Lethal Black Dress

When I started Lethal Black Dress, by Ellen Byerrum, I was initially turned off by the fashion talk about what everyone was wearing at the White House Correspondence Dinner. I almost returned the book to the library without finishing the first chapter.

But what started as all fashion, turned into a true fashion mystery. One that could only have been solved by someone with historic fashion knowledge. Which really surprised me that you could have such a fashion crime! I ended up liking the main characters and the way they interacted, even openly mocking the fashion angle and then having to take it back.

Cute read,

Read January 2019

The Perfect Couple

A perfect Nantucket wedding is planning for The Perfect Couple, but on the wedding morning, the maid of honor is found dead. Elin Hilderbrand tells the story from many different perspectives and many people behave suspiciously about the deceased and the wedding in general.

This is a great vacation read! Too bad I wasn’t sunning myself on a beach while reading this! The super rich live so wonderfully on the island of Nantucket and even the poor locals enjoy some of the luxuries.

Good read.

Read January 2019

Island of the Blue Dolphins

In Scott O’Dell’s Island of the Blue Dolphin, Karana belongs to a tribe that lives on a remote island off Santa Barbara. When the Aleuts come and kill many of the men in the tribe, the new chief decides to take the tribe to the mainland. After the ship leaves, Karana ends up on the island by herself, waiting and surviving for her tribesmen to return for her in the better weather.

Until their return, Karana realizes she must provide herself with food, shelter, and protection from the wild dogs roaming the island. She must combat the innate sexism she grew up with so that she can build weapons for her survival. She uses the skills she learned growing up by watching many of the elders do their work.

I read this book with a group of 4th graders who loved the survival parts of the story.

Read January 2019

Decanting a Murder

Decanting a Murder is the first Sommelier Mystery by Nadine Nettmann. Like Pairing a Deception, Katie, who just failed her Master Sommelier test, is visiting a beautiful, wine region and drinking lots of exclusive, delicious wine when murder happens. The mystery seems like a side to the wonderful wine country imagery, but its all believable and the twists and turns exciting.

Best paired with a Chardonnay.

Read January 2019

Lord of the Wings

Lord of the Wings by Donna Andrews combines small town festival with murder. The town of Caerphilly is getting ready to host their Halloween festival when people start showing up with an illegal scavenger hunt that involved pranks, stealing, and grave rubbings.

Meg Langslow, head of the Goblin Patrol, tries to solve several attacks that may or may not be related to the scavenger hunts.

Quaint, but non-exciting read.

Read January 2019

The Redeemer

Jo Nesbo’s The Redeemer is a true Harry Hole novel. Lots of thumbing his nose as his superiors while he fights off his desire for alcohol and following the clues wherever they lead him. He is a moral crime fighter trying to make sure the bad guys are found, but the punishment may not be what society would recommend. In this novel, there’s several character storylines that intertwine and its hard to tell who’s done which deeds. In the end, Harry makes a choice that while moral on one hand, lets a murder occur and a murderer escape.

Gripping read.

Read December 2018

Eggnog Murder

Eggnog Murder is actually a trio of stories: Eggnog Murder, by Leslie Meier; Death by Eggnog, by Lee Hollis; Nogged Off, by Barbara Ross. All the stories contained a murder by eggnog and a coastal Maine town. Several busy bodies solving crimes that the police either don’t believe exist or don’t need assistance of a local citizen.

All three stories were easy reads, but not particularly captivating. I was looking for a lighthearted read for over winter break, and this worked.

Read December 2018