Friday, March 31, 2023

March 31st's Friday Post

Welcome to Friday!  Time for this week's Friday post, where I will be linking up to:

For the first three, I will be pulling quotes from On Spine of Death by Tamara Berry.

This is the second book in the By the Book Mysteries.  I finished it earlier this week, and I loved it!  Here's how the book begins.

Tess knew the exact moment the blood started dripping down her hands.

That will catch your attention, especially when you learn that Tess is our main character.  Or at least it caught mine.

To make up for that short teaser, I'm going to pull a longer one for the Friday 56.  I'm getting a running start by starting at the bottom of page 55.

"Lucky for you, I did a full electronic sweep this morning.  You're all clear, Tess, in case you were wondering," Nicki said.
Tess had no idea that Nicki had such cool technology at her fingertips, but she liked it.  "Was it Mason you suspected of planting bugs, or the sheriff's department?" Tess asked.
"Mason, of course," Nicki replied.  "Sherriff Boyd wouldn't place surveillance without just cause and a warrant first."
It was true.  Getting Sheriff Boyd to break a rule was as easy as getting Tess to follow one.

And yes, I did all that just for the final line.  When you know the characters, it's a pretty funny line.  Hopefully, you got that from the context.

As I said, I enjoyed the book.  My full review will be up on Thursday next week, so I hope you'll come back then and see what I thought.

Shall we get to the Book Blogger Hop?  This week's question is:

What apps/websites do you use to make your social media posts?

I don't use anything to make posts.  I go to the sites themselves and make the posts.  I'm not even sure of any sites or apps that do that any more, so I will have to pay some attention to what everyone else uses.

As far as places I have accounts, I have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Parler, Gettr, and MeWe.

I hadn't thought of it when I first posted this, but I do us PicCollage and really enjoy it.  Most of those wind up here on the blog for my monthly reading summary posts (March went up yesterday) or my Sunday/Monday posts.  I didn't think about it since I don't use it for Instagram or other social media sites that much.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 30, 2023

March 2023's Reading Summary

 It's the end of March, already.  2023 is flying by, isn't it?  That must mean it is time for another reading summary.  Along with that, the index has been updated.  Two months in a row!

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


Till Death Do Us Port by Kate Lansing (Colorado Wine Mysteries #4) – 5

Parker Valentine is thrilled for her cousin, Emma, who is about to marry the man of her dreams.  And Parker is hoping that providing the wine for the reception will help grow her winery.  However, the day is facing more than the usual rockiness.  Then things take a turn when the wedding planner turns up dead, and Parker teams up with an unlikely ally to figure out who did it.

I’d forgotten just how wonderful this series is before I picked up this book, but I was reminded very quickly.  The characters are strong.  I love seeing how Parker and the rest of the regulars have grown, and the new characters were just as good.  Between drama and the mystery, there’s plenty to keep us turning pages, and it leads to a great climax.  The way the author weaves in tidbits about grapes and wine to shed light on the story helps build on the theme.  There are some funny moments as well, which really added to my enjoyment.  The book is written in present tense, which is different, but I find it well worth the extra effort it takes my brain to adjust in the first couple of chapters.  We get three recipes at the end, combined with suggested wine pairings.  Fans will enjoy this book, and if you haven’t started this series yet, fix that today.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.


Record Store Reckoning by J.C. Kenney (Darcy Gaughan Mysteries #1) – 4

Darcy Gaughan has just returned home from a wonderful vacation.  On her first day back at work, she makes a horrible discovery, the body of her boss and mentor in his office.  The evidence seems to point to suicide, or at least that’s what the police think.  Darcy doesn’t buy it for a minute and starts to investigate to learn the truth.  Can she figure out what really happened?  Or are the police right?

I couldn’t resist a music store set cozy, and this one introduced us to some great characters.  I liked Darcy and the rest of the staff, and the suspects were strong as well.  I appreciated the fact that they still had motives even though the victim was generally a well-loved person.  I did feel the pacing was off, including a small data dump early on, but it did build to a strong climax.  I also found a lot of typos in the physical copy I bought soon after it came out.  The book is still very readable, but they were annoying.  Things build to a logical and fun climax.  I’m looking forward to seeing what happens to Darcy next.


Vinyl Resting Place by Olivia Blacke (Record Shop Mysteries #1) – 5

Juni Jessup and her sisters have opened Sip and Spin Records, a combined record store and coffee shop, on the site of the one that their family used to own before records stopped selling.  The night before their official opening, they are throwing a party, but things turn tragic afterward when Juni finds a dead body in their storage closet.  When their uncle is arrested for the crime, Juni and her sisters don’t hesitate to put their shop up to get him released on bail.  But then he vanishes.  Can the three of them figure out what is really going on in time to save their shop?

I really enjoyed this debut.  The plot takes off in a couple of different directions, and I enjoyed that creativity.  I did feel it slowed down a little in the middle, but it picked up again for a fantastic climax.  You can feel the history between Juni and her sisters, and I loved their relationships.  There are other fun series regulars, and the suspects fit into the book perfectly.  I also enjoyed the humor running through the book.  The setting, a small town just outside of Austin, Texas, was charming as well.  I can’t wait to revisit Juni and the rest of the characters again soon.


The Shimmer by Ridley Pearson (Kingdom Keepers Inheritance #1) – 4

In the near future, Eli Whitman is living in EPCOT, which has been designed to fulfill Walt Disney’s original vision for a community.  His thirteenth birthday coincides with a solar eclipse, but it’s what happens at his party that is really strange.  The video game he and his friends are playing comes to life, and someone jumps out from it, kidnapping him.  Can his friends find him?  Where is he?

When Ridley Pearson announced he was going to write about the kids of the Kingdom Keepers, I knew I had to find out what he was going to do next.  I loved the advances in technology we get with the future setting.  There’s plenty of action to keep us turning pages, and I’m curious to see where this saga is going to go next.  I did have a little trouble keeping all the characters straight early on, but the important ones quickly emerge as the action starts.  And yes, the original Kingdom Keepers we know and love are here, and they have a slightly larger roll than I was expecting, which was wonderful.  I’m already anxious to see where the characters are going to find themselves next.


