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Shay's 144 Books for 2010

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Shay | 330 comments 1. Murder on Nob Hill by Shirley Tallman
2. The Russian Hill Murders by Shirley Tallman. An historical mystery series featuring a female attorney, Sarah Woolson, in 19th Century San Francisco. I believe there are four books in the series through 2010. I really like this series, don't know how I didn't discover it earlier.

Since I'm starting late in the year, I'm going to include the books in the finished pile that are awaiting return to the library. I mostly read mysteries, fantasy, with a few non-fiction titles.

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Shay | 330 comments 3. Tippy Toe Murder by Leslie Meier
4. Wedding Day Murder by Leslie Meier
5. Star Spangled Murder by Leslie Meier. Set in Maine, features Lucy Stone, a part-time reporter. Kind of an uneven series. I think what I hate the most about it is Lucy's husband Bill who comes off as emotionally abusive at times.
6. The False-Hearted Teddy by John J. Lamb. Husband and wife make teddy bears; set in Virginia. The husband, Brad, is a retired homicide detective from San Francisco. Overall, I like the series, but I find the relationship between Brad and his wife, Ashleigh, creepy. Overly loving to the point of seeming fake or like the author is compensating for something.

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Shay | 330 comments 7. Last Breath A Novel of Suspense (Last series) by Mariah Stewart by Mariah Stewart
Archaeologist Daria McGowan returns to the college to set up an exhibit of artifacts discovered by her great-grandfather but she discovers that some of the artifacts have been stolen. As much a thriller as a mystery. Pretty good, wish it was set on a dig.
8. Divorced, Desperate and Deceived by Christie Craig by Cristie Craig. Kathy meets plumber who is actually an undercover agent in hiding. They meet cute and hilarity ensues. (Some sarcasm.)A quick read, frothy and easily forgettable. Didn't even remember reading it when I went through my stack. I would read more from the author, but wouldn't buy her books, not even used.

message 4: by Shay (last edited Jun 18, 2010 06:44PM) (new)

Shay | 330 comments 9. The Bliss Factor by Penny McCall by Penny McCall. Accountant Rae Blissfield goes to do her parents' taxes at the Renaissance Faire where they have a shop/stall. She ends up, at their request with an amnesiac blacksmith who is an undercover agent. Kind of reminds me of the style of Evanovich's Full Tilt series.
10. Demon Inside (Megan Chase, #2) by Stacia Kane by Stacia Kane. Everyone has a personal demon and Megan becomes the leader of a "family" of them. Again, one of those quick reads, not outstanding, but not horrible.

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Shay | 330 comments 11. A Cadger's Curse (A D.D. McGil Literati Mystery, #1) by Diane Gilbert Madsen by Diane Gilbert Madsen. D. D. McGill is a freelance insurance investigator. She is doing routine background checks when people at the company start dying. The secondary story, her Aunt Elizabeth comes to have her authenticate some Robert Burns relics, is far more interesting. I like eccentric family members wreaking havoc.
12. Blood Cross (Jane Yellowrock, #2) by Faith Hunter by Faith Hunter. Jane Yellowrock is a vampire hunter. This is the second in the series, I haven't read the first. Although these books, where vampires are out in the open, are legion, this book is a standout. When reading it, I felt like I was in for many years of enjoyable reading from this author, like I felt the first time I read Patricia Briggs or Kim Harrison.

That's the last in my stack of books to be returned.

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Shay | 330 comments 13. The Cliff House Strangler (A Sarah Woolson Mystery, #3) by Shirley Tallman by Shirley Tallman. This is the third in the series and hasn't suffered the usual decline in quality.

message 7: by Shay (last edited Jun 18, 2010 09:36PM) (new)

Shay | 330 comments 14. The Coptic Secret by Gregg Loomis by Gregg Loomis. A thriller featuring attorney Lang Reilly. One of the things I like best is that his girlfriend is not merely an appendage, along for the ride. She's a spy and saves his life as often as he saves hers.

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Shay | 330 comments 15. Manor of Death (A Domestic Bliss Mystery, #3) by Leslie Caine by Leslie Caine. I want to like this series. I like craft-y types of mysteries (knitting, scrapbooking, etc.) because I am so unartistic. I don't hate it, it's just blah. It also has one of my pet peeves- the main characters are in love, but just can't quite connect. It's annoying when it evolves into a running story line that just loops.

message 9: by Shay (last edited Jun 20, 2010 10:09AM) (new)

Shay | 330 comments 16. Preaching to the Corpse (An Advice Column Mystery, #2) by Roberta Isleib by Roberta Isleib. Advice columnist solves murder at her church. Overall, the book was fine- a good, quick read. Has the annoying plot device- she's in love with a man who was getting divorced until he discovers his wife was ill.

