Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday - My Favorite Books I Read in 2019

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 Favorite Books of 2019.  I'm sticking with favorite books I read this year so I make no promises about the actual year of publication!

1.  The Last Seance by Agatha Christie - Was this the best book of 2019?  Nope not even close and I suspect non Agatha Christie fans will be seriously underwhelmed by a number of stories in this book.  But I was so delighted to read stories by Christie that I had never come across before that that overcame every other objection!

2.  The House on Hallowed Ground by Nancy Cole Silverman - This mystery was an absolute delight with history, likable characters, and a ghost or two with a dose of old Hollywood glam.  It also ended up being a perfect escape for a really tough time this year.

3.  The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay - I absolutely loved this book.  There's an inherited bookstore, characters who have had their lives upended and are trying to put it right.  It was just perfect.

4.  The Case of William Smith by Patricia Wentworth - I love this book and every time I reread this mystery I like it even more.

5.  The Hollow by Agatha Christie - It had been years since I had read this book and it was such a delight.

6.  Owl Be Home for Christmas by Donna Andrews - A fabulously pun-ish title, a group of eccentric academics snowed into a gorgeous inn, and of course a murder.

7.  Bitter Feast by Deborah Crombie - I love this series and was so thrilled to read this newest entry.  It did not disappoint!

8.  Dark Witch by Nora Roberts - I read this trilogy right when it came out and was kind of meh about it.  Then this year I listened to the first book on audio and flew through all three books and absolutely loved them all.

9. Dead Wake by Erik Larson - I've heard raves about Larson's nonfiction books for years and this was the first one I picked up by him.  It was fascinating and everyone around me was inundated with Lusitania facts the whole time I was reading it.

10. Watching You by Lisa Jewell - I love Lisa Jewell's suspense titles on audio and this might just be my favorite one so far.

What were some of your favorite reads this year?

Monday, December 30, 2019

My Least Favorite Books I Read in 2019

Today I'm looking at my least favorite books I read in 2019.  I'm not worrying about publications date or anything but just focusing on my reading for this year specifically.  I'm also not saying all of these are bad books.  I enjoyed quite a lot of them but compared to everything else I read in 2019 these were my least favorite.

1.  Gilt by Association by Karen Rose Smith - This was an okay cozy mystery that I felt got way too bogged down in details and after awhile I just didn't care anymore.

2.  Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson - I adore Disney World and we visit at least once a year so I had super high hopes for this one but ended up DNFing it.  The story was a bit disjointed and it just seemed really negative.

3.  Ten Years a Nomad by Matthew Kepnes - I love travel memoirs but this did not bring up any feelings of joy.  Instead I was somewhat bored and developed a dislike for the author by the end.

4.  The Parting Glass by Emilie Richards - I enjoyed this one but I just didn't feel like it aged all that well.

5.  False Mermaid by Erin Hart - I remember loving the first 2 books in this series years ago.  I don't know if my tastes have changed or if this one was just off.  It was okay but the unrelenting gloom all through the book got to be a bit much.

6.  Flowerbed of State by Dorothy St. James - This was a fun cozy about a woman who works in the landscaping department of the White House.  The mystery was good, the concept is interesting, but the main character had zero common sense which got a bit interesting.

7.  Untraceable by Lauren Griffin - I've loved more recent books in this series but this first one had some aspects that drove me crazy.  I just had problems believing a woman who ran even a vaguely successful business could add so immature.

What were your least favorite books of 2019?

Saturday, December 28, 2019

This Week in Reading - December 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:

Careless Whiskers by Miranda James - This may just be my favorite cozy pun title yet and this is a series I've really been enjoying lately so I'm super excited to pick this one up.  (Publisher)


Reading:  Ammie, Come Home by Barbara Michaels becasue sometimes I just need a reread.

Listening:  Trading Christmas by Debbie Macomber

Watching:  Finishing up The Dublin Murders on Starz.  I have thoughts on them - some good some bad - but overall I feel like it was well done.

