Booknerd Wednesday: Top 10 Books with Buzz!

What are books with buzz you might ask? Or maybe you won’t. Maybe you just inherently understand the concept of buzz and things having said buzz.

If not, here’s the idea: these are the books I keep hearing about. There are also probably the books you keep hearing about.

It’s the incessant little noise that floats around you, that you are picking up on without really even intentionally acknowledging it.

bzzzzzzz….read me….bzzzzzz

Son-of-a-bee-sting, these are the most buzz-worthy books around right now… (PS. my “buzz index” is a completely arbitrary scale that means basically nothing, wutwut!)


Continue reading “Booknerd Wednesday: Top 10 Books with Buzz!”

Review: The Body Reader (Detective Jude Fontaine, #1) by Anne Frasier

28090850★★★★

Opening Hook:  The human equivalent of an animal caught in a trap

Main Character: Needs to get laid, but also doesn’t

Plot Twisty-ness: If a roller coaster was an onion


I have to say I really liked this. It’s dark. It’s interesting. There are so many layers to the story, to the mystery. It’s never what you think it is.

I’ve never read anything by Anne Frasier before, though I do have a few of her books on my TBR shelf. I will definitely be moving those books closer to the top of the list.

Det. Jude Fontaine makes a daring escape after 3 years in captivity. She’s not herself anymore. She’s been subjected to unknown tortures and horrors. She sees everything in the world with new eyes, including herself.

Clawing her way back to some semblance of mental health, Jude goes back to work as a Homicide detective, while trying to find new ways to just be alive. (Sleeping on the roof, for instance.) Everything about Jude is switched off after her return. She has no sense of humour, she is flat and unemotional. She doesn’t know how to exist anymore. And this starting point requires that the other plot elements, and secondary characters, have some A+ development. 

Continue reading “Review: The Body Reader (Detective Jude Fontaine, #1) by Anne Frasier”

Review: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

This is how you ends for you. “You’ll be silent forever, and I’ll be gone in the dark,” you threatened a victim once. Open the door. Show us your face. Walk into the light.

35068432★★★★½

Crimes: 12+ murders, 50+ rapes, 120+ burglaries

Crime Fighter: A true crime junkie who should be alive to witness the conclusion of her life’s work

Plot Truthiness: Everything you could want to know without being a cop on the case


This is a beautiful work of non-fiction/true crime.

The East Area Rapist, the Original Night Stalker, the Visalia Ransacker, the Easy Bay Rapist, the Dollner Street Prowler, the Diamond Knot Killer…

This killer has gone by many names, but the one you’ll be hearing the most is the Golden State Killer. A term coined by the late Michelle McNamara, a true crime writer/junkie/amateur detective, whose life mission was to see this most prolific villain unmasked after a reign of terror that lasted more than a decade, and that he has been (was) getting away with for over 40 years.

Michelle McNamara died on April 21, 2016. She was nearly done her tome about GSK. Her husband, comedian Patton Oswalt, as well as Michelle’s research partner and a journalist friend, finished the book for her. They knew Michelle needed to see this published. It was her life’s work, her greatest obsession.

Continue reading “Review: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara”

Booknerd Wednesday: Female Sleuths You Need To Know (Other Than Nancy Drew)

Most of us ladies who are obsessed with crime fiction likely got our start reading Nancy Drew when we were young girls in pigtails; young girls who didn’t really want to play the games our friends were playing. We liked puzzles and being observant and maybe kids thought we were weird or awkward. We watched Goonies and Ghost Writer and read The Babysitters Club. We wanted to go on a mystery adventure and solve a crime! So we played at being Nancy Drew with our Sailor Moon “casebooks”, watching from our windows and writing down the neighbours’ activities as if we were going to catch them doing something sinister, like rolling a body into a carpet.

calm down bruce campbell GIF by Ash vs Evil Dead

And as we got older, we moved on to more adult crime fiction mysteries, but always gravitated towards Nancy like characters – Veronica Mars, Olivia Benson, Clarice Starling. Because Nancy had taught us it was okay to be into what we were into. We’ve never forgotten Nancy even though we have grown up. She’s frequently cited as an inspiration by writers and readers alike. Her name is mentioned in my “about” page for this blog, and I have been working on a collection of her books for a few years, picking them up from antique markets and used books store. (Only the old yellow paper covers, none of that plastic reprint crap.)

