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!!

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Review: The Alpine Betrayal by Mary Jaheim

The Alpine Betrayal
by Mary Jaheim

The Alpine Betrayal

Copyright: 1993

Pages: 233

Read: May 15 – May 20, 2017

Rating: 4/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

 

Blurb: Five years after her hasty departure from Alpine, Dani Marsh, now a Hollywood star, returns home for location shooting in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains …

At the annual Alpine Loggerama, Cody Graff, Dani’s former husband, goes berserk with an ax … Graff is later found dead on a lonely back road…

With stories like these, the Advocate’s valiant editor and publisher, single mother, Emma Lord, is on a roll…


Review: This is the 2nd book in the Emma Lord series. I read the first book, The Alpine Advocate back in 2015. I didn’t remember much about that first installment, but I was able to fall right back in with Emma and her crew with absolutely no problem.

My one and only complaint about this book was the sheer number of characters … or suspects… there were so many different people that I found it a little difficult to keep things straight at times. But I really did enjoy the overall storyline. There were some surprises here and there that I hadn’t expected at all that made the book even more enjoyable to me.

So yeah, I’m glad I finally got around to this book and I’m definitely looking forward to acquiring the 3rd book so I can read it (hopefully sooner than 15 months later…. ha!) Definitely a cute cozy mystery that I enjoyed.

Review: The Dead Place by Rebecca Drake

The Dead Place
by Rebecca Drake

The Dead Place

Copyright: 2008

Pages: 359

Read: June 4-8, 2016

Rating: 3/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

 

Blurb: The first victim is found floating in a creek – naked, beautiful, brutally garroted. Lily Slocum was a college student with everything to live for and nothing to fear … until a madman made her his obsession…

At first glance, a quiet campus town like Wickfield seems like the ideal place for Kate Corbin to start over after a traumatic attack. But when another young girl disappears on her way to class, Kate’s fear resurfaces in earnest. She’s right to be afraid. Behind Wickfield’s picture-perfect facade, a nightmare is unfolding … and it’s about to strike chillingly close to home…

A serial killer is on the loose … ruthless, twisted, and lethally smart. Now, locked in a desperate race against time, Kate’s only chance of stopping a madman’s grisly game is to venture deeper into a diabolical web where no one is who they seem to be … and the smallest mistake could be her last…


Review: My thoughts on this book are going to be difficult to explain. First off, it’s not a bad book. However, I can’t really say that I enjoyed it all that much. It was just an “eh” read for me.

You see, I couldn’t stand the main character – Kate. I understood that she had been through a traumatic experience (rape), but at the same time, she was also losing her grip on reality completely. And yet she fought the idea of therapy/medication to help her function properly. She made wild accusations and did incredibly stupid things throughout this book. It’s precisely because of her behavior that I just couldn’t stomach much more of her. And then at the end it was like nothing had ever happened – everything was all hunky dory! I don’t know … her character just didn’t work for me…

There were a lot (and I mean a lot) of really stupid grammatical errors that should have been caught before publication. This also didn’t help my opinion of this book.

The plot didn’t seem very interesting to me – I’m pretty sure I could have read something along these same lines somewhere along the way in the last 10+ years that I’ve been reading thrillers. So there wasn’t anything “new” … no great twist, no surprises. It was (and I hate to use this word in reviews) predictable.

So bottom line … not a terrible book, but definitely forgettable.

3 Mini Reviews

Here’s something I’ve never done before … mini reviews.

I still have no blogging mojo. In fact, I’m typing this up quickly while my daughter screams fusses in her crib after only a 20 minute nap – momma needs more nap than that, darling!

So while I have little to no blogging mojo, I have been reading a bit. And I need to get these thoughts down before I forget everything.

So without further ado…..

