Wednesday, November 14, 2018

City of Secrets - Historical Mystery Review


Rating: Very Good
Source: Publisher

Description:  
Con artist Elizabeth Miles has determined that Society is the biggest con of all. So far, Elizabeth’s only real social success has been with Priscilla Knight. Priscilla is a dedicated suffragist who was recently widowed for the second time in her young life. Her beloved first husband, DeForrest Jenks, died in a tragic accident and left her with two young daughters and a comfortable fortune. Soon after his death, her pastor convinced her she needed a man to look after her. Before she knew it, he had engineered a whirlwind courtship and hasty marriage to fellow parishioner Endicott Knight. Less than nine months later, Endicott is also dead in a somewhat less tragic and even more suspicious accident.

Priscilla confides to Elizabeth that she had understood Endicott was wealthy in his own right, and she had brought a sizeable fortune to the marriage as well. Now her banker is telling her she has hardly any money left and that her house has been mortgaged. The banker has hinted at a scandal that could damage the family’s reputation and her daughters’ future prospects. Fearing destructive gossip, Priscilla doesn’t know whom to trust.

Elizabeth discovers some unsavory evidence that seems to point to the possibility that Endicott’s death may have been connected to blackmail. To save her new friend’s future, Elizabeth must use her special set of skills to find the truth.

Genre: Mystery - Fiction

Why I Picked This Book:
I loved the first book in the series so I was really excited to read the second book.

My Impression:
  I loved the first book in the series but honestly wasn't quite sure how it could become a series.  With Elizabeth now living in society and trying to live an honest life how could she get into the kind of trouble that she did in the first book?  But while Elizabeth is living a (mostly) honest life trouble does seem to find her and I like how she got involved in Priscilla's mess.  I found it completely believable and true to type that Elizabeth jumped in feet first though this time her focus is to help and not just make a score for herself.

While I really enjoyed the setup in the first book I did appreciate how this book got right to the point from the beginning.  It was an intriguing mystery that was a bit different from the usual murder mystery I read.  In fact the bulk of the mystery has nothing to do with murder but is more of a heist/con type mystery.  It was a lot of fun to see how Elizabeth manages to get everything worked out and I appreciated that she wasn't afraid to ask for help.

There is a bit about Elizabeth and  Gideon's relationship.  The two got engaged in the previous book but there are lots of things still to work out.  My only complaint is that I would I have liked to see more of Mrs. Bates and Anna.  I so enjoyed getting to know them and they played relatively small parts here.  This was a very enjoyable historical mystery with interesting characters and a lot of fun!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?
  Absolutely!  I'm already looking forward to the next book and in the meantime will catch up on her Gaslight Mystery series.

Would I Recommend this Book?
  If you enjoy historical mysteries and are looking for something a little different than this is a great choice!

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

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Ten Holdiay Books I Want to Read


There are so many holiday reads that are calling my name this year!  It gets a bit overwhelming and I do want to make sure I read as many as possible.  I thought I'd make a list to help me keep track!

The Christmas Star by Donna VanLiere - I read a Donna VanLiere last year around Christmas time and it was really sweet and perfect for the season.  I couldn't resist trying another one.

The Christmas Revelation by Anne Perry - I have a complicated history with Anne Perry.  I always think I'll like her books and I very rarely do but I thought I'd give this Christmas novella a try.

Santa Puppy by Lynn Cahoon - I love the Tourist Trap series and so I'm excited to read this Christmas novella - especially since it involves puppies!

Bells Spells and Murder by Carol J Perry - This is one of my favorite cozy series and I loved the Halloween book so I thought I'd try Christmas in Salem!

As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles by Leslie Budewitz - I've read a few books by Budewitz before and really enjoyed them so I'm looking forward to trying a Christmas-y read.

Thread the Halls by Lea Wait - This one came out awhile ago and this is one of my favorite series that I've been sadly neglected.  It seems like now is the time to pick up this Christmas themed mystery!

