Thursday, March 31, 2022

March 2022's Reading Summary

 Welcome to the final day of March.  We are a quarter of the way through the year already, if you can believe it.  I had a great vacation with my family last week, so that made for a fantastic month.  And I still managed to get the index updated.

But we aren't here to talk about my vacation.  We are here to talk about what I read in March.

All ratings are on a scale of 1 (bad) to 5 (great).  The links will take you to my full review.


Wild Irish Rose by Rhys Bowen and Clare Broyles (Molly Murphy #18) – 4

It’s February 1907, and Molly Murphy Sullivan’s life has settled into the busyness of everyday life for a wife and mother.  However, she feels the desire to return to her old life as a detective when her husband, New York Police Captain Daniel Sullivan, comes home with tales of his latest case.  Seems a young woman newly arrived from Ireland has been accused of murder on Ellis Island.  Molly can’t help but make the connection to when she first arrived several years before.  Can she find out what really happened?

It's been years since we last visited with Molly, and I have missed her.  Within pages, it was like no time had passed.  Unfortunately, some of the bad remained, like how Daniel can run hot and cold, especially when it comes to Molly’s investigation.  I get that it is accurate for the time, but can he grow out of it, please?  However, there are other times I loved his character.  Molly is her usual strong self, and the supporting players are as fun as always.  The pacing was a little uneven early on, but it got much stronger as it went along.  The solution was perfectly logical and wonderfully page turning.  I hope we haven’t heard the last of Molly.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.


Mr. Brown Can Moo!  Can You?  by Dr. Seuss – 5

This is a simple book.  There’s really no plot, but as we read, we find out about all the noises that Mr. Brown can imitate.  Yes, he can imitate a cow, but there’s also a cork, rain, a train, and a butterfly.  Yes, you read that right.

This has all the creativity, humor, and charm of a classic Dr. Seuss book.  I loved it as a kid, and I found it just as fun reading it to kids when I was older.  Since the sounds are part of the rhythm and rhymes of the book, they call out to be made as you read, so it is most fun if you really get into it.  This is classified as an easy reader.  Some of the sounds written out might not be familiar words, but it is a chance to challenge young readers in a context they will get.  Add in Dr. Seuss’s illustrations, and you have a winner.


Caramel Pecan Roll Murder by Joanne Fluke (Hannah Swensen #28) – 3

A fishing tournament has come to Lake Eden, which is great news for Lake Eden Inn since it is located on the shores of Eden Lake.  Hannah Swensen is out at the inn filling in for their pastry chef, who is out for a family emergency.  That’s how she first meets Sonny Bowman, the celebrity face of the contest.  Sonny is as arrogant as he is handsome, but Hannah is still surprised when she finds his dead body.  Can she figure out what happened?

If you haven’t picked up a book in this series before, don’t start here.  Not only are there some spoilers about what has gone on in Hannah’s life recently, but the earlier books were stronger.  Go back then to see why people got hooked on the books.  For fans, they’ll find this book is a mixed bag.  It’s definitely stronger than the last few in the series were, with a little less cooking and baking talk and more time spent on the mystery.  I didn’t figure out who the killer was until the end, and there were some decent twists along the way.  Since the action takes place at the Inn, we only get cameos from some of the usual characters, which is okay.  The characters continue to be a bit thin, but fans will love spending time with them anyway.  My biggest issue was the lack of editing.  There were several times that a character contradicted something that had happened just a few pages before.  It wasn’t related to the mystery; it was just lazy writing and editing.  By my count, there are twenty new recipes to enjoy once you’ve finished the book, and they made my mouth water as always.  If you’ve stuck with the series, you’ll be glad you picked up the latest entry.


A Nun in the Closet by Dorothy Gilman – 5

The nuns in the Abbey of St. Tabitha are shocked when they are left a house and estate in New York State, several hundred miles from where they live in cloister.  However, they must decide what to do with it, so Sister John and Sister Hyacinthe are elected to head up there and get a feel for what they’ve been left.  Within hours of arriving, they’ve discovered a suitcase full of cash in the well and a man bleeding out from a gunshot wound in an upstairs closet.  What is happening on this property?  Why was it left to the nuns?

While I have loved the Mrs. Pollifax series for decades, I have never read any of Dorothy Gilman’s non-Mrs. Pollifax books.  I’m glad I decided to fix that since this one was delightful.  Yes, I had the broad strokes of the plot figured out early on, but I was missing a few pieces, and the twists along the way kept me highly entertained.  The characters are good.  They could be a little stronger overall, but they work to draw us into the story.  Since the book came out in 1975, some of the references are dated, but that’s only worth noting in passing.  I appreciated how one subject was handled without the book crossing into lecture mode.  And the laughs were plentiful.  I was smiling each time I picked up the book knowing that I was in for more fun.  A lesser authors couldn’t have pulled this mix off, but Dorothy Gilman makes it look easy.  I’m glad I finally picked it up.


The Decorator Who Knew Too Much by Diane Vallere (Madison Night #4) – 5

It’s been seven months since we last saw Madison, and she’s been enjoying her new relationship with Hudson James.  When he suggestions they take a working vacation to Palm Springs to help his brother-in-law with a project he has going on there, she accepts.  However, their first day there, Madison spots a dead body below the surface of the river that runs near the project site.  By the time the police show up, the body is gone.  The delays to the project and the suspicion that Madison just imagined what she said she saw begin to make the trip stressful.  How can Madison prove she was right?

As I expected, I was caught up in Madison’s latest adventure once I opened the book.  The stakes are soon personal, and I loved watching how everything unfolded.  The climax was suspenseful and answered all of our questions.  We do get some updates on someone back in Dallas, but the focus is, naturally, on Madison and Hudson for this book.  The rest of the characters are just as sharp.  The Doris Day movie that inspired this title was the only one I had watched before starting to read this series, and I enjoyed picking up on the Easter eggs from the film in this book.  Not that you need to be familiar with the film to enjoy this story.  If you are looking for a creative series that will keep you glued to the page, this is the series for you.


