Saturday, February 29, 2020

This Week in Reading - March 1st

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:

This is 2 weeks worth of purchases with one review book thrown in.  Starting next week my book hauls should get a little more sensible.

In the Balance by Patricia Wentworth - I was going through my collection of Patricia Wentworths and discovered this was the only Miss Silver mystery that I was missing.  So I had to buy it!  (Purchased)

The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman - I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series so now I'm collecting all the Gilman books. (Purchased)

A Palm for Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman - See above (Purchased)

The Clairvoyant Countess by Dorothy Gilman - See above (Purchased)

Death on Tap by Ellie Alexander - I heard an interview with Alexander and have been meaning to pick this series up since it came out and once I heard her talk about it I was sold.  (Purchased)

Live and Let Pie by Ellie Alexander - When I was looking up the book above I realized I had somehow missed this book in one of my favorite series.  (Purchased)

Murder with Peacocks by Donna Andrews - I've really enjoyed the most recent books in the series so I'm trying to collect the earlier books.  (Purchased)

Murder with Puffins by Donna Andrews - See above (Purchased)

No Nest for the Wicket by Donna Andrews - See above (Purchased)

The Sweeney Sisters by Lian Dolan - I don't remember much about this one but there are sisters and family secrets so it really appealed to me.  (Publisher)


Reading:  The Read-Aloud Family by Sarah Mackenzie, The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey, and finishing up Who Slays the Wicked by C.S. Harris

Listening:  The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley
- I'm really liking this but it's going to take forever.

Watching:  I'm catching up on this season of Doctor Who and so far I'm really enjoying it.

Off the Blog:

This was a catch up week. We're starting to get back into routines and getting adjusted to being home for more then a few days at a time.  It's nice to be home but I had kind of gotten used to more coastal temperatures so I'm freezing!  It's been nice to be home and spend some time organizing books.  Next up I'm going to hit my closet and drawers and do something clothing organizing and then I'm going to try and tackle something else!

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday:  Reviews from the Children's Section - The Tale of Desperaux
Tuesday:  Top Ten Tuesday - Books With Single Word Titles
Wednesday:  Who Slays the Wicked - Historical Mystery Review
Thursday:  Books from the Backlog 
Friday:  Friday Fives
Saturday:  February Reading Recap

What I've Been Eating This Week

I've gotten into the habit of not cooking and it's definitely a habit I want to break both for the sake of my budget and my waistline.  I'm trying to give myself a bit of accountability by occasionally posting just what I actually cooked this week.  This week I did stick to relatively simple things but I managed to cook every weeknight AND made a bonus snack.  There was salad with most of these so vegetables did show up occasionally.

Monday - Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches (oven grilled chicken coated in barbecue sauce and topped with cheese and bacon)

Tuesday - Fajitas - or at least our version.  I use this recipe for the tortillas, fajita seasoning from The Spice House which is my favorite, cheddar, salsa, and sour cream.  This is the Tornado's favorite meal so we have it a pretty good bit.

Wednesday:  Crock Pot Mississippi Pot Roast (I'm not so sure why this is supposedly from Mississippi but it's delicious) and mashed potatoes

Thursday:  Leftover Pot Roast Sandwiches -  luckily there was plenty of pot roast left because I had a horrible headache Thursday night but was still able to have something to eat that wasn't delivery.

Friday:  Cornish Pasties - these are a favorite around here.  I do use store bought pastry (pie crust and I are not friends) and add a bit of onion but other then that I stick pretty much with this recipe and it's amazingly easy.

Bonus:  Peanut Butter Honey Granola Bites I wanted a snack that was filling and a bit healthy but still tasty and easy to grab.  These were good and pretty easy buy I'm not sure I'll make them again.  The peanut butter taste kind of overtook everything else and while I'll finish the batch I'm not sure I'll make them again.

What did you eat this week?

Friday, February 28, 2020

Friday Fives - Disney Movies We've Watched 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.  Between a visit to Disney World and a Disney + subscription paired with staying in hotels A LOT we have been going through the Disney movies.  Here are 5 we've watched so far this year.  All versions listed are the animated version.  I cannot get behind the live action ones.  There will be a part two of this at some point because we have watched A LOT of Disney movies this year.