All This is Hidden by Rhys Bowen and Clare Broyles (Molly Murphy #19) – 4

Molly is shocked when her husband, Daniel, announces that he has quit his job with the New York City police department to run for New York Sheriff on the Tammany Hall ticket.  Knowing how much Daniel hates bribes, she can’t believe it, but he tells her to trust him.  Along with this change, they are moving into a house of Fifth Avenue, which also doesn’t make Molly happy.  As she tries to adjust to her new life, she finds that something is going on beneath the surface.  Then a murder takes place.  Can Molly figure out what is going on?

It's always a delight to visit Molly in 1900’s New York City.  The time and place come expertly to life as we watch her try to figure out exactly what is happening.  As is often the case in this series, it takes a little while for the story to truly begin, but once it does, we are treated to an interesting mystery.  One part of the ending was a little abrupt, but that’s a minor complaint.  I’m happy to say I liked Daniel here overall, which isn’t always the case, and the rest of the regulars were their charming selves.  I also liked most of the suspects, which made solving the murder that much more interesting.  Fans old and new will lose themselves in Molly’s latest case.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.


Hooked on Murder by Betty Hechtman (Crochet Mysteries #1) – 3

Recently widowed Molly Pink has landed a job as the events coordinator at a local independent bookstore.  Part of that is overseeing the crochet group that meets in their event space.  When one of their members, Ellen Sheridan, leaves behind her crochet needles, Molly decides to run them home.  Unfortunately, she finds Ellen’s dead body, and the police are right behind her.  Molly has more of a connection to Ellen then she lets on at first, and the police think that makes her a great suspect.  Can she figure out what really happened?

When I realized this book was set in Southern California, I decided I had to give it a try.  While there is a good mystery in here, the pacing is off, and some of the sub-plots slowed things down further.  On the other hand, I loved the characters, who are varied and charming.  I especially enjoyed the fictional celebrities who showed up.  Part of my problem was the writing, which felt a bit vague at times, and kept me from getting fully into Molly’s world.  There is a simple crochet project and a delicious sounding recipe at the end.  I liked the characters enough to consider picking up the sequel, but it’s not a series I’m going to rush back to.


Apprehend Me No Flowers by Diane Vallere (Madison Night #7) – 4

It’s May 2019, and Madison is dealing with a lot.  Not only has her idol, Doris Day, recently died, but her business is closed while she deals with a lawsuit.  However, a picnic dinner with her boyfriend, police captain Tex Allen, provides distraction, and not in a good way.  Madison finds a dead body stuffed in a trash can; meanwhile, hikers find another on the other side of the park.  Can Madison figure out what is going on?  Or will she cause more harm than good?

Since Doris Day has been such a large part of the DNA of the series (in a completely fictional sense), I appreciated that this book took the time to address how her death was impacting Madison.  It’s part of her growth in this book, which I enjoyed.  I also appreciated the plot, which includes several different things and kept me entertained until the logical climax.  Unfortunately, I did feel there were a couple of editing snafus, but they were minor overall.  There is a recurring character who continues to surprise me, and that happened here again as well.  I very much want to see where that relationship is going.  All told, this is another winner that will please series fans.


Four Parties and a Funeral by Maria DiRico (Catering Hall Mysteries #4) – 4

Even though Mia Carina has no desire to be part of the new reality show, Dons of Ditmars Boulevard, Belle View has been hired as a location for some events and to cater others.  Not only that, but some mobsters she knows have been cast.  She quickly learns that the drama unfolding before the cameras is no match for the drama unfolding among the crew.  Still, she is surprised when a dead body turns up.  With someone she knows the police’s chief suspect, Mia jumps in to find out what is really happening.  Can she figure it out?

It was wonderful to be back with Mia and the rest of her family and friends.  Yes, I did find a few things related to the production of the show stretched believability a bit for me, but that’s mostly minor.  I was having fun the entire way through the book, laughing quite a bit at the antics of the characters.  I suspect if I watched the kind of show being lampooned here, I would find it even funnier.  There are several sub-plots, but they never take away from the strong mystery, which goes to some rather creative places before Mia reaches the logical solution.  The regular characters are up to their usual antics, which is always fun, and I loved the development that some of them got.  This book will leave readers, old and new, with a grin on their face.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.


The Christie Caper by Carolyn Hart (Death on Demand #7) – 4

Annie Laurence Darling is hosting The Christie Caper, a week-long tribute to the queen of crime on her one hundredth birthday.  But the event is being crashed by Neil Bledsoe, a reviewer who hates all but the most hard boiled mysteries and has made lots of enemies.  Things have hardly started before the attacks on Neil begin, but he still goes ahead with tearing down Agatha Christie.  Can Annie figure out what he is up to and stop him before someone stops him permanently?

Obviously, this book came out quite a few years ago since it was tied to Agatha Christie’s centennial.  But that hardly matters since this is a great puzzle worth of Christie herself.  I did find the pacing a little slow as it neared the middle of the book, but things picked up again not too long after that.  All the characters we know and love are here once again, and they are fantastic.  I do find Annie’s temper a little annoying, and hope it tones down as the series progresses.  The suspects are strong as well.  We get a great dose of humor as the book goes along.  As with the others in the series, there is more foul language than I would expect for the genre.  All told, this is another fine addition to a well-loved series.  Fans of Christie will also enjoy it.


Intrigue in Istanbul by Erica Ruth Neubauer (Jane Wunderly Mysteries #4) – 5

Jane Wunderly has returned home to Boston with her new fiancĂ©, Redvers.  However, when they come home, they discover that Professor Wunderly, Jane’s father, has left town, following a lead to an ancient artifact that he’s been hoping to find for years.  Since something in Boston needs his immediate attention, they head to Istanbul only to find that he’s vanished.  Not knowing if anyone they are meeting is friend or foe, they try to figure out where he is.  Will they find him before it is too late?

It was wonderful to be back in 1926 with Jane and Redvers.  Fans will be delighted to find that Aunt Millie is back as well.  While there are some murders in the book, there is plenty of story to keep the reader entertained before they happen.  I was hooked right away and always had a hard time putting the book down.  The time period comes to life wonderfully as well.  I enjoyed the new characters we met, and I liked watching Jane grow as a result of what she learned.  If you are new to the series, you could jump in here.  Whether new to the series or already a fan, you’ll find this book enjoyable.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.


