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Topic: June Is Busting Out All Over! What are we reading?

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Subject: June Is Busting Out All Over! What are we reading?
Date Posted: 6/1/2014 1:11 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
Posts: 1,520
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I admit it...I've always been a sucker for all the old big musicals!!!!  Couldn't resist...and now that song is going to stick in my head!!!

Read Disturbance/Jan Burke...the last, it would appear, of her Irene Kelly mysteries.  This one seemed a bit of a re-hash of another one, but still enjoyed it.  Have Craig Johnson's latest waiting for me.  Life is good!!!

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 6/1/2014 8:12 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,088
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Thanks Marla, now it's stuck in my head!

I read Ammie Come Home and have Stitches in Time / Barbara Michaels waiting for me.  I must confess, I was straightening my actual bookshelf and found I had Shattered Silk and Stitches in Time in the house and after reading Ammie Come Home on my Kindle I immediately got the next two on my Kindle.  I had completely forgotten I had the books.  Sigh.  

Not much new on the reading front here.  I swear I've been reading and reading Dying Light / Stuart MacBride forever and I've barely begun.  Probably a quarter of the way through it.  An arson, a murder, what's being called a pre-murder, murder solved now prove it, cop in intensive care and Logan's in deep doo-doo!  This is book two and I just found that the author is on book eight.  

I discovered a feature on Fantastic Fiction I never paid attention to - don't go there!!!  New Authors and New Books.  Sheesh, I ordered three new authors within the blink of an eye and refused to go beyond what I could see on the screen.  I figured if I did I'd still be ordering, wishing, wanting a new pile of books.  1663 Coming Soon books, no-no DON'T look!  Ah, you looked as did I.  devil 

Date Posted: 6/1/2014 11:56 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
Posts: 1,520
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Geri...Stuart MacBride is one of my very favorites!  Mainly because of DI Steele...she cracks me up!!  Have his latest sitting here waiting for me.

Yep, found that section on Fantastic Fiction.  Have been very good about not looking at it, not looking on Amazon, not looking at the emails I get re free or cheap books.  I swear I am not getting anymore (unless they come off my WL) until I get the TBR (print and Kindle) down to a more reasonable level and get caught up on a bunch of series.  Wonder how long that resolution will last?  wink

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 6/1/2014 3:00 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,088
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A day and a half.  devil

I'm not sure which character I like best in the series, DI Steele is a trip.  

My TBR is going down as the Kindle goes up.

Date Posted: 6/1/2014 8:25 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
Posts: 6,857
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I've left Fairacre for this year, and I'm now reading the second in Jenn McKinley's Hat Shop series, "Death of a Mad Hatter."  I'm about half-way through and loving it.  MC is running a hat shop with her cousin Vivian in London.  MC is American, though she spent summer vacations in London with her cousin and their Aunt Mim, from whom they inherited the shop.  MC is a riot.  They have been hired to make all the hats for a tea party fund raiser with the theme 'Alice in Wonderland.'  The family they are working for are just about as mad as most of the characters in the book - or worse.  :)  Great cozy!

Date Posted: 6/2/2014 12:19 AM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2013
Posts: 639
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Andrew Lloyd Webber may compose unforgettable music, but can't hold a candle to the singability of Rodgers and Hammerstein! 

50 State Personal Challenge Countdown
#5 - The Sculptor by Gregory Funaro. Set in Rhode Island, an insane serial killer is creating replicas of Michelangelo masterpieces using human body parts. A little science is thrown in to explain how he preserves the bodies and makes them appear to be marble. FBI agent is on the case with an art historian as consultant. Really had me going the first half of the book, but by the end it strained credulity, especially the last 20 pages. In some places the dialog sounded a bit pedantic. I can't remember once in my life starting a sentence with "Consequently," or using the word "totality" in conversation. I did, however, learn more about Michelangelos's sculptures. Two and a half to three stars.



Last Edited on: 6/2/14 12:21 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/2/2014 10:31 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
Posts: 1,520
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Oh, ye of little faith,  Geri!  Or, you just know me too well at this point!!  cheeky

Read Any Other Name/Craig Johnson last night.  This one has Walt in Deadwood, SD for much of the book investigating the suicide of a  cold case investigator and looking into the disappearance of three women.  A great deal of the book has Walt in some sort of peril...getting shot, stepped on by a buffalo, etc.  Not much of Henry Standing Bear (my favorite character) or Vic, but still a good read.  The ending is really cute...it takes a minute or two for it to really register.



