Death on Demand by Carolyn G.Hart

Read: July 28 - July 31
Format: Paperback 196 pages
Source: Personal Library
Subject: mystery writers, blackmail, murder
Challenges: 101020, 75 Book, TIOLI, BOSC
Category: Cuddle Up with a Cozy Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Stars: 3½

Annie Laurence lives in Broward's Rock, South Carolina, an outer island that can only be reached by ferryboat. Annie had come to island to visit her uncle and when he unexpectedly dies, she stays to run his mystery bookstore. Death on Demand.

The island is a mecca for mystery writers and so Annie holds a weekly meeting of the writers to share information and techniques. It's not surprising that the book opens with the murder of one of the writers at this meeting.

Prior to the meeting, Annie is surprised when her last boyfriend, Max Darling, shows up with his red Porsche to get her back and insists on attending the gathering, so when the murder occurs, Max is adamant he help her figure out what happened.

The characters and their interaction are entertaining and hold the readers attention. The murder wasn't that difficult to solve because the clues are spread all over but enjoyable just the same.

Library Loot

This is my own little meme where I show to the world that I don't own all the books that I read. I plunder the library's shelves religiously and come away with new books, old books - histories, mysteries - large print, audios, youth, fiction, whatever catches my eye and sounds interesting has the possibly of making it into my red book bag and being carried home.

These are the books that made the most recent trip:

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig and The Masque of the Black Tulip by Lauren Willig were recommended to me by VictoriaPl at Librarything. I managed to find them on Audio so when I'm working on my needlework these may be at the top of the list.

The Perfect Poison by Amanda Quick - I have enjoyed her books before and this is the newest in her Arcane series - will hold for later.

Desperate engagement : how a little-known Civil War battle saved Washington, D.C., and changed the course of American history

Since I'm currently immersed in my Civil War reading, I really want to read this one considering that I live in Washington D.C. suburbs. I'll find out something about my hometown and history at the same time.

What have you brought home from the library lately?


Wishlist Wednesday

This is a new meme started by Tina at TutusTwoCents showing the books that we are looking to acquire/borrow/read in the future, where we heard about them and why they caught our attention.Just so I don't get too carried away with additions to my wishlist, I've decided to hold mine to one book here a week.

This book for me is a no brainer. I have got to have it!

Bury Your Dead
by Louise Penny

Description: It is Winter Carnival in Quebec City, bitterly cold and surpassingly beautiful. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté de Quebec has come not to celebrate but to recover from a harrowing investigation gone wrong that left one of his team members dead. But murder seems to follow Gamache everywhere, even to the seemingly peaceful Literary and Historical Society, one of the last bastions of English culture in Quebec, where a man in found dead in the basement. And not any man—but the famous Augustin Roy, who had carried his obsessive search for the long-lost body of the founder of Quebec, Samuel de Champlain, all the way to the Society library. Badly injured himself and desperately in need of a rest, Gamache cannot resist the appeals of the police and the Society board alike to negotiate the treacherous ground between the English and the French in the old walled city.

Meanwhile, Gamache receives a letter each day from the little town of Three Pines, where the beloved Bistro owner Olivier was found guilty of murdering a mysterious hermit in THE BRUTAL TELLING. "Why would Olivier move the body?" Olivier's partner Gabri writes every time. "It doesn't make sense. He didn't do it, you know." Even though the evidence against Olivier seemed overwhelming at the time, Gamache sends his deputy, Inspector Beauvoir, back to Three Pines to be sure that nothing was overlooked....

Through it all, as he and Beauvoir search for the truth about present and past murders, Gamache must relive the terrible events that killed one of his men before he can begin to bury his dead.

This book is up on the LibraryThing ER books for July and I have my fingers crossed that I win it.


The Bordeaux Betrayal by Ellen Crosby

Read: July 25 - July 27
Format: Hardback 264 pages
Source: Public Library
Subject: wine making, old wine, WWII
Challenges: 101020, 75 Book, TIOLI, SYLL
Category: A Full Course Meal
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Stars: 3½

Lucie Montgomery owns a vineyard in Northern Virginia and has volunteered to host a charity auction on the estate. A neighbor has offered a very old bottle of wine believed to have been purchased by Thomas Jefferson to give to George Washington and it is causing a stir in the wine world. When an author who wrote of Jefferson's travels through the vineyards of France turns up dead, the auction becomes a second thought to the battle to win the Washington wine.

This is the third installment of the Wine Country mysteries and I think it is the best so far. The plot was much tighter than the others as well as being more suspenseful, IMO. Even though the clues were there, the solution was still hidden until the last few chapters. There are 2 more in the series and I will be checking them out.


