Saturday, June 29, 2019

Review: Once Upon a Crime

Once Upon a Crime Once Upon a Crime by Mona Marple
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I listened to this book on Audible. I recommend it for those who enjoy British cozy mysteries. The author paints a detailed picture of the setting. You can easily picture every scene as you listen. The narrator is excellent. She has a soothing voice and uses different voices for the characters. Listening to her reminded me very much of listening to story time at the library. I ended up listening to the entire book in one day. I was so caught up in the story I didn’t try solving it. I was enjoying listening while running it as a movie in my mind.

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Friday, June 28, 2019

Review: The Medium

The Medium The Medium by David Hatton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a truly interesting book for me. I saw it listed in a Goodreads Giveaway which I won. The synopsis intrigued me. I’m a believer who has a healthy amount of skepticism. I have gone to readers, though not psychic ones, and have been impressed by a couple. The rest either entertained me or tried to scam me. Psychics have been my dream. I would love to go to one but the ones I have come across aren’t the real deal, in my opinion. So this book hooked me even before I opened it. I wasn’t disappointed by the story. I think the author did a phenomenal job with the subject. Why only four stars since I clearly love the story? I had a hard time following the story at times. It’s not bad, (one thing for American readers, the book is set in England. The English used is not American so please keep in mind the words are not wrong, just different.), but the way the scenes changed was jarring for me. I would be totally engrossed and suddenly, with no warning, the scene shifted. It brought me out of the story every time. I wish the author had used a symbol or something to give a signal that a shift was happening. There was also a chapter that I had no idea who it was about. I still am not certain. This bothers me. I kept going though and am happy I did. I would encourage anyone finding these a bit difficult to continue reading. The story is an intriguing tale. It has so many things to think about and discuss. The psychic is only one part. Equally important is the story of betrayal between people who should care for one another. The murder mystery even pales in comparison with the story of betrayal at the this level. This book was a delightful surprise for me. I hope it will be for you too.

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Saturday, June 22, 2019

Review: Humpty Bumpkin

Humpty Bumpkin Humpty Bumpkin by Sam Cheever
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Joey lost her parents in a small aircraft crash. She is out for a walk her her pit bull when she notices Caphy has something strange in her mouth. This leads into a mystery with bodies piling up.
I couldn’t put down this book. From the first page I was hooked. I think it was somewhere around the 30% mark that I was gobsmacked by the thought, “Joey is me!” Only younger, better looking and braver. Hahaha. Obviously I enjoyed the heck out of Joey and Caphy, (my Caphy is a shih tzu who could easily be convinced she is a pit bull). I enjoyed this mystery so much! I’m not always big on a romance starting out in a mystery. I feel like it really has to fit the personality of the protagonist, especially when the guy is an unknown. I feel like it was Joey’s personality to be attracted to Hal. The romance did go quick but when you’re in danger feelings tend to intensify. I’m interested to see if it slows down or remains at the fast pace. I tend to believe in love at first sight so either way works for me. I’m wondering if this is going in the direction of an investigative team. That would be fine by me. I was a fan of early mystery shows like Hart to Hart and McMillan and Wife, (anyone remember those?). The mystery is fast paced with lots of action and Caphy is a big part of the story. Make time for this one!

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Friday, June 21, 2019

Review: The Witches of Mystic Springs

The Witches of Mystic Springs The Witches of Mystic Springs by Mona Marple
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had a great time reading this book! It has two narrators which can be difficult to pull off, particularly when they both are on the same side. I have read enough books with this type of narrative to know that can get confusing. Happily I can say that this time it worked. Kudos to Ms Marple for making that difficult feat appear effortlessly. I had no difficulty adjusting to the alternating narrators. The mystery was told so delightfully it was like sitting listening to two friends talk. I loved the investigation of the mystery, the clues, the scary moments. I want to say more but I’m trying to encourage you to read this cozy mystery so I don’t want to give away the twists and especially the ending. I was surprised with the discovery even though the person was on my list. The reveal is genuinely entertaining. I was torn between wanting to devour each word and wanting to slow down the telling so I could savor the moment.
This book is a part of the Mystic Springs Series but if you haven’t read the previous books, don’t despair. You can read this as a stand-alone. Beware though, once you read it, you will want to read the whole series! If you’re looking for a magically good time with a few chills, this is the paranormal cozy mystery you want.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Review: Get Up and Ghost: A Chantilly Adair Psychic Medium Cozy Mystery

