March Reading Review

March has been another great month for me. Life’s currently been nice and calm with no big surprises which means I got a lot of reading done! Yay! This month I read 19 books!

Yearly Challenge:

59/100 books

ABC Author Challenge:

18/26 books (I really slacked off on this one oops)

Mount TBR Challenge:

14/24 books (Another one I slacked off of)

Nonfiction Challenge – COMPLETE:

13/12 books

YA/Children’s Challenge:

8/12 books

Cruisin’ Through the Cozies Challenge:

38/80 books

Favorite Mystery Reads for March:

  1. Fonduing Fathers – Julie Hyzy
  2. Death of an Outsider – M.C. Beaton
  3. Murder Passes the Buck – Deb Baker*
  4. Once Upon a Grind – Cleo Coyle
  5. All the President’s Menus – Julie Hyzy

*even though this had less stars than the other books on this list, this was the funniest book I’ve read in awhile, so it deserves a place on this list

Favorite YA/Nonfiction Reads for March:

  1. Eleanor and Park – Rainbow Rowell
  2. Garlic and Sapphires – Ruth Reichl
  3. Delancey – Molly Wizenberg

Great reads this month!

In other news a review for Murder with Peacocks is coming soon!

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All the President’s Menus – Julie Hyzy

5/5 Visiting Chefs

On The Back:

It’s an old adage that too many cooks spoil the broth. But when a tour of the White House kitchen by a group of foreign chefs ends in murder, it’s Olivia Paras who finds herself in the soup…

Due to a government sequester, entertaining at the White House has been severely curtailed. So executive chef Olivia Paras is delighted to hear that plans are still on to welcome a presidential candidate from the country of Saardisca—the first woman to run for office—and four of that nation’s top chefs.

But while leading the chefs on a kitchen tour, pastry chef Marcel passes out suddenly—and later claims he was drugged. When one of the visiting chefs collapses and dies, it’s clear someone has infiltrated the White House with ill intent. Could it be an anti-Saardiscan zealot? Is the candidate a target? Are the foreign chefs keeping more than their recipes a secret? Once again, Olivia must make sleuthing the special of the day…

My Thoughts:

This book lives up to the high expectations I now have for this series and I loved reading it!

This book was a bit different than the other books in the fact that there is a fictional country that’s given a starring role in the book. I’d heard reviews saying that the nation was the downpoint of the book, but I thought Ms. Hyzy did the best she possibly could with making a fictional country and trying to make it believable in a piece of fiction.

I loved the fact that we got to see more of Marcel in this book. In the last few books you barely even heard about him, let alone saw him, but in this book he is moved to a more of a center stage.

A great book that leaves a personal problem for Ollie. I’m excited for the next one!

Death of an Outsider – M.C. Beaton

5/5 New Villages

On The Back:

Dreary Cnothan’s most hated man is dumped into a tank filled with lobsters then eaten in Britain’s best restaurants. Exiled there with his dog Towser, Hamish Macbeth misses his beloved Highland village Lochdubh, Priscilla, and easy lazy days. His superiors want the business hushed up, a dark-haired lass wants his body, and a killer is out for more blood. On TV show.

My Thoughts:

At first when I read the back of this book and realized that Hamish was going to be in a new town I was wary to start reading, but this book was a great read that was almost better than the last two books.

I think Hamish showed some development in this book. He wasn’t just thinking about Priscilla as much as he thought about her in the previous books,a nd it was a nice change.

The beginning was a bit hard to get into but by the end this book was quick-paced and fun to read. I’d easily recommend it to anyone!

Mapleshade’s Vengeance – Erin Hunter

4/5 Betrayed Lovers

On The Back:

In this novella from the world of Erin Hunter’s #1 nationally bestselling Warriors series, discover the sinister past of one of the most treacherous cats in the Dark Forest.

Long before she troubled the dreams of Crookedstar or Tigerclaw, Mapleshade was a warrior of ThunderClan. But then the Clans cast her out as a traitor—and she vowed to seek her revenge….

My Thoughts:

Overall this book was a very good short, it explained one of my favorite villains in this series and did it well.

I loved the fact that you saw Mapleshade before she became evil because she was honestly just a brokenhearted cat who was betrayed by her Clan, and lover. I was really astounded about how deep her Clan hated her and how fast they turned against her.

The beginning of the story was a bit rushed and I really think that a Super Edition could of been deserving of this character, so the story was a bit rushed, but overall an entertaining story that I enjoyed.

50% Off Murder – Josie Belle

4/5 Coupons

On The Back:

Maggie Gerber-one of the founding members of the Good Buy Girls- loves her quiet life in St. Stanley, Virginia. But all that changes when Sam Collins, her old flame, moves back to town as the new sheriff. On top of that, Claire Freemont, a librarian and the newest member of the Good Buy Girls, starts acting utterly strange.

When Maggie goes to visit her the next day at the library, she finds the body of a very dead man. Turns out the man is someone from Claire’s past. As the handsome new sheriff zeroes in on Claire, it’s up to Maggie and the rest of the Good Buy Girls to use their bargain-hunting skills to hunt a killer-while making sure they don’t pay too much in the process…

My Thoughts:

This was a wonderful start to what looks like a promising series that I read in less than a day.

I could have done without the angst between Maggie and Sam, but by the end that was pretty well resolved. Besides that I liked the characters, they were all realistic.

