Sunday, December 30, 2012

Review: Postcards from the Dead (A Scrapbooking Mystery #10) by Laura Childs

  • Reading level: Ages 18 and up
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Hardcover; First Edition edition (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425252752
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425252758

Book Description

 New Orleans is in the throes of another fantastic Mardi Gras celebration when the party gets crashed by a murderer. Now a scrapbooking sleuth is going to have to stop the partying to catch the killer…

There’s a parade rolling through the historic French Quarter, with gigantic floats, silver beads, and dizzying lights—and Kimber Breeze of KBEZ-TV is broadcasting live from a small balcony on the fourth floor of the Hotel Tremain, interviewing locals and capturing the spectacle down below. Her next subject will be Carmela Bertrand, owner of Memory Mine scrapbooking shop. Carmela has never been a fan of Kimber, but she isn’t about to turn down the chance of good publicity for her shop.

But before Carmela’s shop gets its five minutes of fame, a killer slips onto the balcony and strangles Kimber with a cord, leaving her body dangling above the parade. Carmela is horrified, but she quickly discovers the nightmare isn’t over. Because someone is now leaving strange postcards at Carmela’s shop—signed by the dead Kimber. Now Carmela and her friend Ava will have to risk their own necks to find out who’s posing as a ghost—and to expose a killer…


About the Author

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fund raising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries - set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She's also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn't rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries - a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans' spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

My Review

I have been a huge fan of Laura Childs for years.  I enjoy all of her series.  The Scrapbooking series is the series where I first discovered Laura's writing.  Postcards From the Dead is the latest book in the Scrapbooking series.

It's Mardi Gras again in New Orleans.  Carmela and her friend Ava are trying to hunt down the killer of tv reporter Kimber Breeze.  Carmela's detective beau would like it if she kept her nose out of police business however Carmela is not one to back down from a mystery.  There are quite a few twists and turns before  the killer is revealed.  Wonderful cozy mystery read.

At the end of the book, there are several scrapbooking tips and recipes.  The recipes all sound very delicious.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Review: Footprints in the Sand: A Piper Donovan Mystery (Piper Donovan Mysteries) by Mary Jane Clark

  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (Jan 8 2013)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0089LONB4

Book Description

New York Times Bestselling Author
Plans for a romantic beach wedding are threatened when a bridesmaid goes missing and it falls to Piper Donovan to save the day in the third installment of Mary Jane Clark's enthralling Wedding Cake Mystery series

"Mary Jane Clark is a master at whipping up delicious nightmares for mystery fans…"-Associated Press

It's the dead of winter and struggling actress and wedding cake decorator Piper Donovan is thrilled to be in warm and romantic Sarasota, Florida, enjoying the powdery white beaches, soothing seas, and golden sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico. She and her family are there to celebrate her beloved cousin's wedding. Not only is Piper creating the sugar sand dollar-festooned wedding cake, she's also the maid of honor.

But a cloud seems to hover over the whole affair. Shortly after a bridesmaid mysteriously disappears, a kindly neighbor's car is run off the road and a prospective witness, an innocent Amish teenager, is threatened to keep silent. Then a body is found on the wedding beach. With the nuptials threatened, it falls to Piper to unmask a killer. Could it be the wedding planner with something to hide? A doctor and his wife who collect unusual Japanese figurines? The best man, an ex-drug dealer with lecherous eyes and roving hands? What about her cousin's future stepfather-or even the bridegroom himself?

As Piper gets close to figuring out who's been covering his guilty footprints in the sand, the cunning killer has already set his sights on Piper as his next victim!

About the Author

 Mary Jane Clark worked at CBS News for nearly three decades. Her twelve KEY News media thrillers were inspired by that experience. Envisioning the Piper Donovan/Wedding Cake mystery series, Mary Jane enrolled in cake decorating classes and researched unique wedding locations. The daughter of an FBI agent and a mother who customized cakes for the neighborhood kids when she was growing up, Mary Jane has two grown children and splits her time between Florida and New Jersey. Currently, she is concocting her next novel.

My Review

 This is my first time reading Mary Jane Clark and I must say that I enjoyed this quick cozy mystery.  I appreciated the setting of Siesta Key and Sarasota Florida as I recently visited there.  It brought back wonderful memories of such a picturesque location. 

You do not need to have read the first two books in the Wedding Cake Mystery series to be able to dive straight into Footprints in the Sand.  At the beginning there seems to be an abundance of suspects in the murder of one of the bridesmaids. 

Great cozy mystery perfect for a cold winter's evening!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Review: Bruno and the Carol Singers by Martin Walker

  • File Size: 1726 KB
  • Publisher: Knopf (December 18, 2012)
  • Sold by: Random House Digital, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A9ET580

 Book Description

Martin Walker has created a delightful, internationally acclaimed series of mysteries featuring Bruno, chief of police of the small French village of St. Denis.

“A gentle reminder to slow down and smell the grapes” says The New York Times Book Review.

In this exclusive eBook, St. Denis is experiencing its coldest winter in years—bringing the promise of snow and shared chocolats chauds in the village’s cafés—and Bruno is occupied with his Christmastime duties. From organizing carolers to playing Father Christmas for the local schoolchildren, Bruno has his hands full . . . at least until some funds raised for charity go missing. Then it’s up to Bruno to save the day (and perhaps manage a Christmas miracle) in this charming holiday installment of Walker’s best-selling series.

About The Author

Walker has written several books including Waking Giant: Gorbachev and Perestroika, The Cold War: A History, Clinton: The President They Deserve and America Reborn.

He is also the author of the 'Bruno' detective series set in the Périgord region of France, where Walker has a holiday home. It is based on an unconventional village policeman, Benoit 'Bruno' Courreges, a gourmet cook and former soldier who was wounded on a peacekeeping mission in the Balkans, who never carries his official gun and has "long since lost the key to his handcuffs." The first, Bruno, Chief of Police, has been published in the UK (Quercus), Canada (HarperCollins), the USA (Knopf) and translated. The second in the series, The Dark Vineyard was published in July 2009. The third, 'The Black Diamond,' was published in July 2010. The fourth, 'The Crowded Grave,' is to be released in Europe on September 29, 2011.

The website is devoted to the Bruno novels.


My Review

The Bruno Chief of Police series by Martin Walker is an excellent one set in the Perigord region of France. Bruno and the Carol Singers is a short ebook that releases on December 18th just in time for Christmas.  While it is a short story it portrays France in Perigord at Christmastime in a realistic manner.  The story is quaint and heartwarming.  A lovely Christmas read.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Review: Last Chance Christmas by Hope Ramsay

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 495 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0446576077
  • Publisher: Forever; Original edition (Sep 25 2012)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group Digital, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0076DD2B8

Book Description

 Dear Reader,
I've been wishing for a miracle for my oldest boy, Stone, and this Christmas my prayers might just be answered!

