Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Flipped For Murder by Maddie Day (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"In this freshly baked series, author Maddie Day lifts the lid on a small town in southern Indiana, where a newcomer is cooking up a new start--until a murderer muddles the recipe...

Nursing a broken heart, Robbie Jordan is trading in her life on the West Coast for the rolling hills of southern Indiana. After paying a visit to her Aunt Adele, she fell in love with the tiny town of South Lick. And when she spots a For Sale sign on a rundown country store, she decides to snap it up and put her skills as a cook and a carpenter to use. Everyone in town shows up for the grand re-opening of Pans ‘n Pancakes, but when the mayor's disagreeable assistant is found dead, Robbie realizes that not all press is good press. With all eyes on her, she'll have to summon her puzzle-solving skills to clear her name, unscramble the town's darkest secrets, and track down a cold-blooded killer--before she's the next to die..."

My Thoughts:

I've read more cozy mysteries this year compared to years past and books like this are the reason why.  I enjoyed this book for a variety of reasons but one of the best things about this book for me was the setting.  I love small town books like this where they are described in such a way that it makes me want to go visit for myself.  The author brought this town and her characters to life for me and I loved the book all the more because of it.  I wanted to have the chance to eat at Robbie's restaurant and try some of those delicious breakfasts that she makes.  What is it with me reading all of these mysteries with cooking themes?  It sure does make me want to brush up on my own cooking skills as they are pretty lackluster in comparison.  I was constantly hungry while reading this one which makes me laugh while saying that but really it is the truth!  I have a sweet spot when it comes to breakfast foods so this was my kind of cooking.

I also really enjoyed the characters and especially enjoyed Robbie's Aunt Adele.  She just had that bit of spunk to her that I couldn't help but appreciate.  I wasn't quite behind Robbie's love interest but that was only due to there seemed to be something missing with their chemistry.  I just couldn't quite root for them like I expected to which leaves me curious as to how I will feel after reading the second book.  The mystery itself was done nicely with some good twists and turns.  There weren't that many suspects in my opinion but I still found myself guessing until close to the end of the book.  It was just overall a fun read that I couldn't help but enjoy.

All in all, I find myself very eager to continue on with this series and see what kind of trouble Robbie finds herself in next.  There was a sneak peek of the first chapter in book two at the end of this one and it left me itching to get my hands on it.  The setting and characters really brought this book to life for me and made my reading experience that much more enjoyable.  Easily recommended!

Bottom Line:  A great beginning to this new cozy mystery series!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher from NetGalley. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Thankfully Reading 2015

I have a long weekend coming up and I'm planning on spending a portion of it reading to my heart's content.  I currently have eight books left to meet my goal of eighty books read for the year.  I'm pretty sure that it is doable but to ensure that I'm hoping to spend all of this upcoming week reading whenever possible.  Will all I be doing is reading?  Heck no!  For me Thanksgiving is family time so I will be spending a good portion just relaxing and enjoying my family.  But since I have a five days off in a row, I can't help but hope that I am able to fit in lots of reading as well.  Therefore I am joining in on Thankfully Reading Weekend hosted by Jenn at Jenn's Bookshelves.  Here in her own words is what this reading event is all about:

"There are no rules to the weekend, we’re simply hoping to devote a good amount of time to reading, and perhaps meeting some of our reading challenges and goals for the year. We thought it’d be fun if we cheered each other on a bit. If you think you can join in, grab the button  and add your sign up post to the link-up below. If you don’t have a blog, you can sign up the comments or sign up using a link to your Twitter account or Faceboook page!"

I love it!  I'm hoping to finish at least two books this coming week (and yes I am starting early and reading ALL week long - or as much as I can manage anyways).   Anything more than that will just be an added bonus.  Here are the two books that I am currently reading and hoping to finish during this time:

I haven't started either of these yet but will be starting Angels Sing to Rest later today.  They both sound really great so I'm eager to get started.  If I manage to finish both of these then there is no shortage of books that I can choose from either off of my own shelves or on my kindle.  I'm so excited I might just have to get started now. 

Are you participating this weekend in Thankfully Reading?  If you are let me know so I can cheer you on while we read together! 

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Depraved Heart by Patricia Cornwell (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Dr. Kay Scarpetta is working a suspicious death scene in Cambridge, Massachusetts when an emergency alert sounds on her phone. A video link lands in her text messages and seems to be from her computer genius niece Lucy. But how can it be? It’s clearly a surveillance film of Lucy taken almost twenty years ago.

As Scarpetta watches she begins to learn frightening secrets about her niece, whom she has loved and raised like a daughter. That film clip and then others sent soon after raise dangerous legal implications that increasingly isolate Scarpetta and leave her confused, worried, and not knowing where to turn. She doesn’t know whom she can tell – not her FBI husband Benton Wesley or her investigative partner Pete Marino. Not even Lucy.

In this new novel, Cornwell launches these unforgettable characters on an intensely psychological odyssey that includes the mysterious death of a Hollywood mogul’s daughter, aircraft wreckage on the bottom of the sea in the Bermuda Triangle, a grisly gift left in the back of a crime scene truck, and videos from the past that threaten to destroy Scarpetta’s entire world and everyone she loves. The diabolical presence behind what unfolds seems obvious - but strangely, not to the FBI. Certainly that’s the message they send when they raid Lucy’s estate and begin building a case that could send her to prison for the rest of her life."

My Thoughts:

Wow!  I have no words for this book other than just wow!  This book took my high expectations (after reading and loving Flesh and Blood earlier this year) and shattered them!  It was seriously that good and I basically had a bookish hangover for two days after finishing this one.  Depraved Heart will easily make my top reads list for this year just based off of the reading experience alone!  It was one wild ride and I found that I flew through the pages of this chunky novel with ease.  I don't even feel like I am doing justice to sharing just how good this book is yet.  

One of the things that made this book stand out for me so much was the paranoid feeling that it gave me.  I cannot even begin to explain how unsettled this book made me feel while reading it.  The author does an amazing job of giving hints of different things but not really giving anything away so that the entire time I was reading this one I felt uncertain.  Uncertain as to what was happening, uncertain as to who was telling the truth and definitely uncertain of who Kay Scarpetta could actually trust.  It gave me the same feeling as when I read a novel with an unreliable narrator, except that this time it wasn't that I couldn't trust the narrator but instead I couldn't trust everything/anything that was happening.  There always seemed to be a secret or reason behind the things that were happening that Scarpetta had to figure out on her own.  Key main characters that I've come to trust from reading previous books even had me questioning their motivations and actions.  It was a heart pounding reading experience and I couldn't get enough!  Without giving too much away I thought that the ending was well done although I sure do wish that I had my hands on the next book right now!  I'm hoping to ease the wait by catching up with the rest of this series since I seem to be reading them all completely out of order now.  

Overall I cannot even seem to coherently put into words how good this book really was!  I couldn't put this one down and flew through the pages.  Even when I would stop reading it, I found myself still thinking about it and trying to figure out what was really happening.  I need more books just like this in my life because this was a reading experience that I won't be forgetting about anytime soon!  I am completely hooked on this series and cannot wait to read more.  Highly recommended with the warning that you won't be able to get anything done while reading this one.  Don't say I didn't warn you!

Bottom Line:  A five star read for me.  Enough said!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a TLC book blog tour.


Friday, October 30, 2015

On My Wishlist (Radar Books) #16- Revived!

On My Wishlist is my way of sharing all of the books that I cannot wait to get my hands upon and read. These are a mixture of books that are about to be released along with some older titles that I really want to read as well. (All summaries are from Goodreads).

A long time ago I used to do these type of posts all of the time and then for whatever reason they fell by the wayside.  Considering how many books that I add to my TBR list in a current week...well I'm not sure why I ever stopped.  I wanted to start participating with the Waiting on Wednesday meme but then realized that a lot of the books that I want to read are actually older books.  So back to sharing books that are on my wishlist/radar that I hope to read in the very near future.  Here are just a few of those books that I have added to my TBR list lately:

Death by Coffee by Alex Erickson

"When Krissy Hancock and her best friend Vicki decide to open a bookstore café in their new town of Pine Hills, they decide to call it "Death by Coffee," after Krissy’s father’s most famous mystery novel. Little do they know how well the name fits…

On their very first day of business, Brendon Lawyer huffily takes his coffee…to the grave. It seems he had a severe allergy to peanuts…but how could there have been nuts in his coffee? And who stole his emergency allergy medication?

