Saturday, March 6, 2021

February Reading Recap

 

Number of Books Read This Month: 14 - I'm actually surprised I read this many books as I felt like it took me forever to finish anything.  It was a bit of a mentally exhausting month too which slowed me down.  I'm hoping March is a bit more reading fun.

Bookish Breakdown:

Print: 6

Ebook:

Audiobook: 5

Mystery: 13

Nonfiction: 1

Rereads: 3

Backlog Books: 0

My Favorite Book of the Month:


Treacherous is the Night by Anna Lee Huber -
I am absolutely loving this historical mystery series filled with espionage and adventures and very dashing characters.

Midwinter Murder by Agatha Christie - I adore Christie's short stories and this one featured two stories I had never read before so that is automatically a win.

My Least Favorite Book of the Month:


Missing!: Mysterious Cases of People Gone Missing Through the Century by Brenda Guiberson -
This one wasn't terrible but I just felt it missed the mark a little bit.  Part of the issue was the inclusion of the Jimmy Hoffa case in a book meant for children.  It had to be so heavily edited that it started the whole book out on a very disjointed note.  As well the writing felt a bit stiff and stilted. 

How was your reading in February?

Friday, March 5, 2021

Friday Fives - March TBR


I'm taking a bit of a break from my usual Friday Linkups to try something a little different.  I'm in a list making kind of mood so I thought I'd start making random five lists.  Sometimes they'll be bookish other weeks not so much.  Since it's the first Friday of March I'm listing the 5 books I'd like to read this month.


1.  Greygallows by Barbara Michaels- I've decided to reread all the Barbara Michaels books I own to see if they deserve their place on my keeper shelf and this is the next one.  It's been so long since I've read this one I have no idea if I liked it or not!


2.  Off the Wild Coast of Brittany by Juliet Blackwell - I have enjoyed Blackwell's historical fiction (and her cozy mysteries) and this one just looks gorgeous.


3.  Death at High Tide by Hannah Dennison - I loved another series by this author and was so excited when this one came out last summer but somehow never got around to it.  I'm looking forward to picking it up this month.


4.  Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey - This is the classic mystery I really want to read this month.  I've only read (and reread) one of Tey's books but have a growing collection.  Now to see if I really like her books!


5.  The God of the Hive by Laurie R. King - This is the next book in a series I've been reading for about 100 years.  I'm hoping I'll be able to remember all the ins and outs but I'm afraid I really should go back and start this series from the beginning.

What are you hoping to read in March?

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Books from the Backlog - The Christie Curse


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 Christie Curse by Victoria Abbott

Blurb:  Jordan Bingham needs a new job and a new place to live. She’s back in Harrison Falls, New York, living with her not so law-abiding uncles, in debt thanks to a credit card–stealing ex and pending grad school loans.
Enter the perfect job, a research position that includes room and board, which will allow her to spend her days hunting down rare mysteries for an avid book collector. There’s just one problem: her employer, Vera Van Alst—the most hated citizen of Harrison Falls.

Jordan’s first assignment is to track down a rumored Agatha Christie play. It seems easy enough, but Jordan soon finds out that her predecessor was killed while looking for it, and there is still someone out there willing to murder to keep the play out of Vera’s hands. Jordan’s new job is good … but is it worth her life?

Why It Needs to Come Off the Shelf:  I've owned this book for years but somehow have never read it which is weird but Agatha Christie is without a doubt my favorite author and I love bookish mysteries.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

An Unexpected Peril - Historical Mystery Review

Goodreads:  An Unexpected Peril (Veronica Speedwell #6) by Deanna Raybourn

Rating:  Really Liked It!
Source:  Publisher

Description:  January 1889. As the newest member of the Curiosity Club—an elite society of brilliant, intrepid women—Veronica Speedwell is excited to put her many skills to good use. As she assembles a memorial exhibition for pioneering mountain climber Alice Baker-Greene, Veronica discovers evidence that the recent death was not a tragic climbing accident but murder. Veronica and her natural historian beau, Stoker, tell the patron of the exhibit, Princess Gisela of Alpenwald, of their findings. With Europe on the verge of war, Gisela's chancellor, Count von Rechstein, does not want to make waves—and before Veronica and Stoker can figure out their next move, the princess disappears.

