Saturday, December 26, 2020

Bread of the Dead

Bread of the Dead is the first installment in the Santa Fe Cafe mysteries, set in New Mexico.  I selected this book to finish off the Literary Escapes challenge.  I found the story focus around the Day of the Dead and its traditions to be a fascinating backdrop to the murder.  The wonderful baking and recipes were a mouthwatering addition to the  well crafted mystery.  Once you get past the corny predictable aspects of the story being a recent divorcee with a jerk of an ex-husband.  The mystery itself is quite well structured and has plenty of twists and turns.  I look forward to reading more of the stories in the series.  

Bread of the DeadBread of the Dead by Ann Myers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars 

This first cozy in the Santa Fe Cafe mysteries was a wonderful introduction to Rita, Flori, Cass and Jake. Rita is a great protagonist struggling to find herself after her divorce. Unfortunately she cannot separate from her ex, Manny, entirely because he and his partner, Bunny, keep having to investigate crimes that Rita finds herself mixed up in. 

Parts of the storyline are cliche, jerky ex dating younger woman, but the mystery is engaging as are the relationships amongst the characters. Ann Myers developed a mystery that is full of red herrings and suspenseful til the end. The guilty party and the twist at the end are surprising. I look forward to reading more of the series 

View all my reviews 

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  

    1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge -  Book #139
    2. Literary Escapes-  NM
    3. Cravings for a Cozy and Cloak and  Dagger #CloakDaggerChal : Book # 117
    4. Cruising through cozies -  Free choice #56
    5. Medical Examiner- 2 Toe Tags 
    6. Six Shooter- new target 53

    Red, White & Royal Blue

     I was uncertain what to expect when I selected this novel by Casey McQuiston.   I found the book to be quite enjoyable but also very thought provoking.  I cannot imagine what it would be like to be under constant scrutiny.  I never wanted fame, but after reading this book I definitely do not want fame and all the baggage that comes with it.   

    Alex and Henry must adjust to their growing relationship and the heavy responsibilities of their positions within their respective countries.  There are expectations that both are struggling with meeting while still finding their personal happiness.  The novel depicts the difficulties of growing up and finding oneself but then adds the layer of political responsibility and fame.   

    The only reason I didn't give the book a 5 star rating is because I am not a big fan of graphic sexual encounters.  I find myself skipping over these scenes in Stone Barrington books as well as in many movies and tv shows.  I feel as though private lives should be just that. I did not find it detracted from the story but rather I was able to skim over those portions while still absorbing the complexity and depth of the relationships.   I understand why the book got all the hype it did.

    Red, White & Royal BlueRed, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars 

    Emotionally raw at times

    I didn’t really know what to expect of this book. I ended up really enjoying it and found it emotionally engaging. You cannot help but root for Alex and feel like you’re right there with him as he struggles through his emotional and sexual growth. My only hesitation was some of the sexual scenes were a bit graphic and detailed for me taste. That’s just me, not a big fan of reading explicit details. I skipped over much of it just as I do in a Stone Barrington book. These did not detract from the story and did highlight the rawness of the relationship. I’m glad I gave this book a go 

    View all my reviews

    Challenge Prompts

    The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  

    1. Popsugar- #popsugarreadingchallenge  17- that won an award in 2019
    2. Book List Queen #24- A Book Everyone Is Talking About 
    3. Wizarding World Tour  possible categories
      • Koldovstoretz: set in a palace
    4. While I was Reading  A book you heard about on TV/Radio/a podcast
    5. Monthly Book Award-   #GXOAwardReadingChallenge  Goodreads 2019

    Popsugar Completed 12/24/20



    My Selections


    1.  published in 2020.
    2.   by trans or non binary author 
    3.   with a  great first line
      •  READ: Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare 12/17/20
    4.   about a book club 
    5.  set in a city that has hosted the olympics  London
    6.  a bildungsroman 
    7.  first book you touch on a shelf with your eyes closed
    8.   with an upside down image on the cover 
    9.   with a map 
    10.   recommended by your fav blog, vlog, podcast or online book club  ideas: 7 1/2 deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton 
    11.   an anthology  ideas: Down the Rabbit Hole by JD Robb and more  or Ribbons of  Scarlet by Kate Quinn and more
      • READ:  Down the Rabbit Hole Anthology including JD Robb, Mary Blayney, Elaine Fox, Mary Kay McComas, and Ruth Ryan Langan  8/13/20
      • blog post and Goodreads Review
    12.  that passes the Bechdel test
    13.  same title as a tv show or movie but is unrelated to it 
    14. √ by an author with flora or fauna in their name  
    15. √ published in the month of your bday  
    16.  about or by a woman in STEM  
    17.  that won an award in 2019 
    18.   on a subject you know nothing about  
      1.  with only words on the cover no images or graphics    
      2.  with a pun in the title 
      3.  featuring one of the 7 deadly sins  
      4.  with a robot, cyborg, AI character  
      5.  with a bird on the cover 
      6.  fiction or non fiction about a world leader  
      7.  Gold, silver or bronze in title  
      8.  by a WOC 
      9.   with at least a four star rating on goodreads  
      10.   book you meant to read in 2019  
      11.   about or involving social media 
      12.   that has a book on the cover 
      13.   medical thriller 
      14.   with a made up language 
      15.   set in a country beginning with "C" 
      16.   you picked up because the title caught your attention   
      17.  with a 3 word title  
      18.   with a  pink cover 
      19.  a Western  
      20.  book by or about a journalist  
      21.  read a banned book during banned books week 
      22.   fav prompt from a past popsugar reading challenge - 2019  prompt "featuring multiple Points of view"

      Advanced  completed Aug

        •   set in Japan host of 2020 olympics 
        •  by an author who has written more than 20 books