Friday, April 28, 2023
Wednesday, April 26, 2023
Why? Well, first off is the lead character Sloane. She's a character that is so easy to like. Oh, and she's a librarian who truly loves books. She cares about her library peeps as well - patrons and staff. There's one patron who is the absolute epitome of the word 'curmudgeon'. And in a series of events, Sloane and Arthur McLachlan end up in a two person book club. (I have to say the discussions of the books that are read are excellent) And then another member is added - and another. The supporting players are wonderfully drawn as well. Each of the members add something to the club. And needs something as well.
There's much more to this tale, but I don't want add spoilers. This is a book that should unfold with no prior warning for the listener or reader. Suffice to say, have a tissue handy for the heartstring moments that you just know are there. I loved the premise, the plotting and how things played out.
I've said it before - but I often feel more immersed in a story when I listen to it. That's definitely the case for The Lonely Hearts Book Club. The reader was Angie Kane and she did a fabulous job. Her chosen voices suit the players well. The Sloane voice is calm and measured and the voice for Arthur is lower, gruff and yes cantankerous. The other players all have their own voices, making it very easy to know who is speaking. Kane's voice is clear, well enunciated, and easy on the ears. Her speed of speaking was just right. She embraces the plot and fills her reading with movement, capturing the tone, action and emotions of Gilmore's book.
A wonderful book and an excellent listen. Hear for yourself - listen to an audio excerpt.
Length - 11 hours 6 minutes
Tuesday, April 25, 2023
Is this a cozy mystery you ask? I would say yes, to a degree it is. But, instead of a retired librarian who loves tea and scones, we have we have Kim the town clerk and her (not so often helpful) assistant Doreen. Kim’s daughter Erika is working on the set of the reno. We Love to Entertain is told through alternating chapters from Kim and Erika. Kim sees things as they and worries about her daughter who comes up with excuses time and time again for what's happening. There’s definitely trouble on the set. Strohmeyer plants a number of red herrings along the path to the final whodunit. And what is happening you ask? Well, I'm not going to spoil the book for you, so I'll leave it for you to find that out. Suffice to say, it's a clever plot that I think takes inspiration from Strohmeyer's own life. She too is an elected town clerk in a small Vermont town.
I really enjoyed the skewering of the whole house reno/decorate thing. The reno couple, Holly and Robert, have the funniest (and spot on) newsletters and blog post. We also get a behind the curtain look at what it takes to achieve that final reveal. And I bet Strohmyers depiction isn’t that far from the truth!
We Love to Entertain was a fun read with lots of humor, a good plot - and a few bodies.
See for yourself - read an excerpt of We Love to Entertain.
Monday, April 24, 2023
With two brothers on the police force, Leyla Breda is well aware of the rising crime in her small beach town, but she never expected it to show up on her doorstep. When Leyla finds one of her employees murdered in the alley behind her coffee shop, she’s deeply shaken, and as a new law enforcement officer in town begins to circle her place of business, her instincts only sharpen.
Sean Moran is on an undercover mission: The seaside community of Lost Beach may look like a picturesque postcard, but his team suspects it’s a point of intersection for several crime syndicates that the FBI has been investigating for years. Even so, when the brash and beautiful Leyla Breda starts bossing him around, he's immediately intrigued. He knows her brothers want him to back off, but every time he sees her, he feels more of a spark.
Leyla’s connections in the local community and Sean’s skills allow them to go deeper into the case together than they would be able to go alone. But when a single crime spirals into something much darker, Sean’s carefully planned mission takes a deadly turn."
"Sound like a book you'd enjoy? Check out the excerpt below.
"Sean Moran slipped away from the party. The bride and groom had left under a shower of rice, but people were still milling around beneath swags of white lights, drinking the couple’s booze and enjoying the breeze off the water. Sean would have liked another drink, but he needed to get back to his condo. As he crossed the wooden bridge spanning the sand dunes, he spied a woman on the beach with a champagne flute in hand.
Her formfitting dress looked silver in the moonlight, and it shimmered against her body as she strolled toward the surf. Nearing a piece of driftwood, she dropped her shoes to the sand and sat down. She nestled the flute at her feet, then lifted her arms and twisted her dark hair into a knot at the top of her head.
Sean stopped at the end of the bridge. He had about a hundred things left to do tonight, including contacting his boss.
Instead, he walked over to Leyla.
"How's the champagne?"
She jumped and turned around. Recognition flickered across her face, and her shoulders relaxed.