1.  The Princess and the Frog - This was on my must watch list because the resort we stayed at this trip was basically Tiana's resort and we were staying in a Royal room which has a lot of movie Easter eggs hidden about.  Throw in the fact that we've spent more then half our time in New Orleans since November and it moved way up the list.  It was lots of fun and received high marks.

2.  Alice in Wonderland - I had watched this years and years ago and remember it being a bit crazy but I think I had forgotten just how nonsensical it was.  We enjoyed it but it broke my very logical 10 year old's brain for a bit.  He did like the Cheshire Cat though.

3.  Aladdin - Between the tiger, the monkey, and the genie this one received high marks.  It got bonus points for having a plot (we watched this the day after we watched Alice).  I was surprised to realize that I had never seen the whole thing before.  It came out when I was 12 and I was emphatically "too cool for anything interesting" and then I guess I never made up for that.

4.  Beauty and the Beast - This wasn't enjoyed quite as much as Aladdin but the dog/ottoman helped save the day.  It was also fun because we've eaten at the Be Our Guest in Disney World which is very closely themed to the movie and uses some animation from the movie for the "view" outside the window.

5.  101 Dalmatians - This is one of the few movies that I feel that the live action version is acceptable and that's because how can that many puppies not be acceptable?  I just recently read the book and I was surprised by how closely the movie follows it.  It was a lot of fun.

What Disney movies have you watched regularly?  Or movies in general?

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Books from the Backlog - The Rhyme of the Magpie

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

Blurb:  With her personal life in disarray, Julia Lanchester feels she has no option but to quit her job on her father’s hit BBC Two nature show, A Bird in the Hand. Accepting a tourist management position in Smeaton-under-Lyme, a quaint village in the English countryside, Julia throws herself into her new life, delighting sightseers (and a local member of the gentry) with tales of ancient Romans and pillaging Vikings.
But the past is front and center when her father, Rupert, tracks her down in a moment of desperation. Julia refuses to hear him out; his quick remarriage after her mother’s death was one of the reasons Julia flew the coop. But later she gets a distressed call from her new stepmum: Rupert has gone missing. Julia decides to investigate—she owes him that much, at least—and her father’s new assistant, the infuriatingly dapper Michael Sedgwick, offers to help. Little does the unlikely pair realize that awaiting them is a tightly woven nest of lies and murder.

Why It Needs to Come Off the Shelf - I've had a review copy of this since before it came out but somehow have yet to read it.  I've really enjoyed books by Wingate in another series so I really need to read.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax - Mystery Review

Goodreads:  The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax (Mrs. Pollifax #1) by Dorothy Gilman

Rating: Very Good
Source: Purchased (Audible)

Description:  Mrs. Virgil (Emily) Pollifax of New Brunswick, New Jersey, was a widow with grown children. She was tired of attending her Garden Club meetings. She wanted to do something good for her country. So, naturally, she became a CIA agent. This time, the assignment sounds as tasty as a taco. A quick trip to Mexico City is on her agenda. Unfortunately, something goes wrong, and our dear Mrs. Pollifax finds herself embroiled in quite a hot Cold War—and her country's enemies find themselves entangled with one unbelievably feisty lady.
 Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  I read Dorothy Gilman years and years ago but I'm not sure I ever read this one and I always kind of wondered just how Mrs. Pollifax became a spy. 

My Impression: If you need your stories to be completely believable then you should back very slowly away and forget you ever heard the name Pollifax.  Is it lots of fun?  Definitely!  Is it realistic?  Not even a little bit.  I was a bit worried it would be very dated but for the most part it really wasn't.  Yes, the political issues they're so concerned with aren't really an issue at the moment and there's not a cell phone to be found but it still felt fresh and enjoyable.  The "gimmick" is that Mrs. Pollifax is a perfectly proper woman in her 60s and so people vastly underestimate her and I feel like that would still be the case today.  Though you'll know after reading this that one should never ever underestimate Mrs. Pollifax.

