Friday, June 04, 2021

Book Beginnings: A Body at the Tea Rooms

by Dee MacDonald
May 2021


Opening Lines
No matter how great a holiday was, it was always good to come home, Kate thought, as she got her first glimpse of the wild Cornish Atlantic coast again at close quarters. It was January and the sea was grey and surly, in contrast to the blue of the Pacific which they’d left behind.


About the Book
In this third book in the Kate Palmer cozy mystery series, Kate has another mystery to solve when a body is discovered in the cellar of the new tea rooms her sister Angie is renovating.
If the village gossip is to be believed, the unfortunate dead man was connected to the wealthy Hedgefield family. Kate is reluctant to get caught up in the investigation but a curious card in the victim’s jacket pocket sparks her interest. Not to mention the worrisome rumor that Angie is somehow involved! 
Keen to clear her sister’s name so she can finally eat cake in the charming tea rooms, Kate teams up with handsome retired Detective ‘Woody’ Forrest to untangle the baffling case. 

Initial Thoughts
 
One of the books I read last month — this was my introduction to the Kate Palmer mysteries, and I enjoyed it even more than I expected to. And now I want to go back and read the earlier books in the series, which means more books added to the already-ridiculously-huge TBR list! But I love that, don't you?

Have a good weekend, everyone.
And happy reading!



Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.


Monday, May 31, 2021

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


Wow, this month has gone by really fast! Hard to believe the year is almost half over. Hope everyone is having a lovely spring (if it is spring where you are). 

I think time is moving a little faster for me because we’ve been a little more active this month. Now that the hubby and I are fully vaccinated, we’ve been venturing out a bit and trying to recover some of that “normal” life we can just barely remember. Haven’t been to a restaurant or theater yet, but we’ve been doing a little more "real world" shopping instead of ordering everything online. Actually, what we’ve mainly been doing is spending lots of time in doctors’ and dentists’ offices. Somehow we’ve managed to get most of our annual checkups and screenings scheduled in April and May — so that’s been taking up a lot of our time. Not exactly FUN, but at least it’s been getting us out of lockdown. 

We have been doing a little gardening, though — and that definitely is fun. Well, it’s fun for me because I mostly just pick out the plants at our local nurseries, and then the hubby does all the planting and upkeep. But he enjoys it and I like watching everything bloom. So, win-win. 

And even though time seems to be slipping away from me, I did manage to read a few books in May. Last week I finished several I've had going...

(A Kate Palmer Mystery),
by Dee MacDonald

by Camilla Sten

by Nicola Lisle

This week, I'll be continuing with one of the ARCs I'm trying to finish up...

by Nekesa Afia


I've also been reading Jane Eyre this year, off and on, and I'm hoping to finish that this week as well.

Up next...

(Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes #17), 
by Laurie R. King


Happy reading, everyone!
Happy Memorial Day, if you're in the US.
And have a great week!



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. If you want to let the world know what you're going to be reading this week, head on over to her blog and leave your link. It's also a great way to discover new books and new blogs. 


Sunday, May 16, 2021

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

 


Once again, it's been a while since I posted a reading update. But I have been doing a bit of reading lately, even though I haven't been doing much blogging. In the last few weeks I've finished these...

(Chief Inspector Barnaby #5),
by Caroline Graham

(Harbinder Kaur #2),
by Elly Griffiths



(Charles Lenox Mysteries #11),
by Charles Finch

A couple of classic Nancy Drew mysteries by Carolyn Keene:

The Clue of the Tapping Heels (#16)

and...

The Clue in the Crumbling Wall (#22)


As well as...

by Angela Youngman


I also read a few children's books, and (best of all!), a memoir written by my hubby:

by Michael L. Hall

Actually, I've read that last one many times by now, since I helped copyedit and proofread it. 

For this week, I'll be reading a new cozy mystery:

(Kate Palmer #3),
by Dee MacDonald

And I've got a few ARCs I should try to get started on, too. So, back to the books!

Happy reading, everyone! And have a great week!



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. If you want to let the world know what you're going to be reading this week, head on over to her blog and leave your link. It's also a great way to discover new books and new blogs. 


Friday, April 23, 2021

Book Beginnings: The Postscript Murders

The Postscript Murders
by Elly Griffiths
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021


Opening Lines
Prologue

The two men have been standing there for eighteen minutes. Peggy has been timing them on her stopwatch.


About the Book
The death of a ninety-year-old woman with a heart condition should absolutely not be suspicious. DS Harbinder Kaur certainly sees nothing to concern her in the account of Peggy Smith's death given by the woman's carer, Natalka.
But then Natalka reveals that Peggy lied about her heart condition and that she had been sure someone was following her. And that Peggy Smith had been a 'murder consultant' who plotted deaths for authors, and knew more about murder than anyone has any right to. 
Then, after a masked gunman shows up in Peggy's apartment while Natalka is clearing it out, DS Harbinder Kaur begins to think maybe there is no such thing as an unsuspicious death after all.

