Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Bali Mystery: Review and Giveaway

Most of you already know what a cozy mystery or "cozy" is, but for those who require a bit of help, it's a mystery that's not too gory or violent.  According to author Linda Weaver Clarke, a cozy mystery "focuses on the plot and characters, and the main character is usually an intelligent woman".  Published in 2014, The Bali Mystery by Linda Weaver Clarke is the first book in the Amelia Moore Detective series, a new cozy mystery series by this author.

The author's explanation reinforces the idea that the protagonist in a cozy is usually an intelligent woman.  Additionally, while investigating cozy mysteries as a genre online, I read that many cozy mystery readers are intelligent women, who enjoy trying to solve the crimes in these books (a detective or any person who tries to solve a mystery does need to be sharp).  Cozies appeal to readers (female or male) who like to be actively entertained and engaged, who like to figure things out, and who, perhaps, like me, think that cozy is a rather cute term.  ;)

In The Bali Mystery, Amelia Moore is a private investigator with her own detective agency, which specializes in missing persons.  In the book, a distraught Mrs. Brody asks Amelia  to find her younger brother, William Flint, who's been missing for two months.  Amelia is eager to take the case, but uneasy about it as well, because William's cousin has told her to drop the case, and also because of two "men in black", who seem to be lurking about.  Amelia asks her handsome and flirtatious friend, Rick Bonito, for help with the case.  Before she meets with Rick, Amelia gathers as much information as she can.  She interviews William's co-worker, Bud, and learns that William had traveled to Pakistan about four months earlier, and that he's quit his job.  From a friend, she finds out that he flew to Bali, Indonesia more recently.  Amelia and Rick are perplexed. Why would William quit his job, put his home up for sale, and fly to Bali without telling anyone? They decide to take a trip together, to "the most romantic and exotic island in the world", Bali.

Over the past few years, I've enjoyed many books by Linda Weaver Clarke, and this one was no exception.  The beautiful, tropical setting of Bali in the book feels authentic, and the turquoise Bali Sea, old temples, jungle, and much more, are described with finesse.  At their hotel in Kuta, there's a desk clerk named Budi, and I had to smile, because many years ago, I met a young man named Budi from Indonesia who became a friend.  The setting was portrayed so vividly that I asked Linda if she'd actually traveled to Bali (she hadn't, but she did her research). 

Linda Weaver Clarke is a talented storyteller, and her writing brings her characters to life.  Amelia is a terrific main character.  Single and in her thirties, she's a confident, strong, and likable character.  I'm not sure if Amelia is "smart enough to work at Google", but she's certainly one smart cookie.  Rick thinks she's "beautiful and stubborn", flirts with her throughout the story, and teases her about a polka-dot bikini.  As the story progresses, there's a bit of "old-fashioned" romance in the mystery which is lovely, and which sets the stage for future books in the series.

The Bali Mystery is a quick read that's suitable for young adults and adults.  This book drew me in right away, and my attention never wavered while I was reading it.  I look forward to reading the next book in this mystery series, The Shamrock Case.

The author is generously offering an international giveaway for an ebook edition of The Bali Mystery. If this cozy sounds like your cup of tea, please take a few moments to enter the giveaway.

  • To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment. 
  • For another chance at winning, become a follower of this blog, or let me know that you're already a follower.
  • For an additional chance, post about this contest on your blog, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.
  • For one more chance, leave a comment about why you enjoy reading cozy mysteries. 

Enter by 5 PM PDT on Monday, May 12.  One winner will be selected randomly and announced on Tuesday, May 13.  Best of luck, and thanks for reading!

Special thanks to Linda Weaver Clarke for sending me her new book, and for graciously offering this giveaway to my readers.

28 comments:

  1. This sounds like my cup of tea. I read many cozies. I am already a follower.
    Why do I like cozies? 1. A cozy contains no explicit sex. 2. It contains no excessive gore or violence. 3. It usually has a limited group of suspects. 4. The main focus of the cozy is a puzzle and centers around "whodunit". And I find them very entertaining.

