Thursday, May 1, 2014

Monthly Reading Summary - April 2014

Well, it's that time again.  Here's what I read in April.  The links will take you to my full review.

All ratings are on a scale of 1 (bad) to 5 (great).

Inherit the Word by Daryl Wood Gerber (Cookbook Nook Mysteries #2) - 5
The Cookbook Nook is hosting the town's annual grill competition, but things turn sour when the reigning champion is murdered before the first round even starts.  When a friend of Jenna's becomes the prime suspect, she starts nosing around to find the killer.

I love this small touristy beach town, and I have already grown to love these characters.  The plot was great with lots of good suspects and plenty of red herrings, too.  I can't wait to visit again.

Clammed Up by Barbara Ross (Maine Clambake Mysteries #1) - 4
Julia has returned to her Maine town to try to save her family's clambake business.  However, when the best man at the wedding they are involved in dies, it might shut the business down for good.

I found the first quarter a bit slow, but once the story really got going, it took off and didn't stop until it had reached the end.  Along the way, I cam to truly care for these characters.  The result was well worth reading.

Ghost of a Gamble by Sue Ann Jaffarian (Ghost of Granny Apples #4) - 5
Emma and Granny have traveled to Las Vegas to investigate a ghost haunting a lightbulb.  What they discover leads to a murder and a kidnapping.  Can they stop this new chain of events?

As always, the plot is strong with some nice work from the characters and plenty of great twists before it is all over.  The characters, new and old, living and dead, are strong, and I enjoyed spending time with them.  All told, a great trip to Vegas that won't leave you broke from gambling.

The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willem - 5
Once again, Pigeon is facing something he doesn't want to do.  But after a fun day outside, he really does need a bath.  Can you convince him to take one?

These picture books are always funny and charming, and this is certainly no exception.  You'll love the end result, too.  (Heck, I think it would make a great follow up.)

Poached by Stuart Gibbs (FunJungle #2) - 5
When Kazoo, the koala on loan to FunJungle, is stolen, Teddy finds himself the only suspect anyone is willing to consider.  Can he stay out of jail long enough to prove his innocence?

I've been waiting a long time for a follow up to the first in this series, and I wasn't disappointed.  The characters are still great, the mystery is complex, and there are some funny and scary moments.  The book's target Middle Grade audience will love it just as much as I did.

Veronica Mars: TheThousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham (Veronica Mars #1) - 4
Set a couple of months after the movie ends, Veronica is hired to find a college student who vanished from a party during spring break.  With the tourist industry in town losing money, can Veronica find this girl?

The plot was worth of the franchise with some great twists and turns.  The characters were also true to themselves, and I loved spending time with them.  My only real complaint was that I missed the snark of Veronica's voiceover narration from the TV show and movie.

Blue Sea Burning by Geoff Rodkey (Chronicles of Egg #3) - 5
The final book in this middle grade trilogy finds Egg struggling to find a way to bring down his arch nemesis, greedy slave trader Roger Pembroke.  With pirates, sea battles, and romantic complications, he'll have his hands full trying to do it.

The series goes out with the same fast action and wonderful characters I've been enjoying the entire way through.  The humor scattered throughout helps as well.  All three books are highly recommended for kids and adults.  Just be sure to read them in order.

Murder on Bamboo Lane by Naomi Hirahara (Ellie Rush #1) - 5
Elllie Rush is a rookie with the LAPD bicycle patrol division.  Her desire to become a detective gets an early start when she gets involved in the murder of a classmate.  Is she helping the investigation?  Will it help or hurt her career?

This new series from Naomi Hirahara is off to a great start.  The characters are fully formed already, and that gives a depth to the plot that I really enjoyed.  The plot was interesting with some nice misdirection and twists along the way.  I'm already looking forward to the next book in the series.

Gluten for Punishment by Nancy J. Parra (Baker's Treat #1) - 2
Toni Holmes is opening a gluten free bakery in the small Kansas town where she grew up.  She's expecting a little trouble from the local wheat farmers, but someone throws wheat filled balloons during the grand opening.  Then a dead body is found outside her front door.

I liked Toni and the rest of the characters.  However, I found the plot frustrating because events doubled for any real clues or twists.  Poor editing left in several major mistakes as well.  I won't be going further with this author.


  1. Another decent month for reading! Happy May reading!

    1. Thanks. I was happy with the results. Happy May Reading to you, too.

  2. thanks for sharing. not familiar with your titles, will have to check. here is my wrap-up:

    1. Most of what I read is fairly genre specific, so you either know them or you don't. But I have fun with them.

  3. It looks like you had a fairly decent month in terms of book count as well as book contents, a lot of positive ratings there! It's always nice to be a book 'high'.
    Bits & Bobs

    1. I've been able to read lots of books right now. It's a lot of fun!