Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Audiobook Review: Undercity by Catherine Asaro

Undercity

Author:
Catherine Asaro
Narrator: Suzy Jackson
Series: Major Bhaajan (Book 1)
Publication: Recorded Books (December 24, 2014)
Length: 10 hours and 58 minutes

Description: Book One in a brand new series by Nebula and Hugo Award Winner Catherine Asaro set in the world of her Skolian Empire universe.

In the galaxy-spanning future, Major Bhaajan is a tough female P.I. who works the dangerous streets of Undercity. Major Bhaajan, a former military officer with Imperial Space Command, is now a hard-bitten P.I. with a load of baggage to deal with, and clients with woes sometimes personal, sometimes galaxy-shattering, and sometimes both. Bhaajan must sift through the shadows of dark and dangerous Undercity - the enormous capital of a vast star empire - to find answers.

My Thoughts: Bhaajan, who used to be a Major in the Imperial Army and who is now a private investigator, is hired by the Majda family when one of its precious princes disappears. The case will be a challenge in many ways.

First of all, the Majdas are one of the most powerful families in the Imperialate with many serving as ranking officers in the army. They are wealthy beyond counting and demand excellent service. Second, finding the missing prince means that Bhaajan will have to go back to the Undercity which she left to join the military. That means reconnecting with old friends and old enemies and going home to a place she had never meant to see again. 

When she finds the prince and learns that his kidnapper had planned to sell him to the Imperialate's enemies, she finds herself in the middle of a big political deal above ground and a war between rival drug gangs below ground. 

Bhaajan also finds that she can no longer abandon the Undercity which was her home. She needs to find a way to reconcile its culture with that of the above ground city. Those above ground, especially the Majdas, want to help but Bhaajan knows that their kind of help will destroy the unique culture that exists in the Undercity. 

Bhaajan learns that she'll have to be an envoy for her people if she wants them to survive especially since they now have something that the rest of the Imperialate wants. 

I enjoyed this story which starts as a mystery and ends as something else. It is great space opera. It is a part of Asaro's Skolian Empire series which consists of quite a few books, but it stands alone well since it is about a unique event and person only peripherally connected to the huge political picture. 

Suzy Jackson's narration did a good job with all the characters and with the mood of the story. 

I got this one from Audible Plus. You can buy your copy here.

ARC Review: Star Struck by Marjorie McCown

Star Struck

Author:
Marjorie McCown
Series: A Hollywood Mystery (Book 2)
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (May 7, 2024)

Description: Perfect for fans of Elle Cosimano and Kellye Garrett, in this second Hollywood mystery, film costumer Joey Jessop discovers that Hollywood buries its secrets deep when a superstar’s assistant turns up dead.

Costumer Joey Jessop is working on a movie set in 1930s Hollywood and starring two of the world’s biggest stars. The male lead is also a dedicated social activist, and the female lead, Gillian Best, is known for her lifestyle brand. After a hit-and-run near the set, Joey realizes that the car involved belongs to Gillian, and she begins to wonder if the actress has more to hide than her Botox appointments.

Her suspicions deepen when Gillian’s personal assistant, Rita, vows to get revenge for Gillian replacing her and is found dead shortly after. Gillian quickly labels Rita’s death a suicide, and the police seem to agree–but Joey isn’t so sure.

With the police standing aside, it’s up to Joey to dig up the truth—but Hollywood stars know how to keep their secrets close, and a woman like Gillian Best won’t take kindly to someone sniffing around her affairs. Joey is certain that Gillian has something to hide–and she’s determined to find out what.

My Thoughts: The second book in the Hollywood Mysteries really delves into the guts of making a motion picture. Joey Jessup is a film costumer who is working on the latest blockbuster-wanna-be starring two of the world's biggest stars. 

The female lead is Gillian Best. She's known for her lifestyle brand and her difficult personality. If there is a word for the actress equivalent of a bridezilla it would have Gillian's picture next to it in the dictionary. Gillian can't function without her entourage Including her agent, personal assistant, and personal videographer among a host of others. 

