Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Books with Ghosts

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic from The Broke and the Bookish is a Halloween Freebie.  I'm not a big horror reader but I do love some spookiness and I LOVE a good ghost.  So here are ten of my favorite ghostly characters.

1.  The Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy by Nora Roberts - This is a woman in white style goes.  She shows up periodically but she isn't particularly threatening.  She's sad and periodically she helps out the hero/heroine.  I loved that we learned her story as the trilogy continued.

2.  In the Garden Trilogy by Nora Roberts - This is a whole other kind of ghost.  This isn't a peaceful make an occasional appearance kind of ghost.  This ghost is really really not happy and really wants everyone to know it.

3.  The Wicked City by Beatriz Williams - There's the ghost of a whole speakeasy in this book.  How can you not love that?

4.  The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - These aren't your typical ghosts but the entire book takes place in a graveyard.

5.  The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud - Ghosts are pretty much the primary enemy here and these are definitely not the floating around being spooky kind of ghosts.  These ghosts are mean!

6.  The House on Blackberry Hill by Donna Alward - This ghost is much happier than the ones above.  Well, maybe not happy but not nearly as violent and I loved learning her story.

7.  The Cursed by Heather Graham - Heather Graham frequently has ghosts in her books but this was the first book I read of the Krewe series and it had ghosts AND was set in Key West.

8.  Among the Shadows by L.M. Montgomery - When you think of L.M. Montgomery you don't typically think dark and spooky but this collection of short stories definitely qualifies and there are more than a few ghosts!

9.  Vanish with the Rose by Barbara Michaels - I love this book that takes place in old house with lots of roses and lots of secrets.  And of course a ghost.

10.  The Crying Child by Barbara Michaels - While the ghost above was more of a helpful floating around kind of ghost the one in this book is pretty much the exact opposite.  This is more the drive you crazy and convince you to go off a cliff kind of ghost but it was all kinds of fun to read about!

What are some of your favorite books with ghosts?

Monday, October 30, 2017

Nine Lessons - Mystery Review

Nine Lessons (A Josephine Tey Mystery #7) by Nicola Upson (Amazon Link)

Rating: Very Good
Source: NetGalley

Description:  Called to the peaceful wooded churchyard of St-John's-at-Hampstead, Detective Chief Inspector Archie Penrose faces one of the most audacious and unusual murders of his career. The body of the church's organist is found in an opened grave, together with a photograph of a manor house and a cryptic note. The image leads Archie to Cambridge, where the crisp autumn air has brought with it bustling life to the ancient university and town. Both Josephine Tey and Archie's lover Bridget have recently settled in Cambridge, though both women are not equally happy to see him. One has concealed an important secret from Archie which now threatens to come to light. Meanwhile, the change of seasons has also brought with it a series of vicious attacks against women in town, spreading fear and suspicion through the community.
Soon, another body is revealed, and in the shadow of King's College Chapel, Archie uncovers a connection twenty-five years old which haunted both victims--as well as some of their living companions. As Archie and Josephine each grapple with savage malefactors intent on making their victims pay, they must race to stop another attack in this beautifully written, intricately plotted mystery.

Genre: Mystery - Historical

Why I Picked This Book:   I've been a fan of Josephine Tey since I discovered Brat Farrar as a kid.  I love the idea of a mystery author being a real life detective.

My Impression:  I was a little worried going in that starting at book 7 might not be a good idea.  To be honest while it did take me a few pages to sort out the Marta/Josephine/Bridget/Archie situation it really ended up not being a problem at all.  I think I might have felt slightly more connected to all the characters if I'd been following from the beginning but I liked them and felt invested pretty quickly.

The mystery starts out feeling like a very clean police procedural.  Maybe even a little like something Tey herself would have written.  There's a brutal murder which is described with detail but in such a clinical way that I didn't find it unnecessarily gore-y.  While investigating that murder he becomes aware of a series of rapes that are occurring in Cambridge that is terrifying the community.    The mysteries were both compelling and I enjoyed the investigation.  There was one thread that felt a little rushed at the end.  The conclusion worked but I just would have liked it to be more explored and not just a theory.  That said I in no way felt that the mysteries weren't solved.

For a police procedural I was surprised with the personal connections with the characters.  This isn't just about solving a mystery (though that is the main focus) this is about what's happening in the lives of Archie, Marta, and Josephine.   I liked Archie from the very beginning.  He's a good detective but a good man as well.  He's deeply empathetic and while can be confrontational is never unnecessarily so.  He struggles with his relationship with Bridget but is always trying to do right by her.  As well I enjoyed the relationship between Marta and Josephine.  They just felt like real people and I enjoyed both them as individuals and their interaction with each other.   There was even some events that were heartbreaking.  While the personal relationships were a primary plot factor the mystery never fell into the background.  I was very pleased with the balance of the book.

At the end of this book I immediately wanted to go back and read the previous books in the series to learn more about the characters (especially Archie, I have a bit of a soft spot for him) and I know I'll be waiting for the next book.  I'm also feeling to the urge to go pull out my collection of Josephine Tey mysteries and have a binge read so I'm counting this book a success!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Yes!  I enjoyed this book and would like to get to know the characters a bit more.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy mysteries I think you'd enjoy this one.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

This Week in Reading - October 29

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:

The English Wife by Laura Willig - I loved The Other Daughter so when I was offered this one I jumped at the chance!  Plus this is all about uncovering secrets and there's not much I love more than that. (Publisher)

Ditched 4 Murder by J.C. Eaton - I loved the first one in this cozy mystery series set in Arizona and am so excited to see where the series goes.  I can't wait to start reading!  (NetGalley)

Death in the Stacks by Jenn McKinlay - I was super excited to get this newest cozy mystery by Jenn McKilnlay in her library series.  It was a rather nice mailbox surprise.  (Publisher)

Historically Dead by Greta McKennan - So I didn't NEED this one but it involves old houses, old clothes, and history.  There was no way I could resist it.  I'm just not that strong!  (NetGalley)


Reading:  Assault and Buttery by Kristi Abbott and The Silent Fountain by Victoria Fox

Listening:  I finished The Lying Game by Ruth Ware which I wasn't as in love with as I was with her previous books and am about to start the 4th Flavia de Luce.