If you're looking for a madcap adventure and don't mind pushing the pause button on reality then this is a fun read.  Barbara Rosenblatt did a good job on the audio but I'm not sure the narration really enhanced the book.  It's a good audio but not a book that must be listened to if that makes sense.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I already ordered the 2nd book.  It's lots of fun and a good escape. 

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you can handle a madcap mystery with spies and sinister villains then I think you would enjoy this read. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Books with Bookstore Owners

I'm still focusing on things I love to find in books.  Last week it was books with librarians and today I'm thinking about books about bookstore owners (or employees).  Some of these I've already read and enjoyed and some are just high on my TBR.

1.  Jill Gardner in the Tourist Trap Mysteries Series by Lynn Cahoon - I absolutely love this series by Lynn Cahoon about Jill, her aunt who helps manage the store and all the rest of the residents of South Cove.  I especially love that Jill regularly spends quite a bit of time reading.

2.  Madeline Cullen in The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay - This was one of my favorite books of 2019 with a surprise inheritance with some serious issues.  I loved the book and the characters.

3.  Charlie Rae Warren in  A Book Barn Mysteries by Kym Roberts - I read one book in this series about a bookstore in an old barn complete with pet armadillo.  It was fun with a solid mystery and I really need to go back and catch up.

4.  Aubrey Wellington in Once in a Lifetime by Jill Shalvis - I enjoyed this series and this book though I did have some issues with this one.  I did love just how passionate Aubrey was about books and opening a bookstore.

5.  Clare Brewster in The Next Always by Nora Roberts - I loved this book and Clare is one of my favorite Nora Roberts characters.  Her bookstore is one that I wish existed in real life. 

6.  Clara Quinn in A Raven's Nest Bookstore Mysteries by Allison Kingsley - I've had this book sitting on my shelf for ages and it sounds great!  The victim is killed by an Edgar Allan Poe bust so that's pretty fantastic.

7.  Daria Pettisone in A Black Cat Bookshop Mysteries by Ali Brandon - This series involves an inherited bookshop.  I love inherited bookshops because there's always some hijinks and growing pains.

8.  Sara in The Readers of the Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald - This has been on my TBR since it first came out but I still haven't read it.  It sounds wonderful and I love the sound of the community.

9.  Nina Hill in The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman - I actually own this one on audio and have heard some fantastic reviews on it so I can't wait to listen to it.

10. Janet Marsh in Highland Bookshop Mysteries by Molly McRae - This series is about a bookstore in Scotland.  So of course it needs to be read.

What books involving bookstores do you love?

Monday, February 24, 2020

Where We Belong - Romance Review

Goodreads:  Where We Belong by Shann McPherson

Rating:  Good
Source: Publisher

Description: When Alice ‘Murph’ Murphy’s beloved mother died, she promised to keep the family bakery in Graceville, Georgia afloat—even if it meant letting her high-school sweetheart, Nash Harris, go. For years, Murph has been biding her time, waiting for Nash to come back for her.
So when he strolls into Piece O’ Cake, Murph’s heart skips a beat—until he hands her an invitation to his wedding… There are painful secrets in both their pasts that only the two of them share, and Murph can’t bear the thought of Nash belonging to someone else.

There’s only one thing Murph can think of to do: fake a relationship with local bar owner and old friend Harley Shaw to remind Nash of what he’s losing, and win him back for good.

Nash is Murph’s best friend, a vivid reminder of her childhood and all the things she’s lost—but the more time Murph and Harley spend together, the more the lines between real and pretend begin to blur. Can Murph choose between the one who got away and the one who never left—and heal her aching heart?

Genre: Romance - Contemporary

Why I Picked This Book:  I love a good fake relationship and can never resist a book where a main character is a baker.

My Impression:  This was a nice read.  The characters are nice, the town is nice, the writing is nice and I enjoyed reading it.  Is it one that will feature in my Best of 2020 list?  No, but it kept me entertained and was a quick read and both of those count for something.

