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review 2017-04-30 02:54
Design for Dying by Renee Patrick - My Thoughts
Design for Dying - Renee Patrick

Oh my, this was fun to read!  I am so glad it has a great cover because it was the cover that originally caught my eye.  One of the women I follow on Twitter is a librarian whose job includes purchasing the books for the library and she likes to tweet out book covers and give her thoughts on them.  So, she tweeted this cover, I was intrigued, I went to check the blurb and promptly added it to my 'to acquire' list.  It recently went on sale (as of this writing it's still $2.99 at Kobo) so I was very quick to pick it up.

And it's delicious!!  I love the setting - 1937 Hollywood.  The characters are terrific.  The heroine, Lillian Frost is right out of one of those detective movies of the 30s and 40s and I liked her right away.  I've been a huge fan of Edith Head for decades and love the way the authors (Renee Patrick is the pseudonym for the husband and wife team of Rosemarie and Vince Keenan.) have portrayed her.  The other supporting characters are perfect.  Gene, the stalwart police detective.  Vi, Ready and Kay friends of Lillian's who are wonderfully quirky.  Even the suspects in the murder case are great.  Some might call them all stereotypical, but they all evoke the genre so well that it's delightful!

I honestly felt like I was watching a movie.  Everything worked.  Even the plot of the mystery.  I thought person X did it, then maybe it was person Y then maybe it was Z and B working together, then back to X again all the while waiting for the one clue that would make me believe it was person N coming in from left field.  *LOL*

I guess one would term this a cozy style mystery even if it does take place in the decadent environs of Hollywood.  And I'll admit, they are not my favourite, but this one... I LOVED IT!   Can't wait to read the second one!

I highly recommend this - especially if you're a mystery fan and an old-time Hollywood fan.

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text 2017-04-29 09:08
Book Haul
Conan Doyle: Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes. - Andrew Lycett
The Penguin Book Of Etiquette: The Complete Australian Guide To Modern Manners - Marion Von Adlerstein
The Book of Killowen - Erin Hart
The Library of Shadows - Mikkel Birkegaard
I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks - Gina Sheridan
Blade Bound - Chloe Neill
Dangerous To Know - Renee Patrick
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle

It's not all decomp and deodorisers here at la casa de la rata muerta; I hit up my local FOTL semi-annual book sale yesterday and came away with a few possible gems.

 

 

(Three of the above actually came this week in the mail; 2 new, 1 used.)

 

Conan Doyle: Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes. I know nothing about this biography and can only hope it's enjoyable.

  

The Penguin Book Of Etiquette: The Complete Australian Guide To Modern Manners This one is likely going to tell me it's rude to post gross disgusting stories about dead animals in your walls, but better late than never.

 

The Book of Killowen I was sucked in by the story about a book.  Of course.  Seems to be a mid-series entry, so hopefully it'll work as a stand-alone. 

 

The Library of Shadows I think I've heard about this one before - might have even looked at it in a bookshop, but again, it's about books so of course I bought it.

 

I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks 

 

Blade Bound The last in the Chicagoland series.  *sniffle*

 

Dangerous To Know The first one was excellent, I hope this one lives up to expectations.

 

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes I had a suspicion I already had a copy, but just in case... (of course I did).

 

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text 2016-08-02 01:28
July Reading Rehash
As Death Draws Near - Anna Lee Huber
The Curse of Tenth Grave - Darynda Jones
Design for Dying - Renee Patrick
A Bed of Scorpions - Judith Flanders
Dear Committee Members - Julie Schumacher
Stephen Fry's Incomplete & Utter History of Classical Music - Tim Lihoreau,Stephen Fry

Even accounting for a handful of short books and one comic, I had a very good month at 24 books read in July.

 

I had one 5-star read this month: As Death Draws Near - Anna Lee Huber  

 

and four 4.5-star reads:

The Curse of Tenth Grave - Darynda Jones 

Design for Dying - Renee Patrick 

A Bed of Scorpions - Judith Flanders 

Dear Committee Members - Julie Schumacher 

 

I didn't rate anything this month below three stars, but my least favourite book this month was Sprig Muslin by Georgette Heyer and my biggest disappointment was How Not to Be A Dick.  Both because personal expectations interfered with reality, not because the books lacked merit.

