Thursday, January 23, 2020

Books from the Backlog - Final Sentence

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:  Final Sentence by Darryl Wood Gerber

Blurb:  In need of a change, Jenna Hart leaves the high-pressure world of advertising to help her aunt, Vera, open a culinary bookshop and cafĂ©. Back with her family in Crystal Cove, California, Jenna seems to have all the right ingredients for a fresh start—until someone adds a dash of murder.
As a marketing expert, Jenna wants to make sure the grand opening of the Cookbook Nook draws a crowd, and no one is better at getting attention than her old college roommate, celebrity chef Desiree Divine. But when Desiree arrives in quiet Crystal Cove to do a cookbook signing, the diva stirs up more trouble than business…especially when she turns up dead.

Known for stealing husbands and burning bridges, Desiree left behind plenty of suspects—including Jenna. Though the celebrity’s life always appeared to be an open book, Jenna will have to read between the lines in order to clear her name, and catch a killer before another body is served cold.

Why It Needs to Come Off the Shelf: I've had this book on my shelf since it first came out and lately cooking related mysteries sounds good so I think it's the time to pick this one up!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Careless Whiskers - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads:  Careless Whiskers (Cat in the Stacks #12) by Miranda James

Rating: Very Good
Source: Publisher

Description: Charlie Harris has sworn off investigating murder and mayhem after a recent close call. Instead, he's delighted to cheer on his daughter, Laura, who's starring in a production of Careless Whispers. The theater department at Athena College is debuting the play written by a fledgling playwright with local connections and Charlie's son-in-law, Frank Salisbury, will be calling the directorial shots.
Laura is upset to learn that Luke Lombardi, an overbearing actor she knew from her time in Hollywood will also be taking part in the production as a guest artist. Lombardi arrives with an entourage in tow and promptly proceeds to annoy everyone involved with the production. When he collapses and dies on stage, after drinking from a glass Laura handed him, she becomes the chief suspect in his murder.

Charlie knows his daughter is innocent, and he's not going to let anyone railroad his little girl. So, despite his intentions to put his amateur sleuthing days behind him, Charlie has to take center stage, and with Diesel's help, shine a spotlight on the real killer.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  I've really enjoyed this series so I couldn't pass up this newest one!  And who can resist the title?

My Impression:  Whenever I pick up a book by this author I know I'm in for a delightful cozy mystery and this mystery was no exception.  Charlie and Diesel (and Ramses) are back in full force but I really enjoyed that Charlie's daughter Laura and her husband Frank are much more central characters then they've been in the past.  I really enjoyed seeing more of them and getting some more time to observe their relationship with each other and with Charlie.  And it's always good to see more of the some of my favorite characters - Haskell, Azalea, Stewart, and Kenesha and of course Helen Louise.  In addition to my regular favorite characters we also got a few visits from the Ducote sisters and watching them keep that rather dreadful Luke Lombardi under control was incredibly entertaining. 

I would have liked a little bit more time unraveling the identities and the motives.  Not only did it seem to all come together really fast but I really enjoyed it so I wanted more detail.  That minor issue aside, this was a fun cozy mystery with likable characters and an entertaining story.   This has become one of my favorite cozy mystery series and I always look forward to seeing what's next for Charlie and Diesel - okay especially Diesel!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  I would.  I've missed some of the earlier books in the series and I'm looking forward to going back and catching up as well as keeping my eyes open for the next book.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy cozy mysteries this is a great series!

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

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Most Recent TBR Additions

Today I'm linking up with Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl which is all about lists.  Since lists are one of my favorite things this is one of my favorite linkups!  Today's topic is about my Ten Most Recent Additions to MY TBR.  I'm looking at my Goodreads account because that's where I keep my TBR as best as I can.  I feel like I need a new system but I haven't figured out what that is yet.

1.  Come Homicide or High Water by Denise Swanson - I'm not sure I've ever actually read anything by Denise Swanson but she's a name I've seen for ages.

