Review: Fuzzy Navel by J.A. Konrath

Fuzzy Navel
by J.A. Konrath

Fuzzy Navel

Copyright: 2008

Pages: 310

Read: June 10 – 11, 2017

Rating: 3/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

 

Blurb: Things are going well for Lieutenant Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels of the Chicago Police Department. She has solved some of the city’s toughest homicides, and Alex Kork, one of the most dangerous criminals she ever arrested, is finally out of the picture. But things turn sour quickly when a group of vigilantes on a murderous spree decide to take down a cop and the people she cares about, and they get downright awful when Jack discovers Kork may not be dead after all…


Review: Ok, I’m not going to lie here … this book was not up to par in comparison to the others in the series.

This particular installment is set over the course of maybe 8 or 9 hours and it’s definitely action packed … but that’s about all that was positive about it…. It started out interesting with the Alex Kork aspect and I even enjoyed the beginning of the vigilante part of the book. But then the two storylines converged and it just didn’t work as well for me.

The only reason I read this book as quickly as I did was because it was the only book I had with me on my train ride home from Chicago. I just had a lot higher expectations for this book. I think a part of me was a little disappointed that there was no real case to solve with Jack and her partner Herb. The humor that is prevalent in all of these books was just plain stupid at times because it was so inappropriate.

This one just didn’t work much for me. It’s definitely a weak link in the rest of this series. So if you’ve never read from this series before, do not start with this one. I’m still looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Cherry Bomb, but that’s really just because there’s a cliffhanger (another pet peeve!) at the end of this one…

Review: Jury of One by Laura Bradford

Jury of One
by Laura Bradford

Jury of One

Copyright: 2005

Pages: 252

Read: June 9 – 10, 2017

Rating: 4/5

Source: Used Book Store

 

 

Blurb: Beaches, boardwalks and the promise of carefree summer days mark the start of tourist season in the small, scenic town of Ocean Point, New Jersey. But this scene is marred suddenly by the body of a young woman found bludgeoned to death. It’s the first in a string of seemingly random, senseless murders, the only connection being the odd positioning of he victims’ fingers.

It’s a crisis that puts local detective Mitch Burns on edge. Murder in a peaceful beach town is bad enough, but a serial killer at the height of tourist season is worse. Much worse. Newly hired local reporter Elise Jenkins cuts her journalistic teeth on this one – especially when her search for the truth leader her on a dangerous hunt for the killer with a face whose familiarity masks deadly intent.


Review: I picked this one up on a total whim the last time I was at my favorite used book store. I don’t usually read a lot of cozy mysteries, but this one really caught my eye.

I ended up enjoying this one quite a bit. I really liked the characters. At one time, I was a journalism major. Anyway, I really related to Elise’s character in a way. She’s the type of journalist I would have liked to have been – I really liked how she gave Mitch a lot of room in regards to the investigation. It was a sigh of relief to see the media portrayed as not overbearing and intrusive. I’m also intrigued by the attraction between Elise and Mitch … I’d be curious to see how that plays out in future books.

The who-dun-it part was not a complete surprise, as there were subtle hints dropped throughout the book. But it was still fun to see how things unfolded. It was an interesting storyline.

So overall it’s a cute book that I enjoyed. It was a fun and easy read. I’d definitely recommend it!

Review: City of Bones by Michael Connelly

City of Bones
by Michael Connelly

City of Bones

Copyright: 2002

Pages: 421

Read: June 3 – June 7, 2017

Rating: 5/5

Source: Grandmother

 

 

Blurb: On New Year’s Day, a dog finds a bone in the Hollywood Hills – and unearths a murder committed more than twenty years earlier. It’s a cold case, but for Detective Harry Bosch, it stirs up memories of his childhood as an orphan. He can’t let it go. As the investigation takes Bosch deeper into the past, a beautiful rookie cop brings him alive in the present. No official warning can break them apart – or prepare Bosch for the explosions when the case takes a few hard turns. Suddenly all of L.A. is in an uproar, and Bosch, fighting to keep control, is driven to the brink of an unimaginable decision.


Review: This is the 8th book in the Harry Bosch series. And I think this one was one of my favorites in the series so far! It was a really great book! I thoroughly enjoyed it!

There were a lot of twists and turns here and there as well as some interesting revelations and decisions. It will be interesting to see where Mr. Connelly takes Harry from here after the ending of this book…

I really felt like Harry was a different person in this book. It was probably because of that rookie cop mentioned in the blurb. He was just a lot happier for the most part.

Definitely makes me look forward to reading the next book relatively soon!

Review: Killer Pancake by Diane Mott Davidson

Killer Pancake
by Diane Mott Davidson

Killer Pancake

Copyright: 1995

Pages: 329

Read: May 30 – June 2, 2017

Rating: 4/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

 

Blurb: When Goldy, owner of Goldilocks’ Catering, faces the challenge of whipping up a sumptuous low-fat feast for the Mignon Cosmetic’s company banquet, she rises to the occasion brilliantly … only to discover just how ugly the beauty biz can be!

On the day of the banquet Goldy finds herself confronting an angry mob of demonstrators – “Spare the Hares” – who object to Mignon Cosmetics’ animal-testing policies. As she struggles to carry forty pounds of low-fat fare from her van to the mall where the banquet is being held, she hears an ominous squeal of tires and a horrifying thump. Seconds later, a Mignon employee lies dead on the pavement. And soon the police discover that this hit-and-run was no accident.

Now Goldy is enmeshed up to her saute pans in a homicide investigation. Could the murder have had something to do with Spare the Hares – or with the exotic flower found near the dead body? Though busy serving up Hoisin Turkey and Grand Marnier Cranberry Muffins, Goldy decides to start digging at Mignon’s million-dollar cosmetics counter. But when another murder takes place and Goldy herself is attacked, the caterer turned sleuth knows she must step up her search for a gruesome killer. For this time was only a warning. Next time she’ll be dead – and it won’t be pretty.


