Read-a-thon Book 3: Thursday Morning Breakfast (and Murder) Club by Liz Stauffer

Finished Book 3 for the Dewey’s Read-a-thon.  Thursday Morning Breakfast (and Murder) Club by Liz Stauffer.  I didn’t really get into this book at all.  It seemed very rushed and there were lots of characters but no time spent to develop them.  I assumed they were older and retired because only a couple, the sheriff and the film producer seemed to have work  while the rest met on Thursday mornings for breakfast.  Just not for me.

Read-a-thon Book 2: Strictly Murder by Lynda Wilcox


Finished Book 2 for the Dewey’s Read-a-thon.  This was an interesting British murder mystery with twists and turns and tie-ins to a previous crime.  I really liked the fact that the sleuth was a researcher/assistant for a crime novelist, I think that is a great lead in for an amateur sleuth.  I felt the mystery was well plotted as far as the whodunnit portion of things.  However, some parts of the book didn’t really gel for me, the sleuth, Verity insisting that she wasn’t investigating.  Her reactions at times didn’t  ring true to the character, as developed in the book.  The constant references to the play on one character’s name, Candida = thrush, get it, heh heh, funny huh, elbow in the ribs, was well overdone.  The Detective Inspector Farish character needed some fleshing out but that might occur in later books in the series.

I might have appreciated the jabs at Strictly Come Dancing, if I had ever seen the show so I won’t hold that against the book.  Fans (or people who hate the show) might find the tie-in interesting.

I don’t know if I will read more of not of this series, I already have a huge TBR list.


Read-a-thon Book 1: Murder on the Candlelight Tour by Ellen Elizabeth Hunter


Finished book 1 for Dewey’s Read-a-thon.  This is book 2 in a mystery series that I found when the first book was chosen  by the Cozy Mystery Corner book club on Goodreads.  I was one of the few members who liked the first book in this series.  I found the mystery well done in that book and this one.

Just like in the first book,, I like the main character, her sister and her sidekick.  Her love interest, Nick runs hot and cold, but it made him interesting to me.  Her sister’s boyfriend, Joel was a little too stereotypical Hollywood con man  This book connected several crimes, an old robbery and a couple new murders.  There were lots of clues and red herrings.  The issue with this book, like the first, is that sometimes the dialog is unnatural or stilted and in a couple places, I actually had to go back and reread to understand what I had read.  Still, I think there is enough good about this books, well plotted mystery and interesting characters, to make me want to continue with it.

On to a visit to my local book shop and then back for more reading!

Dewey’s Read-a-thon Introduction

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

I don’t know if I’d call it fine, but I am in New Jersey.
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

I am not really sure and that is worrying me.  I’m feeling kind of ambivalent today.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

I put dinner in the crockpot already – pork cooked in cider (a very autumny dish) and we’re having it with roasted root veg, so I guess that is what I am looking forward to most of all.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I am a teacher in an urban district and a mom with one kid in college and the other finishing high school.  I love to read across genres.  I’m a big tea and coffee drinker.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

I think I will try to participate in some challenges this time.  I also plan on going out at some point to my Independent book shop.

Have a great read-a-thon everyone!

Death and the Lit Chick by G.M. Malliet



This is the second in the series, the first being Death of  a Cozy Writer.  I thought the first one was okay and so decided to try another in the series.  This started out definitely more interesting.  Very Agatha Christie-ish, as in And Then There Were None.

We had the group of isolated visitors, in this case writers at a conference.  There is a house that is cut off from the outside, power outage, fog, etc.  There is a first victim, who is a very unlikable character.  All this added up to a lot of promise for this book.

St. Just, the detective, is definitely more visible and engaged in this book than he was in the first outing of the series.  The characters are all very classic of cozy “house” mysteries, the elderly female, the brash American, the meek submissive wife, the femme fatale, the young “con man” type, and  the unlucky-in-love copper and others.