Off the Blog:

This week we are in Tennessee for the Tornado's birthday because for some reason he thinks he can turn 10.  It seems impossible to believe that that is the actual age he can be turning.  Next week we are heading back to New Orleans for a little while and after that I'm not sure.  I hate the not knowing part of things but there's not much that I can do about it so I'm trying to relax and go with the flow despite being not at all a go with the flow kind of person. 

We had a lovely Christmas though there was some difficult moments.  It was the first Christmas without my grandfather and he was very very dearly missed.  It's a bit odd what kind of randomly hits you on these kinds of events but we made it through.  I hope everyone else had a lovely Christmas!

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday  My Least Favorite Books I Read in 2019
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday - My Favorite Books I Read in 2019
Wednesday:  First Book of 2020
Thursday:  Books I Meant to Read in 2019
Friday:  Friday Fives - Five Books I Want to Read in January
Saturday: My Favorite Audios of 2019

Have a great week and happy reading!

Series I Want to Collect in 2020

I've been really enjoying so many series lately and there are so many that I came to really late or have only read a few here and there and really want to go back and collect the whole series.  Here are a few that I want to collect so I can read them from start to finish.

1.  Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman - I remember thoroughly several books in this series years ago and loved them so I'd really like to read this series start to finish.

2.  Krewe of Hunters by Heather Graham - I came into this series in the middle and have recently started back and the beginning.  These aren't the most memorable books but I always enjoy them. 

3.  Meg Lanslow Mysteries by Donna Andrews - I absolutely adore the bird pun titles and I've thoroughly enjoyed the books I've read so far in this series so I'd like to own them all.

4.  Cat in the Stacks by Miranda James - I read the first one in this series years ago and didn't really care for it but I loved the more recent books so I want to go back and try the beginning again.

5.  Josie Prescott Antique Mystery by Jane K. Cleland - I love antiques and I was thrilled when I discovered this series and that it has a pretty substantial backlist.

Are there any series you'd like to collect?

Friday, December 27, 2019

Friday Fives - Five Reading Goals in 2020

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.  Since this is the last Friday of 2019 (how is that possible???)  I'm thinking of my reading goals for 2020.  This year I'm doing things a bit differently and changing my focus a bit so they're not exactly stretch goals!

1.  Read 104 books - This year I had set my goal at 200 but it at around 125 (the final count isn't in yet!) it ended up being one of my lowest reading years in ages.  So this year I'm just trying to read 2 books a week.

2.  Not Be So List Conscious - I've never been much of a mood reader but in the past few years I've gotten way away from mood reading and end up scheduling out my reads a month at a time.  I feel like over time this has sucked a little of the excitement away from picking out my next reads and I want to get that back.

3.  Use the Library More - I love wandering around the library (or the bookstore) and picking up books that catch my eye but I've stopped lately because I'm so behind on my lists it just adds pressure.  But if I'm reading more spontaneously then this won't be a problem.

4.  Read More of My Own Books - And treat my at home like the library where I just wander through my shelves and pick up whatever book catches my eye.

5.  Work On My Shelf of Shame - I have so many review books sitting on my shelf (virtual or otherwise) that I'd really like to get to but they get lost behind the newest shiniest books.  I'd like to spend my time picking up neglected books gathering dust in the back of these shelves and show them a little light.

What are your reading goals for 2020?

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Books from the Backlog - Winter Garden

Today I'm linking up with Carole from Carole's Random Life of Books for Books from the Backlog.  I really enjoy the chance to feature a book that's been hiding in the piles of books for far too long!

Goodreads:  Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

Meredith and Nina Whitson are as different as sisters can be. One stayed at home to raise her children and manage the family apple orchard; the other followed a dream and traveled the world to become a famous photojournalist. But when their beloved father falls ill, Meredith and Nina find themselves together again, standing alongside their cold, disapproving mother, Anya, who even now, offers no comfort to her daughters. As children, the only connection between them was the Russian fairy tale Anya sometimes told the girls at night. On his deathbed, their father extracts a promise from the women in his life: the fairy tale will be told one last time—and all the way to the end. Thus begins an unexpected journey into the truth of Anya’s life in war-torn Leningrad, more than five decades ago. Alternating between the past and present, Meredith and Nina will finally hear the singular, harrowing story of their mother’s life, and what they learn is a secret so terrible and terrifying that it will shake the very foundation of their family and change who they believe they are.

