BLOG TOUR REVIEW: Mexico Street – by Simone Buchholz #RandomThingsTours @Orendabooks @annecater

Hello and welcome to my stop of the Mexico Street Random Things Tours blog tour! A huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to be part of this blog tour. I’ve been meaning to try this series for a while now and the blog tour was a perfect excuse to catch up… I’ve grown to love Simone Buchholz‘ writing style after reading the previous two books, and Mexico Street might just be a new favorite! Want to know why? Please join me while I share my thoughts.

Title: Mexico Street
(Chas Riley #8)

Author: Simone Buchholz
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: September 10th 2018
Publisher: Orenda Books
Finished reading: March 8th 2020
Pages: 276
(Originally published in German: ‘Mexikoring’)

“We’re like a window that life has kept jumping through in recent years, and with every jump we’ve gone flying through space like shards of glass, but, because the shards know where they belong, they piece themselves back together, bit by bit, every time.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I know that I’ve only recently started reading this series, but the Chas Riley books have been on my radar for quite some time now. I’m not sure why it took me this long to finally pick up the books, but I’m definitely kicking myself now as I’ve found a new favorite series. While it is true that it took me some time to warm up to both the writing and the characters in Blue Night, as soon as I did I was completely hooked. Blue Night ended on a high note for me and I was hooked once again as soon as I started Beton Rouge, which turned out to be an excellent ride. It’s easy to say that I had high hopes for Mexico Street after that, and I might just have found a new favorite!

There are a lot of things that turn this series into something special. Before I start, I do have to state first that this is actually book number eight that has been published in the original German series, but (only) book number three that has been translated into English. Due to the missing first five books, we might miss some background at times… In the case of Mexico Street the most pressing one would probably be the history behind Inceman and what happened to him, but we do get a few hints and in the end the lack of information didn’t bother me too much. And while Blue Night might be more difficult to get into without that background information, both Beton Rouge and Mexico Street can technically be read as stand-alones without too many issues.

On to my Mexico Street rambles… The first thing I love of this book and the series in general is the writing style. Simone Buchholz has an unique, snappy and snarky writing style laced with short sentences, a dark and sarcastic kind of humor and a style that goes between blunt and lyrical. Her writing style is highly recognizable and as soon as I read the first page I knew I was dealing with another authentic piece of Simone Buchholz writing again.Trust me, I’ve become addicted to it! I like how there isn’t just one style nor singular POV, seemingly using chaos and unpredictability to weave together the chapters and story. Flashbacks, different POVs, short sentences, breathtaking and almost lyrical sentences with a deeper meaning, humor, sarcasm… It sounds like a terrible mess, but it’s a most wonderful mess and if you ‘get’ the writing style you will find yourself hopelessly in love.

Another forte of this series lies without doubt with the main characters. The books have a colorful and diverse cast of characters who will have no problems winning over your heart… Chastity is the star of the show of course, and I love her in all her cigarette, beer, antisocial and disheveled glory. Quite a few of the characters we were introduced to in the previous books make their appearance once again in Mexico Street, although the main focus is on Stepanovic (and Calabretta) this time around. We see less of some of the other characters and I did miss them, although in a way it’s no surprise after how things ended in Beton Rouge to be honest… But I did end up enjoying the new balance as well as the introduction of Inceman as a character.

I also loved both the plot and the setting in Hamburg and Bremen. Having had the chance to get to know both cities briefly from a tourist point of view, it really enhanced the reading experience for me as I could actually imagine the characters in a real setting. I loved the descriptions of both cities and they set the perfect atmosphere for this story. The plot itself is intriguing and gives us plenty of action as well as insight in a foreign culture and just how different the rules for those families are. We get (organized) crime, we get death, we get an investigation angle, we get banter and we even get a forbidden love story… All wrapped up nicely into one brilliant story. How’s that for an excellent deal?!

