Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Year of the Projects - The Girl From the Savoy + The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries + Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen

 I do love a good list.  It gives a nice sense of order and focus and I love making lists about the books I want to read.  Last year I focused just on series I was behind on.  The project went great and I caught up on a ton of series but I felt like I was neglecting other books on my shelf and books at my library.  This year I have a few lists going - Series, Library, Clear Off My Shelves, and a random TBR Bingo where I pull books off my Goodreads TBR.  Here are a few of my most recent reads.


Goodreads:  The Girl From the Savoy by Hazel Gaynor

Project:  TBR Bingo List

My Thoughts:  I have loved every book I've read by Hazel Gaynor and I really enjoyed this one.  I loved the story of Dolly Lane and her big dreams and her practical nature.  I loved Loretta May/Virginia Clemmons and her brother and poor sweet Teddy and all the friends Dolly made along the way.  Her time as a maid at the Savoy was at times funny, at times heartbreaking, and at times maddening.  I do feel like the book kind of started too soon.  There was so much focus on the first half of her time at the Savoy and the rest of her life was at best glossed over and mostly skipped all together.  I wanted to know more about these characters that I had come to love so much.  My Rating:  Really Liked It!


Goodreads:  The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries by Emily Brightwell

Project: Library List

My Thoughts:  I was so excited when I pulled this book randomly off my library list.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the more recent books in this series and have been wanting to go back to the beginning.  This is a fun historical mystery series involving a Scotland Yard Inspector who is doing his legitimate investigation and his household staff led by his housekeeper Mrs. Jeffries who are helping him without his knowledge.  I really enjoyed this which did not surprise me as this has been a series I've looked forward to for the last few years.  My only complaint is that in this book Inspector Witherspoon is definitely on the bumbling clueless side where in the later books he's a competent investigator in his own right.  That said I really enjoyed this and when I have a blank spot in my series project I will be rolling this in.  My Rating: Really Liked It


Goodreads: Rest Ye Murdered Gentleman by Vicki Delany

Project: Series

My Thoughts:  I have read the last few books in this series about a store owner in a little town that is all about Christmas all year round.  Merry is a fun main character running a shop that I dearly wish was real as it is full of artisan and one of a kind Christmas decorations and gifts.  This mystery introduces the town of Rudolph, New York and asks the question - just who is trying to ruin Christmas in Rudolph.  I really enjoyed getting to know Merry and her family a bit better (especially her giant St. Bernard puppy Mattie) and spending some time in Rudolph.  The mystery kept me guessing and the reveal was even a bit of a surprise.  This is a series I will definitely be continuing.  My Rating: Really Liked It

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday - New to Me Authors I Read in 2021


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 New to Me Authors I Discovered in 2021.


1.  Patti Callahan - This author has been on my TBR for ages but I absolutely couldn't resist Once Upon a Wardrobe.  I'm so glad I didn't as it was one of my favorites for the year.

2.  Jacqueline Frost - I have had heard raves about this cozy author for quite some time and I really enjoyed Twelve Slays of Christmas

3.  James Anderson - I picked up The Affair of the Blood-Stained Egg Cosy mostly because of the title but ended up really enjoying it.

4.  Oscar Wilde - While The Picture of Dorian Gray wasn't a book I really enjoyed I am glad I finally took the time to read it.

5.  Kate Quinn - I have heard nothing but raves for Kate Quinn's books and I finally broke down and read The Alice Network.  It broke my heart but I really enjoyed it.


6.  Anne Bogel - I used to really love Anne Bogel's podcast so when I came across a copy of her book I'd Rather Be Reading at the library I had to pick it up.

7.  Larry Loftis - One of my goals for 2021 was to read more nonfiction and I really liked The Princess Spy by this author.

8.  Julia Kelly - Kelly's historical fiction with gorgeous covers have been catching my eye for quite some time so I made The Last Garden in England one of my first reads for 2021.

9.  Katherine Arden - The Bear and the Nightingale was every bit as magical and fairytale like as I wanted it to be.

10. Winnie Archer - I do love a cozy mystery series and I love bread so I'm not sure what took me so long to pick up the first in Archer's Bread Shop Mystery series, Kneaded to Death, but this is definitely a series I will be continuing.

What authors did you discover in 2021?