Besides dealing with the star's outrageous demands, Joey and the other costumers have to deal with schedule changes that mean costumes originally slated for later in the production have to be ready almost immediately. And the producer's interference with one of the costume shops in Italy forces that shop to cancel the contract with almost no notice leaving Joey scrambling for a new shop which can make the costumes immediately.

Joey is still traumatized by the events of the first book in the series. So, when she sees an accident outside the area where she was shooting which results in the death of woman she has seen in a shop where she was getting lunch, the trauma just grows. Even more suspiciously, the vehicle seems to be the same one she'd seen at Gillian Best's house earlier. 

Then a blow up between Gillian and her assistant adds more tension to the set. When Joey goes to the assistant's house to try to smooth things over, she discovers the assistant has apparently committed suicide while wearing a borrowed Harry Winstone diamond and ruby necklace. The police seem willing to write the death off as a suicide, but Joey isn't convinced. 

This is a busy story. Between dealing with the possible murder of the assistant, the drugging Gillian's daughter, various hijinks in getting the costumes made in union shops and discovering that they are actually being made in non-union sweatshops, Joey is under lots and lots of stress before she manages to solve the murder and bring the culprits to justice. 

Fans of Hollywood behind the scenes action will enjoy this mystery. 

Favorite Quote:
The scuffed linoleum floor and crummy fluorescent lighting created the same welcoming atmosphere you'd find in a minimum-security prison.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

Monday, April 29, 2024

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (April 29, 2024)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

Want to See What I Added to My Stack? links to Stacking the Shelves hosted by Marlene at Reading Reality.

Other Than Reading...

I had another quiet week filled with books and baseball. I missed The Voice this week but caught up on the musical performances later in the week. I really don't mind missing all the personal stories and other fillers. I just enjoy the music. 

I have been making good progress on lowering my review stack. So much progress that I felt able to add a few more titles to that stack. BookBub also had quite a few intriguing books that were also free which I added to my ever-growing TBR mountain. 

I did finish listening to the Lady Sherlock series and am ready for the new one and still hoping to be approved for an ARC from NetGalley. I'm still working on the Major Bhaajan science fiction mysteries and should be finished before the new one is released. 

With my brother Bill working through the dinner hour most days this past week, I didn't try any new recipes. I do have a couple printed out that I might get him to try when he's off on Wednesday. He did make beef stroganoff one day that gave us a couple of meals. I made macaroni and cheese for myself for a few meals since he doesn't like it. 

Next week will be more of the same. He's working through the dinner hour every shift next week which means I need to cook for myself. I see lots of salads in my future. 

I have an appointment May 1 for blood work. Otherwise, I plan to stick close to home. I have my April State of the Stack post to finish up and April statistics to gather. I'll be finishing my May review books and starting my June books. I have ten June review copies on my stack. 

Read Last Week
  • The Bronze Skies by Catherine Asara (Audiobook Reread) -- Second Major Bhaajan Science Fiction Mystery. My review will be posted on May 9.
  • Locked in Pursuit by Ashley Weaver (Review; May 14) -- The fourth Electra McDonnell mystery. I enjoy the characters and the WWII setting. My review will be posted on May 7.
  • Wicked Enchantment by Anya Bast (Mine since January 12, 2010) -- Entertaining paranormal romance/fantasy that is the first in a series. My review will be posted on May 4.
  • Miss Moriarty, I Presume? by Sherry Thomas (Audiobook Reread) -- Sixth in the Lady Sherlock series. I really enjoy the characters and the complex plots. My review will be posted on May 14.
  • Disturbing the Dead by Kelley Armstrong (Review; May 7) -- Third in the Ripped Through Time mystery series. Unwrapping a mummy leads to the next case for Mallory. My review will be posted on May 7.
  • Blood Red Summer by Eryk Pruitt (Review; May 14) -- Second Jess Keeler Thriller about a podcaster looking into a cold case. Fast-paced and alternates two different viewpoint characters from two different time periods. My review will be posted on May 8.
  • Cockatiels at Seven by Donna Andrews (Mine) -- Ninth book in the Meg Langslow series has Meg searching for a missing woman with a toddler in tow. My review will be posted on May 9.
  • A Tempest at Sea by Sherry Thomas (Audiobook Reread) -- The seventh book in the Lady Sherlock series has a nice twisty mystery. My review will be posted on May 21.
  • Lights, Camera, Bones by Carolyn Haines (Review; May 21) -- 27th in the Sarah Booth Delany cozy mysteries. Entertaining. My review will be posted on May 14.
  • Liar's Point by Laura Griffin (Review; May 21) -- Entertaining romantic suspense in the Texas Murder Files series. My review will be posted on May 15.
Currently
Next Week
Reviews Posted
Want to See What I Added to My Stack Last Week?

