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Lisa's 2013 Big Screen Reading Adventures

2013 Category Challenge

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1jonesli
Edited: Aug 2, 2013, 7:55am Top

After reading, my next favorite way to unwind is to watch movies, usually of the classic variety found on Turner. My challenge will be based on various movies, some I've seen, some I haven't.

Those familiar with my reading tastes will note that mysteries tend to dominate my categories.

I'm highly motivated to dent my TBR this year (really I am), so I also built my reading around what I have already in my TBR. I plan to read at least 10 books in each category.




2jonesli
Edited: Aug 26, 2013, 7:51am Top

Some Like It Hot (10/10) CATEGORY COMPLETE



1959 Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon

This category is for books (hot off the press) which will be released late in 2012 or some time in 2013.

Jacqueline WinspearLeaving Everything Most Loved April 14 ****1/2 (Library)
Lisa Gardner Touch and Go Feb 26 **** (Library)
Peter RobinsonWatching the Dark March 4 **** (Library)
Deborah Crombie The Sound of Broken Glass(Library)
James Thompson Helsinki Blood (ER book)*** April 21
Karin Slaughter Unseen July 7th **** NOOK
The Child's Child *** January 22 (Library)
A Killing in the Hills **** January 16 (Library)
Hit Me *** 1/2 Feb 10 (ER book)
Alex Cross, Run April 7 (Library)

3jonesli
Edited: Oct 24, 2013, 7:43am Top

The Thrill Of It All (10/10) CATEGORY COMPLETE



1963 Doris Day and James Garner

Gone For Good Jan 12 **** (ROOT)
Into The Darkest Corner **** Jan 10 (NOOK)
The Hard Way Lee Child February (ROOT)
You're Next July
Still MissingAugust
Let Me Go August 16****
Defending Jacob Sept 9 ****1/2
They're Watching Sept 20 ***
Voices Sept 2
All The Colors of Darkness October

4jonesli
Edited: Sep 1, 2013, 6:56am Top

Fast Food Nation (10/10) CATEGORY COMPLETE



Foodie Mysteries

Powdered Peril Feb 5 ***1/2 NOOK
Illegally Iced Feb 15th **** NOOK
Fonduing Fathers Jan 2 **** NOOK
Red Velvet Cupcake Murder Library
Chocolate Covered Murder NOOK
Big Rock Candy Mountain NOOK
Going Going Ganache Library ***1/2 April 26
English Tea Murder May 7th *** NOOK
Eggs Benedict Arnold May 15th ***1/2 ROOT
A Sheetcake Named DesireJune 8th ***1/2 NOOK

5jonesli
Edited: Oct 15, 2013, 7:45am Top

The Weather Man (10/10) CATEGORY COMPLETE

2005 Nicolas Cage, Michael Caine



Cold Granite ***1/2 January 20 (NOOK)
Ice Cold
The Winter of Her Discontent Feb 16th *** (ROOT)
Winter House
Dead Days of Summer August
Five Days in Summer August 1 ***1/2
Boundary Waters Auguust 30 ****
The Snowman
Snow Angels
Neon Rain

6jonesli
Edited: Aug 2, 2013, 8:01am Top

The Detective (10/10) CATEGORY COMPLETE

1968 Frank Sinatra, Lee Remick, Ralph Meeker



CATEGORY COMPLETE

A Ticket to the Boneyard January 25 **** (ROOT)
The Last Detective January 30 ***1/2 (NOOK)
A Dance at the Slaughterhouse Feb 17th **** ROOT
Hide and Seek Feb 15 ***1/2 (NOOK)
A Walk Among The Tombstones Feb 20th (ROOT)
The Devil Knows You're Dead Feb 22 (ROOT)
Dead Famous (ROOT)
The Complaints NOOK
Tooth and Nail
Dying Light April

7jonesli
Edited: Aug 21, 2013, 7:46am Top

Winning (10/10) CATEGORY COMPLETE

1969 Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Robert Wagner

Books that won an award or were nominated for one



A Cold Day in Paradise Feb 17th **** 1999 Edgar (NOOK)
The Body in the Snowdrift *** 2005 Agatha winner Best Novel
Murder on a Girls' Night Out
Angela's Ashes May 25th ****
Honeymoon with Murder June
Deal Breaker July 23
Silence of the Grave July 4
A Little Class on Murder March
A Dram of Poison July
Citizen Vince August

8jonesli
Edited: Oct 15, 2013, 7:45am Top

Because I Said So (10/10) CATEGORY COMPLETE

2007 Diane Keaton, Mandy Moore-Miscellaneous reads



A Congregation of Jackals ***** Spur Nomination NOOK January 4th (NOOK)
Death Without Company **** (Library) February 3rd
Crime School NOOK ****1/2
The Sisters Brothers NOOK March
The House at Riverton April 9 ****1/2
Mill River Recluse April ***
Bel CantoApril 30 ****
Father's Day Murder June ***1/2
Beautiful Ruins ****1/2 July
Deadly Donuts August ****

9jonesli
Edited: Oct 15, 2013, 7:47am Top

What Lies Beneath (10/10) CATEGORY COMPLETE

2000 Harrison Ford, Michelle Pfeiffer



Random picks from my TBR

Ladder of Years 1996 Orange Shortlist , Alpha A (January 26)
The Body in the Bouillon
Conspiracy in Death May 30
Murder on Astor PlaceMay 26
The Bonesetter's Daughter August
Until Proven Guilty Feb 9th ***1/2 (ROOT)
Murder on St. Mark's Place July
A Long Line of Dead Men
This Side of Eternity September 1st
Back To School Murder September

10jonesli
Edited: Oct 15, 2013, 7:38am Top

Colors (10/10) CATEGORY COMPLETE

1988 Sean Penn, Robert Duvall



March Violets March 4 **** (NOOK) w/VPL (ROOT)
A Red Death *** Jan 5th (ROOT)
Black Betty **** Jan 15th (ROOT)
Blacklands ****1/2 Feb (ROOT)
A Little Yellow DogAugust
Bad Boy Brawly BrownAugust
Little ScarletAugust
The Whole Enchilada August 29 ****
Kind of Blue September 16
Blackberry Winter September

11jonesli
Edited: Dec 2, 2013, 8:16am Top

Sorry Wrong Number (10/10)
CATEGORY COMPLETE


Books with a number in the title
11th Hour April 6 ****
One More River April 4 ***1/2
Child 44 June 26 ****
12th of Never July
Split Second September
One Coffee With September 22
One Thousand White Women October
Towards Zero October
Three at Wolfe's Door
61 Hours

12jonesli
Edited: Dec 3, 2013, 8:12am Top

A Star is Born (10/10)

1954? Judy Garland, James Mason (there are other versions of this movie, but this is my favorite)



I'm making this fit for author reads in the month of their birth

Walter Mosley January 12th White Butterfly **** Jan 7th (ROOT)
Susan Hill February 5th A Question of Identity February 8 **** NOOK
David Goodis March 2 Cassidy's Girl***1/2 March 23 NOOK
Barbara Kingsolver April 8th The Lacuna April 18th ****1/2 NOOK
Carol O'Connell May 26thThe Chalk Girl May 5th NOOK
Val McDermid June 4th A Place of Execution
Michael Connelly July 21The Fifth Witness ****
Carolyn Hart August 25th Death Comes Silently ***1/2 August 21
Minette Walters September 26 The Dark Room
J.D. Robb October 15 Loyalty in Death

13jonesli
Edited: Dec 3, 2013, 8:12am Top

The Long Goodbye 110/10)

Elliot Gould 1970??



Books over or close to 500 pages

Under the Dome May 23 **** w/VPL May
The Given Day April
NOS4A2 August
Still Life With Murder September 3rd
Train to Anywhere October 7th
The Count of Monte Cristo October 14th *****
The Forgotten Garden October 23
11/22/63 September 12
The Secret Keeper October 27
Life After Life

14jonesli
Edited: Dec 3, 2013, 8:13am Top

Philadelphia (10/10)

1993 Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington

I'm a native Philadelphia girl, so this category will feature books by authors who were born or lived here, or with a Philadelphia setting.



Kindness Goes Unpunished March 10 ****1/2 VPL/DQ (NOOK)
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie Jan 1 *** 1/2 (NOOK) TIOLI, Alpha A&M
The Poet June ****
The Last Confession June ****
Leaving Cecil Street May 27
Fun and Games September 7
The Blonde October 2
Caught Dead in Philadelphia October 4
Dead Ringer
Tempest Rising October 27 ***

15christina_reads
Aug 29, 2012, 9:00pm Top

Love this theme!

16VictoriaPL
Aug 29, 2012, 10:37pm Top

17lkernagh
Edited: Aug 29, 2012, 11:23pm Top

Great theme! ... and I am with you.... anything to try and move some of the books off the TBR pile is a goal to aim for! The trick is avoiding all the shiny new books that haven't made it to the pile....... ;-)

18mamzel
Aug 30, 2012, 12:34pm Top

I am also a big fan of movies on the TCM channel. I'm glad he still hasn't messed the movies up by advertising like AMC did (and why I don't watch them any more). Fun categories. Good luck!

