Monday, September 30, 2019

Silent Night, Deadly Night - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads:  Silent Night, Deadly Night (A Year-Round Christmas #4) by Vicki Delaney

Rating: Good
Source: Publisher

Description: It's the week before Thanksgiving, and Merry Wilkinson, owner of Mrs. Claus's Treasures, is preparing for a weekend reunion of her mother's college friends. But when the group of women comes into Merry's shop, Merry is met with frosty attitudes and cold hearts.

The women argue amongst themselves constantly, and the bickering only intensifies after one of the friends is poisoned. With her father's role as Santa in danger due to his proximity to the crime, Merry will need to use all of her investigative gifts to wrap this mystery up and save Santa and her favorite holiday.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy 

Why I Picked This Book:  I've enjoyed other books by this author and have been wanting to try this series. 

My Impression:  This was a lot of fun!  I loved that this was a Christmas-y cozy that took place around Thanksgiving so it was a bit like two holidays for the price of one.  And oh what a holiday it is!  There's nothing to be particularly thankful for when this group of college friends gets together.  The level of sniping, underhanded digs, and flat out blatant verbal attacks means the get together is straight impressive and even the host, Merry's mother Aline, is left wondering if they really were friends all those years ago.  Merry is trying to help her mother keep the peace one evening when things go horribly horribly wrong.

I love the year round Christmas thing and I think the St. Bernard is a vastly underappreciated dog breed so I was thrilled to see Merry's sidekick Matty.  I also really loved Merry's relationship with her parents.  It wasn't perfect but it was positive and felt pretty realistic.  The mystery was entertaining with lots of past secrets and long held grudges.  I really enjoyed it all the way to the end and even though I might have had an idea of just who the killer was it was really fun to see it unravel.  This was the first book in the series that I've read and I'm so glad I have the previous three already on my shelf to keep me company while I wait for book #5!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I'm really looking forward to digging into the first three books in the series. 

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy cozy mysteries this is a fun series and you can jump in right here.

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

Sunday, September 29, 2019

This Week in Reading - September 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.

It's been a rough week.  My grandfather died Thursday night.  It wasn't unexpected and in some ways it's a relief that he is no longer suffering but oh how we all miss him.  His funeral will be Tuesday morning with all the military honors Ft. Rucker can dig out.  Once he retired he rarely dusted off that lofty Colonel rank and I suspect he would hate all the fuss that will be occurring in his honor.  But he deserves it and my Grandmother wants it so the air will ring with the salute that he directed so many times in his 40 years Tuesday morning.  He was the very very best.





January 13, 1924 - September 26, 2019

Friday, September 27, 2019

Friday Fives - Five Bools I Got on Audible Escape

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.  Today I'm looking at the Audible Escape Package.  I've been an Audible subscriber for awhile and a few months ago added the Escape Package (it was still called the romance package then) and have enjoyed it.  It's not the easiest to search but I'm regularly surprised at the variety I find.  Here are a few that either have on my wishlist or have really enjoyed.


1.  Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen - Not only do most of Austen's books show up on the package but this particular copy was read by Rosamund Pike who did an absolutely wonderful job. 


2.  Rainy Day Sisters by Kate Hewitt - I've wanted to read this one for awhile so I was thrilled to see it on the Escape Package list and it did not disappoint.


3.  The Bride Test by Helen Hoag - I saw a fabulous review of this one so I was thrilled when I looked it up and discovered it was part of the package.


4.  Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn - I love Raybourn's books and while I've read some of the later mysteries in this series I've never read the early books so I was thrilled to discover this whole series on the list!


5.  The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert - I wanted to read this one as soon as it came out but never did.  Now I have absolutely no excuse for not picking it up!

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Heiress Gone Wild - Historical Romance Review

Goodreads:  Heiress Gone Wild (Lady Truelove #4) by Laura Lee Guhrke

Rating:  Good
Source:  Edelweiss

Description:  When Jonathan Deverill promised a dying friend he'd be guardian to the man's daughter, he envisioned a girl in pigtails and pinafores, a child he could leave behind in some finishing school. Problem is, his ward is actually a fully-grown, defiant beauty whose longing for romance threatens to make his guardianship a living hell.
New York heiress Marjorie McGann wants a London season and a titled husband who can help her spend the Yankee millions she's inherited, and she thinks her new British guardian is the perfect person to help her find him. But Jonathan has no intention of letting his friend's fortune be squandered. Under his watchful, protective eye, Marjorie finds romance hard to come by...until one fateful night when her own guardian's devastating kisses makes her wonder if the greatest romance of all might be right in front of her.