Watching:  Not a huge amount and nothing new.  Though J and I are about to start the 2nd season of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and am both excited and a little scared.  I really enjoyed the 1st season but hated the last 5 minutes of the last episode.  So I'm a little nervous to see how the 2nd season starts off.  

Off the Blog:

Nothing really exciting happening here.  It was a bit of a quiet week.  I got some organizing done and all the regular stuff.  Fall has decided to land here and our highs have been in the mid 70s all week.  It's taking some getting adjust too because it went from 90 to 70 with nothing in between and 70 feels so cold!  Granted I'm more than a little bit of a wuss when it comes to cold so that's probably just me.  Allergies have shown up and force and even with shots and meds they've been bugging me and the poor Tornado is just a constant sneeze.

We've started trying to do a weekly movie night here because there are so many kids movies that we've missed over the years and we need to catch up.  There are also a lot that I've watched but would like to rewatch.  So far we've watched The Nightmare Before Christmas (The Tornado liked it, J and I were not fans) and The Incredibles (a rewatch for J and me but we loved it and the Tornado really enjoyed it too).  I'm looking for more movie recommendations.  What are your favorite family friendly movies? 

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday:  Nine Lessons - Mystery Review
Tuesday:  Top Ten Favorite Ghost Books
Wednesday:  Sound of Fear
Thursday: The Silent Fountain
Friday:  Friday Linkups with Current Books
Saturday:  Assault and Buttery - Cozy Mystery Review 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Dinner with Edward - Foodie Memoir Review

Dinner with Edward: A Story of an Unexpected Friendship by Isabel Vincent (Amazon Link)

Rating: Very Good
Source: Library

Description:  When Isabel meets Edward, both are at a crossroads: he wants to follow his late wife to the grave, and she is ready to give up on love. Thinking she is merely helping Edward’s daughter--who lives far away and has asked her to check in on her nonagenarian dad in New York--Isabel has no idea that the man in the kitchen baking the sublime roast chicken and light-as-air apricot soufflĂ© will end up changing her life.

As Edward and Isabel meet weekly for the glorious dinners that Edward prepares, he shares so much more than his recipes for apple galette or the perfect martini, or even his tips for deboning poultry. Edward is teaching Isabel the luxury of slowing down and taking the time to think through everything she does, to deconstruct her own life, cutting it back to the bone and examining the guts, no matter how messy that proves to be.

Genre: Memoir - Foodie

Why I Picked This Book:  The blurb just really hooked me.  I loved the sound of the friendship.

My Impression:  This is a very quiet book.  There are no big events, there are no arguments or breakdowns or anything like that.  This is two people who are feeling lost and adrift and just need something or someone to cling too.  What they find is the dinners they share and each other.  I enjoyed their relationship immensely.  It's a friendship with a bit of a paternal air and really just lovely.  As their friendship deepens there's a specialness that really shines through the pages.

Then there's the food!  I'm craving steaks and souffles and I would pay serious money for Edward's martinis as well as most of his other glorious creations.  The descriptions are marvelous and I could just imagine the beautifully set table and lovingly crafted food.  At first I was disappointed that the book features no recipes but when I read more about Edward's exacting methods I'm not sure I'd have the courage to try to make them myself!  It did make me want to take more care in my ingredient selections and to learn more and try more in my cooking methods. 

This is a lovely quiet little book full of good friends and amazing food.  I loved the stories, I loved getting to know Edward and Isabel, and I would dearly love to share a dinner with them both.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  I would.  I enjoyed her voice and would love to read more from her.

Would I Recommend this Book?  Absolutely!  This is a lovely little book which is perfect for when you're looking for a quiet read but still want a read with heart.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Friday Linkups - Assault and Buttery

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:
Candy Corn, chocolate bar, or popcorn.  Which of these are your favorite to eat while reading?

My Answer:
I'm not really a big snacker while reading but of these 3 I think I'd pick popcorn.  If it's just in general I'd go with chocolate bars but I've discovered chocolate and books typically end with chocolately fingers and chocolate smudges on pages.

This week's book is Assault and Buttery by Kristi Abbott.  This is the 3rd in the series though the 1st I've read.  I love a good cozy title pun and this book involves and old diary and a missing persons case so there was no way I could resist all 3!

The Beginning:
I walked over to the bars of my jail cell.  "Hey!  Anybody out there?  I want my phone call.  Don't I get a phone call?"

My Thoughts:
Well that's an interesting beginning!  I wonder how she managed to get herself thrown in jail.  Cozy mystery MCs do have a tendency to wind up there now and then.

The 56:
I was perfectly prepared to not blink for the next ten minutes if necessary.  Luckily, that wasn't necessary.  She blinked first.

My Thoughts:
It sounds like the MC has a nemesis!  A good nemesis can be incredibly entertaining!

So what do you think?  Keep reading?  Where do you fall on the cozy mystery title puns?  Love them or hate them?

Thursday, October 26, 2017

In the Woods - Mystery Review

In the Woods by Tana French (Amazon link)

Rating: Very Good
Source: Library

Description:   As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers, and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.

Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a twelve-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox—his partner and closest friend—find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past.
Richly atmospheric and stunning in its complexity, In the Woods is utterly convincing and surprising to the end.

Genre: Mystery

Why I Picked This Book:  This has been on my must read list for years and it was past time to read it!

My Impression:  Tana French was an author I had never heard of in the pre-blogging days but once I had heard of her I couldn't help but wonder how I had missed her.  I mean a police procedural set in Ireland?  This should have leaped off the bookshelf at me in a bookstore and yelled - "Read Me".  For some reason that didn't happen and I was left to discover her on my own and even harder - make time to read the first in the Dublin Murder Squad series.

I really enjoyed this one.  It wasn't the fastest read but it was one I enjoyed savoring.  French's writing is darkly atmospheric with a seriously twisted mystery.   I loved Cassie Maddox right from the start and am really excited she'll be front and center in the 2nd book in this series.  Ryan was a little harder to like but he's an interesting character.  He has a shiny slick veneer but it's hiding some serious baggage.

  The two mysteries intrigued me right away.  What happened to the two children in the woods all those years ago and who murdered the young girl found that morning?  I really had no idea until the reveal though I had inklings that something wasn't right.

What kept me from loving this book was the ending.  While the modern day mystery was wrapped up nicely the old mystery wasn't.  I don't think I'd mind this if there was a follow up in the next book but there doesn't seem to be - or any conclusion in any of the other books.  The mystery is developed enough that it got just as much page time as the primary mystery and by the end I'm dying to know what happened.  I'm hoping that French will go back to Knockanaree and just what happened to Peter and Jamie but until then not knowing does dampen my enjoyment of this book.    That aside I've already bought a copy of The Likeness and can't wait to see more of Cassie.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I already have a copy of the 2nd book and can't wait to read it!

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy mysteries - especially police procedurals like Deborah Crombie and Ian Rankin - this is a great choice.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Betrayed - Paranormal Romantic Suspense Review

The Betrayed (Krewe of Hunters) by Heather Graham (Amazon link)

Rating: Very Good
Source: NetGalley

Description:  One night, New York FBI agent Aiden Mahoney receives a visitor in a dream--an old friend named Richard Highsmith. The very next day he's sent to Sleepy Hollow because Richard's gone missing there.
Maureen--Mo--Deauville now lives in the historic town and works with her dog, Rollo, to search for missing people. She's actually the one to find Richard?or more precisely his head, stuck on a statue of the legendary Headless Horseman.

Mo and Aiden, a new member of the Krewe of Hunters, the FBI's unit of paranormal investigators, explore both past and present events to figure out who betrayed Richard, who killed him and now wants to kill them, too. As they work together, they discover that they share an unusual trait?the ability to communicate with the dead. They also share an attraction that's as intense as it is unexpected?if they live long enough to enjoy it!

Genre: Romantic Suspense - Paranormal

Why I Picked This Book:  I really like this series adn the blurb definitely caught my attention!

My Impression:  
What I loved:
The history!  I really had never given any thought to the village of Sleepy Hollow but now it is high up on my To Visit list.  I loved the bits about Washington Irving and stories of the Revolutionary War.

The characters - Mo and Aiden were both just nice people and I loved their interaction involving seeing ghosts.  I always love seeing the Krewe work together and the residents of Sleepy Hollow added a bit of fun as well.  Oh and Rollo!  Rollo was my favorite.  I feel like I need to go out and adopt a wolfhound stat!

The mystery - Graham can be a little inconsistent on her mystery quality but this one is one of the best ones I've come across.  The reasons made sense and I was actually surprised at the reveal!

The ghosts - I love ghosts in books and really how can having the ghost of Washington Irving not be a good thing?

What I didn't love:
There wasn't much I didn't love about this one but there was an angle in the investigation that took up some page time that then got dropped and never fully explained.

This was a fast paced enjoyable romantic suspense that leaned heavier on the suspense than the romance.  It was a perfect read for Halloween season and left me with the desire to read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and visit the village itself!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  While I don't like all her books I'm a big fan of Graham's Krewe series and can never resist the next one.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you like spooky romantic suspense (heavier on the suspense than the romance) this is a good pick - especially right around Halloween!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

It's Finally Fall Book Tag

I saw this tag on Quinn's Book Nook the other day and couldn't resit giving it a try.  It was created by TallTales on YouTube and is just full of fall-ish goodness.  I'm so ready for fall!  Not I hate cold weather more than just about anything but I'm so tired of shorts and am ready for sweaters and boots!  My one confession - I don't quite get the love for Pumpkin Spice.

In Fall, the air is crisp and clear, name a book with a vivid setting

The Lake House by Kate Morton.  The setting in this book is almost a character.  I can almost see that neglected house when I close my eyes.

Nature is beautiful ... but also dying.  Name a book that is beautifully written but also deals with a heavy topic like grief or loss

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan.  This book deals with so much loss and grief as a small village goes through the early days of World War II but at the same time there's still hope and bits of happiness. 

Fall is back to school season.  Name a nonfiction book that taught you something new

At Home by Bill Bryson - There's so much information crammed into this book that I learned something new of every page and can not spout all kinds of random facts about how our homes came to be.

In order to keep warm, it's good to spend some time with people we love.  Name a fictional family/household/friend-group you'd like to be part of

The Lucky Harbor series by Jill Shalvis.  Can I just move here?  You instantly get two best friends and there's lots of late night cake eating!

Fall is the perfect time for some storytelling by the fireside.  Share  a book wherein someone is telling a story

Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey - I love the chatty feel of the narration and the only child me always marveled at the idea of having so many brothers and sisters.

The nights are getting darker.  Share a dark creepy read

Wicked Deeds by Heather Graham.  It has the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe and a murder.  And did I mention Edgar Allan Poe's ghost?

The days are getting colder.  Name a short heartwarming read that could warm up somebody's cold and rainy day

Somebody's Baby by Donna Alward.  This isn't the shortest book but it read super fast.  Plus the hero's a veterinarian, there's a large goofy dog, and a crazy feel good romance.

Fall returns every year.  Name an old favorite you'd like to return to soon

Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie.  This is one of my absolute favorites and it's been ages since I've read it.  I'm really looking forward to getting to it soon.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Death Overdue - Cozy Mystery Review

Death Overdue (A Haunted Library Mystery #1) by Allison Brook

Rating: Very Good
Source: NetGalley

Description:  Carrie Singleton is just about done with Clover Ridge, Connecticut until she's offered a job as the head of programs and events at the spooky local library, complete with its own librarian ghost. Her first major event is a program presented by a retired homicide detective, Al Buckley, who claims he knows who murdered Laura Foster, a much-loved part-time library aide who was bludgeoned to death fifteen years earlier. As he invites members of the audience to share stories about Laura, he suddenly keels over and dies.

