Book Review: “The Chemist” by Stephenie Meyer

thechemistTitle:  The Chemist

Author:  Stephenie Meyer

Synopsis (from

She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.

Now she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.

When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous.

Resolving to meet the threat head-on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.

Synopsis:  Well I would love to say that this book was fantastic . . . but I just can’t.  The overall premise of the book was great in theory – ex US government employee goes underground the escape from her ex bosses in a tale of intrigue and suspense.

The book in my opinion was about 200 pages too long . . . just unneeded detail and wild jumps in plot lines to me.  500 pages was way too long for this one.

The book would have been so much better for me if the author would have simply focused on the  primary storyline of government intrigue rather than somehow going into this odd love story between two characters.

There were parts where they storyline really picked up the pace and I had great hope, but then it was gone.

Overall, an overly long attempt at great drama, interrupted by an unrealistic love story and a ridiculous amount of details.

And remember,

Books Are Life,



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Book Review: “The Woman in the Window” by A. J. Finn


Title:  The Woman in theWindow

Author:  A. J. Finn


For readers of Gillian Flynn and Tana French comes one of the decade’s most anticipated debuts, to be published in thirty-six languages around the world and already in development as a major film from Fox: a twisty, powerful Hitchcockian thriller about an agoraphobic woman who believes she witnessed a crime in a neighboring house.

It isn’t paranoia if it’s really happening . . .

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

Twisty and powerful, ingenious and moving, The Woman in the Window is a smart, sophisticated novel of psychological suspense that recalls the best of Hitchcock.

My thoughts:  One word . . . WOW!  I thought this was an amazing read.  It has been a long time since I have read a book that I literally couldn’t put down . . . I kept trying to put it down to go do some housework and I kept picking it up.

Think Hitchcock meets Girl on the Train . . . although even better.

The psychological nature of this book was just spellbinding . . . creepy, mesmerizing.   The way the author crafted the writing, I could literally feel the main character spiraling out of control in her mental illness and drinking, getting more and more confused and isolated!  What a ride.

I will admit that I am not one who figures things out in books before they happen and I did figure out the interesting plot line about 2/3 through the book, was pretty much a no brainer.

People online were just raving about the ending of this book . . . I must admit it wasn’t my favorite, it was a bit anticlimactic to me.  The rest of the book made up for it in spades for me though.

Loved, loved, loved this book!

Do yourself a favor and jump on this one.

And remember,

Books Are Life


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Book Review: “A Just Clause” by Lorna Barrett (Booktown Mystery #11)


Title:  A Just Clause

Author:  Lorna Barrett

Series:  Booktown Mystery #11

Synopsis (from Just when things are getting back to normal in Booktown, Tricia and Angelica have their lives turned upside down by a shocking visitor from their past in this latest entry in Lorna Barrett’s New York Times bestselling series.

Tricia Miles, mystery bookstore owner and amateur sleuth, is in for a surprise when her ne’er-do-well father, John, comes to town—and promptly becomes a prime suspect in the murder of a woman with her own scandalous past. Even Tricia’s faith in the old man is shaken when the Stoneham police break the news that her father is a known con man who has done jail time.

But what about bestselling thriller author Steven Richardson? Is it a coincidence that he arrived for a book signing just before the crime or that the victim was found with a signed copy of his latest bestseller?

From merlot to murder, Tricia is determined to clear the family name before another body shows up and ruins Stoneham’s first—and highly anticipated—wine and jazz festival.

My thoughts:  Well needless to say this is one of my favorite cozy mystery series – I mean come on what avid reader wouldn’t love a cozy set in a book store in a town that is entirely made of different book stores – HEAVEN!

I must admit that given that this was the first book where Tricia was back in her beloved bookstore after it burned down in a previous book – I really thought there would be some sort of big Grand Opening celebration as part of this book, but no such luck!

Overall this series is wonderful, set in a charming shop in a charming town.  The characters are lovely and this all leads to a wonderful series.

If you haven’t explored this series, I highly suggest you get to the library or the bookstore . . . go, go, go.

And remember,

Books Are Life,


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Book Review: “In Cave Danger” by Kate Dyer-Seeley (Pacific Northwest Mystery #5)

in cave danger

Title:  In Cave Danger

Author:  Kate Dyer-Seeley

Series:  Pacific Northwest Mystery #5

Synopsis (from 

On an expedition into Oregon’s Lava River Cave, outdoor journalist Meg Reed stumbles across a body buried way more than six feet under . . .
A debate is raging over the use of public lands, and to cover the story for Northwest Extreme magazine, Meg joins a congressman and several others on a subterranean adventure—despite her intense claustrophobia. The thoughts of cave-ins and cougars are unnerving, but at least it’s a distraction from her other anxieties, like her best friend’s departure for Italy, her boss’s plan to sell the company, and the ongoing questions about her father’s suspicious death. But in the chilly darkness of the volcanic rock, she discovers a Forest Service employee, stabbed with a trowel. Now Meg will need to do some in-depth investigating or the truth may never come to the surface . . .


