Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Books First Published in 2009 Challenge

Completed October 24th

1. Beat the Reaper - Bazell
2. The Leisure Seeker - Zadoorian
3. Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story - Carolyn Turgeon
4. Darling Jim - Christian Moerk
5. The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton
6. The Associate - John Grisham
7. I Love You Miss Huddleston - Gulley
8. In the Dark - Brian Freeman
9. Ghouls Just Haunt to Have Fun - Victoria Laurie
10. Resilience - Elizabeth Edwards
11. Doom with a View - Victoria Laurie
12. The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown
13. Demon Ex Machina - Julie Kenner

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Audio Book Challenge 2009

Completed this Challenge on December 24, 2009

1. Undead and Unwed - Davidson
2. Strawberry Shortcake Murder - Fluke
3. Chardonnay Charade - Crosby
4. Dead Until Dark - Harris
5. Hot Six - Evanovich
6. 7th Heaven - Patterson
7. The Walkers of Dembley - Beaton
8. Susannah's Garden - Macomber
9. Edge of Evil - Jance
10. Blueberry Muffin Murder - Fluke
11. Bordeaux Betrayal - Ellen Crosby
12. A Death in Belmont - Sebastian Junger
13. The Last Suppers - Diane Mott Davidson
14. Getting Stoned with Savages - J. Maarten Troost
15. Club Dead - Charlaine Harris
16. Hand of Evil - JA Jance

Monday, December 28, 2009

New Author Challenge 2009

I Completed this Challenge on November 7th

1. That Went Well - Dougan
2. The Tales From Outer Suburbia - Tan
3. The Spare Room - Garner
4. Bleeding Heart Square - Taylor
5. Dust and Shadow - Faye
6. All the Living - C.E. Morgan
7. The Help - Stockett
8. The Unit - Ninni Holmqvist
9. Prayers for Sale - Sandra Dallas
10. The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club - Gil McNeil
11. The Devlin Diaries - Christie Phillips
12. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane - Katherine Howe
13. Boy in the Striped Pajamas - John Boyne
14. Show No Fear - Perri O'Shaughnessy
15. Wedding Ring - Emilie Richards
16. The Widow's Season - Laura Brodie
17. The Blue Notebook - James Levine
18. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - Jamie Ford
19. Murder Packs a Suitcase - Cynthia Baxter
20. Saving Ben - Dan E. Burns

Sunday, December 27, 2009

RYOB Challenge 2009

Completed this challenge on December 9th

1. Do Unto Others - Abbott
2. A Cold Dish - Johnson
3. Every Crooked Nanny - Trocheck
4. Aunt Dimity Goes West - Atherton
5. The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific - Troost
6. Poison Pen - Sheila Lowe
7. The Chosen - Carol Lynch Williams
8. The French Gardener - Santa Montefiore
9. Death on Demand - Carolyn Hart
10. Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener - MC Beaton
11. Second Sight - George Shuman
12. The Cereal Murders - Diane Mott Davidson
13. The Diva Runs out of Thyme - Krista Davis
14. Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage - MC Beaton
15. Endless Chain - Emilie Richards
16. Beekeepers Apprentice - Laurie R. King
17. Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog - Lisa Scottoline
18. Merry Merry Ghost - Carolyn Hart
19. Confessions of a Closet Master Baker - Gesine Bullock-Prado
20. Reservaton for Murder - Tim Myers
21. The Gift of an Oridinary Day - Katrina Kenison
22. No Corners for the Devil - Olive Etchells
23. Aunt Dimity Vampire Hunter - Nancy Atherton
24. The Crossing Places - Elly Griffiths
25. Capable of Murder - Brian Kavanagh
26. Dog on It - Spencer Quinn
27. Black Coffee - Agatha Christie

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Support Your Local Library Challenge 2009

I completed this challenge on September 19th.

1. Shelter Me - Fay
2. A Single Thread - Bostwick
3. Devil May Ride - Roberts
4. Homicide in Hardcover - Carlisle
5. Starvation Lake - Gruley
6. Dreams from the Monster Factory - Schwartz
7. My Abandonment - Rock
8. Twenty Wishes - Macomber
9. Living Dead in Dallas - Harris
10.Lemon Meringue Pie Murder - Joanne Fluke
11.Web of Evil - J A Jance
12.8th Confession - James Patterson

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hand of Evil

Hand of Evil

JA Jance

4 out of 5

When I began this series, I had started in the middle and I am so glad that I have gone back to the beginning and learned about Ali and her life from the beginning. In doing so, Ali has become a better over all character.

Two very different, but in some ways similar storylines keep the reader engrossed in this very good 3rd installment of the Ali Reynolds series.

When Ali is invited to the Ashcroft home she is very curious as to why - during tea it is revealed that Arabell's nephew is threatening to steal her money and have her committed. So to save herself, she reveals to Ali that she had been a victim of sexual abuse and with Ali's help she hopes to fend off the blackmail attempts with the truth. But Arabella is having second thoughts about the truth coming out.

That should be enough to keep Ali busy, so when her friend Dave Holman reveals to Ali that his own daughter, a sexually abused teen, has run away he asks for Ali's help in locating her. When she returns home, Ali takes in this lying manipulating child, but the problems are compounded when Crystal recognizes a killer and Ali's life hangs in the balance as she tries to protect Crystal, help Arabella, all the while trying to figure out who is telling the truth, who is out for their own benefit and who will take in the rhinestone cowboy outfit wearing gay butler. That part is really funny, but a great character has been discovered that will hopefully carry this series for many years to come.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Espresso Shot

Espresso Shot

Cleo Coyle

4 out of 5

Clare has finally come to terms with her ex-husband Matteo marrying, but she still wishes it wasn't to someone as horrible as Breanne Summour's. But when a look alike dancer is killed leaving Matt's bachelor party, Clare knows that the true victim was supposed to be Breanne herself and it is up to Clare to convince the NYPD and Breanne herself that there is true danger out there.

