Monthly Wrap Up

February 2015 Wrap-Up

February was a pretty good month. Numbers wise, I only read 4 books. However, three of the four were all really good. And quality over quantity any day! Also I know I had said that I wasn’t taking on any review books this year. I wish I had more self-control. But I’ve been contacted twice by authors that I’ve reviewed in the past and I simply couldn’t say no to either one. I tried…

Anyway, on to the books:

Books read: 4 (YTD: 8)

port mortuaryAngels FlightAlex Cross, RunDead as a Doornail

  1. Port Mortuary by Patricia Cornwell – REVIEW
  2. Angels Flight by Michael Connelly – REVIEW
  3. Alex Cross, Run by James Patterson – REVIEW
  4. Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris – REVIEW

Pages Read: 1,621 (YTD: 2,861 )

Books Received: 5 (See list here)

  • E-Galley Received From the Author: 1
  • Purchased at used book store: 4

Memes Posted: 1

Events Participated In: None

Recipes Shared: 0

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, H, RATING, Read in 2015, SERIES, Sookie Stackhouse

2015.8 REVIEW – Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris

Dead as a Doornail
by Charlaine Harris

Pages: 295
Rating: 4/5
Read: Feb. 20 – Feb. 25, 2015
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 8
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy
Series: Sookie Stackhouse #5

Dead as a DoornailBlurb: Small-town cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse has had more than her share of experience with the supernatural – but now it’s really hitting close to home. When Sookie sees her brother Jason’s eyes start to change, she knows he’s about to turn into a were panther for the first time – a transformation he embraces more readily than most shape-shifters she knows. But her concern becomes cold fear when a sniper sets his deadly sights on the local changeling population, and Jason’s new panther brethren suspect he may be the shooter. Now Sookie has until the next full moon to find out who’s behind the attacks – unless the killer decides to find her first…

Review: This is the 5th book in the Sookie series and I’m kicking myself for waiting so long before starting this series.

I find these books to be fun escapes. There’s not much thinking involved in them and sometimes that’s exactly what I need. Even though paranormal will never be my favorite genre, these books really appeal to me.

I found this book to be interesting. Sookie is always finding herself in trouble. And this installment is no exception. I’m so intrigued by the world Ms. Harris has created in this series. There’s so much pomp and circumstance regarding the vamps and weres and shifters. It’s just so interesting.

Overall, I liked this book and I enjoy this series. Definitely recommended.

Book Spotlight

Book Spotlight: The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths by Harry Bingham

The Strange Death of Fiona GriffithsBritish author, Harry Bingham, blew critics and readers away with his crime debut, Talking to the Dead. His second novel, Love Story, with Murders, established DC Fiona Griffiths as the most compelling heroine in crime fiction. With this, the third novel in the series, comes Fiona’s darkest, strangest and most challenging assignment yet . . .

It started out as nothing much. A minor payroll fraud at a furniture store in South Wales. No homicide involved, no corpses. Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths fights to get free of the case, but loses. She’s tasked with the investigation.

She begins her enquiries, only to discover the corpse of a woman who’s starved to death. Looks further, and soon realizes that within the first, smaller crime, a vaster one looms: the most audacious theft in history.

Fiona’s bosses need a copper willing to go undercover, and they ask Fiona to play the role of a timid payroll clerk so that she can penetrate the criminal gang from within.

Fiona will be alone, she’ll be lethally vulnerable – and her fragile grip on ‘Planet Normal’ will be tested as never before …

About the Author: 

Harry-BinghamHarry is currently writing a crime series, featuring a young Welsh detective, Fiona Griffiths. The series has sold to publishers in the UK (Orion), the US (Random House), as well as FranceGermanyItalySpain, the Netherlandsand elsewhere. The first novel was televised by Bonafide and broadcast onSky Living. The novels are notable mostly for the strong voice and strange character of their protagonist. The first three titles in the series are Talking to the Dead, Love Story with Murders, and The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths.

