Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Acessory to Murder by Elaine Viets

Josie seems to have a lot of things going wrong. Her best friend’s husband is now up for murder charges for the death of fashion designer Halley not to mention her mother keeps hounding her to go on a blind date. Josie wants to help her friend, keep her mom appeased even though her mother’s smoking habit is driving her crazy, and try to get her daughter to understand that it is okay for her mom to look at another man. Her boss is sending her on really crude assignments and Josie just wants to strangle him. She just wonders if life could be any easier?

Ms. Viets does it again! I got sucked in from page one and I cannot get enough of these characters. The situations that are created ring true for real society, which was kind of freaky actually. Josie tries her best to be there for Alyce. After all, the woman does go secret shopping with her. Ms. Viets is truly fantastic author.

At times, I wish I could have given Josie a GBH. Seriously what that woman puts up through, I kept thinking she was a saint. Hopefully her life will pick up soon! Amelia is trying at times but that is how daughters go or so I hear.

I am about to go pre-order the next one in the series. Ms. Viets writes good funny dialog while keeping things a little less gory. I definitely made me want to boost up my customer service skills once again no matter how unhappy I am with things that go on in the store. The customer should not suffer! Definitely a good read for anyone who likes to shop or works at retail stores.

Elaine Viets/ Cozy Mystery/ Secret Shopper/ Family/ 288 pages/ 5 out of 5

Off to go read the author of the month and clean!

Chopping Spree by Diane Mott Davidson

Finally getting success is making Goldy a very busy woman. Her best friend Marla says it is keeping her too busy. Goldy does the right thing and hires some help but that may not be enough to keep murder away. One of her new knives is the murder weapon and her assistant Julian is caught pulling out of the dead body. Goldy has to figure out how to solve this case so she does not lose the one friend who has seen her through so much.

Ms. Davidson has her hands full with her characters. I am surprised she is able to come up with the villains she does. The twists and turns in this book while being on the calmer side definitely leave me guessing till the end. Goldy and her family are definitely going through a lot of things. Secrets abound in this book that will keep pages turned.

Goldy is a woman who I have admired from the first page of the first book. She wants to be self-supporting but knows when to ask for help. It may not be easy but things are just completely out of her control. I loved seeing Julian and Arch back. Goldy truly has a gem in all of her family members and friends.

This is one book that just kept getting better. In spite of a few inconsistencies the book was really good! I definitely cannot wait to read the next one of these books. Ms. Davidson surely pleases with each new book.

Diane Mott Davidson/ Cozy Mystery/ Cooking/ 320 pages/ 4 out of 5

I finished this one yesterday and just forgot to write it up. :) So here you go! Off to write another review and then I have to clean. :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sticks and Scones by Diane Mott Davidson

Having a lull in her business is not good for Goldy. But a chance at preparing not only a luncheon for a bunch of donors at Hyde Chapel but a supper for Elk Park Prep students will definitely keep her busy. Not to mention the food she has to prepare will take most of her time. But when pot shots are taken at their house and Goldy thinks it might have something to do with the case some one she loves is working on, she needs to keep her head on straight. Things will get a whole lot crazier but can she come out successful?

Ms. Davidson creates wonderful mysteries without all that blood and gore. I was pleased with the intricacies that she could come up with for this story. Secrets are going to be revealed but how much will that change the people involved? The food is just one part of the book I love though I may never make it. She comes up with the best ideas.

I love Goldy. She is a woman who loves to help but knows when to quit sometimes. Nosy by nature helps solve the crime. I loved seeing more of Archie, Goldy’s son. That boy is growing up too fast. But it helps the story move along and the drama of her family is definitely something to chuckle at.

I am glad I have a few more books to go. This is one series that it may be months since I have picked up the last book but it feels like I am coming home. Ms. Davidson creates characters that have heart and learn how to work things out. Things are never easy in this book but I love them.

Diane Mott Davidson/ Cozy Mystery/ 389 pages/ Cooking/ 4 out of 5

Next up Chopping Spree and then newest Elaine Viets till the one in November comes out. :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

High Heels Are Murder by Elaine Viets

Josie Marcus is at it again. With her job as a secret shopper, she is really busy. This time though, she is after a shoe salesman. But when he ends up dead at the end of his staircase, Josie is left scrambling and is asked to help her childhood nemesis Cheryl. Something definitely is amiss but can she figure out before the person behind it all finishes their job?

