Sunday, September 25, 2022

Life with Leukemia, A Puppy and Some Reading - September 25

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:

The Secret Book of Flora Lea by Patti Callahan Henry

An American in Scotland by Lucy Connelly

Sleep No More by Jayne Ann Krentz


Reading:  The Ghost and the Stolen Tears by Cleo Coyle and Silent Murders by Mary Miley

Listening:  Heiresses: The Lives of the Million Dollar Babies by Laura Thompson

September is Childhood Cancer awareness month and this amazing foundation in our city put on a big event for all the St Jude patients.  They rented out this business that has an arcade and roller skating and laser tag and a whole bunch of other activities for just patients and their families.  As well it was catered and the kids got unlimited coins for the different games.  The mascot for our local baseball team was also wandering round to interact with the kids.  It was such a fun night and Will had a great time.  His numbers are still pretty low and his energy has been down too but other than that he's feeling pretty good.

I'm writing this on Friday because Saturday the dog club I'm a member of is having a big event where we showcase all the different activities we do and have lots of dog related vendors and food trucks (not dog related but most will have some kind of dog treat!) and lots of other stuff.  Normally a few thousand people show up so it's kind of crazy.  I'm volunteering for the bulk of the day in different activities and am expecting to be absolutely wiped out Saturday night and Sunday!  

Have a great week and happy reading!

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Vanishing Point - Classic Mystery Review

Goodreads: Vanishing Point by Patricia Wentworth

Rating: Really Liked It! (4.5 Stars)
Source:   Purchased

Description:  Nothing much ever seemed to happen in the sleepy village of Hazel Green apart from the occasional tea-party, spiced with local gossip. Until Maggie Bell went out one evening for a breath of fresh air and never came back. Could Maggie's disappearance be linked to security leaks at the nearby Air Ministry? Or is a sinister scheme being hatched closer to home? Miss Silver is called in to solve the mystery just as a second person goes missing ...

Genre: Mystery - Classic

My Impression:  In my previous Patricia Wentworth review I commented on the sameness I was starting to see in the Miss Silver books.  Here it seems that Wentworth was feeling the same as she definitely shook things up a bit in this book.  There are some common factors that do occur frequently in the Miss Silver books.  There's a bit of romance, a small village that Miss Silver happens to have an old school friend who resides there, and a prominent family fallen on hard times.

I don't want to say too much about this one because there are a lot of twists and turns some more unexpected than others.  Miss Silver's involvement was well done and I liked the Maxwell sisters.  This has a little more suspense and intrigue then I've come to expect from the other Miss Silver books.  My only real complaint was that the security leaks at the Air Ministry mentioned in the blurb seemed to be a contrived point to get Miss Silver in the neighborhood and then seemed to be forgotten about until the very end.  When that particular plot point was wrapped up it took me a minute to remember what they were talking about.  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Of course!  Miss Silver is one of my favorite detectives and Patricia Wentworth is one of my favorite mystery authors.

Would I Recommend this Book? If you love classic mysteries you should definitely try a Miss Silver book and this is a fun one to start with.  

Friday, September 23, 2022

Friday Five - Five Books I Might Put on My Must Read List for 2023

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.  I'm starting to think about my reading for 2023 and while I don't want to be as list focused as I was this year I do want to have a short list of books to read so that I can have a little focus.  Here are 5 books I'm considering putting on my 2023 reading list.  

1.  The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams - I haven't read Beatriz Williams in a year or two and I'm missing her books.  This one is sitting on my shelf just waiting to be read!

2.  Death in the Family by Teresa Wegert - This book has been sitting on my shelf staring at me for far too long and I've wanted to read it since the day I got it.

3.  Cross Her Heart by Melinda Lee - I love suspense and this author has been on my TBR for ages.  

4.  Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in an English Village by Maureen Johnson by Jay Cooper - How can I resist this title?  It seems like such an interesting read.

5.  The House at Riverton by Kate Morton - This is one of the few Kate Morton books I haven't read and I've been really wanting to pick up another book by her.

Are you thinking about your reading plans for 2023? What are you wanting to read?

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Snowed in for Christmas - Contemporary Romance Review

Goodreads: Snowed in for Christmas by Sarah Morgan

Rating:  Really Liked It! (4 Stars)
Source:   Publisher

Description:  A family gathering

This Christmas the Miller siblings have one goal—to avoid their well-meaning family’s endless stream of prying questions. Ross, Alice and Clemmie have secrets that they don’t intend to share, and they are relying on each other to deflect attention.