The Clairvoyant Countess by Dorothy Gilman (Madame Karitska #1) – 3

Madame Karitska is a psychic, and when she meets a young woman in danger, Madame Karitska reaches out to Lieutenant Pruden for help.  Thus begins their relationships as Madame Karitska helps him on several other case.  What really happened with a couple of murders three years ago?  And did a young woman die in a car accident?

I don’t normally pick up supernatural themed stories, but since I love this author’s Mrs. Pollifax series, I decided to give it a try.  Sadly, it disappointed.  I tried, but I couldn’t let go of the supernatural element.  I think part of that was because it made the stories a bit easy to solve.  I was also expecting a novel instead of a series of short stories.  There are a couple of arcs that tie them together, mainly for Lieutenant Pruden, who is as equally an important character as Madame Karitska.  Yet I did enjoy some of the stories in this collection, and I really liked the characters, so this wasn’t a completely loss.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Book Review: The Clairvoyant Countess by Dorothy Gilman (Madame Karitska #1)

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters, some interesting cases
Cons: More short stories than novel, supernatural element weakens story as well
The Bottom Line:
Psychic solving crimes
Many stories in this book
Weaker than I’d hoped

I Saw My Reaction Coming, but Not for the Reasons I Expected

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge Mrs. Pollifax fan.  But, until last year, I hadn’t read any of author Dorothy Gilman’s non-Mrs. Pollifax books.  One reason was The Clairvoyant Countess.  I tend to avoid the supernatural, and, quite obviously, that would be a large part of the book.  While that did bother me, there were other issues with the book.

Originally released in 1975, this book introduces us to Madame Karitska, who has the gift of physic powers.  She also has quite the background, having fled from Russia to wind up in the United States after several stops along the way in Europe.

This book is really a series of stories as she helps Lieutenant Pruden solve several cases.  At first, he is skeptical of her abilities, but he slowly grows to trust her even if he doesn’t quite believe her.  There’s the dead young woman who came to Madame Karitska for a reading before she died.  Then there’s the three-year-old case where the woman charged with the murders claimed she didn’t do it.  And what about Madame Karitska’s prophecies about Lieutenant Pruden’s future?

As I was expecting, the supernatural element really did bother me here.  Usually, when I pick up a book which features something like that, I am willing to make an allowance for it, but I just couldn’t get past it here.

I think part of it was because it felt a bit too powerful.  Basically, as each story goes along, Madame Karitska gets a chance to have a reading, and then she passes the information along to Lieutenant Pruden, who then has to figure out what it means for his case.  They two are definitely co main characters, but even so, it felt like her visions were too powerful.  And, in some ways, I felt like she was a background character in her own story since he got so much page time.

I think another part of the problem is that I was expecting a novel when I picked this up.  Yes, there are times something from an earlier story pops up later in the book, but many of these stories could stand on their own just fine.  I felt like it was more a short story collection than a novel.  There are some arcs, mostly for Lieutenant Pruden, but very little to truly tie things together.

And yet, I did enjoy my time with the characters.  Both Madame Karitska and Lieutenant Pruden are nice characters, and some of the other characters who pop up several times are also fun.  The stories themselves are interesting.

The Clairvoyant Countess isn’t a complete miss for me.  But it isn’t as strong as I would have liked it to be.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Movie Review: Garage Sale Mystery - Searched and Seized

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Mostly good plot, great to spend more time with these characters
Cons: Ending a little weak, usual low budget production
The Bottom Line:
One more Garage Sale
Has elements that fans love
Be sure to catch it

“I’ve Noticed a Few Odd Things.”  “Here We Go.”

I knew there was at least one Garage Sale Mystery movie that had never aired thanks to star Lori Loughlin’s involvement in the college admission scandal.  I wasn’t sure if it would ever air, but I’d stopped looking for it.  Imagine my surprise when I stumbled on it on the schedule, so I immediately set my DVR to record Searched and Seized.

Antique store owner Jennifer Shannon (Lori Loughlin) is prepared to help out her friend Miles (Hrothgar Mathews) with a police auction he is running.  While the two own competing antiques businesses, they have become friends over the years.  So Jennifer is surprised when Miles informs her abruptly that he has hired someone else to help him.

The auction mostly goes off okay, but a few weird things catch Jennifer’s eye.  But then Miles dies later that night.  While it looks like suicide at first, the medical examiner rules it a homicide.  Will Jennifer figure out what is really going on?

While I struggled with the early movies in the franchise, I hadn’t realized how much I can come to miss these characters until I started watching this movie.  It was just like being home, and I loved it.  Everyone’s here, and it was great to see them again.  About the only thing missing was a truly terribly joke from the medical examiner.  And since I always loved them, I missed it.

There is a sub-plot involving a car that Jennifer’s son, Logan (Connor Stanhope), buys at the auction with the intent of fixing it up.  I really enjoyed it.

And the mystery itself?  There was plenty of keep me guessing.  I did feel the ending was a little weaker than it could have been, but overall, it was a strong mystery that kept me engaged.

Since the actors had been playing these roles for years at this point (despite early recasting), they know the characters and are able to bring them to life for us.

Yes, there is a bit of the low budget issues that plague many Hallmark movies, but it is a small dose.  The movies in this franchise were a well-oiled machine.

At this point, I can’t remember if there are any more Garage Sale Mysteries that had been filmed but unscheduled due to the scandal.  I believe that Searched and Seized is the final film completed, but I will keep my eyes open in case I am wrong.  If this is the end, it is one that fans of the franchise will enjoy.

Monday, March 27, 2023

Book Review: Intrigue in Istanbul by Erica Ruth Neubauer (Jane Wunderly Mysteries #4)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong plot and great characters
Cons: I was too intrigued to look for cons
The Bottom Line:
Race to find father
Plenty of action, danger
Book hard to put down

Racing to Find Her Father

I’ll admit, I was a little confused when I saw the fourth Jane Wunderly Mystery was titled Intrigue in Istanbul.  You see, when we last saw her, she and her fiancĂ©, Redvers, had just landed in New York on their way to Boston so that he could meet Jane’s father.  So why were we suddenly in Turkey?  But as soon as I started reading the book, it made sense.

