Summer Murders

This summer I have decided to keep track of some of my favorite murder mysteries. So far, I have read sixteen. Not too shabby since I read a lot of other material as well.

Here they are:

1. An Ex to Grind in Deadwood (Deadwood Humorous Mystery Book 5)
Charles, Ann *

2. Top Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21)
Evanovich, Janet *

3. Death Without Company (Walt Longmire, #2)
Johnson, Craig

4. Ten Big Ones (Stephanie Plum, #10)
Evanovich, Janet *

5. To the Nines (Stephanie Plum, #9)
Evanovich, Janet *

6. Hot Six (Stephanie Plum, #6)
Evanovich, Janet *

7. The Great Jackalope Stampede (Jackrabbit Junction Mystery Series #3)
Charles, Ann *

8. Four to Score (Stephanie Plum, #4)
Evanovich, Janet *

9. One for the Money (Stephanie Plum, #1)
Evanovich, Janet *

10. Jackrabbit Junction Jitters (A Jackrabbit Junction Mystery #2)
Charles, Ann *

11. Better Off Dead In Deadwood (Deadwood Mystery # 4)
Charles, Ann *

12. Sweet Tea Revenge (A Tea Shop Mystery, #14)
Childs, Laura

13. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency #1)
Smith, Alexander McCall *

14. Blackberry Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen, #17)
Fluke, Joanne *

15. The Cold Dish (Walt Longmire, #1)
Johnson, Craig

16. For Love of Livvy (An Esposito Mystery #1)
Griffin, J.M.

UPDATE: Up to 20

17. Red Velvet Cake Murders (Hannah Swensen #16)”
Fluke, Joanne

18. Catering to Nobody (A Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery #1)
Davidson, Diane Mott *

19. Dying For Chocolate (A Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery, # 2)
Davidson, Diane Mott *

20. The Cereal Murders (A Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery, #3)
Davidson, Diane Mott *


Put on Your Crown: Life-Changing Moments on the Path to Queendom

Author: Queen Latifah, Samantha Marshall
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
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Review: As I was preparing for three major changes in my life; my daughter leaving for college, moving to a new state, and starting a new job, I was given the opportunity to review this audio book. It was just what I needed, a book that would help me become the person I needed to be in my new role and a message to give my now adult daughter. This book was the missing step for me to move from mom, wife, and teacher-librarian into a more grown up role of administrator. It helped me realize that it was okay to be this person. It was okay for me to achieve outside of my family and I deserved to be in my chosen profession and to be happy. When I finished this book I packed it up and gave it to my daughter to listen to at college. I think it has the words and message I wanted to say before sending her off in a world I was certain I had not fully prepared her for, which she refutes any time I give her advice. Ms. Dana Owens, aka Queen Latifah, thanks for the inspirational words of wisdom for my own benefit and that of my daughter. Well done.

Love Turns the Tide

Author: Gail Pallotta
Publisher: Awe-Struck Publishing; An imprint of Mundania Press LLC
Buy Link:, www.

Review: Although I really liked the story Gail Pallotta told I felt that she was too unnecessarily detailed. For example, when she referenced certain people, Pallotta would repeat their names as well as an explanation as to who they were. In the paragraph where she identified her main character’s parents by name to the reader and then in a conversation to another character she stated they were her character’s parents and gave their names again. The sentence was uncomfortable to read. Repetitive. She also referenced bible scripture almost as an afterthought in many sentences. Most people who have read the bible remember the lesson but not usually the exact scripture and rarely reference it to themselves in the manner in which she wrote it. It felt uncomfortable to read as it did not flow with the rest of the paragraph. The story of Cammie O’Shea was sweet and thoughtful. I enjoyed her character and how she relied on God for the decisions she had to make and for the strength to make them. Pallotta did a good job of detailing her character’s faith and how that made her stronger individual.

If You Dare

Author: Maggi Anderson
Publisher: Eternal Press
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Maggi Anderson’s novelette was a quick read. Since it was fairly short she moved quickly through the story and I felt like it was much longer. She could have stretched the story out but it was not necessary. She had romance, love, action, drama, and a happy ending. What more could you ask for. The heroine was not the traditional tough-as-nails, hardened, city woman taking on the bad guys. She was more like your friend who lived a nice life but nothing special or extraordinary about her. She acted out of fear and desperation to save the one she loved. Sweet read.

Crushing Desire

Author: April Dawn
Publisher: Breathless Press
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As a general rule I like historical fiction. Crushing Desire did not disappoint. The author, April Dawn, captured my attention quickly and held it through to the end. She wove an intriguing tale of love and independence in a time when most women had neither. A headstrong young woman falls in love with a man she can’t have. Two brothers fall for her and she wants neither and the betrayal by one almost ends her life. She remains strong, remains true to herself and those she loves, and fights for what she wants. I really enjoyed this post-Revolutionary War story. The author was able to describe the settings and people of the period so well I could envision myself within the story playing voyeur. I would read more of April Dawn’s work.

Eden’s Black Rose

Author: Jaclyn Tracey
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
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This paranormal story confused me at first but the author pulled the story together. Jaclyn Tracey introduced her main characters quickly and provided more and more layers to their lives. The ones you least expect to be paranormal, the ones you least expect to be special, the ones you least expect to be extraordinary – she surprised me throughout. She was quite detailed, and sometimes quite gross, when necessary without being verbose. I got a kick out of the characters and relationships as they moved through the story.

$20 Per Gallon: How the Inevitable Rise in the Price of Gasoline Will Change Our Lives for the Better

Author: Christopher Steiner
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
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Christopher Steiner does an impeccable job describing how the cost of gasoline has impacted how we function. He uses the past gas hikes as his basis for analysis and predictions of how we will respond in the future. Not only does he describe how we as individuals behave when gas prices skyrocket but also includes how businesses have behaved in the past and how he believes they will behave in the future. I think all consumers of oil should read this book in order to prepare for the inevitable rise in gas prices and oil shortages. The author covers change with each two dollar increment as he foresees them to be. He covers the good as well as the bad changes in how we view energy to how we use energy. Will we pay twenty dollars per gallon of gas? Possibly, but Steiner wants the reader to know the ever rising cost of oil is not a bad thing. The rising cost will bring about change in what energy production will include. Companies will respond by creating alternatives, consumers will demand alternatives, government will push for alternatives, and eventually they will come about. As we watch prices climb we need to begin now looking for and creating those alternative sources of energy.