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Dragon Teeth: A Novel
reviewed on + 404 more book reviews

This is a terrifically entertaining book. It's the true story of a young man's adventures in the *really* wild west of 1876 Montana, as part of a party of scientists looking for fossils (still a new idea) in the wilderness. Crichton quotes from the characters' journals, which gives the book a sense of authenticity, but that doesn't slow the narrative down. It's a coming of age tale, both for the young man at its center and for the young science of paleontology, and it's a cracking great adventure. I really enjoyed it.

Cool in Tucson (Sarah Burke, Bk 1)
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Poor writing, 50 pages into the story and it was just dumb and boring and by that point you should know what is going on, I consider this poor writing

Alice's Notions
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Alice's Notions by Tamera Lynn Kraft is set in Burning Bush, West Virginia in April of 1946. Alice Morgan Brighton has returned to Burning Bush after the death of her husband, Joe in the war. She has decided to use her savings to open Alice's Notions. Burning Bush has not been doing well and needs something that will help attract tourists. Alice has come up an idea and runs it past Mr. & Mrs. Toliver. She wants to have a barn quilt tour. Quilt patches will be painted on various barns around the town and, hopefully, the tourists will stay to eat and shop. Gwendolyn Toliver is all in favor of the notion and immediately sets to planning. Rick Morrison, Alice's landlord, raises objections to Alice opening a shop and the tour. Rick is evasive about his business dealings, and he takes numerous out of town trips. Alice signed up to sponsor a European refugee, but Greta Engel from Germany is not what she expected. When Alice sprains her ankle just days before the opening of Alice's Notions, she has no choice but to let Greta stay. What should be a wonderful opportunity for the Burning Bush ends up dividing the townspeople and causing dissention. During the planning, Alice notices that some of her friends are becoming secretive and there is something off about the tour plans. Does someone have a different agenda for the barn tour? Who are they and what is their plan? Alice intends to find out, but she does not know who she can trust.

Alice's Notions is nicely written, and the story has a steady pace. It has a good flow and smooth transitions. Alice's Notions is a story with intrigue, mystery, suspense, romance, and overcoming prejudices and anger. The author captured the setting of a small town in a rural area along with how the people felt and acted. Ms. Kraft captured the time-period with the language, dress, and people's attitudes after the war. It helped that the slang from the 1940s was included along with films and books. I did, though, tire of Rick's use of âdameâ and âdollâ when referring to Alice (it was annoying). Greta Engel was a wonderful addition to Alice's Notions. In the story the author showed how people felt towards Germans after the war. Townspeople would call her Alice's servant or girl (and other derogatory names) which properly reflected how people felt (it wasn't right, but it was the attitude after the war based on fear and prejudice). Greta's misunderstanding of American slang added humor to the story (just the right touch). I enjoyed seeing the relationship progress between Greta and Alice. Alice changed over the course of the book as well. She returned home to Burning Bush because she was afraid to live alone in New York City without her husband. Alice was timid in the beginning. If she is to thwart the evil that has invaded her town, she must step up. The mystery was well constructed, and there will be twists that will surprise readers. There is romance (of course) but it was not over-the-top. There is one steamy kiss. Otherwise, the relationship progressed at a pace congruent to the era. I am giving Alice's Notions 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). Alice's Notions is an engaging novel that will sweep you back to a small town in 1946 that is the unlikely hotbed of a conspiracy.

A Noise Downstairs: A Novel
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Is it possible to receive messages from the dead? College Professor Paul Davis in Linwood Barclay's novel, A Noise Downstairs, is trying to find the answer to this question. Paul has been under therapy with Dr. Anna White for eight months after getting hit on the head by a colleague, Kenneth Hoffman. Paul was following Kenneth because he wanted to tell him that his tail light was out. Paul notices two dead women in the back of Kenneth's car. Kenneth panics and tries to kill Paul but the police happen by and arrest Kenneth. Paul wants to write down his experience as a way to deal with it. His wife, Charlotte, finds an old Underwood typewriter for him to use. In the middle of the night Paul wakes and hears someone typing downstairs. He starts to find messages in the typewriter that he did not type and is convinced that they are from the women that Kenneth has killed.