An uninvited guest

Lucy Clarke is facing a Christmas alone and the prospect of losing her job. Unless she can win a major piece of business from Ross Miller, the season promises to be anything but festive. She’ll just deliver her proposal to his family home and then leave. After all, she wouldn’t want to intrude on the Miller family’s perfect Christmas.

A Christmas to remember

When Lucy appears on the Miller family’s snow-covered Highland doorstep, she's mistaken for Ross’s girlfriend. By the time the confusion is cleared up, they're snowed in—she can’t leave, even if she wants to! But does she want to? As secrets spill out like presents from an overstuffed stocking and the chemistry between her and Ross ignites, this is going to be either Lucy's worst Christmas ever or the best mistake of her life.

Genre: Romance - Contemporary

Why I Picked This Book:  I really enjoy holiday romances and this looked like a good one - plus it's in Scotland!

My Impression: This is my favorite kind of Christmas-y read!  A bit light on the actual romance but full of family dynamics, humor, an outspoken grandmother and all the Christmas coziness one can cram into a book.  

It did take me a little bit to get fully invested in the story as we change POVs from Lucy, to Alice and Clemmie, and their mother with each chapter.  While this is a romance the romance takes a back seat for quite a lot of the book as the characters face their own challenges and interact with each other.  I did love that while none of these characters is perfect (far from it) they're all fairly realistic.  These are all people I can imagine meeting and wanting to spend time with.  Not to say there isn't more than a bit of chaos but none of it feels over the top.

It's been awhile since I've read anything by Sarah Morgan and I'm not wondering why as I very much enjoyed this one!  It was so winter-y and Christmas-y and cozy that I forgot it was 100 degrees outside and got  pulled in.  This was lovely and a great book to kick off my Christmas reading.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? I would!  I'm looking forward to reading more of her backlog and will be looking for future books.

Would I Recommend this Book? If you like fiction with lots of family dynamics and a bit of romance this is a great holiday read!

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

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

A Death in Door County - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads:  A Death in Door County (A Monster Hunter Mystery #1) by Annelise Ryan

Rating:  Really Liked It! (4.5 Stars)
Source:   Publisher

Description:  Morgan Carter, owner of the Odds and Ends bookstore in Door County, Wisconsin, has a hobby. When she's not tending the store, she's hunting cryptids--creatures whose existence is rumored, but never proven to be real. It's a hobby that cost her parents their lives, but one she'll never give up on.

So when a number of bodies turn up on the shores of Lake Michigan with injuries that look like bites from a giant unknown animal, police chief Jon Flanders turns to Morgan for help. A skeptic at heart, Morgan can't turn down the opportunity to find proof of an entity whose existence she can't definitively rule out. She and her beloved rescue dog, Newt, journey to the Death's Door strait to hunt for a homicidal monster in the lake--but if they're not careful, they just might be its next victims.

Genre:  Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  I've been wanting to read this author for awhile and I can never resist the first book in a cozy series.

My Impression:  I'm pretty straight forward when it comes to my cozies.  I don't mind an occasional ghost or two but much more than that an I'm usually out.  Because of that I almost passed on this one.  I'm so glad I didn't because it was an absolute delight!  

I love Morgan as a main character and Newt is a delight as a doggy side kick.   The Odds and Ends store is incredibly intriguing and her back story is both incredibly sad but also leaves space for a mystery to resurface later.  Devon and Rita are her two store employees and make a great team both as investigative and personal support.  I also liked Jon.  While he and Morgan have very different professions they are both open minded and logical investigators and I enjoyed how they worked together.

I flew through this mystery and enjoyed every moment of it.  I loved the characters, was completely wrapped in the plot and was sorry to get to the last page.  I'm already looking forward to the next book!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I really enjoyed this one and want to read more from this author.

Would I Recommend this Book?   Definitely!  Even if you're not a big fan of monsters I think you'll enjoy this cozy as much as I did.

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

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday - Fall 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 my Fall TBR.  The seasonal TBRs are always my favorite Top Ten Tuesdays.  I very rarely read even most of the books on these lists but I love making them!

1.  An Unforgiving Place by Claire Kells - This mystery series set in the National Parks sounds like such a good read and I can't resist the setting.

2.  High Spirits by Carol J. Perry - The first book in this series was one of my favorite reads of 2021 and I can't wait to get to this one.

3.  Dashing Through the Snowbirds by Donna Andrews - I love this series by Donna Andrews and the Christmas mysteries are usually the best.

4.  The Plot and the Pendulum by Jenn McKinlay - This is the next book in one of my favorite cozy mystery series and this one sounds fantastic!

5.  Secrets in the Stacks by Lynn Cahoon - I read the first book in the series earlier this year and really enjoyed it.  I'm looking forward to see how the series progresses.

