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What Are You Reading / Reviews > What Are You Reading / Reviews - January-March 2018

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message 1: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 1105 comments Mod
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Read any good books lately? We want to know about them.

Enter your reading list and/or reviews here. Did you like it? Hate it? Feel lukewarm? Share your thoughts with us.

Happy reading!

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Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 1105 comments Mod
The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
The Birchbark House – Louise Erdrich – 4****
What Laura Ingalls Wilder did for the pioneer families in 19th century plains states, Erdrich has done for the Native Americans in this same time period. Omakayas is a seven-year-old Ojibwa girl living on Lake Superior’s Madeline Island. The novel covers the four seasons of 1847. I was fascinated by this story of the life of the Native Americans during this time period.
LINK to my review


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Written in Stone (A Books by the Bay Mystery, #4) by Ellery Adams
Written in Stone – Ellery Adams – 3***
This is book number four in the Books By the Bay Mysteries series. I like Olivia and her friends – the Bayside Book Writers. Of course the writers’ group includes the town Police Chief, handsome Sawyer Rawlings, which is convenient for the amateur sleuths.
LINK to my review

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The Shape of Water (Inspector Montalbano, #1) by Andrea Camilleri
The Shape of Water – Andrea Camilleri – 3.5***
Book number one in the Inspector Montalbano mystery series, set in Sicily is an absolute delight! Montalbano is a wonderful character. He deals with the worst of human situations and yet still finds humor in his life. Camilleri’s writing is very atmospheric. I almost felt as if I were visiting Sicily. I look forward to reading more of this series.
LINK to my review


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Catch Me If You Can by Frank W. Abagnale
Catch Me If You Can – Frank Abagnale – 4****
Subtitle depends on the edition: The Amazing True Story of the Most Extraordinary Liar in the History of Fun and Profit! -or- The True Story Of a Real Fake. Frank Abagnale began his career as a forger, check-kiter and con-man when he was just sixteen years old. It’s a fascinating memoir of his years of crime, full of daring escapades, humorous situations, and outlandish lies.
LINK to my review

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The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
The Turn of the Screw – Henry James – 3.5***
A ghost story and psychological thriller. A young woman is hired to be governess to two young children, Miles and Flora. The governess is certain that some malevolent entity is intent on capturing the children in her care, and she is determined to prevent it from doing so. All the uncertainty and secrecy serve to increase the emotional tension in the story. It is dark, and puzzling, and disturbing.
LINK to my review


message 5: by ~*Kim*~ (new)

~*Kim*~ | 30 comments Final Girls by Riley Sager - 3 Stars
Final Girls

Quincy, Lisa, and Samantha are all what the press calls a "Final Girl". All of them have survived a horror movie style killing spree. Lisa survived a sorority massacre while Samantha survived the "sack man" killing while working the night shift at her local hotel. Quincy, the newest final girl survived a night of killing in a cabin in the woods.

Quincy has finally put her life back together, thanks to xanax and her caring boyfriend, Jeff. But when the first final girl, Lisa, is found dead in her bathtub and Sam shows up on her doorstep, things start to go awry. Why, after all these years, does Sam seek her out? Why is Sam so intent on her remembering what exactly happened at Pine Cottage all those years ago?

This book took about 3/4 of the way to really pick up. I was really pushing myself to get through it. The end did have a twist that I wasn't expecting. I was thinking through the whole middle part of the book that I had it all figured out, but was surprised at the end that I didn't. Other than that, it probably would have gotten a 2-star rating from me. :(


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The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow
The Girl Who Fell From the Sky – Heidi W Durrow – 4****
Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I., becomes the sole survivor of a family tragedy after a fateful morning on a Chicago rooftop. I found the book in turns horrifying, moving, disturbing, riveting, and confusing. The story moves back and forth in time, and with multiple narrators. I was moved by Rachel’s predicament. And empathized with her struggles to come to terms with what had happened to her, and to those she loved. All told, this is a great debut, and I look forward to reading future works by Durrow.
LINK to my review


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Our House in the Last World by Oscar Hijuelos
Our House in the Last World – Oscar Hijuelos – 3.5***
Hijuelos’ debut novel spans five decades, telling the story of the Santinio family from 1929 in Cuba to 1975 in New York. Alejo is a man who has never met a stranger. He is exuberant and generous. Mercedes is a woman who lives in the past. She cannot let go of past glories of life in Cuba as a girl. She loves Alejo, but the man he has become is a stranger to her. Hijuelos’s writing is vivid and passionate, with scenes that are ethereal and full of mysticism contrasted with scenes of brutal reality. People yell in anger, whoop in celebration, and cry in despair.
LINK to my review


message 8: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
Do they have to be "good"? LOL! My First review & my subsequent will be rippers.....

