cornerofmadness (cornerofmadness) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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Book 3-4

Murder at Hotel 1911 (Ivy Nichols Mystery)Murder at Hotel 1911 by Audrey Keown

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think in some ways it was a more it's me not the book thing going on here. It's not badly written but it wasn't really a me book. I did not engage with Ivy as much as I wanted to and since she's the main character....I was interested in a character with anxiety issues (having them and depression myself) but all of that felt off somehow and she also uses it as a crutch/excuse (yes I do know that sounds ableist and I don't mean it to be. As someone with these issues it gets under my skin when it's used to excuse being nasty to others).

Ivy has taken a job at the titular Hotel 1911, which was a Victorian mansion owned by her family but was lost. We don't really know more about this connection other than a) she 'lost' her mother and b) she's hiding that she's working here from her father because she thinks it'll upset him.

The hotel manager is fanatical about keeping things in 1911 clothing/food/room etc. The one best suited to it is Mr. Fig the 'butler'/concierge and he's a very stiff, formal sort. George, the chef, is Ivy's friend and that's what draws her into the crime.

Mrs. Swain, the very unpleasant head of a pork product empire, is nasty to the staff and everyone around her making sure everyone knows she has a shellfish allergy (which makes sense but her nasty way of doing isn't helpful). Naturally she dies and her son blames George and the hotel.

To be honest, here's where some of the 'it's me not them' comes in. I loathe cozies that have cops opposing the amateur sleuth because let's face it, really it's obstruction and interference with a police investigation. It can be criminal. In a way they aren't even doing that much. The cops seem absolutely disinterested in it, seeing it as a mistake George made in prepping the food.

Ivy wants to clear her friend's name. She has about a few semesters of a psych degree under her belt before bailing (Her anxiety got in the way, which is one of the ways it actually felt real) but doesn't have enough knowledge to realize cops can analyze and understand if there was shellfish or poison in the food. Ivy is a very hit or miss character for me. She makes bad choices and then lashes out at others, blaming her illness. She sees herself as 'doing better' so she doesn't need therapy any more (which can happen but there's no indicators on how this happened), her pills taste like cherry etc (she's not a kid, is she taking kid anxiety meds because none of mine ever came in flavors).

The mystery was good. I would probably get another from the library since I just didn't connect with Ivy at all so I wouldn't want to buy it.

View all my reviews

In Search of the Physicians of Myddfai (Meddygon Myddfai) by D.P. Davies For whatever reason, this book isn't on GR so I'm just going to do a little review here. Honestly this is a very specialized interest sort of book. It's about looking at the Physicians of Myddfai, a family of Medieval doctors in Wales via the lens of modern medicine, including the fairy bride legendary origins of the doctors, many of their recipes, including some that might work, some that are just bizarre all conflated with the author's (a Welsh doctor) personal thoughts and feelings and research. It's not the most engaging nonfiction I've read nor is it the worst but unless you have a big interest in Medieval medicine, it's probably not worth it to you to hunt it down (oddly it wasn't on Amazon UK but was on Amazon US)
Tags: mystery, non-fiction

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