Genre:  Romance - Historical

Why I Picked This Book:  I haven't read a historical romance in awhile and Laura Lee Guhrke is one of my favorite historical romance authors!

My Impression:  So Guhrke is one of my absolute favorites and several of her books have a permanent place on my reread shelf.  Unfortunately this particular book won't be causing those other books to squeeze over.  Part of the problem is that this isn't one of my favorite tropes.  The protective hero and the adventurous heroine aren't a dynamic that really clicks with me and somehow I just never gained the traction I wanted with book.  That isn't to say it was a bad book.  Anything by Guhrke is incredibly readable and this was no exception.  It just wasn't a standout for me. 

The characters are a bit different.  Jonathan is far from the typical duke's son and Marjorie has not led a life where entering society every really seemed like an option.  I loved that this started out in America and the just how Jonathan and Marjorie's father earned their fortunes.  While there was mutual attraction right from the beginning that definitely seemed genuine I had a hard time buying the jump from attraction to love.  I liked them both but just didn't quite buy the HEA together. 

If this is a trope you enjoy then I think you'll really love this unique take on it.  However, if you're like me and this isn't your favorite I'd try some other books by Guhrke first.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  While this wasn't a favorite Guhrke is still an auto-buy author.

Would I Recommend this Book?  I would definitely recommend this author for lovers of historical romance but this might not be the book I'd start with.  Don't let that this is part of series scare you off though.  This series is only tied together very loosely at best and reads as a standalone.

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

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Coming Home for Christmas - Contemporary Romance Review

Goodreads:  Coming Home for Christmas (Haven Point #10) by RaeAnne Thayne

Rating: Very Good
Source:  NetGalley

Description:  Elizabeth Hamilton has been lost. Trapped in a tangle of postpartum depression and grief after the death of her beloved parents, she couldn’t quite see the way back to her husband and their two beautiful kids…until a car accident stole away her memories and changed her life. And when she finally remembered the sound of little Cassie’s laugh, the baby powder smell of Bridger and the feel of her husband’s hand in hers, Elizabeth worried that they’d moved on without her. That she’d missed too much. That perhaps she wasn’t the right mother for her kids or wife for Luke, no matter how much she loved them.
But now, seven years later, Luke finds her in a nearby town and brings Elizabeth back home to the family she loves, just in time for Christmas. And being reunited with Luke and her children is better than anything Elizabeth could have imagined. As they all trim the tree and bake cookies, making new holiday memories, Elizabeth and Luke are drawn ever closer. Can the hurt of the past seven years be healed over the course of one Christmas season and bring the Hamiltons the gift of a new beginning?

Genre: Romance - Contemporary

Why I Picked This Book:  I love this author and this particularly story is one I've been waiting for!

My Impression:  Ever since Megan's book several books ago I was dying for Luke's story and Thayne did NOT disappoint.  I really didn't know how this romance could be saved.  How do you recover from this much damage over this amount of time?  But Thayne pulled it off.  Elizabeth is different from any character I've come across in a romance.  She's had a horrible time of it and while she hasn't always made the best choices (she's actually made really really bad choices) all of them were for what she thought were the right reasons.  And poor Luke.  He's such a nice man.  A man desperate not to become his father and be the best father that he can be.  While he comes off as a bit cold at times I completely understand his reasoning and it was impossible not to sympathize with him. 

I was pulled into the story right from the start and stayed up way to late reading the first half and couldn't wait to dive back in to see how everything resolved.  It was sweet and heartbreaking and heartwarming all at once.  The author has a gift for tackling serious issues without trivializing them but without going to angsty either.  I loved the story, the characters and just watching the story unfold.  This was a lovely story and one of my favorite Christmas stories from Thayne in awhile.  While this is the 10th book in the Haven Point it is easily read as a standalone though reading Megan's story (The Cottages on Silver Beach) would provide some background that might help.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  Thayne is a favorite.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy a contemporary romance with lots of heart Thayne is not to be missed. 

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

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday - Fall 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 all about my Fall TBR.  I love making seasonal TBR lists.  I'm not great about actually reading all the books on the list but I like to pretend that I might!