 

Most of my reading in May and June was heavy on non-fiction, but this month I've read very little.  This is mainly due to the density of the one non-fiction I did get through: Stephen Fry's Incomplete & Utter History of Classical Music; an excellent, informative read that is quite slow going in spite of the constant stream of humour.

 

Hope everyone is pleased with their July reading and may all your August books be ace!  :)

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review 2016-07-17 01:32
Design for Dying (Lillian Frost & Edith Head Mystery, #1)
Design for Dying - Renee Patrick

Los Angeles, 1937. Lillian Frost has traded dreams of stardom for security as a department store salesgirl . . . until the murder of her former roommate, Ruby Carroll. Party girl Ruby died wearing a gown she stole from the wardrobe department at Paramount Pictures, domain of Edith Head.

Edith [is] barely hanging on to her job, and a scandal is the last thing she needs. To clear Lillian's name and save Edith's career, the two women join forces.

Unraveling the mystery pits them against a Hungarian princess on the lam, a hotshot director on the make, and a private investigator who's not on the level. All they have going for them are dogged determination, assists from the likes of Bob Hope and Barbara Stanwyck, and a killer sense of style. 

 

This was such a fantastic surprise; I was ordering some books for my mom from the Mysterious Bookshop and saw this mentioned in their newsletter and added it for myself on a whim.  When it arrived I started having buyers angst - I'd heard nothing about this book at all except the mention in the newsletter.  I needn't have worried; from the moment I started reading it, I loved it.

 

The POV is Lillian's and the dialogue is pure 30's Hollywood.  If flippant banter isn't your bag, this book isn't either.  It was sooo much fun finding out what Lillian would say next; she isn't disrespectful or sarcastic, but she doesn't hesitate to poke fun where there's fun to poke - mostly at herself.  I know absolutely nothing about Edith Head as a historical figure, but apparently a lot of research was done for this book to make her true-to-life.  I liked her; there's not much revealed but what we see is kind, smart and highly competent.

 

The mystery plot was excellent with an outstanding plot twist that blindsided me completely and totally changed things up.  Lots of liberties were taken with police procedure, but I found it easy to overlook because 1930's Hollywood left a lot of leeway for improvisation, so who knows?  If it was going to happen anywhere at anytime, it would be Hollywood in the 30's.  The ending was very Christie-esque with a good old fashioned denouement that revealed an unexpected murderer.

 

I was initially wary upon finding out the author is a pseudonym for a husband/wife writing team; my experiences thus far have been hit and miss with collaborations, but team Patrick writes a smooth, easy-reading story with a nice flow and consistent pacing.

 

I'm an instant fan with this first book and I'm eager to read what comes next.  Highly recommend to anyone who enjoys a good mystery and loves this era; I don't think it will disappoint at all.

 

 

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text 2016-06-10 10:53
Book Haul week of June 10
Bones To Pick - Carolyn Haines
My Holiday in North Korea: The Funniest/Worst Place on Earth - Wendy E. Simmons
The Black Cat Knocks on Wood - Kay Finch
The Improbability of Love - Hannah Rothschild
Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World - Ella Frances Sanders
A Shattering Crime - Jennifer McAndrews
Design for Dying - Renee Patrick

Bit of everything arrived this week:

 

Bones To Pick - Carolyn Haines is an upgrade from a paperback to a hardcover

My Holiday in North Korea: The Funniest/Worst Place on Earth - Wendy E. Simmons was a book I read about here on BookLikes and I find myself curious about this wretched place.

The Black Cat Knocks on Wood - Kay Finch is the next in a moderately interesting cozy series.

The Improbability of Love - Hannah Rothschild is another recommendation from a fellow BookLikes reader (thank you!)

Design for Dying - Renee Patrick is a book I read about in the Mysterious Bookshop newsletter; a historical mystery.

A Shattering Crime - Jennifer McAndrews is another cozy series.

Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World - Ella Frances Sanders I found reading Lithub.  I read this one last night and loved it.

 

Total new books: 7

Total read books: 7

Total physical TBR: 208

 

Have a great weekend everyone!

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