A Dismal Harvest by Daisy Bateman (Marketplace Mysteries #2) – 5

Claudia Simcoe’s marketplace is serving as the host for a library fundraiser when one of the volunteers makes a surprising discovery.  There’s a hidden compartment in the wall, and someone has opened it in the middle of the event.  Claudia quickly determines that it was Clark Gowan, a local lawyer.  In fact, Gowan had been part of the deal when Claudia bought the marketplace.  When she goes to confront him the next morning, she discovers his dead body.  Did what he took from the compartment lead to his murder?

Having enjoyed the first in the series, I was looking forward to this one, and I wasn’t disappointed.  Claudia is a very relatable main character, and she leads a cast of good suspects.  I did find the tenants in the marketplace hard to keep straight, but they were background characters, so that was okay.  The plot is strong with plenty of pieces to keep us guessing until Claudia puts it all together.  I laughed and smiled my way through the book at Claudia’s observations about what was happening.  I grew up near the part of Sonoma County, California, where the fictitious San Elmo is located, so I really enjoyed that as well.  If you’ve missed this series, fix that today.  If you enjoyed the first, you’ll enjoy this one, too.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book.


A Bird’s Eye View of Murder by Jacqueline Vick (Frankie Chandler Pet Psychic Mysteries #2) – 4

Frankie Chandler’s hardly recovered from the murder she got involved in the month before when her aunt comes for a visit.  The aunt has scored some tickets to the taping of a live baking show, and Frankie joins her.  That’s how Frankie stumbles on the dead body of the contestant winner.  With the police looking at her aunt, her aunt hiding secrets, and animals starting to talk to Frankie again, can she figure out what is really going on?

Yes, this book falls into the paranormal cozy subgenre, which I tend to avoid.  I appreciated how Frankie wrestles with her gift and what it means since those are the same things I struggle with myself.  And it’s a minor part of the book anyway.  In fact, this is more comedic, at least to me.  I enjoyed laughing at the antics of the characters as the book progressed.  The story started a bit slowly, but it grew stronger as it went along, and I was surprised by the ending.  Do keep in mind that there is some violence to animals, but they are treated no worse than the human characters in the story.  I really enjoyed the characters.  I’m hoping I can get to the next in the series soon.


An Eternal Lei by Naomi Hirahara (Leilani Santiago Hawai’i Mysteries #2) – 5

It’s October 2020, and like most of the island of Kaua’i, Leilani Santiago has been forced to close down her family’s shave ice business.  When she and her sisters save a woman from drowning one afternoon, Leilani is very curious since this woman is a stranger.  Why was she on the island?  With nothing else to do, Leilani starts to investigate.  As she does, she begins to wonder if the woman was almost killed or just had an accident.  What will she uncover?

I wasn’t sure I was ready to pick up a book set during the pandemic we’ve been dealing with the last couple of years, but I found I enjoyed this one.  The pandemic is part of the backdrop, and it avoids many of the controversies we’ve had to deal with.  We get several sub-plots, but I found they kept me engaged and didn’t distract from the main mystery.  I was engrossed the entire time and couldn’t wait to see how everything was going to be resolved.  The characters are strong, and seeing them react to the pandemic as well as the mystery really helped develop them.  The characters speak in a form of Pidgin, but after the first few pages, I was used to it, and I had no trouble reading the story.  This was a good virtual visit to Hawai’i.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.


Dead in the Water by S. C. Merritt (Bucket List Mysteries #1) – 4

Maisie Mitchell has sold her restaurant and retired to Florida.  She’s living in a senior’s only community, and that’s where she’s met Donna “Dot” Pinetta, a retired homicide detective from Chicago.  The two are opposites in many ways, but they quickly form a friendship.  They are enjoying their lives, although they begin to notice an undercurrent of tension in their community, all centered around Mason Jacobs, the young, handsome recreation director.  Things come to a head when they discover his body floating in the pool one morning.  Dot jumps into detective mode, with Maisie tagging along behind her.  Will the two of them figure out what happened?

This book sets up a promising new series with a sub plot involving Maisie and Dot getting an RV to travel.  That premise is what drew me to the book.  It’s is much shorter than the books I read, and I did notice the difference.  Characters and descriptions were a bit thin, and the plot felt a bit rushed.  A few more pages to allow everything to breath would have been nice.  But that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the book.  I appreciated the set up we got before the murder, introducing suspects and motives.  The climax was great as well.  I like Maisie and Dot, and I’m definitely planning to join them for more trips.


Danger on the Atlantic by Erica Ruth Neubauer (Jane Wunderly Mysteries #3) – 4

Jane Wunderly is making her way back to America, but she isn’t crossing the Atlantic alone.  She’s crossing with Redvers, and she’s been asked by his employers to help him track down a German spy on board.  Then, Jane meets Vanessa, a socialite who claims that her new husband has vanished from the ship.  Can she solve the two cases?  Or will one distract from the other?

There is plenty going on here, which is why it surprises me to find the pacing is slightly off.  It was a bit slow at the beginning and it felt rushed at the end.  Overall, there was still a good mystery here with plenty of twists.  I didn’t have everything worked out by the end.  I loved the setting, and felt like I was traveling in style with Jane.  Well, style for 1926.  Jane and Redvers are the only returning characters, but I didn’t mind since I loved watching them interacting.  The new characters are strong and helped pull me into the book.  If you are looking for a charming historical mystery, this series is for you.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.


Three Shots to the Wind by Sherry Harris (Chloe Jackson Sea Glass Saloon Mysteries #3) – 5

Chloe thinks she is settling into her new life in Emerald Cove, Florida, when she starts to receive a series of mysterious gifts.  While she knows they aren’t from her new boyfriend, she isn’t prepared to learn they are from her ex-fiance, Perry Franklin, who is in town for an accounting conference.  Unfortunately, she learns this when she stumbles on his dead body at a crime scene.  When they were together, Chloe thought Perry was boring.  Had she misjudged him?  What could have led to his murder?

I love how this book put a twist on the familiar cozy trope of the main character’s ex coming to town to try to win her back.  Of course, Perry also wasn’t who Chloe thought he was, and exploring that gives us suspects and motives.  I enjoyed following Chloe as she solved the case, and the climax wraps things up nicely.  This story also gives Chloe a real chance for growth, which I enjoyed seeing.  Additionally, a sub-plot gives some of the supporting characters a chance to grow as well.  Sherry Harris is one of my favorite authors, and this book once again shows why.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Movie Review: Shooter

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Good conspiracy action film…
Cons: …With slow start and poor climax
The Bottom Line:
Sniper in crossfire
Uncovers conspiracy
Weaker than I hoped

“I Need You to Plan a Presidential Assassination.”