Having noted Veronica's resemblance to the princess, von Rechstein begs her to pose as Gisela for the sake of the peace treaty that brought the princess to England. Veronica reluctantly agrees to the scheme. She and Stoker must work together to keep the treaty intact while navigating unwelcome advances, assassination attempts, and Veronica's own family—the royalty who has never claimed her.

Genre: Mystery - Historical

Why I Picked This Book:  I really enjoy this series and I of course couldn't wait to pick up the newest one!

My Impression:  I was a little worried going in to this one now that Veronica and Stoker are now officially together.  I don't mind a touch of romance or relationship issues in my mysteries but plenty of good series have been ruined by main characters getting into a relationship.  But no worries!  Veronica is still very much Veronica and Stoker is still very much Stoker and while there is a bit more affection they still argue and discuss and bicker just the way they used to.  

The mystery is an interesting one with political intrigue, lots of tales of mountaineering adventure, and a dose of Victorian-era taxidermy.  I found the combination entertaining, compelling, and page turning (with a dose of being glad I didn't have to smell Stoker during the whole Walrus taxidermy fiasco) and it kept me reading far into the night.  

This is a fantastic combination of adventure and mystery with smart, sharp witted characters which made for a fun and fast read.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  This is a series I always enjoy and one on my Get Caught Up list for the year.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy historical mysteries and like strong characters this is a series 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, March 2, 2021

The Year of the Series - Check In #1


 My main focus reading-wise for 2021 is to catch up on series.  There are so many that I've read most of or half of or read the last few but missed the first ones and I really want to fix that.  So looking over the books I currently own I picked out 10 series I want to finish in 2021.  I'm going to list the next book in the series I have to read just so I'll have a concrete goal.  I do love a check list that's easy to mark off!  But as I finish books I want to add the next book in or if I finish a series pick a new series to focus on so I'll be updating this list periodically.  

I made good progress in the past two months and read 8 out of the 10 books and caught up/finished 3 series.  So this list has the next book on the series I'm still working on and three new series I'll be starting on.


1.  Tightening the Threads by Lea Wait - This is a new series but an old favorite.  I read the first few and loved them and want to finish up this series.

2.  Final Exam by Carol J. Perry - This is the next book in the Witch City Mysteries which is one of my favorite series.

3.  Suede to Rest by Diane Vallere - This is a 3 book series and I've read the last two but somehow never got to the first book.

4.  The Whole Cat and Caboodle by Sofie Ryan - I read the last few books in the series and have really loved them so I want to read the first few books.

5.   A Likely Story by Jenn McKinlay - This is the next book in the Library Lovers series which is one of my favorite mystery series.


6.  An Early Wake by Sheila Connolly - The next book in the County Cork mystery series.  

7.  The Pearl Sister by Lucinda Riley - This book is one of the two I didn't get around to reading.  I'm looking forward to it because I've really enjoyed the first 3 but the page count always scares me off a bit.

8.  A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn - This is book 4 of 6 and once this is done I'll be officially caught up on the series!

9.  The God of the Hive by Laurie R King - This is the second book of the two that I haven't gotten to but I'm going to start listening to this one in the next few days.

10.  Penny for Your Secrets by Anna Lee Huber - This is the 3rd book in the Verity Kent series.  I've technically read it before but I think I'll get a lot more out of it now that I've read the first 2 books.

Are there any series you're focusing on getting caught up on this year?

Monday, March 1, 2021

The Year of the Series - 2 Reviews

 


After the calamity that was 2020 I didn't want to give myself serious reading goals but I did want to do something to help my book stacks get a little more under control.  I've tried getting rid of the ones I want to read but unfortunately I want to read all the books I own.  So I decided to focus on series.  There are so many I have that I abandoned halfway through or came in halfway and never read the first few.  I made a list of ten series and the next book I had to read in them and will be rolling in new books and series as I go along and catch up.  Here are two reviews from that list that I've read recently.


