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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Peachy Flippin' Keen

Peachy Flippin' Keen - Molly Harper

A short story about one of the cousins in the Southern Eclectic series, the coroner for Lake Sackett, Frankie McCready.  This story outlines the history behind the battle between her and an over privileged teen age boy who didn't get his way during a school trip.  This battle becomes a sub-plot in the longer novel Ain't She a Peach.

 

It's moderately amusing, but doesn't reach full Harper potential for laugh out loud gags, likely because of the short story format.  Still, it was an amusing way to spend a couple of hours in the car, and Amanda Ronconi does a fantastic job with the narration.



The Lost Carousel of Provence

The Lost Carousel of Provence - Juliet Blackwell

I've always enjoyed Juliet Blackwell's cozy mysteries, so once she started writing these stand-alone, general contemporary fiction stories, all set in France, I've made sure to pick them up.

 

I'm not sure this is going to be helpful to anyone but myself, but - and maybe because I don't read a lot of general fiction - I find these stories kind of weird.  Apparently, I'm a little genre-dependent because I'm never sure what the point of the story is.  I mean, I do; personal journeys, growth, blah, blah, blah, but I'm hard-wired to look for dead bodies, I guess.  Plus, the author uses multiple timelines and POVs in the France books, a device that generally drives me nuts.

 

That's not to say I didn't enjoy the story though; I did.  Blackwell captures France and I enjoyed the 'mystery' behind the carousel figure and the box inside.  I might have liked the secondary characters more than the main character, Cady, but chalk that up to personal tastes, as in, mine don't run towards broken characters.

 

As in the previous 2 stand-alones set in France, the romance is iffy, if non-existent.  This is a good thing; if Blackwell has a weakness, it's writing romance with any sexual spark (except the Witchcraft series, where the romance was very sparky).  There is a love interest here, and characters are getting lucky, but it's mostly an afterthought, with only an implied possibility of a HEA.

 

So, after all that rambling, I'll just say:  it's a good book.  It's a quiet, well-built, interesting story that I enjoyed escaping into for a few hours on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

 

(I feel weird not assigning this to a bingo square.)



Bingo Update #7: Bingo #3

Woot!  Both my skeletons have feet!   ::Happy dance::

 

Bingo across bottom row.

 

Southern Gothic Drowning Deep modern noir relics and curiosities Country House Mystery
Spellbound
Free Square Grimm Tale
baker street irregular romantic suspense

 

Squares are greyed out until they're called.  

Called squares will be full-strength.

Read but not called squares will be greyed out below.

Called and read will have a marker on it and the marker will 'disappear' from the picture below.  

 

My markers this year are pieces of a full image, seen here:

   
       
         
   
       

 

As squares are called, pieces of the picture will disappear, as they reappear on the card; as one picture disintegrates, another will emerge.  :)

 

My loose plan for the squares is as follows.  I'm tracking my actual reads on a spreadsheet, so this list may or may not get updated. 

 

First Row:

Southern Gothic:Woman Without a Past - Phyllis A. Whitney  READ 19 SEPT review

Fear the Drowning Deep: The Dancing Floor - Barbara Michaels (Wild Card) READ 7 OCT review

Modern Noir: The Fourth Bear - Jasper Fforde  READ 2 OCT review

Relics & Curiosities: Vermilion - Phyllis A. Whitney  READ 23 SEPT review

Country House Mysteries: Pigeon Pie Mystery - Julia Stuart READ 10 OCT review

 

Second Row:

Amateur Sleuth: A Room with a Brew - Joyce Tremel READ  1 OCT review

Doomsday: Get Well Soon - Jennifer Wright READ 24 SEPT review

Spellbound: Magic Triumphs - Ilona Andrews READ 4 OCT review  

Cozy Mystery: The Grub-and-Stakers Quilt a Bee READ 1 OCT review

Terror in a Small Town: Murder at an Irish Wedding - Carlene O'Conner READ 8 OCT review

 

Third Row:

Murder Most Foul:  Marigolds for Malice - Bailey Cattrell READ SEPT 25 review

New Release: The World of All Souls READ 21 SEPT review

Free Square: The Colour of Magic READ 24 SEPT review

Classic Horror: The Prince of Darkness (Wild Card) READ SEPT 27 review

A Grimm Tale: Poison - Sarah Pinborough  READ 22 SEPT review

 

Fourth Row:

Darkest London: A Lady's Guide To Etiquette And Murder READ SEPT 11 review

Shifters: Wild Hunger - Chloe Neill  READ 27 AUG review  

Baker Street Irregulars: The Mystery of the Vanishing Treasure - Robert Arthur READ 2 OCT review

Romantic Suspense: Be Buried in the Rain - Barbara Michaels READ SEPT 14 review 

13: The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield READ 6 OCT  review

 

Fifth Row:

Cryptozoologist: Hunted - Kevin Hearne  READ 3 SEPT review 

Genre: Suspense: Locked Doors-Mary Roberts Rinehart READ 30 SEPT review

Diverse Voices: Hollywood Homicide - Kellye Garrett READ SEPT 23 review

Gothic: Houses of Stone - Barbara Michaels  READ 29 SEPT review

Ghost Stories: The Haunting of Fox Mill - Phyl Cooke READ 2 OCT review



Bingo Update #6 - Finally have my second bingo!

The bingo gods have been playing coy since my first bingo, but today's call gets me my second one.  (First column.)

 

Southern Gothic Drowning Deep modern noir relics and curiosities Country House Mystery
Spellbound
Free Square Grimm Tale
baker street irregular romantic suspense
gothic

 

Squares are greyed out until they're called.  

Called squares will be full-strength.

Read but not called squares will be greyed out below.

Called and read will have a marker on it and the marker will 'disappear' from the picture below.  

 

My markers this year are pieces of a full image, seen here:

   
       
         
   
      Gothic  

 

As squares are called, pieces of the picture will disappear, as they reappear on the card; as one picture disintegrates, another will emerge.  :)

 

My loose plan for the squares is as follows.  I'm tracking my actual reads on a spreadsheet, so this list may or may not get updated. 

 

First Row:

Southern Gothic:Woman Without a Past - Phyllis A. Whitney  READ 19 SEPT review

Fear the Drowning Deep: The Dancing Floor - Barbara Michaels (Wild Card) READ 7 OCT review

Modern Noir: The Fourth Bear - Jasper Fforde  READ 2 OCT review

Relics & Curiosities: Vermilion - Phyllis A. Whitney  READ 23 SEPT review

Country House Mysteries: Pigeon Pie Mystery - Julia Stuart READ 10 OCT review

 

Second Row:

Amateur Sleuth: A Room with a Brew - Joyce Tremel READ  1 OCT review

Doomsday: Get Well Soon - Jennifer Wright READ 24 SEPT review

Spellbound: Magic Triumphs - Ilona Andrews READ 4 OCT review  

Cozy Mystery: The Grub-and-Stakers Quilt a Bee READ 1 OCT review

Terror in a Small Town: Murder at an Irish Wedding - Carlene O'Conner READ 8 OCT review

 

Third Row:

Murder Most Foul:  Marigolds for Malice - Bailey Cattrell READ SEPT 25 review

New Release: The World of All Souls READ 21 SEPT review

Free Square: The Colour of Magic READ 24 SEPT review

Classic Horror: The Prince of Darkness (Wild Card) READ SEPT 27 review

A Grimm Tale: Poison - Sarah Pinborough  READ 22 SEPT review

 

Fourth Row:

Darkest London: A Lady's Guide To Etiquette And Murder READ SEPT 11 review

Shifters: Wild Hunger - Chloe Neill  READ 27 AUG review  

Baker Street Irregulars: The Mystery of the Vanishing Treasure - Robert Arthur READ 2 OCT review

