Top Ten: Mystery and Thriller Releases for Q2 of 2019!

I can hardly believe it’s already April! I feel like I say that a lot around here, but it’s true. Maybe it’s aging. Time just seems to fly by at a rate I am incredibly uncomfortable with.

It’s like one day your fine and the next day you can’t fit into any of your clothes and you have no idea what happened, but there wasn’t any time in between, even though there was totally like four years.

felicity jones snl GIF by Saturday Night Live

So, while I deal making my expanding ass smaller (still), I’m also realizing I definitely don’t read as many books as I should be able to in all this time that’s passing by. I am much better at finding new books that I want to read, instead of actually reading them. Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

This post is going to be another example of me endlessly adding books to my TBR when I still have so many unfinished ones. And despite making a new years resolution to increase my Netgalley score this year, I’ve made very little progress on that.

It might actually be worse, if I’m honest. Oops.

Speaking of honest, what I’ve been able to get out for this little blog seems to have dropped recently and I’m sorry and I’ll tell you why and I think you’ll understand.

My manager moved into a desk that allows her a view of my computer.

That’s it. For real.

I write most of my posts at work because it’s when I have the most free time. That’s sounds hilarious, but it’s the truth. And since my manager moved desks, there is just not enough security for me to successfully fuck around on things that are definitely not work related.

I’ll have to figure out a better schedule for my reviews and posts. I promise I will. Take right now for instance – I’m catching up on Scientology and the Aftermath (cults woot woot!) and eating dinner and slowly working away at building my list of what I’m most excited about coming out in the next 3 months.

Get your book budgets ready!

Continue reading “Top Ten: Mystery and Thriller Releases for Q2 of 2019!”

Review: Helter Skelter – The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi with Curt Gentry

“You can convince anybody of anything if you just push it at them all of the time. They may not believe it 100 percent, but they will still draw opinions from it, especially if they have no other information to draw their opinions from.”

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★★★★

W.W. Norton & Company | 1974

Opening Brainwashing: The lowest of low hanging fruit.

Main Cult Leader: The folk singer with the swastika seems on the up-and-up

True Crimey-ness: Pop culture murder


Everyone and their mother knows the story of Charles Manson. Or at least the bullet points, because the bullet points are fucking insane. Crazy “hippie” cult leader who brainwashed otherwise normal young people into brutally murdering pregnant actress Sharon Tate and her house guests in the Hollywood Hills in 1969.

Everyone knows the blurb. Everyone knows the images of Manson and his craziest moments. Everyone has seen, at some point, that image of three happy girls singing on their way to their murder trial with swastikas on their foreheads. Everyone knows that Sharon Tate was pregnant because it’s those kinds of headline specifics that make your stomach turn or your jaw drop.

The famous imagines and soundbites are so robust and insane and sensational, and seared into pop culture by our own doing, that it led me to believe that I knew basically everything there was to know about this case. Or that I had enough of an understanding that reading this book was going to be just to say that I’d read it. It’s kind of a must for true crime fans, in my sometimes abrasive opinion.

But I was wrong.

There is so much information to be gleaned from this book by the prosecutor who convicted Manson, Vincent Bugliosi. Helter Skelter is a broad picture of Manson’s crimes, his early life and his followers that I found it utterly fascinating, even if the narrator of the audiobook sounded like he stepped right out of Fast Talking, High Trousers.

Image result for fast talking high trousers
Continue reading “Review: Helter Skelter – The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi with Curt Gentry”

Review: Stiff – The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

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★★★★

Penguin | 2004

Overall Grossness: You put that monkey head back where it came from, or so help me!

Best Cadaver: They were all beautiful, in their own dissected ways.

Plot Educational-ness: Thinking about your own expiration date has never been more fun!


I think if you’re into the macabre and that side of life, or death as it were, then this book is probably required reading.

And truth be told, I am not a science-brained kind of girl. Or history. Or geography. Or math. Really anything that requires a level of intelligence that is based on facts and an excessive amount of information and concentration.

These are just not my strong suits. And as much as high school teachers would want to make me feel bad about that with those shitty grades I kept getting, I’ve accepted myself now as an adult. I fully embrace that I will never be able to help my stepkid with science or math homework. He could ask me about English and art though. And I do appreciate logic and thoughtfulness.

I do have some intelligence, y’all!

Continue reading “Review: Stiff – The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach”

Review: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

“…we often mistake love for fireworks – for drama and dysfunction. But real love is very quiet, very still. It’s boring, if seen from the perspective of high drama. Love is deep and calm – and constant.”

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★★★★

Celadon Books | 2019

Opening Hook: You know how you want to kill your spouse sometimes?

Main Character: Creases his jeans, eats oatmeal, probably.

Plot Twisty-ness: A clever bitch


There was a lot of hype surrounding this book’s release, and for the most part, it was deserved. I mean, it didn’t totally blow my socks off and it wasn’t necessarily reinventing the wheel when it comes to thrillers with unreliable narrators. But, for a debut novel, it’s pretty impressive and I had a fun time reading it, so one eggplant up for Mr. Michaelides.

Alicia, an artist, killed her photographer husband. Shot him in the head repeatedly while he was tied to a chair, as a matter of fact. And she’s been silent every day since. Locked up in a psych hospital, she hasn’t uttered a word in nearly 7 years.

Theo Faber is a psychotherapist who believes he can crack Alicia’s silent nut. He takes a job in the hospital where she is locked up and starts his mostly one-sided conversations in the hopes of getting Alicia to finally explain why she did what she did to her husband, who by all accounts, she was madly in love with.

And I don’t know about all of you, but while I jokingly say I’d like to murder the shit out of my husband sometimes, I don’t really mean it. Well, mostly I don’t mean it. But I swear to jeebus, when he clips his toenails in bed I could really, truly smother him with a pillow.

Anyway!

Continue reading “Review: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides”

True Crime Tuesday: Christmas Eve Massacre

Merry Whatever-You-Celebrate, Booknerds!

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It’s officially Christmas/Yule for my family today, so as you’re reading this I’m definitely still in my PJs, making breakfast for everyone and settling in to open presents. After that, we’ll watch a holiday movie and play some games before I inevitably pass out from expending so much of my limited energy trying to make everyone fucking happy. Good times.

What are your typical December 25th plans? I’d love to hear about how your day went today and what gifts you got! Epic book hauls? Fandom gifts? What made your hearts happy today? Let me know in the comments.

Between all of my offline plans today, you can be sure that I’m still going to poke my head in to check out #bookstagram and read your blog posts whenever I get a chance.

And if you’re doing the same thing, welcome to my last True Crime Tuesday post for 2018! What better day for it than on Christmas? Clearly, between your family time and your excitement about all your new goodies, you’ve popped by my blog to get your fix of murder and mayhem and for that, I say thank you and we are the same.

Today’s story is a full-on Christmas nightmare committed by Santa Clause himself!

So, grab a hot chocolate, wrap yourself in a holiday blanket, enjoy the soothing sounds of Christmas music and your family talking or screaming or laughing together, while you snuggle in for the next fifteen minutes to read about another family getting fucking killed ten years ago.

This is The Covina Massacre.

Continue reading “True Crime Tuesday: Christmas Eve Massacre”

Review: Pretty Ugly Lies by Pamela Crane

It seems like everyone who settles down is miserable. They’re either broke or stressed or plagued with a sense of duty to someone who doesn’t appreciate them.

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★★★½

Bloodhound Books | 2018

Opening Hook: Kill your family for freedom!

Main Characters: Whiny bitches, but like, I totally get it.

Plot Twisty-ness: Twisty, but almost doesn’t make sense.

This book is going to cut with different women in different ways because the content is so heavily focussed on the various “caregiver” roles that women play. Wife, mother, friend, sister, lover.

It focuses on those roles with a decidedly negative lens. Like, suuuuuuuper negative. Like, if you were thinking about getting married, this will give you pause. If you were are on the fence about having kids, this will confirm your worst fears.

The story is told by four women – Jo, Shayla, Ellie and June – who all live on Oleander Way. Some know each other, some don’t, but they are connected by their neighbourhood.

We open on a murder. A husband and two children have been gutted in their home in the middle of the day. But who’s husband and children? And why did it happen? As the story unfolds, this mystery seemingly becomes less important than all the other crazy shit that happens to these four women.

Continue reading “Review: Pretty Ugly Lies by Pamela Crane”

Booknerd Wednesday: WWW Edition

Let’s talk about Jenna Jameson for a minute. Yes, the porn star.

I never thought I’d be at a point in my life where I was inspired by Jenna Jameson, but here we are. And I have no shame.

That bitch is doing work on her body and mental health right now and I’m completely in love with her for it. She’s using the keto diet and intermittent fasting to drop the weight she gained from pregnancy & addiction troubles. Seriously, go to her Instagram, check out her before & after photos and her honest messages, and tell me that shit doesn’t get you completely motivated.

My friend and her husband have been doing keto for 6 months themselves, and collectively, they’ve lost 100 pounds. So between these two examples I’ve been witness to, I’m all pumped to get into shape myself.

I know I’ve been saying that since January, but it’s all about motivation and mental health sometimes. And I just wasn’t in the right head space to take care of myself, unfortunately. But I feel so much better since a lot of the negativity in my life has disappeared with certain life changes.

