Friday, February 5, 2016

Murder in the Winter by Steve Demaree

This is book 2 in the Dekker Cozy Mystery series. I have to say that this is not my favorite series. I can't really put my finger on it, but the authors constant reference to Cy and his partner Lou's girth/weight/largeness/rotundness/whatever got annoying in this book. Constantly strapping on the feed bag at the Blue Moon was over-the-top excessive. Cy's dislike for his neighbor and her dog was annoying as well. I think what the author thought as witty and sarcastic was overdone and awkward. That being said, I did like the mystery, but probably not enough to make me want to buy the next book in the series. If it ever is offered on Amazon as a free read then sure, I'll get it to add to the collection, and maybe even take the time to read it, but for now the antics of Cy and Lou will be put away and I'll move on to something a bit more mature to read.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

January Thaw by Holly Schindler

This is the 2nd book in the Finley Short Story Cycle series. There will be one story each month throughout 2016. I actually like the idea of the series cycle, especially with this one since each story will be able to stand on it's own. In January Thaw Annie returns to Finley for an art show. Her friend Justin is a newspaper writer and has just given her art show in another town a bad review. Justin thinks Annie has lost her sparkle in her art. Annie and Justin spend a snow-bound evening helping each other rediscover their first loves. I am definitely a fan of the town of Finley and the cast of characters found there. Looking forward to each installment.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey

Park ranger Griffin McCray finds a body buried in a Gettysburg cemetery. Unfortunately that body is not part of the Civil War bodies that are buried there. This body is more recent. Finley Scott is called in to identify the remains. 
The person who hid the body does not want the remains identified and will do anything within their power to keep evidence from pointing to them, including kill again.

Griffin recognizes the bullet wound in the body as the work of an assassin. Griffin has no desire to work with Finley. She is too attractive and Griffin refuses to let anyone inside of his heart. Finley has a way of winning people over though. Griffin appoints himself as her protector while the murder investigation is underway, it is hard to keep up barriers while spending so much time with Finley.

Both Finley and Griffin have pain in their past that makes them vulnerable and has hurt past relationships. The chemistry between them though is hard to deny and soon those barriers begin to break down. Will Griffin be able to protect Finley from their unseen foe before it is too late?

I think this is a solid start to a new series for Dani Pettrey. I did think that the romance between Finley and Griffin moved too quickly. It seemed like one minute Griffin was stand-offish to Finley(yet attracted to her), and then in the next moment they were so in love there was nobody else on the planet! I felt like I missed a chunk of the story somewhere. I was like, "What? When did that happen?" Other than that I think I am going to like all of the characters in this new series. Looking forward to seeing what happens with Parker, Declan, Ashley, Kate and maybe even finding out what has happened to Luke, the missing "pirate" of the group.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Miles Left Yet by Holly Schindler

Jim, Norma and Mildred are all residents in a retirement community. All of them have led different lives before arriving at this stage of their lives and each of them have miles left yet.

Jim is full of mischief and making the best of his life in the retirement community. When Norma moves in Jim makes it his mission to bring her out of her shell. Determined to live life to the fullest Jim throws himself into the task of capturing Norma's affections.

Norma has recently sold her home in order to bail her daughter out of debt. Struggling to find herself and her place in this life she has no desire to even leave her apartment at the retirement community she has moved into. At first she resents Jim and his attempts to get to know her, but soon they become inseparable.

Mildred is a retired school teacher/spinster who shows up at the retirement community and immediately gives the wrong impression. The one regret in her life that has defined who she has become is about to catch up with her.

Setting out on an adventure to right some wrongs, make some mischief, have some fun, and find some romance proves to a couple of young people that just because people get old doesn't mean that their lives are over.

One of the things I have found about Holly Schindler's books is that they are hard to put down once you start reading them! Miles Left Yet kept me turning the pages, laughing and crying along the journey. Being in the retirement stage of my life made the reading much more poignant. While I couldn't relate with the loss that the characters experienced I could relate with the feelings of irrelevancy, of being set aside by the younger generation but yet feeling also that there are so many things left to do, say and experience. That feeling that I still have...Miles Left Yet!

**Warning** I always put a warning on any book I read that contains curse words or sexual scenes or references because my blog mostly represents Christian literature. Miles Left Yet does contain cursing including the "f" word(2x). The author does not use cursing throughout the read, in other words it is not overly full of profanity, but it is present. If cursing offends you then this probably would not be the book for you.

News:  The author is continuing on with new characters set in a town mentioned in Miles Left Yet in monthly installments of stand-alone short stories throughout 2016 beginning with Come December which I reviewed HERE.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Come December by Holly Schindler

What a sweet short story about a girl who feels invisible to the world around her but then finds purpose and meaning in her life through the kindness of a stranger.

Short stories usually leave me unsatisfied because I want to read "more" of the characters. While I wouldn't have minded COME DECEMBER being a longer story I thought the author quite satisfactorily told the story without leaving me hanging or unsatisfied about where the characters were heading in the end.

COME DECEMBER left me with a smile on my face and a happy feeling in my heart.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

52 Steps To Murder by Steve Demaree

Cy Dekker and his partner Lou are called to a murder scene. Cy and Lou are not in the best shape for this murder scene. From the street where they park their car to the house that the murdered victim is in there are 52 steps for them to climb. Being large, out of shape men you can imagine the difficulty they have hefting themselves up to the house. They don't do it just once either! They have to embark on these steps several times during their investigation. The antics they go through to try and get out of climbing those steps are pretty entertaining!

I have mixed thoughts on this book. The antics of Cy and Lou are pretty entertaining, the mystery was pretty good, but I found the writing a bit juvenile, and at times repetitive. While reading I found myself chuckling at some of Cy's observations or snide comments, especially to his irritating neighbor, but then at other times I found that same humor overdone. At one point Cy comes up with an idea of how to get to their car quicker than walking down the steps that reminded me of the antics of the Keystone Cops. That episode of course is not the only tumble that Cy and Lou take while trying to find out who their murderer is.

The antics of Cy and Lou aside, I did think that the mystery was pretty solid, and I liked how Cy reasoned out "who done it." I plan on reading the second book in the series and see if Cy and Lou's characters can grow on me.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Little Women Read-Along


Join us for a Little Women Read-Along in February. Get the details and sign up on Jenni Elyse's blog HERE