Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - Daddy Knows Death

Hosted by Breaking the Spine

Title: Daddy Knows Death
Author: Jeffrey Allen
Publisher: Kensington (June 4, 2013)
Format: Paperback; Pgs 272
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Stay at Home Dad Mysteries #3


It isn't that stay-at-home dad Deuce Winters wants to be his small town's unofficial sleuth. Between caring for his peppy five year-old-daughter Carly and helping to keep his ten-months-pregnant wife Julianne sane, he's certainly got his hands full. But, well, trouble does seem to find him. . .

That's why Duece is only mildly surprised to find a body among the frozen burgers and bratwurst at the Rose Petal fair's concession stand. And it seems the defrosting deceased was last seen arguing passionately with one of the fair's board members. But there may be more--a lot more--to the mystery, and tracking down the dangerous truth may be too much for even the most determined dad!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

First Chapter First Paragraph - Inferno

Title: Inferno
Author: Dan Brown
Publisher: Doubleday (May 14, 2013)
Format: Hardcover; Pgs 480
Genre: Suspense
Source: Library
Series: Robert Langdon #4

Hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea

Chapter 1

The memories materialized slowly . . . like bubbles surfacing from the darkness of a bottomless well.

A veiled woman.

Robert Langdon gazed at her across a river whose churning waters ran red with blood. On the far bank, the woman stood facing him, motionless, solemn, her face hidden by a shroud. In her hand she gripped a blue tainia cloth, which she now raised in honor of the sea of corpses at her feet. The smell of death hung everywhere.

Seek, the woman whispered. And ye shall find.

Langdon heard the words as if she had spoken them inside his head. “Who are you?” he called out, but his voice made no sound.

Time grows short, she whispered. Seek and find.


In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces . . . Dante’s Inferno.

Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust . . . before the world is irrevocably altered.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Review - Giddy Up Daddy

Title: Giddy-Up Daddy
Author and Illustrator: Troy Cummings
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (April 23, 2013)
Format: Hardcover; Pgs 40
Genre: Children’s
Source: Library
Ages: 2 - 5

When it comes to daddy time, two little kids sure know how to have fun.

Daddy is seriously the best horsey ever. Apparently, rustlers thinks so too and they horse-nap him, but the kids are resourceful and they track the hoof prints that daddy leaves behind.

From a rodeo, to a circus to a polo match and even a trip to Canada where the children reveal their true identities, the band of rustlers have no idea what they are up against.

As the sun begins to set on their adventures, mom appears at the back door with wide-open arms and the kids know what that mean - she seriously is the best at airplane rides.

This is a good book for your creative thinking adventure seekers. Every child loves playing horsey and when you throw in a dad that is just as involved, you cannot help but to have the time of your lives.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Reviw - Devious

Title: Devious
Author: Lisa Jackson
Publisher: Kensington (March 29, 2011)
Format: Hardcover; Pgs 432
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Source: Library
Series: A Rick Bentz/Reuben Montoya Novel #7

By the time I was a third of the way though this book, I wondered when it would ever end. Half way and I was convinced it was never-ending, by the end, I truly could care less who was killing the nuns or why.

So why did I continue reading – I have absolutely no idea. I would pick it up and read a little bit here and there hoping for a spark that would grab me, but that never happened.

Devious is the 7th book in the New Orleans Series by Lisa Jackson and I will tell you right now that I did not read the first six, but I do not feel that I missed anything. How is that you ask - there were repeated discussions about a previous book where a priest was killing women, but that storyline was rehashed to the point that I got more than a general feeling of the previous storyline.

The book opens with the murder of a nun wearing a wedding gown at St Marguerite’s Cathedral in New Orleans. She has been garroted and her body was covered with an alter cloth. Sister Camille has had quite a past but that was no reason to kill her, unless the fact that she is pregnant had anything to do with it.

When her sister Val gets involved, the investigation slowly unfolds, as the bodies pile up the story is unraveled. The waters become a bit muddied when one of the investigators realizes that he had dated one of the still living nuns before she entered the convent. Add in a handsome priest that is turning the nun’s heads, an orphanage closing down and adoption recorders of Val and Camille are revealed. Plus, Val’s husband has rolled into town and wants to rekindle their marriage. Just when you think you have reached the boiling point, an insidious serial killer dressed as a priest is back and killing again.

Yes, there are a couple more parts that I left out and if I had included them, you would have felt that this recap was just as never-ending as the book.

