Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday - Books with Hilarious Titles

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 Books With Hilarious Titles.  I read a lot of cozies and one of my favorite things about them is their sometimes over the top pun filled titles.  Here are ten of my favorite!

1.  Silence of the Jams by Gayle Leeson

2.  If You've Got It, Haunt It by Rose Pressey

3.  Out of Circulation by Miranda James 

4.  Berried at Sea by Peg Cochran

5.  A Scone of Contention by Lucy Burdette

6.  War and Peach by Susan Furlong

7.  'Twas the Knife Before Christmas

8.  Ornaments of Death by Jane K. Cleland

9.  Stork Raving Mad by Donna Andrews

10. Shot Through the Hearth by Kate Carlisle

What are some of your favorite funny book titles?

Monday, August 8, 2022

Death at the Manor - Historical Mystery Review

Goodreads:  Death at the Manor (Lily Adler Mystery #3) by Katharine Schellman

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

Description:  Regency widow Lily Adler is looking forward to spending the autumn away from the social whirl of London society. When she arrives in Hampshire with her friends, Lord and Lady Carroway, she doesn’t expect much more than a quiet country visit and the chance to spend time with her charming new acquaintance, Matthew Spencer.

But something odd is afoot in the small country village. A ghost has taken up residence in the Belleford manor, a lady in grey who wanders the halls at night, weeping and wailing. Half the servants have left in terror, but the family is delighted with the notoriety that their ghost provides. Piqued by this spectral guest, Lily and her party immediately make plans to visit Belleford.

They arrive at the manor the next morning ready to be entertained—but tragedy has struck. The matriarch of the family has just been found smothered to death in her bed.

There was no one else in her room, and the door was locked from the inside. The dead woman’s family is convinced that the ghost is responsible. The servants are keeping secrets. The local magistrate is flummoxed. Lily is determined to learn the truth before another victim turns up—but could she be next in line for the Great Beyond?
Genre: Mystery - Historical

Why I Picked This Book:  I really enjoy historical mysteries and I have loved the first two books in this series.

My Impression:  This third book in the series had a slightly different feel than the previous two books.  Lily and her friends are in the country staying with Lily's aunts and near the home of Matthew Spencer.  The pace is a little slower as the pace in the country is a bit slower than the social whirl of London.  While I did miss Mr. Page and Captain Hartley I did enjoy the smaller cast list of this story.  

The mystery is an intriguing one involving a ghost and a house full of secrets with a mild Gothic tone.  The investigation unravels slowly but didn't drag and gave room for some character development.  Lily had to deal with some self doubt and it was nice to see a bit of vulnerability in her character.  The reveal was surprising with more than a few twists and turns and I really enjoyed it!

This is a fun historical series with great characters and interesting mysteries.  I so enjoyed this one and am looking forward to more in the series.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely!  I can't wait to spend more time with Lily Adler and the rest of her world.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy historical mysteries you really must give this series a try!  While you could start with this book with no issue like most series it's best enjoyed when you start 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. *

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Round Up the Usual Peacocks - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads: Round Up the Usual Peacocks (Meg Langslow #31) by Donna Andrews

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

Description:  Kevin, Meg's cyber-savvy nephew who lives in the basement, comes to her with a problem. He's become involved as the techie for a true-crime podcast, one that focuses on Virginia cold cases and unsolved crimes. And he thinks their podcast has hit a nerve with someone . . . one of the podcast team has had a brush with death that Kevin thinks was an attempted murder, not an accident.

Kevin rather sheepishly asks for Meg's help in checking out the people involved in a couple of the cases. "Given your ability to find out stuff online, why do you need MY help?" she asks. "Um . . . because I've already done everything I can online. This'll take going around and TALKING to people," he exclaims, with visible horror. "In person!" Not his thing. And no, it can't wait until after the wedding, because he's afraid whoever's after them might take advantage of the chaos of the wedding at Trinity or the reception at Meg and Michael's house to strike again.

So on top of everything she's doing to round up vendors and supplies and take care of demanding out-of-town guests, Meg must hunt down the surviving suspects from three relatively local cold cases so she can figure out if they have it in for the podcasters. Could there be a connection to a musician on the brink of stardom who disappeared two decades ago and hasn't been seen since?

Genre:  Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  I love this series so of course I couldn't resist this one - especially since I love a book involving cold cases.