The medical examiner reveals that poison is what did him in and Carrie feels responsible for having surged forward with the program despite pushback from her director. Driven by guilt, Carrie's determined to discover who murdered the detective, convinced it's the same man who killed Laura all those years ago. Luckily for Carrie, she has a friendly, knowledgeable ghost by her side. But as she questions the shadows surrounding Laura's case, disturbing secrets come to light and with each step Carrie takes, she gets closer to ending up like Al.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  Really the whole haunted library thing got me at once.  I mean who can resist a ghost in a library?

My Impression: I went into this book with really high expectations.  There are so many of my favorite things here - an old murder, a library, a ghost, and of course the small town with an incredibly high crime rate (aka The Jessica Fletcher Syndrome).  And this book delivered!  It was fun with lots of library goodness, a strong main character, an intriguing mystery and a ghost that I really just want to hang out with.

I was a little worried I wasn't going to like Carrie at first.  She had a rebellious streak at the very beginning but while she still keeps that streak she isn't rebellious to the point of self-sabotage.  Her reasoning for getting involved in the murder made sense especially as she begins developing a friendship with the original victim's son.  The mystery kept me turning pages - just what had happened to Laura and was it really connected to Al's death?  What had Al discovered?  I was pulled in to the story completely.  I had a few suspicions as to the whos and whys but it did keep me guessing until the final reveal!

As well I enjoyed all the politics and managings of the library.  It isn't one big happy family but not everyone is hostile either.  It felt very much like a real workplace and I enjoyed watching Cassie get her footing.  I also enjoyed her relationship with her Aunt and Uncle. 

My only nitpicky complaints was with the ghost.  I loved her immediately but the introduction seemed a little anti-climatic.  I think it'd be a little annoying if the MC responded realistically to a ghost (there'd be a LOT of shock and disbelief) but I think I expected something a little more than I got.  I do love this character and hope we get more back story in future books.

This was a really fun cozy mystery and a great start to the series.  I'm looking forward to spending more time in Clover Ridge with Carrie and the rest!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I'm already looking forward to the next book!

Would I Recommend this Book?  Definitely!  If you enjoy cozies this is one you should not miss.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

This Week in Reading - October 22

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:

In the Shadow of Agatha Christie by Leslie S. Klinger (editor) - With Agatha Christie in the title you know there was no way I could resist this one.  This book really isn't about her but about the women mystery writers who came before her that have largely been forgotten. I'm looking forward to reading it!  (NetGalley)

The Pines of Winder Ranch by RaeAnne Thayne - I love RaeAnne Thayne's books and this is from a series I haven't read much from.  I'm looking forward to it.  (NetGalley)

Assault and Buttery by Kristi Abbott - This is a series I've been wanting to read for awhile and this one features the discovery of an old diary in the walls of a popcorn store.  I can't wait! (Publisher)

Better Late Than Never by Jenn McKinlay - I love Jenn McKinlay and her library series is one of my favorites so I couldn't pass this one up.  (Publisher)

A Late Frost by Sheila Connolly - I love this cozy mystery series set in an apple orchard and this was another series I couldn't pass up. (Publisher)

City of Lies by Victoria Thompson - I've been wanting to read Victoria Thompson for ages and this first book in a new historical mystery series was another I couldn't resit.  (Publisher)


Reading:  Treasure on Lilac Lane by Donna Alward and Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalo

Listening:  I finished How to Train Your Dragon which was really fun (and narrated by David Tennant) and am now listening to The Lying Game by Ruth Ware which I've really been looking forward to getting.

Watching:  Mostly movies.  Over the weekend I watched Mrs. Miniver (if you enjoyed The Chillbury Ladies Choir you need to watch this movie.  The plot is very different but there's a similar feel), To Have and Have Not, and From Here to Eternity.  All were amazing.  J and I watched Saving Mr. Banks which I loved and then all of us watched The Nightmare Before Christmas which somehow neither J or I had watched.  The Tornado gets a pass on that as he's only 7.

Off the Blog:

This is the first weekend in a month that I've been home and I'm really enjoying it!  I even slept late (a whole 9AM) which was a super heavenly.  Most of this weekend was spent at home though we did go see The Lego Ninjago movie this weekend AND got a Halloween costume for the Tornado. 

I actually ordered actual hold in your hand photos!  It's been on my to do list for ages as I really miss having photo albums.  My first thought was to do the whole digital scrapbook thing but I finally had to admit to myself that that wasn't going to happen.  So now my goal is to order photos and put them in an album and call it done!  I figure if I make it too complicated it won't get done.  That being said most of the photos I ordered are the Tornado with characters at Disney.  I want to do an album that has the photo and the autograph all together so I'm still staying a little complicated!  What do you do with photos? 

I also somehow missed that this weekend was the Readathon.  Needless to say I'm not participating though I really want to.  I need to get better about just deciding I'm going to do with it and work around any conflicts that arise (because they always arise).  I do love seeing what everyone is reading and their results so I'm enjoying those posts!

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday:  Death Overdue - Cozy Mystery Review
Tuesday:  Fall Tag
Wednesday: The Betrayed - Paranormal Romantic Suspense Review
Thursday:  In the Woods - Mystery Review
Friday: Friday Linkups with Current Book
Saturday: Dinner with Edward - Foodie Nonfiction Review

Have a great week and happy reading!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Stolen Marriage - Historical Fiction Review

The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain (Amazon Link)

Rating: Good
Source: Publisher

Description:  In 1944, twenty-three-year-old Tess DeMello abruptly ends her engagement to the love of her life when she marries a mysterious stranger and moves to Hickory, North Carolina, a small town struggling with racial tension and the hardships imposed by World War II. Tess’s new husband, Henry Kraft, is a secretive man who often stays out all night, hides money from his new wife, and shows no interest in making love. Tess quickly realizes she’s trapped in a strange and loveless marriage with no way out.
The people of Hickory love and respect Henry and see Tess as an outsider, treating her with suspicion and disdain, especially after one of the town’s prominent citizens dies in a terrible accident and Tess is blamed. Tess suspects people are talking about her, plotting behind her back, and following her as she walks around town. What does everyone know about Henry that she does not? Feeling alone and adrift, Tess turns to the one person who seems to understand her, a local medium who gives her hope but seems to know more than he’s letting on.

