It’s the most wonderful time of the year, booknerds!
And I mean that in the most inclusive way possible. There are 11 holidays celebrated this time of year by people of all different backgrounds. And that’s just what I know of. It is completely possible that there are more celebrations that I’m ignorant to.
It doesn’t matter what you celebrate this time of year, I want your holidays to be everything that you want them to be. I want you to wish people whatever lovely greeting you choose to and I want you to be happy and loved.
For me and my little family, we are celebrating Yule/Saturnalia. And I need my Yule to include some goddamn murder!
That’s right, I said it. With the stress of shopping and wrapping and getting the house in order for family and friends, I like to wind down at the end of the day with some dead bodies and a big mystery to unravel.
Nothing says “Christmas” like blood in the snow.
So if you’re anything like me, maybe you’re looking to build your TBR in December around some winter holiday themed crime fiction. And because I love you all so much, I’ve put together a list of what I think are your best bets to add to your pile.
Here’s my fucking list of the top holiday-theme books to quench your thirst for death this season!
Don’t go assuming the worst. It’s nothing earth-shattering. I’m not dying or anything like that.
But I do want to write this, just to say I feel so bummed that I haven’t been writing as much as I want to this month. And I’m not reading as much as I want to this month.
There are two things to blame for this.
One. It was my birthday recently and my husband got me Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. Needless to say, I dove into it pretty hard with both feet and any moment I don’t have some responsibility to take care of, I’ve been playing that game instead of reading/writing.
On the bright side, I’ve been learning a lot about Greek history. And your girl is not usually the scholarly type when it comes to geography and history. Or math. Or science. Or really anything that requires too much of my left brain.
Take last night for instance. I said to my husband: “This quest says to go to Athens, but I don’t see Athens on the map. Is Athens a real place? Where is Athens? Is it a country? Or the whole continent?” And my husband nearly choked on his cookie.
I take full responsibility for this current game addiction. Okay, maybe not full. Like, if you guys want to blame my husband for like 20% of this I wouldn’t argue. He did buy me the game after all.
Anyway, speaking of responsibilities, this is where issue Number Two comes in. It rained in my basement.
Y’all are either going to love me or hate me after this. I’m good with either one really because at least I’ll know you’re getting bomb-ass deals on books.
My story starts here: I re-did my basement and installed my brand new bookshelves. I finally got to pull out all my boxes of books that I’d had stored away since we moved into our new house two years ago.
But, as I was looking at my beautiful new shelves and looking at all my old books, I realized I wanted to put only my most favourite, beautiful books on the shelves. I wanted to donate anything I’d already read and didn’t fall in love with. I wanted to get rid of the things I knew I’d never read because my TBR had grown so much in the last couple of years.
Heads up, nerds! I’m running a giveaway through my #bookstagram account: @thefuckingtwist and I don’t want any of my lovely book friends to miss out!
You might be asking yourself why I’m doing this? What’s the occasion?
I know most accounts do giveaways to celebrate follower count, but I’m honestly not at all concerned with that number. I’m so happy with the support and readership I have, and the bookish connections I’ve made, that even if only 5 people interacted with me, I’d be thrilled and consider this a success.
It’s all about the book love, bitches!
I decided to do this giveaway because it’s my birthday on Thursday and the holiday season (whatever holiday you observe) is officially underway which always makes my Grinch-y sized heart grow 3 times it’s size. Hell, maybe my reviews will even get nicer?! Probably not. Even still, this is a holiday-themed giveaway to celebrate all those good things!
If you don’t follow me on Insta, first get your shit together. Second, come on by and put your name in for my giveaway.
I am only doing this again because Grey @ Use Your Words gave me a bonus nomination from my nomination of her. “You’re my boy, blue!”
How can I resist an opportunity to run my mouth, maybe talk some shit and avoid doing my actual job this morning? I can’t! I have almost zero self-control! It’s why I’ve started and stopped diets like a million times this year! ZERO SELF-CONTROL. So, let’s take advantage of this terrible personality trait!
