Showing posts with label Mysteries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mysteries. Show all posts

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Some Kind of January 2024 Hillerman TBR...

I went through my usual waffling around regarding what I want to read next. Often I go with what I'm currently agonizing about wanting to complete. Still, there is a lot of unnecessary overthinking and consideration in all the meticulousness and thoroughness given the decision. Shoot, there are even days where I decided to read something, go to bed, and am running late to work because I've somehow changed my mind while asleep. But I must bring a book with me every time I leave the house! 

Nonetheless, after having read about five or six Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee Tony Hillerman series books back in July; reading the final five written by Hillerman, before his daughter Anne picked up the series after his death, has been heavy on my reading spirit. Thus, as of right now, I’ve decided to do this.

I’ve labeled this the “No New Friends in 2024” TBR. Honestly, all it means is that I’m going to try not to start a new series of books until I wrap up at least one that I’ve been reading for years. Last year I finished the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters. I’m still hoping I can finish the Adam Dalegish series by P. D. James (only five more books to go there), and then decide what to do from there.

Anyway, I do plan on going further into Tony Hillerman’s world with the revival of the series introduced by his daughter. Just at another time (hopefully). As of right now, I want to gather up the final words Hillerman had to share about Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn.

So here we go…

As I’m writing this, I finished book #14, Hunting Badger. I’m currently 82 pages away from the end of book #15, The Wailing Wind. I might pull an all-nighter on that one. After that, only three more to go: The Sinister Pig (#16), Skeleton Man (#17), and The Shape Shifter (#18). I have to say, I’m proud of myself for not actually buying the books but checking them out from my library.

Anyway, back to crimes in the desert to launch 2024. Which, obviously, I love reading about.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

A Relaxed Reading Update of the Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time

Anyway, two two-way ways to support the channel... Books mentioned in the video are (Amazon affiliate link): 1. The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart 2. The Hot Rock by Donald E. Westlake 3. The Firm by John Grisham *** Though it's to be fully determined after I finish my own project (currently in the works); I am an affiliate with and welcome you to check out the site via my affiliate link above ***


Thursday, December 8, 2022

Reading some Death on Demand by Carolyn G. Hart

Carolyn G. Hart's Honeymoon with Murder and A Little Class on Murder are books numbers four and five of her award-winning Death on Demand series. Death on Demand itself is a mystery-themed bookstore on a South Carolina island called Boward's Rock. The store is run by a woman named Annie Laurance, who becomes Annie Darling per her eventual marriage to her beau, Max. Nonetheless, as a mystery bookstore owner, Annie is deeply dedicated to everything surrounding the mystery genre–so she knows her stuff. A cast of supporting characters are there as well with equal appreciation for loving and conversing about mystery books. As readers, we are privy to much of these conversations about various mysteries and the authors who write them. Blended so well into the overall narrative, you, the reader, suddenly find yourself intrigued by anecdotal information on, say, Agatha Christie and/or Ross MacDonald. The list is endless.

Meanwhile, the author is telling and selling you a great murder mystery with all the operating components that make these books cozy. Yet, they are so, so much more. For one, they are apt and sharper than many nowadays cozies I've read that seem to prioritize lunacy and love triangles as the standard. Secondly, while some primary and supporting cast may annoy me sometimes, Hart delivers humor/comedy like the pro she is. I sometimes run across cozies where authors need to learn how nuance lands a comedic moment. Or lack the ability to put some intelligence behind comedy to keep it from selling eye-rolls and cringe page after page. As a matter-of-fact, I think "nuance" is the correct term to describe Hart's ability, because outside notes of humor her characters simply come off the page to me. I respect it; Carolyn G. Hart won multiple awards for a freakin’ reason.

This all aside, I list three things that keep me returning to this series (aside from Hart's ability to plot).

1. I've entirely warmed up to Hart's duo, Annie and Max. I mention this because I typically wouldn't like the way romances are handled in cozy mysteries–especially those that insist on beginning a romance with a love triangle. Nevertheless, earlier in the series I thought Annie was rude; her and I didn't exactly click. In contrast, Max got on my nerves as the designated love interest in many cozy series. The further into the series I read, the further my view of the two changed. 