Last Edited on: 6/2/14 10:32 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 6/2/2014 10:42 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,088
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When we took a trip west we stayed in Deadwood!  Bad Marla!  Now I have to get that one too.  Hmmm, buffalo are near Deadwood but not in Deadwood.  We checked out the cemetery where Annie Oakley among other well known "cowboy movie" names are buried.

Oh I just figured you were as bad as I was about taking a peek at the new stuff.  Sigh, just got SYKM newsletter and was soooo tempted.  I did manage to resist getting anything new.

Mary my Delaware book involved a serial killer.  Think there's something going on in those smaller states?  devil  



Last Edited on: 6/2/14 10:45 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/2/2014 1:18 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
Posts: 1,520
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The buffalo were somewhere out in the boonies near Deadwood...you known when you read a Johnson book, Walt is going to be wandering all over the place!

 

The reason I keep showing up here is that my project for the morning was sorting through the books on my PBS bookshelf and getting rid of stuff!  I now have another plastic tub and four paper tote bags to go to Goodwill tomorrow!  My bookshelf has gone from over 300 to less than 100!  For my next trick, I am going to go through the 6 piles of books on the floor that I have never posted and see if anybody is looking for them (each pile is about 2 ft. high!!).  So, when I want a break, I check in here again!!

Haven't checked email yet so haven't looked at the SYKM newsletter...aren't I being good!!!!

Date Posted: 6/2/2014 4:55 PM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2009
Posts: 1,698
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I took Rob D's advice and read Florida Roadkill by Tim Dorsey.

Oh my goodness, what a hoot!  If you like Carl Hiaasen you will probably like this guy too. If possible, he has even more weird, crazy Florida characters and convoluted mayhem than Hiaasen!!!

The only thing I don't understand is Coleman gets killed but apparently reappears in other books?  I blacked that out because it could be a spoiler if you want to read the book.   I'm going to have to get the next in the series to figure out what's going on with all these crazies.

Date Posted: 6/3/2014 3:59 AM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2013
Posts: 639
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After two less than satisfying books, I grabbed a book from my TBR pile that I knew I would enjoy: Purple Cane Road by James Lee Burke. He creates such interesting, colorful and complex characters. The plot lines focus on a woman on death row for the murder of a man who sexually abused her and her twin sister when they were little girls, the mystery of Dave's mother who abandoned him and his father, and the usual corruption within the NOPD. Totally satisfying! 

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 6/4/2014 6:00 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,088
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Leslie, I think that series is a hoot too!

Marla, you mentioned Morgue Momma and I had it on my Kindle.  Decided to read it, oh my you said you enjoyed it but, faint praise!  I never ever even got an inclination of who did the dirty!  It was almost light reading with the occasional naughty word thrown in.  Cups of coffee here, tea there and of course chocolate.  Until the end, basically the last chapter is almost Hercule standing in the parlor telling you how the butler did it!

I finished Gypped / Carol Higgins Clark for the Challenge - Route 66 California.  As usual light reading, a "nice" series that I've followed from the beginning.
     

Date Posted: 6/4/2014 12:08 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
Posts: 1,520
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It's been 2-3 yrs since I read the first Morgue Momma, so can't really remember it all that well!  Guess I read the next two because I got a kick out of the MC.  Maybe because she reminds me so much of the editor of the newspaper in the little town in Kansas where I grew up.  Definitely light reading.

Read Without Consent/Katheryn Fox last night.  The 2nd in her series featuring a forensic pathologist(female) in Australia.  This one deals with a serial rapist/killer and someone who has been in prison who may/may not have committed the crime.  Nothing earth shattering, but I enjoyed both books.


 



Last Edited on: 6/4/14 7:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/5/2014 5:27 AM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2013
Posts: 639
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Read The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Poetzsch. A young boy's body is pulled from the river and a a circle with a cross beneath it is found on his back. It must be the mark of a witch. The town's midwife falls under suspicion because of her use of "magical" herbs. She is arrested and must be forced to confess before being burned at the stake - the hangman Jacob Kuisl's job. A couple scenes strain credulity and some of the dialog is anachronistic. Nevertheless I enjoyed the story, some very likable characters, and a look at what life was like in Bavaria a decade after the end of the terrible religious wars that devastated Germany and ended with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.