Her name is Lark, and she's here in Last Chance, looking into her father's past-and stirring up a whole mess of trouble without meaning to. As the chief of police, Stone sure has his hands full trying to keep up with her. Ever since his wife died, Stone's put everything into raising his daughters and dodging the Christ Church Ladies' Auxiliary matchmakers. And it's clear Lark has been through some trouble and could use a place to finally call home. I only hope Stone can let go of the past soon enough to keep her . . . Goodness, I need to stop talking and finish up Jane's highlights so we can make the town tree-lighting. You come back by because the Cut 'n' Curl's got hot rollers, free coffee, fresh-baked Christmas cookies-and the best gossip in town.

See you real soon,
Ruby Rhodes

About the Author

Hope Ramsay grew up on the North Shore of Long Island, but every summer Momma would pack her off under the care of Aunt Annie to go visiting with relatives in the midlands of South Carolina. Her extended family includes its share of colorful aunts and uncles, as well as cousins by the dozens, who provide the fodder for the characters you'll find in Last Chance, South Carolina. She's a two-time finalist in the Golden Heart and is married to a good ol' Georgia boy who resembles every single one of her heroes. She lives in Fairfax, Virginia, where you can often find her on the back deck, picking on her thirty-five-year-old Martin guitar.

You can learn more at:
Twitter, @HopeRamsay. 

My Review

 This is a delightful cozy series.  I decided that I was in the mood for a light uplifting read and Last Chance Christmas filled that requirement. Like the other books in Hope Ramsay's Last Chance series, Last Chance Christmas is set in Last Chance, South Carolina.  A small southern down where old values and customs rule the day.  There is something interesting going out at the Golfing for God mini golf owned by the Rhodes family.  And it seems to involve angels.  And what better time for angels to appear than at Christmas.

 There is love, mystery and drama that keeps the story moving swiftly along.  Finally in the fourth book in the series everyone figures out that young Haley's Sorrowful Angel is the unhappy ghost of her deceased mother.  Her father Stone, the town police chief, needs to lay his past to rest so he can move on..perhaps with newly arrived Lark Chaikin who is in town to scatter her father's ashes.

This can also be a stand alone read but it's nice if you've read the previous three books.  Great light Christmas cozy read.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Cookbook Review: Buddy's Best Cookies (from Baking with the Cake Boss and Cake Boss): 10 Delicious Cookie Recipes from the Cake Boss for the Holidays -- and Any Occasion! by Buddy Valastro

  • File Size: 1712 KB
  • Publisher: Free Press (November 6, 2012)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009CGE54U

Book Description

From Baking with the Cake Boss and Cake Boss: this collection of ten mouthwatering cookie recipes will bring the perfect amount of sweetness to any occasion.Buddy Valastro makes cookies that are as delicious as his famous cakes. With this collection of ten perfect cookie recipes—complete with hassle-free, easy-to-follow directions and beautiful photographs—you’ll find your favorite recipes. Here are classics, like Chocolate Chip Cookies, Biscotti, and Chocolate Brownie Clusters, and holiday treats, such as Icebox Christmas Cookies, Rugelach, and Linzer Tart cookies.

A perfect purchase for the holiday season, Buddy’s Best Cookies will send you straight to the kitchen to mix up your next batch of delicious, irresistible treats.

My Review

 Great little batch of holiday cookies! I love the biscotti recipe.  And there is a unique peanut butter cookie recipe that I am looking forward to trying.  As with Buddy's other mini cookbook about cupcakes, I found this much easier read on my Ipad using the Kindle app than on my Kindle.  The photos are in colour on an Ipad and a Kindle Fire so I find that more helpful.  Lovely taster of Buddy's recipes!

Cookbook Review: Buddy's Best Cupcakes & Little Cakes (from Baking with the Cake Boss): 10 Delicious Recipes--and Decorating Secrets--from the Cake Boss by Buddy Valastro

  • File Size: 1507 KB
  • Print Length: 60 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (November 6, 2012)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009CEOCR2

Book Description

 From Baking with the Cake Boss: a collection of ten delectable cupcake and little cake recipes, including a decorating guide for creating pretty, sweet treats!Cake Boss desserts are in high demand, with fans clamoring for more of Buddy Valastro’s delicious cupcakes and little cakes. This collection of recipes includes easy-to-follow instructions, along with mouthwatering recipes for butterfly pastries, beautifully decorated cupcakes, and charming Cassatini. Stunning photographs and a helpful decorating guide provide clear directions for making your treats even more appealing with an assortment of flowers, Christmas trees, and decorative flourishes.

Whether you’re looking to impress with your decorative flair or you just need a quick-and-easy reference for perfect buttercream frosting, Buddy’s winning recipes are here for your convenience and baking pleasure.

My Review

 Fabulous mini ebook containing cupcake recipes, icing recipes and when viewed on an Ipad in the Kindle app, full colour photos of the cupcake decorating techniques.

So if you want the recipes only, reading it on a normal kindle is fine.  However I definitely recommend reading  and using this cookbook with the Ipad or Kindle Fire.

Review: DK Illustrated Family Bible

  • Reading level: Ages 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: DK CHILDREN (February 18, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1465402500
  • ISBN-13: 978-1465402509

Book Description

Based on the New International Version edition of the Bible, the DK Illustrated Family Bible is a great story, gloriously told, and a special keepsake bible for families to cherish and revisit over the years.
Combining charmingly retold stories, including Noah's Ark, Samson and the Lion, the Birth of Jesus, the Tower of Babel, Preparing for Passover and more from the Old and New Testaments with enticing imagery and including original illustrations, artifacts, paintings, and photography, this book is perfect for reading alone or sharing at bedtime. With a short passage at the end of each key story explaining the meaning behind it, the DK Illustrated Family Bible encourages young readers and families to think and learn making for a wonderful and meaningful introduction to the greatest story ever told.

My Review

This is a stunning, gorgeous bible that is suitable for all ages.  Each page is beautifully illustrated and the bible text is presented in easy to understand language suitable for all ages.  There are photographs as well as famous painting depicting the verse as well as the regions where the stories are based.  There is an "Understanding the Story"  section for each story this illustrated book presents.  Excellent bible  for young and old alike.  This beautiful bible is available in February.

