Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Two Quick Reviews - Summer at Lake Haven + Nothing Bundt Trouble

My Thoughts:  I was a little hesitant about this one going in.  Samantha Fremont has probably been one of my least favorite characters in the Haven Point series (topped only by her overbearing, critical mother, Linda).  But when the book begins Samantha is recovering from her mother's sudden death and is not the same Samantha I'd seen in previous books.  She's grown up a lot and it is easy to see why all the other characters have been friends with her for so long and put up with her nonsense.  Underneath all her over the top silly personality was a good kind person with a lot of self doubt.  Getting a peek at her internal monologue was illuminating and made her very easy to connect with.  Ian Summerhill has his own complicated backstory and is also incredibly likable and sympathetic.  And Thayne kept the perfect balance of having children in the story for more then just window dressing but not letting them completely takeover.  This was a sweet, authentic feeling romance about two people who need each other more then they knew.  My Rating:  Really Liked It

My Thoughts:  This is one of my absolute favorite cozy mystery series and I must admit I was a bit disappointed when I saw this would be kind of a flashback.  I love Jules and the modern day Torte crew as well as the other Ashland residents so I was sad I wouldn't be spending more time with them in this book.  However, I absolutely loved how the author handled it.  Yes there was plenty of time spent back in the 1980s with Jules' father but we also get to spend plenty of time in modern day Ashland so it was very much the best of both worlds.  I really enjoyed seeing how the theater world really got up and running and I do love a cold case!  This was a fun read and felt very much like catching up with old friends.  If you enjoy cozy mysteries this is really a series you absolutely cannot miss though I don't recommend reading on an empty stomach - the food references are amazing!  My Rating:  Really Liked It!

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday - Authors I've Read the Most Books By

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 Authors I've Read the Most Books By.

1.  Agatha Christie - This was a given.  The woman wrote 85 books and I've read them all multiple times.

2.  Nora Roberts - I've read 38 books by Roberts since I joined Goodreads in 2011.  I'm sure I've read more but that's how many I'm showing as read.

3.  Patricia Wentworth - I'm showing I've read 10 but I know I've read more then that but this is one of my favorite classic mystery authors.

4.  L.M. Montgomery - I've read 33 L.M. Montgomery books and loved each and every one of them.  

5.  Barbara Michaels - Michaels' somewhat Gothic-y mysteries are my  very favorite rereads.  I love them and the various history connections they have.  I want to do a massive reread soon!

6.  RaeAnne Thayne - I've read 14 contemporary romance books by Thayne which surprised me though I do love her books!

7. Lynn Cahoon - I've been reading her cozy mysteries for years but I was surprised to see that I've read more then 20 books by her!

8.  Jill Shalvis - Shalvis has multiple series with 3 that are pretty long running so it's not shocking that I've read 22 of her contemporary romances.  What's crazy is that I know she has a ton of books that I still haven't read!

9.  Jenn McKinlay - Between her multiple cozy mystery series all of which I enjoy (especially the Library Lovers mysteries) I'm not shocked I've read 13 of her books.  I'm only surprised I haven't read more!

10. Heather Graham - I was surprised to see I had read 23 books by Graham - especially since I feel like I have SO many of her books that I'm behind on!  But I do love her paranormal suspense.

What authors have you read the most books by?

Monday, July 6, 2020

No One Saw - Mystery Review

Goodreads:  No One Saw (A.L. McKittridge #2) by Beverly Long

Rating: Really Liked It    

Source: Publisher

Description:  Baywood police department detective A.L. McKittridge is no stranger to tough cases, but when five-year-old Emma Whitman disappears from her day care, there isn’t a single shred of evidence to go on. Neither the grandmother who dropped her off, nor the teacher whose care she was supposed to be in, can account for the missing child. There are no witnesses. No trace of where she might have gone. There’s only one thing A.L. and his partner, Rena Morgan, are sure of—somebody is lying.
With the clock ticking, A.L. and Rena are under extreme pressure as they discover their instincts are correct: all is not as it seems. The Whitmans are a family with many secrets, and A.L. and Rena will have to race to untangle a growing web of lies if they’re going to find the thread that leads them to Emma…before it’s too late.

Genre: Mystery - Police Procedural

Why I Picked This Book:  I really enjoyed the first book and couldn't resist the second one.

My Impression:  I was not at my best while reading it and could usually only grab little snippets of time but that didn't stop me from being pulled in and thoroughly enjoying this mystery from beginning to end.  One thing I really liked about the first book that continued in this book was the characters.  So often in police procedural the main characters are such dysfunctional disasters I have a hard time believing that they are able to be halfway competent at their jobs.  However, while AL and Rena arent perfect they also read like real people who make reasonable decisions and don't go out of their way to self sabotage.

The mystery was seriously compelling and really pulled me in.  I had no idea who it was until the very last though I had a million guesses.  I did feel like the end was a little fast and I would have liked it to evolve a little more slowly.  I think this was a problem I had with the first one as well.  While everything was explained thoroughly I think I would have liked a few more hints before the big reveal.  
The mystery was most definitely not a cozy but at the same time wasn't super graphically violent either. While this is the second book in the series they are only connected by the main characters and the bulk of the plot is a complete stand alone.  If you're looking for a fast paced and entertaining mystery this is definitely a series you should pick up.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I'm really looking forward to the third book.