19rabbitprincess
Aug 30, 2012, 5:23pm Top

18: What turned me off AMC was the time they decided to show The Fugitive with "Pop-Up Video"-style commentary, which was distracting. I mean, having that sort of feature is fine on a DVD, where one can choose whether or not to use it, but to force it on viewers is kind of rude.

TCM, however, is a wonderful thing, as is this theme. I love Some Like it Hot! Tony Curtis made a pretty good lady :P

20psutto
Aug 31, 2012, 4:34am Top

but what was going on with his accent as Shell Junior?

21cyderry
Aug 31, 2012, 11:55am Top

Lisa,
What are you trying to do to me? Some of these movies are my all-time favorites and books to go with them... DANGER LURKS HERE!

22jonesli
Aug 31, 2012, 7:39pm Top

# 15 Thanks Christina!

# 16 Hey Victoria: I know I have at least two David Goodis, I can probably get the one you mentioned from the library.

23jonesli
Aug 31, 2012, 7:47pm Top

#17 Hi Lori, thanks! You are so right the shiny new books will always clamor for our attention won't they? I'm going to try really hard to ignore them, well at least right away.

#18 Hi Mamzel: I really hope TCM doesn't start with all the advertising that AMC does. It makes a 2 hour movie 3 hours or more!

#19 I agree with you and thanks!

# 20 Oh yeah, that accent was odd wasn't it? I never tire of watching Some Like It Hot.

#21 Hi Cheli, I'm sorry lol!

24DeltaQueen50
Sep 7, 2012, 10:37pm Top

Great theme, Lisa, i definitely look forward to following your reading into the 13 in 13 Challenge. My plan is to try and focus on my TBR books as well, but you know how it goes ...

25cbl_tn
Sep 11, 2012, 7:18pm Top

I love your movie theme, and I'm glad to see one of my all-time favorites, The Thrill of It All, in your category list.

26LittleTaiko
Sep 28, 2012, 5:59pm Top

Love your categories!!! So fun.

27ivyd
Oct 2, 2012, 11:33am Top

Great theme and movie choices, Lisa!

28Bjace
Oct 5, 2012, 11:25am Top

Very clever categories. I like the "Hot off the presses" slot.

29wonderlake
Nov 20, 2012, 10:47am Top

I also have The Passage as a pick for 2013, thankfully on my Kindle so I don't have to heft a wopping tome around with me (do most of my reading on commute to/from work).

30jonesli
Jan 1, 2013, 2:10pm Top

Hello everyone, and Happy New Year!

I've finished book number one:
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie.

I was intrigued not by the Oprah Book Club endorsement, but because the writer is a native Philadelphian and the storyline of African American migration to the northern part of the country is an interesting one.

This is the story of Hattie Shepherd, who leaves Georgia at the age of 15 and gives birth to twins by the time she is 17. Hattie leads a very hard life, filled with misery and bitterness. Events that take place in her life harden her heart and make her children fear and not understand her.

The 12 Tribes of Hattie refers to the protagonist Hattie Shepherd's eleven children and granddaughter. While reading each chapter it was clear that the subject would be one of Hattie'' children, but there was no explanation for certain aspects of the storyline.

This was a good story, but the characters were not fully developed and the thread (Hattie) that was supposed to tie everything together didn't really do so in my opinion. One can definitely feel Hattie's pain and anguish as she lives one disappointment after another.

The ending was abrupt and it seemed as though the author just wanted to stop writing.

31Bjace
Jan 1, 2013, 2:16pm Top

Sounds a little like Dorothy West's The Living is easy, which is also about an African American woman and her family. (It's set in Boston.) Good review.

32lkernagh
Jan 1, 2013, 5:15pm Top

Nice review, Lisa. Sorry to see your first book of 2013 had some flaws to it. it sounds like the premise had potential to be a great book!

33cammykitty
Jan 1, 2013, 7:47pm Top

Great categories!!! & great movies. 12 Tribes sounds like an interesting writing experiment - it just didn't work. :( It would take an author who was fantastic at characterization to be able to pull that one off.

34RidgewayGirl
Jan 2, 2013, 11:28am Top

Lisa, I'm looking forward to another great reading year, with many additions to my TBR courtesy of your thread. Glad I can skip The Twelve Tribes of Hattie for now, although it does sound interesting and I may have to pick it up later.

35jonesli
Edited: Jan 2, 2013, 1:37pm Top

#31 Thanks Beth, I had heard of Dorothy West, but I didn't know about the book you mentioned, The Living is Easy.

#32 Thanks Lori! I think the book did have great potential. It wasn't a horrible read, but it could have used a little improvement.

#33 Thanks Katie, I think you're right, maybe that style of writing would have been better suited for a more experienced writer.

#34 Hi Kay! Thanks, and I'm looking forward to your reads as well. I had high hopes for The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, but all in all it wasn't a horrible read, just flawed.

36jonesli
Edited: Jan 2, 2013, 8:39pm Top

2. Fonduing Fathers I really enjoy this series, and I think this 6th installment the best so far.

I enjoyed this one in particular because it delved into Olivia's questions about her father's death, which took place when she was a little girl. Twenty years later she gets answers to her many questions, which of course puts her in danger.

I like the way her relationship with Gavin is progressing too.

37cyderry
Edited: Jan 2, 2013, 8:56pm Top

Darn, now I really just want to put aside all my other reading and read this one!

ETA - I couldn't resist! I'm starting tonight!

38LittleTaiko
Jan 2, 2013, 9:07pm Top

Glad to know the series is worthwhile. I read the first couple and got sidetracked. Looks like I better add them to the wishlist.

39jonesli
Edited: Jan 6, 2013, 10:46am Top

3. A Congregation of Jackals I'm not sure why this book was on my nook, but I'm glad that it was!

This excellent western style book reads like a cross between High Noon and Kill Bill, mainly because the story is about revenge, and the showdown takes place at a wedding. Good stuff!

Jim Lingham, a former member of the Tall Boxer Gang, receives a telegram that shakes him to his core: " I'm coming to your wedding. I will be settling accounts with you and those you rode with, and will take innocent lives if they are not present or if you cancel the ceremony. I will see you all in church on 12 August. Quinlan Quinlan is an ex associate of the gang, who has a score to settle with all of them.

Even though Jim hasn't stayed in touch with the other members of the gang, he knows that one way or another they all have to face Quinlan. It seems Quinlan is not dead as they all thought.

Jim invites the Danford brothers Oswell and Godfrey, and Richard "Dicky" Sterling to his wedding with the words all old aquaintances will be in attendance .

They all in turn realize the real reason that they've been invited to the wedding and each one contemplates on their past misdeeds which led them to this place, and their mortality, as they know dealing with Quinlan again can't end well for anyone.

40christina_reads
Jan 6, 2013, 8:36pm Top

@ 39 -- That setup sounds really intriguing!

41jonesli
Edited: Jan 9, 2013, 1:32pm Top

4 and 5 A Red Death and White Butterfly. I've been devouring these Easy Rawlins mysteries withing the last week and I 'm currently reading the next one Black Betty. I think I will stop for a bit after my current read, and switch to something else, I don't want to overload on them!

4 A Red Death In order to avoid prison for tax evasion, Easy agrees to infiltrate the First African Baptist Church to learn more about an alleged communist leader. This was book was good, but kind of ho-hum in some spots.

5 White Butterfly- When a white bobby soxer (term used in the book) is murdered in the same manner as a series of black women, the police recruit Easy to help solve the case. Easy's personal life also takes a dramatic turn.

I have to say, I love the character of Mouse, even if he's a little nuts.

42AHS-Wolfy
Jan 9, 2013, 5:07pm Top

I've read the first in the Easy Rawlins series but haven't managed to progress any further even though those you've just read are on my tbr shelves. I will get to them one of these days maybe even this year.

43clfisha
Jan 12, 2013, 4:35am Top

Yeah me too, I think I have A Red Death on my bookshelves so no excuse!

44jonesli
Edited: Feb 16, 2013, 7:06am Top

I see that I have gotten a little behind in my posts:

6 Into the Darkest Corner When Catherine Bailey meets the too good to be true Lee, what begins as an intensely passionate relationship turns into danger. After being convicted of very violent crimes against Catherine, Lee is put behind bars.

Catherine, as a result of her trauma, has developed a severe case of OCD, and is trying to move on with her life, when she gets a phone call that Lee is being released from prison. She knows that the nightmare won't stop until he finally kills her.

This was an excellent thriller, although it was quite graphic, which may not be for everyone.

7 Gone for Good- Will Klein worshipped his older bother Ken. When Will's ex-girlfriend is mudered in her family's basement, all evidence points to Ken. With the evidence mounted against him, Ken disappears and his family thought he was "gone for good." Years later, after the death of their mother, Will begins to believe that his brother is alive, and learns some very disturbing truths about his big brother. An excellent thriller.

8 Black Betty It's 1961, a time of hope in Los Angeles for the African American community. For Easy Rawlins, things aren't going too well, so he reluctantly takes the case to find "Black Betty" an older woman who Easy worshipped when he was younger, and who he couldn't resist seeing again.

9 A Killing in the Hills I enjoyed this book, and thought it was a well plotted story. There were two stories going on at the same time, mother and daughter struggling with their damaged relationship and the murder of three elderly men at the local diner, which the daughter was unfortunate enough to witness. Not only did the daughter see the killer, her mother happens to be the prosecutor for the county.