When a sudden polio epidemic strikes the town, the townspeople band together to build a polio hospital. Tess, who has a nursing degree, bucks Henry’s wishes and begins to work at the hospital, finding meaning in nursing the young victims. Yet at home, Henry’s actions grow more alarming by the day. As Tess works to save the lives of her patients, can she untangle her husband’s mysterious behavior and save her own life?

Genre: Fiction - Historical

Why I Picked This Book:  I've seen Diane Chamberlain's books around for sometime and have always wanted to try them. 

My Impression:  This book was really beautiful.  The writing was gorgeous but not overly lyrical, the setting was brought perfectly to life and the characters were extraordinarily vivid.  It was also incredibly sad.  I've heard quite a lot about polio from my Grandmother who grew up in a small southern town in the 30s and 40s.  Entire families were decimated in a week's time with no warning.  The boy who played in a high school football game one Friday night was dead by the next Friday night.  Swimming pools were closed and people stayed in their houses hoping to protect their children from the merciless disease.  In the age of modern medicine I've always had a hard time imagining that level of helplessness and fear though the imagery was so vividly grim.  However, Chamberlain's book brought it fully to life. 

My heart broke for Tess.  She's so full of life and happiness and determination in the beginning of the timeline and we then we see her so lost and scared and empty.  She's alone in a houseful of people with no support whatsoever except for little scraps of kindness she finds in unexpected places.  But when the polio epidemic hits Tess's new home of Hickory, North Carolina the sun starts to shine again though the sky is far from cloudless. 

While there were tears in my eyes many times through out the reading of this book it was all worth it to see Tess slowly start to find herself again and stand on shaky legs.  I would have liked more hope or a twist of humor to lighten things a little but that is personal preference and not a problem with the book.  If you're looking for vivid historical fiction that brings a time period to life than this is a great choice - just have tissues nearby!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  I would though I think I have to be in the right mood for her books.  While they aren't especially dark there is a bit more sadness than I'm typically drawn to.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy historical fiction with fully fleshed characters I think you'd enjoy this one.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Friday Linkups - Stalking Jack the Ripper

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:
Off the book topic - What is your favorite scary movie?

My Answer:
I don't really watch a lot of horror movies because they seem to be really gore-y which I don't love.  I do love a good scary movie though.  Two of my favorites are probably The Blair Witch Project (though I haven't seen it in years - I should rewatch it) and The Conjuring.

This week's book is Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco.  I've been wanting to read it since it came out last year but just never got around to it.  I decided it looked like the perfect Halloween reading!  I also love a good Jack the Ripper mystery so that makes this even more appealing.  I haven't gotten very far in this one but so far I like what I'm reading.

The Beginning:
I placed my thumb and forefinger on the icy flesh, spreading it taut above the breastbone as Uncle had showed me.

My Thoughts:
I don't feel that this Uncle guy is a particularly kindly uncle.  There's something a little creepy about the sentence.

The 56:
The murderer truly must be a madman if he thought what he was doing was helpful or righteous.  And that thought was more terrifying than any other.

My Thoughts:
I can see how fighting a murderer who thinks he's on the side of the right would be especially difficult. 

So what do you think ?  Keep reading?  What spooky reads to you have going this Halloween season?

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Lona Chang - A Super Hero Detective Story Blog Tour Review

About Lona Chang

• Paperback 
• Publisher: Seventh Star Press, LLC (August 30, 2017)

 When one of the world's greatest superheroes dies in her arms, Lona Chang takes it upon herself to investigate his murder. Armed only with a power she barely understands and a mysterious coded book, Lona begins a quest for answers that leads her down a dark rabbit hole of secrets—secrets the ancient organization known as the Guild is determined to keep hidden at all costs. Meanwhile, when a new threat descends upon Arc City, Lona's soulmate (and freshly minted superhero) Awesome Jones defies the Guild, dons the cape and cowl of his father and finds a group of unlikely allies. But can Awesome trust them—or himself? He'll have to fight his own demons first if he has any hope of defending the town–and the people–he loves. As tensions rise between the Guild, Lona, Awesome, his allies and Arc City's criminal underground, Lona realizes that life, and the answers to its questions, are never as simple as they seem in comic books.

Purchase Links


My Thoughts:  I wasn't quite sure just what exactly a super hero detective story was but this was pretty fun!  This is a straight up detective story in the middle of a world with super heroes, politics, and lots of secrets.   It did take me several pages to get really pulled into the flow of the writing and the story itself.  Part of the issue may have been that I didn't read the first book in the series.  While the story itself is stand alone the world and the relationships are fairly complex.  If you enjoy mysteries and super heroes this is a series you really need to read! 

About AshleyRose Sullivan

Originally from Appalachia, AshleyRose Sullivan lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their many imaginary friends. Her work has been published in places like The Rumpus, Barrelhouse, and Monkey Bicycle and her novels, Awesome Jones: A Superhero Fairy Tale and Silver Tongue are available from Seventh Star Press. She can be found at ashleyrosesullivan.com.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Duke of Desire - Historical Romance Review

Duke of Desire (Maiden Lane Romance) by Elizabeth Hoyt (Amazon)

Rating: Good
Source:  NetGalley

Description:  Refined, kind, and intelligent, Lady Iris Jordan finds herself the unlikely target of a diabolical kidnapping. Her captors are the notoriously evil Lords of Chaos. When one of the masked-and nude!-Lords spirits her away to his carriage, she shoots him . . . only to find she may have been a trifle hasty.


Cynical, scarred, and brooding, Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, has made it his personal mission to infiltrate the Lords of Chaos and destroy them. Rescuing Lady Jordan was never in his plans. But now with the Lords out to kill them both, he has but one choice: marry the lady in order to keep her safe.


Much to Raphael's irritation, Iris insists on being the sort of duchess who involves herself in his life-and bed. Soon he's drawn both to her quick wit and her fiery passion. But when Iris discovers that Raphael's past may be even more dangerous than the present, she falters. Is their love strong enough to withstand not only the Lords of Chaos but also Raphael's own demons?

