Friday, February 15, 2019

Kingdom of the Blind - Louise Penny

With a nod (I think) to Louise Penny's husband and a nod to Inspector Clouseau, we have the 14th Chief Inspector Gamache book.

If you have been following the Gamache series, you will love this book also. It's a complex story with a new mystery but also  follows the story of the drugs lost at the border in the last book and the status of Gamache's position with the Surete.


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About: 
"When Armand Gamache receives a letter inviting him to an abandoned farmhouse outside of Three Pines, the former head of the Sûreté du Québec discovers that a complete stranger has named him as an executor of her will.
Armand never knew the elderly woman, and the bequests are so wildly unlikely that he suspects the woman must have been delusional - until a body is found, and the terms of the bizarre will suddenly seem far more menacing.
But it isn't the only menace Gamache is facing. The investigation into the events that led to his suspension has dragged on, and Armand is taking increasingly desperate measures to rectify previous actions. As he does, Armand Gamache begins to see his own blind spots - and the terrible things hiding there."
Some of our questions are answered, more are raised, which leaves an opening for another book.  I exclaimed "Oh!" and "Ahhh", out loud several times. You think you know what is going on, but the author really surprised me.

I listened to it on Audible. The narrator was excellent. Great voice, great pronunciation of French words and names, and able to change up enough for all the speaking characters.

It looks like a next book is in the works.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Great British TV Map

Do you watch British TV shows?

I saw this map on FB yesterday and wanted to share it. It shows where some of our favorite British shows take place and/or are filmed.


Shows I found that I watch or know they are shown here where I am:

Downton Abbey
Granchester
Inspector Morse
Pride and Prejudice
Midsomer Murders
Sherlock
Absolutely Fabulous (yes I think it's hysterical)
Selfridge
Fawlty Towers
Foyles War
The Office
Outlander
Doc Martin
Call the Midwife
Poldark
Luther
Dr. Who (marked outside the map)

Here is a link to the actual article and map:

http://timritz.com/great-british-tv-map

Enjoy!

Monday, February 11, 2019

The Mist Rises Over Notchey Creek by Liz S. Andrews

I finished the first book in a new series by Liz. S. Andrews this weekend.

The Mist Rises Over Notchey Creek is the first book in the Harley Henrickson Series.

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About: "A book-loving whiskey distiller’s life is upended when a famous rock star moves to town and murders start occurring.

Whiskey distiller and nerdy wallflower Harley Henrickson's life is changed when she discovers a disoriented stranger in the ditch, mumbling about a lost boy, a boy who was "innocent." When the man disappears into the woods, Harley is left with many unanswered questions. Who was the mysterious man, and what happened to the innocent boy?

As she digs deeper, she discovers the stranger, in reality, was no stranger at all, and had ties to many highly-esteemed citizens in town. When one of those citizens, a wealthy history professor, is murdered, Harley decides to investigate. What she discovers is a multitude of secrets, lies, and sins, dating back decades, and revolving around a handsome and brooding rock star who has chosen Notchey Creek as his new home.

Filled with humor, heart-rending moments, and a charming small town setting in the Great Smoky Mountains, The Mist Rises Over Notchey Creek is sure to please fans of cozy mysteries."


I really enjoyed this book. Along with a good mystery, there are many quirky characters, funny moments, and regional dialogue. The story takes place in Notchey Creek. Harley grew up there with her grandmother after loosing her mother at a young age. Now that her grandmother is also gone, Harley has stayed in Notchey Creek to help her Great Aunt and Uncle keep the family whiskey business going.

Almost everyone in the story is from Notchey Creek. When Harley's best friend Tina finds a dead body, Harley gets herself involved in the investigation, questioning the locals, and the locals don't appreciate it. Especially Sheriff Jed who Harley grew up with.