You see, when Jane and Redvers arrive in Boston, they discover that no one is living in the Wunderly home.  After some digging, they finally learn that her father, a history professor, has taken off to Turkey since he’s gotten a new clue in his search for a relic he’s been trying to find for decades.  However, when he left, he left things in a precarious position in Boston, and Jane and Redvers can’t wait for him to return to resolve things.

So, they set off for Istanbul as well.  When they arrive, they learn he has vanished without a trace, even leaving behind his luggage.   With no idea who to trust or how much danger Professor Wunderly is in, they must find him before time runs out at home.  Can they do it?

Quite obviously, there is plenty here to keep the reader intrigued.  We spend just enough time in Boston to set up the story, and then we arrive in Istanbul, where things really take off.  Yes, a dead body or two turn up, but honestly, the book didn’t need them.  There is so much driving the plot that I was hooked long before that happened.  Of course, the murders did raise the stakes quite nicely, so they definitely add to the plot.

This is more of a caper than a traditional mystery.  I’ve complained in the past that some capers feel like they are so busy racing from one plot point to another that they don’t quite connect all the dots for us.  Fortunately, that doesn’t happen here.  Everything is logically explained by the time we reach the last page.

Fans of the series will be happy to hear that Aunt Millie is back as well.  She is a hoot.  Oh, I get Jane’s frustrations with her, but since I just have to read about her, I find her fun.

Jane has some growing to do as the book unfolds, and I enjoyed watching that.  I also continue to enjoy watching Jane and Redvers’s relationship get stronger.

While this is the fourth book in the series, you really could jump in here.  There are a few references to past events, but there aren’t any spoilers.  Yes, I think you’ll find the characters richer if you’ve met them before, but you’ll still appreciate what happens here.

The one thing I haven’t mentioned yet is that the book takes place in 1926.  While the book doesn’t bring real life historical events into the story, we do get a look at what life was like then, including social attitudes and travel.

Intrigue in Istanbul is a page turning.  If you are looking for a little historical globe trotting, this is the book for you.

Enjoy more historical travel with the rest of the Jane Wunderly Mysteries.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Candy Review: Honey Graham M&M's

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Sweet new flavor
Cons: Doesn’t quite live up to the name
The Bottom Line:
Creative flavor
Almost lives up to its name
Fun for fans to try

Sweet Twist on a Classic

I’m always keeping my eyes open for a twist on popular favorite sweets, so when I spotted a package of Honey Graham M&M’s, I had to snag them to try them out.  Their flavor isn’t quite what I expected, but it is good for something different.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the package was the size.  They are half the size of a traditional M&M.  Don’t know that I’ve seen ones that small before.  There are three colors of M&M’s in the package, brown, yellow, and cream.

The candies themselves have a crispy rice center surrounded by chocolate and the candy coating.  Based on the Honey Graham title, I was expecting a chocolate covered graham cracker flavor.  And I think it is in there.  It’s a little hard to identify it for sure, but there is a sweetness to the candy that normally isn’t there.  It’s not quite honey, but it’s close.  The rice does crunch nicely, and I feel like I’m eating a graham cracker.

While these don’t immediately live up to their name for me, I do like them.  The sweetness is fun for something different.  Would I buy these again?  Quite possibly.  Will I rush out to buy them right this second?  No.  But they are definitely better than some of the other special flavors I’ve tried.

I’m glad I tried the Honey Graham M&M’s.  If they sound good to you, I recommend you pick up a bag.

March 26th's Sunday/Monday Post

Time to kick off another week, and I'll be doing it with another Sunday/Monday post.  As usual, I'll be linking up to:

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

Not too much to report around here this week.  We got another 2.5 inches of rain on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Even a surprise shower Thursday night.  At this point, I think Southern California is at twice our normal rainfall for the year.  If not, the storm they are predicting for this coming Wednesday should push us over the edge.  But it's amazing how green all the hills around us are.  I'm loving it and trying to soak it in while I can.

However, March is going to be the first month since I got my paddleboard that I haven't taken it out.  When it wasn't raining on the weekend, it's been very windy.  I might have been able to go out today, but they were predicting wind, and I didn't want to risk it.  I didn't notice it being windy when I looked out the window, but with my luck, I would have driven over to the lake and it would have started to really blow.  Hopefully, I can start getting back out there in April.

This Past Week on the Blog:

This Coming Week on the Blog:

Sunday - Candy Review: Honey Graham M&M's
Monday - Book Review: Intrigue in Istanbul by Erica Ruth Neubauer
Tuesday - Movie Review: Garage Sale Mysteries - Searched and Seized
Wednesday - Book Review: The Clairvoyant Countess by Dorothy Gilman
Thursday - March Reading Summary
Friday - Friday Post
Saturday - Weekly TV Thoughts

Book Haul:

You ready for this?  I got six books this week.  That's five ARCs and a pre-order that was released this week.

I'm starting to get the ARCs for book tours I've signed up for in May.  In the last couple of weeks, May went from only have one book I thought I'd be reading for review to having four.  I'm still waiting for one of those ARCs to come in.  I've had the first of the May books for a while - Murder on the Home Front by Jessica Ellicott.  (So no, this doesn't count as one of my six new books this week.)

But I did get two more eARCs for May reviews this week.  Up first is A Novel Disguise by Samantha Larsen.  This is historical fiction set in England in 1784.  The premise sounded interesting - a woman trying to live on her own and keep the fact that she is living on her own a secret.  Of course, it is a murder mystery.  This is me, after all.

The second May eARC I got this week was #TagMe for Murder, the second Trending Topics Mystery from Sarah E. Burr.  I enjoyed the first one last year, so I'm looking forward to diving in and seeing what happens to the characters next.  Honestly, I haven't even looked at the teaser.  That's how much I am interested in the book.

Another June eARC came in as well as I was approved for A Stolen Child by Sarah Stewart Taylor.  This is the fourth in her Maggie D'Arcy series.  I'm very curious to see where she is going to go with the characters, so hopefully this will be a good one.

The last two ARCs I got were from authors.  From Diane Vallere, I got an eARC copy of Fahrenheit 501.  Yes, the books been out a while, but she offered me a copy, knowing I still had a few months to go before I'd be reading it.  Naturally, I jumped at it.  Remember, my policy is to not turn down books I intend to buy and read.

