Thursday, September 28, 2023

Book Review: The Right Sort of Man by Allison Montclair (Sparks and Bainbridge Mysteries #1)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters, humor, good mystery
Cons: Took a while for things to gel and the book really get going
The Bottom Line:
Set up with murder
Can duo clear their client?
Slow start, but gets good

Match Made for Murder

There are a lot of historical mysteries set during World War II, but one thing that attracted me to the Sparks & Bainbridge Mysteries is that they are set in London right after the war.  I thought that different setting, plus the premise of the series, would make for an interesting read.  Overall, I enjoyed The Right Sort of Man, the first in this series.

The book takes us to London in 1946 and introduces us to Miss Iris Sparks and Mrs. Gwen Bainbridge, two women looking for fresh starts in the after math of the war.  Even though they are little more than acquaintances, they join together to form The Right Sort Marriage Bureau to help those who are looking to move forward and find some happiness now that the war is over.  Essentially, they are working as professional match makers.  They’ve only been opened a few months, but they have made several successful matches.

They think they are off to a good start for their latest client until she is found murdered and her potential match is arrested for the crime.  When word gets out, their reputations take a hit, both professionally and personally, something they can’t afford to have happen.  Can they clear their client of the crime and restore their reputations in the bargain?

I will admit, it took me a while to get into the book.  While it is nice that we don’t get a lot of exposition at the beginning, I still didn’t quite feel like I knew who Miss Sparks and Mrs. Bainbridge were until I was a little ways in.  Meanwhile, it seemed to take a bit for the mystery to truly get going.  I also didn’t care for Miss Sparks at first.

However, once I got into the book, I was hooked.  The mystery was great, with some twists that surprised me and a suspenseful yet logical climax.

As we get to know the main characters, we also get some strong sub-plots involving them.  By the time those truly kicked into high gear, I had grown to really care for both of them, so I was fully invested, with these sub-plots keeping me just as invested as I was in the main mystery.

The further we got into the book, the more Miss Sparks and Mrs. Bainbridge became solid characters, helped by those sub-plots.  I could also feel their friendship solidifying and watch them growing.  I’m anxious to see where things will go for them next.

I was expecting to feel like I was back in 1946, and I wasn’t disappointed.  With my American view of the war and it’s after math, I hadn’t really thought about the picture this book painted of that year for those who lived in London.  I appreciated being able to get a glimpse of it.

But what I wasn’t expecting was the humor.  The further into the book I got, the more I was laughing at the character interactions and the situations they were facing.  This makes the more serious moments hit that much harder.

For me, this book was more in the traditional camp based on some mild content.  As long as you keep that in mind going in, you’ll be fine.

I will be back to find out what happens to these characters next.  Anyone looking for a fun mystery set in the after math of World War II will be glad they picked up The Right Sort of Man.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Movie Review: Truth or Dare

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Interesting and entertaining horror movie
Cons: I get the ending, but I didn’t like it
The Bottom Line:
Deadly teenage game
How long can they keep playing?
I did not like end

“How About We Play a Game?”

I was intrigued the first time I heard about Truth or Dare when it came out in 2018.  It helped that I was a fan of the female leads.  I’d heard mixed reviews of the movie, but when I found it on TV, I decided to give it a try.

The story follows Olivia (Lucy Hale) who is coerced by her best friend Markie (Violett Beane) into joining their group of friends on a Spring Break trip to Mexico.  On their last night, Olivia starts talking to a guy at the bar.  When they aren’t ready to go back to their rooms, he suggests a place where they can go hang out.  Then he suggests a game of truth or dare.

It’s when they have returned to their college in Southern California that they realize it wasn’t an ordinary game.  The game has followed them home, and they are now playing a life-or-death version.  If they refuse to play, they die.  If they lie, they die.  If they don’t complete the dare, they die.  Can they stop it before they are all dead?

I knew the basic premise going in, but I wasn’t sure how it was going to be executed.  I was actually impressed with how they did it, with the game taking place mostly back on the college campus.  It allows for some very interesting and suspenseful sequences.  Yes, the film was rated PG-13, so keep that in mind as far as violence you go to watch it.  Having said that, the sexual content was higher than I was expecting, and I watched it on TV.  I can see why they didn’t get an R rating, but it had to be very close.

Honestly, as the story really got going, I couldn’t help compare the film to Final Destination.  I only saw the first in the series, but it had the same feeling with a malevolent force stalking a group of characters in a certain order, and you never quite knew when it was going to strike next.

