Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Year of the Projects - The Hammett Hex + The Good Widow

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 Hamett Hex (Book Collector #5) by Victoria Abbott

Project: Catch Up on Series

Blurb:  Jordan has been able to swing a romantic trip to San Francisco with Officer Tyler “Smiley” Dekker on one condition—she must return with a rare copy of Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest for her irascible employer, Vera Van Alst. For his own part, Smiley is full of surprises. He’s a Dashiell devotee himself—excited to be in the city of Hammett’s hard-boiled heroes like Sam Spade and the Continental Op—and also announces he plans to visit his previously unmentioned estranged grandmother, who lives in an old Victorian on Telegraph Hill. 

But the trip goes downhill fast when Jordan is pushed from a cable car and barely escapes death. And when a dark sedan tries to run the couple down, it’s clear someone’s after them—but who? Just like in Hammett’s world, nothing is quite what is seems...

My Thoughts: This is the last book in the book collector series and I am sad to see the last of Jordan, Tyler, Vera, and the Kelly family.  In this book Tyler and Jordan have gone to San Francisco for a vacation and to meet an estranged member of Tyler's family.  Each book in this series mirrors the tone of the author mentioned in the title and so this book has a somewhat darker tinge to it then other books in the series but with a bit of a cozy madcap spin.  The mystery was a bit disjointed and part of the ending felt a touch rushed but I still enjoyed it.  My only real issue with this book is that we didn't have the Kelly family or Sheri or Vera Van Alst or the Signora and I missed them!  My Rating: Really Liked It!

Project: TBR Bingo

Blurb:  Elementary school teacher Jacqueline “Jacks” Morales’s marriage was far from perfect, but even in its ups and downs it was predictable, familiar. Or at least she thought it was…until two police officers showed up at her door with devastating news. Her husband of eight years, the one who should have been on a business trip to Kansas, had suffered a fatal car accident in Hawaii. And he wasn’t alone.
For Jacks, laying her husband to rest was hard. But it was even harder to think that his final moments belonged to another woman—one who had left behind her own grieving and bewildered fiancé. Nick, just as blindsided by the affair, wants answers. So he suggests that he and Jacks search for the truth together, retracing the doomed lovers’ last days in paradise.

Now, following the twisting path of that fateful road, Jacks is learning that nothing is ever as it seems. Not her marriage. Not her husband. And most certainly not his death…

My Thoughts:  This was not what I thought it was going to be.  I figured I was in for a typical psychological thriller but instead I got more of an in-depth view of a marriage, an affair, and a grieving wife.  There are secrets both before and after as well as a twist and turn or two.  I listened to the audio and am so glad I did.  Dara Rosenberg did a fantastic job voicing both Dylan and Jacks.  As well, while the audio was a compelling listen I can see it potentially being a bit of a slower read if I had read the print version.  That said this is the first book I've read by this writing team and it won't be the last.  My Rating: Really Liked It!


  1. I love lists too! I definitely want to read the Victoria Abbott series. The Good Widow looks good too.

  2. The Book Collector series looks like a lot of fun. Best of luck to you and your lists this year!

  3. I like lists, and make them often :)

    The Widow sounds really good!

  4. Great when an audio brings a book to life and you discover a new author/s. I have found making lists too this year is keeping a good focus. And so I see another series comes to an end. One I am not familiar with.

  5. It is always bittersweet to complete a series that you enjoy. I have read one book by Fenton and Steinke and enjoyed it. This one sounds promising.

  6. The Good Widow sounds intriguing! Next year when I'm doing free-range reading again, I want to read four books which are out of my comfort zone. I'm going to put it on my list. 📘