Book Haul!

I haven’t done a haul post in forever, so I thought I’d share what I got with you guys.

Total Books Bought: 11

Amount Spent: Around $6

Mysteries/Thrillers:

Blood Red — Wendy Corsi Staub — out of my typical genre liked but this author just came out with a cozy series, so when this was on my library’s sale shelf I picked up a copy.

The Cinderella Murder — Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke I’ve been wanting to read this for quite some time and found it for a quarter

The Cat Who Went Up The Creek, The Cat Who Wasn’t There, The Cat Who Talked Turkey, The Cat Who Smelled a Rat, The Cat Who Brought Down the House — all by Lilian Jackson Braun were like 15 cents apiece at a local thrift shop

Non Mystery:

Empire Falls — Richard Russo I needed a Pulitzer Prize-winning book for a challenge I’m doing

A Good American — Alex George Looks good, and I’ve been trying to branch out more from my typical genre, so this fit the bill

Eat, Pray, Love — Elizabeth George I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book

Wild — Cheryl Strayed Another book I’ve heard nothing but good things about

Well, that’s all. Hope you all have a wonderful rest of your weekend!

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Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante – Susan Elia MacNeal

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3.5/5 Freedom Stars

On The Back:

December 1941. Soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Winston Churchill arrives in Washington, D.C., along with special agent Maggie Hope. Posing as his typist, she is accompanying the prime minister as he meets with President Roosevelt to negotiate the United States’ entry into World War II. When one of the First Lady’s aides is mysteriously murdered, Maggie is quickly drawn into Mrs. Roosevelt’s inner circle—as ER herself is implicated in the crime. Maggie knows she must keep the investigation quiet, so she employs her unparalleled skills at code breaking and espionage to figure out who would target Mrs. Roosevelt, and why. What Maggie uncovers is a shocking conspiracy that could jeopardize American support for the war and leave the fate of the world hanging dangerously in the balance.

My Thoughts:

Though an engaging book, Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante was in no way one of the best in this series.

The main characters in this series take some getting used to. They are harder than many cozy* characters but once you break the “ice” of the first book they become lovable. In this book, John, one of the main characters, experienced many changes in his life and I have to say I was disappointed in a lot of them. I don’t know if the author grew tired of his character or what, but it seemed that John was almost a different character than in many earlier books. Aunt Edith, a character we read about but never meet, was also way different than she was described earlier on in this series.

The mystery was good. The reader knew the perpetrators almost from the start, but Maggie didn’t and the author did a wonderful job of making me feel like I was along for the ride.

Overall an okay book, I added an extra half of a star because the book was extremely engrossing, it kept me hooked and wanting more. I will stay with this series for at least one more book, and from there; who knows?

*classifying this book as a cozy could be a bit of a stretch; however I still see it as a cozy albeit on the edges of the cozy spectrum

Grace Interrupted – Julie Hyzy

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4/5 Reenactment Stars

On The Back:

Civil war re-enactors have set up camp on the grounds of Marshfield Manor. The group is very believable, especially when the unrest spills out of the barracks and inside the sumptuous mansion. Grace manages to settle a minor squabble, but loses the war when actor Zachary Kincade is found stabbed to death.

Jack Embers, the groundskeeper, falls under suspicion when he’s linked to the death of Zachary’s brother years ago. But there were others out for Zachary, actors who can be very convincing when the coveted role of “General” is on the line. Grace feels responsible for finding the murderer…and for the sweet tuxedo kitten found on her doorstep, Bootsie. Can she come to the rescue of her friends without putting herself in danger’s way?

My Thoughts:

I started reading this book a long time ago, and never got past chapter one. So, when I found books three and four in this series at a thrift shop for a quarter a piece I knew I needed to read this book, and boy am I glad I did! Julie Hyzy melds a wonderfully flawed cast of characters with a huge, historic setting to form a series that I’m sure I will love!

I love the characters in this book. They are relatable, but flawed. In most cozy mysteries the main characters have their lives pretty much together, but that’s not always the case for these characters. Jack is deeply scarred by something that happened years ago in his family, Grace has been changed by the tangled web her sister chose to weave, and then her mothers death, and Bennett is a lonely old man who is desperately seeking someone to care for him. They all have vulnerability, which is what makes them great characters.

I loved learning more about Francis in this book. She was kind of two-dimensional in the first book because all you saw was her snarky side, but the side she shows in Grace Interrupted is one that I hope will stay.

The mystery was good, there were sufficient clues that made the reader keep up with Grace and her search for the killers. There was also two murders in this book, though one happened over a decade before. I have to say that one of the killer’s motives made them very transparent. However, the other killer came as a complete surprise to me.

Overall this was a wonderful book. I know the next few books have now jumped way higher on my TBR list!

A Bed of Scorpions – Review Coming 2-1

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REVIEW COMING February 01, 2016

“The summer was rumbling on the way summer usually does in publishing, and I was ready to murder someone.”

Info:

Author: Judith Flanders

Genre: Cozy Mystery, Mystery

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press / Minotaur

Number of Pages: 320

Date of Publication: March 1, 2015

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

A great second book in a series I’m sure I’ll be reading more of.

Stiff Competition – Annelise Ryan

25574066 5/5 Competing Stars

On The Back:

Every fall, hunting season in Sorenson, Wisconsin, leads to some accidental injuries. Deputy coroner Mattie Winston just hopes the hunters don’t bring any more business to her office. But somebody seems to have declared open season on land developers. One real estate developer who’s recently come to town has been found dead in the woods with an arrow through his neck. Now it’s up to Mattie to get to the bottom of the killing. That might be easier if she wasn’t also hunting for Detective Hurley’s teenage daughter, Emily, who has suddenly disappeared. With a homicidal William Tell out on the loose, Mattie is desperate to find Emily before the killer notches another arrow…

My Thoughts:

*I received a free copy of this book from Kensington and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and views stated in this review are entirely my own.*

The Mattie Winston Series has quickly become one of the top mystery series I follow, and this book didn’t disappoint! With the hilarious, quirky characters returning and a few new characters to add to the mix, Stiff Competition was a wonderful, enthralling book that both had me on edge and had me rolling in laughter.

If you’re looking for hilarious, relatable characters, then the Mattie Winston series is one I would highly recommend. Mattie is one of the most honest, down to earth, funny protagonists I have ever read about, and the situations she gets trapped in are downright hilarious. Her hypochondriac mother, formerly sleazy brother-in-law, put together boyfriend, and crazy kind of step-daughter all make for hilarious characters.

The murder plot in these books is always good. You can count on Mattie doing her job, while investigating the murder, because part of her job IS investigating the murder. She works with the police, so she never thinks that she’s better than them, and, best of all, she always brings the murderer to justice. I loved the murder plot in Stiff Competition; it had nail-biting moments, and moments of extreme calm. The killers took me by surprise, though there were clues all along.

All in all, Stiff Competition was a simply amazing addition to a series that I highly recommend. Please do yourself a favor and read this book as soon as you can. You won’t regret it!