Genre: Romance - Historical

Why I Picked This Book:  I've been wanting to try Hoyt's Maiden Lane series for awhile because of a number of really glowing reviews so when this book came up on NetGalley I couldn't resist.

My Impression:  This was my very first book by Elizabeth Hoyt and while I had read lots of great reviews for her books I really didn't know what to expect.  While I love historical romance there can sometimes be a sameness about them.  Not all authors stand out but Hoyt is one of the ones who does.  Her writing and the world she has created in this book - and I'm assuming the series as a whole - is like no other.

This is not a love match and really Iris and Raphael barely even know each other but the marriage is necessary for Iris's survival.  I loved that while Iris doesn't blindly follow everything that Raphael tells her she also isn't so insistent on having her own way that she falls into the dreaded To Stupid To Live territory.  Raphael reminded me a bit of a classic historical romance hero.  He's such an alpha male that he's almost a stereotype and he has the whole tortured hero thing down.  However, his baggage is seriously real and he also has a softer sweeter side and is willing to actually listen and converse with her.  While he is fiercely protective of Iris (for good reason) they also develop an emotional connection that was really lovely to watch.

My main issue was the Lords of Chaos.  They are most definitely villains but I struggled with their level of debauchery and cruelty.  While the scenes aren't particularly graphic there is mention of sexual assault as well as sexual abuse on children which kept me from fully enjoying the novel as much as I would have without that.

While I did struggle with an issue in the plot of this particular book I'm in love with Hoyt's vivid characters and writing style.  This is a world I'm already looking forward to visiting again.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Definitely!  I already have a novella by Hoyt ready to go.

Would I Recommend this Book?  With reservations.  I love the couple and their connection but the level of darkness was a little difficult for me.  Just go in prepared.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

SMP - Holiday Romance Release Blitz + Review of Deck the Halls

It's that time of year again!  The time when all the wonderful holiday romances are coming out!  St. Martin's Press has so many great ones that I'm having a hard time choosing!

There's something for everyone here from historical to cowboy to small town contemporary.  I loved the first book in Emma Douglas' Cloud Bay series so A Season of You is high up on my list.  In fact there's a little something for everyone here - historical, cowboy, Scottish, and your small town contemporary.

But when I really had to make the decision of just what my first holiday romance would be the choice was obvious - Deck the Halls by Donna Alward (Amazon Link).

Alward is one of my go-to contemporary authors and the Darling, VT series has been a favorite.  And since the beginning there has been George.  We meet him as a homeless man and see his gradual transformation as he begins to get on his feet throughout the series.  But George is haunted by something and closely guarded by his secrets and I desperately wanted to know what they were.  So when I saw that George is front and center in this new novella I couldn't resist!

It was wonderful to get to know George better in this novella.  Hearing his story was heartbreaking and I enjoyed getting a better understanding of how he ended up in Darling.  It was impossible not to sympathize with Amy, the sister of George's old friend and Army buddy.   I can't imagine losing someone so close and not knowing what really happened.  I thought as friends they helped each other begin to heal.

The connection between them developed pretty quickly but I was okay with that because there was a previous connection and I think George felt obligated to answer her questions and seemed ready to take the next step.  While I believed in the connection between the two I had a hard time believing that either were really ready for romance.  They are both lovely people and I fully believe they needed each other but a full romance just didn't quite feel right.

However, I was able to ignore that issue and just really enjoy this holiday read.  After three books getting glances of George's story this was a Christmas gift from Alward to Darling, VT readers.

Next up, will probably be Hope at Christmas by Nancy Naigle (Amazon Link).  I've been wanting to read Nancy Naigle's books forever and this involves a bookstore and all kinds of holiday-goodness.  I can't wait!  What holiday reads are coming up for you?

Monday, October 16, 2017

Ramblings from the Stacks: Audio Books

While it took me a little while to get into audio books I can now admit that I'm fully in love.  They're a fantastic way to get a little extra reading in and they make tasks that I've found incredibly tedious so much more pleasant.  I thought I'd share some of my favorites and not so favorites over the past few years.

Audio Book Wins

1.  In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware read by Imogen Church - I think I would have enjoyed reading both this book and Ware's 2nd book, The Woman in Cabin 10 but Church's narration really took this book up to another level.  I know I can't have been holding my breath for the entire thing but it felt like it!  

2.  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows read by Paul Boehmer, Susan Duerden, Rosalyn Landor, John Lee, and Juliet Mills - This was the first book I listened to that had multiple narrators and it was absolutely wonderful.  This book is told in a series of letters and the different voices brought it completely to life.  

3.  Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming read by David Tennant - I think I would have enjoyed this book in print because the story is such fun but Tennant's reading made it spectacular.  The man could probably read me a grocery list and I would sit at rapt attention but throw in an adventure story written by the creator of James Bond and it's pure magic.

4.  Ready Player One by Ernest Cline read by Wil Wheaton - I don't think I would have gotten through this one if it wasn't for Wheaton's narration.  I'm glad I did because I ended up really enjoying it.

5.  Bossypants by Tina Fey - I actually read this one first and was kind of meh on it.  I mean it was funny but it wasn't as funny as I wanted it to be.  Then I saw the audio copy was available at my library's digital site and so on a whim I gave it a try.  It was 100 times better in audio.  There were parts were I laughed until I cried. 

Audio Book Losses

1.  Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty read by Cassandra Campbell - Cassandra Campbell is one of my favorite narrators and when I saw she was reading this Middle Grade fiction that was high on my TBR list I was really excited.   Except I didn't end up really liking it.  While I love Campbell's voice something about it just didn't work for me with this story.  I'd like to continue the series but I think I'll be reading instead of listening.

2.  Faithful by Alice Hoffman read by Amber Tamblyn - I didn't dislike the audio and I really loved the book but it took me a little while to get into and I think part of my problem was with Tamblyn's narration.  While I think her voice was perfect for the main character her pacing was very slow.  Once I increased my speed to 1.25 I ended up loving the book much better.