Why It Needs to Come Off the Shelf - I bought this on Audible years ago because I heard the narrator was great and I'd been meaning to read it.  It looks perfect for this time of year and I like the multi-generational story aspect.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas!

I hope all who celebrate have the merriest of Christmases filled with everything they want it to be filled with!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Books I Hope to Find Under the Tree

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 Ten Books I Hope to Find Under the Tree.  This is a topic that could go on forever.  I want all the books!  But just to make this a manageable list I'll stick to 10!  This is a list of truly random picks - none are new but they all appeal to me for whatever reason.

1.  The House at Riverton by Kate Morton - I love Kate Morton and this is one I haven't read.

2.  The Secret Rooms: A True Gothic Mystery by Catherine Bailey - I love a good Gothic mystery and I love secret rooms so the two together in a true story sounds amazing!

3.  Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World by Lawrence Goldstone - I love books about books and books about used and rare books are even better.

4.  A Skeleton in the Family by Leigh Perry - I kind of skipped this cozy series because the whole idea of an actual skeleton wandering around never quite set well with me.  But lately my horizons have been expanding and this series had fabulous reviews so I want to give it a try.

5.  The Quiche of Death by M.C. Beaton - I enjoy the Agatha Raisin series and I'd love to go back to the beginning and read through all her adventures and misadventures.

6.  The Orpheus Clock: The Search for My Family's Art Treasures Stolen by the Nazis by Simon Goldman - I'm fascinated by the stories of the art that was stolen being returned and the journey and investigation along the way.

7.  The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams - I really want to get back to Williams' books and this first book in the Schuyler Sisters stories seems like a good place to start.

8.  Paper Love: Searching for the Girl My Grandfather Left Behind by Sarah Wildman - I love digging into the past kind of mysteries and this story reminds me a little bit of a few stories my grandfather told.  I wonder what happened to them? 

9.  The Sound of Glass by Karen White - I wanted to read this as soon as it came out which I'm thinking was two years ago.  I haven't read it and I still don't own it!

10. Lowcountry Boil by Susan M Boyer - I've read every other book in this series and absolutely loved them but for some reason I've yet to actually read the first book!

What books do you hope to find under your tree?

Monday, December 23, 2019

Christmas Events We've Done This Year

Normally this time of year I'm talking about my favorite Holiday movies but I haven't really been watching movies because the last two months have been non-stop parade so I thought I'd share some of the fun holiday things we've been doing.

1.  Krewe of Jingle Holiday Parade in New Orleans - This was the craziest Christmas parade I've ever been too.  There were people on stilts, dancers, bands, Elvises on scooters, giant floats and all kinds of other things.  Oh and of course Santa at the end with an elf with a dyed green beard. And the stuff we ended up bringing home!  Candy, so many beads, a souvenir cup, a children's book, a Frisbee, a light up bracelet, a stuffed animal, and did I mention beads?  They ran out of rubber chickens and flamingo shaped flasks before they got to us but I was okay with that.  We had so much fun! 

2.  Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival in Gulfport, Mississippi - Gulfport may just be my favorite town.  The downtown is full of gorgeous old art deco buildings, the beach is stunning, there are some amazing restaurants and once a year one of the casinos sponsors this huge light display in the city part that's right on the water and it is so much fun.  It's a very nautical Christmas but such fun to walk around and look at all the displays. 

3.  Zoo Lights at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans - I'm a sucker for a lights display if you can't tell and Zoo Lights is a lot of fun.  They have these gorgeous enormous light up lanterns in the shape of all different animals and they're displayed in little scenes.  There's a life size Santa Claus, Santa, a carousel, and all those beautiful live oaks dripping with Spanish moss and just covered in lights.  It's gorgeous. 