6.  The Haunted Lady by Mary Roberts Rinehart - This is the next book on my shelf from Rinehart and it looks perfect for some spooky reading.

7.  Playing to the Gods: Sarah Bernhardt, Eleonora Duse and the Rivalry That Changed Acting Forever by Peter Radar - I know nothing about this book but I picked it at random on my TBR list I keep of library books and it sounds interesting.

8.  The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and America's Royalty in the Nation's Largest Home by Denise Kiernan - I'm fascinated by the Biltmore and am so curious to learn more about the people who built it and lived there.

9.  The Great Pearl Heist: London's Greatest Thief and Scotland Yard's Hunt for the World's Most Valuable Necklace by Molly Caldwell Crosby - I love heist books and this sounds intriguing.

10.  This Old Homicide by Kate Carlisle - This is the next book in a long running series.  I read the first book recently and have read the most recent books but am trying to get caught up on the middle books.

What books are on your TBR?

Monday, September 19, 2022

A Vacation to Die For - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads: A Vacation to Die For (A Tourist Trap Mystery #14) by Lynn Cahoon

Rating: Liked It (3.5 Stars)
Source:   Publisher

Description:   Hustling her fiancé off to a neighboring tourist town might be the only way Jill Gardner can plan her nuptials to South Cove’s in-demand police detective. But when a mystery man turns up dead at South Cove’s PD, Greg is hightailing it back home to investigate, leaving Jill to finish the vacation solo.

Jill can barely get in a spa day before her own respite is spoiled by a greedy hotel guest and unexpected revelations about Max Winter, the developer conniving to buy her home out from under her. Then there’s the staffing issues at the store, the strange men seen lurking about town, and an aggressive and obnoxious family member harassing Jill’s beloved employee. It’s enough to make the bride-to-be full of jitters . . . especially when she finds herself in the crosshairs of a killer . . .

Genre:  Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  I enjoy this series and of course I had to pick up the next one.

My Impression:  I really love this series.  I love Jill and the town of South Cove and the atmosphere of the bookstore.  I will, however, be really glad when all the weddings are over and done with.  Amy was a bridezilla before her wedding and she hasn't quite calmed down yet.  I'm glad Jill and Greg are finally talking about things but I do wish Jill would get out of her head a bit about the wedding and marriage in general.  

The mystery was interesting and there were a few different things going on in the book and Jill's new employee is having family issues and Greg is trying to determine just who the victim and and who could have killed him.  This was a well plotted and interesting read that kept me reading and pulled into the story.  When I pick up a book in this series I expect an entertaining read and this book definitely delivered!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Of course!  I have enjoyed all the books I've read by Cahoon.  

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you like bookish cozies this is a great series to pick up and while you can start anywhere in the series it's even better if started at the beginning.

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

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Life with Leukemia, a Puppy, and Some Reading

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

What I Got:

Nothing!  I did just buy a book but it isn't here yet so it doesn't count.  Rover did get a pup cup though and he said it was delicious.


Reading:  Snowed in for Christmas by Sarah Morgan and The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

Listening:  Vanishing Edge by Claire Kells

It's been a fairly quiet week.  Will's numbers came back lower at clinic and he's been feeling a bit rundown so we've mostly stayed home and relaxed.  Or Will and I relaxed Jason (husband) isn't good at relaxing so he's been painting the shed and tackling new projects.  

Rover is feeling like a teenager and has been acting a bit crazy though we worked a lot on heeling and are finally at a place where he will sit consistently in a heel.  We start scent work class this week and I'm excited to see how it goes.  We were on a walk in the neighborhood and for the first time one of the horses was close enough to the fence that he could see it and he was absolutely fascinated.  He could have sat there for an hour just watching it.  

I had some kind of allergy situation or cold or something and ended up going to bed early a few days this week which cut into my blog visiting and reading.  I did take a Covid test but luckily that came back negative and I'm feeling a bit better and I'm hoping it will continue to go away.  I have too much stuff I want to do to get sick!

Have a great week and happy reading!

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Madam, Will You Talk? - Classic Mystery Review

Goodreads:  Madam, Will You Talk? by Mary Stewart

Rating: Really Liked It! (4 Stars)
Source:   Purchased - Audio

Description:  Widowed Charity Selborne had been greatly looking forward to her driving holiday through France with her old friend Louise - long, leisurely days under the hot sun, enjoying the beauty of the parched Provencal landscape. But when Charity arrived at their hotel in the picturesque French town of Avignon, she had no way of knowing that she was to become the principal player in the last act of a strange and brutal tragedy. Most of it had already been played. There had been love--and lust--and revenge and fear and murder.