Review:
Bought:
What was your week like?

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Book Review: The Phoenix Code by Catherine Asaro

The Phoenix Code

Author:
Catherine Asaro
Publication: Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy (September 27, 2022)

Description: The Nebula Award–winning author “continues to dazzle us with brilliance in combining science, romance and adventure.” —Romantic Times

MIT professor Megan O’Flannery is one of the world’s leading research scientists on artificial intelligence for androids. Most of her work consists of working with computer simulations, so when the company MindSim gives Megan an opportunity to work with an android, she jumps at the chance.

Hidden and secret, an underground compound in the Nevada desert offers Megan a spectacular lab where she can live and work, mostly alone except for robotic assistants—and the android. Although it appears physically indistinguishable from a human man, Megan realizes she has a lot of work ahead if he is ever to think and act like a human, let alone the superspy that MindSim wants him to be. She loosens the controls on his behavior, allowing the android—who soon chooses the name Ander—the freedom of more independent thought.

However, when Raj Sundaram, the reclusive genius of robotics, arrives at the compound to work with the android, Ander’s behavior takes a strange turn, causing Megan to distrust Raj. As Ander’s development spins out of control, he throws the project into chaos, going rogue even as he becomes stronger—and more dangerously human.

“This novel is clearly science fiction first with a dynamic climax that will stun the unsuspecting audience who will fail to break The Phoenix Code before Ms. Asaro reveals the ending of this keeper.” —Painted Rock Reviews

My Thoughts: I enjoyed this science fiction story. Megan O'Flannery is a research scientist whose specialty is artificial intelligence. She is a leader in her field. Currently working at MIT, she gets a chance to work at MindSim which is developing an android for military use. 

Raj Sundaram is a genius in the field of robotics who has made millions consulting with companies attempting to build human-like androids. He is also a recluse and a difficult personality -- to everyone except Megan who understands and enjoys him. 

When the two get a chance to work together in the desert of Nevada on an android who names himself Ander, things get quickly out of hand as the android goes rogue kidnapping them and determines to find the androids who were made in a rival project. The story moves from the desert of Nevada to the lights of Las Vegas to a retreat in California. There are assorted villains along the way who have their own uses for a human-like android. 

I liked the science, the action, and the romance between Megan and Raj. The story raises all sorts of questions about making androids and the consequences of doing so. 

Favorite Quote:
Soon humanity would have to answer the question: When did self-modifying software become a cognizant being with rights under the law?
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, April 26, 2024

Friday Memes: The Phoenix Code by Catherine Asaro

 Happy Friday!


Book Beginnings is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader. She asks that the first sentence is posted along with the author and title of the book and the reader's initial thoughts on the sentence, the book, or anything else it inspires. 
Carrie at Reading Is My Superpower.org also provides a linky for sharing first lines and connecting with others. This meme asks that the chosen books be PG or marked as Mature if they are not. 

