Friday, November 23, 2018

Review: A Killing in the Hills

A Killing in the Hills A Killing in the Hills by Julia Keller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a book that you will either really like or really hate. I think it will depend on what type of story you enjoy. My advice is to read the book to decide. Borrow it from your library if you aren’t sure you want to invest.
I was invested in this book. It was an emotional book for me to read. My family has lived in Appalachia for centuries. My body is in Alaska now but my heart, my soul, my blood remain rooted there. In my opinion the author did an excellent job creating a realistic portrait of the people, the area, the poverty and the complicated drug problem. The characters might not all be readily likable. Sometimes people are flawed. Sometimes the way they were raised plays a big part in their public personality and things they do. You don’t know this about them when you first meet them. Most people don’t jump at the opportunity to tell acquaintances their deepest secrets.
The story broke my heart but I could not stop reading. I think one of the scariest things I took from this story was the knowledge that this story isn’t just playing out in Appalachia. I came to this small town ten years ago. The town reminded me of where my roots are but did not have the problem. Sadly, a few years ago, I stopped being able to say that. Drugs had arrived and it didn’t take long for my town to match my heart’s home. If you have an interest in drugs, crime, small towns and mysteries that take an unexpected turn, try this book.
This book is the first in a series. It ends complete yet has a cliffhanger. I know, that doesn’t make a lot of sense. But it is accurate. The mystery is complete yet, in my opinion, there is a cliffhanger.

View all my reviews

Review: Cozy Christmas Crimes - A Cozy Christmas Box Set

Cozy Christmas Crimes - A Cozy Christmas Box Set Cozy Christmas Crimes - A Cozy Christmas Box Set by Tonya Kappes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was blown away by this box set. I was familiar with all the authors but had only read books by two of the authors, Tonya Kappes and Jenna St James. Mona Marple and Summer Prescott were new to me in the sense that I had not yet read their books.
The first story is Christmas Parties Are Murder by Jenna St James. This was a hilarious cozy. If you need to read a quick story that will lift your spirits, choose this one. It was super fun and will quickly hook you into wanting more from Nan and Amanda. You might even find yourself looking forward to your holiday office party.
The second story is The Candy Cane Killer by Mona Marple. The entire time I read this story, I honestly felt like I was back in my teen years reading Nancy Drew! If you are a Nancy Drew fan and are feeling nostalgic for her, choose this story. The sleuths are teen sisters making this an excellent story to share with the pre-teen and up in your life. I am looking into her books to see about a Christmas gift for the special pre-teen in my life.
The third book is A Charming Blend by Tonya Kappes. The characters in this story are from her Killer Coffee series and her Magical Cures series. If you are hoping to put a little paranormal magic into your holiday, choose this one. If you aren’t familiar with the two series you will become interested in them, I’m sure. If you are familiar, you might want to catch up a bit with the Killer Coffee series. This blend has a spoiler for it if you are not caught up.
The fourth book is A Lime to Kill by Summer Prescott. If you are feeling the need to completely get lost in a somewhat complicated relationship cozy and forget the hustle bustle going on, choose this story. I love the relationship between mom and daughter. It is a very realistic portrait of real relationships, the deep love yet growing up complexity that happens when your child is suddenly an adult. This was a carefully crafted mystery that builds slow then springs on you, leading to non-stop reading. This is a, ‘just one more chapter, oh my I’m done book.’
This holiday set will have you de-stressed in no time. Definitely add this one to your Christmas reading list, (it will work for Christmas in July too!).

View all my reviews

Review: Sleigh Bells and Sleuthing: A Collection of 16 Cozy Mystery Novellas Featuring Female Sleuths

Sleigh Bells and Sleuthing: A Collection of 16 Cozy Mystery Novellas Featuring Female Sleuths by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson ...