Gluten Free Instant Pot Cookbook--Revised
March 31st, 2019 by diane92345

Containing a hundred delicious sounding recipes, the Gluten-free Instant Pot Cookbook—Revised is both a flavor booster and time saver for gluten-free cooks.

Beginning with a cheesy poblano frittata breakfast, savory creamy polenta and various soups like spicy butternut squash, this cookbook has a bit of everything. Who knew you could make gluten-free meatloaf in an instant pot? Or saffron risotto( no more endless stirring)? The dessert chapter sounds particularly yummy filled with tasty treats like rice and bread pudding plus a to-die-for double chocolate fudge cheesecake. There are also easy bone broths for the paleo fans.

Recipes are clearly labeled with other common allergens like dairy, egg, soy and nut. There are vegan and vegetarian recipes included too. The only issue I have is the total lack of nutritional information.

The recipes are surprisingly innovative. For example, the Shrimp and Grits uses the Pot’s sauté function to cook the aromatics first. The sauce is then covered with a trivet and bowl to cook the grits. After a short time, the grits are removed and the shrimp is added to the sauce for heating. It is very innovative to cook everything in one instant pot making this a perfect gift for a college student with an instant pot but little else to cook with in a dorm room.

The recipes are worth 5 stars. However, the complete lack of nutritional information brings my rating of Gluten-free Instant Pot Cookbook—Revised down to 4 stars.

Thanks to Fair Winds Press and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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

Blood Oath
March 28th, 2019 by diane92345

Blood Oath has a plot ripped from both the #metoo and the mysterious UK poisonings headlines.

NYC head prosecutor Alexandra Cooper and her police detective boyfriend Mike are investigating Lucy’s claim of being sexual assaulted at fourteen. Lucy states while she was serving as witness, the prosecutor, Zach, took advantage of her naiveté. Concurrently to Lucy’s case, defense attorney and Alexandra’s friend, Francie, takes ill on the street.

This is the twentieth book in the series but the first I’ve read. It works well as a standalone read.

There are many twists and coincidences in the bumpy ride to the conclusion of Blood Oath. Though the plot dragged a bit in the middle, the slam-bam conclusion was well worth it. My one complaint was there was no courtroom drama but it still is highly recommended for fans of the series. 4 stars!

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

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

Murder Lo Mein
March 27th, 2019 by diane92345

Murder Lo Mein is the latest Noodle Shop Mystery.

Lana Lee is the new manager at her family’s noodle house. At the annual Cleveland’s Best Noodle contest, her restaurant wins day one of four. Later that day at the karaoke after-party, one of the contest judges is murdered. Lana decides to investigate.

In the meantime, Lana’s detective boyfriend Adam isn’t around much. Is he really too busy with work or is his interest waning? New Community Director Freddie might take Lana’s mind off of Adam.

A plethora of characters are introduced in the first few chapters. I was worried about keeping them all straight. However, as each got their turn in the plot spotlight, their different personalities made them easy to distinguish.

A possibly more serious problem is that not only the victims but even the perps are named from the two earlier books in the series. While this book can be read as a standalone, there will be no surprises if you read the previous books later.

If you liked Crazy Rich Asians or Straight Off the Boat, you will enjoy this look at a crazy Taiwanese family. While the mystery was easy to solve, the characters, humor, and unique setting make Murder Lo Mein a good afternoon’s entertainment. 3.5 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: ,

Never Tell
March 25th, 2019 by diane92345

Another awesome entry in the Sergeant Detective D.D. Warren series. Both D.D. and Flora Dane have a past connection to a new murder case in Never Tell.

Evie is happily married to Conrad and four months pregnant with their first child. Coming home after work, she finds Conrad shot dead in his study. Something on his laptop disturbs her so much that she calmly picks up the murder weapon and shoots the computer twelve times. The police find her holding the gun and arrest her for murder.

Evie was D.D.’s first murder case sixteen years earlier. Evie had shot her father. Her only comment, “It was an accident. An unfortunate accident.” Evie was not charged.

Flora Dane, now working as D.D.’s confidential informant, recognizes the victim, Conrad, from her days with her abductor, Jacob. What secrets are hiding behind Evie’s and Conrad’s seemingly normal facade?

Never Tell is another gripping thriller by Lisa Gardner. Told from the viewpoint of Evie, D.D., and Flora, Flora’s sections were the ones I was racing toward. Flora describes more of what happened to her during her abduction. In addition, Flora shows almost a human side in this book, which is nice to see.

While this book is a highly recommended thriller, I would suggest strongly to read Find Her, where Flora Dane’s story is initially told, before reading this one. It will increase your understanding of Flora’s story (plus it’s a great book on its own).  With that sole caveat, Never Tell is highly recommended to all thriller lovers. You won’t be disappointed! 5 stars!

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

Posted in Diane's Favorites, Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: , ,

Chronicles of a Radical Hag (with recipes)
March 7th, 2019 by diane92345

Chronicles of a Radical Hag (with recipes) is the story of small town Minnesota life over the past fifty years seen through the eyes of a local journalist. The title refers to the name one of her readers called her, a “radical hag”, plus she felt that if she added recipes it would encourage people to read her column.

A homespun Minnesotan newspaper columnist (think Garrison Keillor) suffers a stroke and is in a coma. While hospitalized, her newspaper begins to publish reprints of her prior articles along with the audience’s response.

I really wanted to like this story. However, it seemed extremely slow and nothing much happened that you didn’t see pages before it occurred. It is possible that I have just read too many thrillers to appreciate a literary fiction book that so heavily emphasizes characters over plot. Therefore, I’ll give Chronicles of a Radical Hag (with recipes) 3 stars for fans of that genre.

Thanks to University of Minnesota Press and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Literary Fiction, New Books Tagged with: , ,