I’d always intended to watch Shooter.  It sounded to me like it could be a very good movie.  So when I stumbled up it showing on TV, I jumped at the chance to watch it.  Sadly, it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped it would be.

The story follows Bobby Lee Swagger (Mark Wahlberg), a trained sniper.  Three years ago, a mission he was on went wrong and his best friend was killed next to him.  He retired and moved to a house in the middle of nowhere.

Which is why he is surprised and suspicious when Isaac Johnson (Danny Glover) tracks him down.  But Isaac has tracked him down because Bobby Lee’s expertise is desperately needed.  There is chatter that someone is going to attempt to kill the President in the next couple of weeks, and they need Bobby Lee’s skill to stop it from happening.  And so he reluctantly agrees to go back into action.  However, when things once again go south, Bobby Lee finds himself on the wrong side of the investigation.  Can he clear his name?

I enjoy a good conspiracy story as well as the next person, and the action that goes along with a lone man trying to clear his name like this is also fun.  This isn’t anything terribly original; in fact, it’s rather easy to guess some of the pieces of the puzzle early on, but I still was mostly enjoying the film.  It’s a little slow in the set up, but once things get started, I quite enjoyed it.

That is until the climax.  I’m not going to give anything away except to say that I didn’t care for how they chose to end things at all.

Of course, there are tense action scenes.  They aren’t incredibly elaborate, but they are still quite well done and a lot of fun to watch.  There’s the usual suspension of disbelief, especially with how quickly a character learns certain skills.

The acting is great as well.  In addition to the cast I’ve already mentioned, we get the likes of Michael Pena as an FBI agent who gets caught up in the action and Kate Mara as the widow of Bobby Lee’s friend.  Everyone does a great job of bring their characters to life in a memorable way.  These are certainly deeper characters than the ones you’d normally see in an action film, and I appreciated that.

The slow start and the climax kept Shooter from being the action film I was hoping for.  I’m glad I watched it, but I won’t be rushing back to watch it again.

March 30th's Can't Wait Wednesday

Years ago, I participated in Waiting on Wednesday a few times, but it ended back in 2016.  As I've recently decided to jump into a few of these weekly blog events again, I was happy to find that someone else has kept the spirit of that old event alive.  Teressa at Wishful Endings now hosts Can't Wait Wednesday.  The idea is to share about a book that isn't out yet, but we already can't wait to read it.

This week, I am featuring Claws for Suspicion, the third Catskill Pet Rescue Mystery from Deborah Blake.

This series has charmed me from the first book, and I can't wait to see what trouble Kari finds along the way in this one.  Here's the official blurb.

When someone from her past comes to town to cause trouble, Kari Stuart and her sassy kitten Queenie will have to work hard to protect the Serenity Sanctuary in this new Catskills Pet Rescue Mystery.

Kari Stuart is finally starting to relax into her role as the new owner of the Serenity Sanctuary and is looking forward to the various fun autumn activities in the beautiful Catskills town of Lakeview, like the annual Oktoberfest celebration. It’s time for friends and quality bonding with handsome vet Angus McCoy. Until the unexpected arrival of her unpleasant ex-husband, Charlie Smith.

He comes bearing a shocking revelation—the paperwork on their divorce never went through, and they are still married. Worse yet, he thinks this entitles him to half of her lottery winnings—although he'll happily take partial ownership of the sanctuary instead. Kari isn’t sure if he’s telling the truth, or if it’s just another one of Charlie’s lies.

But things go from bad to worse when an unexpected death makes Kari the main suspect in a murder investigation. Will she and Queenie be able to find the real killer and keep the home they’ve built at the sanctuary safe, or is their string of luck finally tapped out?

Why do I have a feeling the ex is going to be the murder victim?  I know they didn't say it, but I'd actually be more surprised if he isn't.

The books comes out May 3rd.  Fortunately, I don't have that long to wait.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Book Review: Three Shots to the Wind by Sherry Harris (Chloe Jackson Sea Glass Saloon Mysteries #3)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong mystery makes characters stronger
Cons: All cons shot
The Bottom Line:
When ex comes to town
Chloe must solve his murder
Over all too soon

Cozy Trope Twisted by Murder

In my day job, I’m an accountant, so as soon as I heard the premise of Three Shots to the Wind, I started giving Sherry Harris a hard time.  The truth is that since she is one of my favorite authors, I was looking forward to this book.  And I wasn’t disappointed at all.

Chloe Jackson has now been in Emerald Cove, Florida, for seven months, and she is adjusting to her new life as part-owner of the Sea Glass Saloon.  However, things quickly get complicated when she gets a series of anonymous gifts, all including a card that says “I love you, Chloe Jackson.”  She knows it isn’t her boyfriend, Rip.  They are taking things slow, and neither of them have said the “L” word yet.

She figures out who it is in the worst way when she stumbles on a crime scene.  The victim?  Her ex-fiance, Perry Franklin.  She hasn’t seen him in the year and a half since she broke off their engagement, but it is clear he was turning an accounting convention in the area into a chance to win her back.  Since she broke up with him when she realized how boring she found him, she can’t imagine why anyone would kill him.  Will she learn the truth?

One thing I loved about this book is how it twisted a familiar cozy trope.  Usually, about two or three books into the series, the main character’s ex will show up to try to win her back.  And, usually, that’s a sub-plot going on in addition to a murder investigation.  Here, that becomes the main story since Perry is the murder victim.  Sherry Harris does a good job of bringing in connections to Perry to become suspects, too.

Naturally, Perry doesn’t turn out to be the boring accountant that Chloe thought he was when they were together.  These reveals give us motives that keep us guessing until the end.  I enjoyed trying to piece it together, and the climax made perfect sense.

I also really appreciated how this story gave Chloe a chance for some real growth.  A fun sub-plot allows some other relationships to grow as well.  These characters are becoming more real with every book, and I love them more with every book.  Naturally, the suspects fit into this world perfectly.  They weren’t quite as well developed as the main characters, but they did their job of keeping us guessing.