Treacherous is the Night by Anna Lee Huber - This is the second book in the Verity Kent series and Sidney and Verity are still coming to terms with what happened in the first book as well as trying to reconcile the person they knew with the person they are now married too.  When Verity has a name from the past dragged up at a séance she is left but no choice but to dive back into her past to protect someone she never thought to see again.  Along the way she and Sidney must face the truths they've been hiding from each other since their reconnection.  I absolutely loved this mystery.  All of the characters in this book have been through horrors and are having to figure out how to live in civilian life with people who just desperately want them to be as they were.  The issues aren't made light of or brushed over but there is hope that they will all come out the other side - not the same but on their feet.  The mystery was full of espionage and secrets and I could not put this down until I found out just what happened.  My Rating: Loved It!


Scandal in Skibbereen by Sheila Connolly - It's been a few months since Maura Donovan came to Ireland to honor her late grandmother's final wish and she's still adjusting to suddenly owning a pub and a house in a small Irish village.  Maura's never known much stability or had many people involved in her life and now she has lots of both and is still trying to figure what her long term plans are.  When Althea Melville, who might as well as had a giant flashing sign saying New York over her head, walks in the bar to demand help Maura can't help but get involved with the pushy fellow American.  This sets off a treasure hunt for a lost Van Dyck painting that takes Maura, Althea and the rest of the crowd at Sullivan's pub into the manor house and back into the past.  I went into this one with a lot of trepidation because while I enjoy this author's books they can be a little inconsistent.  However, I needn't have worried because I thoroughly enjoyed this read.  While I don't understand Maura's lack of interest in her own family's past I did love how willing she was to help Althea and how willing she was to call Althea out when she went too far.  This was a fun read with character development and an interesting mystery.  My Rating: Really Liked It!

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Life With Leukemia (and Some Reading) - February 28

 


It's Sunday Post time!  This is hosted by the awesome Caffeinated Book Reviewer and gives us all a chance to recap our week.

I'm not sorry to see the end of February.  It wasn't particularly bad but it feels like we never got our footing.  I'm hoping that the beginning of March will allow for a bit of a fresh start so we can get in a routine around Will's appointments.  Memphis finally unfroze enough that they were able to FedEx the high dose chemo that Will needed and he was able to get it Wednesday.  This means we are back on schedule which makes me happy.  The schedule isn't set in stone so it wasn't that big of a deal but still!  He is officially on week 20 which means 100 weeks to go.  He hasn't been feeling great this week which isn't surprising with the meds but his schedule for the next few weeks is lighter so I'm hoping for a much better month.

Currently:

ReadingAn Unexpected Peril by Deanna Raybourn (almost done!) and Dead in a Flash by Brynn Bonner

Listening: A Fatal Fiction by Kaitlyn Dunnett (almost done with this one too)

Watching:  Only some true crime.  I need to find some new shows or something to watch but nothing seems to stick.

Have a great week and happy reading!

The Moving Finger - Classic Mystery Review

Goodreads:  The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie

Rating: Loved It!
Source: Purchased

Description:  The placid village of Lymstock seems the perfect place for Jerry Burton to recuperate from his accident under the care of his sister, Joanna. But soon a series of vicious poison-pen letters destroys the village's quiet charm, eventually causing one recipient to commit suicide. The vicar, the doctor, the servants—all are on the verge of accusing one another when help arrives from an unexpected quarter. The vicar's houseguest happens to be none other than Jane Marple.

Genre: Mystery - Classic

Why I Picked This Book:  I'm rereading all the Miss Marple books and this was next on my list.

My Impression:  This is a Miss Marple book but only in a technical sense.  Miss Marple does appear and she does help with the investigation but only in the last 50 pages or so.  The bulk of the book is all about Jerry Burton and his sister Joanna who are getting used to life in a small town while Jerry recuperates from a flying accident.  At first they are entertained by cast of characters and all the gossip flying around.  Joanna's attempts to fit in had me laughing a time or two and I enjoyed meeting all the different people in the village.

