28 December 2010

UNSYMPATHETIC MAGIC: Third Esther Diamond Novel - Laura Resnick

From the back of the book: Acting jobs don't grow on fire escapes....
So struggling actress Esther Diamond is outraged when her guest role as a hooker on The Dirty Thirty, a controversial TV drama, is jeopardized by zombies, angry spirits, and a voodoo curse. Meanwhile, the talented teens Esther is coaching at a Harlem cultural center are also being attacked by the sinister supernatural power that's spreading through Manhattan. And Esther's love life goes from bad to worse when her bed bursts into deadly flames while her would-be lover, Detective Connor Lopez, is trying to get her into it!

Since the show must go on (and the rent must be paid), Esther boldly helps her friend Dr. Maximillian Zadok, a 350-year-old sorcerer whose day job is protecting New York City from Evil, combat the supernatural forces at work in Harlem durng a sweltering summer heat wave. But will Esther's courage leadher to become a human sacrifice on the altar of Evil's voracious appetite?
I have completely enjoyed my time with the first two books in the series, DISAPPEARING NIGHTLY and DOPPELGANGSTER (my reviews) and UNSYMPATHETIC MAGIC is even more so. It's a little darker and not as much humor as in the previous two, but I think it's my favorite of the series. And I will likely say that for the next one as each book is read by me. I love watching Esther keep forging ahead in all that she does to keep acting, pay the rent, try for a normal life with all that she knows about having to fight Evil and what's in that supernatural world when you look for it.
Esther, Max, Nelli the familiar deal with zombies, voodoo, good and bad, one big ass snake, a bitchy priestess and assorted other ick factor entities. And there's the whole bed on fire action between Esther and Lopez....woof!

Laura, please tell me there will be more Esther Diamond adventures in the future!!
*just checked a past comment from Laura Resnick on my review of DOPPELGANGSTER and VAMPARAZZI is due out in June!!! YAY!*

Five big ol' sparkly Esther Diamonds.........

25 December 2010

MURDER FOR CHRIST'S MASS: A Templar Knight Mystery - Maureen Ash

From the back of the book: After eight years of captivity in the Holy Land, Templar Knight Bascot de marins finally escaped. Injured in both body and soul, he is on a sojourn at Lincoln castle, where the coming holidays hold the promise of hope and long life---but not for everyone.....
The town of Lincoln is covered in white on Christmas morning. But the snow also conceals the mortal remains of a clerk who worked in the local mint---stabbed, robbed, and left on the floor of a stone quarry. With the sheriff busy entertaining noble guests, Bascot is asked to investigate.
The only clue he finds is a pristine coin stamped with the visage of King Stephen, who reigned some fifty years earlier. The sheriff suspects that a hoard of hidden treasure may connect the killer to the victim. But Bascot, aided by his young protege Gianni, soon discovers that the motive goes beyond money---and beyond mere murder...
Bascot de Marins is a character I will be following as long as Maureen Ash wants to write his story. He is spiritual and a defender of justice. Watching his mind work out the mystery of the murdered man and the interweaving of all of the information he discovers.
I love his relationship with his young servant, Gianni. How he nurtures and guides Gianni to follow his strengths so that when de Marins goes back to his Templar duties, Gianni won't be at a loss for a position in life.
Greed is prevalent throughout the book and takes all forms. Some give into it and others resist.
Plenty of red herrings to go through with de Marins as he makes mistakes, but ultimately figures it all out.
Five medieval mystery beans.....

THE DIVA COOKS A GOOSE: A Domestic Diva Mystery #4 - Krista Davis

From the back of the book: Wrapped up in murder.....
It promises to be a jolly holiday for Sophie Winston, until a scrooge steals the gifts from her family and neighbors and even pinches their holiday meals! Sophie quickly ends the neighbors' finger-pointing by organizing a toy swap for the kids, restoring the spirit of the season. But not for long.....
When her sister-in-law's father shows up to the festive gathering with a diva girlfriend just a month after his separation, more than one person is thinking of murder. And when the girlfriend becomes the victim of foul play, some of Sophie's relatives are at the top of the suspect list. Her detective boyfriend, Wolf, is out of town, so it's up to Sophie to chase this goose and cook it, because nobody ruins her Christmas!
Another fun cozy featuring the Domestic Diva. Sophie is on the trail of a big ol' Grinch and she has a cast of plenty to choose from. That's my only distraction with this series, there are an awful lot of characters to keep track of and I have to go back and figure out who's who to who sometimes. Otherwise, I enjoy the heck out of the mystery and the domestic tips. Even Natasha, Sophie's Diva rival, has some interesting ones to offer this go 'round. She seems to have mellowed somewhat since the first book, but she's still a pain in the tookus. And has incredibly bad taste as in pink and teal are the new red and green! *shudder*
Sophie also doesn't have Wolf or my other favorite character, her buddy Nina, to help her out this time. She's sort of on her own and runs through several scenarios of the whodunnits. I like that she didn't immediately know and made mistakes along the way.
Five holidays can be murder beans.....