Monday, January 24, 2022

Two Mini Reviews - The Rhyme of the Magpie + With Vics You Get Eggroll

 

Goodreads:  The Rhyme of the Magpie (Birds of a Feather #1) Marty Wingate

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

My Thoughts:  I have really enjoyed other books by this author and I love the idea of birdwatching so I was intrigued by this series.  I enjoyed this book.  The mystery was interesting and I really wasn't sure how it would wrap up until the end.  My only real issue was Julia herself.  Julia is in her 30s and is supposed to be a competent adult but at times I found her irritatingly immature.  I didn't really blame her for having issues with her father's remarriage but her reaction to so many other things felt really over the top.  I will continue with this series but it is not at the top of my list. My Rating: Liked It

Goodreads:  With Vics You Get Eggrolls (Mad for Mod Mystery #3) by Diane Vallere

Blurb:  Interior Decorator Madison Night has her hands full with a demanding client and a product endorsement, but when the news shifts from reports of recently abducted women to the discovery of a dead body, she can’t deny the danger. Evidence from the scene links the flirtatious Lt. Tex Allen to the crime, putting him off the case. As more abductees are either released or killed, he struggles with his suspension, on the brink of turning vigilante. Madison’s own life is complicated by the return of her hunky handyman, Hudson James. When seemingly unrelated events lead back to the abductions, she exposes a secondary agenda, a copycat crime, and a vengeful plot to destroy someone she loves.

My Thoughts:  I love Diane Vallere's quirky style of mystery and this series is fun though it's probably not my favorite of hers.  I love the decorating and mod style references but the pace can be a bit inconsistent and Madison can drive me crazy with her decisions for her personal life.  The mystery was interesting with a series of kidnappings happening in the Dallas area and Madison's friend/kind of love interest being framed for them.  Madison gets pulled into the investigation to protect her friend and because she can't resist.  This is definitely a series that you really do need to start at the beginning for as there is a lot of background information that have far reaching consequences.  My Rating: Liked It

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Life with Leukemia (And Some Reading) - January 23


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

What I Got:


Cheddar Off Dead by Korina Moss - I can never resist a new cozy mystery and this one has cheese so what could be better?   (Publisher)

Crimson Summer by Heather Graham - I enjoyed the last book by Graham with FDLE Special Agent Amy Larson so I'm excited about this one. (Publisher)

Currently:

Reading:  The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont (just started this one) and The Murder of Mary Russell by Laurie R. King

Listening: The Secret Book and Scone Society by Ellery Adams (just started this one too)


Will has been feeling pretty good and has rediscovered a game called Stardew Valley and has gotten absolutely obsessed with it so we haven't seen him much this week other then doctor's appointments and when we force him to eat.  He's eaten enough that he still hasn't had to have the NG tube put back in and we are hoping to keep it that way.  Rover got annoyed at Will not playing with him so he decided to jump up on the chair and get some attention one way or the other.  He's not technically allowed on the furniture but I'm not sure how long that rule will last.


Speaking of Rover - he's getting enormous!  He's 14 weeks (today) and about 30 pounds.  I think his feet get bigger every time I look at him.  We've finally made some progress on the mouthiness and nipping (knock on wood) and he's responding so well to obedience training.  He's starting to feel more like having a dog around and not a wild toddler who is all feet and teeth.  He's also starting to develop that gorgeous golden retriever feathering on his legs and tail.  It's only just barely starting but I'm so excited.

It's been insanely cold here (for the South so in the 20s and 30s but we don't have a furnace or anything just a heat pump because it is NOT supposed to get this cold) and I am not liking it.  Other then that it's just been a normal week.  I'm trying to get better about going to sleep at a normal hour to see if that will help with my fatigue.  So far it hasn't hurt!  

Have a great week and happy reading!

Nemesis - Classic Mystery Review

Goodreads:  Nemesis by Agatha Christie

Rating: Really Liked It!
Source:   Purchases

Description:  In utter disbelief, Jane Marple read the letter addressed to her from the recently deceased Mr Rafiel - an acquaintance she had met briefly while on vacation in St. Honore, as recounted in "A Caribbean Mystery."

Rafiel had left instructions for her to investigate a crime after his death. The only problem was, he had failed to tell her who was involved or where and when the crime had been committed. It was most intriguing. Soon she is faced with a new crime - the ultimate crime - murder. It seems someone is adamant that past evils remain buried.