The Diamond Cat by Marian Babson

The Diamond Cat Marian Babson

★ ★

I have to laugh, I got this book from the Library Booksale years ago & it has been on my TBR: the funny thing it had a bookmark in it where I apparently stopped.

Now I know I read this when I originally purchased it for the Library's Mystery collection....

I only remember the basic plot which I liked, hence a 2nd star!

So picking it up again today & beginning at the beginning, I realized that I must have put it aside because I abhor(ed) the weakness of the main character & more so her mother, with whom she lives....

Basic synopsis: Cat sitter, her mother & four cats; terrible storm; petulant mother opens the door & the cats all run outside; cats find a carrier pigeon laden w/ diamonds; alpha cat swallows one of the diamonds; all in peril


message 9: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
The Wasp Cookbook by Alexandra Wentworth

The Wasp Cookbook Alexandra Wentworth

★ ★ ★

Well, this is not your average, healthy, fancy ingredient, colorful photo cookbook; Nope, not at all.... I tell you it was the blue velvet gold embossed cover that piqued my curiosity

This book is divided into the 4 Seasons with appropriate menus for each & recipes.

Spring: Barn Party, Easter Supper, Derby Day, Baby Shower Brunch, Mothers' Day Lunch, Bridal Tea, The WASP Wedding (see the Fannie Farmer Boston Cooking School's wedding cake), & Annual Family Meeting Tea

Summer: Opening-up-the-Summer-House Dinner, Croquet Breakfast, June Graduation Supper, Fourth of July Cookout, Wimbledon Fancy, Horse Trail Afternoon, A Beach Picnic, Vineyard Antique Show Cocktails, Bermuda race, & Labor Day Picnic

Autumn: Prep School Send-Off, Head-of-the-Charles Picnic, Harvard-Yale Game Tailgate Party, A Middleburg Fox Hunt, Harvard Punching Party Lunch, & A Racquetball Brunch

Winter: Débutante Ball, Vail Weekend, Caribbean Cocktails, Boxing Day Lunch, Blessing of the Hounds, & A WASP Funeral Supper

I seriously was not aware of the myriad of uses the "Upper Class" had for Ritz Crackers, Wheat-Thins, Triscuit, Mayonnaise, Corn Syrup, Vanilla Wafers, Cream of Mushroom Soup, or White Bread until I read this book.

Most recipes I'd never make myself, but they sure know how to mix a cocktail & steam a lobster.....

P.S. The book is also filled w/ subtle humor


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Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 1105 comments Mod
Killers of the Flower Moon The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
Killers of the Flower Moon – David Grann – 4****
Wow. I am ashamed to say that I knew nothing of this shameful episode of American history. Grann did a marvelous job researching and reporting his findings. He did more than simply report what the FBI managed to uncover, and that only emphasizes how institutionalized the racist attitudes were.
LINK to my review


message 11: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
The Essence of Malice (Amory Ames Mystery #4) by Ashley Weaver

The Essence of Malice, Ashley Weaver

★ ★ ★ ★

I like this series, I like the characters, & I like the settings....

The one thing is: Amory needs to trust Milo more when he's out & about investigating, as he is usually trying to protect her. Amory's continual whining through-out the book about not trusting Milo is repetitious, boring, & rather annoying...

I did figure out the bad guy, but I thought there were two working together.... There some very well written Red Herrings, there was one loose end, but a very novel conclusion.

Milo & Amory go to Lake Como (Italy) for a short vacation. While there they meet a neighbor and Milo strikes up a friendship with him. The neighbor teaches Milo how to fly and gifts Amory with a new (not-on-the-market) parfume which he has created (this was my loose end).

Soon after Milo & Amory go to France, where Milo connects with his former Nanny, who has requested that Milo & Amory look into the mysterious death of her employer (former love interest) a wealthy & Famous French Parfumier.

The Parfumier was about to unveil a new parfume w/ an exceptional sculpted bottle when he died a mysterious death.

There is no limit to the suspects and all the family members, with the exception of his youngest child & Nanny, seem to have a motive.


message 12: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
Book Concierge wrote: "Killers of the Flower Moon The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

Killers of the Flower Moon
– David Grann – 4****
Wow. I am ashamed to say that I knew nothing of this shameful episode of American history. Gra..."