Christmas on the Island by Jenny Colgan - I love Jenny Colgan and I loved the first book in this series.  I'm really excited to read this one!

Premeditated Peppermint by Amanda Flowers - Somehow I have yet to read Amanda Flowers though I've really been wanting to try her.  This one looks good though it has me already wanting all the Peppermint-y deliciousness.

Death of a Neighborhood Scrooge by Laura Levine - This is a new to me author and series but I like the Christmas Carol tie in and this one caught my eye.

Trading Christmas by Debbie Macomber - While I've watched a number of Hallmark movies based on her Christmas books I've yet to actually read one of them!  Trading Christmas was my favorite movie so I thought I'd give the book a try.


What holiday reads are calling your name?

Monday, November 12, 2018

A True Cowboy Christmas - Contemporary Romance Review


Rating: Good
Source: Publisher

Description: 
Gray Everett has a heart of gold but that doesn't mean he believes in the magic of Christmas. He's got plenty else to worry about this holiday season, what with keeping his cattle ranch in the family and out of the hands of hungry real-estate investors looking to make a down-and-dirty deal. That, plus being a parent to his young and motherless daughter, equals a man who will not rest until he achieves his mission. Now, all Gray needs is the help of his lifelong neighbor. . .who happens to have grown into a lovely, spirited woman.

For Abby Douglas, the chance to join forces with Gray is nothing less than a Christmas miracle. Much as the down-to-earth farmer's daughter has tried to deny it, Abby's been in love with stern, smoking-hot Gray her whole life. So when Gray proposes a marriage of convenience as a way to combine land--and work together toward a common cause—Abby can't refuse. But how can she convince Gray that sometimes life offers a man a second chance for a reason. . .and that their growing trust and mutual passion may be leading to true and lasting love?

Genre: Romance - Contemporary

Why I Picked This Book:
I haven't read a Cowboy romance in awhile so a Christmas one by a new to me author was to much to pass up!

My Impression:
  I love a marriage of convenience plot but it's not a trope that translates well to contemporary romance.  I was surprised with just how well it worked out here.  Gray's reasons for wanting to marry Abby made a lot of sense and as with all the best marriages of convenience watching the friendship blossom into more was lovely.

Grey is very much the gruff cowboy which made him a little hard to warm up to at times.  He's a bit angry and a little loss after the death of his father.  Marrying Abby seems like the most logical decision until it's a lot more complicated than that.  Abby is insecure and her self esteem has taken a lifetime worth of hits from her mother's cruel comments.    Together, once they got through the gruffness and the worrying, they were really cute and brought out the best in each other.  They're both nice people who need someone who understands them and it was nice to see them get it.


This wasn't flawless.  I did feel like the pacing was a bit slow - it could have had a bit of the build up cut out.  As well, while I really liked both Abby and Grey I don't feel like I had the biggest emotional connection with either.   This was a nice romance with likable characters.  Even though this wasn't my favorite read of the year I do feel like the series has lots of potential and I'm curious to see where it goes.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?
  I would.  I'm curious to see where the series goes next.

Would I Recommend this Book?
  If you enjoy cowboy romances this is a good series to try.

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

Saturday, November 10, 2018

This Week in Reading - November 11

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:

Eggs on Ice by Laura Childs - I've read a few books from this series and while I've found it somewhat inconsistent I really like Laura Childs.  (Publisher)

I'll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa de los Santos - I know nothing about this author but the description of this one really caught my eye.  I love a good finding yourself story - especially if the main character gets left a house that they don't know much about!  (Blog Tour Company)

Currently:

Reading:  Santa Pup by Lynn Cahoon and A Dangerous Duet by Karen Odden

Listening:  I'm finishing up Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney.  I wasn't sure what I thought for the first part but the last half has really hooked 

Watching:  I've been catching up on Criminal Minds.  I missed the end of last season so it took me some time to figure out what was going on but I'm good now.