1.  We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson - I figure a spooky book is in order for the Halloween season and Jackson is always a little eerie at her happiest. Plus, I've somehow never gotten around to reading this little odd book. 

2.  The Last Seance by Agatha Christie - This is a new short story collection from the writings of Agatha Christie and supposedly there's one in this collection that has never been published in the US.  I'm looking forward to reading all of Christie's more supernatural stories in one place.

3.  Memories and Murder by Lynn Cahoon - This appears to be a full length mystery after a year of novellas in one of my favorite cozy series and I couldn't be more excited!

4.  The Angels Share by Ellen Crosby - I have a few books in this series but somehow have yet to read any so I'm going to make an effort to give this one a try.

5.  Penny for Your Secrets by Anna Lee Huber - I've really enjoyed another series by this author so I thought this one sounded interesting.


6.  The Art of Theft by Sherry Thomas - I've really enjoyed the previous books in this series and I'm looking forward to seeing where the series goes.

7.  The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman - I needed a little break from mysteries and this sounds really great.  And this title just seemed fall-ish. 

8.  The God of the Hive by Laurie R. King - I've been reading this series for ages and I really need to continue with it.

9.  Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan - Colgan has become a favorite in the last year or so and this one just sounds cozy.

10. Devil's Daughter by Lisa Kleypas - When the temperature starts dropping historical romance starts looking more appealing and this is one I've really been wanting to read.

What books are on your fall TBR?

Monday, September 23, 2019

A Cup of Holiday Fear - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads:  A Cup of Holiday Fear (Bakeshop Mystery #10) by Ellie Alexander

Rating: Very Good
Source: Publisher

Description:  Ashland, Oregon, looks as pretty as a postcard this holiday season. The halls are decked, stockings hung, and eyes are all aglow--mostly thanks to the buttered rum. Jules Capshaw and her staff at Torte are busier than ever. . . still, even the town's most in-demand bakers need to take a break. So Jules invites everyone to celebrate at the local Winchester Inn's Dickens Feast, a six-course extravaganza with Yorkshire Pudding, Christmas goose, and all the trimmings. But as the weather outside becomes frightful, things inside turn less delightful when one of the guests ends up as dead as Scrooge's doornail. Now it's up to Jules and her helpers to make a list of suspects--and check it twice--to try to find out who's naughty, who's nice, and who's guilty of murder...

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  This is a favorite series so of course I had to scoop up this Christmas themed mystery!

My Impression:  This has been a favorite series from the beginning and this latest book is no different.  I love the cast - every member of Torte feels like a friend and while Jules can sometimes be a bit too perfect the feeling of hanging out with friends more then makes up for it.  I've actually missed the last couple of books in this series so I was anxious to catch up with Jules, Andy, Sterling and the rest of the crew.  As expected they're coming up with all kinds of tasty drinks and treats and stumbling across the occasional dead body.

I really liked the addition of the Winchester and the Dickens Feast as the setting and getting some history of Jules' parents in the early days of Torte was really fun.  The mystery was a fun one with lots of twists and turns and a bit of a surprise ending.  If you enjoy small town cozies with characters that feel like friends and a setting you wish was real then this a great series to pick up!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  This is one of my favorite series and this author has at least one other series I'd like to try.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy cozies - especially foodie ones - then this is a must not miss!

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

Sunday, September 22, 2019

This Week in Reading - September 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:


The Bodies in the Library by Marty Wingate - I couldn't resist picking this one up based off the title alone and it doesn't hurt that I've really enjoyed this author in the past (Publisher)

A Merry Murder by Kate Kingsbury - I've read a few books by this author and I think I read one book in this series ages ago so I'm looking forward to seeing what's going on with the characters now.  (Publisher)

Mumbo Gumbo Murder by Laura Childs - This is such a fun series and I love visiting New Orleans and feeling all crafty!  (Publisher)

The Stalking by Heather Graham - I've put Heather Graham's Krewe series on auto-buy.  So far I haven't actually read any of the recent ones but I'm buying them! (Purchased)

A Killer Carol by Laura Bradford - This is a series I've really been wanting to try and I've enjoyed other books from this author.  (Publisher)

Currently:

Reading:  Vanish with the Rose by Barbara Michaels and Coming Home for Christmas by RaeAnne Thayne

Listening:  Still listening to How to Date Your Dragon by Molly Harper which is lots of fun but very different then my usual reading.