I’m ready for another adventure with Chloe, already.  If you’ve missed this series, be sure to check it out.  And, if you are a fan, you’ll love Three Shots to the Wind.

Have another round with the rest of the Chloe Jackson, Sea Glass Saloon Mysteries.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.


I'm giving away a copy of this book.  The winner will have a choice of a physical copy (US addresses only) or a digital copy (open to everyone).

Just leave me a comment with your email address.

I'll pull the winner on Friday, April 1st (no fooling!), so please enter before midnight Friday morning California time.

Monday, March 28, 2022

Book Review: Danger on the Atlantic by Erica Ruth Neubauer (Jane Wunderly Mysteries #3)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Strong mystery and characters in a charming setting
Cons: The pacing
The Bottom Line:
Crossing Atlantic
Plenty of intrigue on board
Enjoyable trip

Cruising with a Spy

Most of the series I read feature a main character who stays fairly close to home.  There might be an occasional vacation book, but those are the exception.  However, Jane Wunderly is wandering all over the place in her mystery series, and I’m enjoying the different locations I get to visit in 1926 as a result.  I’m sure it will be no surprise that Danger on the Atlantic, the third in the series, finds her crossing back home to America.

Jane is traveling back with Redvers.  In fact, she’s been hired by his mysterious agency to help investigate the people on board.  One of them is a German spy.  Fortunately, Redvers believes it is one of three people, but can they get close enough to find out?

Meanwhile, Jane meets Vanessa FitzSimmons, a socialite who is traveling on board with her new husband.  However, her husband vanishes right after they depart.  Then his luggage vanishes from their room.  No one seems willing to believe Vanessa, so Jane steps in.  Can she figure out what happened?  Will that distract her from her primary mission?

Despite the two stories, I did feel the pacing was a little off.  There is enough set up early on that it was a bit slow.  That lead to a climax that was a little rushed.  It’s not bad overall, however since I was caught up in the story.  There were enough twists to keep me engaged.  I did suspect a few things, but I didn’t have the full picture until the end.

The setting comes to life wonderfully.  As I was reading, I was able to dream of traveling in style like Jane does here.  Who doesn’t want to go on vacation?  The time period came to life in small details, and it was easy to get lost in Jane’s world.

While we had a group of supporting characters in both books, this time it is just Jane and Redvers returning.  They are more than enough to carry the book, and I appreciated watching their growth here.  The rest of the cast is strong and helped pull me into the story.

Danger on the Atlantic is a pleasure to read.  I was sad when I finished and it was time to return to the present day.  If you are looking for an enjoyable historical mystery, this is the series for you.

Enjoy more trips back in time with the rest of the Jane Wunderly Mysteries.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Disney Pin Review: Main Street Marvels - Windows of Main Street - 2021 Release

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Popular character honors a great Disney legend
Cons: Too hard to read the writing on the window
The Bottom Line:
Required to read window
Pin could be better

I Do Wish This Window Where a Little More Marvelous

For my third review of the Windows of Main Street pin series, we’ve reached two firsts.  This is the first time I am reviewing a pin featuring someone I’ve heard of, and the first time I’m reviewing a pin released at Walt Disney World.  Unfortunately, I feel like the pin to honor Tony Baxter could have been better.

As many DisNerds know, Tony Baxter is an Imagineering legend.  He’s work for Disney all of his career, most of that time in Imagineering.  He’s overseen many things in the park, so honoring him with a window and a pin in this series makes complete sense.

The window itself is located on Main Street above the Magic Shop.  The upper part of the window says “Main Street Marvels,” while the lower part says “Tony Baxter, Inventor.”  It’s a traditional window with green trim.  The pin captures the look of the window from the park perfect.

But here’s the problem.  The plastic representing the window is so transparent that you can hardly read what is written on it.  In fact, I had to look it up to make sure I was reading it correctly.  They are trying to tease what is behind the window, but it doesn’t work.

The bottom half of the window slides up, and when you do that, you can see Figment against a sparkly purple background.  This makes sense since Tony worked on Journey Into Imagination, the attraction at EPCOT that gave us Figment.  I’ve got to say, I’m not the biggest Figment fan, but I certainly understand why we got him.  I’m in the minority on this one, but he has lots of fans who will be glad he’s included in this series.  Above Figment’s head is a lightbulb, but that’s in the upper part of the window, so we can only see it behind the “glass” of the part that doesn’t move.

I really wish this pin can been better executed.  I feel like this is an idea that just didn’t quite work out the way it was supposed to.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

TV Show Review: Pearson - The Complete Series

Stars: 2 out of 5
Pros: Jessica, the acting
Cons: Too many ongoing plots with characters we don’t care about
The Bottom Line:
Jessica’s new job
Did not like new characters
So struggle to watch

“You’re Not Keeping an Eye on Her.  She’s Keeping an Eye on You.”

As a fan of the USA Network’s show Suits, I was disappointed when Gina Torres decides to leave the show, meaning that her character, Jessica Pearson, was written out as well.  So when they announced that there would be a spinoff taking her character to the mayor’s office in Chicago, I was thrilled.  I made it through all ten episodes of Pearson, but I wasn’t disappointed when it was cancelled.

Jessica has taken a job working for Mayor Bobby Novak (Morgan Spector) as his fixer.  She got the job after publicly standing up to him, so the two are going to butt heads.  But what Jessica doesn’t realize is that she has entered a world filled with murder, affairs, and backstabbing.  Then there’s her cousin, Angela (Chantel Riley), who is opposing the mayor’s plans to tear down her apartment building, and considers Jessica’s new job as a betrayal.  Can Jessica navigate her new world?

I knew the show was in trouble from the very first moment.  Why?  Because it gave us a tense scene filled with danger, and then we flash backed weeks.  I HATE it when a show does that.  And it doesn’t matter what show.  Is your plot really that weak that you need to tease us about something we won’t learn the truth about until much later in the season?  Honestly, it bores me.

Unfortunately, the show proved my point.  The problem was, the show acted like it was on season 3 or 4 already instead of season 1.  What do I mean by that?  We had multiple storylines happening with all the characters that took more than one episode to resolve.  That works when the characters are established and we care about them.  But in this case, the only character I really cared about was Jessica.  We needed more stand-alone stories to help us get to know the rest of the characters instead of dropping all this drama on us.