10 Cold Granite I loved this first in the series featuring DS Logan Mcrae (great name)! After coming back to work from a year's sick leave, Logan and the rest of the Aberdeen police department hunt a child killer. This book was very dark and gory, and I could feel the chill coming from the pages as I read it. There was quite a bit of foul language, but frankly, I expect that in a police procedural novel. I look forward to reading the next one!

11 The Child's Child I applaud Ruth Rendell aka Barbara Vine's efforts to continue writing at age 83, but her books in the last few years have become a little more social commentary rather than the psychological suspense that she is noted for. The themes of this books are unwed mothers and homosexuality.

When their grandmother dies, Grace and Andrew Easton inherit her large home. Rather than sell it, they move into it together, confident that there is enough room to live their lives comortably. When Andrew brings home a new boyfriend, the handsome novelist James Derain, Grace sleeps with him and becomes pregnant.

While Grace is contemplating her fate and the fact that she betrayed her brother, she becomes immersed in reading a 1951 manuscript titled The Child's Child. It was never published because the subejct matter was that of an unwed mother and a homosexual relationship. This novel within a novel is filled with violence and social no no's and made for a so-so read.

12 A Ticket to the Boneyard- Ex cop Matthew Scudder lied in order to make sure that psychopath James Motley stated behind bars after brutally attacking his friend Elaine. All is well until a former acquaintance of Elaine and Matt's is found dead, and they realize that Motley is out for revenge. Excellent as usual, and very suspenseful.

13 Ladder of Years Has your spouse and kids or significant others or anyone in your family ever driven you crazy? Did you ever want to disappear for a little bit and live a different life?

In Ladder of Years, 40 year old Delia Grimstead, wife of a Baltimore doctor and mother of three nearly grown children, snaps one day while on vacation and walks away from her family in order to invent what she believes will be an exciting new life, a do-over if you will. Eventually she finds that what she was looking for, she already had, and some things were just not that important any more. I love Anne Tyler, she writes a great story with wonderfully quirky characters.

45RidgewayGirl
Jan 22, 2013, 8:27pm Top

Looking forward to reading what you thought of Cold Granite and The Child's Child. No pressure! ; )

46thornton37814
Jan 23, 2013, 12:48pm Top

I too am curious to see what you think of The Child's Child.

47jonesli
Edited: Feb 27, 2013, 6:35am Top

14 The Last Detective I enjoyed this first in the series featuring DS Peter Diamond.

Diamond is a not too likeable detective who's not afraid to go against his partner and superiors in order to solve a case. This case involves a nude female corpse, missing Jane Austen letters, and many twists and turns before the big reveal. Diamond likes using good old fashioned police work instead of new technology, which makes him old-fashioned, but effective.

I really enjoyed the changing pov's and I liked the open ended conclusion.

I'll definitely be reading more of this series.

48jonesli
Edited: Feb 18, 2013, 6:03pm Top

Well it's January 31, and I don't think I'll finish anything tonight. I thought it would be interesting for me to to post my monthly stats. I also hope to fill in the rest of my January reads above before February gets away from me too!

Anyway, 14 books finished this month. My favorite was Congregation of Jackals, yep, a western was my favorite book of the month.

I didn't want to throw any book against the wall, but The Twelve Tribes of Hattie didn't live up to my expectations, and Barbara Vine (aka Ruth Rendell)'s latest The Child's Child was true to her recent tendency of mixing social commentary into her novels. This time it was homosexuality and unwed mothers.

Books that I am currently reading and will finish in February(hopefully):
Death Without Company
A Dance at the Slaughterhouse

What I hope to read in February
The Snowman February Random CAT
Blacklands AlphaCAT
Hit Me My November ER book.
A Question of Identity
The Winter of Her Discontent February RandomCAT
A Delicate Storm Alpha CAT/February Random CAT
Scaredy Cat AlphaCAT
Now Voyager AlphaCAT

49RidgewayGirl
Edited: Jan 31, 2013, 7:13pm Top

I ended up returning The Child's Child to the library unread as there were more interesting books to be read. I suspect that I really don't want to know what she thinks about homosexuality and unwed mothers.

50thornton37814
Jan 31, 2013, 8:56pm Top

I think I'll skip The Child's Child.

What did you think of The Last Detective? I've got it (the one by Peter Lovesey) set out to read soon.

51jonesli
Feb 1, 2013, 5:14am Top

Hi Kay and Lori: I have to admit. you shouldn't hurry to read The Child's Child.

Lori: I enjoyed The Last Detective It was a good solid mystery/police procedural. What I really enjoyed were the alternating narratives by each of the characters.

It gives the reader more insight into the spotential clues and fleshes out each character a little bit more. I would definitely read more in the series.

52jonesli
Edited: Apr 18, 2013, 7:54am Top

15 The Hard Way by Lee Child Jack Reacher watches a man cross the street, get into a Mercedes, and drive it away. It turns out that the car contained one million dollars in ransom money. Reacher somehow stumbles into helping the wealthy Edward Land get his wife and child back. While trailing the kidnappers, Reacher his employer has deep dark secrets from his past, and Racher vows to get to the bottom of things one way or another.

16 Death Without Company I love this series! Walter investigates a poison death at the same assisted living facility where Lucian also resides. Lucian's past also connected with the murder victim many years ago.

I would love to wash Victoria's mouth out with soap, must every sentence include the f bomb? I'm just saying....

17 Blacklands

18 Powdered Peril Suzanne springs into action when her best friend Grace's no good boyfriend, Peter Morgan is found dead near her doughnut shop. It appears as though many women in April Springs wanted to seem him dead. Grace looks more than guilty as growing evidence of Peter's cheating is discovered.

19 A Question of Identity
20 Until Proven Guilty

53jonesli
Feb 14, 2013, 6:31pm Top

21 Hit Me

This fifth in author Lawrence Block's series featuring hitman Keller finds him living in post Katrina New Orleans with a new identity, a wife and daughter. At first his new career io rehabbing houses was a lucrative one, and he was able to semi retire from his former profession of killing people for money.

When the economy begins to affect the construction industry, Keller finds himself conversing with his former contact, who gave him his assignments and finds himself drawn back into his former profession.

The novel reads more like a short story collection, with Keller's adventures in Dallas, Florida, Wyoming, and New York, his old stomping ground.

I enjoy this series almost as much as the Matthew Scudder series, but not quite. However, I did find the endless detail about the character's stamp collecting, which is his hobby, a little tedious.

The ending left an opening for the possibility of another sequel, which I am sure that I will read, hopefully with less stamp collecting detail.

54RidgewayGirl
Feb 14, 2013, 7:18pm Top

Ha! I will skip any book with a stamp collecting protagonist! So, was this like a cozy for men, with stamp collecting in the place usually filled with needlepoint or cake decorating?

55mamzel
Feb 15, 2013, 6:52pm Top

I grew up pre-Internet where the only TV station didn't come on until 3:00 in the afternoon. Both of my grandfathers collected stamps and we inherited both collections. One grandfather worked for Texaco International and the other owned a cafe in Nice and all of his patrons brought him stamps from all over Europe and the French colonies. My brother concentrated on the U.S. stamps and I got the rest of the world. I learned so much about countries, geography, currency, and a little history. I loved working with the stamps and tried to get my kids into it without success. Someday when I retire I intend to return to collecting. I know it's an uncommon hobby but I might some day be able to afford a new car with my collection!

56ccookie
Feb 15, 2013, 7:30pm Top

I loved all the previous Keller books and I actually really enjoyed the whole stamp collecting, detailed thing!

57RidgewayGirl
Feb 15, 2013, 7:47pm Top

My experience of stamp collecting comes from my late FIL. Some years after he retired, he decided to find out how much his stamp collection (he collected all of his life) was worth. To do that, he mailed the entire enormous collection to my SO, with the expectation that he would put it all in order and find out the value of each stamp. We were new parents and no time at all to spare and he had nothing but spare time, to ask why no progress had been made. No matter how lovely, I cannot endorse stamp collecting!

58ccookie
Feb 15, 2013, 8:02pm Top

>57 RidgewayGirl: probably wasn't worth anything anyhow! I have an album from my childhood that I am sure is worth nothing.

59cammykitty
Feb 16, 2013, 12:34am Top

53 Was the stamp collecting part of the plot? Or was it just "rounding the character out." Have you seen Nine Queens? That's the best stamp collecting / con scheme movie out there.

60jonesli
Edited: Feb 16, 2013, 6:50am Top

#54 Hi Kay! The Keller books are not cozies, but there's plenty of dark humor in them .

The stamp collecting I suppose is the author's way of giving the hitman protagonist a hobby that he is passionate about, and to round out the character. He does crossword puzzles also.

#55 Hi Mamzel: you have a good point, that is an excellent way to learn about other countries and currencies. Admittedly, I am not so great with geography.

#56 Hi Cathy, I guess in this last book, I found the stamp detail to be more than usual. Or maybe it was because the book reads as a collection of short stories?

#59 Hi Katie: the stamp collecting, in my opinion is the author's way of rounding the character out. I will check out Nine Queens, I have never heard of it.

61jonesli
Edited: Feb 16, 2013, 7:13am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

62cammykitty
Feb 16, 2013, 10:12pm Top

Nine Queens is from Argentina - not many people have heard of it. & yes I'm all for rounding a character out, but it should fit into the plot somehow.

