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Cozy Mystery Challenge: Book Number Five

Like a Hole in the Head by Jen Banbury was the fifth book I read for the Cozy Mystery Challenge. Some reviewers likened the author's work to that of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. I think Banbury's style is her own, with comparison to no one in the mystery genre. She caught my attention immediately when I randomly picked her book at the library.

"I woke up with a hangover and roof tar on my feet and a vague recollection of pacing around up there half the night. . . ." 
That's her first line. Uh-huh.

Jill is the name of the main character. She lives in Los Angeles and works at a used bookstore. For the past few years, she has been running away from the memories of her mother's death. Every so often the author cleverly lets some of those memories enter Jill's mind, and we, the readers, learn that her mom was painfully dying from a terminal disease. Her mom may have asked Jill to help put an end to the misery. With that bit of background, it is underst…

Cozy Mystery Challenge #4 Review

Chapter and Hearse by Lorna Barrett is the fourth title of the Booktown Mystery series. It's the first one I've read. I doubt I'll read any of the others. The protagonist, Tricia Miles, is the owner of a mystery bookstore in a small (fictional?) town in New Hampshire. That alone ought to be enough for me to enjoy the series. It's not. 
I don't care too much for Tricia. She doesn't have much confidence in herself, though she was much better about her worth by the end of the book. After all, her husband dumped her because he went off to Colorado to find himself. A reporter guy likes her, almost stalkingly. The police guy who likes her put their relationship on hold because he decided to care for his ex-wife who is being treated for cancer. To add to that, her older sister is a type A author, bookseller, and cook. So, Tricia does have a lot to get herself out from under. I'm just not curious to see how her life progresses in future books.
The plot? The bookstore…

Cozy Mystery Challenge Book #3 Review

Today, I offer you, dear readers, a review of my third entry for the Cozy Mystery Challenge. Four more to go. Actually, I finished Corpse Suzette by G. A. McKevett about three weeks ago. The book has been sitting patiently on my table to be written about for over a week. How time flies!

Corpse Suzette is the 11th book of the Savannah Reid series. Savannah is a 40-ish ex-police officer who turned private eye many years ago. She is based in the fictional town of San Carmelita, which I think could be anywhere on the California central coast.  Originally from Georgia, Savannah loves cooking and eating yummy rich food (think Paula Deen) and is happy about her zaftig size. She has no problem getting around as she sleuths the traditional way. In contrast, Savannah's assistant is a slim, hyper health nut named Tammy, who is also a computer whiz.

Savannah's other sidekick is Sgt. Dirk Coulter, her ex-cop-partner who still serves on the local force. Because no one wants to work with him,…

Book 2 for the Cozy Mystery Challenge

Yes, indeed. I finished reading my second book for the Cozy Mystery Challenge!

Murphy's Law, by Rhys Bowen, had been sitting in the hallway for almost a year. I bought it after I finished Royal Flush, the last book in Bowen's Royal Spyness series, which was published in July, 2009. Because I was so taken with Bowen's story-telling, I decided to try reading her Molly Murphy series. Murphy's Law is the first in the series. It had won the Agatha, Reviewer's Choice, and Herodotus awards.

Molly Murphy is the main character. She is a ballsy, well-educated 24-year old Irish immigrant living in New York during the Tammany Hall times. The story opens with her running away from home because the master's son tried to have his way with her. She had kicked him away and he cracked his head when he fell. Molly got on a train to London and ended up on a ship to America. She took the identity of a dying woman who had persuaded Molly to take the woman's children to their fath…

Ready. Set. Read!

I consider myself a reader. But lately, my reading matter consists of blogs, newspapers, blogs, web sites, blogs, Facebook, and more blogs.  Nothing wrong with that, but I really should spend more time off the computer.

The last book I read was a politician's autobiography. Shudder. Talk about a horrible reading experience. Have you ever read a book and got angry about almost everything that the author wrote? I should've put it down after the first page, but I needed to know about this woman since she says that she talks for the real Americans. I'm a real American but nothing she wrote represented my point of view. Bleah!

I finished that book about five months ago. I started three books since then. Put each one down after a few pages in. I just could not focus.

Five months is a long time for me to go without reading a book. But, that's about to change. To motivate me back to the book path, I signed up today to complete the Cozy Mystery Challenge hosted by Not Enough Books…

Finding Things

Don't you just hate it when you can't find find what you want?

And, you know it's where it ought to be.

Back in April, I wanted to start reading Craig Ferguson's memoir, American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot.  (Click on that link and it'll bring you to Amazon. Just saying.) It was one of the books that the husband and I got for ourselves last Christmas. He finished it at the beginning of the year and placed it on my pile of books to read that I stacked on the recliner in the bedroom.

Because I got tired of feeling bad that he had to move all the books onto the bed when he wanted to sit on the recliner to read, and then back again when he was done sitting, I thought I'd switch the books elsewhere. I did in February. I brought the pile into the office and wrote a blog post (not an amazon.com link) about what I was not reading.  I must have been still in a got-to-be organized mood because I stacked them neatly away somewhere.

I forgot…

What I'm Not Reading Now

Today, I moved all but one book from my nightstand because the dust collecting on them was bothering me. I mean a lot of books...and a lot of dust! Some books have been waiting patiently for years for me to crack them open. Bookmarks peek out of other books to show that I abandoned them after only several pages or a few chapters for various reasons. I have very good intention to return to each of these books. Some day.

The Octopus: A California Story by Frank Norris. I aim to re-read this book. It's a novel about the ruthlessness of big agribusiness in California at the turn of the 19th century. Much of the story is set in a fictional place based on San Benito County where I was born, raised, and now live again.

Execution Dock by Anne Perry. Another novel I want to re-read. It's part of a series about a detective, whose regaining his memory, and his wife who solve crime in the mid-19th century. Perry is one amazing writer. She's able to bring the sights, smells, and noises…