Tag Archive: mystery



Forbidden by Lisa Clark O'Neill

I’m not a person who likes mysteries (they are usually about murder) or crime stories. When you have lost a lot of faith in your fellow humans in society of late, these themes don’t help. I AM a fan of a series of just about anything as I love watching characters grow and plots thickening.

Since I picked up the first of this series for free I grabbed the next two to keep a story going. The first was a little too much for me as was this one. Yet with both books the budding romances with people who seemed to be real enough to enjoy, the suspense was bearable. This one was harder for me with kidnapping involved. Both books made sleep nearly impossible after reading. Just a warning.

STILL, I have book 3 ready to start tonight. What am I in for now?

Oh, I guess I should mention, I felt the author had done a lot of research on crime and the law as it all sounded plausible to me. It kept me on the edge of my nerves hoping for the safety of the characters. The author wrote very well in an ever engaging way. If you like crime and mystery, this may be a good series for you.

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The Night of the Screaming Horses (Dead Air Season 1 Episode 1)The Night of the Screaming Horses by Gwenda Bond
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I finished this in a couple of hours. It was basically a short episode. Like a short story that ends with a bit of cliff-hanger. No. It was written well. It was a good idea but to only have one at a time available, this binger of shows and books wanted to throw my Fire across the room.

Like I said, I like the podcast idea. The podcaster had a great curiosity about a murder and used that sent the DJ out to explore the mystery. Though she seems a strong person, I felt the main character foolish. But I was game and read along hoping she would get satisfied in her search. But it ended before I felt it had a chance to even get started.

Maybe others will like this. I do seem to be in a minority in my need to read very long series. I like getting to know all the characters in depth and watch history in the making in fictional worlds.

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Serendipity (Southern Comfort, #1)Serendipity by Lisa Clark O’Neill
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It was an interesting story. What grabbed my attention was the main character, Ava, is a capable person who is out to protect others. She is a veterinarian after all.

There is romance. It gets a little bit too much for me. But it plays a part in the suspense and mystery.

It’s worth the read. Especially if you like mysteries.

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Any Man: A NovelAny Man: A Novel by Amber Tamblyn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am still torn as to what to say about this book. I finished listening a couple of days ago. Yes, this was an Audible version. It was narrated by Glenn Davis, Robin Miles, Therese Plummer, Dan Bittner, James Fouhey, Michael Crouch, Ben Foster, Marc Maron. Very well acted out. Kept me awake even after I closed the Kindle and crawled under the covers. For that reason, I give the trigger warnings. Rape is the topic. The only difference is it is a man that is raped. Somehow it reads the same regardless of who is the victim. So pain and torture are somewhat spelled out. It doesn’t matter the perp’s gender either.

This could easily help those in the right frame of mind. It seems a therapy of sorts for the author. I do suggest if you get the chance and feel up to it to listen to the Audible version. Meanwhile, it is read at your own discretion. I love Amber Tamblyn. I saw her on a talk show and loved what she has to say about the #MeToo movement and feminism. I’m glad that men showed their support by acting out this story.

I hope this book gets a lot of readers. I think it can help many people. Just be warned.

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The Litter of the Law (Mrs. Murphy, #22)The Litter of the Law by Rita Mae Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was given this book by a friend who read it on her vacation and left it with me when she visited. It took me so long as the font is rather small so I could only take it in bits and pieces. There was enough dialogue to break up the page so I could read it in tiny doses.

The book kept my interest. I did want to find out more about the farming and life of these farm people. I loved reading about the characters. I found the Native American research interesting though it added to the shame of how our founders dealt with the original inhabitants of our country.

I absolutely loved the drawings. Yay for adult books that have pictures!

What I found annoying and distracting from the story: talking animals. But I suppose that is where the ‘cozy’ comes in for this mystery.

I love Halloween but I never go to ‘haunted house’ features because I worry that real blood could be involved with no one knowing. And I hate things jumping out at me to make me scream or be startled. This book just reinforced those fears. It is what made this a gruesome mystery rather than cozy. But others of you may love it and can read it with the grain of salt that is implied. I’m glad to finally be finished and to pass it to the friends of the library.

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The Missing Girl: A Short Chapter BookThe Missing Girl: A Short Chapter Book by Gita V. Reddy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love getting books from my favorite writers for review. It’s the best of both worlds. Getting to see their writing, getting to read new books.

Ms. Gita V. Reddy has created another fun story, mystery(?) for middle grades. I don’t want to give anything away here, but the story didn’t go the way I thought it would. But neither is it as scary as the title might imply. So go ahead and read it. It’s free right now on Amazon.