Fortunately, Krissy’s love of puzzles and mysteries leads her not only to Officer Paul Dalton, but also to many of her new neighbors, who aren’t terribly upset that the book is closed on Brendon. But one of them is a killer, and Krissy needs to read between the lies if she wants to save her new store—and live to see how this story ends…"

I've been on a cozy mystery kick this year so I couldn't help but add this one to my TBR list.  I actually have a copy of this one thanks to NetGalley so I will be reading it very soon.  I can't wait to give this one a try!

In Bitter Chill by Sarah Ward

"In 1978, a small town in Derbyshire, England is traumatised by the kidnapping of two young schoolgirls. One girl, Rachel, is later found unharmed but unable to remember anything except that her abductor was a woman.

Over thirty years later the mother of the still missing Sophie commits suicide. Superintendent Llewellyn, who was a young constable on the 1978 case, asks DI Francis Sadler and DC Connie Childs to look again at the kidnapping to see if modern police methods can discover something that the original team missed. However, Sadler is convinced that a more recent event triggered Yvonne Jenkins’s suicide.

Rachel, with the help of her formidable mother and grandmother, recovered from the kidnapping and has become a family genealogist. She remembers nothing of the abduction and is concerned that, after Yvonne Jenkins’s suicide, the national media will be pursuing her for a story once more. Days later, the discovery of one of her former teachers’ strangled body suggested a chain of events is being unleashed.

Rachel and the police must unpick the clues to discover what really happened all those years ago. But in doing so, they discover that the darkest secrets can be the ones closest to you."

I want to read this one so badly!  That description has me completely intrigued and I cannot wait to get my hands on this book.  It just sounds SO GOOD and like something that I will definitely enjoy!

Autumn Thorns by Yasmine Galenorn

"Fifteen years ago, I ran away from Whisper Hollow, Washington, a small town on Crescent Lake in the Olympic Peninsula. But truth is, if you were born here, you can never really leave. I’m Kerris Fellwater, and when I returned, I inherited my grandmother’s house—and her gift. As a spirit shaman, it’s my responsibility to drive the dead back to their graves, because around Whisper Hollow, people—and secrets—don’t always stay buried.

When I was little, I was told my mother ran off. But now it looks like she was murdered. With the help of my mysterious neighbor Bryan, we begin to unravel the mystery of her disappearance, and in doing so, unearth a dark force seeking to bury Whisper Hollow. Now I must work with the dead, rather than against them, because our enemy will do whatever she can to destroy the town, and she means to start with me."

This book just recently released and I just love the sound of it!  I'm hoping to get the chance to read it really, really soon because it just sounds like a book that I will love.

Rage Against the Dying by Becky Masterman

"A gutsy, gory, startlingly original serial killer thriller with a heroine who'll blow a hole in the American crime landscape.

In her hey-day, ex FBI agent Brigid Quinn not only worked serial killer cases but became their prize. Small and blond, from a distance she looked vulnerable and slight. . . the perfect bait to catch a killer. But as Quinn got older, she realised she needed to find a protegee, a younger field agent to take her place. So Quinn trains a twenty-two year old and lets her loose in the field. The plan works. Until the Route 66 killer not only takes the bait, but kills the bait too.

Years on, Quinn is trying to move past the fact that she has a young woman's death on her conscience. She's now the perfect Stepford Wife - until she gets a knock on her door. The girl's body has finally been discovered. Quinn is pulled back into the case and the more she learns about the killer the more she comes to believe, despite the overwhelming forensic evidence to hand, that they have the wrong man."

I actually read the second book in this series first earlier this year and loved every minute of it!  I knew then and I still know now that it will be on my top reads list for 2015.  So how could I possibly not want to read this one?  Want, want, want!

