Nancy L. (NancyAZ) - Reviews

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The Absent One (aka Disgrace) (Department Q, Bk 2)
Review Date: 1/16/2019


I am loving this series. This is the second book in the author's Department Q series. It features Carl Morck who has been put in charge of Department Q, a department of one, with a stack of Copenhagen's coldest cases to review.
In the first book he is given an assistant, Assad, who brings levity to the book. In this second installment he has been given a second assistant, Rose, who is equally entertaining. It's a dark story but engrossing and entertaining all the same. I loved the great characters, the humor and the suspense. I am looking forward to Book #3.


The Accident
The Accident
Author: Chris Pavone
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 8/18/2016


I loved loved loved this book. The writing was excellent, the mystery was well rounded and the ending was satisfying. My only complaint was having to go back occasionally to remember something that had happened previously because there were so many players. But it is a minor complaint and doesn't take any stars away from my rating. I highly recommend!


The Accident
The Accident
Author: Linwood Barclay
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 51
Review Date: 3/31/2018


I enjoyed the twists and turns of this book immensely. It was a good story and written quite well. There were a few times when things were repeated a bit but not enough to stop me from reading. I have to share a quote from a reader on Goodreads with whom I totally agree.

Usually for me, suspense/thriller books are like eating M&Ms...they're good, but I don't expect to get much (literary) nutritional value out of them. This was a surprising exception however, probably because of the twists and reveals.

If you like mysteries/thrillers this book is for you!


The Alice Network
The Alice Network
Author: Kate Quinn
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 69
Review Date: 3/27/2019
Helpful Score: 3


I love it when historical fiction enlightens me on a place or an event I've been unaware of. I knew nothing about the women who were spies in WWI. This book follows the story of Eve Gardiner who was inducted into the Alice Network, a spy network consisting of women, during WWI. There are two stories being told within the book. One story takes place in 1915 during WWI and other is set in 1947, two years after WWII. Eve Gardiner plays a role in both stories. I was impressed how the author included real characters along with the fictional ones. The author's notes at the end identifies which people in her book were real live heroes.

I did not think the romance that blossomed during the story was necessary. There were also a few times the book could have been edited a bit tighter as it rambled in places. All in all though it was a 4 star read for me!


An American Marriage
An American Marriage
Author: Tayari Jones
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 6/21/2019


This was an okay read for me, not great. The story is simple, not very original and quite predictable. I felt like Celestial was not developed at all. We just see the outcome of her actions when Roy returns from prison. Roy is left wondering what is going on with his marriage while he is in prison and so is the reader. I agree with another GR reviewer that perhaps seeing more of Celestial's point of view would have helped me understand her actions. I could not summon up any sympathy for her. It's a love story on many different levels, but it just didn't do it for me.

With all the high reviews this book is/was getting I was certainly surprised to not enjoy it more.


Angels of Destruction
Angels of Destruction
Author: Keith Donohue
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 16
Review Date: 8/4/2013
Helpful Score: 2


This book is mystical, magical and beautiful. The author's writing is so descriptive I wanted to savor every word. The way Donohue puts words together is inspiring.

This is a story of love and redemption, exploring relationships between mother and daughter, sisters and friends with a little mysticism thrown in. Who are the angels in your life?

Dont rush through it. Bask in the beauty of it all.


The Art of Racing in the Rain
The Art of Racing in the Rain
Author: Garth Stein
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 1002
Review Date: 10/12/2015


My opinion of this book is clearly in the minority. It is a simple tale told through the eyes of a dog. The dog had my heart as I am a dog lover but the story is way too predictable and the writing is simple. Within the story there are constant analogies comparing the struggle of life to race car driving. I did not like those parts at all.
I love books that either enlighten me in some way, teach me something about a bit of history I am unaware of or keep me guessing what is coming next. I like to be kept interested! This book did none of those things for me. It attempts to tug at the heartstrings (and succeeds a little) but not enough for me to give it more than 3 stars.


The Bartender's Tale
The Bartender's Tale
Author: Ivan Doig
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 9/11/2019


This book had its moments when it was very good but in between those moments it dragged. The story was sweet; of two twelve year olds and their "adventures" in the summer of 1960. It was easy to read but many times boring. However, I LOVED the ending. The last 40 or so pages the story really kicked in and the ending was perfect. The ending bumped my rating up 1/2 star.


The Beach Trees
The Beach Trees
Author: Karen White
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 125
Review Date: 6/21/2015


This was a solid 4 stars for me through most of the book. Then came the ending. The ending was rushed and the mystery explained in two seconds. And there are still questions that weren't answered. Very disappointed it ended so abruptly and poorly.

I did love learning about the Katrina trees in Biloxi, Mississippi. Very interesting what sculptors did to the standing dead trees after Hurricane Katrina. Check the trees out on line!


