book or story doesn’t warrant a five cup rating, but it’s so good it can’t be missed. For those I include the “Must Read” starburst in front of the cup rating. You’ll find my cup rating above the picture of the cover. Enjoy!
Guilty Until Proven Innocent a mystery/thriller short story by Edwina Ray
Here is the description that made me want to write this book review:
In the small town of Carringwood, Doug and every other resident turn out to watch the drama as the Gabarski home burns down. Luckily Shana and the kids got out. And her husband Peter is mysteriously absent. Speculation runs rife through the town, why are arson investigators here? Did Peter do it? Why did he do it? But Doug wonders something else. If it wasn’t Peter, who was it?
The story kept me turning virtual pages, wondering “who dunnit.”
I also enjoyed the small town banter at the local cafe because it felt so realistic. Being from a small town myself, it really irritates me when an author leans on caricatures of town folk rather than actually doing their best to portray them as real people. That’s something that’s difficult to do, especially in a short story, but Edwina Ray pulls it off.
While the writing is great and the story is interesting, there were a couple things that bothered me.
Going back to the small town life, I was jarred out of the story when several characters order fancy coffees like macchiatos and lattes. Where I’m from that’s a possibility if you hit the local McDonald’s, but nowhere is a cafe serving such fancy drinks. This little town had only 203 people with no tourist attraction nearby. Would they really serve something you’d buy at a Starbucks?
The other thing that bothered me was the abrupt ending. Given the first person point of view it was impossible for it not to end as it did. However, it turned a good mystery into a horror story, something I’m not fond of happening. Stick to one or the other, please.
If you don’t mind a few less-than-likely drink choices and an abrupt ending, Guilty Until Proven Innocent by Edwina Ray is a fun read that fits great in short amount of free time.
- Free for Review