My friend is 1/4 Osage, but her Grandmother refused to acknowledge that (many reasons)... so in the search for the birth records of that family, it was discovered that the church where they were all held had burned down... and now we know why.


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Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 1105 comments Mod
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
Commonwealth – Ann Patchett – 4****
The novel follows the four parents and six children of the Cousins and Keating families over five decades. As children, the six kids are frequently left to their own devices, the adults in their lives too busy with their own drama to focus on the children. How the adult siblings each interpret and remember what has happened, and how they manage the guilt or shame is the main focus. Patchett really shines when exploring human relationships. She slowly reveals secrets, hopes, and fears until the reader feels she truly knows these people. Little by little events are revealed, and characters are fully realized. Like her other works, this would be a great choice for a book club discussion.
LINK to my review


message 14: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
A Cast of Vultures by Judith Flanders

A Cast of Vultures, Judith Flanders

★ ★

I'm really not sure what to say, I marked this down because of all the "chatter", 1st person narrative, which could have been less.

In this book of the series (see, I don't even remember her name) is helping a friend search for a missing man (from the city planning commission) who turns up dead (coshed in the back of the head) in a fire. The fire is one of many that have been lit is a particular area of town.

Her b.f. is a policeman, he is semi-involved in the case, and she is a witness of sorts... then she become a target, as does her b.f.

She is also an editor @ a publishing house that has brought in an outside firm to "streamline"... but when questioned about what it is they are actually doing, they have not a clue about publishing & what it takes to be a successful publishing company.


message 15: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
The Ghost of Christmas Past (Molly Murphy #17) by Rhys Bowen

The Ghost of Christmas Past, Rhys Bowen

★ ★ ★ ★

I had stopped reading this series right after Molly Murphy married Daniel Sullivan...

I didn't like how he spoke to her & how he treated her: He is a police detective w/ NYPD, she is a PI. When they married he immediately forgot/ignored who she was and all the crimes she helped him to solve & began telling her what she could & could not do.

In this book, he also has the controlling attitude, but Molly, mostly ignores him... which made it easier for me to read.

Mrs. Sullivan, Daniel's mother, is invited to stay w/ friends (Van Atkins) over Christmas and Molly, Daniel & their family is invited as well.

Ten years ago the Van Atkins' 2 year old daughter disappeared... it seems she walked out into the snow alone and never returned...

On this particular Christmas, however, the missing daughter knocks on the door coming home to her family.

The family have many secrets... Who is this young girl? Where did she come from? How did she get there?

I guessed a goodly portion of the ending but was still satisfied.


message 16: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
A Ghostly Murder (Ghostly Southern Mysteries #4) by Tonya Kappes

A Ghostly Murder, Tonya Kappes

★ ★ ★ ★

I had started another series by this author & wasn't overly thrilled with the writing, but thought that I might try another in the series:

Alas, the Library does not own anything in that series, but does own the Ghostly Southern Mystery series, which seemed to be more interesting.

B*I*N*G*O

I liked this book:

Emma Lee is the undertaker for the family funeral home business, but more than that she is a Betweener; she is able to see, hear, & communicate with the ghosts of those who have been murdered and help them cross over by finding out who murdered them and how.

Fortunately for Emma Lee, her boyfriend is the local police and he knows of her gift & helps bring the murderers to justice.

In this book, her Granny's rival, Mamie Sue Preston, appears to Emma Lee and demands help finding out who murdered her & how....

Mamie Sue was worth millions and left her estate to both the local church (which has not made use of 1 penny of the money) and her maid Dixie (who also makes herbal skin creams)....

When another well off man dies & then another society matron (both whose ghosts contact her) Emma Lee notices that they all had 2 things in common: Dixie's maid service & Dixie's skin cream.

My only problem with the books was keeping the women's names straight. I found that the rest of the book went smoothly; it was entertaining & easy to read.

I shall read another.


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Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen – 4****
One of the best opening lines of literature: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” It's no wonder this is a classic. Austen is simply the master of dialogue. The way in which the characters interact brings them to life.
LINK to my review


message 18: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
Mrs. Jeffries and the Three Wise Women (Mrs. Jeffries #36) by Emily Brightwell

Mrs Jeffries & the Three Wise Women, Emily Brightwell

★ ★ ★ ★

Mrs Jeffries & cohorts are at it again, or are they?

When Inspector Witherspoon's rival botches the investigation of a murder that happened six weeks prior, he is called upon to solve the murder, unfortunately it is just before Christmas and the entire household has plans, which they put on hold in order to help the Inspector.