Thursday, October 6, 2022

LIVID for Patricia Cornwell's 26th Kay Scarpetta Book

"Chief medical examiner Kay Scarpetta is the reluctant star witness in a sensational murder trial when she receives shocking news. The judge’s sister has been found dead. At first glance, it appears to be a home invasion, but then why was nothing stolen, and why is the garden strewn with dead plants and insects?

Although there is no apparent cause of death, Scarpetta recognizes telltale signs of the unthinkable, and she knows the worst is yet to come. The forensic pathologist finds herself pitted against a powerful force that returns her to the past, and her time to catch the killer is running out . . ."

Y’all. I am so glad Patricia Cornwell is back with Kay Scarpetta. To think how 2016’s Chaos was potentially the last book in the series. Until we got Autopsy last Fall as a series revive. NOW we immediately get ANOTHER new one in Livid. Which is due later this month. I don’t want to wait until the freakin’ 25th!

Friday, June 25, 2021

A Quick Rundown of my Christie Kicks Feelings

 Day ONE

What’s going on with me attempting to read Agatha Christie’s The Mysterious Affair at Styles?  I’m 28 pages into the book and find myself uninterested.  Two things are occurring to me:

1. Given that Christie pretty much created every mystery trope, the reading is feeling rote (see what I did there).  I don't think it's necessarily the book, per se.  But the mood generated from the experience feels rote–I guess that's the word for it.  Here I was attempting to officially take on a Christie novel.  Yet, I've read so many mysteries and am so late to her that I'm bored with the template presented here.  I already know what is about to happen in Styles, not necessarily who will do it.  This leads me to my other problem…

2. Christie's characters are flat.  Now I experienced this realization before when attempting to read her first Miss Marple book before abandoning it.  Nevertheless, I thought I would get over this in Christie's first Hercule Poirot book.  Nah, man.  These characters are flat, 2D, and uninteresting.  Another problem I have, which is usual with me with any type of book, is the lack of illustrations behind characters, scenes, settings, everything.  There is no color here.  Just automatons are doing their master's bidding.  Heck, my reading of the first two Sherlock Holmes novels came close, but at least Holmes and Watson had character.  That's it, Christie's characters lack character... well… let’s just say dept.

So what shall I do next?  Mmmmmm.  I think I’m going to give myself more pages.



So, I managed to scoot up closer to the table and read up to fifty pages and found my interest in the book drastically improved.  Between the first 28 pages until now, the actual death has occurred and what an exciting scene it provided.  All the bells and whistles that tickle my mystery-loving fancy are on full display.  I am now on board.  I am now interested.  The death scene and Poirot's character/personality finally taking stage broke from the initial stale taste the book was giving me.  I am still not engaged with Christie's light writing style; as matter-of-fact, her style makes me hungry for some more of P. D. James's work.  I kept glancing at one of my shelves, wondering would it be appropriate to plug in another Adam Dalgleish book after The Mysterious Affair at Styles.  P. D. James is undoubtedly an evolution of Christie with both her literary style and emphasis on characters.  I stress characters.  James does character.

Friday, June 4, 2021

The Leavenworth Case Quickie

I had to plot down my thoughts on Goodreads after finishing this book.  Very quick, very simply.  

"One of the elements of crime fiction/mystery novels that appeal to me most is how well the author can capture and capsulate what led to the resolution. Specifically with the confession of the culprit. WHY he/she committed the crime as well as HOW it was done walked backwards for the reader is HYPER important to me. It can ruin the entire experience when taken lightly by the author. A culprit's position is equally as important as the victim's. Anyway, The Leavenworth Case was the absolute BEST example of how I believe it can be done. I was about to throw four stars on it until Green stationed a whole chapter featuring the culprit's voice. She illuminated not only the machinations of the crime and why it was committed, through the killer's own flawed and backwards reasoning. But also how the individual's past left the susceptibility to have become a killer in the first place. So enthralled by it, I gave the book another star. :)"

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

FINALLYYYYY! An Update on Marcia Muller's Next Sharon McCone Mystery

Soooooo, y'all know I take the time every other day to look for new releases from authors I love.  And nothing is more punishing than waiting years between releases.  So I thought Marcia Muller was done with her Sharon McCone P.I. mystery series, after 2018's release of The Breakers.  Low-key... I was panicking a little about the woman and whether or not she was coming back.  You know, given how we lost Grafton four years ago.  Grafton's passing was the reason I buckled down in 2018 and read through the entirety of Muller's McCone series.  And, hell, I finished the series excited for more.  Sooooooooo, here we are YEARS later (and at the tail end of this craziness of 2020) with the announcement of the next Sharon McCone mystery.  I, naturally, just hate to wait until August for it.  UGH!  Anyway, I and many Muller readers finally got our answer in McCone's 35th case, Ice and Stone.