Review: The Forgotten (Puller #2) by David Baldacci

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; First Edition first Printing edition (November 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446573051
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446573054

Book Description

In Paradise, nothing is what it seems...


Army Special Agent John Puller is the best there is. A combat veteran, Puller is the man the U.S. Army relies on to investigate the toughest crimes facing the nation. Now he has a new case-but this time, the crime is personal: His aunt has been found dead in Paradise, Florida.

A picture-perfect town on Florida's Gulf Coast, Paradise thrives on the wealthy tourists and retirees drawn to its gorgeous weather and beaches. The local police have ruled his aunt's death an unfortunate, tragic accident. But just before she died, she mailed a letter to Puller's father, telling him that beneath its beautiful veneer, Paradise is not all it seems to be.

What Puller finds convinces him that his aunt's death was no accident . . . and that the palm trees and sandy beaches of Paradise may hide a conspiracy so shocking that some will go to unthinkable lengths to make sure the truth is never revealed.

About the Author

 David Baldacci was born in Virginia, in 1960, where he currently resides. He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Virginia Commonwealth University and a law degree from the University of Virginia. Mr. Baldacci practiced law for nine years in Washington, D.C., as both a trial and corporate attorney.
David Baldacci has published seventeen novels: Absolute Power, Total Control, The Winner, The Simple Truth, Saving Faith, Wish You Well, Last Man Standing, The Christmas Train, Split Second, Hour Game, The Camel Club, The Collectors, Simple Genius, Stone Cold, and The Whole Truth; and in his young adult series, Freddy and the French Fries: Fries Alive! and Freddy and the French Fries: The Adventures of Silas Finklebean. He has also published a novella for the Dutch entitled Office Hours, written for Holland's Year 2000 "Month of the Thriller." Baldacci authored a short story, "The Mighty Johns," as part of a mystery anthology published in 2002.

My Review

I'm loving this John Puller series by David Baldacci. In the second book of the series, The Forgotten, Puller who is still on leave after the events of the first book, heads down to Paradise, Florida to check on his aunt for his father.  A mysterious letter has arrived so Army Special Agent Puller is going to get to the bottom of things.  Upon his arrival he discovers that his aunt has died in what the local police are calling an accident.

That is not the only event that Puller finds suspicious.  And what did his aunt mean in her letter:  that people were not who they seamed?  Puller quickly realizes that there is deceit boiling under the surface in this seemingly idealistic retirement and vacation community on Florida's gulf coast.

To say that I had a hard time putting this book down is an understatement.  I was quickly pulled in with its riveting heart stopping action.  Excellent read that I highly recommend.  

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Review: Blood Bond (Joe Bashir #1) by Sophie Littlefield

  • File Size: 703 KB
  • Publisher: Pocket Star (November 20, 2012)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008AK8D06

Book Description

 A fatal hazing accident thirteen years ago comes back to haunt the families involved in this first full-length novel featuring fan favorite detective Joe Bashir.

Sexy Pakistani-American Detective Joe Bashir is called to a crime scene in the wealthy foothills of California, where politically ambitious Bryce Engler's dinner party is ruined when a guest's body is found in a pool of blood. Two days later, Engler's beautiful wife Gail lies dead at the foot of a cliff on nearby Mount Diablo.

When Joe turns to Gail's sister Marva for insight into the family history, he discovers that thirteen years earlier, Gail was responsible for the hazing death of a fellow co-ed. Her then-boyfriend engineered a cover-up that deflected blame onto another girl. As Joe searches out everyone who might still hold a murderous grudge, he realizes there was more to the Engler marriage than meets the eye...

About The Author

 Sophie's first novel, A BAD DAY FOR SORRY (Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's Minotaur, 2009) has been nominated for the Edgar, Macavity, Barry, and Crimespree awards, and won the Anthony Award and the RTBookReviews Reviewers Choice Award for Best First Mystery. Her novel AFTERTIME was a finalist for the Goodreads Choice Horror award.

Sophie is also the author of:
A BAD DAY FOR PRETTY (Minotaur, 2010)
A BAD DAY FOR SCANDAL (Minotaur, 2011)
A BAD DAY FOR MERCY (Minotaur, June 2012)
BANISHED (Delacorte, 2010)
UNFORSAKEN (Delacorte, 2011)
HANGING BY A THREAD (Delacorte, October, 2012)
AFTERTIME (Harlequin Luna, 2011)
REBIRTH (Harlequin Luna, 2011)
HORIZON (Harlequin Luna, 2012)

Upcoming titles include:
BLOOD BOND (Pocket, November 2012)
GARDEN OF STONES (Harlequin MIRA, January 2013)

Sophie grew up in Missouri, attended Indiana University, and worked in technology before becoming a stay-at-home mom. She lives in Northern California.

My Review

Sophie Littlefield's "Bad Day" series featuring my favorite female bad ass, Stella Hardesty is fabulous.  Blood Bond is her first novel in a new series featuring Pakistani American police detective Joe Bashir.  I was wondering how a white female author would be able to portray a male Pakistani detective and I am glad to say that she does an amazing job!

Littlefield's writing gets better all the time.  This is a riveting novel.  The story feels fresh as we follow the struggles that Joe faces fitting in with the police world and with his family.   There were plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing...plenty of red herrings thrown in our path.  Brilliant plotting keeps the story moving forward at the perfect pace.

I immensely enjoyed this book and I'm looking forward to the next Joe Bashir mystery!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Review: Merciless (A Mercy Gunderson Mystery #3) by Lori G. Armstrong

  • File Size: 5 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Original edition (January 8, 2013)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006VHHKF4

Book Description

Torn between her duties to the FBI and her need to keep her loved ones safe, former black-ops army sniper Mercy Gunderson must unleash the cold, dark, merciless killer inside her and become the predator . . . rather than the prey. Newly minted agent Mercy Gunderson is back and ready for action— unfortunately, she’s stuck doing paperwork in an overheated government office building. But she gets more than she bargained for when she’s thrown into her first FBI murder case, working with the tribal police on the Eagle River Reservation, where the victim is the teenage niece of the recently elected tribal president. When another gruesome killing occurs during the early stages of the investigation, Mercy and fellow FBI agent Shay Turnbull are at odds about whether the crimes are connected.

Due to job confidentiality, Mercy can’t discuss her misgivings about the baffling cases with her boyfriend, Eagle River County sheriff Mason Dawson, and the couple’s home on the ranch descends into chaos when Dawson’s eleven-year-old son Lex is sent to live with them. While Mercy struggles to find a balance, hidden political agendas and old family vendettas turn ugly, masking motives and causing a rift among the tribal police, the tribal council, and the FBI. Soon, however, Mercy realizes that the deranged killer is still at large—and is playing a dangerous game with his sights set on Mercy as his next victim.

