Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

May your holiday be joyful and may happiness surround it, with good things on your table and those you love around it!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Beeline to Trouble

Title: Beeline to Trouble
Author: Hannah Reed
Published: December 4th 2012 by Berkley
Format: Paperback, 304 pages
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Queen Bee Mystery #4

Hannah Reed should have learned the difference between carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. When a car is left running in a garage, it is carbon monoxide that is released, not carbon dioxide. A simple Google search would have cleared this right up.

Sometimes I truly wonder why I read cozy mysteries. Usually they are simple mind candy, but then there are those authors that just continually hit below the mark. The Queen Bee Mysteries have always been below par, the writing is basic and the plots are lightweight. Oh yea, and Ms. Reed needs to learn the difference between acronyms and initials, and do not get me started on her use of bullet points.

Yada, yada, yada, food flavorists decent on Holly and Ben’s home to have a weekend away from office stresses and when one is murdered, Holly is charged because once upon a time Holly gave the woman the evil eye and everyone assumed that meant Holly was convinced that the woman was after her husband.

Turns out that Nova (the woman that was killed) had something in common with Story’s next-door neighbor Patti. That is right – they were both married to the same man and he is a mob boss out of Chicago. Are you rolling your eyes yet?

Maybe the book would not have felt so long and drawn out if there were more story lines going on. There is a little here and there about the running of the Wild Clover and Story’s relationship with Hunter. There is also a tidbit about Story’s mother involved with a new man, but all in all, there was just one stagnant plot.

Not a good book, not a good series.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Brush with Death

Title: Brush with Death
Author: Karen MacInerney
Published: May 8th 2013 by Midnight Ink
Format: Paperback, 322 pages
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Gray Whale Inn Mystery #5

With many returning characters, readers of the Gray Whale Inn Mysteries will only have to get used to a couple of new faces in book number five. Very little of previous books is discussed, but when it is, Karen MacInerney does a good job in explaining past situations so a reader does not necessarily need to read this series in order.

Natalie Barnes is the owner of the Gray Whale Inn on Cranberry Island in Maine. It is the middle of winter and a slower time. Perfect to take a long needed breather and relish in the fact that the refinance of her inn is complete.

With John off the island finishing up his continuing education to keep his deputy sheriff badge, Natalie is a bit lonely, but that does not last for long went her niece Gwen must change her artistic direction to please a new gallery owner, a world renown artist visits the island and is not what she appears to be, Gwen’s mentor is found dead, Natalie’s future mother in law is now on the island and has a surprise of her own, Claudette’s daughter in law has moved in with her and is more than a handful and to top it off, Natalie’s Inn has not been refinanced, her accountant has stolen the money and Natalie might lose her property. No worries, she always has the right ingredients to make dessert.

There is a lot going on in this book. Character’s weave in and out of the story and even though parts are obvious, it does take Natalie a while to put all the pieces together.

There are a few downfalls in this book; the most glaring for me was the repeated definition of who Catherine was. The reader got it after seven times; Catherine is Natalie’s future mother in law. Did Natalie have to keep repeating it because she was unsure of whom the woman was or she had to convince herself that John was the man that she is engaged to? That was just too annoying for me.

For such a small island, it is amazing what Natalie gets herself involved in. This is an easy to read book and series that fills in a weekend. I would call it a beach read, but with the winter theme, it is better for a comfy chair and a fireplace.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Sister Eve Private Eye

Title: Sister Eve Private Eye
Author: Lynne Hinton
Expected Publication: November 25th 2014 by Thomas Nelson
Format: eBook ARC
Genre: Mystery
Source: NetGalley
Series: A Divine Private Detective Agency Mystery #1

Though this book is published through the Christian branch of Harper Collins, I would not call it a religious book. Granted, Eve is a nun, but the book is not preachy or heavy on doctrine teaching.

Sister Eve Divine (pronounced Diveen) a forty-year-old Harley riding nun that has taken a leave of absence from the convent to return home and care for her father as he recuperates from a foot amputation. Referring to her father as The Captain, Eve has always had an uneasy relationship with the man. It was her mother that ran interference between him and his two daughters. Now it is Eve’s turn to care for an ailing parent and this just might take more than prayer to see them through.

The prologue tells of Chaz Cheston, a Hollywood writer and director going to a home in New Mexico to pick up script pages. He was ambushed and days later, his body was found in a ravine.

