LadyoftheLodge in 2018
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All-Butter ShortDead by H.Y. Hanna (The pre-quel to the series, sets up the scene and background for her later novels in the series. Fast and fun read, no brain work required.) 4 stars
The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers (Good old Peter Wimsey! But the information on the change-ringing was baffling albeit interesting.) 4 stars
The Butter Did It by Phyllis Richman (This was on my shelf for a long time. I like novels about restaurants and cooking, and I figured out the mystery half way through the book.) 3 stars
Chronicles of Fairacre by Miss Read (Another of my "comfort" and "go to" authors. I have been a Miss Read fan for 30 years and read all the books more than once. I love the quirky characters and portraits of life in a small English village. Being a retired teacher, I like teacher books too.) 5 stars
Storm in the Village by Miss Read (ditto above) 5 stars
My Lucky Penny (Christmas in the City Book 3) by Jill Barnett (I like the basic premise, but why ruin a perfectly good Christmas story with an unnecessary sex scene? Many typos, needed a good editor. Bah humbug!) 3 stars
The Blue Bistro: A Novel by Elin Hilderbrand (This was my first read from this author. The portrait of life as part of a restaurant staff was very enjoyable. I think the author did her homework, and her end notes helped. However, the ending was a totally bust. I kept wanting to rewrite the ending. It was that depressing. Some of the characters were totally unlikeable, and the drinking and drug use were sad.) 2 stars
Tea Rose (Tea Room Mysteries) by Erin Keeley Marshall (Another very nice book, no sex, drugs, violence, curse words. This is part of a series, and the books all fit the same format and feature the same characters. The author introduced way too many characters at once, and many were not necessary to the story and never appeared again. I had a hard time following the ins and outs of the plot, although all was wrapped up in the end, and had an interesting and believable premise.) 3 and a half stars
Quilt Trip: A Southern Quilting Mystery by Elizabeth Craig (Boring plot, dragged out way too long, and some silly characters. This series was recommended by a friend who quilts, and we exchanged reading lists to get some new reading ideas. I probably will not pursue this series any further, but it fit the "Q" for AlphaKit Category Challenge.) 3 stars
Murder She Wrote: On Thin Ice by Donald Bain (Read this one for 2018 Category Challenge, not a great story, rather predictable but still ok. Fits the format of other books in the series, most of which I have read.) 3 stars
Eyewitness Travel Guides: Ireland by DK Publishing (Yeah, guess where I was?) 5 stars
The Hawaiian Quilt by Wanda E. Brunstetter (Author did a good job with describing the places in Hawaii, since I was there and could vouch for her. Interesting take on those raised Amish who decide to leave the Amish community.) 4 and a half stars
The Jewels of Paradise by Donna Leon (Not my fave. I thought this would be one of the Inspector Brunetti novels, but it was not. Did not live up to my expectations.) 3 stars
April's Hope (Home to Heather Creek) by Robert Elmer (I have read others in this series, and this one stuck to the format of the others. No violence, no sex, no profanity, but a good story and fast read. Sort of like Bobbsey Twins for adults. The characters are not without their problems, just like real life.) 4 stars
Sisters Like Us by Susan Mallery (My first read by this author, it was a fun beach book, and I liked the characters. This presented a character study of two sisters who were unlike each other, and their mom. Also additional boyfriends, husbands, kids, and friends to round out the story.) 4 and a half stars
84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (One of my faves, read it many times. Sort of a "comfort book" or "go to book".) 5 stars
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (Persephone Classics) by Winifred Watson (On my "to read" book for years! Loved the narration on CD.) 5 stars
Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Sebastian Faulks (Truly does homage to Wodehouse, very much in his style and very funny--but no cow creamer in this one, for those of you who are Wodehouse fans.) 5 stars
Nicholas by Rene Goscinny (translation from the French by Anthea Bell) (silly book, but my middle school students would have loved it) 3 stars
The PMS Murder by Laura Levine (Totally fluffy and silly beach read that reads more like a comedy TV show script; makes sense, if you read the author's bio) 3 stars
Not as much reading as usual during February and March as I was traveling in Hawaii and then Ireland for St. Patrick's Day! But I did leave the PMS Murders book in the "Little Free Library" box on Waikiki Beach!
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost (beautifully illustrated edition!) 5 stars
The Maid's Secret (Penny Green Series) by Emily Organ (Interesting mystery, new author for me, will read more in the series.) 4 stars
Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives by Pope Benedict XVI (I finally finished it, after trying to do so every Christmas season for the past few years. Very scholarly, certainly not my area of expertise.) 4 stars
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (Finally got around to reading this classic. Still some parts were difficult to understand, but worth the read. I was glad to finish it though.) 3 stars
Crazy Like a Fox (Sister Jane) by Rita Mae Brown (First one I read in this series, for Early Reviewers. I knew nothing about fox hunting, so this one increased my knowledge base. Loved it, immediately downloaded several earlier ones in the series.) 4 and a half stars
Another One Bites the Crust by H. Y. Hanna (Fun read about an English tea room. So of course, I had to follow the rabbit trail and download several more in the series.) 4 stars
Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym (This was a re-read for me. I always enjoy Pym.) 4 stars
Phoebe's Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher (Early Reviewers--Not one of my faves, a very annoying heroine.) 2 stars
The Theory of Happily Ever After by Kristin Billerbeck (I was turned off by the whiney nature of the main character right from the get go. Add to this the snarky remarks about "single seniors" and that put me off from the rest of the book. It read like a script for a TV comedy show that dishes on lots of topics. Not wishing to be further annoyed, I stopped reading the book.) 2 stars
Edited to add- have you ever read Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks? I loved that one. Not a comedy though.