 About The Author

 Lori Armstrong is the two-time winner of the Shamus Award given by the Private Eye Writers of America and a New York Times bestselling author of romantic fiction, written as Lorelei James. She lives in western South Dakota. Visit her website at

My Review 

I thought the first two books in this series were fabulous and in this third outing in the Mercy Gunderson Mystery series the action keeps sizzlingIf you haven't read the first two books in the series - which I do highly recommend - this book can stand alone as well.

Sheriff Dawson, who she just lost the election for Sheriff to, has moved onto the ranch with Mercy.  While madly in love with each other, they have to be careful around each other now that Mercy has joined the FBI.  A tougher woman than Mercy would be hard to find, but the simmering family secrets and threats, the murders of young women on the reservation and the arrival of Dawson's eleven year old son Lex all combine to send Mercy into a tailspin.

The setting of western South Dakota is dramatic and mysteriousMercy's ranching life is interwoven with her ties to the reservation.  She has enough native blood to qualify as a band member.  That nobody noticed the rash of young native women dying is not unfamiliar ground to me and very easy to understand.  For years women on Vancouver's downtown eastside disappeared and similarly on the Highway of Tears.  Why does it seem that missing native women can easily go unnoticed.  What does that say about our society?  Lori Armstrong covers this heartbreaking topic very realistically.

The drama is intense in Merciless.   Mercy's family has never been so divided and then her world is blown apart.  Mercy is a fascinating woman who pulls out all the stops when she needs to.  This is an excellent addition to the Mercy Gunderson series.  I cannot wait for the next one. Merciless is released in January so preorder a copy today!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Review: The Buzzard Table: A Deborah Knott Mystery by Margaret Maron

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (November 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446555827
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446555821

Book Description

Judge Deborah Knott and Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant are back home in Colleton County with all their family and courthouse regulars. But there are a few new faces as well. Lt. Sigrid Herald and her mother, Anne, a well-known photographer, are down from New York to visit Anne's ailing mother, Mrs. Lattimore. When the group gathers for dinner at Mrs. Lattimore's Victorian home, they meet the enigmatic Martin Crawford, an ornithologist who claims to be researching a new book on Southern vultures. More importantly, he's Mrs. Lattimore's long-lost nephew, and Sigrid and Anne's English cousin. With her health in decline, Mrs. Lattimore wants to make amends with her family--something Deborah can understand as she too is working to strengthen her relationship with her stepson, Cal. But for all his mysterious charm, Anne can't shake the feeling that there is something familiar about Martin...something he doesn't want Anne or anyone else to discover. When a murderer strikes, Deborah, Dwight, and Sigrid will once again work together to solve the crime and uncover long-buried Lattimore family secrets.

From Booklist


In the eighteenth Deborah Knott mystery, the North Carolina judge once again appears with Maron’s other series lead, New York police detective Sigrid Harald, just as in Three-Day Town (2011). Sigrid has come to Cotton Grove with her award-winning photographer mother, Anne Lattimore Harald, to visit Sigrid’s ailing grandmother. A passionate young protester arrested for attempting to photograph CIA flights out of the local Colleton County airport, a secretive ornithologist, and a promiscuous local realtor bludgeoned to death in one of her properties combine to keep the small-town judge and her sheriff husband, Dwight Bryant, hopping. When a pilot is murdered, and the FBI takes over the investigation, Sigrid offers her able assistance to Dwight to figure out exactly what international intrigue is taking place right in his own backyard. As always, Maron skillfully layers an absorbing plot with the doings of Deborah’s large extended family and the domestic details of their semirural lifestyle. In addition, the contrast between Deborah, who is warm and caring, and Sigrid, who is reserved and cerebral, gives Maron’s tale added depth. --Joanne Wilkinson

About The Author

 Margaret Maron grew up on a farm near Raleigh and lived in Brooklyn for many years. Returning to her North Carolina roots prompted Marcia to write a series based on her own background, the first of which, Bootlegger's Daughter, was a Washington Post bestseller and swept the major mystery awards for 1993. THE BUZZARD TABLE is the eighteenth book in the acclaimed Deborah Knott series. Visit her website at .

My Review

Another fabulous mystery by one of my favorites, Margaret Maron.  I love this series set in rural North Carolina featuring Judge Deborah Knott and her massive family. Maron blends many elements together to tell her stories:  suspense, intrigue, mystery, southern cooking, family and small town living.

This outing once again features Maron's earlier detective, Sigrid Harald who is in town visiting her ailing grandmother with her photojournalist mother.  A long lost cousin who is mysterious to say the least is thrown into the mix.  As are as the title suggests:  buzzards.  I quite frankly knew nothing of buzzards before reading this tome so it was quite enlightening.

Love how Cal and Deborah intermingle in this outing.  Fabulous read!  It's out on Tuesday, November 20th.
If you haven't read this series yet, it is definitely time!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Review: The Cutting Season by Attica Locke

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition (September 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061802050
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061802058

Product Description

The American South in the twenty-first century. A plantation owned for generations by a rich family. So much history. And a dead body.

Just after dawn, Caren walks the grounds of Belle Vie, the historic plantation house in Louisiana that she has managed for four years. Today she sees nothing unusual, apart from some ground that has been dug up by the fence bordering the sugar can fields. Assuming an animal has been out after dark, she asks the gardener to tidy it up. Not long afterwards, he calls her to say it's something else. Something terrible. A dead body. At a distance, she missed her. The girl, the dirt and the blood. Now she has police on site, an investigation in progress, and a member of staff no one can track down. And Caren keeps uncovering things she will wish she didn't know. As she's drawn into the dead girl's story, she makes shattering discoveries about the future of Belle Vie, the secrets of its past, and sees, more clearly than ever, that Belle Vie, its beauty, is not to be trusted.

A magnificent, sweeping story of the south, The Cutting Season brings history face-to-face with modern America, where Obama is president, but some things will never change. Attica Locke once again provides an unblinking commentary on politics, race, the law, family and love, all within a thriller every bit as gripping and tragic as her first novel, Black Water Rising.

About The Author

 Attica Locke is a screenwriter who has worked in both film and television. A native of Houston, Texas, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.

My Review

This is my first time reading Attica Locke and it won't be my last.  Excellent mystery wrapped around a southern gothic setting.  It's a story about a single mom who is dealing with the issues that come with that.  An absentee father who finally says the right things even though it is too late.  It is about a family not necessarily being made up of blood relatives.  And righting past wrongs as well as new ones.

