A Chili Death by Jessica Beck

466 pages on Nook

This was a fun start for a new cozy series where  Victoria and Greg Branson run the diner that was started by her grandfather.  When the diner and the family livelihood are threatened by a con artist and then by his murder, the family all band together to find the murderer and save their heritage.


If Fried Chicken Could Fly by Paige Shelton

304 pages on Nook

The first in the Country Cooking School Mystery series was fun but I had a bit of difficulty because one of the principal characters was a ghost and the interaction between Isabelle and her Grandmother and the ghost didn't fit right to the story, IMO.


Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

416 pages Audiobook 12 discs 14½ hours

Historical account of the rowing team that went to the 1936 Summer Olympics in Munich and against all odds won the gold medal.  The story was enriched by the personal accounts of several of the rowers. 


Rivals in the City by Y. S. Lee

305 pages on Nook

Mary Quinn and James Eastman have opened their own detective agency but circumstances draw them back to the past and threaten their lives as well as their relationship.

The story was great in drawing on characters from the past.  Hope the next one will be out soon.


A Christmas Escape by Anne Perry

176 pages  Net Galley

Every Christmas Anne Perry delights us with a new adventure for a minor character from her mysteries series and this year was a grand surprise where the reader meets Hester Monk's brother, Charles Latterly while he is on a vacation to Italy.  Murder is evident but the settings and characters are new and unknown  - great change of pace.


Wilson by A. Scott Berg

In this current day and age when presidents are either career politicians or from the military, how wonderful would it be if we had candidates that were thinking of the good of the nation and not their own pockets and careers?

Thomas Woodrow Wilson appears to have been such a man, thinking first of the citizens and their needs before his own.  He was an academician who was elected Governor of NJ and from here to the White House.  If Teddy Roosevelt hadn't decided that he wanted to get back in the Presidency, and hadn't split the voters, I'm not sure that Wilson would have been elected, but Wilson's presidency was at time when the nation needed his constancy and clear head.

He was responsible for the Federal Reserve Act, Federal Trade Commission, and the Federal Farm Loan Act.  He also was a major player in the plans of the League of Nations at the end of World War I.  I'm not sure that the man gets his just recognition.

A very informative book and the even with the volume of pages, still a good source for Wilson's bio.


GENRE: History
CHARACTERS: Woodrow Wilson
Series/ Progress:
DATE READ: August 24 - November 14
NO. OF PAGES: 1,134
Challenges: 75, Category, ALPHAKIT, TIOLI, 


Murder at the Courthouse by A. H. Gabhart

An unidentified body is found on the courthouse steps and the everyone in Hidden Springs is in an uproar.  Deputy Sheriff Michael Keane has to try to identify the body before he can even start an investigation.  At the same time, Keane is battling with a rebellious teenager. With all the players that are getting the way, the clues to the murder seem a bit out of the ordinary.

I really loved the mystery and the way that the history of the characters were interwoven into the story.  The characters need a bit more fleshing out but for a first in a series it was really good.


GENRE: Cozy Mystery
CHARACTERS: Michael Keane, Anthony Blake, Jay Rayburn, Judge Wilson Campbell
Series/ Progress: A Hidden Springs Mystery
DATE READ: November 9 - November 12
Challenges: 75, Category, ALPHAKIT, TIOLI, 
SOURCE: NetGalley


Mycroft Holmes by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar


I heard about this book with Sherlock Holmes' brother as the central character and was really looking forward to reading it.  

However, I was doomed to disappointment.  The characters were dull, very 2 dimensional, the dialogue was stilted.  I couldn't even bear to continue through more than the first 100 pages.


GENRE: Mystery
CHARACTERS: Mycroft Holmes, Cyrus Douglas, Georgiana Sutton
DATE READ: October 24 - November 9
Challenges: abandoned
SOURCE: Public Library


The Christie Curse by Victoria Abbott

Jordan Bingham has been dumped by her boyfriend who left her with a bundle of debt so she needs to find a job when she returns to her hometown.  With her qualifications she's perfect for the job Vera Van Alst has advertised but Miss Vera wanted a man.  Jordan convinces her to be given a trial period.  Miss Vera wants to find and purchase a "lost" play by Agatha Christie.  As Jordan starts her research, she discovers that there are dangers lurking.  When one of her contacts is severely beaten, left for dead, she realizes that the search may turn deadly.

The characters are so much fun from crabby old Miss Vera to Fiammetta the cook to Sal the area Godfather - can't wait to revisit Harrison Falls!


GENRE: Cozy Mystery
CHARACTERS: Jordan Bingham, Vera VanAlst, Karen Smith, Ashley Snell, Brian Underwood
Series/ Progress: A Book Collector Mystery  1/4
DATE READ: November 6 - November 8
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI , ALPHAKIT
SOURCE: Nook Stockpile


Cardiac Arrest by Lisa Q. Mathews

Summer Smythe has settled into her late grandmother's condo in a senior community of Hibiscus Pointe and has found a job with a cardiologist, however on her first day Dr. A drops dead at her feet.

Dorothy Westin, a senior resident at Hibiscus Pointe, takes Summer under her wing when it appears that she may be in trouble when it comes to light that Dr. A was poisoned.

So Smythe and Westin set out to find the true murderer before one of them ends up dead or in jail.

A cute little cozy with a nice mixture of characters.


GENRE: Cozy Mystery
Series/ Progress:
DATE READ: November 3 - November 6
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI 
SOURCE: NetGalley


The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny

TITLE: [The Nature of the Beast]★★★½
AUTHOR: Louise Penny
GENRE: Mystery
CHARACTERS: Armand Gamache, Isabelle Lacoste, Jean Guy Beauvoor, Laurent LePage, 
Series/ Progress: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache 11/11
DATE READ: November 2 - November 4
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI 
SOURCE: Overdrive E book Public Library

I love Armand Gamache and the village of Three Pines but this time the visit with them was unsatisfactory.  Somehow or other the story (taken from true life) of the finding of a old rocket launcher by a small boy who normally cried wolf, did not engage me with the feelings that have previously been evoked.

The death of the 9 year old supposedly  effects all the village residents but the reactions of the villagers seem to be more toward the massive threat from the rocket launcher than anything else.

I really didn't enjoy this one as much as the other Three Pines novels because the personal interactions didn't seem to be the same.


GENRE: Mystery
CHARACTERS: Armand Gamache, Isabelle Lacoste, Jean Guy Beauvoor, Laurent LePage, 
Series/ Progress: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache 11/11
DATE READ: November 2 - November 4
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI 
SOURCE: Overdrive E book Public Library


The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz

The Arthur Conan Doyle Estate  officially authorized this Sherlock Holmes novel but somehow Anthony Horowitz’s attempt to mimic  Doyle's Sherlock novels falls flat leaving the reader without the complexity of Doyle's Holmes.

Similarities are apparent - Watson as the narrator, Holmes' deductions that have to be explained and the back stories of Doyle's but the story itself was not spectacular and in comparison with other non-authorized stories with Holmes , I prefer the ones by Laurie R. King.  Here, Holmes was 2 dimensional, he never really came alive.


GENRE: Mystery
CHARACTERS: Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, Edmund Carstairs, Catherine Carstairs
Series/ Progress: Anthony Horowitz's Sherlock Holmes 1/3
DATE READ: October 26 - October 31
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI 
SOURCE: Audio public library