The Sausage Maker's Daughters is at first everything I was hoping for and then, more than I expected. It follows the murder trial of Kip Czermanski, tThe Sausage Maker's Daughters is at first everything I was hoping for and then, more than I expected. It follows the murder trial of Kip Czermanski, the youngest daughter of the sausage king in small town Wisconsin. Everyone seems to know everyone else and so the murder trial is a huge event. Kip is well known for her rebellious ways in her youth and the activism in the anti-war movement during her college days. To top it off, she is also feminist and works for a woman's assertiveness group in California. In 1970's conservative Wisconsin, she has the odds stacked against her. Only, she is having a hard time defending herself because she can't remember what happened that night her brother-in-law was found naked in her bed, and dead. What follows is a series of flashbacks to several defining moments in Kip's life as her lawyer team attempt to understand her character and find an explanation for what has happened.
I found the story very riveteting and even though some of the subjects in the flashback stories only slightly interested me, I knew they were really important and would come back later to make sense of everything. This made me really pay attention in ways I may not have otherwise. I really enjoyed the stories involving Kip's sisters Sarah and Sybel. Most of all, I enjoyed the stories about Kip's childhood. They really came out in interesting ways during the "present day" scenes because the people she mentioned in them gave testimony or were officials during her trial. Even one of her lawyers was her childhood crush.
The writing is exactly what I needed at the moment, giving away that small-town vibe yet keeping a fast pace in storytelling that made me want to keep on reading to find out more. A.G.S. Johnson is a very talented writer. At no point did I think the story was predictable. I kept guessing what really happened but had to keep leaving it up to Johnson to take me to the reveal because I couldn't picture any of the outcomes I had in mind actually happening.
Definitely recommended reading, especially to those who love a good literary mystery.
This ebook included both Crime Beat and the short story Do You Know Me Yet?
Thoughts on Crime Beat:
Crime Beat was a creative mystery thriller that keptThis ebook included both Crime Beat and the short story Do You Know Me Yet?
Thoughts on Crime Beat:
Crime Beat was a creative mystery thriller that kept me guessing. This was a book I should have been able to guess the ending to, but was too dazzled by the writing, the twists, and the narrator's own mind to do so.
I found it to be a fascinating look at how newspapers operate and how those who run and work for them think. I did feel sorry for the narrator at the beginning feeling burnt out and the excitement of finding a new journalist that really pushed the newspaper into the spotlight. I had a harder time with the love interest of the story. There just wasn't any connection to her. Overall I liked Moretz the best. He seemed to be the most level-headed of the bunch despite being the prime suspect for the serial murders.
I loved the pace of the story. It kept a steady beat all the way through, which seems to be one of the key ingredients for keeping me turning those pages. I just wish there were a little more "Umph" to it during the beginning and middle, although the ending was fantastic.
Thoughts on the "Do You Know Me Yet?" short story:
I was surprised to find this short story tucked away at the end of the book. Certainly, it's easy to see why it would be included. It's a fun and thrilling look at a writer's paranoia. It made me stop and think about all the times I came up with an idea and low-and-behold someone else had already used it somewhere. If this story was the first piece of writing I had read of Scott Nicholson's, it would definitely have me intrigued enough to go looking for more.
This is my first Canadian small press book. At least, one that I know is from Canada and is also set in a Canadian city. It's a period piece, tak2.5/5
This is my first Canadian small press book. At least, one that I know is from Canada and is also set in a Canadian city. It's a period piece, taking place in the 1940s and focuses on memories and events from citizens of St. John's, Newfoundland who were involved in World War II. The book is part of a mystery series involving Inspector Eric Stride.