2.  Almost Just Friends by Jill Shalvis - I like this series and this author so of course I can't pass this one up!

3.  Home Lessons: Renovating a Life by Erica Bauermeister - I've adored previous books by her and this one really has me intrigued.

4.  Perfect Little Children by Sophie Hannah - I've really liked Hannah's Poirot books so I'd love to see what she does with her own characters.

5.  Here Comes the Body by Maria DiRico - This is a new to me cozy mystery author and this book caught my eye.

6.  A Treacherous Curse by Deana Raybourn - I'm trying to catch up on this series before the most recent one gets released in a couple of months.

7.  Lady Clementine by Marie Benedict - I love historical fiction and this one sounds really good.

8.  Murder in an Irish Cottage by Carlene O'Connor - I have pretty much every book in this series on my TBR but I'm not sure I've actually read any.

9.  No Nest for the Wicket by Donna Andrews - I love this series and am really wanting to go back and read earlier books in it.

10. Sell Low, Sweet Harriet by Sherry Harris - I couldn't resist this title pun and this is a cozy series I've been wanting to read.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Dead Man's Folly - Classic Mystery Review

Goodreads: Dead Man's Folly by Agatha Christie

Rating: Loved It!
Source: Purchased

Description:  Whilst organising a mock murder hunt for the village fete hosted by Sir George and Lady Stubbs, a feeling of dread settles on the famous crime novelist Adriane Oliver. Call it instinct, but it's a feeling she just can't explain...or get away from.

In desperation she summons her old friend, Hercule Poirot -- and her instincts are soon proved correct when the 'pretend' murder victim is discovered playing the scene for real, a rope wrapped tightly around her neck.

But it's the great detective who first discovers that in murder hunts, whether mock or real, everyone is playing a part.

Genre: Mystery - Classic

Why I Picked This Book:  It was next up in my perpetual Agatha Christie reread.

My Impression:  Any Poirot featuring Ariadne Oliver is going to be a good one.  Not only does she feel very based on Christie but the interaction between her and Poirot is always a treat.  Here she plays a vital role in getting Poirot involved in the mystery of the murder hunt.  This felt a little different then the usual Poirot mystery in that it didn't feel like Poirot had an active role in the investigation.  He was there, he asked questions but he was definitely moving in the background and letting the actions of the other characters take center stage.  It also doesn't feel like the investigation is progressing for much of the mystery.  Poirot talks about having all the pieces of the puzzle but not seeing how they go together and that was very much what it felt like to me while reading it.  It gave me time to come up with my own theories which I enjoyed. 

This is not necessarily one of Christie's best but it is a fun quick read that might have you puzzling a bit and of course any book with Ariadne Oliver is not to be missed!

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

Would I Recommend this Book?  Yes I would!  This isn't necessarily in my top 5 but it is a solid entertaining read with an intriguing mystery.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

This Week in Reading - January 19

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:

A Field Guide to Homicide by Lynn Cahoon - I wasn't going to get this one but then I saw it and I'm just not that strong.  (NetGalley)

Claw Enforcement - I really enjoy this series and I'm excited to read this next one. (Publisher)

Buried to the Brim by Jenn McKinlay - I love Jenn McKinlay but somehow I've never read any of this series set around a hat store in England. (Publisher)


Reading:  Fatal Roots by Sheila Connolly and Duchess in Love by Eloisa James

Listening:  I'm finishing up Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis and about to start A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn

Watching:  We are really loving Disney +.  We watched The Princess and the Frog and it was fun to see a Disney movie that takes place in a city we're so familiar with.  We've also been really loving The Imagineering Story too.

Off the Blog:

We had a quiet week this week.  School is rolling along and he had 2 classes at the school he's signed up for this week and a birthday party this weekend.  Something about a kid's birthday party just absolutely wears me out!  I've done some drawer cleaning out and was shocked at the amount of junk I've been hoarding.  I have 3 empty drawers now.

