Review: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

34848682★★★★★

I went into this reading experience with full blown anxiety triggered by a library return date breathing down my neck.

I assumed there was not enough time for me to get through this because my weekend included my in-laws staying over and a front hall closet renovation. I decided to try anyway, because I ain’t no quitter. I opened this Saturday night, so completely aware that I had a Monday morning deadline that I got a little high first to set my nerves.

And guess what bitches!? I blew through this baby so hard I gave myself TMJ.

(My TMJ is a true story, but it’s not the book I blew through that gave it to me.)

Look, the truth is that this is not a groundbreaking novel, or even particularly original in it’s overall concept. I see a lot of middle-of-the-road reviews from my friends who just didn’t get into it, who thought it was overhyped and underwhelming and I understand. I think those reviews had a “Lowered Expectations” effect on me, because I FUCKING LOVED THIS BOOK.

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Review: The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen

30654172★★★

This novel reads like the author really likes to watch the Hallmark Channel or Lifetime movies. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, if you’re into that.

Lort knows, I’ve binged all of the Aurora Teagarden movies like a fucking champ.

The Vanishing Season ticks off a lot of boxes on the “Cozy Lifetime Mystery Checklist.”

That’s a thing. Let’s go through it…

In a small town (✔️), Abigail Hathaway, who now goes by Ellery and escaped a serial killer as a teenager, (✔️) is now a cop herself (✔️). But no one knows about her dark past (✔️) and she intends to keep it that way. Ellery, with knowledge no one else has (✔️) connects three seemingly unrelated missing persons’ cases that she’s never worked on (✔️) and decides there must be a copycat killer in her tiny town (✔️), but no one believes her (✔️) and won’t, unless she outs her true identity (✔️). What this killer really wants is her (✔️)! The killer starts to leave her notes and packages to let her know he knows who she is, and is watching her (✔️).

Ellery calls for backup in the form of a disgraced FBI agent (✔️), who also happens to be the same agent that saved her from certain death all those years ago (✔️).

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Review: Eighth Grave After Dark (Charley Davidson, #8) by Darynda Jones

22922356★★

It physically hurts to say this, like I have bad gas, but I must tell the truth: I did not like this book.

I really do love this series and the characters have a special place in my heart, but WHAT IN THE HOLY-HELL IS GOING ON?

This can be my problem with long running series: at some point the author wants to take things to a new, unexpected level, but because the story has been going on for so long the only place left to take readers is right off the fucking rails.

And this is the book in Charley Davidson’s adventures that dropped off the tracks and decided to go careening off a bridge.

First of all, this book read more like a romance erotica novel than a true Charley Davidson instalment.

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Booknerd Wednesday: My Real Life Creepy Story & Mystery Writing Exercise

I grabbed this off of Goodreads and I think we have to do it for obvious reasons that are so obvious I’m not even going to list them.

But, this would be a kind of short post if it was all we did, so I figure let’s turn it into a bit of a creative writing exercise! And why not? We’re all either in love with novels or secretly wishing to write one, or both!

This is Booknerd Wednesday – we can do whatever the hell we want around here, like we’re guests on the Maury show.

So, Step One: Find the title of your mystery bestseller…

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My bestselling mystery novel is…… *unenthusiastic drum roll*

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Review: Into The Black Nowhere (UNSUB, #2) by Meg Gardiner

35157879★★★★★

OKAY, FIRST OF-FUCKING-ALL: YASSS Queen YAS!

And second: I’m so depressed this is over.

I’m not religious, but over this Easter weekend I’ve decided I worship at the printing press of Meg Gardiner. And her books are my bible.

If you’re interested in my new religion, let me know. Maybe I’ll make some pamphlets.

I’m completely blown away by this instalment in the UNSUB series. I think I literally peed my pants over the first one, and it seemed a completely impossible task that an author would deliver an equally pee-pants worthy followup.

But, I’m peeing my pants right now. (Not really. I’m at work. No one would appreciate that.)

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Book Nook Sunday: 04.01.18

Happy Zombie Jesus Weekend!

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Today is also April Fool’s day which seem totally appropriate to have over Easter…I’m sorry, it’s just too easy a joke to make.