Murph is a nice woman whose been dealt a not so nice hand but is holding her own.  In some ways she seems a little emotionally stunted.  Her life fell apart when she was 21 and it felt a bit like she was still stuck at that age with the same dreams without realizing that time had passed.  So when it is made incredibly clear to hear that not only has time passed but everyone else is now in a different place with their hopes and dreams she comes apart a bit.  Because she came off as stuck and not incredibly immature I never found Murph annoying (well at least not very) but instead felt sympathetic.  I did like Harley quite a bit and it was fun seeing he and Murph spend more and more time together without Nash being the focus.

I had two issues with this book.  The first is I found it a bit hard to believe that Nash would really waltz in and expect Murph to be excited about his wedding.  It isn't that they were old friends and he didn't really know she had a thing for him.  They were together and had actually had a bit of a fling not that long before he met his soon-to-be wife.  His attitude just seemed especially clueless.  The second was how quickly Murph jumped from Nash to Harley.  I definitely thing Harley was the better choice but her thinking that didn't seem to evolve but was more an instant switch.  Neither of these kept me from enjoying the book and this is an author I will read more from in the future.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  I would!  While this isn't one of my top reads of the year it was enjoyable and a quick read.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you're looking for a light quick romance then this would be a great choice.

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

Saturday, February 22, 2020

This Week in Reading - February 23

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:

Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer - Family secrets and a long lost journal entry made this one appeal to me.  (Publisher)

The Clutter Corpse by Simon Brett - This is an author I've enjoyed in the past but haven't read very much. Plus, I love when a character is a declutterer or something else that means they're cleaning out other people's houses.  (NetGalley)

A Forgotten Murder by Jude Deveraux - I haven't read this author before but there's a decades old mystery and an English estate so I couldn't resist!  (Publisher)

The Summer Villa by Melissa Hill - Dual timelines and a summer villa.  Couldn't resist!  (Publisher)

The Sea Glass Cottage by RaeAnne Thayne - Thayne is a favorite and this one sounds like a good read.  (Publisher)

The Wife Who Knew Too Much by Michelle Campbell - I've enjoyed other books by this author and I love these kinds of family mysteries.  (Publisher)

For Whom the Book Tolls by Laura Gail Black - There's an antique bookstore that a murder happened in.  How could I not pick this one up?  (NetGalley)

Death with a Dark Red Rose by Julia Buckley - I really enjoyed the previous book in this series so I had to pick this one up.  (Publisher)

Al Dente's Inferno by Stephanie Cole - I've seen some good reviews for this foodie cozy so I'm looking forward to it.  (Publisher)

Mimi Lee Gets a Clue by Jennifer J. Chow - I know nothing about this one but I love the cover and am looking forward to trying it. (Publisher)

Lavender Blue Murder by Laura Childs - This is a favorite series so I'm looking forward to spending some more time in Charleston.  (Publisher)

Well that got rather out of hand and I'm not even including the books I bought myself (they'll be on next week's list).  But it's 2.5 weeks worth of books so that makes it okay right?


Reading:  Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan and Who Slays the Wicked by CS Harris

Listening:  The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley

Watching:  The Imagineering Story on Disney + which is absolutely fascinating.

Off the Blog:

We are back from Disney and from Louisiana!  Disney was such fun.  We walked just shy of 50 miles and rode bunches of rides and ate lots of food.  We were sad to leave but it's good to be home (and not walking 7 miles a day). It also looks like our time in Louisiana is drawing to a close which I have mixed feelings about.  I really love it there but it's nice to not be living out of a suitcase which is what we've been doing for 4 months.  I'm going to try and keep myself busy by tackling all the projects I've been needing to do but haven't actually been here to do. 

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday:  Where We Belong - Romance Review
Tuesday:  Books with Bookstore Owners in the Story
Wednesday:  The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax
Thursday:  Books from the Backlog 
Friday:  Friday Fives
Saturday:  What I Made This Week

Have a great week and happy reading!