Watching:  I've been enjoying the Hallmark Movie Mysteries lately

Off the Blog:

This week was slightly better then last week.  My grandmother is getting settled in to the assisted living place.  She's busy and hopefully making friends.  She's still a bit confused on where she actually is but that doesn't really matter too much.  My grandfather is still hanging on but hasn't had any improvement either.  I thought we had gotten through to him about how critical eating and participating in the physical therapy was but at the end of the week there was a call from the rehab facility where he's supposed to be getting stronger to let us know there has been no progress and if that continues he can only stay till Thursday.  I don't blame them as their entire purpose is to help people get better and if he's refusing then it's not the place for him and the bed can be better used for someone else.  So we are looking into either a hospice facility or he's going to move into my mother's with round the clock home health.  Neither is what we want but it is what it is.

My neck is better thankfully though I've got an MRI scheduled this week to hopefully get to the bottom of everything.  School with the Tornado is coming along and we are both learning a bit about how all this is going to work.  

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday:  A Cup of Holiday Cheer - Cozy Mystery Review
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday:
Wednesday: Coming Home for Christmas - Contemporary Romance Review
Thursday: Heiress Gone Wild - Historical Romance Review
Friday: Friday Fives
Saturday: TBD

Have a great week and happy reading!

Saturday, September 21, 2019

The Girl in the Cellar - Mystery Review

Goodreads:  The Girl in the Cellar (Miss Silver #32) by Patricia Wentworth

Rating: Very Good
Source:  Purchased

Description:  Miss Silver helps a woman with no memory reconstruct a terrible crime.  She awakes in a dark place. A young woman with a shattered memory, she knows neither who she is nor how she came to be in this abandoned house. All she possesses is a faint sense that someone is lying dead at the foot of the stairs. Horrifyingly, she is correct. In the cellar lies a young woman, her body broken, her head split, her life undone by a revolver's shell. The amnesiac flees and finally has a stroke of luck: She meets Maud Silver. A dowdy governess turned daring detective, Miss Silver sees immediately that something is wrong. She comforts the confused young woman, and coaxes out of her what little story she can tell. The memory of the body sets Miss Silver on a fantastic adventure--the last written by Patricia Wentworth, and one of the most thrilling of them all.

Genre:  Mystery - Classic 

Why I Picked This Book: Wentworth is one of my favorites and this was one I couldn't quite remember.

My Impression:  This is one of the last Miss Silver mysteries and while it's not my favorite it was s till an enjoyable read.  Wentworth has a few amnesia plots and this was a fun one.  A woman stumbles onto a bus and is unable to remember who she is and where she was going - she only remembers that she had seen something terrible - a woman lying dead at the foot of the steps.  Luckily, one of the first people she stumbles into just happens to be the always kind and ever practical Miss Silver.   As always Miss Silver has useful advice and a soothing presence.

There are a few logic holes in the book and to be honest even though I read it not that long ago it isn't one that stuck in my head.  While it's a delightful read and full of Miss Silver wonderfulness it isn't her best.  If you're a fan of Miss Silver then you will enjoy this.  If you haven't met her yet then maybe start with a different book?

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Of course!  Miss Silver and Patricia Wentworth are some of my favorites.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy classic mysteries in the Miss Marple style then Wentworth's Miss Silver books are a must read.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Friday Fives - Five Fall-ish Things I'm Ready For

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.  Today is the last official Friday of summer which means soon it will be fall!  Now I live in Alabama which means it could be in the 90s until November but I'm choosing to think positive and pretend that it's going to actually feel like fall sooner then later!  Here are five fall-ish things I'm looking forward to getting back in my life!

1.  Apple Cider Slushes - This is a bit of a weird one but there's an apple orchard near me that does apple cider slushes and they're amazing.  I love apple cider but when it's a billion degrees outside I'm not usually craving a steaming cup of it.  These slushes are a whole different story!

2.  Not having to wear shorts anymore - I'm so tired of shorts but if I'm going to be outside more then five minutes they're kind of required.  I'm looking forward into being able to just wear jeans and maybe even boots instead of shorts and tshirts and sandals.


3.  Halloween! - I love Halloween and I love getting out the spooky stuff and picking costumes and all that.  This year we are going to do some local events as well as the regular door to door trick or treating and I think it'll be such fun.  Oh and we're going to the Halloween Party at Disney World so that combines Disney AND Halloween!