I found it a bit slow in the beginning but stick with it as the author is setting the mood and the stage for what follows. I didn't always think that the main character, Caren made the right choices, but then who of us does.  There are twists and turns that keep your heart racing at times.  All in all, a great read.  I do recommend The Cutting Season by Attica Locke.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Review: Wrong Hill to Die On: An Alafair Tucker Mystery by Donis Casey

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (November 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1464200467
  • ISBN-13: 978-1464200465

Book Description

Nineteen-sixteen was not shaping up to be a good year for Alafair Tucker, and finding Bernie Arruda dead in a ditch wasn’t going to help matters.
She had not wanted to come to Arizona in the first place. But her daughter Blanche was suffering from a stubborn ailment of the lungs, and her best chance for a cure was dry desert air. So Alafair and her husband Shaw had bundled their sick child onto the train and made the nightmare trip from Oklahoma to Alafair’s sister in Tempe, Arizona.

Yet as soon as they arrived on that bright March day, Blanche began to improve.

But Alafair and Shaw soon discover that all is not well in sunny Arizona.  Elizabeth’s marriage is in tatters, tensions are high between the Anglo and Latino communities following Pancho Villa’s murderous raid on Columbus, New Mexico, and Alafair suspects her sister is involved in an illegal operation to smuggle war refugees out of Mexico and into the U.S.

And now here lies Bernie Arruda on his back in a ditch, staring into eternity.

About The Author

Donis Casey was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A third generation Oklahoman, she and her siblings grew up among their extended family. After teaching school for a short time, she enjoyed a career as an academic librarian. Donis left academia in 1988 to start a Scottish import gift shop. She now writes full-time and lives in Tempe, AZ with her husband.

My Review

Alafair is far from home in Oklahoma in Arizona in this latest book by Donis Casey.  This is an excellent series that captures a time in history perfectly.  I loved learning about Arizona's early history in this book.

Wrong Hill to Die On is an excellent read.  And fascinating to understand the term Wrong Hill to Die On! I'm going to have to work that into a conversation somehow!  Great mystery as well. Lots of twists and turns to keep the readers interest.  

Highly recommend this latest entry in the Alafair Tucker series by Donis Casey.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Review: The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society by Darien Gee

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (January 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034552537X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345525376

Book Description

Perfect for fans of Debbie Macomber, Kristin Hannah, Beth Hoffman, and Kate Jacobs, this luminous novel from the author of Friendship Bread follows a group of fascinating women who form deep friendships through their love of scrapbooking—as memories are preserved, dreams are shared, and surprising truths are revealed.

Welcome to Avalon, Illinois, Pop. 4,243

At Madeline’s Tea Salon, the cozy hub of the Avalon community, local residents scrapbook their memories and make new ones. But across town, other Avalonians are struggling to free themselves of the past: Isabel Kidd is fixing up her ramshackle house while sorting through the complications of her late husband’s affair. Ava Catalina is mourning the love of her life and helping her young son grow up without his father. Local plumber Yvonne Tate is smart, beautiful, and new to Avalon, but finds that despite a decade of living life on her own terms, the past has a way of catching up—no matter where she goes. And Frances Latham, mother to a boisterous brood of boys, eagerly anticipates the arrival of a little girl from China—unprepared for the emotional roller coaster of foreign adoption.

Enter Bettie Shelton, the irascible founder of the Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society. Under Bettie’s guidance, even the most reluctant of Avalon’s residents come to terms with their past and make bold decisions about their future. But when the group receives unexpected news about their steadfast leader, they must pull together to create something truly memorable.

By turns humorous, wise, and deeply moving, The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society is a luminous reminder that the things we hold most dear will last a lifetime.

“In a gathering of women there will always be compelling stories. Throw in a love of craft and these stories take on a whole new dynamic. There are shared secrets, support, encouragement, and love as the Avalon Ladies come to terms with the past and boldly step forward into the future.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber  

About The Author

 Darien Gee lives in upcountry Hawaii with her husband and three children. She is the author of THE AVALON LADIES SCRAPBOOKING SOCIETY and FRIENDSHIP BREAD, which was published in 11 countries and was a 2012 Reader's Choice winner. Darien also writes under the pen name Mia King. To learn more, visit her at

My Review

 If you loved Friendship Bread by Darien Gee as I did, you are going to devour The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society with intense pleasure and delight.  What a lovely, heartwarming book!  I am so honored to be able to preview and review it before its release in January 2013.

A little confusing at first trying to sort out the new Avalon characters but once I had them straight I took them all to my heart. This book is just as wonderful as Friendship Bread.   It is a heartwarming book that is a joy to read.

If you have any friends who are scrapbookers they will particularly enjoy this book.  Though I haven't had time lately to scrapbook this book reignited a spark in me to get back to it soon!

I cannot recommend this book enough.  It will be released in January.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Review: Curveball by GW Kennedy

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Attica Books (October 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908002484
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908002488

Book Description

No gun. No mob connections. Just an encyclopaedic knowledge of the works of Charles Dickens and a mean pitching arm - can pitcher turned professor turned PI Ben Barklee save a senator's daughter from an out-of-control mob operator on Chicago's North Shore? Baseball pitcher turned English professor Ben Barklee now leads a quiet life teaching at Ridgehaven College, a.k.a. Dropout U, on Chicago's wealthy North Shore. When the rebellious Jane Macalester, daughter of a senator, enrols in his introductory Dickens class, Barklee has no idea that life is about to throw him a curveball. After Jane is kidnapped, Barklee becomes an accidental hero, saving her from her captors - but the college has another agenda, and he's dismissed, leaving him to support his family as a new-age PI, or 'Confidential Consultant'. Barklee will need every one of his new-found sleuthing skills when Jane disappears again and he discovers he's now become the target of a madman bent on vengeance, who hates the Senator and will happily remove anyone who gets in the way. With Jane's help and determination not to meet her end like a Dickensian woman, Barklee must succeed in outwitting and defeating the nasty characters chasing him through Chicago. But without a gun or mob connections, and with a suspicious cop longing to find something to charge him with, will his signature pitching skills be enough to save the day?

About the Author

 Born in Elmhurst, IL, G.W. Kennedy received a BA with honors in English from Rice University in Houston and attended the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia for a year on a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, receiving an MA . He completed his PhD in English at SUNY/Buffalo in the 1970s, writing a dissertation on Dickens’ novels, and was an English professor at the Chicago campus of the University of Illinois from 1972 to 1978, when he left academia to pursue a career in business writing and corporate communications. He has published short stories in several literary magazines, as well as a number of articles and essays, including two that appeared as Chicago Tribune “op-ed” pieces. His story “Skeets,” which appeared in Another Chicago Magazine, received an award for literary excellence from the Illinois Arts Council.