Romantic Suspense: Be Buried in the Rain - Barbara Michaels READ SEPT 14 review 

13: The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield READ 6 OCT  review

 

Fifth Row:

Cryptozoologist: Hunted - Kevin Hearne  READ 3 SEPT review 

Genre: Suspense: Locked Doors-Mary Roberts Rinehart READ 30 SEPT review

Diverse Voices: Hollywood Homicide - Kellye Garrett READ SEPT 23 review

Gothic: Houses of Stone - Barbara Michaels  READ 29 SEPT review

Ghost Stories: The Haunting of Fox Mill - Phyl Cooke READ 2 OCT review



A Lady's Guide To Etiquette And Murder (Countess of Harleigh Mystery, #1)

A Lady's Guide To Etiquette And Murder - Dianne Freeman

I bought this book at Barnes and Noble, just before going to Bouchercon, where Kensington was giving away free, signed copies, and the author was speaking on several panels.  Doh.  As luck would have it, I enjoyed the story enough that I don't begrudge the royalties the author earned from my lack of foresight in the least.

 

Lady Harleigh is just coming out of her one year's mourning following the death of her husband, the Earl who exchanged his title for her American fortune.  Throwing off the widow's weeds and fleeing from the in-laws who intend to bleed her dry of her private fortune, she settles in London with her daughter.  But someone has sent an anonymous letter to the police claiming she killed her husband, and a string of small jewel thefts from the ton put her on a different suspect list after she finds one of the stolen pieces in her purse after a party.

 

First things first - those who enjoy historical accuracy should avoid this book.  Not that the author didn't do her research; I don't know if she did or didn't as I'm not well versed enough in 1899 England to spot inaccuracies, but the narrative has a distinctly contemporary voice.  I also remember that Freeman was on an historical fiction panel I attended and she was not one of the sticklers for historical accuracy (I remember her sort of falling in the middle of the spectrum).  

 

But my historical ignorance was bliss in this case.  I just enjoyed the story for what it was: a fun mystery with strong female characters, a likeable romantic interest, and few, if any, TSTL moments.  it was also a very, very clever plot.

 

For those that like Rhys Bowen's Her Royal Spyness, this series has a similar feel, though a slightly more mature MC and less charming narrative.  It's a great start to what could be a very fun series.

 

I read this for my last square in Halloween Bingo: Darkest London.  Blackout!  



In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox

In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox - Carol Burnett

After listening to Carol Burnett's other memoir This Time Together, I was interested in checking this one out.

 

If this is the first of her books you listen to that cover the years during The Carol Burnett Show, you'll likely like this even more than I did.  She narrates the audio herself and does a fantastic job, and the anecdotes she shares are funny or interesting and often both.  It was a bonus that the excerpts from interviews with Tim Conway, Vicki Lawrence and Harvey Korman were actual audio excepts from the interviews conducted by the Television Academy.  

 

If you've listened to, or read, This Time Together, you'll find some stories (the best ones) overlap; there's enough fresh material in each book to make reading them worthwhile though.



The Pigeon Pie Mystery

The Pigeon Pie Mystery - Julia Stuart

I bought this book purely on a whim while on holiday, based on the cover and the title, while trapped in a small used book store.  I say 'trapped' because a terrific thunderstorm was raging outside, keeping me and the owner in the shop until well after her normal closing hours.  Had I not needed to linger until the threat of leaving this earth as a human lightning rod had passed, I'd have probably not bought this book (I'd passed it over on my initial perusals). 

 

Points to the thunderstorm; this was a charmingly eccentric Victorian age mystery with an Indian princess MC, who is forced to accept a Grace and Favour abode in Hampton Court Palace, after her deposed-Maharaja father passes away in less than illustrious circumstances.  Soon after settling in, her lady's maid falls under suspicion of murder, after another Grace and Favor resident drops dead after eating her pigeon pie.