In Saturday's mail, I got a physical ARC of The Truth We Hide by Liz Milliron.  This is the fourth in her Homefront Mysteries, set in Buffalo, New York, during World War II.  This book actually came out almost two weeks ago.  I wasn't going to be able to get to it then, but when she offered me the ARC a second time, I decided to take her up on it.  I was actually thinking about starting it Saturday night, but it came wet.  Something got spilled on it - I think just water - but it was extremely wet.  Like the covers feel like limp noodles wet.  I think if I can dry it out, it should be okay.  I've got a friend who is going to bring me a hairdryer to church tomorrow to use on it.  But I'll put off reading it a week until it is dry.

Finally, my pre-order - The Raven Thief by Gigi Pandian.  This is the second in her newest series - The Secret Staircase Mysteries.  I enjoyed the first, and I'm looking forward to getting to the some point soon.  Obviously, I have a lot of books coming up in the next few months I've already agreed to read and review, so I need to figure out when I can work it in.

What I'm Currently Reading:

Just before I started working on this post Saturday night, I finished up Digging Up Daisy by Sherry Lynn.  I'm going to have to sleep on it before I write my review, but I think it left a couple of major clues unaccounted for to be really satisfying.  We'll see if I get any brilliant realizations about it overnight.

That means that up next will be On Spine of Death by Tamara Berry.  I've had the book since December, and I'm just now getting a chance to read it.  The fact that I've pre-ordered the next in the series, which comes out the end of May, has helped pushed this one up my to be read pile.  I really enjoyed the first in the series when I read it last spring, so I'm looking forward to this one.

Have a great week!

Saturday, March 25, 2023

March 25th's Weekly TV Thoughts

 A couple shows took the week off, and one got postponed until who knows when (Lingo).  So it made for what felt like a lighter week, which was nice.  It would also be nice if my shows were spread across the week more evenly, but the programmers haven't consulted me, still.  Weird, right?

The Company You Keep – Wow, all secrets are off the table.  As a resolution for last episode’s cliffhanger, it felt a bit weak, but I thought we’d be dancing around all of this until the end of the first season at least.  I’m very curious to know where they are going to go now.

Quantum Leap – What????  Ziggy’s the mole?  On purpose or accidentally?  I hope there’s a good reason for it since they’ve been so respectful of the original up until now.  And why is Leaper X going to kill Madison?  How could Ben have stopped it?  I have so many questions.  And yes, that was a good leap, but I’m much more caught up in the current timeline right now.

Superman & Lois – I thought they were going to go there.  It’s going to make this a rough season.  I’m hoping they aren’t going to do anything crazy with it like turn her into a superhuman or something.  But this show is at it’s best.  Clark was there for Lois immediately.  No blame about how he found out or anything.  It’s why I love this show.

Gotham Knights – I am officially hooked.  Wayne’s servant is in league with the Court of Owls?  Robin is helping hide something?  What in the world is going on.  And how are we going to be able to prove any of it?  Yeah, I know I’m only two episodes in and we have a long way to go to find out, but I hope it continues to be such a thrilling ride.

Will Trent – I think I’ve finally warmed up to the characters.  I felt that was a good episode.  Definitely some twists, and I liked how everyone figured it out.  Episodes like that can be tricky when you don’t have the characters together like normal, but they made it work.  And I appreciate how there were consequences for the fugitive even if he was innocent of murder.  Hopefully, they go light on him, however.  I know even justice loving me would.

The Mandalorian – Definitely a better episode.  Almost half the length of last week for one thing.  I’m unclear why we needed the flashback in the middle, but they are carrying through some plot threads and those creatures are going to be a very interesting plot complication.  But having a show with everyone under a mask is going to be old quickly.

Survivor – It’s been a while since we switched people up pre-merge.  Giving them an idol was smart, obviously, since it makes it so they will stick around.  But wow, a team now down to three people.  That’s not good at all.  And I’ve lost track of how many episodes we are in.  I wonder if they will make the merge even.  Then, will they be the easy pickings if they do make the merge.

True Lies – A little better than last week’s.  The relationship stuff is fairly predictable, but Matthew Lillard was great as The Wolf.  I knew he would be based on what I’ve seen him do in the past (big Scream fan here, remember).  Still, this is missing the fun of the pilot, and usually I feel like the pilot is the weakest part of a first season.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Book Review: The Christie Caper by Carolyn Hart (Death on Demand #7)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Great characters and puzzle
Cons: Annie’s temper (at times) and pacing near the middle
The Bottom Line:
Honoring Christie
But critic is targeted
A worthy tribute

Honoring Agatha Christie Turns Deadly

Considering the Death on Demand books I’ve read so far have all had numerous references to Agatha Christie, I was wondering why we had The Christie Caper, a book devoted to her, in the series.  But, I figured any book in the series would be enjoyable and it would make sense once I got into the book, and I was right.

If you’ve missed this series, it features Annie Laurance Darling, owner of Death on Demand, a mystery bookstore on the island of Broward’s Rock, South Carolina.  You’d think a small island would be free from crime, yet she and her husband, Max, keep finding themselves in the middle of one mystery after another.  I’m late coming to the series, which started in the 1980’s.  This book was originally released in 1991, which is important to the set up.

You see, the title of the book comes from an event that Annie has been planning to honor Agatha Christie’s one hundredth birthday, which was in 1990.  She is planning a week-long celebration to honor Agatha and the traditional mysteries that have come sense.  She has high profile authors coming and plenty of fans.  It’s been a lot of work, but Annie is certain it will be fun.

However, trouble arrives in the form of Neil Bledsoe.  He’s a reviewer.  Reviewers, such horrible creatures.  In all seriousness, Neil delights in tearing down books he deems unworthy, and the only mysteries he deems worthy are blood and guts hard boiled stories.  The conference is filled with people who have come to hate Neil, and it isn’t long before the attempts on his life start.  He isn’t helping matters by threatening to release a new tell all biography that will tear down Agatha Christie.  Can Annie figure out a way to stop him and keep him from being killed?

This book is a little longer than the books in the series have been so far, and I felt it showed.  The story was beginning to drag a little in the middle, with the characters going round and round without anything truly new happening.  But then something did happen, and the book picked right back up.  When I reached the end, I was impressed with how brilliant the plot was.  This was something definitely worthy of Agatha Christie herself.