Prior to his need for surgery, Jack (The Captain) Divine takes on Megan Flint, the girlfriend of Chaz, as a client. Since leaving the police force, Jack has opened a private investigation agency and now with his medical needs, it is up to Jack and his daughter to help prove that Megan is not responsible for the death.

No one understands why Eve became a nun instead of a police officer or private investigator; she has a knack for finding the underlying cause of a situation and people just open up to her. This is handy since Jack is a bit abrasive and is hiding a secret. Eve has secrets of her own - she is both terrified of turning into her father and questioning her desire to return to the abbey. She has been there 20 years and she is still fighting the authority that governs the order.

When it comes down to who was responsible for Chaz’s death it came out of nowhere. This character was not mentioned until the middle of the book and the end seemed like a wild grab. There is also a relationship in the book that did not add to the storyline at all. For being touted as a Christian book, that relationship with surprising. There is a lot of extra fluff thrown in and I question if it was necessary but overall, I enjoyed the book and I am glad to see that it will be an ongoing series with the next book due out early next year.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Last Goodbye

Title: The Last Goodbye
Author: J A Jance
Expected Publication: November 24th 2014 by Pocket Star
Format: eBook
Genre: Fiction
Source: NetGalley
Series: Ali Reynolds #9.5

I need to get past my dislike for half books and just accept the fact that author’s think that they are necessary. Unfortunately, this is still a work in progress for me and when it comes to The Last Goodbye by JA Jance, I am still at a loss and scratching my head. What did this book prove? What did it add to the overall series? Very little as far as I am concerned.

The first 20% rehashes her last book and reintroduces characters, which if the reader has been following the series, already know.

The next 70% briefly touches on flying to Las Vegas, Ali and B’s wedding, Christmas and trying to track down the owner of a dog that Ali’s grandson has brought up to their hotel suite the day before the wedding is to take place.

I am not sure if others will be as bothered by where the title came from, but that is so not what I was expecting from a series that usually has a twist and a really bad guy.

Oh, and the last 10% are acknowledgements.

Other than knowing that Ali and B are married, there is no reason for this book.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Ghost Wanted

Title: Ghost Wanted
Author: Carolyn Hart
Published: Published October 7th 2014 by Berkley Hardcover
Format: ebook, Hardcover, 304 pages
Genre: Mystery
Series: Bailey Ruth #5

I know, for a person that complains as much as I do about this series I should not be continuing, but yet I do. I think it is the underlying ghost thing that keeps me coming back.

One of my pet peeves this go around is that I just wish that Carolyn Hart would either use her thesaurus more or less. Still up in the air on that one. One chapter she is using SAT level words and the next she is duplicating the same words in a single paragraph. My favorite was when she used the work “intruder” three times in one paragraph that consisted of five sentences. It is enough to make you wonder if multiple personalities are writing the same book. That might be a little harsh, but there is a lack of consistency in the writing.

There is an immaturity to the Baily Ruth character. Being a Heavenly emissary, too obsessed with her appearance, on earth to help Michelle Hoyt overcome a theft charge and to get to the bottom of roses being placed around a college campus that was once the doing of a local spirit but now there seems to be far more going on. Or at least there should have been since that part of the story was kind of left dangling.

If you did not know that Baily Ruth is a redhead, do not worry, she will tell you several more times that she is. She will describe in detail her wardrobe and fingernail polish. The plot will be rehashed every other chapter and if you missed it, she will repeatedly explain who each character is.

As the investigation continues on in regards to Susannah Fairlee being found dead in her back yard and Ben, the custodian, being shot when he came upon a black clad assailant, Bailey Ruth with the help of Lorraine Marlow (Goddard Library’s resident ghost and original rose lady) set out to exonerate Michelle Hoyt before the Police Chief comes back to town and declares Susannah’s death an accident and charges Michelle with the library break in and theft.

Slight mention is given to previous books, but it is not necessary to have read them prior to this volume. Each, though associated, is an independent book that rehashes repeatedly who and what Bailey Ruth and Wiggins are.

Overly descriptive and not in a good way, half of this book could be redlined and the story would not lose any of the main substance. It is not until 2/3’s of the way through the book before the real meat of the story takes place. Unfortunately, this is too little too late.

There is a whole lot of silliness in this book and I am truly wondering why I finished, but when I came across one of Carolyn Hart’s characters saying “I fail to see how this material is helpful”, I knew that I was not alone in thinking that this book had gone off the rails.