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text 2019-08-01 18:03
Pre-Party Prompts - Day 1 Mystery or Horror?
In Her Bones - Kate Moretti
Naked in Death - J.D. Robb
Guidebook to Murder - Lynn Cahoon
Lowcountry Boil: A Liz Talbot Mystery - Susan M. Boyer
Blue Blood - Susan McBride
Curiosity Thrilled the Cat - Sofie Kelly
Spying in High Heels - Gemma Halliday
Nothing but Trouble - Susan May Warren
London Calling - Sara Sheridan
Mr. Churchill's Secretary - Susan Elia MacNeal


Without a doubt, my choice will be mystery. I can't handle horror (gore or psychological) because I enjoying sleeping and like to do it often. Usually when asked which squares to omit for my bingo card, all my choices are horror. With that being said, there are particular reasons for each of the subgenres of mystery, and those reasons can be contradictory.


Literary mystery - read solely for the puzzle. Most literary characters are either dull or alpha-holes. And since they are usually stand alones, I don't have to be around the characters in subsequent books. Lowest spot on my subgenre preferences, only one I would recommend - In Her Bones by Kate Moretti.


Police procedurals - although I have shared ups and downs with the quality of each book in recent years, my favorite series is still In Death by JD Robb because I get both a great puzzle and characters I can return to again and again (after all, there are 49 books in the series, not counting the novellas). I have been meaning to try more, but the ones at the library are usually male asshole as the main character variety.


Cozy - this subgenre is my jam. Tourist Trap Mysteries by Lynn Cahoon, the first few Liz Talbot books by Susan Boyer, the PJ Sugar trilogy by Susan May Warren, the Debutante Mysteries by Susan McBride, Magical Cats by Sofie Kelly, and the High Heels series by Gemma Halliday are my favorites. Fast reads and a bit more adventurous, so not as interested in the puzzle as I am in the characters and their hijinks and the world building. A big part that plays into my wanting to read cozy mysteries is that I can get my contemporary romance fix as well, since most contemporary romance genre books leave me cold. Plus no gore even though there is usually dead body somewhere (other crimes are hard to come by). I do admit some books go into the too silly for suspension of disbelief territory.


Historical - this subgenre is my newest path through mystery. I like these books because I (usually) get a strong female character plus rich historical details in addition to the mystery. Not as silly as cozies, not as serious as literary. A nice even balance between characters, world building, and puzzle solving. Again dead bodies everywhere yet no gore. So far I am enjoying the Mirabelle Bevan series (although they are hella expensive, so I have only read the first two) and the Maggie Hope series.


Romantic suspense - this used to be a big subgenre for me, but I feel the quality of the work in general has gone down a lot (too much sex, too little puzzle). I can't really suspend my disbelief of the MCs deciding that when the bad guys are chasing them right now would be a good time for sex. Geez, can't the MCs wait until the police come and arrest bad guys and take your statements, then have sex? Now I just read the yearly romantic suspense from Nora Roberts and call it good. 


Classical mystery/horror - only read during Halloween bingo.

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review 2018-10-03 00:42
Lowcountry Boil
Lowcountry Boil - Susan M. Boyer
This was entertaining. I enjoyed the mystery- there was more than one thing going on and as such more than one mystery! I knew where one was going, but not the other!
I thought most of the characters were likable. Liz was stupid a time or 2 (leaving her purse, keys, gun behind), but hey I understood the rush. I did like adding Colleen to the mix; I love the paranormal, but there really wasn't an explanation why Liz (and only Liz). I would have liked more on Nate. I did like Liz telling Michael no. However, the makings (please no) are there for a love triangle. Michael is a spineless idiot and I absolutely do not want him with Liz!
I think the thing I enjoyed most was the sibling interactions. I also wasn't sure how much Deanna really knew, or if she was an innocent as she seemed.
One thing that really bothered me was I felt at the end Marci (the Schemer) was being forced into a
(spoiler show)
she didn't want. (She was one of the most unsympathetic, unlikable characters, but I disliked that plot point).

Booklikes Bingo: Murder Most Foul


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text 2014-12-28 00:19
2014 In My Rearview Mirror: The Good
Sanctuary for a Lady - Naomi Rawlings
A Baby Between Them - Winnie Griggs
The Governess Club: Bonnie - Ellie Macdonald
Blue Blood - Susan McBride
The Theft Before Christmas - Cheryl Bolen
All He Wants for Christmas - Jerrica Knight-Catania
Loose Screw - Rae Davies,Lori Devoti
Lowcountry Boil - Susan M. Boyer
Too Hot for TV - Cheris Hodges

These books were really good, but just missed the cut off for the best of list:


Sanctuary for a Lady by Naomi Rawlings (4.5 stars)

A historical romance set during the French Revolution/Reign of Terror between the aristocratic daughter who lost her family in the revolution and a struggling farmer who is disappoint the revolution did not live up to the promises. As a history nerd, this was a great find and as a romance reader, it was quite satisfactory. Looking forward to read the second book (the farmer's brother's story) in 2015.


