What’s in a Review?

Rena George Cornwall, Crime Fiction, Pocket Novels, Reviews 8 Comments

This week I became an Amazon best seller!! (Hooray!!  – jump up and down and toss bonnet in the air!)

My Loveday Ross Cornish Mystery Series collection reached 39 in the top 100 Fiction / Drama category, earlier this week, with an overall best selling ranking of 15,168. I can’t believe it.

The Cornish Series (The Loveday Ross Mysteries)

The Cornish Series (The Loveday Ross Mysteries)

However…despite the welcome sales, the only review I currently have for this collection is from an American reader on the Amazon.com site. He gave it a 4 Star and wrote…


“This series is an enjoyable read. The plots are fresh and the characters are well described. A good writer whom I would not hesitate to read other works by.”

Very welcome, and it got me thinking about reviews in general. Regular readers of this blog will know I was recently invited by Constable & Robinson to join their list of review bloggers. My first book was Wicked Autumn by GM Malliett, and while I didn’t totally love the book, I did try to be constructive and fair in my comments. (Certainly never cruel)

But some reviewers seem to give bad reviews for the most bizarre reasons.

For instance. One reader gave one of my books a 2 Star because she downloaded it, not realising it was a short story and not a full-length novel. (Although that had been clearly stated)

Another reader was so miffed that one of my Loveday Ross mysteries was not a LOVEJOY novel that she slapped a 1 Star on it and stomped off in disgust.

Neither of these reviews had anything to do with the quality of the work, but they are there for all time and there is nothing I can do about it.

IMG_1734 2More widely, when I was tracking the thread of some of the more prolific reviewers I came across one chap who wrote exactly the same review for every book, no matter the genre or author.
It brought a wry smile. Maybe it’s time we reviewed the reviewers.


What do you think?


And oh yes, my Pocket Novel, Another Chance, is published as a Large Print Linford Romance today, and will be available from Amazon and public libraries.

Happy reading and writing everyone.


Rena  xx

Comments 8

    1. Post
  1. Hi Rena – the whole business of reviews is, I think, fraught. I take them with a pinch of salt and I hope most people do. If I’m ever reviewing, like you, I try to be fair and constructive. It is amazing though how some people will give a bad review simply because they didn’t understand what they were downloading or hadn’t done their research! I’ve been ticked off for not having enough sex in a book that was clearly (from the cover and blurb) a sweet romance. You win some, you lose some…..

    1. Post

      Lovely to see you here, Cara.
      You are so right about those reviews. I think you have to develop a hard skin and not get upset. It is annoying, though, when reviewers complain about something that is not your fault.
      However…I did get a really lovely 5 star review this week for Danger at Mellin Cove, which was my first Pocket Novel. Every cloud, eh…
      I’m still enjoying your wonderful current PF serial, The Lemon Grove. A great success for you. Congratulations. Rx

  2. Congratulations on the bestsellerisness!

    I’ve seen some weird things written on reviews, such as thrillers criticised for not being romantic enough, reviews which state the person hasn’t read the book, classics described as too old fashioned.

    1. Post

      I agree. Some reviews are just too silly to take seriously. One of many dictionary definitions of reviews is – To look back upon: view retrospectively – If only.
      Thanks for dropping in, Patsy, and for leaving a comment. Rx

    1. Post

      Hi, Sue, how’s gorgeous Cornwall?
      Yes, reviews are such a double-edged sword, aren’t they? It’s great to get a 5 Star review, but the negative ones can be useful too, as long as the reviewer is fair. It’s actually quite helpful to know what readers want.
      Happy sailing, by the way. I’m looking forward to your next maritime adventure. Rx

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