Book Review: Tipping the Scales (The Circus of Unusual Creatures #2)

Hello Blogiverse!

How’s the world been treating you? Good I hope!

Today I’m back with another book review. This time I read Tipping the Scales (The Circus of Unusual Creatures #2) by Tammie Painter

I’m a proud member of Painter’s ARC reader team, and having read the first book in the series, Hoard It All Before (my book review here) and loved it, I was so excited about getting my hands on this read! This book releases on June 7th, but preorder is up and running!

Also, I have to say that it’s been a hot minute since I’ve read something by this author and I actually miss her quirky, lighthearted style of writing. Extra kudos to Painter for having a lasting impact on my reader brain!

Alright, so did this book stack up to the last one in the series? Keep on reading to find out!



Like any traveling circus, Zin’s has hair-raising acts and fried food on sticks. But it’s also got an aura-spotting centaur, a chain-smoking unicorn, and an omelet-addicted dragon.

Oh, and far too many dead bodies in the big top.

The Circus of Unusual Creatures is back in town.

When his circus arrives in Salem, Zin has his hooves crossed that all will go off without a hitch. Finances are tight but when the vivacious Ella shows up looking for work, well, you can’t say no to vivaciousness, can you?

Ella quickly puts up the hackles of the Dumble Dwarfs, the Flying Flynns, and even the peace-loving centaur Flora. So, when Ella’s pet iguana turns up dead, it’s assumed it was an act of revenge.

Trouble is, everyone seems to have an alibi. Everyone that is except Ella’s ex-boyfriend, who seems to have the perfect motive…a broken heart. And it isn’t long after he arrives that the body count climbs.

Eager to try his claws at investigating again, Duncan, Deadliest Dragon in the West, delves back into sleuthing and soon discovers troubling details of Ella’s past.

In this second installment of the humorous mystery series tempers and omelets are sizzling, the clues are troublesome, and the twists have nothing do with the Flying Flynns’ trapeze act. And of course, the fedoras are sparkly.

Don’t miss the show. Reserve your front row seat for Tipping the Scales today.



***Brief disclosure***

I am an Amazon affiliate and earn a tiny commission for purchases made through the Amazon links in this post at no cost to you. It’s a great way to help me keep things running on my blog if you’re already intrigued enough to make a purchase. 


The Review

What a stunning sequel!

This was a charming tale of dragons, deception, and dastardly deeds, and I loved every minute of it.

Since the first book in the series, Duncan has settled into a new normal with his new handler Cordelia. Things seem to have calmed until a mysterious individual arrives at Zin’s circus and a wave of murders rocks their small community. Can Duncan figure out what foul play is afoot or will the body count reach horrifying heights?

After being a bit disappointed lately with some reads, this was just the adventure I needed to clear my bookish palate.

Once again, the characters truly made this journey exciting and entertaining. Duncan is hilarious and continues to make some really great puns throughout that made me laugh. I liked his snarky interactions with Cordelia, and all his little character flaws make him even more adorable. Boris and Fergus played strong secondary roles in the plot this time around, and were also really enjoyable. I need to get me a pink sequined hat and trench coat!

The plot was great. It was darker in nature given that there are murders, but steeped in wit and a lighthearted feel that I’ve come to expect of Painter. The mystery had me fooled quite a bit longer this time around, so I also applaud the author for that. It wasn’t until the last third of the book where I really started figuring things out.

Overall, if you love punny jokes, dragons, and a lighthearted fantasy story, you can’t go wrong with this series. Definitely give it a try!



That’s A Wrap!

Well that’s it for this book review. I hope you enjoyed it!

Have you read this book? Are there other similar books you’ve read that you simply have to gush about? Feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to start a conversation!

Have a great day!


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    • Yeah, totally! She gave me the pick me up I needed after my last couple reads, and she’s got another book coming out in July that I’ve been looking forward to. Can’t wait!

  1. Let me tell you, after receiving a brutal email this email from someone who was “appalled” by one of my books, this was much needed. Thanks : ) Off to re-port now!!

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