We are heading back to New Orleans soon and I'm glad because I'm getting stir crazy being in one place for so long.  Now I have to find some winter/spring stuff to do there.  I feel like I did a good job with finding Christmas stuff so I want to keep that rolling.

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday:  Dead Man's Folly - Agatha Christie Classic Mystery Review
Tuesday:  Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Most Recent TBR Additions
Wednesday: Careless Whiskers - Cozy Mystery Review
Thursday:  Books from the Backlog
Friday: Friday Fives - Fives Books 
Saturday:  TBD

Have a great week and happy reading!

Heart of Evil - Paranormal Suspense Review

Goodreads:  Heart of Evil (Krewe of Hunters #2) by Heather Graham

Rating: Good
Source: Purchased (Audible)

Description: Emerging from the bayou like an apparition, Donegal Plantation is known for its unsurpassed dining, captivating atmosphere, haunting legends and now a corpse swinging from the marble angel that marks its cemetery's most majestic vault. A corpse discovered in nearly the same situation as that of Marshall Donegal, the patriarch killed in a skirmish just before the Civil War.
Desperate for help traditional criminologists could never provide, plantation heiress Ashley Donegal turns to an elite team of paranormal investigators who blend hard forensics with rare & often inexplicable intuition. Among the Krewe of Hunters is an old flame, Jake Mallory, a gifted musician with talent stretching far beyond the realm of the physical, and a few dark ghosts of his own.

The evil the team unveils has the power to shake the plantation to its very core. Jake and Ashley are forced to risk everything to unravel secrets that will not stay buried even in death.

Genre: Romance - Paranormal Suspense

Why I Picked This Book:  I've really enjoyed more recent books in this series and I liked the first book so I thought I would continue this series.

My Impression:  This is such a fun series and the 2nd book is no different.  I do love a murder with ghosts at a Louisiana plantation and this one did not let me down.  I loved the Civil War reenactment involvement intermingling with the actual history.  I absolutely adored the investigations done by the Krewe into the history of all the suspects.  The setting was beautiful and I could easily believe that Donegal Plantation really does exist.  I also really liked the mystery and how it all came together with each bit of information.  This isn't really a mystery that you can unravel on your own but it is one that is fun to go along for the ride.

My main issue is that Ashley was a bit flat.  I loved all the characters from the Krewe and Cliff and Beth were also interesting but Ashley seemed a bit wishy washy.  This didn't stop me from enjoying the book but it will keep this from landing on my favorites list.  If you're looking for a fun read with suspense, history and lots of ghosts this is a good choice and with Luke Daniels doing a fabulous job with the narration the audio is always a fabulous choice.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  While not my favorite, this is a fun series that I'm looking forward to continuing.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you are looking for a fun romantic suspense with ghosts then this book is a perfect read.  While it is the 2nd in a series you can read this one easily on its own.

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

Friday, January 17, 2020

Friday Five - Five Random Library Picks

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.  I'm still struggling with getting back in tune with figuring out what I want to read.  I'm getting there but it's weirdly difficult sometimes!  The other day I went to the library and wandered the shelves trying to pick up whatever interested me.  Here are the five I picked out.

1.  What We Keep by Bill Shapiro with Naomi Wax - I know nothing about this book but flipping through it it appears to be a collection of essays by various people about items they keep and why.  Could be bad, could be heartbreaking, could be amazing - or a little bit of all 3.

2.  Fridays with the Wizards by Jessica Day George - I have thoroughly enjoyed this middle grade series but have been putting this one off for no real reason other then arbitrary schedule.

3.  Daring to Dream by Nora Roberts - This is a reread but I remember enjoying it but not a huge amount else about it. 

4.  Duchess in Love by Eloisa James - I read an Eloisa James years and years ago and have been meaning to read more ever since.  The premise of this one was most intriguing.

5.  I Know Who You Are by Alice Feeney - The cover jumped out at me and it sounds good.  There's some unreliable narrator issues but I haven't read any in awhile so I have high hopes.

Have you read any of these?  How do you decide what you want to read next?