Thursday, December 5, 2019

Books from the Backlog - To Scotland with Love

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:  To Scotland with Love by Patience Griffin

Blurb:  Caitriona Macleod gave up her career as an investigative reporter for the role of perfect wife. But after her husband is found dead in his mistress’s bed, a devastated Cait leaves Chicago for the birthplace she hasn’t seen since she was a child. She’s hoping to heal and to reconnect with her gran. The last thing she expects to find in Gandiegow is the Sexiest Man Alive! She just may have stumbled on the ticket to reigniting her career—if her heart doesn’t get in the way.

Graham Buchanan is a movie star with many secrets. A Gandiegow native, he frequently hides out in his hometown between films. He also has a son he’ll do anything to protect. But Cait Macleod is too damn appealing—even if she is a journalist.

Quilting with her gran and the other women of the village brings Cait a peace she hasn’t known in years. But if she turns in the story about Graham, Gandiegow will never forgive her for betraying one of its own. Should she suffer the consequences to resurrect her career? Or listen to her battered and bruised heart and give love another chance?

Why It Needs to Come Off the Shelf:  I picked this book up thinking it was a mystery and when I realized it wasn't it kind of went to the back of the shelf.  However, right now I'm trying to get more non-mystery books in my reading life and this sounds like the perfect read to add.  

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Murder, She Wrote: A Time for Murder - Cozy Mystery

Goodreads:  Murder, She Wrote: A Time for Murder (Murder, She Wrote #50) by Jessica Fletcher and Jon Land

Rating:  Very Good
Source:  Publisher

Description: Young Jessica Fletcher's life couldn't be more ordinary. She teaches at the local high school while she and her loving husband, Frank, are raising their nephew Grady together. But when the beloved principal dies under mysterious circumstances, Jessica knows something is off and, for the very first time, investigates a death.
Present-day Jessica returns to high school for a colleague's retirement party and has fun seeing familiar faces. That is, until the colleague winds up dead--and his death has mysterious links to Jessica's very first murder case.

With nothing but her own instincts to guide her, Jessica embarks on a quest to find out what really happened all those years ago and who's behind these murders. Because time is running out to catch this killer....

Genre:  Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  Because now that I've discovered how great this series is there was no way I was passing it up!

My Impression:  I'm not sure there is a television show that is more comforting and entertaining all at the same time then Murder, She Wrote and no one that I want to spend time with more then Jessica Fletcher/Angela Lansbury.  And while the books have a slightly sharper edge and a fresher less cozy feel they are no less delightful and this was no exception.  I was excited and a touch nervous to see the never before seen Frank Fletcher make an appearance and curious to see what Jessica was like in the pre-mystery writing days. 

The book is written in flashback form with chapters taking place in modern day with a modern day mystery followed by chapters taking place 25 years in the past as Jessica tells Mort and Seth about her very first murder and they figure out just how the two connect.  And seeing some early series characters again was a special treat. 

The mystery itself was intriguing and I loved the murder with the connections stretching into the past.  The conclusion was a bit contrived but honestly, the read was so delightful I didn't mind at all.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely, I'd really like to read some of the earlier books and I'll be grabbing each new one as it comes out. 

Would I Recommend this Book? If you enjoy cozy mysteries then this series is a must read.  While being familiar with the show is not absolutely mandatory having a basic understanding of the characters and how they connect to each other would increase enjoyment.

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

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday - Holiday Themed Books on My TBR

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 Holiday Reads so here are some from my reading list.

1.  Ghosts of Greenglass House by Kate Milford - I read the first one last year and enjoyed it and really am looking forward to getting to this one.  I'm curious to see what the sequel is all about as the first seemed very stand alone-ish.

2.  Rest Ye Murdered Gentleman by Vicki Delany - I love this author and I read the most recent book in this series and thoroughly enjoyed it so I'm looking forward to going back to the beginning.

3.  As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles by Leslie Budewitz - I've really enjoyed the books I've read by Budewitz and I love this title.  Who doesn't enjoy a Christmas cookie?