 

What follows is a colourful, wryly humorous, if a little over-long, mystery.  The characters are all odd, eccentric and chock full of secrets; some of them rather shocking.  There's a lot of situational humor, and levity based on misunderstandings.  Not a single character is dull, but the story never quite goes over the top.  My only complaint is that, even though I enjoyed the whole story, it was longer than it needed to be.  The fluff was clever and interesting, but it was still fluff.  The ending though, was clever as hell and delightfully unexpected.

 

I read this for Halloween Book Bingo's Country House Mystery.  I was worried at the outset whether it would qualify, but the entire mystery and investigation takes place within palace grounds and involves only the residents and the servants.  

 



Murder at an Irish Wedding (Irish Village Mystery, #2)

Murder at an Irish Wedding - Carlene O'Connor

I received this for fee at Bouchercon, and I'm pretty sure I met and liked the author.  Unfortunately, I can't say the same about the book.

 

It's the second in the series, and I've not read the first, so maybe there's some second book syndrome at play here, but mostly, it was the MC I just didn't click with. At all.  She's pushy, nosey and for someone who claims to not being a liar, lies an awful lot, be in a lie of omission, misrepresentation, or blatant untruth.  Some writers can take a character like this and make them likeable, or grudgingly admirable, but that failed to happen with Siobhán.  She just appeared incredibly immature.  How she maintains any relationship with her love interest, a member of the local garda, when she's so blatantly disrespectful of him and his responsibilities is a wonder.

 

What I did like was the setting: a small Irish village, one of the few remaining that are walled.  Some of the secondary characters were charming, and the mystery plot had a lot of potential.  Actually, the mystery plot was pretty good; I didn't guess the murderer at all, so the author completely fooled me.  I also appreciate that the author does the 'right thing' at the end of the book:  Siobhán signs up for the garda (or, presumably, enrols in the proper training course).  Maturity seems to be arriving in book three, though I'll just have to take the ending of this one at face value.  My TBR is too high to take chances on reading another.

 

I read this for the Murder in a Small Town square in Halloween Book Bingo.



The Flat Book Society: Open for January nominations!

The list has been cleared and I've seeded it with three random selections.  

 

Please add any titles you'd like the group to vote on as the January group read.

 

PLEASE DO NOT BE SHY!  If you want a title there, please add it - even if it's been added and voted on before.  

 

Huggins says: vote early! vote often!



The Flat Book Society: November Read announced (Really, really late)

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World - Stephen Brusatte

Extended holidays, book bingo, absolutely the worst cold I've had in memory, the advent of spring.  What's the common thread?  My dropping the ball with The Flat Book Society.  I am a terrible moderator.  Huggins has already beaten me about the head with 6 of his eight arms.

 

So the winner by popular vote this month (I didn't even vote, that's how much a slacker I've been) is The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World - Stephen Brusatte :

 

The dinosaurs. Sixty-six million years ago, the Earth’s most fearsome creatures vanished. Today they remain one of our planet’s great mysteries. Now The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs reveals their extraordinary, 200-million-year-long story as never before.

 

In this captivating narrative (enlivened with more than seventy original illustrations and photographs), Steve Brusatte, a young American paleontologist who has emerged as one of the foremost stars of the field—naming fifteen new species and leading groundbreaking scientific studies and fieldwork—masterfully tells the complete, surprising, and new history of the dinosaurs, drawing on cutting-edge science to dramatically bring to life their lost world and illuminate their enigmatic origins, spectacular flourishing, astonishing diversity, cataclysmic extinction, and startling living legacy.

 

Captivating and revelatory, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is a book for the ages.

