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.


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!


  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.

- 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?

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Life with Leukemia (And Some Reading) - February 14

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

This was a fairly quiet week thankfully and we are definitely staying home for the foreseeable future which is a huge relief.  I love our Memphis team at the main St Jude campus but everything is so much easier being home and this way we can stay together as St Jude is still operating on a one caregiver per patient rule. I understand the reasons but it makes it so much harder.  It's harder on the parent who is there because everything is on you, it's harder on the parent who stays home because all they can do is worry, and it's harder on the kid because they miss the other parent.  But that is neither here nor there because we are staying home!  This coming week is going to be a tough one because he has to have a heavy chemo dose plus a kind of blood plasma infusion which he's never had before but is supposed to make you feel like you have the flu for a few days.

I haven't done much this week. I've noticed that when things kind of calm down I'm just flat exhausted and don't have much energy to do anything but the required stuff.  I haven't gotten much reading or blog visiting done.  I have gotten in some yoga which has been good.  


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

Listening:  Little Bookshop of Murder by Maggie Blackburn - I just started this one and am just not sure what I think of it yet - I'm hoping I start liking it more soon.

Watching:  Mostly Will play video games but I'm glad he's feeling well enough to engage with them.

Have a great week and happy reading!

The Clock Strikes Twelve - Classic Mystery Review

Goodreads:  The Clock Strikes Twelve by Patricia Wentworth

Rating:  Really Liked It!    
Source: Purchased

Description:  The Paradine family has gathered to celebrate New Year's Eve. Alas, when the clock strikes twelve old Mr. James Paradine, the patriarch, is found murdered. Yet, he seemed to invite his demise when he accused a family member of disloyalty. Now, Miss Silver must unravel the mystery of troubled love and sudden death.

Genre: Mystery - Classic

Why I Picked This Book:  I'm reading the Miss Silver books in chronological order and this was the next book in the list.  

My Impression:  Miss Silver may just be my favorite detective in all of mystery fiction.  She's just so fun of common sense and calmness and is always ready with a discreet cough.  She seems like an oasis of calm no matter how troubled waters around her just happen to be.  And in the Paradine house the waters are decidedly troubled!  There is more then enough family drama even without the stolen blueprints and the murder and the situation is just about to a boil when Miss Silver appears on the scene.  

The tense family situation is a Wentworth staple and Phyllida Wray is a pretty typical Wentworth heroine who has a tendency to go very pale at stressful times but for the most part holds up.  The mystery is a typical Wentworth mystery which means it was very well plotted with just the right number of twists and turns and red herrings.  If you've read and enjoyed the Miss Marple books then you really must meet Miss Silver!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I already have the next Miss Silver book on my shelf ready to go!

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you love Miss Marple you really need to try Miss Silver!

Friday, February 12, 2021

Friday Five - My Five Favorite Romances

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.  In honor of Valentine's Day I'm pulling up my Five Favorite Romances.  Romance is a genre I haven't read much of in the last couple of years but it is one I used to read a lot from and one I frequently reread from.  Here are five of my favorites that I reach for when I'm wanting a reread.

1.  The Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas  - I'm not usually a fan of the reformed villain but in this book it works.  It's one of my absolute favorites and one I can always reread!

2.  And Then He Kissed Her by Laura Lee Guhrke - This is set a little later in the historical romance realm and involves a woman who is earning her own living and wants to make her own dreams come true and not settle.  

3.  Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts - This is one of Roberts' Ireland books which involves fairies, siblings, and a woman who is starting over in a completely different environment.  Roberts excels at all of these things and this is a great read.

4.  Dream Lake by Lisa Kleypas - This is a contemporary romance and one with a ghost.  I love a good ghost story and most of all I love the heroine in this book. She's just someone I want to be friends with.

5.  Key of Knowledge by Nora Roberts - This is one of Roberts' quest books involving a friend group and a supernatural type quest.  In this one the heroine worked in a library and is a huge reader and the hero is an author and also a huge reader.  

And now I want to go reread all five of these!