When no one really wants to believe Clare, she turns to the very hot Mike Quinn and with the help of the fish squad, a very curious case of who and why reveals the killer and the motive.

Though this book does seem to get off the main point frequently, it still follows the basic formula that keeps the Coffeehouse Mysteries moving forward. Breanne becomes a little more human, if that is possible, and Clare doesn't come across as the usual neurotic that she has been portrayed as in the past. I saw real growth in Clare's character and I hope that the writing team of Cleo Coyle will build on this new strength in Clare.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Kiss Her Goodbye

Kiss Her Goodbye

Robert Gregory Browne

4 out of 5

ATF agent Jack Donovan is finally closing in the psycho Alex Gunderson. But on a car chase after a bank robbery, Gunderson's pregnant wife Sara is injured during a car accident leaving her in a coma.

Seeking revenge, Gunderson kidnaps Donovan's teenage daughter, Jessica, and buries her underground with enough oxygen for three days. As the agents close in on Gunderson, an attention seeking cop kills the psycho before the whereabouts of Jessica can be found.

As time is running out, Jack Donovan desperately tries to tack down Alex's haunts, but this is where the story takes that proverbial left turn that had me scratching my head. I love mysteries, I love thrillers, but when out of no where you throw in the paranormal, I get ticked. Until then, it was a great book, until then Browne was an author that I could really enjoy looking forward to his other books. Evil taunts and messages from the dead just hit me wrong. Give me a thriller, or give me paranormal, separately I can handle these two genres, but paranormal and police procedural together don't mesh well.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dog On It

Dog on It

Spencer Quinn

4 out of 5

Chet and Bernie are a unique private investigating team. Bernie is a down on his luck PI and Chet is his faithful canine companion. Fortunately for this story, Chet isn't the typical know it all type of dog character - he gets a little confused with ideas and his doggie instincts do seem to get the better of him, which over all, makes for a more interesting read.

Since Chet had flunked out of K-9 school, for something he can't even remember, he has been Bernie's main companion. In this first in a series, Chet and Bernie are called in to investigate the disappearance of 15 year old Madison. No one is quite sure if she had been kidnapped or a runaway, but neither Chet or Bernie can leave this one alone. Even if it might mean a wee bit of a tangle with desert bikers and slimy real estate developers that smell suspiciously like cat.

Overall, it's a pretty good book, that is if you like your lead characters to have fur and mismatched ears. The mystery part is OK, but from time to time, it feels as if there is too much thrown into the story. I kept asking myself, was that character really needed - is that a name I need to remember. Hopefully, the next book in the this series will calm down a little bit, the storyline will tighten up a bit and Chet will learn that jumping the back fence might not be such a good idea.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Black Coffee

Black Coffee

4 out of 5

Agatha Christie

You can never go wrong with an Agatha Christie and with the little gray cells of Hercule Poirot the killer will be ensnared without the tiniest details missed.

First penned as a stage production, Black Coffee has been rewritten by her grandson Michal Pritchard.

Set in the early 1930's, Sir Claud Amory, an atomic scientist, has invited Poirot to his estate to personally transport a formula back to London. Sir Claud realizes that the formula is missing and offers his family and guests one minute in total darkness to return the formula with no questions asked. Well, one minute is all it takes to murder Sir Claud. Upon his arrival, Hercule Poirot is enlisted into finding both the formula and the killer.

Of course Agatha gives us a whole room full of likely suspects, each with their own secrets and story, but with Captain Hastings at his side, Poirot makes quick work of this very captivating who-done-it.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Capable of Murder

Capable of Murder

Brian Kavanagh

4 out of 5

Belinda Lawrence has had very little contact with her great aunt, so she was a bit surprised to receive a note requesting that she come by for a visit. Unfortunately, the visit was a bit too late as Belinda discovered her aunts body days dead on the floor at the bottom of the stairs.

Though called an accident by the police, Belinda sees things a little differently especially since the letter requesting the visit had been mailed after her aunts supposed accident.

With some quirky and other eerie characters, the author weaves a tale that has the reader turning the pages even though you think you have it figured out, you still want to see if Kavanagh was only teasing the reader or if there really was something afoot in this very dark village far away from the city light with overgrown gardens and mystery chambers.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Aunt Dimity Vampire Hunter

Aunt Dimity Vampire Hunter

Nancy Atherton

5 out of 5

Atherton is back on her stride with this book.

Lori Shepherd is up to her usual over reactive antics, but when her sons claim that they have seen a vampire in the woods over looking Anscombe Manor, Lori must investigate. After being nearly killed trying to save her sons in the past, this is just something that Lori can't brush away. Granted they have very active imaginations and it doesn't help that a classmate has brought to school a book detailing Rendor, the Destroyer of Souls and put just a little seedling of an idea into their minds.

So, with the help of Aunt Dimity and Kit, Lori sets out to find the vampire, discover a home hidden behind Emma's hill, meet a neighbor that she never knew existed, solve some of Kit's mysteries and last but not least, bring a happily ever after ending to a long awaited love story. All this in a span of less then a week, a week that Bill is out of town and there is no one to rein in Lori.

I adore these books, but I do suggest that you start at the beginning of the series, Aunt Dimity's Death, so you can learn to appreciate Lori at her fullest.

I adore these books, but I do suggest that you start at the beginning of the series, Aunt Dimity's Death, so you can learn to appreciate Lori at her fullest.