Fates and Furies Title: Fates and Furies
Author: Lauren Groff
Read: Oct. 10-30, 2015
Pages: 392
Source: Book of the Month Club
Rating: 2/5

Thoughts:  This was my very first selection from the Book of the Month Club. To say that it was a disappointment would be the understatement of the year. To be completely honest, none of the October books really caught my eye, this one was just the one that seemed like it would be the most enjoyable for me. Oh how wrong I was on that! I struggled through this one. For 3 freaking weeks. I still don’t know why I bothered to finish it. I did not like it in the least. I can’t in good faith recommend this book, but hey, I’m sure someone out there would enjoy it … just not me.


Private BerlinTitle: Private Berlin
Author: James Patterson & Mark Sullivan
Read: Nov. 7-10, 2015
Pages: 448
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: I knew I had to have something fast paced after coming off of Fates and Furies, so of course I picked up a James Patterson book. Overall, I enjoyed this one relatively well. I think I prefer the Private books where Jack Morgan plays more of a role, but this one was still interesting. I can almost always rely on Mr. Patterson for a quick and enjoyable read, this one does not fail on that part. Recommended for sure.

 

 


 

The Alpine Advocate Title: The Alpine Advocate
Author: Mary Daheim
Read: Nov. 11-18, 2015
Pages: 240
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: What a cute little first in a series. Cozy mysteries are not usually my cup of tea, but for some reason this one really caught my eye and was an impulse order on Paperbackswap. I think a lot of the draw for me was the journalist/newspaper aspect of the storyline – I originally declared print journalism as my major in college. Anyway, like I said this was a cute little book. It kept my interest throughout. And I had no idea who the killer was until it was revealed at the end – I had missed all of the clues laid throughout the book. I am definitely looking forward to continuing this series in the future and would definitely recommend it!

 

 

 

2015.24 REVIEW – Spy Trade: A Novella by Matthew Dunn

Spy Trade: A Novella
by Matthew Dunn

Copyright: 2015
Pages: 100
Rating: 3/5
Read: July 27-28, 2015
Challenge: No Challenge
Yearly count: 24
Format: E-Book
Source: Publicist via Edelweiss
Series: Spycatcher Novella

Spy TradeBlurb:
 When a mission goes awry in Syria, senior CIA officer Bob Oakland is captured by aspiring members of ISIS, who demand the release of one of their own, Arzam Saud, in U.S. captivity. When their hands are tied by Washington’s refusal to negotiate, the CIA turns to MI6 officer Will Cochrane to find out what’s really going on. The threats are escalating quickly, and in order to save the CIA officer, Cochrane must uncover why Saud is truly so important . . .


Review:I received a copy of this for free via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. All opinions below are my own.

I have never read anything by Matthew Dunn before, but when the opportunity to review this one showed up in my email a couple of weeks ago I jumped on it. I figured it would give me a great intro to the series and the author to see if I would want to start the Spycatcher series.

I didn’t hate this novella, but I didn’t love it either. It was just in the “okay” category for me. I think part of my issue with it was the ISIS aspect of it. I didn’t enjoy reading about it. I really enjoyed the parts where Patrick was dealing with Washington “politics” and Will was trying to track down Bob Oakland. The other parts, I could have done without. So like I said, I didn’t hate this one, there was some really good parts in it. I can say that my interest has been piqued enough to place the first Spycatcher novel on my TBR list for sometime in the future.

Overall, I think this one is short enough that readers can easily squeeze it into their reading schedules and I’m glad that I made time for it … I may have found another new series to enjoy 🙂

 

2015.22 REVIEW – Those Wild, Wild Kennedy Boys by Stephen Dunleavy & Peter Brennan

Those Wild, Wild Kennedy Boys
by Stephen Dunleavy & Peter Brennan

Copyright: 1976
Pages: 211
Rating: 2/5
Read: July 10 – 18, 2015
Challenge: No Challenge
Yearly count: 22
Format: Print
Source: Paperbackswap
Series: N/A

Those Wild, Wild Kennedy BoysBlurb:
 There have been many words used to describe the Kennedy boys … handsome, aggressive, charismatic, charming, volatile, red-blooded, and sexy. This book investigates the latter descriptions, an in-depth probe into the more sensual aspects of the Kennedy mystique.