Pinterest Recipes I've Made Lately

I've actually been doing some cooking and menu planning lately and have been using Pinterest more then my usual stash of cookbooks just because flipping through my phone is easier and always accessible at the moment.  I'm looking forward to going through my cookbook stash and investigating some new ones from the library.  Here are a few recipes I've tried and a few I'm looking forward to trying.

1.  Slow Cooker Tomato Tortellini Soup from Magic Skillet - I almost didn't make this one because the recipe involves cream cheese which I had a hard time wrapping my head around.  However, I saw it mentioned on one of my favorite YouTube channels - Jessica Braun - and she was raving about it so I thought I'd try it.  It's pretty good but where it really shines is when it's heated up the next day.  It makes buckets so it's perfect to make at the beginning of the week and eat for lunch for the rest of the week.

2.  Chocolate Chip Pecan Blondies from Once Upon a Chef - I needed to bring something sweet and happened to have all the ingredients.  Plus, this was super easy to throw together.  They're pretty good and nice and pecan-y but aren't something I feel like I'm going to be craving anytime soon.

Okay, so I really haven't made that much but you have to start somewhere!  Here are a few things I'm looking forward to making soon:

Peanut Butter Honey Granola Bites from Sugar Dish Me - I like the idea of having a slightly healthier more filling snack readily available so I thought I'd give these a try.

Mexican Street Corn Soup from Striped Spatula - I've gotten obsessed with street corn lately and this soup sounds amazing!

What have you made lately?  Any recipes calling your name?

Friday, February 21, 2020

Friday Fives - Books About Mardi Gras

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. We are in the height of Mardi Gras season and right now I can't walk two steps without stumbling over a Mardi Gras tree or a king cake or a parade.  This isn't usually the case for me as I think pretty much other state other then Louisiana is pretty low key when it come to Mardi Gras but this year it's Mardi Gras all the time.  So I'm looking at some fiction books - some read some unread - that feature all the craziness.

1.  Mardi Gras Murder by Ellen Byron - I love this series set in the Bayou and this was such a fun mystery.

2.  Glitter Bomb by Laura Childs - Not only does this mystery take place in New Orleans during Mardi Gras but the murder actually occurs on a float during a parade!

3.  Cake on a Hot Tin Roof by Jacklyn Brady - This is a series I haven't read but own the first book.  And now I need to buy this book because not only does this mystery take place during Mardi Gras but how can I resist that title??

4.  New Orleans Mourning by Julie Smith - I have wanted to read this series set in New Orleans forever but somehow never did.  This one came out in 1990 so I'm curious to see how it holds up.  And it's another murder during a parade which I can just not get enough of.

5.  Fat Tuesday Fricassee by J.J. Cook - And to be a little different I figured we'd head over to Mobile (who did it first!) for their Mardi Gras celebration.

Have you read any books set during Mardi Gras? 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Books from the Backlog - Truth or Dare

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

Blurb:  Zoe is an interior designer with a unique sense of style. But even more uncanny is her sense of what's going on under the surface, the secrets a house can hold. At the moment, though, Zoe isn't concerned about a client's space. She's more worried about what's going on in her own house in Whispering Springs, Arizona, where she lives with her new husband, private investigator Ethan Truax. After a whirlwind courtship, and a dangerous adventure, they've gambled on commitment, hoping that their powerful attraction can help them learn to live together despite their utterly opposite personalities. But newlywed life is suddenly interrupted when a shadowy figure from Zoe's past shows up in Whispering Springs, and her closest friend is put at terrible risk. For Zoe and Arcadia Ames share a shocking secret. And as they seek to protect the truth, they must join together, and with Ethan's help, accept a very dangerous dare...

Why It Needs to Come Off the Shelf:  I won this in a giveaway years ago and still haven't gotten around to reading it.  I had actually forgotten all about it until I refound it while reorganizing bookshelves.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Ten Days Gone - Mystery Review

Goodreads: Ten Days Gone (A.L. McKittridge #1) by Beverly Long

Rating:  Very Good
Source:  Publisher

Description: They know exactly when he'll strike... They just have to find him first.
In all their years working for the Baywood police department, detectives A.L. McKittridge and Rena Morgan have never seen anything like it. Four women dead in forty days, each killed ten days apart. With nothing connecting the victims and very little evidence, the clock is already counting down to when the next body drops. A.L. and Rena will have to act fast if they're going to find the killer's next victim before he does.

