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text 2017-08-31 08:04
August Reading Colophon
The Informed Gardener - Linda Chalker-Scott
Lowcountry Bonfire - Susan M. Boyer
If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't) - Betty White
Death in the Vines: A Verlaque and Bonnet Provencal Mystery - M.L. Longworth
Grey Mask - Patricia Wentworth
Murder on the Ile Sordou - M.L. Longworth
Basket Case - Nancy Haddock

17 books this month with only one 4.5 star read sitting at the top, which is a typical month for me; much more typical than the spectacularly good reading months I had in the first half of 2017.


Six 4 star reads rounded things about and the worse book I read was... really, there weren't any.  Nothing below 3 stars, so really a very average reading month overall.


And now, on to BINGO!

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review 2017-08-03 01:21
Lowcountry Bonfire (Liz Talbot, #6)
Lowcountry Bonfire - Susan M. Boyer

I really do love this series; reading it is like visiting a home town.  The settings and characters feel familiar (especially Liz's daddy).


I also really love Boyer's choices when she writes; she'll start with a predictable, out-there cozy cliche, but take it in a different direction.  She'll have fun with it, but not take it seriously.  Unlike another cozy author I read recently who took her story in a similar direction but tried to make it work, only to make a hash out of the entire thing.


Lowcountry Bonfire starts off with a woman setting her husband's car and his clothes on fire; retaliation for the affair he's been having.  When the firefighters pop open the trunk to control the fire they discover more than his clothes.  But Zeke was killed with strychnine and his wife didn't have access to any and she's devastated that he's actually dead.


Liz and Nate start investigating and Liz finds a 20 year off-the-grid gap in Zeke's history that opens up a viable channel for investigation.  What she discovers is fun for the reader in a Jason Bourne-ish kind of way, but ultimately it's the investigation closer to home that yields more results - realistic ones that are far more horrifying and heartbreaking.


Colleen's ghost doesn't get a lot of airtime here, although there was at least one scene where I thought she was just cruel; I like that she later had to face the consequences of taking a thing too far.  


I like where the author has Nate and Liz too; they're an old married couple now ::grin:: but they have a nice affectionate balance in their relationship that is believable and I've always liked that Nate respects her independence and ability to take care of herself.


This book might not have had all the gasps that previous books have had, but it was a very solid mystery with a red herring that was sort of fun to explore.  And if I ever have any renovations done on my house I am SO getting a secret compartment put in!  

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review 2017-07-04 02:43
This Series is Beginning A Slow Decline
Lowcountry Bonfire - Susan M. Boyer

It definitely pains me to say this but the Liz Talbot cozy mystery series that I've enjoyed for the past couple of years is getting pretty meh.


I don't know what else to say besides the fact that I think once Liz chose her now-husband Nate and they started investigating together the book just lost I guess that drive that the first couple of books really had.


I mean I love cozy mysteries. I can read them all day any day if the series is done right. So I don't know what happened with this one  I don't know if the romance ended up impacting the story or if the whole thing with Liz being connected to her dead friend (Colleen) who now is a ghost that comes back to help her solve cases just started to get really ridiculous in the last two books.


"Lowcountry Bonfire" we have Liz and Nate dealing with their client who after finding out that her husband cheated on her proceeds to set his beloved car on fire. Only problem is the husband's found dead in the trunk of the car. I liked the mystery aspect of this book but once again I felt like the author went a little bit too far with trying to tie the case to things that just didn't make any sense. It just got so absurd I started to roll my eyes after a while.


I did like the additional characters that we got some looks into but the book kept coming back to Liz needing to make sure that nothing could be developed on Stella Maris because if something did get built it could mean that years in the future everybody from the island would die if a hurricane came through.


Based on reviews from other readers of the series it makes absolutely no sense. Liz has several options that she just keeps ignoring. She could demand that there be more boats brought in for people as the island grows and gets developed. She could try to stop the island from being developed by trying to have restrictions on it.  Something tells me that's a thing in certain parts of the country. Or she could just I don't know move.


The writing was okay, but the flow was terrible.


There's still subtle shaming of Liz's brother for dating a woman who was a former mistress tied up in one of Liz's last cases. Her sister is absent in this one and so are Nate's awful parents. Liz's father ups the ante in being her kooky relative. Colleen is missing for most of the story, and sorry she's become a hindrance to this series. Either have her gone gone, or being in another specter. Or just get rid of that whole aspect, I don't think it matters when you see how she wasn't around for the majority of this book. 


I honestly think the series should have ended when Liz and Nate got married. Now with this dream thing, Boyer is going to keep this a main focus in future books it seems. 


I think I'll give it one more book to see if the series picks back up, but if not, I think I'm just going to pass on future books following Liz and her husband as they investigate crimes.

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text 2017-07-01 23:41
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Lowcountry Bonfire - Susan M. Boyer

Well that's great. My copy and paste isn't working on BL :-(


As I said on GR, this was an okay sixth book in the Liz Talbot series. I'm just becoming bored now that Liz and Nate are married. Liz's omninous dreams about too many people coming to live on Stella Maris is just eye roll inducing at his point. Heck, as Nate points out, they can leave, make sure there are additional rescue boats, etc. I don't get why Colleen's even a thing anymore (Liz's childhood friend who is now a ghost) since she acted like an ass to Liz's ex since him wanting to build more houses equals him being the devil incarnate. 


The main mystery was interesting and I did like the resolution to that though. It definitely kept me guessing. 

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review 2017-04-04 19:27
Review: Lowcountry Book Club (Liz Talbot #5) by Susan M. Boyer
Lowcountry Book Club - Susan M. Boyer

The shine is coming off this series for me. I was hoping the book club would play a much bigger role in the storyline than it did. And the detective work was a lot of tasks that just needed a computer or phone to do. That stupid dream and Liz's obsession over emergency evacuations would have made sense if the main storyline had to do with the weather or even the island. Liz's detective instincts and thinking is the only good thing about this book. Overall, a quick read to get me caught up in the series, but not a whole lot to sink my teeth into.



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