Wednesday, June 26, 2024

{I've Been Reding} Incidents Around the House

 Incidents Around the House by Josh Malerman 

This horror novel really got to me. There's one scene in particular that I don't think I'll forget any time soon, especially not when I'm making my way from room to room after everyone else in the  family is asleep. It's told entirely from the point of view of a little girl who has been refusing to let her imaginary friend, Other Mommy, into her heart. Bela doesn't understand what the woman who slips out of her closet at night wants from her, but she knows that it would be a bad idea to say yes. Watching her parents through Bela's eyes as they begin to realize that there's a presence sharing their house with them is a wonderfully creepy experience.

The Mother by Valerie Keogh

When her husband says they need to talk, Sarah expects him say wants our of their marriage. It's what she's been about to say herself. Instead, he suggests that they have a baby and she....somehow....agrees to his plan. I love domestic thrillers that focus on motherhood and this one went in an entirely unexpected direction. It was an entertaining, fast paced read that kept me guessing what was going to happen next. 

Murder Buys a One Way Ticket by Laura Levine

The Jaine Austen mysteries are always fast paced and fun. It's absolutely guaranteed that Jaine will find herself in embarassing and humorous situtions, and that her cat, Prozac, will add to the chaos. This time she's been hired to ghost write an excercise manual, despite the fact that she can't name or locate  a single muscle in her own body. Fitness guru Chip Miller was looking for an out of shape writer just like her -- after all, she's his target audience for the book. Jaine finds herself (and her cat) on Chip's private train, along with a lot of people who want him dead. Then she finds his body. There are also emails to Jaine from her mother and father, this time detailing a feud involving Elvis and Betsy Ross. I found myself laughing out loud more than once and can't wait to read more about Jaine and her cat. 

Come Shell or High Water by Molly MacRae

There's a lot to love about this cozy mystery. It has an amazing setting, an intriguing premise, and a great cast of characters. I did struggle to get through the first few chapters. feeling like I'd missed important information. It's the first book in the series, but protagonist Maureen Nash is suffering from electrocution and a concussion. She's confused and she's also not telling her new neighbors exactly why she came to Ocracoke Island just before a hurricane hit. Once I'd verified that I hadn't missed previous books and realized that things weren't supposed to be clear, I started enjoying the read a lot more and I can't wait to spend more time on the island with Maureen and her friends and family. 

An Art Lover's Guide to Paris and Murder by Dianne Freeman

Once again, I plunged into a series because the description of this one sounded so intriguing. It's set in Paris in 1900, at the World's Fair and involves artists and I'm not patient enough to read six previous books just so I can get to this one (although after reading this one, I plan to double back and catch up.) Historical cozies are rapidly becoming some of my favorite reads and this one is no exception. Theplot took some unexpected turns and the setting absolutely fascinated me. I know I've missed lots of back story about the characters, but was able to enjoy the book without worrying too much about what I didn't know. 

Disclosure -- The publisher provided me with an advance review copy. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

{I've Been Reading} We Used to Live Here

 We Used to Live Here by Marcus Kliewer

I can't gush enough about how much I loved this book. The premise is delightfully creepy, but there's so much more here than the book's description promises -- and I don't want to spoil any of it. Charlie and Eve are a perfect couple, with great chemistry. They plan on refurbishing and flipping the sprawling old house they just bought. The family that shows up at their door is just normal enough that I can almost understand why Eve overcame her reluctance and let them in for what was only supposed to be a few minutes. I know, I just said another book was one of the best horror novels I'd read in a long time -- so is this one. It looks like 2024 is a great year for horror novels!

The Nature of Disappearing by Kimi Cunningham Grant

The first few pages of this thriller, with their vivid descriptions of Emlyn and her job as a fishing guide pulled me in immediately. She's confident and likable and when she sets offf with her ex-boyfriend in search of an estranged friend who disappered from her #vanlife adventure without warning, it makes sense. Something obviously went wrong between Emalyn and Tyler to cause their breakup, and something caused Emalyn and her friend, but that's revealed gradually through flashbacks. I felt like I was reading about real people making real decisions and the plot didn't go in the direction I expected it to. 

