Monday, May 2, 2016

April 2016's Monthly Reading Summary

It's scary - we are a third of the way through the year.  Even more scary, I'm over half way through my reading summary for the year.  I guess that means I can slow down a little in my reading now, right?  Somehow, I don't see that happening.

Anyway, here's my monthly reading summary for the month.  And yes, the index has been updates.

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

Delivering the Truth by Edith Maxwell (Quaker Midwife #1) – 4
Rose Carroll is a Quaker Midwife in Amesbury, Massachusetts, in 1888.  The small town is usually quiet until a fire destroys some of the factories in town, killing employees.  Rumors circulate that it was caused by arson.  Will her connections in town help Rose figure out what is happening?

This is a good series debut.  I had a little trouble keeping track of the characters at the beginning, but I quickly got them all straight, and I grew to care for them by the end.  The plot is good with some nice complications and a creative climax.  I’m looking forward to visiting Rose again in more books.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Killer Takeout by Lucy Burdette (Key West Food Critic Mysteries #7) – 4
Its Fantasy Fest time, a week and a half long party for adults on Key West leading up to Halloween.  Hayley Snow is busy covering the event for the magazine where she works.  Meanwhile, her mom is in Key West to get remarried.  Then a woman dies and Hayley’s co-worker Danielle becomes the prime suspect.  Oh yeah, and there’s a hurricane that might be heading to the island as well.

As you can see, there’s plenty to keep your interest.  That kept the pages turning although I did feel it weakened the ending of the actual mystery a bit.  That’s a minor complaint overall with the wonderful characters and the festive atmosphere of the island.  If you need an arm chair vacation, this is the book for you.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Rest in Peach by Susan Furlong (Georgia Peach Mysteries #2) – 5
While Nola Mae Harper is intent on finishing up the store front for her new peach business, the rest of Cays Mill is talking about the cotillion, the age old presentation of the young women in town into society.  But when a fight over a dress leads to murder, Nola finds herself caught up in helping her friend Ginny prove she is innocent.

I had a lot of fun on this return visit to Cays Mill.  Nola is a good main character, and I liked watching her grow here.  The rest of the cast is fun as well.  I did figure out the mystery early, but there were still a couple of twists I didn’t see coming, and I was having fun along the way, so I really didn’t mind.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

The Concrete Blonde by Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch #3) – 5
LA homicide detective Harry Bosch is facing a wrongful death lawsuit stemming from the Dollmaker case.  Four years ago, this serial killer was terrorizing Los Angeles until Bosch killed him.  But just as the case comes to trial, Harry gets a new note that appears to come from the killer.  And it leads them to a fresh body.  Did Bosch kill the right person?  How might this affect his trial?

This is quite obviously not one of the cozies I normally read, and it got into some details I didn’t care for.  However, the case was very compelling, and it kept me engrossed the entire time.  This was half police procedural and half legal thriller, something this author has turned back to for the Mickey Haller series.  We also got to see so true growth in Bosch in this book, and I can’t wait to see where that growth takes the character next.

Adam Raccoon in Lost Woods by Glen Keane – 5
Adam is thrilled to leave on his hike with King Aren.  Adam just has a few things he wants to take with him.  King Aren insists that Adam doesn’t need them.  Will they help during the hike?  Or will they just get in the way?

While the point of this story is obvious (this isn’t the Parables for Kids series for nothing), the story is fun and never preaches.  Instead, it provides some laughs and a couple of scary moments along the way.  The illustrations are a colorful addition to a wonderful story.

Vanilla Beaned by Jenn McKinlay (Cupcake Bakery Mysteries #8) – 5
Mel, Angie, and Tate are in Vegas to meet with their first potential franchise partner.  After the first bakery location blows up when they go to visit it, the trio begin to suspect that someone is out to sabotage the franchise.  But are they after our trio or the potential new owner?

While the book is set in Vegas, we still get plenty of time with the series regulars and movement on several key on going stories.  The mystery is focused a bit more on the why of the sabotage instead of the who done it, and I liked that change of pace in the plot.  The pages turned all too quickly, and it’s going to be a long wait until I can visit these friends again.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Time of Fire and Fog by Rhys Bowen (Molly Murphy #16) – 5
Daniel accepts a temporary top secret assignment with the Secret Service.  Molly is trying not to worry about her husband until she gets a strange note in the mail.  The more she looks at it, the more she thinks he is asking her to come to San Francisco.  Why would Daniel ask for Molly’s help?  What will she find when she arrives?