Okay, these are just a few of the books that I've added to my TBR list lately.  I really, really need to stay away from NetGalley and Edelweiss so I quit adding books to my TBR list because SO MANY books.  I can't even begin to tell you but these are the books that are calling my name right now!  

Now tell me:  what books are on your radars or wishlists?  Do share- I would love to hear!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Dead Lies by Cybele Loening (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Former NYPD cop Anna Valentine just landed her first homicide case.  The grisly double murder of a wealthy young couple. But it couldn't have come at a worse time. Recovering from recent personal tragedies, the young police officer just moved with her traumatized child to the suburbs where she hoped to pursue a quiet life and heal. To complicate matters, although she's sworn off men until she and her son are happy and whole again, Anna feels the pull of attraction to the handsome twin brother of one of the victims, a man who has yet to be crossed off the suspect list. Teaming up with lead detective Jerry Kreeger, a 57 year-old veteran cop who's lonely, broke, and close to burn out, Anna chases a crafty killer and ultimately exposes a family's shocking secrets that will rock a town."

My Thoughts:

 I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait to continue on with this series!  One of the things that I enjoyed most about this book was that it was written like a police procedural.  I love reading about the step by step process in a police investigation.  Those little details really made this book come to life for me!  Told from multiple viewpoints, this book really allowed for me to connect to the characters which enhanced my enjoyment of the book even more.  Anna has just moved out of the city to lead a quiet life as a police officer in the suburbs while raising her son.  She finds herself thrown into this murder investigation and it isn't long before she realizes that this is something she wants to do with her life.  I thought that Anna and Kreeger made a really great team so I found it interesting that there was also some unresolved feelings that seemed to be developing between the two of them.  Actually, Anna's backstory really added to the storyline because further along in the book we were able to see why Anna moved from the city and learned about the tragedy that caused this move.  This caused me as the reader to connect to her all the more as I wanted to see something good happen to her.

This mystery portion of this book was done well and although I had my own suspects as to who the killer was.....it turned out that I was completely and totally wrong. I loved it!  There were parts that I had figured out but overall the ending took me by surprise and left me wanting more.  This was a book that I took my time with and didn't try to rush through.  I enjoyed it all the more because of it.  The ending of this book tied up everything nicely but left me more than excited to read more about these characters again.  

Overall I really enjoyed this one and am excited to have found a new author/series to follow.  I am especially excited as this is the author's first book (I believe) so if it was already this good, I can't wait to see what she comes up next.   Mystery fans and those who enjoy police procedurals should definitely give this one a try.  Recommended!

Bottom Line:  A great beginning to this new mystery series that left me excited to read more!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the author as part of a CBB Blog Tour.   


Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Sunday Post #20 (Fall Edition)

"The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme"

Wow!  It has been awhile since I did one of these.  Lately all I seem to be able to manage are reviews which would make you think that I'm catching up on my review backlog.  Unfortunately you would be wrong because what really seems to be happening is that for every review I write, I finish another book.  Or two.  The struggle is real.  All other posts though have fallen to the wayside lately thanks to real life.  No excuses for you all today.  I think that I've just come to accept that this might be the way it is for awhile now.  I have three beautiful children that are all in school now.  That means helping with homework, school activities, and every other detail that comes along while working full time.  I love blogging and always will but right now it just has to take a backseat to everything else.  Maybe now that the kiddos sports seasons have ended I will have more time.  Maybe not....I can tell you that I'm okay with however it turns out.  I will still talk books with you all and participate in too many book tours.  I will still sign up for all of the fun reading challenges and read-a-thons.  I just might not be as present as I once was all of the time.  And that's okay!

Reading wise I have been reading although at a slower pace lately than I was previously.  That has a lot to do with the fact that I took on a new position at work and have been busy, busy, busy.  It means I don't always read on all of my breaks like I usually do.  I've started season one of Criminal Minds on Netflix which also takes away from my normal reading time.  In between all of this though I have been reading.  Here is what I finished this week:

Dead Lies by Cybele Loening- I read this one for an upcoming blog tour.  I will be posting my thoughts on this one later this week but sneak peek:  I enjoyed it and will be reading more by this author!

