Thursday, October 22, 2020

Books from the Backlog - Pane and Suffering


Today I'm linking up with Carole from Carole's Random Life of Books for Books from the Backlog.  I really enjoy the chance to feature a book that's been hiding in the piles of books for far too long!

Blurb:  To solve her father's murder and save the family-owned glass shop, Savannah Webb must shatter a killer's carefully constructed fa├žade. . .

After Savannah's father dies unexpectedly of a heart attack, she drops everything to return home to St. Petersburg, Florida, to settle his affairs--including the fate of the beloved, family-owned glass shop. Savannah intends to hand over ownership to her father's trusted assistant and fellow glass expert, Hugh Trevor, but soon discovers the master craftsman also dead of an apparent heart attack.

As if the coincidence of the two deaths wasn't suspicious enough, Savannah discovers a note her father left for her in his shop, warning her that she is in danger. With the local police unconvinced, it's up to Savannah to piece together the encoded clues left behind by her father. And when her father's apprentice is accused of the murders, Savannah is more desperate than ever to crack the case before the killer seizes a window of opportunity to cut her out of the picture. . . 

Why It Needs to Come Off The Shelf - I read a later book in this series and enjoyed it but felt like it would be better if I had read the first book.  So I bought the first book and of course completely forgot about it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Ten Books I'm Getting When I Have Access to My Library Again


I miss the library!  We have access to the one here in Memphis but it involves going in to get my account set up and that's just not on the agenda - especially when I'm not exactly hurting when it comes to book options. And since the drawer that I have designated my "book drawer" here is full I'm trying to keep from buying books and instead am thinking about my library and what books I'm looking forward to picking up as soon as we are home!

1.  A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams - I read a bunch of books from Williams several years ago and loved every one of them and then something happened and she kind of fell off the map for me.  I really want to get back to her books!

2.  Wife After Wife by Olivia Hayfield - I know nothing about this book but it looks interesting and like a perfect library pick!

3.  Tight Rope by Amanda Quick - I love books by Quick/Krentz and this looks fun though I don't think I've heard anything about it.

4.  The Suspect by Fiona Barton - I've read two other books by Barton and really enjoyed them.  I don't know why I still haven't picked this one up yet.

5.  Arsenic and Old Bones by Miranda James - I really enjoy this series and I do want to go back and start at the beginning but I'm not sure I'll be able to wait to read this one - how can I resist that title!

6.  A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor - Another author whose books I really enjoy but who I've been sadly neglecting.  This is one of her older books but it sounds fantastic.

7.  First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen -I enjoy Allen's books but somehow haven't read this one.  It sounds fantastic and I really am looking forward to reading it.

8.  How to Find Love in a Bookstore by Veronica Henry - It's a book involving a bookstore.  I can't resist it but my luck about books about books hasn't been great so I'm going to go with the library for this one.

9.  Slow: Simple Living in a Frantic World by Brooke McAlray - Sometimes I absolutely love this kind of book and somethings it's a DNF pretty quickly.  I do like the idea of focusing on simpler things and am curious about what this book has to say.

10. Southern Side of Paradise by Kristy Woodson Harvey - I haven't read anything by this author but I love how summer-y her books look.  This looks like perfect escapist reading.

What books will you pick up from the library?

Monday, October 19, 2020

15 Minutes of Flame - Cozy Mystery Review

 Goodreads:  15 Minutes of Flame (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery #3) by Christin Brecher

Rating: Liked It!
Source: Publisher

Description:  When Stella's friend inherits a creaky, abandoned home in Nantucket, she knows it's the perfect setting for the town's annual Halloween fundraiser. A d18th century love triangle that pit two best friends against one another over a dubious man. But before the case is solved, another life will be claimed-eserted, boarded-up building on the property--once used as a candle-making shop--adds to the creepy ambiance. But as Stella explores the shack's dilapidated walls, she discovers a terrible secret: the skeleton of a Quaker woman, wrapped in blood-soaked clothing and hidden deep within a stone hearth . . .

