Monday, May 31, 2010

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marsha at the Printed Page. Stop by Marcia's blog and check out what arrived in everyone's mailboxes.

Guess I'm Into Cozies This Week

All from

I Scream, You Scream (Mystery a la Mode, Bk 1) :: Wendy Lyn Watson

Bookmarked For Death (Booktown, Bk 2) :: Lorna Barrett

Dead Men Don't Crochet (Tarzana Hookers, Bk 2) :: Betty Hechtman

Too Rich and Too Dead (Murder Packs a Suitecase, Bk 2) :: Cynthia Baxter

Bundle of Trouble :: Diana Orgain

Sunday, May 30, 2010

South of Broad

South of Broad

Pat Conroy

5 out of 5

I don't quite understand reviewers who dwell on the past efforts of an author and then drone on endlessly about how so and so book didn't live up to their personal expectations and then follow up with the slamming of an author when they write the same book over and over. Really? What does an author have to do to please the masses?

South of Broad is a wonderful story told in the first person narrative of Leo Bloom King beginning on Bloomsday, June 16, 1969 in Charleston, South Carolina when Leo is starting out on his senior year of high school.

Leo's life so far has not been easy, he found his brother after a suicide in the family home. The brother that was the golden child. The brother that everyone loved and worshiped. The brother that he could never live up to. Leo always considered himself the ugly one, the afterthought, the one that was never quite good enough. After years in mental institutions and medication, Leo is now on his way to his final year in school. A school where everyone knows his story and his mother, a rather stern woman, is the principal and expects just a little bit more from her son.

The trite expression of "this is the first day of the rest of your life" is quite true for Leo. This is the day that he will unexpectantly meet his life long friends. A band of damaged misfits that all come together and with the love and guidance that a person can only dream of from friends, create lives that are both horrendous and fulfilling at the same time.

Everything is in this book, love, lust, loss, longing, lamenting, and loneliness all played out against the largest character of them all, the city of Charleston. Conroy draws such beautiful and complete pictures of the town and its people that you are there. You can feel their heartache and their love.

As the book concludes, 20 remarkable years have passed and Hurricane Hugo is bearing down on this stunning town, a killer is on the loose and every life in Leo's little world will be affected. Truths will come out, people will show their true colors and Leo will draw his loved ones close and tell a beautiful story to the next generation that has you hoping that life really can have a happily ever after ending.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Maid for Murder

Maid for Murder

Barbara Colley

4 out of 5

Charlotte La Rue likes her life the way it is, at fifty nine she is not yet ready to call it a day no matter what her son, a successful doctors, may think. She enjoys her quiet life, her steady clients and her talkative parakeet.

Having opened up her maid service to support herself and her infant son after the death of her boyfriend in Vietnam, Charlotte has not looked back and wonder how life should have been, she is too busy looking forward and what she sees is pretty good. That is until Jackson Dubuisson, the husband of one of her regular clients, is found murdered and a couple of things that Charlotte has witnessed on her regular cleaning days just aren't adding up.

It's hard to keep a professional distance when you see your clients as friends and your niece just happens to be one of the lead investigators, but Charlotte has seen a couple of things that just don't add up and being the helpful person that she is, she just had to lend her helping hand where she can. No matter how things turn out.

Barbara Colley almost had me closing the book before I had gotten started. Early on there is a comment made about Charlotte's sons first wife that was a bit snide and over the top for a cozy. It came off to me as more of a personal attack to someone that the author knew in real life. Maybe I took it wrong, but it was like a "there I said it and now the whole world knows" kind of thing. It was very off putting and didn't need to be there.

But I persevered and overall I'm glad I did, Colley introduced interesting characters that I'm sure will make future appearances and overall the writing and flow were steady, with the right amount of little red herrings sprinkled throughout the story to lead the reader down different paths in hopes that the who-done-it isn't found out too early.

I'll definitely check out the second book in this series.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Book of Fires

Book of Fires

Jane Borodale

4 out of 5

For the most part, historical fiction takes me a bit longer to get into. There is always something that I feel is lost in the translation, but Book of Fires was different. Agnes Trussel, the main character had me from the beginning. A resourceful, seventeen year old that has been assaulted on their family farm and now must leave Sussex and find a way to deal with an unwanted pregnancy. The year is 1752 and if a woman is pregnant out of wedlock, she is a blight on society and just very likely will be put to death for her misdeeds, whether it was her "fault" or not.