Unfortunately, I felt the ending was weak.  Or at least weak for what I wanted in the film.  I get what they were doing with the ending.  And, I know, it’s horror, so the ending works.  But it isn’t my kind of ending.

While I’m familiar with Lucy Hale and was glad to see her in something again, I’m actually more familiar with Violett Beane.  I enjoyed seeing her here.  I didn’t recognize anyone else in the cast, but they did a great job.

I’m glad I watched Truth or Dare, and I mostly enjoyed it.  I just wish I liked the ending better.  If the premise interests you and you are willing to watch a horror movie, give it a try.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Book Review: Mrs. Claus and the Trouble with Turkeys by Liz Ireland (Mrs. Claus Mysteries #4)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Fun murder and mayhem in Santaland
Cons: Thankfully, there are none
The Bottom Line:
A missing turkey
And then a potluck murder
Delightful again

Will Santaland's First Thanksgiving Be a Turkey?

I say this every year, but I just love the Mrs. Claus Mysteries.  Author Liz Ireland has found the perfect blend of light fantasy mixed with very cozy mystery and sprinkled with a dash of humor that makes these books a pure delight.  Mrs. Claus and the Trouble with Turkeys is the fourth in the series, and it didn't disappoint.

To set the scene, the series features April Claus, who moved to Santaland two years ago after marrying Nick Claus, the current Santa.  They met at the bed and breakfast that April still runs during the summer months in Oregon.  April has had quite an adjustment living not only somewhere that is constantly cold, but also somewhere populated mostly with elves, talking reindeer, and snowmen.  Yes, snowmen are alive, too.

If you read the novella in the Halloween Cupcake Murder collection that was released last month, that story sets up this book with a fun subplot.  However, if you've missed that story, no need to panic.  This book works under the assumption that you haven't read that novella and explains everything you need to know.

As you can guess from the title, Santaland is about to celebrate its first Thanksgiving thanks for April.  While Nick worries about taking a day off so close to Christmas (a legitimate concern when you are Santa), April assures him that it's just one day.  Well, two since the elves can't do anything without going all out.

Castle Kringle has imported a live turkey for the holiday.  However, the weekend before Thanksgiving, Gobbles vanishes.  There's no trace, no note.  Nothing.  Naturally, April jumps in to see if she can figure out what is going on.

However, things take a deadly turn when Nick's cousin, Elspeth, falls face first into her mashed potatoes at the Sunday potluck to kick off Thanksgiving week.  This quickly takes precedence over a missing turkey, and April can't help but try to figure out what really happened, especially since she finds herself a prime suspect.  Can she solve the murder and find Gobbles in time for Thanksgiving?

As I said before, this book was a pure delight, and I never wanted to put it down.  The book did take a little time setting things up, but once we got all the pieces into place, we were off like a sleigh pulled by the nine best reindeer, and we never looked back.

Part of that is because there are quite a few threads in this story.  Some of the subplots intersect the main story, and some don't.  With all of that, it takes a bit to get everything going, but once all those balls are in motion, the pace never lags.  Even then, I was having fun as the story got moving.  Yes, I did figure a few pieces out before I reached the end, but there were still several pieces I missed.

And the characters are fantastic and charming as always.  Everyone is relatable whether human, elf, or some other creature.  I enjoyed seeing growth in some of the relationships here, and I can't wait to see what that means for future books.

Which brings us to the humor.  The world of Santaland is familiar, but just different enough that April is a fish out of water.  This allows us to see the charm and the humor in their world, but it also allows some humor as April doesn't quite get everything.  Meanwhile, we also get some fun situations and a climax that is as funny as it is suspenseful.  And it packs just the right wallop.

There are a lot of cozies set during Christmas, and we are getting more set around Halloween.  We don't have that many set at Thanksgiving.  I appreciated this book using this holiday, especially since this book has an obvious overall Christmas theme.  That does mean you’ll be in the Christmas spirit no matter when you read this book.  That’s a plus for me.

As an added incentive, there’s a recipe at the end for a non-traditional pie that sounds delicious.

I know I've mentioned fantasy a couple of times.  This really is a light fantasy series.  It is very much a cozy mystery series first and foremost.  If you want something a little different but lots of fun, you really need to pick up these books.

And if you are already a fan, you'll be thankful for Mrs. Claus and the Trouble with Turkeys.