4.  Snowfall at Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs - I've really enjoyed some of Wiggs' women's fiction so a Christmas-y book by her sounds fun.

5.  Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher - This is actually a reread but it's been so long since I've read it I don't think it counts as a reread so I'm looking forward to trying it.

6.  Christmas at Seashell Cottage by Donna Alward - I read a few books in this series and really enjoyed them but somehow I never got around to reading this novella.  But I love the cover and I've been wanting to add a little more romance into my reading.

7.  A Holiday Yarn by Sally Goldenbaum - Well the title is adorable and this series is high up on my list to try so why not start with a Christmas-y one.

8.   Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan - I loved the first book and spending time with the characters during Christmas sounds fun.

9.  How the Finch Stole Christmas by Donna Andrews - The titles are just the best and this is one of my favorite cozy mystery series.

10. Thread the Halls by Lea Waite - This was one of my favorite cozy series but I kind of stopped reading it.  However, I'd really like to get back to it and once again - another adorable cozy title!

What holiday reads are on your TBR?

Monday, December 2, 2019

Reviews from the Children's Section - Mystery in the Mansion

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.  This was kind of a random library pick.  I loved the look of the book but somehow I missed it was a choose your own adventure style book until we actually started reading it.

Mystery in the Mansion (Case Closed #1) by Lauren Magaziner

Blurb: Carlos Serrano has never solved a mystery in his life. And he’s counting on you to solve his first one.
On the morning of a big investigation that would save her failing detective agency, Carlos’s mom gets sick with a nasty flu. But Las Pistas Detective Agency can’t afford to lose this case, or they will close down for sure. That’s where Carlos—and you—come in.

With the help of his best friend Eliza and her wild little brother Frank, Carlos takes over the investigation. The mystery involves an eccentric local millionaire, who starts receiving death threats. It appears someone wants to get their hands on a buried fortune. However, their search for the culprit is complicated by tricky riddles, cagey suspects, hidden secrets, and dozens of impossible choices. They need your help!

In this hilarious, interactive, and puzzle-filled adventure, YOU pick which suspects to interview, which questions to ask, and which clues to follow. Can you help Carlos and his friends figure out who’s sending the death threats, find a lost treasure, and save Las Pistas Detective Agency? Or will it be case closed? You pick the path, you crack the case!

My Thoughts:  This was our November read aloud book for me and my 9 year old.  I loved the title and scooped it up at the library after just barely looking at the blurb.  And then I discovered it was a Pick Your Path book.  I'll be honest - I'm not a fan of the choose your own adventure style book.  When I was a kid I loved the idea of them but I always died pretty quickly, the story wasn't really developed and I tended to get kind of bored with them eventually.  So when I realized that was what this was I was a little nervous but we loved it!  What really helped was that the story was so much more developed.  There was almost a full chapter where we got to know Carlos, Eliza, and Frank and each decision gave you at least a page or so of content.  And the content was fantastic.  There were some laugh out loud funny bits, some suspense (but not to intense) and enough meat of a story to really give you something to debate before you made the decisions.  There were even a few decisions that required some puzzle solving and code breaking which was really fun.  I will admit we cheated a few times to make sure we didn't make the wrong decision but it added to the fun a bit because we were able to discuss just what made that decision the wrong or right one.  The first thing we did when we finished this book (and it took awhile - this is a fairly substantial book!) was check to see if there were any more in the series so I call that a win!

I think this would be great for ages 8 and up and even a little earlier if it's a read aloud.  This was a lot of fun and I'm already looking forward to getting the next book.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

This Week in Reading - December 1

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:

I have no idea because I had my mail on hold while I was out of town and it was supposed to start back Tuesday and it still hasn't.  This has happened the last couple of times I've held my mail and I'm so irritated.  I think I'm going to go back to just having someone come by and pick it up every few days which is a hassle but is at least reliable.  


Reading:  Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher

Listening:  The Magnolia Story by Chip Gaines.  To be honest I'm not a huge fan of Chip and Joanna Gaines.  I don't dislike them - I just never really watched their show.  But I've heard good things about this one and it sounds interesting.