Very soon her dreams turn into a nightmare, when by befriending a terrified boy and catching the attention of his enigmatic, possibly murderous father, Charity has inadvertently placed herself center stage. She becomes enmeshed in the schemes of a gang of murderers. And now the killer, with blood enough on his hands, is waiting in the wings.

Genre: Mystery - Classic

Why I Picked This Book:  I'm trying to read through all of Mary Stewart's books and this was next on my list.

My Impression: This was definitely my favorite Mary Stewart book so far!  This is the first book on audio so I'm not sure how much the fantastic job narrator Emilia Fox did influenced me but I think this was just the strongest story I've read yet.  Charity Selborne is visiting France with a friend when you meets a young boy and gets involved in a tangle of lies and danger.

I did guess how it was going to play out (with a few exceptions) though that didn't keep me from being engaged with the story from beginning to end.  Charity is a likable main character who is competent and intelligent but not experienced with dangerous situations so she doesn't always do the right thing.  She's still coming to terms with the loss of her husband and is looking for peace and distraction as she tours Roman ruins in France.  I was caught up in the story and felt like I was holding my breath through the last few chapters as everything played out.

What kept this book from being a 5 star for me was the romance.  I can deal with some insta-love but this was so over the top and seemed ridiculous.   Other than that this was a interesting and suspenseful read and in my opinion one of Stewart's best.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Definitely!  I'm trying to decide what my next book by her will be.

Would I Recommend this Book? If you like atmospheric mysteries and can overlook some over the top insta-love then I think you'll enjoy this one just as much as I did!

Friday, September 16, 2022

Friday Fives - Five Favorite Classic Movies

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 is a not so much as I'm thinking about 5 of my favorite classic movies.   I love classic movies and used to watch them all the time when I was visiting my grandfather.  When he died in 2019 that kind of paused my watching and then when Will was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2020 and it's like my attention span just completely left and I haven't been able to watch a movie since then!  I've been starting to miss movie watching which has gotten me thinking about 5 of my favorite classic movies.

1.  Mrs. Miniver - Words cannot express how much I love this movie.  Walter Pidgeon is perfection and Greer Garson just glows.  This is a regular family living during World War II in England and there are so many scenes that just hit home so much for me.  This movie makes me laugh and cry and hold my breath and go on desperate online searches for a stunning Wedgwood Jasperware coffee pot that appears early on in the movie (and I still haven't found it!).  

2.  Rear Window - I'm not always the biggest Hitchcock fan but this one featuring Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly is one of my favorites.  Grace Kelly is a bit different from her usual icy sophisticated character which I love and Jimmy Stewart does such a fantastic job portraying his frustration and helplessness.  

3.  Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House - Cary Grant is one of my all time favorite actors.  He's genius at both comedic and suspenseful roles.  This is a comedy and if you have ever built a house or done any kind of renovation you absolutely must watch this movie!

4.  Casablanca - Every time I watch this movie a different scene sticks with me and the scene in the nightclub where they are signing the French anthem never fails to make me tear up.

5. Arsenic and Old Lace - Other Cary Grant comedy and one that I always enjoy.  Watching Grant go from the suave polished gentleman to completely disheveled and out of his depth is genius and the rest of the movie is darkly hysterical.

What are some of your favorite classic movies?

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Books from the Backlog - Murder at Beechwood

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:  Murder at Beechwood by Alyssa Maxwell

Blurb: For Newport, Rhode Island’s high society, the summer of 1896 brings lawn parties, sailboat races…and murder. Having turned down the proposal of Derrick Andrews, Emma Cross has no imminent plans for matrimony—let alone motherhood. But when she discovers an infant left on her doorstep, she naturally takes the child into her care. Using her influence as a cousin to the Vanderbilts and a society page reporter for the Newport Observer , Emma launches a discreet search for the baby’s mother.
One of her first stops is a lawn party at Mrs. Caroline Astor’s Beechwood estate. But an idyllic summer’s day is soon clouded by tragedy. During a sailboat race, textile magnate Virgil Monroe falls overboard. There are prompt accusations of foul play—and even Derrick Andrews falls under suspicion. Deepening the intrigue, a telltale slip of lace may link the abandoned child to the drowned man. But as Emma navigates dark undercurrents of scandalous indiscretions and violent passions, she’ll need to watch her step to ensure that no one lowers the boom on her…

Why It Needs to Come Off the Shelf:  I've read one book in this series and really enjoyed it and this one sounds great!