But identifying the killer's next likely target is only half the battle. With pressure pushing in from all sides, a promising breakthrough leads the detectives to Tess Lyons, a woman whose past trauma has left her too damaged to appreciate the danger she's in. Unwilling to let another woman die, A.L. and Rena will put everything on the line to keep Tess safe and end the killer's deadly spree once and for all--before time runs out again.

Genre: Mystery - Procedural

Why I Picked This Book:  It's been awhile since I read a serial killer book and the blurb interested me.

My Impression:  So I almost DNF'd this book before I hit the 10th page.  The writing felt a little too stiff and almost cliche - especially when the main character referenced his ongoing fling with the gorgeous medical examiner.  But once that first chapter was done everything shifted.  It was like the author relaxed or got traction and the book stopped feeling like a cliche of a procedural and the pages started flying for me. 

A lot of time characters in police procedural type mysteries are incredibly dysfunctional.  Like bottle of bourbon in the desk drawer, haven't had a relationship that lasted for longer then a day in 20 years, are barely keeping a job level insubordinate dysfunctional with a hefty helping of self sabotage.  And while Rena and A.L. both have their troubles I found both of their characters fairly relatable and realistic.  Rena is struggling with infertility and the effects it has had on her marriage.  A.L. is dealing with the challenges of co-parenting with his ex and just having a 16 year old daughter in general.  They're both dealing with a change in leadership from a trusted long term police chief to a new guy who is far more interested in image and politics then in actual police work.  All of this never overshadowed the investigation but it did make me feel connected to the characters.

As for the mystery - well that kept me turning the pages!  We start the book just as the 4th victim is found and just about nothing is known about how the victims are chosen or who the killer could be.  I really enjoyed the investigation and the dead ends and the search for Tess.  This wasn't a hold your breath in suspense type read but it was definitely one where one chapter became 5 and I just didn't want to put it down.  I'm glad I got past page 10 because the remaining 99% of the book were so much creepy fun!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  This is a series that I'll definitely be keeping a lookout for.

Would I Recommend this Book?  Absolutely!  This was a solid mystery with interesting characters.

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

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Books I've Read with Librarians in the Story

This year I'm taking a look at my favorite things in books.  And one of my favorite things in books is a bookish character.  I'm breaking it down a little and today I'm looking specifically at librarian characters in books I've read.  I love a book with a librarian character and am always looking for more!

1.  Charlie Harris in the Cat in the Stacks Mystery series by Miranda James - Charlie is a retired librarian who works part time at a university library - when he's not solving crimes with his very fabulous cat.

2.  Carrie Singleton in the Haunted Library series by Allison Brook - There is a lot of time spent in the library in this series as Carrie's job is running events.  And dealing with Evelyn the library ghost.  And solving murders.

3.  Julia Winston in Sugar Pine Trail by RaeAnne Thayne - Julia starts out the book as an almost stereotypical librarian - quiet and reserved.  Until two little boys come into her life and her tenant upstairs starts showing up more and more.

4.  Lindsey Norris in the Library Lover's Mystery series by Jenn McKinlay - Lindsey has her hands full with library politics, a quirky staff, and a heaping helping of crime.

5.  Dana Steele in Key of Knowledge by Nora Roberts - Dana isn't really a librarian for long in this book but her love of books makes up for lack of library employment.

6.  Aurora Teagarden in the Aurora Teagarden series by Charlaine Harris - Aurora isn't a librarian through the whole series but she's a book lover through and through.

7.  Mrs. Phelps in Matilda by Roald Dahl - I didn't read this book until I was an adult but Mrs. Phelps may just be my favorite character.

8.  Phoebe O'Dunn in That Night on Thistle Lane by Carla Neggers - This isn't my favorite book but I do love a romance with a librarian being a main character - especially one where they discover a hidden room up in the attics!

