Monday, June 26, 2017

A Panicked Premonition

Title: A Panicked Premonition
Author: Victoria Laurie
Expected Publicaton: July 4th 2017 by Berkley
Format: eBook, 320 pages
Genre: Mystery
Source: My thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for an opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.
Series: Psychic Eye Mysteries #15

I love it when I am reading a mystery and begin to have my own “but what about” questions and then one by one the author answers them. “It’s like she gets me” (ok, you will have to read the book to get that reference).

This is a unique series in that fourteen or so books back this was a cozy mystery series and within time, they have shifted more to a regular mystery with parts and subjects that are on the un-cozy side yet you forgive Victoria Laurie because, as a writer, she is growing.

With a twisty plot that involves dear friend Dave and the new panic room business that Dutch and Brice have started, now that Milo is no longer in the picture, things go sideways quickly when there is a double murder at a recent project and Dave is nowhere to be found.

Abby and Candice are the main focus in this book and in between working out, the ladies tend to be going back and forth between their private investigator skills and their being on the FBI payroll. Guess you walk on a very narrow edge when you husbands are with the FBI and they need their girlfriends to solve crimes.

After a few bumpy books in this series, I can say that this is one of the better ones. Not too much is given away early and though the author

Thursday, June 22, 2017

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You That She's Sorry

Title: My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You That She's Sorry
Author: Fredrik Backman
Published: June 16th 2015 by Atria Books
Format: Hardcover, 372 pages
Genre: Fiction

There is nothing more special than a quirky grandmother and her precocious almost 8-year old granddaughter. They are both “different”, but that is what makes their relationship all the more special.

Every night, her grandmother carries Elsa away to the mythical Land-of-Almost-Awake, which has six kingdoms, each with its own power and Elsa knows by heart, including Miamas where everyone is different and no one needs to be normal. What Elsa did not know, was the true meaning behind each character that her grandmother spoke of. All that reality came crashing down on the day that her grandmother died.

Her grandmother was her only true friend, she was bullied at school, but home was her refuge. Her apartment building was full of misfits and with her parents’ divorce and her mother’s remarriage with a “halfie” sibling on the way, Elsa is trying desperately to not only fit in, but to work through her grief. It is not until she is tasked with delivering letters in a kind of treasure hunt. This is where the title of the book comes from and where the reader sees the whole story unfold and how each and every person in the apartment building is there for very surprising reasons and how their stories are revealed in the Land-of-Almost-Awake.

This is a complex tale that needs to be read in large parts so the reader can keep all the relationships together. Every chapter discovers a part that leaves the reader grasping for more. The revelations are boundless and the love that is revealed within the walls of the building that they call home is deeply heart touching and spellbinding.

This is a book that will remain on my shelf so I can return to the Land-of-Almost-Awake and meet up with them again when I need to add more fairytale and imaginings to my life.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Town in a Lobster Stew

Title: Town in a Lobster Stew
Author: B.B. Haywood
Published: February 1st 2011 by Berkley
Format: Paperback, 384 pages
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: A Candy Holliday Mystery #2

The first book in this series was only so-so for me, so I decided to give the second a try. Unfortunately, this is where the series will stop for me. Overly descriptive, overly drawn out and desperately boring to the point of being able to skip entire paragraphs without losing any of the storyline.

Cape Willington, along the Maine coast, is hosting their annual Lobster Stew Cook-off that is apparently a big deal since not only does it come with bragging rights and an entry into “caper” society, but also worth conspiracy and hiding a body over.

When not helping her father at Blueberry Acres or working in the local bakery or making pies at home, Candy Holliday is a community reporter for the hometown newspaper. It was not until a local octogenarian asks for Candy’s help when she notices that Mr. Sedley’s recipe has gone missing and her neighbor cannot be found. On the surface, the two are not linked, but Candy’s instincts go into overdrive when she is asked to judge the local competition and someone has submitted a stew made from the missing recipe.

There is enough shenanigans going on in this town and enough backroom dealings to keep any reporter on their toes and the reader is brought into the entirety of their goings on. Unfortunately, this writing team is determined to overly describe every incident and if you were not paying attention the first time, they will describe it again and if you are still unsure of how a specific character fits in, just hold on for a chapter since they or their occupation will be mentioned again.

By the end of the book, the only interesting character was Captain Mike and unfortunately he has literally sailed off, and with rough choppy waters, no one is sure if he will be seen or heard from again.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

Title: Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
Author: Matthew J. Sullivan
Published: June 13th 2017 by Scribner
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Genre: Fiction
Source: My thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for an opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.
Though other rated this book highly, I did not like it. I found myself putting it down, picking up other books, and then only begrudgingly picking it back up to finish. For me, it read as if the author had no idea what his ending point should be and continued to throw ideas out there in hopes that something would reignite him.

Lydia takes her job as a manager of a community bookstore personally, she has her regular customers and a select few that she calls Bookfrogs that consist mainly of down on their luck, if not homeless, people who spend their days within the stacks.

One evening, around closing time, she hears a banging noise. Turns out that one of her Frogs, Joey Molina, has hung himself. Little did she know that this tragic act would reopen the door into her own tragedy twenty years prior. With his crate of possessions, she discovers messages that he left for her, breadcrumbs really, that not only explains who he really was, but helps her to answer the most troubling questions of her own life.

A dark and twisty story that literally bored me to sleep on numerous occasions. I do not see what all the hype is about, but I am glad that others were able to find in this book what I was not.