Happy Christmas

21 December 2010

MIND GAMES: Disillusionists Book One - Carolyn Crane

From the back of the book: Justine knows she's going to die. Any second now.
Justine Jones has a secret. A hardcore hypochondriac, she's convinced a blood vessel is about to burst in her brain. Then, out of the blue, a startlingly handsome man named Packard peers into Justine's soul and invites her to join his private crime-fighting team. It's a once-in-a-lifetime deal. With a little of Packard's hands-on training, Justine can weaponize her neurosis, turning it outward on Midcity's worst criminals, and finally get the freedom from fear she's always craved. End of problem.
Or is it? In Midcity, a dashing police chief is fighting a unique breed of outlaw with more than human powers. And while Justine's first missions, including one against a nymphomaniac husband-killer, are thrilling successes, there is more to Packard than meets the eye. Soon, while battling her attraction to two very different men, Justine is plunging deeper into a world of wizardry, eroticism, and cosmic secrets. With Packard's help, Justine has freed herself from her madness---only to discover a reality more frightening than anyone's worst fears.
O..M..G! MIND GAMES was so much better than I thought it would be. I read many glowing reviews, but the book kept going to the bottom of Mt Git'r'Read because of one little quirk of mine...I have low tolerance for hypochondriacs and the main character, Justine, is a raging HUGE one. I kept thinking that it would get to me and I would throw the book across the room or not be able to get past it.
I am so pleased that I was very very wrong. The hypochondria was handled very well and watching Justine learn to control it and use it as a weapon was intriguing as hell. The premise of the team that Justine works with was just so cool. Each member has a problem that they have learned to control and utilize to put away criminals that the law can't touch. Yes, that's vigilante-ism, but it's Urban Fantasy that takes place in an ambiguous time, so it seems like a good thing to do.
It has also been a while since I've actually read through the sex scenes in the books I read that have such scenes. I usually skim past as they can be written in rather uncomfortable phrasing or unbelievable positions. I can suspend belief in fantasy and paranormal, but refuse to do so with the between the sheets action. Whatever that makes me, there it is.
All that said, I read each and every sentence in the scenes between Justine and her two men. Holey McCrappe, Carolyn Crane writes superbly smokin' sex imagery.
Five sparkly didn't think I'd like it, but damned if I didn't dig it a lot diamonds......

17 December 2010


Head on over to Dark Central Station, one of my favorite blogs, and see what's up for the week.....there will be prizes and contests every know until 24 Dec, which is before Christmas...hence I reckon the title...
Dark Central Station is the combo team blog of authors Nancy Holzner, Wayne Simmons, Erin Kellison, Thomas Emson, Christina Henry, Sean Cummings and Gary McMahon.

15 December 2010

ELVIS AND THE MEMPHIS MAMBO MURDERS: Southern Cousins Mystery - Peggy Webb

From the inner sleeve: A lovable basset hound who's convinced he's the King reincarnated. A blonde bombshell mooning the lobby of the ritziest hotel in the South. And a murder witnessed by a parade of fame-hungry ducks? Something's afoul, alright, and it's definitely a case for the Southern Cousins.....
Callie Valentine Jones and her cousin Lovie really have their work cut out for them this time. Callie's mama Ruby Nell has gone and entered herself--and her hunk-a-geriatric-love dance parnter--- in a Memphis mambo contest, hoping to shake, rattle and roll her way to stardom. And if the past is any indication, she'll need at least two chaperones.
But someone at the competition is determined to step on a lot of blue suede shoes. First, a serial monogamist in a bright pink gown does a fatal swan dive from the top of the hotel. Then Callie finds an overdressed diva floating in a famous fountain. Now there can be no question: A murderer is loose in Memphis, and he's got a lot of killing to do.
With the help from Jack, the mysteriously reappearing ex Callie just can't get over and her delusional dog Elvis, Callie and Lovie are going to have to track down some answers before mayhem strikes again. And with Ruby Nell in the killer's sights, they'll need a little less conversation and a lot more action if they want their family waltzing home in one piece....
Now I love Elvis, young Elvis that is, tunes, hips, lips, uhhh...anyway...a dog who thinks he is the reincarnation of the King and is allowed to tell part of the story? Okay...neat premise...and maybe if I start this series in the beginning rather than the third one I might dig the premise better. I think I am missing how Elvis came into being, how he came to live with Callie, I want to learn what's the deal with Jack the ex, and how much trouble Ruby Nell can get into.
I had a hard time keeping up with all of the extraneous characters introduced.
They came and went rather quickly, so I didn't care if they were the victim or not.
Now the family members, I did care about and enjoyed my time with. My favorite character is Lovie. I love her no holds barred attitude and zest for life.
I received this book from LibraryThing. You should join, it's a great place to log your bookshelves and win some books from time to time.
Four gotta love those Southern cousins beans.....