But let’s be real for a moment – in hindsight, Nancy was kind of boring, tame. A true basic bitch. She was rich and white and polite, doing her sleuthing in sweet collared dresses and Mary-Jane pumps with a perfectly coiffed flipped bob. Of course, the series started in the 1930s, so what do you expect? There wasn’t really any room for Nancy to change societal norms drastically, nor was there a market for it. Really, if you go back to those original books, you’ll find them to be shockingly racist and anti-feminist in a lot of their elements. Again, what do you expect from the time?

Continue reading “Booknerd Wednesday: Female Sleuths You Need To Know (Other Than Nancy Drew)”

Review: In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

“It was growing dark, and somehow the shadows made it feel as if all the trees had taken a collective step towards the house, edging in to shut out the sky.”

30345407★★★

This is an atmospherical oddball psychological mystery suspense novel that I liked….and at the same time I fucking hated? Like I’m so torn. Save me.

Here’s the problem. The main protagonist, Nora, is a fucking loser. I’m just going to put it out there. She’s a loser.

She’s 26 years old and still pining away for the boyfriend she had when she was 16. Come on! Ok, sure, it was a messy breakup, he broke your heart into a million tiny teenager girl shaped pieces and you never got closure. But how does someone never move on, like at all? Has she ever had sex with someone else? Gone on a date? Apparently not. So just…come on!

How many grown ass women are out there decidedly becoming Bridget Jones re-virginanized spinsters because their high school sweetheart peaced-out during a difficult time in your life? SHOW OF HANDS PLEASE…I won’t judge, despite what this review might suggest. I just need a headcount and to tell you to get over it! Find a man (not a boy) that knows how to work a G-spot and you’ll be over that high school flake in no time. Gotdamnit, NORA!

“I have not spoken to him for ten years, but I thought of him every single day.”

BARF.

Continue reading “Review: In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware”

True Crime Tuesday: The Cold Case of April Tinsley

One of the most fascinating things happening in the crime solving world right now is the use of genealogy databases, like Ancestry and 23 And Me, to solve cold cases.

Most recently, and maybe most famously, we saw it this year when the Golden State Killer was finally apprehended after 40+ years undetected.

Privacy and ethic debates aside, I actually think it’s brilliant to be looking for matches this way if it gets more wastes of fucking oxygen off the street.

In the case I want to tell you about for this week’s instalment of TCT, the Fort Wayne Police Department ran testing on DNA evidence from a 1988 cold case using a genealogy database and came back with hits on two living brothers of the DNA source.

That’s ah-meezing.

What are killers supposed to do? “Hey, family? Please don’t give your DNA over to 23 and Me. The police might find out I’m a serial killer they’ve been hunting for the last 30 or so years. Okay? Thanks, great talk.”

sea man singing GIF

This is the Cold Case of April Tinsley.

Continue reading “True Crime Tuesday: The Cold Case of April Tinsley”

Review: Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

29437949★★★

I am feeling pretty meh about this whole thing.

I don’t know if it was the hype, or my standards are at some level not even I understand, but you guys seemed to effing love this and for me, it fell short of “special.”

It got off to a slow start. There’s an obvious underlying thread of unease to Grace and Jack’s marriage – her the beautiful housewife and him the successful lawyer – that you are quick to pick up on, but it takes quite a while to get around to just how nefarious Jack actually is. And by the time his true self is revealed, the story has taken on a stagnant quality.

