My Rating: 3 stars
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF
Travel to Syria isn’t always the safest choice, but it isn’t the political tension that’s the danger for Poe. No, the danger is linked to her latest book acquisition.
Poe Baxter once heard a man say if he could travel anywhere in the world, he’d visit Damascus, and she hasn’t thought about a visit to the city since. So when she hears that a rare codex from the 1st century has come onto the market there, she and Beattie book the next flight to see if they can buy it. Yet, when they arrive, they find there’s much more at stake than just a rare scroll.
Can centuries of secrets be unearthed safely? Or do they need to be buried again?
I received a free ecopy from the author and voluntarily reviewed it.
Monograph and Murder is the fourth book in the Poe Baxter Books series, while this isn’t my favorite series by the author I am still enjoying the series. This book took me a bit of time to get into it, but the further I got the more I enjoyed it and I liked seeing everything get resolved at the end.
This series has more of a spy/ mystery vibe than a cozy mystery and after getting used to the change in tone I’ve been able to get into these books with the right expectations. Every book has the character visit a new country and get involved in another spy mission that usually involves books. This time it’s a rare 1st century codex they’re after. I liked how the set up seemed pretty simple and got more complicated as the book progressed. I enjoyed seeing how it all got resolved at the end. I would’ve liked to see what happens next with some of the plot related things, but maybe in the next book.
The mystery spy aspect isn’t my favorite as sometimes the danger and tension can be a bit too much. There were parts of this book that just made me feel tired and bad for Poe as there’s so much going on, but then there are also scenes where she can relax and enjoy herself that are a good contrast to the more tension filled scenes. It also bothers me sometimes how much Poe and her friend are kept in the dark, it makes sense, but at times it bothers me. And it makes it easy to pull another twist as they know so little about what’s going on.
I was a bit confused at how the pet hamster seems to have disappeared in this book, I mean I am kinda happy the hamster wasn’t there, but it did leave me confused as he is still on the cover. I didn’t really care for the way the hamster got awkwardly inserted in scenes and it felt like it didn’t fit in the story and I felt bad for the hamster being in a travel bag for a lot of the earlier books. This might be because I am reading an ARC copy of the books though, so something might’ve changed since the versions I read of earlier books.
This book was quite heavy on the side characters. Besides the usual team there are plenty of additional people who join the team for most of the book or part of it and at times it felt a bit much, especially as some characters don’t really have much page time and I didn’t remember them as well. On the other hand there were some interesting new characters in this book that I enjoyed reading about. Poe continues to be a great main character and I like seeing how she deals with everything.
The travel aspect isn’t the most important part of the story, but still a very present part of the series. In this book they visit Syria as well as Cyprus and I liked getting a bit of a feel for these countries and the food they ate there.
To summarize: While this isn’t my favorite series by this author now that I know what to expect I find myself still able to enjoy these books. I am not a big fan of the spy mystery vibe instead of cozy, but it does add an unique feel to this series. Some parts can be a bit too much with the tension and danger, but there are more relaxing and fun scenes to balance it out. This book’s plot started pretty straightforward and gets more complicated as the story progresses. I liked seeing how everything played out. This book was a bit heavy on the amount of new side characters that get introduced and some didn’t get as much page time and I struggled to remember who they were, but there are also some new interesting characters. In this book Poe and the team visit Syria and Cyprus and I enjoyed getting a feel for these countries.