14 December 2010

BOUNDARY WATERS: Cork O'Connor Mystery - William Kent Krueger, narr David Chandler

From the back of the BOCD: Drawing strong comparisons to the works of James Lee Burke and Tony Hillerman, William Kent Krueger's mysteries featuring Cork O'Connor never fail to please fans. Here, a desperate search-and-rescue mission becomes deadly in the Minnesota wilderness.
As her fame continues its upward climb, a young country-western singer goes missing along the US/Canada border. Accepting an offer from the girl's father, Cork joins a rescue team that includes an ex-con, two FBI agents and a 10-year-old boy. Trekking deeper into the unforgiving wild, the group soon discovers that mother nature isn't the only thing to fear. It seems there are others looking for the missing girl, and they will resort to lethal force if anyone gets in their way.
BOUNDARY WATERS is a pulse-pounding thriller as cool and crisp as a Minnesota breeze. Acclaimed narrator David Chandler helps ramp up the suspense with a riveting performance.
I have already bumped the third in this series, PURGATORY RIDGE, to the top of my Recorded Books wishlist. BOUNDARY WATERS was just as gripping as IRON LAKE (my review). I think I could easily listen to or read this series back-to-back and I rarely (if ever) do that.
There are so many good characters in the story and the reader cannot get too attached to anyone. That's part of what makes a good suspense read. That and a good suspense story, of course.
Cork is still reeling after the death of the woman he loved and trying to make good with his family, then father of the missing country singer comes asking Cork for his help in the search. Very few of the people are who they appear and that just brings extra zing to the intrigue to say the least.
Five nothing is at it appears beans......

13 December 2010

Books in the House Monday - 13 Nov 2010

From Sherri @ Sherri's Jubilee:
THE MERMAID'S PENDANT - Leann Neal Reilly, modern fairytale, TPB
and two gorgeous ribbon bookmarks for me and Lady is where you can find them on Sherri's Etsy site
DIVA COOKS A GOOSE: Domestic Diva Mystery #4 - Krista Davis, cozy mystery, MPB
HOOKED ON MURDER: A Crochet Mystery #1 - Betty Hechtman, cozy, MPB
IF WALLS COULD TALK: A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery #1 - Juliet Blackwell, paranormal cozy mystery, MPB
THE KING OF PLAGUES: Joe Ledger Novel - Jonathan Maberry, thriller, ARC out in March 2011
Mary Ann on WW/GDT/BTO:
GROUNDS FOR MURDER: Maggie Thorsen Mystery - Sandra Balzo, coffee cozy, TPB

12 December 2010

THE DIVA RUNS OUT OF THYME: Domestic Diva Mystery #1 - Krista Davis

From the back of the book: Some dishes are best served cold....
Few can compete with THE Natasha Smith when it comes to entertaining, but her childhood rival, Sophie Winston, certainly tries. While Natasha is known for her intricate centerpieces and painstakingly prepared gourmet meals, Sophie likes to keep things simple....real simple. Natasha may have stolen the spotlight ---and Sophie's husband---but Sophie is determined to take home the prize at the Stupendous Stuffing Shakedown. She just needs the right ingredients....
However, Sophie's search for the perfect turkey takes a basting when she stumbles across a corpse. And when the police find her name and photo inside the victim's car, they think she has some explaining to do. Sophie will have to set her trussing aside to solve the murder or she'll be serving up prison grub---and that definitely wouldn't be a good thing.
Includes delicious recipes and entertaining tips!
There are two domestic divas in this book, one is a pain in the tookus and the other is Sophie. She is way better at organization and having things on hand than I, or anyone I know, is..are....I marvelled at how Sophie had everything to hand to entertain at a moment's notice or many drop-in guests for dinner. She had room in her house for stay-over guests and had time to go with her friend to go on wacky investigating into the murders that have occurred.
I love Nina, Sophie's ready-for-anything-so-long-as-she-can-escape-her-mother-in-law's-visit buddy.
The murder solving was well-done, though there were an awful lot of characters for me to get introduced to and remember. I know who I don't like and look forward to learning more about in the next books in the series to like them even less or dislike them more....
Five way more organized than me beans.....

