JoAnne M. (joannefm2) - , - Reviews

1 to 10 of 10
The Alpine Advocate  (Emma Lord Bk. 1)
The Alpine Advocate (Emma Lord Bk. 1)
Author: Mary Daheim
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 83
Review Date: 12/5/2013


This book started off slow and boring, and I almost didn't stick with it; but it had a good plot and the murder mystery was done well. However, at the same time, it seemed there were so many characters that I couldn't remember who was who. Everyone was related to everyone, and there were so many of them. It felt like she was telling us about everyone in town, but after awhile I didn't even care. Also, Emma seemed to be pretty smart, but couldn't manage her newspaper very well. I will continue to read this series and see if anything changes or if the paper goes belly up. Only because of the mystery did I give it three stars.


Blackwork (Needlecraft Mystery, Bk 13)
Blackwork (Needlecraft Mystery, Bk 13)
Author: Monica Ferris
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 34
Review Date: 12/5/2013


I initially read this book because it takes place around Halloween and I "read the season." It was a pretty decent read, if a trifle boring in places (I could care less how beer is made and there were descriptions of different types throughout). I guess if you care about the types and their names, then this would be important to you, but to me, not so much.

I also thought it was odd that there was a bar in this town that served only beer (which is brewed on premises). That's it. Just beer, no mixed drinks or wine. I'm sure there are plenty of people who like beer, but I wouldn't think that a bar could stand on its own without at least serving wine. It would seem that the bar is only catering to one type of clientele - the beer drinker. I did figure out how the murder was done before she did, and it was interesting to see her figure it out


Candy Apple Dead (Candy Shop, Bk 1)
Candy Apple Dead (Candy Shop, Bk 1)
Author: Sammi Carter
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 188
Review Date: 12/5/2013


The mystery was decent enough and I might read more in this series. Not too deep or involving, but okay.


Carbs and Cadavers (Supper Club, Bk 1)
Carbs and Cadavers (Supper Club, Bk 1)
Author: J. B. Stanley
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 71
Review Date: 12/5/2013


I liked this book, I thought it was written well. The characters were interesting, which is great. The one thing that bothered me is one of the characters, Gillian, is a dog groomer. This is fine, except at one point in the book she states that she is going to have a busy day because she has to "declaw a cat". Excuse me, but groomers do NOT declaw cats. Only vets do that. The author needs to figure out what a dog groomer can and cannot do. So, I will read the second in the series and we will see if this 'groomer' still thinks she's a vet.


The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts (Cat Who...Bk 10)
The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts (Cat Who...Bk 10)
Author: Lilian Jackson Braun
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 197
Review Date: 12/5/2013


I really liked this book; I liked the mystery, I liked Qwill, I liked the cats. But personally I think Qwill is morally cheap. Other than that, a good book.


Drape Expectations (Caprice De Luca, Bk 4)
Drape Expectations (Caprice De Luca, Bk 4)
Author: Karen Rose Smith
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 8/20/2015


Caprice Deluca is a home stager, and because of this, she sometimes makes friends of her clients. Ace Richland, a former rock star on the way to a comeback, is one of those friends. He has called Caprice because his girlfriend Alanna Goodwin is going to sell her house and move in with him. He wants Caprice to stage it for her.

When Caprice acquiesces, she soon realizes that Alanna won't be easy to work with; and has a pretty good reason to dislike her: she doesn't seem to care for her beautiful cat Mirabelle, and puts her 'out of the way' on a whim. With Caprice's love of animals, this is enough for her to be suspicious of Alanna's motives where Ace is concerned, and even more so when she inadvertently hears a conversation between Alanna and one of Ace's bandmates that doesn't bode well for Ace.

So when Caprice arrives at Alanna's for a scheduled meeting regarding the house, she finds something she didn't count on - Alanna's body. With Ace the prime suspect, and Caprice acquiring a new pet in the form of Mirabelle, she does what she can to prove Ace innocent: Find the real killer, even though the police have warned her away.

This was another delightful entry in the Caprice Deluca mysteries. Ms. Smith has a unique flair for bringing us into her sphere of Caprice's life: Her work, her family, her pets, and her love life. We are treated not only to Caprice and her way of 'subtlety' going about unmasking a murderer without getting herself killed, but are privy to the closeness she shares with her family, including the latest problem: Her Uncle Dom, her father's brother, who hasn't spoken to the family in twelve years. It seems his marriage didn't work out, and now, homeless and jobless, he has moved in with Caprice's parents, which is causing problems with her beloved Nana, his mother.

She also has the slight problem of deciding who she wants to spend her life with. With her thirty-third birthday coming up close, she has to choose between the elusive doctor Seth Randolph, whom she has been seeing, or the possibility of pursuing a relationship with Grant Weatherford, her brother's law partner with a troubled past, and who might just be opening up to Caprice. A devilish dilemma indeed...

