Saturday, February 15, 2020

Someone we know

This is the 3rd novel I have read by Sheri Lapena and she continues to capture my attention and keep me guessing as to who is the guilty party.   This one didn't reveal itself til the very end and it was quite shocking.  Cannot wait to read the rest of her works.   This is an amazing thriller that will keep you up til the wee hours. 

Someone We KnowSomeone We Know by Shari Lapena
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Amazing thriller that keeps you guessing

Ms. Lapena writes amazing thriller with lots of possible guilty parties. She weaves the tale in such a suspenseful fashion that you cannot wait to pick up the book again. She is masterful at twisting the story and drawing the reader to believe in many different characters' guilt. She does a masterful job and creating sympathetic and despicable characters. Her story line ties all the loose ends together and shows how the different plot components come together. She kept regressing until the very end.

View all my reviews

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:

  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge -  Book 17
  2.  Cloak and  Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal : Book 13
  3. Medical Examiner-  2 Toe Tag 
  4. Mystery Bingo:  
    • Weapons card :  Heavy blunt object, stocking/tie etc
    • Clues:  fingerprints
  5. Calendar of Crime-  #CalendarOfCrime2020  October #3 primary action takes place that month
  6. Wizarding World Tour  possible categories
    • Castelobruxo: Read a book that includes a troublemaker

Friday, February 14, 2020

The Last Mrs. Parrish

Wow,  first book I've read by Liv Constantine and I would love another.  I must say all the wealth in the world would not have me changing places with Daphne Parrish.  This thriller is well written and tells the story from both Daphne and Amber's perspective and then merging the 2 story lines together at the conclusion of the book.  The development of the 3 main characters is well done and down right bone chilling at times. I found this to be an engaging read and lived up to the hype it received.  Definitely read this if you like thrillers but I will warn it was a bit unsettling at times.

The Last Mrs. ParrishThe Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Complex and conniving characters lead this book

This was quite an engaging book. I really enjoyed how the book was written from both Amber and Daphne's perspectives. This book kept me up late into the night reading. There were definitely aspects of This book that were unnerving and caused me to think about the book when I was away from it. Readers of thrillers should definitely read This book

View all my reviews

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:

  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge -  Book 14
  2. TBR Book #12  #Backlistreader ; #MountTBR2020; #StartOnYourShelfathon
  3.  Cloak and  Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal : Book 12
  4. Mystery Bingo:  
    • Clues:  Something said in French
  5. Beat the Backlist #BeatTheBacklist2020 #18  A Top 10 Read of the Year
  6. Popsugar- #popsugarreadingchallenge #7
  7. 52 Books in 52 weeks  #39 A book used in a celebrity book club

Possible prompts

I will decide as the year goes along which prompts I use it for on several challenges since it meets multiple criteria within the challenge.

  1. Around the Year in 52 Books
    • #10  book that 400-600 pages  or
    • #11 published in a year that is a prime number
  2. Wizarding World Tour  possible categories
    • Beauxbatons: where a character breaks the law;  cover has blue
    • Castelobruxo: Read a book that includes a troublemaker
    • Durmstrang-  that involves a secret
    • Ilvermorny-  Read a book with a body part on the cover
    • Uagadou- Read a book with a hand on the cover

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Treason by Stuart Woods

The latest installment of Stone Barrington's adventures arrived in Jan 2020.  Stuart Woods published the 52nd story in this series when he released Treason.  The plot was a decent story and had some good twists and turns but it did have some weaknesses as well.  I feel there were some parts to the story that were not addressed before the conclusion of the novel. The wink between Betty and Vanessa implies there is more to the story.   Also, the vandalism to the aircraft early in the story leads to an unnecessary plot extension.  Perhaps Woods plans to address those in a future installment of the series, but if not, they represnt a weakness in the story.   Additionally,  Stone and Dino being professional problem solvers sure didn't get suspicious when the antagonist kept showing up at the same establishments they were frequenting even in a city the size of NYC.  Also they think there is something strange about the American they meet in Paris and his connection to the Russians, but when he almost no shows for the flight they don't get suspicious of possible sabotage to the jet?  For clever individuals they sure were naive at times.