The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy

Read: July 14 - July 26
Format: E-Book 304 pages
Source: Barnes & Noble
Subject: freedom, French Revolution, Reign of Terror, corruption
Challenges: 101020, 75 Book, TIOLI, RTT
Category: Surprise - Books I find and want to read /group reads
Genre: Classics
Stars: 3

I remember reading an abridged version of this book when I was about 10 or 11 years old because I liked the title, but I didn't remember the story at all so it was a delightful surprise adventure for me to the time of the Reign of Terror. I loved it and usually Classics are not my forte.

The Scarlet Pimpernel is an adventurer who risks his life to free the terrified royalists who are awaiting execution during the Reign of Terror. We hear of the exploits of this courageous man as he smuggles men, women, and children out of France before their date with guillotine. He is threatened with exposure and yet manages to continue his mission.

What surprised me most about this book is the story - not the main plot but the underlying tale of rescue of Frenchmen by a band of Englishmen. First, you have Englishmen trying to free Frenchmen which is unusual given the animosity between the two countries that had existed since the time of Henry V, then you have the fact that the English had tried 10 years earlier to prevent the Americans from freeing themselves from England, and last the Key point for me, was the major difference between the American Revolution and the French Revolution. Seeing the violence of the French Revolution and the overthrow of the government as the chief point in that Revolution, makes me appreciate more the struggle that the American colonists undertook to gain their own freedom.

Mailbox Monday

Another Mailbox Monday!!! Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. This is a feature where we all share with each other the exciting books that showed up at our doors this week. WARNING: Mailbox Mondays can lead to extreme envy and ever-growing wishlists!!
This week, for the second week in a row, I received a LibraryThing ER book.
This week....
The Good Daughters
by Joyce Maynard

Description: They were born on the same day, in the same hospital, into families that could hardly have been less alike.Ruth is an artist and a romantic, with a rich and passionate imaginative life. Dana is a scientist and realist whose faith is firmly planted in what she can see or hear or touch.Yet these two very different women share the same struggle to make sense of their place in a world in which neither of them has ever truly felt she belonged.
Told in the alternating voices of Ruth and Dana, The Good Daughters follows these “birthday sisters” as they make their way through the decades, from the 1950s to the present. Master storyteller Joyce Maynard chronicles the unlikely ways the two women’s lives intersect—from childhood and adolescence to first loves, first sex, marriage, and parenthood; from the deaths of parents to divorce, the loss of home, and the loss of a beloved partner—until an unavoidable moment when a long-held secret from the past alters everything.
Moving from rural New Hampshire to China, the wilds of British Columbia to the ‘70s Boston art school scene, The Good Daughters is a story about the ties of home and family, the devastating force of failed love, and the healing power of forgiveness.
I've got a feeling that I was really lucky to win this one. Watch for the review in the next few weeks.


Weekend Wonderings

It is extremely hot! What has that got to do with reading, you say? Well, I was just wondering if the weather ever effects what you read, where you, or even if you read?

For me, I love to read when the air has a chill and is crisp and clear so when the hot, humid, hazy days arrive in my area, I either hide inside to read or don't read much. Now that might change a bit with my new Nook e-reader because one of the reasons that don't like to read when it's hot is that my hands get sweaty and the pages smudge my fingers with ink. But an e-reader doesn't do that, so I'm going to see if this changes my reading habits for the rest of the summer. Also, when it's hot I don't want to read stories set in the fall or winter and I don't like to read winter stories in the spring or summer so I think that weather does affect my reading. What about you?


Through the Grinder by Cleo Coyle

Read: July 19 - July 20
Format: Paperback 270 pages
Source: Barnes & Noble
Subject: serial killer, dating
Challenges: 101020, 75 Book, TIOLI, BOSC, TBR
Category: Crafts, Cooking, and Hobbies
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Stars: 3

Clare Cosi, who manages the coffee shop the Village Blend, is concerned when her daughter Joy decides to look for a new beau through the Internet and other new dating groups. Trying to check out the groups, Clare signs up and finds a new man in her life.

At the same time, several of the Village Blend regulars are mysteriously found dead and the talk is suicide except that the police think it's murder and that the murderer might be the new man in Clare's life.

Clare sets out to clear the suspicion from her new beau with the help of her ex-husband Matteo. The situations that they find themselves in are amusing and at times over top but the story was fun and entertaining.

This book was really entertaining with the enthralling mystery and the interesting and amusing situations. It just makes me want to find the next one in the series to move forward.

Wishlist Wednesday

This is a new meme started by Tina at TutusTwoCents showing the books that we are looking to acquire/borrow/read in the future, where we heard about them and why they caught our attention.Just so I don't get too carried away with additions to my wishlist, I've decided to hold mine to one book here a week.