Here are Jack and Bob and Ted and all the girls you’ve ever heard whispered or gossiped about, a few you never heard of, and, too, those gals who somehow fell onto the front pages … Judy and Marilyn and Lee and Angie and Kim and Rita and Page and Jayne and Janet and Mary and Candy and Mariella and Rhonda and Amanda and Joan and Maria and more girls than anyone would have thought possible…


Review:This was an impulse PBS order. I don’t know what caught my eye about it but something did.

Unfortunately I ended up reading it in order to fulfill a Goodreads challenge that required me to read a book rated the lowest on my TBR. This one was the “winner” of that requirement.

And I have to admit … it’s not the greatest book. It was too gossipy for my taste. It was one of those books that just kind of left a bad taste in my mouth.

2014.47 REVIEW – My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni

My Sister’s Grave
by Robert Dugoni

Copyright: 2014
Pages: 408
Rating: 4/5
Read: Oct. 22 – Nov. 2, 2014
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 47
Format: Print
Source: TLC Book Tour
Series: N/A

My Sister's GraveBlurb: Tracy Crosswhite has spent twenty years questioning the facts surrounding her sister Sarah’s disappearance and the murder trial that followed. She doesn’t believe that Edmund House – a convicted rapist and the man condemned for Sarah’s murder – is the guilty party. Motivated by the opportunity to obtain real justice, Tracy became a homicide detective with the Seattle PD and dedicated her life to tracking down killers.

When Sarah’s remains are finally discovered near their hometown in the northern Cascade mountains of Washington State, Tracy is determined to get the answers she’s been seeking. As she searches for the real killer, she unearths dark, long-kept secrets that will forever change her relationship to her past – and open the door to deadly danger.


Review: I received a copy of this book for free in conjunction with a TLC Book tour, all opinions expressed below are my own.

What a fun, thrilling read! This book really sucked me in from the very beginning and didn’t spit me back out until I had finished with it. I was so engrossed by the characters and the story that I never wanted to put it down.

I liked Tracy’s character. She’s strong. And likable. I find that to be a difficult combination for female lead characters. But Mr. Dugoni makes it work with Tracy. I hope we get to see more of her in the future!

The writing was excellent. The plot line was exciting. I think I may have found a new-to-me must-read author! I don’t know why I’ve never read anything by Mr. Dugoni before, but I’m definitely not going to let him get past me any longer.

The flashbacks really helped us get to know Sarah. And in my opinion without knowing Sarah, we wouldn’t understand who Tracy is. I thought it all flowed seamlessly. Sometimes flashbacks don’t work for me, but it was very well executed in this book.

I went back and forth trying to figure out the truth behind everything. And in the end I didn’t have it right. But all the guessing and back and forth kept me reading and practically dying to know what happened! I love books that keep me guessing until the very end!

Overall I can’t recommend this book enough. I thoroughly enjoyed it.


unnamedAbout the Author: Robert Dugoni is the critically acclaimed and New York Times-bestselling author of the David Sloane series: The Jury Master, Wrongful Death, Bodily Harm, Murder, and The ConvictionMurder One was a finalist for the Harper Lee Award for literary excellence. He is also the author of the bestselling standalone novel Damage Control, and the nonfiction work The Cyanide Canary.

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

Tuesday, November 4th: Crime Book Club

Tuesday, November 4th: Read Love Blog

Friday, November 7th: Not in Jersey

Monday, November 10th: Mockingbird Hill Cottage

Monday, November 10th: Psychotic State Book Reviews

Tuesday, November 11th: Mary’s Cup of Tea

Thursday, November 13th: Inside of a Dog

Thursday, November 13th: Lesa’s Book Critiques

Thursday, November 13th: Bibliotica

Monday, November 17th: Mystery Playground

Monday, November 17th: Red Headed Book Child

Tuesday, November 18th: Words by Webb

Wednesday, November 19th: Tales of a Book Addict

Friday, November 21st: Brooke Blogs

Monday, November 24th: A Bookworm’s World

Wednesday, November 26th: Patricia’s Wisdom

Date TBD: Simply Stacie

TBD: My Bookshelf

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