Initial Thoughts
 
I read The Stranger Diaries — the first book in Elly Griffith's Harbinder Kaur series — a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it, so I was very glad to find that she's written a second one. And so far, I'm enjoying this one even more. Lots of twists and turns, and some wonderfully quirky and appealing characters. Hoping to finish it up and maybe even get a review written (imagine that!) in the next day or two. 

Have a good weekend, everyone.
Stay safe. Stay calm. And happy reading!



Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.


Monday, April 05, 2021

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


Wow, it's been quite a while since I posted my last Monday reading update — sometime in January, I think. And that's mostly because I just haven't been doing much reading this year. Too many things going on and claiming my attention and taking up the time I'd ordinarily spend on reading. But I'm trying to change that and get back to the books now that I've got most of that other "stuff" attended to. I usually get quite a lot of reading done during the spring, so things might be looking up.

So far in 2021 I've only managed to finish eleven books. And several of those were children's books, which means I've been doing even less reading than it seems. 

Of all the books I've read this year, I think I enjoyed Christopher Fowler's Oranges and Lemons the most. 


It's the 17th book in Fowler's Peculiar Crimes Unit mystery series, but it was my introduction to the books. I'll definitely be reading more of the series in the future.

At the moment, I'm trying to finish two ARCs I should have read back in February or March: The Postscript Murders, by Elly Griffiths; and The Lost Village, by Camilla Sten. 




Looking forward to both of those, and they should keep me busy for a while. Now I'm off to see what ya'll are all reading this week. 

Happy reading, everyone! And have a great week!



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. If you want to let the world know what you're going to be reading this week, head on over to her blog and leave your link. It's also a great way to discover new books and new blogs. 

  

Friday, March 12, 2021

Book Beginnings: A Guilty Thing Surprised


First published 1970


Opening Sentence
When Quentin Nightingale left home for London each morning his wife was always still asleep.


About the Book
The discovery of Elizabeth Nightingale's broken body in the woods near her home could not have come as a bigger shock. Called in to investigate, Chief Inspector Wexford quickly determines that the Nightingales were considered the perfect couple - wealthy, attractive and without an enemy in the world.
However, someone must have been alone with Elizabeth that night in the woods. Someone who hated - or perhaps loved - her enough to beat her to death.
The case seems straightforward. But Wexford soon learns that beneath the placid surface of the Nightingales' lives lie undercurrents and secrets no one ever suspected(Description from GoodReads)

Initial Thoughts
 
Well, for many years I would go off to work, leaving my husband either still asleep or just waking up. And I must admit, there were times when I thought I might actually feel perfectly justified in bonking him on the head as I was hurrying out the door. I got over it, but maybe Mrs. Nightingale's hubby just got pushed over the edge?

This is Ruth Rendell's 5th Inspector Wexford mystery, and it's the first one of the series I've read since sometime back in the 1990s, I believe. I read several of them back then, but finally stopped because Rendell's characters are always so completely awful. (With the exception of Wexford himself, of course.) Believable and well developed, but definitely NOT types you'd want to spend a lot of time with. However, I'm really enjoying this book, so maybe I'm finally ready to continue with the series.

Oh, and these days I'm never the first one out of bed.


Have a good weekend, everyone.
Stay safe. Stay calm. And happy reading!



Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.

 

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Book Beginnings: Oranges and Lemons

by Christopher Fowler
Random House Ballantine / Bantam, 2021


Opening Lines

Chapter 1: Old White Males
‘Everything I tell you is a lie.’


About the Book
On a spring morning in London's Strand, the Speaker of the House of Commons is accidentally killed by a van unloading oranges and lemons for the annual St. Clement Danes festival. It's an absurd way to die, but the government is more interested in investigating the Speaker's state of mind just prior to his accident.
The task is given to the Peculiar Crimes Unit—the only problem being that the unit no longer exists. Its Chief, Raymond Land, is tending his daffodils on the Isle of Wight and senior detectives Arthur Bryant and John May are out of commission; May is undergoing surgery for a bullet wound and Bryant has been missing for a month. What's more, the old unit in King's Cross is being turned into a vegetarian tapas bar.
Against impossible odds, the team is reassembled and once again what should have been a simple case becomes a lunatic farrago involving arson, suicide, magicians, academics and a race to catch a killer with a master plan involving London churches. (Description from GoodReads)

Initial Thoughts
 
Yet again, I'm starting a long-running series without reading even one of the earlier books. Even though I've actually got a copy of the first book in the series. Dumb, right? But this one sounded so good, I just couldn't resist requesting it when I saw it at NetGalley. I was thrilled to get it. (I'm always thrilled whenever someone gives me a book!) I'm a little late in getting it read, but so far, I'm loving it. Can't wait to finish it so I can start reading the series from the very beginning. Don't you love when that happens?


Have a good weekend, everyone.
Stay safe. Stay calm. And happy reading!



Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.