I ended up having a very hard time reading through this one and have been trying to come up with reasons why this should be since I can't find any one really pressing to fault the story or the writing with. Instead, I think it may have been a bunch of little things that just didn't work for me as a reader. The one thing I can say first is that it was very difficult for me to connect with the characters in the first 2/3 of the story. Having not read any other Inspector Stride Mystery's before may have been a factor here. There was just not enough in the story for me to grab on to and learn who Eric Stride is, nor his police team mates for that matter. Instead, much of the first 2/3 of the story focuses on Harrison Rose and the mystery behind who he was as a person. As such, we get little bits and pieces of story from some of the men who went to war with him. I got to know some of these men a little bit better, and of course I got to know Harrison Rose the best. These are the people and story-lines that stuck with me the most while reading.
The focus on Harrison Rose's back story wasn't so much of an issue to me though as the fact that the characters and the narrator periodically switch from using people's last names to identify then to suddenly using first names. Since the story involves multiple perspectives this made it very difficult for me to follow along with who was who and what they were up to.
Lastly, I'd say the lack of women throughout the book was a factor as well. This was very much a man's world considering the nature of the story, the fact that it focused on 1940s police officers interviewing men involved in the World Wars. A little more interaction with some women could have made me connect to the characters a little better as a female reader though. In fact, it's when Stride does talk to his girl friend, Harrison Rose's mistress, and when his daughter showed up that my attention was peaked.
Despite the fact that I had a difficult time reading through most of the book, the story itself did interest me as well as the actual mystery. This is why I think that once most of the mystery behind who Harrison Rose's personal history settled a little the book really picked up for me. I liked hearing about the discrepancy in how many shots were fired vs. how many bullet wounds there were and seeing how the police officers brain stormed the reasons behind this. I also loved reading about the post-death break in to Harrison Roses house and the suspicions Eric Stride had about some of the characters the readers were already introduced to.
On top of the mystery and story was the fact that I learned so much about Canadian soldiers that I didn't know before. I had previously never learned about the soldiers of Newfoundland. And many of the stories the men shared with the inspector centered around a battle called "Battle of Ville Ste-Lucille" and is based off of the actual battle Monchy-Le-Preux which took place in April 1917. It is a remarkable tale and worth reading about even if you don't find yourself picking up this book.
In conclusion, I could tell this was a very well researched book and it was very well written in the sense that the stories seemed true to life and the complexity of the situation showed through brilliantly. There wasn't any reason why the things that seemed to have made this book difficult for me to read to have done so and I can tell from the enthusiam of previous reviewers for the book that it certainly didn't for others. I certainly hope that in the future I will be able to pick up the first two Inspector Stride Mystery books and find that I enjoy them much more.
FM For Murder is a short cozy mystery with a fresh new perspective. It stars Pamela Barnes, a professor speciallizing in sound that has caught th3.5/5
FM For Murder is a short cozy mystery with a fresh new perspective. It stars Pamela Barnes, a professor speciallizing in sound that has caught the attention of a police officer looking to recruit her for help on a murder case. It's not a premise for a cozy mystery series that I have seen before. When I think cozy mystery I usually think of something along the lines of book shops, bakeries, flower shops, etc. And I'm excited to see something new!
FM For Murder is the second book in the series but this was my first time reading a Pamela Barnes Acoustic Mystery book. I didn't have any trouble getting into this one and Patricia Rockwell does a fine job of introducing new readers to her characters. When something involves a character that also appeared in the first book, Ms. Rockwell explains a small piece of the story so we know who the character is and why they know Pamela. This also helps to explain Pamela's involvement in the murder case when it comes up.
The murder case is very interesting and has a lot of twists and turns in it. A disc jockey - "The Black Vulture" - is murdered during his late night broadcast in the middle of his banter about an unexpected visitor, or who he thinks is a fan. The book then dives into the aftershock by the community and Pamela is asked to be a part of the case to see if she can find any hidden clues in the recording. It also follows a second storyline of Daniel Bridgewater and his ailing father. Daniel's story was the most interesting for me, although for a large sum of the book it was uncertain to me what this story had to do with the murder mystery going on in Pamela's life. The great thing here is that Daniel's story begins a week before the murder takes place, meaning that we get glimpses of the past and start to clue in to what happened to "The Black Vulture".