Sidenote: If you’re not following Grey’s blog or Insta, you are missing out. Thoughtful reviews, personal commiserating and beautiful pictures. Get your head out of your ass and 👏check👏 her👏 out👏
Opening Hook: Can’t a person just sit in their car anymore without being murdered?
Main Character: She is the Toby to my Michael Scott
Plot Twisty-ness: A predictable anxiety-fest
I’m pretty sure me and B.A. Paris need to break up.
I read and kind of enjoyed Behind Closed Doors, but I was not over the moon about it like most other reviewers were. Even now, when I think back on that reading experience the only things I remember are that 1) the main character was super annoying, and 2) *spoiler alert* it’s totally ridiculous to believe that a high-powered attorney who works 60+ hour weeks on huge cases, would also have enough time to be that on the fucking nose when it came to keeping his wife hostage.
You don’t want the things a reader remembers about your book to be just the illogical, annoying bits.
And I’m afraid The Breakdown is going to be another exercise in this for me.
B.A. Paris seems to have a habit of writing the most annoying female main characters – dumb, slow-on-the-upswing and insecure – who are married to the most obviously untrustworthy men. I can’t be the only one who is seeing the perfect, loving and thoughtful husband routine as completely shady? Maybe it’s because I’m married and 100% woke to the fact that even the most romantic of men are not going to be perfect. If they are, they are trying to bamboozle you, bitch!
So, basically what we’ve got here is Cass driving home one evening on a dark, twisty shortcut that is secluded, because of course it is. On her way, she sees a car parked with a woman inside. She considers checking if the woman needs help, but decides it’s too scary and dark and will call the police from home about the woman simply chillin’ in her car. As you would.
So, I know I usually try to do a Music Monday that is inspired by whatever book I’m currently reading (Pretty Ugly Lies and The Breakdown, btw,) but with the U.S. Midterms looming tomorrow, I can’t seem to focus on anything else but that. I’m serious. It’s an addiction. I’ll need to be sedated tomorrow.
I am literally at work right now with all-day news coming through my earbuds. My husband complained over the weekend that all I ever had on was the news so he wasn’t going to be hanging out with me until the midterms were over.
AND I’M CANADIAN.
You might ask yourself, why, as a Canadian don’t I mind my fucking business and focus on my own country? Good question, rude way of asking it though. But, I’ll tell you.
First, I am married to an American. I have American stepkids and in-laws. And though my little family immigrated to Canada and now live under the soft curls of Trudeau’s perfect hair and Sunny Ways with me, they are still American and they still care deeply about their home country (my husband mailed in his absentee ballot last month, voting a straight blue ticket in his NY county that is usually red.) By default, this means I care too. It’s my husband’s country! Helllooooo.
“Today, we are going to be playing a little game of Murder.”
Hanover Square Press | 2018
Opening Hook: Basically a classic Kesha song
Main Character: If Maury and Robert Stack had a baby, but that baby was drunk all the time
Plot Twisty-ness: Jigsaw would be proud
I went into this novel with every intention of loving it completely. I swear to Thor. But okay, obviously I didn’t completely get there. Story of my life. No one is shocked.
Guess Who started off as a five-star read until I passed the halfway mark and that’s when things fell off the chart. For the first half of the book, it is very much SAW meets Clue, just minus the horror element. But it does create a sinister, frantic pace and tone that definitely had me hooked. It’s a locked-room mystery that feels both extravagant and desperate at first, at that definitely worked for me in a totally non-sexual sexual way.
Morgan Sheppard is a TV star who has made a living doing a Maury meets UnsolvedMysteries-style show called ResidentDetective. As a child, he solved the murder of his math teacher and created a very successful career riding (read: exploiting) that wave. Through his fame, he’s turned into an alcoholic, drug addict and womanizer. The only problem is, Sheppard has been full of shit for a very long time. And someone knows it. And someone hates him.
This villain, known as The Evil Man who wears a goofy fucking horse mask, and locks Sheppard and five other people in a hotel room with a dead body in the bathtub. Sheppard has 3 hours to find the killer – one of the people in the room – and prove what kind of detective he really is, or the hotel blows up.