4.  Sweaters - Now this is a long way off but I have so many favorite sweaters and I'm just dying to pull them out of hiding.   Oh and jackets!  I miss jackets and sweaters.

5.  Hot chocolate - Another one that's a ways off but I love coming home after being outside in cooler air and making some hot chocolate and maybe topping it off with some whipped cream!

What are you look forward to that is fall-ish?

Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Lies We Tell - Mystery Review

Goodreads:  The Lies We Tell (The Undertaker's Daughter #2) by Debra Webb

Rating:  Good
Source:  Publisher

Description:  Doctor Rowan Dupont knows a serial killer is coming for her. Julian Addington has been waiting. Watching. And it’s only a matter of time before he strikes. But what Julian doesn’t know is that Rowan is ready for him. And more than anything she wants answers. How well did the depraved killer actually know her mother? And how many lies have been spun in the years since she took her own life?
Working alongside her childhood friend Police Chief Billy Brannigan, Rowan is determined to get to the bottom of her mother’s puzzling suicide once and for all—even if it means exposing an unsettling past. It certainly seems like her family’s Victorian funeral home has borne witness to more than one dark secret, but when a recent double homicide leads to an even grislier discovery, separating the truth from the lies might be the last thing Rowan does.

Genre:  Mystery - Thriller

Why I Picked This Book: I haven't read a darker mystery in awhile and I liked that this one involved family secrets.

My Impression:  So I wanted darker and this one definitely delivered the darker!  There are serial killers galore and family secrets on top of family secrets.  And these aren't happy little secrets or even sad family secrets these are some seriously disturbing secrets.  Rowan is an interesting character with a background in law enforcement, psychology and all the skills learned from growing up/inheriting a funeral parlor.  Not only is her professional career varied and a bit dark but her family story provides for a whole boatload of baggage for her to carry around.  Her friendship with local cop Billy and her coworker Charlotte as well as her relationship with her dog Freud humanized her quite a bit which was very much needed. 

The mystery is a wild one.  Just what secrets was her mother hiding and how does it connect to Rowan's former mentor and recently discovered serial killer Julian Addington?  But there's a lot more to it then that.  Rowan's mother was a complicated woman and Rowan is just beginning to discover how complicated.  The events in the book are tied to the events in the previous book.  I did see some reviews that mentioned being a bit confused.  I, however, didn't have an issue with that.  I felt like there was enough backstory given that I had no problem understanding what was going on.  My issue with the book is that at times there's a certain repetitiveness to Rowan's internal thoughts and we get a LOT of her internal thoughts.  I mean granted her childhood was horrific and her adulthood wasn't much better but I didn't feel like I needed to be in her head quite as much as I was.   As well I had a hard time believing Rowan was as accomplished as she supposedly was.  At times she seems weak or makes spectacularly bad decisions and it didn't go along with what her background was supposed to be.  Despite all this the pacing was good and it was an entertaining if disturbing read!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  I would though I don't think this author is an auto-buy quite yet.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you like darker mysteries with a sprinkling of creepy serial killers this is a good choice! 

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

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The House on Hallowed Ground - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads:  The House on Hallowed Ground by Nancy Cole Silverman

Rating: Very Good
Source:  Publisher

Description:  When Misty Dawn, a former Hollywood Psychic to the Stars, moves into an old craftsman house, she encounters the former owner, the recently deceased Hollywood set designer, Wilson Thorne.
Wilson is unaware of his circumstances, and when Misty explains the particulars of his limbo state, and how he might help himself if he helps her, he's not at all happy. That is until young actress Zoey Chamberlain comes to Misty's door for help.

Zoey has recently purchased The Pink Mansion, a historic Hollywood Hills home, and believes it's haunted. But when Misty arrives to search the house, it's not a ghost she finds, but a dead body.

The police are quick to suspect Zoey of murdering her best friend. Zoey maintains her innocence and fears her friend's death may have been a result of the ghost...and a long-time family curse.

Together Misty and Wilson must untangle the secrets of The Pink Mansion or submit to the powers of the family curse.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy/Paranormal

Why I Picked This Book:  I really enjoyed the Carol Childs series by this author and I was so curious to see what she did with a zanier more eccentric character. 