The books have had nice reviews in the BooksellerPublishers Weekly,KirkusNew York TimesNew York Daily NewsBoston GlobeSeattle Times,Washington PostDaily MailTelegraph, Times, Sunday Times, Western Mail (all behind paywall) Shelf Awarenesscrimefictionlover, and many more fine publications.

Connect with Harry Bingham:
Website | Twitter

Buy Links:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Please be sure to check out the other stops on the tour:

February 2 Book featured at 3 Partners in Shopping
February 3 Guest blogging at What is That Book
February 4 Book reviewed at Rainy Day Reviews
February 5 Interviewed at A Little Bit of R & R
February 6 Guest blogging at I Heart Reading
February 9 Book reviewed at The Phantom Paragrapher
February 11 Book featured at The Zen Reader
February 12 Interviewed at Review From Here
February 13 Guest blogging at From Paperback to Leatherbound
February 17 Interviewed at Literal Exposure
February 19 Book featured at Confessions of a Reader
February 20 Book featured at Tales of a Book Addict
February 24 Guest blogging at A Taste of My Mind
February 26 Interviewed at Niume
March 2  Book featured at Voodoo Princess
March 4 Book featured at The Literary Nook
March 6  Book reviewed at Harlie’s Books
March 9 Guest blogging at Romancing the Darkside
March 11 Interviewed at Blirt
March 12 Book featured at Inkslinger’s Opus
March 13 Interviewed at Pimp That Character
March 17 Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book
March 18 Guest blogging at She Writes
March 19 Interviewed at I’m Shelf-ish
March 23 Guest blogging at The Writer’s Life
March 25  Interviewed at As the Page Turns
March 27 Guest blogging at Fiction to Fruition
April 6 Book review and Author interviewed at The Gal in the Blue Mask
April 7 Book featured at Lover of Literature
April 8 Interviewed at Straight From the Author’s Mouth
April 9 Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking
April 13 Book featured at Blogher
April 14 Interviewed at Examiner
April 15 Guest blogging at Bent Over Bookwords
April 16 Book reviewed at Celticlady’s Reviews
April 17 Book featured at The Revolving Bookshelf
April 21 Book featured at The Dark Phantom
April 22 Interviewed at Book Marketing Buzz
April 23 Book reviewed at Review From Here
April 24 Book featured at All Inclusive Retort

4/5, Alex Cross, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, P, RATING, Read in 2015, SERIES

2015.7 REVIEW – Alex Cross, Run by James Patterson

Alex Cross, Run
by James Patterson

Pages: 378
Rating: 4/5
Read: Feb. 15 – Feb. 18, 2015
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 7
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy
Series: Alex Cross #20

Alex Cross, RunBlurb: Alex Cross is on the hunt of his life … In Washington, D.C., top plastic surgeon Elijah Creem is renowned for his operating skills – and his wild parties of drugs, champagne, and illicit sex. When Detective Alex Cross busts one of Creem’s soirees, the doctor takes the most drastic step to avoid prison. Before Alex can finish this case, a beautiful woman is murdered with a lock of her hair viciously ripped off. Then a second woman is found, hanging from a window with a brutal scar slashed across her stomach. After a third mutilated body is discovered, rumors of three serial killers on the loose send the city into an all-out frenzy. But under intense pressure to solve all these grim cases, the detective doesn’t notice that someone very obsessed and twisted is stalking him – and won’t stop until Alex is dead.

Review: I used to gobble James Patterson up. Somewhere along the way he slowly fell off my radar. Probably because he churns out book after book with the aid of “co-authors” and they just aren’t as good as when he is writing them. For whatever reason, Mr. Patterson has kept the Alex Cross books all to himself. For that, his readers should thank him. Because they are by far (in my opinion of course) the best books that his name appears on.

So when I signed up a Goodreads challenge for us to read 3 books by authors we love in February, I had to go scouring my shelves for something. And as much as I am ashamed to admit it, James Patterson is where my eyes kept coming back to. So I figured I’d pick up the next Alex Cross book I had (I’m a couple behind now).

