Book Review: “A Finely Knit Murder” by Sally Goldenbaum (Seaside Knitters Mystery #9)

9780451471611_p0_v2_s550x406Title:  A Finely Knit Murder

Author:  Sally Goldenbaum

Series:  Seaside Knitter’s Mystery #9

Synopsis (from bn.com):

Seaside Knitter Birdie Favazza is thrilled that her granddaughter Gabby will be visiting for the fall and attending the Sea Harbor Community Day School. Gabby loves the school, with its newly-adopted progressive curriculum, and she loves that the Seaside Knitters are teaching knitting as part of the enrichment program. It’s a huge success, and on crisp autumn days, girls camp out on the terraces, knitting up hats for charity.

But not everyone is happy with the direction the school is taking. Outspoken board member Blythe Westerland has sparked tempers with her determination to unravel the current administration. Then, on the evening of an elegant school event, Blythe’s body is found near the school boathouse.

With a killer on the loose, Birdie is determined to keep Gabby safe. Working together, the Seaside Knitters carefully unravel the layers of Blythe’s complicated life, bringing faculty members and town residents under scrutiny. Before the cast-off rows are made on the students’ projects, the knitters will need to stitch together the evidence to see if a murderer has been walking beside them all along.

 

My thoughts:   Alright, bear with me as I make this confusing statement – this book is a typical cozy and not a typical cozy all in one.   Ok, what do I mean?  Cozy lover’s know that cozy mysteries follow a bit of a formula (heck, that is why we like them) – cozy, quaint location, there is murder, a group of normally women get somehow involved in solving the crime normally with a cast of characters including local law enforcement of some kind . . . happy ending.

This cozy is typical – in a good way (please don’t get me wrong) – in the cozy location . . . in fact that is one of the primary reasons I LOVE cozies, is spending time in these locations  . . . and yes I believe they are all real places in my mind 🙂  Well this series is set in a quaint beach town, overlooking the ocean, quaint restaurants which everyone always goes to, charming markets and locations . . . and classic in this series is the Friday night dinner on the deck – always featuring local seafood on the grill, a myriad of homemade dishes, wine . . . yummmmm.  When the heck am I invted?

This cozy was really not typical in that the characters didn’t really start jumping into “solving” the mystery if you will until about 80 pages before the end of the book, which makes this series a bit slow and drawn out at times.

Of course I will continue the series simply for the great location and will continue to hope for more sleuthing by these great characters.

And remember,

Books Are Life

Heather

 

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Book Review “The Book Supremacy” by Kate Carlisle (Bibliophile Series #13)

book supremacy

Title:  The Book Supremacy

Author:  Kate Carlisle

Series:  Bibliophile Series #13

Synopsis (from bn.com):  Newlyweds Brooklyn and Derek are enjoying the final days of their honeymoon in Paris. As they’re browsing the book stalls along the Seine, Brooklyn finds the perfect gift for Derek, a first edition James Bond novel, The Spy Who Loved Me. When they bump into Ned, an old friend from Derek’s spy days, Brooklyn shows him her latest treasure.

Once they’re back home in San Francisco, they visit a spy shop Ned mentioned. The owner begs them to let him display the book Brooklyn found in Paris as part of the shop’s first anniversary celebration. Before they agree, Derek makes sure the security is up to snuff—turns out, the unassuming book is worth a great deal more than sentimental value.

Soon after, Derek is dismayed when he receives a mysterious letter from Paris announcing Ned’s death. Then late one night, someone is killed inside the spy shop. Are the murders connected to Brooklyn’s rare, pricey book? Is there something even more sinister afoot? Brooklyn and the spy who loves her will have to delve into the darkest parts of Derek’s past to unmask an enemy who’s been waiting for the chance to destroy everything they hold dear.

My thoughts:  This was just a wonderfully delightful, fun book-themed cozy!   I already loved this series . . . but this one really knocked it out of the park for me.

What was super fun about this one for me was that much of it was set in a Spy shop complete with café, Escape rooms, a book nook and the works!  What a great setting.

Love the solid characters in this series . . .

If you are a book lover, a cozy lover, . . . then get your hands on this series.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

 

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Book Review: “Desperate Creed” by Alex Kava (Ryder Creed K9 Mystery #5)

9781732006492_p0_v1_s600x595

Title:  Desperate Creed

Author:  Alex Kava

Series:  Ryder Creed

Sunopis (from bn.com):  A STORM IS COMING—

In Alabama: A deadly outbreak of tornadoes sends K9 handlers, Ryder Creed and Jason Seaver with their scent dogs, Grace and Scout to search for survivors. As storms intensify and Ryder and Jason race against time to save victims, they end up racing to save themselves.