Review: It has been ages since I read the fourth book in this series, so I was a little nervous picking up the fifth. However I am happy to say that I easily fell right back in with Goldy and her crew.

I thought that the storyline in this installment was interesting. The killer was not all that surprising, but there were a few times when I was convinced it was someone else. This was an easy read that I enjoyed. It definitely has renewed my interest in reading a bit more from this series.

A fun installment in a fun series – definitely recommended!!

Review: Knoll by Stephen Hillard

Knoll
by Stephen Hillard

Knoll

Copyright: 2017

Pages: 274

Read: May 22-29, 2017

Rating: 3/5

Source: Publicist for review

 

 

Blurb: Bus McIntyre, small-town lawyer and Sixties survivor, is presented with evidence from the cold-case murder of his father Dean, a hard-drinking cop, four decades ago. It reveals Dean’s ties to a dead Mafia kingpin – and the assassination of JFK. Meanwhile, Banner McCoy, a young NSA data analyst assigned to a project code-named KNOLL, goes into hiding when she learns its objective: eliminate anyone with information on what really happened in Dallas on November 22, 1963. When Bus falls into the agency’s sights, all paths lead to a small Louisiana town full of secrets, where the late don’s aged but indefatigable hit man awaits, determined to tie up all loose ends. 


Review: If you have followed my blog for any time, you know by now that I am a sucker for anything JFK related. It’s a strange obsession I have. I gobble everything up about him, his life, his family, his presidency, his assassination, etc. So it was no surprise that when I was pitched this book I immediately jumped on the opportunity.

I will say that this book started out really slow for me. I had a hard time getting into the flow of the writing. It was a little bit of a strange start, really. But once I finally got into the book, I found it to be quite enjoyable.

I think my main complaint (if you can even call it that…) is that this book could have been a lot longer. I felt like there were a lot of things that could have been expanded upon. First of all there could have been a lot more to Banner’s story. This book kind of opens up and you’re just thrown into everything. I think that’s what had me so confused in the beginning. I felt like there could have been a lot more meat to the story than there actually was. A lot more background would have been nice as well. It’s a fine line sometimes, though. I know I have complained numerous times that a book could have been 100 pages shorter … this one I just feel could have been 100 pages longer!

Even so, without that “meat” I would have preferred a little more of, I still enjoyed this book. It was an interesting spin on the JFK assassination. I would definitely recommend this book to JFK junkies like myself as well as mystery fans.

I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Review: Beastly by Alex Flinn

Beastly
by Alex Flinn

Beastly

Copyright: 2007

Pages: 336

Read: May 5-25, 2017

Rating: 3/5

Source: Barnes & Noble Serial Reads

 

 

BlurbI am a beast.

A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright—a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.

You think I’m talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It’s no deformity, no disease. And I’ll stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell.

Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I’ll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.


Review: This book was the title featured on Barnes & Noble’s Serial Reads for the month of May. I was really hesitant to start it to be honest, it’s completely outside of my comfort zone. Not only is this book a YA, it’s also a fairy tale re-telling. I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy this … I mean how many ways can Beauty and the Beast really be spun? But I figured it was free and if I didn’t like it I could always walk away from it.

Since I’m reviewing it here, I obviously finished it. It was a cute read for the most part. You could definitely tell it was a little dated (MySpace?!?) and more juvenile than I normally read. But overall it wasn’t a bad book. It was a pretty standard re-telling in my opinion. But there was just enough there to make it feel a little more original.

Not a bad book, but probably not one that will be very memorable for me in the long run. But it was good to read something out of my comfort zone. I’d recommend it if you’re into young adult and/or re-tellings.

 

Murder Between the Lines by Radha Vatsal

Murder Between the Lines
by Radha Vatsal

Murder Between the Lines

Copyright: 2017

Pages: 291

Read: May 10-14, 2017

Rating: 4/5

Source: Publicist for review

 

 

Blurb: When Kitty Weeks’s latest assignment writing for the New York Sentinel Ladies’ Page takes her to Westfield Hall, a well-regarded girls’ school in New York City, she expects to find an orderly establishment teaching French and dancing – standard fare for schoolgirls in 1915. But there’s much more going on at the school than initially meets the eye. Kitty especially takes note of the studies of Elspeth Bright, the daughter of a scientist heavily involved in naval technology, who has inherited her father’s interest and talent for scientific inquiry. s

Elspeth’s seemingly accidental death is a shock to the school community and to Kitty – and the more she finds out about Elspeth and her family, the more the intrepid reporter begins to believe that it may not have been an accident at all.


Review: This is the second book in the Kitty Weeks series. When I was pitched this one I was really excited because I had read and reviewed and loved the first book in A Front Page Affair last year.

Once again, it was fun to be back with Kitty and company. I found that there were some parts that were a little more complicated for my personal taste – the scientific parts revolving around batteries and the navy. Science is not my wheelhouse and I just didn’t care for that whole part of the storyline. While it was an important part of the story, it wasn’t enough to make me dislike the book in any way.

I liked how the characters were evolving throughout the book (like Kitty’s boss at the Ladies’ Page). I could really see the change start to occur that happened around that time in our history with the women’s suffrage movement. It’s still 1915/1916 in this book, so women are still a few years away from the vote, but Ms. Vatsal begins to include some of the issues women were facing at that time period.

I would definitely recommend this book. I think historical fiction fans and mystery lovers alike will both enjoy this book (and series). Ms. Vatsal’s books are fun and easy to read. I’ll eagerly be awaiting the third book next year!

I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed above are my own.