A Baby Between Them by Winnie Griggs (4.5 stars)

This was the third book in the Irish Brides trilogy and the best of the series. It was free for the NOOK, but the first two were regular price. I started to read this book and quickly found that I was missing a whole lot by not having read book one and two. So I picked up the entire series and read them back to back. This book had all my cat nips - older, slightly spinster sister and a county sheriff set in New England. Looking forward to reading more from Ms. Griggs.


The Governess Club: Bonnie by Ellie MacDonald (4.5 stars)

I read the first three stories back to back after getting sucked in pretty quickly with book one. However, this is the book that I liked the best out of the three. I have the fourth and final book in my TBR pile waiting for me. Great writing but formatting issues abound, leaving the star ratings for the first three stories between 3-4.5 stars.


Blue Blood (Debutante Dropout series #1) by Susan McBride (4-4.5 stars)

I fan-girled over this series hard. It is funny, smart, fast-paced and cast with wonderful characters. I only chose this one to show because I am limited to a set number of books so the first story got the coveted spot. This was my introduction to the cozy mystery genre. I keep checking the major online retailers to see when the next book will be out so that I can pre-order. I hardly pre-order, much less pre-order ebooks.  


The Theft Before Christmas by Cheryl Bolen (4 stars)

This was a fun cozy set in Regency England at Christmas. I picked this story up so that I could try Ms. Bolen's writing. I would like to read the other books in the series as well as her other works. I like her voice and characters.


 All He Wants for Christmas  by Jerrica Knight-Catania (4 stars)

This was my second book from Ms. Knight-Catania and I liked this book more. I want to read more of her work, which is mostly short stories.


Loose Screw (Dusty Deals series #1) by Rae Davies/Lori Devoti (4 stars)

The first book (shown) was a little over the top with the bumbling Lucy, but the story and writing smoothed out by the end of the first book. The series got better as each new story is released. The romance between Lucy and Blake is the best kind of contemporary romance story not found in the romance genre.


Lowcountry Boil (Liz Talbot Mystery series #1) by Susan M. Boyer (4 stars)

I read both books in this new series and was highly impressed. I can't wait for more; however, I could do without the love triangle (TEAM NATE!) Great twists to the mysteries.


Too Hot For TV by Cheris Hodges (4 stars)

I picked this up in order to broaden my reading horizons; this book was an attempt to read non-white couples in romance. The attempt worked so well, I picked up another book from this author to read in 2015. I really rooted for Imani and Raymond, who were honest with each other from the get-go, all through their ups and downs. The wedding scene was the perfect ending to this story. Also, the book is set in my favorite city, New York City!




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review 2014-10-21 22:43
Lowcountry Boil - Susan M. Boyer

I now have a new favorite author, Susan M. Boyer, and a new favorite character, Liz Talbot. This book was so fun!!! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and was upset I had to interrupt it when it was time for my football to play, and they lost!!! Ugh!! Anyways, could not wait to get back to this story to see who did it!! There were many quirky characters and list of suspects and many plot twists. There were several laugh out loud moments dealing with southern style exclamations.

It's easy to see why this book won it's award. If your into Carolyn Haines, this book is for you. The style and characters remind me a little of her including the meddling ghost.

Definitely one not to miss!!

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review 2014-09-04 15:20
So glad I tried this new series
Lowcountry Boil: A Liz Talbot Mystery - Susan M. Boyer

I am not one for Southern literature. Not that I hate Southerners or anything (actually some of my dearest friends are from the South - a byproduct of being in the military), but as a Mid-Atlantic born-and-bred Yankee, I can't always connect or relate to Southern characters or settings.


Well, hot damn, I think there needs to be an exception - this new series is awesome! I love Liz Talbot and the wonderful world of Stella Maris that the Susan M. Boyer brought to life. This is book one, and I think I found another long term series reading. There are several plot lines running through the story but they somehow managed to sensibly intertwine at the end and the killers are revealed. The one crucial part to bringing the plot forward was the way in which Liz and Blake took Elvis seriously regarding "the phantom". Most authors would play off Elvis' mental development challenges as fodder for humor, but Boyer uses Elvis' "patrols" and Blake's patience with Elvis to move the plot along. No humor at the expense of people, but there is humor and just down home goodness without venturing into Southern stereotypes.


One caveat - there is a lot of characters in this book, as it sets up the storyline and the townspeople. There is a list of characters and descriptions in the front of the book. I didn't need the list, as the characters became really well defined.


Bottom line - this is how I felt at the end of the first story.....






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