My Impression:  I've had an absolutely no good terrible week and honestly this book was one of the few bright spots.  Every time I picked it up I was swept into the world of Misty Dawn and Wilson as they navigated the world of ghosts, secrets, and Hollywood glamour.  It was such fun!  I liked Misty in the previous books she featured in but was a little worried that she'd be a bit too odd to carry a book on her own but that definitely wasn't the case.  There are ghosts and readings galore but underneath it all Misty is a nice person with a good bit of common sense.  I really enjoyed how she dealt with the very skeptical police detective.  She defended herself but wasn't going out of her way to be insulted.  And Wilson!  I adore Wilson!  I do love a ghostly sidekick and Wilson may just be my favorite.  He's prickly and particular and not afraid to voice his opinion. 

And the mystery is quite the mystery!  There's a famous actress from a famous Hollywood dynasty living in an iconic house that's haunted by the ghost of a little girl.  Just who murdered Lacey and why Alicia is still hanging around kept me flying through the pages.  I've been a fan of the other books by this author but this one was a really pleasant surprise.  I loved the characters and was thoroughly entertained by the mystery.  It was the perfect distraction from an otherwise not so good week and I'm looking forward to seeing more from Misty and Wilson!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I'm really excited to see where this series goes and I've got an earlier book in another series to catch up on.

Would I Recommend this Book?  Definitely!  If you enjoy cozy mysteries this is a great one to grab.  It's not a super cozy cozy but it is a delightfully entertaining read.

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

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday - Favorite Reading Snacks and Drinks

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 favorite reading drinks and snacks!  Though I couldn't come up 10 things so this is more like my top 5. 


1. Herbal tea - I love sipping a hot cup of tea while reading a favorite book.  Especially if it's grey and dreary outside.

2.  Diet Coke - I have a bit of a Diet Coke addiction so I love to have a Diet Coke close by while I'm reading.

3.  Hershey Kisses - I'm not really much of a snacker while reading because I either forget about the snack or eat all the snack without realizing it and am still feeling hungry!  Hershey Kisses are the exception to the rule. 

4.  Bai Drinks - My favorite flavors are the peach and watermelon.  They both have fancier names but I don't remember what they are.  I started buying these kind of on a whim and I've really been enjoying them.  I feel like they're a bit better for me then my beloved Diet Coke and they're very tasty.

5.  Coffee - Of course coffee!  My perfect morning involves reading a book I'm enjoying while sipping a cup of coffee in the morning.  That doesn't happen very often but when it does it's perfection!

And that's pretty much it!  Are you much of a snacker while reading?  If so what are your favorite things to munch/sip?

Monday, September 16, 2019

Mrs. Jeffries and the Almes of the Angel - Historical Mystery Review

Goodreads:  Mrs. Jeffries and the Almes of the Angel (Mrs. Jeffries #38) by Emily Brightwell

Rating:  Very Good
Source:  Publisher

Description:  Margaret Starling wasn't the sort of woman anyone expected to be murdered. She was on the advisory board of the London Angel Alms Society, an active member of St. Peter's Church and, best of all, she was always willing to lend a hand to a friend or neighbor in need of advice. So when Margaret winds up dead, the town is shocked.As they dig deeper into the crime, Mrs. Jeffries and Inspector Witherspoon begin to wonder how well-liked Margaret really was.

Even though it's Christmas, Mrs. Jeffries and Inspector Witherspoon know it's their duty to make sure justice is served....

Genre: Mystery - Historical

Why I Picked This Book:  I've read the last few in the series and really enjoyed it.  It's got a nice blend of an old fashioned and modern feel.

My Impression:  This is my 3rd book in the Mrs. Jeffries series and each one has been a delightful and cozy read.  This was no exception.  I love the characters in this series - they're all so different and have their different abilities and way of looking at things.  But they're not just tools to move the investigation along.  Their characters in their own right with their own backstories insecurities, and loves.  It doesn't become overwhelming but just serves to add a little depth to the story.

I really like that we see how the official investigation progresses through the eyes of Inspector Witherspoon and Constable Barnes as well as the unofficial investigation ran by Mrs. Jeffires.  And we see how Mrs. Jeffries manages to get the information to Witherspoon without him suspecting.  I love the characters so much that I hated the addition of Witherspoon's nemesis Nivens but he wasn't an over the top villain.