Ms. Viets writes a great second book. I saw the characters change and grow a little. It was a nice change of pace. The thing that I liked was that through it all, Josie did her best to stay true to herself. Ms. Viets has a talent with making the characters come alive that really brought it home to me.

Josie has some tough decisions. Does she help the one person who looked down her nose at her? IT might just help her mom but can Josie go through with it? That is just the beginning to the hard decisions facing Josie. Jane, Josie’s mom was back and definitely there for her. Jane does drive me nuts at much but at the same time truly wanted what was best for Josie.

As not as great as the first one, I fell in love over time with it. I am addicted to this series and it gives me a whole different aspect being in the retail business for real. I truly need to make sure I do my best to help the customer and this is just one way that shows me how faulty it can be. Rude customers or sales people do not help certainly but Josie rewarded those who truly did work hard and helped her. Definitely cannot wait to read the next one!!

Elaine Viets/ Cozy Mystery/ Secret Shopper/ 288 pages/ 4 out of 5

Up next two Diane Mott Davidson books and then back to Elaine Viets. :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dying In Style by Elaine Viets

Josie Marcus is a woman who is doing her best to provide for her and her daughter. Her mother helps out quite a bit but Josie would not have it any other way. Amelia’s father is long gone and that makes Josie’s mother all that more prone to find her someone to marry. That is not on the top of Josie’s list. Being a mystery shopper is not the job Josie wanted but it pays the bills. Yet things seem to go wrong and even her mother disapproves when she has to mystery shop Danessa’s stores. It gets worse when Danessa is killed and Josie looks to be their prime suspect. Can she get herself out of this sticky mess?

Ms. Viets is a talented writer. Even though I won the latest in the series last year, I wanted to get the rest of them. I am so glad I did. I am hooked on Josie and the events in her life. There is always something going on and things keep her moving. I know the whole guilt trip mother routine yet I am proud of Josie standing up for herself. This is one author that I cannot wait to read more of and the second book is calling my name.

Elaine Viets/ New author/ Cozy Mystery/ Mystery Shopper/ 288 pages/ 4 out of 5

Boy am I glad I bought both books and there is fourth book comes out in November!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pointe and Shoot by Natalie M. Roberts

Jenny has competitions again and some one does not want her there. She has no clue why but luckily Tate is around to help her figure things out. She just wishes the craziness would end and maybe then she would have a normal life. If only she could win the prize money and then things might just settle down.

Ms. Roberts had me laughing once again. These characters are so funny and outlandish at times but just the right thing I need. She creates warmth and feelings and well I just could not get enough of them.

Jenny has a lot more doubts this time around. She gets help but she is not sure that will even be enough. I can understand her fears because sometimes I deal with the same things.

This is one series I NEED more of. The ending wrapped up quite a few questions I had but then there was something at the end and I want to see that resolved. Definitely a series I am completely addicted to and a long time coming in my mind.

Natalie M. Roberts/ Cozy Mystery/ 272 pages/ Dancing/ 5 out of 5

Off to start Dying in Style by Elaine Viets. :)

The English Assassin by Daniel Silva

Gabriel Allon thought he was done but there was another plan in mind. Now he shows up to his client and finds him dead. Having to prove he didn’t kill the man won’t be easy. Now he has to team up with the man’s daughter and keep her safe. He will have to battle for his own life against someone that he trained.

Mr. Silva weaves a spellbinding tale that really captivates. I had to see where he would take Gabriel’s character and what new situations he would have to deal with in this story. I love how much research this author does cause everything comes across as authentic. This is definitely an author who knows that authenticity helps the action along.

Gabriel has new battles to face but he has to help a young lady as well. He must keep in mind that his past is still around and he must figure out how to keep on top of it all. It certainly won’t be easy but he can do it if he can keep things straight and be focused.

This series gets better with this book. I cannot wait to see what he comes up with next. I have the next one in the series but I have other books I want to read as well. Keeping me entertained and get to spread the books out a little more.