As you might have guessed already, I loved my time with Mexico Street and I’m now officially a huge fan of Simone Buchholz‘ writing style. Before I sign off, a huge round of applause to Rachel Ward for the impecable translation, which makes it possible for us to get to know Chas Riley and the rest of the characters! Especially since my German is pretty rusty haha. If you enjoy noir, a good crime thriller and love an unique and unconventional writing style as well as cast of characters, you should definitely try this series.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Simone Buchholz was born in Hanau in 1972. At university, she studied
Philosophy and Literature, worked as a waitress and a columnist, and
trained to be a journalist at the prestigious Henri-Nannen-School in
Hamburg. In 2016, Simone Buchholz was awarded the Crime Cologne Award
as well as runner-up in the German Crime Fiction Prize for Blue Night,
which was number one on the KrimiZEIT Best of Crime List for months. She
lives in Sankt Pauli, in the heart of Hamburg, with her husband and son.


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WWW Wednesdays #259 – March 11th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m currently flying through Deep Dark Night by Steph Broadribb in preparation for my upcoming blog tour stop… It’s so good to meet up with favorite character Lori again! I’m also starting yet another ARC: The Missing Sister by Elle Marr. And of course I’m still reading the Spanish version of the seventh and final Harry Potter book: Harry Potter Y Las Reliquias De La Muerte… I’m currently about a quarter into the book and I’ve already rediscovered so many details I had completely forgotten about!

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Strangers by C.L. Taylor (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 31/03
I think it’s safe to say that I now have a new favorite C.L. Taylor title. What a read! I’m glad I cleared my schedule before diving into this story, because there was just no way on earth I was going to stop reading before I knew how it would all end. What an absolutely masterful and simply brilliantly constructed psychological thriller!

2. The Body In The Garden by Katharine Schellman (3/5 stars) REVIEW 
I loved the historical setting in 1815 London and the final twist was without doubt well played. I did have some issues with The Body In The Garden, including the pace, focus on frivolous high society events and characters, but I also think this might not have been exactly right story for me. If you enjoy character-driven and slower paced cozy mysteries with a historical setting and a hint of crime, you will be in for a treat with The Body In the Garden.

3. Mexico Street by Simone Buchholz (4,5/5 stars) BLOG TOUR REVIEW 23/03
Look out for my review during my stop of the blog tour!

4. The Secret Admirer by Carol Wyer (4/5 stars) REVIEW 20/03
I’m a huge fan of Carol Wyer‘s detective thrillers, and Natalie Ward book number six is without doubt another shocking and solid ride. The writing makes it really easy to keep turning those pages, and I think the bigger focus on Natalie’s private life was definitely needed after that nuclear plot twist bomb in book five. The investigation in this one is intriguing, although I do have to guess I saw the ending coming early on… But the developments in Natalie’s private life are less easy to guess. That said, I will never like David and even the events in The Secret Admirer weren’t enough to make me feel sympathetic towards him… I can’t wait to discover how things will continue for all the main characters in play though.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I need a little break from thrillers, so I’ll probably read Love And Other Words by Christina Lauren next. Then I have one March ARC left pending: She Has A Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be by J.D. Barker. It’s a big one with almost 800 pages, but I loved his writing in the 4MK books and I just can’t wait to dive into this one. I also want to read my first Rachel Abbott book, And So It Begins, in preparation for the blog tour of the sequel next month…  My latest TBR jar pick is still The Way Back To You by Michelle Andreani & Mindi Scott; I’m hoping to read that one soon in between upcoming thrillers.


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WWW Wednesdays #258 – March 4th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’ve finally started my Spanish reread of the seventh and final Harry Potter book: Harry Potter Y Las Reliquias De La Muerte. Way overdue! I’m planning on reading a chapter or two each day in between other reads if I have the time… I always love revisiting this series. ❤ I’m also finally reading Strangers by C.L. Taylor, a most anticipated read I’ve been really excited to pick up. I’m having a feeling I will finish it in no time at all depending on how much time I have to read today, and afterwards I’ll start straight away with The Body In The Garden by Katharine Schellman, which I’ve heard good things about.

