Booknerd Wednesday: Holiday-Themed Reads!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, booknerds!

And I mean that in the most inclusive way possible. There are 11 holidays celebrated this time of year by people of all different backgrounds. And that’s just what I know of. It is completely possible that there are more celebrations that I’m ignorant to. 

It doesn’t matter what you celebrate this time of year, I want your holidays to be everything that you want them to be. I want you to wish people whatever lovely greeting you choose to and I want you to be happy and loved.

For me and my little family, we are celebrating Yule/Saturnalia. And I need my Yule to include some goddamn murder! 

That’s right, I said it. With the stress of shopping and wrapping and getting the house in order for family and friends, I like to wind down at the end of the day with some dead bodies and a big mystery to unravel. 

Nothing says “Christmas” like blood in the snow. 

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So if you’re anything like me, maybe you’re looking to build your TBR in December around some winter holiday themed crime fiction. And because I love you all so much, I’ve put together a list of what I think are your best bets to add to your pile. 

Here’s my fucking list of the top holiday-theme books to quench your thirst for death this season! 


Continue reading “Booknerd Wednesday: Holiday-Themed Reads!”

Personal: Why I’ve been (kind of) MIA This Month

Don’t go assuming the worst. It’s nothing earth-shattering. I’m not dying or anything like that. 

But I do want to write this, just to say I feel so bummed that I haven’t been writing as much as I want to this month. And I’m not reading as much as I want to this month.

There are two things to blame for this. 

One. It was my birthday recently and my husband got me Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. Needless to say, I dove into it pretty hard with both feet and any moment I don’t have some responsibility to take care of, I’ve been playing that game instead of reading/writing.

On the bright side, I’ve been learning a lot about Greek history. And your girl is not usually the scholarly type when it comes to geography and history. Or math. Or science. Or really anything that requires too much of my left brain.

Take last night for instance. I said to my husband: “This quest says to go to Athens, but I don’t see Athens on the map. Is Athens a real place? Where is Athens? Is it a country? Or the whole continent?” And my husband nearly choked on his cookie. 

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I take full responsibility for this current game addiction. Okay, maybe not full. Like, if you guys want to blame my husband for like 20% of this I wouldn’t argue. He did buy me the game after all. 

Anyway, speaking of responsibilities, this is where issue Number Two comes in. It rained in my basement. 

Continue reading “Personal: Why I’ve been (kind of) MIA This Month”

Booknerd Wednesday: Haunted Libraries (#Blogoween)

Happy Hump Day, ghouls and ghosts!

Halloween is getting closer with each passing day and I’m so excited about it that I’ve literally been living off of pumpkin pie and bite-sized candy for the last week.

…I don’t feel good.

So, while I try to maintain a normal blood-sugar level, it’s time for another #Blogoween post!

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What is Blogoween, you ask? Well, I’ll damn-well tell you. It’s a month-long celebration of Halloween on your blog with daily prompts and different levels of post commitment. Find out how to sign up for the Blogoween event here. And a list of all the prompts is here.

Today’s prompt was local haunted hot spots. Turns out that my area isn’t exactly hopping with good ghost stories, from what I can google/gather, so I decided to take the prompt and turn into something a little bit more suited for Booknerd Wednesday.

Today we’re going to check out some of the most haunted libraries around the world!

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Whether you believe in ghosts or not is completely irrelevant. We’re not here to discuss the merits of life after death. Although I will say, once people start reporting ghosts whispering “it’s Britney, bitch,” and “what’s the wifi password?” I might give a little bit more credence to the idea.

Right now, it seems like every ghost is wearing civil war uniforms and women are in bonnets, bemoaning a lost husband. Where are all the modern ghosts in trucker hats and flared jeans haunting a Starbucks? Where are my feminist ghosts at?

Continue reading “Booknerd Wednesday: Haunted Libraries (#Blogoween)”

Review: Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison

“The words I’ve heard in the past few days are ones I never expected – new, untried, untested. Casket. Body. Funeral. Viewing. Embalming. Autopsy. Severed. Seven-inch non-corrosive steel blade. Homicide.”