Off the Blog:

So I ended up going to the doctor about the chest cold I was complaining about last week as it had been a full week without no improvement.  Turned out it wasn't getting better because it wasn't a chest cold and was in fact pneumonia.  So 1 week of crazy antibiotics and cough medicine that tastes like it can take paint off the walls and I am starting to feel a little bit better which is nice.  I haven't done a huge amount of anything this week and my meds are making me a bit loopy so I haven't really been able to read.  However, I am making some progress on clearing off my DVR so there's that I guess. 

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday:  A True Cowboy Christmas - Contemporary Romance Review
Tuesday:  My Christmas TBR
Wednesday:  City of Secrets - Historical Mystery Review
Thursday:  A Dangerous Duet - Historical Mystery Review
Friday: Friday Linkups with Current Book
Saturday: My Fall Favorites

Have a great week and happy reading!

A Wrench in the Works - Cozy Mystery Review


Rating: Very Good
Source: Publisher 

Description: 
Shannon Hammer's younger sister Chloe left Lighthouse Cove after high school to make it big in Hollywood. And she did it! For several years now, Chloe has been the co-host of a popular home repair show on the Do-It-Yourself Network. Now, after ten years, Chloe returns to Lighthouse Cove with her crew and co-host to film several shows featuring her sister Shannon, along with some special mini-segments on Victorian style and design.

But Shannon realizes quickly that things are not exactly blissful in TV land. Her sister's handsome co-host is being stalked by someone who turns out to be his estranged wife, Bree--who also happens to be the executive producer of the show. Bree's got a knack for stirring up sticky situations and when she's found dead, Chloe and the entire crew are under suspicion.

Shannon soon discovers the real reason why Chloe was so eager to move away from Lighthouse Cove all those years ago. Can Shannon figure out if that ten-year-old secret is connected to Erica's death? And can she track down the real killer before her beloved sister becomes the next victim?

Genre:  Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:
  I've really enjoyed books in other series by Carlisle and I've really liked the Hallmark movies based on this series.  

My Impression:
  This is a bit different from the Hallmark series which took me a few pages to overcome but once I did I was hooked.  I've been a long time reader of her Bibliophile series but I think I might like this series even more.  Carlisle is great at building a community around her characters and this is no exception however, I felt this one was a little more streamlined and less chaotic than her other series.

The mystery was a lot of fun.  I do love a mystery where the victim had more people who wanted to kill them that didn't and Bree is definitely one of those.  I think it'd be easier to list the people she knew who didn't want to murder her and figuring out just who had finally had enough.

I liked Shannon and Chloe's relationship  a lot.  They get along and have a lot in common but they haven't always been the best of friends and there are things they don't know about each other.  I did like that they shared a career and loved the behind the scenes looks at the home renovation shows.

This mystery was a fun read with characters that I'm excited to revisit!  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?
  Absolutely!  I have the first few books in this series to catch up and I'll be looking forward to reading anything else from her.

Would I Recommend this Book?
  If you enjoy cozies with a good community feel this is a fun read.  Don't worry about jumping in here.  I had no problem feeling like the characters were old friends.  

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

Friday, November 9, 2018

Friday Linkups - City of Secrets















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:
Do you subscribe to any book subscription boxes?

My Answer:  
No but I'd like to try one.  At first most seemed to be YA themed which isn't a genre I usually enjoy but I've seen a few mystery ones lately.  Any recommendations?

This week's book is one I've been looking forward to for months.  I loved Victoria Thompson's City of Lies when it came out last year and have been really anticipating the 2nd book and am so excited to have City of Secrets in my hands!   So far it hasn't let me down!

The Beginning:
Elizabeth had to tell more lies on a Sunday morning at church than she ever had trying to cheat a mark out of fifty thousand dollars.

My Thoughts:
I'm so happy to see Elizabeth again!  I'm so curious to see just how well she fits into society.

The 56:
Unfortunately, he wasn't able to meet his mother's eye which made her suspicious.

My Thoughts:
Never lie to your mother!  She always knows!

