Monday, November 28, 2011

Review: The Summer Garden by Sherryl Woods

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Mira (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778313093
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778313090

Book Description

Chesapeake Shores January 31, 2012
Falling for “Maddening Moira” O’Malley was the unexpected highlight of Luke O’Brien’s Dublin holiday. So when she pays a surprise visit to Chesapeake Shores, Luke is thrilled…at first. A fling with this wild Irish rose is one thing, but forever? Maybe someday, but not when he’s totally focused on establishing a business that will prove his mettle to his overachieving family. Given Luke’s reaction, Moira has some soul - searching of her own to do. Scarred by her father’s abandonment, she wonders if Luke, with his playboy past, is truly the family man she longs for. Adding to her dilemma, she’s offered an amazing chance at a dream career of her own. Deep down, though, Moira knows home is the real prize, and that love can be every bit as enchanted as a summer garden.

About the Author


With her roots firmly planted in the South, Sherryl Woods has written many of her more than 100 books in that distinctive setting, whether her home state of Virginia, her adopted state, Florida, or her much-adored South Carolina. She's also especially partial to small towns, wherever they may be. A member of Novelists Inc., Sisters in Crime and Romance Writers of America, Sherryl divides her time between her childhood summer home overlooking the Potomac River in Colonial Beach, Virginia, and her oceanfront home, with its lighthouse view, in Key Biscayne, Florida. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

My Review

I have been following Sherryl Woods Chesapeake Shores series so I couldn't wait any longer to read this latest addition.  Luke O'Brien met Moira O'Malley while the family was in Dublin for Christmas.  Moira tags along with her grandfather when he comes to visit Nell O'Brien in America.  Luke is in the midst of setting up his new business,an Irish pub.  Although Moira could be the one Luke keeps letting her know that his new business is his number one priority.  Will she wait for him?

This book continues the love story of Nell and Moira's grandfather.  Predictable story but great writing from Sherryl Woods makes this entire series worth reading.

Hightly recommend if you enjoy a good love story.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Review: Zero Day by David Baldacci

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (October 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446573019
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446573016

Book Description


October 31, 2011
From David Baldacci-the modern master of the thriller and #1 worldwide bestselling novelist-comes a new hero: a lone Army Special Agent taking on the toughest crimes facing the nation.

And Zero Day is where it all begins....

John Puller is a combat veteran and the best military investigator in the U.S. Army's Criminal Investigative Division. His father was an Army fighting legend, and his brother is serving a life sentence for treason in a federal military prison. Puller has an indomitable spirit and an unstoppable drive to find the truth.

Now, Puller is called out on a case in a remote, rural area in West Virginia coal country far from any military outpost. Someone has stumbled onto a brutal crime scene, a family slaughtered. The local homicide detective, a headstrong woman with personal demons of her own, joins forces with Puller in the investigation. As Puller digs through deception after deception, he realizes that absolutely nothing he's seen in this small town, and no one in it, are what they seem. Facing a potential conspiracy that reaches far beyond the hills of West Virginia, he is one man on the hunt for justice against an overwhelming force.

David Baldacci is one of the world's favorite storytellers. His books are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with over 110 million copies in print. David Baldacci is also the cofounder, along with his wife, of the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. Still a resident of his native Virginia, he invites you to visit him at and his foundation at, and to look into its program to spread books across America at


David Baldacci was born in Virginia, in 1960, where he currently resides. He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Virginia Commonwealth University and a law degree from the University of Virginia. Mr. Baldacci practiced law for nine years in Washington, D.C., as both a trial and corporate attorney.
David Baldacci has published seventeen novels: Absolute Power, Total Control, The Winner, The Simple Truth, Saving Faith, Wish You Well, Last Man Standing, The Christmas Train, Split Second, Hour Game, The Camel Club, The Collectors, Simple Genius, Stone Cold, and The Whole Truth; and in his young adult series, Freddy and the French Fries: Fries Alive! and Freddy and the French Fries: The Adventures of Silas Finklebean. He has also published a novella for the Dutch entitled Office Hours, written for Holland's Year 2000 "Month of the Thriller." Baldacci authored a short story, "The Mighty Johns," as part of a mystery anthology published in 2002.

My Review

This is the first book by David Baldacci that I have read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The John Puller of Zero Day has been compared to Lee Child's Jack Reacher whom I adore.  I do see the similarities but as far as I'm concerned you can never have too much Jack Reacher!

Good story, lots of action, lots of twists and turns.  Great read that I highly recommend.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Review: V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: A Marian Wood Book/Putnam (November 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399157867
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399157868

Book Description


Kinsey Millhone Mystery November 14, 2011
A spiderweb of dangerous relationships lies at the heart of V is for Vengeance, Sue Grafton's daring new Kinsey Millhone novel. 