Of course, it didn’t help that one of those storylines involved illegal immigration.  I found the entire thing just an excuse to preach to us.

Maybe another issue was that I only found Jessica likable.  The rest of the cast had their moments, and some I warmed up to as the season went along, but they all came with so much baggage I found it hard to care about them at all.

Now, this isn’t the fault of the actors.  They were bringing their characters to life as they were written.  This was the fault of the writers.

I was debating whether I would have continued on to a potential season 2 when it was announced that Pearson was ending after just ten episodes.  Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have been back.  It’s a shame because Gina Torres and her character deserved much better than she got here.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Ornament Review: Storytellers - 2021 Hallmark Release

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Great looking ornament of a statue…when well light
Cons: Doesn’t have any detail when it isn’t in direct light
The Bottom Line:
Statue ornament
With young Disney and Mickey
Needs light to enjoy

Doesn’t Quite Tell the Story I Want It To

As soon as I spotted the Storytellers ornament from Hallmark, I had to get it.  While the statue isn’t quite as iconic as the Partners statue in Disneyland, I do like this statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse that is featured in California Adventure.  However, the ornament doesn’t quite work as well as I hoped it would.

The statue features a younger Walt Disney as he was when he arrived in Los Angeles in the 1920’s.  He’s leaning on a large trunk with his jacket flung casually over his shoulder.  The trunk has “Walt Disney Cartoonist” on it, and a few stickers of places Walt stopped along the way.  Mickey is standing on top of the trunk holding a suitcase of his own.  They both looked excited for what lies ahead.

Since this is an ornament of a statue, it is all one color – copper.  Okay, so there are a few places where it is supposed to appear to have aged a little by the weather, but it is pretty much the one tone.  Despite that, it looks good with plenty of detail to make it easy to know what you are looking at.

However, that is also my issue with the ornament.  I excitedly put it on my tree this past December, and discovered that when I just had the tree lights on, it looked like a giant lump.  You have to have it in a bright light to really see it for what it is.

On the plus side, it does hang straight, and it has a large base, so you can set it out to be enjoyed year round.

This is a well constructed ornament, so I am happy I got the Storytellers ornament.  I just need to figure out an alternative way to enjoy it since it doesn’t look as good on a tree as I hoped it would.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Book Review: Dead in the Water by S. C. Merritt (Bucket List Mysteries #1)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Entertaining story sets up series
Cons: Short, and a bit less because of it
The Bottom Line:
Friends solve a murder
Sets up traveling series
Short, but stuff to like

Dead Man Floating

I’ve been saying for a while now that I wanted to find a travel or camping themed cozy series I would enjoy.  That’s why I was intrigued when I saw S. C. Merritt starting the Bucket List Mysteries.  Naturally, I jumped in with the first one, Dead in the Water.

Maisie Mitchell has sold her restaurant and retired to Florida.  She’s living in a senior’s only community, and that’s where she’s met Donna “Dot” Pinetta, a retired homicide detective from Chicago.  The two are opposites in many ways, but they quickly form a friendship.  They are enjoying their lives, although they begin to notice an undercurrent of tension in their community, all centered around Mason Jacobs, the young, handsome recreation director.  Things come to a head when they discover his body floating in the pool one morning.  Dot jumps into detective mode, with Maisie tagging along behind her.  Will the two of them figure out what happened?

In many ways, this book feels like a TV show pilot.  Why do I say that?  Because of the subplot that sets up the rest of the series.  The two start talking about getting an RV so they can travel and visit all the places they’ve wanted to see.  Hench, the Bucket List series name.

This book is definitely on the short side, at least for modern mysteries.  I read the ebook version, and it claims it is about 160 pages.  That’s shorter than the books I typically pick up, but longer than the few novellas I’ve read.  As long as you know that going in, you’ll be fine.

I did feel the story suffered a bit from the shorter length.  The characters were good, but they didn’t feel fully developed.  Maisie and Dot were the most developed, but even they have some room to be stronger characters as the series progresses.  The suspects were distinct enough that I could keep them apart.

Meanwhile, the plot could have also benefitted from a few more pages.  It felt rushed.  I know, I know, I’m the one usually complaining about slow pacing.  Just a little bit more time for a couple of things to develop would have been nice.  Having said that, I did appreciate the way that suspects and motives were being set up before Mason died, and the climax was wonderful.

Likewise, the descriptions were a little thin.

Now, if all this sounds like I hated the book, that’s not true.  I really did enjoy meeting Maisie and Dot and helping them figure out who done it.  I’m definitely planning to travel with them in the future.

Since Maisie used to own a restaurant, the author uses that for a chance to add a couple of recipes to the end of the book.  One definitely sounded good to me.  Not being a fan of fish, I definitely will skip the other.

Dead in the Water is a fast read that sets up a promising series.  I definitely want to see where Maisie and Dot visit in their travels.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Movie Review: Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Charming and entertaining pilot movie
Cons: A bit ridiculous at times
The Bottom Line:
Placing a letter
Get caught up in the story
Ridiculous, fun

“Are You Questioning the Efficiency of This Facility?”  “Well, if the Envelop Fits.”

I’ve almost started the Signed, Sealed, Delivered franchise a couple times in the last few years when I’ve seen the first movie on Hallmark’s mystery channel.  I’m not completely sure why I hesitated, but I finally decided to go for it recently.  Now, I’m really wishing I’d started it sooner.

The movie introduces us to a team dedicated to tracking down the recipients of lost letters.  They are headed by Oliver O’Toole (Eric Mabius), and the team includes Rita (Yan-Kay Crystal Lowe) and Norman (Geoff Gustafson).  On this particular day, they are joined by Shane McInerney (Kristin Booth), who is accidentally assigned to their unit, and doesn’t intend to stay long.

As Oliver is demonstrating what the team does, he picks an envelope addressed to a Charlie (Ben Hollingsworth).  As the team searches the letter for clues about who he is, they get caught up in the story of the letter, as written by Kelly (Laci J. Mailey).  The two shared one perfect day together, and as Kelly describes their day, the team might have enough clues to get the letter to Charlie.  But what complications will get in their way?

