So good I plan to read it again!

So good I plan to read it again! Violet Parker, real estate agent to the departed, cannot get a break. Not only does her boss treat her like a Barbie doll to get sales he pimps her out to the next reality show with Ray along for the ride. As usual, Nat, Doc, and Old Man Harvey are by her side as she rides into another crazy predicament as Coop keeps a cautious eye on her. Perfect in its silliness, amazing in its sultriness, and just enough creepy mystery keeps me coming back for more. Ann Charles is a wonderfully witty writer who makes me laugh out loud and giggle to myself as I turn each page wanting more.

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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 *

Love Turns the Tide

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

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.

Cold Wind in August

Author: Pat Cromwell
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing
Buy Link: redrosepublishing.com

I enjoyed reading Cold Wind in August: Urban Wars 2. The story was fairly simplistic and had good potential. I felt it was a good story over-all but had a few problems. For example: the sentence structure is odd in places, “The same applied to the torrential spray of emotions that coursed through every crevice of his body then and now.” The “then and now” just seems off, perhaps “now as it did then” would have felt more ‘right.’ It is the second time on the same page I had to re-read a sentence to make certain I had read it correctly due to the verbiage choice. Also, the characters were not quite together. The brother’s waffling on murdering his sister were not explained well, perhaps if the author had added more to the anguish he felt at the thought of taking his only sister’s life and a little suspense as to what was to come. There was an opportunity to play the siblings off of each other to build more tension. I liked the twist at the end as to who died and who lived. The author left the story in such a way she could have an Urban Wars 3.

Dark Water

Author: Jenni Holbrook
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Buy Link: http://www.wildrosepress.com

I really liked this book. The author, Jenni Holbrrok, wrote an interesting and compelling story. This is book two in the New York State Trooper series. I did not read the first book but felt it completely unnecessary. Book two was complete and self explanatory as the author introduced the main characters and gave a glimpse of who they were before this story. I found myself pulled into the story and felt completely vested in the outcome. Truly, a good book to read. This is not the typical love story nor is it the typical mystery. The characters are well rounded and interesting and I found myself drawn in and interested in them as people, not just the characters within a book. I hope the author decides to write another in this series as I’d like to see where the characters end up.

I, Alex Cross

Author: James Patterson
Publisher: Hachette Book Group/Audio; Little, Brown and Co.
Buy Link: Amazon Hardcover | Audiobook; Barnes & Noble Hardcover | Audiobook; Borders Hardcover | Audiobook; IndieBound Hardcover | Audiobook; Powells Hardcover | Audiobook; Target Hardcover;
Walmart Hardcover

As a long-time James Patterson fan I was very happy to read this book and have the opportunity to review it as well. I became a fan when Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider were made into movies with Morgan Freeman in the role of Alex Cross. I, Alex Cross is a wonderful addition to the Alex Cross series. It was refreshing to see that the author has a sense of whimsy as he has Alex comparing himself, off-handedly) to Morgan Freeman, it was one of the few smiles this book offered up.

The smiles came with interaction between Alex and his family, especially his Nana Mama, who undergoes a change in her role within the family and Alex’s girlfriend begins to play a much larger role. The book is not a happy book as a member of Alex’s family is found dead, murdered in a most grisly manner. Alex wades deeply into the Washington D.C. political realm from the White House down. Family, work, politics, and friendships provide a wonderful backdrop to the much larger story. Love the book, buy it!

FDA

Author: Rick Giernoth

Publisher: Champagne Books

Buy Link: http://www.champagnebooks.com

 This was a difficult book for me to begin, which I did numerous times. I have a hard time reading a book if the first chapter does not catch my interest immediately and this one didn’t. The main character, Jack, comes across whiney and paranoid instead of a serious journalist. I am not certain the author intended for his character to be perceived in this manner or not but I found it to be annoying. The paranoid thoughts of this character along with the lack of dialog in the beginning made it difficult for me to stay focused on the story.

There were many redundant sentences, for example: “The doctor’s wife, seeing her husband fall, ran to his side weeping. She held him for the last time. The agent saw the grief on her face and ended her suffering. He shot Lamb’s wife. She never looked away from her husband and took the shot to the side of her head. She fell on top of the doctor, locked in a gruesome embrace.” Completely unnecessary information in this paragraph.

Also, the relationship between the main character and his girlfriend, Kate, appeared to be superficial as she was only mentioned once briefly in the beginning of the story. Not once did the author integrate her into the story so that you could understand the loss Jack felt when she was murdered. It is hard to feel empathy or sympathy. The use of technology attempted to be slick but also fell flat; it felt as though the data was interjected for reader to assume both sides were high tech. The characters and the story came across as being very cliché. Each time I felt interest a scene would take place that was flat or predictable. Perhaps this was not the author’s genre. The ending did not leave me thinking the story had ended, I was not satisfied with any portion of the story because none of the characters became real to me. I was not interested in their cause or them personally.