My thoughts:  I love, love, love this cozy mystery series and it is quickly becoming one of my favorite series . . . you know the kind where you research the publication date and make sure you order it immediately!!

First of all, this may seem a bit silly to say one is learning from a simple, fun mystery, but as a lifelong Midwesterner who has not visited the Pacific Northwest I really am enjoying how much I am learning about this area of the country in terms of its landscapes, places, and adventures!  Love it.

All of the characters in this series are just fun to love!  They are quirky, smart, and yet each have their own wonderful backstory and personal story.

As the series progresses I am absolutely loving how the author is slowly building on each character and giving us more insight into their backgrounds, their connections, and who they truly are.

My only caveat to this wonderful glimpse into giving us more depth into each character, is that I feel that the author has lost a bit of the absolutely hilarious humor that was present in the first few books.  At the beginning of this series when the author was describing the main characters adventure antics, I was laughing out loud at what she was getting herself into.  Now some of this humor is lacking.  If there was a better balance between this humor and character development – it would be PERFECT!

Overall, a great cozy mystery series.  Do yourself a favor and start from the beginning.

And remember,

Books Are Life,


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Book Review: “Cinnamon Toasted” by Gail Oust (Spice Shop Mystery #3)

cinnamon toastedTitle:  Cinnamon Toasted

Author:  Gail Oust

Series:  Spice Shop Mystery #3

Synopsis (from

Peppered with the perfect amount of humor, romance, and suspense―plus recipes!―
spice shop owner Piper Prescott’s taste for cracking down on small-town crime in this savory new series is always a rollicking good time.

Beneath her twinsets and pearls, Melly, Piper Prescott’s former mother-in-law, is a techno geek at heart who has just received an offer from a major software company that she can’t refuse. News in Brandywine Creek, Georgia, spreads faster than Piper’s own cinnamon honey butter, and soon Melly is the toast of the town. Especially when one of her new corporate investors, Chip Balboa, comes to town for Oktoberfest. Soon cloves and cardamom are flying off Piper’s shelves…

But all that changes when Chip’s corpse turns up at the foot of Melly’s basement. Questions quickly heat up when hunky police chief Wyatt McBride arrives on the scene. Why did it take Melly so long to report the incident―is it because she and Chip exchanged red-hot words before he turned up dead? Piper knows that Melly would never hurt a fly on a sticky bun, and she enlists the help of her BFF Reba Mae to clear her name. But can they sniff out the real killer before Melly gets burned…for good?


My thoughts:  Well . . . what can I say about this one?  This third installment of Oust’s Spice Shop mystery series was just ok for me.  I don’t know whether it was because I just took too long to get through it or if it was just in the writing and the pacing.  I can’t decide but it was a bit blah for me.

I enjoyed the first two quite a bit more – because as odd as it sounds – those seemed to take place more in the actual Spice Shop and provide some interesting facts and tidbits about spices while this one did not at all.

Dear cozy mystery writers – I know you all like to shake things up a bit with your books, but don’t take your cozies and our favorite characters out of the wonderful locations/shops/coffee houses/bakeries, etc that are the very reason why I love cozies so much.  I want to experience, feel, see, and smell that wonderful cozy location – I want to imagine myself in that location.  It’s why I LOVE cozy mysteries – because I can escape into those places.

Overall, just an ok read for me.  Overall, a nice fun series for cozy lovers!!

And remember,

Books Are Life,


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2018 Reading Challenge: Monthly Key Word Challenge

Monthly Key Word Challenge

2018 Monthly Key Words

This year I am adding the Monthly Key Word Challenge to my challenge repertoire.  It always looks and seems easy . . . but it just isn’t – as I always want to read other books and then the months slip away from me!

Sponsored by the wonderful folks at My Reader’s Block it challenges you to read at least one book each month from the fun categories.

Check out the rules and link up at:

Have fun,

And remember

Books Are Life


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2018 Reading Challenge: Full House Reading Challenge

Full House Challenge 2018

2018 Full House grid

The Full House Reading Challenge is also a must for me every year!  I just think it is so fun to challenge myself to see if I can read all these categories of books.  I get so close every darn year – ugh!

Some of this year’s categories will definitely be a challenge for me – dual time line??  ahhhh, redemption theme . . . ahhhhh!!   . . . here’s hoping.

Sponsored by the blog Book Date – please check them and this great challenge out at the following link:

Happy reading,

And remember,

Books Are Life




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