Sunday, June 9, 2019

Cry Wolf - Annette Dashofy, Curses Boiled Again - Shari Randall

Well....we had to cancel our Mystery Book Club for this month. Such a drag. We were going to talk about Award Winning Books given this year. And we were going to have snacks. Always so much fun to hear what everyone read and munch.



But we will pick up where we left off in July and talk about the Award Winning Books we read in addition to our July selection. I will give you that list, in July.

Meanwhile, I did read two books for the meeting; one that won an award and one nominated for an award.

Cry Wolf by Annette Dashofy was nominated this year for an Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel. 

Cry Wolf is the seventh book in the Zoe Chambers Mysteries series.

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About: "Rural Pennsylvania’s Vance Township Police Chief Pete Adams is down an officer and has been dealing with extra shifts as well as a pair of bickering neighbors, one of whom owns a machete and isn’t afraid to use it.

Golden Oaks Assisted Living is outside Pete’s jurisdiction, but a murder in the facility his Alzheimer’s-afflicted father calls home makes the case personal.

Paramedic and Deputy Coroner Zoe Chambers has been itching for an opportunity to take the lead in a death investigation. She gets her chance when her boss is hospitalized and not only assigns her to the Golden Oaks homicide but puts her in charge of the county coroner’s office.

As if she doesn’t have enough to handle, a long-lost, over-protective, older half-brother walks into her life threatening to drive a wedge between her and the man she loves.

A second dead body leads them to realize the case may have dark ties to a distant past…and if Zoe doesn’t untangle the web of lies, Pete will be the one to pay the ultimate price."

A really good book, I was able to pick up the story of Zoe without having read the other books. I liked the setting; rural small town, Zoe has horses, the characters are interesting and you can empathize with them. Zoe and Pete are an item. The mystery of the murders in engrossing. While Zoe investigates the murder, she also has to take care of her horses. She is trying to fix up the farm she now has, but is lacking funds and time. She wants she and Pete can move out there permanently. But Pete is a city boy. He isn't too sure about that. Luckily her newly found half brother is helping fix things up and footing the bill. Hmmm. 

As all good amateur sleuths, getting too involved, Zoe really gets in the middle of things. A very exciting ending and a really good cliff hanger. I kept flipping the page or rather swiping the screen not believing that was the end. On to the next book in the series...Fair Game.

Curses Boiled Again by Shari Randall won an Agatha for New Best Novel. 

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About: "Welcome to the seaside hamlet of Mystic Bay, where the fish is always fresh, the folks are ever-friendly, and murder is on a roll. . .

Allie Larkin was living her dream as a ballet dancer when a bad fall put her out of business. Now she’s back home in Mystic Bay to heal a broken ankle while also helping her dear Aunt Gully get her Lazy Mermaid Lobster Shack off the ground. Nothing would help Gully more than winning the local food festival’s Best Lobster Roll contest. The competition is sure to be killer―especially after one of the contest judges dies after eating a roll from one of Gully’s biggest rivals.

Soon, all eyes fall on Gully as the prime suspect. Allie may only have one good leg to stand on, but she’s not going to let her aunt go down for a crime she never could have cooked up. Can Allie, along with her devoted crew of friends, family, and customers, find a way to trap the killer and claw herself out of this hard-boiled murder case?" 

I really enjoyed this book. It is engaging from the beginning. The setting is new and different. As a person who likes to watch food contests on t.v., I thought this was a great scenario - a lobster roll contest where several contestants are poisoned. In addition to the who did the poisoning, there are some side mysteries; what is going on with Megan (a contestant along with her husband) and another man, Chick. What is the story behind Juliet and Contessa, the aging sisters who live in the big house in town. Contessa was movie star in her youth, and Juliet is "crazy". Part Murder She Wrote with a twist of Baby Jane, there is a really good twist at the end. And you will really start craving Lobster Rolls or Chowder. Neither of which I have ever had. But they sound delicious.

I did win my copy of Curses Boiled Again and voluntarily provided this review. I want to read the next two in the series too.






Friday, May 31, 2019

Hallmark Mystery Movies and Masterpiece

πŸ˜…πŸ˜…πŸ˜…Time to check in of what's coming up this summer on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries and Masterpiece.

https://www.hallmarkmoviesandmysteries.com/


Hallmark Movies and Mysteries: These are only the Sunday night 8 p.m. central movies. This is the time they show their new movies, of which it looks like there is only one new movie in June. Their calendar doesn't show the last week of June yet.