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  2. Gigi Ann, you're no stranger to cozies! Thank you for your comment!

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  3. Thanks for your review Suko and descriptions of a cozy. I struggle sometimes with knowing book genres. I haven't read many cozies, but think would enjoy them.

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  4. Hmm, I hadn't heard that definition of a cozy before. That is to say I hadn't thought of it as the main character usually being a woman but now that you mention it they are usually women.

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  5. I really enjoy copies.looking foward to this series.email follower lomazowr@gmail.com

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  6. I do love a tropical setting, and Bali is on my list of places to see!
    Harvee
    Book Dilettante

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  7. I've read some of Linda's books and enjoyed them. I love mysteries, so this one sounds really good as though it would have lots of conflict and twists and turns. And, the setting...oh my!

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  8. I love a good cozy mystery! I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed this one so much. I think I will have to check out the first book of this series so you like it so much :) Great review!

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  9. I truly enjoyed this review and now I'm drawn in and would love to read "The Bali Mystery."

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  10. Love this genre. I have a copy of the book and can't wait to read it. Intriguing review.

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  11. I think the Bali location sounds like a very interesting place to set a cozy! Thanks for the chance to win.

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  12. I just became a follower of your blog! Thanks!

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  13. One of the reasons I enjoy reading cozies is that there is definitely something for everyone! Whether location or vocation, you can always find one out there that would appeal to you. I also appreciate the 'off-stage' violence. Thanks!

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  14. What a great review. I hope this will bring many sales. I've read one of Linda's novels and really enjoyed it. Sounds like a lot of effort and research went into this novel and that is always a plus. I also like intelligent female characters and try to put those in my own stories. Again, my best on this story and the ones following it.

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  15. I enjoyed this review so much that I want to have this book in my hands immediately for a virtual vacation in Bali! Books always take me away but you've been to Indonesia and you were impressed. I can never have too many Cozies and the characters and storyline in this one sound like a very good read and a wonderful start to a new series!

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  16. I am a follower of your blog by email.

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  17. Shared on Twitter Suko's Notebook: The Bali Mystery: Review and Giveaway http://www.sukosnotebook.net/2014/05/the-bali-mystery-review-and-giveaway.html?spref=tw
    https://twitter.com/SharonBraswell1/status/462367144370397184

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  18. I enjoy reading Cozy Mysteries because, they are just right, as you said," a mystery that's not too gory or violent," and continued with, "According to author Linda Weaver Clarke, a cozy mystery "focuses on the plot and characters, and the main character is usually an intelligent woman". I believe myself to be an intelligent woman who needs to feed that ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills, and I find a Cozy Mystery a very entertaining and relaxing way of doing so.

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  19. I like that. "Cozy mystery." I can't tolerate gore and violence anymore, even in book form, so I need all the help I can get to find books that don't have that!

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  20. Cozies are my favorite kind of mysteries :) Don't count me in the giveaway. I'll add the title to my TBR list.

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  21. I second Mary! Cozies are my fav too! They are easy to read and fast reads too!

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  22. Great review. I reviewed this a couple of weeks ago and it's a wonderful book. No need to enter me since I already read it.

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  23. I agree, cozy is a cute term and I do like these kinds of mysteries. The Bali Mystery sounds like a fun one, I enjoy old fashioned romance. I like that setting too. Great review and giveaway!

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  24. I love cozy mysteries and that is my choice of genre. I also love Linda Weaver Clarke! I'm looking forward to this new series.

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  25. Great review, I always wondered what people meant when they said cozy in relation to reads, thanks for that.

    Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

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  26. Thanks, Susan, for this awesome review. You made my day. Like always, you touched my heart with what you said. Thanks.

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    1. You're very welcome, Linda! I look forward to reading your new cozy soon.

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  27. I read "cozy" mysteries in between more intense reads. Like for instance reading Shadows of Doubt right now by Mell Corcoran, and it's fantastic but as I am almost finished this read by Clarke will do just fine for my in between! Corcoran's books are fantastic, I recommend those, mellcorcoran.com is her site with info. There are some really great reads out there right now.

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