Friday, May 21, 2021

Friday Five - Five Books I've 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. This week I'm sharing 5 short reviews of books I've read recently.  

Missing!: Mysterious Cases of People Gone Missing Through The Centuries by Brenda Z. Guiberson - I loved the concept of this one as I'm fascinated by missing persons cases.  It's a middle grade which made the first case choice - Jimmy Hoffa - a bit odd as the editing his story needed to make it child friendly was intense and made it feel a bit disjointed.  The chapters devoted to DB Cooper, Amelia Earhart, Barbara Follet, William Morgan and the Three Princes were more successful.  However, despite that I found the writing style over simplified and stilted.  I think younger children (say ages 7 to 9) might enjoy this if they were fascinated by the subject but I think my 11 year old would find the writing far too young for him.  My Rating:  Just Okay

Framed in Lace by Monica Ferris
- I listened to the first book about this cozy series about Betsy, a woman who inherits a needlecraft store, Crewel World, from her sister (and consequently solves her sister's murder) and enjoyed it even though it wasn't may favorite. The premise of this one - involving a skeleton found on a boat that had been sunk for 50 years - caught my interest and seemed to good to pass up.  I love an old mystery being solved and this didn't disappoint.  Old secrets and hidden agendas are brought out into the light and the Monday Bunch at Crewel World are caught up in the investigation.  I enjoyed this one and loved seeing Betsy's growth with learning about needlecraft as well as her learning to adapt to a small Minnesota town.  However, the conclusion seemed screamingly obvious to me and that dampened my enjoyment a bit.  My Rating: Liked It

Dead in a Flash by Brynn Bonner -
I'm fascinated by genealogy so I couldn't resist a cozy mystery where the main characters are professional genealogists.  Somehow, I ended up with the fourth book in the series but I had no problem jumping in at this book.  The focus is far more on the case then the characters - not that the characters aren't likable.  The mystery in this book is (very) loosely based on the Sodder Children disappearance which made it all the more interesting to me.  The mystery was a touch obvious but I enjoyed the reading experience so much it didn't matter.  In fact, I enjoyed this so much that even before I finished I ordered the first three books in the series.  My Rating:  Really Liked It!

The Readaholics and the Poirot Puzzle by Laura DiSilverio -
I do love a bookish mystery and this one centering around a book club where they are reading one of my very favorite books was impossible to resist.  When Amy-Faye Johnson's brother gets entangled in the murder investigation involving his erratically behaving business partner Amy-Faye and the rest of the Readaholics scramble to find the real killer.  I love a murder where there are people lining up to murder the victim and this was definitely the case here.  The victim had all kinds of nasty habits between drinking and womanizing and just generally being a weaselly jerk.  The main problem is finding someone who knew him and didn't want to kill him.  This was a fun mystery that I enjoyed (even if Amy-Faye and several other Readaholics weren't the biggest fans of Murder on the Orient Express).  It's probably not the most memorable of mysteries but it was a fun bookish escape for a bit.  I've been reading this series backwards and so now have only the 1st to read and I will probably pick that one up if I come across it.  My Rating: Liked It

The $64 Tomato by William Alexander -
I wanted to love this memoir about a man and his garden but this was a no go for me.  I made it through almost 100 pages before I realized I just didn't care anymore.  If this had been a review book I probably would have held on as Alexander is a solid writer but because it wasn't I decided I didn't want to listen to his pompous ramblings anymore.  It's too bad because I think any gardener can relate to a garden project spiraling out of control but he took it a bit over the top with hiring landscape architects, having soil shipped in and irrigation set up as well as just his general somewhat condescending tone.  My Rating: DNF

What books have you read recently?


  1. I'm in awe that you can do mini reviews. LOL Great list for me because I spotted a couple I want to read now- the Monica Ferris and Brynn Bonner series.

  2. These mini reviews were fun and, some ideas for our much to long future reads lists. The $64.00 Tomato sounded intriguing, sorry it didn't work out.

  3. Well it looks like you at least enjoyed most of your recent reads! :)

  4. Funny, but I remember giving up on $64 Tomato many years ago.

  5. Hi Katherine! The Readaholics and the Poirot Puzzle seems fascinating! I think I'll enjoy that one.

    Framed in Lace will probably also work for me!

    Hope you are enjoying a relaxing weekend and that you and Will are well.

  6. I am diggin' mysteries right now. I have the next installments to pick up, but I've currently started a fun, YA K-pop book and a Reese Witherspoon approved, YA fantasy called Fable which is about pirates, I think.

  7. Some varied reading, yes can see why you made the gardening book a DNF. Have you followed up on your own genealogy?

  8. Too bad about the tomato book, ha ha. I going to look to see if there are any humorous first time gardener memoirs. If I find one, I let you know. 🍅

  9. The Readaholics and the Poirot Puzzle and Dead in a Flash both sound so good. I am adding them to my wish list.