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda at Freda's Voice. This meme is currently on hiatus but many of us are still including a sentence from page 56 or from 56% of the ebook. Anne @ Head Full of Books is picking up the slack until Freda is ready to return. I think this link will get you to the correct place

Beginning:
People packed the auditorium. Every seat was filled and more listeners crammed the aisles.
Friday 56:
Whatever had happened, she hoped Everest wouldn't have the same problem with Raj. He was notoriously unpredictable. 
This week I am spotlighting The Phoenix Code by Catherine Asaro. This book was a Kindle Daily Deal in December 2023. I have read other books by the author and enjoyed them. I felt like it was time to read some science fiction. Here's the description from Amazon:
The Nebula Award–winning author “continues to dazzle us with brilliance in combining science, romance and adventure.” — Romantic Times

MIT professor Megan O’Flannery is one of the world’s leading research scientists on artificial intelligence for androids. Most of her work consists of working with computer simulations, so when the company MindSim gives Megan an opportunity to work with an android, she jumps at the chance.

Hidden and secret, an underground compound in the Nevada desert offers Megan a spectacular lab where she can live and work, mostly alone except for robotic assistants—and the android. Although it appears physically indistinguishable from a human man, Megan realizes she has a lot of work ahead if he is ever to think and act like a human, let alone the superspy that MindSim wants him to be. She loosens the controls on his behavior, allowing the android—who soon chooses the name Ander—the freedom of more independent thought.

However, when Raj Sundaram, the reclusive genius of robotics, arrives at the compound to work with the android, Ander’s behavior takes a strange turn, causing Megan to distrust Raj. As Ander’s development spins out of control, he throws the project into chaos, going rogue even as he becomes stronger—and more dangerously human.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Book Review: The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

The Thursday Murder Club

Author:
Richard Osman
Series: Thursday Murder Club Mystery (Book 1)
Publication: Penguin Books (September 22, 2020)

Description: Four septuagenarians with a few tricks up their sleeves
A female cop with her first big case
A brutal murder
Welcome to...
THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes; together they call themselves the Thursday Murder Club.

When a local developer is found dead with a mysterious photograph left next to the body, the Thursday Murder Club suddenly find themselves in the middle of their first live case.

As the bodies begin to pile up, can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer, before it's too late?

My Thoughts: THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB was an enjoyable mystery. I loved the cast of characters in the club. A retired psychiatrist, a retired union organizer, a retired spy and a retired nurse make up the membership. 

Their activities switch from looking at old cases to a very current murder when the partner of the developer who built their retirement village on the site of an old convent is found bludgeoned to death in his own home with an interesting picture left by the body.

Each of the amateur detectives brings their own skills to solving the case and a few other mysteries along the way including the death of the developer of the village and a cold case they had looked at during a club meeting. 

I liked the description of the retirement village with its endless assortment of committees. I also liked the local police who were brought in to work with the amateurs. I liked that that viewpoints switched as the story progressed because it let me learn more about the characters. 

I enjoyed that the characters were older people with a lifetime of experiences and problems. 

Favorite Quote:
Ian Ventham, the big boss, is coming to talk to us about it. I try to be honest where I can, so I hope you don't mind me saying I don't like him. He's all the things that can go wrong with men if you leave them to their own devices. 
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Audiobook Review: Governor by Richard Fox and David Weber

Governor

Author:
Richard Fox and David Weber
Narrator: Jonathan Davis
Series: Ascent to Empire (Book 1)
Publication: Podium Audio (January 16, 2024)
Length: 20 hours and 36 minutes

Description: For more than fifty years, the Terran Republic and the Terran League have been killing one another.

The death toll has climbed ever higher, year after year, with no end in sight. But the members of the Five Hundred, the social elite of the Republic's Heart Worlds, don't care.

Rear Admiral Terrence Murphy is a Heart Worlder. His family is part of the Five Hundred. His wife is the daughter of one of the Five Hundred's wealthiest, most powerful industrialists. His sons and his daughter can easily avoid military service, and political power is his for the taking. There is no end to how high he can rise in the Republic's power structure.

All he has to do is successfully complete a risk-free military "governorship" in the backwater Fringe System of New Dublin without rocking the boat. But the people sending him to New Dublin have miscalculated because Terrence Murphy is a man who believes in honor. He believes in duty—in common decency and responsibility. He believes there are dark and dangerous secrets behind the fa├žade of what "everyone knows."