Watching:  We've been watching some Disney movies on Disney+ and I've gotten my 9 year old obsessed with Tangled so that's a win.

Off the Blog:

I spent the last 2 weeks in Louisiana  and had a fabulous time.  We spent our weekends in New Orleans - we went to the zoo, wandered around the French Quarter, and spent a day at the World War II museum which was fascinating.  The rest of the time we spent wandering around a small town outside of New Orleans and heading over to the Mississippi Gulf Coast where we spent some time just about every day on the beach.  I've never really thought of myself as a beach person but I would move to Pass Christian, Mississippi in a heart beat.  I've never been so glad we decided to homeschool as I was the past few weeks.  We learned about hurricanes - how they're formed, how they work and how they impact the towns they hit even years later.  I think seeing dozens of driveways going through empty lots fourteen years after Katrina hit had quite an impact.  And we spent hours running on the beach which was just heaven and just about the best stress relief I think I've ever had. 

We'll be going back and forth to Louisiana/Mississippi for the rest of the month so my commenting will be a bit sporadic but I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday:  Reviews from the Children's Section - Mystery in the Mansion
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday - Holiday Reads
Wednesday:  Murder, She Wrote - Cozy Mystery Review
Thursday: Books from the Backlog
Friday: Friday Fives
Saturday: TBD

Have a great week and happy reading!

Things I Want to Do in December

Friday I'll be taking a look at the books I want to read in December but today I'm thinking about things I want to do during the month of December.

1.  Go to some holiday events in other cities.  We will be traveling a pretty good bit this month and I think it would be fun to visit festivals or other holiday things in other cities.  I know my own town's events forwards and backwards so experiencing some new stuff seems fun.

2.  Watch as many Hallmark Christmas movies as I can.  Are they incredibly predictable?  Yep incredibly so.  Does that effect how much I love them?  Not in the slightest!  Plus, Hallmark has a checklist app so any moment I'm home there will be happy people having slight conflict and lovely reunions in adorable small towns.

3.  Read whatever strikes my fancy.  I've decided this isn't the year to stick to my reading goals.  This year has been a bit crazy and my reading is just barely creeping along.  I think not worrying about publishing dates or what's next on my list and instead just worrying abut what sounds good sounds perfect.

4.  Squeeze in more audio books.  At the beginning of the year I was flying through audio books but along with the rest of my reading my audio book listening has slowed to a crawl.  I've got a few that I'm really looking forward to listening to and I really want to listen to them this month.

What are your goals for December?

Friday, November 29, 2019

Friday Fives - Five Nonfiction November 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 had really meant to read more nonfiction this year - especially for nonfiction November.  However, with all the chaos 2019 brought my reading took a significant hit and nonfiction reading dropped to just about nonexistent.  But if I had been reading nonfiction this month here are 5 I would have picked up.

1.  The Art of Eating In: How I Learned to Stop Spending and Love the Stove by Cathy Erway- I've kind of lost my love of cooking in the last couple of years and spending the past few weeks in hotel rooms hasn't exactly helped.  I've got a few more weeks in hotel rooms and I think this would be the perfect book to pick up at the beginning of 2020 to get my cooking back on track.

2. Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor by Rosina Harrison - I watched a documentary not long ago that mentioned Lady Astor and she sounded absolutely fascinating so I'd love to learn more about her and this sounds interesting.

3.  Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies by Alastair Bonnett - I know nothing about this book or this author but this sounds fun.

4.  Weird Things Customers Say by Jen Campbell - I really enjoyed another book by her so it just makes sense to pick this one up. 

5.  Thunderstruck by Erik Larson - I loved Dead Wake and have really been wanting to read more by him.  This involves Crippen who I know just a little bit about so a book involving him sounds like a good read!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Non-Mystery Additions to My TBR

My reading life has been mostly focused on mysteries lately.  I love mysteries but I'm starting to notice a touch of genre fatigue so I think it's time to dip into my TBR pile to look for books that I've been wanting to read that aren't mysteries.  Here are ten I found.

1.  The Sparrow Sisters by Ellen Herrick - I don't know much about this one but it looks like there's some magical realism and people bonding together which both sound pretty great.

2.  The Light Over London by Julia Kelly - Some historical fiction, a dual timeline, and a woman who works for an antique dealer who discovers a diary.  All things I love.

3.  Lake Season by Denise Hunter - Siblings turning an old house into an inn and a letter hidden in a wall which pretty much means I need to read this one very soon.

4.  All the Ways We Said Goodbye by Beatriz Williams - I read a bunch of Beatriz Williams books in 2018 and thoroughly enjoyed them but I haven't read any in 2019 so I think I need to give this one a try.

5.  The Country Guesthouse by Robyn Carr - I love the Sullivan's Crossing series by Carr so I'm really excited to get this new one.

6.  The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister  - I adored a previous book by this author so I'm really looking forward to this one.

7.  The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman - I've heard wonderful things about this one and it sounds like a perfect book to cozy up and listen to or read.

8.  Sisters of Summer's End by Lori Foster - I really enjoyed another book by this author and this looks like the 2nd book in the series. 

9.  Love and Rain by Paula MacLain - I haven't read anything by MacLain but I pretty much own all of her books so I'm thinking I should pick this one up.

10. The Secret to Southern Charm by Kristy Woodson Harvey - I've heard fabulous things about this author and it sounds entertaining and perfect for a non-mystery read.

Have you read any of these?  What non-mysteries do you recommend?

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Signs You're in a Cozy Mystery during Thanksgiving

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 a Thanksgiving freebie and since I've been thinking about seasonal cozies I decided to look at Ten Signs You're in a Cozy Mystery During Thanksgiving.

1.  Your mother/aunt/grandmother who is usually just mildly interfering and high maintenance has gone over the top and is now super high maintenance and incredibly interfering - especially if you are single with no immediately obvious prospects.

2.  You or a family member has house guests and not just any house guests but really awful, complaining, and demanding house guests.  There's a pretty good chance that at least one will be murdered or arrested for murder before the holiday arrives though.

3.  You have to do an epic marathon level of cooking to keep the interfering mother/aunt/grandmother happy and are now avoiding their calls to keep from having more added to your list.

4.  There is some kind of festival or parade that up until this year has been all the warm fuzzy holiday feelings but this year a developer or corrupt power hungry local politician (or a combination) is doing their all out best to ruin the festival/parade for their own personal benefit.

5.  You have an enormous dog who can eat some kind of incredibly difficult to prepare dish straight off the counter or you have a cat who knocks the same dish off the counter.  Either way there's a dish that takes hours completely ruined and not nearly enough time to replace it.  And it was usually made by someone who is more then a bit difficult.

6.  One of the guests at your Thanksgiving dinner has some obscure and bizarre allergy that they talk a lot about and there's a lot of focus on.  Spoiler - it will be in one of the things they eat and their epi-pen will most likely have been hidden.

7. A new person in town is trying to either horn in on an established tradition, change things up a bit or host their own party/event.  They will most likely finish out the day.

8.  If you own a business (and of course you own a business) you are embroiled in some town council even that is requiring an insane amount of work so your nerves are already stretched pretty thin.

9.  It is either unseasonably warm or a blizzard is approaching - there is no in between.

10. There was a murder several days before Thanksgiving and it is conveniently wrapped up just in time for dinner!

Did I miss anything?

Monday, November 25, 2019

The Angels' Share - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads:  The Angels' Share (Wine Country Mystery #10) by Ellen Crosby

Rating:  Good
Source: Publisher

Description:  When Lucie Montgomery attends a Thanksgiving weekend party for friends and neighbors at Hawthorne Castle, an honest-to-goodness castle owned by the Avery family, the last great newspaper dynasty in America and owner of the Washington Tribune, she doesn’t expect the festive occasion to end in death.
During the party, Prescott Avery, the 95-year old family patriarch, invites Lucie to his fabulous wine cellar where he offers to pay any price for a cache of 200-year-old Madeira that her great-great-uncle, a Prohibition bootlegger, discovered hidden in the US Capitol in the 1920s. Lucie knows nothing about the valuable wine, believing her late father, a notorious gambler and spendthrift, probably sold or drank it. By the end of the party Lucie and her fiancĂ©, winemaker Quinn Santori, discover Prescott’s body lying in his wine cellar. Is one of the guests a murderer?

