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Crystena77

Nothing better than a good book...

If it's good, I'll read it! Instagram:  @crystenasbooks

Currently reading

The Big Chili
Julia Buckley
Progress: 34 %
Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi Leia, Princess of Alderaan (Star Wars: Journey to Star Wars: the Last Jedi)
Claudia Gray
Challenge Participant Professional Reader 80%

Murder Past Due

Murder Past Due - Miranda James

Couldn't use the computers for hours at work this morning. Waiting for the situation to resolve itself I had to kill time ... and used it to finish off this cozy mystery.

 

Not bad. A bit slow moving. The MC is male, a librarian named Charlie.  Unusual and refreshing. He owns a Maine Coon cat which is basically a HUGE cat according to the author. They mention the cat's size over and over again in case you missed the cat's name which is Diesel.  Though that got annoying, it did make me want to see one IRL. 

 

The mystery in which a celebrity from Charlie's town is killed, wasn't terribly hard to figure out. But being that everyone hated him - and I mean EVERYONE - there were plenty of red herrings to keep you guessing. 

 

I wasn't thrilled by this book but I do want to read the next one. The series has a lot of potential and a depth to its characters that I enjoyed. If Ms. James continues to flesh out her characters, this series could be a keeper for me.

 

 

A Dark and Stormy Murder

A Dark and Stormy Murder - Julia Buckley

This was a good cozy mystery. Not giving too much away but I felt like the the culprit was hidden in plain sight. I actually laughed when the denouement came. 

 

The positives to this book are the atmosphere is rich and makes you want to go to there. And the characters are likable. A definite negative is the hero worship that goes on between the MC and her mentor is a bit much... BUT I can't see that lasting past the first book or so. Or it shouldn't. 

 

The strength of this book is the overall mystery arc. Wanting to see how that plays out made me buy the next one immediately upon finishing this one. 

 

Overall recommend. 

Friday Reads 9.15.2017

A Dark and Stormy Murder - Julia Buckley Murder Past Due - Miranda James The Big Chili (An Undercover Dish Mystery) - Julia Buckley Suede to Rest - Diane Vallere

So this is the last weekend before the wedding.

 

I've been reading like crazy. It's helping calm me. My fiance is used to it  at least. lol

 

So these are some of the books I plan on reading in between last minute craziness and on the plane to the honeymoon. I like cozies. They're light, quick reading and I don't feel pressured to read or not read them. Pure escapism.

 

In the middle of A Dark and Stormy Murder  and I'm really enjoying it. 

 

Happy reading everyone! :)

The Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasco

The Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasco - Laura DiSilverio

I did not like this book. 

 

There were periods, commas and intelligible sentences so I gave it two stars. 

 

But dear me I didn't like the MC, there were too many characters (some of which had similar names),  and the ending angered me in that it was a colossal TSTL moment on the part of the MC. The mystery was meh. 

 

Normally I would've DNF'd this, but I needed to read it for a challenge. 

 

NEXT! 

Assaulted Caramel

Assaulted Caramel (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery) - Amanda Flower

Author: Amanda Flower

Series:  An Amish Candy Shop Mystery #1

Rating: A solid 4 stars

 

Book Blurb: Bailey King is living the sweet life as assistant chocolatier at world-famous JP Chocolates in New York City. But just when Bailey’s up for a life-changing promotion, her grandmother calls with news that her grandfather’s heart condition has worsened. Bailey rushes to Harvest, Ohio, where her grandparents still run Swissmen Sweets, the Amish candy shop where she was first introduced to delicious fudge, truffles, and other assorted delights.

She finds her grandfather is doing better than she feared. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for a local Englisch developer, whom Bailey finds dead in the candy shop kitchen—with Jebediah King’s chocolate knife buried in his chest. Now the police are sweet on her grandfather as the prime suspect. Despite the sincere efforts of a yummy deputy with chocolate-brown eyes, Bailey takes it on herself to clear Jebediah. But as a cunning killer tries to fudge the truth, Bailey may be headed straight into a whole batch of trouble . . .

 

This was a great read.  Bailey is a likable MC who has come to a crossroads in her life. What I liked about this start to a cozy series is usually the series start with the death of a family member or a divorce in the MC's recent past and our journey begins as she tries to pick up the pieces. Here, Flower decided to start her story as the catalyst for change is happening. Unusual, at least in the cozies I have read. It paid off. You know what's coming, but it was a welcome switch to be on the emotional ride that caused the MC to seek drastic change. 

 

Of course, the risk is that you then become attached to people that the MC has to inevitably say goodbye to. Rarely do cozies get me  as emotional as this one did. But it also meant I was invested, so when Bailey decides hey - I'm gonna upend my life to change, you get it.

 

The mystery in this book was great. Yes I suspected the murderer at some point, but there was enough red herrings to keep me guessing at least. There was a point towards then end I was thinking WHAT IS GOING ON? which is a good sign when I'm reading a mystery. Also the twists lead to other questions you know will be explored in future books, not all loose ends are tied up.

 

The minor characters, which are key for me to continue on with series like these, were likable. Aside from Nutmeg the cat, my favorite is questionable as to if they will be a part of future books - we were left on a cliffhanger as to their status. Won't elaborate cuz spoilers. Which guarantees I will be reading the next book when it comes out in February.

 

Would I recommend it? Without hesitation if you are a fan of cozy mysteries.

Reading progress update: I've read 46%.

Assaulted Caramel (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery) - Amanda Flower

The cat's name in this book is Nutmeg.

 

I LOVE THAT NAME.

 

You see him on the cover? Isn't he cute? I want a cat named Nutmeg!