07 December 2010

MERRY, MERRY GHOST: Bailey Ruth Raeburn Mystery #2 - Carolyn G Hart

From the back of the book: Being dead can't put a damper on spirited, holiday-loving Bailey Ruth Raeburn.
Christmas is a time for family and giving , and a wealthy woman in Adelaide, Oklahoma, is about to embrace both. Discovering that she has a young grandson, the dowager decides to change her will to leave the bulk of her fortune to the young boy---an alteration that stuns the rest of her family. But a scrooge of a determined heir makes sure she never signs the new document. When she is found dead, it's up to that irrepressible spirit Bailey Ruth---on assignment from Wiggins and Heaven's Department of Good Intentions---to protect a little boy, foil a murderer, and save Christmas.
There's only one teeny hitch: how can Bailey Ruth figure out which family member was desperate enough to kill when everyone has a motive?
My first holiday read of the month and it was a humdinger. Highly enjoyable with engaging characters, especially Bailey Ruth Raeburn, the spirit on a mission from Heaven. She breaks rules, called Precepts, on a regular basis, but doing so with good intentions to help her charges.
Kids and animals can see her and Bailey Ruth lets herself be seen when she thinks it's needed and it's needed quite a bit in this story. She needs to look out for the little boy, Keith, as well as solve the murder of Keith's grandmother.
And Bailey Ruth does it all in style. I love the attention to detail when she "dons her gay apparel". Tip of her toes to the top of her lovely red hair, she is a fashion statement. And a sweetheart of a spirit representative.
Five splendid heavenly beans.....

06 December 2010

Books in the House Monday - 6 Dec 2010

From Recorded Books (using my Take it for $12 coupon):

From Library Thing for October:


High Crimes:

WOLF MOON - Charles de Lint

GRACE UNDER PRESSURE: Manor House Mystery - Julie Hyzy, cozy

VAMPIRE EMPIRE: Book One The Greyfriar - Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith

03 December 2010

BUZZ OFF: A Queen Bee Mystery - Hannah Reed

From the back of the book: When beekeeper Story Fischer is on the case, you can run---but you can't hive....
It's September--National Honey Month--- in Moraine, Wisconsin, and things are looking up for Story Fischer. Her messy divorce is final, the honey from her beekeeping business has been harvested, and the market she owns is thriving. Life seems pretty sweet...until Manny, her mentor in the honey business, is found stung to death in his apiary.
Story is still trying to explain to the panicked locals that her honeybees had nothing to do with Manny's death,when another body is found floating in the Oconomowoc River. This time the evidence points to Story's ex. Sure, he's a womanizer and a buzzkill--but a murderer? Desperate to save her bees and her business (and, okay, her ex). It's up to Story to find a way out of a very sticky situation.
I like when I read a book and learn something new to me. Being a gardener, I love what bees can do for my blooms and veggies. Pretty much everything we plant is to bring in as many of the little workers as we can. Reading BUZZ OFF was doubly enjoyable with the bee info.
Plenty of good guys, pewp-craniums to pop upside the head, a murder or two to solve and plenty to look forward to in the upcoming books. Seemed a plethora of characters to keep track of, but manageable and I found another town I'd love to live in or near.
Five bees are good beans.....

01 December 2010

Books Read in November 2010

Not a bad month for reading for November all things considered:
TOWN IN A BLUEBERRY JAM: Candy Holliday Mystery #1 - B B Haywood, cozy, MPB, good
THE TITAN'S CURSE: Percy Jackson #3 - Rick Riordan, YA fantasy, BOCD, super
BOOKPLATE SPECIAL: Booktown Mystery #3 - Lorna Barrett, cozy, really busy and good
61 HOURS: Jack Reacher #14 - Lee Child, suspense, BOCD, good
DEEPLY, DESPERATELY: Lucy Valentine #2 - cozy, MPB, really good
THE MASK OF ATREUS - A J Hartley, archeological thriller, MPB, good
VANISHED: Greywalker #4 - Kat Richardson, UF, BOCD, superb
STATE OF THE ONION: White House Chef Mystery #1 - Julie Hyzy, cozy, MPB, really good
MURDER MOST FROTHY: Coffeehouse Mystery #4 - Cleo Coyle, really good
SPELLMANS STRIKE AGAIN - Lisa Lutz, funny mystery, BOCD
GLAZED MURDER: Donut Shop Mystery #1 - Jessica Beck, cozy, okay
HUNGER GAMES - Suzanne Collins, YA postapocalyptic, BOCD, amazing!
BUZZ OFF: A Queen Bee Mystery #1 - Hannah Reed, cozy, really good

Books: 8
Audio: 5
Month: 13
YTD: 168

29 November 2010

Books in the House Monday - 29 Nov 2010

From the fab Jenna (Imzadidragonfly):
AN ARTIFICIAL NIGHT: October Daye #3 - Seanan McGuire, UF
A CUP OF NORMAL - Devon Monk, signed
MAGIC AT THE GATE: Allie Beckstrom #5 - Devon Monk, signed
and gorgeous and yummy birthday pretties!!

