30 June 2008


This is one of the best books I've read in a long while. I have been a fan of Margaret Maron's Deborah Knott series, but hadn't read anything not of the series before. I gave myself the Summer Challenge to get me started on this one and so glad I did.
Now I posted above that this isn't part of the Deborah Knott series, but it does have a couple of recognizable characters, if you've read any of the series' books. Major Bryant and SBI Terry Wilson play fairly significant roles in the story.
This book starts in New York and moves to North Carolina. There is a questionable death of an old rich woman, the grandmother of the main character, Amy Steadman. Amy has come down to clear her grandmother's house before selling the land for a development project. Along the way she is also looking for answers to past mysteries....Why did her mother kill herself when Amy was only 3 years old? Why was her grandmother the standoffish person she was to all but a few? Who wanted her grandmother dead?
This a great character study as much as it is a well written mystery. Thank you Margaret Maron.
Five beans!!!

29 June 2008


This is the fourth book in the MONKEEWRENCH series and it's a good one. I liked reading it in the heat of the summer since it takes place in the dead of winter. Dead being a key word.
There's a snowman making festival to get people out to celebrate the first really good snow in a dry winter in Minneapolis and it turns out that two of the snowmen are really men under the snow. Two dead men. The detectives Magozzi and Rolseth are called out since they are first on the scene by participating in the contest. The Monkeewrench team is peripheraly involved. There is another 'snowman' in a little town north of the cities and there is the thought that a serial killer is on the loose.
It's a very good story.
Four beans!

27 June 2008


I love the two series by M C Beaton that I know about. I started with Hamish MacBeth and fell in love with that redheaded Scottish copper. Then I decided to try the Agatha Raisin series when I joined Joy's First In Series Challenge.
So glad I gave ol' Agatha a try. She's blunt, means well, wants to be Miss Marple, but is too rough around the edges to be quite as sweet. Agatha is shrewd-ish. She is a sharp business woman, but wants to mellow out her personality. Or she thinks she does. She seems to be slowly softening her edges, but still a wee bit bossy. And gets her feelings hurt, so she does care.
This cozy takes place in her vacation rental in the village of Fryfam. She is nursing a broken heart and wants to try her hand at a murder mystery.
This one has the right ingredients, the manor folk, the village pub, the hottie lady publican, the gents who hang at the pub, their unhappy wives,'s all makes for a good cozy read. More Aggie, I mean Agatha, please!
Four beans!

26 June 2008

BONE THIEF - Thomas O'Callaghan

BONE THIEF could have been a better book. I almost gave up on it, but went back. The author likes shortcuts and I have a longer attention span than he was giving his reader credit for. It was a very intriguing storyline, with the serial killer making his presence known and the rest of the book was for the cops to try and catch him. I can only hope that O'Callaghan was not trying to make us feel sorry for the bad guy. The back story was a horrific upbringing for the killer as a boy, but he seems to know what he's doing now and that it's wrong to do, but he likes it and will continue. No pity from this reader. I am, however, glad that the boy got his revenge on the truly horrendous parents.
There is a romance that gets in the way of the story, too. I am not averse to romance in thrillers and suspense novels, but this one seemed gratuitous.
All that said, I will read one more of this author and hope it redeems him in my eyes. He had a very good story idea and went astray somewhere along the line.
3 beans for the good story idea and that I will read the author again.

25 June 2008


When in doubt, I go to J D Robb and hang with Eve Dallas and Roarke for a while. The series is mostly mind candy with an edge of thrill. I enjoy the tough cop Eve with her reluctant softening heart that she has thanks to her relationship with Roarke. Eve takes each murder personally and 'stands for the victim' as she puts it. It's her calling, not just her job.
Roarke is the richest guy in the worlds. Not a typo, in the future, there are populated worlds, not just Earth. And Roarke is hugely the richest guy in all of them. He's smart and a definite match for Eve.
Eve catches the murder case of nice rich guy and she almost immediately knows who the killer is, but the whole book is about her team gathering the evidence. It's a super read and a definite good time getting to the satisfying end.
....IN DEATH series....A very nice addiction. Four beans!