There is quite a bit of disappointment and the household lags behind on their end of the investigation, which pushes Luty, Mrs. Goodge, & Besty (?) into a position where they shame the others into putting their laments aside in order to achieve justice.

The murdered man, was brought into a family company in order to find the monetary discrepancies. The man had a past with the company & the family, as he had previously been dealt with unfairly and him finding the missing money would be his form of revenge.
However, prior to his starting, he is invited to a Guy Fawkes night dinner party, where he makes upsetting comments to the guests regarding their pasts, whereupon the guests leave abruptly.

It is on his way back to his lodgings that he is met in the dark Mews and gunned down.....

I liked the plot (which earned this a 4th ★) and was able to get through the book in one evening.

I'm not overly enamored of Inspector Witherspoon's household staff but I am mostly able to ignore their side stories.


message 19: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
Death at the Seaside (Kate Shackleton, #8) by Frances Brody

Death at the Seaside, Frances Brody

★ ★

Kate Shackleton is the daughter of a police office & the widow of military man. She is currently working as a PI and employs a former police officer & a housekeeper to aid her in her investigations.

In this installment, Kate has gone on holiday to visit a school friend, Alma & goddaughter, Felicity. Alma works on the pier as a local fortune teller & Felicity at a local tea room; the husband (a polygamist & smuggler) disappeared years ago.

Alma believes herself to be in love with the local jeweler, from whom Kate & her husband had purchased their wedding rings from.... When Kate sees a bracelet in the window of the jewelry shop that she wants to purchase for Felicity, she goes inside only to find the jeweler dead from a blow to the back of the skull & the safe empty.

Meanwhile Felicity & her boyfriend disappear along with the boat that belonged to the murdered jeweler.

Kate begins to investigate, only to come up against the suspicion & prejudice of the local police and ends up a suspect of murder & smuggling.

Enter Kate's former flame Inspector Marcus Charles from Scotland yard...

I'm marking this book down 2 stars because I found several mistakes in the editing; I didn't like Alma (she was withholding & made everything difficult w/ her partial truths); and the book's thread was all over the place and messily written.


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Hidden Figures The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
Hidden Figures – Margot Lee Shetterly – 3.5***
The subtitle is all the synopsis anyone needs: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race. I had seen the movie, but it covers just a few years, and compresses the story of many women into three characters. Shetterly’s book covers the time from the early years of WW2 to the Moon Landing in August 1969. I’m glad I read it, and that these women’s stories are finally brought to the forefront of America’s consciousness.
LINK to my review


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Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova
Inside the O’Briens – Lisa Genova – 5*****
A diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease affects not only Boston cop Joe O’Brien, but his entire family. Genova writes so well about neurological disorders, making the story both entertaining and informative. I really felt as if I knew these characters – their fears, joys, dreams, and anxieties.
LINK to my review


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The Midnight Watch A Novel of the Titanic and the Californian by David Dyer
The Midnight Watch – David Dyer – 2.5**
Subtitle: A Novel of the Titanic and the Californian. Like many people, I am fascinated by the Titanic’s story, and I was eager to read Dyer’s debut novel. But his changing points of view somehow failed to capture my attention. The last sixty pages of the novel, however, were gripping.
LINK to my review


message 23: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
A Ghostly Undertaking (Ghostly Southern Mysteries, #1) by Tonya Kappes

A Ghostly Undertaking, Tonya Kappes

★ ★ ★ ★

The first in the series: I like the characters, I like the humor, I like the ghosts, & I like the stories....

Emma Lee & her sister Charlotte have taken over the family's undertaker & funeral parlor business.... Charlotte on the business side & Emma Lee on the undertaker side.

When Emma Lee is hit on the head by a falling plastic Santa Clause and she begins seeing the ghosts of people her family has buried... unfortunately all those she sees have been murdered and it is up to her to help solver their murders so that they may cross over.

In this first book, Emma Lee, helps Ruthie Sue Payne find who pushed her down the stairs. Unfortunately Ruthie's biggest competitor is Emma Lee's granny, who was the 2nd wife of Ruthie's ex-husband & co-owner of the Sleepy Hollow Inn.

With the mayor pushing for redevelopment, a shady real-estate agent, & Emma Lee's granny there is a long list of suspects.

A light, fun, & entertaining read


message 24: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
A Ghostly Grave (Ghostly Southern Mysteries, #2) by Tonya Kappes

A Ghostly Grave, Tonya Kappes

★ ★ ★ ★


The second in the series: I like the characters, I like the humor, I like the ghosts, & I like the stories....