All the characters we know and love are here.  I’ll admit that Annie’s temper gets a little annoying at times.  Don’t get me wrong, I understand why she is angry, but I hope she outgrows it a little in future books.  I still do like her overall, and I love so many of the supporting characters.  We get some charming new ones as well as some good suspects.  While we do get the dossiers of the suspects, they come later in the book than normal, which was a welcome change.  By then, we already knew who the suspects were, so this information meant something.

Once again, we get some great humor in the book.  Yes, we are laughing at some of the things that stress Annie out, but there are some truly fun moments in this book.

As usual for this series, it comes with my usual language warning.  Despite being a cozy in every other way, there is a lot of foul language over the course of the book.

This is still one of my audiobook series, and Kate Reading did another great job reading the book and providing just the right amount of expression without overshadowing the story and becoming annoying.

The Christie Caper is a wonder tribute to the queen of crime and a fun mystery on its own.  If you are a Christie fan or a fan of this series, you’ll enjoy it.

Browse the rest of the Death on Demand Mysteries.

March 24th's Friday Post

Welcome to Friday and another Friday Post.  As usual, I'll be linking up to:

Book Beginnings
First Line Friday
Friday 56
Book Blogger Hop

My teasers for the first three will come from Intrigue in Istanbul by Erica Ruth Neubauer.

This is book four in the series, and it opens like this:

After so many months abroad, it was a little surreal to be back in my hometown of Boston.  The streets were still bustling and nothing about the city had changed, but I certainly had.  I was a much different person than the one that set off to Egypt.

Yes, the first book in the series was set in Egypt.  And it has been quite a journey for our main character.

Now, let's jump over to page 56.  I'm actually going to take the first line from the page:

Maral shook her head.  "I do not trust that man."

Intrigued?  Well, the book comes out on Tuesday, but my review will be up on Monday.  I hope you'll come back to see what I thought.

Let's finish things off with the Book Blogger Hop.  This week's question is:

Are books a must-have in your home?

Of course they are, as the piles of books that don't fit on bookshelves will attest.  I really need to cull my collection.  It's just so hard to part with any.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Movie Review: The Cases of Mystery Lane

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Laughs, good mystery and characters
Cons: A few things didn’t quite work for me, but they are minor
The Bottom Line:
PI in training
Solves murder at wife’s office
With plenty of laughs

“Who Takes a Seven Dollar Bribe?”

When I started seeing previews for The Cases of Mystery Lane, a new Hallmark mystery movie, I marked the premier on my calendar.  The more I paid attention, the more I started to think this one could prove to be lots of fun.  And I was completely right.

This movie introduces us to Alden and Birdie Case (Paul Campbell and Aimee Garcia).  Birdie is a lawyer, working in the Boston law firm where her mother (Jacqueline Samuda) is her boss.  And her mother is driving Birdie to work harder to show she is partner material.  Meanwhile, Alden is taking a night school class to become a PI, something he is keeping secret from Birdie.  Not that they he is the only one keeping a secret in their marriage.  Yes, they are drifting apart.

Alden’s latest assignment for his class is to follow someone, and he chooses Kyle, one of Birdie’s co-workers that she seems too close to.  When Kyle makes a stop by the office and then runs out, Alden goes in to investigate.  That’s when he finds the body of one of the partners just before the police show up.

The police rule the death a suicide, but it doesn’t sit right with Alden and Birdie.  Reluctantly, Birdie starts helping Alden investigate.  Will they figure out what really happened?

Obviously, this is a familiar set up for a mystery story, at least the proving someone was murdered instead of a suicide.  But the movie keeps the pace moving and it isn’t long before Alden and Birdie are tracking down some real leads even though the victim doesn’t seem to have any enemies.  I’m not sure I completely buy the killer.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, I get the motive, so I’ll let that go.

And there was one thing introduced early on that was dropped.  I hope it comes back in a later movie.

I did find it interesting that the set up felt similar to Hallmark’s Nikki and Nora: Sister Sleuths, which I actually finally watched a couple of weeks ago even though it premiered last fall.  Granted, I read lots of books with similar set ups and themes, but the fact that Hallmark introduced two potential franchises that are so similar in six months or so was interesting to me.

I don’t remember Hallmark attempting to do a comedic mystery movie before, or a comedy movie in general.  Oh, there are been a few laughs in the movies I’ve watched, but this was definitely intended as a comedy.  And, for the most part, it worked.  Yes, they tried a little too hard at times.  Overall, there were lots of great lines that had me laughing as I watched.

The character arcs were a little predictable, but I didn’t mind that much since I was happy with where things ended.  The actors all do a good job of bringing their characters to life.

Yes, the movie does have a little bit of the standard Hallmark cheese, but it is kept to a minimum.  For the most part, I was able to ignore it and get lost in the story and laughs.

From the way this movie ends, everyone is clearly hoping this becomes a new movie franchise for Hallmark.  I’m right there with them since I really enjoyed The Cases of Mystery Lane.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Book Review: Four Parties and a Funeral by Maria DiRico (Catering Hall Mysteries #4)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Characters, story, and lots of laughs
Cons: A couple things didn’t quite work for me
The Bottom Line:
Reality show
Brings murder, plenty of fun
Keeps pages turning

Reality Show Gets Real with Murder

While I don’t watch the soap opera tinged reality shows, I have heard enough about them and seen clips to get an idea of what they are like.  So, when a fictional one was the basis for Four Parties and a Funeral, the fourth Catering Hall Mystery from Maria DiRico, I sat back expecting a rollicking good time.

This series is a little different from a typical cozy mystery.  Mia Carina is our main character, and she works at Belle View Banquet Manor, a catering hall.  So far, it sounds like a cozy, right?  However, what if I told you that the catering hall was located in Astoria, Queens in New York City.  And what if I told you this was a legitimate business Mia is running for the members of a mob family.  And some of Mia’s immediate family members have been involved in the mob.  No, this might not fit your typical cozy definition, but it works wonderfully as a cozy anyway.

In this book, some reality show producers have come to the area to film the pilot for a new reality show, Dons of Ditmars Boulevard.  While Mia has no desire to be included in any way, Belle View has been booked for a few scenes, and they’ve been hired for catering.  Naturally, Mia knows some of those who are included in the cast, including Little Donny, the grown son of the Family that owns Belle View.