A woman with a murky past who kills herself-or was it murder? A spoiled kid awash in gambling debt who thinks he can beat the system. A lovely woman whose life is about to splinter into a thousand fragments. A professional shoplifting ring working for the Mob, racking up millions from stolen goods. A wandering husband, rich and ruthless. A dirty cop so entrenched on the force he is immune to exposure. A sinister gangster, conscienceless and brutal. A lonely widower mourning the death of his lover, desperate for answers, which may be worse than the pain of his loss. A private detective, Kinsey Millhone, whose thirty-eighth-birthday gift is a punch in the face that leaves her with two black eyes and a busted nose.

And an elegant and powerful businessman whose dealings are definitely outside the law: the magus at the center of the web.

V: Victim. Violence. Vengeance.

About The Author

New York Times-bestselling author Sue Grafton is published in twenty-eight countries and twenty-six languages--including Estonian, Bulgarian, and Indonesian. Books in her alphabet series, begun in 1982, are international bestsellers with readership in the millions. And like Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald, Grafton has earned new respect for the mystery form. Readers appreciate her buoyant style, her eye for detail, her deft hand with character, her acute social observances, and her abundant storytelling prowess. She has been named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America (2009) and is a recipient of the Ross Macdonald Literary Award (2004).

Sue Grafton has been married to Steve Humphrey for more than thirty years, and they divide their time between Montecito, California, and Louisville, Kentucky, where she was born and raised. Grafton, who has three children and four grandchildren, loves cats, gardens, and good cuisine.

My Review

This series by Sue Grafton is one of the best out there.  Kinsey Millhone is a heroine we can all relate to.  I have read this entire series from beginning to end twice and I never tire of these adventures.  It has been a long two year wait but V is for Vengeance is a wonderful addition to the series.

This is a straight up mystery thriller that kept me turning the pages quickly.  Kinsey is hired by a man searching for the reasons that his fiance has died.  As Kinsey begins her investigation she discovers there is much more to the man's fiance than he ever dreamed.  There are also several substories going on that all come together in the end.  My favorite part involved disappearing designer dresses.  Lots of action and a great story!

Highly recommend this fabulous mystery by Sue Grafton.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Review: The Measby Murder Enquiry (Ivy Beasley Mystery #2) by Ann Purser

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (May 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425241564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425241561

Book Description

Ivy Beasley May 3, 2011
Cantankerous spinster Ivy Beasley has quickly learned that spending her golden years in the quaint village of Barrington won't be as quiet as she thought. Ivy hasn't been in assisted living at Springfields for long, but she's already found new friends, formed a detective agency, and solved a murder. And as autumn falls, Ivy and her team are asked to investigate a mysterious death in the village of Measby-in between card games, of course.

Ann Purser's Web Site

My Review

Ivy Beasley is a clever elderly woman who is living in a retirement home in England.  In this second book in the series, Ivy is involved in a detective agency with fellow "inmate" Roy, cousin Deirdre, and possible former spy Gus.  A new resident at the Springfields assisted living facility, Mrs. Alwen Wilson Jones seems to have a mysterious past...a connection to Jones Brewing Company...and a murder in nearby Measby.

As readers of Ann Purser's other series starring Lois Meade know, Ann is an amazing story teller.  She brings the English countryside to life.  And I love that our heroine is elderly.  And that our elderly heroine has found love!

Great English cozy mystery.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Review: Skeleton Letters (A Scrapbooking Mystery) by Laura Childs

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Hardcover (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425243893
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425243893

Book Description


A Scrapbooking Mystery October 4, 2011
New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs sends her scrappy sleuths into New Orleans' French Quarter. 

Is nothing sacred? The last thing Carmela Bertrand and her friend Ava expected to bear witness to in St. Tristan's Church was a crime. But now a beloved member of their scrapbooking circle lies lifeless next to a smashed statue of St. Sebastien-and a mysterious hooded figure has absconded with an antique crucifix.

As Carmela and Ava are drawn deeper into New Orleans' French Quarter in search of the missing crucifix, they may need the help of more than a few patron saints. Because this is one killer they don't want to cross...

About the Author


Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Cackleberry Club, Tea Shop, and Scrapbooking mysteries. In her past life she was a Clio Award-winning advertising writer and CEO of her own marketing firm. She lives in Minnesota.

My Review

I am a big fan of the cozy mystery series by Laura Childs:  The Tea Shoppe Mysteries, the Scrapbooking Mysteries and the Cackleberry Club Mysteries.  The Skeleton Letters is the latest in the Scrapbooking series which are set in the delightful city of New Orleans.