63jonesli
Feb 17, 2013, 5:34am Top

I'm woefully behind in my mini reviews, I hope to go back and fill in the blanks, which will be out of order, but for now:

24 The Winter of Her Discontent Rosie tries to help her friend Al when he's accused of murder. She tries out for and gets a part in a Broadway dance chorus in order to get information.

She's also worried about her missing in action boyfriend and dealing with all of the aspects of the WWII which include shortages and rationing.

Rosie eventually stumbles onto the truth and learns that while some people have been keeping the "home fires burning", others have been taking advantage of soldiers for their own personal gain.

I'm going to enjoy the next madcap adventure of Rosie which will take her to the South Pacific to perform with the USO.

64mysterymax
Feb 17, 2013, 8:14am Top

I'll add a big star for Nine Queens. The best con movie I have seen in ages. I thought I had it all figured and the final twist just blew me away. I re-watched it immediately to see if I should have pciked up clues as to what would happen and I couldn't. Written and played perfectly.

Also stars for Rosie... love that series...

65jonesli
Edited: Feb 27, 2013, 6:37am Top

While I was fighting a stubborn viral respiratory infection I also finished :
25 A Cold Day in Paradise and 26 A Dance at the Slaughterhouse.

I also managed to catch up on the entire 3rd season of Downton Abbey, when I wasn't falling asleep.

# 64 Yes, I love Rosie, I'm trying to pace myself since there are only two books left.

66mamzel
Feb 19, 2013, 2:09pm Top

Watched the last Downton Abbey last night. Whoa!

67christina_reads
Feb 19, 2013, 3:14pm Top

@ 66 -- Plugging my ears right now to avoid spoilers! I still haven't seen the last 3 episodes of the third season, but I hope to get to them soon.

68jonesli
Edited: Apr 18, 2013, 7:57am Top

# 66 and 67 Hi Mamzel and Christina: Are you all caught up on Downton Abbey yet?

22 Hide and Seek A junkie is found dead in a run down housing development, seemingly of a drug overdose with his body surrounded by Satanic worship signs. Rebus tracks down a friend of the deceased who reveals that the vctim cried out "hide" right before his death. Rebus senses that there is more to this crime than meets the eye.

23 Illegally Iced Suzanne has a spat with the local Everyone in town is suspicious of her, and she in turn vows to solve the case herself and clear her name.

27 A Walk Among the Tombstones Matt Scudder is no stranger to bending the law to suit his own needs, but even he has to give pause when he agrees to help drug dealers whose innocent loved ones are being made to pay for their crimes.

28 The Devil Knows You're Dead Matt Scudder thinks tha Glenn Holtzmann was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Thomas Sadecki, brother of the Vietnam vet accused of Holtzmann's murder hires Matt to prove his brother's innocence. In his private life, Matt struggles with temptations that may threaten his relationship with Elaine.

29 Touch &Go Justin Libby, and Ashlyn Denbe seem to live the perfect life, filled with money and success with no problems. One day the entire family is abducted with their valuables left behind. Who would kidnap a family and leave behind valuables? Who indeed. As the story unfolds from various POV's that old saying "all that glitters aint' gold" comes to mind. Each member of the Denbe family has secrets, and aren't as happy as they appear to be. I found this to be a very engrossing and suspenseful read. I really like how the author brings characters from previous books into her standalones. Tessa Leoni from Love You More appears here, as does Det. DD Warren, briefly.

30 The Body in The Snowdrift Faith Fairchild travels to Vermont with her husband's family to celebrate her father-in-law's 70th birthday. There was more focus on the family interaction rather than the murder which was fun to read.

69jonesli
Edited: Mar 25, 2013, 1:38pm Top

My February wrap-up:

16 books finished in February. I went on a Matt Scudder binge and read three books in a row of this series.

Books in process at the end of February:

Watching the Dark
The Complaints

No book was really bad, but Hit Me underwhelmed me a bit. I loved Lisa Gardner's Touch & Go.

Here's what I hope to get to in March:

Murder on a Girls' Night Out Agatha Award
The Sisters Brothers Tournament
Crime School Alpha
Cassidy's Girl Alpha/A Star is Born
A Little Class on Murder Agatha Award nominee
Kindness Goes Unpunished
March Violets Colors

I'm also going to join the Count of Monte Cristo group read.

70christina_reads
Mar 1, 2013, 11:30pm Top

@ 68 -- Nope, I still haven't watched episodes 5-7. It's not that I don't want to...it's just that I haven't felt like it yet! But I have miraculously managed to avoid spoilers thus far, which makes me very happy. :)

71jonesli
Edited: Mar 9, 2013, 8:25am Top

I am so behind, I hope to catch up one day!

31 Watching the Dark
32 The Complaints

33 March Violets I enjoyed this first in the Bernie Gunther series. I was totally drawn in by the ex-policeman turned private detective lviing in 1936 Berlin.

Bernie is hired by a wealthy German industrialist named Hermann Six, to investigate the arson/murder of his daughter and son-in-law, as well as the theft of very expensive jewelry.

Soon Bernie, finds himself in the middle of Nazi conspiracies, corruption galore, and good old fashioned sinister intrigue.

I could have done without the many German street names, but other than that, I'm looking forward to book #2.

72cyderry
Mar 11, 2013, 10:08am Top

Just wandering in to say hi! and dodge a few BBs. They don't count as BBs if they're already on the TBR list, right?

73mysterymax
Mar 11, 2013, 11:58am Top

Yikes! I hope they don't count...

74cbl_tn
Mar 11, 2013, 12:12pm Top

>72 cyderry: If they're already on the TBR list, I think it's called reopening an old wound.

75majkia
Mar 11, 2013, 12:20pm Top

#74 hah. and inducing guilt.

76jonesli
Edited: Mar 25, 2013, 1:37pm Top

Hi everyone: sorry about the BB's lol! As I continue to remain behind in my reading recaps:

34 Kindness Goes Unpunished Walter and Henry take a trip to Philadelphia: Henry, because he's been asked to display his vintage photos at the Philadelphia Art Museum, and Walt plans to spend some quality time with his daughter Cady and also meet her new boyfriend. In no time at all, their pleasure trip turns into a nightmare involving Cady's boyfriend. Victoria shows up, and then things get really interesting very fast. As much as I loved Cold Dish, I have to say that this was a close second to what I've read so far. I think the change in locale made the story very interesting, and it made perfect sense plotwise. I can't wait to read more!

35 Crime School- Mallory vows revenge while investigating the murder of a prostitute who knew Mallory as a child. In this sixth book in the series, more of Mallory's heartbreaking childhood is revealed, and you can kind of understand a little more why she turned out the way she did.

36 Dead Famous- Mallory plays head games with Riker while they try to figure out who killed an FBI agent in a psychiatrist's office and who is killing jurors on a high profile trial one by one. I love this author and Mallory is one of the most memorable characters I've ever read, but I had to exercise patience with this one to see how the various mini plots would eventually tie together. It was worth it as usual.

37 A Little Class on Murder Annie is asked to teach a class at the university featuring the three grand dames of mystery: Agatha Christie, Mary Roberts Rinehart, and Dorothy L. Sayers. Adding to her stress level are three students she'd rather not have in her class, her mother-in-law Laurel, Henny and Miss Dora. At the same time there is turmoil taking place when a faculty member commits suicide and two other people are killed. This was a fun read as usual.

77jonesli
Edited: Apr 3, 2013, 2:09pm Top

38 Red Velvet Cupcake Murder
39 The Sisters Brothers
40 Murder on a Girls' Night Out
41 Cassidy's Girl

42 Chocolate Covered Murder- It's a brutal winter in Tinker's Cove, and everyone has the blues. The town is holding a special promotion in order to boost tourism revenue. This cozy was filled with real life problems such as drug addiction and soldiers adjusting to life post war.

43 Winter House

78RidgewayGirl
Mar 25, 2013, 2:12pm Top

You've read every single book you planned to in March. That's impressive.

Glad you liked the Bernie Gunther book.

79VictoriaPL
Mar 26, 2013, 5:38pm Top

Can't wait to read your thoughts on Cassidy's Girl.

80LittleTaiko
Mar 26, 2013, 10:06pm Top

Thanks for the recommendation of A Little Class of Murder. It's ready for me to pick up at the library this weekend.

81cammykitty
Mar 26, 2013, 10:17pm Top

LOL - I can't imagine having relatives in a class I was teaching. Well, maybe a dog training class, but not anything else! It would almost feel like an invasion of privacy! A Little Class of Murder will have to go on my WL.

82jonesli
Edited: Mar 27, 2013, 8:18am Top

#78 Hi Kay: Thanks, I think that's the first time I actually read everything that I planned to. I did enjoy the Bernie Gunther book; and I was pleased to discover that the next two books in the series will fit the AlphaCats for April and May: Pale Criminal and A German Requiem.

#79 Hi Victoria: I'll get back to you on Cassidy's Girl, it was ok, not great.

#80 and #81 (Stacy and Katie) You're welcome, I love Carolyn Hart, although I am having a tough time with her Henrie O series. The character is annoying me for some reason. I also enjoy Annie and Max, but I try not to read too many at one time.

