Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death (Agatha Raisin Mysteries #1) by M C Beaton

Book Description

January 20, 2003

Putting all her eggs in one basket, Agatha Raisin gives up her successful PR firm, sells her London flat, and samples a taste of early retirement in the quiet village of Carsely. Bored, lonely and used to getting her way, she enters a local baking contest: Surely a blue ribbon for the best quiche will make her the toast of the town. But her recipe for social advancement sours when Judge Cummings-Browne not only snubs her entry—but falls over dead! After her quiche’s secret ingredient turns out to be poison, she must reveal the unsavory truth…

Agatha has never baked a thing in her life! In fact, she bought her entry ready-made from an upper crust London quicherie. Grating on the nerves of several Carsely residents, she is soon receiving sinister notes. Has her cheating and meddling landed her in hot water, or are the threats related to the suspicious death? It may mean the difference between egg on her face and a coroner’s tag on her toe…

Review –
This is the book that started the Agatha Raisin Mystery Series and it was wonderful.  I’ve read all of the other books in the series and have always been a big fan of the series but this book tells us how Agatha came to be in Carsely in the Cotwolds and how James Lacey came to be her next door neighbor.(In later books James and Agatha marry for a short time)
The characters are eccentric, fun, somethings irritating but always entertaining. If you are in a bad mood, starting an Agatha Raisin Mystery will change that.
Truly a great series. Give it a try.
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The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1) by Rick Yancey

Book Description:

Published: May 7, 2013

 

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker.

Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

Review –

OMG!!

The book was captivating right from the start and held my interest to the end and it only took me a few hours to read. Cassie is a strong female character, which YA literature needs more of, and she is devoted to finding her brother. The story is action packed, fast paced and the characters have great chemistry together(Cassie and Evan). I can’t wait to read the second in the series.  

I rated this book 5 stars *****

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The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards

Book Description:

Published: November 2, 2010

Lucy Jarrett is at a crossroads in her life, still haunted by her father’s unresolved death a decade earlier. She returns to her hometown in Upstate New York, The Lake of Dreams, and, late one night, she cracks the lock of a window seat and discovers a collection of objects. They appear to be idle curiosities, but soon Lucy realizes that she has stumbled across a dark secret from her family’s past, one that will radically change her—and the future of her family—forever.

Review –

This was my second listening of this book and I liked it more this time around as is usually the case. 

The characters are well-defined and developed, locations are described vividly and the story is multi-faceted and wonderful.  If you or anyone you know is interested in genealogy or ancestry then this book is for you. Lucy discovers things about a relative that had been left out of the family history and she searches and locates all the information needed to properly do her justice. It’s a wonderful story of  travel, love, heart-break and the importance of family history.

 

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Dead Eye (Court Gentry/The Gray Man #4) by Mark Greaney

Book Description

December 3, 2013
Ex-CIA master assassin Court Gentry has always prided himself on his ability to disappear at will, to fly below the radar and exist in the shadows—to survive as the near-mythical Gray Man. But when he takes revenge upon a former employer who betrayed him, he exposes himself to something he’s never had to face before.A killer who is just like him.
Code-named Dead Eye, Russell Whitlock is a graduate of the same ultra-secret Autonomous Asset Program that trained and once controlled Gentry. But now, Whitlock is a free agent who has been directed to terminate his fellow student of death. He knows how his target thinks, how he moves, and how he kills. And he knows the best way to do the job is to make Gentry run for his life—right up until the moment Dead Eye finally ends it…
Review –

I have only experienced one other book in The Gray Man Series, THE  GRAY MAN, which was the first in the series. I really enjoyed it and made a metal note to read or listen to others in the series.  That being said , I had the opportunity to purchase DEAD EYE  for an excellent price, not realizing that it is the most current in the series.  I could tell my listening to this one that a lot had happened between the first and last books but I was still able to enjoy it as a stand alone book. I normally do not read political, assassin type adventures but the narrator of these books is so good that it made the subject all the better.  

The author writes so much action and detail into these books it make me glad I didn’t have to do the research or write it myself. I’m so looking forward to the next in the series but I’m sure it will next year at least. Oh well, I may have to go back and check out the two books that I missed. A girl can only go with some political action adventure so long.

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Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts

Book Description

Published: April 1, 2014

For more than three hundred years, Bluff House has sat above Whiskey Beach, guarding its shore – and its secrets.