The author is a descendant of the very real hangman Jacob Kuisl who lived in Bavaria. One of the reasons the story resonated with me was that as a history major, I learned about the religious wars. French mercenaries fought to keep Germany Catholic, while Lutheran Swedes poured down to make it Protestant. About one-third of the German population died either by the sword or the famine that followed the hungry armies, and probably one-tenth of towns and villages disappeared entirely. The Peace of Westphalia stated that the religion of each principality would be decided by its ruler. That bit of history truly came alive for me when, as a genealogist, I traced a client's family back to 1648 and read in the parish register a notation by the new pastor that the parish of Spachbrucke, Hessen, Germany had changed from Catholic to Lutheran. 



Last Edited on: 6/5/14 5:28 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/5/2014 9:04 AM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2005
Posts: 5,474
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Mary, I read that whole series last year and loved it. At first I was dubious I'd like the storyline, but turned out I was fascinated with the bits of history. I'm hoping he has another one in the works to add to the series.

I just finished reading The Fugitive King  (A Professor Simon Shaw Mystery) by Sarah R. Shaber. It was about average as cozies go.

I'm currently reading The Final Arrangement by Annie Adams on my Kindle. I got it for free last year and am really enjoying it. The MC runs a flower shop in Utah and is suspected of killing a rival florist who was found embalmed in a casket with a spray of her flowers on top. The characters and entertaining and the story well written. I also got the second one for free and will be reading that one after I finish the two free cozies I won and have to review.

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 6/5/2014 2:31 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,088
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Oh, me bad!  I not only have seven books on my nightstand that I'm in various stages of reading I have two going on my Kindle!  

The one that seems to be holding my attention the most right now is A Conspiracy of Genes / Mark deCastriques.  This is a stand alone, classified as a YA.  Perhaps because the MC is 17.  A murder, a mystery, a conspiracy, a thrill or two.  It might have a bit of sci-fi to it as well.  I read a bit more than half yesterday.  I like the author, he has four stand alones that classified as YA.  

Date Posted: 6/6/2014 6:57 AM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2013
Posts: 639
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Storm Track by Margaret Maron is the 7th in the Judge Deborah Knott series, and the 4th that I've read, but I think it's the best one I've read so far. Two couples have their marriages rocked by adultery, and one of them results in murder. As background to the mystery, a the son of one of the couples is tracking a hurricane by radio reports for his science project as it heads for North Carolina. And, as usual, there's lots of Deborah's family. I don't know if this counts as a cozy, but the series makes a nice light reading change from my usual dark mysteries. 



Last Edited on: 6/6/14 6:58 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 6/6/2014 7:08 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 39,346
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I started a new cozy series today, Chili Con Carnage (Chili Cook-Off, Bk 1) :: Kylie Logan. I read one other book by Ms. Logan and enjoyed it. This book seems very typical cozy but I am not too far into it yet.

Alice

Date Posted: 6/6/2014 5:41 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
Posts: 6,857
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Alice, I'm interested in what you think of "Chili Con-Carnage,"  I've read all of her button books and really enjoyed them. 

Just finishing "Assaulted Pretzel."  I have the next book in the series as well, so I'll probably go ahead and read that next as well.  I have several series that I have two books out of.  I must be getting behind.  I'll have to ask Geri if she can read some of my books for me.  I swear, Geri, I get lost just reading about what you are reading!    :)
 

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 6/7/2014 5:39 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,088
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Joy, if you get lost reading what I'm reading I was getting lost with this pile I just polished off!  I swear the stories were running together in my head!  I don't know why I got in a more "hard boiled" type as opposed to cozy but it seems I did. 

I finished Dying Light / Stuart McBride, The Death Collectors / Jack Kerley, Final Price / J Gregory Smith, (if you're going to buy a car be careful of the salesman!), Exit Strategy / Kelly Armstrong (female hitman), Uneasy Relations / Aaron Elkins, Killing Kelly / Heather Graham.  Six out of eight read!  I also finished my YA The Gene Conspiracy / Mark deCastrique.  Still have Heartland / David Wiltse, Hot Fudge Frame-Up / Christine DeSmet and The Find / Marilyn Jax on Kindle, to go from that pile.

Now I have a new pile started, Razing the Dead / Sheila Connolly and Beyond the Grave / Marcia Muller & Bill Pronzini with Barbados Heat / Don Bruns on Kindle.