3.  Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon  read by Bahni Turpin and Robbie Daymond - Now part of the problem here is that this book didn't really work for me (I know, I know, please don't throw anything at me) but I did have some issues with the narration that didn't help.  I love Bahni Turpin's voice but found it too old for the teenage main character.  As well it drove me crazy that Daymond's voice was used in the IMs but Turpin did a male voice when the boy talked in conversation.  This drove me crazy!  

Now I know plenty of people who loved all three of these in audio book format so I know this is purely personal preference.  Are you an audio book lover?  Any books or narrators work for you or really don't?

Sunday, October 15, 2017

This Week in Reading - October 15

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:

Now that You Mention it by Kristan Higgins - I loved her last book that was more women's fiction than romance so I'm really looking forward to this one!  (Publisher)

Once Upon a Maiden Lane by Elizabeth Hoyt - I've never read Hoyt before but this novella looks to cute to pass up.  Plus, there's mistaken identity in a bookstore so that sounds pretty great.  (NetGalley)

Deja Moo by Kristen Weiss - Even if I hadn't read and enjoyed the 2 previous books in this cozy mystery series about a paranormal museum I would not have been able to resist this title! (NetGalley)

No Place Like You by Emma Douglas - I really enjoyed the first book in the Cloud Bay series and I'm excited to read this one which features a best friend's brother romance.  (Publisher)

Cowboy's Legacy by B.J. Daniels - I haven't read a cowboy romance in awhile and I enjoyed the last book I read by Daniels so I couldn't resist.  (Blog Tour)

Bel, Book and Scandal by Maggie McConnon - I read the first book in this cozy mystery series around a quirky family that runs a wedding destination manor house.  This involves a mystery from the main character's past that was referenced in the first book and I'm super excited!  (Publisher)


Reading:  The Betrayed by Heather Graham and Lona Chang by AshleyRose Sullivan

Listening:  I just finished The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan (LOVE!) and am now listening to How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell and read by David Tennant!

Watching:  Not a huge amount but my oldest and my sister-in-law talked me into watching The Voice and I'm enjoying it.  I like that they're not mean - even to the ones who don't get on the show.  

Off the Blog:

Disney was amazing!  We went to Legoland and then all the Disney World parks.  We went to Mickey's Halloween party, hung out with Storm Troopers, Chipmunks, and all kinds of other characters.  We rode all the rides and walked almost 50 miles.  It was so much fun that I hated to leave but it's good to be home in my own bed and I'm already planning my next trip. 

This weekend I'm in south Mississippi visiting my grandparents but after that I'm looking forward to being home for awhile and getting out Halloween decorations and getting back into the regular routine.  

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday:  Ramblings from the Stacks - Audio Book Wins and Losses
Tuesday:  SMP Holiday Romance Release Blits w/ review of Deck the Halls
Wednesday: TBD
Thursday: Lorna Chang - Mystery Review
Friday: Friday Linkups with current book
Saturday: TBD

Have a great week and happy reading!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Comfort Food Diaries - Foodie Nonfiction Review

The Comfort Food Diaries: My Quest for the Perfect Dish to Mend a Broken Heart by Emily Nunn (Amazon Link)

Rating: Very Good
Source: NetGalley

Description: One life-changing night, still reeling from her beloved brother's sudden death a few weeks earlier, Emily Nunn was dumped by her handsome architect fiancĂ© and evicted from the apartment they shared, losing in the same moment all sense of family, home, and financial security. After a few glasses of wine, heartbroken and lost, Emily—an avid cook and professional food writer—poured her heart out on Facebook. The next morning she woke up with a terrible hangover and a feeling she’d made a terrible mistake—only to discover she had more friends than she knew, many of whom invited her to come visit and cook with them while she put her life back together. Thus began the Comfort Food Tour.
Searching for a way forward, Emily travels the country, cooking and staying with relatives and friends, among them renowned chefs Mark Bittman and Ina Garten. She also travels back to revisit scenes from her dysfunctional Southern upbringing, dominated by her dramatic, unpredictable mother and her silent, disengaged father. Her wonderfully idiosyncratic aunts and uncles and cousins come to life in these pages, all part of the rich Southern story in which past and present are indistinguishable, food is a source of connection and identity, and a good story is often preferred to a not-so-pleasant truth. But truth, pleasant or not, is what Emily Nunn craves, and with it comes an acceptance of the losses she has endured, and a sense of hope for the future.

Genre: Nonfiction - Foodie

Why I Picked This Book:  I'm a sucker for a good project memoir - especially when it involves food!

My Impression:  The book starts just as Emily's life is starting to crumble.  She thought she had built the perfect cozy nest but within the first few pages the cracks are very obvious and that was before she brought up her issues with addiction.  As readers we see her at what must have been her lowest point - struggling to not just fix a broken heart but to rewrite her entire outlook on life.  A random Facebook post kick starts that journey though it takes a little while and a lot of soul searching for her to really get started. 

Not that it takes awhile to get into the food portion of the book.  Right from the beginning Nunn is describing food so clearly and so beautifully that that all I want to do is grab a fork and dive in to Ezra Pound Cake, or pizza with Toni's Tomato Sauce.  Her descriptions make things that I don't even like sound appealing - I've never once craved a Country Ham biscuit but I'm beginning to reconsider that after several of her mentions!

Once her Comfort Food Tour really got going the food descriptions really increased (seriously - do not read this book hungry!) and the book got a bit happier though no less introspective.  I was really intrigued by the question of just what is comfort food.  It's a term we hear bandied about quite a bit but everyone's interpretation is so personal that it takes a little soul searching to really figure out your answer.  I've been thinking about it since I started the books and am still not quite sure I've really defined mine!

This is a book about self-discovery, healing, and most of all food.  Nunn's writing is incredibly honest but not overly dramatic and within the first few pages she felt like a friend.  Just be careful not to read while hungry or you might go dashing out in search of a country ham biscuit!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I really enjoyed her writing style and this book.

Would I Recommend this Book?  I would!  If you like project type books or enjoyed the book Stir by Jessica Fechtor I think you'd enjoy this one.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday LInkups - In the Woods

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:
Who is your favorite horror/suspense author and why?