My Review

 New to me author G.W. Kennedy has written an intriguing mystery crime story, Curveball.  An ex ball player,  English professor and private investigator all in one.  Throw in Chicago mobsters and Dickens and you have a very interesting tale!  Kennedy has a sophisticated writing style that is a pleasure to read.  Lots of twists and turns to keep the heart racing.  Good story!

Newly released, be sure to pick up a copy of Curveball soon!  The ebook is priced right on Amazon at $4.99.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Review: Killer Librarian by Mary Lou Kirwin

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Original edition (November 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451684649
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451684643

Book Description

  FILE “M” FOR MURDER. . . .

Champion of the mystery section at a small-town Minnesota library, Karen Nash is about to embark on a dream trip to London—a literary tour inspired by every murderous intrigue, wily suspect, and ingenious crime found in the pages of the British mysteries that she devours. But she’s clueless why the love of her mid-life, Dave, would dump her hours before takeoff—until she spies him at the airport with a young honey on his arm! She decides the best revenge (for now) is to get on that plane anyway . . . and entertain schemes for Dave’s untimely demise while crossing the pond.

After touching ground in the hallowed homeland of Christie, Sayers, and Peters, she checks into a cozy B & B run by charming bibliophile Caldwell Perkins. Soon she’s spilling tears in her pint at the corner pub, sharing her heartbreak saga with a stranger. That night, a B & B guest drops out of circulation—permanently. And when Dave and his cutie turn up in London, Karen realizes they are an assassin’s target. With the meticulous attention to detail that makes her a killer librarian, Karen sleuths her way through her own real-life mystery—in which library science meets the art of murder

About The Author

Mary Lou Kirwin has lived in France, Belgium, England, and New York City. She now lives a quiet life in the wilds of Minnesota and Wisconsin. She feels she owes a great deal to all the librarians in her life—for handing her the right book at the right time. 

My Review

A quick entertaining mystery perfect for a chilly night by the fire.  I love reading about London...such an incredible city. You empathize with the main character Karen Nash, a middle aged librarian whose boyfriend dumps her for a younger woman.  She decides to take the trip that they were going to take together by herself.  And she has a wonderful adventure and meets lots of interesting people.  I was particularly interested in reading about Hay-on-Wye in Wales, a lovely village packed with bookshops.  Cannot wait to visit there myself!

Entertaining chick lit mystery...good read.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Review: Speaking from Among the Bones (Flavia de Luce #5) by Alan Bradley

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press (January 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385344031
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385344036

Book Description

From award-winning author Alan Bradley comes the next cozy British mystery starring intrepid young sleuth Flavia de Luce, hailed by USA Today as “one of the most remarkable creations in recent literature.”

Eleven-year-old amateur detective and ardent chemist Flavia de Luce is used to digging up clues, whether they’re found among the potions in her laboratory or between the pages of her insufferable sisters’ diaries. What she is not accustomed to is digging up bodies. Upon the five-hundredth anniversary of St. Tancred’s death, the English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey is busily preparing to open its patron saint’s tomb. Nobody is more excited to peek inside the crypt than Flavia, yet what she finds will halt the proceedings dead in their tracks: the body of Mr. Collicutt, the church organist, his face grotesquely and inexplicably masked. Who held a vendetta against Mr. Collicutt, and why would they hide him in such a sacred resting place? The irrepressible Flavia decides to find out. And what she unearths will prove there’s never such thing as an open-and-shut case.

Acclaim for Alan Bradley’s beloved Flavia de Luce novels, winners of the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award, Barry Award, Agatha Award, Macavity Award, Dilys Winn Award, and Arthur Ellis Award
“Every Flavia de Luce novel is a reason to celebrate.”—USA Today

“Utterly beguiling.”—People (four stars), on The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag

“Outstanding . . . [a] marvelous blend of whimsy and mystery.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review), on A Red Herring Without Mustard

“Original, charming, devilishly creative.”—Bookreporter, on I Am Half-Sick of Shadows

About The Author

Alan Bradley is the internationally bestselling author of many short stories, children’s stories, newspaper columns, and the memoir The Shoebox Bible. His first Flavia de Luce novel, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, received the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award, the Dilys Winn Award, the Arthur Ellis Award, the Agatha Award, the Macavity Award, and the Barry Award, and was nominated for the Anthony Award. His other Flavia de Luce novels are The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag, A Red Herring Without Mustard, and I Am Half-Sick of Shadows.

My Review

This series by author Alan Bradley is so well written and so imaginative I wish that it could go on forever.  I believe that Speaking From Among The Bones is the fifth of a six series collection of stories about Flavia de Luce and her fascinating family and friends.  Bradley makes the village of Bishop Lacey come alive in these novels.  Flavia's bicycle Gladys even has a character of her own.

We discover in this latest book that our precocious heroine Flavia is exactly like her dead mother Harriet according to her father.  She inherited her brilliance and her sense of adventure from her mother.  The lack of Harriet at Buckhall, the family's ancestral home, is the centre of these books.

The village of Bishop Lacey is in an uproar over the excavation of their saint's tomb, St. Tancred.  With Flavia in their midst at the opening of the tomb what do they discover but the body of their organist, Mr. Collicutt!  We know our young sleuth will not rest until the mystery is solved.  Between chemical experiments, the impending engagement of Feely and the possibility of losing Buckhead the story beautifully unfolds for the reader.  I cannot recommend this series highly enough.

Oh my goodness...what an ending...what a cliffhanger...I cannot wait until the next book!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Review: Mad River (Virgil Flowers #6) by John Sandford

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; First Edition edition (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399157700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399157707

Book Description

 Bonnie and Clyde, they thought. And what’s-his-name, the sidekick. Three teenagers with dead-end lives, and chips on their shoulders, and guns.

The first person they killed was a highway patrolman. The second was a woman during a robbery. Then, hell, why not keep on going? As their crime spree cuts a swath through rural Minnesota, some of it captured on the killers’ cell phones and sent to a local television station, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator Virgil Flowers joins the growing army of cops trying to run them down. But even he doesn’t realize what’s about to happen next.

About the Author

 JOHN SANDFORD is the author of twenty-two Prey novels, most recently Stolen Prey; the Virgil Flowers novels, most recently Shock Wave; and six other books. He lives in Minnesota.