 

About halfway through and this is a solid first-in-a-series so far. No awkward world building slowness. Held my attention from page one. I'm reading it for a Goodreads  challenge and had meh feelings about reading it, but I am pleasantly surprised. 

 

 

Dial Meow for Murder

Dial Meow for Murder (Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery) - Bethany Blake

This was an ok read.

 

Not as good as the first. I found the MC more annoying in this book. Her flightiness was more pronounced and not as endearing. I may give the next one in the series a chance, but my excitement for this series has waned a bit.

 

On a positive note the mystery was not bad and kept me guessing.

 

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

The book that tried to give me a heart attack...

How the Light Gets In - Louise Penny

Out of respect for the many reading this series, no spoilers. 

 

There is a mystery in this book, but make no mistake- this book is mainly about all the drama that has been building since...well... the series started. Penny ties ends together in unexpected ways.  To me this book had a bit of a slow build but the last 20% - oh my google - made me late for an appointment yesterday.  

 

Such a great series. Bury Your Dead is still the best so far for me- but this one comes a close second.

Reading progress update: I've read 80%.

How the Light Gets In - Louise Penny

OH MY GOODNESS!!!

Friday Reads 9.8.2017

How the Light Gets In - Louise Penny Just Killing Time - Julianne Holmes The Legend of Sleepy Harlow - Kylie Logan Boiled Over  - Barbara Ross By Sharon Kay Penman The Sunne In Splendour: A Novel of Richard III (1st) - Sharon Kay Penman

My reads for this weekend and the upcoming week.

 

Two weeks out from the wedding so reading is slow going but almost halfway through How the Light Gets In.

 

The others are lighter cozy reads, I need something light right about now. 

 

And of course nursing The Sunne in Splendour.  It's still excellent, no surprise.

 

Busy weekend, packing up things to move into our new home, last minute shopping planned.

 

Hope you all enjoy your weekend!

 

 

Body on Baker Street

Body on Baker Street - Vicki Delany

This was a nice second installment to this series. 

 

I enjoyed the characters best, that seems to be the make or break it for me. I will put up with a lot if the camraderie is good.

 

And this book tested me. 

 

It implied that police wouldn't know that the value of an autographed book would go up if the author died. As the MC explained, they do not know the business side of things.

 

This... No. Just no.  I do not believe they would be ignorant of this fact. I did NOT buy into this and I knocked it a star just for suggesting it. Don't know why that bugged me so but it did. 

 

This aside, I did enjoy the rest of the book, the characters were strong and the mystery had enough red herrings to keep me guessing. 

 

Overall, recommend. 

 

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review. 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 46%.

The Sunne in Splendour - Sharon Kay Penman

While the action has slowed down a bit, it's still very interesting.

 

I'm down to one book. It's three weeks til the wedding and I can only concentrate on one at a time apparently. I feel so scatter brained. 

 

Happy reading! 

Friday Reads 8.25.2017

Body on Baker Street - Vicki Delany How the Light Gets In - Louise Penny By Sharon Kay Penman The Sunne In Splendour: A Novel of Richard III (1st) - Sharon Kay Penman Dial Meow for Murder (Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery) - Bethany Blake A Treacherous Curse - Deanna Raybourn

Happy Friday!

 

So I'm about a quarter of the way through of Body on Baker Street and I am enjoying it a lot. It's a  light read which I need between The Sunne and the Splendour giving me a heart attack  and How the Light Gets In wrecking havoc on my emotions. Oh Louise Penny, what you do to me... 

 

If I finish that one before the weekend is through, I will read Dial Meow for Murder. The first in that series was a surprise hit for me, so I'm eager to crack open the sequel.

 

I also got approved through Netgalley for the latest in the Lady Speedwell series. I loved the first book and had mixed feelings about the second. The synopsis for this last one leaves me scratching my head but I'm willing to give it a chance. This will be the make it or break it book for me in the series though.  I may throw that one in the mix or get to it next week.

 

Other plans include enjoying the beautiful weather and a MLB game. The fiancee is a huge fan.

 

Happy reading everyone! :) 

 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 371 out of 936 pages.

The Sunne in Splendour - Sharon Kay Penman

Read this for about 45 min this morning while screaming at various characters.  If you heard someone yelling:

 

"Nononononononono!!!!"

 

and 

 

"What are you doing?????!!!!"  - it might have been me.

 

I think having minimal knowledge of the War of the Roses adds to my freakouts. 

 

Have just started the "Anne" section. Maybe Penman will give me a chance to breathe...

Slow going...

This Side of Murder - Anna Lee Huber

... but it may be my mood, putting it aside just in case it is. 

 

I just really want to read other books on my pile other than this one. Maybe if I eliminate the competition this one will have a chance. 

 

 

Friday Reads 8.18.2017

By Sharon Kay Penman The Sunne In Splendour: A Novel of Richard III (1st) - Sharon Kay Penman This Side of Murder - Anna Lee Huber How the Light Gets In - Louise Penny Dial Meow for Murder (Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery) - Bethany Blake

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore has left a book hangover since I found it disturbing. Guess I won't be re- reading that. So I didn't read much this week. 

 

Still working on The Sunne in Splendour. Its 900 pages long so it'll be with me for some time I think. Need to dive back in...

 

I'm torn between three books right now- 

 

This Side of Murder  - Love this author. I started the first chapter. 

 

How the Light Gets In - Need to catch up on this series.

 

Dial Meow for Murder- The first book in this series pleasantly surprised me with how good it was so I'm looking forward to this one.

 

No big plans for the weekend for once. I'm going to enjoy the down time.

 

Happy reading!