Brusatte traces the evolution of dinosaurs from their inauspicious start as small shadow dwellers—themselves the beneficiaries of a mass extinction caused by volcanic eruptions at the beginning of the Triassic period—into the dominant array of species every wide-eyed child memorizes today, T. rex, Triceratops, Brontosaurus, and more. This gifted scientist and writer re-creates the dinosaurs’ peak during the Jurassic and Cretaceous, when thousands of species thrived, and winged and feathered dinosaurs, the prehistoric ancestors of modern birds, emerged. The story continues to the end of the Cretaceous period, when a giant asteroid or comet struck the planet and nearly every dinosaur species (but not all) died out, in the most extraordinary extinction event in earth’s history, one full of lessons for today as we confront a “sixth extinction.”

 

Brusatte also recalls compelling stories from his globe-trotting expeditions during one of the most exciting eras in dinosaur research—which he calls “a new golden age of discovery”—and offers thrilling accounts of some of the remarkable findings he and his colleagues have made, including primitive human-sized tyrannosaurs; monstrous carnivores even larger than T. rex; and paradigm-shifting feathered raptors from China.

An electrifying scientific history that unearths the dinosaurs’ epic saga, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs will be a definitive and treasured account for decades to come.

 

So, who is up for some cutting-edge dinosaur reading?  We start November 1st and anyone and everyone is welcome.

 



The Dancing Floor

The Dancing Floor - Barbara Michaels

I'm beginning to realise how far Barbara Michaels' later work departs from her earlier, more simplistic, romantic suspense novels.  Once again, The Dancing Floor is not at all what I expected it to be given my earlier experiences with Ammie, Come Home and Sons of the Wolf.  Though having said that, this isn't much different in some ways, just a more sophisticated version.

 

The MC, Heather, is following the English garden tour itinerary her late father had meticulously planned with her before his untimely death.  The trip culminates in a visit to a private estate with one of the few original, unaltered gardens in existence.  When she's rebuffed at the gate, she sneaks in the back, scaring herself stupid and getting caught in the process.  The owner is an eccentric old man who decides fate has brought her there and convinces her to stay on to help him restore the gardens.   This is all set in an English village related to the Pendle Witch trials, so there's a lot of superstitions and possible paranormal activity going on, and then a boy goes missing.

 

It's a good story, and I always enjoy the banter between Michaels' characters, but there are a lot of unanswered questions too.  Heather's obviously got a lot of mother issues, but they're never explained.  Neither are her nightmares.  And the title of the book does not play into the plot at all.  The Dancing Floor is mentioned 3 or 4 times in the book as another mystical location, but that's it.

 

Michaels decides to put the suspense in the romance in this book; she's got so many men making passes at Heather (a 'husky' MC whose love of eating is a constant source of one-liners - in a good natured way - throughout the story) and it's not until the very end that anyone is declared the love interest.  And I do mean the end, as in the last 3 pages.

 

Not one of her greatest, but a fun book nonetheless.

 

I read this as my final wild card selection in Halloween Bingo.  I'm using it for the Fear the Drowning Deep square.

 

   



The Thirteenth Tale

The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield

Not the book I was expecting based on reviews I'd read.  I was mentally prepped for a darker, somewhat more manipulative, maybe almost a templaric tale.  It wasn't any of those things, but it is an excellent story.

 

The MC is contacted by an author who is both very reclusive and famous to an almost unholy degree, to write her biography; her true biography, not one of the dozens of made-up tales she's told over the years.  She's finally ready to reveal who she is and what really happened at Angelfield Hall.

 

I didn't like the MC much (Margaret); her level of personal drama/victimisation irritated me to distraction.  As someone who is neither a romantic nor a twin, I found the level of pain and mourning to be, if I'm being kind, too far removed from my experience to fully empathise.  If I'm not being kind, I found it heavy-handed and unrealistic.  Someone should have shoved both Margaret and her mother into counselling decades ago.

 

I liked Vida Winter though (the author whose biography she is writing).  This character is where Setterfield's talent as a writer over-shined my irritation with the soppy MC.  Vida Winter kept me reading, even when I'd have rather not.  (There are some twisted family dynamics in this book.)   Her ability to weave a tale borders on magic, and she used language to enthral, manipulate and trick her reader, and did it in a way that made me bump my rating up a 1/2 star.  Her crafting of the plot was outstanding and I did not anticipate that twist; I was so busy anticipating a different twist - one that would have ruined the book in my eyes - that I was rather blindsided by this one. Well played.

