Book Review: “Poisoned Pages” by Lorna Barrett (Booktown Mystery #12)

poisonedpageTitle:  Poisoned Pages

Author:  Lorna Barrett

Series:  Booktown Mystery #12

 

Synopsis (Amazon.com):  Mystery bookstore owner Tricia Miles learns that nothing kills a good party like a murder in the latest entry in the New York Times bestselling Booktown Mysteries.

Tricia Miles, mystery bookstore owner and amateur sleuth, throws a housewarming cocktail party in her new apartment and has cooked all the food by herself—quite a feat for someone who previously couldn’t boil water. Then one of her guests is poisoned and dies. Tricia’s left to wonder if her cooking is to blame or if there’s something much more sinister at play. Either way, Tricia’s once again in hot water with her ex-lover, Chief Baker.

Meanwhile the charming town of Stoneham is being disrupted by a vandalism crime wave. It’s the hot topic in the race for Chamber of Commerce president which sees Tricia pitted against two bitter rivals. With all that’s going on can she find the killer before she’s the next item on the menu?

 

My thoughts:   First of all, I can’t believe it has been over 6 months since I wrote on this blog.   Man that stinks!   Well I have been reading in that time and hopefully I’m back for a little more sharing.

I absolutely love this Booktown Mystery cozy series.  What cozy lover wouldn’t really?   I mean, a town in New Hampshire completely dedicated to bookshops and book themed cafes, coffee shops, and other dining establishments.

This 12th book in the series certainly did not disappoint.  Tricia, owner of mystery bookshop Haven’t Got a Clue, finds herself in yet another predicament when she finds yet another dead body in her midst.   Is she cursed as everyone starts believing or is she just in the wrong place at the wrong time?

As I was about 3/4 of the way through this book, I realized that the book wasn’t focusing as much on solving the mystery as it was on digging deeper into the relationship between Tricia and her sister Angelica and some of their life stories.   I found I really liked this deep dive further into the characters.

I feel the book ended on a very positive note and set up some wonderful places for the next book in the series to take us . . . please Lorna keep on writing this series and take us there.

Speaking of the next book in the series . . . Killer Edition Booktown Mystery #13 comes out August 13, 2019!!!

Happy Reading,

And remember,

Books are Life,

Heather

 

 

 

 

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Book Review: “Books of a Feather” by Kate Carlisle (Bibliophile Mystery #10)

birds

Title:  Birds of a Feather

Author:  Kate Carlisle

Series:  Bibliophile Mystery #10

Synopsis (from bn.com):  Brooklyn’s friend runs the Covington Library, which is hosting an exhibit featuring John James Audubon’s massive masterpiece, Birds of America. During the gala celebrating the book, she is approached by Jared Mulrooney, the president of the Bay Area Birdwatchers Society, to repair a lesser known book of Audubon drawings.

At the same party, Brooklyn is flying high after she’s asked to refurbish a rare copy of Poor Richard’s Almanack when Mulrooney’s body is discovered in the library. Soon more troubles ruffle Brooklyn’s feathers. Her parents pop in for a visit with an unsavory friend in tow, and there’s a strange man on her tail. With danger beginning to circle Brooklyn’s every move, it’s clear she must find answers before things really go south. . . .

 

My thoughts:   Man oh man I am so off of my reading game this year I can’t believe it . . . I am going to have to turn in my avid reader card.   Anyway, there is absolutely nothing better to get one out of a reading slump than to pick up a great cozy series you know and start engaging with beloved characters.

This was another strong book in this lovely cozy mystery series.   I can’t believe there are 10 books in this series already . . . time to pick up #11 from my to be read stack 🙂

I love this series for any number of reasons, one being the characters are strong, loveable, and I want to know more.   Another reason I love this series is frankly how much knowledge the author has about the intricacies of bookbinding and man, do I learn a lot from even reading these simple books.

People can make fun of my love of cozy mysteries all day if they choose to .  . . but I won’t be deterred.   Picking up a cozy is like going home again!!

another great read in a wonderful cozy series!

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

 

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Book Review: “The Demon Crown” by James Rollins (Sigma Force Series)

demon crownTitle:  The Demon Crown

Author:  James Rollins

Series:  Sigma Force

Synopsis (from bn.com):

To save mankind’s future, the members of Sigma Force must make a devil’s bargain as they join forces with their most hated enemy to stop an ancient threat in this gripping adventure from #1 New York Times bestselling author James Rollins.

Off the coast of Brazil, a team of scientists discovers a horror like no other, an island where all life has been eradicated, consumed, and possessed by a species beyond imagination. Before they can report their discovery, a mysterious agency attacks the group, killing them all, save one: an entomologist, an expert on venomous creatures, Professor Ken Matsui from Cornell University.