17. The Devil You Know (Morgan Kingsley, #2) by Jenna Black by Jenna Black. Didn't like it much. It's not that it was bad, maybe I'm missing something because I didn't read the first one. There were too many things not to my taste.

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Shay | 330 comments 18. A Darker God (Laetitia Talbot, #3) by Barbara Cleverly by Barbara Cleverly. I had a very hard time getting in to this book. I had to force myself to read 20 pages here, 30 pages there until about halfway through. I think it was me because, like her other works, I really liked it- well written, good characterizations, very atmospheric.

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Shay | 330 comments 19. Body Trace by Jon McGoran, a.k.a. D.H. Dublin by D. H. Dublin. A forensic mystery. A good, fast read.

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Shay | 330 comments 20. Set Sail for Murder (Polly Pepper, #4) by Richard Tyler Jordan by R. T. Jordan. Very fun, light reading. Finished it in a few hours.

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Shay | 330 comments 21. Cat of the Century (Mrs. Murphy, #18) by Rita Mae Brown by Rita Mae Brown. This series is like the guest who won't leave. The author has a political opinion about everything and her heavy handed treatment is all over this book. Odd weather, global warming. How should she get somewhere, drive or take a plane? You are treated to a diatribe about how air travel is wrecking the environment. You are admonished to conserve electricity by turning off your lights, turning down your thermostat, burning wood in your fireplaces. Even the most innocuous things leads to some kind of rant. Blah, blah, blah. Even if you agree with her opinions, she smacks you with them everywhere you turn. Worst book of the year.

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Shay | 330 comments 22. A Good Knife's Work (Five Star Mystery Series) by Sheila York by Sheila York. A good, solid, historical mystery set in the 1940's.

message 15: by Shay (last edited Jun 23, 2010 02:57PM) (new)

Shay | 330 comments 23. Once Bitten Twice Dead (Guardians of the Dark, #2) by Bianca D'Arc by Bianca D'Arc. I got this book at the library when I was running low on books. I like fantasy/horror, so I got the book because it had zombies. It's also a romance novel and I don't generally read those. So, I can't say whether this book is worth reading or not. All I can say is that it wasn't bad, but I just didn't care for it.

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Shay | 330 comments 24. Prime Time by Hank Phillippi Ryan by Hank Phillippi Ryan. I kept seeing this book at the library, but never borrowed it. Couldn't get past the cheesy cover. One day I was really desperate and borrowed it. Good series, I wish it had more descriptions of Boston.

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Shay | 330 comments 25. Scandal on Rincon Hill (A Sarah Woolson Mystery, #4) by Shirley Tallman by Shirley Tallman. Happy to note that the series continues to maintain its quality. Highly recommend the series to anyone who enjoys historical mysteries.

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Shay | 330 comments 26. Short Change (Tucker Sinclair, #3) by Patricia Smiley by Patricia Smiley. I was expecting a more humorous mystery after the blurb from Janet Evanovich on the cover. Nonetheless, a nice, light mystery.

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Shay | 330 comments 27. A House to Die For (Darby Farr, #1) by Vicki Doudera by Vicki Doudera.

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Shay | 330 comments 28. Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum, #16) by Janet Evanovich by Janet Evanovich. Recently, I've been feeling that this series is like going to a family reunion, on the in-law side. You go out of duty and obligation, but you don't really enjoy it except for seeing a few people, like Grandma Mazur and Lula. So, I was surprised at how good this one was. One of the things I find most annoying is the "love triangle" between Stephanie, Ranger, and Morelli. Happy to say, Ranger and Morelli barely make an appearance. It mostly focuses on Stephanie, Lula, and Connie. So, not vintage Evanovich at her peak, but worth a read. Finally!

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Shay | 330 comments 29. Air Time by Hank Phillippi Ryan by Hank Phillippi Ryan.

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Shay | 330 comments 30. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce, #1) by Alan Bradley by Alan Bradley. Looking forward to reading the sequel to this. Really enjoyed this book.

message 23: by Shay (last edited Jul 01, 2010 06:38PM) (new)

Shay | 330 comments 31. Murder on Lexington Avenue (A Gaslight Mystery, #12) by Victoria Thompson by Victoria Thompson.