The drama the producers are looking for on screen is nothing compared to the drama happening behind the scenes.  The show has hardly started filming when someone is killed.  The police zero in on Little Donny as their chief suspect.  Mia has known him all his life, and knows that he couldn’t possibly commit murder.  But can she figure out what really happened?

As I said, I don’t typically watch these types of shows, but I certainly know enough about them to see the way the book is mocking them.  I laughed many times at the antics happening on stage and behind the camera.  I can only imagine that fans of the genre would get an even bigger kick out of it than I did.

Having said that, there were a few things that didn’t quite work for my logical brain.  An additional storyline in the book involves Mia’s friend Jamie’s wedding.  Jamie happens to be Little Donny’s younger brother, so it sort of made sense for the show to film at some of the events.  Yet, it didn’t completely work for me.  There were a few other things about the production that didn’t feel right.  But maybe if I watched this type of show, I’d see my nitpicks aren’t valid.

On the other hand, I was truly having fun as I read.  I mentioned I was laughing right?  So I mainly told that part of my brain to shut up and enjoyed the ride.

Despite all the storylines, the mystery was strong.  We get as many clues as we do antics along the way.  I was very impressed when Mia pulled everything together at the end with exactly how things fell into place and some of the twists we got along the way.

Since this is book four in the series, we’ve gotten to know some of the characters pretty well.  They give us some more great sub-plots here, a couple that add to the humor of the book and one that really helps develop the characters involved.  Some of the new characters are a bit caricature, but they work for the over-the-top antics they are supposed to be engaged in.

We get several recipes at the end, including one that escaped from an earlier book in the series.  There are also a couple of party tips.

Four Parties and a Funeral is a fun and funny cozy mystery.  If you are looking for something that will leave you with a grin on your face, this book, and this series, are for you.

Book more fun with the rest of the Catering Hall Mysteries.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Podcast Review: On Fire with Jeff Probst

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Enjoyable look behind the scenes at Survivor
Cons: All cons voted off the island
The Bottom Line:
Go behind the scenes
And learn about Survivor
With those who make it

The Tribe Listens

I’ve been watching Survivor since season 1 day 1 episode 1.  And in all these years, I’ve only missed one episode (stupid VCR didn’t record it, if that tells you how long ago it was).  So when I heard that CBS was doing an official podcast with Survivor host Jeff Probst, I knew I’d be tuning in.  After three episodes, I’m hooked on On Fire with Jeff Probst.

The podcast actually has three hosts.  Jeff is one of them, and he does a lot of the talking, as you might expect if you’ve watched the show.  The second is Brittany Crapper, who is a producer on Survivor.  Rounding out the trio is Jay Wolff, who is producing the podcast and is coming at the show from a fan perspective instead of someone who has been involved in creating the show.

While this podcast is being released weekly after the episodes of the current season of Survivor air, it is only marginally about the current season of the show.  Yes, they do talk about the events of the most recent episode, so you’ll want to make sure you’ve seen it before you listen to avoid spoilers.  They are also using the most recent contestants and season as examples of what they are talking about, although some classic players and moments get mentioned as well.  However, it is more of a behind the scenes show instead of a recap show.

So far, we’ve heard about what happens before they even get to the first day of filming, the ideas behind advantages and idols, and how they cast the contestants.  This coming episode is supposed to look at what goes into challenges.

As a fan of the show, I am enjoying it very much.  The biggest take away I’m getting is that they are constantly trying new things to see if they work or don’t.  And they tweak.  And they bring back what works well.

I also appreciate getting some of the why they do what they do.  I don’t always think it works the way they think it should be working, of course, but it is easy to judge that from my couch or if it impacts my favorite player.  Still, it makes me appreciate what they are trying to do and why much more.  It’s like how Jeff will love and talk up someone in interviews that I can’t stand.  And if you listen, you can tell who he really likes this season who is driving me batty.

They close out the show with a couple of fan segments.  The first is answering a few emails that have been sent in.  The second is a segment where one person gets to tell Jeff why he is lousy.  He seems to take that in stride.

The podcast does have a couple of commercial breaks, but they are very short, which is nice.  Like about a minute each.

If you are a fan of Survivor, you’ll definitely find On Fire with Jeff Probst worth your time.  I certainly am.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Book Review: Apprehend Me No Flowers by Diane Vallere (Madison Night #7)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters and story
Cons: A few inconsistencies and editing snags
The Bottom Line:
Business is on hold
Shadow of Doris passing
Series entertains

Flowers for the Murdered

Doris Day’s death in May 2019 probably wouldn’t have been more than a footnote to me without the Madison Night Mysteries.  And I wasn’t surprised that the event was mentioned in Apprehend Me No Flowers, the seventh book in this series from Diane Vallere.

You see, Madison bears a resemblance to the famous actress.  As a result, she has had a lifelong love of the actress and her movies, and she has built her decorating business, Mad for Mod, around mid-century modern designs, using Doris Day’s movies as an inspiration.  Of course, being a mystery series, Madison also keeps finding herself around dead bodies, but that’s what makes it fun for us.

This book takes place in May 2019, and Madison has found herself in the local spotlight as a result of Doris Day’s death.  Since she has a level of celebrity in the Dallas area, reporters have come to her for reactions for articles.  Unfortunately, that’s not the only reason she’s been in the spotlight.  She’s being sued professionally and has had to close her business.  She hopes it is only temporary, but the lawsuit is dragging on.

But things take a deadly turn when she and her new boyfriend, police captain Tex Allen, meet in a local park for a picnic.  When Madison goes to throw away the trash, she finds a dead body in the garbage can.  Meanwhile, some hikers have found one in another part of the park.  When the bodies are identified, it captures the media, causing even more problems for Tex.  With time on her hands, Madison tries to figure out what is going on.  But will she just make things worse?

Obviously, Doris Day’s death isn’t the focus of the book, but I did find it interesting how it played into the overall untethering that Madison is feeling in her life as this book unfolds.  I continue to love how Madison grows as the series progresses.  Just like real life, things are messy, and there aren’t necessarily easy answers, but it is fun watching Madison struggle to figure out how to deal with the latest things that life has thrown at her.