My Review

Since discovering the Virgil Flowers crime series by John Sandford a few years ago, I can easily say that I look forward to each new book in the series with great anticipation.

Mad River is an excellent addition to the series.  Sandford has a great writing style and he portrays Flowers with such realism that you feel that you know him.  Minnesota is also realistically presented once again in Mad River.  It is a reality today that many young people are lost.  Good jobs are hard to come by.  It is easy for them to fall off the tracks and descend into a life of drugs and crime. 

The Bonnie and Clyde of Sandford's Mad River are Becky and Jimmy.  And their sidekick Tom who turns himself in but freely lies to everyone.Quite the group of characters that Flowers has to deal with as usual.  Loved the biblical references and how they worked with the conclusion of the tale.

Excellent contemporary crime story.  A pleasure to read.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cookbook Review: 4 Ingredients One Pot, One Bowl: Rediscover the Wonders of Simple, Home-Cooked Meals by Kim McCosker

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Original edition (February 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451678037
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451678031

Book Description

From a creator of the internationally bestselling 4 Ingredients series comes a new, must-have cookbook designed to bring joy and flavor back into the kitchen. 4 Ingredients One Pot, One Bowl is an ingenious collection of sweet and savory dishes full of fresh, easy-to-find ingredients that require only one pot and one bowl. That means less cleanup and more time enjoying life and delicious food with the friends and family you love.

In this book, you’ll find more than eighty recipes for tasty and deceptively simple casseroles, roasts, soups and stews, pizzas, pasta, pies, and desserts. Imagine Creamy Bacon & Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken, French Lamb Casserole, Apple Crumble, and Baked Rice Pudding—all using four or fewer ingredients. With One Pot, One Bowl, life just got easier… and a whole lot more delicious!

About The Author

 Kim McCosker is the author of Baby Bowl, 4 Ingredients Christmas, and, with Rachael Bermingham, 4 Ingredients and 4 Ingredients Gluten-Free. She lives in Queensland, Australia, with her family. Find out more at

My Review

Another cookbook in the 4 Ingredients series by Kim McCosker.  Each recipe has four (at the most) regular household ingredients and each recipe is accompanied by a lovely photo which I always appreciate.  It helps if you know what the finished product should look like!

The cookbook is divided into the following sections:

  • Breakfasts and Brunches
  • Snacks and Lunches
  • Slow Cookers and Casseroles
  • Pots and Pans
  • Roasts and Bakes
  • Soups and Stews
  • Pizza, Pies and Pasta
  • Sweet Treats
 There are some terrific recipes for main courses such as the Honey Baked Chicken and Garlic Cream Shrimp.  The Leek and Potato Soup recipe is one to try for sure!  All of the desserts sound amazing particularly the Key Lime Pie and Scones.  This cookbook is a wonderful addition to your cookbook collection!  Keep an eye out for it in February.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Review: Hiss and Hers: An Agatha Raisin Mystery (Agatha Raisin #23) by M.C. Beaton

  • File Size: 330 KB
  • Print Length: 305 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0312616252
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (September 18, 2012)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00820TUYM

Book Description

 If only the bossy, beloved Agatha Raisin were as lucky at finding the right man as she is at catching killers in M. C. Beaton's New York Times bestselling mystery series

Celebrating the twentieth anniversary of everyone's favorite sleuth, M. C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin is as feisty as ever—armed with her famous wit and biting sense of humor. This time, though, there's some biting of a whole other sort going on. Agatha has fallen head over heels in love—again. This time, she has her eye on the local gardener, George Marston, but so do other women in their little Cotswold village. Shamelessly determined, Agatha will do anything to get her man—including footing the bill for a charity ball just for the chance to dance with him. And then George doesn't even show up. Only partly deterred, Agatha goes looking for him, and finds his dead body in a compost heap. Murder is definitely afoot, but this killer chose no ordinary weapon: A poisonous snake delivered the fatal strike.

Rising to the occasion, Agatha rallies her little detective agency to find the killer, only to learn that George had quite a complicated love life. But murderously complicated? Well, if she can't have George, at least Agatha can have the satisfaction of confronting the other women and solving the crime. With Hiss & Hers, once again, "M. C. Beaton has a foolproof plot for the village mystery" (The New York Times Book Review) in the irresistible adventures of the irrepressible Agatha.

About the Author

M. C. Beaton has won international acclaim for her bestselling Hamish Macbeth mysteries, and the BBC has aired twenty–four episodes based on the series. Also the author of the Agatha Raisin books, M. C. Beaton lives in a Cotswold cottage with her husband.

My Review

I just utterly and completely adore Agatha Raisin.  Always a treat to read the books in this series.  So thrilled that Agatha stays true to form in each novel.  All of the supporting players are along for the ride such as Mrs. Bloxby, Roy, James, Toni and her cats.  Of course Agatha is blindly chasing after another unsuitable character who manages to get offed in the first chapters of the book.  It is the usual madcap adventure as Agatha and her team stumble around solving the crime.  Lots of twists and turns and even some danger thrown in.  Love visiting Carsely with Agatha again and again.

Another winner from M.C. Beaton...cannot wait for the next one!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Review: The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (October 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439152802
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439152805

Book Description

 1959 England. Laurel Nicolson is sixteen years old, dreaming alone in her childhood tree house during a family celebration at their home, Green Acres Farm. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and then observes her mother, Dorothy, speaking to him. And then she witnesses a crime.

Fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress, living in London. She returns to Green Acres for Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday and finds herself overwhelmed by memories and questions she has not thought about for decades. She decides to find out the truth about the events of that summer day and lay to rest her own feelings of guilt. One photograph, of her mother and a woman Laurel has never met, called Vivian, is her first clue.

The Secret Keeper explores longings and dreams, the lengths some people go to fulfill them, and the strange consequences they sometimes have. It is a story of lovers, friends, dreamers and schemers, play-acting and deception told against a backdrop of events that changed the world.

About The Author

 Kate Morton, a native Australian, holds degrees in dramatic art and English literature. She lives with her family in Brisbane, Australia.

My Review

I have loved Kate Morton's books that I have read so far.  The Secret Keeper is definitely not my favorite of the lot.   It is well written but I found the story to be slow and predictable.  While I related to Laurel I did not relate to Dorothy at all. 

If you enjoy novels that take place during World War II London then you will probably enjoy the book.  I just found that it was missing the magic of Kate Morton's other books.  Perhaps I was expecting too much.

Kate Morton has a beautiful flowing writing style so the book is very enjoyable just not one of the best stories ever.  