—NOT EVERYONE’S STORM IS THE SAME—

In Chicago: Francine “Frankie” Russo is irritated when her young co-worker calls at 5:00 am for a video-chat and catches her in only a towel. She’s so annoyed with Tyler Gates that she’s barely paying attention when two men confront him on the street. In a matter of seconds, Frankie witnesses Tyler’s murder. Then the killers pick up the phone. And suddenly, they know what Frankie looks like, who she is, where she works and lives. She knows absolutely nothing about them. But one thing’s for certain—they’re coming for her next.

—WHEN THE STORM HITS—

Frankie calls the only people she knows can help: her childhood friend, Hannah Washington and Hannah’s business partner, Ryder Creed. Hannah tells her to “come on home,” and she arranges a meeting for Frankie to meet with FBI agent Maggie O’Dell.

 

My thoughts:  I absolutely love this series . . . as a fan of Alex Kava’s Maggie O’Dell series, I was ready to jump into her new series, although a bit leery as it had to do with a dog rescuer – not totally my thing.  I was pleasantly surprised however and always jump into this series when a new one comes out.

I will admit that at times in this one the plots seemed a bit misplaced for me.  What I thought was supposed to be the main storyline, actually became a subplot and a bit in the background.  And why for goodness sake did we have the odd chapters with the focus on the weatherman in it – was it supposed to bring us closer to the storm?  Well it didn’t and to me just seemed oddly out of place.

All in all a solid read.   Can’t wait for book #6!!  Bring it on!

And remember,

Books Are Life

Heather

 

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2020 Book Challenge: “PopSugar Reading Challenge”

reading-challenge-2020

This year I am joining the annual PopSugar Reading Challenge.   This year there are 40 reading prompts/themes to cross off and an additional 10 advanced prompts all focused on 2020!!  Sounds fun!!

Join along and enjoy the ride . . .

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

 

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2020 Book Challenge: “Literary Escapes”

2020-LITERARY-ESCAPES-CHALLENGE-BE-343Join me and the lovely folks at Escape with Dolly Cas for a trip through the United States this year in your reading . . .

https://www.escapewithdollycas.com/2019/11/24/2020-literary-escapes-challenge/

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

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2020 Book Challenge: “Calendar of Crime”

Calendar of Crime Challenge

This year I am going to try a new reading challenge I found sponsored by the lovely readers at The Reader’s Block.

Please visit the following link to check it out and join the fun.

https://myreadersblock.blogspot.com/2019/10/calendar-of-crime-2020.html 

Calendar of Crime Checkoff Sheet

Happy New Year and happy reading!

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

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2020 Book Challenge “Cruisin’ Thru the Cozies”

Cruisin Thru the Cozies 2020

 

It’s that time of year to refresh, renew, relax . . . and most importantly start new with fresh Reading Challenges!   One of my favorites is the Cruisin’ Thru the Cozies Reading Challenge sponsored by the wonderful folks at Socrates Book Review.

Check out more information at:

https://socratesbookreviews.blogspot.com/2019/11/cruisin-thru-cozies-reading-challenge.html  

Given that I tend to read many other genres as well . . . I think I will go for the Snoop Level where I read 10 cozy mysteries of my choice!

Here is to a successful and fun 2020 reading year!!!

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

 

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Book Review “19th Christmas” by James Patterson (Women’s Murder Club #19)

bookTitle:  19th Christmas

Author: James Patterson

Series:  Women’s Murder Club #19

Synopsis (from bn.com):

As the holidays approach, Detective Lindsay Boxer and her friends in the Women’s Murder Club have much to celebrate. Crime is down. The medical examiner’s office is quiet. Even the courts are showing some Christmas spirit. And the news cycle is so slow that journalist Cindy Thomas is on assignment to tell a story about the true meaning of the season for San Francisco.

Then a fearsome criminal known only as “Loman” seizes control of the headlines. Solving crimes never happens on schedule, but as this criminal mastermind unleashes credible threats by the hour, the month of December is upended for the Women’s Murder Club. Avoiding tragedy is the only holiday miracle they seek.

 

My thoughts:  I’d love to say this series is getting better and better, but it is just not the case.  In fact, this series seems to be getting weaker and weaker to me.  When it takes me a week to get through a James Patterson book, I know there is trouble.

The last couple books in this series have just been losing their steam.  19th Christmas seemed very disjointed and basically just boring.   I understand the author has books in the series that really focus on just one character of the Women’s Murder Club – in this case mostly Lindsey Boxer, but they are much better when all the women are featured and what they are working on fits together on the same case in some way.

In this book, the main story of Lindsey Boxer solving the big case was boring in and of itself, and then the story of Cindy the journalist writing some random story was completely disjointed from everything else and just seemed to go away instantly having no purpose to the story or the book.

Yuki – the DA – and Claire – the ME – were hardly featured at all.  And don’t get me started on the odd epilogue that had absolutely no place – random, random, random.

Overall, boring, seemingly forced, and disappointing!   Ugh!  I hate to even suggest that perhaps its time for this series to fade away!!!

Well, happy reading!

Books Are Life,

Heather

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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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