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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.6 out of 5
5 Stars
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All Book Reviews

  • Good as usual

    A good story with an intriguing plot. I don't want to spoil it, but you will enjoy it

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  • Enjoyable mystery

    I really enjoyed this book which is sort of a combination police procedural/traditional/cozy mystery. A few years ago I read and enjoyed some of the earlier books in the series and I can see that the characters have developed further. I enjoy the relationship between the two detectives, the references to their families, and especially enjoy Rafferty’s “ma”, even though she’s a pretty minor character. The story flows well, there is subtle humor, the plotting is good and the writing is well done. Highly recommended for readers who enjoy a mystery without a lot of violence, and gore.

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  • Highly recommended!

    I'm happy I requested this ARC because I discovered a new to me entertaining and well written series. I liked the well crafted plot, the fleshed out cast of characters and the setting. I look forward to reading other books in this series. Highly recommended! Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.

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  • enjoyable classic British town/gown mystery

    I had read and enjoyed some of the early titles in the Rafferty and Llewellyn series by Geraldine Evans, so I was happy to be offered an ARC of the most recent title in the series, Game of Bones, in exchange for my honest review. As it turns out, I enjoyed catching up with that seemingly mismatched pair of detectives. And not having read some of the books in the middle of the series didn’t really impair my enjoyment of this one - although the mind boggles at Rafferty with a baby daughter… Police procedurals are one of my favorite types of mysteries, and this turns out to be a nice example of that sub-genre. I especially enjoyed the byplay between Rafferty and Llewellyn, which was pretty consistent with the earlier books I had read. Since I’ve spent way too many years in various universities, I also enjoyed the town/gown tensions that inject themselves into the story. And, it was just fun watching Rafferty and Llewellyn go down various paths, get elated or dejected as they did or didn’t work out, and then see things get neatly tied up in the end. There is also a nice little twist (without being too spoilerish) at the end that gives Evans a chance to riff on traditionally published vs self-published authors, which I thought was kind of fun – and apt. All-in-all, I liked Game of Bones a lot and hope that more titles in the series are coming. And I’ll probably go back and try to pick up some of the in-between titles that I haven’t read. It’s probably worth noting that the first title in the series, Dead before Mourning, seems to be a perma-freebie at many e-book retailers, so if you read e-books, you can try the series out for free. And most of the books in the series are pretty reasonably priced anyway. My thanks again to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC. And also please keep in mind that I try to fight “star-inflation” a little bit. I reserve 5 stars for a very few of my most favorite books, ones I’m likely to read and reread time-and-again, and 4 stars is a great rating from me.

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  • Literary Titan

    At first glance, the murder of University Administrator Rupert Hunter-York seems too good to be true. All roads lead to one Professor Babbington, an alcoholic professor with a less-than-savory personality (to say the least). With the mountain of evidence falling on Detective Joe Rafferty’s lap, he thinks that this is an open-and-shut case. It could have been if it weren’t for his right-hand man ​​Sergeant Llewellyn. Now it turns out that the case is far more complicated than what anyone could ever imagine.  Geraldine Evans’ 18th installment to the Rafferty & Llewellyn British Mysteries begins with a warning for its heavy use of British slang, and even offers a handy list in the back to familiarize readers. I’m happy to report that this is a smooth and readable novel, even for non-British readers. Anyone with a grasp of context clues can easily understand the narration and the inner workings of Rafferty’s mind.   It’s him that we follow throughout the novel, and what a surprisingly cozy place it is for a grizzled detective. While he fusses over the case almost non-stop, we also see him worrying about his baby sister and yearning to get home to his beloved daughter Neeve. He is a flawed man, as we see how his biases can sometimes get in the way of the investigation. But that's precisely what makes him lovable in the first place. He's relatable and human and a well-rounded character.  Speaking of well-rounded characters, Game of Bones is full of them. We've talked about Rafferty, but we can't forget supporting characters like his partner Llewelyn and the babbling suspect Professor Babbington. Each character has such unique personalities reflected in their mannerisms and dialogue that they become imprinted in your mind despite how brief their roles may be. This applies even to minor characters like the icy Ms. Harriet Temple and the tight-lipped Professor Curtis.  It’s the characters that truly shine in the novel, but I felt that the pacing could have been improved. While it starts in medias res and grabs the reader’s attention from the first sentence, the excitement level fluctuates. Fortunately, the characters that populate the Game of Bones makes it a worthy addition not just to the Rafferty & Llewellyn British Mysteries but to the canon of mystery fiction as a whole. This is a gripping mystery novel that I highly recommend.

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