Need more of this series?  Here are the rest of the Mrs. Claus Mysteries.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Book Review: Have Yourself a Deadly Little Christmas by Vicki Delany (Year-Round Christmas Mysteries #6)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Wonderful to be back with these characters, good mystery
Cons: Some pacing issues
The Bottom Line:
Christmas mystery
With murder in a play’s cast
Glad series is back

Deadly Christmas Play

It’s been three years since we last got to visit Merry Wilkinson and the town of Rudolph, New York.  Not that author Vicki Delany has slowed down in her output, but she’s been working on other series.  Fortunately, Crooked Lane decided to pick up the charming Year-Round Christmas Mysteries, and we get to visit again in Have Yourself a Deadly Little Christmas.

If you’ve missed this series, when the town of Rudolph had to reinvent itself, it decided to capitalize on its name and become a year-round Christmas destination.  They go all out twice a year – December, obviously, but also July when Santa (as played by Merry’s dad) arrives for his summer vacation.  Merry herself runs Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, an upscale gift and decor shop.  While the town celebrates Christmas all year long, we tend to visit during December, not that I’m complaining.

This December, Merry’s mother, opera singer Aline Steiner, has agreed to come out of retirement to join the local theater company’s musical version of A Christmas Carol.  Since this is an amateur production, the talent level is about what you’d expect, but after last year’s play flopped, there is added pressure on this year’s production to succeed.

And that pressure is coming through during rehearsals.  Merry is on hand to witness some of the drama, including actors trying to take on bigger roles.  Then someone associated with the play is killed in Merry’s shop, and the police look at Merry’s assistant, who is in the play, as a potential killer.  Can Merry figure out what really happened?

Since it had been three years since our last visit to Rudolph, I was afraid I wouldn’t remember the characters and their relationships.  I needn’t have worried.  As soon as I started reading, I felt right at home again.  If you are new to the series, this means you could easily jump in here, although you’ll definitely want to go back and solve the other festive murders in this series.

The book does a good job of setting up the situation and the suspect before the murder happens.  We got some fun twists and red herrings along the way.  However, I felt like the pacing was uneven, especially in the second half.  Still, we do get a great climax that explains everything to us.

And the characters are still wonderful.  As I said a minute ago, I was quickly back at home with them and enjoying the town of Rudolph.  There are some interesting developments with a couple of the characters, and I’m curious to see where things go in any future books.

Those looking for Christmas spirit will also love this book.  As you’d expect there is plenty of it here.  It made me want to break out my Christmas music and decorations even though it’s mid-September.

It is so wonderful to have this series back.  Whether you are a longtime fan or new to the series, if you enjoy a Christmas cozy mystery, you need to pick up Have Yourself a Deadly Little Christmas.

Here are the rest of the Year-Round Christmas Mysteries.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

September 24th's Sunday/Monday Post

Hope your weekend is going well.  Time for a Sunday/Monday post, where I will be linking up to:

Sunday Post
Sunday Salon
Stacking the Shelves
Mailbox Monday
It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

It's been quite a week.

As I've been talking about on the blog, I had a computer malfunction last Sunday morning.  After being on for a couple minutes, my computer shut down and wouldn't turn back on.  I started using my last computer, which is slow (which is why I replaced it).  But I hadn't scheduled my reviews for the week yet; they were on my current laptop.

So, for the first time in the 10+ years I've been blogging, I actually had days when I didn't post anything.  I've even posted when I've been on vacation (thanks to scheduling ahead).

A friend took a look at it Monday, and he came back over Thursday to open it up and see if he could figure out what was going on.  Meanwhile, we'd bought a cable so we could at least get stuff off my hard drive.  As soon as he opened the back of my computer, it started to work again.  I guess it just needed a couple of days off?  I'm very paranoid with it, but it is working still, knock on wood.

Friday, I only worked half a day.  We had a finance department picnic for work.  I wound up winning several of the games, which was cool.  And it was nice to get to meet some of my co-workers in person.  That includes someone I've been working closely with for a year now.  Some of them I'd met before, including when we all worked in the office.

Joke of the Week:

The penny-making machine at the mint suddenly stopped working for no reason.  It just doesn’t make any cents!

This Past Week on the Blog:

Sunday: Sunday/Monday Post
Monday: We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties.... (about the computer crash)
Friday: Friday Post featuring Mrs. Claus and the Trouble with Turkeys
Saturday: Weekly TV Thoughts

This Coming Week on the Blog:

For the record, these reviews are all already scheduled, so they will happen for sure this week.