Yes, I had the big pieces of the story figured out fairly early on, but I was actually surprised by a few of the twists along the way.  And it didn’t keep me from getting completely caught up in the story.  I might have even been yelling at the characters a few times when they were overlooking something obvious.  (Don’t worry, they caught up to me pretty quickly.)

And I got caught up in the story despite myself.  I mentioned the story was predictable, right?  That definitely included the arcs for the main characters in the movie.  This movie serves as a pilot for a short run series and that came before the movies that have aired on Hallmark for a long time now.  This movie came out in 2013, after all.  Since I knew that, it was easy to guess where some of the character’s stories were going to go.  Anyway, as I often say, predictable doesn’t mean that the movie is bad if I’m having fun along the way.  And I certainly was.

Another flaw was the characters themselves.  They were an odd bunch.  Charming, don’t get me wrong, but they seemed a little odd just for the sake of being odd.

This was one of those movies where I’d be rolling my eyes at how ridiculous things were one minute but absolutely caught up in the story for the next ten.  Just how much did I enjoy it?  I might have ordered a DVD set of the series and the next four movies the same night I watched, with plans to record the rest when they are on over the next couple of weeks.  Yes, the charm far outweighed the rest of it.

And it was heartwarming and ultimately fun.  The actors were obviously along for the ride as well, and helped get me caught up in the story.

I will say there were mysterious elements to the story, but this isn’t a mystery like you are probably thinking of when you see the term.  Just know that going in, and you’ll be fine.

Yes, I definitely will be back for more adventures with the Signed, Sealed, Delivered gang.  If you are looking for something light and fun, you’ll be glad you watched this one.

Looking for this movie on DVD?  It is part of this set, which includes the TV series.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Book Review: An Eternal Lei by Naomi Hirahara (Leilani Santiago Hawai’i Mysteries #2)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters and story
Cons: None for me
The Bottom Line:
A Covid setting
With a compelling story
Glad I picked it up

The Woman in the Surf

I’ve seen some debate about whether we as readers are ready for books set during the pandemic yet or not.  While I’ve been constantly saying I wasn’t ready to read about it yet, even fictionally, I still picked up An Eternal Lei, the second in Naomi Hirahara’s Leilani Santiago Hawai’i Mysteries.  And I’m glad I did.

This book finds us in October 2020.  In the first book in the series, Leilani had been running her family’s shave ice stand, but they, like so many businesses on the island of Kaua’i, have shut down since there are no tourists on the island.  That’s why she is surprised when she and her sisters save a woman they don’t recognize from drowning in nearby Waimea Bay.

The woman seems to be alone on the island, a visitor in an era when no visitors are on the island.  Leilani is curious, and with nothing else to do, she starts to figure out who the visitor is and how she came to be on the island.  Was she the victim of a tragic accident, or was there more to it than that?

There has been so much political about the pandemic and the responses to it, and I was a bit worried that we would get some of that here.  Naomi Hirahara skirts that admirably.  Instead, it is the backdrop to what is happening.  And, while there is talk of social distancing and masks, it is more a part of the setting like the beautiful locations where the action is taking place.

It also helps provide for some interesting sub-plots.  Yes, there is a lot going on here besides the main mystery.  At times, I might feel that distracted from the main mystery, but I actually felt it worked well for this book.  I was always engaged, and some of the sub-plots dovetail nicely with the main mystery.  These stories get some nice resolutions, including a suspenseful climax to the main mystery.

The book also does a great job of building characters and showing us how they are dealing with life as it was in October 2020.  Again, it’s subtle things, but it really helps define character, both those we met in the first book and those we meet here for the first time.

The characters often speak in a form of Pidgin, also incorporating some Hawaiian and Japanese words into what they are saying.  It felt odd at first, but I quickly got used to it.  There is a glossary of the most common words you might not recognize, but I honestly didn’t need to refer to it since I was able to figure out what the characters were saying from the context.  This truly isn’t an issue, and as long as you know that going in, you’ll be fine.

I still don’t know that I’m ready to read many books set during the Covid world of the last two years, but I am glad I picked up An Eternal Lei.  It’s a strong story that kept me entertained.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book

Monday, March 21, 2022

Movie Review: A Quiet Place

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Creative premise for a creature horror movie
Cons: Still falls into a few genre cliches
The Bottom Line:
Unique horror film
Makes the most of its premise
Silently watch it

Listen Closely, and I’ll Tell You What I Thought About A Quiet Place

Naturally, I heard about A Quiet Place when it first came out in 2018.  I heard all the people praising it.  Given my love/hate relationship with horror movies, I wasn’t sure if I was interested in it or not.  But when a friend really wanted to watch it, I decided I’d see what all the praise was about.

The movie tells the story of the Abbott family, led by parents Lee and Evelyn (real life couple John Krasinski and Emily Blunt).  They are trying to keep their family safe in the middle of the worst disaster the world has seen.  One of the conditions of this disaster is that you have to stay absolutely silent even as you go about your normal life.  Can they keep their family safe?

Yes, I’m being very vague.  That’s because too much more information would get into spoiler territory, and it is best going into this movie knowing as little as possible.  Part of the fun is seeing how the story unfolds, what the Abbotts face, and how they deal with it.

Let’s be clear about one thing.  This is a creature horror film.  As such, it falls into some of the familiar tropes and plot points.  Now, that’s not to say that this is a bad thing, but it isn’t a completely original idea.

Having said that, there are some wonderful complications that the characters face as the movie unfolds.  It is set after the crisis has been going on for a while, so the characters know how to try to survive, but real life throws things at them they can’t always deal with successfully.  Watching them try is entertaining.

I’ll admit I don’t often pay attention to a movie’s soundtrack since I’m so caught up in the dialogue and action.  Here’s that soundtrack is vital to the movie, and it is wonderful.  It really helps set the mood, both when it is there and when it isn’t.

This is a movie you have to watch carefully.  There is very little dialogue, for obvious reasons.  We also get the background we need from things on the screen.  So be prepared to pay close attention.

Even without dialogue, we still get to know the characters and fully understand their relationships.  That’s thanks to the writers who carefully crafted the script and the actors who expertly bring it to life.  You truly do feel for the characters and everything they are going through.

While this is a horror movie, it never gets too graphic.  Some of the scenes are certainly intense, hence the PG-13 rating, but the worst of the violence is kept off the screen, which I was thankful for.

