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”

It’s A Fucking “Murder Mystery Party” Giveaway!

Hey Nerds! This is fun and different, so let’s get right into it.

I was contacted by Chris, the creator and owner of Murder Mystery Party, about teaming up to bring you all a giveaway! And of course, after verifying that no one involved was a white supremacist or some other terrible shit, I was down for it. The best part is, I don’t have to put any of my own money into this!!

…Okay, maybe that’s not the best part, but personally it’s excellent news for me IN A PANNY IN THIS ECONOMY.

*in my best commercial voice* Pandemic got you down? Has every day been Groundhog’s Day since March 2020? Have you watched everything TV show there is to watch and movies have lost their lustre? If not, you may be in one of the lucky countries, like the Australians or New Zealanders, who had a competent government response to this shit show (I’m looking at you, Chris.)

As Ontario goes into our third half-assed lockdown, which will do nothing but hurt small businesses, I’m left feeling like there is no light at the end of this godforsaken virus tunnel. But maybe, if we get a group of family and friends together, pretend to kill Ted Bundy and then try to solve the murder, it will add a fresh and exciting twist to at least one evening!

Im Ready To Party Kristen Wiig GIF

That’s where a Murder Mystery Party party comes in.

Continue reading “It’s A Fucking “Murder Mystery Party” Giveaway!”

Review: Bluebird, Bluebird (Highway 59, #1) by Attica Locke

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★★★

Mulholland Books | 2017

Filed Under: Makes Racists Afraid Again


This is a tricky review to write because there are two different elements to this book that require attention. The first is the atmosphere and setting and all the social issues that go along with it writing a novel set in a small one-horse Texas town with deep ties to America’s racist history.

The other is the mystery itself, because this is a mystery novel. Why were a black man and a white woman murdered together, and who did it?

The setting and the mystery work together and separately, propelling the plot forward while also giving the reader a glimpse into what small-town southern life is like when the local bar is full of Aryan Brotherhood members and up the road is a black-owned Jim Crow-era restaurant.

Honestly, is it just me or is the idea of travelling to the U.S. as an outsider just like, no thanks? I’m gonna quote Bowie here and say, I’m afraid of Americans. Obviously not all Americans, but let’s not parse this out like certain turds insist on doing with #notallmen. I’m married to a New Yorker and I love him and he’s wonderful. But still, as a whole? No, thanks. I think if I was going to travel to the U.S., I’d pick all the blue states for my destinations. I feel my risk of running into bigoted, racist assholes and people carrying guns for no reason is significantly lowered. I don’t want to die just because I wanted to see the Grand Canyon, you know what I mean?

But, I digress…

American Usa GIF by CTV Comedy Channel
Continue reading “Review: Bluebird, Bluebird (Highway 59, #1) by Attica Locke”

True Crime Tuesday: Saskatoon Child Murders

Please read the “TCT Disclaimer,” under the True Crime tab at the top of the page before reading any true crime posts.

Well, fuck me… I haven’t posted one of these since October??? WHAT?! I’m so sorry. Where’s my head at? Reliving the same day every day since last March, mostly likely. Honestly I just don’t know where time is going. On one hand, I’m stuck in a never-ending Groundhog Day time loop and on the other hand, time is moving so quickly that I’m not sure how it can possibly be March 2021 when I’m still living in March 2020.

Welcome to Earth. It’s terrible here. 

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I really wanted to get ahead of posts for my little corner of the internet. That was one of my resolutions for New Years’, but I’m failing miserably so far. I’m literally still catching up on reviews from last year, so it’s not really surprising I haven’t had time to research a true crime write-up. This shit takes work. But also, why get ahead of work and be organized when you can endlessly scroll Instagram and TikTok and become emotionally numb?

I guess that’s a common theme for most of us over the last twelve months.

Speaking of Instagram, this true-crime case was brought to my attention by my #bookstagram buddy Kristy (@booksontuesday.) It’s an older case so I had never heard of it and honestly, research was difficult AF. Solid information was scarce and personal history on the murderer was almost nonexistent. And you know how much I love me some killer psychology. So, that was annoying but also bizarre. Sure, it was 1975, but we are talking about someone who killed four children. What’s good, Canadian media? Literally no one has a more than a paragraph to share?

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So, why did @booksontuesday even mention this case to me? Because her father fucking worked with the guy! Obviously, you too would share that brand new information with your true-crime obsessed friends. And the small blurb I read about this case was enough to convince me to do a write-up for a Canadian crime I had never heard of.

This is the case of the Saskatoon Child Murders.