 

My favorite quotes from the book:

"I have always been a reader; I have read at every stage of my life and there has never been a time when reading was not my greatest joy.  And yet I cannot pretend that the reading I have done in my adult years matches in its impact on my soul the reading I did as a child. [...] I still forget myself when I'm in the middle of a good book. Yet it is not the same. Books are for me, it must be said, the most important thing; what I cannot forget is that there was a time when they were at once more banal and more essential than that.  When I was a child, books were everything.  And so there is in me, always, a nostalgic yearning for the lost pleasure of books.

 

and this scene (which I've edited for brevity):

 

"Doctor Clifton came. [...] He took a thermometer and instructed me to place it under my tongue, then rose and strode to the window.  With his back to me, he asked, 'And what do you read?'

 

With the thermometer in my mouth I could not reply.

 

'Wuthering Heights - you read that?'

 

'Mm-hmm.'

 

'And Jane Eyre?'

 

'Mm'

 

'Sense and Sensibility?'

 

'Hm-m'

 

He turned and looked gravely at me.  'And I suppose you've re-read these books more than once?'

 

I nodded and he frowned.  'Read and re-read? Many times?'

[...]

I was baffled by his questions, but compelled by the gravity of his gaze I nodded once again.

[...]

He removed the thermometer from my mouth, folded his arms, and delivered his diagnosis. 'You are suffering from an ailment that afflicts ladies of romantic imagination.  Symptoms include fainting, weariness, loss of appetite, low spirits.  Whilst on one level the crisis can be ascribed to wandering about in the freezing rain without the benefit of adequate waterproofing, the deeper cause is more likely to be found in some emotional trauma. [...] You'll survive.'

[...]

'Treatment is not complicated: eat, rest, and take this ...' he made quick notes on a pad, tore out a page and placed it on my bedside table, 'and the weakness and fatigue will be gone in a few days.'  [...]

 

From the door, he saluted me and was gone.

 

I reached for the prescription.  In a vigorous scrawl, he had inked:   Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Case-book of Sherlock Holmes.  Take ten pages, twice a day, until end of course."

 

Sherlock Holmes: the cure for what ails you.

 

 

I read this book for the 13 Square in Halloween Bingo.



Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels, #10)

Magic Triumphs -  Ilona Andrews

Kate's last hurrah.  There's really not much I can say about it that wouldn't spoil some aspect of the story.  It was an outstanding story, and I'm sitting here trying to come up with something, anything to pick apart, and all I've got is a microscopic disappointment

 

about Erra.  I liked her better dead, although I can see she's going to be a catalyst in Julie's story.

(show spoiler)

 

I found the Kate's ultimate solution clever; perhaps I should have seen it coming, but I'm glad I didn't.  Clever not only in the fictional sense; Kate and Curren's story has been neatly and happily ended, but the Andrews' left themselves a back door.  Just in case.  I sort of hope they never use it.  As much as I adore this series - and I will miss it - the story arc was perfectly crafted and perfectly ended.  Resurrecting it would risk feeling exploitative.  

 

Not much of a review, really, but while I could talk for some time about this book, the events, the characters, it could only ruin a great story for those that haven't yet read it.  For Kate fans, all I can say is: it's excellent.

 

I read this for the Spellbound square in Halloween Bingo.



The Mystery of the Vanishing Treasure

The Mystery of the Vanishing Treasure - Robert Arthur, Alfred Hitchcock, Harry Kane

I'm pretty sure I wasn't supposed to find this as amusing as I did, but I'm several decades past its target demographic.  I'd never read a Three Investigators book before and know a few people with fond memories of them, so I wanted to give one a try. 