While police investigate, Stella wastes no time asking for help from friends with long ties to Nantucket's intricate history. The key to the murder may lie within a scorching -leaving Stella to wonder who in Nantucket is friend, and who is foe . . .

Genre:  Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  I've been wanting to read this series since it started and I couldn't resist this premise!

My Impression:  I do love a good historical mystery so I went into this one with high expectations and for the most part it lived up to them.  While this is the third book in the series it is the first book I've picked up but I really had no problem keeping track of who is who and how they're connected.  I liked Stella and I always enjoy a cat companion in a cozy.  The candle making angle is something I haven't come across before and I really enjoyed it though it did make me want to do some candle shopping!

A mystery with deep historical ties will always pull at me and this was no different.  I was fully in when the skeleton was discovered and fascinated by the historical investigation.  My main issue with this book is that I felt like the pacing got a bit tripped up in the middle.  I was all in and flying through the pages and then it came a bit to a screeching halt.  It wasn't that I wasn't enjoying it but it just felt like I wasn't making progress.  It did get better and was an enjoyable story it just wasn't as consistently fast paced as I expected.  

This is a fun series with an usual setting and I'm really looking forward to reading more!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I'm really looking forward to going back and reading the first 2 books and will definitely pick up the next book.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy cozies this is an entertaining read and definitely worth picking up!

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Life with Leukemia (and Some Reading) - October 18


It's Sunday Post time!  This is hosted by the awesome Caffeinated Book Reviewer and gives us all a chance to recap our week.

Will made his counts which means we are officially in phase 3!  Phase 3 is 120 weeks of treatment so it's definitely a marathon but other then 2 3 week periods it is supposed to be way less intense.  Basically if everything is going right you go in once a week for labs and chemo and a new prescription for some kind of oral chemo.  Unfortunately, the medicine combo this week has been hard on him and he's been really groggy and more then a little cranky.  Thankfully he just took his last dose of the one that I suspect is the problem so I'm hoping that those side effects will fade away and it'll be about a month before we have to worry about that one again.

I'm hoping to head to a used bookstore that is not far from us and am really excited.  It's been a long time since I've been in person book shopping and  used book shopping is my favorite thing because it's like a treasure hunt.  


ReadingDressed Up 4 Murder by JC Eaton and Deception by Gaslight by Kate Belli

Listening:  This Side of Murder by Anna Lee Huber

Watching:  I watched American Murder: The Family Next Door on Netflix and found it fascinating.  It wasn't anything I didn't know but it made for compelling TV.

How did your week going?  What are you reading?

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Elephants Can Remember - Classic Mystery Review

Goodreads:  Elephants Can Remember by Agatha Christe

Rating: Liked It!
Source:  Published

Description:  Hercule Poirot stood on the cliff-top. For here, many years earlier, there had been a tragic accident – the broken body of a woman was discovered on the rocks at the foot of the cliff. This was followed by the grisly discovery of two more bodies – a husband and wife – shot dead. But who had killed whom? Was it a suicide pact? A crime of passion? Or cold-blooded murder? Poirot delves back into a crime committed 15 years earlier and discovers that, when there is a distinct lack of physical evidence, it’s just as well that ‘old sins leave long shadows.'

This story is part of Agatha Christie’s murder in retrospect series, a collection of stories which look at a crime several years after the fact, piecing together testimonials and witness reports to finally uncover the truth. This time we see Mrs Oliver’s goddaughter, attempting to find out the truth about her deceased parents – who killed whom?

Genre: Mystery - Classic

Why I Picked This Book:  This was the next book in my Poirot reread!  

My Impression:  Without a doubt Christie's later books are considerably weaker then her earlier books.  This was the last Poirot book that Christie wrote (Curtain was written in the 1940s to be published after her death) and in her looser plotting and repetitive writing it definitely shows.  However, this has the charm that is so present in her earlier books but lacking in her older books.  I feel like in this book Christie was writing what she liked and not trying to play with trends and "modern up" her books like she had in the past few.  