32. Legally Dead A Novel by Edna Buchanan by Edna Buchanan.

33. Silencing Sam by Julie Kramer by Julie Kramer.

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Shay | 330 comments 34. Bon Bon Voyage (A Culinary Mystery with Recipes, #9) by Nancy Fairbanks by Nancy Fairbanks. I liked this one better than some of her others, her husband makes a minimal appearance. Why is it that so many cozy mystery heroines have such annoying and/or repulsive husbands?

message 25: by Shay (last edited Jul 03, 2010 04:24PM) (new)

Shay | 330 comments 35. Bone Appetit (Sarah Booth Delaney, #10) by Carolyn Haines by Carolyn Haines.

36. Super Crunchers Why Thinking-by-Numbers Is the New Way to Be Smart by Ian Ayres by Ian Ayres.

37. Look Me in the Eye My Life with Asperger's by John Elder Robison by John Elder Robinson. Well told memoir of the author's struggles and triumphs in living most of his life unaware he had Asperger's Syndrome.

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Shay | 330 comments 38. Vows, Vendettas and a Little Black Dress (Sophie Katz, Book 5) by Kyra Davis by Kyra Davis.

39. The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (Flavia de Luce, #2) by Alan Bradley by Alan Bradley. Normally, in mysteries, I like the murder to occur sooner than later. Or, I feel as if the book drags on and on. However, this is such a wonderfully written book that having the murder later merely adds to the suspense.

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Shay | 330 comments 40. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen by Jane Austen. It seemed like I couldn't go anywhere without seeing this novel- book groups, historical fiction based on these characters, etc. So, I decided to read it, see what all the fuss was about, especially since I wanted to read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith . After finishing the book, I had a hard time getting into and enjoying another book. (What author wouldn't suffer, at least a little, in comparison. )

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Shay | 330 comments 41. Armed and Glamorous (Crime of Fashion, #6) by Ellen Byerrum by Ellen Byerrum.

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Shay | 330 comments 42. Shoulder Bags and Shootings (Haley Randolph, #3) by Dorothy Howell by Dorothy Howell. A nice, quick read.
43. Potshot (Spenser, Book 28) by Robert B. Parker by Robert Parker. Saw this on someone's booklist and realized it was a Spencer novel I have never read. Typically good read from Parker.
44. Mark of the Demon (Kara Gillian, #1) by Diana Rowland by Diana Rowland. One of those books that you just can't put a rating to. It was well written, quickly paced, but just left me blah. Didn't like it, but it's just a personal opinion, not a reflection on the book or author.
45. Killer Summer (Walt Fleming, #3) by Ridley Pearson by Ridley Pearson. I read this book for a reading challenge and discovered a new author to read.

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Shay | 330 comments 46. The Lost City of Z A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann by David Grann.

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Shay | 330 comments 47. Farm Fresh Murder (A Farmer's Market Mystery, #1) by Paige Shelton by Paige Shelton. A good, quick read. Makes me want to visit a "real" farmers' market- the one near us is horrible.

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Shay | 330 comments 48. Moon Spinners (A Seaside Knitters Mystery, #3) by Sally Goldenbaum by Sally Goldenbaum.
49. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie by Suzann Ledbetter by Suzann Ledbetter.
50. The Grave Gourmet by Alexander Campion by Alexander Campion.

Books 49 and 50 were the worst books I have read recently. Flat characters, uninspired writing.

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Shay | 330 comments 51. Danger in a Red Dress (Fortune Hunter, #4) by Christina Dodd by Christina Dodd. Surprisingly good read, since I don't normally like the romantic suspense genre.

message 34: by Shay (last edited Jul 16, 2010 07:50AM) (new)

Shay | 330 comments 52. Mr. Monk is Cleaned Out by Lee Goldberg by Lee Goldberg. I never read the books until the show went off the air. I was actually surprised that they were good stand alone books- the writer of the books was a writer on the show, so it makes sense.

53. The Lion's Game by Nelson DeMille by Nelson DeMille. The sequel to this, The Lion, kept appearing on my recommended list at the library. So, I borrowed it, a pretty good thriller and an interesting look at the intelligence field in a pre-9/11 world.

54. The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree by Susan Wittig Albert by Susan Wittig Albert. Her new series, like it better than her other two. I find her first series, China Bayle, is getting stale and formulaic...that's she's just going through the motions already.

55. The Secret of the Mansion (Trixie Belden #1) by Julie Campbell by Julie Campbell. Read it for a mystery reading group. I really like it and hope to read it with my daughter when she's older.

56. The Dog Park Club A Mystery by Cynthia Robinson by Cynthia Robinson. The third "stinker" I've read this month. I don't have the time to list how bad it was because it was bad in every way possible.

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Shay | 330 comments 57. Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves (Everyman Wodehouse) by P.G. Wodehouse by P.G. Wodehouse. A must read series by a rightly beloved British author.