Trigger warning for child murder, you know, like the title says… 

Continue reading “True Crime Tuesday: Saskatoon Child Murders”

Review: Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier

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★★★★

Minotaur Books | 2020

Opening Hook: A split-second that changes everything

Main Character: Losing it all and not handling it well

Plot Twisty-ness: Totally lives up to the title


I’m a fan of Jennifer Hillier even though I’ve previously only read one other book by her – Creep. It made such an impression on me that I’ve picked up her work a few more times, but being that my TBR pile is so fucking huge this is only the second book of hers I’ve gotten around to actually reading and not just looking at on my shelves. I will say, Little Secrets has done nothing but convince me even more that Hillier is one of the best psychological thriller authors out there.

This book is basically about two of my greatest fears – a cheating husband and a kidnapped child. And no I don’t have any biological children of my own, but I do have a dog and that’s basically the same thing… *waits for mothers to scream at me about how it’s not the same thing at all…*

Obviously, I know having a pet and having a child is not the same same, but I love my dog more than anything. He’s my baby proxy. And if someone kidnapped him I would LOSE MY FUCKING MIND. I would tear the space-time continuum to shreds until I got him back.

Now, if my husband cheated on me I would lose my mind as well, but in a much different way. It’s just in his best interest if he stays loyal.

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Review: Truly Devious (Truly Devious, #1) by Maureen Johnson

A girl from Pittsburgh came to Ellingham Academy and she wanted to see a dead body. She got her wish.

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★★

HarperCollins | 2018

Opening Hook: Youtube is a talent now, I guess

Main Character: Not a unicorn

Plot Twisty-ness: Like Hanson, it’s in the Middle of Nowhere


As you may have picked up by now because of all the not-at-all subtle clues I keep dropping that goes something like: “I hate YA thrillers!” and “I’ve never read a good YA thriller!” or “Please stop recommending me YA thrillers because I don’t like them!” – I am not a big fan of YA mystery/thrillers.

I’m not sure why I keep reading them other than the plot summaries and beautiful covers continue to reel me. I’m so goddamn naïve. “This one will be a good one!” I think to myself about a book I will end up not liking at all 🤡

Is that the case with Truly, Devious?

Umm…

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I’ve had my eye on this novel for a while mostly because of the goddamn plot summary. A private school famous for a decades-old unsolved kidnapping/maybe-murder suddenly sees a new murder and the possibility that the original Big Bad, know as Truly, Devious, is back to wreak havoc on the students and faculty of Ellingham Academy once more.

As concise as I wrote that, it’s actually a lot more interesting than what the plot turned out to be for my tastes. I typically hate private school shit. That setting is just an excuse to allow children to not have any real parental supervision like they would/should so they can do shit most teenagers would never fucking do. And I think I’m too old for that shit.

But, whatever. You all know I’m a grumpy reader.

Continue reading “Review: Truly Devious (Truly Devious, #1) by Maureen Johnson”

Review: The Girls Weekend by Jody Gehrman

“Bitter, cold, barren. These are words thrown at women without children. Like we’re a Montana winter. Either we’re to be pitied or we’re to be blamed, depending on how much choice we had in the matter.”

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★★★½

Crooked Lane Books | 2020

Opening Hook: The horror of a baby shower invitation

Main Character: Flirty, Thirty and Thriving

Plot Twisty-ness: This is why I hate baby showers


If you’re looking for an easy read that will still satisfy your need for murder and mayhem, then I’m going to recommend this book. Honestly, it’s nothing special. It isn’t deep or complex, the plot elements are basic and it’s on the lower side for page count, but I actually mean none of that in a bad way for once in my life. Sometimes you just want to read a book in your preferred genre that isn’t going to require a lot of brainpower or emotional investment. And that’s this book.

It’s fun, it’s light, it’s a little bit sinister and it’ll keep your attention firmly on its fictional world instead of on our real, sucky one.

In the middle of a stressful pandemic, that’s exactly what I was looking for. And it’s what I got. I mean, I’m not going to give it 5-stars just for that, but on a fantasy five-star scale that exists only for soapy-mystery novels, it would get a full fist. Wait… no. Forget I said that. Ew.

Anyway, the cherry-on-top is that Gehrman infused this female-centric, locked-room mystery with all the feminist sparkle and questions about expectations of women that I love and relate to.

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Mystery/Thriller New Releases for Q1 of 2021

Oh heyyyyyyy! How’s 2021 treating you so far? Like a sledgehammer to the head? Good, me too. Glad we’re on the same page.

I definitely slacked on my “new releases” posts last year and I’m fully aware of that. And by slacked, I very generously mean that I didn’t post a single fucking one.