Daniel Silva/ Mystery/ Spies/ 416 pages/ Chunkster/ 4 out of 5

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tarnished Beauty by Cecilia Samartin

Jamilet is a beautiful girl who has a huge birthmark that shows up on most of her body. She takes it all in stride. It has cost her a lot of pain but she lives her life day by day. She finally decides to leave her family and go out on her own. Her grandmother is all that is left since her aunt Carmen left months ago. This one journey will put her in the path with a man who has a story to tell. One she could only understand.

Ms. Samartin has a way with words that will wring emotions from your heart. There is joy; pain, love and loss weaved through these pages. I found it most difficult to put it down. The descriptions alone grabbed my attention but the heart that is described made me turn the pages even more so.

Jamilet just wants to be loved. She knows her mother does love her but after she dies, there is little left in the world for her. Even life with her aunt Tia is just more work. She wants to be rid of her birthmark and decides it is time to find a job. I really truly felt for Jamilet. She was a girl who wanted more from her life than she could get on her own. Yet can she find it is what I kept wondering? Senor Peregrino is a man full of life. He has seen so much and yet has to be kept alone in a room at a Sanitarium. Jamilet just might be the only one to hear what he has to say.

This is one book that kept me curious to know if the story that was told through the Senor’s eyes was true. I had to find out the ending along with Jamilet. There is much heartbreak in this story but there was so much going on. This is one author who has peaked my curiosity and I would love to read more by her.

Cecilia Samartin/ New Author/ Fiction/ 352 pages/ Stories/ Coming of Age/ 5 out of 5

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tapped Out by Natalie M. Roberts

Jenny Partridge is gearing up for a competition but when she is asked by her old friend Bill to teach as well. She is surprised since he wants her help. His teachers have disappeared on him. So now he has left scrambling, so Jenny agrees to help. Detective Tate Wilson comes into the picture cause she needs his help. Soon threats begin on Jenny to leave and not help Bill after all. Can her life get any crazier?

Ms. Roberts does it again. The antics that Jenny puts up with kept me laughing through most of the book. I felt horrible how people didn’t want to see her succeed mind you they had their own schemes for it. The characters will keep you turning pages to see if it all works out or goes even more horribly wrong. Jenny has a lot of issues she is dealing with and her family is not helping as usual. Well, they help a little but they are rather too nosey. But that is how families and makes the book more realistic. I am happy that there is another book but sad that after this the last in the series so far. I hope there is more to come!

This is one series that just does not know when to stop! I loved it! These characters keep me in stitches. Definitely a great second book in a series but you have to read TuTu Deadly first.

Natalie M. Roberts/ Cozy Mystery/ New Author/ Dance/ 5 out of 5

Working on a review book and then another one from my stack. :)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Fractured by Karin Slaughter

Detective Will Trent is working hard to solve this weird crime scene. A mother comes home to find her daughter brutally murdered and then a man comes chasing after her. Thinking he is the murderer, she does her best to overpower him. He is also teamed up with a female detective with her own issues. He swears there is another girl missing and the killer is still on the loose. But with little facts to go on, there is going to a lot of grunt work and things are going to hit way too close to home.

Ms. Slaughter is a fantastic writer. I love the twists and turns she puts on every page. I was shocked as the story was unfolding about things that were not as they appeared. She writes real characters that you not only feel for but also want to see them succeed. Not that they don’t have issues, and these characters were chock full of them.

Will Trent had a horrible life growing up and now he seems to see that everywhere in this case. Ms. Mitchell is not about to put up with Trent’s crap. She wants to be seen as vital to this case and hopefully get somewhere. Being a female cop is not easy for her but darned if she isn’t going to work just as hard if not more than the rest of them.

I truly felt for this family and what they went through. I was pissed along with the mother for instances not even relating to the case. This book will have you on a whirlwind ride that will puzzle even those who seem to know what happened from page one. Ms. Slaughter never ceases to amaze me with what she creates. Definitely becoming one of my favorite authors.