83thornton37814
Mar 27, 2013, 1:26pm Top

Lisa - There is one of Hart's series that I haven't enjoyed as much. I think that Henrie O series may be the one. I've still got a couple of those in my stash to read, but they've been there for awhile, and I haven't gotten around to them yet.

84cbl_tn
Mar 27, 2013, 5:17pm Top

I like Carolyn Hart's Death on Demand series. I tried one of the Henrie O books and didn't enjoy it. I haven't been tempted to try another one in that series.

85jonesli
Apr 2, 2013, 1:02pm Top

So it's not just me with the Henrie O series! That's good to know, I think I will put that series on hold until I decide if I want to continue with it. I did finally abandon Dead Man's Island.

86jonesli
Apr 2, 2013, 1:03pm Top

I'll be back to post my March re-cap and fill in my blanks on this thread. I've been using a tablet these days which isn't quite the same for me as my old as dirt desktop lol.

87jonesli
Edited: May 1, 2013, 8:40am Top

My March recap:

I read 14 books. I went on a Mallory spree and read: Crime School, Dead Famous and Winter House. I liked them all, but I loved Winter House the best. I also read the excellent Kindness Goes Unpunished.

I abandoned Dead Man's Island, which I didn't expect to happen because I love Carolyn Hart's Death on Demand series. Something about the main character, Henrie O, didn't appeal to me.

Here's what I hope to finish this month:

Leaving Everything Most Loved
Now Voyager
The Pale Criminal
11th Hour
Alex Cross, Run
P is for Peril
Before the Poison
One More River
Big Rock Candy Mountain
The Mill River Recluse
The Given Day
The Lacuna
Bel Canto
Helsinki Blood
The Man Who Smiled

I have quite a few non-renewable library books in this list which need to go back mid-month. I also see that I am not doing so great with my physical book inventory as opposed to my electronic inventory. I will see if I can try to rectify that situation going forward.

88jonesli
Edited: Apr 11, 2013, 6:47pm Top

44 The Sound of Broken Glass
45 One More River
46 11th Hour

47 Alex Cross, Run Alex Cross tries to stop three serial killers while also dealing with family problems with his foster daughter Aval. There was a sad, unexpected event at the end that had me saying why?

48 House at Riverton I was unable to put this book down at times, I love this author! It's the story of 98 year old Grace Bradley who is asked by a young director, Ursula, to provide details about a night gone horribly wrong in 1924, when a young poet supposedly committed suicide.

I couldn't help but make comparisons to both Rebecca and Downton Abbey while reading, due to the many instances of foreshadowing and the comparison between the individuals in "service" and the family who employed them.

Through alternate plotlines, we relive Grace's life when she first became a housemaid at the age of 14 at Riverton House, and her present day angst over getting her guilty secrets outly about what happened than fateful night in 1924.

I thought that this book was very well written, although there were one or two plot points that were left up in the air, but it didn't detract from my overall enjoyment.

89Bjace
Apr 10, 2013, 9:38am Top

Good review of the Kate Morton. I have The forgotten garden on my Wishlist ; I may need to add this one as well.

90jonesli
Apr 10, 2013, 12:30pm Top

#89 Hi Beth: Thanks. I'm glad that I picked up two other books by this author when B&N had their sale this weekend. I also got The Forgotten Garden and The Secret Keeper.

91RidgewayGirl
Apr 10, 2013, 1:43pm Top

I'm really glad you liked the Morton book - I've somehow amassed a few of hers without yet reading any. Must remedy that soon!

92lkernagh
Apr 10, 2013, 10:51pm Top

Nice review of House at Riverton. I am looking forward to reading it, even more so now!

93cammykitty
Apr 11, 2013, 12:35am Top

#47 Been wondering about Alex Cross because when I worked at Borders, all the new books in that series were huge events - but events in the end that make you say why? That doesn't sound good. :(

94DeltaQueen50
Apr 11, 2013, 2:20pm Top

Hi Lisa, I enjoyed your review of The House At Riverton and as I am another who has a few of this author's book on my shelves, I need to get going.

95LittleTaiko
Apr 11, 2013, 5:57pm Top

The House at Riverton sounds wonderful - on to the wishlist it goes!

96jonesli
Edited: Apr 18, 2013, 1:28pm Top

49 The Given Day This book is an excellent work of historical fiction which takes places in the post WWI years of 1918-1919. Some of the interesting tidbits covered here are: the 1918 flu epidemic, 1918 World Series, 1919 Boston police strike, the Molasses Flood, and Babe Ruth, thrown in for good measure. I personally don't think the Babe Ruth sections were necessary, as he didn't really tie into the other characters in the story, although there was a point where the Babe did cross paths the central characters, although briefly. I wanted to read this book because it contained backstory to Live By Night which I read last year.

The Given Day is primarily the story of two central characters; Danny Coughlin and Luther Lawrence. Danny, the son of a police captain, finds himself pitted against his father when he becomes involved in the Boston police department labor movement. At the time, police officers were paid much lower than other workers in the city which led to rampant resentment throughout the city of Boston. You can't help but feel for Danny as he struggles to do what he thinks is the right thing, but knowing that he is also probably going to lose his family in the process. The other central character, Luther Lawrence, is a black man who is forced to leave his pregnant wife behind in Tulsa, when his involvement with local crimin als leads to a tragic moment in which he had to run . He eventually makes his way to Boston where he goes to work for the Coughlin family and makes a friend in Danny and the Coughlin's maid, Nora. The friendship between Luther and the Irish Nora is one of the best parts of the book, as it was unheard of for this time period. I highly recommend this book.

50 Leaving Everything Most Loved This tenth book in the Maisie Dobbs finds Maisie much more self reflective than usual. She is lamenting the fact that in her last case, see Elegy for Eddie, she wasn't able to bring the guilty party to justice, and this person also has a working relationship with James, which complicates Maisie's life even further. She begins to think more and more about her mentor, Maurice, and comes to the realization that he was so good at what he did because he was an extensive traveler.

Even with all of Maisie's self reflection there is case to be solved, but it's almost secondary to the story. The brother of Usha Primal hires Maisie to find out what happened to his sister who was killed almost two months earlier. It becomes evident that Scotland Yard may have been a bit rushed in considering the case cold.

What I love about Maisie is that she goes against tradition, and is a person who doesn't make hasty decisions, although her best friend Priscilla constantly challenges her to "live it up a little".

James however, feels as though their relationship needs to progress forward, and although they love each other, it remains to be seen what will happen. I found this book to be the catalyst for turning points in the lives of many of the characters: Billy, Maisie's father, and her secretary Sandra. The book ends with the reader wondering what will happen next, and I for one can't wait.

97RidgewayGirl
Apr 15, 2013, 10:52am Top

Looking forward to your thoughts on The Given Day. As you know, I love his crime novels, too. I've had this on my shelf for quite a while. And I have Live By Night. I'm waiting to see what you think!

98jonesli
Edited: Apr 16, 2013, 1:28pm Top

#97, 91 Hi Kay: I loved The Given Day and Live By Night. I haven't read anything of his yet that I didn't love. Of course I haven't read yet Shutter Island yet. I hope you get to Kate Morton soon,

#95, 94 Hi Stacy and Judy: I hope you like House at Riverton!

# 93 Hi Katie: I don't want to spoil anything for you, but I didn't see the tragic event coming and it kind of threw me for a loop. I expect that the next book will have a great degree of upheaval in the Cross family because of it.

# 92 I hope you like it as well!

100jonesli
Edited: Apr 26, 2013, 5:13pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

101jonesli
Edited: May 1, 2013, 8:28am Top

54 Helsinki Blood I enjoyed the first three books in this series, but this one was a bit of a struggle for me to finish. We all know I love my Nordic crime!

Kari Vaara is a physical and emotional mess after his last case. He deals with his physical and emotional pain by self medicating with pills and alcohol.To add to his anguish, his wife Kate has left him with their infant daughter to care for while she tries to come to grips with her post-partum depression and the part she has now played in her husband's rogue cop actions.

Kari started out as a good guy going against the bad guys using whatever means necessary. Somehow he's evolved into a ruthless vigilante and it seems as though his moral compass is not what it once was. Granted, when the bad guys come after your family, of course they need to be dealt with, but the whole book read like an episode of a television show with a one note plot of revenge.

It seemed to me that the author changed his writing style just a bit in this book, and I hope the next installment is written in the same manner as the previous books in the series.

Overall, not a bad read, just not what I was expecting.

102jonesli
May 7, 2013, 8:11am Top

55 Dying Light

Logan McRae is now assigned to the "screw up squad" after a failed raid left one of his fellow officers in extremely critical condition. He now reports to the hilarious Insp. Roberta Steele.

There are two cases going on at once: the main case is the murder of several prostitutes, as well as the murder of two families.

As usual, I found the the plot to be well developed as well as the characterization. I am not that far along in this series, but I am looking forward to further reading with the trademark dark storyline and witty dialogue.

103jonesli
Edited: May 8, 2013, 7:39am Top

56 Going Going Ganache This fifth (I think?) entry int the cupcake mystery series finds Mel struggling in her relationship with Joe, and Angie and Tate finally make headway relationship wise as well.

After a disastrous photo shoot for a local magazine, Mel and Angie have no choice but to host a week long cupcake baking retreat (for charity) in order to defray the cost of the damages they both caused. Think food fight....