24 June 2008

THE QUILTER'S HOMECOMING - Jennifer Chiaverini, BOCD, narr Christina Moore

This was probably not my favorite of the Elm Creek Quilt series. I found myself skimming at times and that's not something I typically do with Chiaverini stories. I did listen to it and finish it, but did skip passages that weren't ringing true to me.
I listen to this series as a mellow interlude between thrillers, suspense, paranormal, any of the mysteries I read and listen to on a regular basis. Women's lit I guess you'd call this style. Gentle, warm, something bad happens, then something good. And they make me want to learn to quilt.
This episode takes place in the past and only partially in Elm Creek, PA. A young couple make their way to California to take possession of a ranch and it is not to be. They make the best of the situation, one graciously and with hope for the future and one with a dismayed outlook. If you've read the series, you know it mostly comes out alright in the end.
3 beans

23 June 2008

Contest Note from Books I Done Read blog.....

Go to above hootin' funny post and get in on a freebie book!!!

Summer Challenge

Summer Challenge for myself and anyone else who sees this and wants to play. No prizes or anything like other challenges have unless someone would like any of the books I read. Just a fun challenge to read as many books with the word Summer in the title or by an author named Summer.....
When: 23 Jun 08 (since I just thought of this) - Labor Day (sort of official last day of summer)
What: Read as many books with Summer in the title or by an author named Summer
Why: Why not??
Prizes: Well, if anyone has any suggestions, please feel free....maybe for the most Summer books read...
My list of possibles:
SUMMER KNIGHT (Dresden Files) - Jim Butcher
THE SUMMER OF THE DANES(Brother Cadfael mystery) - Ellis Peters
SUMMER OF NIGHT - Dan Simmons (scary....)
DEAD DAYS OF SUMMER (Death on Demand series) - Carolyn Hart
LAST LESSONS OF SUMMER - Margaret Maron (30 Jun)
HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION (Amanda Pepper Mystery) - Gillian Roberts SUMMER MOONSHINE - P D Wodehouse
DESERT SUMMER (Claire Gray Mystery) - Michael Craft
SUMMER OF THE DRAGON - Elizabeth Peters
SUMMER OF FEAR - T Jefferson Parker

21 June 2008

Book Roast Blog Cranium's Up....

Thanks J Kaye! Excellent cranium's up for the following fun blog:

Welcome to Book Roast!
Each week we're open for business, Book Roast cooks up five authors from different genres. Stop by to hear about their books, jump in the oven and poke them with a meat thermometer to see if they're done.If you haven't dined with us before, you'll find contest ingredients and other information in the sidebar. Ready? Then find a seat and let's get started!Your menu selections for June:

Weirdly, Bernita Harris - June 23
Souvenir, Therese Fowler - June 24
Head Case, Dennis Cass - June 25
The Roofer, Erica Orloff - June 26
Queen of the Road, Doreen Orion - June 27

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Grand Opening!!
The Book Roast team is open for business!Grab a brew.Cruise around.Have some fun!Anyone who announces the opening of Book Roast on his/her blog will be eligible for fun prizes --gifts from Dubai, gift certificates from Amazon, a nicely salted copy of "Lottery," miscellaneous items from the back of our kitchen cabinets (we spare no expense!).Leave a comment to this post to let us know you'll be posting an announcement. Now until midnight Saturday, Eastern U.S. time. Five random winners will be chosen on Sunday.

Intrigued?? Go to and see the hubbub...bub!

20 June 2008

Happy Summer Solstice

It's the first day of summer!!! Happy Summer Solstice!

19 June 2008

INDUSTRIAL MAGIC - Kelley Armstrong

Rockin' cool addition to a rockin' cool series. INDUSTRIAL MAGIC is a fab read, with everything you want in a paranormal mystery...witches, warlocks, vamps, werewolves.....just a good read all the way around. I like this series for many reasons. The best is that it centers around a group of paranormal folks and is narrated (sort of) by strong female characters and not the same ones in each book. This one centers around Paige Winterbourne who was featured in DIMESTORE MAGIC, my intro to this author and this series. Paige is a witch whose mother has died and leaves her as leader of the American Coven of Witches...she is pretty much promptly fired from the post for her forward way of thinking. She is also left in charge of a young witch, who happens to be the daughter of a Cabal leader (think Mafia mob boss). Paige is seeing the son of said Mob...I mean Cabal...boss and is trying to help find the killer of teen children of the various Cabal families.
The book brings in characters who have been centrally featured in other books in the series and this makes for an almost 'coming home' kind of feel. At least to me.
This gets a very enthusiastic four beans!