There are many humorous scenes with Matilda, Harley's pig she has raised, Aunt Wilma and Uncle Buck, Wilma's brother Tater, and Tina (Harley's best friend) whose bakery delivery truck has a giant cupcake named Rosie on the top. Aunt Wilma keeps a never ending supply of Little Debbie's and Ding Dongs on hand for unexpected guests and Matilda.  Aunt Wilma: " You can't beat that Little Debbie. She's been my dietician for years." Uncle Tater can often be found in The Shed, a building on the property, sitting on a lawn chair with a tall one, watching reruns of The Golden Girls with his friend Floyd.

The description of the Smokey Mountains and the land is great. The story is good. The ending was a surprise. 

There is a second book in the works coming out this year - The Ghosts of Notchey Creek. I am looking forward to it.

Liz S. Andrews: " Liz S. Andrews is a native of East Tennessee and was blessed to grow up near the Great Smoky Mountains, the playground of her childhood and adolescence. She is also an amateur mixologist and whiskey lover. The cocktails Harley Henrickson creates in the book are her and her husband's creations. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, and hiking with her dog, Scout, a golden retriever/labrador mix. She currently resides in Western Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh. The character of Tina Rizchek is a wink to her love for the 'Burgh."

"I received a free book"

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Quick promotion for The Artisan Heart

I want to share a quick opportunity to get this wonderful book on Kindle by Dean Mayes.

The Artisan Heart is currently a Kindle Monthly Deal for $.99! I loved this book. While it isn't a mystery, there is quite a bit of suspense. I reviewed it in Sept. 2018. Here's what it's about.

"Hayden Luschcombe is a brilliant paediatrician living in Adelaide with his wife Bernadette, an ambitious event planner. His life consists of soul-wrenching days at the hospital and tedious evenings attending the lavish parties organized by Bernadette.

When an act of betrayal coincides with a traumatic confrontation, Hayden flees Adelaide, his life in ruins. His destination is Walhalla, nestled in Australia's southern mountains, where he finds his childhood home falling apart. With nothing to return to, he stays, and begins to pick up the pieces of his life by fixing up the house his parents left behind.

A chance encounter with a precocious and deaf young girl introduces Hayden to Isabelle Sampi, a struggling artisan baker. While single-handedly raising her daughter, and trying to resurrect a bakery, Isabelle has no time for matters of the heart. Yet the presence of the handsome doctor challenges her resolve. Likewise, Hayden, protective of his own fractured heart, finds something in Isabelle that awakens dormant feelings of his own.

As their attraction grows, and the past threatens their chance at happiness, both Hayden and Isabelle will have to confront long-buried truths if they are ever to embrace a future."



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The "past" is really a problem for both characters. That's all I will say about that. It is a page turner.

I have been telling you about some online book clubs and groups lately. Here's some things I got from participating in them.

I purchased this mug off The Villagers of Whispering Pines Facebook group. I really liked it. Whispering Pines is a series written by  Shawn McGuire. One series takes place in Whispering Pines in northern Wisconsin. Since my first 7 years of life were in northern Wisconsin, I wanted to find out more about her books. She writes two other series also. The Wish Makers and the Lei Crime - Gemi Kittridge series.

https://www.shawn-mcguire.com/





I won this copy of As Directed by Kathleen Valenti when participating in the House of Clues online book club I talked about last week. This is the 3rd Maggie O'Malley book. Do you see the cool syringe pens with the names of the first two books? O.K. I'm a nurse so I think they are cool. I will share 3 of the four book marks. :)


Last, I won this tote from Christina Freeburn. She writes two mystery series: Scrap This and New Beginnings. Here is her website:  

https://www.christinafreeburn.com/

More to come on their books later but go grab Artisan Heart. You will love it.













Monday, January 28, 2019

39 Winks by Kathleen Valenti and House of Clues

I participated in the first ever House of Clues Facebook group book club this weekend. The selection was 39 Winks by Kathleen Valenti. 39 Winks is the second Maggie O'Malley mystery. 

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About: "Former pharmaceutical researcher Maggie O’Malley is losing sleep. Her boyfriend Constantine’s aunt is a multitasking sleepwalker who, in addition to wandering her stately home, prepares meals, folds laundry and, one winter night, stumbles across her husband with his throat slit.