Oh, more threats about Millie? Great. Did you want to use the word “perfect” a few hundred more times? Excellent. Grace’s friends are going to continue to think nothing is fucking weird as all hell? Okie-dokie.

So much focus is put on the small interactions, the paranoia Grace experiences in trying to figure out just how to act, and just what to say, in order to “win” against Jack, that it becomes quite tedious to read. And the plausibility is laughable (unless you’re really into it, which you might be!) – a high powered attorney who wins big and has his face splashed on the news, who probably works 60 hour weeks, also has time to monitor every single thing Grace does, to intercept all interactions, to feed her and care for her like a pet? How would any regular person have the energy for this – let alone a successful, busy attorney? …Even if he is a fucking looney-toon.

Continue reading “Review: Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris”

Music Monday: Foo Fighters – Best of You

Image result for foo fighters the best of youI’ve opened up on here a little bit before about my previous relationship – the one before I met my husband. Bottom line: it was toxic and abusive. I don’t want to get into the details, but I do want to talk about my TBT post last week.

If you read it, you know I was seeing the Foo Fighters that night in Toronto. It meant a lot more to me than I could explain to be going to this concert. It was a total bucket list item for me. Here’s one big reason why:

In 2012, when I was working up the courage to leave that bad relationship, I listened to The Best of You by the Foo Fighters pretty endlessly. When I was finally out of that bad relationship, I listened to The Best of You more still, to keep me from giving in (“no one else will ever want you“) and going back, like I had multiple times before.

It became my anthem.

Continue reading “Music Monday: Foo Fighters – Best of You”

Review: The Lies They Tell by Gillian French

35887572★★½

Opening Hook: Rich people get lit (on fire.)

Main Character: A copy of a copy of a copy…

Plot Twisty-ness: Kiddie-rollercoaster levels.


I was really hoping this was going to be sweaty, atmospheric summer thriller. But I only got 1 out of 2 from that list.

Depending on what’s important to you – the atmosphere or the thrills – you’re either going to love this or not.

Immediately upon starting this I got a Revenge meets Gossip Girl meets Riverdale vibe. It’s got that spoiled teens with no adult supervision in the Hamptons thing going on.

It’s very rich versus poor. The pool owners and the pool cleaners. The haves and the have-nots.

The novel opens with a bang, so to speak, when the Haves suffer a tragedy the year prior – the Garrison estate goes up in flames, killing four members of the family. The only survivor is their teenage son, Tristan. The town is straight shooketh, casting blame and suspicion on the members of the Have Nots, because of course the poor people want to kill the “elites.” Right, ‘Murica?

the kingsmen laughing GIF by Collider

Continue reading “Review: The Lies They Tell by Gillian French”

Review: A French Quarter Violet by E.J. Findorff

34340697★★½

Opening Hook: Vague and underwhelming

Main Character: Way too focussed on the tingles in her hoo-ha

Plot Twisty-ness: A disconnected jumping of the shark


This book was super frustrating for me because it has the bones of something that could have been really, really good. But the execution was off; the focus was not on the right things so choices in the plot felt clunky, and out of place.

Set in New Orleans, I was desperately seeking to be overwhelmed with that atmosphere. To feel the weather, to hear the culture, to have the architectural city streets  at the forefront of the scene creation. But it never came. The author brought in some Voodoo elements, but it didn’t fit with the rest of the book. Either go full New Orleans – dark and magical and historic – a Skeleton Key tone. Or follow the erotic, police procedural lane that 75% of the book was in – a Double Jeopardy tone. The two didn’t mesh well.

Honestly, I would have totally preferred a dark and magical New Orleans thriller, with voodoo and a sexually deviant serial killer. Like I said, the bones were there and it should have hit the gas in that lane instead of coasting in and out of the lines.

It just never came together the way it should. It didn’t feel like it knew what it wanted to be, hence the “clunky”.

Continue reading “Review: A French Quarter Violet by E.J. Findorff”