I have read ten novels by Linwood Barclay and he is fast becoming one of my favorite thriller writers. I find his writing to be a mixture of Stephen King and Harlan Coben. His characters are always very unique and intriguing. A Noise Downstairs is told by the viewpoint of three characters; Paul Davis, Charlotte Davis and Dr. Anna White. I thought I knew what was happening midway through but after many twists, I was quickly proven wrong. This would be an excellent beach read and I would highly recommend it to those who love psychological thrillers. I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher, William Morrow for an advanced copy for an honest review. "There's a noise downstairs...and it's not what you think." #ANoiseDownstairs

Someone To Love (Westcott, Bk 1)
Someone To Love (Westcott, Bk 1)
Author: Mary Balogh
Genre: Romance
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
reviewed on + 537 more book reviews

Nicely done.

The Duke's Perfect Wife (Highland Pleasures, Bk 4)
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This story lacked the magic of the preceding three novels. Hart is a minor character, though a major presence in English politics, in the previous books. Hart carries a lot of baggage; he was engaged and jilted by Eleanor Ramsay; married Sarah but she and their son died in childbirth; had a long-term mistress who owned a brothel house for many years. On her death, the house was willed to Hart.

Now, Eleanor Ramsay has come back into Hart's life with a nude photograph of Hart, that might end his political career if it comes to light. Eleanor wants to investigate the photograph and Hart hires her to do so. What Hart really wants is another chance at convincing Eleanor that they could be happy together.

To me, the strength of this series is the fact that all four of the brothers are part of each story. Ian is my favorite and he makes amazing progress through the course of the books. However, Hart and Eleanor's story didn't seem realistic. I could not imagine a Victorian lady bringing a nude photo of a former fiancee to him so she could get permission to investigate.

Mackenzies / Highland Pleasures

1. The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie (2009)
2. Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage (2010)
3. The Many Sins of Lord Cameron (2011)
** 4. The Duke's Perfect Wife (2012)
4.5. Mackenzie Family Christmas (2012)
5. The Seduction of Elliot McBride (2012)
5.5. The Untamed Mackenzie (2013)
6. The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie (2013)
6.5. Scandal and the Duchess (2014)
7. Rules for a Proper Governess (2014)
7.5. The Mackenzie Clan Gathering (2015)
8. The Stolen Mackenzie Bride (2015)
9. Alec Mackenzie's Art of Seduction (2017)

Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit
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Great book and truly made me think of my daily walk with Jesus.

Rising Tide: Bear Bryant, Joe Namath, and Dixie's Last Quarter
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Any casual fan of the Bear Bryant/Alabama/Joe Namath legend will undoubtedly find some new and maybe some uncomfortable revelations about this storied and legendary time in Alabama football. The 60's were not a time of harmony within the south and the author tells it like it was, pulling no punches in his description of the times and the conflicts that plagued the state of Alabama at that time. For the die-hard fan this book is a return to the glory that was Joe Willie and Coach Bryant and the domination of the Bama Crimson Tide.

To Scotland With Love (Kilts and Quilts, Bk 1)
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Good story about going home. The story opens with Cait's return to the small Scottish village where she was born and spent her childhood. She had given up her career as a reporter in an attempt to be the perfect wife to her cheating and emotionally abusive husband. Now that he's dead (in embarrassing circumstances) she's hoping to escape the scandal and mend her relationship with her grandmother. She doesn't expect to find Hollywood megastar and fellow escapee Graham Buchanan.

Graham is a movie star who is extremely protective of his privacy. When he isn't filming, he comes home to Gandiegow to spend time with his son and little grandson. Duncan and Mattie are his world and he will do anything to protect them.

Cait comes across as pretty selfish at the beginning. Though she claims she wants to reconnect with her grandmother, she has no intention of actually staying with her. Instead, she has bought her own cottage to live in. Her life receives one more blow when she discovers that said cottage burned two days before her arrival. She looks at it as just another indication that her life sucks. Then when she stumbles across Graham, her first thought is to use her time in Gandiegow to acquire the information to write an exposé on him and jump start a return to her former career. She doesn't give a thought to the effect it would have on him, his family, or the village and its residents.