When the magazine's features director is dound dead outside the bakery, Mel and Angie team up in order to find the killer.

I enjoy this series, but the very last page drove me absolutely crazy with suspense. It's a big teaser and I want to know what happens! I guess I will have to wait for the next book Sugar and Iced to find out.

104DeltaQueen50
May 8, 2013, 12:49am Top

Hi Lisa, it's great to see you are enjoying the Logan McRae series, one of my favorites.

105jonesli
May 8, 2013, 7:38am Top

Hi Judy: Yes, I am really enjoying the Logan McRae series, I took a chance a little while back when B&N was offering most of this series and the Charlie Resnick at reduced prices and I bought most of them. Sometimes when I do that it backfires on me, but I think this series will also turn out to be one of my favorites as well.

106jonesli
Edited: May 17, 2013, 7:47am Top

57 Bel Canto I greatly enjoyed this story about a a group of guests taken hostage at a birthday party for a Japanese businessman. Time seems to stand still as weeks and months go by until eventually a dramatic conclusion is reached. I had no idea this story was based on an actual event.

It makes me wonder sometimes what the heck I am doing that I don't seem to remember newsworthy events sometimes. The author states that this event took place in 1996-1997, if memory serves me correctly I was dealing with a sullen 11 year old boy at the time and going to school at night, that's why!

The ending threw me for a loop!

This was the last book I read in the month of April, and here it is mid May and I haven't posted anything for this month yet. I never did an April wrap up either. Oh well.......

107thornton37814
May 17, 2013, 7:43am Top

Lisa> I loved that book when I read it also.

108jonesli
Edited: May 17, 2013, 7:50am Top

Hi Lori! -Have you read anything else by Ann Patchett? I've heard lots of buzz about State of Wonder.

109jonesli
Edited: May 23, 2013, 8:01am Top

So it's mid May, I've only read 4 books so far this month, but this is what I have "planned":

Under the Dome
Body in the Bouillon Random Cat
Chalk Girl
English Tea MurderAlpha Cat
Murder on Astor Place Random Cat
Tooth and Nail Alpha Cat
Angela's Ashes Award Cat-Pulitzer
Eggs Benedict Arnold Alpha Cat

Realistically speaking, Under the Dome may continue into June, it's a whopping 1300 plus pages on my Nook, but I'm reading it at a pretty good pace.

110lkernagh
May 17, 2013, 9:19am Top

I also really liked Bel Canto, and still haven't read anything else by Patchett.

The big books do tend to make your books read count lower, but I remind myself that books like Under the Dome easily equal 4-5 more 'normal length' books, and then I feel pretty good about where my reading is at! ;-)

111thornton37814
May 17, 2013, 6:11pm Top

Lisa> I have not read anything else by Patchett yet, but I do hope to get around to reading something else in the future. I've also heard great things about State of Wonder.

112cbl_tn
May 17, 2013, 8:55pm Top

I read Bel Canto last month too. The hostage crisis must not have received much publicity here. Our media was probably too busy covering the beginning of Clinton's second term to pay attention to Peru.

113jonesli
Edited: May 22, 2013, 8:15am Top

58 The Body in the Bouillon I started gathering the Faith Fairchild series for my mom thinking that she would enjoy them (she does) and then I started reading them also. I find that this is one series that I don't mind reading out of order. I find them to be entertaining and just right for "cozy" light reading. There are usually a few good recipes included as well.

In The Body in the Bouillon Faith helps out with the cooking at a nursing home while checking on a resident's death at the request of her aunt. When one of the residents dies after eating some of Faith's soup, she quickly realizes that there is more going on in the nursing home than meets the eye.

114jonesli
Edited: May 31, 2013, 8:07am Top

Hi everyone:

I've been reading quite a bit, it's one of the few things keeping me sane these days, however my actual LT time has been decreased due to ever increasing demands job wise. Below is what else I have finished this month after my post above:

59 Chalk Girl
60 The English Tea Murder
61 Eggs Benedict Arnold
62 Under the Dome
63 Angela's Ashes
64 Murder on Astor Place
65 Leaving Cecil Street
66 Tooth and Nail
67 Conspiracy in Death

I'm just going to give a few brief thoughts about each of these reads:

I found Chalk Girl to be a little different than the previous Mallory books. One, because there wasn't a lot of Mallory's backstory in this one and I found that I missed it. Also, could it be that Charles actually grew a backbone and their relationship will take a new turn? I'm anxiously awaiting the next installment due this summer.

I've been reading the Lucy Stone series out of order which works ok for me. I liked the different locale in The English Tea Murder where Lucy travels to England along with her friends.

I enjoy Laura Child's Teashop mystery series, and I think I may enjoy it just a bit more than her Cackle berry Club series.

Under the Dome was massive, quite the cast of characters, and I enjoyed it very much. The ending was just a little too sci-fi for my taste.

Angela's Ashes was a very tragic engrossing read about Frank McCourt's horrible childhood.

I enjoyed the first in the Gaslight Mystery series, Murder on Astor Place about midwife Sarah and her on the side sleuthing.

Leaving Cecil Street is by Philadelphia born author Diane McKinney -Whetstone which takes place in 1969 and focuses on the various residents of a West Philadelphia block named Cecil Street.

Tooth and Nail I'm just getting started with the Rebus series, and so far I think they're excellent. I can't wait to read the next one!

Conspiracy in Death I can't keep up with J.D. Robb's Eve Dallas series. At one point I thought that I had amassed them all, but now I think I may be about five or six books behind. Since this book is only the 8th in her series (I think?), I have a great deal of catching up to do don't I? It doesn't help that she writes at least two or three a year or maybe more.

115jonesli
Edited: Jun 11, 2013, 7:46am Top

Here's what I plan to read in June:

Flight Behavior AlphaCat
Fun and Games Alpha Cat
The Fifth Witness AlphaCat
Silence of the Grave AlphaCat
Hard Frost AlphaCat
Chocolate Bridal Bash RandomCat
Honeymoon with Murder Random Cat
A Place of Execution
A Sheetcake Named Desire RandomCat
The Last Confession AlphaCat
Scaredy Cat AlphaCat
The Poet
Peony in Love Random Cat
Child 44 AwardCat
Bad Intentions AlphaCat
Likely to Die AlphaCat

I think that is 16 books which may be doable, we'll see. I'm trying to focus more on "actual" books from the shelves. I can't believe almost half the year is gone!

116RidgewayGirl
May 31, 2013, 8:55am Top

I'm looking forward to finding out what you think about Child 44.

117DeltaQueen50
May 31, 2013, 2:36pm Top

You've got some good ones planned for June, Lisa, Child 44, A Place of Execution and Hard Frost were all favorites of mine.

118cbl_tn
May 31, 2013, 4:38pm Top

I've only read a few of the Lucy Stone books, not in any particular order either. It seems to work for that series since there's no relationship drama that carries over from book to book.

I've only read one of Laura Child's Cackleberry Club books so far. I like it better than her scrapbooking series but not as well as the tea shop series.

Victoria Thompson's Gaslight series is one of my favorites. I'm glad you enjoyed the first one!

Child 44 is a good one, and my favorite of the trilogy. You've got a few others I want to read on your June list. I'll keep an eye out for your comments.

119rabbitprincess
May 31, 2013, 5:00pm Top

Ooh, I hope you like Silence of the Grave! Also glad you're enjoying Ian Rankin's works. :)

120thornton37814
Jun 2, 2013, 7:29pm Top

Looks like you had a great month in May and have some great reads lined up for June too.

121jonesli
Edited: Jun 24, 2013, 6:58am Top

Good Morning Everyone: I'm sneaking in here before I get started with work for the day.

I haven't been reading that much this month. Friends and family members have had some stressful, scary medical issues and I have been trying to be helpful without hovering too much.

I've also been playing Candy Crush as a stress reliever. I must stop that and get back to my books. I think they miss me lol!

Here's what I read so far this month. I can't believe it's almost July!

68 The Poet
69 The Last Confession
70 Father's Day Murder
71 A Sheetcake Named Desire
72 A Place of Execution
73 Honeymoon with Murder
74 Child 44

A Place of Execution and Child 44 were both excellent! I couldn't stop reading either one of them!

I almost forgot Hi Kay, Judy, Lori, Rabbitprincess and Carrie!

122cbl_tn
Jun 24, 2013, 8:21am Top

Sorry to hear about all the health problems you've been surrounded with. I'm sure your care and concern is much appreciated.

I've seen the TV adaptation of A Place of Execution but I haven't read the book. I intend to read it sometime since I liked the TV version so much.

123lkernagh
Jun 24, 2013, 3:56pm Top

Sorry to hear that things have been rather stressful and hectic of late. Here is hoping all improves.

...... now I must go investigate what Candy Crush is..... nothing wrong with having an addictive stress reliever game!

124mamzel
Jun 25, 2013, 11:29pm Top

I agree with you there. My addiction is Plants vs. Zombies.

125jonesli
Edited: Aug 2, 2013, 7:45am Top

Good Morning Everyone:

So June was not a good reading month for me.