I began Hot Fudge Frame-Up thinking it was the Mackinac Island fudge series and instead it's the Wisconsin fudge series.  I had to put it down because I kept thinking this is wrong.  I have to get myself to Wisconsin.  cheeky  The Find should be holding me more than it is so I read a few pages and switch to Barbasos Heat.  Don't ask me why I started Beyond the Grave.  I'm getting that mixed up with another swries as well.  I think I might be more into working outside on my back flower bed than reading (gasp) during the day!

The winter did a job on that area and my grass is growing where I don't want it.  But, found a great product at the nursery Grass B Gon.  It will kill grass without harming plants, just what I need for the area since it's flowers and bushes.  The bushes survived but not the flowers.  I was spraying up a storm yesterday.  Getting flowers planted in the ground slowly.  Most of them were done in by the cold this past season, I did find a small shoot of one that I thought was a goner yesterday so that was encouraging.  Not only have the grass growing but the weed barrier took a beating and needs minor, time consuming repairs.

Now, back to cozies because Alice started a cozy challenge!  Alice do you consider Aaron Elkins books cozies?  The MC is Gideon Oliver who is a professor and gets involved, pulled into cases involving skeletons.  I thought he might qualify for the male MC.  devil    



Last Edited on: 6/7/14 5:53 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 6/7/2014 6:45 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 39,346
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I love Aaron Elkin's books. I guess they are kind of cozish. His book Old Bones is one of my favorite all time mysteries.

Joy I finished Chili con Carnage last night it was okay nothing special

Alice

Date Posted: 6/7/2014 8:11 AM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2005
Posts: 5,474
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I'm currently reading A Guidebook to Murder by Lynn Cahoon and really like this first in a new cozy series. I got it for $2.99 on my Kindle awhile back. MC owns a coffee shop/bookstore in CA. An elderly friend is murdered and MC's best friend goes missing, all seemingly connected to the elderly woman refusing to sell her home to a developer. MC inherited the house and she is also threatened. Well written and the MC isn't one of the usual women in cozies who runs around willy-nilly and is ditzy.

Geri, I've read about three books already for Alice's challenge. One of them is The Fugitive King by Sarah R. Shabar. The main character is a history professor in North Carolina who constantly gets involved in murder. I consider it a cozy as it isn't gory and he doesn't investigate murder for a living.. I got several of them free on my Kindle. I actually have quite a few books that fit the male cozy category.



Last Edited on: 6/7/14 8:13 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 6/7/2014 11:16 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,088
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Mary, I just found Alice's challenge yesterday.  I've selected a few that I have on my bookshelf already.  I just finished an Aaron Elkins so I thought of him.  I've read Shabar's series too.  I think I have one sitting here and can use that for the challenge. 

Another series I like that has a male MC is a stay at home dad.  The series is written by Jeffery Allen, Stay at Home Dead is the first.  Also Jeffrey Cohen has a series set in New Jersy, first is For Whom the Minivan Rolls.  I like the Mark deCastrique Buryin' Barry series.  Barry is a funeral director who's friends with the police chief.  Since Barry was a cop in a big city he gets sucked into the investigations.

 



Last Edited on: 6/7/14 11:35 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/7/2014 1:20 PM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2005
Posts: 5,474
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Some of favorite male cozy MCs are older: Tim Cockney's Hitchcock Sewell series. He's and undertaker with a dry wit. I also liked the Working Man's Mystery series by L.T. Fawkes. She only wrote three of them, but they were enjoyable, especially from a man's viewpoint in the story.

A couple newer series: Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery by Steve Robinson and Lauren Carr writes a series I get on my Kindle which I love. It features a retired detective (might skirt the line for cozy, but it's not gory or dark). It's the Mac Faraday Mystery series. The dog in the series is a real hoot.

I love the Jeffery Allen series. Very enjoyable. I surely read some Aaron Elkin in my younger days.  I read two of Jeffrey Cohen's Comedy Tonight Mysteries and didn't like them. Haven't tried the other series.

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 6/8/2014 7:07 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 39,346
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I am enjoying a good historical cozy for our challenge Murder at Westminster Abbey: An Elizabethan Mystery :: Amanda Carmack. It is book two of the series. I love her description of the time mid1500s. This book takes place during Queen Elizabeth's coronation. The characters have depth and not ditzy, historical background is well researched. if you enjoy historical cozies this is a good series to start.

She also writes under the names of Amanda McCabe and Laurel McKee

Alice



Last Edited on: 6/8/14 7:16 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
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