Fortune falls on Agnes when she finds her neighbor, an unlikeable recluse, dead and seeing her gold coins on the mantel Agnes sees her opportunity to leave her family and try to find her way to London and a new life. But being a rather sheltered girl, London and it intrigue, is almost too much for Anges, that is until she is fortunate in finding employment with John Blacklock, a firework maker. Being a female firework assistant is unheard of at this particular time, but Mr. Blacklock sees something in her.

As Agnes tries to hid her pregnancy and keep her job, she sets off on another plan, one to trap the unsuspecting Mr. Soul's as a father for her child, anything to be able to keep the life that she has found and a job that she has grown to love.

With this debut novel, Ms. Borodale is compared to Geraldine Brooks and though that is a very tall order, I think that she does come very close. Her characters are engaging and the storyline is both historically fascinating and engaging. I look forward to future endeavors from this very interesting author.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases

The Map of True Places

Brunonia Barry

Brunonia Barry has claimed Salem as her own locale, even using Hawthorne's house of seven gables, and the town couldn't ask for a better chronicler. Just as the city is a place of haunted mystery, so is the life of Zee Finch who is forced to confront both past and present when caring for her ailing father. With characters that are rich, engaging and sympathetic, Barry has created a world that perfectly expresses ordinary life.

Monday, May 24, 2010

What's In Your Mailbox

Bundle of Trouble

Diana Orgain

OK I admit it, I have this unexplained weakness for cozy mysteries.

First-time mom Kate Connelly is bringing up baby - and bringing down a killer.

Kate Connelly may have found the perfect work-from-home Mommy job: private investigator. After all, the hours are flexible, she can bring the baby along on stake-outs, and if you're going to be up all night anyway, you might as well solve some crimes. But when a body is pulled from San Francisco Bay that may be her brother-in-law, Kate must crack the case faster than you can say 'diaper rash' in order to keep her family together.

OK this one doesn't fit into my cozy fix, but it does sound a great deal like Julie Kenner's Demon Hunting Soccer Mom series, which I love.

Every Demon Has His Day

Cara Lockwood

On face value, this one seems too much like the Julie Kenner Demon Hunting Soccer Mom Series. But we will see

In her wildest dreams, Constance Plyd never thought she'd see dead people. Then again, she never thought she'd be hit on by her ex-husband at his own funeral...or be the prime suspect in his murder. Fortunately for Constance, irresistibly sexy sheriff Nathan Garrett wants to believe her explanation -- that a card-carrying demon in a black suit killed Jimmy in the garage -- or maybe he wants something more. Either way, all signs are leading to a showdown of hellish proportions, with Constance at the heart of the battle, when the Devil and would-be mother of the Antichrist (a pop princess wannabe) descends on Crockett County. Sure, she'd rather be cooking up a storm for the next state fair, but if she's going to be the Chosen One, at least Constance can give a few demons a Texas-style butt kicking....

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases

The Ark

Boyd Morrison

Can the ancient world still impact the modern? In a resounding yes, Boyd Morrison relates a story involving Noah's Ark and a modern bioweapon. This fast-paced suspense sweeps two engineers and an archaeologist into the grip modern day fanaticism. I highly recommend this for great leisure reading! More enjoyable than The Lost Symbol.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Murder is Binding

Murder is Binding

Lorna Barrett

4 out of 5

So, what did happen to the alarm tech, did he ever show up? The reason I ask is because lead character Tricia Miles has ongoing alarm problems throughout the book and I was really waiting for the tech to make an appearance on the last page asking "did someone call for service". Guess it just wasn't meant to be.

Stoneham, New Hampshire is on it's way to becoming a ghost town when a local developer / real estate agent decides to rent his shops to book stores only. Sort of a one stop town shopping experience for booklovers. Quite a clever idea, that is until Doris, the owner of the Cookery, is found bludgeoned and Tricia the newest transplant to Stoneham, who is also known as the town jinx, is quickly zeroed in on as the main suspect.