Get Up and Ghost: A Chantilly Adair Psychic Medium Cozy Mystery Get Up and Ghost: A Chantilly Adair Psychic Medium Cozy Mystery by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was a delight to read. I loved everything about it. I haven’t read the Angela Panther series but am going to check them out. For those who know her, Angela makes an appearance in this book. I love Chantilly and really enjoyed her psychic development. It was nice to be in on that journey and I thought the author did well with her timing on the development of Chantilly’s ability. I enjoyed the mystery. I thought it was well done and it wasn’t until close to the end that I figured it out. There is quite a bit of humor in the story. I laughed out loud, possibly too hard, at some of the conversations.
I definitely recommend this book, especially if you enjoy Southern mysteries, humor and ghosts. I can’t wait to read more!

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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Review: A Ghostly Suspect

A Ghostly Suspect A Ghostly Suspect by Tonya Kappes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This series is one of my favorite series. It is the seventh book in the series. I would strongly suggest you read this series from the start. It is a series that is built on the books that comes before. You can read it alone, for the mystery, but it is better to read it in order.
Emma Lee and Granny are like family to me. I love when characters feel that way. The mystery was well done with several suspects and a couple of surprises. I recommend this book and the series.
I read an uncorrected advanced e-copy of this book. This review contains my honest opinion of the book.

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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Review: Sleeping with Elvis

Sleeping with Elvis Sleeping with Elvis by Beth Carter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book after reading another book by the author. I was expecting a light, maybe comedic, story. Something to just pass the time. I was surprised with so much more.
I was surprised with the storyline of a young woman in an abusive relationship. I was astonished to find a character that I could relate to. I was in an abusive relationship for many years, some of those years involved me being a domestic violence liaison. I knew about the circle of violence and the reasons why one should leave. I, oddly, never felt that I was anywhere in there. What was going on at home didn’t resemble the circle. I started reading books that had DV as a theme. I was looking for me. I finally found someone who resembled me a bit. I really understood Pepper. I was excited to see a character that represented women like me and didn’t downplay it or sugarcoat it or make her a superhero. Pepper was flawed and she was caught in the web that guys like Derek cast so well. Before you start thinking this is a triggering, dramatic story, let me assure you it is not. Only one instance of physical violence was mentioned and Pepper was questioning whether or not she should mention it. I often downplayed my injuries, sometimes outright lying about them. Most of Pepper’s abuse was emotional/mental. Balancing that was Pepper’s thoughts about leaving and a vacation coming up. She had to face some fears with that, too. She meets a few men who help her in her journey to escape. I adored George. The story had dramatic times but also had fun times. Saylor was absolutely a favorite character and I think everyone wants Ty.
A lot of times, when reading books that have DV as part of the story, I have to stop and read something else, color, watch a movie, listen to music or hike. I just need breaks to breathe and soothe myself. I didn’t need that with this book. Whenever I had to put it down, I was itching to get back to it. I wished I had blocked out time to read it with no interruptions. I was hooked by flawed but courageous Pepper. I understood her weak moments. I knew why she was hesitant and easily led to believe appearances. I cheered every time she was fearless or faking it. This book that I chose just because I enjoy Elvis and I liked the author’s book Babies at Coconuts, became a story that touched me deeper than I expected. I recommend the book and hope you take the chance on reading it. If you are uncertain, ask your library to get it or borrow it through KU.