My Answer:
I don't read much horror but I love a good suspense book.  When I'm in the mood for a straight up creepy read Shirley Jackson is probably my go-to.  The Haunting of Hill House is so creepy and eerie and all of her short stories are filled with this subtle unease even though I can never put my finger on what's so terrible.  If I'm in the mood for a little lighter romantic suspense I love Heather Graham's Krewe of Hunters series.  I love how she mixes in a little history with all the ghosts and creepiness.

This week's book In the Woods by Tana French is one I've been wanting to read pretty much since I started blogging.  For some reason Tana French never landed on my radar before then but once she did I heard nothing but raves.  Finally after far too long I'm reading her first book and am loving it!  I'm not finding it to be the fastest paced thriller but the story is all kinds of creepy and definitely pulls me in.

The Beginning:
Picture a summer stolen whole from some coming-of-age film set in small town 1950s.  This is none of Ireland's subtle seasons mixed for a connoisseur's palate, watercolor nuances within a pinch-sized range of cloud and soft rain; this is summer full-throated and extravagant in a hot pure silkscreen blue.

My Thoughts:
This creates quite the picture of the perfect summer day.  I wonder how much is real and how much is just romanticizing a memory.

The 56:
Nobody remembered the Tracksuit Shadow, either, which reinforced my suspicion that he had been either some perfectly normal guy from the estate out for a walk, or else Damien's imaginary friend.  You get people like this in every investigation, people who end up wasting huge amounts of your time with their compulsion to say whatever they think you want to hear.

My Thoughts:
I can imagine how frustrating this would be for a detective involved in a very intense very high profile murder investigation.

What do you think?  Keep reading?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Cold as Ice - Cozy Mystery Review

Cold as Ice (Country Club Murders #6) by Julie Mulhern (Amazon Link)

Rating: Loved it!
Source: NetGalley

Description:  Ellison Russell’s life resembles a rollercoaster ride. And rollercoasters make her ill. Her daughter Grace has a crush on a boy Ellison doesn’t trust and she’s taken to hosting wild parties when Ellison goes out for the evening. Worse, the bank which represents Grace’s inheritance from her father may be in trouble.

When a meeting with the chef at the country club leads to the discovery of a body, Ellison can’t afford cold feet. She must save the bank, find the killer, and convince Grace (and herself) that powerful women don’t need men to rescue them.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book: This is one of my absolute favorite cozy mystery series and I can never resist the newest one.

My Impression:  I feel like every time I review a book in this series I declare it my new favorite but this time I really mean it.  This was definitely my favorite of the series and considering how much I enjoyed all the previous books that's saying quite a lot.

The mystery was very personal to Ellison and her motives for fining out just who was the killer were stronger than just stumbling over the body.  There's also quite a lot of intrigue going on at Ellison's late husband's bank which now belongs to Ellison's daughter Grace.  Ellison is determined that Grace's inheritance from her father will not disappear.  With each book Ellison seems to be getting a little more confident and a little more capable which is really fun to see.  She's learning to figure out how to solve her own problems and channel her mother when she needs too.  There's a lot of character development here both with Ellison and Grace and I was completely pulled in.  They both feel like friends and I enjoy the time I spend with them.

The mystery isn't as front and center as I usually prefer in a mystery but it was good and well constructed.  I didn't know just who the killer was until the very end - though I did have a guess or two.  I would have liked more explanation into the some of the motives but I was satisfied with the wrap up.  This kept me reading far later than I intended because I had to know what happened and I didn't want my time with Ellison or Grace to end.  This read was a complete delight!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Yes!  I can't wait for the next one!

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you are a mystery fan you really must try this series.  I don't think you would be disappointed.  While I do think you could start here without too much trouble I think it would be even better to go back to the beginning so you can get to know all the characters.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Quackery - Nonfiction Review

Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything by Lydia Kang and Nate Pedersen (Amazon Link)

Rating: Good
Source: NetGalley

Description: Discover 67 shocking-but-true medical misfires that run the gamut from bizarre to deadly. Like when doctors prescribed morphine for crying infants. When snorting skull moss was a cure for a bloody nose. When consuming mail-order tapeworms was a latter-day fad diet. Or when snake oil salesmen peddled strychnine (used in rat poison) as an aphrodisiac in the '60s. Seamlessly combining macabre humor with hard science and compelling storytelling, Quackery is a visually rich and information-packed exploration of history's most outlandish cures, experiments, and scams.
A humorous book that delves into some of the wacky but true ways that humans have looked to cure their ills. Leeches, mercury, strychnine, and lobotomies are a few of the topics that explore what lengths society has gone in the search for health.

Genre: Nonfiction

Why I Picked This Book:  The title caught my attention and I love looking at weird little parts of history.

My Impression:  When the first few pages of a book makes your jaw drop in disbelief I figure that's a good sign and this definitely did that!  Did you know that a compound of mercury was used as a teething remedy up until the 1920s?  Or that beer and crushed garlic was given to induce vomiting after a snake bite?  Or that radium was thought to cure "sexual indifference" in women?  Or that strychnine was given to men with the same problem?  This book is packed full of bits and pieces that had me saying "I had no idea!" and lots of things that made me happy to have been born long after the era of leeches, blistering, and tobacco disinfectant.

This isn't really a book I can imagine sitting down and reading from cover to cover but instead is a fun book to flip through.  I think it'd be fantastic to have on hand when someone in your household is sick and being a bit whiny so you could pull it out and inform them what treatment they could have gotten at an earlier time.  I imagine that would make the most cranky sick person head back to bed quietly and a bit gratefully.

While the pictures aren't particularly explicit some of the descriptions can be a bit graphic.  This isn't really a book I'd want to eat a meal while reading but it was incredibly entertaining.  This is a fun book to flip through and full of all kinds of crazy remedies that will make you glad for antibiotics and Advil.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Yes, particularly if the premise of the book was entertaining.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you have a strong stomach this book is pretty entertaining.  I also think it'd be a good gift for doctors or nurses.