Would I Recommend this Book?  Definitely!  This was a really entertaining read that kept me turning pages.

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

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Our New Normal - Leukemia Edition

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

We are officially in our new apartment, the internet is setup and we are officially starting our new normal.  My husband has successfully worked from home here a couple of days and I think I've figured out the route to get from the apartment to St Jude without becoming convinced I've gotten turned around and am hopelessly lost.  We are getting used to apartment living and living in a much smaller area.  The cat thinks it's absolutely fantastic and is loving all the windows and all the people coming and going.  The building we are living used to be a distribution center for Sears and is this ridiculously massive building with exposed brick and pipes and all kinds of other industrial looking features.  On the first floor is this tiny little market with a hot bar, a coffee shop, a pizza place, an ice cream shop and all kinds of other things.  We are not nearly cool enough to live here but it's kind of fun and it's nice to have so many options so close.  

Treatment is going well but we are only at the beginning of a very long road.  We are in phase 1 one of a 3 phase process that should last two and a half years.  So far he's gone through everything with no real issues other then extreme fatigue and the medications making him hungry constantly.  This coming week will be a long one and Tuesday will be a pivotal day as it will be day 15 of chemo and the results from the testing then will shape how we proceed for the next few weeks.  

I've been reading again and will have a new post (maybe two) up this week.  Both the reading and the writing reviews has been a nice distraction.  I'm hoping to do some blog visiting but time is at a premium and trying to comment on my phone drives me crazy.  

Thank you so much for all the well wishes and kind thoughts.  They've meant a lot.  If anyone is interested in joining his Facebook group you can find it here -

Hope everyone has a good week.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Friday Fives - July Reads

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 also going to start linking up with Kathryn over at Book Date for her Connect Five.  Today is the first Friday in July so I'm looking at 5 books I'd like to read this month.

1.  Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews - This has been on my TBR for years and since I'm most likely not getting to the beach anytime soon then this might be the best way to visit!

2.  In the Balance by Patricia Wentworth - This is the next book in my Wentworth reread and it's actually one I've never read so I'm super excited!

3.  Tails, You Lose by Carol J. Perry - I listened to the first book after loving the third and forth book in this series involving kind of psychic Lee and her big orange cat set in Salem, MA and I can't wait to listen to the second book.

4.  Love Without Borders by Angela Braniff - I pre-ordered this book because I love Angela's YouTube channels and am looking forward to more insight on her story.

5.  Dead in a Flash by Brynn Bonner - I've been loving cozy mysteries lately and this one has a genealogy aspect which is another favorite thing.

What are you hoping to read in July?

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Books from the Backlog - By Book or By Crook

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:  For ten years Lucy has enjoyed her job poring over rare tomes of literature for the Harvard Library, but she has not enjoyed the demands of her family’s social whorl or her sort-of-engagement to the staid son of her father’s law partner. But when her ten-year relationship implodes, Lucy realizes that the plot of her life is in need of a serious rewrite.
Calling on her aunt Ellen, Lucy hopes that a little fun in the Outer Banks sun—and some confections from her cousin Josie’s bakery—will help clear her head. But her retreat quickly turns into an unexpected opportunity when Aunt Ellen gets her involved in the lighthouse library tucked away on Bodie Island.

Lucy is thrilled to land a librarian job in her favorite place in the world. But when a priceless first edition Jane Austen novel is stolen and the chair of the library board is murdered, Lucy suddenly finds herself ensnared in a real-life mystery—and she’s not so sure there’s going to be a happy ending....

Why It Needs to Come Off the Shelf:  I've always been a big cozy mystery reader but with everything going on I can't get enough of them!  And this will probably be the closest I get to the beach for awhile!

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday - Most Anticipated Releases for the 2nd Half of the Year

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 new releases - specifically what new releases I'm looking forward to picking up for the 2nd half of 2020.

1.  Deadly Touch by Heather Graham - I love Graham's Krewe of Hunter series and this one looks really good!

2.  Checked Out for Murder by Allison Brook - This is one of my favorite cozy mystery series. There's a haunted library, solid mysteries and likable characters.

3.  The Falcon Always Wings Twice by Donna Andrews - Another favorite cozy series and this might just be my favorite title of the year.

4.  Death at High Tide by Hannah Dennison - I really enjoyed another series by this author so I'm excited to try this book in a new series.

5.  Murder in the East End by Jennifer Ashley - I love this historical mystery series and am so excited for this latest book.

6.  Murder on Cold Street by Sherry Thomas - Another historical mystery series that I love and this one has such a gorgeous cover I couldn't resist.

7.  The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis - I've been really enjoying historical fiction and mysteries lately and I can never resist a dual timeline family secret kind of story.

8.  Christmas at the Island Hotel by Jenny Colgan - Colgan is a favorite and I loved her last books that took place on the Isle of Muir so this is high on my list.

9.  Murder in the Bayou Boneyard by Ellen Byron - We spent last winter in New Orleans and I'm desperately missing it so I figured I might as well spend some virtual time in the bayou with this cozy mystery.  

10. Deception by Gaslight by Kate Belli - I don't really know much about this book or this author but historical mysteries have been a win lately so I couldn't resist this one.

What new releases are you looking forward to getting?