Saturday, August 29, 2009

Here comes the bride...

If you love great mystery novels with lots of drama and intrigue from start to finish, you'll love James Patterson's 1st to Die, the start of the Woman's Murder Club Series. Earlier this summer, I read the latest, now I've read the earlier and hope to read the ones in between in the future. Lots of suspense, drama, intrigue, with a hint of romance from a fellow cop to Lindsay's condition, you'll love every page turning suspense to the end of the first book. I remember seeing the TV movie version a few years ago vividly and was saddened for the TV series version that was cancelled last year after one season. But nonetheless, get ready for a thrill ride...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Black Rose

In the second installment of the In the Garden trilogy series by Nora Roberts, Black Rose focused on Roz Harper.  A widow with three grown sons and one failed marriage, her garden nursery was thriving with the help of new mom Hayley and newlywed Stella.  The three of them had bonded and became close friend and soul sisters. With their future under attack by the Harper Bride's ghostly appearance, she teamed up with Dr. Mitchell Carnegie, a genealogist, to delve into her family's ancestral history. The closer they've gotten together to the truth, the most intriguing chemical attraction have occurred to them. To save them from impending doom, it was a race against time to discover the truth and put them to rest for her to soon close over.  If you love romance stories with a twist, read this trilogy in order.

This was a great follow-up from Blue Dahlia in the In the Garden trilogy. I loved how it focused on Roz Harper, the matriarch. I cared for her whole family more, when she had a second chance to find love. The ensuing ghost story continues on, when we get to know more about the Harper Bride some more. I loved the genealogical angle in this romance. I also loved how it threw Roz and Mitchell together and possibly Harper to Hayley together. I continued to love the gardening-greenhouse scenes as well.

Ready to watch a rose grow? Give this book a go! 

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Quiche of Death

The Quiche of Death is the first of many books in the Agatha Raisin series by MC Beaton. This is set in an English village with Agatha Raisin, a senior citizen on retirement from the PR world, when she got herself into a doozy of a dilemma of murder, mayhem and darkness, when a quiet town held so many secrets, for this quick and easy read. She makes one hell of a detective when she's clued in for murder. Dig in and enjoy.

By the way, if you love mysteries, skydiving or both, this week author Rachel Brady is offering a contest to win her book, Final Approach, at Enter this week by Tweeting, being her Facebook fan, emailing or adding it to your blog. Good luck.

An axe to grind

If you love cozies, then you'll love a new cozy series I tried out by Claudia Bishop. Buried by Breakfast is a great quick read in an easy reading from start to finish that's set in New York and in a fictional town with some quick wit, a good mystery and plenty of drama from start to finish. It even came with a free recipe too, which is a plus. Happy reading and enjoy the Quilliam sisters in this latest perky adventure.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Whack a Mole

In Chris Grabenstein's Whack a Mole, the 3rd book in the John Ceepak mystery series, Danny Boyle and John Ceepak returned to solve another mystery along the New Jersey coastline. When they've discovered another dead body on the beach, it lead them to more gruesome clues and a chilling conclusion that they were after a serial killer that was ready to strike again after a long absence.  They must race against time to stop a mole with a twisted code of his own. If they don't catch them quick, they might lose someone they love from the killer's hands. This was a game they must win.

This was another spine-tingling mystery in the Ceepak mystery series. I continued to care about John and Danny and how they made teamwork together to solve another devastating crime. I loved the Sea Haven location on the New Jersey shore and the picturesque scenery for the locations. This is definitely a literal nail-biter that would keep you in suspense and the edge of your seat. Great drama, good non-stop action and plenty of intrigue and witty humor from start to finish.

Are you ready to whack a mole? If so, pick it up today!

Book Challenges-part 2-The big ones

I've tried to finish all the books on my list this year by New Year's Eve. If not, like with last year's Book a Day, it carried over until this year. The same would happen next year. This list is compiled of all the books I've read so far before I blogged and not challenge books, and the ones I hope to read between now and next year, let's say, perfect for J_Kaye's 100+ Book Challenge all year long. Those asterisks are those authors who are on Twitter.