From Kris of the Cozy Challenge, a gorgeous handcrafted bookmark

LaurieLee on WW GDT/BTO:

Dad brought some nifty mysteries:
VANISHED - Joseph Finder
THE SILENT HOUR - Michael Koryta
BURN FACTOR - Kyle Mills

27 November 2010

Lady K-ism of the Day

From this morning while Grandpa Jack and Lady K are playing "What am I thinking? The Animal Edition" a game that Lady K made up a few years ago:

Grandpa Jack: I am thinking of an animal that lives in Australia and starts with the letter 'W'.
Lady K: Oooooo, that's a good one.
Mommie: Wombat?
Grandpa Jack: Yep, your mommie got it.
Lady K: What the heck is a wombat?
Grandpa Jack: It's a mammal that only lives in Australia, the Aborigines eat it.
Lady K: I guess that's good for the Aborigines, but not so much for the wombats, hope they're fast.

24 November 2010

HUNGER GAMES: Book One Hunger Games Trilogy - Suzanne Collins, narr Carolyn McCormick

From the back of the BOCD: Made up of 12 districts, the futuristic North American nation Panem requires that one girl and boy from each district compete in the annual Hunger Games, a live fight to the death broadcast on television. When 16-year-old Katniss volunteers to take her sister's place in the Hunger Games , she'll have to kill or be killed.
I know there have to be thousands of reviews already out there, so I won't do much more than say how much I loved listening to this book. The narrator, Carolyn McCormick, is pitch perfect and enhanced my enjoyment of this story.

This could have been a stilted book, plenty of places for drama overload, but it stayed the course and was wonderfully told.

I had to sit in the car for a while this morning when one of my favorite characters died. Tears started welling up, then spilled over and I just couldn't stop. The imagery is so vivid.
I am so glad I have the next one, CATCHING FIRE, bumped up to the top of my Recorded Books wishlist.I really can't wait to find out what happens next to Katniss, Peetah, and everyone else in their village.

A HUGE bowl of postapocalyptic diamonds.....

22 November 2010

MURDER MOST FROTHY: Coffeehouse Mystery #4 - Cleo Coyle

From the back of the book: Endless Summer, Bottomless Cups
Clare Cosi's new friend , millionaire David Mintzer, has an offer no New York barista could turn down: an all-expenses paid summer away from the sticky city. At his Hampton mansion, she'll relax, soak up the sun, and, oh yes, train the staff of his new restaurant. So Clare packs up her daughter, her former mother-in-law, and her special recipe for iced coffee for what she hopes will be one de-latte-ful summer.....
Soon, Clare tends the coffee bar at her first Hamptons gala. But the festivities come to a bitter end when an employee turns up dead in David's bathroom---a botched attempt on the millionaire's life. Thanks to the Fourth of July fireworks, no one heard any gunshots, and the police are stuck in holiday traffic. Concerned for everyone's safety, Clare begins to investigate. What she finds will keep her up at night---and it's no the java jitters......
Includes recipes and coffee-making tips!!!
I do like how Clare gets involved in the solving of the murders that occur around her. She's taken it out of NYC this time..seems thar's murder in them thar Hamptons among the rich and big housed.
Clare takes her time and sees all varieties of suspects, all viable and up to something that could have included committing murder. She's not always right, but that doesn't keep her from continuing on the hunt and trying to get the police to listen.
Clare has to deal with her headstrong daugther, headstrong ex-mother-in-law and her headstrong ex-husband along the well as the headstrong rich friend she's trying to help.
I love love love this series. It makes me want to go buy a foo-foo coffee and solve a mystery.
Five foo-foo coffee beans...

STATE OF THE ONION: White House Chef Mystery #1 - Julie Hyzy

From the back of the book: Never let them see you sweat----that's White House Assistant Chef Olivia Paras's motto, which is pretty hard to honor in the most important kitchen in the world. She's hell-bent on earning her dream job--executive chef. There's just one thing: her nemesis is vying for it too. Well, that at the fact that an elusive assassin wants to see her fry....
The highly trained Secret Service agents couldn't do it. The snipers swarming the White House grounds were no help. Only Ollie Paras was able to stop the intruder---hitting him with a frying pan. She'd like to wash her hands of the whole thing, but after she witnesses a murder, there's no going back....
Ollie's Secret Service boyfriend warns her that the killer is a world-class assassin. And Ollie's the only person alive who can recognize him. Still, guilt propels her to investigate, even if it means putting herself--and her relationship--in hot water.....
I am glad I have the second in this series all lined up. I really enjoyed my time with Ollie and the view into the White House kitchen. I can see how murder and intrigue can happen in this high profile political arena, so the eyebrows won't be as much in the hairline when the murders occur. And it's an East Coast setting, so perfect there, too.
I had the good characters, Ollie and the White House kitchen staff, Secret Service good guys, etc, to cheer for. And there're the really snotty characters to want to smack around, like the head of the Etiquette Affairs, Peter Everett Sargeant III. Ooooo...I really want to hit him on that flat part of the back of the cranium or give him a swirly. He's a bully with a sense of power and, for some reason, he really does not like Ollie. I like the conflict between the two and I hope Ms Hyzy fills us in on his antagonism for Ollie.
Five tasty powers that be beans......