 I realize this isn't meant to be the next great American novel, but a bit more time making sure the story line is clean and consistent would benefit this book.  I gave the book a 3 star rating in Goodreads and you can see my review below

Treason (Stone Barrington, #52)Treason by Stuart Woods
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this story in the latest installment of the Stone Barrington saga but I have to admit the shear number of different women he shares his bed with in a given week is getting a bit ridiculous- 1 leaves unexpectedly mid-evening and he takes another home instead, really. This story does have some good plot twists and a quick pace. On the other hand there are some plot lines that needed to be cleared up in my opinion- the wink between Betty and Vanessa is never explained for example. Also, for someone involved in the world of espionage and living in a city the size of NYC, it never raises a red flag that the antagonist keeps showing up in the same restaurants as Stone and Dino? While I enjoy the exploits of Stone and his friends I do think the series is getting a bit hurried in the release of the installments and the bit of extra time could be spent firming up plot details and lose ends. Even still, the book is an enjoyable read for a rainy/snowy afternooon.

View all my reviews

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:
  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge -  Book 16
  2.  Cloak and  Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal : Book  11
  3. Finishing the Series-  #FinishingTheSeries2020 -Stone Barrington series as of Feb 2020
  4. Medical Examiner-  2 Toe Tags 
  5. Six Shooter-  1 shot for Stuart Woods (2 total on target)
  6. Mystery Bingo:  
    • Clues:  Reading the will: something said in French
    • Red Herring : inheritance
    • Crime Scenes:  Boat
  7. Calendar of Crime-  #CalendarOfCrime2020  July #4  Independence Day

Possible prompts

I will decide as the year goes along which prompts I use it for on several challenges since it meets multiple criteria within the challenge.
  1. Popsugar- #popsugarreadingchallenge #1 published in 2020
  1. Around the Year in 52 Books- #48 A book published in 2020
  2. 52 Books in 52 weeks  #18 a book published in 2020
  3. Book List Queen #49  2020 New Release
  4. NJM #NJMBookChallenge2020  #1 a book published in 2020
  5. 2020 TBR  #2020TBRReadingChallenge #1  A 2020 release
  6. Wizarding World Tour  
    • Ilvermorny-  Read a book published in 2020

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

A Key Lime pie mishap in Key West

In this first installment of a new series, The Key West Food Critic by Lucy Burdette, we meet Hayley Snow.   A recent transplant from New Jersey who is growing very fond of her new home in Key West.  Although crashing on her friend's houseboat probably isn't what she had in mind when she followed her boyfriend to Key West.  This character is a bit of a mess but is likable none the less.  The book has lots of good descriptions of the character of Key West and the foods that Hayley consumes while on her quest to become the new food critic for the Key Zest magazine.  The supporting characters of her friend, Connie and Eric as well as their significant others add to the story line and develop her world as we get a glimpse into it.  All in all I enjoyed this book and will look to find others in the series.

An Appetite for Murder (Key West Food Critic Mystery, #1)An Appetite for Murder by Lucy Burdette
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fun cozy set in Key West. The main character, Hayley Snow, is a bit flighty but lovable character who makes some bumbling mistakes while trying to prove she didn't commit a murder of her ex's current flame. She is simultaneously trying to land a food critic job at a new magazine in town. All the while trying to prove to herself and her family she didn't make a mistake by following her heart to the Southernmost point in the US. If you enjoy reading about food dishes and the fun lifestyle of Key West you will enjoy this book.

View all my reviews

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:

  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge -  Book 15
  2. TBR Book #13  #Backlistreader ; #MountTBR2020; #StartOnYourShelfathon
  3. Literary Escapes-  FL
  4. Alphabet soup Author- #AlphabetSoupAuthorChallenge "B"
  5. AtoZ and Alphabet soup challenge #AlphabetSoupChallenge  "A"
  6. Cravings for a Cozy and Cloak and  Dagger #CloakDaggerChal : Book  10
  7. Cruising through cozies -  Free choice
  8. Calendar of Crime-  #CalendarOfCrime2020   Nov #4-  Thanksgiving
  9. Medical Examiner-  1 Toe Tag for a poisoning
  10. Six Shooter-  1 shot on a new target for Lucy Burdette
  11. Mystery Bingo:  
    • Weapons card :  poison
    • Red Herring:  someone gets tied up; former lover 
    • Crime Scenes: Kitchen