"It's good." She held up her glass. "You didn't have any?"
"Nope. Can I get you a refill?"
She smiled. "What, are you a waiter now, too?"
He stepped closer. "I'm Sean Moran, by the way." He held out his hand. "We never actually met."
"Leyla Breda." Her handshake was brisk and businesslike, but the warm look in her eyes gave him hope.
"Joel's little sister," he said.
He turned toward the water so he wouldn't be tempted to stare down the front of her dress.
"I didn't get a chance to thank you earlier," she said. "Things got really hectic."
"Looked like you had your hands full."
"So, are you here for Joel or Miranda?"
He looked at her. "Joel."
She tipped her head to the side as she gazed up at him. "And you know him from . . . ?"
She frowned. "Here?"
"No. We go way back. We were in the same academy class in Houston, spent some time at HPD together."
"Oh. That was a while ago."
"So . . . the vice squad, then?"
"Yeah. Mind if I sit down?"
"Not at all."
Sean lowered himself onto the other end of the sandy log. He didn't like the direction the conversation had taken so he steered it back to her.
"So, how long have you been a caterer?" he asked.
"Hmm . . . let's see. I guess it's been about three weeks now." She turned and smiled at him, and he felt a hot jolt of attraction. "Why? Can you tell?"
"Not at all."
"Well, the timing seemed a little bumpy."
"Just a little." She rolled her eyes. "We had several staffers no-show. It happens a lot in this business. People are flaky. Despite all my planning, you could say we were a bit rushed."
Rushed was right. No woman had ever clapped at him before. He'd discovered it was a turn-on.
Excerpted from Deep Tide by Laura Griffin Copyright © 2023 by Laura Griffin. Excerpted by permission of Berkley. All rights reserved
Friday, April 21, 2023
Thursday, April 20, 2023
Tuesday, April 18, 2023
Blythe is our protagonist in this book. She’s part of a tightknit friends circle, that all attend a small prep school.
All’s good with them - okay, mostly good. Blythe and Tucker are taking a bit of a break. There’s an event alluded to between them, but it’s not spelled out until much later. And then Gabriella has a bit of a meltdown. Ok, it’s much more than a bit. The group is seriously worried - what the heck is going on?
I really liked the characters in this book. They’re all intriguing and all are very different. The interactions between the friends are really well written. There’s a lot of caring amongst the group. That caring is shown in the respectful dialogue that they have, and their actions. But then again, they’re all teenagers so we do see the flipside of that as well. The adults in the book are hard to gauge - within them who is telling the truth?
And of course the teens are going to investigate, right? I was pretty sure I knew how the plot was going to play out but Armstrong plants lots of red herrings along the way to the final who and why that kept me guessing.
And being a teen novel, we’ve got to have a romantic thread, right!? There’s lots of yes, no, maybe so, but it’s done well.
I've been a bit obtuse, as I don't want to provide any spoilers Teen flicks are also on my watch list. So, if you've enjoyed Outer Banks and Riverdale and the like, you'll enjoy Someone is Always Watching. See for yourself - read an excerpt of Someone is Always Watching.
I'm so glad Kelley Armstrong loves writing - because I really enjoy reading her books!
Monday, April 17, 2023
Friday, April 14, 2023
Tuesday, April 11, 2023
Monday, April 10, 2023
Thursday, April 6, 2023
Wednesday, April 5, 2023
Tuesday, April 4, 2023
Winifriend lives with her widowed father on the grounds of a cemetery. She’s awkward and has few friends, except for Jack. But as they grow older, Jack is moving on and leaving Winnie behind. And then Phil arrives. Is she a figment of Winifred’s imagination? Or could she be real? Or...
Dimaline’s prose are simply wonderful. I stopped more than once to savour Winnie’s words before carrying on. Her descriptions and inner dialogue conjure up vivid mental images and thought provoking ideas.
The setting is just as well drawn - the mossy paths, the headstones, the mausoleums and more. I've always found cemeteries to be peaceful and calming. And so did Winifred - until now.
The supporting characters are just right. My faves were Floyd, the cemetery's handy man and Auntie Roberta - everyone needs an Auntie like this. And all of us probably have an annoying relative like Penny.
There are many themes - life, loss, love, coming of age, friendship, family and identity. Dimaline addresses them all with a fresh, unique and thoughtful eye.
I really like Dimaline's writing, messages and storytelling. See for yourself - read an excerpt of Funeral Songs for Dying Girls.