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  I have several books from this series that I've been meaning to read and this one seemed right up my alley so I couldn't resist starting with this one.

My Impression:  Okay I officially know way more about Madeira then I did when I started this book!  Now I didn't start out knowing all that much but I'm now fascinated by the history and tradition.  It's so fascinating.  Throw in a National Treasure style secret, some massive family squabbles and likable and interesting characters and this made for a thoroughly enjoyable mystery. 

This was the first book in this series and I had absolutely no problem starting this series here.  There weren't so many characters that it was confusing and the amount of backstory was perfect.  There didn't feel like there were pages explaining who was who and why this was happening but at the same time I knew exactly who was who and how they were connected.  This wasn't a super fast moving cozy.  It didn't drag but it was more of a slow burn on the action then a zip through kind of read.  A mystery to be savored and not devoured.  I'm looking forward to exploring this series and more and spending more time with Lucie and Quinn. 

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I enjoyed this one and am looking forward to reading more of this series.

Would I Recommend this Book?  I would - especially if you enjoy mysteries.

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

Saturday, November 23, 2019

This Week in Reading - November 24

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:

I'm not really sure!  I haven't gotten mail in a little over a week so there's no telling!


Reading:  A Dollhouse to Die For by Cate Price and Memories and Murder by Lynn Cahoon

ListeningHunting Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco - I'm not making much progress but the fault is mine not the book's.

Watching We've been in a hotel for a week and a half so I haven't been watching much other then YouTube videos.

Off the Blog:

We have been in New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast all week and have been having a fabulous time.  We'll be home for the week of Thanksgiving and I'm thinking about going back again!

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday:  The Angel's Share - Cozy Mystery Review
Tuesday:  Top Ten Tuesday - Thankful Freebie
Wednesday:  TBD
Thursday:  Books from the Backlog
Friday:  Friday Fives
Saturday: TBD

Have a great week and happy reading!

Seven Thanksgiving Cozy Mysteries

When it comes to holiday setting Christmas definitely seems to get all the love but since Thanksgiving is coming up (how is that even possible??) I'm looking for books that are just as cozy but set around the holiday that is all about food and togetherness.  Now I'm kind of boycotting Thanksgiving this year - or at least the cooking part of it - but here's a few mysteries I'd like to pick up to read about other people doing all the work WHILE solving murders!

1.  The Wolfe Widow by Victoria Abbott - This is a cozy mystery series involving a book collector with a focus on classic mystery authors AND this particular one takes place during Thanksgiving.

2.  Murder, She Wrote: A Fatal Feast by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain - Is there anything more Thanksgiving-y then Thanksgiving in Cabot Cove with Jessica Fletcher? 

3.  Sins Out of School by Jeanne M. Dams - It's a traditional Thanksgiving in England!  Plus this is a fun cozy series that was one of the first I read before I even knew the term cozy.

4. The Raven and the Nightingale by Joanne Dodson - This is a literary mystery with lots of Poe mentions and somehow Thanksgiving is wrapped up in there.

5.  The Pumpkin Muffin Murder by Livia J. Washburn - Baking, pumpkin muffins, and a dead body camouflaged as a scarecrow.  I'm not sure how much Thanksgiving is really in the setting but it's definitely fall.

6.  A Roux of Revenge by Connie Archer - This is another one where I'm not sure if Thanksgiving is really in the book but there's a fall fest and lots of soup so close enough.

7.  A Deadly Feast by Lucy Burdette - Thanksgiving in Key West!  Not the most tradition but lots of fun.

What are some of your favorite books that take place during Thanksgiving?

Friday, November 22, 2019

Friday Fives - Five Books by Jayne Ann Krentz I Want to Read

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.  Lately I've been thinking of authors that I always enjoy but whose books I've only read a few books by.  Jayne Ann Krentz is one of those authors.  Are they best quality?  Nope but they're always dependable and entertaining and she's written shelves and shelves of books and that's just sticking with the Krentz name - we aren't even going to bring her other pseudonyms into it!  Going through her rather extensive backlog here are five books that I want to read soon. 