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Kiki Lowenstein saves the rainy day

This is a short novella in the Kiki Lowenstein series.  She is a single mom who works in a scrapbooking store in St. Louis.  She has a knack for getting involved with murders.  This particular installment was murder free though.  I am currently trying to  work out which books I have previously read and to go back and read the novellas on my Kindle.  I always enjoy hearing about the scrapbooking projects that are incorporated into the stories.  Two of my favorite things, scrapbooking and mysteries, altogether in 1 place.  Heaven!

Kiki Lowenstein and the Purple PassionKiki Lowenstein and the Purple Passion by Joanna Campbell Slan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fun quick read that lets us catch up with Kiki in between the bigger volumes. Always fun to see the different scrapping projects she comes up with. Nice change to have a cozy that doesn't involve murder, although it does involve a generation appropriate topic. All in all a quick read that was fun to fit in between some more serious novels. This one sets up some interactions for future books that I had previously read.

View all my reviews

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:
  1. TBR Book #11  #Backlistreader ; #MountTBR2020; #StartOnYourShelfathon  
  2. Beat the Backlist #BeatTheBacklist2020  #4 book with less than 200 pages
  3. Literary Escapes-  MO
  4. Alphabet soup Author- #AlphabetSoupAuthorChallenge "S"
  5. AtoZ and Alphabet soup challenge #AlphabetSoupChallenge  "K"
  6. Cravings for a Cozy and Cloak and  Dagger: Book 9 
  7. Cruising through cozies -  #3 Craft related
  8. Calendar of Crime-  #CalendarOfCrime2020  April #5  other holiday in month (April Fools)
  9. Six Shooter-  New target opened
  10. 52 Books in 52 weeks  #30 A book with recipes inside
  11. Book List Queen # 40 with a color in the title
  12. Around the Year in 52 Books- # 13 A prompt from a previous Around the Year in 52 Books challenge-  I chose A "between the numbers" book of a series from 2016
  13.  Wizarding World Tour 
    • Beauxbatons: Read a book from a series with six or more books or the sixth book on your TBR

Friday, February 7, 2020

January Books recap

Thanks to some time in the sun and a bit of prioritizing, I managed to read 13 books in January.   The selection varied in genre and I managed to hit upon a number of the different challenges.  Be sure to check out the different tracking pages linked here to see how what I read for each of the prompts.  Those pages also contain links to the reviews I did for the books and the original blog posts I wrote about each of them.

General Tracking

AtoZ  and  Alphabet Soup #AlphabetSoupChallenge  - D, E, G, L, M, N, O, P, S, T, U, W

Alphabet Soup Author Edition #AlphabetSoupAuthorChallenge- A, C, D, H, J, K, L, P, R, S, V

Finishing the Series   #FinishingTheSeries2020  Tracked Here  completed 4/5 completed

Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Tracked Here  11/36 books read

Literary Escapes  (Destination)  Visited:   CA, CT, MA, NY, TN, WA  plus England, France, Ireland

Specific Criteria

PopSugar #popsugarreadingchallenge  # 12, 19, 20, 23, 27, 35, 38, 41 46, 47, 49, 50 completed in Jan

Around the Year in 52 Books # 1, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 19, 33, 34, 50 completed in Jan

52 Books in 52 Weeks  #1, 4, 8, 12, 13, 15, 17,  21, 26,  34, 37,  47 completed in Jan

BooklistQueen #3, 6, 8, 9, 10, 13, 16, 21, 32, 39, 46 completed in Jan

20 in 20 #Read20in2020  #1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 13, 17, 18,  completed in Jan

NJM Book Challenge  #NJMBookChallenge2020 #2, 4, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 20, 25

Wizarding World Tour
  • Beauxbatons: set at Christmas;  Book involving horses
  • Castelobruxo- contains a magical creature
  • Durmstrang:  related to the cold  involves a secret (feb)
  • Hogwarts:  Gem in the title or on the cover;  set in multiple locations; involves a train; mentions the Harry Potter universe
  • Ilvermorny-  Set in NorthEast USA 
  • Koldovstoretz- none
  • Mahoutokoro- includes an animal