I am positively giddy about being off from work for vacation, it's almost like Christmas. That being said, I hope to get much more reading done in July during the almost two weeks I'll be gone. Here's what I hope to read and finish in July:

Portrait of a Lady Group read
Beautiful RuinsRandomCat
12th of Never
You're Next AlphaCat
Unseen
Ice Cold AlphaCat
Murder on St. Mark's Place Award Cat Edgar
Strangers on a Train AwardCat Edgar
A Long Line of Dead Men Award Cat Edgar
Deal Breaker Award Cat Edgar
Hard Frost Award Cat Edgar
A Dram of Poison Award Cat Edgar
All Shot Up

126Bjace
Jul 1, 2013, 7:56am Top

You've got an interesting lineup of Edgar winners. The only one I've read is the Highsmith, which I was terribly impressed by. Enjoy.

127lkernagh
Jul 1, 2013, 10:23am Top

Great reading line-up for July and "Yay" for vacation time this month!

128rabbitprincess
Jul 1, 2013, 10:38am Top

Have a great vacation and enjoy your reading time!

129RidgewayGirl
Jul 3, 2013, 11:22am Top

I'm glad you're on vacation. I hope it's restful and restorative.

130cyderry
Jul 6, 2013, 11:31am Top

Swooping in to say hi!

131jonesli
Edited: Jul 22, 2013, 8:14am Top

Hi to everyone:

I can't believe how quickly the month has flown by. I had a nice almost two weeks off from work. I've learned first hand that Disney World is no place for a 2 year old, especially in the summer! Question is have son and daughter in law learned their expensive lesson? I think not:) I think they're destined to become "Disney" people.

I didn't get as much reading done as I would have liked, but so far much better than last month. I've been doing much better with putting Candy Crush to the side lol. I'm finding it a nice mindless way to relieve stress and when it's too hot to concentrate on reading.

My reads so far this month:

75 Silence of the Grave
76 You're Next
77 Unseen
78 12th of Never
79 Beautiful Ruins
80 A Dram of Poison
81 Murder on St. Mark's Place
82 Ice Cold

I'm currently reading Deal Breaker an Edgar nominee. It's a fast read, and the snappy witty dialogue is entertaining, but I'm on the fence as to whether I will read the rest of the series.

132RidgewayGirl
Jul 22, 2013, 9:06am Top

Yeah, the Disney thing. That window where a kid enjoys the experience is pretty small. And you have to have a ruthless strategy set up ahead of time. Mine were, I think, seven and ten when we went and we were lucky because we went with my best friend, who planned things out ahead of time. We went early, then returned to the hotel for lunch and a rest break, returning to the park as parents were carrying out of control and exhausted children out. We stayed until about 45 minutes before it closed. The evening hours were cooler and and calmer and the kids benefited from the break through the hottest part of the day, as did I. But there's no question that it's the kind of experience that's better in retrospect than while it's going on. And two is too young, in my opinion. She won't even remember it!

133mamzel
Jul 24, 2013, 11:53pm Top

Recently there was an article in the travel section of the SF Chronicle where the author kept track and discovered his family had stood in line a whopping 41 times during their day.

134christina_reads
Jul 26, 2013, 12:19pm Top

@ 131 -- Candy Crush is super addictive, isn't it?! It has even eaten into my reading time a bit!

135cyderry
Jul 26, 2013, 6:35pm Top

audiobooks can be "read" while playing games :-)

136mamzel
Jul 27, 2013, 4:38pm Top

Having boring time until work begins again I have been playing some of those games on Facebook. They are addictive but I refuse to harass my friends or pay real money to continue with them. So I've just been playing until I have to invite a friend and then moving on to another game.

137rabbitprincess
Jul 27, 2013, 8:43pm Top

I like to do word puzzles while listening to audiobooks, either the puzzle magazines or the Crosswords app on my iPad :)

138christina_reads
Jul 29, 2013, 1:43pm Top

@ 136 -- mamzel, I am with you on refusing to pay money! Candy Crush is technically free, but sometimes you get to a point where you either have to pay for the next level or wait 24 hours. Or you can pay to get extra lives and such. So far I have resisted the urge, but it's frustrating sometimes!

139jonesli
Jul 29, 2013, 3:51pm Top

136 and 138 I have to confess that I have spent a little money on the game here and there, it was so frustrating when I had almost all the candy cleared and I needed extra moves to advance. I 've stopped this but it took a lot for me to put it down!

While I enjoy the game, I do agree that they hoping that it will be a money maker for them.

140jonesli
Edited: Aug 27, 2013, 7:39am Top

Good Morning Everyone:

So it's August, seriously where has the time gone? I'm enjoying a bit of early morning peace at work before everyone gets in. I guess I should be working huh?

I've been doing a good job staying away from the library for a few months, I'm starting to feel a little twitchy about that, but I need to get more of my physical book inventory read, my books shelves and other areas are starting to look like an episode of Hoarders!

I did better in July, than June, so I'm getting there despite my recent gaming addiction lol. Since my last post #131, I read the following

The Fifth Witness
A Long Line of Dead Men
Deal Breaker

11 books for the month, my favorite was the beautifully written Beautiful Ruins. I also enjoyed Unseen since I've been waiting for two characters in this series to " take care of their unfinished business".

Here's what I hope to read in August:

Still Missing I'm reading this right now, it's creepy good!
Citizen Vince
The Bonesetter's Daughter
Still Midnight
A Little Yellow Dog
Hard Frost
The Accident
The Passage I've been working on this for a little while
The Hypnotist
NOS4A2

141lkernagh
Aug 2, 2013, 3:40pm Top

Nice list of books lined up for August. I have my eye on NOS4A2, even though it fits a genre I usually steer away from. It seems so enticingly creepy, if that makes any sense. ;-)

142psutto
Aug 5, 2013, 5:15am Top

I have NOS4A2 on the shelf, hopefully getting to that later this year

143clfisha
Aug 8, 2013, 3:08pm Top

Ooo I have just started it, not usually keen on horror.. The opening is good at least

144DeltaQueen50
Aug 9, 2013, 5:47pm Top

Hi Lisa, great to hear that Still Missing is creepy good, I am waitlisted for it at the library but hope to get to it later this month.

145jonesli
Aug 19, 2013, 7:35am Top

#141- 143 Hi Lori, Pete and Claire: I haven't been moving as quickly through NOS4A2 as I would like, I've been distracted with other books:)

# #144 Hi Judy: are you still waiting for Still Missing? I have to say it's pretty brutal and probably not for everyone. I will be curious to see what you think of it.

146jonesli
Edited: Aug 19, 2013, 8:14am Top

So it's mid month (how can that be?) , and here's what I've read so far:

86 Five Days in Summer
87 Still Missing
88 A Little Yellow Dog
89 Bad Boy Brawly Brown
90 Little Scarlet
91 Citizen Vince
92 Dead Days of Summer
93 Let Me Go

You can see I went on an Easy Rawlins bender lol, and I was once again captivated by the sick and twisted relationship between Archie and Gretchen in Let Me Go, which I think is the 6th book in the series?

I am now reading one of my favorite light reads, Deadly Donuts which is book 10 in the series, and The Bonesetter's Daughter.

I had to put The Passage to the side for now, too much going on for my little tired brain to comprehend right now, but I hope to get back to it at some point.

Now that I'm on book # 94, this is where I start to get creative about fitting books I want to read into my challenge, which is always fun. For instance, I am anxiously awaiting the new Mallory and Goldy Schulz books when they come out this week and next, so I quickly found a slot for them!

147cyderry
Aug 19, 2013, 9:10am Top

Lisa, I love Goldy too! I have Bonesetter's Daughter on my pile, let me know how you like it. I also wish that I was doing as well as you this month. What ever made me start 2 chunksters this month?!? One is 860 pages (I'm almost finished - less than 100 left) and the other is 881 (with more than 300 still to go) SIGH!

148jonesli
Aug 20, 2013, 7:41am Top

Hi Cheli! It's been a while since Goldy's last adventure, so I am looking forward to it. Ahh I know what you mean about the chunksters, I have an entire category specifically for books over 500 pages, and it's no surprise that I have only read 2 out of the 10, I'd better get cracking if I don't want to be reading all tomes at one time, that would be no fun!

Bonesetter's Daughter is sad but beautifully written. I'm about 3/4 finished and I am really enjoying it.

149DeltaQueen50
Aug 21, 2013, 12:10am Top

Hi Lisa, Still Missing finally came in so I picked it up and started it today. I am very interested in this book as I understand that it is based on a case that actually happened in Victoria, B.C. where a female realtor went missing from an open house. As far as I know, she has never been found. From the first few pages I see the stories are quite different.

150jonesli
Aug 21, 2013, 7:54am Top

Hi Judy: I didn't realize that Still Missing was based on an actual case. About four years ago, I had a quick stop in Victoria at the end of an Alaskan cruise. It was beautiful even though my best friend and I got lost in Butchart Gardens:) the tour bus left without us! I've been wanting to go back and see more of it ever since.

151lkernagh
Aug 21, 2013, 9:20pm Top

I am very interested in this book as I understand that it is based on a case that actually happened in Victoria, B.C.

Well, that caught my attention! I am trying to remember the case, drawing a blank, but you did manage to put this book on my radar.

my best friend and I got lost in Butchart Gardens:) the tour bus left without us!