Monday, October 8, 2012

Review: Bad Little Falls (Mike Bowditch #3) by Paul Doiron

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (August 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312558481
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312558482

Book Description

 Maine game warden Mike Bowditch has been sent into exile, transferred by his superiors to a remote outpost on the Canadian border. When a blizzard descends on the coast, Bowditch is called to the rustic cabin of a terrified couple. A raving and half-frozen man has appeared at their door, claiming his friend is lost in the storm.

But what starts as a rescue mission in the wilderness soon becomes a baffling murder investigation. The dead man is a notorious drug dealer, and state police detectives suspect it was his own friend who killed him. Bowditch isn’t so sure, but his vow not to interfere in the case is tested when he finds himself powerfully attracted to a beautiful woman with a dark past and a troubled young son. The boy seems to know something about what really happened in the blizzard, but he is keeping his secrets locked in a cryptic notebook, and Mike fears for the safety of the strange child.

Meanwhile, an anonymous tormentor has decided to make the new warden’s life a living hell. Alone and outgunned, Bowditch turns for assistance to his old friend, the legendary bush pilot Charley Stevens. But in this snowbound landscape -— where smugglers wage blood feuds by night -— help seems very far away indeed. If Bowditch is going to catch a killer, he must survive on his own wits and discover strength he never knew he possessed.

About the Author

 Paul Doiron is an award-winning journalist and the author of the Mike Bowditch series of crime novels, including The Poacher's Son, which won the the Barry Award and the Strand Critics Award for Best First Novel and was nominated for an Edgar Award, an Anthony Award, a Macavity Award, and a Thriller Award for Best First Novel, and the Maine Literary Award for "Best Fiction of 2010." PopMatters named it to its Best Fiction of 2010 list.

His second book in the Mike Bowditch series, Trespasser, won the Maine Literary Award for crime fiction, was an American Booksellers Association Indie Bestseller and has been called a "masterpiece of high-octane narrative" by Booklist.

My Review

 Paul Doiron is an amazing mystery author.  His writing style captures the reader from the first few words.  I love this series by Paul Doiron and I loved this book.  Doiron knows what makes people tick and he knows Maine.  Maine is so realistically represented in each of his novels.  Mike Bowditch becomes more human, more likeable, more fascinating with each novel.  You want to know what happens to Bowditch next. 

Excellent storytelling by Paul Doiron.  If you haven't been introduced to the Mike Bowditch series yet don't delay any longer.  Cannot wait for the next one!

Happy Thanksgiving Fellow Canadians!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Review: Mistletoe, Merriment and Murder by Sara Rosett

About the Book

Super organizer Ellie Avery could really use some Christmas cheer when Gabrielle Matheson, a grinchy professional rival, sets up shop in the same small Georgia town. But before the halls are even halfway decked with holly, someone uses Ellie's terrifically tasteless white elephant swap gift as ...a murder weapon! Ellie's now a suspect. Besides playing Mrs. Santa for her Air Force pilot husband and their two kids, shielding her eyes from the garishly over-decorated house down the street, and helping a client who's a hardcore hoarder, Ellie also has to solve this ho-ho-homicide ...and find a killer who wishes her a very deadly Christmas.

About the Author
 A native Texan, Sara is the author of the Ellie Avery mystery series and the On The Run travel thrillers. As a military spouse, Sara has moved around the country (frequently!) and traveled internationally, which inspired her latest travel thrillers. Publishers Weekly called Sara's books, "satisfying," "well-executed," and "sparkling."

Sara loves all things bookish, considers dark chocolate a daily requirement, and is on a quest for the best bruschetta. Connect with Sara at You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Goodreads.

My Review

Book 7 in the Ellie Avery:  Mom Zone Mystery series by Sara Rosett is a great read! Ellie is an organizer extraordinaire and who doesn't need more help organizing!  I love all the tips included in this series...lots of great ideas.  Plus you get a great mystery thrown in as well.

Christmas is coming...but not a lot of goodwill is in the air with recent neighbour and competitor organizer Gabrielle Matheson coming to town and trying to steal Ellie's clients! When Gabrielle's sister Jean is murdered, Ellie is the prime suspect.

Mirroring Sara Rosett's life, this series revolves around Ellie's life as a military wife.  Great insights into a world many of never see!

Great story and another winner from novelist Sara Rosett!

Review: A Wanted Man by Lee Child

  • File Size: 2007 KB
  • Print Length: 417 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0385344333
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press (September 11, 2012)
  • Sold by: Random House Digital, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007GCY8FS

About the Book

Reacher is back! A Wanted Man is a new masterpiece of suspense—from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child.

Four people in a car, hoping to make Chicago by morning. One man driving, eyes on the road. Another man next to him, telling stories that don’t add up. A woman in the back, silent and worried. And next to her, a huge man with a broken nose, hitching a ride east to Virginia.

An hour behind them, a man lies stabbed to death in an old pumping station. He was seen going in with two others, but he never came out. He has been executed, the knife work professional, the killers vanished. Within minutes, the police are notified. Within hours, the FBI descends, laying claim to the victim without ever saying who he was or why he was there.

All Reacher wanted was a ride to Virginia. All he did was stick out his thumb. But he soon discovers he has hitched more than a ride. He has tied himself to a massive conspiracy that makes him a threat—to both sides at once.

In Lee Child’s white-hot thriller, nothing is what it seems, and nobody is telling the truth. As the tension rises, the twists come fast and furious, keeping readers guessing and gasping until the explosive finale.

A single story arc: 61 HOURS, WORTH DYING FOR and now A WANTED MAN. Simply a man trying to get to a warm, sexy voice he heard over the phone lines coming from Virginia..

About the Author

Lee Child is the author of seventeen Jack Reacher thrillers, including the New York Times bestsellers Persuader, The Enemy, One Shot, and The Hard Way, and the #1 bestsellers The Affair, Worth Dying For, 61 Hours, Gone Tomorrow, Bad Luck and Trouble, and Nothing to Lose, as well as the short stories “Second Son” and “Deep Down.” His debut, Killing Floor, won both the Anthony and the Barry awards for Best First Mystery, and The Enemy won both the Barry and Nero awards for Best Novel. Foreign rights in the Reacher series have sold in more than forty territories. All titles have been optioned for major motion pictures. A native of England and a former television director, Child lives in New York City, where he is at work on his next thriller, Never Go Back.

My Review

Always thrilled when a new Jack Reacher thriller by Lee Child is released!  And I was not disappointed.   Excellent read that was hard to put down.  Plausible mystery that really makes you think about what is going on in the world currently.  I'm thinking it's going to take Reacher a few more books to get to's taken a few books already and he still has a ways to go!