Review: The Dirt on Ninth Grave (Charley Davidson, #9) by Darynda Jones

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★★★★

St. Martin’s Press | 2016

Opening Hook: Amnesia is a bitch

Main Character: Classic Charley, but Jane Doe

Plot Twisty-ness: Signature Charley adventures


I took a break from this series in order to catch up on some books that I owed reviews on, but since I was given the final book in the series through Netgalley, I’m back on the Charley Davidson bike, as it were. And I’m going to ride this son-of-a-bitch right to the finish line.

The ending of #8 was a little bit of a cliffhanger, but more than that it was just a bummer. Actually, the whole book was a bit of a bummer for me. I didn’t like how different it felt to everything else the series had been up to that point. It was a little heavier, a little too lovesick-romantic – just a little much all around, with not enough levity. It was like the series lost its way a little bit.

I’m happy to report, however, that #9 is a clear swing back around to Classic Charley. Only this time she has no idea who she is. She’s living a “just the essentials” kind of life as a waitress named Janey. She’s trying to figure out who she is, where her people are – she must have people, she has a wedding ring on after all! But she’s also just living her life without too much pressure.

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Happy Fucking Valentine’s Day!

It’s officially the day of love, my sweet nerdy bookworms!

I hope you have someone to spend the day with, whether that’s a partner or a friend or the pet that you love more than anything. This day doesn’t need to be only for romance, people! Celebrate whatever love you have in your life.

I’m a firm believer that if everyone had a love in their lives that made them truly happy, they wouldn’t be so concerned with what other people do in their private lives.

It’s only the miserable, loveless, secretly-in-the-closet assholes who want to put limits on other people’s lives.

Stop being assholes, and feel the love!!

Tonight, I have dinner reservations with my hubby. Then we’ll be seeing the new Taylor Schilling movie, The Prodigy. And then who knows…

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(We’ll probably get into bed and snuggle the dog.)

To be honest, I’m the most excited about all of the food I’m going to eat. This will be my first time cheating on my diet in six weeks! You can’t even imagine the number of calories I’m about to consume.

What are your plans? Do you care about this holiday at all? If you don’t, do you practice the art of not being an asshole about it? Namaste.

With that said, I want to spread the love to all you beautiful people in my own way even if you don’t care. So here’s a few Valentine’s from me, to you.

Spread the love, nerdos!

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Opinion: Withdrawing My Support of ‘Woman in the Window’ & AJ Finn Is Creepy AF

This might be the most exciting bit of news to hit the book world in I don’t even know how long. I mean, typically, I don’t think of the publishing world as very exciting with a lot of breaking news. It’s not like watching Trump trying to be President or anything.

But talk about a twisted bookish controversy that dropped this week!

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If you’re not yet aware, wunderkind author AJ Finn – aka Dan Mallory – is, allegedly, a total fucking sociopath and pathological liar.

Read the original article by Ian Parker for The New Yorker here and get ready to have your mind blown.

It’s a bit of a lengthy read, but totally worth it to get the full effect of the mindfuck that is Dan Mallory/AJ Finn.

I’ve been joking that I feel personally victimized by this epic bullshit because I so wholeheartedly pushed The Woman in the Window on anyone that I could. I dug that book hard. But I can’t, in good faith, let that be the case any longer. Does anyone care, probably not, but I just have to let it be known.

And to be honest, the real-life story of Dan Mallory is 100% more interesting than his book, at this point.

If you don’t have time to read the full article, I’m going to post some of my favourite bits from the expose here on my blog.

It should be noted, even though I’m not going to be writing at length about it, that the original article makes a really amazing point of how easy it is for white men to fail up, and how our institutions are constructed to let this happen, even when they are known pieces of shit.

Sorry, alleged pieces of shit.

Truly, it’s worth 30 minutes of your time.


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Review: How To Date Dead Guys (The Witch’s Handbook, #1) by Ann M. Noser

How to Date Dead Guys (The Witch's Handbook, #1)

★★

Curiosity Quills Press | 2014

Opening Hook: Complaining about being insecure.

Main Character: A 12-year-old stuck in a grown woman’s body

Plot Ghosty-ness: Sparkly ghosts are just as interesting to me as sparkly vampires


In my quest to keep my New Years resolution of catching up on old ARCs from NetGalley, I went back to the very oldest books on my shelf. I apparently requested this one back in 2016 and, honestly, I have no fucking idea why.

YA and I are not the best of friends. I try. I really do. But, I have a hard time finding YA thrillers that aren’t super lame or cheesy, or that can exist in the real world without requiring the main character to be rich and parentless and falling in love within a day in order to move the story along.

And though I occasionally read supernatural thrillers, supernatural romance is definitely not my thing. It never has been. To each other their own, but I find the genre dumb AF.

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So, why the hell do I have this book? Was I high? What could I have possibly been thinking when I requested it? Whatever the reason, here were are. I read the whole thing. I didn’t like it, but I read it.

This didn’t work for me for a number of reasons. For one, the title is misleading. It’s cute, but not accurate. No one is dating dead guys in this book. There’s just a university student who acts like she’s 12, and keeps blushing at the male ghosts that she accidentally brought back from whatever purgatory they were stuck in.

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True Crime Tuesday: The San Francisco Witch Killers

It’s the Month of Love! Is everyone excited? Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and you certainly don’t need to be partnered up to celebrate. Give yourself some love, go out with a friend and celebrate your friendship. Buy your furbaby a special treat and watch a movie snuggled up. Love is love, baby! It doesn’t need to be romantic to count.