18 June 2008

Don't Play With Matches.....

This is what happens when the neighbor boy decides to see what will happen when one sets a match to the copious amounts of cottonwood fluff that's been drifting and flowing like snow the last few days.....
Bright side, Lady K got to hang with the firemen who showed up to put the fire out. She got to try on the pants, coat, and hat of a fireman and got to sit in the driver's seat and pretend to drive. Didn't get pics of that, I was at work and DH didn't think to bring the camera outside for the photo op. That's a Mommie job description bullet I think.

17 June 2008

GOOSE IN THE POND - Earlene Fowler

GOOSE IN THE POND is a nice addition to the Benni Harper cozy mystery series. Not one of my favorites, but it does add some dimension to Benni and Gabe's relationship and introduces Gabe's son, Sam. The bad guys seemed a wee bit forced into the picture, but the overall story was good. I like the setting of Central California. I was stationed in the area and met DH there, so reading this series is like going back to a nice place of San Celina, which I am thinking is based on San Luis Obispo.
Except for all of the murder that goes on in this nice college town.....A woman is found in the lake in the park. She is dressed as Mother Goose. She is a citizen of the town and one of the storytellers for the upcoming festival. Benni once again finds herself drawn into the mystery and wants to help her husband, Gabe, the chief of police. And because she is the police chief's wife, the bad guys think she knows more than she actually does and they try to silence her. This addition to the Benni Harper mystery series gets three beans.

13 June 2008

THE SPELLMAN FILES - Lisa Lutz, narrator Christina Moore

Okie dokie, once THE SPELLMAN FILES got going, it was a wonderfully fun listen. The first part was a little ragged going for me with a lot of going back and forth in time sequence and a lot of mini chapters. Then it either settled down or I got used to the pattern, but I really enjoyed the story. The Spellmans are a family of private investigators and they don't just investigate for their clients, they investigate each other. That drove me nuts at various times during my listen, but I kept going and, again, got used to it.
Izzy Spellman is the middle child and has to put up with her perfect older brother who wants to be a lawyer instead of work in the family business. Then along comes Rae, the surprise baby sister. She is trying emulate Izzy and will do anything to be like her and keep Izzy from leaving the family business.
Izzy describes each guy she dates as Ex-boyfriend number (assign number here). She's pretty sure she's meant to be alone and away from the lawyers her mother sets her up with. Izzy would rather detect and she is like a dog with the proverbial bone.
Part of the charm was the narrator, Christina Moore. I love her voice when I listen to the Elm Creek Quilt series and she is perfectly gritty for this one.
Four beans!

Kung Fu Panda - GO SEE IT!!!

Lady K and I have been looking forward to seeing this for a very long time! And we saw it today at the first showing. We sat at the very top of the theater seating and had the very best time. It is such a funny, warm, funny...oh yeah, I said that....action adventure animated film. Prepare for awesomeness indeed. Jack Black is the perfect voice for Po the Panda, he just made me grin each time he messed up, but I especially loved when he did his very best.
I recognized most of the voices of the characters and all were perfectly cast.
If you love a good make you grin flick, then go see this one!!! It will be added to our DVD collection when it comes out.

09 June 2008

A WICKED SNOW - Gregg Olsen

Talk about your twisty turny suspense novels! All very unexpected twists even when one expects surprises at each turn (since it's a suspense novel and all).
Hannah Griffin has struggled her whole life to put her childhood behind her. Tragedy with loss of family and home remain buried in her memories and she is doing her best to keep it that way. Until someone begins sending messages from her past.
Nothing and no one is what it seems. Just as a well written suspense thriller novel should be.
We are enjoying having the author lead the book discussion on's Suspense and Thriller group. All participants, Gregg Olsen included I think, are getting a lot of good insight. Love when the authors join in!!

A WICKED SNOW gets a very shivery four beans!