4.  A production of A Christmas Carol in Huntsville, Alabama - We were home for a weekend and managed to squeeze in a play by our local theater company.  I'd seen this years ago and really enjoyed it so I was excited to see what I thought of it now that I've finally read the story.  They changed the way they did the production a bit but it was really good.  Even the Tornado enjoyed it.

And Something We Hope To Do:

5.  Enchanted Winter Celebration at Anakeesta in Gatlinburg, Tennessee - We are heading up to Gatlinburg right after Christmas to celebrate the Tornado's birthday (how can he be turning 10?????) and this event is described as having a walk in snow globe, a canopy of lights, and all kinds of other whimsical fun.  I think it sounds like lots of fun.  And it's up in the mountains and you have to take a ski lift just to get to it which also sounds fun.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

This Week in Reading - December 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:

Nothing!  Or at least I don't think I got anything.  We're out of town again so I don't now what I've gotten in the mail but as far as purchases or ebooks I've been good.


Reading:  Ammie, Come Home by Barbara Michaels because I'm feeling like a little bit of a reread!

Listening:  Trading Christmas by Debbie Macomber

Watching: I finally caught up on The Voice.  It was a nice finale because I really felt like I'd be happy no matter who won.  

Off the Blog:

We are about to head home from New Orleans to be home for Christmas and then it will be up to Gatlinburg for the Tornado's birthday and then probably back to New Orleans.  I'm not sure what exactly 2020 will bring.  My husband's work (he's an aerospace engineer) has had him in the New Orleans area for the end of 2019 and we've been fortunate enough to be able to go with him.  Now we're looking at 3 possibilities.  1. Business travel will end and we will stick to our rather heavy vacation schedule.  2.  Business travel will continue and J will be in New Orleans on and off for the foreseeable future and the Tornado and I will be splitting our time which will mean mostly living in a hotel and lots of back and forth.  or 3.  We will be relocated for 6 months or so which means we will end up in an apartment or rental house and our home base will New Orleans for awhile.  Most likely we won't know until the last minute.  Personally I'm hoping for 1 or 3 as 2 means a lot of back and forth and chaos but all choices have lots of good things about them and I'm going to be positive no matter how crazy things get.

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday:  Christmas Events We've Done This Year
Tuesday:  Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Books I Hope to Find Under the Tree
Wednesday: Merry Christmas
Thursday:  Books From the Backlog
Friday:  Friday Fives - Reading Goals for 2020
Saturday:  Five Non Bookish Items I Fell in Love with in 2019

Have a great week and happy reading!

Pinterest Recipes I Want to Try

Honestly, I can't remember the last time I cooked a meal.  I baked a batch of gingerbread at Thanksgiving and I've heated stuff up but that's pretty much it.  It's kind of weird for me and definitely not as cost effective or healthy as it could be.  We've spent the last month or two in New Orleans in a hotel room so cooking really hasn't been an option.  We've eaten so much amazing food but I'm starting to miss cooking.  I'm a big Pinterest fan and I've been browsing it lately looking for recipes to make as soon as I have access to a full kitchen again.  here are some recipes on my list:

1.  Wingerz Sticky Fingers from Creme de la Crumb - I've made these before and they're delicious.  They kind of taste like wings and are so tasty with blue cheese but you can also skip the sauce for picky children and it's a great casual dinner.

2.  One Pan Balsamic Chicken and Veggies from Cooking Classy - Cooking Classy is a pretty reliable blog for me and this looks like a good way to ease back into cooking but still have a tasty dinner.

3.  Mexican Street Corn Soup from Striped Spatula - I've never tried this blog before but this soup sounds amazing!

4.  Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin and Potatoes from Bless this Mess - Not only is this a one pan meal but it's a one pan meal in a slowcooker.  It's hard to get easier then that!

5.  Homemade Mexican Chalupas from Brown Sugar - Yum just yum!  A new blog for me but I love the idea of making chalupas at home. 

Any recipes you're looking forward to trying?

Friday, December 20, 2019

Friday Fives - Shelf of Shame

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 I'm looking at my (virtual) Shelf of Shame - aka books I've had from NetGalley since I first signed up years ago that I still haven't read.