Looking back through my archives, it had been a little over 3 years since I last read an Alex Cross book. But you know what … I fell right back in with the family with no problems at all. It was like reuniting with an old friend from grade school. It was also a lot of fun.

I feel like the blurb highlighted above really leaves a lot of the book’s plot out. There’s a lot more to this book than just what’s in that simple blurb. And I found it to be a really fun, exciting read!

While these books do not require a lot of thinking, I still enjoy them. Patterson has a bad rep with a lot of people nowadays, but I am not ashamed to admit that I still like Patterson (kind of like I’ll admit to watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians).

So, yeah, I’d recommend this book. It’s a fun, fast read. And I just really like Alex Cross’s character. While you don’t have to, I would definitely recommend reading this series from the beginning, because there’s a lot of great early books in this series.

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, Harry Bosch, RATING, Read in 2015, SERIES

2015.6 REVIEW – Angels Flight by Michael Connelly

Angels Flight
by Michael Connelly

Pages: 454
Rating: 4/5
Read: Feb. 5 – Feb. 11, 2015
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 6
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy
Series: Harry Bosch #6

Angels FlightBlurb: An activist attorney is killed in a cute little L.A. trolley called Angels Flight, far from Harry Bosch’s Hollywood turf. But the case is so explosive – and the dead man’s enemies inside the LAPD are so numerous – that it falls to Harry to solve it. Now the streets are superheating. Harry’s year-old Vegas marriage is unraveling. And the hunt for a killer is leading Harry to another high-profile LA murder case, one where every cop had a motive. The question is, did any have the guts?

Review: I am very slowly making my way through the Harry Bosch series. And so far I’m quite enjoying myself. This particular installment was very good in my opinion.

A lot of things are happening in Harry’s life and to Harry in this book. And I think it will be interesting to see where Mr. Connelly takes Bosch next, on a personal level. I definitely have a soft spot for Harry.

But do you know what I loved most about this book … I had absolutely no idea how it was going to end until it was right on top of me. And when I say “absolutely no idea,” I seriously mean that. I had no idea who the killer was in this book. I had no idea how things would end up. And that’s what makes a great mystery/thriller/suspense novel in my opinion.

So overall, I really had a fun time with this book. It’s a good read, a good installment in a great series. And I can’t wait to read more Harry Bosch in the near future!


Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, February 9, 2015

Mailbox Mondays

I finally took the time to skip to the next town over (only about 10 minutes) to scope out my new local used book store. I was so stoked, because my local used book store in Kentucky had closed last year, and all I was stuck with was a Books-a-Million (ugh). After our move though, I have a Barnes & Noble (yay!) and a used book store.

I have a feeling I will be using this used book store more and more seeing as how my local library is more than a tad bit disappointing (I was spoiled and had a GREAT library system in my old town…) and Paperbackswap is now implementing a yearly fee, which I still have not decided whether or not I want to stick around.

Anyway, on to the books:

FeedThe year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we had created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED.

Now, twenty years after the Rising, Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives – the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will out, even if it kills them.

The 9th GirlOn a frigid New Year’s Eve in Minneapolis, a young woman is found brutally murdered – the ninth so far this year in a string of grisly slayings. Homicide detectives Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska fear that it’s the work of a serial killer they call Doc Holiday, a transient who has brought his gruesome game to a new and more terrifying level. But as Kovac and Liska uncover the truth, they find that the monsters in the ninth girl’s life may live closer to home. And even as another young woman disappears, they have to ask the question: Which is the greater evil – the devil you know or the devil you don’t?

ViciousFor more than two years, he held Seattle in a terror grip. A cold-blooded killer who abducted young mothers right in front of their sons and murdered them execution style. Then, as suddenly as the killings began, they seemed to stop.