Maybe because so many people had praised it, I didn’t find it quite as great as others seemed to.  But I still enjoyed it.  Since I’d been so curious about it, I was glad I saw it.

If you are curious about A Quiet Place as well, and you haven’t watched it yet, I definitely recommend that you give it a watch.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Music Review: inhale (exhale) by MercyMe

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Many good tracks
Cons: A few odd choices had to grow on me
The Bottom Line:
Took some time to grow
But I’m appreciating
Breath in and listen

It Took a Deep Breath, and a Listen or Two, for Me to Fully Appreciate MercyMe’s Latest

I’ve found that I’ve become a bigger fan of MercyMe the longer I’ve listened to their music.  Their lyrics are connecting with me more, and their rock style is growing on me.  However, when I got inhale (exhale), their release from last year, I had to set it aside a couple of times before I could fully appreciate it.  Now, I’m not completely sure why.

Okay, so part of the reason why might have been the throwback sound.  Growing up in the 80’s, I was too young for the disco sound of the 70’s, but that is back on a couple of the tracks here.  The most obvious is “Brand New,” a celebration of the new life we get in Christ.  Appropriately enough, Gloria Gaynor joins them on this track.  The other track that really has a 70’s vibe for me is “Whiplash.”  This is a fun song about trying to live a life for Christ while still looking back at your sin.  Yes, I said fun, but it is also convicting.

Among the other odd at first choices here is including a short demo of the song “Then Christ Came.”  I’m not sure why they did that since it seems like a great idea that could grow into a full-length song.  Maybe we’ll see that on their next release.  Then there’s the title duo.  The disc opens with “Inhale” and ends with “Exhale.”  Both of these are also short songs that talk about resting in God during trials.

I think it was some of these choices that made me take a little longer to get into this disc.  And don’t think that this is nothing but weird choices.  There are plenty of soon to be classic MercyMe songs here.  One of my favorites is “Bright Side of Broken,” which reminds us that God can work in the middle of our hard times.  It’s a great ballad, and it addresses the pain we can feel in a way that doesn’t come across as a cliché.

Another favorite is “Blessed.”  The first full length song here, it’s got a great beat.  You’ll be smiling and singing it in no time.  Another fun song is “Uh Oh (Here I Go),” which talks about jumping in and living for God.

Don’t let my talk about short songs worry you.  There are sixteen tracks, so even with a few short tracks, we still get plenty of new music.

I’m glad I kept coming back to inhale (exhale).  While it didn’t grab me right away, there is enough good music here to make MercyMe fans happy.

CD Length: 48:40
1. Inhale
2. Blessed
3. On Our Way (Featuring Sam Wesley)
4. So Yesterday
5. A Little Love (Featuring Gary LeVox)
6. Whiplash
7. Bright Side of Broken
8. Let Yourself be Loved
9. Hurry Up and Wait
10. Brand New (Featuring Gloria Gaynor)
11. Uh Oh (Here I Go)
12. The Moment
13. Then Christ Came (Demo)
14. Say I Won’t
15. Almost Home
16. Exhale

March 20th's Sunday/Monday Posts

Hi all!  It's Sunday morning (okay, fine, it's Saturday night my time still), so that means it's time to post some about our lives, bookish and otherwise.  As such, I'll be participating in:

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

I had a busy week.  I was trying to get a bunch of stuff wrapped up at work, and do it all in four days.  Thursday, I was off for my annual colonoscopy.  I haven't talked about it around here for several years, but back in late 2017, I was diagnosed with colon cancer.  This was my annual follow up appointment.  They didn't find anything concerning, again, which is always nice.  I wasn't expecting them to find anything concerning, but it is nice to get that from a medical professional, you know?

I did fill out my first March Madness bracket ever this week, which lead me to "watching" some of the games.  (My definition of watching sports is to have the TV on with the sound off as I work on other things and check the score occasionally.)  I was actually doing pretty well early Monday, and I was ahead of my work group, but I've dropped since then and I'm near the bottom.  Oh well.  Considering that I don't follow sports, I'm surprised I did as well as I did early on Thursday.

That was pretty much my excitement in my real life this week.  (Honestly, I don't lead a very exciting life.)  So let's take a look at what I posted on the blog this week.

This Past Week on the Blog:

Sunday - Disney Pin Review: Big Thunder Mountain - Cuckoo for Disney Pins
Monday - Ornament Review: Winter Fun with Snoopy #24
Tuesday - Book Review: A Dismal Harvest by Daisy Bateman
Wednesday - Movie Review: Turning Red
Thursday - Book Review: A Bird's Eye View of Murder by Jacqueline Vick
Friday - Friday Book Post Featuring An Eternal Lei
Saturday - March 19th's Weekly TV Thoughts

This Coming Week on the Blog:

What have I got coming up this week on the blog?  I'm glad you asked.

Sunday - Music Review: inhale (exhale) by MercyMe
Monday - Movie Review: A Quiet Place
Tuesday - Book Review: An Eternal Lei by Naomi Hirahara
Wednesday - Movie Review: Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Thursday - Book Review: Dead in the Water by S. C. Merritt
Friday - Ornament Review: Storytellers
Saturday - TV Show Review: Pearson - The Completely Series

Maybe not quite the normal variety pack, but still, a variety of reviews coming up this week.

This Week's Book Haul:

I got two books this week.  I rarely pre-order by more than a week or two, but I took advantage of the pre-order sale that Barnes and Noble had at the end of January to order lots of books coming out between now and the end of the year.  One of those came this week, but for some reason, in my notes, I had it coming out next week.  Not that I'm complaining.

Anyway, this week's books were:

Jesus Can by Austin French with Tim Luke
Under Lock and Skeleton Key by Gigi Pandian

Yes, a non-fiction book snuck in there.  Austin French is a Christian singer I enjoy, so I thought I'd buy it when I was buying one of his CDs off his site.

Finally, we come to...

What I'm Currently Reading

I actually just finished up a book on Saturday, Death in a Blackout, the first in a new series from Jessica Ellicott.  I enjoyed it, and I'm looking forward to reading more in the series.  I'm running very ahead right now since I plan on review the book in the beginning of April.  I'm not normally quite this far ahead, not that I'm complaining.