Emma Lee & her sister Charlotte have taken over the family's undertaker & funeral parlor business.... Charlotte on the business side & Emma Lee on the undertaker side.

When Emma Lee is hit on the head by a falling plastic Santa Clause and she begins seeing the ghosts of people her family has buried... unfortunately all those she sees have been murdered and it is up to her to help solver their murders so that they may cross over.

Colonel "Chicken" Teater is sure his wife murdered him.... at least that is what he tries to convince Emma Lee of, but as she begins to investigate Chicken's death, she uncovers several more unsavory characters who all wanted to be on the receiving end of Chicken's promises of fortune

A light, fun, & entertaining read


message 25: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
A Ghostly Demise (Ghostly Southern Mysteries #3) by Tonya Kappes

A Ghostly Demise, Tonya Kappes

★ ★ ★

The third in the series: I like the characters, I like the humor, I like the ghosts, & I like the stories....

Emma Lee & her sister Charlotte have taken over the family's undertaker & funeral parlor business.... Charlotte on the business side & Emma Lee on the undertaker side.

When Emma Lee is hit on the head by a falling plastic Santa Clause and she begins seeing the ghosts of people her family has buried... unfortunately all those she sees have been murdered and it is up to her to help solver their murders so that they may cross over.

Emma Lee's granny is running for mayor against O'dell Burns the proprietor of the competitive Burns Funeral Home, which has the town of Sleepy Hollow in a uproar & taking sides... However, I felt that granny was over characterized, so I knocked off one star...

Meanwhile Cehpus Hardy shows up after a five year absence and Emma Lee is happy to see him, that is, until she realizes that only she can see him.

Cephus knows he was murdered and insists it was the local coroner, which whom he was last seen having an argument with over Cephus' wife. Cephus was an infamous drunk & gambler, with a secret... a secret someone was willing to kill him over.

A light, fun, & entertaining read


message 26: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
A Ghostly Reunion (Ghostly Southern Mysteries #5) by Tonya Kappes

A Ghostly Reunion, Tonya Kappes

★ ★ ★ ★

The fifth in the series: I like the characters, I like the humor, I like the ghosts, & I like the stories....

Emma Lee & her sister Charlotte have taken over the family's undertaker & funeral parlor business.... Charlotte on the business side & Emma Lee on the undertaker side, but at this point Charlotte had decamped and is now working for a "Legacy" Funeral Parlor in Lexington

When Emma Lee is hit on the head by a falling plastic Santa Clause and she begins seeing the ghosts of people her family has buried... unfortunately all those she sees have been murdered and it is up to her to help solver their murders so that they may cross over.

The local girl gone celebrity, Jade Lee, has come back to town for her 10th high school reunion, which is being put on by Emma Lee. The once Homecoming Queen is going to film a new reality show: Girl from Hick Town makes good.

Not only was Jade Lee nasty mean in h.s., calling Emmal Lee "Creepy Funeral Girl", but she is even meaner & nastier upon her return... Only someone doesn't like her nastiness and a series of accidents befall her...

Things get interesting as Jade Lee appears to Emma Lee just before one of the many planned festivities asking for help still dresses in a kimono, turban & house slippers; dead as a door nail.

A light, fun, & entertaining read


message 27: by Kimberly (last edited Feb 02, 2018 09:06AM) (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
A Ghostly Mortality (Ghostly Southern Mysteries #6) by Tonya Kappes

A Ghostly Mortality, Tonya Kappes

★ ★ ★ ★

The sixth in the series: I like the characters, I like the humor, I like the ghosts, & I like the stories....

Emma Lee & her sister Charlotte have taken over the family's undertaker & funeral parlor business.... Charlotte on the business side & Emma Lee on the undertaker side, but at this point Charlotte had decamped and is now working for a "Legacy" Funeral Parlor in Lexington

When Emma Lee is hit on the head by a falling plastic Santa Clause and she begins seeing the ghosts of people her family has buried... unfortunately all those she sees have been murdered and it is up to her to help solver their murders so that they may cross over.

Charlotte & Emma Lee have unfinished business, when Charlotte left the family Funeral Parlor business she purposely neglected to sign the papers of release. Charlotte is wanting the sideboard that has been in the family for years as well as wanting her granny as her own client.

When Emma Lee & Granny go to confront Charlotte about the unsigned papers they find that things are not going too well for Charlotte, and Granny senses that Charlotte is unhappy in her new job & may want to come back to the family business.