Mystery 101 June 2, 2019 8 p.m. central.
If you missed this in the winter, it is worth watching.

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."

Three Bedrooms, One Corpse: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery June 9, 2019 8 p.m. central
This is also a repeat, but the Aurora Teagarden movies are very good.

About: When Aurora pitches in to help her busy real estate mother, Aida, she quickly realizes she has again walked into a life or death situation. When a body is discovered at her first house showing and a second body is found in another house for sale, it becomes obvious that there is a very cool killer at large. Stars Candace Cameron Bure, Marilu Henner and Yannick Bisson.

Picture Perfect Mysteries: Newlywed and Dead premiers June 16, 2019, 8 p.m. central.

About: Small-town New England professional wedding photographer Allie Adams (Alexa PenaVega) finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery when the groom is suddenly shot and killed during the ceremonial first dance. Suspicion immediately turns towards Allie’s big brother Greg (Jon Cor, “Love on Safari”), the ex-boyfriend of the bride. Allie begins her own amateur investigation to clear Greg’s name, teaming up with Sam (Carlos PenaVega), the newest detective on the force."


Masterpiece Mystery Theatre

Endeavor season 6: June 16, 2019 8 p.m. central
"Endeavour launches four riveting new mysteries in all-new season on Sunday, June 16! But that’s just the tip of the newness iceberg in a season where so much has changed for Endeavour Morse and the old Cowley team."

I like this series a lot.

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/specialfeatures/endeavour-s6-everything-you-need-to-know/

Grantchester season 4: July 16, 2019 8 p.m. central
"Grantchester returns to MASTERPIECE with a new vicar: Tom Brittney (Outlander, Call the Midwife) who joins the cast of Season 4 as Reverend Will Davenport — man of the people and crime-solving partner to Robson Green’s Geordie Keating in 1950s Grantchester.  James Norton, who plays the charismatic, jazz-loving clergyman Sidney Chambers, makes his final appearance during the series.
Confident, caring and self-assured, Grantchester’s new young parish priest channels his boundless energy into a quest for social justice. He is a man of God, but with the devil inside of him. As Geordie draws him into righting the wrongs of criminal Cambridge, Will’s own troubled past is unearthed.
Says writer Daisy Coulam. “This series, change itself is our theme: the evolution of our country and with it, our characters. Some, like Geordie, will resist the unstoppable momentum of a world he feels is leaving him behind. Others will embrace the excitement – none more so than our new vicar – Will Davenport.”
About his character, Brittney says, “Will has a very strong moral compass with a thirst to change things, but underneath, there is a dark and troubled past that drives him in what he does.”
 In addition to Norton and Green, returning members of the acclaimed ensemble include Tessa Peake-Jones, Kacey Ainsworth, and Al Weaver."

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/shows/grantchester/

I have watched this series since the beginning and it is a favorite. I am not happy that James Norton is leaving the series. I will have to see what I think about it with a new vicar.

Set up your DVR's and take a break from the heat on it's way for us in Texas.



 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Look What I Got or Gifts and Giveaways

I wanted to share a couple of books I got for Mother's Day with you and some giveaways I won.

First, I got a 1937 printed edition of Gone With the Wind. GWTW was first published in 1936. This is my most favorite book and movie. I have read the book a few times and have seen the movie many, many times.







I also got an "unauthorized biography" of Garrison Keillor. He is my favorite contemporary humorist. I used to listen to his radio show on Public Radio every weekend. I have several of his books.

I won the books in the last picture from two different Facebook book groups. Curses Boiled Again by Shari Randall, tied for an Agatha for Best First Novel this year at Malice Domestic. Congratulations Shari!

The box set is the Faire Apothecary Mysteries by Astoria Wright. I like books with a magical twist. Looks like a fun summer read. Thanks Astoria.

I will let know you how they are, once I read them.

Next week I will have the  Mystery Book Club's list of this years Award Winners to share.



Monday, May 20, 2019

A Murderous Malady by Christine Trent


I listened to this book and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is the second book in the Florence Nightingale series. I had read the first book in the series, No Cure for the Dead, when it was lent to me by our Mystery Book Club leader, Kay. I really liked that book also. I was on a FB book club site a few weeks ago, and Christine Trent was the featured author one day. Once I realized there was a second book in the Florence Nightingale series, I picked if for my Audible choice for the month. 