1.  Light in Shadows - Interior design + clients with dark secrets + a PI = a read I will most certainly enjoy!

2.  Lost and Found - More interior design but this time with antiques!

3.  Copper Beach - This sounds a bit heavy on the paranormal with psychics and crystals and danger.  It does have a rather terrible cover though so I might get this in Kindle form!

4.   In Too Deep - So apparently the early 2010s were a bad time for Krentz's covers and were pretty heavy on the paranormal.  I'm not mad about the 2nd one!  And this one has a mention of a family tree and there's very few objects I love more then that!

5.  Smoke in Mirrors - I feel like I've gotten this one from the library about ten times but have never read it.  There's a con artist and a mysterious safety deposit box and I'm thinking mysterious safety deposit boxes should factor more in mysteries.

Have you read any Jayne Ann Krentz books?  What were your favorites?

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Books from the Backlog - Strong Poison

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:  Mystery novelist Harriet Vane knew all about poisons, and when her former lover died in the manner prescribed in one of her books, a jury of her peers had a hangman's noose in mind. But Lord Peter Wimsey was determined to find her innocent.

Why It Needs to Come Off the Shelf - I'm a huge classic mystery lover but Dorothy L Sayers is sadly under represented in my reading life.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Ten Books Set in New Orleans

I have run away from home and am writing this list after a weekend in New Orleans.  It's been awhile since I've been there but it turns out New Orleans is just the same in its unpredictability.  So today I'm thinking of books set in New Orleans (while, appropriately enough, snacking on a praline bought on Decatur Street).  I'm sure there are a bunch of more serious fiction and nonfiction that are set in the city of craziness but I'm looking at lighter fiction, romance, and mysteries.

1.  Phantom Evil by Heather Graham - I love romantic suspense and this is romantic suspense that takes place in a haunted house right smack in the heart of New Orleans! 

2.  Mumbo Gumbo Murder by Laura Childs - This cozy mystery series that takes place right in the heart of New Orleans always makes me happy and makes me want to try my hand at paper crafting!

3.  Mercy by Julie Garwood - I haven't actually read this author but she's been on my list for ages and I love romantic suspense so how can I resist romantic suspense in New Orleans?

4.  Midnight Bayou by Nora Roberts - This is one of Roberts' creepier romantic suspense but I loved it when I read it the first time and it held up well in a reread so I'm thinking I need another reread.

5.  A Streetcake Named Desire by Jacklyn Brady - This is a cozy series set in a bakery in New Orleans.  And I own at least the first two so I feel like I really should actually read them!

6.  Murder, She Wrote, Murder in a Minor Key by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain - It's Jessica Fletcher in New Orleans.  I must read it!

7.  Dinner at Antoine's by Frances Parkinson Keyes - I adore Antoine's but somehow I had never heard of this book which was apparently a huge hit back in 1949.

8.  Iron Lace by Emilie Richards - I love Emilie Richards and somehow I read the second book about this family so I feel like this one set in New Orleans is demanding to be read.

9.  New Orleans Mourning by Julie Smith - I'm about 90% sure I read this years and years ago but I'm not sure and I have no memory of it other then I'm familiar with the title so I say it counts as a new read.

10.  Thigh High by Christina Dodd - Bank robbers in Mardi Gras masks and some romantic suspense!  Yes please!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday - Changes in My Reading Life

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 all about changes in my reading life.  Honestly, not all that much has changed in my reading life so this is going to be a top 5 instead of a top 10.

1.  My reading numbers have definitely slowed way down - I used to read over 200 books a year but now I'm lucky if I hit 150 and I think I'm going to fall way short of the mark this year.

2.  I read a wider variety of genres - Until I was about 20 I read almost exclusively mysteries with a sprinkling of nonfiction.  Then around 20 I switched to romance and that was about all I read.  Now I read a pretty good mix of genres and feel a little stagnate if I stay on the same genre for too long.