During Jade Lee's funeral Charlotte shows up calmly sitting next to the sideboard, which angers Emma Lee, who begins complaining to Granny... Granny, however, does not see Charlotte, which only means one thing; Charlotte is dead by murder and it is up to Emma Lee to find out who killed her sister and why.

A light, fun, & entertaining read


message 28: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 1105 comments Mod
The Longest Night by Andria Williams
The Longest Night – Andria Williams – 4****
A young military couple, Nat and Paul Collier vs his supervisor at the nuclear power plant where Paul works, and MSgt Reynolds’ mean-spirited wife, Jeannie. Add a handsome local cowboy and a reactor with problems that are being ignored and it’s only a question of which will blow first: the reactor, Paul’s career, or Paul and Nat’s marriage. Great character-based novel with a gripping story line. I was engaged and interested from beginning to end.
LINK to my review


message 29: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
Murder on the Hour (Penny Brannigan, #7) by Elizabeth J. Duncan

Murder on the Hour, Elizabeth Duncan



This is the 2nd book of the Welsh series that I've read and it was too "cozy" for me as well as a bit disjointed... I thought the story skipped around too much, and some of the characters could have been eliminated as they just seemed to be filler...

Penny is a local artist, amateur gardener, & nail spa employee as well as the former girlfriend of Detective Chief Inspector Gareth Davies. When a national Antiques Valuation Show comes to town, old secrets of treasure come to life.

Penny seems to have a gift for sleuthing so when 1/2 of an old map shows up, a photograph of 3 young men in uniform, and then a woman with a quilt (that had something tucked into it) is murdered Penny & the DCI on the case begin an investigation, which seems to include most of the rest of the town...

Totally unbelievable & not well fitting was the part of the woman who worked as a clean-up person at an art school and pulled numerous original sketches out of a dustbin & saved them. Turns out her sketches were by Stuart Sutcliff & Jon Lennon when they were in art school together... This did not fit at all nor did the side story around it.

I was bored, skimmed most of this & will not be reading another.


message 30: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 1105 comments Mod
Packing for Mars The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach
Packing For Mars – Mary Roach – 3***
Subtitle: The Curious Science of Life in the Void. Another entertaining and informative read from an author who has become a favorite “science” writer for me. As she has done for sex, our alimentary canal, and cadavers, Roach turns her curiosity, sense of adventure and wit to the topic of space travel. Entertaining and informative (and with some laugh-out-loud moments).
LINK to my review


message 31: by Laurie (last edited Feb 12, 2018 02:26PM) (new)

Laurie  (laugal) | 130 comments Currently reading RED CLOCKS by Leni Zumas. Very timely tale. Red Clocks by Leni Zumas My review-

February 12, 2018
If I could give this 10 stars I would! Powerful read. Frightening and timely,a very unusual and interesting book. This reminded me of of Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. Zumas is an exceptional writer and storyteller. Story of 5 women, Mender,Biographer,Wife,Daughter and Explorer. This story takes place in the near future.The government has revoked Roe v Wade, there is the "Pink" wall with Canada where women going to get legal abortions in Canada are turned in and face prison.I found it interesting that in the early stages of the book,none of the women had names just referred to by the titles I mentioned above. BUT the men all had names and identities. Why wouldn't women be "anonymous" when they have no rights and no decision making power over their own bodies.IVF is illegal since the zygot/fetus had no decision making process for impregnation, babies are born to 2 parent families only. Adoption is for only 2 parent families as well. This was a frightening read. As a teen I watched Roe v Wade go thru the Supreme Court.I still cannot believe in this day and age that men and politicians still have more rights to make decisions for me and every other American woman. I feel this is a MUST read for any female over age 18 and ANY younger female (when a parent feels it is acceptable).We have to raise our daughters to know their worth and their basic human rights.Our daughters and females everywhere are NOT a piece of property to be owned or controlled by others.I did not want to put this book down. This one is tagged in my "Big Brother" shelf along with the classics.This will be a best read of 2018 for me. (less)


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Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper
Etta and Otto and Russell and James – Emma Hooper – 3***
Eighty-two-year-old Etta has never seen the sea, so she decides one day to leave her Saskatchewan farm and head out on foot. It reminded me of Rachel Joyce’s The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, but it was not quite as engaging. Use of magical realism and non-linear timeline.
LINK to my review