The mystery is intriguing.  Just who has been sending the poison pen letters all over the village with the most outlandish accusations?  And what is their real motive?  Like a true Agatha Christie there are lots of red herrings, motives, and clues bandied about and thankfully Miss Marple arrives at the last minute to keep everything well in hand.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Of course!  I already have the next Miss Marple book ready to go!

Would I Recommend this Book?  Yes!  However, if your main goal is to read a Miss Marple then I might pick another one as her page time is very small.  It's still a fantastic mystery so well worth reading.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Friday Fives - Non-Bookish Favorites At the Moment

 

I'm taking a bit of a break from my usual Friday Linkups to try something a little different.  I'm in a list making kind of mood so I thought I'd start making random five lists.  Sometimes they'll be bookish other weeks not so much.  Since we have almost made it through 2 months of 2021 I thought I'd look at some non-bookish favorites.


1.  Frappuccinos - I normally don't drink these because I know they're mostly sugar but in the past month or so I've been drinking one occasionally in the afternoon as a little treat and have been thoroughly enjoying them.

2.  Lush Bath and Body Products - I have crazy dry skin and this winter has been brutal on it especially when hospital air added in.  I used to order from Lush years and years ago but had kind of forgotten about them.  They're shaving cream and lotions are amazing and have saved my skin.  I also absolutely love their bubble bars.  

3.  Electric Kettle - I bought this kettle when I knew we were going to be staying in Housing at St Jude (which is essentially like a hotel room) and I wanted to be able to make tea, hot chocolate, and instant oatmeal and I love it!  I do love a device that does exactly what it's supposed to and does it well.  I like that it has auto shutoff and that it's compact, light, and was pretty inexpensive.  

4.  Slow Cooker Chicken Crack Chili from Plain Chicken - Honestly, I almost never tried it because it sounded weird but I'm so glad I tried it because it's one of our favorite and easiest dinners.  I don't add the cheese because this is one of the few things that I don't think cheese makes better and last time I didn't add the bacon and because this is so flavorful we didn't really miss it so I might continue to leave that out as well.  

5.  Fluffy Pancakes from Chocolates and Chai - One of the things I missed most food-wise when we were living in Memphis was pancakes!  They don't do well as takeout and I didn't bring the griddle I use to make them.  So the first meal I made when we were home was pancakes and this is my current favorite recipe.  And even better it doesn't require buttermilk which I very rarely have.

What are some of your non-bookish favorites right now?

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Books from the Backlog - Bran New Death


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:  Bran New Death by Victoria Hamilton

Blurb:  Expert muffin baker Merry Wynter is finally ready to turn her passion into a career. But when a dead body is found on her property, she’s more worried about cooking up an alibi… Merry is making a fresh start in small-town Autumn Vale, New York, in the mansion she’s inherited from her late uncle, Melvin. The house is run-down and someone has been digging giant holes on the grounds, but with its restaurant-quality kitchen, the place has potential for her new baking business. She even has her first client—the local retirement home. Unfortunately, Merry soon finds that quite a few townsfolk didn’t like Uncle Mel, and she has inherited their enmity as well as his home. Local baker Binny Turner and her crazy brother, Tom, blame Melvin for their father’s death, and Tom may be the one vandalizing her land. But when Tom turns up dead in one of the holes in her yard, Merry needs to prove she had nothing to do with his death—or her new muffin-making career may crumble before it starts...

Why It Needs to Come Off the Shelf:  I have so many books by this author but don't think I have read any of them!  I need to find out if I like her books or not.


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

A Side of Murder - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads:  A Side of Murder (Cape Cod Foodie Mystery #1) by Amy Pershing

Rating: Liked It!
Source: Publisher

Description:  Samantha Barnes was always a foodie. So when the CIA (that’s the Culinary Institute of America) came calling, she happily traded in Cape Cod for the Big Apple. Soon the young chef is a rising star in the city’s food scene—until a feud with another chef (her ex) boils over and goes viral. So when Sam inherits her Great-Aunt Ida’s house on the Cape and lands a job writing restaurant reviews, it seems like the perfect pairing. What could go wrong? Well, as it turns out, a lot.