I only finished the one book this week which means I am running a bit behind on where I need to be with scheduled reads.  I've got two books currently on the go and am hoping to finish them both this week.  Here are the books that I'm currently reading:

Depraved Heart is my current print read and one that I am super excited to read!  I've read at least 4 books from this author this year and I just can't seem to get enough.  Considering that Flesh and Blood completely left me pining for this book, I can't wait to start reading this one later this afternoon.  Mercury Retrograde is the sequel to Dark Alchemy which is another book that I loved earlier this year.  As soon as I saw that there was going to be a second book in this series I couldn't help but jump all over this one.  This leaves me reading two really great books which is never a bad thing!

Plans for the rest of the day include some reading, many, many loads of laundry, and The Walking Dead tonight of course.  (This season....oh my!)  I also need to write up at least one review for the blog tour I have this week.  After that most likely it will be homework help for the kiddos and hopefully a little bit of commenting/blog visiting all of you.  Thanks to all of you that have kept visiting even when the blog goes silent for a week or two. 

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Her Perfect Mate by Paige Tyler (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"When Special Forces Captain Landon Donovan is picked for an assignment with the Department of Covert Affairs, he’s stunned to find his new partner is a beautiful woman who looks like she couldn’t hurt a fly, much less take down a terrorist.

Ivy Halliwell isn’t your average covert op. Her feline DNA means she can literally bring out the claws when things get dicey. She isn’t thrilled to be paired with yet another military grunt, but Landon is different. He doesn’t think she’s a freak and he’s smokin’ hot.

Soon they find themselves facing a threat even greater than anyone imagines...and an animal magnetism impossible to ignore."

My Thoughts:

I can honestly say that I waited way too long to start this series because I really enjoyed this one!  Fast-paced and filled with suspense, I couldn't and didn't set my kindle down hardly at all while reading it.  I say this a lot with romantic suspense but I really don't read enough from this genre.  What I liked about this book was that it was romantic suspense combined with paranormal romance.  And what a combination it was!  From the very beginning I found myself caught up within the pages of this book and that didn't end until the very last page.  I found myself reading as fast as I could because the suspense at times just wouldn't let up.  And then add in that chemistry between Ivy and Landon and you will know why I had such a hard time putting this book down.

One of the things that I liked best about this book was the fact that Ivy had paranormal abilities while Landon didn't.  This gave Ivy an edge over Landon when it came to her abilities and that isn't something you always see in romance books but especially in romantic suspense. That isn't to say that Landon couldn't hold his own but it was in a different way and I just really appreciated that Ivy was the one with the special skills.  This book was one of those books that was just so completely readable and I flew thru the pages.  While it was the action scenes that caused me to read as fast as I could, it was the developing relationship between Ivy and Landon that I loved the most.  I liked that it wasn't instantaneous but the chemistry between the two was hot!  I couldn't help but get behind hoping for their happy ever after.  The ending left me intrigued as although this ended nicely there was enough left open to leave me very excited to get started on the next book!  Which I couldn't help but go ahead and load on to my kindle.

Overall, this was a great beginning to this new romantic suspense/paranormal romance series (I really don't know how to classify it) and left me eager for more!  I love books that pull me in so easily that I just don't want to stop reading and that is exactly what this book did to me.  The tension and chemistry were both well done.  I really can't complain at all other than to say I want more!  I want more books just like this that cause me to lose track of time and just read.  Easily recommended!

Bottom Line:  A nicely done romantic paranormal suspense that left this reader unable to set it down!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher and Netgalley.  Thoughts are my own!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Blood Red by Wendy Corsi Staub (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"From New York Times bestselling author Wendy Corsi Staub comes the first in a terrifying new series set in a small town with a sinister secret

The razor's gleaming blade slices effortlessly through skin and tendon, and he relishes the final anguished moments of his prey. There's only one thing he prizes more: their long, silken strands of red hair. But these women are merely stand-ins . . . a prelude to his ultimate victim.