Terrence Murphy intends to meet those responsibilities, to unearth those secrets, and he doesn't much care what the Five Hundred want. He intends to put a stop to the killing.

Terrence Murphy is coming for whoever has orchestrated fifty-six years of bloodshed and slaughter, and Hell itself is coming with him.

My Thoughts: This space opera begins in new series in the same universe as the Honor Harrington series. Its star is Admiral Terence Murphy. He's from a military family and he is a member of the Five Hundred - the most powerful families in Terran Republic.

According to his father-in-law, one of the wealthiest industrialists of the Five Hundred, Terrence is a sure bet for a life in politics. He's presentable, has a useful heritage, and he's something of a fop who will surely follow the guidance of more capable men.

However, the Five Hundred has severely underestimated Terrence Murphy. His assignment to be the governor of New Dublin, a fringe world, is supposed to give him some experience and built some political points. But when he runs a rescue operation to Inverness, another fringe world, which has been attacked by the Terran League, his priorities change. 

The Terran Republic and the Terran League have been at war for more than fifty years. The Five Hundred has found multiple ways to profit from the war and it isn't bad for them. The taxes and soldiers commandeered from the fringe worlds have both paid for it and staffed the spaceships that are fighting it. New Dublin is sick of it and on the verge of declaring independence from the Terran Republic. And they are not alone. 

The Terran League has plans, a secret alliance with the alien Rish, and a secret base building a massive fleet. They also have plans to change the war by moving the fight deep into the Terran Republic's planets. But Terrence Murphy finds out about the plans. Now all he has to do is convince the Five Hundred what is happening which is against all their entrenched beliefs and profit margins. 

This was an excellent space opera. I am looking forward to more of this series. 

I bought this one December 8, 2023. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

ARC Review: An Unfinished Murder by Jude Deveraux

An Unfinished Murder

Author:
Jude Deveraux
Series: A Medlar Mystery (Book 5)
Publication: MIRA; Original edition (April 30, 2024)

Description: Sara Medlar may be retired as a bestselling author, but her career as an amateur detective is facing one final mystery—and it’s a killer.

Retired romance novelist Sara Medlar has been comfortably sharing her large home with her niece Kate and her “honorary grandson” Jack. It’s a convenient arrangement given the Medlar Three, as they’ve become known, are often working closely together to solve mysteries in their small town of Lachlan, Florida. But when real estate agent Kate announces she’s been given the listing for the town’s storied Lachlan House, it sets off alarm bells for Sara and Jack. The infamous house has a dark history, one that’s certain to haunt them all.

With little memory of her childhood, Kate doesn’t understand what the fuss is about—until the trio visits the house and makes a grim discovery. Flooded by memories of the past, Kate realizes she spent time there as a child. But stumbling upon a skeleton dressed in a rotting tuxedo—a murder victim with connections to her father—causes Kate to wonder if the childhood she can’t remember might be one she’d rather forget.

As Sara, Kate and Jack delve deeper into the dead man’s history, they learn he was last seen at a party held at Lachlan House in the late nineties—a swanky soiree attended by his many enemies. With more than one motive in play, every partygoer is a suspect, and Sara is determined to find the culprit, even if it means digging up past secrets she’s worked hard to keep buried.

My Thoughts: This story begins when Kate is given the listing for Lachlan House. When she, Sara, and Jack go to look at it, Kate is overwhelmed with memories of having spent time there as a child. Trauma had erased many of Kate's childhood memories so this ease in Lachlan House rings alarm bells for Sara and Jack.

Things escalate when they find a skeleton sealed up in a closet in the playroom and escalate more when they find one of Kate's toys stuffed with jewels in the skeleton's skull. Things become interesting when the Medlar Three, along with Kate's father Randal, decide to try to recreate the weekend party that ended with the death of the man who is now the skeleton in the closet. 

The story is filled with interesting characters, many of whom have connections with Sara, Randal, Kate and Jack, who all have their reasons to come back to a place they left twenty-five years earlier because there are secrets there. 