9.  Celeste Nichols A Cold Creek Christmas Story by RaeAnne Thayne - Another Thayne and another sweet bookish story. 

10.  Lucy Richardson in the Lighthouse Library series by Eva Gates - It's a library in a lighthouse!  I loved the description of the library and of course it doesn't hurt that the mysteries are pretty great too!

What are some of your favorite books that feature librarians? 

Monday, February 17, 2020

Books I'm Going to Grab Next Time I'm in the Library

I do love a good random library spree but sometimes my little library branch doesn't have all the randomness that I'm currently craving.  Luckily they have a fabulous website and I can have any book in the entire system sent to my home library.  Here are a few I'm thinking about grabbing.

1.  $10 Great Dates: Connecting Love, Marriage, and Fun on a Budget by Peter and Heather Larson and David and Claudia Arp - I'm curious about this one.  Date night is not exactly front burner for us at the moment but I'm curious about what ideas this book could offer.

2.  A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams - It's been too long since I've read a book by Williams and I've missed her writing!

3.  A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor - Basically same as above.

4.  Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers by Terri-Lynne DeFino - I know nothing about this book but I love the cover and the premise.

What books are you wanting to pick up from the library?

Saturday, February 15, 2020

This Week in Reading - February 16

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:

No idea!  Our mail was on hold so I won't know until it actually starts back up.  I did refrain from purchasing books and requesting NetGalley books so I consider that a win!


Reading:  Still reading Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan and also finished with Ten Days Gone by Beverly Long

Listening:  The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman

Watching:  Not much other then YouTube videos.  

Off the Blog:

If all goes well we are back from Disney!  Since I'm writing this before we leave I don't know how our time was but I have high hopes.  I'm not sure how long we will be home but I'm sure I'm glad to be crashing in my own bed!  Disney pictures and updates next week!

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday:  Books I'm Going to Grab Next Time I'm in the Library
Tuesday:  Books with Librarians
Wednesday:  Ten Days Gone - Mystery Review
Thursday:  Books from the Backlog
Friday:  Friday Fives
Saturday: TBD

Have a great week and happy reading!

A Perilous Undertaking - Historical Mystery Review

Goodreads:  A Perilous Undertaking (Veronica Speedwell #2) by Deanna Raybourn

Rating: Really Liked It!
Source: Purchased (Audible)

Description: London, 1887. At the Curiosity Club, a ladies-only establishment for daring and intrepid women, Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell meets the mysterious Lady Sundridge, who begs her to take on an impossible task--saving society art patron Miles Ramsforth from execution. Ramsforth, accused of the brutal murder of his mistress, Artemisia, will face the hangman's noose in a week's time if the real killer is not found.

But Lady Sundridge is not all that she seems, and unmasking her true identity is only the first of many secrets Veronica must uncover. Together with her natural-historian colleague, Stoker, Veronica races against time to find the true murderer. From a Bohemian artists' colony to a royal palace to a subterranean grotto with a decadent history, the investigation proves to be a very perilous undertaking indeed....

Genre: Mystery - Historical 

Why I Picked This Book:  I loved the first book and I have the most recent book for review so I'm trying to catch up on the series before reading the newest.

My Impression:  I do love Veronica Speedwell but am so glad I don't have to deal with her in real life!  She's such a force of nature and never afraid to say quite clearly what she's really thinking.  This particular mystery every once in awhile shows hints of her vulnerabilities which I really enjoyed. 

This investigation was intriguing and dove into the art world and a world a bit more illicit.  Veronica's delight and Stoker's clear discomfort in discussing all things inappropriate made for several laugh out loud moments as does Veronica's regular chastising Stoker not to loom or look intimidating.  I thoroughly enjoyed going along with the investigation and I can honestly say I had no real clue who the killer was until the tense reveal. 

I listened to the audio version of this story and the narrator, Angele Masters, was an absolute delight.  She IS the voice of Veronica. 

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I have thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in the series and am looking forward to getting caught up.