Strangest of all, this inexplicable threat traces back to a terrifying secret buried a century ago beneath the National Mall: a cache of bones preserved in amber. The artifact was hidden away by a cabal of scientists—led by Alexander Graham Bell—to protect humankind. But they dared not destroy it, for the object also holds an astonishing promise for the future: the very secret of life after death.

Yet nothing stays buried forever. An ancient horror— dormant in the marrow of those preserved bones—is free once more, nursed and developed into a weapon of incalculable strength and malignancy, ready to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting world.

To stop its spread, Commander Grayson Pierce of Sigma Force must survive a direct attack on the island of Maui. To be there first has always been the core mission of Sigma Force, a covert team forged to be America’s front line against emerging threats. But this time, even Sigma may not be able to decipher the deadly mystery, one that traces back to the founding of the Smithsonian Institution.

With each new discovery, the menace they hunt is changing, growing, spreading—adapting and surviving every attempt to stop it from reconquering a world it once ruled. And each transformation makes it stronger . . . and smarter.

Running out of time and options, Commander Grayson Pierce will be forced to make an impossible choice. To eradicate this extinction-level threat and expose those involved, he will have to join forces with Sigma’s greatest enemy—the newly resurrected Guild—even it if means sacrificing one of his own.

 

My thoughts:   Oh man, I just don’t know what exactly to say about this book.   I liked it, but didn’t love it and hear is why . . .

I started this book on a flight from the US to Africa, got about half way through, put it down during my 2 week trip, and then picked it up again on my flight home!   This is just not the type of book that one wants to interrupt and read with all the distractions of flying (i.e., you know the screaming child, the accidental bump, falling asleep for a couple hours, what kind of beverage do you want?).

This is a rather heavy book in terms of detailed writing, specifics, and overall subject matter and with all the interruptions I gave it, I think I just ruined my reading of it.

Overall, there were times that I couldn’t put it down . . . even amongst all the detail, somehow it just flew by (and at almost 600 pages this was very welcomed).

I definitely will try another Sigma Force novel to get to know the characters even better.

Overall, a fast, very detailed read that deserves some time and attention!

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heatehr

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Book Review: “The Breakdown” by B. A. Paris

breakdownTitle:  The Breakdown

Author:  B. A. Paris

Synopsis (from bn.com):

If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods. It was on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, and a woman was sitting inside—the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm, and she probably would have been hurt herself if she’d stopped. Not only that, her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing. Where she left the car; if she took her pills; even the alarm code.

The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

And the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…

You won’t be able to put down B. A. Paris’s The Breakdown, the next chilling, propulsive novel from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors.

 

My thoughts:  The “Buy 2 Get One Free” Psychological Thriller Bay at my local Barnes & Noble is getting me into a lot of book buying trouble recently!  Phew.

I saw this title on in that bay, saw that it was by the same author as Behind Closed Door (Amazing read, get your hands on it now!) and knew I had to give it a try.  I was most definitely not disappointed.

I thought this was an amazing read!  Fast-paced, psychological thriller that I literally couldn’t put down, finished it in one day – no doubt!

B.A Paris is a master at seriously playing with the reader’s mind and own sanity while reading her books.   About a quarter of the way through the book it was messing with my mind, half way through I was pretty sure I was the one who was losing my mind, and by the end I was just plain . . . “no way, are you kidding me?, no way” talking to the book!

I must admit some of it I did have a bit figured out about half way through given it’s rather predictable, but the way it is written worked great for me!

I was in a bit of a reading slump and this most definitely pulled me out.

Great read, fast-paced thriller . . . you won’t be disappointed.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

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Book Review: “Shot in the Dark” by Cleo Coyle (Coffeehouse Mystery #17)

shotinthedarkTitle:  Shot in the Dark

Author:  Cleo Coyle

Series:  Coffeehouse Mystery #17

Synopsis (from bn.com):

As Village Blend manager Clare Cosi fixes a date for her wedding, her ex-husband is making dates through smartphone swipes. Clare has mixed feelings about these match-ups happening in her coffeehouse. Even her octogenarian employer is selecting suitors by screenshot! But business is booming, and Clare works hard to keep the espresso shots flowing. Then one night, another kind of shot leaves a dead body for her to find.

The corpse is an entrepreneur who used dating apps with reckless abandon—breaking hearts along the way. The NYPD quickly arrests one of the heartbreaker’s recent conquests. But the suspect’s sister tearfully swears her sibling was framed. Clare not only finds reason to believe it, she fears the real killer will strike again.

