Wednesday, September 29, 2021

{I've Been Reading} The Corpse in the Gazebo


The Corpse in the Gazebo by Debra Sennefelder

Food blogger Hope Early isn't the only one fighting with Birdie Donovan, but she's the one who finds the unpleasant woman lying dead in her backyard gazebo and the one who baked the muffins that are responsible for Birdie's death. 

I enjoyed the mystery element, but really started to lose patience with Hope. Her actions immediately after discovering Birdie's body had me asking a whole lot of questions. This is the fourth book I've read in the five book series and something seems off with the character. 

I've had  this book in my TBR pile for a very long time and kept cautiously circling around the idea of reading it until I finally picked it up last week and read through the whole thing in three sittings. My biggest take away from reading it is that I'm not nearly as angry about my own two c-sections as some of the authors who wrote these essays. That honestly surprised me. What I'm upset about is the quality of care I received after major surgery, not missing out on the birth experiences I expected. 

I appreciated the chance to read about the surgery and recovery from so many different perspectives. I learned a lot and had some of my own opinions confirmed. 

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

Thursday, September 23, 2021

{I've Been Reading} Murder Gets a Makeover


Murder Gets a Makeover by Laura Levine 

This time writer-for-hire Jaine Austen hasn't been hired to pen something ridiculous....instead her friend and neighbor, Lance, has volunteered her to be the subject of a makeover. As soon as she meets influencer Bebe Braddock, Jamie has second thoughts. Everyone on the woman's staff hates her. She's nasty, and overbearing, and before long Jaine finds Bebe strangled with a wire hanger and Jaine's fingerprints are all over the murder weapon. 

This short mystery novel is fast paced and funny. In addition to solving the murder, Jaine is trying to recover her beloved Cuckoo for Coco Puffs T-shirt, to deal with her cat who just went viral for rescuing a toddler, and to navigate a new relationship with a much younger man.

Danger at the Cove by Hannah Dennison

There's a lot going on at Tregarrick Rock Hotel. Sisters Evie and Margot have their hands full with renovations, but it's looking like things might just get done in time for their grand opening. Margot is sure that they can accommodate one of her old friends who just arrived from Hollywood with little advance notice, and the friend's new beau, who arrived with absolutely no advance notice. And then there's a murder. I didn't reread the cover copy before starting the book so I wasn't quite sure who was going to wind up dead and not knowing definitely added to the suspense. 

I've really been looking forward to the second Island Sisters mystery and this one is just as much fun as  the first book. The hotel and island sound enchanting, especially the garden of figureheads. A rare low tide is going to expose a centuries old shipwreck and they plan to walk out to it. (Unlike the characters, I think I'd be headed out as soon as it was safe to start walking instead of waiting until after breakfast!) 

Murder at the House on the Hill by Victoria Walters 

Nancy Hunter and her grandmother live in the tiny village of Dedley End where they run a bookstore specializing in mysteries and thrillers. When a party at the stately mansion on the hill over their tiny village ends in murder, Nancy's best friend bets that the two of them won't be able to solve the mystery before the police. This one has all of the elements you'd expect to find in a cozy mystery, but it took me a while to get into it. The mystery element is eventually complex and satisfying, but for the first few chapters I couldn't keep the members of the victim's family straight or remember for sure who the dead woman was. 

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

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

{I've Been Reading} The Summoning by J. P. Smith



The Summoning by J. P. Smith

Fake medium Kit Capriol reads the obituaries every morning, looking for potential clients. Her own husband was killed in the Twin Towers on 9/11. She knows all about grief and the hope that it would be possible to communicate with the dearly departed and, although she can't seem to get an acting job, she's very good at convincing her clients that she's receiving messages from beyond the grave. 

I've got mixed feelings about this one. At first I didn't like Kit at all, but as I got further into the book I realized that everything wasn't quite what it seemed. By the middle chapters I was really enjoying it, then by end end I wasn't sure what to think.

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


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