Genre: Mystery - Classic


My Impression: While not the last Miss Marple published this is the last Miss Marple Agatha Christie wrote.  I'm usually not the biggest fan of her later books but I believe this is her strongest from the late 1960s/1970s.  This is also one of the only books Christie wrote that is a direct sequel to another book.  We meet Mr. Rafiel in A Caribbean Mystery in Miss Marple's only book outside of England.  The scene from that book that gets referenced in this book is pure brilliance and it's picking up that book just for that (though the rest is pretty great too).  

This is a bit of unusual mystery.  Miss Marple is involved in an almost professional role.  She is essentially hired to investigate instead of being pulled in for various reasons.  As well, she really doesn't know what she's investigating.  It's presented as kind of a you'll know it if you see it situation which has her a bit frustrated and seriously intrigued.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable mystery with a bit of a different feel.  Instead of a dead body being stumbled on Miss Marple is trying to determine just what mystery she's supposed to solve and if it can be solved.  I enjoyed the mystery and seeing Miss Marple a bit out of her element.  As well, I enjoyed seeing her in her home base and especially getting to see Cherry again who was introduced several books ago.  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Of course!  I'll be finishing up Miss Marple this year and am looking forward to my 2022 reading already.

Would I Recommend this Book? Absolutely!  This book and A Caribbean Mystery are both solid interesting mysteries that I think any mystery reader would enjoy

Friday, January 21, 2022

Friday Fives - Favorite Moments of 2021


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 pictures from my 5 favorite moments of 2021.

1.  

Quality time with the hospital therapy dog.

2.  

Will got to be the Headlight Hero and judge a car show.  This was his pick.

3.  

Swimming!

4.  

Getting to reconnect with Will's Physician Assistant from St. Jude who was the medical officer on SpaceX's Inspiration 4 and getting to meet the rest of the crew.  They were so sweet.

5.  

Getting Rover!  He's grown so much since this picture was taken!

What were some of your favorite moments of 2021?

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Classic Mystery List for 2022

 

In 2021 I made a list of 10 classic mysteries that I wanted to be sure to read and really liked having that to focus on.  So I decided to do the same thing in 2022 and here is the list I'm looking forward to reading.


1.  Anna, Where Are You? by Patricia Wentworth - This is the next Miss Silver book and one I haven't read!

2.  Double Sin and Other Stories by Agatha Christie - Now that I have finished the Miss Marple books I'm starting Christie's short story collections and am so looking forward to them!

3.  Mrs. Pollifax on Safari by Dorothy Gilman - Mrs. Pollifax is such a delight and I can't wait to see what kind of trouble she gets into on safari.

4.  A Man Lay Dead by Ngaio Marsh - This is the first book in the Roderick Alleyn series.  I've had an iffy history with Marsh but am planning on starting from the beginning with the Alleyn series and seeing what I think.

5.  Henrietta Who? by Catherine Aird - I really enjoyed the first Inspector Sloan book and am looking forward to rereading this one.  It's been so long since I've read it that it barely counts as a reread.


6.  Unnatural Death by Dorothy L. Sayers - This is the third book in the Lord Peter Wimsey series.  I enjoyed the first two though I have decided that audio for these doesn't work for me as they can be a little bit slower paced but it is important to pay attention to all the details.  I'm hoping that reading this in print works better for me.

7.  The Haunted Lady by Mary Roberts Rinehart - I have read a few Mary Roberts Rinehart books and enjoyed them quite a bit and am looking forward to continuing.

8.  Madam, Will You Talk? by Mary Stewart - This is more Gothic then mystery but Stewart is an author I want to read more from.

9.  The Man in the Queue by Josephine Tey - This is the first book in the Inspector Grant series and while I have met Grant in another book I'm looking forward to starting at the beginning of the series.

10. Dead Men Don't Ski by Patricia Moyes - I read several books by Moyes back in college and remember really enjoying them.  This is the first book in the Henry Tibbet series and I'm looking forward to seeing if it lives up to my memories.

Have you read any of these?  Do you have any classic mysteries you want to read this year?

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Final Year of the Series Reviews - The Missing Sister, Cajun Kiss of Death, and Picture Them Dead


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.  These are mini reviews for 3 series ending/catching up books.


Goodreads:  The Missing Sister (The Seven Sisters #7) by Lucinda Riley

Blurb:  The six D’Apli├Ęse sisters have each been on their own incredible journey to discover their heritage, but they still have one question left unanswered: who and where is the seventh sister?