1.  The Quick by Lauren Owen (Downloaded January 22, 2014) - I loved the cover on this one but it was requested in one of my first request binges and with a fairly sizable page count it fell to the bottom of the pile.  The fact that there wasn't a huge amount of buzz for this and the reviews were kind of on the meh side kept this from climbing up the must read list.

2.  It's Always Been You by Jessica Scott (Downloaded February 23, 2014) - This was my first book that I requested and then completely forgot that I requested.  I'm not super into military romances (especially when the blurb makes it sound like there's some rule breaking romance) and this one seemed super emotional so I never ended up reading it.

3.  The Scandalous Adventures of the Sister of the Bride by Victoria Alexander (Downloaded April 14, 2014) - I requested this one because Alexander had been one of my favorite authors when I first started reading romance.  And I honestly tried to read this one but I just never managed to get into this one and I didn't like one of the main characters.  I did see this one on Audible Escape so I'll probably give this another try by audio but I haven't had the urge to pick it up again.

4.  The Art of Arranging Flowers by Lynn Branard (Downloaded May 5, 2014) - The cover is pretty but honestly I have no idea what this one is about or why I picked it up but I probably should look into reading it.

5.  Day of Vengeance by Jeanne M. Dams (Downloaded May 13, 2014) - I started reading Jeanne M. Dams' cozies years ago but had missed several of her books.  I jumped at the chance to pick this one up but it was right at the tail end of some massive request binging and it kind of fell to the bottom of the pile.  I should definitely pick this one up as I have really enjoyed her mysteries in the past. 

Do you have a Shelf of Shame - virtual or otherwise?

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Books from the Backlog - The Likeness

Today I'm linking up with Carole from Carole's Random Life of Books for Books from the Backlog.  I really enjoy the chance to feature a book that's been hiding in the piles of books for far too long!

Goodreads:  The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad #2) by Tana French

Blurb:  In the “compellingˮ (The Boston Globe) and “pitch perfectˮ (Entertainment Weekly) follow-up to Tana French’s runaway bestseller In the Woods, itʼs six months later and Cassie Maddox has transferred out of the Dublin Murder Squad with no plans to go back—until an urgent telephone call summons her to a grisly crime scene. The victim looks exactly like Cassie and carries ID identifying herself as Alexandra Madison, an alias Cassie once used as an undercover cop. Cassie must discover not only who killed this girl, but, more important, who was this girl?

Why It Needs to Come Off The Shelf: We've been watching The Dublin Murders on Starz which is basically book 1 and 2.  I had some issues with book 1 but on the whole I enjoyed it and this one has been highly recommended so I need to finally pick this one up!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Christmas Books On My TBR

This isn't the most Christmas-y years I've ever had and my go-to Hallmark movies aren't exactly readily available with all the traveling we've got going on so I'm reaching for my second go-to - Christmas books.  Here are some random Christmas themed books on my TBR.

1.  The Nightingale Before Christmas by Donna Andrews - I love this series and I love bird puns and this year's Christmas mystery was fabulous so I need to pick this one up too!

2.  An Island Christmas by Nancy Thayer - I have a sneaking suspicion that I need to read a bunch of books in the series before I get to this one (I could be wrong) but I love a beachy Christmas story.

3.  All I Want for Christmas by Nora Roberts - I love Nora Roberts but her early books haven't aged all that well.  However, I figure it's worth the risk and luckily if it isn't good it will at least be short and hopefully Christmas-y.

4.  Angel's Rest by Emily March - I'm not entirely sure if this is Christmas-y but most of this series feels Christmas-y even if it isn't actually taking place during December.

5.  Away in a Manger by Rhys Bowen - I really like Bowen but somehow I've never read any book in this series.  This one sounds like a good mystery.

6.  Christmas in Snowflake Canyon by RaeAnne Thayne - I love Thayne's most recent series but have had mixed results with her earlier books.  This one, however, looks gloriously Christmas-y.

7.  Snow Way Out by Christine Husom - I'm not sure how Christmas-y this one is but it's about a snow globe shop so it's got to be a little Christmas-y.