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★★★★

MIRA | 2018

Opening Hook: Broken bones, broken dreams

Main Character: Shouldn’t keep blood secrets when your sister works with DNA

Plot Twisty-ness: Are coincidences considered twists?


Okay, okay, OKAY. Y’all know I love me some J.T. Ellison.

It all started with her Taylor Jackson series a damn decade ago (ugh, that makes me feel old) and I’ve been a loyal reader ever since. I love tough women writing tough women, it’s a thing.

Ellison’s move from series writer to standalones started with Lie to Me, which most people loved, except for yours truly.

What can I say? I’m a picky fucking reader.

I had a few issues with the pacing of Lie to Me (the second half sucked the life out of it) and with the ending (“it was all for nothing, just a giant misunderstanding” doesn’t really work for me. that’s not a twist,) but I’m happy to say that I liked Tear Me Apart a lot. I didn’t love it. It’s not the best thing I’ve read this year, but it’s a good read. It’s not a waste of your time, at all.

And we all know how much I hate wasting my reading time.

Continue reading “Review: Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison”

Fave Five: Creepy Crawlies (#Blogoween)

Happy Friday, Book Monsters! And to all my fellow Canadians, Happy Thanksgiving!!

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I wish this long weekend was going to be relaxing – full of reading, and eating candy I shouldn’t be putting into my body – but unfortunately, I’ll be hosting a Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday, which will also double as a birthday family party for my husband. Which means I need to go home and immediately clean my house and prepare. REAL TALK: I fucking hate being a hostess y’all!

No one ever tells you that if you’re the oldest child the role of hostess becomes your unofficial job like allllllll the time after you buy a house.

It is not fair. But I’ll do it.

My in-laws will be crossing the border from NY and spending the whole weekend with us as well, so that’s draining fun.

I figure, I better do a post today because I’m likely not going to be floating around the blogosphere very much for the next 3 or 4 days.

And I just want to say, being a deeply introverted person, the anticipation of a big family weekend always gives me a low-rumbling anxiety. Sometimes I sneak away from the gathering to reclaim my energy – I think of it like when you’re playing a game and you hide your character behind a wall in a corner from the fight until your health starts to regenerate.

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True Crime Tuesday: A Ghastly Halloween Double Murder

IT’S FINALLY HAPPENING!

*deep breaths*

It’s officially October which means my month-long celebration of Halloween can commence.

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At home you will find me decorating, watching scary movies and buying bite-sized boxes of candy from Costco, eating it all before Halloween night, then buying more. Good times.

I love Halloween so effing much. It’s my favourite time of year (which I think is true of most of us around here judging by the number of pumpkins currently spicing everybody’s posts), but because I love it so much, I can’t just leave my Halloween festivities at home. I’ve got to bring it here to share with all of you in my little corner of the internet, as well.

I started with a brand new header for my blog. Please check it out and let me know what you think! Consider it me putting out jack-o-lanterns on my front porch.  Except instead of a porch it’s a blog home page… something like that.

And next up is going to be Halloween-themed True Crime Tuesday posts for the next month. That’s right! I’m going to fill your booknerd noggins with terrifying stories of people being murdered on Halloween so that when that spooky night rolls around you’ve really got that festive scared-out-of-your-mind feeling!

You’re welcome. I love you.

First up, a story of unknown motive and Halloween nightmares. The murders of Adriane Insogna and Leslie Mazzara.

Continue reading “True Crime Tuesday: A Ghastly Halloween Double Murder”

Review: Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

“What about the house? The pentacle? The empty coffins? The symbols written in blood?!”

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★★★

Double Day Books | 2017

Opening Jinky-Twist: Even the unmasked bad guys get parole, too.

Main Meddling Characters: We couldn’t have come up with anyone less annoying?

Plot Zoinx-y-ness: A dogshit-sized amount of non-stop action


Here’s a fun fact about me: one of my go-to stress relieving past times is getting high as a motherfucking kite and watching Scooby Doo.