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About: 
"Cholera has broken out in London, but Florence Nightingale has bigger problems when people begin dying of a far more intentional cause—murder.

The London summer of 1854 is drawing to a close when a deadly outbreak of cholera grips the city. Florence Nightingale is back on the scene marshaling her nurses to help treat countless suffering patients at Middlesex Hospital as the disease tears through the Soho slums. But beyond the dangers of the disease, something even more evil is seeping through the ailing streets of London.

It begins with an attack on the carriage of Florence’s friend, Elizabeth Herbert, wife to Secretary at War Sidney Herbert. Florence survives, but her coachman does not. Within hours, Sidney’s valet stumbles into the hospital, mutters a few cryptic words about the attack, and promptly dies from cholera. Frantic that an assassin is stalking his wife, Sidney enlists Florence’s help, who accepts but has little to go on save for the valet’s last words and a curious set of dice in his jacket pocket. Soon, the suspects are piling up faster than cholera victims, as there seems to be no end to the number of people who bear a grudge against the Herbert household.

Now, Florence is in a race against time—not only to save the victims of a lethal disease, but to foil a murderer with a disturbingly sinister goal—in A Murderous Malady."


 There are really two mysteries to this story; who attacked Elizabeth and why are so many people coming down with cholera. Florence is determined to solve both mysteries. We get to see not only the caring, nurturing and hardworking side of Florence the nurse, but also her determination, courage and ability to stand up to people as Florence the detective. This book has many factual instances and most of the characters were real people.

I like this series so much for a few reasons. I am a nurse and know all about Florence Nightingale. I think I even read her autobiography when I was young. Nurse's week was the week of May 6th, ending on May 12th, Florence's birthday. I listened to it during that time. I had read about the cholera epidemic in London before and knew much of what Christine writes about is true to what was happening. When cholera was a story line in the series Victoria, this year, I had to go read about it. Florence is asked to help get Middlesex Hospital up to par and assist in caring for all the people coming in with cholera. I have relatives that live in the Middlesex area so of course that interested me.  As I mentioned, many of the characters in the book were also people that Florence knew and many of the circumstances have some truth to them. The author has very cleverly written an intriguing story incorporating all of these people that really lived, and were friends and acquaintances of Florence. The audible book shares this history at the end and I presume the book does also. I found the book very intriguing and interesting. The book ends with what I hope is an opening for the next book.

Check out Christine's website. She writes of historical fiction too.

https://christinetrent.com/

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Deception Bay by Chris Patchell


Recently read another great thriller by Chris Patchell.

Deception Bay

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About: 

"She’s armed. He’s dangerous. Together, can they stop a killer from tearing a small island community apart?

When wise-cracking cozy mystery author, Austin Martell, left his hometown on Whidbey Island for the bright lights of New York, he vowed he would never go back. But some promises are impossible to keep, and when Austin discovers that his mother has suffered a serious accident, he has no choice but to return. Austin soon learns that her accident may be no accident at all, and secrets that were laid to rest after his brother’s tragic death off the coast of Deception Bay, have now begun to surface.

Austin finds himself in the center of a real-life murder mystery, when Police Chief Ellie Sharpe uncovers a curious connection between the author and the death of a local businessman. Born and raised on Whidbey and trained as a New York cop, Ellie is smart, and tough, and determined to solve the mystery behind the killing before more people die. Sparks fly as the two pair up to figure out who is responsible for the murder. The closer they come to discovering truth, the more desperate someone is to keep the sins of the past from coming to light.

Someone close to Austin harbors a deadly truth. Can Ellie unmask a killer before Austin becomes one more secret buried beneath the waves of Deception Bay?"

 Although Austin and his mother have a strained relationship since the boat accident that took his brother, he wants to find out what happened to her, get the house cleaned up while he stays there, so something about her crazy cat, get his mother set up with help at home  and get back to New York as soon as possible.Easier said than done. His publisher is calling him nonstop about a book signing and getting started on his next book. Women he knew in high school, are throwing themselves at him.  Someone breaks into the house and seems to be searching for something. And now someone is after him. It seems there is more to his mother's accident than a fall, and perhaps something more to his brother's accident. 

I really liked this book. I have read one other of Chris's books but have two others in my TBR list. :/ Like "In the Dark", this book is "can't put it down" book. It reads pretty fast.  There are plenty of suspects from Austin's past, a little romance and lots of suspense.