Big Little Lies
Big Little Lies
Author: Liane Moriarty
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 137
Review Date: 3/21/2017


I loved the execution of this story but the story itself was one that has been told over and over again leaving me feeling bleh. The crux of the story deals with spousal abuse, bullying, rape, marriage problems, etc. It is probably better suited for readers who have not read about these subjects time and time again. The fact that the reader knows right up front that someone has been murdered is what interested me enough to continue to the end. I wanted to know who was murdered! All in all I guess it boils down to that I want to read something I haven't read before.


Breaking the Silence
Breaking the Silence
Author: Diane Chamberlain
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 62
Review Date: 11/24/2017


This is not a boring book and it kept me turning the pages. The subject matter of the torture and experimentation on patients at psychiatric facilities back in the 50's was interesting and a bit disturbing to say the least. And the mystery within the story was well rounded.

Why then did I give this book only 3 stars? I feel my reading interests have matured and I prefer a book that stimulates my brain a bit more. The story was just a little too simple for me. I do know if I had read this book in my 20's I would have rated this book 4-5 stars.

It is definitely a beach time, summertime book and perfect if you want to take a break and read something light.


Case Histories (Jackson Brodie, Bk 1)
Case Histories (Jackson Brodie, Bk 1)
Author: Kate Atkinson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 549
Review Date: 4/29/2019


I read this book 10 years ago and loved it. I just reread it for my book club and it still holds strong. It was as good as I remember it being the first time I read it. This isn't your normal who done it scenario. I thought it was very cleverly plotted and interesting to read.

Three cold case mysteries are brought to the attention of Jackson Brodie, ex-cop turned private investigator. He is asked by three different people to look into crimes that happened years earlier. The three cases seem to be totally unrelated but by the end of the book you find out how they are somewhat connected. Crimes are solved, questions are answered but not all the questions. Perhaps some will be answered in the next Jackson Brodie book, One Good Turn which I'm looking forward to reading.

1 like


The Coroner's Lunch (Dr. Siri Paiboun, Bk 1)
The Coroner's Lunch (Dr. Siri Paiboun, Bk 1)
Author: Colin Cotterill
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 86
Review Date: 5/13/2012
Helpful Score: 6


This book was like a breath of fresh air. It is written very well with just the right amount of humor included with the mystery. Dr. Siri is a hoot!

Any book that can make me laugh out loud gets a bigs thumbs up from me. I can't wait to read more in the series.


Dear Daughter
Dear Daughter
Author: Elizabeth Little
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 20
Review Date: 8/5/2015
Helpful Score: 1


I liked this book a lot. It was cleverly written and held my attention down to the last page. The ending was a shocker and I'm not sure I liked it but that did not stop me from liking the book overall. Many reviewers have posted they did not like the book because they did not like the narrator. I on the other hand felt sorry for her and was rooting for her throughout the story. And even if you don't like the narrator, does that make it a bad book? I think not!


A Dirty Job
A Dirty Job
Author: Christopher Moore
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 293
Review Date: 9/28/2014


This book is laugh out loud hilarious. I could not stop laughing and reading parts of it to my family. Definitely fantasy which is not my genre but I'm so glad I ran across it and gave it a try. If you want to laugh you've got to pick this one up.


Down River
Down River
Author: John Hart
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 15
Review Date: 1/2/2018


This book was full of twists and turns and written quite well. It just didn't blow me away, thus only 3.5 stars.


The Dry (Aaron Falk, Bk 1)
The Dry (Aaron Falk, Bk 1)
Author: Jane Harper
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 42
Review Date: 5/31/2018


4.5 stars. An excellent first novel for Jane Harper. A lot of twists and turns and red herrings with everything tied up at the end. No loose strings hanging, no questions unanswered. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series.


Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Author: Gail Honeyman
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 40
Review Date: 6/21/2019


I began Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine with low expectations and I ended up LOVING it. I loved how Eleanor developed throughout the book. I wanted to give her a hug and help her along her journey of life. Her story is sad and humorous at the same time. She's had a terrible childhood and the reader gets to see how she slowly gets her life (and happiness) back with the help of some special friends she meets along the way. I so love it when a book grabs me and won't let go. I highly recommend!


Everything I Never Told You: A Novel
Everything I Never Told You: A Novel
Author: Celeste Ng
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 75
Review Date: 1/2/2018


By the time I got to page 70 I knew this book was not for me. It was too dysfunctional and sad for my taste. I skimmed through the rest of the book and read a few spoilers and then I was doubly sure the book was not for me. The writing was decent but I did not care for the subject matter.


Fingersmith
Fingersmith
Author: Sarah Waters
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 236
Review Date: 6/21/2019


I loved this book, I hated this book, I loved this book. I loved all the twists and surprises, I loved the story and I empathized with the two young girls who were so cleverly mislead into the con of their lives. The characters were well developed and Ms. Waters' description of Victorian life in 19th century London is superb. What I did not like about this book is the first part of the story being retold in the second part by another character with a different point of view. It was too repetitive. I felt like I was rereading the first part all over. The second part of the book needed to be tightened up. Once I got through the second part and made it to the third part I was in love again. I do recommend this book.......just remember there is a little plodding in the middle of the book.


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