"Private investigator Sharon McCone goes undercover to investigate the murders of two indigenous women in remote Northern California in this gripping, atmospheric mystery in the New York Times bestselling series.

When two women are brutally murdered in northern California, their deaths are the latest atrocities in a surge of violence targeting indigenous women in the area. Despite all evidence to the contrary, local officials rule the deaths isolated incidents, and they soon join the ranks of other unsolved homicides, quickly forgotten by law enforcement.

Private Investigator Sharon McCone knows better, and so does the organization known as Crimes Against Indigenous Sisters, who hires Sharon to go undercover in Eiwok county, a tiny region on the mountainous Oregon border, to uncover the murderer.

In an isolated cabin in the freezing, treacherous woods, Sharon must unravel a mystery that is rooted in ignorance, profound hatred, and vengeance -- before another victim is claimed."

Amazon affiliate link below:

Me heading to the bookstore come August 10th, 2021:

Thursday, December 10, 2020

UPDATED: 2020 Mystery Series Catching Up List

2020 Mystery Series Catching Up List


*Updated notes as of December 2020

I’m making this list because I’m tired of myself starting a new series, while having a series I already need to read hanging around my shelves.  

This list will be used to help me stay focused!  Other genres in-between will come as well.

Mrs. Murphy Series by Rita Mae Brown

Book #13: Cat’s Eyewitness

Book #14: Sour Puss

Book #15: Puss N’ Choots

Book #16: The Perrfect Murder

(The rest of the series I’ll check out from the library)

*Got absolutely NOWHERE here.  Very unfortunate, considering this was once a beloved cozy series of mine.  I honestly think I just grew out of it.

John Le’ Carre Smiley Spy Series

Book #3 The Spy Who Came Out of the Cold

Book #4 The Looking Glass War

Stand-Alone: A Small Town in Germany (This’ll be my first read)

*Didn’t get anywhere with Le’Carre.  I started to read his stand-alone, The Little Drummer Girl, back in August.  Unfortunately, I got distracted with other reads.  Specifically that of Laura Child’s Tea Shop Mystery series.  In that, I took on books 4-8 and made progress there instead.  I also made progress in Margaret Maron’s series.  So there’s that! 

Suzanne Arruda’s Cameron Del African Series

It is vital that I finish this series this year.  I only have five books left to read.  The last two I’ll have to order.  Nevertheless, I must finish this series in 2020.

Book# 3: The Serpent’s Daughter

✅Book #4: The Leopard’s Prey

✅Book #5: Treasure of the Golden Cheetah

(I have to order the following two for my personal library.  Will not do until I’m done with BOOK #5)

✅Book #6: The Crocodile’s Last Embrace

✅Book#7: Devil Dance

*OFFICIALLY DONE AS OF OCTOBER 2020.  I buckled down and knocked this series out.  I enjoyed finishing it the whole way, too.  I will say the 7th and final book, Devil Dance, was self-published.  Not that this was necessarily a factor, but the quality of the series dipped here.  There was a five year break between books 6 and 7, and I suspect the author didn’t have the same editor as previous.  Nevertheless, I completed the series.  Going to miss Jade del Cameron and her adventures. 

Monday, August 17, 2020

FauxCast ~ CHOP IT UP: Goldenboy by Michael Nava (Henry Rios Mystery #2)

Been a while, huh?  I read this book back in March–as a part of #MarchMysteryMadness–and recorded this soon after.  I guess I just held on to this recording as one proceeds to tackle other areas of one's life amid... well... we know what's going on these days.  With that said, this recording is completely unedited.  Normally I try to clean things up for you guys.  This time I'm trying to get my mojo back first.  LOL.  

Anyway, enjoy!   I also hope you're all well.  Staying safe and motivated.  And refusing to give up on whatever you're reaching to achieve.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Crime and Poetry Detour ~ MAKE IT MAKE SENSE



Wellllll, she did discover the body.  She did see the scarf wrapped around the body's neck.  I mean... AFTER ALL.  Like, what the hell did she think?  The thought that the guy strangled himself really crossed her mind?

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