Kate Connolly isn't getting much rest during her maternity leave. It's not only the diapers that smell funny when a nosy private investigator impliesKate Connolly isn't getting much rest during her maternity leave. It's not only the diapers that smell funny when a nosy private investigator implies that Kate's missing relative could be connected to a murder. With enough determination to fill a diaper bag, she sets out to track down the truth. After all, catching a killer should be painless compared to giving birth.
If you like babies, you'll be tickled pink over "Bundle of Trouble." From new mom anxiety to tummy time to dealing with grandma's homemade accessories, this cozy mystery is full of cute baby-related anecdotes. However, the mystery portion feels a little premature. The author is a little hazy over some of Kate's relationships. Is her brother-in-law simply the black sheep of the family or something more sinister? Is her old classmate a friend or an enemy? I understand the need for many suspects, but it left me puzzling over relationships instead of focusing on the story. Also, there are a few instances where Kate jumps to wild conclusions that are less about reason and more about conveniently moving the story along.
Things don't always go smoothly with the first child (or the first book), but practice makes perfect. I'm eager to see how the series matures with the second book, "Motherhood is Murder."...more
Everyone could use a little therapy, even psychologist Kate Holly. She is madly in love with her perfect husband and is dead set on divorcing him. (IfEveryone could use a little therapy, even psychologist Kate Holly. She is madly in love with her perfect husband and is dead set on divorcing him. (If that’s not a sign of mental illness, I don’t know what is!) Having failed Tact 101 and Political Correctness 100, Kate’s receptionist keeps things light with her comments regarding the “nutso” patients, and her unusual marketing strategies (a free manicure for new clients). We get to sit in on Kate’s sessions and there is a genuine feeling of caring in those scenes. You won’t feel analyzed or preached at and, you just may pick up a thing or two. This is a fun, light, humorous, beach read. Try a little retail therapy and pick up "What Looks Like Crazy." ...more
"Meg" is "Jaws" on steroids. While the book won't win any literary prizes, it is an enjoyable read. The book starts off a little slow, but things real"Meg" is "Jaws" on steroids. While the book won't win any literary prizes, it is an enjoyable read. The book starts off a little slow, but things really pick up once the star of the show, Meg, makes her appearance.
"Meg" is an excellent "take to work" book. The chapters are short with near constant action, perfect for reading on your lunch break. (There are a few gruesome scenes that are better left for when you are not eating.)
My only complaint is that even though "Meg" starts out with a "Jurassic Park" like scientific beginning, the book dissolves into a highly improbable "Jaws" esque slaughter....more
A quantum computing experiment opens the door to a parallel Earth where humans died out and Neanderthals are the dominant species. The Neanderthals haA quantum computing experiment opens the door to a parallel Earth where humans died out and Neanderthals are the dominant species. The Neanderthals have a different culture; things that are still largely taboo in our culture are the norm in theirs. Religion and government are also different. I don't know if Sawyer was trying to make a point by showcasing the differences (i.e., promoting his agenda via soapbox) or if he was just playing "what if?" Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the rich world that he created.
I got lost a few times in the explanations of quantum physics but Sawyer kept those sections fairly brief so my brain didn't explode. I could have done without one of the storyline threads (involving a violent crime), however it was worked into the rest of the book. While the character's response to the crime may or may not have been very realistic, judging from Sawyer's bibliography he did research the topic instead of just throwing it in.
For another fiction book featuring our possible ancestors, check out John Darton's "Neanderthal." It is more action and danger and less cerebral than Sawyer's "Hominids." I read "Neanderthal" many years ago and do not remember it well enough to give it a star rating. However, I do remember that it was WAY better than the dry anthropology text I was not reading for my college course. :)...more
Suddenly divorced after 30 years of marriage, Lin, age 50, moves in with her eccentric family. The story moves slowly, matching the process of recoverSuddenly divorced after 30 years of marriage, Lin, age 50, moves in with her eccentric family. The story moves slowly, matching the process of recovery of the main character: one day at a time, one crisis at a time. But, it is more than the story of one woman's progress; it is also the story of a town and its changes and maturation. It's a genuine story about what changes, what stays the same, and how you deal with both. *Caution: Religious conservatives may get their knickers in a knot over the mixing of God, marijuana and the F-word all in the same book.
This wasn't my favorite Haywood Smith novel as it lacks Smith's vibrant voice. However, I think it could make a wonderful book club selection because it touches on many issues, such as: alcoholism, racism, divorce, and aging parents.
I highly recommend Smith's "The Red Hat Club" (5*****), it is an excellent (and Fun!) book where you truly get to experience Smith's unique voice....more
At 32, Caddie is facing my worst fear. She's left to live on her own for the first time (aside from a brief stint during college), with no one to careAt 32, Caddie is facing my worst fear. She's left to live on her own for the first time (aside from a brief stint during college), with no one to care for her and no one for her to take care of. What do you do with yourself, alone, in a big, old house? If you are Caddie, you visit the old folks boarding house (where her grandmother is staying while she recovers from a broken leg)and you give the occasional piano lesson to children who don't want to take piano lessons. You experience a few life lessons, but don't learn from them. You say you have changed, then you go back to doing the same things and thinking the same way you did before. Repeat this cycle a few more times and you have Gaffney's "The Goodbye Summer." While there was some humor, most of it didn't register on my Richter scale. Just like a 3.0 earthquake, it may have happened, but I didn't feel it. The only ray of sunshine is that after reading Caddie's story, I know my life isn't--and won't ever be--that bad. Say goodbye to this book and don't waste a mmoment of your summer....more
Maybe I should have started with the first book in the series. Maybe this one was less than stellar because the cats were not involved in the whole stMaybe I should have started with the first book in the series. Maybe this one was less than stellar because the cats were not involved in the whole story. Either way, reading this one is like coughing up hairballs, i.e. it takes a lot of effort and isn't very enjoyable....more
As maid of honor (and unpaid wedding planner) for three weddings: her mother, brother, and best friend, Meg's to do list is overflowing. When a body iAs maid of honor (and unpaid wedding planner) for three weddings: her mother, brother, and best friend, Meg's to do list is overflowing. When a body is discovered, snooping is crammed onto the list. Thankfully, Meg's dad is a doctor who always wanted to be like Quincy (or Ducky from NCIS, for those of you under the age of 30). I love that Meg's dad combines his passion for gardening and forensics by tending a yard full of poisonous plants. For me, Meg's dad nearly stole the spotlight. I hope to see much more of him in the second book in the series "Murder With Puffins."
This is a feel good mystery with a cast of kooky characters. The beginning is a little repetitive with an "I woke up/I went to bed" formant, but a few chapters in, the story picks up and the repetitive format disappears. ...more
The first installment of the Trailer Park Mysteries is better than eating possum stew while watching NASCAR from your pickup truck-turned-ht tub. EvenThe first installment of the Trailer Park Mysteries is better than eating possum stew while watching NASCAR from your pickup truck-turned-ht tub. Even with character names like: Bobby Ray, Mayrene, and Elmer Lee, the trailer trash humor is tongue in cheek. The main character, Wanda Nell Culpepper, is a smart, hard working, single mom. If you liked Kellie Pickler's ditzy, down-home style during her American Idol stint, or Resse Witherspoon's character in "Sweet Home Alabama," then you'll love all the southern charm that this cozy mystery has to offer....more