Against My Better Judgment

Mauzzy and Me Mystery

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Pub Date Sep 16 2020 | Archive Date Dec 31 2020

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When freshman year at the University of Alabama draws to a close, Sara Donovan finds herself grappling with the same old question—listen to her head or follow her heart. What she ends up doing is purchasing an Egyptian souvenir funerary mask, and after a mysterious phone call, she's certain a ring of antiquities smugglers are operating in Tuscaloosa.
With finals never far from her mind and her return to 'Bama hanging in the balance, she should be studying. Instead she launches her own investigation to prove her mask is indeed a stolen artifact, and not a cheap trinket. When it comes time to snoop, Sara is more than ready, or at least she was until a hot new teaching assistant moves in next door.

Suddenly she learns things are never as they seem. Ever.

When freshman year at the University of Alabama draws to a close, Sara Donovan finds herself grappling with the same old question—listen to her head or follow her heart. What she ends up doing is...

A Note From the Publisher

A #humorous, newadult, romantic romp with dachshunds, a hot TA and an Egyptian souvenir funerary mask that might be stolen.

A #humorous, newadult, romantic romp with dachshunds, a hot TA and an Egyptian souvenir funerary mask that might be stolen.

Available Editions

ISBN 9781509232772
PRICE $4.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 20 members

Featured Reviews

I didn't like this book at first. The main character phobic about germ is off-putting, but about mid through I decided I liked it. The 2nd half of the book was better than the 1st half. It's the focus is definitely on Sara the main character and her personality. #AgainstMyBetterJudgment #NetGalley

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I read a lot of mystery and thrillers so for me this was a nice change of pace. A perfect cozy mystery that was seriously laugh out loud funny!
I totally enjoyed this book.
I totally loved Mauzzy which is the book's dachshund and Sara is such a great character.
I didn't realize this is actually labeled as a YA book but it didn't read like one. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

Thanks to the author and publisher for my ebook copy.

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Against My Better Judgment (Mauzzy and Me Mystery) by B.T. Polcari
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers | New Adult | Romance
Release Date: September 16, 2020

Against My Better Judgement is the first book in the Mauzzy and Me Mystery series by B.T. Polcari.

This was so much fun! Such a great cozy mystery, filled with snark, sarcasm and quick wit. The mystery was great and kept me guessing until the very end. I look forward to reading future books in this series!

Sara is a college student whose life fulfills the 'if it can go wrong, it will' mantra every chance it gets. She handles these situations with a great sense of humor and acceptance. As a klutz, I can relate to some of the catastrophes she finds herself in.

I'm so grateful to B.T. Polcari, The Wild Rose Press, Inc, and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this ARC ebook in exchange for my honest review.

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A highly entertaining and gripping cozy mystery, I hope to read other books by this author.
Fleshed out and likable characters, an interesting setting, and a solid mystery that kept me guessing.
It's recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine

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19yo freshman Sara is just trying to get through her final month at uni when she stumbles onto what she thinks is a smuggling ring in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Polcari chose 1st person POV in "Against My Better Judgement", which gives his readers unfiltered access to Sara's thoughts. And I do mean unfiltered. Unlike most 1st person POVs, Sara's narration is frequently interrupted by wandering thought and loud or annoying sounds around her, which makes for an immersive experience. Sara is also a fun character. She's ridiculously clumsy with a penchant for destroying things around her, which lands her in trouble more often than not. She also has a history of blowing what she deems to be suspicious situations up, which is where the uncertainty in the book comes from.

As far as the rest of the characters go, Polcari writes up an entertaining cast that compliment Sara. Zoe serves as her tether to reality, reigning her in when she gets too out of touch. While Mrs Majelski is a wacky protector who looks out for Sara, putting even law enforcement on edge. Then there's Mauzzy. He's Sara's doggy sidekick, and a fantastic addition to the story, he brings extra levity to the story especially during more tense scenes.