But, as I’ve said on repeat, 2020 can eat a bag of dicks. Among its less egregious crimes is that it messed so hard with my motivation to do literally anything I usually like to do. All I had the attention span for was reality tv and changing out of one pair of leggings into an identical, cleaner pair of leggings. Stress levels increase = concentration levels decrease. It’s science.

And even though 2021 hasn’t been much better so far, and in fact seems to be impacting my mental health much harder the closer we get to the one-year anniversary of this shit, (shout out to crying jags over small inconveniences!) I’m going to muscle through like Christina Aguilera. She’s a fighter.

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If you’ve been luckier than me and have managed to actually read in this pandemic, number one – I’m jealous. And number two – I’m here to restock that TBR, because despite my jealously, I want you to be happy. Look no further than this list of new releases to find your next read.

If you’re having a hard time reading like yours truly, this list is still for you, booboo! As everyone should know by now – reading books and acquiring books are two totally separate hobbies. And if you’re even more like me then compulsive online shopping is one of the only things getting you through this shit lately. So, let’s buy some motherfucking books!

This is obviously not a comprehensive list of new releases, because I do not have the fucking time for that, but it’s a place to start. And I know I should have posted this a month ago, but hellloooooo did you hear what I just said about my mental health?

The Rookie Hello GIF by ABC Network

Also, before you get confused, my “buzzed score” is really simple – the more emojis, the more into it I am. But moreover, it’s just a reason for me to put together different emojis to mean I’m smoking weed and getting high. Okay, let’s goooooooo!

Continue reading “Mystery/Thriller New Releases for Q1 of 2021”

Review: The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

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★★★★

St. Martin’s Press | 2020

Opening Hook: Sarah Keonig’s soothing tones

Main Character: Not Joey Potter

Plot Twisty-ness: Like turning upside down in dark water


Remember when I was on the blog tour for this last August and said I’d have a review posted “soon?” Man, I’ve got some hilarious jokes.

Listen, I’m blaming everything on 2020. I’m double-digits deep on back reviews and triple digits up in unread ARCs because I just… couldn’t. And I didn’t know how to even explain what was wrong/is with me. But it’s literally all the Pandemic’s fault. I have the science to back it up! Research shows that the high levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) that we have been producing extra of for a prolonged period because of the pandemic, can inhibit perceptual learning and memory formation. This interferes with our ability to assimilate facts and focus on work. So, if you’ve been having trouble working, reading and or just general concentration has been difficult for you, then this is why. STRESS, bitch! That you got from a Panny!

Check out @silverpebble on Twitter for more information. I just learned this after a whole fucking year of screaming at my husband, “why can’t I do any of the things I like to do?”

Now I know.

I had big plans for last year. I was going to get my reading life organized, tons of reviews posted and make a serious dent in my ARCs, but basically, none of that happened. Now, we’re days away from the one-year anniversary of this goddamn pandemic. How can it be March 2021 when I’m still processing March 2020!?

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Anyway, it’s officially six months since I was supposed to review this book, so let’s get this shit posted.

Continue reading “Review: The Night Swim by Megan Goldin”

Review: Nothing to Lose (Ziba MacKenzie, #2) by Victoria Selman

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★★★★

Thomas & Mercer | 2019

Opening Hook: Déjà vu

Main Character: Not yet living up to her description

Plot Twisty-ness: Almost came from 4chan


Listen, I like this series!! Maybe it won’t sound like it for the bulk of this review, but I do. I like the character of Ziba. I think she’s interesting, layered and a tough female character in this genre. But this sequel to Blood for Blood persists in my biggest problem from the first book – Ziba, and the rest of the cops, are starting to seem really fucking dumb. Ziba is described as a highly skilled criminal profiler and ex-special forces badass, but she consistently whiffs on seeing the very obvious answer to a mystery. She takes FOR👏EV👏ER to pick up a clue the reader will catch immediately. That’s a problem.

This is mostly an author issue. The being, Selman thinks she’s writing something very twisty and hard to figure out, but she’s not, so the highly-skilled main character doesn’t live up to the big description she’s been given. The reader will be screaming “HELLOOO!!! How are you not getting this?!” at Ziba about halfway through.

I wish it wasn’t so. I truly do. Because this UK-based crime series is heads above other UK-crime series in a lot of ways – no recycled tropes or character types, and no fucking book covers of a woman in a red coat walking through some kind of goddamn field.

Where are you going, lady?! The crimes happened in central London! There’s nothing in that field!

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Continue reading “Review: Nothing to Lose (Ziba MacKenzie, #2) by Victoria Selman”