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The Butterfly's Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe
The Butterfly’s Daughter – Mary Alice Monroe – 2.5**
I knew this was a chick-lit, road-trip, find-yourself kind of novel going in. I was intrigued by the link to the monarch butterfly migration, and by the main character’s journey. I liked how Luz grew through the novel, and liked the various characters she picked up along the way and how they helped her. I also liked that the ending, while hopeful, was NOT just wrapped up in a pretty little happy-ever-after bow. But there were elements that dropped it a half-star, chiefly how bad the audio performance was. If you want to read it, do so in text format. Skip the audio.
LINK to my review


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'Round Midnight by Laura McBride
’Round Midnight – Laura McBride – 3.5***
As she did in her debut work, McBride tells the story of four different characters with little apparent connection, until their stories come together in one specific event. The reader gets a pretty clear idea of the connection of at least two of these women early on but must wait for events to unfold over several decades before the characters will catch on.
LINK to my review


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Laurie  (laugal) | 130 comments Now reading THE LOVELIEST CHOCOLATE SHOP IN PARIS by Jenny Colgan. My Valentine's Day read. It must have chocolate!!!! The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan


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It's All In The Frijoles 100 Famous Latinos Share Real Life Stories Time-Tested Dichos, Favorite Folktales, and Inspiring Words of Wisdom by Yolanda Nava
It’s All in the Frijoles – Yolanda Nava – 2**
Subtitle: 100 Famous Latinos Share Real-Life Stories, Time-Tested Dichos, Favorite Folktales, and Inspiring Words of Wisdom. Nava has compiled the wisdom of our ancestors through the stories, legends, folktales and sayings they imparted. She divides the book into chapters, each dealing with a basic value: Responsibility, Respect, Hard Work, Prudence, Chastity, etc. These short vignettes (many barely a page long), are perfect for a daily meditation, so it’s a nice book to have around the house for that purpose. But reading it straight through just emphasizes how repetitious it is.
LINK to my review


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Laurie wrote: "Now reading THE LOVELIEST CHOCOLATE SHOP IN PARIS by Jenny Colgan. My Valentine's Day read. It must have chocolate!!!!The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan"

Sounds like the perfect Valentine's (or any day's) read to me!


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Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
Autobiography of a Face – Lucy Grealy – 4****
What is more important to your sense of self than to recognize yourself in the mirror? What if the face you saw in the mirror was one you could not bear to look at? A face that could not possibly reflect the you inside? Grealy writes so eloquently and honestly about what she went through as a result of childhood cancer, and how she felt growing up “ugly.”
LINK to my review


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The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran

The Heretic Queen, Michelle Moran

★ ★ ★ ★

Princess Nefertari, niece of Heretic Queen Nefertiti, has grown up in the palace w/ Ramses & Asha... as Ramses becomes co-regent w/ his grandfather Seti he is expected to take a wife.

Although, Ramses loves Nefertari, one of his Aunts convinces him to marry the empty but beautiful Ishet, the harem girl.

His other Aunt, takes Nefertari into the Temple of Hathor & secretely grooms her to be Ramses Chief Wife, the one who will rule beside him.

I found this to be well written, interesting with good characters....


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Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
The Pigeon Pie Mystery by Julia Stuart

Pigeon Pie Mystery, Julia Stuart

★ ★

The Maharaja of Prindur has died of a heart attack, atop his mistress in an opium den....

His daughter Princess Alexandrina (Mink) & her maid Pookie are forced to sell all to cover his debts and quietly move into a "grace and favor" manor at Hampton Court Palace.

There are many quirky characters as there are unlikable... the least likable, Major-General Bagshot dies of arsenic poisoning after consuming a large quantity of pigeon pie made for him by Pookie.

There was too much chatter and the characters much too quirky for my liking (which the author prides herself on)... I had a difficult time keeping all the characters straight, which why I marked this down.

I did like the story line, the ending was satisfactory, but I must say I skimmed quite a bit.


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Laurie  (laugal) | 130 comments Book Concierge wrote: "Laurie wrote: "Now reading THE LOVELIEST CHOCOLATE SHOP IN PARIS by Jenny Colgan. My Valentine's Day read. It must have chocolate!!!!The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan"

Sou..."

It is a good read so far! Jumps between 1972 and now, Paris and a chocolate shop.! It is perfect for anytime!