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Books from the Backlog - Monument to the Dead

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:  Monument to the Dead by Sheila Connolly

Blurb:  When Nell reads the obituary of a former board member, Adeline Harrison, she makes a mental note to send flowers and doesn’t think twice about it—until FBI agent James Morrison shares his suspicions about the nature of Adeline’s death. It turns out that a number of other members of the local cultural community have died in the last few months, under similar circumstances. Soon Nell uncovers what seems to be a plot to rid Philadelphia of harmless, elderly philanthropists—but why? If she can figure out the killer’s motive, she has a chance of stopping the misanthropic murderer before another do-gooder is done in…

Why It Needs to Come Off the Shelf:  I'm listening to a book in another series by this author and Nell from this series was mentioned which reminded me of this book.  I read the first few ages ago but it's another series I put down ages ago and have been ignoring.  

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday - Romances 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 a romance freebie so I'm looking at Romances on My TBR.  2020 was all about the mysteries for me which meant other genres got completely neglected.  Here are some romances in that neglected list.

1.  The Summer Retreat by Sheila Roberts - I haven't read anything by Sheila Roberts and I loved the look of this one.  It looks like a perfect read for warm weather - or for when I wish the weather was warm!

2.  Who Wants to Marry a Duke by Sabrina Jeffries - Jeffries is one of my favorite historical romance authors and one I've been reading since I first started reading romances 20 years ago.  I meant to read this one last year but didn't get to it.

3.   Second Chance Summer by Jill Shalvis - Shalvis is a favorite of mine and this has been sitting on my shelf for way too long.

4.  Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas - Pretty much ditto the last one.

5.  Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt - I read a book by Hoyt a few years ago and enjoyed it so wanted to pick up more from her.

6.  Everywhere and Every Way by Jennifer Probst - I remember when this one came out and all the raves it was getting but never got around to reading it.

7.  Sweet Little Lies by Jill Shalvis - I read a few books of Shalvis' Heartbreaker Bay series and enjoyed them so I want to go back and read the first one in the series.

8.  The Trouble with Dukes by Grace Burrowes - I don't know much about this one but I'm looking for new historical romance author and thought I'd give this book a try.

9.  Barefoot Season by Susan Mallery - I enjoy Mallery's books and this one looks gloriously summer-y.

10. The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick - I have this one on audio and I'm really looking forward to listening to it.  I love romantic suspense and Amanda Quick's books so this one looks like a winner!

Do you have any romances on your TBR?

Monday, February 8, 2021

The Year of the Series - 2 Mini 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.

On Borrowed Time (Library Lover's Mystery #5) by Jenn McKinlay - In this mystery librarian Lindsey Norris gets entangled in an international mystery when her brother Jack appears from out of nowhere only to get kidnapped leaving a dead body in his place.  This is part of my focus on series effort for 2021 and I'm so glad I picked this one up!  I'm not surprised I enjoyed this one as this is one of my favorite cozy series but I was surprised by just how MUCH I enjoyed it as it does have a very tiny touch of a love triangle which is my least favorite plot device.  Instead that provided several laugh out loud moments and both men involved - Sully and Robbie are both just so likable.  The mystery was entertaining and intriguing with a shadowy international element.  I also enjoyed getting to know Lindsey's brother Jack a bit better.  This is a great series that you can really jump in anywhere but is best read in order.  My Rating: Really Liked It!

A Treacherous Curse (Veronica Speedwell #3) by Deanna Raybourn - Oh this was fun!  Veronica and Stoker are a bit at loose ends when they are suddenly pulled into a mystery full of mummy's curses, stolen antiques, and the darkest shadows of Stoker's past.  The fact that Stoker's past was rather dark and tumultuous is not new but in this book we get a bit more information and a lot more clarity - all of which makes Stoker rather uncomfortable.  I'm fascinated by Egyptian history and the early days of Egyptology so this book might have been written just for me though I don't think you have to be interested in either to be caught up in the adventures of these two and the mystery that they're trying to solve.  There were several laugh out loud moments thanks to Veronica's rather biting wit and a few nail biter scenes.  And when all was revealed I was completely surprised.  If you enjoy historical mysteries this is a series that shouldn't be missed.  While you could easily jump in here I think this series would be better if read from the beginning.  My Rating:  Really Liked It!