This is another wonderful trip back to 1906 with Molly and her family and friends.  We get to see them before and after the time in San Francisco, but that never really slows down the plot.  The mystery does get a bit sidetracked by the real events unfolding in the city during that time, but it still makes for page turning reading.

A Girl’s Guide to Landing a Greek God by Bill Fuller (Mythmaker’s Trilogy #1) – 4
After running out on her own wedding, Angie takes a trip to Greece with a request from her grandmother to go to one particular island.  What she doesn’t know is that on the island is Milos, a man who has been in love with Angie for years.  Oh, and he also happens to be a Greek god.  What will happen when she arrives?

Fantasy and romance – not my normal genres at all, and this book was heavy on the romance early on, which meant I was a little bored.  Once the fantasy began to play a bigger factor in the book in the second half, I got much more interested in the book.  So interested, in fact, that I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next to these characters.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Wedding Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke (Hannah Swensen #19) – 4
Hannah Swensen is getting married in just a few weeks, but first she has the dessert competition that her sisters signed her up for.  It turns out this televised competition is anything but sweet when the backstage tension leads to murder.  Can Hannah solve the case before she gets married?

The baking competition allowed food to be brought into the book seamlessly, and the competition itself was plenty of fun.  It’s always great to revisit the characters, too.  The murder takes a back seat early on, but it gets plenty of focus as we rush toward the ending.  I do hope the wedding sticks because, while it was rushed, I do love the potential I see in this character and relationship.

No Comfort for the Lost by Nancy Herriman (Mystery of Old San Francisco #1) – 4
Celia Davies spends her days helping the women of 1867 San Francisco via her free medical clinic.  One of her patients, a former Chinese prostitute is found murdered, and Celia must know what happened to her.  Meanwhile, Nicholas Greaves is the police officer assigned to the case, and he is determined to get justice for the young woman.  But where will the investigation lead?

This is a good debut that will please any fan of historical mysteries.  The characters are intriguing, and their history makes them seem even more real.  The plot did bog down a few times, but never for very long, and we reach a logical conclusion before the end.  The world of 1867 is brought to wonderful life as well, and it’s easy to get lost in another time.

NOTE: I was sent a copy of this book in hopes I would review it.

Spaced Out by Stuart Gibbs (Moon Base Alpha #2) – 5
When you are living in a small base on the moon, it’s hard to vanish.  And yet, that’s exactly what has happened to Nina Stack, the commander.  Dash Gibson finds himself in the middle of the hunt for the missing woman, all the time with one thought in the back of his mind – if they don’t find her soon, time might run out.

This is a delightful combination of mystery and science fiction that will keep fans of either genre turning pages.  The characters are sharp and well done.  There are plenty of twists and clues.  Plus there are some very funny scenes.  My only warning is that this book spoils the first in the series, but that’s a very minor issue since both books are delightful reads.

All Murders Final! by Sherry Harris (Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries #3) – 5
Sarah is spending the winter months running a virtual garage sale site for her local community.  When she goes to make a trade with Margaret More, she is shocked to find the woman murdered in her car.  And when someone takes a picture of Sarah at the crime scene and then sends it to her, Sarah gets really worried.

This book starts out quickly and never lets up.  We are always getting a twist or clue to keep us turning the pages.  The characters are wonderful, and we meet some new ones I hope stick around as well.  The book was over all too quickly, leaving me waiting for the next.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan Bradley (Flavia de Luce #5) – 4
It’s the week before Easter, but Flavia is focused on the unearthing of the village’s patron saint in honor of the 400th anniversary of his death.  However, a very modern corpse is also found in the crypt, and Flavia is on the case.

The case seems to wander quite a bit as the book progresses, bringing in things that appear unrelated.  However, everything does come into play before the book is over.  I’m truly enjoying watching these characters grow, and some of the ongoing stories really have me curious about what comes next.

2 comments:

  1. You had an awesome month! Hope May is as good!

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  2. This is the first time I have read you blog but I really like your presentation of the books. I will be back! Thanks.

    ReplyDelete