Susan Blanchette is looking forward to a relaxing weekend getaway with her fiancé, Allen, and young son, Matthew. But something about the remote lake house doesn’t feel right. A woman vanished from the area a year ago, and now Susan thinks she’s spotted someone lurking around the property. And when Allen disappears, her fear grows…

A psychopath has returned, ready to strike again. Someone who can’t resist the urge to kill, who derives pleasure from others’ pain, and who is drawing nearer to Susan as each minute of the weekend ticks by. But she’s just one pawn at the heart of a killer’s deadly game. A killer who is unrelenting, unstoppable, and absolutely vicious…

Cross My HeartDetective Alex Cross is a family man at heart – nothing matters more to him than his children, his grandmother, and his wife, Bree. His love of his family is his anchor, giving him the strength to confront evil in his work. One man knows this deeply, a genius set on proving that he is the greatest criminal mind of all, and he uses Alex’s strength as a weapon against him.

When the ones Cross loves are in danger, he will do anything to protect him. But if he even tries, they will die.

Cross My Hear is the most devastating and unexpected novel of James Patterson’s career. Is this the end of Alex Cross?

2/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, Kay Scarpetta, RATING, Read in 2015, SERIES

2015.5 REVIEW – Port Mortuary by Patricia Cornwell

Port Mortuary
by Patricia Cornwell

Pages: 494
Rating: 2/5
Read: Jan. 25 – Feb. 4, 2015
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 5
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy
Series: Kay Scarpetta #18

port mortuaryBlurb: More than twenty years and many successes since the start of Kay Scarpetta’s career, her secret military ties have drawn her to Dover Air Force Base and Port Mortuary, where she’s performing autopsies on fallen soldiers. But her new headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts – the Cambridge Forensic Center – is the first civilian facility in the U.S. to do virtual autopsies, and it is there that she encounters a devastating event.

A young man has died, apparently from a cardiac arrhythmia, eerily close to Scarpetta’s new Cambridge home. But when his body is examined the next morning, there are stunning indications that he may have been alive when he was zipped inside a pouch and locked inside the Center’s cooler. Carious 3-D radiology scans reveal more shocking details about internal injuries unlike any Scarpetta has ever seen – details that suggest the possibility of a conspiracy to cause mass casualties. With Benton, Marino, and Lucy at her side, Scarpetta must fight a cunning, cruel – and invisible – enemy, as she races against time to discover who and why before more people die…

Review: I think I keep hoping that Patricia Cornwell will magically return to her glory days of years past and write an awesome Kay Scarpetta book. And I keep getting massively disappointed. I didn’t like this one. Not much at all, to be honest. To the point where I’m not sure why I even read it in its entirety.

But I read it all. And I am so confused it’s not even funny. First, we learn that Dr. Scarpetta is actually Colonel Scarpetta. What? Apparently she spent time in the military straight out of school to help pay off her debt. She owed them 6 years … she only made it 6 months before something happened and they kicked her out. I actually went on Goodreads to read other reviews of this book after I finished to see if this was mentioned by any other reviewers. Apparently this little background tidbit is not something that I have just forgotten about over the years. It really is something that was never introduced until Book 18 in the series. Ok. Why? If what happened to Kay in South Africa is still bothering her all these years later, why are we the readers just now learning about it? Give me a break.

I’m not going to spend much time going into the particulars of this book. Let me just tell you that all I came away with is that Kay Scarpetta did nothing but whine and moan about the state of affairs at the Center that she is supposedly the head of. When she finds out that Jack Fielding has let the place go to hell, instead of taking the bull by the horn (like she would have done 17 books ago) and fixing the problem, she just whined to her obnoxiously unhelpful husband about poor pitiful Kay. There were murders that needed solving, and instead of focusing on them, we had to endure Kay’s pity party. Ugh.

So yeah. I didn’t like this book. I don’t recommend it. You want a good Patricia Cornwell book …. read one of the first 10 in the series. Then walk away … which is what I should have done, and what I’m doing now.