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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
32
3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 26 December 2013
Was a good easy going read that you could pick up and put down wherever. Not the most gripping whodunit ever written but enjoyed all the same.
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VINE VOICEon 19 August 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I may have missed something by coming in at the late stage of a seond novel in what appears to be a series but I was disappointed by the back cover descrption to its application on the actual content.

Alice James and Jim Snow run a detective agency which has evolved from their background as (Alice) a casino cocktail waitress, interested in casino security and (Jim), an ex-homicide detective.The book centres about their new case, a brutal murder of Laura, a cocktail waitress whose body was found burning in the Nevada desert. From here on in it becomes a murder-mystery party type scenario - think "Midsomer Murders meets Vegas" using Cluedo - Our detectives are determined to track down the clues that may lead to the murderer.
Their own personal lives intrude into the plot which appears to have been slotted in purely to extend the book. This is a basic 2 hour read and is to murder/mystery what Mills & Book is to Romance. You either like it or you don't. Not my cup of tea, but great for a quick plane or train journey read.
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VINE VOICEon 24 September 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have to confess that I didn't/couldn't finish this book and only made it to chapter 25 (about 2/3 of the way through) before giving up.

The characters of the detectives showed some promise, but their relationship was poorly explained and their back stories clunkily told.

Having not finished the book, I can't vouch for the final third, but the preceding pages told a story that lacked any peril, any sense of urgency or any excitement. The basic plot is that a woman has been murdered and there are a number of potential suspects. The private detectives then interview pretty-much everyone they can find at some length to determine the victim's personality and so narrow down the list of likely killers. And that's about it.

Putdownable.
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on 4 June 2013
Easy going detective novel. Not difficult to get into, and plot not difficult to follow. Follow the adventures of the new James and James Agency.

Not quite as short story, but not a full book in normal terms. Good for sitting on the bus with my Kindle
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VINE VOICEon 13 August 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Having read the first in the series I was left wondering how the relationship between the two central characters would pan out so was very pleased to see this next book appear. I wasn't disappointed either as this was better than the first. They have enow established their private detective agency and are gradually testing the availability of work and seeing how they work together. The story itself is good - the book is full of people who seem unable to tell the truth about anything so you don't know what to believe from one page to the next so even though I'm usually pretty good at sussing out "whodunnit" but this time it took me quite a bit longer - and I was only half right even then! So far these stories are not full of unnecessary descriptive violence - the crime was already committed at the start of the book and the characters don't get themselves into any threatening situations - this may change as the series progresses I suppose but I hope not as it's quite refreshing to read a relatively gentle detective story. It's a very quick read and is now on the shelf ready for a return visit at some stage in the future.
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on 17 February 2014
I loved this book. Not becasue it is hi brow or teaching me something about history or politics. But because it is a good read. You can get lost in the plot which is easy to follow without breaking off into several strands. It starts at the beginning and finishes at the end. Easy! Just right for a book that you can puit down and pick up without losing the story. Don't expect Jane Austin - this is an easy read!!!
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Jim Snow, ex-homicide detective and professional gambler, and Alice James, ex-model and cocktail waitress, were thrown together to solve the murder of Jim's brother-in-law in the first book in this series. In this second book they now run the James and James Detective Agency in Las Vegas.

A new client, Jack Roberts, has employed them to investigate the murder of his daughter whose burnt body was found on edge of the desert. Suspects range from Jack Roberts himself, to his daughter's ex-boyfriend, and even her dentist.

I really enjoyed Punctured (Las Vegas Mystery) (the first book in this series) but this one just didn't hit the spot with me. The story was slow and plodding with it really being nothing more than a series of interviews with each suspect. Even the final twist when it was revealed was telegraphed several chapters before. Although set in Las Vegas, so little was made of this fact that the story could have been set anywhere in "generic" USA.

Overall: 3 stars - A very lightweight read of no significant substance that only took me about two and a half hours to read.
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VINE VOICEon 2 October 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Ashes to Dust is in some ways a strange book. The murder that private investigators James & Snow are investigating has happened before page one of the book and the action within the story merely seems to follow, one by one, the interviews that the investigators make whilst trying to solve the crime. There's even a rather plodding feeling to the logic surrounding the path of the interviews as we go through the suspects, now and then returning to someone we've already met as more and more layers of the story unravel.

One by one our preconceptions about a particular suspect are shown to be false and it seems like every one on James and Snow's list has a secret about the case that they are not telling.

So far, so humdrum.

Yet for all the undeniably formulaic approach I have to say that I enjoyed reading the book, getting through it in one sitting (taking about a couple of hours). Jim Snow and Alice James may be a rather predictable "odd couple" but the characters are well written and you read with a sense of wanting them to succeed. Similarly the suspects in the case may not be the most original set of characters that you will ever read but they are similarly well crafted and although I "picked" the criminal quite some time before it was actually revealed in the story there are still enough twists and turns to keep you going.

So all in all, whilst Ashes To Dust hardly breaks any new ground, if you're looking for something to while away a few hours you could do a lot worse than this.
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on 17 August 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Ashes to Dust is a good old fashioned murder mystery, being investigated by Alice James and Jim Snow, who make up the James and James Detective Agency. The characters are interesting and likeable and there is just the right level of romantic chemistry between the two to make it interesting and realistic, but without the romance taking over the story.

For the most part the narrative made me think of a Murder She Wrote episode with just a hint of a Miss Marple, plenty going on without it becoming too taxing or overly complicated. The writing style had a touch of the Agatha Christie yesteryear feel to it, but this was shattered by the smattering of expletives throughout, which felt more like they'd been added to "trendy it up" a bit, rather than having been part of the original writing. They certainly seemed out of place and didn't serve any purpose but to distract.

The story was entertaining enough, if perhaps a bit obvious. There were plenty of suspects who all seemed quite plausible, but somehow you still knew who it was going to be, although I did find the end twist quite surprising as it turns out I was only partly right.

The most distracting part of the book was the questioning. Both the main characters seemed to be obsessed with where everyone they questioned had come from. In several instances they spent more time asking people where they were from and what had brought them to Las Vegas than they did questioning them about the case.

A mildly entertaining read, but with too many irritating niggles to make me want to read it again, I'm sorry to say, as I did like the characters.
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on 5 October 2013
i enjoyed reading ashes to dust. the story was quite good although the story line was not quite as gripping as i expected.
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