Mini-Review Dump💩: Bad Blood, Eight Perfect Murders and The 19th Christmas

Funny story (not really) – I was going through my Goodreads READ shelf and found a handful of books I never reviewed in 2020 because of course. Really, I barely kept it together in 2020 at all. It’s really a miracle I got out as many posts as I did.

So, um, yeahhhhh… enjoy (?) these reviews of books I read a year ago because this is not going to be my finest work.

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Reviews in this post:

  • Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
  • Eight Perfect Murders (Malcolm Kershaw, #1) by Peter Swanson
  • The 19th Christmas (Women’s Murder Club, #19) by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
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Review: When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McLain

“What is all the suffering for if not so we can see how alike we are, and not alone? Where will the mercy come from, if not from us?”

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★★★★

Ballantine Books | 2021

Filed Under: Hello darkness, my old friend


Well, I tell you what, if you’re in an emotional funk or mentally teetering on the edge of another bout of panny depression, do not read this book for the love of Thor and Loki’s butts in those toit-like-a-tiger outfits. Because this novel is sad, bitch.

I needed a nap and some serotonin by the time I was finished with it.

Detective Anna Hart is going through a hard time. She’s lost a child, lost herself and is about to lose her marriage. Hart decides the only way she might be able to find some perspective and some healing is if she leaves her current situation behind. She needs space to get herself together if there is any chance of moving past her grief and keeping her family.

She leaves San Fran for the small, country town of Mendocino, California where she grew up. Her dark present is about to compete with the tortured ghosts of her past in Mendocino. I mean, honestly, someone take this woman to an amusement park for the day. Just give her a reprieve from trauma. Everywhere you look with her it’s like dead parents, abandonment issues, dead foster parents, dead child, broken marriage, dead high school friends…

I’m not sure I’ve ever read a novel where one character was getting all of the dark shit, all of the time.

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Review: The Jigsaw Man (Inspector Anjelica Henley, #1) by Nadine Matheson

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★★★★½

Hanover Square Press | 2021

Filed Under: Hello, Clarice…


I haven’t read a police procedural this pure and detailed since Meg Gardiner’s last release. And y’all know how much I love Meg Gardiner. And if you didn’t, now you do because I just said it again.

If you are a fan of serial killers… wait, I don’t mean like a fan fan. That’s just weird. Get better idols, as Bailey Sarian would say. No, I mean if you are a fan of serial killer fiction – of the mystery and the pursuit and the suspense and the twisted games – then you want to read this novel.

It is a fucking fabulous police procedural. And I don’t say shit like that very often.

You want gritty? You got it. You want fucked up? It’s coming in hot. You need detailed and immersive? Buckle your seatbelt and keep your hands in the ride at all times.

But listen to what I’m saying, this is a procedural. If you do not like being in the narrative passenger seat of a police investigation, this probably isn’t going to be for you. And that’s totally legit. Why? Because all of this shit is subjective, Donna! It’s okay that we don’t all like the same things! That’s life.

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Let’s get that through our collective skulls, shall we? But I digress…

This is not a thriller. This is an investigation. And in my opinion, novels that pull off a really good procedural plot with this much perfection are few and far between. And it’s a debut novel? Fucking insanity.

Continue reading “Review: The Jigsaw Man (Inspector Anjelica Henley, #1) by Nadine Matheson”

Review: The Lost Village by Camilla Sten

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★★★½

Minotaur Books | 2021

Filed Under: Patrick Swayze’s subway ghost friend


If you wouldn’t spend a weekend camping in a probably haunted abandoned town with a nefarious past then we can’t be friends.

I’m not saying it’s at the top of my travel bucket list, but it’s definitely on there. Chernobyl? Yes, please! You wouldn’t want to go there? Minus all the radioactive nuclear issues and other terrible shit that happened, it’s got to be interesting and creepy. Perfect vacation destination! Or like just a stop on the itinerary. Please don’t make me sleep there.

Going into abandoned homes, snooping through all the stuff left behind like a time capsule – that’s a dream! A dream I’ll probably never get to do in real life, so a novel might be as close as I can get.

The Lost Village is all of these things, so fucking duh I was going to read it.

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DNF Mini-Review Dump💩: That Birds that Stay and The Year of the Witching

Just like my mini-reviews for books that I can’t find the will to write full reviews for, I’m going to lump together my DNF reviews, as well. Because, seriously, why would I devote a whole blog post to a book a couldn’t even devote full reading time to?

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Today’s DNF reviews:

  • The Birds that Stay (Russell and Leduc, #1) by Ann Lambert
  • The Year of the Witching (Bethel, #1) by Alexis Henderson

Buckle up for snark, bitches.

Continue reading “DNF Mini-Review Dump💩: That Birds that Stay and The Year of the Witching”

Mini-Review Dump💩: The Girl on Mill Street, The 20th Victim, The Only Good Indians and Killing for Sport – Inside the Minds of Serial Killers

As I continue on my quest to finally catch up on all my backlog reviews, here is another block of them for books that were just blah or meh or ugh. You’re welcome.

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Reviews in this post:

  • The Girl on Mill Street by Peter Gilboy
  • The 20th Victim (Women’s Murder Club, #20) by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
  • The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
  • Killing For Sport: Inside the Minds of Serial Killers by Pat Brown
Continue reading “Mini-Review Dump💩: The Girl on Mill Street, The 20th Victim, The Only Good Indians and Killing for Sport – Inside the Minds of Serial Killers”

Mini-Review Dump💩: A Good Marriage, When No One is Watching, Rewind and Come Closer

I’ve been agonizing over this for a while. And maybe I shouldn’t have been, because in the grand scheme of this thing called a simulation life, it doesn’t fucking matter at all. I know that. I get it. I’m hip.