Sunday: Sunday/Monday Post
Monday: Book Review: Have Yourself a Deadly Little Christmas by Vicki Delaney
Tuesday: Book Review: Mrs. Claus and the Trouble with Turkeys by Liz Ireland
Wednesday: Movie Review: Truth or Dare
Thursday: Book Review: The Right Sort of Man by Allison Montclair
Friday: Book Review: Hanging by a Thread by Dorothy Howell
Saturday: Weekly TV Thoughts

Book Haul:

Yep, I still have quite a few books to tell you about.  So let's get started catching up.

First up is Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano.  I've been hearing about this series for a while, and I've been curious about it.  When it went on sale for Kindle this past week, I snagged it.  I'm mention it now because it looks like it is still on sale, at least as of Saturday night when I'm typing this.  So if you are curious, go snag it now.

Let's flash back to the end of August now.  The next two books were on sale back then, so I snagged Kindle copies.

Up for is Death on Cozumel Island by Cindy Quayle.  Scuba diving in Cozumel, Mexico and a murder?  What's not to like.  This one definitely sounds like something I will enjoy.

Code Name Edelweiss by Stephanie Landsem has been on my wish list for a while.  It was on sale all of August and I finally snagged it right before it went back up to regular price.  A historical spy story, it sounds like it could be great.

Next up are a couple of ARCs I've gotten recently.  Both for October releases.  I've mentioned how full the month is, right?  Look at the upper left hand corner of my blog if you don't think I'm serious.

The first of these is Brush Up on Murder by Sybil Johnson.  It's been several years since we got a release in her Aurora Anderson series, so I'm looking forward to visiting her again.  Of all the books on this list, this is the one I'll be reading first since I'm due to review it as part of a blog tour on release day of October 10th.

Coming out at the end of October is A Parfait Crime, the ninth Five-Ingredient Mystery from Maya Corrigan.  This book will involve an Agatha Christie play and a death in a fire.  Should be fun.

Finally (for this week), my pre-order of Malibu Burning by Lee Goldberg showed up.  The first in a new series from him.  Honestly, I don't know much more than that.  He's pretty much an auto buy for me.  Not sure when I will get to it, but should be good.

What I'm Currently Reading:

I have not gotten as much reading done as I would have liked, so I'm still about 100 pages from the end of Nine Lives and Alibis by Cate Conte.  This is a Halloween entry in her Cat Cafe series.  I'm enjoying it, and I'm still hoping to at least make a dent in what I have left to read if I don't finish it completely by the end of Saturday.  This is my only non-ARC book for October.  I would have preferred to read it closer to Halloween, but if I wanted to review it before Halloween, this is when I had to read it.

Up next, I'll be switching to Christmas with Sugar Plum Poisoned by Jenn McKinlay.  This is book fifteen in her Cupcake Bakery series.  I always enjoy them, so I'm looking forward to seeing what Mel and the gang are up to this time.  And maybe a Christmas cupcake recipe or two.

Have a great week!

Saturday, September 23, 2023

September 23rd's Weekly TV Thoughts

American Ninja Warrior - I feel like this was originally planned for last February.  A couple of these couples were missing at least one half during the season we just finished.  And I'm surprised they didn't have any of the Berkstrans.  I was expecting Chris and Jessie to run away with it, but I'm happy for the couple that won.  I hope they do this kind of thing again in the future.

Ahsoka - The title character really just had a cameo this time around.  But I get it.  This week's episode was what was going on while last week's episode was unfolding.  I am glad we found the guy they were hoping to find.  But I really don't like waiting a week knowing that danger is coming for them.  I have a feeling they are going to be ambushed.  And did anyone else get Frozen vibes from the scene with those creates that led us to him?  The only Star Wars books I read involved Thrawn, so I find it interesting that he is showing up now.  Granted, it's been about 25 years since I read them, so I don't remember anything about them.

Buddy Games – I think a team having to lose one member is the worst part of the whole thing.  I’d rather the entire team go than just one.  And it seems like the sabotage is pretty brutal.  I’m hoping that some team overcomes it at some point.  Not surprised that OK was targeted.  I would have done the same had I been there.

The Challenge USA – About time that vets had to play again.  Kind of glad to see Wes go.  He was so arrogant.  And, as I say, I liked the fact that vets were at risk again.  Cassidy, on the other hand, was a bit over the top.  But the fall out next week could be interesting.

Friday, September 22, 2023

September 22nd's Friday Post

As I posted Monday, I had a computer crash Sunday morning, taking my reviews for the week with it.  A friend was helping me with it, and he came over Thursday to open up the back - and that made it work again.  I've saved copies of reviews so at least next week is covered.  Hopefully, this means things are back to normal, but I haven't posted anything all week.  Next week will be all books as I catch up.