This book was not a good match for me. There was just too much thrown in and not enough to hold my interest.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - The Diva Frosts a Cupcake

Hosted by Breaking the Spine

Title: The Diva Frosts a Cupcake
Author: Krista Davis
Publisher: Berkley (June 4, 2013)
Format: Paperback; Pgs 304
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: A Domestic Diva Mystery #7


Sophie Winston and her BFF, Nina Reid Norwood, share a sweet spot for animals. So Sophie is delighted to help when Nina cooks up Cupcakes and Pupcakes—a fundraising event for animal shelters. All the local bakeries will be selling treats, with the profits going to pups and kitties in need. But Old Town is in for a whole batch of trouble when a cupcake war erupts between two bakeries…

Tongues wag and tempers rise when a partner leaves Sugar Baby Bakery and unveils her competing cupcakery, Sugar Mama, precisely as the fundraiser gets under way. Just as it seems nothing else can go wrong, Sugar Baby’s sole remaining employee is found dead. Suspicion falls on the feuding owners, but the scrumptious new guy in town is also raising some eyebrows. Now Sophie and Nina have to sift through the clues and discover who isn’t as sweet as they seem…

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

First Chapter First Paragraph - 12th of Never

Title: 12th of Never
Author: James Patteson and Maxine Paetro
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (April 29, 2013)
Format: Hardcover; Pgs 432
Genre: Suspense
Source: Library
Series: Women's Murder Club#12

Hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea

Chapter 1

I WOKE UP to a sharp report, as if a gun had gone off next to my ear. My eyes flew open and I sat straight up in bed.

I yelled “Joe,” but my husband wasn’t lying next to me. He was in an airplane, thirty-five thousand feet above the heart-land, and wouldn’t be home until the morning.

There was another ferocious crack and my bedroom brightened with lightning that snapped and wrapped around the windows. A boomer shook the window frames and sheets of rain lashed the glass. I was so distracted by the vicious storm that it took me a second or two to register the wave of pain that came from my belly and washed right through me.

Oh, man, it hurt really bad.

Yes, it was my own fault for gorging on refried beans for dinner, then chasing down the Mexican leftovers with riga-toni marinara at ten.


Lindsay Boxer's beautiful baby is born! But after only a week at home with her new daughter, Lindsay is forced to return to work to face two of the biggest cases of her career.

A rising star football player for the San Francisco 49ers is the prime suspect in a grisly murder. At the same time, Lindsay is confronted with the strangest story she's ever heard: An eccentric English professor has been having vivid nightmares about a violent murder and he's convinced is real. Lindsay doesn't believe him, but then a shooting is called in—and it fits the professor's description to the last detail.

Lindsay doesn't have much time to stop a terrifying future from unfolding. But all the crimes in the world seem like nothing when Lindsay is suddenly faced with the possibility of the most devastating loss of her life.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Review - Wilfred

Title: Wilfred
Author and Illustrator: Ryan Higgins
Publisher: Dial (March 21, 2013)
Format: Hardcover; Pgs 32
Genre: Children’s
Source: Library
Ages: 3 - 5

Kindness and cruelty come in all shapes and sizes. That is the lesson that is learned with Wilfred.

Calling Wilfred humongous and hairy is not an insult, it is true.

Wilfred is lonely and looking for a friend when one day he comes upon a town of little bald people. Seeing the children playing, he wanted to join. Being different has it disadvantages, but one little boy was not scared. He approached this monster and they had fun together.

After promising to return the next day, the little boy was sad when it friend did not return. Turns out the town of little bald people realized that Wilfred has something that they wanted and being the kind person he was Wilfred helped out these people with their nasty idea.

Wilfred wanted to help, that is what a friend does. Little did he know that not all people have good intentions.

The sad little boy set out to make things right, and if it was not for the kindness of this sensitive soul and a town wanting to right a wrong, a hairy humongous Wilfred would not have the thing that he always wanted – a very best friend.

A delightful book to curl up with and read about friendship and caring; and not taking advantage of someone just because they have something that you want.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Review - Telling the Bees

Title: Telling the Bees
Author: Peggy Hesketh
Publisher: Putnam Adult (March 7, 2013))
Format: Hardcover; Pgs 320
Genre: Fiction
Source: Amazon

This has to be one of the saddest most heartfelt books that I have ever read.

Part beekeepers textbook, part murder mystery, you are brought headfirst into the world of Albert Honig and his neighbors the Bee Ladies. It is not the ladies plural that Albert is enthralled with, it is one lady in particular. Claire brought lightness to Albert and I believe that the Kierkegaard quote “I was too heavy for her and she was too light for me”, is the best way to sum up their relationship.

Looking back over his life, Albert tell the story of his neighbors, beginning on the day that he found their bound lifeless bodies in the living room, back to his childhood and on to the final moment that he had to tell his bees “Little Brownie, Little Brownies your Mistress is dead”.

This book is not an easy read; at its center, it is heartbreaking. Albert Honig, an unmarried 80-year-old man, has lived his entire life in his childhood home in Southern California. His world is humble, his needs are simple - it is just him and his bees. Hives dot his yard and as the story of his relationship with his family, the Straussman sisters next door and the world of beekeeping is told, you see what a very unassuming life this man has lead.

As Detective Grayson investigates the murders, the stories of Albert and Claire are told. In its joys and sorrows, you see two very damaged people. People that no matter how they try are doomed to an unrequited life.