I liked Graham more, though he had his issues too. He is immediately suspicious of Cait and her intentions, which shows that he has good instincts. He obviously loves his son and grandson, though his relationship with Duncan is strained. Graham carries a great deal of guilt over the amount of time he spent away from Duncan due to his filming commitments and now seems to go a bit overboard in his attempts to make up for it. I loved his relationship with little Mattie who seems to be the lone bright spot in Graham's life.

I enjoyed the development of the relationship between Cait and Graham, and the changes that they experienced along the way. In spite of his suspicions about her, Graham is attracted to Cait from the beginning. Cait was also attracted to him, which conflicted with her plans to out him. Both of them fought hard to resist it, having been hurt in the past and wanting to protect their hearts. Both of them are stubborn, passionate people, and there are moments of extreme sweetness between them as well as times of intense heat.

The more time that she spent with Graham and the others, the harder it was for Cait to continue her plans for her tell-all. As a devastating crisis develops, I loved watching as the entire village pulls together to support those affected. Cait especially steps up to provide the emotional support that Graham needs, which only deepens their connection. But in spite of their growing feelings, both try to deny what everyone else can see - they are exactly what each other needs. It's not smooth sailing though, as Cait's plans come back to bite her and Graham has to decide whether he can trust her after all.

Family is an important theme throughout the story also. Cait came to Gandiegow because of the memories of her life there and because Deydie is the only family she has left. She feels guilty because she allowed her husband to keep her away and isn't sure of her reception. Deydie is a tough nut to crack. She isn't very nice to Cait, with her snide comments and bossy nature, but there are occasional glimpses of her softer side. I felt that through most of the book, Deydie was just as intent on protecting her heart as Cait was. I loved seeing them come together at the end with a heartwarming and emotional scene. Graham also has his family issues to deal with. I ached for both him and Duncan as they butted heads. There were many times when I wanted to shake Duncan and tell him to let the past go. I loved the way that Cait read him the riot act and pointed out that he hadn't had it so bad after all. I adored little Mattie. I ached for what he had been through and what was still to come. It was sweet to see how he took to Cait and the bond that grew between them.

Ocean Beach
Ocean Beach
Author: Wendy Wax
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on

ok for a light easy read. Had trouble getting into it just because so busy with other things in life so it dragged a little for me, especially in the beginning.

The Perfect Recipe for Love and Friendship (O'Bannon Sisters, Bk 1)
reviewed on

just ok. I didn't like the main characters. The mom was too rigid, judgmental and opinionated and the daughters were all wimpy and weak. The story and plot were ok but those girls needed to get some backbone and that mom needed to loosen up a bit.

Lola and the Boy Next Door (French Kiss, Bk 2)
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I really loved Anna and the French Kiss and was just as impressed with Lola and the Boy Next Door. I adored the quirky characters, the sweet romance, and just how very feel good this book was. I read this book in one sitting over a couple hours and just loved it.

I enjoyed Lola and her crazy need to dress up in costumes every day; something I can relate to and something I totally understand. It was interesting how some people accused her of hiding from herself and others applauded her for being unique. I love dressing up in stuff that is really different and can totally relate to how she had to deal with everyone's judgement.

I also really enjoyed Cricket as a character; I love his quirky inventiveness and the fact that he was going into engineering school. He was a fun character to read about. As an engineer, I love reading about other budding engineers. The chemistry between him and Lola was very sweet and I enjoyed them both so much.

The San Francisco setting was well done and intriguing. I also enjoyed the fact that Lola's parents were a couple of gay men; I love that this book shows how two people in a loving relationship can make great parents no matter what their sex or background.

Overall this book just resonated with me on a number of levels and I ended up absolutely adoring it. This was one of those feel good books that left me feeling happy and hopeful when I finished it. I really enjoyed it and will be picking up Isla and the Happily Ever After soon to read. Recommended to those who enjoy quirky YA contemporary romance set in a fun location.

Truly Madly Guilty
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Very slow, I kept waiting for the big "event" of the barbeque, it was a huge let down. I had to force myself to finish this one. I felt it was lacking a meaty story line that I could sink my teeth in to. This one wasn't it.