Would I Recommend this Book?  Definitely!  If you enjoyed Laurie R. King's Mary Russell series I think you'll enjoy this series.  Veronica is a bit spicier then Mary was but it has a similar feel to the series.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Friday Fives - Five Books I'm in Love With

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 today is Valentine's Day I'm looking at 5 books I'm in love with.  And I mean books that I have loved for ages and remain true after a long period of time.

1.  The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett - This was one of my absolute favorite books as a child and I discovered a few years ago that I might like it even more as an adult.

2.  The Four Story Mistake by Elizabeth Enright - This was one of my favorite books as a child and still one of my favorite books.  If life gets a little stressful or frantic I know I can pick up this book and get lost in the Melendy family adventures.

3.  Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts - I love Nora Roberts and this is one of my favorites.  There's a ghost, Ireland, and a character trying to figure out what really makes her happy.  It's just delightful.

4.  Three Blind Mice and Other Stories by Agatha Christie - I love Agatha Christie and her short stories are some of my favorites and this is one of my favorite short story collections!

5.  Miss Silver Deals with Death by Patricia Wentworth - I adore Miss Silver and her kindly but no nonsense approach to life in general.  She cows upper level police detectives and immediately earns the confidence of terrified suspects and she is altogether wonderful.

What are some books you love?

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Books from the Backlog - In Love with a Wicked Man

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:  In Love with a Wicked Man by Liz Carlyle

Blurb:  What does it matter if Kate, Lady d'Allenay, has absolutely no marriage prospects? She has a castle to tend, an estate to run, and a sister to watch over, which means she is never, ever reckless. Until an accident brings a handsome, virile stranger to Bellecombe Castle, and Kate finds herself tempted to surrender to her houseguest's wicked kisses.
Disowned by his aristocratic family, Lord Edward Quartermaine has turned his gifted mind to ruthless survival. Feared and vilified as proprietor of London's most notorious gaming salon, he now struggles to regain his memory, certain of only one thing: he wants all Kate is offering—and more.

But when Edward's memory returns, he and Kate realize how much they have wagered on a scandalous passion that could be her ruin, but perhaps his salvation.

Why It Needs to Come Off the Shelf:  I'm trying to read some of the books on my shelf and this romance is one of the ones I've had for longest.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Buried to the Brim - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads:  Buried to the Brim (A Hat Shop Mystery #6) by Jenn McKinlay

Rating: Liked it!
Source:  Publisher

Description:  London's most refined canines and their humans are gearing up for the Pets and Wellness Society's annual dog show--and Betty Wentworth, favorite aunt to Scarlett's fiancĂ© Harrison and proud owner of corgi front-runner Freddy, knows that this could be their year with the right edge. Never one to turn away a corgi in need, Scarlett convinces her milliner cousin, Vivian, to design matching hats for dream team Betty and Freddy as they compete for Best in Show.
It's a tail wagging good time until the dog-food sponsor of the event is found dead and Betty is the prime suspect. Vivian and Scarlett agree to enter the competition in Betty's place and help Harrison catch the real killer before Betty is collared for a crime she didn't commit.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy
 Why I Picked This Book:  I love other series by McKinlay and have been wanting to read this series for awhile.  Plus, I can never resist a dog in a cozy mystery!

My Impression:  I picked this mystery up because it looked like it would be a lot of fun and I was not disappointed!  There's quirky relatives, hats, dry British humor, and oh so many dogs.  I now feel like I need a corgi.  They're herding dogs and I grew up with Shelties which are also herding dogs so I feel like it would work.  However, I digress. 

This was my first time visiting the world of Scarlett, Viv, and the rest of their friends but I had no problem jumping right in with this one.  McKinlay does a fabulous job in all of her series with making it easy to hop into which ever book grabs you first.  It did, however, make me want to go grab up the earlier books in the series.

The mystery was an interesting one and I really enjoyed following Scarlett around as she eavesdropped and asked questions and put all the pieces together.  I won't say this is the most unpredictable cozy I've ever read but between the puns, the one liners, the great characters, and especially the dogs that didn't bother me at all. 

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  McKinlay is a favorite cozy mystery author and I enjoy all her series.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy cozy mysteries I think you'll really love this series and this book in particular.

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