Book Review: “Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins

girl on the train

Title:  The Girl on the Train

Author:  Paula Hawkins

Synopsis (from

A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives.

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.


My thoughts:  Well, well . . . the buzz was going around about this book and it happened to be on sale ebook at Amazon so I decided to give it a shot!  I loaded it on my Kindle, set off for the gym (one of my favorite places to read as it numbs the pain of working out), and embraced on this book!

Ok, I really really wanted to like this book, but I simply did not!  In all honesty I really don’t see how so many people just fell head over heels in love with this book.

I very rarely find a book that I can’t find even one character that I enjoy or even care an iota about – but I found it here.  I know it was a deep, dark psychological thriller, but all of these characters were just plain terrible, I hated every single one of them and as the story continues the reader realizes that each character is more messed up and evil than the one before.

I won’t lie, this book is very fast-paced, grabs the readers attention, and takes the reader on a great ride, but it was just a bit too over the top for me.

I think this book tried to hard to be “Gone Girl” and it just simply wasn’t.

How come I never find the books that are all a buzz as good as everyone else does?  I promise I try :)

Girl on the Train was a definite miss for me.

And remember,

Books Are Life,


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Filed under Book Reviews, Fiction, Mystery, New Releases

Book Review: “Die Again” by Tess Gerittsen (Rizzoli and Isles #11)

die again

Title:  Die Again

Author:  Tess Gerritsen

Series:  Rizzoli and Isles #11


Detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles are back—and they’re going into the wild to find a killer. Die Again is the latest heart-pounding thriller in Tess Gerritsen’s bestselling series, the inspiration behind TNT’s hit show Rizzoli & Isles.

When Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles are summoned to a crime scene, they find a killing worthy of the most ferocious beast—right down to the claw marks on the corpse. But only the most sinister human hands could have left renowned big-game hunter and taxidermist Leon Gott gruesomely displayed like the once-proud animals whose heads adorn his walls. Did Gott unwittingly awaken a predator more dangerous than any he’s ever hunted?

Maura fears that this isn’t the killer’s first slaughter, and that it won’t be the last. After linking the crime to a series of unsolved homicides in wilderness areas across the country, she wonders if the answers might actually be found in a remote corner of Africa.

Six years earlier, a group of tourists on safari fell prey to a killer in their midst. Marooned deep in the bush of Botswana, with no means of communication and nothing but a rifle-toting guide for protection, the terrified tourists desperately hoped for rescue before their worst instincts—or the wild animals prowling in the shadows—could tear them apart. But the deadliest predator was already among them, and within a week, he walked away with the blood of all but one of them on his hands.

Now this killer has chosen Boston as his new hunting ground, and Rizzoli and Isles must find a way to lure him out of the shadows and into a cage. Even if it means dangling the bait no hunter can resist: the one victim who got away.


My thoughts:  I absolutely love this series and this latest installment was not different – absolutely fabulous read!  This book takes place is two separate locations – the jungles of Africa and of course Boston!   Let me just say that the scenes that take place in the jungles of Africa are horrifying and the more you read, the more you begin to feel as if you are really there living the event – fabulously terrifying!

As most readers agree books always tend to be much, much better than the movie or TV show that comes from them.  I mostly agree but I will say that I truly, truly enjoy the TNT Rizzoli and Isles TV series . . . and now I can’t read the books without seeing the actresses in the roles . . . which isn’t a bad thing!

If you haven’t picked up Gerritsen’s Rizzoli and Isles series, I highly recommend it.   You will not be disappointed.  A great, fast-paced series with great characters and chilling moments that make you feel as if you are in the book.

Great read!

And remember,

Books Are Life,



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Filed under Book Reviews, Detective/Police, Fiction, Mystery, Tess Gerritsen

Book Review: “Dark Places” by Gillian Flynn

dark places

Title:  Dark Places

Author:  Gillian Flynn

Synopsis (from  Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice” of Kinnakee, Kansas.” She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer.

My thoughts:  This book came highly recommended as “excellent” by a number of friends.  After reading Gone Girl and loving it, I was quite excited to get into this.  Unfortunately, I have to say I really disliked this book for a number of reasons.

First of all, the reader gets introduced to this Kill Club that Libby starts to work with to find the truth behind the gruesome murder of her family.  As the reader, I naturally assumed this Kill Club would continue to play a role in the book.  Apparently not, since the Kill Club is like gone until the very end of the novel and plays almost no role in the book.  Stupid!

I wasn’t bothered at all by the very dark nature of the book, in fact I was actually expecting more psychologically dark.  It started out fantastic, fast, and intriguing and then just sputtered to a dead for me.

I found the end of the novel also just flat, a dead end, nothing exciting, a huge disappointment.

Overall, this book was a huge disappointment to me.  I expected a lot more.  It started wonderfully fast and exciting and just generally fizzled out to a disappointing ending.

And remember,

Books Are Life,


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Book Review: “Decoupage Can Be Deadly” by Lois Winston (Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery #4)



Title:  Decoupage Can Be Deadly

Author:  Lois Winston

Series:  Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery #4

Synopsis (from In this fourth installment of the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, Anastasia and her fellow American Woman editors are steaming mad when minutes before the opening of a consumer show, they discover half their booth usurped by Bling!, their publisher’s newest magazine. CEO Alfred Gruenwald is sporting new arm candy-rapper-turned-entrepreneur and Bling! executive editor, the first-name-only Philomena. During the consumer show, Gruenwald’s wife serves Philomena with an alienation of affection lawsuit, but Philomena doesn’t live long enough to make an appearance in court. She’s found dead days later, stuffed in the shipping case that held Anastasia’s decoupage crafts. When Gruenwald makes cash-strapped Anastasia an offer she can’t refuse, she wonders, does he really want to find Philomena’s killer or is he harboring a hidden agenda?