They only have one clue – an image of a star-shaped emerald ring. The search to find the missing sister will take them across the globe; from New Zealand to Canada, England, France and Ireland, uniting them all in their mission to at last complete their family.

In doing so, they will slowly unearth a story of love, strength and sacrifice that began almost one hundred years ago, as other brave young women risk everything to change the world around them.

My Thoughts:  While the other 6 books in this series have been focused on each individual sister this book reads partly as a bridge between those books and the next book which is the story of Pa Salt.  We did get the story of the missing sister and it does connect some threads that have made appearances since the first book.  I also enjoyed getting a quick check in with each sister as they each had their own mini journey in finding the next sister.  That said because it ends somewhat on a cliff hanger and has a split focus this book as well as the usual two timelines it felt a bit disjointed.  I have heard Lucinda Riley's estate has chosen an author to continue with the last book and I can only hope that this author lives up the expectations that have been set.  My Rating: Liked It


Blurb:  In Pelican, Louisiana, Valentine's Day has a way of warming the heart, despite the February chill. But the air at Crozat Plantation B&B turns decidedly frigid when celebrity chef Phillippe Chanson checks in. And when the arrogant Phillippe--in town to open his newest Cajun-themed restaurant--perishes in a fiery boat crash, Maggie Crozat's dear friend JJ lands in very cold water.

Did JJ, proprietor of Junie's Oyster Bar and Dance Hall, murder Phillippe because he feared the competition? Might Maggie's mother, Ninette, have bumped off the chef for stealing one of her cherished recipes? Or was the culprit a local seafood vendor, miffed because Phillippe was somehow able to sell oysters for a remarkably reasonable price, despite an oyster shortage?

Maggie had planned to devote her February to art lessons in New Orleans, a present from her sweetheart, Bo. But now she has to focus on helping her friend and her mother cross a murder charge off the menu. Meanwhile, Maggie receives a series of anonymous gifts that begin as charming but grow increasingly disturbing. Does Maggie have an admirer--or a stalker? And are these mysterious gifts somehow related to Phillippe's murder?

My Thoughts:  I love this series and this did not change that.  I loved that this was an intentional end to the series and doesn't leave anything open ended.  I really loved seeing Maggie and Bo married.  The mystery was a solid one which I have come to expect from this series and I loved that it involved a long time side character in the series so we got to know JJ a bit better.  That said the side mystery was a bit weak.  Overall, this is such a great series and one that I am sad to see end but am so pleased that Byron gave us a peek into the future of these characters.  My Rating: Really Liked It!


Blurb:  When genealogists Sophreena McClure and Esme Sabatier are called on by Detective Jenny Jeffers to help figure out who the corpse in the backyard of her father’s house is, they reluctantly agree. Known for figuring out the unusual, Sophreena and Esme do their best to uncover the mystery behind the corpse, and the glass coffin he’s buried in. Word soon spreads about the bizarre burial site, leading the people of Morningside to “adopt” the corpse and begin leaving mementos in memoriam for him. But when the body of a young woman is found near the memorial, the duo has another task on their hands: to dig into the past of the house’s previous owners. Could the clues to a recent murder finally help this soul rest in peace?

My Thoughts:  I love this series so much.  I love the research, the characters, the dives into history and finding out long buried family secrets.  I enjoyed that we got a bit of background on Jenny Jeffers who has been Sophie's kind of nemesis since the beginning of the series.  I loved the mystery and spending time with these characters and am so sad to be done with it.  My Rating: Really Liked It!


Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday - Ten 2021 Releases I Didn't Get Around to Reading


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 2021 Releases I Didn't Get Around to Reading.  This is the first year that I don't have overdue 2021 review books which is VERY exciting for me so while I was better about that I still didn't read all the books I wanted to read.


1.  Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village by Maureen Johnson - With this title how can I not want to read this one??

2. Grave Reservations by Cherie Priest - I've seen a couple of reviews for this one and it sounded fantastic but I didn't get to it.

3.  The Wicked Widow by Beatriz Williams - I've really enjoyed books from this author but it's been far too long since I've read anything by her.

4.  The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict - It's historical fiction involving Agatha Christie.  I feel like I'm either going to love this one or hate it but I do know I want to read it!