To summer tourists, it’s the crown jewel of the town’s stunning scenery. To the residents of Whiskey Beach, it’s landmark and legend. To Eli Landon, it’s home…

A Boston lawyer, Eli has weathered an intense year of public scrutiny and police investigation after being accused of murdering his soon-to-be ex-wife. And though there was never enough evidence to have him arrested, his reputation is in tatters as well as his soul. He need sanctuary. He needs Bluff House.

While Eli’s beloved grandmother is in Boston, recuperating from a nasty fall, Abra Walsh has card for Bluff House, among her other jobs as yoga instructor, jewelry maker, and massage therapist. She is a woman with an open heart and a wide embrace, and no one is safe from her special, some would say over-bearing, brand of nurturing – including Eli.

He begins to count on Abra for far more than her cooking, cleaning, and massage skills, and starts to feel less like a victim – and more like the kind of man who can finally solve the murder of his wife and clear his name. But Bluff House’s many mysteries are a siren song to someone intent on destroying Eli and reaping the rewards. He and Abra will become entangled in a centuries-old net of rumors and half-truths that could pull them under the thunderous waters of Whiskey Beach…

Passion and obsession, humor and heart flow together in a novel about two people opening themselves up to the truth – and to each other.

 

Review –

I haven’t read anything lately by Nora Roberts so I was anxious to get into this one. I choose the audio version and I thought the narrator did a great job.(This is always very important for an audiobook-a narrator can make or break a book)

The  story combines legends and a hunt for treasure with present day happenings and throws in a romance for good measure. Jealousy, greed,murder, mystery,romance,family history and a magical house called Bluff House will combine to capture your imagination and keep you turning pages or inserted discs(my case) and when it’s over you’ll wish it wasn’t. I highly recommend it.

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Mr. Mercedes: A Novel (Unnamed Trilogy) by Stephen King

Book Description

Published: June 3, 2014

In a mega-stakes, high-suspense race against time, three of the most unlikely and winning heroes Stephen King has ever created try to stop a lone killer from blowing up thousands. In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.

In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the perp; and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy. Brady Hartfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again.

Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands. Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

Review –

This is the first book in a three-part trilogy and I will have to wait til  the early part of next year to read book two.  I can’t stand it!!!

I gave this book 5 stars ***** because it was like a fire in that once it ignited there was no putting it out.  I had the audio version and the narrator did a magnificent job of voicing the characters and the emotions involved in the story. I couldn’t pull myself away. Mr King writes the characters in such a way as to get you to invest in them and follow them along whatever long and curving road they take.  I didn’t expect to cry but I did in one part when a character I was very invested in dies. I couldn’t believe it, but that’s what a great writer does. Surprise the reader around every corner.

Even if you are not a Stephen King fan (is there really such a person) you would enjoy this book. There are no paranormal monsters, or crazy dogs, or haunted hotels. This is a unique story and will grab you and you had better hold on tight.

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Lisey’s Story by Stephen King

Product Description:

Published: October 24, 2006

Lisey Debusher Landon lost her husband, Scott, two years ago, after a twenty-five-year marriage of the most profound and sometimes frightening intimacy. Scott was an award-winning, bestselling novelist and a very complicated man. Early in their relationship, before they married, Lisey had to learn from him about books and blood and bools. Later, she understood that there was a place Scott went — a place that both terrified and healed him, that could eat him alive or give him the ideas he needed in order to live. Now it’s Lisey’s turn to face Scott’s demons, Lisey’s turn to go to Boo’ya Moon. What begins as a widow’s effort to sort through the papers of her celebrated husband becomes a nearly fatal journey into the darkness he inhabited. Perhaps King’s most personal and powerful novel, “Lisey’s Story” is about the wellsprings of creativity, the temptations of madness, and the secret language of love.

Review –

This was my second reading of this Stephen King novel and this time I chose to listen to it and I found I enjoyed it even more.

There are multiple stories being told, the first being Scott Landon, a writer who dies two years ago. he had a very bad childhood and would “go” to place when things got to bad or to heal. The second store is about Lisey’s sister,  Amanda, has a history of cutting and metal problems and has been aware of Scott’s paranormal powers. The third story is Lisey’s, which involves the first two and a crazy man who calls her MRS. and huts her very bad physically and she “goes” to Scott’s safe place to heal and figure out a way to get rid of the tormentor.  A wonderful story of love, loss, and madness.

 

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The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

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Book Description

Publication Date:January 10, 2012
Soon to Be a Major Motion Picture! TIME Magazine’s #1 Fiction Book of 2012!