Both Carmela and Ava are featured prominently in this outing.  A friend of theirs is murdered in Vieux Carre church just when they happen to be there.  Although Carmela's beau, Detective Babcock warns her off the case, Carmela has to dig into things for herself.  Lots of red herrings are dropped and I was surprised to find out who the murderer was in the end. 

Probably not my favorite of the Scrapbooking series but a good read for a rainy afternoon.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Review: The Litigators by John Grisham


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 602 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1444729705
  • Publisher: Doubleday (October 25, 2011)


Product Description


The partners at Finley & Figg—all two of them—often refer to themselves as “a boutique law firm.” Boutique, as in chic, selective, and prosperous. They are, of course, none of these things. What they are is a two-bit operation always in search of their big break, ambulance chasers who’ve been in the trenches much too long making way too little. Their specialties, so to speak, are quickie divorces and DUIs, with the occasional jackpot of an actual car wreck thrown in. After twenty plus years together, Oscar Finley and Wally Figg bicker like an old married couple but somehow continue to scratch out a half-decent living from their seedy bungalow offices in southwest Chicago.

And then change comes their way. More accurately, it stumbles in. David Zinc, a young but already burned-out attorney, walks away from his fast-track career at a fancy downtown firm, goes on a serious bender, and finds himself literally at the doorstep of our boutique firm. Once David sobers up and comes to grips with the fact that he’s suddenly unemployed, any job—even one with Finley & Figg—looks okay to him.

With their new associate on board, F&F is ready to tackle a really big case, a case that could make the partners rich without requiring them to actually practice much law. An extremely popular drug, Krayoxx, the number one cholesterol reducer for the dangerously overweight, produced by Varrick Labs, a giant pharmaceutical company with annual sales of $25 billion, has recently come under fire after several patients taking it have suffered heart attacks. Wally smells money.

A little online research confirms Wally’s suspicions—a huge plaintiffs’ firm in Florida is putting together a class action suit against Varrick. All Finley & Figg has to do is find a handful of people who have had heart attacks while taking Krayoxx, convince them to become clients, join the class action, and ride along to fame and fortune. With any luck, they won’t even have to enter a courtroom!

It almost seems too good to be true.

And it is.

The Litigators
is a tremendously entertaining romp, filled with the kind of courtroom strategies, theatrics, and suspense that have made John Grisham America’s favorite storyteller.

My Review

The Litigators by John Grisham is a decent read but it is not one of his best books.  The beginning was promising, the middle dragged and the ending was very satisfying.  I found the book to be somewhat predictable and I found myself annoyed with the endless Krayoxx litigation strategies.  Grisham did touch on one subject that is very relevant today and that is why did so many people require a cholesterol reducing drug...because there are so many overweight people today.  Definitely something to think about there.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307886263
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307886262

 Comedy's fastest-rising star takes to the page in a book of essays, personal anecdotes, and impassioned pleas.

Multi-hyphenate Mindy Kaling is an Emmy-nominated writer, the actress famous for playing the beloved Kelly Kapoor on The Office, and the author of one of Twitter's most popular and quoted feeds.  She is a keen and witty observer of life, romance, and pop culture, whom the New York Times recently called "an entirely original and of-the-moment" performer and Entertainment Weekly deemed “one of the ten funniest actresses in Hollywood.”

In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy shares her observations, fears, and opinions about a wide-ranging list of the topics she thinks about the most: from her favorite types of guys (including Sherlock Holmes, NBA players, Aaron Sorkin characters, and 19th-century fictional hunks) to life in the Office writers' room to her leisure pursuit of dieting (“I don’t travel, speak other languages, do crafts, or enjoy sports, but I love reading about new diets”) and how much she loves romantic comedies.  Loaded with personal stories and laugh-out-loud philosophies, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? is a must-read by one of the most original comedic voices working today.

About the Author


MINDY KALING is an Emmy-nominated writer and actress on NBC’s The Office. You can find her on Twitter (@mindykaling), or at her desk pretending to be writing a screenplay but actually online shopping with a memorized credit card number. She resides in Los Angeles. Her billing zip code is 90067.

My Review

I am a huge fan of The Office and of Mindy Kaling's who is an actress, writer, director and producer on the show.   Mindy's book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?  was released last week.  It is a book of essays on her life so far.  If you can get past the occasional spicy language it is a great book for teenage girls to read.

Mindy was raised by immigrant professional parents who placed a huge emphasis on educational pursuits.  They were wonderful role models who raised a very intelligent daughter.  She discusses the pitfalls and pressures of growing up.  And she shows and proves what hard work and dedication to a dream can do for young people.