I have always had an affinity for mystery-solving kids because I myself wanted to be a mystery-solving kid. But it turns out that I had really boring neighbours growing up, so I had to live vicariously through shows like Ghostwriter, The Secret World of Alex Mack and the Scooby Gang.

I suppose it says something about my love for Scooby Doo that I still watch it in my 30s (not taking into consideration that it’s readily available on Netflix.) It’s just that nowadays I’ve turned it into more of an adult activity.

So kick me in the crotch and spit on my neck if I wasn’t through-the-roof excited to find that someone had taken my Scooby Gang and turned it into an adult caper! Not only that, it’s mixed with a little Lovecraft flare?!

THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED IN YOUR LIFE, my heart screamed.

Turns out, my heart jumped the gun and it is still firmly in the “cartoons and weed” category.

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That’s not to say that this wasn’t a fun read. It totally was. It just didn’t live up to the hype or the nostalgia it so clearly was trying to honour.

Continue reading “Review: Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero”

Fave Five: My Favourite Villains in Crime Fiction

Omigod, you guys, it’s Friday! I can’t believe I made. Honestly I almost fell asleep at work numerous times. Anyone else feel like this week dragged on foreverrrr?

I say IT’S FRIDAY!!! like I’m going to party or something. No. You should know me better than that by now. I went to the Foo Fighters concert last Thursday and it took a LITERAL WEEK for me to recover from being up until 3:30 in the morning. That is not even a joke. I wish it were.

Welcome to your 30s.

Even if I did have a quicker recovery time like I used to, I’m an introvert. I don’t want to party. Ugh, what a nightmare!

busy bel powley GIF by Carrie Pilby The Movie

A blissful Friday to me looks more like laying in bed, eating low-calorie popcorn, and not worrying about how late I read or watch TV because I don’t have to be up for work the next day.

Paradise.

Continue reading “Fave Five: My Favourite Villains in Crime Fiction”

Fave Five: Canadian Authors

If you’re in the US right now everything is red, white and blue for Independence Day. The month of July gets y’all fired up and feeling aggressively patriotic. Fireworks and eagles, and 1 in 3 people predicting a civil war, and immigrant children in cages. It’s amazing.

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Here in Canada, July has a similar effect. The 1st is Canada Day, our birthday. Everything is red and white, beavers and fireworks and our Prime Minister probably out somewhere taking selfies. True North, Strong and Free, bitches!

Most people don’t even realize we’re celebrating a thing at all. And that’s fine, really, because we know and we go all out, covering ourselves in maple syrup and doing sexual things with hockey sticks. Maybe. Probably. Whatever. Don’t judge.

But it got me thinking, we Canadians have a lot to be proud of that doesn’t necessarily get recognized across borders until someone like Justin Bieber becomes an international sensation and people start screaming “take him back, Canada!” and we’re like, “but we don’t want him either! You made him weird! He’s too religious now!”

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Review: The Next Girl (DI Gina Harte, #1) by Carla Kovach

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★★★

Bookouture | 2018

Opening Hook: Dumpster baby.

Main Character: PTSD and inappropriate work places romance.

Plot Twisty-ness: Given away in the synopsis, because I guess why the hell not?


This was pretty enjoyable, I have to say. For a debut in a series, it hit mostly all the right notes. But at the same time, it was missing aspects that I look for to really make a procedural more than just the typical.

The story boils down to an abandoned baby, a woman who’s been missing for four years (who is the mother of that baby,) and one seasoned, but borderline PTSD, detective on the case.

You hear all of that and you think, yes gimme! It sounds like the perfect recipe. But I’m left feeling a little bit like Gordon Ramsey on Master Chef when someone brings up a beautiful looking dish and he tastes it, gets a funny look on his face and says: “It looks fantastic, but where’s the seasoning? Did you salt the fucking chicken?”

Carla Kovach forgot to salt the fucking chicken on this one.

Continue reading “Review: The Next Girl (DI Gina Harte, #1) by Carla Kovach”