08 June 2008

TWILIGHT - Stephenie Meyer

I was both looking forward to reading this and sort of hesitant. I love reading well written vampire books and I had heard a lot of talk about this book and series. I was also hesitant because I had heard a lot of talk about this book and series.
I liked it, even with the leaning toward the romance side as opposed to more of the vampire side. It is first a story about a relationship between Bella, teenage human, and Edward, a vampire who has been a teenager for 90 years.

I like how the story developed of Bella moving to Forks,Washington to live with her father (small town chief of police), her first day at school and meeting Edward with his immediate reaction of what seems dislike to Bella. She is appalled as well as intrigued.
I could identify with the wonderfully written awkwardness that is the teenage years in high school. Yes, it was lo these many years, but there are some things one doesn't forget....the boys who like you and wish they didn't and the boys you wish did like you, but don't. The girls you can't figure why they are so filled with animosity towards you. The classes and school work are all secondary to the soap opera life that is high school. Stephenie portrays this in a very real light, even with vampires in the mix.

This is a book and series aimed at a young audience, but anyone who likes a well written story will enjoy.
Four beans!

07 June 2008


Very very CUTE start to a cozy mystery series! I think this is going to be a good series. It's one of the few times in the history of my reading of cozies that the reason for the main character/s to get started investigating the murders and mayhem. I really don't mind when it doesn't actually make sense, I just go along for the fun ride or just the regular ride.
This one is a fun ride.
Annie and Eve are best friends since forever, living in Washington DC area. Annie is a bank teller and nice and tidy...and miserable since signing the divorce papers from her pewp-cranium ex-husband who left her for the hot chick attendant at his dry cleaners. Eve is Eve.....former beauty queen, always able to charm whatever she needs from just about anyone. Except her ex who is the detective who is investigating the murders that Annie and Eve keep stumbling upon after beginning cooking class.
It's silly, funny, and warm. Perfect cozy material. More please.
Four beans!!

05 June 2008

ALL TOGETHER DEAD - Charlaine Harris

Charlaine Harris has done it again with a fab favorite of mine series. I love well written mysteries, vampire stories, paranormal...and this series has all three. ATD is #7 in the Southern Vampire series, starring Sookie Stackhouse, everyone's favorite mind-reading bar server.
The series continues to grow in character and storyline, becoming darker with each book.
Sookie has been growing in importance to the paranormal world of vampires and weres, especially to the vampire Queen of Louisiana. This time Sookie has been hired to accompany the Q of L to the north to a summit where the Queen will stand trial for the murder of her husband, the King of Arkansas.
The characters all have 'normal' issues, along with the paranormal ones. Relationships gone awry, blooming romance, business dealings (shady and otherwise) along with dealing murder, terrorism.
I know all of this sounds awfully silly, but when you read any book of the series, it becomes worthy of attention.

This gets four beans.

01 June 2008


DEATH AND THE JOYFUL WOMAN - Ellis Peters, BOT, so-so, like her Brother Cadfael series better
HEX MARKS THE SPOT - Madelyn Alt, MPB, magical cozy series that rocks
TRIPTYCH - Karin Slaughter, MPB, O M G good thriller!
WHISKEY SOUR - J.A. Konrath, MPB, very very good funny mystery suspense series
TULAROSA - Michael McGarrity, BOT, short & intense start of what looks to be fab mystery series
THE GOLDEN COMPASS - Philip Pullman, TPB, very very good adventure series start
SHOOTING GALLERY - Hailey Lind, MPB, super cozy Art Lovers Mystery series
DEAD MAN'S BONES - Susan Wittig Albert, MPB, love this herbal mystery series
THE WOODS - Harlen Coben, TPB, not great but good enough to finish
LITTLE BITTY LIES - Mary Kay Andrews, TPB, good story, but HISSY FIT will remain my favorite of MKA for now
SWIMMING WITHOUT A NET - MaryJanice Davidson, MPB, GOOD paranormal funny cozy series
SKYDOG: THE DUANE ALLMAN STORY - Randy Poe, HB, Rock on!! Amazing!
PINK FLAMINGO MURDERS - Elaine Viets, MPB, not so more of this series, life is too short
Books this month: 11
Audiobooks this month: 2 (listened too long on 2 or 3 not so interesting BOTs to get more than this in this month)
Total books for the year so far: 60