The mystery was good, it wasn’t the best I’ve read, but yet it was solid and well-built.

Overall a good book. I’ll read the next one.

Death of a Cad – M.C. Beaton

5/5 Scottish Lochs

On The Back:

Murder Most Fowl When Priscilla Halburton-Smythe brings her London playwright fiance home to Lochdubh, everybody in town is delighted…except for love-smitten Constable Hamish Macbeth. Yet his affairs of the heart will have to wait. Vile, boorish Captain Bartlett, one of the guests at Priscilla’s engagement party, has just been found murdered-shot while on a grouse hunt. Now with many titled party guests as the prime suspects, each with a reason for snuffing out the despicable captain, Hamish must smooth ruffled feathers as he investigates the case. When the hidden culprit strikes again, Hamish will find himself trying to save Priscilla from a miserable marriage-and catch a killer before he flies the coop.

My Thoughts:

These books are really quick, good, easy reads that are perfect for a lazy afternoon.

I loved the setting, first of all. i find some books set on the British Isles hard to follow, but this was quite easy to read. The characters experienced some growth in this book, though I really wish people would stop thinking of Hamish as simply a lazy person looking for freebies, he’s actually a really good policeman.

Overall a great book that I finished in little time. Onto the next one!

Once Upon a Grind – Cleo Coyle

5/5 Magic Coffee Beans

On The Back:

When coffeehouse manager turned amateur sleuth Clare Cosi roasts “magic” beans for Fairy Tale Week, she brews up a vision that leads to a sleeping beauty in Central Park; a big, bad wolf of Wall Street; and an East Side enclave with storybook secrets…

Fairy tale fever has descended on New York City. Broadway fans are flocking to Red Riding Hood: The Musical; museums are exhibiting art inspired by the Brothers Grimm; and Clare Cosi gives her coffee truck a “Jack and the Beanstalk” makeover for a Central Park festival.

Clare’s coffee hunter ex-husband contributes a bag of African beans with alleged magical properties. His octogenarian mother entertains customers with readings of the grinds, but Clare remains skeptical—until she receives a vision that helps her find a young model’s body in the park’s woods.

The police dismiss “sleeping beauty” as the victim of a drug overdose. Then Clare uncovers evidence that points to a roster of suspects, from a wolf of Wall Street to a New York Giant and a wicked witch of the West Side.

Now Clare is really in the woods—with a dangerous predator on her heels and an investigation that leads from a secret Prince Charming club right back to her own NYPD detective boyfriend. If she doesn’t solve this mystery, those magic beans predict an unhappy ending.

My Thoughts:

I really liked the most recent installment of this series. This book led us through hidden clubs, Cold War debts, and a huge change in Clare’s life.

The characters were once again great, and the mystery was, too. I never guessed the killer but when it was revealed the killer fit in nicely. I was a bit upset over the major decision Clare made in her life at the end, I don’t want to reveal it because of spoilers, but it may make a huge change in the series with the next book.

Overall an entertaining book with a great cast of characters and an even better plot. I hope the next one continues to be this good!

Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell

5/5 Teen Loves

On The Back:

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

My Thoughts:

Wow, I love it when you pick up a really popular book and simply fall in love with it. This book was amazing. Seriously, amazing.

The characters were perfect int he fact that they weren’t perfect. They seemed real and alive and that makes a good book.

The who premise of the story is just so good. My heart almost tore in pieces in parts of this book and I found myself laughing out loud at other parts.

This was an amazing book that I highly recommend. Please do yourself a favor and check it out from your library or buy it. You won’t be sorry.

How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You – Matthew Inman

2/5 Housecats

On The Back:

If your cat is kneading you, that’s not a sign of affection. Your cat is actually checking your internal organs for weakness. If your cat brings you a dead animal, this isn’t a gift. It’s a warning. How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You is an offering of cat comics, facts, and instructional guides from the creative wonderland at TheOatmeal.com.

How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You presents fan favorites, such as “Cat vs. Internet,” “How to Pet a Kitty,” and “The Bobcats,” plus 17 brand-new, never-before-seen cat jokes. A pullout poster is included at the back of the book.

My Thoughts:

Not really my favorite. Ii don’t know if it’s because I don’t own a cat or what, but I didn’t really see the humor in a lot of these. Especially the Bobcat section. However, the art was great and I may look into this author/artist’s other works.

Death of a Gossip – M.C. Beaton

4/5 Idyllic Countrysides

On The Back:

Scottish highland village cop Hamish Macbeth must find which target was provoked enough to strangle and drown nasty fat widowed tabloid reporter Jane Winters, who revealed many others’ guilty secrets. Much is from the viewpoint of a naive secretary seduced by a blue-blood playboy. Icy blond beauty, aristocratic Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, lends a hand.

My Thoughts:

This book is one of the most well-known cozies there are, so I bought it awhile ago when I found it on sale,a nd I don’t regret it! This was a fun, fast-paced book that I devoured.

I loved the characters, especially Hamish. The fact that he wasn’t the only POV this story was told from made him more likeable, in my eyes. Alice annoyed me, but I think she’d annoy anyone.

The setting was great, and so was the mystery. I wasn’t too surprised at the killer, but there really weren’t many suspects. so I don’t think I would have ever been surprised by the killer. I really loved the way Hamish went around finding the killer, though, it really was a puzzle.

Overall a really good book I’ll be looking for the next one!