In true cozy fashion and with the help of her very funny sister Angelica, who is very reminiscent of Joanne Fluke's character Andrea in the Hannah Swensen series, the two very different sisters set out to find the true killer. Though you can see the ending coming, it does seem to hit out of the blue, but that was ok, there was no real surprise and all the loose ends were neatly tied up. All except the alarm system, but that must be for another day.

I enjoyed the characters and the little town that Ms Barrett introduced me to. I look forward to the next book and seeing what Angelica, my favorite character, is going to get up to next. For some reason, the sidekicks are always more appealing to me.

Monday, May 17, 2010

What's In You Mailbox

Murder Off The Books

Evelyn David

A retired Irish Cop and a fast-food loving Irish Wolfhound search for the campus murderer while dealing with a scooter-riding senior with dreams of trenchcoat adventures, a crazed exterminator looking for his ride, and a makeup artist whose mid-life crisis isn't any the less stressful because her clients never complain. A half-million dollars has vanished and a college comptroller is dead. Mackenzie Sullivan, recently retired DC cop and newly-minted private detective, really has no interest in the murder. Mac just needs to find the embezzled money for the university's insurance company. Finding the killer is a bonus that he's not sure he wants to earn.

Murder is Binding

Lorna Barrett

The streets of Stoneham, New Hampsire are lined with bookstores...and paved with murder.

When she moved to Stoneham, city slicker Tricia Miles met nothing but friendly faces. And when she opened her mystery bookstore, she met friendly competition. But when she finds Doris Gleason dead in her own cookbook store, killed by a carving knife, the atmosphere seems more cutthroat than cordial. Someone wanted to get their hands on the rare cookbook that Doris had recently purchased-and the locals think that someone is Tricia. To clear her name, Tricia will have to take a page out of one of her own mysteries-and hunt down someone who isn't killing by the book.

The Cluttered Corpse
The second book in the Charlotte Adams series

Mary Jane Maffini

When Charlotte Adams agrees to help Emmy Lou Rheinbeck organize her stuffed animal collection, she never imagines she'll find herself fending off pranksters whose shenanigans lead to murder.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday Matinee

Since I hadn't gotten around to reading the book I decided to spend a quite evening watching the movie, now I know that books and movies tend to be different, but since I wasn't getting to the book, this would just have to be the next best thing.


What a waste of time

I haven't been so bored by a movie in a very long time. The whole plot was overly drawn out, the acting was cardboard and the plot line never did move beyond monotonous. For me it was definately a waste of time.

IMDb says:

While traveling by train to visit his grandfather in Jamshedpur, Calcutta born, Bengali-speaking Ashoke Ganguli meets with fellow-traveler, Ghosh, who impresses upon him to travel, while Ashoke is deep into a book authored by Nicholai Gogol. The train meets with an accident, and after recuperating, Ashoke re-locates to America, settles down, returns home in 1977 to get married to aspiring singer, Ashima, and returns home to New York. Shortly thereafter they become parents of a boy, who they initially name Gogol, and a few years later both give birth to Sonia. The family then buy their own house in the suburbs and travel to India for the first time after their marriage. The second time they travel to India is when Gogol and Sonia are in their late teens, and after a memorable visit to Kolkata and then to the Taj Mahal, they return home. Gogol falls in love with Maxine Ratliff and moves in with her family, while Ashoke spends time traveling, and Sonia moves to California, leaving Ashima all her by herself. The Ganguli family will be destined to travel to India again soon - this time under very different circumstances - and after all have endured life-changing events.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Looking Forward To This One


Sheila Curran

By nature, I am not a fan of mushy girl books, but I do have to admit that this one sounds really good. Hope it lives up to my expectations.

Penelope Cameron, loving mother, devoted wife and generous philanthropist, has convinced her husband and four closest friends to sign an outlandish pact. If Penelope should die before her two daughters are eighteen, her husband will not remarry without the permission of Penelope's sister and three college roommates. For years, this contract gathers dust until the unthinkable happens. Suddenly, everyone she loved must find their way in a world without Penelope.