Salonica, City of Ghosts : Christians, Muslims and Jews, 1430-1950
reviewed on + 5951 more book reviews

Certainly there's a theme of how well the various ethnic groups got along before nationalism reared its ugly head. There's some great panoramic drawings on the inside front and back covers, but the b[k needs more maps of Salonika itself.

Fixing Canadian Democracy
Fixing Canadian Democracy
Genre: Nonfiction
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on + 5951 more book reviews

Does he make house calls?

Beautiful Bastard: A Bad Boy Romance
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Hollywood's beautiful bastard squares off against a spunky author in Beautiful Bastard by N.L. Blake.

Tandy O'Hara is a smart, self-assured author who pens political thrillers. She has been approached by a movie studio to write the screenplay for her latest successful novel- A Moment in Time. Initially, she refuses, but after some pushing by her agent Stephan, she relents, on the condition that she won't have to deal with the lead male actor, Jake Morgan.

Spoiled, rich, and entitled, Jake Morgan is a Hollywood superstar. He knows that he can get whatever he wants using his "charm" and good looks. He buries himself in drink, drugs, and women, but he still can't outrun the "darkness" he feels within. Jake is completely put off his game by the sassy little screenwriter who shows up at the pre-production meeting with her attitude, motorcycle boots and leather jacket. He determines to figure out why she isn't interested in him, and decides that he will use her up and crush her.

When I first started reading, I was quickly taken in by Tandy's snarky character. I burst out laughing several times, and I was tickled that she was putting Jake the jerk in his place. Jake went out of his way at every possible opportunity to be a crass, disgusting pig to everyone around him.

Sadly, once Jake decides he "will have" Tandy, this self-assured, spunky woman turns into a spineless doormat. No matter that Jake is a complete douche to her, cheats multiple times, and is never sober enough to actually figure out who he is or what he wants... when he crooks his finger, she comes running. Ugh. Who is the bigger fool? Hard to tell.

The sex scenes were hot, but there really wasn't a believable chemistry between the characters. Their "relationship" was like watching a train wreck- I wanted to look away, but couldn't. The ending really made no sense- I was left saying, What?? I'm sorry- I just didn't buy it. There was no lead up to his miraculous change, so it rang false to me.
I wanted to like this one, but it just didn't work for me.
I received an ARC of this novella, and I voluntarily chose to leave an honest review.

Shaken (Heart of a Warrior)
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This book was absolutely A M A Z I N G. It had the perfect blend of Christian faith, natural disaster, trauma, blind faith, love and of course a rescue. I am in love with this book.

It's perfect for older teens. Be sure you understand that it's not for young teens, but instead for older teens. This book has a death scene that is absolutely horrible and leaves you crying. It's not for the faint of heart.

My heart ached for Kaylan at every turn. The trauma she endured and relived reminds me of someone I know who went through similar after effects after returning home. Even when back home nothing is the same and in a way never will be.

I love how much the author was able to intertwine Christian Faith and putting your faith in him. I'm at a loss of words that could better depict this story. It's a definite addition to my personal library.

Ark of Fire (Stones of Fire, Bk 1)
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i started the book as a kindle sample an when the sample ended i was like no not now so i just had to get the book so i could finish

Micah (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series)
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This might be a bit bias since Nathaniel and Micah are my favorite characters from the Anita Blake series. Be warned.

I loved reading a story about just Micah. Since the moment Anita meet him I've always wondered about his life before he came into town. We know some of the story and how his pack, previously lead by another, was taken over by Chimera, who was one crazy mo-fo. But what else did we know....not much. Now we get a better look at the person he was before. He was the victim of a vicious attack which lead to him turning furry a month later. The details are pretty bad and I instantly felt for him as the survivor of something so terrible.

As if that wasn't enough he pulled through and went off to college only to be rejected by girl after girl for his curse of being well endowed. Some guys would brag but that's not Micah so when he gives the details of what some of the girls did to him, I felt so bad that I was enchanted by his accounting of how he felt when he meet Anita. She didn't make him feel like a toy, a monster or an animal for wanting to have sex with her. She was the first and only girl that could handle his size and not treat him like anything but human.

I'am so in love with Micah and I know many of you will be to when you read this story.

