Sunday, July 22, 2018

This Week in Readng - July 22

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

What I Got:

Another quiet week but I did pick up one book. 

Dim Sum of All Fears by Vivien Chien - Lana Lee ends up running her parents' Chinese restaurant, dealing with the murder of the couple who owns the shop next door, and figuring out just what her relationship with the police detective is.  This isn't the first in the series but it sounds like such fun that I couldn't resist picking this one up!  (Publisher)


ReadingWho Moved My Goat Cheese by Lynn Cahoon and finishing up No River to Wide by Emilie Richards.

Listening:  I'm still listening to Because of Miss Bridgerton but I haven't actually listened to much this week.

Watching:  We're still watching Longmire and are really enjoying.  I'm not great at binging shows though and can only make it through 2 or 3 before I need a break so it's going to take awhile.

Off the Blog:

We spent most of this week in south Mississippi.  It was a fun visit but it was crazy hot so we didn't spend too much time outside.  This is the Tornado's last full week of summer and we're planning on being extra lazy.  I don't love how early school starts back but it's really too hot to do much outside and we do get out mid-May and have a few decent length breaks in between so it does work out.  

I didn't get much blog visiting done in the last week or two but I'm hoping to make up for that in the next week.  

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday: What I've DNF'd So Far This Year
Tuesday:  Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books with Sensory Reading Memories
Wednesday:  On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service - Cozy Mystery Review
Thursday:  Books from the Backlog
Friday:  Friday Linkups with Current Book
Saturday:  Who Moved My Goat Cheese + Killer Green Tomatoes - Cozy Mystery Reviews

Have a great week and happy reading!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Poisoned Pages - Cozy Mystery Review

Rating:  Good
Source: Publisher

Description:  Tricia Miles, mystery bookstore owner and amateur sleuth, throws a housewarming cocktail party in her new apartment and has cooked all the food by herself--quite a feat for someone who previously couldn't boil water. Then one of her guests is poisoned and dies. Tricia's left to wonder if her cooking is to blame or if there's something much more sinister at play. Either way, Tricia's once again in hot water with her ex-lover, Chief Baker.

Meanwhile the charming town of Stoneham is being disrupted by a vandalism crime wave. It's the hot topic in the race for Chamber of Commerce president which sees Tricia pitted against two bitter rivals. With all that's going on can she find the killer before she's the next item on the menu? 

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:
  This was one of the first cozy mystery series I ever read and I love the idea of a town full of bookstores!

My Impression:  This series always makes me yearn for a bookstore that specializes in mysteries to exist me.  Or really any good locally owned bookstore featuring a cat to exist near me.  I love the town and the community feel of the bookstore.  Mr. Everett and Pixie are such opposites and it is fun to see the really genuine bond between them.  As well Angelica has become a character I really like.  She can be a bit high handed but her heart is always in the right place and she normally knows just the right thing to do.  Seeing her in a bit of trouble was a little different and I felt like it added a touch of vulnerability.

There’s quite a lot going on in the little village of Stoneham with the mysterious death, the vandalism and the Chamber of Commerce election as well as what is going on with Angelica but it all fits together very nicely.  The pacing is very good and this whole series is incredibly readable from start to finish.  What keeps the series from really being a winner for me is that I don’t like Tricia very much.  While she thankfully never drifts into TSTL actions she can come off as a bit judgmental and harsh which puts my back up. 

This is an entertaining and well paced series with a solid mystery.  While I do have some issues with Tricia I always enjoy the mysteries in this series.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Yes though since I’ve read a couple pretty close together I’ll probably get a few books in before I come back to this series.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy a cozy this is a solid series though I recommend starting with some of the earlier books.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Friday Linkups - On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service

It's Friday linkup time!  I'm linking up with the Book Blogger Hop hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer, Book Beginnings of Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, and the Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice

This Week's Book Blogger Hop Question:
What's your proudest blogging milestone or achievement?

My Answer:
Oh this is a hard one!  I remember being so excited when I first got comments or when I actually had subscribers.  I also still get excited when I get review requests from major publishers - especially Berkley.  I guess when it really comes down to it my absolute favorite achievement is getting to be part of this amazing community.