It’s a rude and gruesome awakening that’s upsetting to Aunt Polly. And interesting to the police.

Maggie and Constantine work to uncover who killed the cosmetic surgery mogul and why. As they dig into the lives of those who knew him best, they discover that the truth is only skin deep and doctoring perception is a treatment with deadly side effects.

A gripping page-turner with more twists than a surgeon’s suture, 39 Winks is a tale of lies, betrayals and greed that will keep you up at night. And looking over your shoulder. "


I really enjoyed the book (and the group). The book starts right off with Aunt Polly finding her husband in the kitchen, murdered. The police want to blame Aunt Polly right away and be done with it. The thing about Aunt Polly, is that she has Parkinson's and sleep walks. One of her episodes looks like it will seal her guilt. BUT, Howard has lots of people that don't like him. Maggie and Constantine work to prove Polly's innocence. In the process, Maggie has several near misses with her life. 

The story has many layers, leaving room for  additional books . The characters are complex and well developed. Maggie is a little impulsive. Constantine is a little funny in  a goofy way, sometimes at the wrong time. There is a romantic thread with Maggie and Constantine but there is also an ex-boyfriend of Maggie's to add to the interest in that story. The story has mystery, "look out" moments, and it is also peppered with humor. 

Example: " At first Polly wasn't sure what was more surprising: that her husband had been murdered or that he had been eating Life cereal. Howard was gluten free."

There is a really good twist at the end. That's all I will say about that. :)

Protocol is the first book in the series which I will go back and read.
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I am ready for book three.

Kathleen Valenti:



Kathleen Valenti has been writing for more than 20 years, first as a nationally award-winning copywriter and now as the author of the Maggie O'Malley Mystery Series. A firm believer that deadpan can be dead-on, she combines funny with frightening to craft page-turners of mystery and suspense.

​In Kathleen's debut novel, Agatha and Lefty Award-nominated Protocol, Maggie O'Malley examines the flaws of technology and the depths of greed to uncover what happens when the invisible among us disappear. In her second book, 39 Winks, Maggie works to help her best friend's aunt, who discovered her husband's body during a sleepwalking episode. Her third book, highly anticipated As Directed, follows Maggie as she embarks on a new career in a small town drugstore where the specter of poisoning arises, conjuring old grudges, past sins, buried secrets, and new suspicions from which no one is immune.

When Kathleen isn't making nouns and verbs play nice, she reads, camps, snowmobiles, drinks far too much coffee, and pretends to enjoy running. Kathleen lives in Oregon with her family.

 "Kathleen Valenti has been writing for more than 20 years, first as a nationally award-winning copywriter and now as the author of the Maggie O'Malley Mystery Series. A firm believer that deadpan can be dead-on, she combines funny with frightening to craft page-turners of mystery and suspense.

​In Kathleen's debut novel, Agatha and Lefty Award-nominated Protocol, Maggie O'Malley examines the flaws of technology and the depths of greed to uncover what happens when the invisible among us disappear. In her second book, 39 Winks, Maggie works to help her best friend's aunt, who discovered her husband's body during a sleepwalking episode. Her third book, highly anticipated As Directed, follows Maggie as she embarks on a new career in a small town drugstore where the specter of poisoning arises, conjuring old grudges, past sins, buried secrets, and new suspicions from which no one is immune.

When Kathleen isn't making nouns and verbs play nice, she reads, camps, snowmobiles, drinks far too much coffee, and pretends to enjoy running. Kathleen lives in Oregon with her family."


House of Clues is a Facebook group you may be interested in. 

About: "House of Clues is a new author-reader group brought to you by writers connected through Henery Press. A different author will host the conversation daily." It looks like there are 25+ authors participating. One author hosts for the day or week, introducing their books and some fun quick trivia. There are some giveaways sometimes also. The book club is something they just started although there was a month or more notice of what book would be discussed. Kathleen Valenti hosted the hour. She led a discussion of the book and had a Q&A. She then drew for a giveaway. Should I mention that I won? Yay me. It's a fun group. If you are looking to expanding your mystery reading and "do Facebook", check it out.



