A girl from Pittsburgh came to Ellingham Academy and she wanted to see a dead body. She got her wish.
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?
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”
Well, this is pretty fucking cool! I’m one year into book blogging, and would you just look at me with ten or so people knowing who I am and shit.
A couple of weeks ago I was getting tagged in posts where I was “nominated” by dope book bloggers for the first stage of these awards and I was all, Thank you, but…
Honestly, I wasn’t sure what exactly was going on and I didn’t know it ran in two stages. I was just really touched that anyone was nominating me for fucking anything. But today, I found out that my little murder blog made the cut to the next stage of the awards where you, the reader, actually get to vote, and I am all:
Continue reading “The Third Annual Book Blogger Awards: I Was Fucking Nominated!”
Please read the “TCT Disclaimer” under the True Crime tab at the top of the page before reading any true crime posts.
It’s been a while!
Sorry for the break! But not really. I hope you stumbled across many other funny and wonderful book bloggers and true crime writers to fill the Krystin-shaped hole in your heart. I know there are so many writers to read and it means a lot to me that you still stick around my blog even when I disappear every now and again.
I’ve been super fucking busy at home trying to finish my bedroom renovation. I know, I know. I’ve been promising forever to post my basement reno and I’ve already moved on to my bedroom. What can I say? I don’t possess a lot of virtues, and patience definitely isn’t one of the few.
I finished painting on Sunday and I’m so happy to say there are no more rooms in my house that require a full wall of paint… three years later. I fucked up my shoulder once again and my back is twisted, but all the heavy, big projects are officially done and now I can just focus on the smaller details like hanging a mirror or putting up curtains.
I can’t tell you how excited I am to just sit on my fucking ass and do nothing once again. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. And it looks a lot like me in bed with a book and a snuggly puppy. And of course, writing more posts around here. I fucking swear it!
Truly, my Fitbit has never seen me achieve so many steps before. It thinks someone new is wearing it.
Anyway, I’m feeling a little bit less stressed, my brain fog is clearing and my creative juices are totally pumping… forgive me for saying “creative juices.” That phrase could not be any more disgusting. But I digress… a new true crime story is just breaking within the last couple of days, and it is completely fucked up and sensational and has me rolling my eyes in all kinds of directions because goddamn teenagers are just so fucking stupid and cruel sometimes.
We’re talking terrible teenagers. We’re talking murder. We’re talking child pornography – so trigger warning there. We’re talking fake millionaires. We’re talking being gullible as fuck.
This is the murder of Cynthia Hoffman.
Continue reading “True Crime Tuesday: The Nine Million Dollar Murder”
Viking | 2018
Opening Hook: Full “once upon a time” style.
Main Character: A young stepmother who my stepkids should be nicer to!
Plot Twisty-ness: As slow as watching kids warm up to dad’s new wife.
Just like other reviews aplenty will tell you, this novel is inspired by another classic novel and blah blah blah. I don’t know the book. I might know the author’s name? I’ve never read it and I didn’t know any of this “inspiration” shit going into the book so it really makes zero difference to me whatsoever.
Look, I never claimed to be a refined reader.
I read this novel purely for the gothic feel of the synopsis and because I’m a stepmother married to an older(ish) man and those themes resonate with me. I haven’t found many stories centring on stepmothers/second wives, which are actually mystery/thrillers that don’t paint people like me as some ridiculous evil creature to be feared and ousted.
I wagered, because this book was told from the stepmother’s point of view, there was a good chance she wasn’t the villain per se. And thankfully, I was right! The stepmother isn’t the villain for once! She’s more of a saviour, which is totally how I see myself, just with less doing things that make anyone’s life better, and more being so peeved that I never get to play my PlayStation anymore that I bought a second one out of passive aggressive spite. It’s how I roll.
Continue reading “Review: The Winters by Lisa Gabriele”
“You can’t judge someone’s internal state by their external attributes.”
January 2019 | St. Martin’s Press
Opening Hook: Make-up artist seeks quick cash by being a liar.
Main Character: Let’s her assumptions make her seem crazy.
Plot Twisty-ness: Subtle and ominous.
I’m a total sucker for anything that is psychologically leaning. And I don’t mean the trend of “psychological thrillers.” I mean real psychology, human nature, predicting behaviour and analyzing it. I’m a straight-up glutton when it comes to that kind of stuff and not for any sinister reason. It’s like not I’m trying to figure out the best way to appear human or some shit. If I was smarter, I probably would have been a psychologist. In another part of the multi-verse perhaps I am.