Now, I'll be starting Murder in the Bowery by Victoria Thompson.  I'm still working on catching up in the Gaslight series, and I'm looking forward to this adventure.

Finally, I'm starting an audio book as well, A Little Class on Murder by Carolyn Hart.  Yes, the Death on Demand series is another series I am way behind on.  I'm looking forward to it.

I think that about wraps us up for the week.  Hope you have a great one.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

March 19th's Weekly TV Thoughts

Domino Masters (3/9) – I missed that this premiered last week, but I got the premier on demand.  The host is trying too much to be Will Arnet in Lego Masters, and he can’t pull it off.  But it’s still a fun show.  Those builds were impressive, especially around the theme.  Again, I wouldn’t have the creativity to pull it off.  It was easy to see which teams were going to be eliminated, although they all did well.  Definitely looking forward to more of this show.

The Weakest Link – So much for having nothing to watch on Sunday nights, although this isn’t something I pay close attention to.  I enjoy Jane’s zingers, most of the time.  I certainly did with this one.  How frustrating must it be to learn you made a chain but you banked along the way.  Granted, I’d be the one banking the entire time, so I am not blaming them at all.

The Flash – This episode included more of the characters, but some of them just seemed to have cameos.  Still, I liked how that set up or furthered on going storylines.  Love how Caitlin and Frost are both dating men with similar names.  (And I might really like the name, too.)  This episode was most about letting us really get to know the new captain.  And I like what they did with her, too.

Survivor – Sounds like the guy who found the idol is trusting the wrong people since they are actively working against him.  And he’s bad at keeping track of it.  So far, we are 2 for 2 in people trying to use the Shot in the Dark advantage.  And it hasn’t worked out.  Meanwhile, it was used, what, once, last season?  I do give the people who used it credit – they were the ones to go home.  It’s not like they used it when they didn’t need to.

Domino Masters – I wasn’t that surprised at the two teams moving on.  They both had so much experience.  And then, their builds were better and worked, although the pie almost derailed the one.  I feel sorry for the other teams, but I certainly agree with the judges.

Friday, March 18, 2022

March 18th's Book Beginnings, First Line Friday, Friday 56, and Book Blogger Hop

Welcome to Friday!  That must mean it is time for Book Beginnings, First Line Friday, and Friday 56.  I'm also going to join the Book Blogger Hop this week.

This week, I am featuring An Eternal Lei by Naomi Hirahara.

This is the second book in a series set in Hawai'i.  This one is set in October of 2020.  I wasn't sure I was ready to read a book set during the pandemic, but I enjoyed it.

Here's how the book begins:

At first my sister Dani thought she saw a giant jellyfish bobbing on the surface of Waimea Bay.

Yes, this is a mystery, so it is hardly a spoiler alert to way it wasn't a jellyfish.

I'm going with a very brief teaser from page 56 this time.  I'm trying to avoid a spoiler, and I think this works better short:

"But there's a woman dat keeps calling about her status."

I'll have my review up on Tuesday, release day.  For now, I'll just say I enjoyed it.

And now, this week's Book Blogger Hop question:

Do you think listening to an audiobook instead of reading the print version makes it more difficult to write a review?

I was reluctant to review audio books for years, but once I finally decided to start it, I realized it wasn't that hard for me.  I still need to talk about plot and characters, etc.  I also will talk about the narrator.  Since I listen only while driving in the car or doing mindless stuff around the condo, I don't find my concentration wandering, either.  I don't listen to that many books a year, usually around 12, but I'm getting to some authors I have wanted to read but would probably have never gotten to otherwise this way, and I love it.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Book Review: A Bird’s Eye View of Murder by Jacqueline Vick (Frankie Chandler Pet Psychic Mysteries #2)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Fun characters, good mystery
Cons: Pacing early on; for some, some violence to animals
The Bottom Line:
Baking show murder
Frankie’s aunt hiding secrets
Plenty of fun here

Frankie Finds that Murder Isn’t Flighty

While I generally avoid paranormal cozies, I made an exception when I read the first of the Frankie Chandler Pet Psychic series a couple of years back.  I fully intended to get back to A Bird’s Eye View of Murder, the second in the series, before now.  I wish I hadn’t waited so long.

It’s just been a month since Frankie got involved in a murder and discovered that she could really hear what animals are thinking.  However, her abilities seem to have fizzled since then.  Now, her aunt has come to town with tickets for both of them to a taping of the live series premier of Blue-Ribbon Babes, the newest show on The Baking Channel.  Frankie isn’t excited about going, but she is going to make her aunt happy.

After the show is over, Frankie stumbles on the dead body of the show’s winner on the kitchen set used during the taping.  The police seem to zero in on Frankie’s aunt as the main suspect, and Frankie has to concede that her aunt is hiding something from everyone.  But she isn’t a murderer, is she?

Instead of being a paranormal cozy, this is more a comic mystery with paranormal elements.  Those elements are there, but they aren’t the focus of the book.  In fact, Frankie doesn’t want her gift and struggles with what it means as a Catholic.  I’m not Catholic, but I still enjoyed that struggle and what it showed me about her character.  I also appreciated it because I typically avoid paranormal cozies for the reasons she brought up.

And, most of all, this book is fun.  I smiled the entire way through and laughed a few times as well.  If you enjoy culinary cozies, there is an element of that, at least in the first few chapters, as well.

The book did start a little slowly, or at least it felt like it was a little while before Frankie was really looking at any of the suspects.  Instead, the focus was on her aunt in those earlier chapters.  But once Frankie started really investigating, the book picked up.  I didn’t know who had done it until right before Frankie figured it out.

I will warn you that there is some violence to animals in the story.  To me, if felt natural, like the animals were being treated like the human characters.  It certainly wasn’t any worse than anything that happens to the human characters.

I also really like the characters.  There are several sub-plots, which give some of the others chances to shine.  It also allows for some more humor.  I did find Frankie’s aunt annoying at times; she walks that fine line between being funny and being annoying, but for the most part I enjoyed her.

I’m glad I finally took the time to revisit Frankie with A Bird’s Eye View of Murder.  I’m hoping I can sneak the next book in the series into my reading schedule sooner rather than later.

The rest of the Frankie Chandler Pet Psychic Mysteries are calling to you.  Can you hear it?