So what do you think?  Keep reading?  Are you subscribed to any bookish subscription books?

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Reason to Doubt - Cozy Mystery Review


Rating: Good
Source: Author

Description:  
Carol Childs is in the middle of one of the biggest stories of her life. Her daughter Cate has returned from college with a boyfriend in tow. A photographer who police suspect to be The Model Slayer, responsible for the murder of three young women.

Not since the Hillside Strangler has Los Angeles been so on edge.

And when the police arrest Cate’s boyfriend, Carol’s personal life and professional worlds collide. A tattooed cocktail waitress calls the radio station and asks to speak with Carol off the record. She knows the true identity of the real Model Slayer because she says she killed him.

Tensions mount as the clock ticks. The police are convinced they have the right man. Mother and daughter aren’t talking. Carol can’t reveal to investigators all she knows, and unless Carol can find the real killer before the trial begins, an innocent man may spend the rest of his life in prison or be executed for a crime he didn’t commit.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:
I've enjoyed the previous books in the series and couldn't pass up a chance to see what Carol is up to now.

My Impression: 
This is one of the most un-cozy cozies that I've read in awhile and I mean that in the best way possible.  Carol is an amateur detective but she's also a very solid journalist with a long career behind her.  I really enjoy that the author pulls real life dilemmas and blends them into the story - in this case it's how far do you go to protect a source and at what point are you too personally involved with a case.  She's ambitious, a hard worker, and doesn't hesitate to do everything she can to sniff out just what is really happening around her.

This mystery flew by.  I really enjoy a serial killer mystery but they can frequently get a little too disturbing for me.  This had everything I like but never got to graphic or disturbing.  It was definitely best of both words - cozy and thriller - for me!  Normally, I spend some time trying to guess the who and the why but here I was just so much enjoying Carol's investigation that I felt like I didn't want to get ahead of her!  I was also happy to see Chase and Misty back as well as more fun with Carol's boss Tyler.  He can be such a weasel but can also come through in a tight spot just when you need him.  My main issue was that Carol's daughter drove me crazy!  I get that she's in an uncomfortable situation and is very angry but the lashing out at Carol seemed almost immature at times.  This is the kind of behavior I would expect from a 14 year old - not a college student.  However, that's just through my own experience and it never impacted my enjoyment of the mystery.

If you enjoy page turning not so cozy cozies this is a series that you must not miss!  This just might be my favorite yet! 

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?
  Absolutely!  I'm looking forward to seeing more about Carol Childs' adventures.

Would I Recommend this Book?
  Definitely!  This is a fun read with a solid mystery.  

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

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Snowfall on Lighthouse Lane - Contemorary Romance Review


Rating: Good
Source: Publisher

Description:  
Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks, Jolene Harper is forever indebted to the mother who encouraged her to fly—all the way to sunny LA and a world away from Honeymoon Harbor. Although Jolene vowed never to look back, returning home isn’t even a question when her mom faces a cancer scare. Which means running into Aiden Mannion all over town, the first boy she ever loved—and lost—and whom she can barely look in the eye.

Aiden’s black-sheep reputation may have diminished when he joined the marines, but everything he’s endured since has left him haunted. Back in Honeymoon Harbor to heal, he’s talked into the interim role of police chief, and the irony isn’t lost on the locals, least of all Aiden. But seeing Jolene after all these years is the unexpected breath of fresh air he’s been missing. He’s never forgotten her through all his tours, but he’s not sure anymore that he’s the man she deserves.

Despite the secret they left between them all those years ago, snow is starting to fall on their picturesque little town, making anything seem possible…maybe even a second chance at first love.

Genre: Romance - Contemporary

Why I Picked This Book:
  I really enjoyed the first book in the series and was excited to be able to revisit Honeymoon Harbor.  

