December 4th, 2019 by diane92345

What happens to Mean Girls and Pretty Little Liars when they grow up? They become concerned about their Reputation.

“Good reputations land jobs, find you a spouse, earn you the right friends. But have a bad reputation—well. Here come the whispers. Here come the slammed doors. So it makes sense to preserve a good name, sure. But how far would you go to preserve your reputation—especially when you fear you’re about to be exposed? Would you work on a good cover story? Would you lie? Would you kill?”—from Reputation

Kit, Lynn, Laura, and Raina have a complicated relationship. One is Insta-curating her life to show perfection where little really lies. One is envious of another. Another is having an affair with someone else’s husband. When the college where they all work is hacked and their email exposed, they all scramble to conceal their secrets from each other. However, when one person is murdered, everything is exposed for all to see.

Reputation is an engrossing read. The story of the secrets that people have behind their heavily curated facade is compelling. It is truly difficult to stop reading because you want to see the author’s next sleight of hand twist, of which there are many. While the book dragged a bit in the middle—it is rather long for a domestic thriller—the surprising conclusion is well worth the time spent. If you liked the author’s previous work or just domestic thrillers in general, you will enjoy this book. 4 stars!

Thanks to Dutton Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: ,

The Way We All Became the Brady Bunch
December 2nd, 2019 by diane92345

Baby boomers loved the original show and Gen Xers loved the reruns as children and teens. Adults not so much. For a relatively low-rated show, how does everyone still remember every characters’ name? How We All Became the Brady Bunch attempts to explain the show’s enduring popularity.

Every American has perfected the middle girl Jan’s jealous whine of “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.” Who doesn’t remember Marcia’s football to the nose, Bobby’s experience with laundry soap, and Peter’s cracking voice? The moments all seem iconic to me as a watcher at the same age as the youngest son, Bobby during the show’s original run.

The Brady Bunch is still relevant today through memes, SNL skits, and the recent HGTV rehab of the home used for the exterior shots of the Brady house. In addition, all five seasons of the show are on Hulu and all but season five are on Amazon Prime.

How We All Became the Brady Bunch is an excellent outsider look into the Brady enterprise. Secrets I haven’t heard before are included. For example, the show’s producer originally wanted Gene Hackman to play the father but the studio rejected him as being too inexperienced. Gene would go on to win two Best Actor Academy Award for The French Connection and Unforgiven. Instead, Robert Reed was hired. A closeted Shakespearean actor seems like a strange choice for a father on a goofy sitcom. Indeed, Reed himself often battled unsuccessfully over the scripts with the showrunners.

Overall, if you are a fan, you should pick up How We All Became the Brady Bunch. Due to its outsider perspective, it doesn’t have an agenda to push like some of the actor’s memoirs. However, I am taking one star off for the complete absence of photographs. A televised show is by its nature visual. It seems strange to have a book about one not be visual too. 4 stars!

Thanks to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in New Books, Non-fiction Tagged with: ,

Beating About the Bush
December 2nd, 2019 by diane92345

Agatha Raisin is back in fine style literally (or in a book would it be literarily?) Beating about the Bush and finding a severed leg. Or is it severed? Or is it even a leg?

Raisin Investigations is hired by an electric car battery company to determine who is perpetrating industrial espionage on their new, longer lasting battery. Before their investigation has even begun, Agatha and her trusted assistant Toni find a leg in a hedgerow that appears to be wearing the shoe of the company president’s secretary, Mrs. Dinwiddy.

Soon Agatha and Toni are investigating a death by donkey. Agatha, of course, is siding with the donkey. Perhaps they feel a sisterhood in attitude?

In the meantime, Agatha’s on again-off again with Sir Charles takes a wild turn. Toni’s romance with a young doctor has its problems. Good thing that they have the battery company’s cast of suspects to keep them busy.

Wow, this is the best Agatha Raisin in a while. At number thirty in a slowly declining series that is truly amazing!

Beating about the Bush is as good as the first few in the series. If you have given up on them awhile back, it is well worth your time to check out this excellent mystery. Fans of the show will also enjoy catching up with a slightly older, but probably not much wiser, Agatha and her friends. With such great and even iconic cozy mystery characters plus two puzzling mysteries, you can’t miss with this book. 5 stars!

Thank you to Constable; Little, Brown Book Group UK; Minotaur Books; and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in return for my honest review. Out October 24, 2019 in the UK and December 3, 2019 in the US.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: , ,