Now Clare is “swiping” through suspects in her own shop—with the help of her globetrotting ex-husband, a man who’s spent his life hunting for coffee and women. Together they’re determined to find justice before another shot rings out.

 

My thoughts:  Anyone who has read this blog even for a minute knows that I am an avid coffee drinker and the Coffeehouse Mystery series is one of my favorite cozy series . . .  love it.   In fact, it is one of the only cozy series I am actually fully caught up on . . . oh sooooo many series that I am behind.

I love the setting of this series . . . in my mind it is an amazingly beautiful, quaint coffeeshop . . . it is warm, cozy, and I so wish I could visit this shop EVERY DAY!!

I also absolutely love the characters . . . every single one of them are fun, quirky, and each have their own unique personality that I love visiting over and over.

Now all this being said, all the techno computer dating app stuff that was the premise of this story just wasn’t my gig in that it just didn’t interest me, but it didn’t ruin it for me.

Now Cleo Coyle, dear author, can we have another book set in the Washington DC café?  Or better yet, how about a spin off series about the DC café? Yes, yes, yes!!

Overall, a wonderful addition to one of my favorite series!  Keep up the great work.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

 

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Book Review: “Host” by Robin Cook

host

Title:  Host

Author:  Robin Cook

Synopsis (from bn.com):  Lynn Peirce, a fourth-year medical student at South Carolina’s Mason-Dixon University, thinks she has her life figured out. But when her otherwise healthy boyfriend, Carl, enters the hospital for routine surgery, her neatly ordered life is thrown into total chaos. Carl fails to return to consciousness after the procedure, and an MRI confirms brain death.
Devastated by Carl’s condition, Lynn searches for answers. Convinced there’s more to the story than what the authorities are willing to reveal, Lynn uses all her resources at Mason-Dixon—including her initially reluctant lab partner, Michael Pender—to hunt down evidence of medical error or malpractice.
What she uncovers, however, is far more disturbing. Hospitals associated with Middleton Healthcare, including the Mason-Dixon Medical Center, have unnervingly high rates of unexplained anesthetic complications and patients contracting serious and terminal illness in the wake of routine hospital admissions.
When Lynn and Michael begin to receive death threats, they know they’re into something bigger than either of them anticipated. They soon enter a desperate race against time for answers before shadowy forces behind Middleton Healthcare and their partner, Sidereal Pharmaceuticals, can put a stop to their efforts once and for all.

My thoughts:   Recently I got into a bit of a Robin Cook phase after finding Charlatans by mistake at the library.  So I embarked on “Host”.   Unfortunately, it wasn’t my favorite.

I love medical dramas (and there just isn’t enough out there :), but this one left me a bit disappointed.  After having just read Charlatans, Host was just too similar.  They were both about anesthesia complications and frankly I was a bit stunned how similar they felt to each other.

Also, uncharacteristically for me and medical dramas, the two main characters in this drama were 4th year medical students who frankly where just idiotic.  They were juvenile, were way too unknowledgeable about medicine to be that far in med school, and pulled ridiculous stunts that even for fiction were ridiculously fake!

Not my favorite Robin Cook read, ugh!

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

 

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Book Review: “Charlatans” by Robin Cook

charlatans

Title:  Charlatans

Author:  Robin Cook

Synopsis (from bn.com): 

Newly minted chief resident at Boston Memorial Hospital Noah Rothauser is swamped in his new position, from managing the surgical schedules to dealing with the fallout from patient deaths. Known for its medical advances, the famed teaching hospital has fitted several ORs as “hybrid operating rooms of the future”—an improvement that seems positive until an anesthesia error during a routine procedure results in the death of an otherwise healthy man. Noah suspects Dr. William Mason, an egotistical, world-class surgeon, of an error during the operation and for tampering with the patient’s record afterward. But Mason is quick to blame anesthesiologist Dr. Ava London.

When more anesthesia-related deaths start to occur, Noah is forced to question all of the residents on his staff, including Ava, and quickly realizes there’s more to her than what he sees. A social media junkie, Ava has created multiple alternate personas for herself on the Internet. With his own job and credibility now in jeopardy, Noah must decide which doctor is at fault and who he can believe—before any more lives are lost.

My thoughts:  I have been in a terrible reading slump since February and believe me this latest book by Robin Cook certainly got me out of it!  What a great, exciting, page-turner of a medical drama!  Wow!

Fast-paced, great medical stort, page turner!  I am definitely guilty of pulling many of the infamous “just one more chapter” evenings on this one!

The end was good . . . but most definitely not the way I wanted the story to end!

If you are a fan of medical dramas . . . pick this up as soon as you can!

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

 

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