Books in the House Monday - 22 Nov 2010

From Our Lady of the Books, Pamala in Bartlett IL:
BED BUGS - Taylor McCafferty, cozy
DOUBLE CROSS - Barbara Taylor McCafferty, cozy
WITCH'S GRAVE - Shirley Damsgaard, paranormal cozy
FEAR THE WORST - Linwood Barclay, thriller
STONE RAIN - Linwood Barclay, thriller
NO TIME FOR GOODBYE - Linwood Barclay, thriller
A HARVEST OF BONES - Yasmine Galenorn, paranormal cozy
POPPY DONE TO DEATH - Charlaine Harris, cozy mystery
GLIMMERGLASS - Jenna Black, YA fantasy
STATE OF THE ONION - Julie Hyzy, cozy mystery
HAIL TO THE CHEF - Julie Hyzy, cozy mystery

From my cozy book buddy at work Ann:
THE DIVA RUNS OUT OF THYME - Krista Davis, cozy

From Cassie:
FATALLY FROSTED - Jessica Beck, cozy

High Crimes Mystery Bookshop:
RAVEN BLACK: Shetland Island Quartet #1 - Ann Cleeves, thriller

HARD MAGIC - Laura Anne Gilman, UF
RUNNING WITH THE PACK - werewolf anthology edited by Ekaterina Sedia

21 November 2010

A LOCAL HABITATION: October Daye #2 - Seanan McGuire

From the back of the book: October "Toby" Daye is a changeling, the daughter of Amandine of the fae and a mortal man. Like her mother, she is gifted in blood magic, able to read what has happened to a person through a mere taste of blood.

Half-human, half-fae, outsiders from birth, most changelings are second-class children of Faerie spending their lives fighting for the respect of their immortal relations. Toby is the only changeling who has earned knighthood, and she re-earns that position every day, undertaking assignments for her liege, Sylvester, the Duke of the Shadowed Hills.

Now Sylvester has asked her to go to the County of Tamed Lightning---otherwise known as Fremont, CA--to make sure that all is well with his niece, Countess January O'Leary, whom he has not been able to contact. It seems like a simple enough assignment--but when dealing with the realm of Faerie nothing is ever as easy as it seems. January runs a company that produces computer fantasy games, and her domain is a buffer between Sylvester's realm and a rival duchy whose ruler is looking for an opportunity to seize control. And that is the least of January's problems. For Tamed Lightning has somehow been cut off from te other domains, and now someone has begun to murder January's key people. If Toby can't find and stop the killer soon, she may well become the next victim.....

I loved the first in the series, ROSEMARY AND RUE, but this one made me holler! It was like reading an Agatha Christie, like 10 LITTLE INDIANS, but on hellah steroids. The suspense was killer, the murders were intense, and October on the job was classic.
Toby keeps it together somehow. I really don't know how she does it. She's had to deal with being a changeling and she could easily have a big ol' chip on her shoulder. She doesn't let it all get to her though. Or that's the appearance anyway.
All I know, Toby kicks ass, takes care of her peeps and makes sure no one gets left behind if she can help it.
Five intense beans....

18 November 2010

VANISHED: Greywalker #4 - Kat Richardson, narr Mia Baron

From the back of the BOCD: Kat Richardson's enormously popular Greywalker series is now a fixture on the New York Times best-seller list. In Seattle PI Harper Blaine's fourth adventure, she delves into her own past and makes some shocking revelations.
After receivinga chilling warning about things lying in wait for her from her long-dead boyfriend, Harper travels to her childhood home in California. While sorting through old effects, she makes a startling discovery. It seems that before her father committed suicide, he had journalled about witnessing bizarre, unearthly events. With barely any time to process this new info, Harper is pressured by a group of vampires into taking a case in London, pitting her against a group of old foes. And as her work continues, she becomes privy to more secrets about her past----and her future.
Supernatural suspense blends seamlessly with urban action as Harper continues developing her Greywalker talents. Narrator Mia Barron never skips a beat performing this high-octane thriller.
Holey crap-a-duck! This is the BEST of the series! I got to meet Harper's piece-of-work mother and learn more about Harper's background. She traveled outside of Seattle and thar be scary things in California and London (go figure).
She has to leave Seattle and loved one behind to go figure out what is going on in London, part of which are her vivid dreams of her ex, Will.
Action packed, excellent character driven urban fantasy. I wish I could say more, but I fear I will spoiler the heck out of it and I don't want to ruin it for anyone.
Mia Baron has mellowed her narration or voice or something, not sure what, but Harper sounds better this go around.
Five sparkly goin' to London and see what's happenin' diamonds....