And, of course, there is the matter of Caprice's beloved pets: Lady, her Cocker Spaniel, who adores her; Sophia, her calico cat who tolerates her; and her newest acquisition, Mirabelle, a Persian who is skittish and is afraid of human contact.

While not giving anything away, I can truthfully say that for anyone who is a fan of this series, or anyone who has just discovered it, read on: You won't be disappointed. Highly recommended.


Drizzled with Death (Sugar Grove, Bk 1)
Drizzled with Death (Sugar Grove, Bk 1)
Author: Jessie Crockett
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 29
Review Date: 12/6/2013
Helpful Score: 1


I didn't really care for this book in that I thought Dani was spoiled, childish and snide. She just wasn't a likeable person to me. She didn't seem to like her family much, I began to wonder why she just didn't move away. Someone else might enjoy it better.


Dying for Strawberries (Berry Basket, Bk 1)
Dying for Strawberries (Berry Basket, Bk 1)
Author: Sharon Farrow
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 13
Review Date: 1/5/2017


Marlee Jacob owns The Berry Basket, a business in the touristy town of Oriole Point, Michigan, selling berry-related items. After a run-in with the town's bully, Cole Bowman, who has promised he won't renew Marlee's lease, effectively closing her business, she's stunned; as are the rest of the townspeople, but for a different reason: it seems Cole has come into ownership of Strawberry Fields, a parcel adjoining the town, and plans to turn it commercial, allowing chains into their little village that will probably put local businesses out of business. What Marlee doesn't understand is how the four members of the council could approve such a move, since they are also local business owners; and blurts out at the meeting that they were either bribed or blackmailed into agreeing to it.

When Marlee is attacked on the night of the Strawberry Moon Bash, and no one will believe her, she's determined to find out who wants her dead. And when Cole's wife Natasha goes missing, she's convinced he's killed her, and decides to investigate on her own. She doesn't find Natasha, but she does find Cole...dead at his home.

Now she's convinced that he was killed by one of the members of the council, and learns that Piper and Lionel have hired detectives to dig up secrets. So Marlee decides to question each of them on her own, hoping to find out first if one of those secrets were terrible enough to cause one of them to kill Cole, and attempt murdering her. But it just might get her killed instead...

I don't like giving mediocre reviews, but I will tell you right off that I'm not compromising myself by giving a great one just to make everyone happy. Sometimes a book isn't always a stinker, but it still makes it hard to slog through. This, unfortunately, was one of those books.

Since the rest of my review includes spoilers, you can find it here:

http://joannesbooks.blogspot.com/2017/01/dying-for-strawberries-berry-basket.html


Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars
Review Date: 5/4/2015


I have a very hard time believing people like Walter Pidgeon ran around looking for male prostitutes. Considering Mr. Pidgeon had two very happy marriages (one until her death, the second until his) and neither of them ever had any scandal associated with them, I believe much of this to be lies. If these two are lies, how much of the rest of the book is? On top of that, while the author includes photos, NONE OF THEM are with the author and his "friends." That alone is suspicious. Too much sounds fake and exaggerated for me to believe.


Guidebook to Murder (Tourist Trap, Bk 1)
Guidebook to Murder (Tourist Trap, Bk 1)
Author: Lynn Cahoon
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 23
Review Date: 4/17/2014
Helpful Score: 3


Jill Gardner owns a small bookstore/coffeeshop in South Cove, California. She moved there after a divorce and made fast friends with Miss Emily, an elderly woman who took an instant liking to her. When Emily dies suddenly, Jill has suspicions that she was murdered, since Emily never seemed sick at all. After Emily leaves everything - house, belongings, money, etc., to Jill, and people start coming out of the woodwork wanting the house, she's more than convinced of that.

While the local police detective, Greg King, warns her to leave the investigation to him, Jill knows she should, but still thinks that she would be disloyal to Emily if she didn't try and find out who killed her. And when 'accidents' and vandalism start following her around, she knows she's closer to the killer than she ought to be. It doesn't help any that she is highly attracted to the good-looking detective, and he appears to be attracted to her also, but keeps her at arms' length (sort of) while he considers it his personal mission to protect her from danger. The interaction between these two is believable and delightful.

I absolutely loved this book. It kept the mystery right up until the end, which was great. There are plenty of twists and turns, suspects, and red herrings. The plot is interesting without getting bogged down in too many extraneous details, and as Jill went through her emotions, I could amost feel them myself. I really enjoy being pulled into the story, not just reading the book and going through the motions. I have always felt that a book should draw you in, not keep you to the sidelines as a mere observer, and this book definitely fills that area. This is the author's first title in this series, and I look forward to reading the next. Highly recommended.


1 to 10 of 10