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

The Book Haters' Book Club - Fiction Review

Goodreads:  The Book Haters' Book Club by Gretchen Anthony

Rating: Liked It! (3.5 Stars)
Source:   Publisher

Description: All it takes is the right book to turn a Book Hater into a Book Lover…

That was Elliott’s belief and the reason why he started The Book Haters’ Book Club—a newsletter of reading recommendations for the self-proclaimed “nonreader.” As the beloved co-owner of Over the Rainbow Bookstore, Elliott’s passion and gift was recommending books to customers. Now, after his sudden death, his grief-ridden business partner, Irma, has agreed to sell Over the Rainbow to a developer who will turn the cozy bookstore into high-rise condos.

But others won’t give up the bookstore without a fight. When Irma breaks the news to her daughters, Bree and Laney, and Elliott’s romantic partner, Thom, they are aghast. Over the Rainbow has been Bree and Laney’s sanctuary since childhood, and Thom would do anything to preserve Elliott’s legacy. Together, Thom, Bree and Laney conspire to save the bookstore, even if it takes some snooping, gossip and minor sabotage.

Filled with humor, family hijinks and actual reading recommendations, The Book Haters' Book Club is the ideal feel-good read. It’s a celebration of found family and a love letter to the everyday heroes who run bookstores.

Genre: Fiction - Contemporary

Why I Picked This Book:   I can never resist a book involving a bookstore!

My Impression: I liked this one - I really did but unfortunately for this book the last few books I've read that have taken place in bookstores where 5 star Keeper Shelf level reads so I went into this one with sky high expectations.  Expectations that I don't think this book quite lived up to.  I really liked the characters - except for Irma who drove me crazy with her refusal to deal with  a situation of her making and talk to people she had insisted be in her presence.  Luckily, because she was so unwilling to be part of the conversation she is mostly sidelined to a background character unless she's the topic of a "What should we do about Irma" conversation.  The relationships between Bree, Laney, and Thom were interesting and I liked seeing that develop as well as getting to know each character better on their own.

Mixed in with the third person chapters were first person bits of narrative written by Elliot which I enjoyed.  Elliot absence is such a pivotal issue in the book that it was nice to get to know him a bit.  I found the writing style easy to read and I think it had a good flow.  

While I enjoyed this book and liked the characters it just didn't pull me in and make me fall in love with the world the book created.  I am looking forward to reading more from this author and will be keeping an eye out for her books in the future.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? I would!  

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you like books with family relationships then I think you'll enjoy this one.

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

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday - Books On My TBR With Geographical Terms in the Title

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 books with geographical terms in the title and I'm specifically looking at books on my TBR.

1.  Death Comes to the Village by Catherine Lloyd - I don't know much about this first in a cozy mystery series but it looks promising.

2.  One Foot in the Grove by Kelly Lane - Ditto above

3.  The Little Flower Shop by the Sea by Ali McNamara - This sounds like a good read though I know nothing about this author.

4.  The Secret Island by Enid Blyton - I never read Enid Blyton as a child and I'd like to fix that and this sounds like a fun one.

5.  Sweet Lake by Christina Nolfi - This looks lovely and has been on my TBR for ages.

6.  Lady on the Hill: How the Biltmore Estate Became An American Icon by Howard E. Covington Jr - I've been fascinated by the Biltmore since we visited there years ago and this looks intriguing.

7.  The Mountains Wild by Sarah Stewart Taylor - This entire series is on my TBR and it looks fantastic.

8.  The Lighthouse on Moonglow Bay by Lori Foster - This looks like a lovely romance/women's fiction book.

9.  A Stranger on the Beach by Michelle Campbell - I've read another book by this author and really enjoyed it.

10. Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams - Ditto above.

Do you have any books with geographical terms in the title on your TBR?

Monday, September 12, 2022

Dewey Decimated - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads: Dewey Decimated (Haunted Library Mystery #6) by Allison Brook

Rating: Really Liked It! (4 Stars)
Source:   Publisher

Description:  Carrie Singleton is just off a hot string of murder cases centered around the spooky local library in Clover Ridge, Connecticut. She could really use a break—but no such luck, as she; Smokey Joe, the resident cat; and Evelyn, the library’s ghost, are drawn into another tantalizing whodunit.

First, a dead body is found in the basement of the building attached to the library, and it turns out to be Carrie’s fiancé’s Uncle Alec, who Dylan hasn’t seen in years. But Alec has no intention of truly checking out, and his ghost makes itself at home in the library, greatly upsetting the patrons. Carrie and Evelyn work hard to keep Alec out of sight, but what was he doing in Clover Ridge to begin with? And why was he killed?

