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review 2017-03-22 21:47
Review: Cat Trick by Sofie Kelly
Cat Trick - Sofie Kelly

This book had the most boring murder mystery I have ever read. So boring the recurring characters either didn't notice there was a murder in their town or just didn't care. This was more "day in the life of Midwestern librarian Kathleen" than mystery. I am giving it one star for the cats, Owen and Hercules, who were the only living beings who cared enough to solve the mystery. At least it fills in a reading challenge prompt.

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review 2017-03-22 21:34
Review: Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan
Sleigh Bells in the Snow - Sarah Morgan

I'm giving this book zero stars because I hated each character featured in the story and the writing was amateurish even though the author has an expansive backlist. It was all telling (the chemistry between hero and heroine was mentioned about a thousand times) and no showing with a cast of characters straight out of British chick lit audition room. Add in the never ending snow storms and picturesque scenes of Vermont at Christmas time so sweet it will give you a toothache, and it ends up being a boring book about horrible characters. The only reason I read the whole thing rather than DNF is because it can be used to fill in a challenge prompt. I am not going to read anything else by this author.

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review 2017-03-03 19:10
Review: Echoes in Death (...In Death #44) by J.D. Robb
Echoes in Death - J.D. Robb

 *******************************SPOILERS AHEAD*****************************************

*******************************MUCH RANTING ********************************************




Fast if frustrating read. I sense a coming end to the series by the end of this book, and I won't be sorry to see it end. This installment has the handiwork of ghostwriters written all over it - bad plotting, huge plot holes, and inconsistent characterization.



To begin - I don't want to read about the damn house renovations/redecorating for three books, yet there was so much written about how Eve and Roarke love the new rooms (his and her offices and the bedroom) and everyone who visit had to ooh and aah over paint color and new furniture. Boring.


The way Peabody was used in this book made it seem as if she never tested/made the rank of detective - she was Eve's office bitch more than partner. This has been happening a lot, and the detective we saw in Peabody in Treachery in Death is gone. She is now Eve's secretary....when not going on and on about her weight and appearances. She squealed in absolute delight  seeing Eve in her fancy dress, make-up, and heels - AT THE FIRST CRIME SCENE. Also, all humor - the puns, the one-liners - Peabody was so good at was completely absent.


Peabody wasn't the only inconsistent character. Whoever is this softer, nicer, Eve needs to get the hell out of the In Death books so the hard ass, kick ass Eve can come back. Eve got sloppily mushy with Roarke several times in the book - it was gross and eye-rolling. And of course the crimes in this book has to somehow trigger Eve's feelings about her past, leading to scenes that are just repetitive 44 books into the series.


I am also tired of the crimes in the series - seems like the plot lines are ripped from Law & Order: SVU, just raping and brutalizing women and children. Of course the killer is a serial rapist and murder with Mommy issues (well, technically, Auntie issues). I didn't like that one point was made over and over again of the last victim being pregnant, as if her pain/injuries were more ugly and violent because she had a bun in the oven. One of the other victims was also a victim of domestic violence, at the hands of her now dead husband. Just constant cruelty directed at the female victims more so than the male victims.


There was a lot of grunt work to be done in the investigation of these crimes, without any leads or red herrings, which was boring to read. This went on for a little over 75% of the story, then WHAM!! - Eve has a brain fart and instantly knows in her gut who the killer is, writes a report that persuades APA Reo to get a warrant, and by the end of the chapter she has the entire case wrapped up. No bread crumbs to lead the reader, nothing that sticks out (I however, figured that guy had at least something to do with the murders as soon as he was introduced into the story). At one point, Eve comes to understand there will be another pair of victims before she can catch the bad guy; she has Roarke upgrade the Miras' security system even though they don't fit the victim profile. She contacts Mavis and finds the family in New LA, out of harm's way - yet Mavis/Leonardo/Bella also don't fit the victim profile. You know who does? Dr. Louise and Charles - yet Eve doesn't give them a moment's thought. BIG PLOT HOLE RIGHT THERE GHOSTWRITERS!


Also, this book comes just about a week or two after the last book in the timeline. So many murders in such a small period of time would burn out the most dedicated murder cop, and Eve is showing signs of burn out. Either give her captain bars and make her sit at a desk full time, or start spacing out these murders. The fact we readers are still about winter after several books is ridiculous.


Not as bad as Thankful in Death, but a damn close second place for worst in the series. 1.5 stars.

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text 2017-03-01 21:01
March 2017 Reading List
In the Midst of Life - Jennifer Worth
The Girl's Guide to Homelessness: A Memoir - Brianna Karp
Polio: An American Story - David Oshinsky
Three Fearful Days: San Francisco Memoirs of the 1906 Earthquake and Fire - Malcolm E. Barker
Major Conflict: One Gay Man's Life in the Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell Military - Jeffrey McGowan
The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade - Ann Fessler
Elegy for a Disease: A Personal and Cultural History of Polio - Anne Finger
Sleigh Bells in the Snow - Sarah Morgan
The Idle Parent: Why Laid-Back Parents Raise Happier and Healthier Kids - Tom Hodgkinson
Cat Trick - Sofie Kelly

This month I am focusing mostly on my physical TBR and library borrows. Some of the library borrows were books I "rescued" - they were about to be pulled from the shelves, deleted from the system, and boxed up for return. By borrowing these books, I extended their shelf life another 2 years.