8.  Home for Christmas by Lily Everett - I completely forgot about this contemporary romance series until I saw this title.  I read the first one and enjoyed it and then read the last couple and really enjoyed them so I really need to pick this one up!

9.  The Santa Claus Man: The Rise and Fall of a Jazz Age Con Man and the Invention of Christmas in New York by Alex Palmer - I'm not sure how Christmas-y this one will be but it sounds fascinating.

10. Christmas Bells by Jennifer Chiaverini - Historical fiction and Christmas go so well together and I haven't read this author despite wanting to for quite some time. 

What Christmas books are on your TBR?


Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday - Winter 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 a Winter TBR.  These are my very favorite kind of Top Ten Tuesday topics.  I very rarely stick to the list but I do love taking some time to think about what I want to read in the next season.

1.  A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn - I got the newest one for review so I'm going to have to catch up on this series super fast!  Luckily, I absolutely loved the first one so I'm really looking forward to picking this one up.

2.  The Country Guesthouse by Robyn Carr - I'm relatively new to Robyn Carr but I've been thoroughly enjoying the Sullivan's Crossing series so of course I had to grab this newest book.

3.  Laetitia Rodd and the Case of the Wandering Scholar by Kate Saunders - I adored the first book in this historical mystery series so I'm super excited to pick up this follow up.

4.  Dangling by a Thread by Lea Waite - I'm hoping to catch up on enjoyed but neglected series and this is definitely one that falls under this category.

5.  It Takes a Coven by Carol J. Perry - Ditto above

6. To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey - I picked this one up at a bookstore years ago because it felt like such a special book but somehow I still haven't read it.

7.  The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor - I love Hazel Gaynor and I fascinated by the Titanic so why haven't I read this book?

8.  The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman - These are fun easy reading early cozy mysteries but it's been awhile since I've read any Mrs. Pollifax and I'm not sure I ever read this one.

9.  The Summoning by Heather Graham - I preordered this one so I'd have it right when it came out but have I read it?  Nope.

10. The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart - I need some classic mysteries back in my life and it's been so long since I read this one I don't think it counts as a reread!

What is on your Winter TBR?

Monday, December 16, 2019

Brewed Awakening - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads:  Brewed Awakening (Coffee House Mystery #18) by Cleo Coyle

Rating:  Very Good
Source:  Publisher

Description:  When coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi awakens on a bench in Washington Square Park, she has no idea she's been missing for days, or that her friends and family have been frantic with worry. Now that she's back, everyone is overjoyed, including a handsome NYPD detective who claims to be her fiance. But to Mike Quinn's crushing distress, Clare doesn't remember him, or much of anything about the last fifteen years of her life.
Clare's missing memory is tied to a crime she witnessed. An acquaintance of Clare's elegant employer--and fellow member of an exclusive Gotham circle known as "The Ladies Who Brunch"--invited Clare to her posh hotel to sample gourmet wedding cakes. After their indulgent tasting, they headed to the parking garage, where a camera captured a masked figure with a gun confronting the hotel heiress with Clare looking on. Did the kidnapper take Clare, too? The camera went dark, just like Clare's memory. Soon authorities grow suspicious. Is Clare really a victim? Or merely acting like one? Evidence is mounting that she set the woman up.

To clear her name, Clare must find a way to reclaim her memories and rescue the heiress before this high-stakes crime ends in tragedy. Otherwise, instead of walking down the aisle, Clare may find herself perp-walking to prison as an accomplice to kidnapping and murder.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  This is a series that I've picked up recently and I can't remember the last time I read an amnesia cozy mystery plot!

My Impression:  This is a series that I like and always enjoy but it's not one I'd consider on my list of favorites.  However, this particular entry was a standout for me.  For starters the pacing was lightening fast and each chapter ended with just a little bit more information that kept me hooked and wanting to read "just one more chapter" until I looked down and realized that I had flown through 100 pages without realizing it.  This was the perfect read for my holiday/travel fogged brain. 

