Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Gone With the Wings by Leena Clover

September 23, 2017 cozy mystery, giveaway, Leena Clover, mystery/suspense 4

about the book

Author Leena Clover announces a brand new cozy mystery series set in a small Oklahoma college town. Mystery readers will enjoy this culinary cozy murder mystery featuring plenty of yummy recipes like Masala Fried Chicken and Shish Kabob Blue Plate Special.

Meera Patel is back home with the family after she dropped out of graduate school. Now she shelves books for a living and rustles up fusion recipes at Sylvie’s Cafe & Diner. Everything is fine until her old nemesis Prudence Walker floats up in the local pond. Meera is accused of murder! Well, she did publicly declare Prudence would drop dead.

Meera cries foul and screams police harassment. But she has no defense when she is accused of a second crime. Flanked by pals Tony and Becky, Meera puts in the leg work, trying to solve clues and discard red herrings.

Fall in Oklahoma has never been more exciting.

Cozy mystery fans will love this new mystery series featuring an Asian American amateur sleuth. There is a full cast of characters with a professor father, young sibling, old grandparents, loyal friends and a candid glimpse into South Asian culture.

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SERIES: Meera Patel #1
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
RELEASE DATE: June 3, 2017
PAGES: 269

Other Books In This Series

   

Gone With the Wings is kinda like an Asian fusion cozy mystery. Set in the American Midwest/South (Oklahoma) as well as featuring a main character from South Asia, Clover gives readers the best of both worlds. I love that Meera’s family and culture are incorporated into the novel, setting her apart from typical cozy heroines and giving the book an ethnic flair not normally found in this genre. The mystery in Gone With the Wings is well-constructed, and it kept me guessing right up until the big reveal. There is also a subplot involving Meera’s mother that took a couple of interesting turns too. All of which intrigues me to keep reading the series.

There were a couple things I wasn’t crazy about though. First, the characters lack dimension. They are layered, to be sure, but they still feel flat to me. Maybe it’s in the somewhat stilted dialogue or sometimes over-the-top reactions. Which brings me to the second thing – the writing style is a bit awkward in places, choppy and abrupt. This may have been an intentional choice to convey the nuances of the culture but it broke up the flow of my reading. One final thing that broke up my reading pace was the sheer volume of recipes woven throughout the narrative. I like food in books (as long as it’s part of the story and not just crumbs from what the last person was eating while reading it). But, much like I don’t like stopping my story for a sermon, I don’t like stopping my story for a recipe. In my opinion, they include recipes in the back of the book so you don’t have to include them in the narrative. It just doesn’t feel natural for the narrator to give step-by-step details of what he/she is doing while cooking. Summary is a good device to employ here.

Bottom Line: Gone With the Wings by Leena Clover whets your culinary and investigative appetites, as well as providing you with a glimpse inside South Asian culture and life as an international student at an American college/university. The mystery (including an intriguing subplot) keeps you engaged, and you may find yourself trying to finagle an invitation to one of Meera’s family’s parties. There are some minor issues with dimension and story flow, but overall this is an interesting read and sets the stage for the rest of the series.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 3 stars / Interesting read!

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about the author

Leena Clover is the author of the brand new Meera Patel Cozy Mystery Series, starring a 20 something Desi girl as the protagonist. The series is set in a small Oklahoma college town Meera calls home.

Leena Clover offers plenty of clues for her readers so that they can solve the mystery as they read along. Readers can expect a unique look into Indian/ South Asian culture and plenty of yummy recipes.

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Carrie

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