Sunday, January 27, 2019

New Hallmark Mystery Movies







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Real quick....
Four new Hallmark Mystery Movies with one starting tonight!
I will just give you the links so you can check them out yourself.

1. Mystery 101: 1/27/19 8 p.m. central

About: When a college student is found dead, English professor Amy uses her crime fiction expertise to unravel the case faster than detective Travis, who ends up working with Amy to catch the killer. Stars Jill Wagner and Kristoffer Polaha.

https://www.hallmarkmoviesandmysteries.com/mystery-101


2. Emma Fields Mysteries: More Bitter Than Death: 2/10/19 8 p.m. central

About:  While hosting the annual gathering of the Association for the Study of American Archaeology at Kenzer College, Emma Fielding is thrust into the midst of a murder mystery when the President of her organization is poisoned on the eve of announcing her successor. With many of the leading archaeologists present having expressed their entitlement to the presidency prior to the murder, Emma and FBI pal Jim Conner have plenty of likely suspects from which to choose.
Starring Courtney Thorne-Smith, James Tupper, Mark Valley.

https://www.hallmarkmoviesandmysteries.com/emma-fielding-mysteries-more-bitter-than-death

I have seen other Emma Fields mysteries and they are really good.

3. Chronicle Mysteries: Recovered: 2/17/19 8 p.m. central

About: Alex McPherson (Sweeney) returns to the small town in Pennsylvania where she spent her summers as a girl to record the next episode of her true crime podcast, about the disappearance of a childhood friend 20 years prior. However, after teaming up with the local newspaper editor (Ayres), who reluctantly agrees to help her retrace the girl’s last steps, Alex not only uncovers the shocking truth behind the girl’s disappearance, but also a decades-old murder and its cover-up. 
Starring Alison Sweeney, Benjamin Ayres

https://www.hallmarkmoviesandmysteries.com/chronicle-mysteries-recovered


4. Chronical Mysteries: The Wrong Man: 2/24/19 8 p.m. central

About: Podcaster Alex McPherson seeks the truth behind the tragic death of a young lawyer, while partner Drew finds himself diving into the shady mishaps of a shipping company.
Starring Alison Sweeney, Benjamin Ayres

https://www.hallmarkmoviesandmysteries.com/chronicle-mysteries-the-wrong-man/about-chronicle-mysteries-the-wrong-man




Sunday, January 20, 2019

Trust Me by Hank Phillipi Ryan

I just finished Trust Me by Hank Phillipi Ryan. I read it as my selection for our February Mystery Book Club selection. We are reading any book or books by the authors that our part of the Jungle Red Writers. Since our meeting is a couple of weeks away, I wanted to share while it is still fresh in my mind. I'll give you a synopsis of the club members choices, after we meet.

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About:
"An accused killer insists she's innocent of a heinous murder.

A grieving journalist surfaces from the wreckage of her shattered life.

Their unlikely alliance leads to a dangerous cat and mouse game that will leave you breathless.

Who can you trust when you can't trust yourself?"


This is an excellent psychological thriller. Mercer has lost her husband and child in a car accident and barely making it through each day. She is asked to follow and write a book on the trial of Ashlyn, who is accused of murdering her own child. This may be just the thing to get her back on her feet, take her mind off what can't be changed, move her forward. After the trial, she is asked to continue the book, interviewing Ashlyn. During the interviews, Ashlyn tells pieces of her story one day, and the the next day she says that wasn't true. She then gives more information, and the next day will say she made it up. She suggests things, people and situations, that makes Mercer doubt everything she knows, even about her own family.

So many twists and turns, you will find yourself doubting what you thought to be true. It so engrossing, you may even fill a little off, twingy, creepy. It is worthy of an all night read.

Trust me.