Meanwhile, the town council, of which Carrie is also a member, is embroiled in a hot-headed debate over the fate of the Seabrook Preserve, a lovely and valuable piece of property that runs along Long Island Sound. Turn it into an upscale park? Sell it to a condo developer? Or keep it as protected land?

As the dispute rages, there’s another murder, this time involving a council member. Could the two murders be connected? And could Carrie be next on the hit list?

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:   I love this series so of course I had to pick up this latest book!

My Impression: This has been one of my favorite cozy mystery series since book one and this was no different.  Carrie has grown up a lot and now we see her dealing with her new position on the town council as well as trying to figure out what her life with Dylan will look like.  As well, she is kept busy by her job as program director at the local library.  Oh - and in investigating a murder or two!

One of my least favorite things in books with ghosts is the awkward situations that occur when a character is talking to a ghost that no one else can see.  This has been mostly avoided in this series and I've really enjoyed that Carrie is also honest with those close to her.  It cuts down on unnecessary misunderstandings and allows the focus to be on the plot.  

The mystery kept me engaged and guessing though it did take a bit to develop as the bulk of the first half of the book is filled with just figuring out who the corpse belongs to.  I liked that Evelyn and Dylan took a more active role in the investigation and the addition of another ghost was entertaining.

I very much enjoy this cozy mystery series and feel like with each book I get to know Carrie and the community of Clover Ridge a bit better.  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Definitely!  I'm already looking forward to the next book!

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy a fun cozy mystery series with a great cast of characters this is a fun series though I do recommend starting from the beginning of the series.

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

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Life with Leukemia, A Puppy, and Some Reading - September 11

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:

Wild Ride: A Memoir of I.V. Drips and Rocket Ships by Hayley Arceneaux - I'm so excited about this book!  Hayley was Will's PA when we were first at St. Jude and she was the first person there we really connected with.   She's such a sweet person and really goes the extra mile for her patients and I'm looking forward to reading this.  (Purchased)

Will and Hayley back in July


Reading:  A Vacation to Die For by Lynn Cahoon and Vanishing Point by Patricia Wentworth

Listening:  The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell

Another fairly quiet week.  We've been working on school and have finished reviewing and are moving onto new topics.  Will's numbers have dropped a bit so we are trying to stay home and make sure he gets plenty of rest to try and keep another hospitalization from happening at least anytime soon.  Luckily, he's been feeling pretty good so I'm hoping that this week's counts drop is just a fluke and not a trend.

Rover is still taking his 2nd Manners course and we will be starting a class on Scent work in 2 weeks.  I'm looking forward to seeing how he will do.  If he does well and we enjoy it we can either start working towards competitions where he locates a target while being timed or even start training for volunteer search and rescue but that is quite awhile away.  We will also be starting Rally next month which is essentially moving obedience.  I'm a bit concerned he's still a little immature for it but we will see how it goes.

I've been working on school stuff and am excited to really get moving on homeschooling.  I've found some new books for a mythology course as well as some add-ins I want to include in grammar lessons.  I'm still volunteering to assist with dog classes and really enjoying that and taking classes with Rover which is also lots of fun.  We've been working on getting a bit more regular with bedtime and I'm finally starting to feel not so fatigued and I'm hoping that is a trend as well.  

Have a great week and happy reading!

Saturday, September 10, 2022

The Under Dog and Other Stories - Classic Mystery Review

Goodreads:  The Under Dog and Other Stories and Other Stories by Agatha Christie

Rating: Really Liked It! (4 Stars)
Source:   Purchased

Description:  A dead heiress, a murdered recluse, and a slain playboy are but a few of the unfortunate victims of confounding crimes committed in the pages of Agatha Christie’s "The Under Dog and Other Stories," a superior collection of short story, mystery fiction all featuring Hercule Poirot.

The beautiful heiress was found dead on a train. The forgotten recluse made headlines after he was shot in the head, and the wealthy playboy was stabbed through the heart during a costume ball. We shouldn't forget the elderly woman who suspected that she was slowly being poisoned to death, and the prince who feared for his reputation when his fiancée became embroiled in another man's murder.

Who but Agatha Christie could concoct such uncanny crimes? Who but Belgian detective Hercule Poirot could possibly solve them? It's a challenge to be met, and a triumph of detection.

Genre: Mystery - Classic, Short Stories

My Impression: This collection of short stories is exclusively Hercule Poirot stories and while I love Poirot I find that I prefer the collections with a mix of detectives.  Other then that tiny issue this is a fun mix of stories.  "The Under Dog" is the longest story in the book and is an interesting locked room mystery with lots of misdirection.  There are several stories that seem to be practice for full length mysteries that were published later and they were fun to read.  