I love seeing more of Mrs. Oliver and her dislike of literary lunches had me laughing.   The mystery was entertaining and I enjoyed the active investigation.  As usual I didn't feel like it was as cleanly written as her earlier books.  There were a few jumps in logic and the occasional coincidence but I did enjoy this one more then I have the last few books.  I would probably recommend Five Little Pigs/Murder in Retrospect which has a similar premise over this one but this is still a fun read.

I listened to the audio on this one and unsurprisingly Hugh Fraser did a fantastic job!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Of course!  I will always be reading Christie.

Would I Recommend this Book?  I would though with some caution.  While it's not her worst it's not my favorite either.  

Friday, October 16, 2020

Friday Fives - My Favorite Foodie Things Right Now

 I'm taking a bit of a break from my usual Friday Linkups to try something a little different.  Michelle over at Because Reading is Better Than Real Life   used to do a Five on Fridays that I always enjoyed and I've seen a few other variations on the theme.  As well I'm in a list making kind of mood so I thought I'd give start making random five lists.  Sometimes they'll be bookish other weeks not so much.  Today is a not so much as I'm looking at foodie things I've been loving lately.

1.  Gnocchi - This isn't a new love but it's a love that has definitely ramped up in the last few weeks.  Whether it's at the Italian restaurant down the street, shopping at Trader Joe's (the sweet potato gnocchi is my favorite there), or getting the ready to boil stuff from the grocery store and trying out a sauce, if gnocchi is an option I will be going that route!  I have made it from scratch before and may try my hand at that again too.

2.  Balsamic Reduction - Also not a new love but also one that's ramped up lately.  I put this on some of the versions of gnocchi or on steak or on just about anything.  I haven't found anything it doesn't make better!

3. My New Crockpot! - I have an 8qt crockpot at home but didn't end up bringing it up to Memphis.  I'd been thinking about getting a smaller one anyway and when I found a 4 qt programmable one at Target for $26 I figured it was a sign.  I made soup in it for the first time earlier this week and it was delicious and made me feel so productive.  I'm excited to find some new and easy recipes!

4.  Reese's Pumpkins - I don't like actual pumpkin flavored stuff but Reese's Pumpkins are my absolute favorite.  Really anything holiday shaped Reese's is a favorite but right now I'm enjoying the pumpkins.

5.  Cold Brew/Iced Coffee - It started with the coffee shop downstairs serving an Iced New Orleans style coffee (ie it's a chicory coffee) that I absolutely fell in love with.  And then I started hitting the iced section of the Starbucks menu at the hospital and I haven't looked back.  I still drink hot coffee in the morning but other then that if Iced is an option that's what I'm going with.

What foodie things are you loving at the moment?

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Books from the Backlog - Myth and Magic


Today I'm linking up with Carole from Carole's Random Life of Books for Books from the Backlog.  I really enjoy the chance to feature a book that's been hiding in the piles of books for far too long! 

Goodreads:  Myth and Magic by Mae Clair

Blurb:  As children, they played games of myth and magic…

Veronica Kent fell in love with Caith Breckwood when they were children. As a teenager, she was certain he was the man she was destined to marry. But a traumatic event from Caith's past led him to fear a future together. He left Veronica, hoping to save her from a terrible fate. Twelve years later, Caith, now a P.I., is hired to investigate bizarre incidents at the secluded retreat Veronica manages. Returning to his hometown, Caith is forced to face his nightmares—and his feelings for the woman he’s always loved.

Then one day, the monsters became real.

After the callous way Caith broke her heart, Veronica isn’t thrilled to see him again. But strange occurrences have taken a dangerous toll on business at Stone Willow Lodge. Forced to work together, Veronica discovers it isn’t ghostly apparitions that frighten her, but her passion for a man she has never forgotten. Or forgiven. Can two people with a tarnished past unearth a magical future?

Why It Needs to Come Off the Shelf:  This has been sitting on my review shelf for 5 years and I had forgotten all about it but it looks like lots of Gothic-y fun!