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Sharon B. (bighairtexan) - Reviews

1 to 20 of 32 - Page:
The Betrayal of Trust (Simon Serailler, Bk 6)
The Betrayal of Trust (Simon Serailler, Bk 6)
Author: Susan Hill
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 4/28/2014


Susan Hill is a brilliant writer. She has a real knack of evoking mood and emotion and a sense of place. The Betrayal of Trust is a murder mystery which has several ancillary plot lines, some of which come together in the end. Some are not directly related to the mystery.
I do have to say, that all of the plot lines the main story and the side plots..are all very dark. As I mentioned, she's able to set the dark mood very skillfully but I also found myself rather uncomfortable and felt kind of "down" the entire time I was reading the book. I couldn't put it down and really wanted to find out the resolution of the main mystery as well as the other narratives included in this book. On the other hand, I found the book very unsettling and I was rather uncomfortable. I kind of felt like one of those ghastly people at the scene of an accident. It's really ghoulish and none of anyone's business what happened in the crash, but some people just have to rubberneck, trying to see what happened. I had the same sort of grizzly fascination with this story.
So though the story was well written, the mystery well crafted, I can't say that I actually enjoyed this book.


A Can of Peas (Lake Emily, Bk 1)
A Can of Peas (Lake Emily, Bk 1)
Author: Traci DePree
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 84
Review Date: 3/21/2013


I felt as if I were reading a story written by an adolescent about a couple of petulant 12 year olds.
"He doesn't love me enough. OK, I'll try to be a better wife. whaaaaa he doesn't love me enough."
"If only she loved me more. OK , I'll try to be a better husband. whaaaaaa she doesn't love me enough."

Puh-lease. I wanted to like this book, as I found the subject matter (big city couple goes to live a "simpler" life on the farm) of interest. I enjoyed some of the neighbors which is why it got 2 stars instead of 1. At least it was a quick read.


A Cold Day In Paradise (Alex McKnight, Bk 1)
A Cold Day In Paradise (Alex McKnight, Bk 1)
Author: Steve Hamilton
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 188
Review Date: 6/20/2019


I really ordered this book as a kind of "throw away" to take on vacation to the beach. I was pleasantly surprised.
I was drawn to the main character, Alex McKnight, as well as the supporting cast. Nicely crafted story too. Usually I can see the the ending of a mystery (twists or no twists) a mile in advance. Though I had an inkling of what was going on it DID come as a surprise to me. I'll be looking for more Alex McKnight mysteries by Steve Hamilton.
I rarely review a book. And I REALLY rarely give 5 stars. This one really tweaked my interest.


Crisscross (Repairman Jack, Bk 8)
Crisscross (Repairman Jack, Bk 8)
Author: F. Paul Wilson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 69
Review Date: 5/4/2010


I'm addicted to this series. I love the anti-hero character of Repairman Jack. Things from previous books really start to fall into place in this story. I'd say it's not a stand alone novel, because so many events and characters from previous books are mentioned here. This is my favorite "Jack" adventure so far.


Eggs Benedict Arnold (Cackleberry Club, Bk 2)
Eggs Benedict Arnold (Cackleberry Club, Bk 2)
Author: Laura Childs
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 101
Review Date: 5/3/2016


The good: it's an easy quick read. Kind of brain fluff, which sometimes is just what a person needs.
Interesting mystery. Kept me guessing b/c the "culprit" was barely mentioned in passing, and there were so many red herrings pointing toward other (too obvious) characters.

The bad: This series is already starting to remind me of the Goldy Schultz recipe/mysteries. First of all, the main characters must assume the police are morons b/c they do all this sleuthing and keep tons of evidence from the police. They go off in the middle of the night to the middle of nowhere following cars, getting locked in barns etc. And yes the protagonist SAYS she knows the police will solve the crime and that she has great confidence of Officer Doogie (seriously?).

Also like Goldy or Murder She Wrote, I'd stay 100 miles from the "Cackleberry Club" b/c people are dropping like flies when they are anywhere near the place. It has to be one of the most unsafe "small towns" in the history of unsafe small towns. I have the 3rd book in the series. Pretty sure it will be my last.


Empire of Gold. Andy McDermott (Nina Wilde/Eddie Chase 7)
Review Date: 10/24/2017


HORRIBLE. I NEVER leave a book unfinished but I got halfway through this (struggled for that half) and just gave up b/c I didn't give a dang.
I like action/adventures novels. This could have seen Nina as a Laura Croft figure .... brains w/ plenty of brawn, and Eddie as Indiana Jones.... brawn w/ plenty of brains. Instead they came off as the Bickersons. Petty, always "SHOOTING dirty looks" and rolling their eyes at each other. My only guilty pleasure about reading (half of) this book was when one of the "Tiresome Duo" was in peril I would root for the other to "LEAVE THEM ALONE. LET 'EM PERISH." It would have greatly improved the story.