I always enjoy Christie's short story collections and this is a solid read but is lacking in any real standout story like some of her other collections ("Three Blind Mice" and "Witness for the Prosecution" for example).  

Would I Recommend this Book? If you enjoy Agatha Christie - especially her Poirot books - I think you would very much enjoy this short story collection.

Friday, September 9, 2022

Friday Fives - Five Long Running Series That Are On My List to Start Next

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.  I'm making progress on catching up with some of the series I've started but I have several long running ones I'm really looking forward to starting.

1.  The Meg Langslow Mysteries by Donna Andrews - I've read most of the most recent books in this series and absolutely loved them and I'm looking forward to going back to the beginning and getting to know the characters in the earlier days.

2.  Murder, She Wrote by Jessica Fletcher and assorted authors - I've always been a fan of the show but always dismissed the books until recently.  I was so surprised to discover they're just as delightful as the show and I'm looking forward to getting started on the early books.  

3.  Mrs. Jeffries Mysteries by Emily Brightwell - I've absolutely loved the most recent books in this series and picked up the first book not that long ago.  I didn't love it quite as much but I'm looking forward to seeing the series develop.

4.  Gaslight Mysteries by Victoria Thompson - Another series that I've really enjoyed the most recent books but never read the early books.

5.  In Death Books by J.D. Robb - I love Nora Roberts' books and especially enjoy her suspense titles.  I've never really tried this series because I've been a bit put off by the future setting but I think now is the time to try it.

Do you have any long running series you're looking forward to reading?

Thursday, September 8, 2022

A Good Dog's Guide to Murder - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads:  A Good Dog's Guide to Murder (Paws and Claws Mystery #8) by Krista Davis

Rating:  Liked It! (3.5 Stars)
Source:   Publisher

Description:  Visitors are arriving in droves to spend Thanksgiving in the mountains of pet-friendly Wagtail, Virginia. Many of them are bringing dog and cat gingerbread houses to enter in the contest that will be held in the new convention center. Wagtail resident Orly Biffle bequeathed the land to the town in his will, provided that they not cut down the grand old oak tree on the property. Orly's children are mighty miffed that they didn't inherit the prime piece of property overlooking the lake.

Holly notices that Trixie and Twinkletoes, her calico kitty, are fixated on the big oak tree. Trixie barks at it as though she thinks it's a corpse! Just as contestants are spicing up their sweet gingerbread creations, the majestic tree drops an enormous limb. The mayor declares that the tree is dangerous and must come down. When a bulldozer churns up some roots, the tree falls over on its own accord revealing a body inside the trunk! Initially, everyone suspects this unsavory trick was Orly's doing. But it soon becomes clear that someone is trying to keep the truth under wraps. Trixie and Twinkletoes now have to help Holly sniff out some suspects and leash a conniving killer.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  I've been wanting to try this author and the plot caught my eye.

My Impression:   This was such a fun read! I love the idea of pet friendly Wagtail and all the fun events centered around the dogs and cats.  The community was entertaining with lots of likable townspeople but a few unlikable ones just to keep things interesting.  The mystery kept me guessing until the very end and the reveal was quite a surprise.

I was a bit concerned coming in on the 8th book of the series but I had no problem figuring out the whos, whats, and whys of the characters and their relationships to each other.  As well, I'm not a huge fan of talking pets but I liked how the author gave us little bits of Trixie's thoughts between chapters so we were able to get to know her personality but it didn't take over the story.  

This is a fun cozy mystery with a likable main character and a fun premise.  I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next in Wagtail!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely!  I will be going back and reading the earlier books in the series and will definitely grab the next book.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy cozy mysteries and are an animal lover I think this series is a must read!

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

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Bound By Murder - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads: Bound By Murder (Antique Bookshop Mystery #3) by Laura Gail Black

Rating: Really Liked It! (4 Stars)
Source:   Publisher

Description:  The birds are singing, books are selling, and the Hokes Bluff Inn has begun to host weddings on its property. Antiquarian bookseller Jenna Quinn loves the romance in the air—until her ex-fiancé, Blake Emerson, walks in with his bride-to-be, Missy Plott. Blake continues to profess his love for Jenna if she’ll have him back, no matter the consequences. And the consequences are grave, indeed, when Missy turns up dead.

All evidence points to Blake, who was the last one to see her alive. He begs Jenna to help him clear his name. Blake’s mother, Cordelia, is also bent on exonerating her son. Jenna doesn’t believe that Blake could have killed Missy, and she starts digging for suspects. It could have been Missy’s ex-boyfriend, who proclaims a love for her he says only death could sever. Or might it have been Missy’s bitter “best friend,” who was secretly besotted with Missy’s ex.