5.  Devil in Disguise by Lisa Kleypas - Basically this is a stand in for the last several years of books by Kleypas because I haven't read any of them even though I've really meant to get them.


6.  The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan - This sounds amazing and I always enjoy Colgan's books but somehow I didn't get to this one.

7.  A Hex for Danger by Esme Addison - I really enjoyed the first book in this series but didn't pick this one up.

8.  The Forever Girl by Jill Shalvis - This is another stand in but for basically every book by Shalvis in the last few years.  

9.  The Rose Code by Kate Quinn - I finally listened to The Alice Network this year and loved it so now I really want to read more by her.

10. The London House by Katherine Reay - I have read one of her books and it was one of my favorites of 2019.  This blurb really caught my attention but I just ran out of time.

What books did you mean to read but didn't?

Monday, January 17, 2022

Spirits and Sourdough - Cozy Review

Goodreads: Spirits and Sourdough (Magical Bakery Mystery #10) by Bailey Cates

Rating: Liked It!
Source:   Publisher

Description:  Baker Katie Lightfoot needs a sprinkle of magic to solve a haunting mystery in the newest book in this New York Times bestselling series.

Hedgewitch Katie Lightfoot works at the Honeybee Bakery in Savannah, and she's always up for investigating her adopted home's rich supernatural history. That's why she's taking a ghost tour for the very first time. But when the psychic tour guide tells Katie that she's being followed by the ghost of a recently murdered woman, Katie realizes she met the victim earlier that day, just before she died. She knows she must bring the killer to justice.

And this murder isn't the only mystery Katie needs to solve. Her new husband, Declan McCarthy, is missing the guardian spirit who always watched over him, and she's concerned that Deck's life could be at risk if they can't find him. Under pressure from the living and the dead, Katie will have to use all of her magical skills to start an investigation from scratch and avoid half-baked alibis, because this baker kneads to find a killer.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  I enjoyed the previous book in this series so had to pick up this one.

My Impression: This is such a cute series with lots of yummy food mentions and likable characters I like the mix of mystery and supernatural  and that the supernatural part isn't involved in helping Katie investigate.  

The mystery did keep me guessing until just before the reveal with lots of possible suspects and motives.  I liked the hook of the ghost tour and the tour guide who can see the dead.  It did surprise me a little that Katie was pretty much on her own with the investigation other then the occasional phone call with the police detective.  Most of the spell book club is busy with the side plot of Declan's guardian spirit.  

I would like to go back and read more about the side plot and the spend more time with the characters in general but I do feel like you could jump in with this book without too much issue.  There's enough information about who is who and even the guardian spirit subplot that I think even new to the series readers would have no issue.  This isn't a book that will really stay with me long after I'm done but it is one I thoroughly enjoyed from beginning to end which is sometimes just what I want.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely!  I'd really like to go back and read the earlier books in this series and will be keeping an eye out for new books.  

Would I Recommend this Book? If you like a supernatural edge with your cozies and are looking for a fun read I think you'd enjoy this series.

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

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Life with Leukemia (And Some Reading) - January 16


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

What I Got:

Nothing!  I really meant to do some book shopping but there just wasn't time this week.

Currently:


Reading:  Totally Pawstruck by Sofie Ryan and Rest Ye Murdered Gentleman by Vicki Delany

Listening: The Girl from the Savoy by Hazel Gaynor


You can't really tell super well in this picture but Will no longer has the feeding tube in his nose.  On New Year's Day at about 4AM he woke up really sick to his stomach and the tube ended up coming out when he was sick.  It was quite a dramatic way to start the year.  Because he had done so well with it and put on enough weight it gave us a little wiggle room to try to get him to eat on his own and not have it put back in.  He is seriously motivated to keep it out and has been really working hard on eating. We are all holding our breath and hoping he can do it.  The NG tube is definitely worth the trouble and made a tremendous difference for him but he's really enjoying not having to deal with it.  He's still having a lot of foot pain things to the neuropathy and we are still waiting for the braces to be delivered. I'm really hoping they make a big difference and allow him to get back to being more active.


Rover is growing in leaps and bounds.  He had a vet appointment Tuesday and had doubled his weight in 3 weeks.  They keep kind of warning me that he's going to be big which is kind of funny.  We are estimating probably around 80 pounds when he's full grown.  He starts puppy class this week and I'm so excited to really start working with him.  He's so smart and pretty well behaved for a 13 week old puppy so I think once we harness his energy a bit he's really going to be a great dog.  I will not miss those little dagger puppy teeth though!

I thought last week was the week of appointments but it turns out this week has even more which I'm not super thrilled about.  My insomnia decided to show up again with an added twist.  I'm sleeping super light when I finally get to sleep and it's driving me crazy!  Normally I'm a super heavy sleeper once I actually get to sleep but right now every tiny little sound wakes me up.  I'm not a fan.  Any light sleeper tips?  At least I'm getting some decent reading done.  

Have a great week and happy reading!

The Brading Collection - Classic Mystery Review

Goodreads: The Brading Collection by Patricia Wentworth

Rating: Really Liked It!
Source:   Purchased

Description: Lewis Brading loves only one thing – his collection of jewels. Not only are the gems extremely valuable but also every piece has a fascinating and bloody history attached to it.

However Lewis is a frightened and difficult man who sees thieves around every corner. When he asks Miss Silver for help, she gives him some sound advice and turns him away. A few days later, she receives a letter from him, again asking for help. But it is too late. In the morning paper is the news of his murder.
Lewis Brading loves only one thing – his collection of jewels. Not only are the gems extremely valuable but also every piece has a fascinating and bloody history attached to it. However Lewis is a frightened and difficult man who sees thieves around every corner. When he asks Miss Silver for help, she gives him some sound advice and turns him away. A few days later, she receives a letter from him, again asking for help. But it is too late. In the morning paper is the news of his murder.

Genre: Mystery - Classic

My Impression: I love the premise of this one - especially the actual Brading Collection which consists of jewels with notorious histories.  Lewis Brading is not the nicest of individuals.  He has no issues with blackmail, manipulation, and just general ruthlessness.  When he meets Miss Silver she refuses to take his case because of his behavior and recommends he change his ways.  I loved that she refused him and told him so as succinctly as she could.  As well I really enjoyed the concept of the collection and thought the setting was perfect for a murder mystery.  

Let me say first that I did enjoy this one and it was a fast entertaining read.  That said I felt like this was a bit undeveloped.  The collection was barely mentioned and was basically window dressing which was too bad as it could have been so interesting.  As well there are several characters who have sinister motives for various actions and while these were touched on I really wish there could have been more development across the board.  I feel a bit like Wentworth had a few plots that weren't completely finished and she had an approaching deadline so she just kind of shoved them all together.  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Well of course!  I'll probably reread this one though it won't be top of my list.

Would I Recommend this Book?  Without a doubt I would recommend this author and while there are some issues this is a fun book though I think many of her other books are better.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Friday Fives - My Five Favorite Covers of 2021


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.  Today I'm looking back at my favorite covers of 2021.


1.  Once Upon a Wardrobe by Patti Callahan


2.  The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden


3.  The Last Garden in England by Julia Kelly


4.  An Unexpected Peril by Deanna Raybourn 


5.  Miss Moriarty, I Presume by Sherry Thomas

What were some of your favorite covers from 2021?


Thursday, January 13, 2022

The Year of the Project - My Library List



Last year was all about the series and while I really enjoyed that I felt like I was neglecting some other areas of my TBR.  So I decided to widen my focus a bit and came up with 4 different lists to read from.  I love my library and I love that my library's website has an option to save books to list.  This has been a great way for me to remember the books I see that they have that I want to read.  However, that list is closing in on 900 books at a pretty rapid rate and it is time to read some off that list.  So I pulled up my random number generator and here are the 10 books I came up with.


1.  Travels with George: In Search of Washington and His Legacy by Nathaniel Philbrick - I love this kind of road trip/history read and this sounds interesting.

2. Playing to the Gods: Sarah Bernhardt, Eleanora Dusa, and the Rivalry that Changed Acting Forever by Peter Rader - While I recognize Sarah Bernhardt's name I know so little about this era of theater and think this one sounds really interesting.

3.  When Time Stopped: A Memoir of My Father's War and What Remains by Ariana Neumann- This one sounds like it could be really devastating but fascinating as well.

4.  Barefoot Beach by Debbie Mason - I've only read one book by Mason and I really didn't like the characters but I did like the writing so I'm hoping this one is a better fit for me.