The dilapidated house comes with an enormous puppy. Her new boss is, well, bossy. And the town’s new harbormaster is none other than her first love. Nonetheless, Sam’s looking forward to testing her inner food critic at the Bayview Grille—and indeed the seafood chowder is divine. But the body floating in the pond outside the eatery was not on the menu. Though the drowning is called an accident, Sam is certain it's murder. And as she begins to stir the pot, it becomes terrifyingly clear that she may be writing the recipe for her own untimely demise.
 
Genre:  Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:   I love a foodie cozy and can never resist picking up the first book in a new series.  Plus, I love that there's a dog on the cover!  

My Impression:  I do love a cozy where the victim is one that most people would have cheerfully pushed in front of bus.  Estelle Kobolt is one of those victims.  When Estelle's body is found floating outside a local restaurant no one is particularly sad about it.  Same Barnes is back in town after a particularly mortifying career and personal life meltdown and happens to stumble on the body and gets pulled into the investigation right from the start.  

The setting plays a huge part in the book. A book set in a small coastal town isn't unusual in cozy mysteries but in this book Cape Cod is pretty much a character and I could all but smell the salt.  As well Sam's career and training as a chef aren't simply window dressing. She knows her craft and spends quite a lot of time thinking or talking (and in some cases writing) about food and knows her stuff.  If you expect your books to be all mystery all the time you might find this a bit frustrating.  However, if you love a cozy with a good setup you will be a happy reader.  The mystery was enjoyable and did keep me guessing and engaged even if it wasn't front and center on every page.

What kept me from absolutely loving this book was that I just didn't connect with Sam.  She can be very wishy washy and judgmental.  She lets people push her around a bit and struggles to make decisions on her own and her dismissive attitude towards her friend Jenny set my teeth on edge a time or two.  There was also a heavy use of foreshadowing language (ie "If she had only known" "we didn't notice then that it was gone") which also got a bit old.  Still, this book was a fun read and I think this is a series with a lot of potential.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  I will definitely pick up the second book.  I'm curious to see where the series goes.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy a cozy this was a good one!

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

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Ten Books On My To Buy List


It's been a few months since I've had a big bookish haul and it feels like time to do a little book shopping.  Here are ten books I might pick up in my next bookish haul.


1.  The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner - I've seen several reviews of this one from bloggers I really trust and it sounds amazing.  Plus, this is an author I've been wanting to read for ages.

2.  Unfollow Me by Charlotte Duckworth - I don't remember where I first came across this thriller but it sounds like a good read.  

3.  The Daughters of George III: Sisters and Princesses by Catherine Curzon - This book was mentioned by one of my favorite bookish YouTubers - Lil's Vintage World - and it sounds like just the kind of nonfiction I'd love.

4.  Murder Can Mess Up Your Masterpiece by Rose Pressey - I can't not include a cozy mystery on my list and this one has antiques and ghosts both of which I love.

5.  One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski - I remember reviews coming out on this one a year or so ago and thought it looked so great but never got around to reading it.


6.  The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths - I read one of Griffiths' Ruth Galloway books years ago and enjoyed it but never continued with the series.  Then in 2020 I listened to two of her Max Mephisto books and really loved them.  This series sounds like it would be really good too!

7.  The Lights Over London by Julia Kelly - I read The Last Garden in England by Kelly as one of my first books of the year for 2021 and absolutely loved it so now I need to read more from her.

8.  The Princess Spy: The True Story of World War II Spy Aline Griffiths, Countess of Romanoes by Larry Loftis - I loved The Spy Wore Red by Aline Griffiths when I read it years ago and I really want to read this biography.

9.  A Skeleton in the Family by Leigh Perry - This series always sounded a bit strange to me but I've heard great things about it on the Courtangonist's YouTube channel and would like to give it a try.