I enjoyed this twisty plot filled with suspicious characters. I also enjoyed a resolution to the romance between Kate and Jack which has been brewing since the first book. And we finally learn the secrets hidden in Sara's romance with Jack's grandfather. 

Favorite Quote:
"I want to be one of those TV detectives," Sara said. "In the last five minutes, they put together every word everyone has said and voila! they know who the murderer is."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

ARC Review: Archangel's Lineage by Nalini Singh

Archangel's Lineage

Author:
Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter (Book 16)
Publication: Berkley (April 23, 2024)

Description: New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s dangerous and beautiful world of archangels, vampires, and mortals has never faced a threat this cataclysmic…

Raphael and Elena are experiencing their first ever year of true peace. No war. No horrors of archangelic power. No nightmares given flesh. Until…the earth beneath the Refuge begins to tremble, endangering not only angelkind’s precious and fragile young, but the very place that has held their most innocent safe for eons.

Amid the chaos, Elena’s father suffers a violent heart attack that threatens to extinguish their last chance to heal the bonds between them and make sense of the ruins of their agonizing shared history.

Even as Elena battles grief, Raphael is torn from her side by the sudden disappearance of an archangel. But worse yet is to come. An Ancestor, an angel unlike any other, stirs from his Sleep to warn the Cadre of a darkness so terrible that it causes empires to fall and civilizations to vanish.

This time, even the Cadre itself may not be able to stop a ticking clock that is counting down at frightening speed…

My Thoughts: Raphael and Elena are experiencing their first year of peace after years of horrors. However, the earth beneath the Refuge is starting to suffer from earthquakes and the Mantle which protects if from being seen by humans is fading. 

As the quakes get more pervasive and more world-wide, none of the extensive archives of the angels provide any answers. It takes the awakening of one of the ancients who has been sleeping almost since the start of time to provide a solution.

Meanwhile, Elena is dealing with her father's major heart attack and the fear that she will lose him before they can ever reconcile. As she is going through emotional trials, Raphel is dealing with one of the Cadre going into sleep and leaving his territory unsupervised which is very destabilizing in a world that is already teetering on the edge of collapse.

This story was a very emotional one and very fast-paced. The Cadre are racing to deal with a crisis that could cause the destruction of all living things on Earth while Elena deals with her emotional trauma. 

Fans of the series won't want to miss this one. 

Favorite Quote:
Some wounds didn't ever vanish; they just faded with time, until you could look at them without bleeding and breaking.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

ARC Review: Every Time I Go on Vacation, Someone Dies by Catherine Mack

Every Time I Go on Vacation, Someone Dies

Author:
Catherine Mack
Series: The Vacation Mysteries (Book 1)
Publication: Minotaur Books (April 30, 2024)

Description: Ten days, eight suspects, six cities, five authors, three bodies . . . one trip to die for.

"Quick, captivating, and oh-so-much-fun! This delicious mystery is as spellbinding as Knives Out."―Elle Cosimano, New York Times bestselling author of the Finlay Donovan series.


All that bestselling author Eleanor Dash wants is to get through her book tour in Italy and kill off her main character, Connor Smith, in the next in her Vacation Mysteries series―is that too much to ask?

Clearly, because when an attempt is made on the real Connor’s life―the handsome but infuriating con man she got mixed up with ten years ago and now can't get out of her life―Eleanor’s enlisted to help solve the case.

Contending with literary competitors, rabid fans, a stalker―and even her ex, Oliver, who turns up unexpectedly―theories are bandied about, and rivalries, rifts, and broken hearts are revealed. But who’s really trying to get away with murder?

Every Time I Go on Vacation, Someone Dies is the irresistible and hilarious series debut from Catherine Mack, introducing bestselling fictional author Eleanor Dash on her Italian book tour that turns into a real-life murder mystery, as her life starts to imitate the world in her books.

My Thoughts: EVERY TIME I GO ON VACATION, SOMEONE DIES was an interesting mystery told in a unique way. Eleanor Dash is the author of ten mystery books. She finds herself on an author tour to Italy along with some literary rivals, her sister who is her assistant, and nineteen members of her fan club including one who is her stalker. Also on the tour is Connor Smith who was with her on her first trip to Italy which led to the beginning of her writing career and her first book. He has also become the star of her series and the man who has been blackmailing her for all of those ten years. 

