I read All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda within the last month. After reading the back cover, I honestly could not remember what this book was about and kept getting it confused with another book. The gist is that Nicolette left her small hometown after her best friend went missing. Ten years later, she returns to care for her sick dad, another girl is missing. Are they connected? What happened to her friend 10 years ago?
The novel is also told in reverse, which seemed difficult to follow at times. I had to reread several chapters to follow what was happening and after a couple of weeks, the story wasn’t strong enough to distinguish it from the many other mystery novels I’ve read.
Ok story, not memorable.
Read July 2020
Maria Semple’s Today Will Be Different is a great follow up to Where’d You Go, Bernadette?. Eleanor Flood is a middle-aged woman who’s running away from her past as much as she’s avoiding her future. She wakes up the morning of our story determined to be different than her anxiety ridden self. But of course, the day doesn’t work out that way. She learns her husband has been lying to her about going to work all week and her son’s stomachache means he can’t stay at school.
I read this a month ago and until I read a recap online, I couldn’t remember much about this book. It was really enjoyable to read and very funny, but its not one to stick with me. It could be these pandemic times, or it could be the book. Either way, I remember enjoying it while reading it, but a month later I couldn’t even remember what it was about.
Read May 2020
Debbie Macomber’s A Girl’s Guide to Moving On was the lighthearted broken-heart-find-love-again love story that I needed after the last serious book I read. In this Nichole and her mother-in-law divorce their husbands, move from Lake Oswego to downtown Portland across the hall from each other, and rely on each other as they rebuild their lives again. Both marriages ended due to infidelity, both exes think they didn’t do anything wrong and expect the women to return to them due to need or maybe love.
I always love a Portland story, and this one was a fun version without a ton of insider secrets. The writing is well done and the women stood strong. The new romances are quirky and fun, their exes slight scummy, but overall a light story.
Read April 2020
Dark Saturday published under Nicci French is my second of the Frieda Klein mysteries. Written by Nicci Gerard and Sean French, In this, Frieda is asked to look into an old case of a troubled police officer. A decade ago Hannah Docherty was convicted of killing her family and Frieda is asked to look into how the investigation was conducted. Were there any irregularities? Anything off?
The further Frieda digs into this old case, the more she’s convinced that Hannah may not have been guilty, and since her conviction Hannah has been psychologically beaten down to a place from which she may never recover. While she’s looking into Hannah, Frieda keeps getting uneasy feelings as if she’s being watched. Has her stalker Dean Reeve resurfaced or is someone trying to prevent her from proving Hannah’s innocence?
I felt like this book started slow and didn’t immediately grasp my attention, but the whole country was about to go into isolation when I picked this book up, so my lack of initial interest may have been more circumstantial than related to the novel.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and Frieda Klein as an unlikely crime investigator.
Read March 2020
In Missing, Presumed, Susie Steiner introduces us to Edith Hind through her friends and family. In the middle of the night, Edith disappears. Blood on the kitchen floor. The foyer covered in coats. No reports of her anywhere.
DS Manon Bradshaw invesigates the crime, digging into Edith’s parents’ lives. With Edith’s father being a surgeon to the Royal Family, the press is ready to find anything wrong with the investigation, especially since the last big case missed some key evidence in calling it a homicide early enough. With the crime scene left the way it was and no body found within the first couple of days, most reporters and the police themselves begin to this of this a case of missing, presumed dead.
Several twists and turns and unintended consequences consume all Edith’s friends and family with a well written ending.
Read October 2019
Carl Hiassen’s crazy characters come out in full force in Razor Girl. Former Detective and current Health Inspector, inserts himself into dangerous situations that seem like they couldn’t happen outside the state of Florida. The lawlessness of all the characters shows through in all the different crimes that are being committed. Theres a whole side plot about stealing sand and putting in on upscale resort beaches.
Great characters. Great story. Great read.
Read May 2019
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
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
Carolyn Parkhurst’s “harmony” is told from 3 perspectives: the mother, the “normal” sister, and as if visiting a strange historical monument of the family.
The Hammond family, in an attempt to help their undiagnosable, Autistic-like daughter Tilly, leaves their DC home and moves to New Hampshire’s Camp Harmony. The brain-child of a child-rearing expert, the childless man named Scott Bean, Camp Harmony will help serve kids who are struggling in their homelife by providing a community that can help support them in their own unique development. The camp is essentially cut off from the world and the residents put their faith in Scott Bean’s approach in the last of innumerable attempts to help their children.
The story’s many twists and turns help tell the struggle of the Hammond family in trying to help Tilly. And the Camp does seem to be helping several of the children that need help but at what cost.
Intersting perspective of living with a family member who does not conform.
Read July 2018
Matrimony in Miniature is a quirky novel by Margaret Grace (aka Camille Minichino) of a retiree and her miniature club who handle problems of scale while making models and problems of murderers around town. It was particularly well written and the characters aren’t too deep, but its a fun read.
Read March 2018