58. Spying in High Heels (High Heels Series #1) by Gemma Halliday by Gemma Halliday.

59. Fatal Flip (An Interior Design Mystery, #3) by Peg Marberg by Peg Marberg.

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Shay | 330 comments 60. Bite Me (Love Story, #3) by Christopher Moore by Christopher Moore.
61. Scoop! by Hannah Dennison by Hannah Dennison. Didn't really like the book. Found the main character ditzy and annoying.
62. Moloka'i by Alan Brennert by Alan Brennert.
63. Murder, She Wrote A Palette for Murder (Murder She Wrote) by Jessica Fletcher by Jessica Fletcher. If you didn't like the TV series, you won't like the books.

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Shay | 330 comments 64. Drood by Dan Simmons by Dan Simmons.

message 38: by Vicky (new)

Vicky (LadyVictoria5) | 98 comments Thanks for the information on Susan Witting Albert's new series. What do you think of the Beatrice Potter series? It's time for a new series.

thanks again, Shay

message 39: by Shay (new)

Shay | 330 comments I like the Beatrix Potter series. The main criticism seems to be from people who object to "cute talking animal" stories. I happen to like those, but in any event, the animals in her series are somehow more dignified than say, Rita Mae Brown. There's more of a Wind of the Willows feel and they're good historical mysteries in their own right. I didn't know this until someone else mentioned it, but Susan Wittig Albert, also wrote historical mysteries under the name Robin Paige that I liked.

Also, if you haven't joined, there is a GR group called "Cozy Mysteries" and Susan Wittig Albert is the featured author in October. She's a member of the group and will be dropping in in October to answer questions.

message 40: by Vicky (new)

Vicky (LadyVictoria5) | 98 comments I like the Potter series and yes, because the animals aren't 'cutsy' but sound like people. For the same reason I enjoy the Nancy Atherton Aunt Dimity series. I haven't read any of the Robin Paige books so I need to look them up.

Thanks for the info on the Cozy Mysteries group. I'll check in right now.

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Shay | 330 comments 65. Go, Mutants! A Novel by Larry Doyle by Larry Doyle. This novel attempts to provide social commentary/satire on suburban life, high school, politics, etc. He's also trying to write a comic novel, full of jokes and humor. Because he won't fully commit to either, he fails at both. Are all novelists so obsessed with writing the Great American Novel that they forget to write a good novel?
66. A Night at the Operation (Double Feature Mystery #3) by Jeffrey Cohen by Jeffrey Cohen.
67. Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs, #1) by Jacqueline Winspear by Jacqueline Winspear. Even though this historical mystery is mostly "backstory" and not mystery, it's one of the best historical mysteries I've read.

message 42: by Shay (last edited Jul 24, 2010 08:35PM) (new)

Shay | 330 comments 68. Stork Raving Mad (Meg Langslow, #12) by Donna Andrews by Donna Andrews. Another good mystery in this series. It hasn't really gone down hill as many series do twelve or so books in.
69. Whose Body? (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #1) by Dorothy L. Sayers by Dorothy L. Sayers.
70. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith by Seth Grahame-Smith.
71. Alibi in High Heels (High Heels Series #4) by Gemma Halliday by Gemma Halliday.
72. The Tavernier Stones A Novel by Stephen Parrish by Stephen Parrish. Wish I could have given it 3 1/2 stars. An excellent attempt by a first time author. Well researched, compelling read.

Halfway through the challenge.

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Shay | 330 comments 73. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman by Neil Gaiman. Liked this book so much, I had to start on another book by this author, Good Omens by Terry Pratchett .

74. Cold River by Carla Neggers by Carla Neggers.

75. My Life in France by Julia Child by Julia Child. One of the best food books I've read.

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message 45: by Shay (last edited Jul 28, 2010 10:03PM) (new)

Shay | 330 comments 77. Mama Gets Hitched A Mace Bauer Mystery by Deborah Sharp by Deborah Sharp. If you like humorous, cozy mysteries, this is a great series.

78. Stardust (Spenser) by Robert B. Parker by Robert B. Parker.

79. Grey Matters (Dulcie Schwartz) by Clea Simon by Clea Simon. 2 1/2 stars. One of those boring mysteries that just drags; had to force myself through it. You know, one of those books where you tell yourself to read 20 pages of it, then you can read something you really want to read. If it weren't so short, I don't think I would have finished it.