1. Polio: An American Story by David Oshinksy (Pop Sugar prompt - On the TBR a long time)


2. 3 Fearful Days: San Francisco Memoirs of the 1906 Earthquake and Fire by Malcolm E. Barker (Diseases and Disasters; Pop Sugar prompt - Subtitle)


3. The Girl's Guide to Homelessness: A Memoir by Brianna Karp (Pop Sugar prompt - Difficult Topic) (Library Love Challenge)


4. Battlefield Angels: Saving Lives Under Enemy Fire from Valley Forge to Afghanistan by Scott McGaugh (Pop Sugar prompt - set in wartime) (Library Love Challenge)


5. Major Conflict: One Gay Man's Life in the Don't - Ask - Don't - Tell Military by Jeffrey McGowan (Library Love Challenge)


6. The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade by Ann Fessler (Library Love Challenge)


7. Cat Trick (A Magical Cats Mystery)  by Sofie Kelly (Pop Sugar prompt - Cat on the cover) (Library Love Challenge)


8. Elegy for a Disease: A Personal and Cultural History of Polio by Anne Finger (Pop Sugar prompt - Disability) (Library Love Challenge)


9. In the Midst of Life by Jennifer Worth (Pop Sugar prompt - Interesting Woman)


10. Travel is a Political Act by Rick Steves (Pop Sugar prompt - Involves Travel) (Library Love Challenge)


11. The Idle Parent by Tom Hodgkinson (Pop Sugar prompt - Career Advice) (Library Love Challenge)


12. Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan (Pop Sugar prompt - Set in a Hotel)


13. Echoes in Death (...In Death #44) by J.D. Robb (Pop Sugar prompt - published in 2017) (Library Love Challenge)


14. Moneyball by Michael Lewis (Library Love Challenge)



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text 2017-02-28 22:47
February 2017 Wrap Up
To Defy a Sheikh - Maisey Yates
The Sweetest Thing (Just Desserts) - Deborah Fletcher Mello
Craving Temptation - Deborah Fletcher Mello
Courting His Countess - C.J. Archer
Lighting the Flames: A Hanukkah Story - Sarah Wendell

My NOOK and Kindle got quite a work out this month. I am so glad to have participated in the Romance Bingo, as I was given an incentive to read a lot of books from the very bottom of my TBR.


Highlights, Lowlights, and Challenges

Best books of the month: The Just Desserts set from D.F. Mello were great. Highly recommend. Really loved To Defy a Sheikh by Maisey Yates as well.


Worst books of the month: Celtic Viking - Danish Celtic Viking having coffee before plundering a barely formed England in 876 AD...and puts the "mis" in "mishistorical romance". His Ring Is Not Enough by Maisey Yates was just a waste of time.


Disappointment of the month: Key of Knowledge - Nora why did you put me through that?


Romance Bingo: 10/25

Library Love Challenge: 1 - but will be making it up come March

Diseases and Disasters: 0 this month, as I concentrated on bingo

BL/GR Reading Challenge: 32/150

Pop Sugar Challenge: 4 this month



1. To Defy a Sheikh by Maisey Yates (Romance Bingo - Secret Billionaire) - 4 stars


2. Dangerous Allies by Renee Ryan (Romance Bingo - Rogue) - 2.5 stars


3. His Ring is Not Enough by Maisey Yates (Romance Bingo - Virgin) - 0 stars


4. The Sweetest Thing (Just Desserts #1) by Deborah Fletcher Mello (Romance Bingo - Free Space; Pop Sugar Challenge - Author is POC) - 4.5 stars


5. Craving Temptation (Just Desserts #2) by Deborah Fletcher Mello (Romance Bingo - Eyeshadow and Bosom; Pop Sugar Challenge - MC is different ethnicity than reader) - 4.5 stars


6. Beauty and the Rake by Erica Monroe (Romance Bingo - Fairy Tale Re-telling) - DNF


7. Key of Knowledge (Key Trilogy #2) by Nora Roberts (Romance Bingo - Key to the heart; Library Love) - 1.5 stars


8. Lighting the Flames by Sarah Wendell (Romance Bingo - Guy/Girl Next Door; Pop Sugar Challenge - holiday setting other than Christmas) - 2.5 stars


9. A Lady Dares by Bronwyn Scott (Romance Bingo - Pirates) 2.5 stars


10. Celtic Viking by Lexie Timms (Romance Bingo - Man in Kilt) - .5 star


11. Courting His Countess by CJ Archer (Romance Bingo - Gothic) - 3 stars


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