Then, the police find evidence from a cold case years before—a case that had falsely implicated Jenna herself. Cordelia continues to beg Jenna to help prove her son’s innocence. Could Blake truly be innocent?

Jenna’s life is on the line in a final confrontation that will either prove Blake’s innocence—or damn them both.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  I've read the first two books in the series and enjoyed them and the plot really intrigued me.

My Impression:   I have really enjoyed the first two books in this series but this may be the best one yet.  From the beginning we've known about Jenna's pretty heavy backstory but this is the first time we've really explored it and that Jenna has dealt with the emotional fallout.  I loved the character development and the exploration of Jenna's new life in Hokes Bluff as well as having her really come to terms with the life she left behind.  

Though there is a lot of character development the mystery is never forgotten or pushed to the side.  The investigating is what forces Jenna to deal with a lot of issues and figure out what she wants and so the character growth and the mystery investigation progress at the same time.  I was pulled in and completely hooked from the very first page until the end.  

I love the mentions of day to day life in Hokes Bluff as well as the running of the bookstore.  I've really enjoyed getting to know Jenna and all the rest of the characters in her world and I was sad to get to last page.  While this is the third book in the series I think you could easy start here.  There is so much focus on Jenna's past that pretty much all the dynamics between the characters are explained.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I really enjoyed this book and would definitely read more from this author and will be looking out for the next book in the series.

Would I Recommend this Book? If you are a cozy mystery reader I think you'd really enjoy this book and this series!

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

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Books I Loved So Much I Had to Buy a Copy

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 books I loved so much that I just had to go out and buy a copy.  This doesn't happen very often as I'm a very picky rereader and I typically have a very small group of authors that make the keeper shelf but here are some that made the cut.

1.  All the books by Patricia Wentworth

2.  All the books by Agatha Christie

3.  All the books by L.M. Montgomery (Except Mistress Pat - dislike that one intensely)

4.  Most of the books by Barbara Michaels (while I love most of her books not all of them are reread worthy)

5.  Most of the books by Rosamunde Pilcher

6.  Once Upon a Wardrobe by Patti Callahan

7.  Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright

8.  Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

9.   The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

10.  84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

What books make the cut for keeper shelf?

Monday, September 5, 2022

Steeped to Death - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads: Steeped to Death (A Witches' Brew Mystery #1) by Gretchen Rue

Rating: Really Liked It! (4 Stars)
Source:   Publisher

Description:   Phoebe Winchester’s beloved aunt Eudora has a taste for adventure—and a knack for making magical tea. It’s even rumored that she just might be a witch. So when Eudora passes away and leaves everything to her niece—her Victorian mansion, her bookshop/tea store, The Earl’s Study, and one very chubby orange cat named Bob—Phoebe gets more than she bargained for. And she knows she’s in deep when a dead man is found on the shop’s back step, apparently killed while trying to break in.

Two suspects immediately emerge among the townspeople of Raven Creek, Washington. There’s village busybody Dierdre Miller, who seems desperate to buy Eudora’s house, and handsome PI Rich, one of Phoebe’s childhood friends—but how well does she really know him after all these years apart?

Phoebe knows she should leave it to the professionals, but as she starts to dig into the underbelly of Raven Creek, she begins to uncover the truth about Eudora. What’s more, her aunt might not have been the only witch in the family, as Phoebe soon discovers she has unique and unexpected gifts of her own.

Now, it’s just a matter of putting her newfound power to the test and cast a spell that could catch a killer.

Genre:  Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  It sounded like an interesting mystery and it's always fun to start on a brand new series.

My Impression: I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this supernatural cozy involving a woman who inherits her aunt's home and tea shop and finds out there's a lot more to her aunt and to herself than she ever could have guessed.

From the very beginning this book just absolutely clicked with me from the beginning.  I really enjoyed getting to know Phoebe and tagging along with her as she got to know her new town of Raven Creek meeting new people and reconnecting with some old friends.  Since this is the first book in the series there's a decent amount of world building and sometimes the mystery got pushed to the side while Phoebe tries to figure out her new life.  However, it all came together so organically that the pacing never seemed to drag and it fit in nicely with the unraveling of the mystery.

This was a fun series opener with a likable main character and a hefty dose of supernatural fun.  The mystery is entertaining and the community of Raven Creek is a solid one with both likable and not so likable characters.  I'm really looking forward to seeing how this series develops.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely!  I will be keeping a lookout for the next book in the series and am looking forward to reading it.

Would I Recommend this Book?   If you enjoy cozies with a strong supernatural edge I think you'll really enjoy this book.

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