5 Star Double Whammy

After a weeks long reading slump, I’m finally firmly back in the saddle, and I started it off with 2 amazing audiobooks. If you know me in person, then I’m sorry because you’re probably sick of me talking about these books and trying to get you to read them. For full summaries, click on the titles to view the Goodreads pages. I’ll be leaving my spoiler-free thoughts on them below.

32905343Title: Meddling Kids
Author: Edgar Cantero
Age group: Adult
Genre: Mystery
Subgenre: Fantasy horror
Page count: 322
Rating: * * * * *
Content warnings: mental health, especially anxiety, depression and suicide; alcohol and drug abuse.

In the late 1970s, 4 middle schoolers and their dog crack a series of cases in a small Oregon town, earning a reputation for themselves.

Thirteen years later, however, the now 20-somethings have failed to live up to expectations. With one dead of suicide,  the other consist of an alcoholic washed out grad student, a convict wanted in 2 states, and a basket case who has been in and out of institutions for 13 years. To paraphrase the book, “The most stable of us is the dog, and he’s licking his balls.”

The three remaining detectives (and their dog, the great-grandson of the original canine companion) are drawn back to that same small town as their last mystery, the one that tore them apart and ruined their lives, comes to the surface once more.

A cross between Scooby Doo and Call of Cthullhu, this book quickly goes from a typical mystery novel to a dark fantasy that had me hanging on the edge of my seat. I stayed up way too late trying to finish the audiobook when I had to work the next morning.

It was amazing the way the author managed to combine laugh-out-loud sarcasm and ridiculous humor with super creepy paranormal horror. I will definitely be adding more of this author’s books to my TBR.

13538873Title: Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore
Author: Robin Sloan
Age group: Adult
Genre: Mystery
Subgenre: n/a
Page count: 288
Rating: * * * * *
Content warnings: n/a

Caught in the economic bust I myself graduated in the midst of, graphic designer Clay finds himself without a job and takes a position as night clerk at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore out of sheer desperation. Expecting a quiet, boring job to get him through until he can find something better, Clay quickly realizes something mysterious is going on in the stacks and sets out on a fantastic quest to uncover the secret of his mysterious employer and his even stranger customers.

I started listening to this during a bout of insomnia, expecting a quiet book that would help relax me. Boy, was I wrong.

The mystery involves secret societies, codes, and 500 year old history, and had all the ingredients to be one of my new favorite books. I plowed through the audiobook, unable to stop listening once Clay started finding some of the more secretive elements of the bookstore. Even better, it’s the first book in a series, so I’ll definitely grab the next book at some point. Probably soon.

Like what you see? Check out Review: Boys Don’t Knit (in Public)