For Lucy Vargas, Penelope's best friend, and a second mother to her daughters, nothing seems more natural than to welcome them into a home that had once belonged to their family, a lovely, sprawling bed-and-breakfast on the beach. This bequest was only one of the many ways in which Penelope had supported Lucy's career as a painter, declaring her talent too important to squander. But now, in the wake of a disaster that only lovable, worrisome Penelope could have predicted, Lucy has put her work on hold as she and Penelope's husband, Joey, blindly grasp at anything that will keep the girls from sinking under the weight of their grief.

With the help of family and friends, the children slowly build new lives. But just when things start to come together, the fragile serenity they have gained is suddenly threatened from within, and the unbreakable bonds they share seem likely to dissolve after all.

In this entertaining and uplifting novel, Sheila Curran explores the faith one woman placed in her dearest friends, the care she took to protect her family and the many ways in which romantic entanglements will confound and confuse even the most determined of planners. A story about growing up and moving on, about the sacrifices people make for one another and the timeless legacy of love, Everyone She Loved is, above all, about the abiding strength of friendship.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Princess Academy

Princess Academy

5 out of 5

Shannon Hale

I adored this YA book. 14-year-old Miri loves her life with her father and sister on Mount Eskel, where she spends here days taking care of their home while her sister and father work in the local quarry mining the very beautiful and rare linder stone.

Miri longs to be able to actually work in the quarry, but being born early to a mother that died six days after Miri's birth, she just isn't large enough or strong enough to the the physical work that is required.

Miri's life is about to undergo a dramatic change when the prince announces that it has been foretold that he will find his future wife on Mount Eskel. Such a twitter abounds and all girls between the ages of 13 and 18 are sent off to the Princess Academy where they are taught the fine art of being the perfect princess. The girls were excited about this until they meet their tutor, the horrible Olana who feels that it is her personal duty to torture these young women all in the name of propriety. But Miri and her band of friends have something entirely different in mind and with the help of "quarry-speech" events turn out quite differently when one of the quarry girls has a shocking confession of her own.

Though this book is suggested for ages 9 and up, I think that 9 is a bit too young and that this book would be better appreciated by girls in the 12 to 14 year age group. A little exciting and a little early romance make this a fun book to explore and to share with your daughters.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases

My Name is Mary Sutter

Robin Oliveira

On the eve of the Civil War, Albany midwife Mary Sutter desperately wants to be a surgeon. When Dorthea Dix puts out a call for nurses, Mary leaves her family and her practice behind and rushes to Washington. Told from the view of nurses, families, and politicians, this novel is an enthralling, exquisitely crafted debut. It is a story for lovers of historical fiction as well as anyone who believes in the power of the human spirit.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fatal Fixer- Upper

Fatal Fixer-Upper

Jennie Bentley

3 out of 5

First of all I have to admit I have a pet peeve, and Ms Bentley hit it straight on the head with this book. Ms Bentley, please give your readers a little more credit. Just because this is a "cozy" doesn't mean that you really have to go into a paragraphs worth of detail on what a chase lounge is. Really, we get it. Don't talk down to your readers - we are much smarter then you give us credit for.

With that being said, the mystery of this book is passable, unfortunately, there were a couple of plotlines that were quite reminiscent of Brian Kavanagh's Capable of Murder, but not enough for the reader to feel that it was a complete rehashing.

After receiving an ominous letter, from a little know Aunt Inga, Avery Baker of New York City rents a car and travels a few hours outside her comfort zone and appears at the door step of her aunt in the seaside community of Waterfield, Maine, only to find the Inga is now dearly departed and she, Avery, is the owner of a dilapidated home.

Avery has two choices, allow her Aunt's attorney to handle the selling of the property or try and make a few extra bucks and renovate the disaster with the help of local handyman Derek Ellis. Well, we know that cozies just aren't cozy unless there is a buff man and a cat, so with the help of the local ex-medical student turned renovator Avery sets out to find out if Inga's death was really an accident and what did Marie Antoinette have to do with it.

Though the storyline is not remarkable, it's a pleasurable way to spend an afternoon.