16 November 2010

I'm Not 50....

That's my story and I am stickin' to it....
Here's Lady K's birthday song for me:
(Now I might be biased, but I believe this is the best present ever)
Yo, Happy Birthday Mom
Momy, I love you to my hart
I wish you a Happy Birthday
With cake and bloons
It will never end
It will never ever ever end

14 November 2010

Lady K-ism of the Day

Lady K and I are watching season 3 of Big Bang Theory and the episode where Raj might be deported...he bursts into tears, comes back from the bathroom, "Sorry I lost my cool back there."
Lady K: "Ah, dude, you can't lose what you've never had."

13 November 2010

My New Favorite Cooking Show.....Bitchin' Kitchen

I wish I could find a bigger image for Bitchin' Kitchen, my new favorite cooking show on the Cooking Channel.
The premise is awesomely snort laugh funny Nadia G hosting each episode's theme. Tonight was Impressing the In-Laws. It's informative, irreverant and hilarious. Exactly my kind of cooking show.
I've started DVRing the show in case I miss anything. DH just caught part of it and sat down to watch....I think Nadia's sass might have won him over.
It comes on Wednesday night at 10:30pm ET and a replay on Saturday night at 11pm ET.

DEEPLY, DESPERATELY: Lucy Valentine #2 - Heather Webber

From the back of the book: The irrepressible star of TRULY, MADLY (my review) is back in business. This time, Lucy Valentine will go to the ends of the earth to find true love for her clients...and maybe even herself.
Lucy watns to breathe new life into her family's Boston-based matchmaking company. But how? Even though she comes from a long line of ancestors blessed by Cupid with psychic abilities, a freak accident left Lucy with only one special skill: finding things. Car keys, socks in the dryer, needles in haystacks...and now, in a stroke of professional genius, lost loves!
It's not long before Lucy's on a winning streak, helping old flames reunite and create new sparks. Business is booming. But when Lucy finds herself involved in a possible case of murder, she realizes she's in too deep. Enter Sean Donahue, Lucy's handsome fire fighter-turned-private eye neighbor, Sean is just the man she need to help her on the job. Could he also be the man she's been looking for all along? When it comes to Valentine, Inc., falling in love is always serious business.....
I really enjoyed the first book in the series, TRULY, MADLY, but I luh-huvved Lucy's adventures here. She's got her wonderful wack-a-doo family, her boyfriend Sean, and her abilities.
What she also has are anonymous letters coming in threatening her, she has her very own journalist hounding her every move, and her boyfriend's ex is back in town and in need.
Lucy hesitates when it comes to Sean. She thinks the curse is going to kick their relationship to the curb and the ex-in-need isn't helping. Sean feels obligated to help her out, but feels bad about leaving Lucy behind.
Lucy also is in cahoots with one of her two best friends, Marisol. The two of them are trying to get the goods on their other bestest friend, Em's, intended. Neither Lucy or Marisol like the jerk and need for Em to see it, too. It's like watching Lucy and Ethel get together on a caper.
The heartwarming bits are when Lucy helps find missing persons. I love watching how she goes about the process and the end results.
Five magical sparkly diamonds.....

08 November 2010

Books in the House - Monday - 8 Nov 2010

MAMA RIDES SHOTGUN: Mace Bauer Mystery #2 - Deborah Sharp, funny cozy mystery
GRAVE WITCH - Kalayna Price, UF
KIDNAP & RANSOM - Michelle Gagnon, suspense
From Mystery Lovers Bookshop (using my giftcard I won thanks to Ellery Adams contest she had on Cozy Chicks blog)
MURDER AT THE PTA - Laura Alden, cozy mystery
MURDER FOR CHRIST'S MASS: Templar Knight Mystery - Maureen Ash, historical mystery
MERRY, MERRY GHOST - Carolyn Hart, paranormal cozy mystery
FUNDRAISING THE DEAD - Sheila Connelly, cozy mystery
DELICIOUS AND SUSPICIOUS: A Memphis BBQ Mystery - Riley Adams, cozy mystery
...and a very sweet freebie from this fab bookshop:
MAMA DOES TIME: A Mace Bauer Mystery - Deborah Sharp

