Monday, October 15, 2018

What's Out Now

Just a quick note on a few book/authors that have new releases that I have talked about and really like.

1. Fields' Guide to Assassins (Poppy Fields Adventure 2) by Julie Mulhern
This second book in the series came out September 25, 2018.

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About: "Poppy Fields, Hollywood IT girl extraordinaire, accompanies her A-list mother to Paris, and why not? It’s PARIS!

What her mother doesn’t know is Poppy’s on assignment. Her mission? To help bankrupt a drug cartel. To do that, she must access encrypted account numbers, evade a drug lord with a grudge, dodge a Russian oligarch, and align herself with a man who looks like a Norse god. Oh, and there’s that plot—the one to launch a massive attack on the City of Lights.

If Poppy’s not careful, La Vie en Rose might just turn funereal black.
"

I loved the first book and have this in my possession. That time thing...

2. The Clockmaker's Secret by Jack Benton
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This book came out October 15, 2018! I talked about this book not too long ago. 

About: "A buried clock holds the key to a decades-old mystery.

On holiday to escape the nightmares of his last case, disgraced soldier turned private detective John “Slim” Hardy comes upon something buried in the peat on Bodmin Moor.

Unfinished and water-damaged but still ticking, the old clock provides a vital clue to an unsolved missing-persons case.

As Slim begins to ask questions of the tiny Cornish village of Penleven, he is drawn into a world of lies, rumours, and secrets, some of which the residents would prefer to stay buried.

Twenty-three years ago, a reclusive clockmaker left his workshop and walked out onto Bodmin Moor, taking his last, unfinished clock with him.

He disappeared.

Slim is determined to find out why.


The Clockmaker’s Secret is the stunning sequel to Jack Benton’s acclaimed debut, The Man by the Sea."


I am really liking this series!

3. The Darling Dahlias and the Poinsettia Puzzle by Susan Witting Albert
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This latest book in The Darling Dahlias series comes out October 16, 2018.

About: "It’s Christmas, 1934, and the citizens of Darling, Alabama, are unwrapping a big package of Christmas puzzles. 
Mildred Kilgore and Earlynne Biddle are planning to open a bakery on the square—if they can come up with the right recipes. Charlie Dickens faces two of the biggest puzzles of his career as an investigative reporter, and one of them involves his wife. Cute little Cupcake’s talent as a singer and dancer makes her a tempting target for an unscrupulous exploiter; Lizzy must enlist the Dahlias to protect her, while she herself is confronted by a romantic puzzle. And Sheriff Norris is forced to reopen a puzzling mystery that the town thought was solved and follow a string of clues that lead to a deadly situation at the nearby prison farm.

Once again, NYT best-selling author Susan Wittig Albert takes us to a place where real people have courage, respect their neighbors, and dream of doing their best, even when they’re not sure what that is. She reminds us that Christmas is a celebration of friendship, community, and what’s right with the world. There’s nothing puzzling about that.

​Bonus—Liz Lacy’s Garden Gate column on poinsettias, plus the Dahlias’ collection of traditional sweet Southern goodies for the holiday table, garnished with some cookery history."


This series is a favorite of mine and I recommend it if you like historical fiction, cozies, mysteries, recipes and colorful characters.



Friday, October 12, 2018

Featuring on (some) Fridays - a Blogger and a Facebooker

I decided I will continue "Featuring on Friday", a post I did in the summer each Friday. I found myself thinking, "Oh I need to talk about this author or this person or collection."

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For my first fall feature, I want to introduce you to a Blogger I follow and really like and a person that has a website and Face Book page solely dedicated to cozy mysteries, that I follow.

First my blogger friend.

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Kay's Reading Life is written by my Mystery Book Club leader, Kay. 

She was the librarian at our local branch of the library. She continues to keep our MBC going and also participates and helps out with another book club at the library. Kay has been blogging for several years. She shares mostly mystery books but occasionally some other books. She reads a lot of books and listens to audio books, so she always has interesting books to share. 

Kay also talks about books she is looking forward to reading in her Waiting On Wednesday posts. Her Guppy Book of the Month, features books she receives each month from her live auction win at Malice Domestic this year. In Bookish Nostalgia, Kay shares books she read along time ago that most of us have read too.