Murder at the Mushroom Festival (Kelly Jackson, Bk 4)
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Murder at the Mushroom Festival by Janet Finsilver is fourth installment in A Kelly Jackson Mystery series. Kelly Jackson, the manager of the Redwood Cove Bed-and-Breakfast, is looking forward to the Mushroom Festival in Redwood Cove, California. She has agreed to let Elise Jackson teach her mushroom class in the multipurpose room. Elise will be teaching the participants how to identify various mushrooms, how to cook with mushrooms and provide maps on where to find the fungi in the local area. One of the highlights of the festival is the mushroom hunting contest. Ned Blaine, reporter for the Redwood Cove Messenger, is attending Elise's class and manages to anger a few people before it disperses. The next morning Deputy Sheriff Bill Stanton arrives to speak with Kelly. Ned Blaine was found shot dead (I'm so shocked) on sacred tribal land in Mallory National Park. When Daniel ends up the prime suspect, Kelly and the sleuthing seniors known as the Silver Sentinels dig into the case. Ned was investigating illegal redwood logging which included the stealing sinker logs and writing a book on places to locate mushrooms in Redwood Cove. Both items stirred up dark feelings and could have gotten Ned murdered. Someone is not happy with Kelly's snooping and attempts to take her out of commission. It is up to Kelly and the Silver Sentinels to find the wrongdoer before they strike again.

Murder at the Mushroom Festival can be read alone. Everything you need to know about Kelly is included in Murder at the Mushroom Festival. I thought the book contained good writing and had a steady pace. Janet Finsilver has a conversational writing style that makes the story easy to read. I thought the characters were well established. Kelly's coworkers, friends and the Silver Sentinels are friendly, welcoming characters. They are the type of people I would like to know and have as my friends. I appreciate that there is a diverse group of people. I especially enjoy the younger characters as well as the dogs. They provide levity and humor to the story. Kelly is friendly, caring, smart and level headed. I like the setting of Redwood Cove. It sounds like a great place to live with the water and forests (I have always wanted to life in the Pacific Northwest). It was interesting to learn about mushrooms. I had no idea there were so many varieties and how easy it is to find them. People do need to be careful since there are numerous poisonous varieties (great weapon for a killer). I would never have thought of using mushrooms in a dessert. The mystery had a couple of different components that all come together in the end with the loose ends wrapped up. Identifying the guilty, though, is a piece of cake. I really like that Kelly actively investigates. She asks clever questions while being subtle. Kelly does not blindly dive into dangerous situations (hooray). There are many cozy moments in the book (cooking, chatting, mushroom hunting, cookie baking and decorating, horseback riding, traversing down the river in a canoe) that aid in making Murder at the Mushroom Festival a delight to read. My rating for Murder at the Mushroom Festival 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). This is my favorite book so far in A Kelly Jackson Mystery series.

If You Were Me and Lived in...the Ancient Mali Empire (Volume 10)

Another installment to Carole P. Roman's If You Were Me And Lived In...This time we are introduced to the ancient Mali Empire. These books are fun to look at and even parents/adults learn so much.

I had actually never heard of the Mali people nor that Mali means hippo. This empire had big trade routes and was known for them. They named their children names you often see in the Christian bible although they were Islamic and Muslims.

I am never sure the age that this series should be read. It is meant for kids but I learn so much as an adult as well. I just wish the content of what learn would stay in my head but that is a whole other issue.

I look forward to reading the rest of the series. Can not really go wrong with learning things.

Troubled Waters (Montana Rescue)
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Ian Shaw can pretty much buy anything he wants, except the whereabouts of his niece, Esme and Sierra, the woman he loves. And now he finds himself liquidating his assets to pay government fines for a devastating fire they say he's responsible for starting. Sierra Rose still loves Ian in spite of everything that's happened between them, but his obsession to find Esme has totally consumed his life. Sierra knows where Esme is and wants to share that with Ian but has promised Esme she'd keep it secret. When the PEAK chopper is badly damaged during a rescue and there are no funds to repair it, Ian offers his yacht for a three day Caribbean fundraiser excursion. Sierra organizes it and Ian invites his closest friends who he hopes will donate the money to fix the chopper. The excursion turns into a nightmare when a rogue wave hits the yacht and sends everyone overboard. Ian and Sierra find themselves washed up on a deserted island. Will working together to survive bring them closer together? And if they are rescued what will happen when Ian finds out Sierra's kept the truth from him?