10. A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn - I am finishing up the third book in the series and once I've read this one and the newest one (due out in March) I will be completely caught up!

What books are on your To Buy list?

Monday, February 22, 2021

Furbidden Fatality - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads:  Furbidden Fatality (Catskills Pet Rescue Mystery #1) by Deborah Blake

Rating:  Really Liked It!
Source: Publisher

Description:  Kari Stuart's life is going nowhere--until she unexpectedly wins the lottery. The twenty-nine-year-old instant multimillionaire is still mulling plans for her winnings when trying to rescue a bossy black kitten leads her to a semiabandoned animal shelter. They need the cash--Kari needs a purpose.

But the dilapidated rescue is literally going to the dogs with a pending lawsuit, hard to adopt animals, and too much suspicious attention from the town's dog warden. When the warden turns up dead outside the shelter's dog kennels, Kari finds herself up a creek without a pooper-scooper.

With the help of some dedicated volunteers, a cute vet, and a kitten who mysteriously shows up just when she needs it, Kari must prove her innocence all while trying to save a dog on death row. Now she just needs to hope that her string of unexpected luck isn't about to run out.

Genre:  Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  I thought the premise sounded intriguing and since it's the first in a series I couldn't resist.

My Impression:  This was a fun start to a series!  Kari is a waitress just scraping by when she buys a lottery ticket on a whim and wins.  She doesn't make any changes at first because she doesn't make any rash decisions.  All of that good reasonable thinking gets turned on its ear when she ends up buying a failing animal shelter.  I was a little worried about the whole vengeful dog warden setup as I'm incredibly sensitive when it comes to anything even resembling an animal in harms way but I really didn't need to worry.  While the dog warden is definitely awful (I was not too sad when he met his end - and that feeling continued throughout the book.  He's really the worst) there are no mentions of animal cruelty and nothing bad happens to an animal during the book.

I liked Kari, Sara, Suz, and Angus as well as the host of animal characters though Queenie (Kari's little black kitten) is definitely the star of the show.  The mystery kept me guessing and I enjoyed the pacing and the writing style.  I found this to be a quick read and enjoyed how the reveal played out.  This is definitely a series that I will be following in the future and if you enjoy an animal cozy then this is one you shouldn't miss!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Definitely!  I really enjoyed this one and am looking forward to seeing how this series develops.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you like a good animal cozy this is a fun one!

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

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Life with Leukemia (And Some Reading) - February 21


It's Sunday Post time!  This is hosted by the awesome Caffeinated Book Reviewer and gives us all a chance to recap our week.


We got snow!  I know that sounds very unexciting for most people but in Alabama snow happens maybe once every 3 or 4 years.  The bad thing is because we only get it maybe every 3 or 4 years it kind of shuts everything down for a bit.  Luckily, we really didn't have anywhere to go.  We looked at it from the window and decided it was very pretty but cold and all 3 of us basically stayed inside.  Will's chemo appointment was moved from Wednesday to Thursday and then to Friday and he still didn't get one of the high doses we were expecting because Memphis apparently is a frozen block of ice.  The particular medicine isn't used very often so they don't keep it on hand and when a patient is scheduled for it St Jude - Memphis FedExs it to the affiliate but that couldn't happen and they're not sure when it will happen.  Luckily he was able to get the transfusion that he really needed and one of the chemo meds.  It made for a much less intense day then we were expecting which was nice.  Hopefully it will be here this week but if not the schedule is relatively flexible and the week after will be fine. 

I was hoping to get more blog visiting this past week but between fatigues and the migraines showing back up it was a bare minimum kind of week.  I haven't gotten much reading done with the exception of audio books which have been my favorite thing.  I hope everyone is staying safe and warm!

Currently:  


Reading:
  Scandal in Skibbereen by Sheila Connolly and A Side of Murder by Amy Pershing

Listening:  Framed in Lace by Monica Ferris (good but not my favorite series - the premise of this one caught my interest so I decided to give it a listen.)

Watching: Still not much - either true crime shows or YouTube

Have a great week and happy reading!