Kay knows all about book festivals, book events,  book web sites (she introduced us to Stop Your Killing Me- check it out), and book stores all over. She can tell you what author wrote a book if you describe it to her. She knows everything Books!

Check out her blog at:

https://kaysreadinglife.blogspot.com/

Next I want to let you know about Marie who has a great website and Facebook page called A Cozy Experience.  See below for the links.

I ran into Marie's page on FB when I popped up as something I might like, because I posted about books some.

A Cozy Experience

About: "A site for cozy mystery book lovers! Book reviews, blog posts, and giveaways relating to cozy mysteries". Marie posts reviews about cozies she reads but she also has "launch parties" on FB for authors of cozy books. They last about an hour and feature one or more authors. There are several posts in the hour that the author(s) participate in. Marie asks questions of the authors such as tell about the latest book, what are your writing habits, etc. and has opportunities for giveaways. They are really fun parties. This week she featured Design for Haunting with author Sybil Johnson and A Crafter Knits a Clue by Holly Quinn. They are a lot of fun.The first FB Cozy Experience party I attended was for Julie Mulhern and I won an ebook. Yay me! It was no surprise to see she works in Marketing Technology. Marie is putting together book parties for 2019, so if you are an author and would like her to feature your cozy book mystery, or you are a reader that loves cozies, you can follow her or get in touch with her below. The website has several categories: Blog with Cozy Fun, Just for Authors, Book Club, Book Reviews, Blogging Fun. About Let's Work Together Shop
Check out her sites. Lots of info and lots of fun.
https://www.facebook.com/cozyexperience/ Website: https://cozyexperience.com/ Authors: https://cozyexperience.com/partner/




Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Classic spooky tales for Halloween!

How about some Halloween mysteries. Halloween is almost here. I will be trick or treating for some cooler weather.

I thought I would post some oldies but ghoulies books suited for Halloween. Besides Dracula and Frankenstein, these are some of my favorites or books/movies that I have read and or seen or want to read and or see. 

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

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About: " First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a "haunting"; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own."

There is also a 1963 movie adaptation that is pretty scary!

Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allen Poe


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About: The name Poe brings to mind images of murderers and madmen, premature burials, and mysterious women who return from the dead. His works have been in print since 1827 and include such literary classics as The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven, and The Fall of the House of Usher. This versatile writer’s oeuvre includes short stories, poetry, a novel, a textbook, a book of scientific theory, and hundreds of essays and book reviews. He is widely acknowledged as the inventor of the modern detective story and an innovator in the science fiction genre, but he made his living as America’s first great literary critic and theoretician. Poe’s reputation today rests primarily on his tales of terror as well as on his haunting lyric poetry."


There are several movie adaptations of some of these stories. Vincent Price is the main character in several of them. He is always good in scary movies. 

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

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About:  

"A very young woman's first job: governess for two weirdly beautiful, strangely distant, oddly silent children, Miles and Flora, at a forlorn estate...An estate haunted by a beckoning evil.
Half-seen figures who glare from dark towers and dusty windows- silent, foul phantoms who, day by day, night by night, come closer, ever closer. With growing horror, the helpless governess realizes the fiendish creatures want the children, seeking to corrupt their bodies, possess their minds, own their souls...
But worse-much worse- the governess discovers that Miles and Flora have no terror of the lurking evil.

For they want the walking dead as badly as the dead want them. "

There was a 1974 television adaptation that I saw. Pretty creepy. There are two movie versions also; 1999 and 2009.


Hallowe'en Party (Hercule Poirot #39) by Agatha Christi

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About: "A teenage murder witness is drowned in a tub of apples... At a Hallowe'en party, Joyce—a hostile thirteen-year-old—boasts that she once witnessed a murder. When no-one believes her, she storms off home. But within hours her body is found, still in the house, drowned in an apple-bobbing tub. That night, Hercule Poirot is called in to find the 'evil presence'. But first he must establish whether he is looking for a murderer or a double-murderer.."