07 November 2010

BOOKPLATE SPECIAL: Booktown Mystery #3 - Lorna Barrett

From the back of the book: Tricia Miles, owner of Haven't Got a Clue mystery bookstore, is still settling into Stoneham, New Hampshire, the kind of town where everybody knows your name----and where everyone's quick to lend a hand, even when murder is afoot...
The kinder folks of Stoneham might call Pammy Fredericks a free spirit. The less kind, a freeloading thief. Tricia has put up ----and put up with----her uninvited college roommate for weeks. In return, Pammy has stolen one hundred dollars, among other things. But the day she's kicked out, Pammy's found dead in a trash cart, leaving loads of questions unanswered. What was she foraging for? Did her killer want it, too? To piece the case together, Tricia will have to dive in headfirst.....
I love the WTF endings in a good mystery. When it happens in a cozy mystery, it's even better. My eyebrows were up well past the hairline this morning when I finished this third entry in a fun series. I want to live in Stoneham, own a bookstore or work for Tricia. I could help her with her sister, Angelica, who means sort of well, just has an offbeat way of showing it.
I learned of a new-to-me lifestyle, freegan. Freegans salvage foods from Dumpsters for various reasons, either for to save the Earth or due to finding themselves in circumstances that require them to supplement their pantry to feed their family.
The mystery is there, who killed Pammy? But there is a focus on food pantries and freegans, bringing awareness to the reader. Thank you, Lorna.
I can highly recommend this book and this series. Good mystery, good characters, excellent premise. And the recipes in the back.....BOOKPLATE SPECIAL has meatloaf, garlic mashed potatoes, quick-and-dirty garlic bread, potato and leek soup and mini spinach quiches....nummers!
Five eyebrow raised and umby-gumby recipe beans.....

TOWN IN A BLUEBERRY JAM: Candy Holliday Mystery #1 - B B Haywood

From the back of the book: In the quaint seaside village of Cape Willington, Maine, Candy Holliday has a mostly idyllic life, tending to the Blueberry Acres farm she runs with her father, and occasionally stepping in to solve a murder or two......
Candy is just as shocked as the rest of the locals when two murders occur back-to-back. First, an aging playboy takes a midnight nosedive off a seaside cliff. Then, gossip columnist--and recently crowned town Blueberry Queen---Sapphire Vine stops the business end of a hammer with her head, right in her own home.
When her friend, a local handyman, is accused of the murder, Candy investigates to clear his name. Was the gossip columnist moonlighting as a blackmailer? Was the playboy playing around wit the wrong person? But as Candy sorts through the town's juicy secrets, things start to get very sticky indeed....
Another fine cozy mystery set on the East Coast...this one is even better with the main character, Candy, owning a blueberry farm. She is a busy chickie, prepping for the upcoming festival and taking care of the farm as well as the odd jobs around town to help bring in some extra cha-ching so she can keep living this life she's grown to love.
There are some really well written characters, a good main character who is curious and wants to help her friend, there is her father who is helping in his way. There is a best friend to go on the capers with and a really off the wall character to make the eyebrows raise. And the ending to make the eyebrows go up even farther in the hairline.
I am looking forward to another look-see at Cape Willington and see what else Candy Holliday can get into.
Five (well there are four) blueberry recipes in back beans......

05 November 2010

ONE BAD APPLE: An Orchard Mystery #1 - Sheila Connelly

From the back of the book: An apple a day keeps he corpses away....
When Meg Corey unexpectedly finds herself out of a job, an apartment, and a relationship, she seizes the opportunity to renovate teh Massachusetts colonial house her mother has inherited from distant relations and to sell it quickly for a share of the profits. But Meg gets more than she bargained for when she learns that renovating a two-hundred-year-old house is no easy task and that the gorgeous fifteen acre apple orchard on the property is in danger of being paved over by developers. And she definitely isn't expecting to run into her ex-boyfriend....floating dead in her new septic tank.
The police immediately suspect Meg, whose only ally is th charming local plumber who found the body. Determined to clear her name---while fighting her growing attachment to the troublesome house and orchard----Meg begins to investigate the crime and the townspeople only to find there's one bad apple in this bunch.....
There is something about a cozy set in New England. It seems perfect to me...or it's maybe too much Murder, She's a perfect setting for a cozy. Crisp weather and apple orchards, gazillion year old colonial houses and hard to get to know towns peeps.
Meg is handed an opportunity she can't refuse, taking on a partnership with her mother on the house Mom has inherited. How long can it take, slap a little paint on it and clean it up and flip that puppy.
Yeah, not so is shot..but that brings in the yummy plumber, Seth. He becomes her first friend and helps her work on the mystery of who dumped the dead ex in the new septic tank (as ick goes...*shudder*...excellent touch Sheila).
I am looking forward to more Meg and Seth, more small town, another mystery and some yummy apple recipes like the ones in the back of this book.
Five give me some HoneyCrisp and Pink Lady beans......