Karin Slaughter/ Thriller/Mystery/ Murder/ Family/ 338 pages/ 5 out of 5

Off to another one of my stack. :) I do have a review book I want to read but it looks good. :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

TuTu Deadly by Natalie M. Roberts

Jenny Partridge is a wonderful dance teacher. She just has one problem, Psycho Dance Moms. How she puts up with them day in and day out even she starts to wonder. But when one of them is poisoned by a batch of laced cookie dough, she feels like her world is about to fall apart. Two uber-hot detectives are trying to help her but she seems to have her whole family sticking their noses in where they don’t belong.

Ms. Roberts blew me away with her writing. Having been a dancer myself, this story had me laughing out loud at 11pm at night. Jenny is quite the woman. Plus the situations she deals with alone on a day-to-day basis should make her a saint. This is one book that I have wanted to read for a long long time. I am so glad I have the other couple of books to read still and I want more! I just don’t want to give away the plot line because it will have you on one heck of a roller coaster ride. Oh, and if James does not clean up his act, I want to bop him on the head myself. Definitely a mystery series that will please those those are in the dance world and those that are not.

Natalie M. Roberts/ Cozy Mystery/ Dance/256 pages/ 5 out of 5

It was a joy to read one of my books from the my leaning tower for once. :) I cannot wait to read the next one. As it did take me awhile, I am kind of glad, at least I have 3 to read before I feel like I have to wait forever for the next one. lol

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Kill Artist by Dnaiel Silva

Gabriel Allon had left the espionage world for a quieter life as an art restorer. Now he is asked for help again. At first he wants to turn it down until he finds out he will be working with beautiful fashion model Jacqueline once more. He does not know that there are secrets in the working and this may be his last chance to kill Tariq.

Mr. Silva is a fantastic writer. I could not believe how much research he had to do but it showed. I cannot say that I know the events he talked about but with the names of the books listed in the back from where he learned things, I can only hope that they are either true or names were changed.

Gabriel Allon is a man who has hurts. Yet he is able to stifle them at points to get done what is needed. I found that astonishing. The technology mentioned in the book may be outdated now who knows but I found what they were able to do very interesting. Jacqueline was such a sweetheart and I kept hoping she would get her heart’s desires.

Boy am I glad this was just the first book. I definitely want to read the rest soon!

Daniel Silva/New Author/ Mystery/ Espionage/Chunkster/ 448 pages/ 4 out of 5

Off to read a couple of review books and then something else from my pile. :)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

My August Reads and Stats

My Stats:
Total Books Read: 20
New Authors: 19
Fiction: 19
Non-fiction: 1
Chunksters: 5
Books I reviewed: 13
Romances: 16
Mysteries: 3
From the Stacks: 6
Books I Bought: 1
PBS Sent: 5
PBS Received: 5
Total Pages Read: 5, 484

Books I read:
. Twice Upon an Eventide by Shannah Biodene and Sheri McGathy 08-01-08 through 08-06-08 C
140. Taste of Liberty by Nancy Hunter 08-07-08 B
141. The Moon: Tigress by the Tail by Teresa D’Amario 08-07-08 A+
142. The Forgotten Princess by S.D. Grady 08-08-08 A+
143. Apple Blossom Time by Kathryn Haig 08-08-08 through 08-09-08A+
144. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde 08-10-08 through 08-11-08 C
145. Passionate by Anthea Lawson 08-12-08 A+
146.Holding the Baby by Margot Early 08-13-08 A
147. On Blue Falls Pond by Susan Crandall 08-14-08 A+
148. Mari’s Miracle by Fran Shaff 08-15-08 through 08-17-08 A
149. Passion’s Professor by Samantha Rhodes 08-18-08 A
150. Lost in A Good Book by Jasper Fforde 08-18-08 through 08-19-08 B
151. Enticing Mr. Wrong by Suprina Frazier 08-20-08 through 08-22-08 A+
152. Hostage to Her Heart by Chriss Hill (294) 08-22-08 through 8-25-08 C
153. Rogue by Rachel Vincent 08-25-08 A+
154. Venture by Bill Newman 08-25-08 through 08-27-08 D
155. The Frog Prince by Missy Lyons 08-27-08 C
156. True Stores of Law and Order by Kevin Dwyer and Jure Fiorillo 08-28-08 A+
157. Slave of Darkness by Stephanie Marble 08-29-08 A
158. Reluctant Hearts by Marty Rayne 08-29-08 through 08-30-08 A

I think I had a good month. lol