Fatally Flaky (Goldy Schulz, Bk 15)
Fatally Flaky (Goldy Schulz, Bk 15)
Author: Diane Mott Davidson
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 91
Review Date: 3/28/2016


Oh gosh, where to begin. I've read all the Goldy Schulz books and the last two had me wondering how I EVER thought I liked this series.
Goldy is a meddlesome, idiotic, dare I say STUPID, interfering protagonist. And those are the best things I can say about her. I am tired, to the point of exhaustion, of her hiding evidence from the head of Aspen Meadows Police Department... who just happens to be her HUSBAND! He's a total fool obviously, which must be why she doesn't trust him on a case any farther than she could throw him.
She not only HAS mysterious keys given to her immediately before the demise of her godfather, who happens to be the latest murder victim. She not only neglects to tell her husband (aka idiot policeman), she takes said keys and goes exploring inside the house of said victim. Oh that wouldn't POSSIBLY muck up chain of custody, crime scene. Nor would it POSSIBLY make her husband look inept and untrustworthy to the entire town... the entire WORLD. But if she doesn't think her husband capable of solving a crime, does she have to be so blatant about it? If he has the patience of a saint, he has the ego of a gnat, and the spine of a jellyfish.
Tom Schulz goes beyond patient into the realm of sedated. Goldy repeatedly disregards his cautions and orders, and instead, goes off exploring on her own... consequences be damned. Anyone else, I would ASSUME would have been arrested. They just go home and hop into bed.

In Fatally Flaky, after sneaking around the murder victim's house, Goldy gets bonked on the head and I was really rooting for this to be her demise. Or to have sense knocked into her. Or at LEAST for it to have induced amnesia so that she'd forget her whining, sneaking, imbecilic persona and come back a new and improved Goldy. Though I'd have settled for the OLD GOLDY... like in the earlier books.
I wound up skipping and skimming and speed reading just to get through the book. Next time I'll just stop when it becomes so entirely irritating. WAIT! There won't be a next time unless the Taliban decides to torture me for some secrets I don't know I have, by making me read one more Goldy Schulz book!


The Ghost and the Femme Fatale (Haunted Bookshop, Bk 4)
The Ghost and the Femme Fatale (Haunted Bookshop, Bk 4)
Author: Alice Kimberly
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 138
Review Date: 6/30/2016


Cute. That's what I'd say about this "cozy mystery". I enjoy the relationship between Jack and Pen; and the other quirky characters in the series are a lot of fun. I do see that there's only 1 more in the series (which barely includes "male lead" Jack), and she just stopped writing this series years ago, though the end of the last book implies that more Haunted Bookshops are shortly on their way. Too bad about that. I'd say this is a good "beach read."


The Godwulf Manuscript (Spenser, Bk 1)
The Godwulf Manuscript (Spenser, Bk 1)
Author: Robert B. Parker
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 156
Review Date: 7/15/2010


This book wound up being a really fun read in its "retro-ness." It was written in the 70's, and every time the author described a scene it included people clad in bell bottoms, platform shoes, vinyl thigh high boots, tie dye, etc. They're supposed to be very fashionable but it's good for a chuckle now. As for the story line, it isn't bad, but the Spenser books surely do get better as the series progresses. Still and all a kick to read... and it's a short book at that.


Grave Sight (Harper Connelly, Bk 1)
Grave Sight (Harper Connelly, Bk 1)
Author: Charlaine Harris
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 797
Review Date: 7/18/2016


Surprisingly engrossing. I enjoyed the characters, the writing, the mystery. This introduction to Harper and her step brother Tolliver really kept my interest and I read it in 2 evenings. There's a dry wit throughout it, but it certainly isn't a "funny book."
Tolliver and Harper are two of the more interesting characters in the paranormal mystery genre. And although Harper can get into the mind of the deceased at the moment of their deaths, it wasn't overly heavy on the "ghost story" part of the novel.

As a fan of Dean Koontz' "Odd Thomas" series, I kept thinking that Harper and Odd should hook up!


Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Bk 1)
Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Bk 1)
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1060
Review Date: 4/23/2010


I didn't expect much from this book as most vampire/romance stories I've read seemed to be kind of adolescent. This book was heavier on the gore and blood and guts, as well as the mystery, and any romance was incidental. It reminded me a lot of the "...In Death" books by J.D. Robb, which I enjoy quite a lot. I'm already on Bk 3 and I only started the series earlier this week. I highly recommend it.