Midwinter Murder - Classic Mystery Review

Goodreads:  Midwinter Murder: Fireside Tales from the Queen of Mysteries by Agatha Christie

Rating: Loved It!
Source:  Purchased

Description:  There's a chill in the air and the days are growing shorter . . . It's the perfect time to curl up in front of a crackling fire with these wintry whodunits from the legendary Agatha Christie. But beware of deadly snowdrifts and dangerous gifts, poisoned meals and mysterious guests. This chilling compendium of short stories—some featuring beloved detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple—is an essential omnibus for Christie fans and the perfect holiday gift for mystery lovers.

INCLUDES THE STORIES:
- Three Blind Mice
- The Chocolate Box
- A Christmas Tragedy
- The Coming of Mr Quin
- The Clergyman's Daughter/Red House
- The Plymouth Express
- Problem at Pollensa Bay
- Sanctuary
- The Mystery of Hunter's Lodge
- The World's End
- The Manhood of Edward Robinson
- Christmas Adventure

Genre: Mystery - Classic 

Why I Picked This Book:  I grabbed this one for a hospital stay - there's nothing better then Agatha Christie short stories!

My Impression:  I almost talked myself out of buying this one because I own all of Agatha Christie's books including her short story collections but I took a chance and I'm so glad I did.  To my absolute delight I found two short stories I've never read before!  Both "Christmas Adventure" and "The Mystery at Hunter's Lodge" were new to me and it was wonderful to discover two new Christie stories as well as getting a nice collection of old favorites.

This would be a great intro collection for readers new to Agatha Christie.  There's a little taste of all her detectives - Poirot and Miss Marple show up as do Tommy and Tuppence and there are appearances by the underrated and underused Harley Quin and Mr. Parker Pyne.  Plus, "Three Blind Mice"  is one of her very best stories and is not to be missed.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Of course!  I'm already reading the next Miss Marple mystery on my list!

Would I Recommend this Book?  Yes!  This is a fun collection for all Christie fans.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Friday Fives - Five Books I Read Recently


I'm taking a bit of a break from my usual Friday Linkups to try something a little different.  I'm in a list making kind of mood so I thought I'd start making random five lists.  Sometimes they'll be bookish other weeks not so much.  Here are 5 books I've read recently and what I thought of them.



If Mashed Potatoes Could Dance by Paige Shelton
- This is kind of a Lizzie Borden story with a bit of an Old West twist.  Bett and her grandmother Miz can see ghosts and when the infamous ghost of Sally Swathmore (infamous for murdering her parents with an axe) appears they just can't help but get involved.  Throw in a kidnapping and some Old West stories and this was a fun read.  While this is technically a foodie cozy the cooking school run by Bett and Miz is on summer break and so the foodie mentions are at a minimum.  That said this ghostly mystery was a lot of fun and a quick read.  My Rating: Really Liked It!


Live and Let Pie by Ellie Alexander
- The Bakeshop Mysteries is one of my very favorite cozy mysteries but somehow I missed this one.  I'm so glad I took the time to go back and read this one as not only does it mean I'm caught up on the series but it's also kind of pivotal book as it has Torte introducing several new members of staff.  I liked that it didn't go perfectly smoothly and that a couple of team members had some growing pains.  The mystery was a good one with connections to an event that happened 50 years before.  I also enjoyed seeing a bit more of the relationship between the Professor and Jules as well as some scenes between Jules and her mother.  I must admit the resolution surprised me a bit which doesn't happen very much! My Rating: Really Liked It!