While I was Reading  Centered around a holiday; a romance novel

What's in a Name  -  reference to children;  one of the 4 natural elements

Color Coded  Blue, Black, Red and Orange are completed

Monthly Motif #MonthlyMotifGXO   Winter Wonderland completed; visited Narnia

Monthly Keyword #MonthlyKeyWordGXO  Water was the word I selected

Monthly Book Awards #GXOAwardReadingChallenge   2018 Costa Award for Normal People

TBR Based Challenges

2020TBR #2020TBRReadingChallenge  # 5, 9, 14, 20, 21

Beat the Backlist #BeatTheBacklist2020  8 books;   bingo squares: cover redesign is better; 4th+ book in series; one word title; author who writes multiple genres; genre-mashup; book with less than 200 pgs; wish you had read it sooner; new to you author;

Back List Reader  #Backlistreader Tracked Here   9/24 read

Start on Your Shelfathon  #StartOnYourShelfathon Tracked Here  9/5  thru Apr 2020

Mount TBR  #MountTBR2020 Tracked Here  9/24 read  in Jan.

Genre Specific

Calendar of Crime  #CalendarOfCrime2020  a prompt in 5 months- Apr, May, Aug, Oct, Dec

Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal - Mysteries Tracked Here  5/25 completed in Jan

Craving for Cozies  Tracked Here  4/26 completed

Cruisin thru Cozies  4/20 completed;  read the culinary, holiday, career and 1 freebie

Historical Fiction  #2020HFReadingChallenge  Tracked Here  1/5

Memoir  completed 1/5  memoir for the Food memoir category

Amish Candy Shop #4

Bailey is back home in Harvest, OH for the latest installment of the Amish Candy Shop Mysteries.  Someone she manages to be present at the scene of another death almost immediately upon her return from NYC.  The story introduces us to new characters- including a matchmaker who is getting a spinoff series from the book and delves deeper into some of the supporting characters and relationships.  All in all a good and light read. 

Toxic Toffee (Amish Candy Shop Mystery #4)Toxic Toffee by Amanda Flower
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Candy making and crime solving in Amish country

It's a joy to catch up with Bailey in Harvest, OH. The supporting characters are a pleasure to read about as well. This is a wholesome feel good cozy. The guilty party was definitely a bit of a surprise. This installment had us viewing the English world from Charlotte's perspective a bit more. It is such an innocent view and gives you pause about some everyday things we take for granted. We also get a sneak peek at the main character of Amanda Flower's newest series which seems as though it might be delightful. We will Have to wait and see

All in all a fun read

View all my reviews

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:

Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book 12

Literary Escapes  Visited:  Harvest, OH

Cravings for a Cozy and Cloak and  Dagger : Book 8

Cruisin thru Cozies  #2  animal related

Alphabet Soup Author Edition #AlphabetSoupAuthorChallenge  "F"

Medical Examiner Challenge  1 Toe Tag for Poison

Murder Mysteries Bingo  Weapons-  Poison Card 2;  Crime Scenes-  Pathway in Woods; Clues:  Footprints and Anonymous Message

Six Shooter Challenge  1 shot on New target for Amanda Flower

TBR Book #10  #Backlistreader ; #MountTBR2020; #StartOnYourShelfathon

Beat the Backlist #BeatTheBacklist2020  #16 shocking plot twist

20 in 20 #Read20in2020 #10 Book with 11 letters/characters in the title (excluding spaces and punctuation)

PopSugar #popsugarreadingchallenge  #14 by an author with flora or fauna in their name  

Around the Year in 52 Books  #16 A book set in a rural or sparsely populated area

BooklistQueen # 43 A mystery

Wizarding World Tour

  • Hogwarts: Read a book that’s a guilty pleasure

Possible prompts

I will decide as the year goes along which prompts I use it for on several challenges since it meets multiple criteria within the challenge.

Calendar of Crime  #CalendarOfCrime2020-  April #4 (Easter) ;  June #6 (orig publication month)