Check out Chris's website. If you like thrillers and suspense, I recommend any of her books.

https://www.chrispatchell.com/

I received a free book and voluntarily provided this review.









Saturday, May 11, 2019

Silkworm (Cormoran Strike #2)

I listened to Silkworm by Robert Galbraith over the past couple of weeks. This is book two in the Cormoran Strike series. Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for R.K. Rowling of the Harry Potter series.
It is a crime fiction/thriller book.

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About: "When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days—as he has done before—and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives—meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.

When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before. "

I had read the first book, The Cuckoo's Calling, in our book club and liked it a lot. I really like the main characters, Cormoran and Robin, his assistant. We learn more about Cormoran in this book. One thing about his past is that his has a half brother, Al. They share a famous singer for a father... just like the "singer Tom Jones." Cormoran doesn't have a relationship with his father just like Tom Jones. (This is a point made in the story, so I had to go look it up. It is allegedly a fact.)

 Corcoran calls on Al for help on the case. Robin is engaged to Matthew and the wedding is coming up. They already share an apartment. Matthew is not too keen on Robin's choice of employment, or on Corcoran.

So...the narrator for the Audible book was very,  very good. He was able to change up his voice and various English accents enough so you felt you were listening to different men, women, with different accents. It was very long. 17 1/2 hours I believe. The murder is very brutal and described in detail...several times. It got to be too much for me to keep hearing about it. I really like Corcoran and Robin. I listened to it through the end because I was hoping for a different ending or beginning for the characters. 

Just found out, this is a BBC series and was picked up by HBO for their Cinemax channel. You may be able to find it there if you like the books. I will have to think about whether or not I want to go on to the third book. I liked the Harry Potter series alot by the way. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Memory Man - David Baldacci - A book club pic

We read Memory Man by David Baldacci for our Mystery Book Club selection for May.
It is the first in the Memory Man series featuring Amos Decker.

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"The first time was on the gridiron. A big, towering athlete, he was the only person from his hometown of Burlington ever to go pro. But his career ended before it had a chance to begin. On his very first play, a violent helmet-to-helmet collision knocked him off the field for good, and left him with an improbable side effect--he can never forget anything.

The second time was at home nearly two decades later. Now a police detective, Decker returned from a stakeout one evening and entered a nightmare--his wife, young daughter, and brother-in-law had been murdered.

His family destroyed, their killer's identity as mysterious as the motive behind the crime, and unable to forget a single detail from that horrible night, Decker finds his world collapsing around him. He leaves the police force, loses his home, and winds up on the street, taking piecemeal jobs as a private investigator when he can.

But over a year later, a man turns himself in to the police and confesses to the murders. At the same time a horrific event nearly brings Burlington to its knees, and Decker is called back in to help with this investigation. Decker also seizes his chance to learn what really happened to his family that night. To uncover the stunning truth, he must use his remarkable gifts and confront the burdens that go along with them. He must endure the memories he would much rather forget. And he may have to make the ultimate sacrifice."

This was my first Baldacci novel. Yes I had heard of him but never had the chance to pick up one of his books. There was a couple of others in the MBC group that had never read any of his books either, so I didn't feel as bad.

What we thought: Everyone liked the book. There were a couple of people that had been in a reading slump, nothing they started appealed to them and they put the books down. Memory Man though, turned them around. They read the whole book, and proceeded to get the next books in the series. Two people that had read the entire series previously, has ordered all the books again from the library. One person felt Amos had Sherlockian qualities in his power of deduction. One said Amos wasn't at all like Sherlock, using mostly his incredible memory. We talked about the memory Amos had - hyperthymesia;  "a condition that leads people to be able to remember an abnormally large number of their life experiences in vivid detail."  I had seen a couple of shows on the brain and was aware of this and also how some people see colors with things such as music. Marilu Henner, the actress, has this. A few members didn't realize this was a real thing, and were happy to hear it wasn't made up. Many of us joked before the meeting how we don't have hyperthymesia. (In fact I had to keep going back and forth to get the correct spelling. lol)  All said it was a quick read, fast paced. 

In case you didn't know much about David Baldacci, like me, here is a link to his website and the other 43 books he has written.


 The fifth book in the Memory man series just came out - Redemption.


https://www.davidbaldacci.com/