31 May 2011

Books Read in May 2011

Fairly certain I won't get any more books read today, so here goes May books read:

FATAL FIXER-UPPER: DIY Mystery #1 - Jennie Bentley, amateur sleuth, MPB, good stuff

DEAD DANCING WOMEN: Emily Kincaid Mystery - Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli, amateur sleuth, TPB, highly excellent

DEAD MAN'S BONES: China Bayles #13 - Susan Wittig Albert, amateur sleuth, BOCD, really good

MAMA RIDES SHOTGUN: A Mace Bauer Mystery #2 - Deborah Sharp, amateur sleuth, TPB, superb

FORCE OF HABIT: A Falcone and Driscoll Investigation #1 - Alice Loweecey, suspense, TPB, highly excellent

HEXED - Ilona Andrews, Yasmine Galenorn, Allyson James, Jeanne Stein, UF, all four novellas were excellent...that rarely happens

KING ARTHUR'S BONES - Medieval Murderers, historic mystery, BOCD, pretty good

THE HUNT FOR ATLANTIS - Andy McDermott, archeological thriller, MPB, fasten your seatbelts fab!

BONES OF A FEATHER: Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery - Carolyn Haines, Southern mystery, ARC/TPB, super

MIDNIGHT RIOT - Ben Aaronovitch, UF, MPB, highly excellent

Books: 8

Audio: 2

Month: 10

Year-to-date: 54

30 May 2011

Books in the House - 30 May 2011

Pamala, Our Lady of the Books:


FACE VALUE - Rosey Dow and Andrew Snaden, mystery

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT: Vol I 1884-1933 - Blanche Wiesen Cook, biography (I love biographies of strong women)

JAILBAIT ZOMBIE: Felix Gomez #4 - Mario Acevedo, UF


High Crimes:

CATERING TO NOBODY: Goldy Bear Mystery #1 - Diane Mott Davidson, signed copy


DEAD RECKONING: Sookie Stackhouse/ Southern Vampire #11 - Charlaine Harris, paranormal, BOCD to add to the collection

RAVENOUS: The Dark Forgotten #1 - Sharon Ashwood, UF

BLOOD OATH: Nathaniel Cade #1 - Christopher Farnsworth, UF

Amberkatze, via Casey Daniels interview and giveaway:

A HARD DAY'S FRIGHT: Pepper Martin #7 - Casey Daniels, paranormal mystery

unknown from Booktalk the Original Spring has Sprung exchange:

AN UNINVITED GUEST: Haunted Guesthouse #2 - E J Copperman, paranormal cozy


31 BOND STREET - Ellen Horan, historic mystery

The Killing premier episode on AMC on DVD

29 May 2011

Blooms on Sunday - 29 May 2011

I just love this prairie clematis

Two new columbines...I am getting more of these beauties

Love the color of this clematis on the front trellis

DH planted this little gem in what is now the funky garden

Walkers Low Catmint that will not be denied

28 May 2011

FORCE OF HABIT: A Falcone & Driscoll Investigation

From the back of the book: All manner of sin.....

Giulia Falcone is convinced she's going to Hell. First, because she left the convent. Second, her new job with a private investigator has her sneaking around and lying. Adjusting to life in the outside world isn't easy. Makeup, dating, and sex are all new to her. And despite a crush on her boss Frank Driscoll----a foul-mouthed, soft-hearted ex-cop----Giulia is sure he'd never fall for an ex-nun.

Her first case involves drop-dead handsome Blake Parker, a man with immense wealth and an ego to match. He and his fiancee are getting disturbing "gifts" with messages based on biblical verses. When Giulia is drawn into the stalker's twisted game, salacious photos of her appear, threatening her job and her friendship with Frank. No one imagines---least of all naive Giulia----the danger ahead, when following the clues turns into a fight for her life.


FORCE OF HABIT could be seen as amateur sleuth, but it's definitely grittier. Giulia finds herself apprenticed to Frank, her private investigator boss. Giulia is an ex-nun, musician and now a one day private investigator herself.