The mystery was an intriguing one.  I was dying to know just who murdered Mrs. Starling but as well why had her behavior changed so much in the weeks preceding her death.  The pacing was solid - not blisteringly fast but definitely never slow or draggy.  This is the perfect book to curl up with on a rainy day and just read the dreariness away.  I had no problem jumping in this late in the series but I am looking forward to digging into the backlist and meeting Mrs. Jeffries and Inspector Witherspoon at the very beginning.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I'd really love to go back to the beginning of the series but until then I'll definitely be grabbing the new books as they come out.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you love mysteries - especially ones that have a bit of a classic feel - then this is a must not miss series.

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

Sunday, September 15, 2019

This Week in Reading - September 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:


The Case of the Wandering Scholar by Kate Saunders - I adored the first book in this series and waited anxiously for the next book for literally years.  I just recently gave up and tried to make peace with the fact it would never happen when I saw this on NetGalley and couldn't request fast enough.  (NetGalley)

A Very Mummy Holiday by Lynn Cahoon - I love this series and this author so I always grab the newest one as soon as I see it.  (NetGalley)

Memories and Murder by Lynn Cahoon - Same as above! (NetGalley)

Apple Cider Slaying by Julie Anne Lindsey - I don't know very much about this author but the cover and title seemed so wonderfully fallish that I couldn't pass it up!  (NetGalley)

Penny For Your Secrets by Anna Lee Huber - I really love Huber's Lady Darby series so I figured I'd give this one a try.  (NetGalley)

Currently:


ReadingThe House on Hallowed Ground by Nancy Cole Silverman and Vanish with the Rose by Barbara Michaels

Listening:  How to Date Your Dragon by Molly Harper

Watching:  Not a huge amount but we just started the newest available season of The Great British Bake-Off on Netflix.

Off the Blog:


This was a pretty hellish week.  Last week we moved my grandparents from their home in south Mississippi to an assisted living facility here in north Alabama.  It didn't exactly go as planned.   My grandfather's health has taken a very dramatic turn in the last few weeks and my grandmother's mental state has done the same.  We were able to get my grandmother settled in assisted living and she's doing okay and seems happy but is so confused and out of it that we don't really know what to do.  Luckily the staff there has been wonderful as have the other residents.  We ended up taking my grandfather straight to the ER when we got in town and he's just recently been discharged to a rehab facility to regain his strength.  He had pneumonia but the main problem is that he's just not eating.  We will reevaulate in 2 weeks but without a miracle we are looking at at best a skilled nursing home for him.

Then Monday my neck problems flared up so bad that I ended up in the ER myself.  The pain was so bad I couldn't even form sentences or coherent thoughts.  Thankfully it's a bit better but I have a whole new series of tests I get to do.  Then the next morning my phone rang at 6AM and it was Emma who had been in a bad wreck (she ended up flipping her car) on the way to work.  Thankfully, other then a few scratches and some muscle soreness, she's not hurt.

I'm still trying to get in a homeschool routine for the Tornado and it's been a bit rough.   I've been told that it's pretty easy to catch up but I still feel guilty that it has slid so far onto the back burner.  But I'm exhausted.  I haven't been able to read or visit much and even missed two posts this week which I haven't done since 2014 but there just hasn't been time for anything but the absolute basics.

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday:  Mrs Jeffries and the Alms of the Angel - Historical Mystery Review
Tuesday:  Top Ten Tuesday - Favorite Things to Eat or Drink While Reading
Wednesday:  The House on Hallowed Ground - Mystery Review
Thursday:  The Lies We Tell - Suspense Review
Friday:  Friday Fives
Saturday:  TBD

Have a great week and happy reading!

Saturday, September 14, 2019

A Hodge Podge of Reviews - What I've Been Reading #4


The Long Way Home by Mariah Stewart - I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this author.  Sometimes I really enjoy her books and sometimes I find them horribly dull at best.  This was one I enjoyed.  Ellie's father and fiance got busted in a Bernie Madoff style investment scheme and everything in her life exploded around her.  Suddenly she found herself jobless, homeless, and a social pariah all at the same time.  The only thing she can do is return to a beach house owned by her late mother and left to her.  I do love a good life exploded/time to rebuild type story and this did not disappoint!  Ellie is likable and easy to sympathize with.  Cameron is a touch too perfect but in a nice way.  I thoroughly enjoyed watching them together as they got to know each other, restored the old house, and Ellie discovered a family she didn't even know she had.  Rating: Very Good