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Blue Night by Simone Buchholz (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 06/03
It took me a while to get used to the short and snappy writing style, and I also had a hard time figuring out who was who in the beginning. The flashback chapters were especially confusing at first, as you have no background as to who is who and how they all fit together. I honestly wasn’t sure if this story would be for me… BUT. Somehow, after I decided to take a little break and continue with fresh eyes, I started to warm up to Blue Night. Once I got the hang of both the writing style and the different characters in play, I was hooked. Or more than hooked; I literally devoured the pages, hungry for more.

2. Beton Rouge by Simone Buchholz (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 06/03
While it took me some time to get used to the writing and characters in Blue Night, I had no such problem with Beton Rouge. I was fully hooked as soon as I read the first chapter, and the same short and snappy chapters kept me turning those pages like there was no tomorrow. Beton Rouge is a lot more ‘readable’ and easier to follow for those without a proper background of the main characters, and the case Chas finds herself involved in is without intriguing. Her character is simply brilliant and I can’t wait to discover what happens in the next book.

3. Deadly Waters by OMJ Ryan (4/5 stars) BLOG TOUR REVIEW 14/03
Look out for my review during my stop of the blog tour!

4. If I Stay by Gayle Forman (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 09/03
I’m probably the last person on the planet to read this one! I’ve been meaning to try If I Stay for years now, but to be honest I wasn’t so sure if this story would be for me… I was afraid it was going to be too sappy and cliche for me, and that the hype around it simply wasn’t worth it. I confess I kept my expectations low, and the unexpected happened: I ended up being so much more invested in this story about Mia and Adam than I thought I would be!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

With a possible trip happening in the second half of March, I’m planning on reading as much ARCs as possible in the first half so I hopefully won’t miss any deadline. First up is blog tour title Mexico Street by Simone Buchholz, which I’m really excited about after Beton Rouge. Then I’ll probably read The Secret Admirer by Carol Wyer first to give me a little time to get that blog tour review ready… Followed immediately by Deep Dark Night by Steph Broadribb, which is my final blog tour this month. I can’t wait to meet up with Lori again!! ❤ #TeamLori My latest TBR jar pick is still The Way Back To You by Michelle Andreani & Mindi Scott, which I’ll probably try to read soon as a little break in between all those thriller ARCs.


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WWW Wednesdays #257- February 26th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m currently on another series mini binge-read and I’ll be reading Blue Night and Beton Rouge by Simone Buchholz one after the other in preparation for the blog tour next month. I’ll probably take a little break before reading the third one so I can get those shorties reviews written before I have tot think about the blog tour review. 😉

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Where The Lost Wander by Amy Harmon (4/5 stars) REVIEW 06/04
I think most people will know by now that I’m a huge fan of Amy Harmon’s work and I have been eagerly anticipating her newest title Where The Lost Wander. I was stoked when I was able to get a chance to read this story early, and it was without doubt a wonderful experience. While not my absolute favorite title, this is still a beautifully written story that is definitely able to provoke emotions. I found the pace to be a tad slow, but the characters are well developed and it was a fascinating portrayal of 19th century US.

2. The Boy From The Woods by Harlan Coben (4/5 stars) REVIEW 16/03
I admit I was sold as soon as I read the blurb! I never would have guessed my request for such a popular title would actually be approved, but I’m definitely happy I had the chance to read this one early. Such a fascinating read! While certain aspects of the plot might be a tad farfetched, it has a high entertainment factor and I literally flew through the pages. This makes me want to give priority to more of his titles this year! I had forgotten how much I enjoyed his writing in the past.

3. I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara (4/5 stars) REVIEW
I’ve been wanting this true crime title for so long now, and I’m still not sure what held me back… I’m happy I finally did take the time to read it, because it turned out to be a fascinating (and terrifying) read.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

With a possible trip happening in the second half of March, I need to step up my ARC game for a bit and read a bunch that are due soon… First up is Strangers by C.L. Taylor, which I’ve been dying to read anyway. Then I’ll probably read The Body In The Garden by Katherine Schellman, and I need to read Mexico Street by Simone Buchholz for the upcoming blog tour too. My latest TBR jar pick is still The Way Back To You by Michelle Andreani & Mindi Scott, which I’m not sure I’ll end up having time for soon…


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