This week's book is On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service by Rhys Bowen.  I love a good pun-ny cozy title but this one gives me extra joy because it's a play on the title of a James Bond book which is another of my favorite things.  This is a book in the Royal Spyness series set in the 1930s and I've really enjoyed the first few books.  I've missed a few between those and this one but so far it hasn't been an issue.

The Beginning:
I should have known it was too good to last.

My Thoughts:
I do love a smidge of pessimism in a cozy heroine!

The 56:
"Do you not know how easy it is to bribe a train concierge, especially if one is a regular customer and generous with tips?  I merely asked him to turn the other way while I borrowed the passkey."

My Thoughts:
Well that's not unsettling at all!

So what do you think?  Keep reading?

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Books from the Backlog - Crime and Poetry

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!  Today's book is Crime and Poetry by Amanda Flower

Blurb:  Rushing home to sit by her ailing grandmother’s bedside, Violet Waverly is shocked to find Grandma Daisy the picture of perfect health. Violet doesn’t need to read between the lines: her grandma wants Violet back home and working in her magical store, Charming Books. It’s where the perfect book tends to fly off the shelf and pick you...

Violet has every intention to hightail it back to Chicago, but then a dead man is discovered clutching a volume of Emily Dickinson’s poems from Grandma Daisy’s shop. The victim is Benedict Raisin, who recently put Grandma Daisy in his will, making her a prime suspect. Now, with the help of a tuxedo cat named Emerson, Violet will have to find a killer to keep Grandma from getting booked for good...

How long has it been on the shelf: Actually not that long relatively speaking - only since the summer of 2016.

Why I want to read it: There's a magical bookstore!  I need a book with a magical bookstore! Plus I love a book with some bookish related crime.

What book from the backlog is calling you?

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Shelved Under Murder - Cozy Mystery Review

Rating: Very Good
Source: NetGalley

October in Taylorsford, Virginia means it’s leaf peeping season, with bright colorful foliage and a delightful fresh crew of tourists attending the annual Heritage Festival which celebrates local history and arts and crafts. Library director Amy Webber, though, is slightly dreading having to spend two days running a yard sale fundraiser for her library. But during these preparations, when she and her assistant Sunny stumble across a dead body, Amy finds a real reason to be worried.

The body belonged to a renowned artist who was murdered with her own pallet knife. A search of the artist’s studio uncovers a cache of forged paintings, and when the sheriff’s chief deputy Brad Tucker realizes Amy is skilled in art history research, she’s recruited to aid the investigation. It doesn’t seem to be an easy task, but when the state’s art expert uncovers a possible connection between Amy’s deceased uncle and the murder case, Amy must champion her Aunt Lydia to clear her late husband’s name.

That’s when another killing shakes the quiet town, and danger sweeps in like an autumn wind. Now, with her swoon-inducing neighbor Richard Muir, Amy must scour their resources to once again close the books on murder.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:
  The first in the series was one of my favorite cozy mystery reads so I knew I couldn't miss this one.

My Impression:
  I loved the first book in this series and was so excited for this one!  This series has so many of my very favorite things that it's hard to believe it's not written specifically for me.  There's a librarian who does research, there's some art theft, there some mysteries and scandals from the past floating up, a dead body or two, and even a touch of romance.  I really loved seeing more of Richard's work and just what a professional dancer/choreographer does.  As well, I felt we saw a bit more of Aunt Lydia and got to know her past more.  I also found the added element of the library fundraiser and the relationship between the library director (Amy) and the head of the Friends of the Library group really interesting.

The characters come alive from page one and the mystery had me invested early on.  Amy's involvement did make sense given the art angle and the small town staffing limitations.  I can't say the ending was a shock but I still enjoyed getting there.  The pacing was fast, the characters were likable, and the mystery was thoroughly entertaining - what's not to love?   

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Yes!  Is the next one available yet?