Books I've read:
Wormwood by Susan Albert Wittig *
Morning Light and Sweet Nothings by Catherine Anderson *
Borderline by Nevada Barr
Jane and the Barque of Frailty by Stephanie Barron
Fatal Fixerupper by Jennie Bentley *
Echoes by Maeve Binchy
Breaking the Rules, Hold the Dream, Unexpected Blessings by Barbara Taylor Bradford
Rainwater, Smash Cut by Sandra Brown
Cursed by Carol Higgins Clark
Dashing Through the Snow by Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark
Just Take My Heart by Mary Higgins Clark
Creature Discomforts by Susan Conant
Corsair, Medusa, The Wrecker, Treasure of Khan by Clive Cussler
No One Heard Her Scream by Jordan Dane
Double Shot by Diane Mott Davidson
The Gatehouse by Nelson DeMille
Protect and Defend by Vince Flynn
Jackdaws, Whiteout, World Without End by Ken Follett
Murder Carries a Torch by Anne George
The Gatekeeper by Michelle Gagnon*
Dead on the Dance Floor by Heather Graham
Ford County Stories, The Associate by John Grisham
Equivocal Death by Amy Gutman
Real Murders by Charlaine Harris *
Hard Landing and The Pandora Key by Lynne Heitman
Blood and Circumstance by Frank Hallon
The Sacred Cut by David Hewson *
Cutline by Bonnie Hearne Hill
Wreath of Deception by Mary Ellen Hughes
Dead Sleep by Greg Iles
Blood Game, Deadlock, On the Run, Quicksand, Storm Cycle by Iris Johansen
Like a Dog with a Bone by Lee Charles Kelley *
Evidence, True Detectives by Jonathan Kellerman
High Rhymes and Misdemeanors by Diana Killian
Eternal City by Nancy Kilpatrick
All Together In One Place by Jane Kirkpatrick
Twilight Eyes by Dean Koontz
Oh My Stars by Lorna Landvik
All the Numbers by Judy Larsen
The Last Place by Laura Lippman
The Undertaker's Widow, Lost Lake, The Associate by Philip Margolin
A Crazy Little Thing Called Death by Nancy Martin
Whitney, My Love, Paradise and Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught
Deadly Deals, Mr and Miss Anonymous by Fern Michaels
Maggie Needs an Alibi by Kasey Michaels
The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen
Locked In by Marcia Muller
Turbulance by John Nance
Lie by Midnight by Amanda Quick
The Second Opinion by Michael Palmer *
Suspicion of Madness by Barbara Parker
Alex Cross's Trial, Run For Your Life, Swimsuit, the 8th Confession by James Patterson
Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
Blacklist by Sara Paretsky
A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read
Kindred in Death, Promises in Death by JD Robb
You Can't Hide by Karen Rose *
The Cheater by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg
Natural Law by D.R. Schanker
On the Ropes by Tom Schreck *
Matters of the Heart, One Day at A Time, Southern Lights by Danielle Steel
The Lions of Lucerne by Brad Thor *
Every Crooked Nanny by Kathy Trocheck
The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Brady Udall
Clubbed to Death, Murder with Reservations by Elaine Viets
The Hawk and the Jewel, The Knight and the Dove and the Proposal by Lori Wick
Deadly Errors by Allen Wyler

A Great Deliverance

If you love a great mystery series, you should try Elizabeth George's A Great Deliverance, set in England. It all started with a murder, while you could still hear the baby cry from Keldare from 300 years ago. Now back to present day Scotland Yard, when we were introduced to Inspector Thomas Lynley, who was also the 8th earl of Asherton, and his partner, Detective Sargeant Barbara Havers.  When they were on this first crime scene together of a savage murder, it shocked and stunned everyone in the countryside. They've found Roberta Teys in her best dress and with an axe in her hands, when she confessed on the murder of her father by beheading him. Together they learned the shocking secrets of Keldare and the truth behind the scandals of the peaceful town. It had ended with a tragic twist of circumstance and Biblical proportions of a ghastly nature. The duo of Havers and Lynley made an interesting pair, even on PBS's Mystery series, if you watched it on TV. Lots of shocking twists and turns to keep your eyes peeled. Dig in!

This was an interesting reading to get started with the series. I enjoyed learning about Lynley and Havers with their backstory in this excellent mystery. I loved the connection to Scotland Yard and the United Kingdom. I enjoyed the pair of Havers and Lynley on how they solved this grisly murder.  Keldare made for an interesting locale for the macabre crime. Nice drama, great crime-solving duo to solve this mystery, and nice action in the scenes. This would make you gasp and take a deep breath, after you could stomach the harrowing opening scenes.