My Impression:
  I have mixed feelings about 2nd chance romances.  On one hand it prevents the whole insta-love issue but on the other hand I'm not sure that I can really root for a couple where at least one has been pining for each other since high school.  Thankfully, this one fell into the win category for me!  Aiden and Jolene had a complicated relationship in high school that met with an even more complicated ending which ended up with them living very separate but very complicated lives apart until they both find themselves back in Honeymoon Harbor for uncomplicated reasons.

Aiden is a bit too good to be true but I liked him enough to overlook that.  He genuinely feels bad for the trouble he caused as a teenager and while he isn't desperately out for redemption he does have a few squirmy moments.  I loved seeing him with his family - his sister was in the previous book so it was nice to revisit them.  However, it didn't feel like characters were just being marched out for page time and it never got overwhelming.

I loved Jolene's relationship with her mother as well as her friendship with Shelby.  I also enjoyed that while she's seriously cynical she doesn't have a chip on her shoulder and is even willing to forgive a former mean girl when offered a genuine apology.    She is a bit oblivious to some very obvious solutions but I can understand that it can be hard to take your life in a different direction than expected.

The relationship between Jolene and Aiden really works.  I believe that they truly get each other and it made it easy to root for them.  I loved the addition of Aiden's former partner (in ghost form) and the mystery surrounding what happened before Aiden left Los Angeles.  This is a great Christmas romance - sweet and fun without getting too syrupy or trite - and made for such a fun read.  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?
  Yes!  I'm looking forward to the next Honeymoon Harbor resident to fall in love and I have my suspicions about who it will be. 

Would I Recommend this Book?
  If you're looking for a contemporary romance this is a great choice.  While it is the 2nd in the series you can jump in here with no trouble.

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

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday - Backlist Books I Want to Read

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic from That Artsy Reader Girl is Backlist Books I Want to Read.  Now if I listed all the books from the backlist that are still on my TBR this could go on for days.  I'm going to focus on books that have been out for awhile and are by authors that I've already read and know I enjoy!


1.  What Angels Fear by C.S. Harris - I read a recent book from this series and really fell in love with it though I'm a bit in the dark involving all the backstories regarding the series.  I'm really hoping to go back to the beginning at some point.

2.  Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright - Enright is without a doubt one of my top 5 children's book authors.  I've read a number of her books multiple times but somehow have yet to get around to this one.

3.  A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle - I read and loved A Wrinkle in Time when I was a kid but for some reason I never read any more of the series.  I'm not sure if it was because I liked where the world was when that book ended or if I simply just didn't know there were more books.  Now that I do know I really should fix that!

4.  The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen - Sarah Addison Allen is one of my favorite authors for summer reading and this is one I still haven't read yet.

5.  Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy - I read a book by Binchy last year and loved it  I've heard this one is even better so I'm hoping to get to this one soon.


6.  The House at Riverton by Kate Morton - I have read 3 books by Morton and have loved them all.  This one has been lurking on my TBR pile for years but hasn't gotten read yet.

7.  Untraceable by Laura Griffin - I only discovered Griffin a year or two ago but I've really enjoyed her romantic suspense and really need to read more!

8.  Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis - I love Jill Shalvis and she writes the best pets!  This series has animals AND a cute romance but somehow I've yet to read the first book.

9.  Angel's Rest by Emily March - This is another favorite series and one that I somehow have never read the early books from.

10. The Anatomist's Wife by Anna Lee Huber - I read the most recent book in this series and really enjoyed it.  I'm hoping to get back to beginning soon.

What book from your backlist is calling to you the most?

Monday, November 5, 2018

Reviews from the Children's Section - The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

One of my favorite genres and one that is the easiest for me to push aside is middle grade fiction. This year to make sure I get a little more children's and young adult fiction I thought I would designate the first Monday of every month Middle Grade Monday (though sometimes it doesn't end up working quite right) .  While a lot of my picks this year are classics I am trying to branch out a little bit and read new or at least recent releases.  For this month I thought that I'd try a classic that I somehow have never read - The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.  The Tornado and I watched the movie over the summer.  It was the first time for him and the first time in a long while for me.  I was really surprised how much he enjoyed it and how much it's stuck with him!