There are light moments, but it is not a light read. Some terrifying thoughts at work as the bad guy and the thriller scenes are gripping.

I really look forward to reading what comes next. The characters are well written and story is intriguing.

I can definitely highly recommend this author and this, her debut, book. I read it in just about one sitting, not wanting to set it down until I found out how Frank was going to stop being a jerk and how the Giulia was going to figure out which of the ex-girlfriends was sending the increasingly more disturbing 'gifts'.

Five what comes next beans....

24 May 2011

DEAD DANCING WOMEN: An Emily Kincaid Mystery - Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli

From the back of the book: "Most days are all the same here in Leetsville. No better, no worse. It was just another garbage day, fighting off the scavenger crows. Then things got worse----a lot worse.

A severed head tumbled out of my garbage can."

With a co-ed chasing ex-husband and a string of failed mystery novels haunting her, part-time journalist Emily Kincaid is convinced she's destined for tragedy. So it figures that just when Emily finds peace---a cozy cabin nestled in the northern Michigan woods---that severed head would turn up and ruin it all.

Emily soon learns that the victim belonged to the Women of the Moon, a group of old ladies who sing and dance around a bonfire in the woods at night. Someone in town has a serious problem with their earth-praising rituals. Now, one by one, they're turning up dead, and Emily finds herself pulled into a righteous murderer's mad machinations.

By forming an uneasy alliance with the fractious Deputy Dolly, can Emily manage to stop the killings---and somehow devise a happy ending?


A mystery about a mystery writer trying to write a mystery. Excellent!

Emily has moved to a small town to try and write a mystery, one that will actually be published this time.

Only she finds herself in the middle of one. Women are being killed and the only thing connecting them is that they belong to a group who respect and worship, in their own way, the Earth.

I loved the characters in the book. Emily can make friends with the oddest of characters. There's the reclusive ornery neighbor, Harry, who helps Emily around her place and brings her the occasional possum stew. Harry is my favorite I think.

I know the next books will be just as excellent. I need to see how Emily gets on with her ex-husband who has decided that her little slice of heaven could be just what he needs to work on his book about Chaucer...and moves close by.

The mystery is well done, the characters are fully fleshed out and I want to move to this area of Michigan. All my criteria met.

Five all my criteria met beans....

23 May 2011

Why No Blooms on Sunday

The above pics are during the hail storm last week. It ripped the heckfire out of our landscaping and new veggie garden, so nothing really looked very happy. I don't mind the rain, just don't dig the hail's raining as I type this so the healing begins.

22 May 2011

MAMA RIDES SHOTGUN: A Mace Bauer Mystery - Deborah Sharp

From the back of the book:Trouble on the Trail.....

Mama's fixin' to get hitched to Husband #5. But first, she coerces her daughter, Mace, to saddle up for some country-gal bonding on the Florida Cracker Trail. The trek takes a deadly turn when Lawton Bramble---wealthy rancher and one-time beau of Mama's---keels over in his Cow Hunter Chil.

Lawton had a horde of enemies and a famously bad ticker. Could a grudge-wielding rival have "spiced" the cattleman's chow? With (or maybe despite) the help of her sisters and her sexy ex-beau, Detective Martinez, Mace sets out to corral a low-down varmint who's determined to kill again.


What a GORGEOUS cover!! I want a fast convertible Thunderbird in this shade of turquoise! Or a silk blouse....which is probably more what I can actually afford...or cowboy boots....oooooh.....
Love love love this series!! Mama just cracks me up and Mace does the best she can with what's given her, especially where Mama is concerned. Mama means well and only wants Mace to be happy...but what she thinks will make Mace happy is pretty much different from what Mace thinks.
Mama and Mace go on the annual Florida Cracker Trail for some bonding time before Mama marries hubby #5 and stumble onto what looks like the murder of a prominent landowner.
Plenty of suspects to be had and Mace's not quite boyfriend, Carlos the yumma-rooney Miami detective, is along for the ride to help stir Mace's emotions and assist in the detecting.
Along the way the reader learns some neat Florida history, why a Cracker is called a Cracker, and get to see the Florida that doesn't get as much attention as it should.
Five turquoise sparkly diamonds!!!