Ready to deliver a good read? Pick up a copy today!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Big Shuffle

This Laura Pedersen title says it all in this inspirational teen fiction/YA novel, a genre I don't normally read. But this is what I recommend for teens to read with their parents about life's challenges from a big family losing a family member to accepting life's surprises in over the year. This is a quick and easy read with eclectic characters and zany similes and metaphors and analogies up the wazoo with plenty of laughs with every page. I believe this book is also part of a series too and it sets in the home state of 9 years: Ohio. Enjoy this one with your loved ones and some tissues!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Chariot of Fire

Life at These Speeds is a coming-of-age/literary fiction novel, dealing with a high school track star, who runs for a high school in Missouri. It deals with a crash of his team mates in the beginning and then plows into his non-stoppable speed through his high school years. In which he discovers new friends, a new romance and a top secret scandal involving his school. This has great details of running track and have unusual and quirky, eccentric characters (their names included). This is a bit inspirational at times about your fears, your dreams and your hopes. Full speed ahead!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Shell Games

Shell Games is the first of the series by Kirk Russell. It takes place in California and deals with the issue of poaching abalone. Murder, mystery, suspense and plenty of drama are dealt in this action-packed eco-thriller. The main lead character, John Marquez, is a Fish and Game warden. I like the way he also deals with his personal life on the side with his estranged life and anorexic step-daughter. It dealt with real life issues nowadays. Happy fishing!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

No Man Is a Island

Low Country is a beautiful story about a fictional island in South Carolina. It deals with a family and the people who live on the island who visit throughout the months and the fights to keep it as is, as it tears a couple apart. It's bittersweet, since it deals with grief and loss and of the horses that are part of the family. I think you'll need a hanky for this one. This one pulls at your heartstrings.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Book challenges, part 1-Small Challenges

As an avid book reader, I also try to participate and win some book challenges. Some I finish, some I don't. I can't do them all. Besides my own Book a day (BAD) challenges, I've won J-Kaye's 100+ book challenge last month and will keep on going. All books I've read so far are in bold and in ABC order. Asterisks are for books on my TBR list to read. Here's my challenges to finish this year:

Revenge of the Steel-Iron Flamingo by Donna Andrews
Buried by Breakfast by Claudia Bishop
Echo Burning by Lee Child
The Tunnels by Michele Gagnon
Death on Demand by Carolyn Hart
The Shadow on the Glass by Ian Irvine
Life at These Speeds by Jeremy Jackson
Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
The Blood Ballad by Rett MacPherson
Move to Strike by Perri O'Shaughnessy
September by Rosamunde Pilcher
Bone Cold by Erica Spindler

Love My Library Challenge
And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander
Margin of Error by Edna Buchanon
Watermind by MM Buckner
State of Fear by Michael Crichton
Treasure of Khan by Clive Cussler
Freezing Point by Karen Dionne
A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George
When Darkness Falls by James Grippando
First Class Killing by Lynne Heitman
Wrong Time Wrong Place by Andrea Kane
Devil's Bride by Stephanie Laurens
Lifelines by CJ Lyons
The Attorney by Steve Martini
The Millionaires by Brad Meltzer
Turbulance by John Nance
Lie by Midnight by Amanda Quick
The Big Shuffle by Laura Pedersen
Low Country by Anne Rivers Siddons
Black Order by James Rollins
The Lions in Lucerne by Brad Thor
Swimming to Catalina by Stuart Woods

1st in Series Challenge
A Quiche of Death by MC Beaton
Hold the Dream by Barbara Taylor Bradford
A Real Basketcase by Beth Groundwater
This Pen for Hire by Laura Levine
The Body in the Bonfire by Katherine Page
1st to Die by James Patterson
Shell Games by Kirk Russell
Dying in Style by Elaine Viets

2nd by Author Challenge
The Chick and the Dead by Casey Daniels
Whiteout by Ken Follett
Whack a Mole by Chris Grabenstein
The Lighthouse by PD James
Eureka by Jim Lehrer
Black Rose by Nora Roberts

Murder Mystery Cozy
Murder-Murder as a Fine Art (might change by 11/30)-VOIDED
Region-Casey Daniels, The Chick and the Dead
Shelf-Getting Away is Murder **
New-High Rhymes and Misdemeanors

On the Porch Swing
Summer/Winter-Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas
Marriage-The Marriage Spell by Mary Jo Putney ** currently reading
Friendship-Friends in High Places by Donna Leon
Flower-Black Rose by Nora Roberts

"G" author-Dead on the Dance Floor by Heather Graham

Dare to Dream-New Romance authors
Publish Post

Mary Kay Andrews
Sabrina Jeffries
Jayne Krantz
Stephanie Laurens
Cara Lockwood
Linda Lael Miller **
Barbara Parker
Amanda Quick
Anne Rivers Siddons
Sharon Sala

That's it for my small book challenges.