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum - The last book I read where I had seen the movie several times was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and to be honest the movie disrupted my enjoyment of the book.  I was afraid that this would happen here as The Wizard of Oz is such a vivid and iconic movie.  However, this really wasn't an issue here.  The tone and the story was just different enough that while I was picturing Judy Garland in the role of Dorothy the movie never intruded into the story.  The events that happen in Oz are fairly familiar to anyone who has seen the movie though there are several stories and lands that veer off in a different direction and the time spent in Kansas is cut very short.  The story has elements that are more violent than the movie but Baum's detached and whimsical style takes the intensity away.  While the flying monkeys had me hiding under a blanket as a little girl I suspect that not even the most sensitive child would have a problem with the original material.

This was a quick read and a very entertaining story to listen too.  I think it would be a popular choice for a road trip listen.  I'm glad I finally took the time to read this classic!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

This Week in Reading - November 4


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 Dangerous Duet by Karen Odden - I've been loving historical mysteries lately and this one involving the sister of a Scotland Yard Inspector who is playing piano in a music hall to raise tuition and of course stumbles upon some nefarious goings on.  (Blog Tour)


 Currently:


Reading:  Reason to Doubt by Nancy Cole Silverman and A Wrench in the Works by Kate Carslile

Listening: Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney.  I'm having some mixed feelings about this one.

Watching:  Caught up on NCIS this week.  I forgot how much I enjoy the original!

Off the Blog:

This week was Book Fair at the Tornado's school and I ended up volunteering most days.  It was a lot of work but very fun.  The Tornado did a Trunk or Treat on Tuesday and then we went Trick or Treating with friends on Halloween night and had a lot of fun.  Somehow with all of this I managed to get sick.  I actually feel okay but I have a lot of chest pressure, a horrific cough and my voice is on the fritz.  It doesn't seem to be getting better but it also isn't getting worse so that's something I guess

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday:  Reviews from the Children's Section - The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Tuesday:  TBD
Wednesday: Snowfall on Lighthouse Lane - Contemporary Romance Review
Thursday:  Reason to Doubt - Cozy Mystery Review
Friday:  Friday Linkups with Current Book
Saturday:  A Wrench in the Works - Cozy Mystery Review

Have a great week and happy reading!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Four Short Reviews - 3 Fiction + 1 Nonfiction


The Dead Ringer by M.C. Beaton
he Dead Ringer by M.C. Beaton  - I've been a somewhat inconsistent fan of the Agatha Raisin series.  I always enjoy them but I've kind of jumped around in the series so I've missed some of Agatha's frequent drama, relationships, and breakups.  Regardless, I always love seeing what's going on with her and what kind of trouble she gets herself into.  However, while I always enjoy catching up with Agatha this wasn't my favorite in the series.  Agatha seemed a little more man mad than usual and she let her detecting fade to the background.  It felt like she just reacted to what was going on around her instead of really examining it and investigating.  This resulted in the mystery itself feeling a bit disjointed and at the end mostly anticlimactic.  As well, I was a bit disappointed in Agatha's behavior.  She's usually much smarter than she was in this book.  That said, it was still a fun light read if flawed and this is a series that I'll continue with.  If you're new to the series I don't recommend you start here - try one of the earlier books. Rating: It Was Okay


Meditation for a Fidgety Skeptic by Dan Harris -  The title pretty much describes the book.  This is Dan Harris' book on meditation for people who aren't really into meditation.  I picked this one up because I liked the title and I kept seeing Dan Harris' ad on YouTube where he gets startled by a squirrel or raccoon or something and it made me laugh.  I went with the audio route and I enjoyed both Dan Harris and Jeff Warren's voices as they discussed the road trip and the people they met (this was mostly Dan) as well as meditation tips and some guided meditation (this was Jeff).  To be honest meditation has never really appealed to me but I've been doing yoga lately and was surprised how much I enjoyed the guided meditations available and how useful it was for relaxing.  There wasn't any mind blowing revelations here but I did enjoy the relaxed no stress atmosphere towards meditation and I did find myself really liking the idea of a regular meditation practice which is pretty much the whole point!  I haven't read Harris' previous book but I will be on the lookout for it.  Rating: Liked It


Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen - Sarah Addison Allen is my go to summer author.  I try and read at least one of her books every summer.  The first two books I read were - The Peach Keeper (and loved it!) and Garden Spells (loved it too!) so I had high hopes for this one.  This one fell a little flat for me.  While there is the usual touches of magical realism they felt like they were kind of stuck in the corners (in one case literally) and not woven throughout the stories.  As well I never felt I connected with any of the characters very much.  This wasn't a bad book.  Sarah Addison Allen's writing style is as always wonderfully readable but it didn't have the hook me in book magic that I've come to expect from her.  Rating: Liked It

Ring For Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse - I thoroughly enjoyed another Jeeves book a year or so ago and was excited when I saw that Audible happened to have this one on sale.  I didn't read the blurb quite close enough so I was surprised to discover that Bertie Wooster was off somewhere and Jeeves was working for another man - one even more in need of his guidance than good old Bertie.  This was a bit slow going and while the story itself was entertaining I think I would have enjoyed it more if it was a novella or short story.  This being a full length novel (though a fairly short one) meant that at times it felt like it was dragging a bit.  There were also so many character that Jeeves faded into the background a little which is a tragedy unto itself.  I will definitely be listening to more Jeeves (they're wonderful in audio) but I'll definitely be making sure Bertie Wooster will be making an appearance!  Rating:  It Was Okay

Friday, November 2, 2018

Six Cats a Slayin' - Cozy Mystery Review


Rating: Very Good
Source: Publisher

Description: 
December twenty-fifth is right around the corner, and Charlie is making his list and checking it twice. He is doing his best to show some peace and goodwill toward his nosy neighbor Gerry Arbitron, a real estate agent who seems to have designs on his house (and maybe on him, as well), while preparing for a very important role, indeed—his first Christmas as a grandfather.

The last thing Charlie expects is to gain several new additions to his family. Charlie finds a box on his doorstep with five kittens inside and a note begging him to keep them safe. With Diesel's help, Charlie welcomes the tiny felines into the Harris household just as Gerry decides it is time to throw a lavish holiday party.

Determined to make her mark on Athena, Gerry instead winds up dead at her very own party. Though attempts to dig into her past come up empty, Charlie and his girlfriend, Helen Louise, witness two heated exchanges involving Gerry before her death: one with a leading citizen and another with the wife of a good friend. Will one of these ladies wind up on the sheriff's naughty list? Charlie and Diesel have to wrap up the case before the special season is ruined by a sinister scrooge.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:
I've really been enjoying this series lately so I couldn't pass up this Christmas cozy!

My Impression:
  I'm almost mad at myself that it took me this long to really start reading this series. This is the 3rd book I've read and each one has been a delight.  This was especially fun because not only did if feature a mystery involving figuring out the true identity of the victim but it also had a basketful of kittens!

The setting and the characters really add to the atmosphere of the book and I feel like I'm catching up with old friends.  There is some non-investigation information about Charlie's grandchildren or things like that but it isn't so much that the mystery gets lost and it adds a little depth to the characters.  The actual murder doesn't occur until almost a 100 pages into the book but there's so much going on already that it didn't drag and there were already some questions I wanted answered!  This was the perfect calming reading break and one that I thoroughly enjoyed.  Charlie's world in Athena, MS is quirky and fun with memorable characters and it's always a place I look forward to revisiting.

If you enjoy a good fast paced mystery with likable characters and a cat that will make even non-cat people fall in love with him you must try this series!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?
  Yes!  I'm already looking forward to the next book and I'm excited to read the earlier books in the series.

Would I Recommend this Book?
  Definitely!  If you're a cozy fan I think you'll like this.  While this series is fairly long running I think you could jump in on this one with no problems.

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