21 May 2011

HAUNTING JORDAN: A Port Chatham Mystery - P J Alderman

From the back of the book: RITA-nominated author P J Alderman weaves present day supernatural sleuthery with nineteenth-century intrigue in the first book of an enchanting new mystery series set in picturesque Port Chatham, Washington.

Jordan Marsh left L.A. for the quaint Pacific Northwest town of Port Chatham in pursuit of some much-needed R&R. As the prime suspect in her cheating husband's murder, she had been hoping to immerse herself in the restoration of the charming Victorian she'd just bought---and put all talk of homicide investigations behind her. But as she soon discovers, the coldest of cases cry out to be solved, too.

For this old house comes fully furnished---with two garrulous ghosts who have a century-old murder of their own they'd like her to look into. Now, if Jordan can keep the L.A. police at bay and sort through a suspect list of shady characters circa 1890, she might just clear a wrongly accused man's name---and her own.


HAUNTING JORDAN could be a paranormal amateur sleuth, but there is a grit to it that moves it to paranormal suspense. Jordan has been accused of the murder of her soon-to-be ex and there's a cop on her who won't believe she's innocent. All she wants is peace and quiet and thinks that life will be different and, hopefully, better, in Port Chatham.

That's not about to happen with ghosts in the house, the chief of police who already knows too much about her, a handyman/pub owner too charming for Jordan's own good, and a dog who has invited himself to be hers.

It took me a bit to get used to the way the story was told in long flashbacks, but getting the backstory of the two ghosts 'living' with Jordan made the enjoyment of the book that much better. I hope to see development of the demenor of the two sisters in future books in the series. They seemed completely different when they were alive than they do as spirits.

I am definitely looking forward to the rest of the series. Glad I have GHOST SHIP on standby.

Five spirits from the past sparkly diamonds.....

15 May 2011

Blooms on Sunday - 15 May 2011

I guess not really blooms today, but it does have to do with my garden. We tilled in the new veggie garden on Friday and planted in corn, peas, green beans, tomato plants, and various hot pepper plants while it gently rained on Saturday. We also put in my new 'fence' of bowling pins my mom found at an out-of-business bowling alley near her in Kansas and Dad brought them out in March. Perfect rain the last several days, making the ground malleable and diggable and good for the newly planted veggie seeds and plants. My bowling pin fence along what used to be the veggie garden and will now be my wildflower garden
Bless DH's heart that he goes along with the wackiness


In the beginning...there was dirt and compost over what used to be a sand volleyball court left by two owners agoTilled in on FridayPlanted in on Saturday

12 May 2011

Bee Lady's Third Visit...yep....

The bees decided on a third act this weekThey decided on a piece of garden art....A BEE!

So....I called the very patient and sweet Bee Lady again and she thought she'd try a new technique that DH suggested....

Bag 'em up.... And mooooove em out...

It worked...minimal agitated bees going to a new home

11 May 2011

FATAL FIXER-UPPER: A DIY Mystery - Jennie Bentley

From the back of the book: Avery Baker was once a New York textile designer, but inheriting her aunt's old Maine cottage has led her down a new career path----home renovation. Finding a property's hidden potential has rewards and challenges---especially when a mystery surfaces behind the walls....

To Avery, the idea of preparing her aunt's crumbling and cluttered home for sale is overwhelming. So when someone offers to buy the place as is, Avery's relieved. Until she learns it's worth more than she thought--that is with a few repairs here and there.....

With help from hunky handyman Derek Ellis, Avery starts learning the ABC's of DIY. But when the designer-turned-renovator finds clues that lead to a missing local professor and then her own life is threatened, Avery wonders if she can finish the house---without getting finished off in the process....