Given her past, it's unclear whether or not this this smuggling ring actually exists. It's an added layer of complexity to the plot. The story had me engaged from the get-go. It's fast moving, but the action is never overwhelming as there are enough scenes of Sara with her friends or her trusty sidekick to create a good balance.
Speaking of the sidekick, I do have one main issue with the book and that was Mauzzie's walks. I realise they're often gateway to get the plot moving, but there's an emphasis on how often Sara wants him to do his business and he is reluctant to. It was just a bit weird to read about that every couple chapters.

Beyond that, the writing is decent. I really liked the way Polcari incorporates sounds into the story, but it didn't stand out much otherwise. I had no trouble getting through the book, in fact I read it in about a day. I liked Sara's inner voice and I'd happily pick up another of Polcari's books.

All in all, I enjoyed "Against My Better Judgment" by B.T. Polcari. It's a fun mystery novel, and perfect for a more relaxed reading.

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I’d point out that this is the first book that I’ve read by P.T. Polcari, but since it’s the first book that he’s published, that doesn’t seem to be necessary. I’m also a self-admitted “not by the cover” reader, but I have to admit that I give whimsical covers a second glance – especially when I’m in the mood for something light. Just to be clear, Against My Better Judgment didn’t disappoint. The cover definitely set the mood for the pages in between. 😉

Sara was such a fun character. She had a knack of finding trouble around every corner – even if there wasn’t any. Saying she had an active imagination would be an understatement, only this time the mystery was real. She just didn’t know exactly who was doing what or why.

I think what I liked most about Sara was that she didn’t take herself too seriously. She knew that she was going overboard and she would probably regret being so inquisitive, but she couldn’t help herself. There were more than a few twists and turns because Sara had pretty good instincts, but she didn’t always get things exactly right. That’s part of what made this story so much fun.

The supporting characters were great too. Sara’s supportive, but blatantly honest best friend and a few surprising allies, and of course Mauzzy. They were quite the entertaining crew. I can’t wait to see what they get into next with the continuation of the Mauzzy and Me Mystery series. 😉

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An absolute riot!

The wit is second to none and I loved every moment. At first it seemed a little slow and I was not sure about it, but then I got sucked in by B.T. Polari's humor. Let's just say. Never judging a book by its first page again.

Loved it!

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I really liked this book! It’s the perfect start to what be a multiple book series which would be really enjoyable! It’s quirky, fun, with a hint of mystery and romance!!! I loved Sara ! Everything about her was an absolute delight to read about ! She is a hot mess who has an adorable dog and loses her phone constantly ! I am really looking forward to these characters being explored more in the following books !

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the advance copy !!!

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This was such a funny little read! I loved Sarah, even for her quirks like her phobia of germs, especially this day in age. I thought it was definitely a great idea to have this book be in first person because we get to Sarah unfiltered. The funny thoughts, the sad, and all in between. The first part of the story is a bit slow but it picks up in the second half for sure. Buckle up for a wild ride because this book rocks!

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To be honest, this book sounded like an alien trying to convince humans that he/she is actually a millennial girl. The premise is intriguing enough that I really wanted to push through to understand what happens plot-wise, but I ultimately only slogged through about 75% before calling it quits. At first I thought perhaps the narrator was deliberately stylized to be quirky and kind of a space cadet, but by the halfway mark, I realized that even if that was the intention, it's impossible to follow her logic or her actions. This was a miss for me. A decent story that would benefit from being told differently (and a more professionally designed cover). I will not be posting this review on my blog, as I do not want to damage the author's commercial prospects, and I hope Polcari's next release will have improved and found its voice.

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Wasn't what I was expecting but still a good read. Thought I'd be more into it, but I found it hard to hold my attention. Probably not one I would read again, but I definitely know others who would thoroughly enjoy it!

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Against My Better Judgement is a very entertaining and light-hearted cozy mystery that brings a sense of fun to the high crime world. I did not expect it to be as crazy and humorous as it turned out to be and it was a very pleasant surprise. The main character is a hot mess and it’s a roller coaster of a ride reading about her adventure trying to become a detective after she finds herself thrown in the middle. The entire tale will keep you guessing about how the mystery turns out and this story was truly surprising as it was a very fun read. It was refreshing to read a story set in Alabama as many stories do not feature this state. It gave the story the interesting Southern vibes and highlighted the city surrounding the university.