Tulle Death Do Us Part by Annette Blair
- This is the last book in the Vintage Magic Mystery series involve Madeira Cutler (aka Maddie or Mad) who happens to be able to read the vintage clothes she sells and can see the memories of the person who wore them.  This is clearly the last book of the series so a lot of loose ends were tied up and not always the way I expected.  In particular the love triangle that had been at the edges since the beginning finally gets resolved.  The mystery was interesting if a bit disjointed and relying on coincidence.  This book (and really the series) are okay.  If you love vintage clothes it's a lot of fun but otherwise I think there are better cozy mystery series out there.  My Rating: Just Okay


A Curio Killing by Mary Ellen Hughes
- Callie Reed is just getting settled in her new town of Keepsake Cove and running the music box store her aunt left her when one again murder visits the charming little town filled with curio shops.  This time it's the manager of the band playing at the spring festival and Callie's ex-boyfriend Hank is the prime suspect.  And he's not the only person in town who may have a shaky history with the victim.  I'm pretty sure this is the end of the series and if so it was a good conclusion.  The mystery was entertaining with lots of suspects and clues.  I enjoyed seeing Callie, Tabitha, Lyssa, and Brian and spending time among the shops.  The solution surprised me a bit and I had a fun time discovering just what had happened.  As well I really appreciated the conversations Callie and Brian had about his feelings about her helping Hank.  It's a detail that so often gets neglected and it helped with the realism.  My Rating: Liked It!


Killer in the Carriage House by Sheila Connolly
- This is the 2nd book in the Victorian Village Mystery series and while I can't say it's one of my favorites I do find it entertaining and intriguing.  In this book Kate Hamilton's idea to turn her hometown which is slowly fading into nothing into a destination Victorian themed village is gaining traction and the investigation into just who Henry Barton was - the town's leading employer who built an enormous mansion on the outskirts of town back in the Victorian times - is starting to get off the ground.  When a stranger is found murdered in the library Kate is instantly pulled into figuring out just what the stranger was after and is the Barton house in trouble.  I figured out the who pretty quickly but the whys did keep me guessing and I enjoyed this read.  What has me the most hooked about this series is that at this point I feel invested in the fate of Asheboro and I'm dying to find out just what secrets - if any - that Henry Barton was hiding.  My Rating:  Liked It!

What have you been reading lately?

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Books from the Backlog - Irish Stewed

 


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:  After flopping as a personal chef to a Hollywood movie star, jobless Laurel Inwood finds herself humbled in Hubbard, Ohio, helping her aunt Sophie run her restaurant. Much to Laurel’s dismay, Sophie’s Terminal at the Tracks is not the cozy bistro her aunt would have had her believe—it’s a run-down greasy spoon in an old railroad station. To save the dingy diner, Laurel cooks up a plan to feature alternating ethnic cuisine as specials.
But first there’s the problem of the body in the booth. Slumped over a table with a receipt spike in his back is Jack Lancer—“the Lance of Justice”—an investigative reporter for local TV news. Assisted by the drop-dead gorgeous owner of the neighboring Irish store—who may or may not be a suspect—Laurel sets out to track down a killer who had no reservations about impaling a newshound. But as she turns up the heat, will she end up in the soup herself?

Why It Needs to Come Off the Shelf:  I read a later book (possible the last) in this series and really enjoyed it.  This is the first book and I own the rest so I'd love to finally get around to this one.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday - Purple, Green, and Gold Covers on My TBR

 


Today I'm linking up with Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl which is all about lists.  Since lists are one of my favorite things this is one of my favorite linkups!  Today's topic is about purple, green and gold covers to celebrate Mardi Gras.  Last Mardi Gras we had just left New Orleans and I was definitely in the mood (not so much for the Lent part but DEFINITELY feeling Mardi Gras).  This year not so much though I did get a King Cake which made me happy.  So here are a few covers from my TBR that are in Mardi Gras colors.


1.  The Woman in the Green Dress by Tea Cooper


2.  Murder by Sea by Kathleen Bridge


3.  The Lace Makers of Glenmara by Heather Barbeiri


4.  Tiffany Girl by Deeanne Gist


5.  Meet Me in Monaco by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb


6.  The Fine Art of Murder by Emily Barnes


7.  Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch


8.  The Woman Who Stole Vermeer: The True Story of Rose Dugdale and the Russborough House Art Heist by Anthony M. Armore


9.  The Children of Green Knowe by Lucy M. Boston


10.  Treacherous is the Night by Anna Lee Huber

Have you read any of these?  Any that need to be moved to the top of the list or should be skipped all together?