I enjoyed Pamela's storyline, just not quite as much as Daniel's. She had this brightness to her character that made her so adorable. I pictured her always with a sparkle in her eye and ready to smile at anyone who crossed her path. She was also quite funny at points too. In one scene, she accidentily tells her class about the case she is working on and everything she has concluded to see if they had any ideas. It's only afterwards that it occurs to her she probably shouldn't have given out all that information and comes up with her own light-hearted excuse in case the police officer in charge questions her about it. My only problem with her storyline was that she was just a little too slow in figuring out what happened for me as the reader. By the time she comes to any real conclusions, the murderer and exactly what happened is already revealed. She does have a big role in apprehending the murderer, and that's redeeming to the story, but in the end I wished she had a bigger role in solving the case for me as the reader.
Overall, this was a good, entertaining book. I really respect Patricia Rockwell for doing something different in the cozy mystery genre that had never even occured to me as an option. This book may be more likely to appeal to an older crowd because of it's main character who comes from a middle age perspective and light-hearted rather than edgy, but the subject and mystery is one that could appeal to people of ages. It will be interesting to see what kind of mystery the author comes up with next.
Cryer's Cross is without a doubt one of the creepiest young adult books I've read to date. It follows Kendall, a teenage girl who lives in small townCryer's Cross is without a doubt one of the creepiest young adult books I've read to date. It follows Kendall, a teenage girl who lives in small town America (Cryer's Cross, Montanna). In this town, teens from her class have started to go missing. This includes her boyfriend, Nico Cruz, shortly after the book begins. The story follows Kendall as she tries to make sense of what is going on, come to terms with what has happened to her boyfriend, and slowly puts herself at risk to find out the truth behind the mysterious disappearances. It also follows Kendall as she encounters tension and makes friends with the new family in town.
What I like most about the story is the way Lisa McMann tries to show the world the life of a teen girl who is struggling with OCD. Combined with the voice of the narrator, who is not a character in the book, but some story telling entity out there, sets the mood for what's to come and makes the reader build up to it. It was interesting to see both Kendall's progress with her OCD throughout the story as well as her down falls. And I think that something can be learned from this - maybe it's that the problems in life don't stop for anything - or maybe it's something else entirely.
The story has some paranormal elements to it. I wont say what they are because that would be spoiling it for you. I really love that Lisa McMann isn't afraid to "go there" when she adds them in and I'm glad she does because they make the story much more than a mystery. Here we have a lovely horror story for teens - a clean one at that - that is both creeptastic and inspiring. After reading this one I am looking forward to seeing similar titles on the market and hope that Lisa will write more like this in the future....more
Emily is sad because her dog dies but decides to go to the party anyways. Her neighbor has hired a performance troop and everything seems…different. FEmily is sad because her dog dies but decides to go to the party anyways. Her neighbor has hired a performance troop and everything seems…different. For these people are putting on a show, but everything else they’re doing in-between performances can be part of the act too. So when Emily sees two of the performers fighting before their knife-throwing performance and one of them “accidently” stabs the girl in the chest, she’s not sure if she should believe her miraculous resurrection or not.
This story was so fun to read! The tone was dark and mysterious, yet it really held on to a cozy vibe at the same time. I loved her reminiscing about her dog and in the end how that helped her to solve the mystery. The whole performance troop thing was really fun too. Some of the characters refused to talk to her about the mystery until their performance was over and she had to figure out what to do in order for their performances to stop. Overall it was a good, fast read, that I would recommend to all cozy mystery lovers. ...more
I was very skeptical about this book at first. I like books that take place in an Amish setting but I really, really don’t like ‘sappy’ romance novels, which is what most of the Amish books I’ve been seeing lately are all about. But this book was passed down to me by two people who really enjoyed it and were excited enough about it to find someone to share with. I had to at least try it, right? After leaving it for about a month and going back and reading the back cover, realizing it was actually a mystery, I was much more intrigued and ready to start reading.