Would I Recommend this Book?
  If you enjoy bookish cozies you must read this series.  I think you could jump in here with no problem but the first one is so fun it shouldn't be missed!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Ten Books I'm Really Looking Forward to in 2018 Pt 2

This is a topic that I did a few times over at The Broke and the Bookish and honestly I always dreaded it a bit because I'm not great at keeping up with new releases.  However, I realized I was kind of missing it so I decided it was time to revisit this topic!

The Witch Elm by Tana French - I finally read a book by Tana French and fell in love with her writing style.  This one involves a crumbling family home and a skull being discovered in a trunk of a tree.  Secrets from the past abound!  (October 9)

The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter by Hazel Gaynor - I finally read my first Hazel Gaynor earlier this year and absolutely loved it so I'm super excited to read this latest.(October 9)

The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah - I was just wondering when/if a new Poirot book by Hannah would come out when I saw this and I'm really looking forward to it.  I struggled with the first book but really enjoyed the 2nd. (August 28)

The Collector's Apprentice by B.A. Shapiro - I haven't read anything by this author yet but I've been wanting to and this one looks gorgeous. (October 16)

Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis - I've really been loving this Heartbreaker Bay series and am excited for the next one. (September 25)

Season of Wonder by RaeAnne Thayne - I love RaeAnne Thayne and her Christmas books are my favorite so I'm excited for this one!(September 25)

I'd Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel - I'm a big fan of the What Should I Read Next podcast and have had her first book on my TBR for awhile but this one appeals to me even more! (September 4)

The Lacemaker's Secret by Kathleen Ernst - There's family secrets and a body in an old farmhouse so I'm super excited to give this series a try. (October 8)

A Vintage Death by Mary Ellen Hughes - I loved the first book in this series about a woman who has inherited a music box store and am looking forward to seeing where the series goes. (November 8)

Echoes of Evil by Heather Graham - Somehow I haven't read any of the Krewe of Hunters books from this year but they look so good!  I'm hoping to read the first two before I get to this one. (September 18)

What books are you looking forward to reading in the second half of the year?

Monday, July 16, 2018

Scandal Above Stairs - Historical Mystery Review

Rating: Very Good
Source: Publisher 

Priceless artwork has gone missing from the home of a wealthy baronet, and his wife stands to take the blame. When Kat's employer asks for help in clearing her friend's name, Kat trades her kitchen for the homes of Mayfair's wealthiest families.
Soon antiques are disappearing not only from the extravagant households of connoisseurs and collectors, but from the illustrious British Museum. As the thefts increase in frequency, Kat calls upon her friend Daniel McAdam, who has already set himself up in a pawnshop on the Strand as a seedy receiver of stolen goods. When a man is murdered in the shop, Kat must use all of her wits to see that the thieves are caught and justice is done.

Genre: Mystery - Historical

Why I Picked This Book:
  The first book in this series was one of my top ten favorite reads so far this year.

My Impression:
  This is a bunch of my favorite things wrapped up in one book.  I love historical mysteries, I love likeable characters, I love books where you get a peek behind the scenes, and I love mysteries involving art theft.  Throw in a fast pace and I'm in bookish heaven.

It's always a little scary starting the 2nd book in a series when you loved the first.  What if it doesn't live up to expectations?  This wasn't the case here - if anything I liked this book more!  I was so glad to see more of Lady Cynthia and Mr. Thanos and I thought Tess was an interesting addition to the world of the kitchen.  I found the structure of how a large household fascinating and not something I knew all that much about going in.

The mystery itself captured my interest from the beginning.  While there is a murder about a 1/4 into the book the discussions regarding art theft starts earlier.  There's also the mystery of just what Daniel McAdam is up to and just who is he in the first place which I enjoyed in the first book as well.  The pace is fast without being rushed and the mysteries kept me guessing all through the book.

I love this series.  The characters feel like friends, the setting is fascinating, and the mystery is fast paced and intriguing.   This was just a delight of a book and I'm already excited for the next mystery!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?
  Absolutely!  I'm anxiously waiting the next book already!

Would I Recommend this Book?
  Definitely!  Even if you're not a big mystery fan I think you'd enjoy this read.