My thoughts:  I truly, truly enjoyed this fourth book the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery.  What a great cozy mystery series.  One of the reasons this series stands out for me as a great one is the absolutely great cast of characters.  Every single character in these books are awesomely quirky and downright hilarious.  This series is a true laugh out loud read!  Great!

Now that being said, just a tad of what I didn’t love about this particular book.  I for one felt that the end was really abrupt and just came to a quick conclusion in like a page.  Boom . . . it was all done!  WHAT??!?

There is a nice cliffhanger however that of course will keep me reading . . .

Anxiously awaiting the next one in the series.

A wonderful, light, laugh out loud cozy series that should be on every cozy lover’s list!


And remember,

Books Are Life,



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Filed under Book Reviews, Cozy, Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Lois Winston, Mystery

Book Review: “Kill em With Cayenne” by Gail Oust (Spice Shop Mystery #2)


cayenne1  Title:  Kill ’em With Cayenne

  Author:  Gail Oust

  Series:  Spice Shop Mystery series #2

  Synopsis (from

Kill ‘Em with Cayenne, a brand new finger-lickin’ good mystery from Gail Oust, featuring small-town Georgia spice shop owner Piper Prescott, a smart and spunky amateur sleuth.

Spices are flying off the shelves of Spice It Up!, and Piper Prescott couldn’t be happier. It’s that time of year again—time for the annual Brandywine Creek Barbecue Festival. Soon contestants and BBQ aficionados from all over the Southeast will converge on the town. Many of Brandywine Creek’s citizens plan to participate in the week-long festivities and are busily concocting savory rubs and sassy sauces. Among the locals vying for the grand prize are Becca Dapkins and Maybelle Humphries. The women have been arch enemies ever since Buzz Oliver dumped Maybelle after a thirteen-year courtship and started seeing Becca.

When Becca’s body is found near one of the festival booths, bludgeoned by a brisket, Maybelle becomes one of Chief Wyatt McBride’s top suspects. Determined to help clear her friend’s name, Piper begins her own investigation, much to McBride’s consternation. As the festival draws closer, will Piper and Reba Mae be able to find the real killer and clear Maybelle’s name? Will Piper make it to the annual shag contest with Doug Winters, the mild-mannered vet she’s been seeing? And, who will win the BBQ cook-off?


My thoughts:  I was lucky enough to read and review the first book in this series in 2013, Rosemary and Crime, so I am really glad that I have the chance to share my thoughts about this second book, Kill ’em with Cayenne.  I really, really enjoy this wonderful cozy mystery series.

Piper Prescott and her wonderful cast of characters are back for another adventure surrounding her spice shop Spice It Up!

This is a charming, funny, and overall enjoyable cozy mystery series that really shouldn’t be missed.  The characters are fun and quirky, the premise of a Spice Shop cozy intriguing and different, and the mystery is  always a good time!!!

I am really glad that the author decided to add some wonderful recipes in the back of this book and also included a bit of education in the back about different kinds of spices . . . I will say one learns quite a bit about different spices in this series!

If you are a lover of the cozy mystery genre and enjoy a good, fast read. . . this is the series for you.  Go out and get your hands on this book, you won’t be disappointed.


And remember,

Books Are Life,


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Filed under Book Reviews, Cozy, Cozy Mystery

Book Review: “Feta Attraction” by Susannah Hardy








feta_attraction  Title:  Feta Attraction

Author:  Susannah Hardy

Series:  A Greek to Me Series

Synopsis (from  Georgie Nikolopatos manages the Bonaparte House, a Greek restaurant and historic landmark in beautiful upstate New York rumored to possess ghosts and hidden treasure. But when her husband disappears and her main competitor is found dead, it’s up to Georgie to solve a big fat Greek murder.

With her husband, Spiro, inexplicably gone for days, Georgie has her hands full running the restaurant and dealing with the crew of the TV show Ghost Squad, called in by Spiro to inspect the house for haunting. So when she has a chance to take a boating excursion on the St. Lawrence River with her friend Keith Morgan, she jumps on it. But their idyll is quickly ruined when they discover the body of rival restaurant owner Domenic “Big Dom” DiTomasso floating in the water.


My thoughts:  I am so glad I had the opportunity to review this new cozy mystery.  There is nothing that a cozy lover likes to see more than the words “first in a new series” on the front cover of a cozy!!  I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed this new cozy mystery series.  I loved the concept of a cozy surrounding a Greek restaurant, certainly something new.

The characters are fun, charming, and I no doubt look forward to reading the second in the series.

One thing that might sound odd but I would love if the author would include a little map of the area that the book is set in in the front of the book.  I am unfamiliar with upstate New York and would love to get a visual perspective of all the locations they are talking about.

A perfect new cozy on the scene for all of us cozy lovers.  Get out there and pick it up . . . you won’t be disappointed.


And remember,

Books Are Life,



Filed under Book Reviews, Cozy, Cozy Mystery

Book Picture of the Day!

Well I’m heading back to work tomorrow after a wonderful 5 day break of doing nothing except reading, sitting on the couch, watching TV, and napping . . . so this should cover it.
















And remember,

Books Are Life,



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