I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays
I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays
Author: Sloane Crosley
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 278
Review Date: 12/14/2008
Helpful Score: 4


First of all, I have to admit, I am not a "Seinfeld" fan. I didn't enjoy the "series about nothing." This book, like the television show, was a series of 'essays' about self absorption. She caught me with the very cute title so I bought the book. Then I kept wondering, as I was reading it, "Is this going to get funny? Interesting? Why would she even think anyone would give a rat's behind that she collects ponies and (marginally) worked in publishing?" I feel as if I were robbed of several hours of my life. I am mostly irritated with myself that I actually read the whole dang thing. YAWNNNNNNNNNNN. If you want to read interesting essays, try Sedaris or Rivenbark.


Infernal (Repairman Jack, Bk 9)
Infernal (Repairman Jack, Bk 9)
Author: F. Paul Wilson
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 20
Review Date: 5/8/2010


I enjoyed the book but it was not Jack's best. The subplot, which is the less "supernatural" plot, was marginally addressed in the very beginning and at the very end. And Jack just didn't seem as smart as he normally does. I was doing a lot of eye-rolling thinking, DUHHHHH. And Jack's brother, Tom, was just 100% annoying on all counts. I can't really imagine a BAD Repairman Jack novel, and the book prior to this one was my very favorite, but Infernal rates merely a "meh!"


Jane Bites Back
Jane Bites Back
Author: Michael Thomas Ford
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 48
Review Date: 8/29/2010


One word. "YAWN."


Killjoy (Buchanan-Renard, Bk 3)
Killjoy (Buchanan-Renard, Bk 3)
Author: Julie Garwood
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 448
Review Date: 8/29/2015


I liked this bit of brain candy well enough, I suppose. It's the kind of book I leave on my patio and when I go out there to chill, I grab the book and read. It was certainly not "unputdownable" but it amused me when I picked it up. I liked the storyline and mystery plot, though I found few of the characters very likable. The dialogue seemed stilted to the point that I thought "No one TRULY speaks like that, do they?"
It wasn't so awful that I wanted that few hours of my life back; but not a book I'd recommend. I may try another Garwood book to see if this was a one-off as far as juvenile dialogue and a plethora of annoying characters. I've read worse. I've read LOTS better. So many books. So little time.


Kisscut (Grant County, Bk 2)
Kisscut (Grant County, Bk 2)
Author: Karin Slaughter
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 332
Review Date: 10/18/2010


I'm really enjoying this series. Great character development and it's interesting to see the good guys/gals being less than perfect. Very hard to put down.


Legacies (Repairman Jack, Bk 2)
Legacies (Repairman Jack, Bk 2)
Author: F. Paul Wilson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 100
Review Date: 12/20/2009


I am really enjoying the Repairman Jack series. Sometimes you have to suspend your common sense, but it's a fun ride if you can. This is the second in the series and I enjoyed this even more than The Tomb. Jack is definitely someone I'd like to have on my side... hard as nails one minute and a big softy the next. Clever, crafty and intuitive. I look forward to starting the 3rd book in the series.


The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid
Author: Bill Bryson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 156
Review Date: 7/17/2009
Helpful Score: 4


I am a child of the fifties. In fact, the author and I were born in the same year, in the same WEEK (I'm 4 days older). So I lived through many of the same events as Bill Bryson did. But boy, can he find humor in the most mundane things. Cottage cheese for instance. My contacts were floating away in my eyes as I laughed to the point of tears as he discussed cottage cheese of all things.
These little slices of life, growing up in the fifties as par of ...wonder of wonders... a FUNCTIONAL (as opposed to dysfunctional) family brought back so many wonderful memories. Most of his stories would be relevant to anyone growing up in the US no matter what era, but those of us born in or near the 50's will find ourselves nodding and laughing as we read this wonderful book. I loved it.


The Man in the Moss
The Man in the Moss
Author: Phil Rickman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 11/9/2009


Phil Rickman has a real knack for evoking a mood. Reading this book calls forth a sinister, dark atmosphere. Pretty creepy.


Manhattans and Murder (Murder, She Wrote, Bk 2)
Manhattans and Murder (Murder, She Wrote, Bk 2)
Author: Jessica Fletcher, Donald Bain
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 49
Review Date: 11/29/2016


This is the first and last of the Jessica Fletcher mysteries that I've read. I can't put my finger on it but mostly I just wanted it to be over. It seemed really contrived and dated (that's the problem w/ reading books that are "older").
I love cozy mysteries. This is "cozy" and it's a mystery and I even liked the TV show, but as much as I wanted to like it, I couldn't. Perhaps for big fans of Murder She Wrote, it would be a bigger hit.


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