Nestled in New York's Hudson Valley, Mundy's Landing is famous for its picturesque setting—and for a century-old string of gruesome unsolved murders. Rowan returned to her hometown years ago, fleeing a momentary mistake that could have destroyed her family. Life is good here. Peaceful. Until an anonymous gift brings Rowan's fears to life again.

The town's violent history was just the beginning. Soon everyone in Mundy's Landing will know that the past cannot be forgotten or forgiven—not until every sin has been paid for, in blood."

My Thoughts:

This book!  Oh my goodness but this book had me on the edge of my seat for the entire time that I was reading it.  I've read a lot of mysteries and thrillers this year but it has been awhile since I read one that focused on a serial killer (which always tends to creep me out more than other types of books).  Let me tell you that I was creeped out by this book from almost the very first page.  What made this book unique though is that there were actually parts of the book told through the eyes of the killer.  We knew who he was to a certain extent although we didn't know why he was so focused on Rowan or why he was doing what he was doing.  Those questions and the fact that Rowan didn't know what kind of danger she was really in ratcheted up the suspense level for me and made this book yet another one that I just didn't want to put down.

This book was both fast paced and intense which really helped to bump up my enjoyment level of this book.  Told from multiple viewpoints, all of the different storylines helped even more to make this book a page turner for me.  I cannot emphasize enough how hard it was for me to stop reading this one!   And the way that the author tied them all up to make for a completely intense, heart-pounding.....wow!  Just wow!  I feel like I had figured out a few pieces to the ending but there were enough surprises left for me so I couldn't complain.  I'm left completely excited to get my hands on the next book in this series?  Oh my goodness- it is going to be a series!  I cannot wait to see what happens next!

Overall, this was a book that I couldn't help but read as fast as I possibly could just because it was so intense.  It was dark, creepy, and gave me the shivers multiple times but yet I didn't want to stop reading.  This was the perfect time of year to read this book....I always crave thrillers when fall comes around.  And this fit the bill perfectly!  Easily recommended but with the warning...you might want to sleep with the lights on afterwards.  

Bottom Line:  A great read for this time of year!  

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this thanks to the publisher as part of a Pump Up Your Book tour.   

Monday, October 12, 2015

Everything She Forgot by Lisa Ballantyne (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"They’re calling it the worst pile-up in London history. Driving home, Margaret Holloway has her mind elsewhere—on a troubled student, her daughter’s acting class, the next day’s meeting—when she’s rear-ended and trapped in the wreckage. Just as she begins to panic, a disfigured stranger pulls her from the car just seconds before it’s engulfed in flames. Then he simply disappears.

Though she escapes with minor injuries, Margaret feels that something’s wrong. She’s having trouble concentrating. Her emotions are running wild. More than that, flashbacks to the crash are also dredging up lost associations from her childhood, fragments of events that were wiped from her memory. Whatever happened, she didn’t merely forget—she chose to forget. And somehow, Margaret knows deep down that it’s got something to do with the man who saved her life.

As Margaret uncovers a mystery with chilling implications for her family and her very identity, Everything She Forgot winds through a riveting dual narrative and asks the question: How far would you go to hide the truth—from yourself…?"

My Thoughts:

This was an unexpected read for me but in a good way.  I went into reading this book expecting a thriller but instead it was more of a story about family, the choices we make, and the consequences of those decisions.  This wasn't an easy read for me...there were times that I wanted to set it down just because I wasn't sure that I wanted to know what was going to happen next.  That is a mark of a good book for me.  When an author is able to create a level of tension that makes the reader uncomfortable without overdoing it.  I knew that things weren't going to end well just based off of the decisions that the main characters were making.  It made the tone of the book seem even darker and more ominous which added to that level of discomfort that I was feeling.  It was intense but it was also so compulsively readable that even when I wasn't sure that I wanted to be reading I couldn't set it down.  I just needed to see what would happen next and how it would all end.

One of the things that really helped this book to not become too dark for me at least was the fact that there were multiple storylines going on.  One focused on the present and Margaret as she dealt with the after effects from almost dying in a car crash.  A different storyline focused on the past..but whose past and what it meant was a mystery until the very end.  The author effortlessly tied these two storylines together so easily that I never was able to decide which one I preferred more as sometimes happens in books like this.  The ending of this book held a few surprises while there were other parts that I had figured out.  Really it tied everything together nicely and made the last one hundred pages so intense that I didn't even try to stop reading.  I couldn't get this book of my mind for a few day afterwards because I had become so attached to the characters.  I cannot wait to read more by this author!