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My husband and I have dinner reservations and then we’ll be going to see a movie if something that doesn’t suck is out. It’s nothing fancy. And honestly, we don’t really do anything at all for Valentine’s Day under normal circumstances, but after you’ve been together seven years, you tend to make a more concerted effort towards date nights and getting out of the house. It’s so easy to fall into a very contented, eventless life that doesn’t see much romance, like at all.

What better excuse than a day that is solely reserved for love? Nothing says love like a conservatively priced meal and movie gift cards!

There are couples who go all out for Valentine’s Day. A guy I work with is taking his long-time girlfriend to Cuba and will be proposing to her. That’s one for the books!

Other couples prefer to keep the romance alive all year long and don’t need a special day as an excuse to get out of the house. Maybe they’re consistently doing little things for each other, trying to make the rest of us look bad. Maybe they have a standing date night every Friday where they pull popsicle sticks out of a jar and do whatever idea is written on the stick, like some Pinterest-level experts.

Or maybe they start practicing the occult and murdering witches!

In the spirit of the Month of Love, I’ll be writing up the stories of Killer Couples for the next couple of weeks.

First up, Michael and Suzan Carson, The San Francisco Witch Killers.


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Review: Her Last Move by John Marrs

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★★★½

Thomas & Mercer | 2018

Opening Hook: A subway nightmare, and I’m not talking about Jared.

Main Character: Trying to do it all, failing.

Plot Twisty-ness: Twisty, but in a depressing way


I don’t know why I thought this was going to be a serial killer “thriller”… I mean, in some ways it is. There is a serial killer. And cops. And stuff is happening.

But, holy shit, this might be the most depressing crime fiction novel I’ve ever read. This just hit me right in all my sad feels like a British episode of This Is Us or some shit.

I don’t want to give up any spoilers, but I will say this: one of the main reasons I love crime fiction so much – besides the psychologically fascinating elements – is that the good guys win and the bad guys lose.

The world is shitty enough and bad guys seem to win a lot, especially lately. So, it’s nice to be able to immerse yourself in a world where the bad guy is going to get his just desserts. That’s why these stories work for so many people. We want to know, despite the evidence around us, that good will triumph over evil.

And for that to not necessarily happen in a way that feels satisfying like it usually does with novels of this kind, it’s a little bit of a punch in the gut.

Kudos to John Marrs for bringing everyone down, I guess.

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Book Nook Sunday: 02.03.2019

Happy Sunday, lovers and bitches!!

It’s the end of the weekend (boo), but before another work week begins again I like to take advantage of Sundays by being as lazy as humanly possible.

Need a shower? Better take it Saturday night.

Husband wants a kiss? He better deal with my morning breath without complaint, because this girl hasn’t brushed her teeth yet.

A change of clothes? I don’t know what those words mean!

Bras do not exist to me on Sundays!

The only things that do exist are books. Sunday is my favourite day for getting some reading done. I basically dedicated the whole day to lying in bed and blizting some chapters. And I myself might also get a little blitzed, if you catch my drift that smells suspiciously of weed.

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Review: Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

“Little girls are different from little boys: they’re made of sugar and spice and scar for life.”

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★★★★

Flatiron Books | 2017

Opening Hook: It’s probably a lie.

Main Character: Unreliable narrator meets Weekend at Bernie’s.

Plot Twisty-ness: Everything but the kitchen sink.


Truthfully, I only read this because I found out Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ellen are turning it into a mini-series. And I am not the kind of Buffy fangirl to ignore a Sarah Michelle project. So here were are.

I’m so sorry to my more discerning thriller friends who really didn’t like this and were hoping I’d be busting in here with a signature snotty review about how crap this book is; how it took every element of a thriller novel it could possibly fucking think of and used all of them on one character in a short 260-page sitting.

But I’m not.

Because this entertained the fuck out of me.

Maybe I’m still feeling the holiday glow that’s keeping my heart three times its normal size, like the Grinch, but this book hit me in all the right psychological thriller sweet spots. I was so enamoured that I read it over one Saturday afternoon.

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DNF Review: Murder on the Rocks by Clara Nipper

“I’m fighting crime with my twat.”

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Bold Stroke Books | 2016

Opening Hook: Bullets and blood and zero follow-up

Main Character: SUCH A DICKHOLE

Plot Twisty-ness: I mean, the butt plug was unexpected so…


Soooooo, honestly what the fuck is this? It’s been a while since I read something this cringe-worthy.

Part of my bookish New Years resolutions is to tackle my backlog of Netgalley arcs that I’ve been putting off reading. This is one of those books. And it’s going to be my first DNF @ 48%.

First of all, let’s talk about how this is presented to the reader – as a detective crime fiction novel. But, as far as I read, this book fits that category in only the most liberal sense of the genre.

The main character, Jill Roberts, is a detective. Check.

She visits a couple of crime scenes. Check.

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Review: The Girls Are Gone by Michael Brodkorb & Allison Mann

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★★★★

Wise Ink Creative Publishing | 2018

Opening Argument: Your Honour, this case comes down to one fact – this fucking bitch is cray.

The Clients: One bad mommy, one fucked over father.

Plot Truthy-ness: Told factually with care, but emotionally leaning to one side.


I was offered this book by the authors and their book publicist in exchange for a review. At first, I was like, Woo! True crime! But then I read the description and was like, No one dies? This is going to be boring.

But, shit was I wrong! Who knew family court drama could be so fucking crazy? I mean, I suppose I should have because I’ve been through a little bit of this myself (my husband has custody of his kids for a reason,) but nothing I’ve witnessed my husband deal with really comes close to the levels of nuttiness presented in this true tale.

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