This book has been on my wishlist for a while (I actually checked it out of the library once but ran out of time and had to return it), and lately there's been a lot of talk about this series on LibraryThing so I think that it's time to push it higher on my wishlist.


Mailbox Monday

Another Mailbox Monday!!! Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. This is a feature where we all share with each other the exciting books that showed up at our doors this week. WARNING: Mailbox Mondays can lead to extreme envy and ever-growing wishlists!!

This week I finally received a ER book that I was awarded in February - the wayward book is

The Inheritance by Simon Tolkien

Amazon.com Product Description
When a famed Oxford historian is found dead in his study one night, all evidence points to his son, Stephen. About to be disinherited from the family fortune, Stephen returns to home after a long estrangement—and it happens to be the night his father is shot to death. When his fingerprints are found on the murder weapon, Stephen’s guilt seems undeniable. But there were five other people in the manor house at the time, and as their stories slowly emerge—along with the revelation that the deceased man was involved in a deadly hunt for a priceless relic in Northern France at the end of World War II—the race is on to save Stephen from a death sentence. Everyone has a motive, and no one is telling the truth. Unwilling to sit by and watch the biased judge condemn Stephen to death, an ageing police inspector decides to travel from England to France to find out what really happened in that small French village in 1945—and what artifact could be so valuable it would be worth killing for.

I'm excited that it finally arrived!


Chocolate Frog Frame-up by JoAnna Carl

Read: July 17 - July 18
Format: Paperback 156 pages
Source: Barnes & Noble
Challenges: 101020, 75 Book, TIOLI, BOSC
Category: Cuddle up with a Cozy Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Stars: 3

Lee McKinney, lives with her Aunt Nettie and works as the business Manager for the family chocolate business in Warner Pier, MI. She has a delicate relationship with Joe Woodyard and when he is implicated in the death of Herschel, the town crazy, Lee works to resolve the problem and clear his name.

The clues are interestingly presented so that the reader follows along and puts the mystery to bed at the same time as the characters figure out the solution. A fun read!


Chocolate Bear Burglary by JoAnna Carl

Read: July 12 - July 14
Format: Paperback 160 pages
Source: Barnes & Noble
Subject: chocolate molds, blackmail
Challenges: 101020, 75 Book, TIOLI, BOSC
Category: Cuddle up with a Cozy Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Stars: 3

Lee McKinney lives with her Aunt Nettie and helps her with the management of the family chocolate making/business. The winter promotional theme was teddy bears so they decorated the shop with some borrowed old teddy bear chocolate molds which turned out to be quite valuable as well as dangerous.

Lee's undercover romance with Joe hits a few snags but they work together to clear her ex-stepson who dropped in out of nowhere of the murder of the antique dealer who loaned them the molds.

A nice little cozy mystery with yummy sounding chocolates at the center of the controversy.


Wishlist Wednesday

This is a new meme started by Tina at TutusTwoCents showing the books that we are looking to acquire/borrow/read in the future, where we heard about them and why they caught our attention.Just so I don't get too carried away with additions to my wishlist, I've decided to hold mine to one book here a week. (I almost forgot to post.)

But why shoot the Magistrate?
by Patricia Sprinkle
I read the first book in this series titled When Did we Lose Harriet? and the third in the series Who Invited the Dead Man? but I have been unable to locate this book at the bookstore or the Library. I'll keep looking because I found Ms Sprinkle's writing to be highly enjoyable.

Turkey Day Murders by Leslie Meier

Read: July 12 - July 14
Format: hardback 230 pages
Source: Barnes & Noble
Subject: Native American, casinos, corporate pressure
Challenges: 101020, 75 Book, TIOLI,
Category: Full Course Meal - Meat
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Stars: 3

Lucy Stone has taken on the job of reporter for the Pennysaver weekly paper in her small hometown. While reporting on local events she gets embroiled in the controversy surrounding the local unrecognized Native American tribe and their push for authentication. At the same time all this debate is being waged, Lucy is looking forward to her son Toby coming home for Thanksgiving - his first visit since going off to college. He appears _ extremely late - and instead of bringing just one guest, he's brought three, his roommate and their two girlfriends.

This book was a simple little mystery of who killed the person who was most against the casino and Tribal recognition, but I was prepared for Lucy to murder her own son for his inconsiderateness and was very surprised by her reactions and actions. Definitely brain candy.