This might not be a mystery in the completely traditional sense, and that’s great.  The plot is still extremely entertaining, and I was hooked the entire way through.  Obviously, there is a lot going on here, and, since I love Madison, I wanted to see just where she would be when she came out on the other side.  The climax was logical and answered my questions.

Unfortunately, I did find a few inconsistencies and other things like that in the book.  It’s not enough to ruin the story, fortunately.

Each title in this series is a play on a Doris Day movie, and it contains a few nods to that particular film.  As preparation for reading this book, I watched Send Me No Flowers, which I enjoyed.  However, as soon as I finished, I felt like the specifics didn’t stick with me.  I did catch a couple of obvious connections in this book, but I feel like there were probably a couple more I missed.  This is something fun for fans of the movies, but if you pick up this book without any knowledge of the films, you aren’t missing anything.

I’m also enjoying how a character I thought was going to be a minor one note character keeps getting more page time and more development as the series goes along.  I’m definitely interested to see how the character and Madison’s relationship to her grows next.

As usual, the ending of Apprehend Me No Flowers left me anxious to find out what happens next to Madison.  This series is different and fun, and if that appeals to you, I recommend it.

Enjoy the rest of the Madison Night Mysteries.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Disney Pin Review: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - Mickey Mouse the Main Attraction #9 - 2022 Release

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great details for Big Thunder Mountain
Cons: Mickey’s still in the same pose
The Bottom Line:
Railroad visit
Finds Mickey in western duds
For a fun entry

Maybe Not the Wildest Pin in My Collection, But I Like It

Mickey Mouse is visiting several of the famous Disneyland mountains in his tour for the Mickey Mouse the Main Attraction series, and his latest stop is to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  This classic attraction in Frontierland is honored with a fantastic pin.

The reality is that this is a pretty standard roller coaster.  Even a tame one.  Which makes it perfect for kids looking for their first roller coaster.  It was my first coaster, and I loved it.  Anyway, what makes it special is the theming.  The fact that we are racing by a very detailed western backdrop is why it is memorable.  Honestly, I bet there are all kinds of details I’ve never noticed on this ride.

Anyway, this pin brings in that western theme, and makes it truly stand out.  Mickey’s in his standard pose, one leg out with his arms behind his back.  For this pin, he’s wearing tan chaps, and a western style hat.  He’s got a red bandana with the BTMR logo that Disney uses on it.  And his shirt has the red mountains that Disney often uses for this attraction on it.

The result is lots of fun.  It’s easy to immediately recognize which attraction Mickey is representing, and the little details I mentioned make it stand out.

Those who have been collecting the series will be delighted with the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad pin.  In fact, any fan of the attraction will want to add this to their collection.

March 19th's Sunday/Monday Post

 Hope you're having a great weekend.  Time for my 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?

Anyone participating in March Madness?  One of my co-workers organized a competition, so I have a bracket going for the second year in the row.  There's a reason that I wouldn't have participated if he had wanted to charge to enter.  I'm in fifth out of six, which is higher than I started out, which was sixth.  And I'm still losing to the person who already completely had her bracket busted, too.  I read instead of watch sports, can you tell?  Or at least pay attention to the sports I have on.

In book related news, I went to a signing today.  Stuart Gibbs was out promoting his two newest books.  I went with a couple of friends, which was a lot of fun.  Not only did I not drive, which was nice, but the conversation was wonderful.

After the signing, the three of us went to lunch.  We wound up at the location of the old Mystery Bookstore near UCLA.  It was fun to be back in the neighborhood since I went to a lot of signings in that bookstore back in the day.  But it also made me miss it.  Obviously, a dedicated mystery bookstore would get a lot of business from me.  We used to have several in the greater LA area, but they've all closed now.  I found so many authors I still enjoy either from book signings or just browsing the shelves in those stores.  Not that I have any trouble building my to be read mountain range these days, but I still miss those stores.

This Past Week on the Blog:

This Coming Week on the Blog:

Nope, no theme to my reviews this week.

Sunday - Disney Pin Review: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - Mickey Mouse the Main Attraction
Monday - Book Review: Apprehend Me No Flowers by Diane Vallere
Tuesday - Podcast Review: On Fire with Jeff Probst
Wednesday - Book Review: Four Parties and a Funeral by Maria DiRico
Thursday - Movie Review: The Cases of Mystery Lane
Friday - Book Review: The Christie Caper by Carolyn Hart
Saturday - Weekly TV Thoughts

Book Haul:

It was a four book kind of week.  But I only bought one of them, which always makes me feel a little better.

I started off with two more June ARCs.  I still don't have ARCs for most of the books I'm planning to review in May, but I'm getting the ARCs for June already.

The first is Passport to Spy by Nancy Cole Silverman.  This is the second in her Kat Lawson series, which features a former investigative reporter turned FBI asset who works on art crimes.  I'm looking forward to seeing where this series goes.

The second one is Fatal Fudge Swirl by Meri Allen.  We're already getting into Halloween books, which is crazy to think about.  This is the third Ice Cream Shop Mystery, and I enjoyed the first two, so this one should be good as well.  Besides, how can you go wrong with a title like that?

Then comes The Ghost of Christmas Granny, a novella in the Ghost of Granny Apples series from Sue Ann Jaffarian.  This novella actually came out last year right before Christmas.  I didn't have a chance to get to it back then, but she offered me a copy of it this week.  Since I'm never one to turn down books I plan to read but haven't bought yet, I jumped at the chance.

The final book for the week is Whale Done by Start Gibbs.  I know you were waiting for me to include what I bought today.  I only bought one of the books he was promoting, the newest in the FunJungle series.  I have the other one, a graphic novel, on my radar still, but I didn't pull the trigger and buy it today.  Anyway, I love the FunJungle series, and can't wait to get to it.

Which brings us to....

What I'm Currently Reading:

No, I'm not reading Whale Done, at least not yet.  My plan is to read it next.  I might be starting it as early as Monday.

It all depends on how quickly I get through The Clairvoyant Countess by Dorothy Gilman, my current read.  As much as I love her Mrs. Pollifax series (Carstairs came from the series), this is only the second of her non-Mrs. Pollifax books I have read.  Her books are shorter than the books I typically read, but I didn't get nearly as much reading time in today as I thought I would.  I'd originally hoped to finish it tomorrow, but now I'm thinking it might be Monday before we finish it.  We'll see.

Have a great week!