Monday, May 10, 2010

What's In Your Mailbox

The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To

DC Pierson

Fifteen-year-old Darren Bennett lives in an entirely recognizable teenage world: he's obsessed with science fiction and video games, bullied by his older brother, and completely baffled by the opposite sex. On the other hand, Darren's new, socially awkward best friend, Eric Lederer, lives a life unrecognizable to everyone: Eric can't sleep, at all, ever, a revelation he shares with Darren in strictest confidence. After overcoming his shock, Darren delights in exploring Eric's anomalous condition through a series of trials involving, among other things, roofies. When a typical high school fight over a girl leads Darren to tell a stranger about Eric's bizarre secret, Darren is caught up in the kind of fight-for-your-life adventure he so often daydreams about. Combining a coming-of-age tale with science fiction, Pierson performs a nimble, satisfying balancing act, with enough drama of the day-to-day high school variety to keep the more fantastic elements in check. The result is a fast-moving narrative with an authentic, heartfelt voice, plenty of laughs and spot-on cultural references, and a raucous climax.

Miscarriage of Justice

Kip Gayden

A tragic love story that begins at a Tennessee Christian summer camp in 1896. There, pastor's daughter Anna Dennis, 16, and Walter Dotson, a third-year Vanderbilt medical student, fall hard for each other. By winter, he's interning at her local hospital, and their courtship and early married life—including a stint in Vienna, where daughter Mabel is born—have all the trappings of a conventional romance. By 1908, the family numbers four and settles in Gallatin, Tenn., near Anna and Walter's hometowns, but a miscarriage sets the stage for murder and scandal. Gayden's writing in the romance sections is flat and unconvincing, but perks up in the last quarter, when the novel goes full-on procedural, delivering the murder trial and the related media coverage in close detail. The trial, based on real events, is intriguing, the verdict unexpected and period detail adds depth.

Snow Angels: A Inspector Vaara Novel

James Thompson

Just before Christmas, the bleakest time of the year in Lapland. The unrelenting darkness and extreme cold above the Arctic Circle drive everyone just a little insane . . . perhaps enough to kill.

A beautiful Somali immigrant is found dead in a snowfield, her body gruesomely mutilated, a racial slur carved into her chest. Heading the murder investigation is Inspector Kari Vaara, the lead detective of the small-town police force. The vicious killing may have been a hate crime, a sex crime-or one and the same. Vaara knows he must keep this potentially ex­plosive case out of the national headlines or else it will send shock waves across Finland, an insular nation afraid to face its own xenophobia.

The demands of the investigation begin to take their toll on Vaara and his marriage. His young American wife, Kate, newly pregnant with their first child, is struggling to adapt to both the unforgiving Arctic climate and the Finnish culture of silence and isolation. Meanwhile Vaara himself, haunted by his rough childhood and failed first marriage, discovers that the past keeps biting at his heels: He suspects that the rich man for whom his ex-wife left him years ago may be the killer.

Endless night can drive anyone to murder.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sunday Matinee


I usually watch my movies through Netflix and only rarely go to the movies.

I don't know why this movie didn't get better reviews,I thought it was really good. A bit over the top if you are squeemish, but intense throughout and you most definately need to be paying attention. I can agree with the comments about it being unrealistic, but come on, this is a movie not a documentary.

The legal thriller meets the serial-killer shocker in Law Abiding Citizen. The story begins when home invaders kill Clyde Shelton's wife and daughter. The bereaved father (played by a thoroughly unsympathetic Gerard Butler) looks to slick Philly prosecutor Nick Rice (a low-key Jamie Foxx) to see that they receive the maximum sentence. Instead, the murderer, Ames, testifies against his accomplice, Darby, who gets the chair, while he gets 10 years. Upon his release, Ames' mutilated body turns up in an abandoned warehouse, and all roads lead to Shelton. Rice attempts to defend him, but his client makes it impossible--Shelton wants to go to prison--so he does time, but then members of Rice’s legal team start to die. The attorney suspects Shelton, but can't connect him to the crimes, so he races against the clock to save the lives of his assistant, Sarah (Leslie Bibb), D.A. Jonas (Bruce McGill), and his own wife and child.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