That is something I would do so I can totally relate! Victoria is a rather compact municipality but even then there is an awful lot to see from a visitor perspective so I am not surprised when I encounter tourists downtown struggling to decide what they want to do before they have to get back to the boat. ;-)

152DeltaQueen50
Aug 21, 2013, 11:38pm Top

Re #149 - I just checked the story from February, 2008 and I was wrong about them not finding her. She was actually found stabbed to death in the empty house. She was quite young, only 24 and working an open house on her own. I don't think her murder has ever been solved.

Lisa, I am having trouble putting Still Missing down. It's rather grim and creepy but I need to find out how it ends. Definitely a page turner.

153lkernagh
Aug 22, 2013, 9:43am Top

> 152 - That is the case I remember Judy, and no, they have yet to solve the murder and close the file on it.

155jonesli
Aug 31, 2013, 6:08am Top

98 The Whole Enchilada I sure missed Goldy and Marla and their wacky adventures! For some reason as I was reading the end of the book I kept thinking that this may be the final installment in the series? I hope not.

99 Boundary Waters

156jonesli
Edited: Sep 3, 2013, 1:22pm Top

Yay for September! I'm looking forward to autumn it s my favorite time of the year and it also happens to be my granddaughter's name as well.

I've been wallowing since I got home from work Friday with a cold that I'm sure I picked up from a very inconsiderate co-worker ,along withno cable,and losing one of my favorite pair of earrings, has made me just a little grumpy:)

I've gotten a lot of reading done over the long weekend though:

100 This Side of Eternity
101 Voices
102 Still Life With Murder

I liked Still Life With Murder so much that I've started on the second book Murder in Mill Town. Who knows I might just read the whole series! There are 6 books and they are all chunksters that I can fit into one category! Don't you just love how I shamelessly fit what I want to read into my categories?

157jonesli
Edited: Sep 25, 2013, 7:43am Top

Here's what I hope to read in September:

Back To School Murder
61 Hours
The Snowman
11/22/63
The Breaker
Murder in Mill Town
One Thousand White Women
One Coffee With
Neon Rain

I have 28 books left to complete my challenge, which should take me to early or mid November. We'll see!

158lkernagh
Sep 3, 2013, 10:22pm Top

I would be a little grumpy too if a co-worker made me sick (we have sick time, there is no reason for anyone to ever show up to the office as a walking contagion.), no cable (Not good!) and losing your favorite pair of earrings (Really not good!).

Here is hoping you are feeling better soon!

159RidgewayGirl
Sep 4, 2013, 4:36am Top

My SO goes to work sick as he is the linchpin without which the giant international corporation would come to a screeching halt. He did say that no one will stand near him.

160jonesli
Sep 4, 2013, 7:01am Top

#158 Hi Lori: Right, we have sick time also, and I know sometimes unfortunately we may have to come to work sick, but at least stay in your office or cubicleas much as possible and use some hand sanitizer, I'm just sayin........ E-mail and phone conversations work too :)

#159 Hi Kay: I bet your SO does use good sense though and uses hand sanitizer or washes his hands....... You're right some people cannot stay home, sad but true. And some people do not get sick time, which I do sympathize with. My dad was a police officer and you had to be pretty much half dead to be able to use any sick time. His captain even came to the house to check a couple of times, weird, having a person from work in your bedroom while you're in your jammies.....

161psutto
Sep 5, 2013, 10:08am Top

In our office you have the option to work from home for a couple of days a week so really no excuse to turn in ill, some people still do so though!

162jonesli
Sep 13, 2013, 8:26am Top

Here's what I have been up to since my last post:

103 Fun and Games
104 Defending Jacob
105 11/22/63

I greatly enjoyed Fun and Games it was a roller coaster quick read. Far fetched, but good!

I found myself emotionally drained after reading Defending Jacob. Wow! I found myself thinking a lot about this book after I finished reading it.

11/22/63 I'm late to the party for this one, and it took me a little bit to get through it, it's quite the chunkster. I was a little leery about Stephen King's departure from his usual intense horror fare, but I found this book to be excellent. I loved the historical facts mixed with fiction very interesting.

Now I'm back to The Snowman with the adventures of Harry Hole.

163RidgewayGirl
Sep 13, 2013, 8:43am Top

Fun and Games is a roller coaster ride, isn't it? I have the next one for when I'm home on a cold, rainy day with a cold.

164lkernagh
Sep 13, 2013, 9:54am Top

I had heard that Defending Jacob was an emotional read. I am still looking forward to reading it at some point. Happy to see more love for 11/22/63!

165DeltaQueen50
Sep 15, 2013, 3:50pm Top

I've had the Duane Swierezynski series on my radar for some time, great to hear another endorsement.

166jonesli
Edited: Sep 30, 2013, 7:56am Top

Good Morning Everyone:

I haven't posted in a while and the end of the month seems like a good time to me. I've read 15 books this month, which was great, with 16 left to complete my challenge. Since I don't do such a great job of spreading my reading among my various categories, I will need to read 6 500 pagers to finish my Long Goodbye (500 pages plus books) category. I think I've done a better job of not playing Candy Crush so much and getting more reading done. It's a fun game, but so addicting.......

I am still hoping to finish my challenge by mid November, although it would be great if I can wrap it up in October.

Here's what I have planned so far as definites:

Loyalty in Death J.D Robb is the birthday girl for October
All The Colors of Darkness
Three Seconds
The Dark Room - don't know why I didn't finish this, Minette Walters was the birthday girl for September
61 Hours- I'm reading this series out of order

I'll have to decide what the other contenders will be. Guess I will get to work now!

167jonesli
Sep 30, 2013, 7:55am Top

168jonesli
Oct 30, 2013, 7:44am Top

Hi everyone:

I haven't been on my own thread in a month, wow!

Here's what I've read for the month so far:

115 The Blonde
116 Caught Dead in Philadelphia
117 Train to Anywhere
118 The Count of Monte Cristo
119 All the Colors of Darkness
120 One Thousand White Women
121 Towards Zero
122 The Forgotten Garden
123 Tempest Rising
124 The Secret Keeper
125 Life After Life

I enjoyed the Kate Morton books very much, I think The Secret Keeper was my favorite. I also finally got around to The Count of Monte Cristo late to the party for the group read.

All the Colors of Darkness was ok, I love the Alan Banks character, but this one took a little effort to get through.

One Thousand White Women was very different and very enjoyable.

Last but not least, Kate Atkinson did not disappoint with Life After Life, although admittedly it took a little bit of concentration to figure out what was going on with the main character, Ursula.

Five books left to complete my challenge, they will be:

Loyalty in Death just a few pages left. I wonder if I will ever get caught up with the In Death series?

Dead Ringer
The Dark Room
61 Hours
Three at Wolfe's Door

I'm guessing my challenge will be wrapped up on or around November 15th, we'll see.

169DeltaQueen50
Oct 30, 2013, 10:30pm Top

Hi Lisa, I remember being a little disappointed with All the Colors of Darkness, but he come back with two pretty good ones after that. I've had Kate Morton's books on my wishlist for a very long time and I really need to finally pick one of hers up.

170cyderry
Oct 31, 2013, 10:35am Top

I love Kate Morton too and have The House at Riverton at the top of my pile!

171lkernagh
Oct 31, 2013, 11:47pm Top

Great reading month, Lisa!

173jonesli
Edited: Nov 27, 2013, 12:26pm Top

Happy almost Thanksgiving everyone!

I just finished my last book for the challenge, 61 Hours. I will spend the remainder of the year waiting for the 2014 Challenge by reading Christmas theme and other light reads.

I plan to set up a post challenge thread shortly.

174cbl_tn
Nov 27, 2013, 1:00pm Top

Congratulations on finishing your challenge! Christmas reading sounds like a good plan for the rest of the year!

175RidgewayGirl
Nov 27, 2013, 1:05pm Top

Congrats on finishing with plenty of time to spare! I bet you've got all your Christmas presents bought and wrapped and are finishing up the Holiday baking.

176christina_reads
Nov 27, 2013, 2:51pm Top

Yay, congrats on finishing! Enjoy your free reading. :)

177hailelib
Nov 27, 2013, 7:56pm Top

It's great that you finished with time left for some Christmas reading.

178rabbitprincess
Nov 27, 2013, 8:47pm Top

Woo hoo, congratulations! Enjoy your Christmas reading!

179LittleTaiko
Nov 27, 2013, 10:08pm Top

Congratulations! Enjoy the rest of your year.

180lkernagh
Nov 28, 2013, 12:20am Top

Happy Thanksgiving, Lisa and congrats on completing your challenge!

181AHS-Wolfy
Nov 28, 2013, 7:55am Top

Congrats on completing your challenge!

182DeltaQueen50
Nov 29, 2013, 1:04pm Top

Congratulations, Lisa, and I hope you and your family had a lovely Thanksgiving.

183jonesli
Edited: Dec 2, 2013, 4:51am Top

Thanks everyone! I hope to set up a new thread sometime soon, my computer is being uncooperative.

I hope eveyone had a good Thanksgiving, mine was nice and quiet. Luckily my brother is an excellent cook and he doesn't mind sharing the prep, cooking, and cleaning up!

184VictoriaPL
Dec 2, 2013, 11:05am Top

Congratulations Lisa!!

185paruline
Dec 9, 2013, 1:40pm Top

Belated congratulations from me too!

Group: 2013 Category Challenge

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