Albert states that he does not need more than toast with honey and a good book to end the day. As the reader delves further into their lives, you see that there is so much more. Intertwining the on goings in a hive and the lives of Claire and Albert, you cannot help but to see that they were all intermeshed. We each have a part to play, a purpose, some are the queens with others doing their bidding and some are the drones that are destined to give their all.

This is the type of book that deserves multiple readings. The subtleties are easily missed until the end where all the threads are interwoven and reader finally sees the bigger picture.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Review - Aunt Dimity and the Lost Prince

Title: Aunt Dimity and the Lost Prince
Author: Nancy Atherton
Publisher: Viking Adult (April 18, 2013)
Format: Hardcover; Pgs 256
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Source: Library
Series: Aunt Dimity #18

I know that I have been quite difficult on books recently, but Aunt Dimity and the Lost Prince is going to change that. From the very first chapter I was drawn into this book, Lori does not come across nearly as scatterbrained or man deprived as her previous books and though she is still an overbearing mother, it appears that she just might be letting her eight-year-old boys out of their car seats and allowing them to enjoy being kids.

Bree Prym is bored and restless in the big house that her aunts have left for her so she finds a reason to knock on Lori’s door and ask if she could spend a couple of days. Due broken pipe issues and the inability to ride their horses, the boys jump at the chance to visit Skeaping Manor with Bree. This macabre place has just the things that boys like to see, but shrunken heads and bugs are not on Lori’s agenda. She is fascinated by the silver collection. What is more interesting is the little girl, Daisy Pickering, in the dirty coat that seems to know more than she should about a lost prince.

When the little girl’s coat shows up at the charity shop with a silver treasure shaped like an ornate Russian sleigh in the pocket, Lori’s interest is piqued and with the help of Bree, they set off to finder her, only to discover that she and her mother have disappeared. What they do find is a very fascinating story involving an old prince being held captive.

Of course, Lori cannot let this go and by following the clues in the story, Lori and Bree take the reader on a very interesting journey into many of the finer homes in the area.

This is still one of my favorite series; there is an easy simplicity to the life in Finch, one that I enjoy returning to year after year. Aunt Dimity is not playing as much of a vital role has she has in the earlier books, I am not sure if this is good or bad, but there is a gentle change taking place.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Review - Agatha Raisin There Goes the Bride

Title: Agatha Raisin There Goes the Bride
Author: MC Beaton
Publisher: Minotaur Books (September 29, 2009)
Format: Hardcover; Pgs 288
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Source: Library
Series:Agatha Raisin #20

This is the 20th book in this series, and I dare say, that this series is turning into one long book. Agatha Raisin is not changing and she is not learning from her previous disasters. You would think that MC Beaton would have been tired of writing the same old, same old, by now, but apparently not. Agatha’s former husband, James Lacey, is engaged to a much younger woman and both wistful and loathing Agatha has been invited to attend the wedding festivities. At the engagement party, she is swept away by Frenchman Sylvan, this is a man that she does not know, but that is nothing new for Agatha, and it is a recurring theme in all 20 books.

Now back to the wedding, the bride, Felicity, is found murdered on her wedding day and shock of all shocks, Agatha is suspected. To muddle matters even further, the bride’s mother Mrs. Bross-Tilkington hires Agatha to dig into her daughter’s death. Because of course, the mother of the bride would think that the number one suspect would be best at this. Okay, granted, Agatha has an alibi for the time, but still that seemed a bit more farfetched than usual.

It turns out that not only does Felicity's father have some explaining to do so does the suave Frenchman Sylvan. Now Agatha’s life is in danger and in danger and in danger since Sylvan will not stop until Agatha is dead.

This book was truly over about three quarters of the way through, but apparently, the page count was not where it should be and suddenly Agatha is thrown into silly situations. I swear if it were not for the fact that I have read this far into the series, I would have thrown the book against the wall and sworn off Agatha forever.

Now the big question – will I continue with the series? Of course I will, I have gotten this far and the recurring cast of characters are entertaining, but I do wish that Agatha would get a grip and learn from the last 19 books and stop acting like a love struck puppy.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - Brush with Death

Hosted by Breaking the Spine

Title: Brush with Death
Author: Karen MacInerney
Publisher: Midnight Ink (May 8, 2013)
Format: Paperback; Pgs 336
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Gray Whale Inn #5


For Natalie Barnes, the flurry of trendy artists setting up shop on Cranberry Island promises to be the perfect recipe for relaxing and enjoying the holiday season. But Natalie’s good luck is turning out to be a stroke of misfortune for her niece, Gwen. The local gallery’s new owner hates Gwen’s paintings, and her mentor Fernand is too distracted by a competing artist to help Gwen improve her style. When Natalie finds Fernand dead, seemingly the victim of suicide, she can’t believe someone who had so much joy and success in his life would kill himself. Finding clues at Fernand’s home that support her suspicion of murder, Natalie’s hunt for answers places her next on the killer’s list. Will she be able to solve this murder masterpiece before it’s too late?