But the joy of a Friday post is that didn't need any files, so this post could still happen as planned no matter what.

As usual, I will be linking up to:

Book Beginnings
First Line Friday
Friday 56 (on hiatus)
Book Blogger Hop

This week, I'll be pulling quotes from Mrs. Claus and the Trouble with Turkeys by Liz Ireland.

This is the fourth book in the Mrs. Claus Mystery series.  It was pure delight as it always is.  If you are new to the series, yes, the main character is Mrs. Claus, and the series is set at the North Pole.  Our Mrs. Claus has only been married to Santa for a couple of years after they met in Oregon, so she has been introducing some new traditions to the North Pole, like Thanksgiving in this book.

Here's how the book begins:

Gobbles had vanished.
When I looked inside the fancy turkey cage Salty the groundskeeper had built outside Castle Kringle, the wrong bird stared back at me.

And yes, Gobbles is the turkey that was supposed to be their Thanksgiving dinner.  Nothing like jumping right into part of the mystery, right?

Meanwhile, on page 56, the Clauses are heading to a pre-Thanksgiving potluck.  April has prepared some festive deviled eggs.  Pamela is her mother-in-law, who doesn't seem to always get what April is doing:

With ingredients available in the kitchen, I was able to do a fair approximation of the recipe I'd found to fashion deviled eggs that looked like little turkeys.
Now, like a proud artist giving a preview of a painting, I pulled the foil covering back to reveal one of the eggs on the platter. Pamela's eyes widened in surprise. "Oh my goodness."
I frowned. "What's the matter?"
"Nothing - I just wasn't expecting an egg to stare back at me."

The book's official release date is Tuesday, and the plan is to have a release day review.

Time to move on to the Book Blogger Hop.  This week's question is:

Has reading helped you become a better person?

I'd like to think so.  Although, since I read so many mysteries, it's not the same as if I were reading non-fiction.  If nothing else, I have some added trivia in my mind from all the books I've read.

Monday, September 18, 2023

We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties....

 My review for this week are written.  And edited.  (Yes, I do edit my reviews, and errors still slip in.)

However, when I booted up my laptop Sunday morning, it crashed within a couple of minutes and I can't get it to start up again.  And my last back up was last Sunday, before I wrote those reviews (and at least three others).

At the moment, I have a friend who is going to come take a look Monday night.  I have another friend who may be able to help.  But who knows when I will have access to that stuff again.  And I might be buying a new laptop, too.  (I got my last one up and running again thinking it would be better than nothing, but it's so slow it's just barely better than nothing.)

All this to say that my review schedule for the week is going to be...flexible.  (If only I had scheduled them Saturday night.)  The reviews will show up eventually.  Please be patient.


Sunday, September 17, 2023

September 17th's Sunday/Monday Post

Welcome to this week's Sunday/Monday Post.  As usual, I will be linking up to:

Sunday Post
Sunday Salon
Stacking the Shelves
Mailbox Monday
It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

Not too much of excitement happens around here this week.  The weather is definitely cooling off, unfortunately.  We are in the low 80's or upper 70's for the highs.  I'm not ready to say goodbye to summer!  Although it was nice to open up my condo several days this week.

I've met my deadlines at work for quarter end close, which is fantastic and a weight off my mind.  I'm just vegging this weekend.

Blog Spam Comment of the Week:

Time for another fun/funny blog spam comment.  This one was on an old book review from about 4 years ago.  Maybe by leaving the comment on one that old they thought it would slip by and show up?  As always, all spelling and punctuation is theirs, although I did edit the is between the < >'s.

keep up the great work, just shared this with my friend <unrelated product link removed> . Good luck with your future endeavours.Nice post mate

I think I liked this one since it randomly put the product link right in the middle, which isn't usually what happens.

This Past Week on the Blog:

This Coming Week on the Blog:

Sunday - Sunday/Monday Post
Monday - Ornament Review: Oliver and Dodger
Tuesday - Book Review: Have Yourself a Deadly Little Christmas by Vicki Delany
Wednesday - Movie Review: Truth or Dare
Thursday - Book Review: The Right Sort of Man by Allison Montclair
Friday - Friday Post featuring Mrs. Claus and the Trouble with Turkeys
Saturday - Weekly TV Thoughts

Book Haul:

I bought quite a few books that were on sale for Kindle during the last week of August I haven't talked about yet.  Add to that the other random books I've gotten and I have quite a few books I haven't confessed to getting yet.  I think I'm going to cover half of my list this week and then talk about more next week.  For some reason, I worry that I won't have books to talk about some week in this section.  I know, I know, I'm a comedian.