The Fault in Our Stars is a love story, one of the most genuine and moving ones in recent American fiction, but it’s also an existential tragedy of tremendous intelligence and courage and sadness.” —Lev Grossman, TIME Magazine
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.
Review –
I knew a little about this book before I started listening to the audio version, but I wasn’t prepared for a death I really didn’t see coming. This is definitely a “box of Kleenex” story and more if you’re like me,(I cry at the drop of a hat).
I loved this book because of the surprise it gave me, because of the  chemistry between Hazel and Gus,  because of the reality of the storyline and finally because it was written very well and with care.  You can tell when an author is invested in his work or just cranking them(books) out for the money.
The movie comes out in a couple of months and I can’t wait.
Gave a box of Kleenex and start reading today.
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Bones of the Lost (Temperance Brennan #16)by Kathy Reichs

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Book Description

Publication Date:August 27, 2013
#1 New York Times bestselling author and producer of the Fox hit series Bones, Kathy Reichs returns with an unforgettable new novel featuring forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan, whose examination of a mysterious hit-and-run victim triggers an investigation into human trafficking.
When Charlotte police discover the body of a teenage girl along a desolate stretch of two-lane highway, Temperance Brennan fears the worst. The girl’s body shows signs of foul play. Inside her purse, police find an airline club card bearing the name of prominent local businessman John-Henry Story, who died in a horrific fire months earlier. How did Story and the girl know each other? Was she an illegal immigrant turning tricks? Was she murdered? Was he?
Tempe must also examine a bundle of Peruvian dog mummies confiscated by U.S. Customs. A Desert Storm veteran named Dominick Rockett stands accused of smuggling the objects into the country. Could there be some connection between the trafficking of antiquities and the trafficking of humans?
As the complications pile on, Tempe must also grapple with personal turmoil. Her daughter, Katy, grieving the death of her boyfriend in Afghanistan, impulsively enlists in the army. Meanwhile, Katy’s father, Pete, is growing frustrated by Tempe’s reluctance to finalize their divorce. As pressure mounts from all corners, Tempe soon finds herself at the center of a conspiracy that extends all the way from South America to Afghanistan and right to the center of Charlotte.
A tour de force of imagination, Bones of the Lost is a roller coaster of plot twists, punctuated by Tempe’s fierce wit and forensic know-how. “A genius at building suspense” (New York Daily News), Kathy Reichs is at her brilliant best in this sixteenth installment of the Temperance Brennan series. With the Fox series Bones in its ninth season, Kathy Reichs has reached new heights in suspenseful storytelling.
Review –
I didn’t enjoy this installment of the Temperance Brennan Series as much as the others  because it seemed similar to a couple of her others books. Not the authors best work but still a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.
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Girls With Glasses: My Optic History by Marissa Walsh

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Book Description

Publication Date:November 1, 2006
Being a Girl with Glasses isn’t just a style choice; it’s a way of life. If you’ve ever had your specs steam up when walking into a bar, squinted into the sun on the soccer field, or laid eyes on a new haircut only after your locks are strewn across the floor, you know what it’s like to be a GWG.
Marissa Walsh has worn glasses since third grade. Now — ten pairs of glasses, one pair of prescription sunglasses, and endless pairs of contacts later — she has fully embraced her four-eyed fate. As she recounts her optic history through the lenses of each pair of glasses — from the Sergio Valentes and the Sally Jessy Raphaels to the pseudo John Lennons and the dreaded health plan specs — at last she found them . . . the perfect pair.
Marissa’s comic look at a life behind glass is at once a poignant personal journey and a wry, canny exploration of just what it means to be a glasses-wearing kind of girl. Peppered with pop culture references and complete with appendixes of resources, classic GWG moments, and helpful tips on finding the right frames for your face, Girl with Glasses will give you reason to commiserate with your shortsighted sisters and celebrate your less-than-perfect vision.
Review –
I forget if this was a free audiobook or if it was just cheap, but anyway I listened to it and found it okay.
I, too, have worn glasses for the majority of my life but I never minded because without them I couldn’t see anything. Not quite blind, but almost. I love frames and if I were rich and famous I would have  a hundred  different pairs to wear to match my moods. But I’m not so I have three pairs and one I don’t wear because when the lenses were being put in the frame stretched and now they are too loose and fall down the bridge of the nose so there went $400 up in smoke. Oh well, that’s the life of a GWG (girl with glasses).
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