The book just didn’t live up to the promise of all the elements.  It was definitely okay, but I don’t know if I would read any others in the series.  I enjoyed about the first two thirds and then it just seemed to  peter out.


Read-a-thon Prep

Getting excited for Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon this Saturday.  A fun event consisting of blogging, tweeting and reading.  I will probably fit in a visit to my Indie Book Shop as well.

My reading plan is to attempt to clear up my Kindle, but we’ll see… I have some intriguing books piled in my bedroom as well.  On my Kindle I have:

  • A Canterbury Crime by Brian Kavanagh
  • Murder on a Candlelight Tour by Ellen Elizabeth Hunter
  • Why Do Falls Fall In Love by Louise Marley
  • Thursday Morning Breakfast (and murder) Club by Liz Stauffer
  • The Frequency of Murder by John Hogarth
  • My Soul to Keep by Sue McNeill
  • Ghost in the Machine by Ed James
  • In the Blood by Steve Robin
  • A Killing Karma by Geraldine Evans
  • The Dead Lie Down by G.i. Tulloch
  • The Sloan Monroe Series by Cheryl Bradshaw
  • Black is the Colour by Helen Howe
  • The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart

These are all books I have sitting on my Kindle that I keep putting off because the books piled up next to my bed keep jumping the line :).  Although I won’t get to all of them obviously, I hope to at least make a dent.

Snacks are on the agenda for tomorrow…must stock up on finger food and my absolute favorite…Williamson Tea.  My grocery store makes me very sad, they don’t stock it.

Hope everyone else has a fun read-a-thon!

Beyond the Sky and the Earth: A Journey into Bhutan by Jamie Zeppa

I read this book for my One Drink Minimum Book Club.  We have a round the world theme this month and this was the book selected.  I really haven’t digested it fully but I will say there were definite positives and negatives.  On the positive side, the author excelled at giving us a sense of place.  I really came away with a feeling for Bhutan and the way the people lived.  She also revealed political issues that I was not aware of within Bhutan and managed to “educate” without the reader feeling as thought they were being lectured or reading a book for school.  Being a teacher, I enjoyed the detail about the school system she was teaching in and was surprised with some of the details she revealed.

On the negative side, the author comes across as really self absorbed, which is sort of odd for a Buddhist (she converted during her time in Bhutan).   I think it was supposed to seem self reflective, but that was not what I took away from it. She makes some …interesting decisions and although she is living there and others point out “home truths” to her she seems to hold this idealized/idolized version on Bhutan.  I kept trying to remind myself that she was only 22 at the beginning of this journey and that youthfulness probably was the part of her voice that seemed self absorbed and impulsive to me.

On the whole, I am glad that I read it and I did enjoy learning about Bhutan.  If the topic of Bhutan or teaching abroad interests you, this is a worthwhile read.


This is a meme hosted by Midnight Book Girl found here.

This morning I only had a little time to read and I spent it with


A really interesting, so far anyway, book I am reading for my book club.  I read a little in this after giving up on:


I had this series on my TBR page forever and picked up the first book and a couple more from my local used bookshop, but I just couldn’t get into it.  Not exactly sure why, just I couldn’t immerse myself in it and ended up shelving it in my very small “did not finish” pile.  I may try it again later.  It is a very popular series, so maybe I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind for it.

So, what are you reading this morning?



Steamed to Death by Peg Cochran


Just finished Steamed to Death last night, the second in the Gourmet De-lite Mystery series.  I did enjoy this book, but the first one Allergic to Death is my favorite of the two.  I like the slow progress in the romance between GiGi and Detective Mertz (I hope Declan is just a distraction).  Detective Mertz really won me over this book as a love interest – there is a scene with a kitten that just did it for me.  The other characters are interesting and provided red herrings in solving the murders (plural).  There was one clue that was a little heavy handed and I solved the mystery right at that point, but it did not spoil the book for me.  It wasn’t that far from the end anyway.

Light, fun mystery with cooking and animals and small town life mixed all together.