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Saturday, June 8, 2019

Review: All Those Things Revealed

All Those Things Revealed All Those Things Revealed by M. Maureen O'Callaghan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads Giveaway.

I was captivated from the beginning. I was not expecting everything to be factual so I had no problem with not being certain which parts were true and which not. I can remember as a child listening to relatives from Ireland. I grew up being afraid that I would hear the cry of a banshee. I knew who she was and what her cry meant. I heard other tales, too. I was constantly on the look out for fairy folk and knew that leprechauns were hiding whenever I saw a rainbow. I have grown older but still believe with the heart of a child. Perhaps this is the reason that I was able to fall completely under the spell of the author. I had no trouble following the storytelling. I found everyone believable, especially when you look through the lens of yesteryear. I think if you try to understand Constanza’s parents, and their reaction to a certain event, by holding to standards of today, you may believe they are falsely portrayed. It is important to remember what time period the story takes place in. Even today, though, when a person feels they failed to protect someone, sometimes you will find they shift the blame to the victim. For me, the story worked. The author did a great job transporting me to 19 century Ireland. I did not want to put the book down and when the end came, I wished for more. I know this is a book I will read again.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Review: Ghost No More

Ghost No More Ghost No More by CeeCee James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a difficult book for me to review. It’s too close to me. I hope, if the author reads this, she understands. I can say I think it was well written and has something important to say. She gives me hope. I want to read the other books in this series. If you’re reading this, your interested in the book. I encourage you to try it. It might be difficult, don’t give up. It took me awhile to really read it. I started and stopped a few times before I was able to read it all. The end was so inspiring.

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Monday, June 3, 2019

Review: The Make-Ahead Sauce Solution: Elevate Your Everyday Meals with 61 Freezer-Friendly Sauces

The Make-Ahead Sauce Solution: Elevate Your Everyday Meals with 61 Freezer-Friendly Sauces The Make-Ahead Sauce Solution: Elevate Your Everyday Meals with 61 Freezer-Friendly Sauces by Elisabeth Bailey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book makes a great gift. It has simple recipes for a variety of sauces that can turn anything into a fancy dinner. Most don’t take long to make and, best of all, they can be frozen so you always have a sauce on hand. I love that the author took the opportunity to give directions on good freezing methods. New cooks will find this especially helpful. Another very helpful section was the base tips. Pasta shape does matter when choosing a sauce. She includes tofu so this section is very helpful if you haven’t cooked with it. (In other words, I never did and was able to cook a good meal for friends who preferred it). What maillard is and the difference in maillard and caramelization is also discussed. In the appendix she gives a few recipes for flavored butter and salt. The Better Chicken Butter is definitely dressing up my turkey at Thanksgiving.
If you are experienced in cooking, you may want to borrow the book from the library to see if it brings something new for you. I’m experienced but really want this book on my shelf. If I need something quick, I can skim through it and have an idea for a meal in no time. I think that is what I enjoyed most about this invited me to use the sauce as the jumpstart to my ideas for meals.

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Sunday, June 2, 2019

Review: Staging is Murder

Staging is Murder Staging is Murder by Grace Topping
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book so much! I had not heard of staging houses as a job before. I have seen it often enough in looking at houses for sale. What an interesting job! I enjoyed the author’s tips at the start of each chapter too. I like Laura. Actually there are a lot of fine characters in the book. I loved Mrs Webster and hope she continues helping Laura. Nita is a true friend..the kind who helps you with a dead body. I love her as Laura’s partner. There’s a couple potential love interest, too, but that doesn’t take over the story. I enjoyed the mystery and trying to figure out the who and why. I did not completely uncover it. I am looking forward to the next book. If you are looking for a cozy mystery, don’t pass this one by.

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Review: Inheriting Murder: A Bobwhite Mountain Cozy Mystery

Inheriting Murder: A Bobwhite Mountain Cozy Mystery by Jamie Rutland Gillespie My rating: 5 of 5 stars ...