Plus, I’m turning 33 in November and I don’t want to get another year older still stuck in the same rut. Since I got married in 2013, I’ve been SUPER lax about taking care of myself, which is the total opposite of how I was before I was married. Strange how that happens. I suppose it’s contentment. Then there was also some depression thrown in there for me.

It’s been a ride of a lot of complicated milestones, let’s just say.

So, anyway, like most women I’ve gained weight since getting married. My husband has too. And now I’m pulling a Jenna Jameson and using her as my keto spirit guide.

Continue reading “Booknerd Wednesday: WWW Edition”

Music Monday: The Flys – Got You Where I Want You

I have to be honest, I did not want to get out of bed this morning. This Monday felt particularly difficult to have to deal with.

Maybe it’s because my weekend went by in a flash. Saturday I was three hours at the hairdresser. I came home to my husband touching up painting that we needed to finish so I couldn’t let him do that alone. Sunday we did our groceries, took the dog to the groomer’s and then I bought new furniture for my rec room.

I’m super excited about this! Our rec room is currently garbage, almost literally. We have a brand new TV down there and all our gaming systems. It’s meant to be the entertainment spot, the gaming spot, the spot to disappear and relax in, but in order to make that happen, it requires painting and new furniture. That furniture includes bookshelves.

excited jim carrey GIF

Currently, all of my books are still packed away in our laundry room, taking up space in U-Haul boxes. I’ve been dreaming about getting to unpack them and display them the way they should be.

And it’s finally happening!!!

Our couches are a custom order, so it’ll take 8 weeks before they are delivered, which leaves me 8 weeks to paint and put together bookshelves. After that, it’s quite possible you won’t see me again for a couple of weeks while I hunker down in my new comfy space and play PS4 until my eyes bleed.

That being said, when I woke up this morning I was still totally zapped. One way to guarantee I’ll perk up a little bit is good music. And I love a good soundtrack for reading.

Continue reading “Music Monday: The Flys – Got You Where I Want You”

Review: Fellside by M.R. Carey

“Rough edges were what you needed because they were what you sharpened yourself against. Nobody ever got sharp from lying in a feather bed.”

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★★½

Orbit | 2016

Opening Hook: Who knew arson could be boring?

Main Character: Could not be anymore self-torturing

Plot Twisty-ness: Good for insomnia


I was really interested in reading this book, but once I cracked this baby open my interest quickly petered out, giving way to an overall feeling of not really giving a shit mixed with annoyance and yawning.

Jess has been given heavy prison time for deliberately starting a house fire that not only destroyed her face and injured her asshole heroin addict boyfriend, but also killed a 10-year-old boy named Alex. Jess essentially martyrs herself, accepting her punishment with a heaping side of self-flagellation, deciding her time in prison will be short once she goes on a hunger strike/suicide mission. The only problem is, Jess can’t remember any of the sins she’s been told she committed, so she just takes everyone’s word for it (like you would.) As she withers away in the prison infirmary, dead Alex comes to her with an afterlife request – find out who really killed him, because he’s sure it wasn’t Jess and he can’t find peace without knowing.

Continue reading “Review: Fellside by M.R. Carey”

Review: It Takes One (Audrey Harte, #1) by Kate Kessler

“Doing a bad thing doesn’t make you a bad person. People do bad things for the right reasons all the time.”

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★★★★½

Redhook | 2016

Opening Hook: Better classified as a “meltdown”

Main Character: Small town child murderer

Plot Twisty-ness: The definition of twisty


Audrey Hart left Edgeport years ago after being released from the local juvie, Stillwater, for killing her best friend, Maggie’s, father when they were teenagers. She doesn’t regret it for a second – Maggie’s father was a daughter-raping piece of shit, and killing him – and the consequences that followed – have made Audrey who she is today: a successful child psychologist and contributor to a true crime tv show, Kids Who Kill.

When Audrey gets a call to return home to Edgeport, she’s dreading it. The whispers, the glances – all eyes are always on her whenever she’s in town. That is certainly true when Audrey walks into the local watering hole to pick up her drunk-ass father and Maggie spots her. They speak for the first time in years and it’s not friendly. Audrey gets mean, Maggie gets nasty, gets pushed onto her ass and Audrey storms off. The next morning Maggie is dead on the beach and Audrey is a suspect. 

So begins all the twisted, romantic, dramatic events that will lead to the disturbing and twisted discovery of just what exactly happened to Maggie. And when I say twisted, I mean twisted. There is so much history to unravel, so many secrets and lies to uncover, that while there aren’t necessarily many “thrilling” or “dangerous” moments, you are totally engaged the whole time.

There are just so many elements of this novel that I loved.

Continue reading “Review: It Takes One (Audrey Harte, #1) by Kate Kessler”