And the best part is, it is funny!  Just as I look forward to the craziness of The Office each week, I am looking forward to more from Mindy Kaling.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

One Year Blog Anniversary

This is the one year anniversary of my book review blog and I wanted to thank you for following me.  I love reading and this is the perfect outlet to share that love and to work on my writing skills.  I appreciate every author that has personally sent me their book to read, either a physical copy or ebook and I am thrilled that Net Galley publishers also allow me to review their books.

When I began writing this blog I was not working and was trying to decide what to do career wise.  Two months ago a position came up that was so close to home that it would have been criminal to turn it down. I haven't been able to read and review quite as many books as I would like but I do savour every book that I have time read.

Once again, thank you very much for following MysteriesEtc!!!

Review: I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (Flavia de Luce #4) by Alan Bradley

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385344015
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385344012

It’s Christmastime, and the precocious Flavia de Luce—an eleven-year-old sleuth with a passion for chemistry and a penchant for crime-solving—is tucked away in her laboratory, whipping up a concoction to ensnare Saint Nick. But she is soon distracted when a film crew arrives at Buckshaw, the de Luces’ decaying English estate, to shoot a movie starring the famed Phyllis Wyvern. Amid a raging blizzard, the entire village of Bishop’s Lacey gathers at Buckshaw to watch Wyvern perform, yet nobody is prepared for the evening’s shocking conclusion: a body found, past midnight, strangled to death with a length of film. But who among the assembled guests would stage such a chilling scene? As the storm worsens and the list of suspects grows, Flavia must use every ounce of sly wit at her disposal to ferret out a killer hidden in plain sight.


About the Author


Alan Bradley is the internationally bestselling author of many short stories, children’s stories, newspaper columns, and the memoir The Shoebox Bible. His first Flavia de Luce novel, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, received the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award, the Dilys Winn Award, the Arthur Ellis Award, the Agatha Award, the Macavity Award, and the Barry Award, and was nominated for the Anthony Award. His second and third Flavia de Luce novels are The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag and the New York Times bestselling A Red Herring Without Mustard. Bradley lives in Malta with his wife and two calculating cats.

My Review

Without a doubt, this is one of the best mystery series out there.  I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be able to read another adventure of Flavia de Luce.  It was wonderful to be back at Buckshaw with all of the de Luce's and Dogger.

We are given a few more clues to Dogger's past.  And I cannot help thinking that everything is leading up to Harriet returning at some point....wishful thinking maybe...Flavia desperately needs a mother and to be loved.  In the meantime, our favorite budding chemist is plotting up a storm in order to try to capture Father Christmas on Christmas Eve.  Throw in a film crew and an aging movie star and the fun begins.

Of course there is a murder and we know who will solve it!  But that is just a bit of the fun.  The best part is just being at Buckshaw in England in the 1950s.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Review: Three-Day Town by Margaret Maron

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (November 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446555789
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446555784

Judge Deborah Knott and Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant are on a train to New York, finally on a honeymoon after a year of marriage. January in New York might not be the perfect time to visit, but they'll take it. The trip is a Christmas present from Dwight's sister-in-law, who arranged for them to stay in an Upper West Side apartment for one week. While in New York, Deborah has been asked to deliver a package to Lt. Sigrid Harald of the NYPD. Sigrid offers to swing by the apartment to pick up the box, but when they reach the apartment, they discover that it is missing and the doorman has been murdered. Despite their best efforts to enjoy a blissful getaway, Deborah and Dwight soon find that they've teamed up with Sigrid and her team to catch the killer before he strikes again.

About the Author


Margaret Maron grew up on a farm near Raleigh and lived in Brooklyn for many years. Returning to her North Carolina roots prompted Marcia to write a series based on her own background, the first of which, Bootlegger's Daughter, was a Washington Post bestseller and swept the major mystery awards for 1993. THREE-DAY TOWN is the seventeenth book in the acclaimed Deborah Knott series. Visit her website at

My Review

I love this series by Margaret Maron so I was absolutely thrilled that it was offered on Net Galley and even more thrilled that I was accepted to review it.

Judge Deborah Knott and Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant are finally able to take their long awaited honeymoon.  They head to New York City and the apartment of Dwight's sister-in-law.  Deborah has a package to deliver in NYC that will lead them into a great adventure.  The daughter of the recipient of the package is New York PD Lieutenant Sigrid Harald who is also along for the ride.

There are plenty of twists and turns in this wonderful mystery set far from Deborah's usual North Carolina haunts.  Great story and I always love reading stories set in New York.  Even though Deborah and Dwight were away from home they never were very far as both the mystery they were involved in as well as close family ties kept the home fires burning.   

A wonderful addition to the Deborah Knott mystery series by Margaret Maron.