Now You See It by Carol J. Perry

Lee Barrett is getting used to her new role as "Historical Documentary Chief Executive" for WICH-TV, gathering footage for a documentary about the Seafaring New England exhibit at a new museum.  After the driver of an armored truck is murdered while delivering a shipment of artifacts, she becomes involved in the investigation. What's interesting about this one is how far removed Lee is from the murder. Her police detective husband provides her with details, but she didn't know the victim and her only ties to the case are as a television reporter. She does spend a lot of time with the suspects and the solution to the mystery is a satisfying one, with clues along the way that will make sense by the end. This is a well established series and obviously there's a lot I don't know about the characters and their history and relationships, but the author makes it easy to jump right in without a ton of back story. There are some fun supernatural elements, including the visions that Lee sees in reflective objects and a model ship that appears to be haunted. 

Disclosure -- The publisher provided me with an advance review copy. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

{I've Been Reading} Do What Godmother Says

The Last Note of Warning by Katharine Schellman

At night she Vivian Kelly works in a speakeasy, serving drinks and dancing until sunrise. It's the 1920s so the drinks she serves are illegal and the stakes are high -- but the trouble she finds herself in stems from her reputable day job, making deliveries and alterations for a dressmaker. I absolutely loved this historical mystery. If Vivian fails to solve the murder, it will be devastating for herself and her family. The risks she is taking are real and the suspense kept me turning pages late into the night. It's the third book in the series, but there's enough backstory woven in that I was never confused (although references to previous events definitely have me wanting to track down the first two books!) 

Do What Godmother Says by L.S. Stratton

The portrait has hung in Shanice's grandmother's bedroom for as long as she can remember. It's part of her family history, but until her grandmother gives it to here while they're preparing the house to sell, she's never researched the artist or asked any real questions about it. This thriller tells the parallel stories of Shanice in the present day and the artist, Estelle, in 1927. I loved the historical details, the elements of spiritualism and the occult, and the building suspense as both Estelle and Shanice struggle with what they've become caught up in. 

A Twinkle of Trouble by Daryl Woods Gerber 

The fifth Fairy Garden mystery is fast paced and fun. Fiona is just back from visiting her mother in the fairy realm and Courtney is keeping busy with the Summer Blooms Festival and her shop. I enjoyed spending more time with Courtney and her friends and the mystery was intriguing. 

Irreplaceable by Nolon King with Lauren Street 

Nina Turner is obsessed with true crime podcasts, but she doesn't immediately recognize her new home as the site of a notorious murder. Once she puts the pieces together, she falls even more in love with the property. The plot alternates between Nina and her husband, who knew exactly what he was moving them into and has his own undisclosed motives. This one was a fun and entertaining read. As Nina made discoveries in the house,  I felt like I was puzzling my own way through the place's awful history forming and revising theories about what happened years earlier. 

Disclosure -- The publisher provided me with an advance review copy. 

Wednesday, June 05, 2024

{I've Been Reading} Over the Edge

 Don't Let Her Stay by Nicola Sanders 

Stay at home mom Joanne is finally feeling like she's got things under control, with a new job working remotely for her former employer and a perfect nanny lined up to help her our a couuple of days  a week. Then her adult stepdaughter moves in without warning, insisting that she'll take care of the baby. This starts out like a run of the mill domestic thriller, but the last half of the book is a wild ride that will keep you wondering who and what to trust. 

Over the Edge by Kathleen Bryant

After discovering a body in a remote canyon, former journalist Del Cooper begins to investgate how Franklin, a homeless man from Sedona, wound up so many miles from town and who would have murdered him. This thriller focuses heavily on the local politics and land deals, to the point that I found myself forgetting about the murder. Sedona is one of my favorite places and I enjoyed the chance to revisit in book form, but didn't love the mystery element. 

Disclosure -- The publishers provided me with advance review copies. 


Related Posts with Thumbnails