Mystereity

One down...

8 more to go....

 

*sucks on fancy tobacco flavored pen-like thing*

 

No lie, I had a pen here on my desk and had to move it somewhere else because I tried to smoke it too many times.  Felt foolish until I realized that sucking on a pen wasn't any weirder than sucking on a pen like thingy, which I then thought about for an hour instead of writing another review

 

.  

 

 

Review
2 Stars
Alas, She Drowned
Alas, She Drowned (The Stratford Upon Avondale Mysteries) (Volume 1) - Monica Knightley

Oft expectation fails, and most oft there where most it promises."
William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well.

I had really high hopes for this book, it started out as a promising mystery. Set in a charming Shakespearean-themed village, it had a great plot; an odious and unpleasant theater critic is murdered (always enjoyable when that happens!) and lots of suspects to muddy the waters. It really kept me guessing (and turning pages) and I didn't suspect the murderer at all.

But that's pretty much all the book has going for it. I really wish I could've rated this higher than 2 stars because the plot was a lot better than 2 stars but it came down to the unlikable characters. I thought Nick was an obnoxious bull's pizzle (Thank the bard himself for that one!) and Maggie's not much better. I really wanted more out of her character - she had a lot of potential in her back story but ended up a two-dimensional chatterbox with poor judgment skills.

Sigh.

The post in which I explain

Did you know nicotine helps control ADHD?

 

Did you know when you have ADHD and stop smoking your ADHD comes roaring back, rendering you incapable of completing the most basic tasks, such as reading a chapter or writing a book review?

 

 

I didn't either until 10 weeks ago.

 

The post where I say fuck this shit, no longer in the mood.

I have gone from simply procrastinating on reading and writing reviews to NO LONGER FUCKING CARE and have pretty much abandoned everything.


So if you don't see me for awhile, I'm perfectly fine but taking a sabbatical for an undetermined amount of time.  May be back next week.  May be back next year.  Who knows.  Be well.

 

Review
3 Stars
Get Well Soon
Get Well Soon: History's Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them - Jennifer Wright

See this and all of my reviews at Mystereity Reviews

Get Well Soon isn't so much a historical book about plagues, it's also about the human side of plagues; the healers, the sufferers and the people left behind. The book details not only catastrophic plagues like The Black Death, but also some of the lesser known plagues like the Roman Empire-ending Antonine Plague and The Dancing Plague in 16th century Europe (which sounds all very funny until you read that people pretty much danced their feet off. Literally.)

All the major maladies are touched on, from the horrific syphilis and tuberculosis plagues to the ravages of typhoid, smallpox and cholera throughout history. The sad fate of many plague victims, abandoned by their families and in some cases, abandoned by society, was all very heartrending. I also thought it was very interesting how the Victorians glamorized the pale, gaunt appearance of tuberculosis sufferers. Looking at any of today's popular fashion models or actresses, it's obvious that's an ideal that persists even today.

For the most part, this was very entertaining but felt a bit preachy in spots. Although I don't fault the author for having strong feelings about her subject, it felt a bit like I was being lectured to.

Overall, Get Well Soon is an informative and entertaining trip through the perils of the past, and anyone who loves history (and plagues. I'm sure there are people out there who enjoy a good plague) will definitely enjoy it.

Thank you to Henry Holt and Co. and Netgalley for an advance copy.  This review is my honest and unsolicited opinion. 

Review
4 Stars
Review: Fatality by Firelight
Fatality by Firelight (A Cat Latimer Mystery) - Lynn Cahoon

See this review and more at Mystereity Reviews

 

Cat is hosting her second writers’ retreat at her B&B located in a small academic town of Aspen Hills, Colorado and hoping this retreat will be more tranquil than the first.  Her hopes are dashed when one of her guests comes under suspicion for the murder of local bad boy romeo Tommy. To complicate things, a mystery man shows up who seems to know too much about her, and a series of book thefts has everyone scratching their heads. There’s snow way Cat can’t just sit around, she’s out to solve the mystery!

 

Gliding down the slopes...blazing fires in the fireplace...the crunch of snow underfoot...steaming mugs of hot cocoa...the dead body in the hot tub - only Lynn Cahoon could make snowy Colorado a hot destination, even in the depths of winter! With several mysteries woven into one fast-paced plot, I was glued to the book until the very last page. I loved the action-packed plot - Stalkers! Murders! Kidnapping! Booknapping! *gasp* - all with so many twists and turns, it was like a cozy mystery slalom! The on-going mystery surrounding the death of Cat's ex-husband added a layer of intrigue and the mysterious stranger added a bit of spice to shake up Cat's comfortable life.

All in all, Fatality by Firelight is a thoroughly enjoyable and well-crafted mystery guaranteed to keep you guessing (and entertained!) While this book can be read as a standalone, I recommend reading the first in the series to get the full backstory about Cat's ex-husband (and because it's a good book.)