When Avery finds her boyfriend making whoopie with the receptionist, she decides to take her aunt up on house ownership of the house in Maine. It needs work and she thinks of it as therapy to mend her heart and make some money and move on. Events intrude and her plans change. She makes friends, finds a mystery and a new life.

I highly enjoyed this start of a series I already like thanks to starting with the second in the series, SPACKLED AND SPOOKED. I look forward to the rest of the series, most definitely. Some superb DIY hints in the back of each book, too. My favorite in this one is Mosaic your tabletop or backsplash, something I definitely want to try. Thanks Jennie!!

Five DIY fab beans....

10 May 2011

URBAN SHAMAN: Walker Papers - C E Murphy

From the back of the book: Joanne Walker has three days to learn to use her shamanic powers and save the world from the unleashed WILD HUNT.

No worries. No pressure. Never mind the lack of sleep, the perplexing new talent for healing herself from fatal wounds, or the cryptic, talking coyote who appears in her dreams.

And in all that's not bad enough, in the three years Joanne's been a cop, she's never seen a dead body---but she's just come across her second in three days.

It's been a bitch of a week. And it isn't over yet.


Such a good read and I have the series on must get portion of the WWBL.

The line between reality and supernatural is thin at certain times of the year and Joanne finds herself standing between the two, protecting both with her growing shamanic abilities.

Four shaman protection beans....

08 May 2011

Blooms on Sunday - Mother's Day

Bearded iris a friend gave me several years's gone nuts from one rhizome my neighbor gave me five years ago. I'll have to take a picture of the whole group
If you look closely towards the bottom of the cherry tree blooms, you'll see one of the bees happily going about its business

The Frontier Clematis is supremely happy now

One of our salvias from the 'rescue plant' shelves at Lowes. I can't seem to get enough of salvias

A 'wild' columbine. It reseeded itself in this corner by the front porch and seems to be pretty content to stay and bloom. I love this color.

05 May 2011

The Bee Lady Cometh....saving the swarm at a time

Deborah bee suitin' up...

Brushing the bees into the portable bee box

Bees getting a little agitated

Really REALLY agitated!

Not long after this shot, the bees started fiercely meandering and one landed on my cheek and left its stinger...Lady K and I headed inside most speedily then.

We think Bee Lady got most of the swarm, she'll be back to get the rest this evening when they've had a chance to mellow.

The bees started swarming again this afternoon and packed in on the water hose and the corner of the house on the downspout, so a call to Bee Lady was in order. Had a discussion with neighbors as the bees came out and several phone calls have ensued since as the bees are working their swarm mojo all over town. I am just glad that people want to spare the bees and let someone give them a good home...the word is getting out!!!

04 May 2011

A DEVIL IN THE DETAILS: A Jesse James Dawson Novel - K A Stewart

From the back of the book: Every lost soul needs a champion.

Jesse James Dawson was ordinary guy (well, an ordinary guy with a black belt in karate)---until the day he learned his brother had made a bargain with a demon. Jesse discovered there was only one way to save his brother: Put up his own soul as collateral and fight the demon to the death.

Jesse lives to free his brother---and becomes part of a loose organization of champions who put their own souls on the line to help those who get in over their heads with demons. But now experienced champions are losing battles at a much higher rate than usual. Someone has changed the game. And if Jesse can't figure out the new rules, his next battle may be his last....


Jesse is a blade for hire if the person hiring is sincere that he/she made a highly stupid mistake by selling their soul to a demon to acquire something they desire. Jesse's job is to fight it out with the demon to get said soul returned. He also has a job at a funky clothing shop that has a loose enough schedule for Jesse to train and fight as needed.

I love Jesse's wife and daughter. They both put up with a lot with the secrecy and Jesse's missions with alacrity and hugs. Mira is a witch and ornery and Anna is five and ornery. Jesse is a lucky man.