Lincoln President-Elect: Abraham Lincoln and the Great Secession Winter by Harold Holzer

Read: June 28 - July 13
Format: Hardback 483 pages
Source: Public Library
Subject: preCivil War - Lincoln post election
Category: Civil War and its Leaders
Genre: History
Challenges: 101020, 75 Book, SYLL, USPC, Chunkster
Stars: 2½

It's hard to believe that a book this large was devoted only to the activities surrounding one man in a 3½ month period of time. It was extremely detailed in the activities of Abraham Lincoln following his election as President of the United States from Election Day until his inauguration.

During the time period between the election and inauguration, Lincoln was besieged by office seekers. He would spend hours everyday greeting those that traveled to Springfield to shake his hand and tell him what job they wanted him to give them. At the same time, the nation was being torn apart by the Southern states starting their secessions, Lincoln remained quietly in Illinois. He believed that he did not have the power and influence required until the Electoral College confirmed his election and that President Buchanan should be the person to handle the current crisis.

During the Secession winter of 1860-1961 Abraham Lincoln 'successfully maintained a masterful inactivity and public silence to prevent the spread of slavery, privately fought a political battle to bar unprincipled compromise.'

When asked to evaluate the reasons for the crisis as it related to him, he "reminded them that no President could possibly prove wicked enough to destroy the country in the four years allotted by the Constitution - not even, it implied, a Republican elected by a minority of the popular vote." (history repeating itself?) and when asked on the legality of the seceding states he said " My opinion is that no state can in any way lawfully get out of the Union without the consent of the others."

The book told of his struggles to create a cabinet, his train trip to Washington and the threats on his life all while finalizing his inaugural speech which would endeavor to show his devotion to the laws of the nation and the Constitution as well as maintaining the traditions of the Founding Fathers.

This was a very detailed book with numerous quotes and stories of Abraham Lincoln at this time. However, I think that in the long run, it was too detailed when it came to the day to day activities and could have been shortened with some good editing.


Nabbing Nook Books

My new Meme in honor of my brand new Nook e-reader

It will show what books I added to my ebook library in the past week. I hope that other users of e-readers will join me.
This week I'm still browsing through the list of books that were available in e-book format - this time I went using the search feature trying to see if books that I had on my wishlist could be found in e-format. I did manage to find a few as well as another freebie!!

The titles that I found using my little search engine on the Shop icon were:

The entire works of Baroness Emmuska Orczy for $2.56, a bargain when you consider it was 11 novels including all the Scarlet Pimpernel series. I was looking just for the Scarlet Pimpernel and got them all!

The Untamed Bride (#1 in the Black Cobra Series) by Stephanie Laurens (one of my favorite authors) a romance that adds intrigue

The Glades by Clifton Campbell was the free e-book being promoted this week. The description is a mystery with a police detective who has some trouble and is exiled to a small town in the Everglades region where he has problems staying on the golf course because of the crime that he is supposed to fight. We'll see when we get to it, how good the price was- hehe


A Separate Country by Richard Hicks

Read: May 31 - July 10
Format: Audio 13 CDs and hardback 432 pages
Source: Public Library/Prize for HRBG reading
Subject: post Civil War/ General John Bell Hood
Category: Surprise - Books I find and want to read /group reads
Genre: Historical Fiction
Challenges: 101020, 75 Book, Audiobook, SYLL,
Stars: 1½

General John Bell Hood of the Confederate States of America would seem to have been a unique individual if the premise of this work of historical fiction is true. However, it was difficult to follow being written using different POVs as well as different time periods.

We are told of a Confederate officer who suffered several horrible injuries, losing an arm and a leg in the war, who married Anna Marie and fathered 11 children. We hear about her youth and how she met and befriended Michèl and Rentra and Pascal.

I've had this book for a over a year and resolved that I was going to read it this year. If not for that resolution and the fact that I was part of a group read at my suggestion, I don't think that I would have continued to the end. I tried reading the hardback. It was too confusing, I got an audio version and I was able to get through it easier with the different readers helping to keep things straight.

I found this story very disjointed, only because I had read Widow of the South did I understand the references to Franklin and therefore I can only give it 1½ stars.


Lumby's Bounty by Gail Fraser

Read: July 5 - July 10
Format: Trade paperback 368 pages
Source: Barnes & Noble
Setting: Lumby, Northwest USA
Category: Niagara Falls -- Overflow/Books found - Internet
Challenges: 101020, 75 Book, BOSC
Stars: 3½

This is the third book in that chronicles the town of Lumby and its inhabitants and it just seems to get better and better. We have seen in the prior two books the changes in the town and in this book we are witness to changes in the people themselves.

Brian Beezer, a ne'er-do-well teenager, who constantly seems to be getting into trouble, contracts in the towns name to host a hot air balloon festival and then sort of dumps the problem on the town to handle. As usual the residents come together to handle the situation and the underlying stories and interactions are entertaining as usual.

