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review 2018-03-17 22:35
Six Geese A-Slaying
Six Geese A-Slaying - Donna Andrews

It is Meg and Michael's first Christmas together as a married couple and they are busily trying to get the Christmas Parade finished so they can spend it alone before celebrating with her family. In order to celebrate, they have to get the Caerphilly Holiday Parade out of their yard and off to town. They are having a Nativity, a 12 Days of Christmas, Boy Scouts, SPOUR members and many other things to celebrate along the way. But soon Eric, her nephew, and Cal, the Chief of Police's grandson, come to her to say that Santa (played by Mr. Doleson) is dead and who would kill Santa. She quickly gets the Chief on the scene and starts replacing people (the Chief who was a wise man and Santa). The parade arrives in town just before the snow can trap anyone at Meg's and she goes into town and enjoys the festivities before she and Michael return to their home. Along the way, Caroline Willner and the vet are arrested for breaking and entering and then many other things begin to happen. Who really killed Doleson and why becomes the main question. 


The story is just plain fun and full of many twists and turns as you try to figure out who is really to blame for the murder. I did have moments of questions concerning the keys that she is constantly handing to someone for some reason and the small evil one (Spike, their dog) being left locked in a cage while they might have been trapped in town. It was like they are mentioned and forgotten but then remembered on the second day when they take the dog to town with them on the off chance they are trapped in town. 

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review 2018-03-17 16:04
The Chalk Pit
The Chalk Pit (Ruth Galloway Mysteries) - Elly Griffiths

I meant to get this review written last week, right after I finished this marvelous book, but, well, I was traumatized by Nelson and Ruth. How can you keep doing this to me? Auuuggh!


I loved the plot, anything having to do with tunnels and hidden entrances sucks me right in, and this fiction-is-stranger-than-fiction plot was a real roller coaster; I never would've guessed the ending in a million years! The plight of "rough sleepers" was highlighted with compassion and humanity and watching the investigation unfold into edge-of-your-seat action kept me turning pages late into the night. At the heart of these books, beyond the suspenseful plots, is a knot of close-knit lovable characters who have evolved and grown throughout the series, creating a real connection (at least for me. Why, Nelson and Ruth? WHY?) Nelson's new boss, Jo, is a great character and watching her become part of the team felt...rewarding? Satisfying? Both, I guess but I can't wait to see more of her!

The next book in the series is due out in the US in May and I'm already chomping at the bit to be tortured agonized reeled in by Nelson & Ruth in yet another mystery.

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review 2018-03-13 22:11
Cozy Mysteries Cookbook
Cozy Mysteries Cookbook: Recipes from Hope Callaghan's Cozy Mystery Books - Hope Callaghan

I do enjoy mysteries with recipes in them. I have found some really good ones and I love when the author puts all the recipes (or a large grouping of them) into a cookbook so that I can just look in one book for the recipes instead of searching through all of the books. I realize that the author was attempting to get people to buy her books by putting excerpts from the books near the recipes, but I didn't want to read the excerpts here, I just wanted to look at the recipes and plan when I was going to use them (like for Easter). 



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review 2018-03-12 23:00
Fun Beginning to Tommy & Tuppence
The Secret Adversary (Tommy and Tuppence #1) - Agatha Christie

I haven't really focused on Christie's non-Poirot/Marple books. Last year I said j would read all of Christie's other books and I just got busy and lost interest. Now I'm ready to take a look at her other works. There's also a rereleased of a biography coming out soon about Christie that I can't wait to read. 


"Secret Adversary" is flawed, but I enjoyed it. The plot gets down right ridiculous after a while and there's way too many coincidences to make the story work, but Tommy and Tuppence are great partners and it makes me think that this is what I wanted "The Thin Man" to be more like. 


The characters of Tommy and Tuppence were fun. They were weirdly apart for most of the book, but still were totally in each other's corners. I did laugh at Christie saying how Tommy isn't attractive and Tuppence was just okay. And it's even said many times that Tommy is not that smart. She does love disparaging her creations, it's kind of funny to read a book where the main characters are not beautiful and the smartest things ever. 


The secondary characters were sketched with broad strokes. We get a millionaire American that I felt was just a walking talking stereotype of an American. We get mysterious women and a mysterious man hell bent on wrecking England. I had a hard time swallowing this storyline in The Big Four and didn't buy it here either. 


The writing takes a bit to get used to, but I didn't find it hard to understand the dialogue between characters. The flow didn't work though. Some scenes felt endless. 


The setting of post war England shows that not everything is coming up roses. Tommy and Tuppence are both struggling to make ends meet and there frank conversation about marrying for money was funny, but also realistic.


The ending was rather sweet I thought. You have Tommy and Tuppence setting off together in more ways than one. Going to read book number two soon. 


This book is available via public domain. I would say that the formatting drove me up the wall. I'm glad I got it for free, but now I'm wishing I just paid for a version. 


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review 2018-03-07 08:41
Spells and Scones (Magical Bakery, #6)
Spells and Scones - Bailey Cates

Eh.  I generally enjoy Bailey Cates' writing, but a few of my least favorite tropes were trotted out for this one:  the relationship crossroads; the ex's last ditch effort (which was SO transparently meant to give Steve an HEA) at reconciliation; the jealousy bit with Mungo the dog... eh.


The mystery plotting  didn't light up my disco ball either. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great; too few clues and a reliance on the 'lightbulb' moment at the very end.  Reading Golden Age mysteries is ruining my mediocre tastes.


Still, a relaxing enough read when one's brain has been overtaxed in real life.



This book qualifies for the Murder Your Darlings Scene of the Crime card:  Gryffindor Common Room.  This was one of the crime scenes identified by Nighttime Reading Center in the Green Game Round, so worth 10 points for my team (Themis-Athena, Lillelara and myself).


My misunderstanding of the rules left me with this book unused, so I'm using it for the Suspect: Jane Austen cards.  (Alliterative Title)

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