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The First Deadly Sin (Deadly Sins, #2) by Lawrence Sanders
The First Deadly Sin – Lawrence Sanders – 4****
I first read this back in about 1975 and was completely gripped by the writing and the suspenseful story. I liked it just as much on re-reading it.
LINK to my review


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Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
Corpse on the Cob (An Odelia Grey Mystery, #5) by Sue Ann Jaffarian

Corpse on the Cob, Sue Ann Jaffarian

★ ★

It was just okay: I just could not warm up to the characters, they seemed shallow & flat.

Odelia Grey's mother left her & the family when she was a young teen...

After her father dies, she receives an envelope with her mother's address, so Odelia decides to go find her. When Odelia does locate her mother, it is back in her mother's hometown, in a corn maze bending over a man who has been stabbed with the corn maze flag...

That is where things get interesting... who the man is, who the other people in the maze are, what her 1/2 brothers (both local police officers) are up to....

I'm thinking I might not read another unless there is absolutely nothing else.


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Silas Marner by George Eliot
Silas Marner – George Eliot – 3***
A classic tale of the redemptive power of love, first published in 1861. A reclusive, miserly weaver’s life is changed when he finds a toddler on a snowy evening. As is typical of the novels of the era, the plot includes numerous coincidences that stretch this reader’s tolerance. There is much misery, but Eliot does give us a few moments of joy, and an ending full of hope.
LINK to my review


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A Morbid Taste for Bones (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #1) by Ellis Peters
A Morbid Taste For Bones – Ellis Peters – 3***
I’ve heard about this series set in 12th century England for some years, and always wanted to try them. I found it rather slow moving, but really liked the lead character, Brother Cadfael. I’d be willing to read another in the series.
LINK to my review


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Laurie  (laugal) | 130 comments Now reading THE BLACK HAND by Stephen Talty.It is pulling me right in! The Black Hand The Epic War Between a Brilliant Detective and the Deadliest Secret Society in American History by Stephan Talty


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Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
Laurie wrote: "Now reading THE LOVELIEST CHOCOLATE SHOP IN PARIS by Jenny Colgan. My Valentine's Day read. It must have chocolate!!!!The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan"

I just picked up a copy from the Library


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The Woman in the Water by Charles Finch

Woman in the Water, Charles Finch

★ ★ ★ ★

I enjoy this series very much, the characters as well as the writing.

This is the prequel to the Charles Lenox mysteries and begins with Charles grudgingly being hired by Scotland Yard for a nominal amount a week. 3 of the 4 detectives with whom he works do not like Charles, but it might be due to their egos, laziness, & sloppy work.

A woman's body is found in a trunk on Walnut Island (in the Thames), a letter is printed by a local paper from the murderer boasting about his "perfect crime".... that it is so perfect that he will in fact commit a second.

Then a second woman is found on the banks of the Thames, laying upon a door, heavily covered in flowers, in a white dress, heavy white makeup, & odd shoes. Charles notices that although her dress is wet, the door is not...

There are any number of clues, many of which are Red Herrings which lead to confusion & dead ends, and the lack of forensic identification also hinders the investigation.

Charles father, who is ill, is introduced in this book as is Thomas McConnell, the doctor with whom Charles relies on in later investigations, and John Dallington a future partner.

I took one star off for the way the conclusion & its circumstances were handled. Otherwise I was very satisfied with the book.


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Laurie  (laugal) | 130 comments Kimberly wrote: "Laurie wrote: "Now reading THE LOVELIEST CHOCOLATE SHOP IN PARIS by Jenny Colgan. My Valentine's Day read. It must have chocolate!!!!The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan"

I j..."
Enjoy! and please do have some chocolate nearby!!!!


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TUESDAY – 13 Feb 18
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty – 4****
Moriarty uses the “minor” drama of helicopter parents to explore larger issues of school bullying and domestic abuse. The reader knows from the first chapter that someone has died … but who died and who was responsible will have to wait until the last 40 pages of the novel. Using multiple narrators, and different timelines seems a popular technique in novels these days. It’s difficult to do this well, but Moriarty is a master. Even the secondary characters fairly leap off the page.
LINK to my review

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THURSDAY – 15 Feb 18
Elephant Winter by Kim Echlin
Elephant Winter – Kim Echlin – 4****
When she learns that her mother is dying, Sophie Walker must give up her nomadic lifestyle and leave Zimbabwe to return to the family farm in southern Ontario. This is really a character-based story, though there are some significant events, including a couple of violent altercations. Mostly, however, Echlin treats the reader to Sophie’s thoughts as she considers her mother’s condition, her role as daughter, lover, friend, her past and future. I really liked Echlin’s writing style. There was something so quiet and comforting about it. And still her imagery is very vivid.
LINK to my review


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