There is a bonus story in this book. If it wasn’t about a boy, I would have thought that Gita knew me in grade school. Yes, I was the talker that teachers moved around the room trying to find the person that would encourage silence in me. Nope. Didn’t happen. In fact, and I hate to admit this, even in college as a 40 something-year-old adult, even when I sat next to the teacher I found them interesting and willing to share conversation with me. Being social is a good thing and can teach you more than silence. On the other hand, as a teacher, I understand the disruption to the lesson plan. I did see that it can be useful for bringing up questions the class might have been afraid to bring up. I loved the kid of my heart in the second part of the book.

Both stories made for good reading before bed. You or your children might have fun with these, too.

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Almost Missed YouAlmost Missed You by Jessica Strawser
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an interesting take on the love-at-first-sight theme. What if you don’t act on that sight? What if someone else shows up next?

The story was well-written and kept me reading. I wanted to know what could happen next? There was a lot of suspense and a little romance. I’m not much on romance or murder but these were kept to a minimum as there is so much more to the drama than just those ideas.

I love that there are children involved and beaches. Many layers of what? Why would he do that? What the heck is going on? So I highly recommend this to others looking for a good read. Oh, and I love the grandmother. A wealth of wisdom!

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BluffBluff by Lenore Skomal
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! Even now, several days later, I have a hard time letting this one go. And still, I can’t think of how to do it justice. I’m giving it 4.75 stars. I can’t even tell you why I don’t want to give it five I will remember it for a long time. No cliffhangers, strong fem main character–though she is in a coma.

It may be the extra people that came in about 50% in. I know their perspectives helped move the plot forward but at times that was jarring. The other thing is something that would be a spoiler that I don’t want to show.

Still, a lot of heavy topics got discussed from differing points of view. None of them are easy topics, no easy answers. The reader may or may not agree with the answers given.

Okay, okay. I’ve decided it is worth the 5 stars. Read the blurb then read the book. Let me know what you think of it.

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Bittersweet (China Bayles, #23)Bittersweet by Susan Wittig Albert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My librarian suggested this book knowing I wanted to try a ‘real’ book written by and starring a strong female. Now that I am finished with it I can say I did enjoy much of it. (I had to renew it–six weeks!)

“Oh, but here comes her complaints…” I hear some of you saying. And, yes, I do have some negatives.

The very beginning. I think it is highly unnecessary. When you read the Prologue you’re given the answer to the whole mystery. Many call this a cozy mystery. What, I ask you, is cozy about murder? Not just one but TWO? What is cozy about people who think more about money than the environment that we all have to live in humans, fauna, and flora alike?

At least the author uses this as an educational moment. That is what brought it up to four stars. Otherwise, I would have said I was rather bored. Though the excitement of the mystery gets wrapped up, the parts of the book I cared about, the main character’s mother’s husband’s health. It is the cliffhanger of that issue that brings this rating down to a three again. I didn’t like this story where the men of this book were being talked about. If women can grow, let’s show that men can grow, too. Many have been raised with sisters or single moms so they know the issues and don’t need to be cavemen.

I loved learning about the herbs and plants.

I never knew about the shooting-fish-in-the-barrel type hunting and moving the game to places they shouldn’t inhabit and the problems that brings. I will have to look into our area and see if that is here. I don’t have a problem with hunters. I hope we never get desperate enough to look to that as a food source, but if we do I guess I will have to accept it. Plenty of people around here do that for their food source. There are laws to keep it safe and less draining on the environment while filling the freezers with protein for cold winters. I’m a vegetarian because I don’t like the texture of meat, not a preachy one telling others what they should or shouldn’t eat. Anyway, the things I learned here made the rating roundup.

I don’t like to cook. Most of the foods in the recipes here did not appeal to me but I take no points away from the book for these. There are people who will love that aspect. I do appreciate that most of the recipes are at the back of the book where they don’t interrupt the story flow.

One more thing, I did get my eyes checked and will be getting new glasses soon. Meanwhile, I couldn’t read the hardback for very long at a time. Luckily, the Kindle version was available on our e-library to borrow. Once into that version, I was able to immerse in the story and rest my eyes as needed.

Check it out and tell me what you think of this book, regardless of version

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The Blessing Way (Navajo Mysteries, #1)The Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Narrated by George Guidall, I nearly gave this book back to Audible. He was a very boring narrator. But I got used to him and near the end, he started using some expression in his voice. I had the Kindle version but wanted to be busy with my hands while listening. I didn’t want to follow the text. So I stuck with it.

Two things against this book before I even got started so take this with that grain of salt. First, it doesn’t fit with my goal of reading women authors/women main characters. Second, I’m not much on mysteries. Most mysteries are murders. You know, I think better mysteries are those we live with every day. ‘Where’d I leave my keys or glasses?’

Since my friend gave me the CD of the next in the series I wanted to read the first book before diving in. I had ordered this from the library but Amazon told me I already had the book, so I canceled the loan.

I know this is a popular series and the plus is how well this author presents the Navajo people. Take a look. You might love it.

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