Finished 3 books today.

message 46: by Shay (new)

Shay | 330 comments 80. Getting Old is Tres Dangereux A Novel by Rita Lakin by Rita Lakin. Very cute cozy mystery set in a senior community where they run a detective agency.
81. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett by Terry Pratchett. A good fun read, insightful commentary on the meaning of existence all rolled into one.
82. Bullet (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #19) by Laurell K. Hamilton by Laurell K. Hamilton. How bad does a series have to get before you stop reading it? I guess it depends on how much you loved it at the beginning. About worn out my goodwill with every recent book.
83. The Julius House (Aurora Teagarden, #4) by Charlaine Harris by Charlaine Harris. The best thing I can say about this series is that the books are all short.
84. The Barbary Pirates (Ethan Gage, #4) by William Dietrich by William Dietrich. Not a stogy, historical thriller.
85. Mudbound by Hillary Jordan by Hillary Jordan. Don't want to describe the book for fear of giving anything away. A must read book.
86. Dead Over Heels (Aurora Teagarden, #5) by Charlaine Harris by Charlaine Harris. Forcing my way through this series by reading 20 or so pages and then reading something I want to read, then forcing another 20 pages. Just good enough to be readable but you wish it were worse so you could just throw your hands up and quit.

message 47: by Shay (last edited Aug 03, 2010 08:49PM) (new)

Shay | 330 comments 87. Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith by Steve Hockensmith. A prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and it's all the "new" author, so not as good.
88. Something Borrowed, Something Bleu (Home Crafting Mystery, #4) by Cricket McRae by Cricket McRae.
89. Pepperoni Pizza Can Be Murder (A Pizza City Murder, #2) by Chris Cavender by Chris Cavender.
90. The Pendragon Murders (Merlin Investigation, #3) by J.M.C. Blair by J.M.C. Blair.

message 48: by Shay (new)

Shay | 330 comments 91. Death Takes the Cake (Della Cooks Mystery, #2) by Melinda Wells by Melinda Wells. Good culinary mystery with atrocious sounding recipes. I know it fits in with the theme of the book, but most of the cake recipes (if not all) start with a base of cake mix. Yuck!
92. Demon Hunts by C. Murphy by C.E. Murphy. I like the blend of UF and mystery. Sometimes a little to "woo-woo" for my taste, but it manages to blend both elements nicely.
93. The Spy (Isaac Bell, #3) by Clive Cussler by Clive Cussler. I like historical mysteries, I really like well researched historical mysteries that make you feel transported back in time. This one does not.

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Shay | 330 comments 94. Birthday Party Murder (Lucy Stone, #9) by Leslie Meier by Leslie Meier. An average book from an average series.
95. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris by David Sedaris. Definitely an author you are going to love or hate. I really like the painfully embarrassing honesty.
96. Bones in High Places A Reverend Oughterard Mystery by Suzette A. Hill by Suzette A. Hill. A wonderful, unconventional cozy. Do not read if you hate talking animals. (Although the animals are very dignified and British.)
97. The Insider by Reece Hirsch by Reece Hirsch. Great debut. A good, solid thriller.
98. Toast Mortem (Hemlock Falls Mystery #16) by Claudia Bishop by Claudia Bishop. I think this series is sticking around past its prime.

message 50: by Shay (last edited Aug 16, 2010 10:05PM) (new)

Shay | 330 comments 99. A Fool and His Honey (Aurora Teagarden, #6) by Charlaine Harris by Charlaine Harris. I can't believe the author who envisioned Sookie's world wrote this bland, insipid series.
100. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom by Kathleen Grissom. Liked this book and how well it captured the little moments in life so well.
101. Burn (Anna Pigeon Mysteries, #16) by Nevada Barr by Nevada Barr. If you are a fan of this series, brace yourself when reading this particular book. It deals with child sex trafficking. I would have skipped this installment had I known.
102. Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver by Barbara Kingsolver. Good writer, but this book ventured into drivel at times. Gosh, we get that nature is "feminine" but she kept throwing hackneyed fertility cliches at you.
103. Gotcha! by Christie Craig by Christie Craig. This author recycles the same character and plot from novel to novel. (And they're not good enough to do that.)
104. The Viognier Vendetta (Wine Country Mystery #5) by Ellen Crosby by Ellen Crosby. Good solid series set in a winery in Virginia.
105. On Location (A Rita Farmer Mystery) by Elizabeth Sims by Elizabeth Sims. Cannot abide a character in a mystery putting her child in danger.
106. Reel Murder by Mary Kennedy by Mary Kennedy. Like this easy to read cozy series. Love the mother-daughter relationship.
107. Plum Island by Nelson DeMille by Nelson DeMille. Good, solid series.
108. Spoon Fed How Eight Cooks Saved My Life by Kim Severson by Kim Severson. Good when she focuses on food, less successful as a memoir.

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