My Rating: 3 stars
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF
She thought she was just going to reminisce, enjoy the Northern Lights, and celebrate an author, but a murderer had other ideas.
On her first trip to Iceland, Poe Baxter is excited about the scenery, the culture, and the chance to hold a rare Douglas Copeland title in her hand. But when she and her best friend Beattie try to find the woman who promised to sell them the book, they find themselves trying to solve her murder instead.
When a case of nostalgia hits, will it also mean the end of Poe’s memories?
I received a free copy from the author and voluntarily reviewed it.
Massacre and Margins is the second book in the Poe Baxter series and I was excited to start this one. Unfortunately Massacre and Margins took a different direction and has a different vibe than the first book and I struggled with this one. The tone felt more tense than the first book with illegal activities and crime bosses involved, spies and kidnappings. The constant risk of them being spied on and overheard ruined the lighthearted cozy vibe for me and got on my nerves. I wasn’t sure what to think of this book and it didn’t fit the comforting cozy vibe I was hoping for, which is a shame as I normally really like this author’s books. Maybe the next book will be better now that I know the new direction the series seems to be taking.
In Massacre and Margins Poe and her friend Beattie travel to Iceland. It was fun visiting another country and one I haven’t visited myself. I would’ve liked to see a bit more of the country as the travel scenes felt a bit rushed at times, but I liked how they got to do some touristy things and see a bit of the country. Despite my worries the author found a way to add some recurring characters into the story.
The focus of the book is mostly on the danger and mystery. I liked the way the mystery started, but then it got more dangerous and tense, that wasn’t what I had expected and I had trouble adjusting. The book was at times tense, dangerous and then added in some moment that were supposed to be funny, but some of them felt a bit over the top to me.
I also never warmed up to the hamster Butterball, their pet hamster, who was sometimes crucial to a scene, then in others I had no idea where he was or whether he was with them or not and the rest of the book I just felt bad for the little hamster for being stuck in a plastic bag or wondering how that even worked. I like when cozies have a pets in them, but I felt the way it was handled here and with the travel set up the addition of a pet just doesn’t quite work for me.
I liked reading more about Poe, Beattie and the guys they’re falling for. Although I would’ve liked to see a bit more about the characters. They can hardly talk ever without risking being overheard and it just gave all the personal conversations a tense vibe which didn’t work for me. I felt like their relationships couldn’t progress as much and I couldn’t really feel the romance as much.
To summarize: This one was unfortunately a bit of a miss for me. This book had a more tense and dangerous vibe when the mystery gets more dangerous. The characters can hardly ever talk without the risk of being overheard and that got on my nerves. I didn’t enjoy the direction the mystery took as much with the more dangerous vibe and kidnappings. I liked reading more about Poe, Beattie and the guys, but felt like there were less interesting character scenes due to the not being able to speak freely thing. I am still not a fan of the hamster Butterball who pops up now and then for a scene and part of the time I am not even sure where he is or feel bad for him being stuck in a plastic bag. The Iceland setting was interesting, with some fun travel and touristy scenes.