Showcase Sunday



Visited my new favorite bookshop on Saturday:  Booktrader  of Hamilton.

Picked up the following:

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Pretty good haul of cozies.  I just have to go through the Mrs. Malory series to see the order of the books.  I already read the MC Beaton book but one of my book clubs is reading it for June so I will reread.    Happy reading everyone!

Hazel Holt: Mrs. Mallory Investigates

This is a new cozy mystery series, new to me i should say. First interesting thing is that the protagonist’s name is spelled differently on the cover of the edition I have than everywhere else in the series. On the cover it is Mallory and inside the book and for the rest of the series it is Malory. Just weird, maybe an American versus English difference, I don’t know. Anyhow, on to the rest of the book.

Traditional British cozy village mystery with a middle aged (50s) widowed protagonist. I really liked the book the mystery was engaging, the main character was interesting and likable, and the rest of the cast was nicely rounded out. I did solve the mystery prior to the resolution but that was okay.. it was not too terribly early on and it did not take away from my enjoyment of the book.

I am definitely going to read more in this series. It is everything that i like in a cozy mystery. Love the village setting and the animal components…..cats and dogs and horses, oh my! I would say that if you are a fan of MC Beaton, Simon Brett, Ann Purser, Veronica Heley, etc. you will enjoy this. I would say that if those writers are 4s, this book was a 3 – 3.5, however it was the first in the series and in my experience they get better after the first book.

“Winter is Coming”

“Winter is nature’s way of saying, “Up yours.”
― Robert Byrne

or as my grandmother used to say, “It’s cold as a witch’s tit.”  What is up with this?   Helloooo,  Mother Nature,  it is May,  May 25th, you know barbecue, open the pool, all that good stuff?  Definitely not – huddle in my recliner with a comforter and a bottle of wine, (today it is Jersey Red for those of you are interested) time.

Good points though:

  •  Mowed the lawn without breaking a sweat, wearing a sweatshirt at that.
  • Went to Booktrader of Hamilton and found several of my TBR books.
  • Three day weekend.
  • There is wine.

So, with that in mind, guess I’ll be reading and drinking this evening.

Keep warm everyone, just remember “Winter   Summer is Coming.”


Marcus Sedgwick: White Crow

This is my second Marcus Sedgwick book and I will say that I thought that MidwinterBlood was the better of the two. This book was advertised as horror and is undeniably creepy and suspenseful. Sedgwick’s prose once again has the same sparse quality that I admired in MidwinterBlood and while it works, especially for the setting and atmosphere, I feel character development was lacking in this book. I am left unsure if this was purposeful, to leave it up to the reader to come up with some of their own ideas about the characters or if it really was due to being rushed, which was how it felt to me.

The most intriguing character in the book is Ferelith, (even though I found her name a little pretentious and annoying) but I really wanted to know more about her. The story is told in alternating POVs of the girls and a rector or priest from the 1790’s. There was a very interesting historical tie in that I was already familiar with and so I found it a good hook for the story for me. The book certainly was creepy, however not in the same league as Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot, which I read as a teen and it had me sleeping with the lights on for weeks and making sure my curtains were shut tight at night. The ending was good and had a twist to it.

On the whole, very quick, easy read, lovely succinct prose, but felt rushed with not enough meat to the characters.

Jane Green: Family Pictures


Finished Family Pictures this evening and just would say very disappointing read.  Very obvious plot that took far too long to build to the (did I say obvious already?) reveal (over 100 pages).  Some  elements of unbelievable coincidence to make the plot work.  Sylvie was not a very sympathetic character, I didn’t like her very much.  The only character that showed growth or positive change was Maggie and  it appeared that the author didn’t want you to sympathize with her.  I got the sense that the author preferred Sylvie, as a character and we were supposed to be on her side until close to the end, but that didn’t work for me.   The teenage girls are very stereotypical cardboard characters.  We don’t really get to know Mark at all and I assume that is because he is really just the catalyst for the whole story and not a fully developed character.