I really don’t want to go farther than that into the story because, IMO, it would definitely spoil the story for the next reader. The special characters from the previous books (Hank, Isabella-the blind horse) are joined with a few new "characters" as well as residents and visitors that are given more center stage. The book was so wonderfully written that I was constantly thinking about the story even when I wasn't reading it. I really wish there was a town of Lumby - I'd put it on my vacation list for sure!

And I forgot to mentioned there were some really yummy sounding recipes in this one too!


Wishlist Wednesday

This is a new meme started by Tina at TutusTwoCents showing the books that we are looking to acquire/borrow/read in the future, where we heard about them and why they caught our attention.
Just so I don't get too carried away with additions to my wishlist, I've decided to hold mine to one book here a week.
Since I have my new Nook e-reader, I was browsing the Barnes&Noble website for ebooks available and discovered that Linda Fairstein has a new book out titled Hell Gate.

This book is the twelfth in the Alexandra Cooper series . The series has never failed to grip my attention and carry me along with the suspense generated so I'm really looking forward to getting this one sometime soon.


Nabbing Nook Books

I've decided to start a new Meme in honor of my brand new Nook e-reader. It will show what books I added to my ebook library. I hope that other users of e-readers will join me.
This week I spent a lot of time browsing through the list of books that were available in e-book format - I don't think that I managed to get even a quarter of the way through the list but I did manage to buy my first book and then I found 4 books that were FREE!
The titles that I found free at the Barnes&Noble website were:
His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik -I've read this book and absolutely loved it so I had to grab this one!
The Unsuspecting Mage by Brian Pratt I'm getting into some fantasy books and this sounded interesting.
His Lady Mistress by Elizabeth Rolls A romance novel I thought I'd try.
Colter's Wife by Maya Banks Another romance
Well, even if they're not great, the price was right!
My one purchase was Eggsecutive Orders by Julie Hyzy. This is the third installment of the White House Chef series and I already finished it! It was truly enjoyable being able to read a book and not have to wear my glasses because the Nook lets me increase the font size.
I'm definitely looking for more! Stay tuned. And if you find any great books in ebook format, be sure to let me know!


Book Buy Bonanza

Being the bibliophile that I am, even though I just got my new Nook e-reader last week didn't stop me from picking up several new books when I was at Barnes&Noble on Friday. I was nearby and thought I'd pop n and get a few questions answered about my Nook and ended up walking out with 4 new books.

Delicious and Suspicious

This is the first installment of the Memphis BBQ Mysteries. I'd seen it mentioned on several mystery bogs and been interested in reading so into the cart it went.

The Long Quiche Goodbye

This is the first Cheese Shop Mystery. I have bee reading about this one on the MysteryLoversKitchen blog for several months...I even tried to get an early reviewers copy but no luck so I bought it myself. It looks yummy.

Ten Things I love about You

This is the newest book by Julia Quinn - I just love her romances, so this one made it to the cart as well.

A Summer in Sonoma

This one I have to admit was pure impulse - I liked the cover (it reminded me of our trip to Napa Valley), the title (because it flowed) and the synopsis on the back, so I thought I would try a new author.

Check back sometime to see a review.



Read: June 30 - July 3
Format: Nook - eBook 253 pages
Source: Barnes & Noble
Subject: poisining, espionage, recipes
Challenges: 101020, 75 Book, TIOLI
Category: Crafts, Cooking, and Hobbies
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Stars: 3½

Ollie Parras is waken early by a call from the White House, telling her that there is a car waiting outside her apartment building to bring her in and she was instructed not to speak with anyone. Not knowing what was going on as she exited the building in the company of two large Secret Service Agents, Ollie is startled by the news that one of the White House dinner guests of the night before has died.

This was just the start of Ollie's problems - her mother and grandmother were coming to visit and she was supposed to pick them up at the airport but being held for questioning and having forgotten her cell phone, there was no way to contact them and no way of knowing when she would be able to get away to meet them.

Things just seem to get worse when the ent8ire WH kitchen staff is sent home with instructs to stay away until the cause of death is determined and they are cleared. How are they supposed to prepare for the annual Easter Egg Roll without the use of the WH kitchen?

Luckily Tom went and picked up Ollie's but the issues at the WH put a strain on their relationship. Time off is used creatively and Ollie and her family work together to resolve the issues.

It was wonderful to finally meet members of Ollie's family and get to know some of her staff and neighbors better. I really enjoyed this cozy.

This was also my first book read on my new Nook e-reader and it was a very pleasat experience.