Suddenly One Summer by Julie James - I've been hearing raves about this series and finally decided it was time to give it a read.  I was a bit confused by how exactly this one fit into the whole FBI/US Attorney series since the characters are a reporter and a divorce attorney but I still enjoyed the series.  This is a couple who has some serious baggage when it comes to relationships but I liked watching them get to know each other even though the first portion of that included annoying each other.  I liked the characters and enjoyed the book but I don't really feel like anything really stood out about it.  However, I'm definitely looking forward to continuing this series and maybe getting an FBI agent or two in the mix!  Rating:  Good


Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan - Colgan's books have proven to be the bookish equivalent of a warm cozy blanket on a dreary day and this one was no different.  At the beginning of the book Issy, while very nice and sweet, is a bit of a stepping stone.  She's not happy with her life but not fully aware of it.  When she's unexpectedly laid off she takes a giant leap of faith and opens the Cupcake Cafe.  Things aren't always smooth in the land of business running but there are a whole host of characters that form unlikely friends and were (almost) all people I loved seeing on the page.   This was an absolute delight and made me remember just why Colgan has become a favorite in the last year or two.  Rating: Very Good

Friday, September 13, 2019

Friday Fives - Books That I've been Meaning to Read but Haven't


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.  This week has been the week from hell so I'm feeling pretty brain dead.  Luckily, I didn't have to look far for inspiration for today's list - the pile of books on my desk that are staring at me rather pointedly and that I've been meaning to read for months!    Do you do this?  Are so sure you're going to read a book that you pull it off the shelf and put it where it's easy to reach?  And then don't read it but keeping adding to that pile?



1.  Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews - I've been meaning to read this every summer for years and somehow just haven't.


2.  Meet Me in Atlantis by Mark Adams - Pretty much ditto above!


3.  A Dollhouse to Die For by Cate Price - This cozy series caught my eye so much that I bought this one new and meant to read it in May! 


4.  Dead in a Flash by Brynn Bonner - Genealogy, family secrets, and cozy mysteries are some of my favorite things!  Another book I meant to read in May.



5.  The Readaholics and the Poirot Puzzle by Laura DiSilverio - Another book about some of my favorite things - Cozy mysteries ad a book club meeting about an Agatha Christie book!

What are some books you've been meaning to read?


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Word to the Wise - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads:  Word to the Wise (Library Lover's Mystery #10) by Jenn McKinlay

Rating:  Very Good
Source:  Publisher

Description: Lindsey Norris is finally getting married to the man of her dreams--but it's not all roses for Briar Creek's beloved library director, as gardening enthusiast and town newcomer Aaron Grady gives the term "book lover" a whole new meaning. Inappropriate looks and unwelcome late-night visits to Lindsey's house have everyone from the crafternooners to Lindsey's fiancĂ©, Sully, on edge.
When Grady's dead body is found staged outside the library and all the clues point to Sully, Lindsey knows it's up to her to dig through the hidden chapters of Grady's previous life to find the real culprit and clear Sully's name. But becoming a thorn in the killer's side is not without its consequences, and the closer Lindsey gets to the truth, the more determined the murderer is to make her just a footnote.

Genre:  Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  I really love this series and can never resist the newest book. 

My Impression:  I can't remember the last cozy mystery I read that featured a stalker.  And not just a "I think you know I'm the murderer so I'm going to follow you around and make sure you don't talk"  kind of stalker but a crazy fixated kind who makes you question your sanity stalker.  I loved how McKinlay handled it with all the different people responding in different ways.  It really hit home just how powerless a stalker can make you feel.

I loved seeing all of my favorite characters (especially Ms. Cole - I'm loving her gradual warming up) again.  Emma is perhaps my favorite Cozy cop.  She's by the book and gets on to Lindsey for butting into crimes.  But at the same time she's logical and kind and does listen to new information even if she fusses at Lindsey for her methods. 

The mystery flew by and I could have easily finished it in one or two sittings if my week had allowed it.  The pace was super fast without feeling rushed or leaving parts out.  The conclusion really had me holding my breath for a few minutes!  There is a reason this series is one of my favorites and this one did not disappoint!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I love all her books!

Would I Recommend this Book?  Definitely!  This is a series you can jump right into and would be able to follow along fine with this one but the previous books are great too if you want to start at the beginning of the series.

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