But, we’re in a pandemic and I’ve been essentially stuck inside my house since March 2020, so I need to keep myself busy somehow. Stressing out over shallow shit is the point I’ve officially reach to occupy my mind. And also, maybe I can’t help it because my mental health is in crisis and I snap at literally anything. Woo!

It’s been difficult for me in this disheartening, upside down multiverse timeline we find ourselves in, to work up the motivation and energy to write and post my backlog reviews. When I think about doing it, I just get so…

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It occurred to me this might be because half of the backlog waiting for me is for books that didn’t really fire me up either way. One thing about me as a hobby-reviewer is that I need all the love or all the hate to enjoy writing a review. All these meh reviews are a damn slog to write.

But I still have to do them. This is a book blog. That’s kind of a large percentage of the point of this. But it’s also supposed to be a fun hobby, not work I dread. I have a job I’m late for every day already and I don’t need another. I’m making exactly zero dollars here, so this has to be a good time or I might as well delete the whole thing. And I’m not prepared to delete this site.

My solution – which came to me during my regular “stand in the shower and be depressed” morning ritual – is to just group together some books into one post of little baby reviews. It will be for meh reviews, short stories, novellas… anything that I don’t want to, or can’t, dedicate a whole post to.

Hopefully, I can make this post idea work and it doesn’t suck dick.

I’m still not sure about how to organize it or how to title it so you know what you’re getting, but I’ll work it out. Or I won’t. Who knows? Again, nobody is paying me so you get what you get.

So, I’ll stop rambling like a food blogger now and just get to the point.

Continue reading “Mini-Review Dump💩: A Good Marriage, When No One is Watching, Rewind and Come Closer”

Review: Dark August by Katie Tallo

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★★★½

HarperCollins | 2020

Filed Under: A Polite Canadian


I normally wouldn’t pick up a book like this because it’s thicc and sounds more like a contemporary with hints of suspense, but it’s set around my hometown in Niagara, Ontario so how and why would I pass up reading that? Obviously, I wouldn’t because here we are.

Do you know how many books are based in the Niagara area? Like, one. This one. Why? Because let’s get real, Niagara isn’t a thriving metropolis.

Maybe it used to be, but by the time I left most areas had nicknames like “the armpit of Niagara” or “the butthole of Niagara.”

Where did I live? The fucking taint. 

Like a taint, this novel is dark and gloomy; a family mystery wrapped around some community politics.

Augusta “Gus” Monet is basically a poor, aimless girl with little to her name and an abusive, shady AF boyfriend. When her grandmother dies, Gus comes into a little (seriously, very little) inheritance in the form of her grandmother’s house and whatever is inside of it, including an old dog named Levi. And the dog is honestly the best part of the whole novel, but I did spend a lot of time being paranoid something terrible was going to happen to him. If you’re the kind of person (like me) who needs to know if the dog dies going into a story, let me know and I’ll totally spoil it for you, no questions asked.

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Mystery/Thriller Releases for Q2 of 2021

Alright, listen. to write this post I’m pulling myself away from a very riveting conversation about a co-worker pretending to be engaged to a Bald Eagle.

I can’t get into details really, but she had a ring. Just know my entire body is buzzing with joy because the bird lady is just so pure and simple and strange. We need more of that in a world that is filled with 24/7 news about terrible shit.

Speaking of terrible shit, the last time I did a new release post it was the beginning of 2021 and we were quickly approaching the one-year anniversary of this pandemic. We were talking about mental health issues and reaching a breaking point, or that maybe you were feeling hopeful it was almost over as the vaccine rollout got underway.

Now here we are, half-way into April and I don’t know about you, but things have only gotten worse in Canada. Currently we’re in our third lockdown and second stay-at-home-order in Ontario. There are riots in Quebec over curfews that are now in discussion to hit Ontario . And getting a vaccine?! Fucking forget about it. The vaccine rollout in Canada is absolute trash. NO ONE KNOWS WHAT THEY’RE FUCKING DOING.

*deep breath*

It’s really starting to feel like Spring 2020: The Redux and I just…

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Anyway, since we’re most definitely heading into another pandemic summer of doing nothing at home once again, now seems like the best time to add even more books to our ever-growing TBRs.

All last spring and summer I spent almost every weekend renovating my backyard and creating huge garden beds that I only regret a little bit. So this year, my intention is to sit in my hammock and read every chance I get. Like, I should probably enjoy the backyard I poured so much money and sweat into.

Note to self: Buy a hammock.

Anyway, this is obviously not a comprehensive list of new releases, because I do not have the fucking time for that, but it’ll start us off and get us through until July. And there are some books on here I am hella excited about.

Get in losers, we’re doing curbside pickup!

Continue reading “Mystery/Thriller Releases for Q2 of 2021”

Review: The Little Sleep (Mark Genevich, #1) by Paul Tremblay

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★★½

Holt McDougal | 2009

Filed Under: A Narcoleptic Fever Dream


I’ve tried a couple of times, with different authors, to read this kind of hard-boiled, noir private detective story and… it’s just not for me.

That’s putting it nicely, which is unusual for me.

So, to put it not so nicely, I think this particular genre is supposed to come across as classic, intense and pulpy serious. The private dick is a man of the streets and a man of law. He’s balancing his day-to-day life against the seedy underbelly he’s wrapped up in as he seeks justice and upholds the law by sometimes playing outside of its lines. Ugh, so gritty and dark.

But to me, it’s fucking goofy as hell.

All I can think about it “Fast Talking High Trousers.”

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You can’t tell me I’m wrong! You can’t!

But supposing I was…

Continue reading “Review: The Little Sleep (Mark Genevich, #1) by Paul Tremblay”