Review: The Cracked Spine by Paige Shelton 

Book-lover Delaney from Kansas answers a Help Wanted ad placed by a Scottish bookshop owner. When she arrives in Edinburgh, she realizes she’s getting more than she bargained for: Treasures, ghosts, and new friends keeping closely held secrets. 

When Delaney finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery, she does some amateur investigating… and there her adventures get real. 

I loved the bookshop setting, the streets of Edinburgh, and especially Delaney’s Pub across the street with the good-looking, kilt-wearing, half-smiling, full-on charming pub owner. 

I could’ve done without the dialogue being written in Scottish dialect and the contrivances trying to convince me that Delaney really loved books. Both were off-putting, and I almost didn’t read past chapter one. I think the story would have flowed a little better – especially in the beginning – had the author not tried quite so hard to prove her points. 

Once I accepted the Scottish dialogue and allowed myself to skip over anything repetitive, I started to love Delaney and her new friends. She left her home for a new experience — and she really dove into it head first. Gotta love that courage. 

Take a trip with Delaney in Edinburgh. You’ll get into her head and help her solve a mystery. And keep an eye out for the handsome Scot across the street. 



What Makes a Good Book Good


I’ve been thinking about what makes a good book GOOD. I know, I know – developed characters, an even and forward-moving plot, a genre I like, good writing…. But there’s something else that’s not so objective.

I need the characters to be relatable. The plot has to be somewhat realistic (that’s over a 5 on the realism scale -yeah i made that up- where 1 is unrealistic and 10 is nonfiction). The book has to evoke emotions – make me laugh and cry. There have to be enough details that I can see what the characters see, but not so much detail that it bogs down the plot. Dialogue has to be natural, not contrived.

But you know what it really is? The book has to make me want to invest in it. I’ve got to be drawn in and live the story I’m reading. I want that book to speak to me!

Since having a kindle and putting quite a few free-or-on-sale books on there, I’ve experienced some books that just aren’t good. I’m either bored with the characters or driven crazy with unnecessary details. Sometimes the plot seems to be going absolutely nowhere– because it isn’t. And sometimes the characters are so contrived, I find my eyebrows raised… page after page after page. Why do I put myself through it?!

The most recent failure was Coffee Beans and Blue Jeans. Or Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans. I struggled to 20% and just couldn’t go any further. If you’ve read it and enjoyed it, please let me know what its redeeming qualities are. Maybe it deserves a second chance. Or maybe it doesn’t!

I have 700 books on my kindle, all unread and waiting for me. I’d like to find one that moves me rather than struggle through one that frustrates me.

So…. Hello, “Geoducks Are for Lovers.” I’ll let you know how it is in a future review. If I finish it. 😉


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