Oh boy! Another superb new-to-me series that I couldn't wait to put the rest of the series on the WWBL....second in the series is SHOT IN THE DARK out on 5 Jul 2011. It's on the pre-order list.

Five Jesse'll get your soul back beans.....

03 May 2011

ONE WAS A SOLDIER: Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mystery - Julia Spencer-Fleming

From the back of the book: The tension has been building....the pieces are all in place.....And all good things come to those who wait...

Julia Spencer-Fleming's award-winning series has followed the flawed and complex characters Russ Van Alstyne and Reverend Clare Fergusson as they have weathered the storm to be together---but, now in ONE WAS A SOLDIER, their love is put to the test as they face their most personal case yet.

Haunted by her time in Iraq, Clare struggles to adjust to a civilian life. But after a suspicious tragedy involving a young Army specialist is ruled a suicide, she takes off on a dangerous mission to uncover the truth behind the young soldier's death.


ONE WAS A SOLDIER appeared on my doorstep one day. I don't remember asking for it, I looked in the sites where I do my book requests...nope. Glad someone thought of me to send it out. I hadn't heard of Julia Spencer-Fleming or the series and this is number 7 in the series, but this could read as a stand-alone and I know I will be on the lookout to add more of the author and the series to my shelf.

The book is way more than a mystery/suspense. It's a character study, giving the reader a deep look into the lives of each person in the story. The death doesn't even occur until mid-book, the suspects are many and the character delving continues, interweaving with the investigation.

Five tension throughout beans.....

02 May 2011

ORIGINAL SIN: A Sally Sin Adventure - Beth McMullen

From the back of the book: She has a license to kill...and carpool...

Seeing Lucy Hamilton, you would think she is just like any other suburban stay-at-home San Francisco mom. She takes her three-year-old son Theo to the beach, playground, and the zoo. She makes organic applesauce, folds laundry, and plays on the floor with Matchbox cars until her knees ache. What no one knows about Lucy, not even her adoring husband Will, is that for nine years she was known as Sally Sin, a spy for the USAWMD (United States Agency for Weapons of Mass Destruction). And that's just the way Lucy wants to keep it---a secret.

Ian Blackford, a notorious illegal arms dealer and Lucy's long-forgotten nemesis, returns to the USAWMD's radar, and they are forced to call Lucy back to action to lure Blackford out into the open. As she races to unravel the mystery that surrounds Blackford's return (and get dinner on the table), she realizes that the answers she needs lie in a past that she's tried very hard to forget. In a race against time, Lucy must fight to save herself, her family --and, oh yes--the world.

Now True Lies meets I Don't Know How She Does It in a rollicking debut novel that reminds us all that "some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall" (William Shakespeare)


Back of the book says ORIGINAL SIN is a mix of True Lies meets I Don't Know How She Does It......

I had just as much fun reading this book as I do watching a Burn Notice marathon sundae with a Long Kiss Goodnight cherry on top.

It took a bit for me to dig the story, maybe a few pages of getting used to how Lucy dealt with her life of motherhood and wifedom. Once she began telling me how this life came to be from the Phoenix ashes of her spy past, I was hooked.

Lucy/Sally tells her story in vignettes of flashbacks when her past comes looking for her in the form of Simon Still, her spy boss.

Sally/Lucy has a way with languages that had the agency come looking for her in college and soon she's off on missions in far-flung places, living it up in fab locales like Cambodia chasing down characters like The Blind Monk.

And she has a nemesis, Ian Blackford, who she can't seem to shake. He kidnaps her on a fairly regular basis, but no one can see it coming fast enough to catch him at it.

When her past comes looking for her, she becomes the mother bear protecting her den and cub. She won't have anyone taking away what she's worked so hard to have now.

Thank you, Library Thing, for sending this out to me!! Can't wait to see what happens next. ORIGINAL SIN: A Sally Sin Adventure comes out on 12 Jul 2011.

Five spy mom kickin' it pearls.......