But in the here and now that we find ourselves trapped in (there’s been some kind of tear in the fabric of our universe and we ended up in a strange hell where Trump and Putin are going to destroy all life on Earth, I’m sure of it,) I’m just a girl with a deep fascination for dark psychology and no way to really express that except to watch endless true crime documentaries and read books like An Anonymous Girl, and have people think I’m weird.
Continue reading “Review: An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen”
“Little girls are different from little boys: they’re made of sugar and spice and scar for life.”
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 we 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.
Continue reading “Review: Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney”
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.
I’d like to do a quick rundown of the basic facts of this story, but I don’t know that I can do it all justice in a just a few sentences. There’s a lot of twisty, crazy events and people, that round out the events that took place in 2011, continuing to 2018.
Continue reading “Review: The Girls Are Gone by Michael Brodkorb & Allison Mann”
“Today, we are going to be playing a little game of Murder.”
Hanover Square Press | 2018
Opening Hook: Basically a classic Kesha song.
Main Character: If Maury and Robert Stack had a baby, but that baby was drunk all the time.
Plot Twisty-ness: Jigsaw would be proud.
I went into this novel with every intention of loving it completely. I swear to the god of thunder. But okay, obviously I didn’t completely get there. Story of my life. No one is shocked.
Guess Who started off as a five-star read until I passed the halfway mark and that’s when things fell off the chart. For the first half of the book, it is very much SAW meets Clue, just minus the horror element. It creates a sinister, frantic pace and tone that definitely had me hooked. It’s a locked-room mystery that feels both extravagant and desperate at first, and that definitely worked for me in a totally non-sexual sexual way.
Morgan Sheppard is a TV star who has made a living doing a Maury meets Unsolved Mysteries-style show called Resident Detective. As a child, he solved the murder of his math teacher and created a very successful career riding (read: exploiting) that wave. Through his fame, he’s turned into an alcoholic, drug addict and womanizer. The only problem is, Sheppard has been full of shit for a very long time. And someone knows it. And someone hates him.
This villain, known as The Evil Man who wears a goofy fucking horse mask, locks Sheppard, and five other people, in a hotel room with a dead body in the bathtub. Sheppard has 3 hours to find the killer – one of the people in the room – and prove what kind of detective he really is, or the hotel will be blown up.
Continue reading “Review: Guess Who by Chris McGeorge”
Please read the “TCT Disclaimer” under the True Crime tab at the top of the page before reading any true crime posts.
It’s almost here! Can you feel it? Halloween night creeping ever closer?
Do you have your costumes ready? Your pumpkins carved? Have you eaten all of the candy you were supposed to be saving for young, innocent children dressed as tigers and bumblebees that make your ovaries go, “You’re 30-something!! You better decide if this is cute enough to make you want this sooner rather than later!!“
Huh? Yeah, me neither.
To help us prepare for the big night – because the countdown is officially on! – I’m back with another Halloween inspired #TCT to really help scare the shit out of you on October 31st.
You’re going to be sitting around, waiting for the knock on the door, watching a scary movie, and suddenly there it will be – a memory of that time I told you about people being fucking murdered in their homes after handing out candy. And you’ll think, THAT BITCH.
Or you’ll be out at a party, dressed up in your sexy slice of pizza costume or your sexy Big Bird costume or your sexy hot dog costume or your sexy Pikachu costume or your sexy Eleven from Strange Things costume (she’s just a child, what is wrong with you?) and suddenly there it will be – a memory of that time I told you about people being fucking murdered walking home drunk in their sexy Halloween costumes. And you’ll think, THAT CUNT.
Continue reading “True Crime Tuesday: The Halloween Killer (& A “My Hometown Murder” Update)”
Little, Brown & Company | 2018
Opening Hook: A pretty standard for the genre death scene.
Main Characters: TONE IT THE FUCK DOWN.
Plot Twisty-ness: B for Beffort.
So, this is the first review I’m posting on my blog of this series, but here’s the
sordid background on me and this series:
I have read every single one of the books in this series. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. Even the novellas.
You can find all of my reviews of them on Goodreads if you’re so inclined to watch my descent into pure, unadulterated hatred.
Oh, yes, that’s right. Hatred. I am well-versed in the Women’s Murder Club. And I fucking hate-read this series with a fiery, binge-y passion. Truthfully, I hate mostly everything Patterson writes.
Gather around, children and listen to your elder millennial: James Patterson is a fucking awful writer.
Continue reading “Review: The 17th Suspect by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro”