Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday - Summer TBR

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic from  That Artsy Reader Girl   is 10 Books in my Summer TBR.  I love these TBR posts because I get to make a list of what I want to read.  Of course I very rarely stick to the list but it's fun to pretend.  Plus, it's always fun to see what everyone else wants to read as well.

1. No River to Wide by Emilie Richards - Richards is one of my favorite authors and I've had this review book sitting on my shelves gathering dust since 2014.  I'm been in the mood for women's fiction with a touch of heart lately and this sounds perfect.

2.  Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews - Mary Kay Andrews books have such summery covers and every summer I say I'm going to read one but this summer I actually am!

3.  Meet Me in Atlantis by Mark Adams - I love travel/project type books and this one all about the different Atlantis myths and theories looks really fun.

4.  Staged 4 Murder by J.C. Eaton - This is one of my favorite cozy mystery series so I'm excited to read this latest addition.

5.  Shelved Under Murder by Victoria Gilbert - The first book in this cozy series centered around a former academic turned public librarian was full of history and mystery so I'm excited to continue with the series.

6.  Beautiful Exiles by Meg Waite Clayton - This is an author I've been wanting to read for awhile and I'm fascinated by the life of Ernest Hemingway and this historical fiction set around his relationship with Martha Gellhorn seemed like the perfect read.

7.  The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis - This is another author I've been wanting to read and I love a dual timeline historical fiction.  This book that centers around New York's Grand Central Station sounds fascinating.

8.  Read and Gone by Allison Brook - This is the 2nd book in the Haunted Library cozy mystery series and even if I hadn't really enjoyed the 1st book I don't think I could resist this book because - Haunted Library!  The potential is just crazy amazing.

9.  The Likeness by Tana French - I read the first Dublin Squad Murders book last year and really enjoyed it though the ending frustrated me.  I'm really looking forward to reading this one though!

10. Reading People by Anne Bogel - I'm a big fan of Anne Bogel's podcast and blog and have been meaning to read this book since it came out.  I'm hoping to get my hands on a copy soon.

What books are you hoping to read this summer?

Monday, June 18, 2018

Ramblings from the Stacks - Reading Slumps and How to Fix Them


My reading has been on the meh side lately which was confusing as the books I was reading were actually really good.  I realized that I was actually in a slump which got me thinking about the different kind of slumps, their causes, and the solutions that I have found kind of work for me.

The Slump:  I hate this book, this author, the cover, the people the book is dedicated to, everyone mentioned in the acknowledgements and everyone even vaguely connected with the publishing of the book.

The Cause:  This is very much a case of "It's not you, it's me".  The book is normally absolutely fine but the problem is I'm usually forcing myself to read something that I'm just not feeling like reading for whatever reason.

The Solution:  A bit of yoga breathing to get all the annoyance out followed by a reread.  Barbara Michaels'  paranormal romantic suspense with all their ghostly Gothic-ness are usually the perfect fix but if I'm not in the mood for a bit of spookiness a short story collection from Rosamunde Pilcher, L.M. Montgomery or Agatha Christie will do the trick.

The Slump:  Are their words on this page?  I can't make my eyes actually focus on them.

The Cause:  This slump happens usually when summer starts.  Between crazy humidity and the shakeup in my schedule I'm distracted and a bit tired.

The Solution:  This slump is kind of annoying because it's hard to fix.  I've had the best luck with going through overdue review books and just picking what looks good but not forcing myself to keep reading if it isn't working because otherwise I'll get into the first slump.  Memoirs or other light nonfiction have worked well in the past.

The Slump:  The "meh" slump.  Everything is fine but nothing is really clicking.  I'm not really enjoying the actual act of reading.

The Cause:  Genre fatigue.  I'm reading a lot of one genre and not mixing it up much if it at all.

The Solution:  A random wander through the library or my collection of books and pick up and read any book that appeals to me even if it's not on my schedule.

The Slump:  Every time I sit down to read I doze off.

The Cause: Normally I'm burning the candle at both ends.

The Solution:  Take a bit of time off and just watch tv and try and go to bed early for a few nights.

What different slumps do you have?  What solutions have you found?


Sunday, June 17, 2018

This Week in Reading - June 17

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:

Season of Wonder by RaeAnne Thayne - I love RaeAnne Thayne's Christmas romances and there was no way I could resist that cover! (Publicist)

Rancher's Dream by B.J. Daniels - I've been enjoying this series by Daniels about the Cahill family in Montana so of course I had to grab this newest one. (Blog Tour)

The Guilty Dead by P.J. Tracy - This is more of a procedural than my usual cozy mystery and involves a suicide that may not be and all kinds of shadowy secrets (Publisher)

Dying up Loose Ends by Maggie Sefton - I had mixed feelings about the last book in this series but I'm hoping this newest book will convince me that this is a series for me (Publisher)

Poisoned Pages by Lorna Barret - I just read and enjoyed the previous book in the series so I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next.  (Publisher)

Currently:

Reading:  The Cottages on Silver Beach by RaeAnne Thayne and Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

Listening:  Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout.  I'm liking it pretty well and am about halfway done with it.

Watching:  I've been watching a lot of TV this week (more about that later) and have been enjoying some of the Hallmark Mystery movies like the Garage Sale Mysteries and the Fixer Upper series.  Also we've had the World Cup on the last few days.

Off the Blog:

I had big plans this week.  With the Tornado at Space Camp all week during the day I was going to get stuff cleared out and organized, create a filing system for my books and even get some reading done.  I did get some reading done but that was about it.  Monday morning just after I had dropped the Tornado off I was walking through the parking lot back to my car and somehow managed to step in a low spot and my ankle rolled and made a popping sound and it was about all I could do not to sit down in the parking lot and cry.  I made it home and then after a few attempts to walk which resulted in some involuntary screaming which scared the cat I ended up at the doctor.  It's not broken for which I'm very grateful.  I've broken this ankle before and no part of me wants to relive that.  However it is badly sprained with some extra ligament damage done just for fun.  I have an air cast and this massive boot and am supposed to rest it as much as possible.  So I did get a lot of reading done and I got a lot of TV watching done but this definitely wasn't the week I had in mind!  

I've been resting it and it is feeling better than it was that first day and it could have been so much worse.  But really if I have to injure myself can I at least get a better story?  The last time I hurt myself I missed the bottom step and broke my ankle.  I need to do more adventurous things.  I'll still get hurt but at least I'll have better stories!  

Thanks so much for all the suggestions for books for J.  I got Empire Falls by Richard Russo and the first Jack Reacher book out of the library and we will see what he thinks of them!

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday:  Ramblings from the Stacks - Reading Slumps and How to Fix Them
Tuesday:  Top Ten Tuesday - Summer TBR
Wednesday:  Caroline - Historical Fiction Review
Thursday:  Heaven Adjacent - Fiction Review
Friday:  Friday Linkups with Current Book
Saturday:  TBD

Have a great week and happy reading!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

A Just Clause - Cozy Mystery Review


Rating: Good
Source:  Publisher

Description:  
Tricia Miles, mystery bookstore owner and amateur sleuth, is in for a surprise when her ne’er-do-well father, John, comes to town—and promptly becomes a prime suspect in the murder of a woman with her own scandalous past. Even Tricia’s faith in the old man is shaken when the Stoneham police break the news that her father is a known con man who has done jail time.

But what about bestselling thriller author Steven Richardson? Is it a coincidence that he arrived for a book signing just before the crime or that the victim was found with a signed copy of his latest bestseller?

From merlot to murder, Tricia is determined to clear the family name before another body shows up and ruins Stoneham’s first—and highly anticipated—wine and jazz festival.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:
  I've read this series since the beginning though I have missed a few books.

My Impression: 
Stoneham is one of those fictional places I really wish were real.  A whole town filled with bookstores?  How amazing would that be!  I did miss the real bookish atmosphere of previous books.  Between the renovation at Tricia's mystery bookstore and her spending most of her time at either Angelica's inn or running after characters who didn't live in Stoneham there was only one visit to any of the local bookstores and not much real community feel.

The mystery was interesting with some startling revelations and an unexpected ending.  I would have liked both the motivations and the reveal to be a bit more developed.  There is quite a bit going on with Tricia and Angelica's parents, Tricia's assistant's upcoming marriage, and the mammoth renovation being done to Tricia's apartment.  With all that it felt like the ending of the actual murder investigation.

While I did have some issues with the book this was an enjoyable read.  Barrett's writing pulled me in from the beginning and I read the book in just two sittings.  I liked Tricia and Angelica as well as Pixie, Fred, and Mr. Everett and enjoyed spending time in their world.  I'm already looking forward to revisiting them!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?
  I would.  I already have the next book in the series and am hoping for some more bookish fun and of course a murder or two.

Would I Recommend this Book?
  If you enjoy cozy mysteries than I think this is a series that you'd enjoy however starting with an earlier book so you can get the full bookish feel might be better.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Friday Linkups - A Just Clause




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:
You have just won a $100 Visa Gift Card.  Will you spend the entire amount on a rare collector's edition you have always wanted, or buy several newly published books?

My Answer:
I'd probably buy several newly published books.  I don't really collect certain editions of books so unless there was something like a signed Agatha Christie mystery I think I'd be more tempted by something shiny and new.

This week's book is A Just Clause by Lorna Barrett.  This is a series set in Booktown, Vermont which is a fictional city filled with different bookstores.  I like this series but because I hope that by reading it such a place will suddenly exist!  

The Beginning: 
Tricia Miles almost always felt a thrill to host a book signing at her bookstore, Haven't Got a Clue, especially when it involved a favorite author.

My Thoughts:
I think I'd be pretty excited for this too!

The 56:
Why upset Andrea?  She was upset enough for both of them.

My Thoughts:
I hate when I want to talk to someone about something but it's not worth upsetting them!

So what do you think?  Keep reading?

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Shadow in the Woods - Mystery Review


Rating: Good
Source: Author

Description:  
Six go into the woods. Three come out.

Addie Preston, a new mental health counselor, is flattered when her colleague asks her to co-lead an intensive Ecotherapy weekend for a small group of clients. The band of six head into the remote trails of the Green Mountains.
As a storm engulfs the area, the group takes refuge in a cave off of the trail. No one is prepared for what they will discover.
Or what will discover them.

Genre: Horror? Mystery? Mystery with a touch of horror?

Why I Picked This Book:
  The premise sounded interesting and I was in the mood for something creepy.

My Impression:
  I must say I'm very glad I have no plans to go hiking or camping anytime soon because after this book I'll be staying in well lit non-treed (and definitely non-cave) areas.  I'm also not super crazy about rain currently.

This was a crazy fast read with pacing that did not let up.  The entire book takes place over just a couple of days and the action didn't let up.  I've had problems with books feeling artificially fast but I think because the setting is the woods and the characters' sole purpose is survival it didn't have that artificial feeling.

I would have liked to get a little more backstory on each of the 6 characters.  They all have their own motivations and backstories but I really only saw hints of them.  I can understand the author's motivation for not bogging down the book with these details but I think I would have enjoyed just a little more insight into the characters' motivation - especially Dell's.  Most of the story is told through Addie's POV and I really liked her.  She's practical and calm but not an expert at everything.  I liked that she was able to recognize what was going on around her and able to believe what she saw.  I also liked Maria and the glimpses of her emotional journey through the story.

I read this book in two sittings and could very easily have read this in one if people hadn't needed food and whatnot.  I'm reluctant to rank this book on the horror scale as that isn't really a genre I read and so what seems like horror to me wouldn't necessarily seem that way to readers familiar with the genre.  This is a tightly plotted fast paced mystery with an intense feeling of dread and factors that aren't so easily explained.  It was also a read I enjoyed and that will keep me out of the woods for quite some time!   

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?
  Definitely!  This was a really fun/creepy read.

Would I Recommend this Book?
  I would - especially if you're in the mood for a creepy mystery with an edge.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Ain't She a Peach - Contemporary Romance Review


Rating:  Very Good
Source:  NetGalley

Description:  
An Atlanta ex-cop comes to sleepy Lake Sackett, Georgia, seeking peace and quiet—but he hasn’t bargained on falling for Frankie, the cutest coroner he’s ever met.

Frankie McCready talks to dead people. Not like a ghost whisperer or anything—but it seems rude to embalm them and not at least say hello.

Fortunately, at the McCready Family Funeral Home & Bait Shop, Frankie’s eccentricities fit right in. Lake Sackett’s embalmer and county coroner, Frankie’s goth styling and passion for nerd culture mean she’s not your typical Southern girl, but the McCreadys are hardly your typical Southern family. Led by Great-Aunt Tootie, the gambling, boozing, dog-collecting matriarch of the family, everyone looks out for one another—which usually means getting up in everyone else’s business.

Maybe that’s why Frankie is so fascinated by new sheriff Eric Linden...a recent transplant from Atlanta, he sees a homicide in every hunting accident or boat crash, which seems a little paranoid for this sleepy tourist town. What’s he so worried about? And what kind of cop can get a job with the Atlanta PD but can’t stand to look at a dead body?

Frankie has other questions that need answering first—namely, who’s behind the recent break-in attempts at the funeral home, and how can she stop them? This one really does seem like a job for the sheriff—and as Frankie and Eric do their best Scooby-Doo impressions to catch their man, they get closer to spilling some secrets they thought were buried forever.

Genre: Romance - Contemporary 

Why I Picked This Book:  I really enjoyed the first book in this series and couldn’t wait for Frankie’s story

My Impression:  This was a fun quirky tangle of a book that tackled some very serious issues without distracting from the fun or the seriousness.  I love the McCready family with all their quirks, issues and long running jokes.  This time the focus is on Frankie who with her purple and blue streaked hair and somewhat morbid job is probably one of the quirkier members of the family.  Except her respect for the dead and her efforts to help and protect both the deceased and their families doesn’t make her job seem all that morbid.  It actually comes off rather sweet.  

New interim sheriff Eric is not quirky or morbid and is actually probably on the straight laced side.  He and Frankie have a little bit of a history which leads to some tension which is pretty entertaining.  Watching Eric try to navigate the McCready family’s rapid fire speech made me laugh more than once and I think I enjoyed watching Him and Frankie pretend nothing was between them almost as much as the McCreadys’ themselves.  Both characters have pretty serious back stories and watching them get to know each other was very sweet and genuine.  

The plot involving local delinquent Jared added a bit of interesting conflict and got quite a bit of the town involved.  I found it entertaining and not too distracting with a satisfying conclusion.  There is some real conflict between Eric and Frankie and I loved that not only did both screw up but they both apologized which doesn’t happen nearly enough.

This is a fun quirky romance that was a delight from start to finish and since it is peach season here had me wanting peach pie!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Yes!  I’m thinking Duffy’s book is next?  I’m hoping?

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy fun contemporary romance this is one you shouldn’t miss.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday - Books That Make Me Want to Travel

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic from That Artsy Reader Girl is Ten Books That Awaken the Travel Bug.  I love vicariously traveling through my books and these are some of my favorites.

1.  Lowcountry Bookshop by Susan M. Boyer - This book reads like a tour guide to Charleston, SC in the best possible way.  I wanted to book my trip immediately after reading this.

2. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery - This is the book that put Prince Edward Island in Canada on my top ten travel list.  All the descriptions of the landscape are too gorgeous to resist.

3.  The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen - To be honest Tuscany has never been high up on my travel list until I read this book.  Just the food mentions made me want to book my flight.

4.  Stars of Fortune by Nora Roberts - After reading this I need to go to Corfu.  I mean without the avenging demons and whatnot of course.

5.  The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson - This book made me want to go to England for two months and go on different wanderings through the countryside.

6.  We'll Always Have Paris by Jennifer Coburn - This memoir about mother/daughter travels didn't actually make me want to go to Paris even though that's what is in the title.  It did make me want to go to Spain which was another stop on the trip.

7.  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows - To be honest I never thought anything about Guernsey other than in connection to the cows ntil reading this book but now I'd love to visit!

8.  Secrets of the Lighthouse by Santa Montefiore - I really enjoyed this book and Ireland itself was such an important part of the story it felt like a character itself instead of just the setting.  I wanted to visit it before I read this book but it moved way up the list after reading it!

9.  The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher - I want to go to Cornwall and it's all because of this book!

10. A Voyage Long and Strange by Tony Horwitz - This is a travel book about Horwitz's journey to find out what happened here between Columbus and the Pilgrims.  He goes to all kinds of random places tracking Spanish Conquistadors and I'd love to follow in his footsteps.

What books have made you want to travel?  And where have you wanted to go?

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Body in the Ballroom - Historical Mystery Review


Rating: Very Good
Source:  NetGalley

Description:  
President Teddy Roosevelt’s daring daughter, Alice, leaps into action to exonerate a friend accused of poisoning a man just about everyone hated.

Alice Roosevelt, the brilliant, danger-loving daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt, has already risked an assassin’s bullet to solve one murder. She never expected to have to sleuth another, but she’d never pass up the opportunity, either. Anything to stave off boredom.

And such an opportunity presents itself when Alice is invited to a lavish ball. The high-society guests are in high spirits as they imbibe the finest wines. But one man, detested by nearly all the partygoers, quaffs a decidedly deadlier cocktail. An African-American mechanic, who also happens to be a good friend of former Rough Rider-turned-Secret Service Agent Joseph St. Clair, is suspected of the murder-by-poison, but Alice is sure he’s innocent and is back on the scene to clear his name.

From downtown betting parlors to uptown mansions, Alice and Agent St. Clair uncover forbidden romances and a financial deal that just might change the world. But neither Alice nor her would-be protector may survive the case at hand in The Body in the Ballroom, R. J. Koreto's gripping second Alice Roosevelt mystery.

Genre: Mystery - Historical

Why I Picked This Book:
  I enjoyed a book in another series by Koreto and Alice Roosevelt is such a fascinating person.  

My Impression:
  I can't think of a more perfect historical figure to be an amateur detective than Alice Roosevelt.  While I don't know that she was ever involved in a murder investigation I feel if she wasn't it was circumstance than desire.  Having the POV told through her body guard Secret Service Agent and former Rough Rider, Joseph St. Clair added a bit of maturity, balance, and humor to Alice's more impulsive hard headed nature.  St. Clair's obvious fondness for Alice tempers his exasperation at her never quite sticking to script and I found the sympathy he received from others for his job pretty funny.

Alice is so sure of herself and doesn't hesitate to barrel into a situation without necessarily knowing the full situation.  She throws her status around as the President's daughter fairly regularly but is also fully conscious that her identity and her social status are tools she can use to get people to talk to her and never comes off as believing that she is above anyone.  I liked that while most of the time she is so confident that every once in awhile little bits of softness or insecurity will show and there are times when she seems very very young.

The mystery was very well done and I found the avenues St. Clair and Alice pursued fascinating and I enjoyed the bits of history mixed in with a solid mystery.  I must admit that I was a bit surprised by the final outcome.  The Historical Note that Koreto added at the end of the book was very informative as to who the characters were based on and what was going on at the time of the investigation.  I think I'll be looking for a biography on Alice herself as this book very much made me want to learn more about her.

If you're looking for an enjoyable fast paced historical mystery with a nice dash of history and a lot of fun than this is a must read!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?
  I would!  This and the Lady Frances Ffolkes series are on my Must Read list.

Would I Recommend this Book?
  Definitely - especially if you enjoy historical mystery.  This is the second in the series but I had no problem connecting with the characters and figuring out what was going on.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

This Week in Reading - June 10

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:

Set the Night on Fire by Laura Trentham - This sounds like a fun contemporary romance.  Ella is looking for some healing after a failed marriage and invests in a garage that specializes in antique cars.  Sparks and banter ensue (I'm guessing).  (Publisher)

Dune Drive by Mariah Stewart - This is the latest in the Chesapeake Diaries series which I've had very mixed results with.  However, I've really loved her books about the Hudson Sisters so I'm hoping this will be one I love.  (Publisher)

Caroline by Sarah Miller - I adored the Little House on the Prairie books as a child so I'm very excited to read this book about Laura's mother.  (Blog Tour)

Buried in Books by Kate Carlisle - I just read and really enjoyed the previous book in the Bibliophile series so I was excited to see this newest one arrive.  (Publisher)

In Peppermint Peril by Joy Avon - Honestly I know nothing about this except it's a cozy mystery set in a shop that sells books AND tea.  I couldn't resist.  (NetGalley)

Currently:

Reading:  I'm almost done with Shadow in the Woods by J.P. Choquette and just starting Heaven Adjacent by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Listening:  A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman had to go back to the library before I finished it but I'm on

 the list to get it back.  I'm liking it more than I was but I wouldn't call it a favorite or at least not yet.  Until then I'll be listening to Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout

Watching:  I gave up on Lost in Space (the Netflix version).  It's really good and very well done but it has too much character development for me.  I was getting very stressed.  My husband is still watching it and says it's great but he thinks I'd like the original series better which runs more towards hijinks.  I've been watching The Joel McHale Show on Netflix to pass the time and am enjoying it.  It's like The Soup but he can swear a bit more.

Off the Blog:

This week we reveled in the laziness.  For the most part the Tornado and I just stayed at home.  We played some video gams and went to the library a few times.  He did get one book read and I found a book called Bookstore Cats that he loved looking through.  He does have a stack of books that he's planning on reading including the graphic novel version of The Wrinkle of Time.  He also had 2 tennis lessons this week and he's really loving it.  This coming week he has Space Camp which he's really looking forward to but is going to be seriously tired boy afterwards!

I've been getting some reading done and actually really enjoying the act of reading which has been nice.  I had a few months where I was enjoying what I was reading but I never wanted to read.  Hoping I well and through that phase!

My current project is helping J find books.  He's wanting to read more fiction but gets frustrated with the "every woman wants him/every man wants to be him" kinds of characters.  He's enjoyed old Tom Clancy and those kinds of authors but doesn't like when the characters become too much of a franchise if that makes any sense.  Anyone have any suggestions?  Topic wise he's pretty willing to try anything - war, adventure, science fiction - but prefers characters that run a bit introspective.  

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday:  Body in the Ballroom - Historical Mystery Review
Tuesday:  Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Books That Make Me Want to Travel
Wednesday:  Ain't She a Peach - Contemporary Romance Review
Thursday: Shadow in the Woods - Mystery Review
Friday: Friday Linkups with Current Book
Saturday:  A Just Clause - Cozy Mystery Review

Have a great week and happy reading!

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Once Upon a Spine - Cozy Mystery Review


Rating: Very Good
Source: Publisher 

Description: Brooklyn's future in-laws are traveling from England to meet her, and if that's not enough to set her on edge, rumors abound that the charming Courtyard Shops across the street may be replaced by high-rise apartments. Their trendy neighborhood will be ruined unless Brooklyn and her fiance, Derek Stone, can persuade the shopkeepers not to sell.
But with a rare edition of Alice in Wonderland causing bad blood at the Brothers Bookshop and a string of petty vandalism making everyone nervous, Brooklyn and Derek feel overwhelmed. Then the owner of the Rabbit Hole juice bar is felled by his own heavy shelves, and the local cobbler lies dead beside him. Things get curiouser and curiouser when a second priceless copy of Alice is discovered.
As the Brits descend, Brooklyn learns they're not so stuffy after all. Derek's dad is won over with chocolate cream pie, and his psychic mum would kill to help Brooklyn solve this murder--before another victim takes a tumble.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:
I've really enjoyed this series in the past and was excited to get back to it.

My Impression:
  Well now I want to go on a book buying binge, make paper, find the perfect straw hat, and eat lots of pie.  This book is responsible for all of that (though it doesn't take much to make me want to go on a book buying binge or eat lots of pie).  While I read the first few books in the series I'm several books behind.  Brooklyn and Derek's relationship has progressed quite a bit since the last time I checked in with them but I didn't feel like I was lost or confused at anytime.

This is a bit of an ensemble cast mystery with Brooklyn and Derek, assorted parents, shopkeepers, friends, and police.  As is frequently the case with this type of book the mystery doesn't get quite as much page time as we see relationships grow and characters interact.  I very much enjoyed this aspect but if you're more in the mood for a straight up mystery this may annoy you.

I really enjoyed the mystery as well.  There are a lot of questions right from the beginning - was this an accident or a murder?  Who was the intended victim?  And just what was going on behind the scenes of this cozy little block.  I really enjoyed watching it all come together.  Brooklyn is a good amateur sleuth and Derek's line of work and background give her a tough of legitimacy.  I do like that she talks about the emotional ramifications of regularly stumbling over dead bodies and that there is some distress.

All in all I find this an enjoyable and entertaining mystery series.  The writing and the pacing are well done and the characters are nicely developed.  I think the first few books in the series are more of a straight mystery with not quite as much of a "cozy" atmosphere but I did enjoy getting more of a community feel in this latest book. I'm looking forward to my next visit with Brooklyn and Derek and now I want all the books!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I really enjoy this author's books and am looking forward to catching up on this series as well as starting her Home Renovation series.

Would I Recommend this Book?
  While this technically takes place in San Francisco it has a very small town cozy vibe.  If you enjoy cozy mysteries I think you'd really enjoy this series.  I think you would have no problem jumping in here though the earlier books are fantastic.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Friday Linkups - Once Upon a Spine




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 author have you read the most in the past two years?

My Answer:
I'd say probably Agatha Christie.  I reread her mysteries fairly regularly and while I haven't read as much of her in the past few years as I used to I've still read a number of her books in the last two years.


This week's book is Once Upon a Spine by Kate Carlisle.  This is the newest entry in one of my very favorite cozy mystery series and one of the earliest ones I discovered.  It's not the coziest of cozies and centers around bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright.  It always has mentions of gorgeous books and this book centers around a rare copy of Alice in Wonderland.

The  Beginning:
Lately, I have resorted to stalking.  Not a person, but a book.

My Thoughts:
I can completely understand this!

The 56:  
The fact that I'd walked in and found two unconscious people - one almost certainly dead - was something I should've been used to by now.

My Thoughts:
This is a regular occurrence in cozy mysteries so I can see why she feels she should be used to it by now.  This is book #11 in the series so the body count around poor Brooklyn Wainwright is pretty high!

So what do you think?  Keep reading?