Wow! Talk about an edge-of-your-seat-can't-put-it-down story, this one is just that! From the very beginning until it's climatic conclusion you will be glued to the pages. This is the long awaited story of Ian and Sierra and it does not disappoint. At the same time, you have the Pete and Jess story continuing on as well. Two stories for the price of one. I love that! Be prepared for emotional ups and downs but with that you'll also get some great nuggets of spiritual wisdom and encouragement. I like that you see all the familiar friends you've come to know from the previous books. To me, that makes the story much more endearing. Along with the emotional ups and downs, you'll encounter action, suspense and some heart-stopping moments. If you can ride out the âTroubled Waters' you are in for a real treat at the end. Although this has a conclusion it sets the stage for the next story (Storm Front) which I can't wait to dive into. I highly recommend not only this book but the whole series. I recommend you read them in order though because, although each book can stand alone, there is certain parts of the story that carry from one book to the next.

*This complimentary copy was provided by Revell through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Some favorite quotes:

âIf I didn't know that God had my back, I'd be a basket caseâ

âOur team chaplain told me to count it a gift when God is my only option, andâ¦he's right. I decided to refuse to believe anything but that God is good and he loves me. Doesn't mean life isn't insane sometimes, but I'm not in this alone.â

âLove isn't about how she makes you feel. It's about giving of yourself to her. And doing what's best for her.â

âYour worth to God has nothing to do with your actions. He loves you because he wants to Because he chooses to.â

If you want to know more about this book or other books by this author I recommend you visit her website at

Deep State (Dagmar Shaw, Bk 2)
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I liked the first book of this series and I liked this one even more. Complicated scenarios and plenty of action in exotic locales. Reminds me of Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon. Highly recommend it.

A Riesling to Die
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A Riesling to Die is the first novel in The Wine Trail Mysteries. Norrie Ellington, a screenwriter, has reluctantly agreed to oversee the Two Witches Vineyard, in which she is a co-owner, for a year while her sister and her husband go off to Costa Rica on a research trip. Norrie believes that with the experienced winery staff, her role will be minimal which will leave her plenty of quiet time to write. The day after Francine and Jason leave the local crank is found dead in the new Riesling vines. Norrie decides to investigate the matter because the winery cannot afford to lose money or have bad publicity. She starts asking questions and believes she has discovered the guilty party. Norrie hatches with a plan to get the individual to confess. Unfortunately, things do not go quite as expected. Join Norrie at the Two Witches Vineyard in her search for a killer in A Riesling to Die.

A Riesling to Die is a light cozy mystery. Norrie is one of those main characters that babbles when nervous and turns into a blithering idiot in front of a handsome man. There was a lack of development in Norrie's character. The author fails to provide her background which would establish the character (any of the characters). There are some unique people working in the tasting room of the winery. Glenda, Roger, Lizzie and Cammy provide comic relief along with Cammy's cousin, Marc and Enzo (they cracked me up). There is also a dog that manages to get into smelly messes every day (it makes me wonder if these people have not heard of a leash or a fenced in area for dogs) and Alvin, the spitting dwarf goat that is an attraction for children (just what every vineyard needs when you have guests wandering about). The mystery was straightforward, and the identity of the guilty party came as no surprise. Norrie's investigation was proceeding nicely until she came up a harebrained scheme to reel in who she believes is the killer (she jumped to conclusions instead of following the evidence and thinking things through). The grand plan jeopardizes the winery and reminds me of Lucy Ricardo's schemes. Norrie's spends a significant amount of time speculating on who could have committed the crime. You can really see her overactive imagination at work. All the loose ends are wrapped up at the end of the story. A Riesling to Die had a good start, but then it stalled out for a while and then it became foolish. There is some interesting information about growing grapes, taking care of the vines, running a vineyard and producing wines. I am curious how many dead people will turn up in the area during Norrie's year at Two Witches Winery (maybe the author will throw in a burglary). A Riesling to Die is a quick read that will appeal to readers who prefer lighter cozy mysteries filled with quirky characters. The next book in The Wine Trail Mysteries is Chardonnayed to Rest.

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