Thursday, May 25, 2023

{I've Been Reading} Six Ostriches

 Six Ostriches by Phillip Schott

After emergency surgery on an ostrich reveals that the huge bird had swallowed what looks like a Viking artifact, veterinarian Peter Bannerman gets curious. Not long after, he begins receiving calls from distressed clients. Farm animals have been killed and mutilated and it all seems to be connected. Six ostriches is an intriguing  mystery filled with lots of interesting details. I definitely want to go back and read the first book in the series. 


The Perfect Husband by Danielle Ramsay

This domestic thriller starts out strong and keeps going right until the end. On her wedding night, Sophie finds herself in the emergency room with a broken wrist, wondering how her groom has so suddenly transformed into a monster. In the days that follow, things only get worse. The protagonist is a likeable woman who is plunged into a nightmare and I absolutely could not put the book down. It felt too real, like something that could happen. The book's Amazon page said it's inspired by a true story, which leaves me wondering how much of this could be real. 

Disclosure -- The publishers provided me with advance review copies. This post contains affiliate links.  

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

{I've Been Reading} With My Little Eye


Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson 

Actress Meribel Mills is terrified. Her stalker not only sends threatening notes and pictures scrawled in scented marker, he's been in her home. She hoped that moving cross country with her daughter would buy them some time, but she still feels that she's being watched. 

I absolutely loved this book. The characters were engaging and I really wanted  things to end well for all of them. I found myself turning pages with an ever increasing sense of dread, not wanting to read what was about to happen, but unable to put the book down. I wasn't ready for the book to to over, because I wanted to spend more time with Meribel and her daughter, but the ending is absolutely satisfying. 

A Vacation to Kill For by Eunice Mays Boyd

Olive Wallace has invited friends and family to join her on a trip of Europe.  Everyone in the tour group caters to her every whim because Olive is very wealthy and constantly updating her will. She delights in her sense of control until a string of accidents makes it appear that someone wants the money now, before she can change her mind yet again.

This was an absolutely charming read and I loved the chance to vicariously travel with the characters.. The book was written before the author's death in 1971, then edited by the author's goddaughter before publication.  

Disclosure -- The publishers provided me with advance review copies. This post contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, May 03, 2023

{I've Been Reading} The Class Trip



The school Trip by Miranda Smith 

It's easy to lose track of a child at a crowded pumpkin patch. All it takes is to turn your gaze in one direction while the little on you're watching decides to dart off the other way. The sense of panic and guilt is immediate, even if you're sure that everything is going to turn out just fine. In this book, things aren't fine, and the author does an amazing job of building the tension. 

Before one of the students goes missing, Emma is already feeling stressed and guilty. Her own daughter, Claire, is on the school trip, wanting one on one time even though Emma is working and has to keep a watchful eye on a number of children. She's promised that they'll spend time together at the end of the day. Then a little girl gets lost. She's quickly found, but in the confusion, Emma's own daughter goes missing and isn't quickly found. 

I really enjoyed the read, even if I wasn't completely satisfied by the ending. 


In The Meantime by A. R. Shaw

I was curious to see what a Cozy Apocalypse Mystery would be like. The book is set in a small town in Washington State, some time after spores killed off most of the population. It's exactly what the description said it would be, a cozy mystery. Someone has stolen the community's food supply and two widows team up to find the responsible party. At times, it felt almost too cozy, in the same way that other mystery series can feel too perfect. The author never really mentions any of the unpleasant details of the apocalypse itself -- that seems to be over and done with. Now the focus is on the survivors, with no mention of what might be going on beyond the town's borders. As a reader, I had a lot of unanswered questions about that. 

I enjoyed the read, but I'm not sure I'm enthusiastic enough to seek out the other books in the series.

Disclosure -- The publishers provided me with advance review copies. This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

{I've Been Reading} Mastering the Art of French Murder

 Mastering the Art of French Murder by Colleen Cambridge 

Tabitha Knight isn't at all intimidated by airplane engines but she can't roast a chicken. Luckily she lives just across the street from Julia Child and Julia is determined to help her learn to cook. Not so luckily, one of the guests at a party in Julia's apartment was found in the building's cellar, stabbed with Julia's favorite kitchen knife. I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved this book! The mystery is suspenseful and kept me guessing. The setting is fantastic, filled with intriguing details about life in Paris in 1949. Tabitha is likeable and resourceful and I can't wait to read more about her in future books. 

Ashes to Ashes, Crust to Crust by Mindy Quigley

I loved the first book in the new Deep Dish mystery series so I read this one almost as soon as I got my hands on it. Delilah is hoping that one of her delicious creations will win the town's annual "Taste of Wisconsin" event, giving her restaurant a needed boost and better chance of making it through the lean winter months. Unfortunately, the celebrity judge is a huge problem. Another of the competitors just had a customer drop dead from a poisoned smoothie. This book is fast paced and full of entertaining characters, including a new one I can't wait to see more of. I still can't decide how I feel about Delilah herself, but the writing is fantastic and I'll definitely be looking forward to the next books in the series. Make sure you read the recipes -- they're written by the characters and not to be missed! 

We Love to Entertain by Sarah Strohmeyer

Holly and Robert are the perfect couple, young and in love and ready to reveal their home and hopefully win To The Manor Built, a popular home renovation show. Robert bought the property for nearly nothing and, together, they're turned it into something extraordinary. And then, hours before the live reveal, they're gone without a trace. 

I loved this one. It's fast paced and entertaining and what surprised me most is how little time we spend with Holly and Robert. The chapters alternate between their assistant, Erika, and Erika's mother. The reader sees Holly through their eyes, and through Holly's carefully curated blog posts. I stayed up far later than I should have because I couldn't wait until morning to find out what had happened to her. 

Disclosure -- The publisher provided me with an advance review  copy. This post contains affiliate links. 


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