Overall I really enjoyed this one even though it ended up being way darker than I expected.  I loved that the author was able to pull me into this book so completely and in such a way that I had to remind myself that this was fiction.  That these weren't real characters and these events actually hadn't happened.  I just cannot emphasize enough how intense this reading experience was for me!  I will definitely be reading more by this author.  Recommended but with the warning that this wasn't always an easy read to stomach.  Definitely dark but good!

Bottom Line:  One of those books that I won't be forgetting about any time soon!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this thanks to the publisher as part of a PICT Book Blog Tour.  My thanks!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Bread of the Dead by Ann Meyers (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Trick or treat—and murder—are on the menu in this first in a new culinary mystery series

Life couldn't be sweeter for Tres Amigas Café chef Rita Lafitte, decorating sugar skulls and taste-testing rich, buttery pan de muerto in anticipation of Santa Fe's Day of the Dead bread-baking contest. That is, until her friendly landlord, Victor, is found dead next door.

Although the police deem Victor's death a suicide, Rita knows something is amiss. To uncover the truth, she teams up with her octogenarian boss, Flori, the town's most celebrated snoop. The duo begins to sift through long-buried secrets and to take full measure of duplicitous neighbors, but the clock is ticking and their list of suspects is growing ever longer. Just as the clues get hotter than a New Mexican chili, one of their main suspects winds up dead. Rita fears that the killer is dishing out seconds—and her order might be up."

My Thoughts:

This was such a fun read!  I loved it from beginning to end and found myself giggling at different times thanks to Rita's eccentric boss Flori.  She was a hoot!  I've read a bunch cozy mysteries this year (especially in comparison to years past) and she has to be one of my favorite characters.  I loved that I could never guess what she was going to do next.  She was a spitfire that wasn't afraid to do what she wanted and when she wanted to.  Really I just thought that she was great.  I also really enjoyed Rita's character.  She is a single mother dealing with a teenage daughter and a ex-husband who I wanted to drop kick multiple times.  It just rang true to me as there are so many women out there dealing with similar situations.  She didn't have all of the answers, her life wasn't perfect, but she was trying and I couldn't help but like her all the more because of it.  I just loved both of these characters and can't wait to see them again in future books!

The setting of this book was another of the things that really made this book stand out for me.  I loved how the author used the setting of the story to really add details throughout.  The different foods that Rita and Flori would make at the cafe....yum!  I would have loved to have tried them all!  What is it with cozy mysteries always making me so hungry?  They all seem to make me want to improve my cooking skills as well which I am sure my family would appreciate.  Ha!  This book really made me hungry though because Rita was constantly describing all of the yummy dishes that were made that were authentic to the area that she lived in which is Sante Fe, New Mexico.  The author did a really great job of describing the setting in such a way that you almost felt that you were there.  I've never been to New Mexico myself but I would love to visit after reading this book.  The mystery itself was nicely done and had me guessing until the very end.  I had my suspicions on the whodunnit part but it turned out that I was completely wrong.  I love when that happens!  I also really enjoyed Rita's character.  She is a single mother dealing with a teenage daughter and a ex-husband who I wanted to drop kick multiple times.  It just rang true to me as there are so many women out there dealing with similar situations.  She didn't have all of the answers, her life wasn't perfect, but she was trying and I couldn't help but like her all the more because of it.  The ending was nicely done and left me eagerly anticipating the next book in this series.  

Overall I really, really enjoyed this book and can't wait to read more by this author!  With two great main characters and a storyline that kept my attention throughout I couldn't ask for more.  Actually I could...that would be the second book in my hands right now.  LOL!  I managed to read this one in just a few short days as I just did not want to set it down.  Yet another new series for me to follow!

Bottom Line:  A great beginning to this new cozy series!  I want more!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a CBB Book Tour.