Sara Donovan is an out-of-state student at the University of Alabama studying to eventually go to business school. She has a huge interest in Egyptian artifacts and works in the city’s Egyptian museum as a part-time gift shop attendant. One day she orders an Egyptian funerary mask and has it shipped to the museum as she does not trust it to be delivered to the seedy neighborhood that she calls home. She believes it is just a cheap fun souvenir that will be a fun thing to include in her décor, but when she ends up spilling nail polish remover on it, the mask might be more than what it seems.

She decides that her mission is to unlock the mystery of the mask and to find out how it ended up in her possession. Becoming convinced that the mask could be part of an international smuggling ring for Egyptian artifacts; Sara makes herself the central investigator. As she is enrolled in an Egyptology course, she decides the mystery of the mask and illegal smuggling are the perfect subjects for her final class dissertation. Not only does she decide to write this involved final paper/presentation, but she is also now solving a huge smuggling mystery, has to continue her part-time job, and study for her upcoming final exams. This character really seemed to have a lot going on in this novel and it is very relatable to anyone, students and non-students alike, as everyone tries to balance multiple things at the same time.

The story is told from Sara’s perspective, so the reader gets to experience all the crazy inner monologues and thought processes that she experiences. Not only does she have tons of thoughts going on in her head at all times, but she also loves to have “conversations” with her dachshund Mauzzy. Along with her fun inner thoughts, Sara also happens to be a klutz and constantly seems to have a hard time keeping her phone from experiences tragedies. She has terrible judgment and seems to find herself in many messes both through her own making and by accident.

Things become even more complicated for Sara when the new Egyptology Teaching Assistant, Connor Reed moves in next door. Not only might he be involved in the smuggling ring, but he also happens to be very cute and Sara develops a huge crush on him. Could he be truly involved or is it just a coincidence that some of the circumstances surrounding him seem suspicious? Sara finds herself struggling with this very question as she wants to believe the hot new neighbor could be a potential love interest and not an actual criminal.

Overall, the story flows really well. The writing keeps a good pace and the reader does not find that they become bored with the storyline. Instead, the reader keeps engaged as they try to figure out who is behind the smuggling ring and how the mask ended up in Sara’s possession. There are a lot of possible suspects and side characters to keep track of, but the author does a great job integrating them so it is not impossible to remember which character was which. This book does include some romance, but it is more subtle as the mystery takes center-stage in the story. It is a very fun story and I cannot wait to see what other types of mystery Sara and her doggie side-kick Mauzzy will try to solve in future novels!

**I give a special thank you to Netgalley, the publisher, The Wild Rose Press, and the author, B.T. Polcari for an ARC of this novel to read. The opinions expressed are completely my own.**

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Another favorite by a great author. The plot of the story was very well written. The author really draws the reader in as you read.

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I love mystery thrillers which have a comedy element to it too!
And the situations that the lead Sara finds herself in are hilarious! And the best part is that Sara is a terrible detective that lead to more funny moments!

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I appreciate the publisher allowing me to read this book. This is a cute mystery that has a great lead character.

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Against My Better Judgment by B.T. Polcari is the first book in the cozy Mauzzy and Me Mystery series. As with most cozy mysteries the mystery within Against My Better Judgment will be solved so it can be read as a standalone if choosing to do so with only the character development to carry over to the next book.

Sara Donovan has been attending the University of Alabama as a freshman fro the last year and while she studied she had been working in a museum gift shop. Sara purchases a souvenir for herself, an Egyptian funerary mask, that Sara ends up thinking is actually the real deal. Sara then ends up investigating the mask and stumbles upon the fact their may be smuggles in her town.

Against My Better Judgment by B.T. Polcari was a good solid start to this cozy mystery series. The story had a lot of laughs for those looking for cozies with humor. For me I didn’t fall totally in love with this one but that might be the younger protagonist more than anything but I did like the story enough for a solid three star rating.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

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