 

I'm not going to touch on the sheer fantasy of what is the foundational premise of the books; they were written to be adventures and mysteries for kids (I use 'kids' as a broad spectrum noun here) and why not make these kids important?  Why not give them more parental freedom and the only junk yard in the world that would be fun and safe to play in. 

 

But it was still hilarious.  The gnomes, which are probably not PC by today's standards.  The Japanese representation, which is definitely not, yet feels innocently done here - yes, the authors' should have been more sensitive, but the kids reading it at the time would likely have read it in total naiveté.  I didn't find the Japanese speaking stereotypically funny at all, but I did have a good head shake over it.

 

Mostly what I found funny were the three boys, and that's just because despite my best efforts, I grew up and can't avoid seeing the playacting taking place.  Still, their hideout sounds cool as hell and I loved the Alfred Hitchcock appearances.  That man just couldn't stay on the sidelines of anything, could he?

 

I read this for the Baker Street Irregulars Square in Halloween Bingo.



The Unboxing, or the final reckoning (Photo heavy post)

So, the final box arrived today.  YAY!  But now it's time for the final reckoning, and I give you:

 

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

 

First the raw damage (most of it anyway, there are a couple of stacks outside of the frame):

 

Messy.  I sorted through them and created stacks by category.  Hopefully the titles come through legibly.

 

Historical Mysteries, and Golden Age Crime stories.  Highlights include Patricia Wentworth, Mary Roberts Rinehart, and Ellis Peters.  Quite a few new to me authors in these stacks too, which I'm looking forward to.  The acme of this category though - and all the others for that matter - is the 2 volume Annotated and Illustrated Sherlock Holmes containing all 4 novels and 54 short stories.  I nearly swooned when my sister (who spotted it first) passed on purchasing it herself.  Though I had to agree to leave it to her in my will.

 

Traditional and Cozy Mysteries.  A LOT of new to me authors here, mostly discovered at Bouchercon, either at the panels, on the giveaway tables, or in the book room.  

 

General fictionUrban Fantasy/Fantasy and Romantic Suspense.  I think one or two of the Pratchett books might have been orders that got commingled in, but I honestly don't remember.  The highlight of this one is the Compleat Ankh Morepork, which I'm looking forward to really looking at.  I also bought most, if not all, the books I was missing in Hearn's Iron Druid series, a few Phyllis A. Whitney titles and one old vintage title I have never heard of; could be good, could be awful.  It was a buck and I was feeling brave.

 

Easter-cat says "Hi - just passing through".

 

Non-fiction, Children's and Hardcover Upgrades.  The stack in front are hardcovers of books I enjoyed enough to upgrade.  There's also a copy of Magical Beasts and Where to Find Them, as well as my three autographed titles by Judy Blume (squee!).  The Snark Bible snuck in there; that's actually a surprise gift from my Sister in Law in Sydney who saw it and knew I had to have it, proving she's the bestests of SILs...

 

Now, a more organised view of the wreckage:

Not passing through this time - get OUT OF MY BEANBAG! 

 

Lest you think I did ALL the damage on this trip, here I am throwing MT under the bus:

Admittedly, smaller stacks - and some of them came from my participation at Bouchercon, but what damage he did do, he did at one small FOTL sale in about 15 minutes.  Now consider that when looking at these and imagine the damage he could have done at the other 6 bookshops and Bouchercon...

 

I was quite restrained, by comparison...   ;-)

 



The Haunting of Fox Mill

The Haunting of Fox Mill - Phyl Cooke

I bought this at a book sale because I thought a good old vintage ghost story would be fun.

 

It's a pretty terrible book.  The writing is clumsy, the female MC stupid, childish and immature, and the plotting resembled a car crash.  The romance was unbelievable even by mid-century standards.  The ghost story part was not even a little bit scary; frankly the possibility that rabies might be to blame for the strange occurrences was the scarier part.

 

Oh well, no chance I'll have to sleep with the light on, at least.

 

I read this for the Ghost Stories square in Halloween Bingo.