What's In Your Mailbox

Let the Dead Lie

Malla Nunn

South Africa, 1953. The National Party's rigid race laws have split the nation and a gruelling poverty grips many on the edges of its society. When former Detective Sergeant Emmanuel Cooper stumbles across the body of a child, Jolly Marks, at the Durban docks, he can little imagine what the discovery will lead him to. Trying to resist his instinct to pursue the truth behind this terrible crime - his life fell apart following his last investigation - Cooper decides to leave this one to the proper authorities. But the trouble is, someone in the shadows has rather different ideas ...Soon Cooper finds himself under suspicion for not only Jolly's murder, but others as well. The only way he can clear his name is to find out who the real killer was - and he's got forty-eight hours to do it in. Assisted by his former boss, Van Nierkerk - a man forever on the lookout for a way to advance his own cause - and Van Nierkerk's beautiful, enigmatic mistress Lana, Cooper's investigations will lead him into Durban's murky underworld of pimps, prostitutes, strange, sinister preachers, and those on the wrong side of the race laws. He will discover new enemies and be reunited with old friends. And before long, Cooper will find that there is more to Jolly's barbaric murder than he could ever have realized...

Powder Necklace

Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond

To protect her daughter from the fast life and bad influences of London, her mother sent her to school in rural Ghana. The move was for the girl's own good, in her mother's mind, but for the daughter, the reality of being the new girl, the foreigner-among-your-own-people, was even worse than the idea.

During her time at school, she would learn that Ghana was much more complicated than her fellow ex-pats had ever told her, including how much a London-raised child takes something like water for granted. In Ghana, water ?became a symbol of who had and who didn't, who believed in God and who didn't. If you didn't have water to bathe, you were poor because no one had sent you some.

After six years in Ghana, her mother summons her home to London to meet the new man in her mother's life - and his daughter. The reunion is bittersweet and short-lived as her parents decide it's time that she get to know her father. So once again, she's sent off, this time to live with her father, his new wife, and their young children in New York - but not before a family trip to Disney World.

The Opposite of Me

Sarah Pekkanen

Twenty-nine-year-old Lindsey Rose has, for as long as she can remember, lived in the shadow of her ravishingly beautiful fraternal twin sister, Alex. Determined to get noticed, Lindsey is finally on the cusp of being named VP creative director of an elite New York advertising agency, after years of eighty-plus-hour weeks, migraines, and profound loneliness. But during the course of one devastating night, Lindsey's carefully constructed life implodes. Humiliated, she flees the glitter of Manhattan and retreats to the time warp of her parents' Maryland home. As her sister plans her lavish wedding to her Prince Charming, Lindsey struggles to maintain her identity as the smart, responsible twin while she furtively tries to piece her career back together. But things get more complicated when a long-held family secret is unleashed that forces both sisters to reconsider who they are and who they are meant to be.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Library Loot

Hosted by A Striped Armchair

The Dead Cat Bounce

Sarah Graves

This Old House meets Murder, She Wrote in this Sarah Graves mystery set on the coast of Maine. Jacobia Triptree, onetime financial advisor to the Mob, finds her quiet retreat shattered by the unwelcome discovery of a dead man in the Victorian pile she is in the midst of restoring. That he has an ice pick in his forehead only confirms her suspicion that the death was brought about by something other than natural causes. When her closest friend, Ellie, confesses to having done the deed, Jacobia is convinced she is lying and determines to save Ellie from herself by finding the real killer.

The victim turns out to be a local boy who'd done well enough to be featured in the pages of Fortune magazine. Ellie's ostensible reason for her uncharacteristic violence is that he bankrupted her parents. Between bouts of waterproofing the basement and replacing floor joists, Jacobia sets out to find a more believable motive and murderer.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here

Rita Mae Brown

4 out of 5

Originally, I had started reading these books out of order and decided that I would probably have a better understanding of who the characters were if I went back to the beginning. Well, apparently Ms Brown does a pretty good job in rehashing past storylines because I don't think that going back really changed my understanding of who anyone really is. So, with this series, you really can start anywhere and not be missing out on who all the main characters are.