I really enjoyed this book but I do find it hard to describe it without seeming a bit negative (keep in mind I really did enjoy this book). At first glance there really doesn’t seem to be much different from this book than any other standard mystery. It’s pretty formulaic in that way and there’s nothing really different about Harper’s writing style that makes it so special. The formula? Woman’s husband dies in a freak ‘accident’ but she doesn’t think it is one, mysterious things are happening all around her, she meets a man who happens to want to help her but she doesn’t know if she should trust him, there are twists and turns to throw the reader off and eventually everything comes together in one giant reveal, woman decides what to do about man who has been helping her and she lives happily ever after.
But there was so much about this book I personally really enjoyed that made it hard for me to put it down. First, Rachel is Amish but it’s not the standard Amish story. Rachel isn’t as sheltered as her other community members. She has an English friend and spends a lot of time with her, even using her as a babysitter for her children. She visits the library and reads English books and throughout the course of the story she gets involved with many other English people. This makes her place in the community very unsteady and makes the mystery behind her husband’s death (and her new possible romance) very interesting. It also makes all the explanations of Amish vs. English lifestyles much more realistic. It fits into the storytelling unlike those other stories where the Amish are too sheltered to make the kind of comparisons authors usually do. There is of course romance in this book but it’s not the ‘sappy’ romance I was afraid of. The mystery and ‘creepy’ vibe from the story is much more prominent here. There was lots going on in this story which gave me lots of things to want to find out and keeping me reading. It was very hard to put down.
Bottom line is, I really enjoyed this story. Enough to search through Karen Harper’s other stories to find some future reads....more
This is either a 3/5 or a 4/5. I really can't decide. Maybe given time...
After reading this book I realise that my expectations of what it would be liThis is either a 3/5 or a 4/5. I really can't decide. Maybe given time...
After reading this book I realise that my expectations of what it would be like were totally off. Not different in a bad way. Just different. But that kind of left that side of me that was expecting something different a little bit unsatisfied. Despite this, it was a really good book! And that is why I'm torn between a rating of a 3 or a 4.
There were also some things in this book that I honestly don't know what to think about - mainly "The Season" - and I am a little weary of it being marked "young adult". I do know that teenagers aren't ignorant of things like that and Beth Revis was certainly not condoning the behavoir of the people on the ship. I just think that it is definitely for a much older young adult crowd (17+ at least). I also wonder why? WHY BETH REVIS? Why did you create this world where people mate like animals? It was really well written but I wonder why create this and not something else to write about? Like I said, I have no idea what to think of the season.
I know this is a series and I'll definitely be reading the next one. The end made me wonder...what else is there left to do? And endings like that make me much more curious about what's next then cliff-hangers tend to do....more
This book was *nearly* as good as the first for me. Not quite, but still pretty good. The plot and characters were - somehow - much more mature this tThis book was *nearly* as good as the first for me. Not quite, but still pretty good. The plot and characters were - somehow - much more mature this time around and Harris managed to do that without loosing all the fun that these books are really good for. This one caught me by surprise, and in a good way. After the last couple I wasn't quite sure if the series could continue in strength, but now I'm looking forward to reading the rest of them, all in good time....more
Amazing story-telling and an amazing story about women's rights and men who conspire against them.
I'm sure that given time, #2 and #3 in the series wAmazing story-telling and an amazing story about women's rights and men who conspire against them.