Obviously, I’m not a religious person, unless you count my all-out worship of Meg Gardiner, so instead I’ll be celebrating Spring/Canadian Mud season by starting a home renovation project that’s been on my mind for months and months.

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We’ll finally be converting my front hall closet from an annoying semi-functional regular closet into an open mudroom-type thing and I’m pretty excited about it.

A heads up to all you youngins who may be reading this…converting closets are the kinds of things that start to get your rocks off after you turn 30. Prepare yourself accordingly.

I’m not sure how much reading I’ll be able to get done in the middle of all this renovation stuff, but I’ve got these two books in my arsenal:

 

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Review: Her Last Day (Jessie Cole, #1) by T.R. Ragan

34671960★★★

I hate writing reviews for novels that didn’t get me fired up one way or the other.

Gushing reviews are easy. Angry reviews are fun.

But a blah review?

I mean, it’s well, blah, and it doesn’t give me the creative spark to live up to my potential as a sassy reviewer ’round these parts.

Sooooo yeaahhhhh….I’m having a hard time deciding how I feel about this offering by T.R. Ragan.

You’ve got all the makings of success in my eyes, typically: A female P.I., a personal mystery, an interesting sub-plot and a serial killer on the loose.

Those are some big plot lines that have half the magic built right into them, all the author needs to do is throw in a little glitter and fire. Somehow this novel manages to be just okay – it’s missing the glitter and fire.

I see a lot of reviews calling it a fast-paced thriller and um…

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Review: Never Never (Detective Harriet Blue, #1) by James Patterson & Candice Fox

27993244★★½

Literally two of my three book-related New Years Resolutions for 2018 were to stop reading James Patterson and I’ve already failed. It’s only March! What is wrong with me?!

Don’t answer that.

My only consolation is that this wasn’t totally fucking awful.

Candice Fox is an excellent writer on her own. She’s obviously the reason this book is at least relatively well written, if not still an emotional flatliner that is full of logic-holes.

It maintains the typical Patterson style of short chapters and colourful characters who lack depth, plus the typical “detective chasing a serial killer” plot that doesn’t attempt to bring anything new to the genre.

But what this book does have, that other Patterson novels don’t, is more realistic dialogue and a female lead that doesn’t irritate me because she calls everyone “butterfly” and has hugs her friends because she hasn’t seen them for a whole five minutes.

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True Crime Tuesday: The Watcher

This is literally one of my favourite true crime stories ever.

And it’s not even a very robust one. There’s no blood or guts or dead bodies or serial killers or murder or a known villain. But it is seriously the creepiest shit out there right now and I love it.

Since it all started it has become somewhat of an Urban Legend and landed the location on Thrillist’s list of creepiest urban legends in every state. But is it an urban legend? A media hoax? A way to drive down real estate prices? Or some very real, very creepy shit? Honestly, no one knows. But as you’ll read, it has real world implications for two families.

At this point in our earth’s history, are you even really living if you aren’t on the verge of a full-on panic attack? So let me and the Water help you live your best life by scaring the shit out of you.

Okay, here we go…

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Review: Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin

23746004★★★½

This is just an OK book about O.J. Simpson.

Oh, I’m sorry, it’s not about O.J. Simpson? He’s just talked about incessantly?

My bad.

So, this is a pretty good suspense-mystery that is not about O.J. Simpson.

But who are we kidding? There really is no O.J. mystery.

He did it.

Black-Eyed Susans follows Tessa, the only surviving victim of a serial killer. Known as “the lucky one”, her body was left in a ditch covered in the ominous yellow flowers and surrounded by the remains of three other women. Now 32, with a daughter, and a life she’s scraped together with determination and strength, Tessa has to face the consequences of the testimony she gave at her accused killer’s trial…because she’s not totally convinced the right man is behind bars.

But just like everyone else in the history of mystery novels, the bitch has amnesia and can’t remember what happened to her. Dun dun dunnnn…

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With the execution looming, Tessa teams up with the inmate’s lawyers and forensic experts, to find the truth. Who were the other victims? Is her killer still free? Where did her best friend disappear to fifteen years ago? And who keeps planting black-eyed-susans in her garden?

And ALSO, just what do Americans think Canadian bacon is?

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