5.  Reflection Point by Emily March - I have enjoyed other books by Emily March so I'm expecting to enjoy this one.


6.  The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey - This is an author I've been wanting to read for ages so I was thrilled when I got this book.

7.  The Lost Jewels by Kirsty Manning - This is a dual time line book involving jewels.  It sounds really interesting.  

8.  Tilly and the Bookwanderers by Anna James - This middle grade has been on my TBR since it was published and I'm looking forward to picking this one up since I haven't read much middle grade lately.

9.  The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries by Emily Brightwell - I was so excited when this book came up.  I have really loved the most recent books and I've been wanting to go back to the beginning of the series.

10. Silent Murders by Mary Miley - I'm breaking my rule a little on this one because it isn't the first in the series but my library doesn't have the first one and since I know nothing about it I'm willing to give this book a try.

What books are you planning on getting from your library this year?

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The Year of the Projects - Series Project List


Last year was all about the series and while I really enjoyed that I felt like I was neglecting some other areas of my TBR.  So I decided to widen my focus a bit and came up with 4 different lists to read from. However, I can't neglect my series all together even if they aren't the main focus this year!  Hear are the next 10 books in my series project.


1.  Rest Ye Murdered Gentleman by Vicki Delany - I really meant to read this before Christmas but didn't quite get to it.  I've really enjoyed the later books in the series so am looking forward to reading the first few.

2.  A High End Finish by Kate Carlisle - I've read the last few books in this series but this is another one where I never read the early books.

3.  Death al Dente by Leslie Budewitz - Ditto above.

4.  Consigned to Death by Jane K. Cleland - Ditto above

5.  Death on Tap by Ellie Alexander - This is a series by a favorite author that I've been meaning to read for ages and have actually bought all the books but haven't actually read them.  


6.  By Book or By Crook by Eva Gates - Another series that I've read the later books but not the early books.  This seems to be a pattern.

7.  Crime and Poetry by Amanda Flower - This is the first in a series that I've really wanted to read since it came out and own all the books but haven't read one.

8.  No Farm, No Foul by Peg Cochran - I meant to read the first book in this series when it came out but didn't so I'm looking forward to reading it now.

9. The Murder of Mary Russell by Laurie R. King - This is the only series that is from my original list but I've really been enjoying making progress on it.

10. The Marsh Madness by Victoria Abbott - This is the second series that's a carryover from last year though it was added later in the year.  I've really enjoyed this series involving a book collector and am looking forward to reading the last two books.

Do you have any series that you'd like to start or catch up on this year?

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday - Books I'm Adding to My Collection Next


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 Most Recent Additions to My Book Collection but I'm changing it a little and listing books I'm planning on adding to my book collection this year.  I'm trying to expand my classic mystery shelf especially and here are 10 on my list to buy.


1.  Unnatural Death by Dorothy L. Sayers - I have decided that Sayers' books don't work on audio for me so I want to pick up a copy of the 3rd Lord Peter Wimsey mystery.

2.  Madam, Will You Talk? by Mary Stewart - I'm trying to read more from Mary Stewart and this is the next one on my list.

3.  Dead Men Don't Ski by Patricia Moyes - I read several mysteries by Patricia Moyes years and years ago and remember loving them but don't remember much about them and I'm sure I never read them in order.

4.  The Man in the Queue by Josephine Tey - I've read a couple of books with Tey's detective Inspector Alan Grant but never in order or this one which is the first one at all.

5.  The Affair of the Mutilated Mink by James Anderson - I just read the first book in Anderson's Burford Family mystery series and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it so of course I need to get this one!


6.  A Deadly Affair by Agatha Christie - I adore Christie's short stories and I love that they are starting to republish them by theme instead of the kind of random order they're currently published in.

7.  The Last Seance by Agatha Christie - Ditto above except that I have actually read this one.  I only have an ebook copy but I want a copy for my shelf.

8.  Fool Errant by Patrica Wentworth - I adore Wentworth's Miss Silver mysteries but haven't read many of her standalones.  

9.  The Stately Home Murder by Catherine Aird - I've been trying to read more of Catherine Aird books and this is the 3rd book in her detective series.

10. The Family Vault by Charlotte MacLeod - I know I've read a book or two by this author and remember enjoying them but nothing else.  I like the sound of this detective so I thought I'd pick up the first book and see if this is a series I want to add to my list.

What books are you thinking about adding to your collection?