I really liked seeing this uncertain vulnerable side of the usually together on top of it Clare.  I liked that instead of really focusing on what happened to her it focused more on her relationships with the people around her with a side of mystery.  The mystery wasn't forgotten at all but it definitely shared the stage with Clare regaining her mystery.  If you're new to this series this may be a good one to start with if you want to dip a toe in the series without having to go all the way back to book 1.   With Clare's memory of the last 15 or so years erased the reader follows along with her as she rebuilds her relationships with the people in her life.  Plus, it's just a fun, fast paced read that's perfect to sneak in when you have a few minutes to yourself during this busy season.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author:  I would!  I enjoy this series and this was a standout for me so I'll definitely be picking up the next book. 

Would I Recommend this Book?

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

Saturday, December 14, 2019

This Week in Reading - December 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:

Ten Days Gone by Beverly Long - This sounds creepy and intense and it's been awhile since I read a book like that so I'm looking forward to it.  (Publisher)

A Murderous Relation by Deanna Raybourn - I love this author and I loved the first book in this series.  I'm hoping getting this one will push me to catch up in the series before I get to this one! (Publisher)

Who Slays the Wicked by C.S. Harris - I've read one book in this historical mystery series and really enjoyed it and am looking forward to trying this one.  (Publisher)

The House That Vanity Built by Nancy Cole Silverman - I adored the first book in this series with a psychic and a ghost and some Old Hollywood mixed in so I'm really looking forward to diving into the 2nd book.  (Author)

The Country Guesthouse by Robyn Carr - I have thoroughly loved this series by Carr so I can't wait to read this newest one.  (Publisher)

Murder Ink by Lorraine Bartlett and Gayle Leeson - This isn't my favorite cozy series but I was glad to get this newest one in the mail.  I love a series by Leeson that I've read so I'm hoping I enjoy this more then I did the last one.  (Publisher)

Dead as a Door Knocker by Diane Kelly - I know nothing about this series but it's the first in a House Flipper series which is always a good thing.  (Used Bookstore)

Gossamer Ghost by Laura Childs - So I was browsing through this enormous used bookstore in the French Quarter in New Orleans when I discovered this mystery that I haven't read but is part of a series that I enjoy.  AND it takes place in New Orleans so I figure it's a sign. (Used Bookstore)

Dinner at Antoine's by Frances Parkinson Keyes - Apparently this is a classic but it's one I haven't heard of and I found it in this really neat book and antique print store in New Orleans and couldn't resist.  Antoine's is this amazing restaurant in New Orleans so I couldn't resist. (Bookstore)


Reading:  Christmas with Anne by L.M. Montgomery

Listening: Trading Christmas by Debbie Macomber

Watching: Not all that much.  When we are home which isn't very often I'll watch a Hallmark movie but other then that it's been mostly YouTube movies or Disney Movies from DisneyPlus

Off the Blog:

This week has been a bit crazy.  We were planning on being in New Orleans until almost Christmas but due to a policy regarding how long you can work out of state we had to head home unexpectedly and are about to head back until right before Christmas.   And it appears this is going to be a much longer project then we originally thought. It looks like J (my husband) will be in New Orleans for work until at least April and then there's a potential to be sent to Cape Canaveral in Florida for awhile.  So it looks like I'll be spending most of 2020 going back and forth.  To be honest - I'm not mad about it!  I love New Orleans and I love Florida so it all works out.  We did go to the Christmas parade in New Orleans and it was wild and so much fun.  A lot of the Mardi Gras Krewes use the parade as practice but it's a whole lot more family friendly.  The Tornado got tons of beads and candy and we both just had the best time.  We're planning on doing some of the Christmas events on the Mississippi coast and then right after Christmas heading north to Gatlinburg for the Tornado's birthday.  So we will have Christmas in the sand and Christmas in the snow all in the same month!  

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday: Brewed Awakening - Cozy Mystery Review
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday - Winter TBR
Wednesday:  TBD
Thursday:  Books from the Backlog
Friday: Friday Fives
Saturday: TBD

Have a great day and happy reading!