The first book I want to talk about is The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly.  Really, I should have included it last week when I was talking about Bouchercon - not because I bought it there but because I got the audio version to listen to on my way down and back.  This was actually a relisten, the last I'll have to do with Michael Connelly's books since I started at the beginning and decided to listen to all of them in order, and I'm anxious to move forward and find out what happens next for these characters.  It had been long enough since the first time I'd read this book that I'd forgotten most of the plot points, so it was fantastic to see what happened all over again.

Meanwhile, Saturday morning, I snagged my ARC of Sugar Plum Poisoned, the fifteenth Cupcake Bakery Mystery from Jenn McKinlay.  It's a good thing I got it since I am planning to start it about a week from now.  This is obviously a Christmas entry in the series.  I love the series, so I'm anxious to see what happens next to the characters.

So let's get to some of these sale books.  Sadly, the sales are over at this point.  Sorry.

The first is the Silicon Valley Mysteries Boxed Set.  This is the first three books by Marc Jedel.  I actually have a Kindle version of the first book already, and I haven't read it yet.  But this was such a good deal I couldn't pass it up.  Now, hopefully I like it when I get to it.  I just need to figure out when that might be.

At the start of the year, I was going to make a point of reading a book I have by Ann Claire under one of her earlier pen names.  All of her series have sounded good, but I haven't had a chance to read them yet.  Then Dead and Gondola, the first in her newest series, went on sale.  Another author I hope I enjoy, but I need to figure out when I will get a chance to read.  This series features an enchanting sounding bookstore.

Let's make it three in a row.  I know I have the first in author Colleen Cambridge's series featuring Agatha Christie's maid as a main character.  But I was also interested in Mastering the Art of French Murder, the first in a series that stars a friend of Julia Child.  And then it went on sale, so I snagged it.  I've got to admit, I'll probably prioritize this one over the author's other series since it's the only book in the series so far.  It's nice not to be behind.

Finally, for this week, we have another October ARC.  Hunters of the Dead features the return of Steven Hockensmith's Holmes on the Range series.  I've been a fan of this series since it was originally in print, and it's gone through several different publishers over the years.  The series stars two brothers who are cowboys in the American west in the late 1800's.  They've also found some of the Sherlock Holmes stories, and the older brother has taken to Holmes' "detectifying" methods, which has helped them solve some fun and interesting cases.  I don't know what this book is about yet, and I don't care.  I'm just looking forward to spending more time with the characters.

What I'm Currently Reading:

As I'm typing this on Saturday, I've just started Mrs. Claus and the Trouble with Turkeys, the fourth Mrs. Claus Mystery by Liz Ireland.  I love this series, so I'm looking forward to getting more than 25 pages into the book.  (Told you I'd just started it.)  As you probably guessed, this one involves the first time that Santaland decides to celebrate Thanksgiving.  So far, we have a missing turkey.  And I know murder is coming.  How they tie together, I have yet to figure out.

This is my final September book.  Kind of crazy that I am thinking of finishing up September books already.  But I have lots of October ARCs lined up, so I won't complain about getting a jump on my October reading.

That's it for me this.  Hope you have a great week!

Saturday, September 16, 2023

September 16th's Weekly TV Thoughts

American Ninja Warrior – Obviously, I root for Joe.  But right behind him is Daniel Gil.  I was thrilled when he made it to the top of the rope, but then he lost to Vance Walker.  If he had to lose to anyone, I’m glad it was Vance.  I really do like him, and his story is so inspiring.  Congrats to him!

Ahsoka – I think I would have enjoyed this one better if I had the background on these characters.  The flashbacks weren’t that interesting to me.  I am interested to see where they go next week, however.

Buddy Games – I love the games.  I think I like the concept, as long as the teams don’t start annoying me.  How would you pick one member of your team to go home?  My hat is off to the guy who stepped down.  I’d have such a hard time doing that since I would want to play all the games.

The Challenge USA – I get being upset when you are sent into the arena.  But don’t flail all around.  Seriously, that’s the worst thing you could do.  Also, why are the vets suddenly safe again?  They were smart targeting them early on.  Why did they stop doing that?  I mean, when everyone is doing an individual vote, they could target them.  I know that, unless no vets win, targeting them at that part is a non-starter.  But everyone else could aim for them later.