Since she is at the end of her publishing contract, she is determined to kill Connor off - in her books. However, it seems that someone might be trying to kill him off in real life. And maybe they want Eleanor dead too. 

While it is easy to see why a good many of the people on tour with her want Connor dead, she can't see why anyone would want her dead. But she and her fellow authors are determined to use the skills they've learned as mystery writers to figure out who want Eleanor and Connor dead. 

But then another of the authors dies and there are more questions raised. 

I thought the style of this book, which is told by Eleanor, who claims herself to be an unreliable narrator, and includes a number of footnotes was an interesting way to set up the story. I found her asides to her audience entertaining and informative too. 

Mystery lovers who want a look behind the curtain of mystery writing will especially enjoy this story. 

Favorite Quote:
I should stop trying to play detective. Because-- and I can't believe I'm saying this--I think I'm vad at it. I'm certainly not as subtle as I should be.

And that person who crashes around in books, asking everyone all the questions?

That's the person who ends up as the second victim.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

Monday, April 22, 2024

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (April 22, 2024)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

Want to See What I Added to My Stack? links to Stacking the Shelves hosted by Marlene at Reading Reality.

Other Than Reading...

I had a nice week last week. I made it to my dentist's appointment through snow flurries. The snow was melting as it hit the ground and not causing any problems. I also went out to lunch at Big Daddy's - a local hamburger joint - which happens to be next door to my dentist. 

I give my brother a gift certificate for a pizza of the month from our favorite local pizza place for Christmas. We used April's coupon on Saturday. I did fix a salad to go along with the pizza to add a little healthy food to the meal. 

I have only one book left to listen to in my In Death Rereadathon and then it is the long wait until September for the newest release. I may get to it this week, but I may save it for later. I'm trying to listen to the Lady Sherlock series since the newest book will be published June 25. I have a pending request for the ARC at NetGalley and am still hoping for approval to read it. I also want to continue to listen to a series of science fiction books I read earlier. The new one in that series is being released July 2. 

I am reading a book from my TBR mountain right now. I've had it since 2010 and it is a bit of a slow read. I don't read as many paranormal romances as I used to and am having trouble getting back into the genre. I need to finish it or abandon it TODAY.

Next week is free of any sort of appointment. I should have a lot of time for reading and listening -- and watching my Atlanta Braves play baseball.

Read Last Week
  • The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman (Mine) -- Begins a series of contemporary mysteries with geriatric detectives. My review will be posted on April 25.
  • Encore in Death by J. D. Robb (Audiobook Reread) -- In Death Book 56
  • The Phoenix Code by Catherine Asaro (Mine) -- Contemporary science fiction about cybernetics and artificial intelligence with a nice romance too. My review will be posted on April 27.
  • Star Struck by Marjorie McCown (Review; May 7) -- Second contemporary mystery set in Hollywood and starring a movie costumer. My review will be posted on April 30.
  • People in Glass Houses by Jayne Castle (Review; May 7) -- A new mystery/romance set on Harmony. My review will be posted on May 2.
  • Undercity by Catherine Asaro (Audiobook Reread) -- This science fiction mystery is set in the author's Skolian universe. My review will be posted on April 30.
  • Murphy's Law by Rhys Bowen (Audiobook) -- First in the Molly Murphy historical mystery series. My review will be posted on May 2.
  • A Lonesome Place for Dying by Nolan Chase (Review; May 7) -- Debut contemporary mystery. My review will be posted on May 1.
  • Payback in Death by J. D. Robb (Audiobook Reread) -- In Death Book 57
Currently
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Want to See What I Added to My Stack Last Week?

Review:
Bought:
  • The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Kindle Daily Deal, $1.99) -- Reread
  • When She Dreams by Amanda Quick (Kindle Daily Deal, $4.99) -- Reread
What was your week like?