3.  I read series out of order - I used to never do this.  Like NEVER ever ever.  But now I do it all the time and have no issues with it.

4.   I have multiple books going at the same time - I never had a hard and fast rule about multiple books but I was usually a one book at a time kind of person.  Now I always have at least 1 print book, 1 ebook, and 1 audio book going at a time and usually multiples of all three mediums.

5.  I listen to audiobooks - I was never a big audio book listener.  Every once in awhile I would and I'd enjoy it but it definitely wasn't a regular thing.

What has changed in your reading life?

Monday, November 18, 2019

City of Scoundrels - Historical Mystery Review

Goodreads:  City of Scoundrels (Counterfeit Lady #3) by Victoria Thompson

Rating: Good
Source: Publisher

Description:  Elizabeth Miles finds herself in a position no con can help her escape. Her beloved fiancĂ©, Gideon Bates, is awaiting his turn in the draft to fight in the Great War. Elizabeth is finding it hard to think of anything else, but Gideon has thrown himself into his work, preparing wills for soldiers before they ship out. Corporal Tom Preston is part owner of Preston Shoes, a company that is making footwear for the army, so he has a rather large estate. He needs a new will, however, because he has just been secretly married to a woman whom his family would never approve. He wants to make sure she and their unborn child are provided for if he does not return.
When Tom is later reported killed, Elizabeth and Gideon learn that the new will has gone missing after Tom's bride revealed her identity to his family. Unless the new will is found and validated, the original will, which leaves everything to Tom's brother, will prevail and the wife and child will get nothing. If Tom's new bride survives, that is. Some terrible threats have been leveled against her, and Elizabeth and Gideon must figure out a way, legal or not quite, to secure Tom's fortune for his wife and child while saving her life in the process.

Genre:  Mystery - Historical

Why I Picked This Book:  I've really enjoyed the two previous books in this series so I had to pick this one up!

My Impression:  Victoria Thompson has this magical ability to bring the world of her books to vivid life and this series really shows that off.  This isn't really a world I would want to live in but visiting it is fascinating.  This isn't a standard murder mystery style book but instead dives into the world of corrupt relatives, missing wills and a con or two (or more). 

I really loved catching up with Gideon and Elizabeth and especially her quirky and entertaining family.  The story and pacing kept me reading and wondering just how this was going to wrap up.  I did feel that the con got a little convoluted and the ending did feel a bit rushed.  And while I did enjoy this read I didn't feel like I connected to it as well or as immediately as I did to the previous books.  There's a 90% chance that issue was because of my mood.  This is a great historical mystery series for those that are interested in this time period and aren't expecting the standard murder mystery.  Elizabeth is one of my absolute favorite main characters and I'm looking forward to seeing what she gets up to next!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  Victoria Thompson is one of my go to authors for a solid enjoyable historical mystery.

Would I Recommend this Book?  Absolutely!  I love how alive Thompson makes history seem and her mysteries are always solid and entertaining.

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

Saturday, November 16, 2019

This Week in Reading - November 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:

Miss Austen by Gill Hornby - This one really appeals to me.  The sister of Jane Austen discovers a stash of letters written by her sister.  I'm intrigued and really looking forward to this one!  (Publisher)


ReadingA Dollhouse to Die for by Cate Price and The Angel's Share by Ellen Crosby

Listening:  Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco.  

Watching:   I've been enjoying The Voice this season.  I like all the coaches and pretty much all the people competing.  

Off the Blog:

I'm thinking of running away from home for a bit.  J is going to be in New Orleans off and on for a few months and I'm thinking about heading down there and making use of the paid for hotel room and taking a break for a bit.  This year has been a grind filled with stress and loss and frankly I'm flat exhausted.  Getting a change of scenery for a bit sounds beyond appealing and I think it's needed.  

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Tuesday:  Top Ten Tuesday - Changes in My Reading Life
Wednesday:  TBD
Thursday:  Books from the Backlog
Friday:  Friday Fives
Saturday:  TBD

Have a great week and happy reading!