Thank you to Kensington Books and Netgalley for an advance copy of this book. This review is my honest, unsolicited opinion

Review
4 Stars
Review: Aunt Bessie Likes
Aunt Bessie Likes (An Isle of Man Cozy Mystery Book 12) - Diana Xarissa

See this review and more at Mystereity Reviews

 

Aunt Bessie returns in the 12th Isle of Man mystery to help her police friends solve the cold case disappearance of three teenage cousins in 1970.  The case flounders when no new evidence is uncovered until an anonymous tip leads police to several bodies buried in a garden. Is 40 years too long for Bessie to unravel the mystery behind the girls in the garden?

In Aunt Bessie Likes, young PC Hugh Watterson is following up on cold cases and decides to pursue the disappearance of three teenage cousins in 1970. Out of all the Aunt Bessie books, I think this will rank up there as one of my favorites. I love cold case mysteries, probably because there's nothing more satisfying than to find an answer to an unknown. I also love hearing more about the history of Bessie's Isle of Man (where everyone seems to think murder has only recently come to visit, but Hugh's stack of cold cases prove this untrue.) The twisty plot, sprinkled with a few red herrings, kept me second guessing myself through the whole book and the ending was both satisfying and exciting.

All in all, another exciting Bessie adventure, and I highly recommend this adorable and well-written series to cozy mystery fans looking for a clean, light read.

And of course I have to say a big thank you to all my BL friends for all your love, help and support.  Without you, this horrible process wouldn't been a lot more difficult to bear.   Thank you!

 

The post in which I gloat

Days since last cigarette: 14

 

Days since Chantix: 5

 

Number of boxes of Girl Scout Cookies consumed: 8 9 9.5

 

Pounds gained: 6

 

 

# of Household objects called "pig faced motherfucker":  2957

 

 

 

Review
4 Stars
Review: When the Grits Hit the Fan (Country Store #3)
When the Grits Hit the Fan - Maddie Day

 Buried in the depths of winter in southern Indiana,  it's been months since diner owner Robbie Jordan has found herself in the middle of a murder.  All of that changes when she finds a local professor dead, frozen beneath the ice in the middle of Crooked Lake.  When Robbie's friend Lou falls under suspicion, Robbie can't help but investigate.  With a town full of people who hated the victim, several suspects who have seemingly airtight alibis, puzzling objects found in the walls during remodeling and a hidden tunnel under Robbie's diner than someone keeps breaking in to, Robbie's sleuthing skills are put to the test. Can she find a killer with a perfect recipe for murder?

 

Out of the three books in this series, this one is my favorite. The series has finally hit its stride, showcasing the flavor of southern Indiana with a picturesque setting, colorful characters and an absorbing plot that pulls you right into the wonderful world of South Lick. Picture it: the snow gently falling on the rolling hills, the small town diner serving delicious food with a heaping side of gossip, and the warmth of friends and family - it's all so inviting that it's easy to get comfortable. And that's what I like most about cozy mysteries, how comfortable you are sinking into them, and the Country Store series is an excellent example; it's a great place to spend a few hours, even if there is a murderer on the loose. Throw in a victim that you love to hate (let's face it, it's always satisfying when a thoroughly disagreeable character is the victim, isn't it?) and no shortage of suspects, each with their own good motive for murder, plus hidden tunnels, puzzling objects found in the walls during remodeling and an action packed ending and you have the perfect recipe for a great cozy mystery.

Day 5

My last cigarette was Monday afternoon.  Here's how I've spent my week

 

"Book Bloggers are Real Readers" WTF?

So I've had a flood of this "Book Bloggers are Real Readers" crap all over the place.  Can someone explain why this is suddenly an issue?  Has the internet run out of irrelevant things to be offended by?

 

From what it sounds like, one person on one group said something about how she was quitting because the people in the group weren't real readers.  From there, everyone on the internet blew it up into some kind of terrorist attack on anyone who reviews books on a blog. Who is doing the attacking? More importantly, why should I care?  

 

 

Is there something I missed? 

Happy Release Day to The Swap

The Swap by Nancy Boyarsky has finally been released, I read the advance copy last year and loved it.  I've been impatiently awaiting the release date ever since, and now everyone can enjoy it!

 

The author, Nancy Boyarsky, has done a wonderful little Q&A, don't miss it!  And to celebrate the release , I've got an autographed copy to give away to one lucky winner (US residents only) and details can be found at the bottom of the page. Contest is open from February 7, 2017 until February 21, 2017. Enter to win today!