Murder on the Lusitania by Connrad Allen
I had this book on my shelf for years, but just picked it up on a whim. This is the first in a series, so of course I had to "sleuth" out the others (pun intended). I read this book for the MysteryCAT challenge for May.
This mystery is written in the classic style of Agatha Christie mysteries and others like her, the "Golden Age" of mystery novels. The characters are interesting and portrayed well. Being a fan of cruises myself, the setting of a fancy ocean liner piqued my interest immediately. The sleuth Dillman is a Pinkerton man, who has been hired to serve as a private detective on the ship. A murder and numerous thefts occur. Red herrings abound, although I was able to guess the perp half way through the book. The details were intriguing and added to the interest of the plot which kept me engaged throughout the story. A dash of romance added some interest as well. 5 stars
In addition, the letters sometimes include humorous personal anecdotes, sketches, and recipes. I found the book to be interesting but I got bogged down in a few places, set the book aside, and came back to it later. I also did not have a good handle on the plant species, so a plant field guide would be a good reference to have on hand if a person wanted to see pictures of the plants.
This book reminded me a lot of 84, Charing Cross Road. However, this one just sort of ended without any epilogue or explanation, so I wondered what happened to end the correspondence. I read this book for the May RandomCAT Category Challenge. 3 and a half stars
This has been on my shelf for a few years. I read it for the June AlphaKit in the 2018 Category Challenge. (Yeah, I like to read ahead! May has been a productive reading month so far!)
This book is part of a series, and I had not read the others yet. I loved the characters and setting, but I wish the author took a little time at the start of the book to fill in the blanks about events and characters in the previous books. I was scratching my head and saying, "Huh?" a couple of times during this book. However, I plan to read the rest in the series.
I also was bugged by the use of incomplete sentences, although that seems to be a common occurrence in stories and journalism today. Guess that's the style. :D I also wanted to edit the word usage in some places. This is of course the Grammar Policegirl manifesting herself. 4 stars
There were also quite a few typos and word usage errors that needed to be cleaned up. ". . .my breath was coming in pants." Really??? Grammar Policegirl at work here again! Those nuns in elementary school really drilled that grammar into us kids!
I don't know why the authors of stories with culinary settings seem to feel compelled to narrate pages of culinary instructions when the recipes are at the end of the book. I decided to just skip over them this time.
This is another of the Cozy Corgi mysteries, and I liked it better than Book Five, which is the first one I read in the series. I thought this one had fewer grammar and word usage mistakes, and fewer of those goofy incomplete sentences. The plot hung together pretty well too.
This series is set in a small town in the mountains, and the narrator (Winifred or "Fred") is the owner of the Cozy Corgi bookstore. I love her dog Watson, although I have never owned a corgi. He is loaded with personality. I also really love her quirky family, including Barry, her aging hippie stepdad.
I am making good progress with the series and decided to go back to the beginning of the series and start there. These books are worth the whopping 99 cents I paid for each one on Amazon. They are quick reads and not always predictable. Bookstores, bakery, dogs, and family all add to the enjoyment of the story.
The writing style for this one was not as annoying as a later book in the series; I have been reading them out of order. Did the author hire ghost writers later on, or just get lazy??
I liked the ending though, quite a bit of a twist. 4.5 stars
I forgot how much I liked the Hamish Macbeth novels and now there are 33 in the series! Yikes! I only read a dozen of them! Now I will need to play catch-up. I have a few on my Kindle too. 5 stars for the bumbling Scottish policeman. I read this for 2018 ROOTS group, and also for MysteryCAT July--Police Procedurals
Another one of the Cozy Corgi bookshop mysteries. This one seemed to be written in a better manner, than the later ones I read, meaning fewer short and incomplete sentences, and fewer word usage errors. This one really hung together, and I got to meet all the characters I would have met if I read the series in order. I did guess the perp pretty quickly, but not the motive. Love the doggie! Now I have one more to read in the series. 5 stars for this one
This was more like a novella and could be easily read in an afternoon or evening by an avid reader. I have read other Christmas stories by this author and enjoyed them all. The Christian aspect is downplayed and never preachy. It was fun to read a Christmas story in June! 4.5 stars
Also finished Quarrelsome Quartz which was a Cozy Corgi mystery by Mildred Abbott. It was an interesting story, and I like the quirky characters. I think there were some weak spots in the investigation of the murder and in some of the descriptions, but the characters themselves are worth the read. 4 stars
Smitten with Kittens
Diana, the People's Princess by Donnelly
Diana, The Life of a Princess
Wonderful Alexander and the Catwings
We just got back from ten days in Greece, so I did not get to read on this very busy archaeological tour. I did get to read a book on my Kindle for NetGalley while on the airplane.
Starting Christmas in Evergreen for NetGalley also.
I am now reading The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection, also for NetGalley.
Starting The Queene's Cure by Karen Harper.
I also read The Table Where Rich People Sit by Bryan Baylor, which is a children's book that belonged to my dear departed husband and recommended by a friend. 5 stars--Good reminder, in this season of giving thanks, of what really matters to us and how much it is worth.
The Victorian Christmas Brides Collection 5 stars
A Christmas Revelation 4.5 stars
Creating Sanctuary: Sacred Garden Spaces 5 stars
Science Comics: Wild Weather 4.5 stars
The Craft of University Teaching 4 stars
Malevolent Magic by Mildred Abbott--in the Corgis mystery series, with some holiday magic and weirdness thrown in for good measure.
A Christmas Courting for NetGalley, which was a series of short novellas.