My Impression:   This was a bit of a different kind of mystery.  To start with there isn't a murder.  A true crime podcaster is almost run down while crossing a street at a quiet intersection and signs point to that close call involving someone who isn't happy that the podcast is dragging up old cases.  And the aunt of one of those true crime podcasters just happens to be Meg Langslow.  Since Meg's mother is planning the wedding of the century with hosts of family members in tow Meg jumps at the chance to skip out of wedding chores and do some investigating.  

It was fun digging through the two cases she focuses on and I always love when Meg's dad and Chief Burke are involved and Ragnar even made an appearance to add to the fun and mayhem.  The investigations were interesting and the author did a good job with throwing in a surprise twist or two.

I have never been a big fan of peacocks and this book has convinced me that I was right to feel that way about them.  That said the scenes involving the peacocks were absolutely hilarious.  This was a fun read with the amount of hijinks I expect from this series.  I enjoyed the slightly different take on the mystery.  This is a long running series with a lot of characters which can be a bit confusing if jumping in at this point though I still think you'll enjoy this read if you start here.  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I really enjoy this series and am looking forward to reading the upcoming books and going back and reading the earlier books that I missed.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy cozies with entertaining characters and solid mysteries this is a series you must try.

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

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday - Books Set in Places I Want to Visit

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 Books Set in Places I'd Like to Visit.  

1.  The Tuesday Night Survivor's Club by Lynn Cahoon - Sedona, Arizona

2.  'Til Death by Carol J. Perry - Salem, Massachusetts

3.  The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan  - Scotland

4.  The Missing Sister by Lucinda Riley - New Zealand

5.  Anne of Green Gable by L.M. Montgomery - Prince Edward Island, Canada

6.  The Crying Child by Barbara Michaels - Maine

7.  The Last Garden in England by Julia Kelly - an English village

8.  Donut Disturb by Ellie Alexander - Ashland, Oregon

9.  The Lost Carousel of Provence by Juliet Blackwell - France

10. Born in Fire by Nora Roberts - Ireland

What places have you read about that you'd like to visit?

Monday, August 1, 2022

The Year of Projects - A High End Finish + The Bookwanderers

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:  A High-End Finish (Fixer-Upper Mystery #1) by Kate Carlisle
Project: Catch Up On Series

Blurb:  Shannon’s home-renovation and repair business is booming, but her love life needs work. On a blind date with real estate agent Jerry Saxton, she has to whip out a pair of pliers to keep Jerry from getting too hands on. Shannon is happy to put her rotten date behind her, but when Jerry’s found dead in a run-down Victorian home that she’s been hired to restore, the town’s attractive new police chief suspects that her threats may have laid the foundation for murder.
Determined to clear her name, Shannon conducts her own investigation—with the help of her four best friends, her eccentric father, a nosy neighbor or two, and a handsome crime writer who’s just moved to town. But as they get closer to prying out the murderer’s identity, Shannon is viciously attacked. Now she’ll have to nail down the truth—or end up in permanent foreclosure.…

My Thoughts:  I've read the later books in this series but had missed the beginning books somehow.  This was a quick and entertaining read with a good setting and a mostly likable cast of characters.  The mystery was interesting though I did have a pretty good guess as to the who though not the why before the end.  This is a pretty solid if not the most unique feeling cozy and I liked that the main character is a knowledgeable contractor.  My Rating: Liked It! (3.5 Stars)

Project:  Library List

Blurb:  Eleven year-old Tilly has lived above her grandparents' bookshop ever since her mother disappeared shortly after she was born. Like the rest of her family, Tilly loves nothing more than to escape into the pages of her favourite stories.

One day Tilly realises that classic children's characters are appearing in the shop through the magic of `book wandering' - crossing over from the page into real life.

With the help of Anne of Green Gables and Alice in Wonderland. Tilly is determined to solve the mystery of what happened to her mother all those years ago, so she bravely steps into the unknown, unsure of what adventure lies ahead and what dangers she may face.

My Thoughts:  When I read middle grade books I'm usually looking at it from two points of view - as a reader and as a parent.  From both perspectives I absolutely loved this!  This is a bit of fun, a lot of heart, and a bit of intrigue - all involving books.    Tilly is a wonderful main character that I think a lot of kids could relate to and I love her friendship with Oskar.  This tackles important issues like grief, dealing with divorce, and the difficulty in making friends but in a way that feels like how kids really talk about those kinds of things.   As a reader I did think the story bogged down a bit in the middle when all the rules of bookwandering come into play but that was short lived and necessary.  I'm excited to see how this series develops and to have more adventures with Tilly and Oskar.  My Rating: Loved It! (4.5 Stars)