Crozet, Virginia, is a typical small town until its secrets explode into murder. Crozet, Virginia's thirty-something post-mistress, Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen, has a bad habit of reading postcards not addressed to her. So when Crozet's citizens start turning up murdered, Harry remembers that each received a card with a tombstone on the front and the message "Wish you were here" on the back. So with the help of her cat, Mrs. Murphy and Welsh Corgi, Tucker, Harry sets out to find who is behind the murders and what else is being covered up.

The only thing that throws me off of this series are the small sections where you can tell that Ms Brown is trying to make a political statement. I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I'm here to read a cozy type mystery, not witness the authors political views.

Over all the series is pretty good, the reoccurring characters make the books enjoyable and the easy style that Ms Brown writes in allows the reader to come and go from the storyline - what I call a great "waiting for the kids" kind of book. Easy to pick up and put down without feeling that you have to go back a couple of chapter to remember where you were.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases

The Lonely Polygamist

Brady Udall

The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall is the story of 45-year-old Golden Richards, a hapless soul, whose four wives, twenty-eight children, and one paramour run his life. The reader learns to love and root for this man at every wrong turn. By turns laugh-out-loud funny and hauntingly sad, this novel is a big, fat, satisfying read that will make you reconsider what it means to be part of a family. Plus, it contains the naughtiest, goofiest eleven-year-old boy who will ever break your heart.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Burying Place

The Burying Place

Brian Freeman

5 out of 5

I love the flawed characters that Brian Freeman has created in his Jonathan Stride series. Jonathan is damaged, deeply damaged, and he surrounds himself with other broken people and in a way they have created a family. A family that that may not always like each other, but a family that works together to get a job done. Unfortunately, that job always involves murder and the Duluth Minnesota Police Department always seems to be smack dab in the middle of something horrible.

Before I go any further, I have to say that the ending of this one threw me, I never saw it coming. Brian Freeman has a way of walking the reader down multiple paths that have a way of converging in a way that is very plausible, but still out of left field. Brian Freeman is a great story teller, with a great story to tell.

In book five, Jonathan Stride is recovering from a very bad fall that had almost claimed his life, but near death and the ensuing panic attacks are not going to stop him form investigating the apparent kidnapping of eleven month old Callie Glenn.

The Glenn's don't have a very happy marriage, Valerie is fighting her own demons and her husband, a rather cold unemotional surgeon, are on differing sides as to what really happened to their daughter. Callie is a child that Dr. Marcus Glenn never really wanted and on the evening that he was supposed to be caring for their child, Callie goes missing.

Filled with secrets and lies, and a local serial killer that is collecting women along rural farm roads, the Duluth PD and rookie cop Kasey Kennedy are in for the battle of their lies when the killer decides to mark Kasey as his next victim.

With enough twists and turns and "oh, my gosh did that just happen" moments, the reader is taken on a mesmerizing journey through the darker side of rich and privileged.

I highly recommend this book and this series.

Monday, May 3, 2010

What's In Your Mailbox

A Happy Marriage

Rafael Yglesias

The story of Enrique Sabas and his wife, Margaret, a novel that alternates between the romantic misadventures of the first weeks of their courtship and the final months of Margaret's life as she says good-bye to her family, friends, and children — and to Enrique. Spanning thirty years, this achingly honest story is about what it means for two people to spend a lifetime together — and what makes a happy marriage.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

So Far This Year

Total Pages Read: 4220
Fiction: 6
Non-Fiction: 3
Mystery (All Genres): 12
New Authors: 11
Audio: 7
Young Adult: 0

Total Books Read: 21

April Books:

The Janus Stone 5/5
Just Desserts - G.A. McKevett 4/5
September Society - Charles Finch 3/5
Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist - MC Beaton 3/5
Death by Cashmere - Sally Goldenbaum 4/5
Mozart's Ghost - Julia Cameron 3/5
Starter Vegetable Gardens - Barbara Pleasant 5/5
True Food - Annie B. Bond 4/5

I'm doing OK on my challenges:

Cozy Challenge: 3/10
First in a Series: 4/12
ARC Challenge: 2/12
Support Your Local Library: 11/25
Chunkster Challenge: 1/6
Reading From My Shelves Challenge: 6/50