Monday, March 25, 2013

Book review- Playing the Maestro by Aubrie Dionne

Melody Mires has sworn off dating musicians, but when the sexy European conductor Wolf Braun takes over her struggling symphony, her hesitation almost flies out the window with the notes of her flute—until he opens his mouth. Wolf is arrogant, haughty, and seems to have a personal vendetta against Melody. Oh, and he’s her boss. If she wants to keep her job as principal flutist, she’ll have to impress Wolf while simultaneously keeping her undeniable attraction to herself.

Wolf came to America to get as far away from his past as possible, and to recover some of the swagger he had as one of the world’s best maestros. He never imagined being forced to reassess the entire orchestra’s talent—and potentially fire anyone who doesn’t make his cut. Dating the attractive flutist is out of the question, but as their feelings reach a fever pitch, can they risk both their careers for a chance at love? (from goodreads)

The heroine has quite an unusual name. This romance is a typical modern love story but with a musical twist. However, I did not find that the music aspect of it was featured often enough, for example as a tool to deepen or develop their feelings for each other or someone else. There are many scenes involving music, obviously, as both of them work for an orchestra and there are other sub-plots involving music as well, but it all boils down to just description of music and what is being performed, rather than taking it to a deeper level. This wasn't necessarily a negative thing, but just that it annoyed me that the music aspect, which was so interesting, is used just like a job, like in other novels the characters who are lawyers, accountants, ceos etc. have their jobs and events happening  in their job featured prominently but it acts as a secondary plot rather than a force for bringing the characters together.

Other than that, the hero was interesting and a strong character in the novel, because he was the perfect balance of good looks, hurtful past and caring personality. Although there's a lot in his past, he never falls into the brooding hero stereotype.

The novel was quite interesting and a quick and breezy read. If you're looking for a good contemporary romance novel with a little unique twist, Playing the Maestro would be a good choice.


A musical romance
Hero and heroine are not very stereotyped or annoying

The music aspect could have been used better

NOTE- I received a copy of this book from the publisher but my opinions are not biased and the review is in no way influenced by this

Friday, March 8, 2013

Book review- Devotion of suspect X by Keigo Higashino

Devotion of suspect X is a mystery/thriller novel by Keigo Higashino featuring the genius physicist and detective, Yukawa Manabu and inspector Kusanagi. It is part of the Galileo series. This novel has caused a lot of buzz recently so I decided to give it a try. Also, since I have watched the drama Galileo and loved it (You can find the review on this blog as well), I really wanted to read the book.

The book starts off pretty unsually for a mystery where so much hinges on how the murder was committed. It shows exactly how the murder happened and the events surrounding it. This tricks the reader into complacency as they feel they already know how it was done, but this is not a good assumption (as the book subsequently shows, assumptions are the biggest barrier to cracking a case). An interesting character featured right from the start is that of Ishigami, a maths teacher who lives next to the victim's wife's house.

The writing style was what really captured me, apart from the very interesting plot. The style is so simple that even a middle schooler could easily read. It doesn't feature any vocabulary of high level. I don't know whether the credit for this goes to the translator or the writer himself. Because of its simplicity, it is even more addictive.

The plot features a brilliant twist at the end as well as throughout. This is a mystery novel along the lines of Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie mysteries which feature impossible to guess, startling endings in which all the threads are tied together.

The characterisation was quite well done, and one easily gets a sense of the characters, who are not stereotyped but real people. Even though it is a plot focused novel, the personality of characters still manages to shine through.

Overall, this was a great novel. The writing style, plot, characterisation were all good and the ending was the icing on the cake. I couldn't wait to read the next page. Thsi novel will keep you hooked.


Addictive and a racy read
Full of surprises and a great ending
Does not lose out on emotion even though it is a mystery novel
Clear and simpel writing style which works well for the book

Is wholely focused on the mystery; characters or other things are not explored in detail.
The ending page could have been better

Overall, I will definitely be looking foward to reading The Salvation of a Saint, the next in this series.

NOTE- Images taken from google image search