I'm sure that given time, #2 and #3 in the series will get higher ratings from me. My only disappointment is the disjointed-ness in genres among the three books of the trilogy. #1 was a mystery, #2 seemed like a mystery-political thriller, and #3 just a political thriller. Also, the fact that #2 and #3 went so well together that #1 seems much more like a prequel than part of the whole story.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is still my favourite, but I enjoyed the conclusion and the overall message of women's rights which came with all three and found the conclusion to that story line very satisfying. ...more
It's really bad when a book leaves you wondering just exactly what is it that editors do. I would think they actually read their author's book and cheIt's really bad when a book leaves you wondering just exactly what is it that editors do. I would think they actually read their author's book and check for typos, missing articles, characters last names being right, etc., etc. But this book proved me wrong. Not a good thing when I'm already having trouble getting into the story....more
Wow. This book is really quite impressive. It was published in 1911 and I say it still holds up very well today. Not a single paragraph of "fluff" andWow. This book is really quite impressive. It was published in 1911 and I say it still holds up very well today. Not a single paragraph of "fluff" and I still found myself enthralled with the characters and mysteries enough to call it a "page-turner". Fantomas is a detective/crime/mystery novel set in France. It opens with several mysterious deaths, leading into the introduction of Juve, our main detective, and later goes into accusations and trials. The mystery of Fantomas identity is enough to captivate the reader. But even after his identity was revealed there was still so much left to keep me on my toes. Would he be caught? If he was caught, would he escape? And if he would escape, how would he do it? I personally really liked the ending. It was worth the read in itself. ...more
I have been enjoying Bradley's writing style. It seems to fall somewhere in between the style of a BBC dark comedy and a quirky independent film. It'sI have been enjoying Bradley's writing style. It seems to fall somewhere in between the style of a BBC dark comedy and a quirky independent film. It's very neat to see this in a book. Although the second half of the story was unputdownable I had a hard time dealing with the subject matter (the first half talks a lot about the past death of a young child) which left me at times unable to even laugh at the funny bits. ...more
There are over 2000 reviews of this book on GoodReads right now. So let me do this a little less conventionally. Here’s a little look into my mind asThere are over 2000 reviews of this book on GoodReads right now. So let me do this a little less conventionally. Here’s a little look into my mind as I read this tale.
* Beginning - Blomkvist is boring…why do I care about all this background info? What does it have to do with the prologue at all?!? *Beginning - Salander is interesting…the book is titled after her character….why so much Blomvist and so little Salander?!? * I want to literally reach into the book, grab Bjurman by the throat and squeeze as tight as possible. * So the tale finally begins…and then…oh crap…MORE background info? I thought we were done with this. I don’t mind so much the background info. But does it have to go on for pages and pages at a time without any movement or action to split it up? * Thank goodness Salander figured that crap out. I’m not so sure I could handle any more of that creep. * OHHHHHH!!!!! The interactions with the Vanger family are so interesting. This mystery I must see solved now. * OH CRAP OH CRAP OH CRAP….I can’t put it down…I try, but it doesn’t work. Hmmm…good thing my husband is currently also obsessed with his own entertainment. Otherwise I’m not sure how I’d resist reading more… * Wow…this book dealt with some pretty insane issues. * I’m thinking now how profound this storyline actually is. How many women in the world have been sexually abused , raped, or molested? It’s pretty hard to go through life without knowing at least one person. * I want to cry! Salander is right though, about how to deal with things in the end. I have to agree with her 100%. Why should any victims suffer more. Not that people shouldn’t be punished…but why should EVERYONE have to know about it? It’s not fair to the victim. * I’m not so sure I care about the ending and the whole Wennerstrom thing. But at least it was interesting and fun to read.
The benefits of reading a book by a Swedish man when this is your heritage: - Your name gets spelled correctly….It’s with a K people!!! Although…I think I would have hated being called Ricky. - Your family name gets spelled correctly…it’s Nilsson NOT Nelson people! (not that it matters any more…my grandfather gave in anyways and it’s not my last name anymore) - Getting another taste of the geography which you researched as a kid but you had since forgotten. - It’s a modern story and not all nostalgic which is what people do here when you remember your heritage but forget that the country actually has a life of it’s own.
5/5 for giving me much to think about, dealing with important societal issues, and writing which makes it absolutely impossible to put the book down.