 

 

My review:

When Brad Graves is transferred to London temporarily, wife Nicole comes along in an attempt to save her failing marriage. After arranging a house swap with the Lowrys, Nicole and Brad settle in at their temporary home. Soon after, strange things happen and Nicole begins to feel like her life is in danger. After reporting several terrifying incidents to the police, who are sympathetic but disbelieving, and when the Lowrys don’t show up at her LA condo, Nicole begins to investigate on her own and finds herself being drawn deeper and deeper into trouble.

 

The Swap is the debut novel by the author and I wasn’t sure what to expect as I sat down to read it. Once I started it, it was hard to put it down! I read about half of this one evening and then couldn’t sleep all night because I was so busy thinking about what was going to happen. I loved the premise of a house swap gone wrong, and there was a mystery on almost every page. Who can Nicole trust? Who is behind the attacks and what do they want? What happened to the Lowrys? And the one question that wasn’t answered, who broke in to her condo in L.A.?

 

See the rest of my review, an author Q&A and a GIVEAWAY! all at my blog Mystereity Reviews

 

Giveaway is open to US residents only

Winner will be chosen at random

Contest is open from February 7, 2017 to February 21, 2017

No purchase necessary give-away

*scratches head*

Found a book in a series I read last year that I don't show as read and I can't find that I've ever written a review. I know I read it, but apparently never reviewed it.   Not sure how that happened.  It must've been during October, when I posted something like 28 reviews.  Hmm.

 

The post in which I whine

 

 

Day 15 of Chantix.  Haven't totally quit smoking, but I'm  down to a few puffs here and there each day, so around 1 cigarette a day.   Which is good, I'm proud of myself.

 

Every morning when I wake up, I try to come up with a list of things to do to keep my mind off smoking. I've played hours of Sims3.  Spent 4 hours killing off Sims by making them tour the mausoleum, thus scaring them to death.  But it kept me from smoking one afternoon!  Another day, I spent 5 hours making an alphabetized table of contents for my reviews on my blog.  No one will ever look at it, and I'll never use it, but that's 5 hours I didn't smoke.  Yay!

 

 

Unfortunately, I am  irrationally irritated at everything.  The list of things I've been calling asshole motherfucker grows with each passing minute.  So far, my hairdryer, my couch, m6y pillow, my vacuum cleaner, a shopping cart at Walmart, my computer keybpard (god dammit you asshole mother fucking keyboard) my shower, my sliding glass door, and my TV have born the brunt of my restless rage.  I hope they'll forgive me. 

 

So, that's the state of the union in my little universe.  Hope all of your days are going better than mine!

Review
5 Stars
Juggling Kittens - Matt Coleman

Spencer wasn’t the type of kid who would have teachers lined up asking about im. He was a weird, effeminate kid who made bad grades and rarely paid attention. He had blonde highlights and wore vests with fur. But he also wore a typically blank expression and once got a pen cap stuck between his front two teeth. This particular cocktail of traits made him a target for bullies but invisible to anyone who might defend him. And that anyone was me. He was invisible until he disappeared and then suddenly he was all I could see. Plastered across my mind like a million missing flyers no one would ever hang.

 

Set in small town Ruddy Creek, Arkansas just after 9/11 Ellis Mazer is newly hired to teach English to bored 7th graders at a small public school in Arkansas. After one of his students, a poor and friendless boy named Spencer, stops coming to school, Ellis tries to contact him at his home and discovers that no one knows where he is. Coming on the heels of the disappearance of a young girl, a disappearance Spencer’s father is implicated in, Ellis becomes concerned and worried and begins to search for Spencer, determined not to let him slip through the cracks.

 

When I saw the title Juggling Kittens, I was intrigued. When I read the first chapter, I was hooked! I loved the easy writing style, the suspenseful plot and the quick pace, all blended together to create an starkly realistic tale from a great new voice in the crime fiction genre.

 

This was one of those plots that will stick with me for awhile,  revolving around the disappearance of two children in rural Arkansas and one teacher’s quest for the truth.  It touches on that primal fear that everyone has, the horror of children in danger.  Fueled by that primal fear and that sinking feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when faced with all the possibilities, you can’t help but race through the book to find out what happens next.   The colorful characters really brought the story alive, creating a true to life world that could be anywhere in America. Along with the excellent plot, the story blends social commentary about America right after 9/11, from the atmosphere of worry and fear to the educational system to the often bleak existence of life in rural Arkansas. As the story unwinds, you see Ellis change from idealistic to disillusioned as he confronts several new realities.

 

I have to say, at first, I wasn’t satisfied with the ending, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was the point. Just like in the real world, life ain’t fair in Ruddy Creek. You have to take it as it comes.

 

Intense, darkly funny and unforgettable, Juggling Kittens is an exceptional debut mystery and Matt Coleman is an author to watch. Recommended!

 

Thank you to the author for a copy of the book, in  exchange for my honest review.