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
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About: " A carnival rolls in sometime after the midnight hour on a chill Midwestern October eve, ushering in Halloween a week before its time. A calliope's shrill siren song beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. And two inquisitive boys standing precariously on the brink of adulthood will soon discover the secret of the satanic raree-show's smoke, mazes, and mirrors, as they learn all too well the heavy cost of wishes - and the stuff of nightmare. "

There was a 1983 movie adaptation. The title even sounds creepy. I have heard of this but not read it or seen it. There may be a reason. 
Ray Bradbury also wrote several Alfred Hitchcock and Suspense television episodes, (both favorites of mine) and had his own show, The Ray Bradbury Theatre. 

The House with a Clock in It's Walls by John Bellairs
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About: Orphaned Lewis Barnavelt comes to live with his Uncle Jonathan and quickly learns that both his uncle and his next-door neighbor are witches on a quest to discover the terrifying clock ticking within the walls of Jonathan's house. Can the three of them save the world from certain destruction?"

This was published in 1973 and just recently a movie was made and is out in theatres. This is also listed as a YA book so would be good for kids. I do want to see the movie.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

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About: "Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it first appeared in 1890, but though Wilde was attacked for the novel’s corrupting influence, he responded that there is, in fact, “a terrible moral in Dorian Gray.” Just a few years later, the book and the aesthetic/moral dilemma it presented became issues in the trials occasioned by Wilde’s homosexual liaisons, which resulted in his imprisonment. Of Dorian Gray’s relationship to autobiography, Wilde noted in a letter, “Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.”

Well, I don't know about all that, but basically Dorian Gray has a portrait painted of him and makes a deal with the devil for eternal youth. As long as nothing happens to the portrait, Dorian remains ageless. ( I never was a fan of dissecting books and looking for hidden meaning. Sorry. I read for the story.) I read this book in high school, and found it spooky. There is also an excellent movie adaptation from 1945. Hurd Hatfield plays Dorian Gray. Other cast members that you may be more familiar with are Donna Reed, Angela Lansbury (Murder She Wrote), and Peter Lawford. Yes I love old movies. I have seen this several times.

Hell House by Richard Matheson
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About: " Can any soul survive? Regarded as the Mount Everest of haunted houses, Belasco House has witnessed scenes of almost unimaginable horror and depravity. Two previous expeditions to investigate its secrets met with disaster, the participants destroyed by murder, suicide or insanity. Now a new investigation has been mounted - four strangers, each with his or her own reason for daring the unknown torments and temptations of the mansion."

This is pretty creepy. I read the book, again as a teenager, and have seen the movie (1973) many times. 

The Legend of Sleep Hollow by Washington Irving
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About: " The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a short story by Washington Irving contained in his collection The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., written while he was living in Birmingham, England, and first published in 1820. With Irving's companion piece "Rip Van Winkle", "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is among the earliest American fiction still read today.

The story is set circa 1790 in the Dutch settlement of Tarry Town, New York, in a secluded glen called Sleepy Hollow. It tells the story of Ichabod Crane, a lanky schoolmaster from Connecticut, who competes with Abraham "Brom Bones" Van Brunt, the town rowdy, for the hand of 18-year-old Katrina Van Tassel, only daughter of a wealthy farmer. As Crane leaves a party at the Van Tassel home on an autumn night, he is pursued by the Headless Horseman, supposedly the ghost of a Hessian trooper who lost his head to a cannonball during "some nameless battle" of the American Revolutionary War, and who "rides forth to the scene of battle in nightly quest of his head." Crane disappears from town, leaving Katrina to marry Brom Bones, who was "to look exceedingly knowing whenever the story of Ichabod was related".


There are several movie adaptations of this book. A 1949 Disney adaptation, 1979 with Jeff Goldblum and Dick Butkus (really?), and 1999 with Johnny Depp. 

Last but not least...

It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schulz.
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About: "Adapted for the first time since the late 1960s, this 35th anniversary tie-in to the Peanuts' classic television special features Linus giving up trick-or-treating on Halloween to await the arrival of the Great Pumpkin in the pumpkin patch."

This is shown on television every October and I watch it every year. I love it. :)

Happy Halloween!