Drawn and Buttered
March 8th, 2019 by diane92345

The third Lobster Shack mystery, Drawn and Buttered, is another great cozy mystery. It’s Halloween in Mystic Bay Connecticut. A giant Lobzilla goes missing! Houses are broken into but nothing is taken! A witch is afoot! Someone is murdered (of course)!

Allie is out of her ankle cast but cannot yet resume her ballerina life. She continues to help her Aunt Gully at her business, the Lazy Mermaid Lobster Shack, and solve murders in her spare time. This murder is no exception.

Though published in February, Drawn and Buttered is sure to get you in the mood for Halloween.  The setting, plots and sub-plots all revolve around a Halloween theme. The plot moves swiftly and the characters seem like family now. Plus who doesn’t enjoy picturing a three-foot long lobster in their heads! This book is highly recommended for all cozy fans. However, if you plan on reading the entire series, you should read them in order to avoid spoilers to earlier books. 4 stars!

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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

Borrowed Time: The Science of How and Why We Age
March 5th, 2019 by diane92345

If you are interested in the how and why behind aging, Borrowed Time: The Science of How and Why We Age will explain current aging research in an easily understandable manner while opening up a whole new frontier of science to lay readers.

Borrowed Time: The Science of How and Why We Age is definitely a popular science book. The definitions of terms and especially acronyms are written in plain English. The science is clearly explained.  However, it is the conclusions drawn that are stunning. Experiments in worms have shown it is possible to extend life tenfold. However, it appears that “ageing is the price we pay for protection against cancer.” Unfortunately, many of the proposed aging solutions caused similar issues. Just a note on the worms: the roundworms carried on the space shuttle Columbia for experimentation were the only survivors of the explosion that killed everything else. Some of their descendants were carried eight years later to the International Space Station on the Endeavor.

I found this book to be really interesting because I didn’t know anything about how the aging process works or any of the multitude of research projects trying to stop it. I would recommend not talking to your 20-something daughter about the importance of the FOXO gene variant, where you basically won the old age lottery. My daughter’s eyes glazed over sometime during the first sentence. I should have started with the fact that fruit flies share 60% of our genes and the worms mentioned above only share 33%. I just have to give this book 4.5 stars!  I couldn’t put it down!

Thanks to Bloomsbury Sigma and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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

Chocolate Cream Pie Murder
March 3rd, 2019 by diane92345

How many books in this series am I going to read hoping they return to the interesting plots and non-stilted dialogue of the first few? It appears at least one more called the Chocolate Cream Pie Murder.

Hannah is once again being harassed by the annoying Ross. Usually I would describe the murder that Hannah must solve around now. However, this time it occurs so late in the book that it would be a major spoiler.

Without a murder, nothing much happens in the first 2/3 of the book. There is a chapter on the weather, cats chasing each other, and of course cooking dinner. There are more recipes here than usual too—and not just desserts.

I found the Chocolate Cream Pie Murder to be pedestrian and worse, boring, compared to other books in the series. I can’t recommend it except to hardcore fans, which is a shame. 2 stars.

Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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

After She's Gone
March 2nd, 2019 by diane92345

After She’s Gone was named Best Swedish Crime Novel for good reason—realistic characterizations, a compelling mystery, and a haunting setting.

Swedish Police Detective Malin is called back to her rural hometown to investigate the murder of a five-year-old girl. Ironically, Malin found the girl’s skeleton eight years earlier when only a teenager.

Malin is part of a five-person homicide team. Two of its members disappear. When one, Hanne, crawls out of the freezing forest without coat or shoes, she can remember nothing of what happened. She was last seen with her boyfriend Peter, who is also on the team. However, Peter is still missing. Only cross-dressing teen, Jake, has seen Hanne emerge from the forest. He also picked up a book she dropped on the road. But he is afraid his secret will come out if he goes to the police.

After She’s Gone alternates between Malin and Jake’s viewpoints. Hanne’s diary also sheds a light on her thoughts before her disappearance. I enjoyed the many twists and turns. The reveal at the end totally blindsided me. The book is highly recommended to dark thriller fans. 4 stars!

My only question is, “How are Scandinavian countries consistently rated happiest when their environment, and their fiction, is so cold and dark?”

Thanks to Ballantine Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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

Criminally Cocoa
February 26th, 2019 by diane92345

Criminally Cocoa is a chocolate amuse bouche for fans of the Amish Candy Shop series while awaiting the next full-length series entry in June 2019.

Bailey takes her Amish cousin, Charlotte, to New York City to tape the pilot for Bailey’s new cable TV show, Bailey’s Amish Sweets. Luckily, Charlotte is in rumspringa and has more freedom before joining the Amish church. During the first day, a suspicious accident occurs on set. Charlotte, with the help of production assistant Todd, investigates.

Criminally Cocoa is a novella that moves Bailey’s story forward so is a must-read for series fans. While it can be read as a standalone, it is better to start with one of the full-length books in the series. This book is written from Charlotte’s first-person view and is clearly meant more as a fish-out-of-water tale than a true mystery. For series fans, it is a 3.5 star read!

Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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