Review: Behind the Door (Kathy Ryan, #2) by Mary Sangiovanni

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★★★

Lyrical Underground | 2018

Opening Hook: Don’t Dead, Open Inside

Main Character: Basically M.I.A

Plot Twisty-ness: Lost in the forest


Eh, so this was a bit weird. Not terrible, but not great either. Because I’m so behind in reviews, I read this months ago and honestly, I’m still not really sure how I feel about it outside of one thing: editor needed.

This is the second novel in the Kathy Ryan series, but it can be read as a standalone because she’s barely in it. And when she is, there’s no information presented about Kathy that has too much bearing on the novel as part of a series. Really, without this being strictly marketed as in a series starring Kathy Ryan, I would never have known.

Seriously, why is she not in this book at all until like the 50% point? The chapter plotting is just so fucking weird. I’m sorry. Whoever saw this book plotted out and thought, “yes, good job,” was on drugs. And not the good kind.

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Review: The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

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★★★★

Wednesday Books | 2019

Opening Hook: You know when you get shipped to the woods so you don’t steal someone’s husband?

Main Character: Raging Feminist Buzzkill

Plot Twisty-ness: Doing magic mushrooms


First of all, every time I look at that cover, for a split second I see a vagina. It looks like the cover of the Vagina Monologues or something to me. Remember that shit? Anyway, I’m not sure if that’s on purpose because of what this novel is about or if my brain is officially fried, but here we are.

My vagina is a YA novel cover.

This book was a trip. It’s not perfectly executed, but it’s right on the cusp of being something perfect so I’m focussing on that.

The plot is literally so 👏 fucking 👏 good. If you’re like me – a raging feminist – you’re going to want to read this book.

Basically, we’re in some M. Night Shyamalan The Village shit where girls are banished to live together at an isolated camp in the wilderness during the year of their 16th birthday. This is their Grace Year. The reason being, once a girl turns 16 she comes into the “magic” powers that all women hold over men that will end lives, destroy marriages and steal husbands away.

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Review: I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick

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★★★★

Margaret K. McElderry Books | 2020

Opening Hook: False confessions as a past time

Main Character: Twinning with a missing local

Plot Twisty-ness: Definitely thought LSD was involved


Okay, first of all, can we all take a moment to appreciate how much fun it is to say the author’s name? KIT FRICK. Saying it brings me so much joy. It’s like a little something extra to go with a really good book.

YEAH, I SAID.

It’s a YA mystery that was actually good! And no, I didn’t hit my head or get high while I read it. I’m as shocked as you are.

I mean, it’s not as if I never like YA novels, but it is a 1:10 ratio. There’s got to be something really different, honest or grounded about a YA mystery for me to get into it.

I Killed Zoe Spanos is all three of those things.

It’s set in the Hamptons but doesn’t heavily rely on that Hamptons’ vibe to move the plot, which I appreciated. It’s not gimmicky or cartoonish in its depiction of that Hamptons lifestyle, and it easily could have been. Frick put her focus on the main character of Anna Cicconi – how she felt, what she was doing, where she came from and how she viewed the world around her – to bring the setting to life.

And the vibe ended up being dead on.

season 5 episode 1 GIF by Workaholics
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True Crime Tuesday: The “Mischief Night” Murder of Martha Moxley

If you haven’t already, please read the “TCT Disclaimer,” under the True Crime tab at the top of the page, before reading any true crime posts.

Long time no talk, Murderinos. How have you been? Are you holding up okay in this Twilight Zone/Upside Down world we’ve somehow crossed into?

If you’ve noticed, my posting around here has been null and void as of late. I’ve spent most of my time working on cleaning up the ol’ blog instead of posting new shit – editing posts for content and grammar, removing some things and deleting old features as I decide what I want to focus on going into the new year.

2021 is creeping up on us faster than The Demon from Insidious. I can hardly believe October is almost over! And there’s only like a week left until the U.S. decides if they’re going to get rid of the Orange Dumpster Mussolini. Time flies when everything fucking constantly sucks. That’s how the saying goes, right?

Speaking of daily basis, personally, life has been pretty chill for me, or should I say repetitive? All my days blend together. You know, aside from my roof leaking in a thunderstorm and unexpectedly having to spend big bucks, that I’d rather have kept for the holidays, to fix it. Or the fact that my mother, stepdad and my sister all have COVID-19 and have been sick for the last three weeks. I think (*knock on wood*) that they’re going to be okay as they haven’t required any hospitalization, but it’s still scary. Anything could happen and that’s the worst part of this illness. You never know how it’s going to affect you or the people you love. Texting my mother every day to make sure she’s not taken a turn for the worse was not in my plans for 2020. But then again, none of this way for anyone.

Other than that, my days are pretty much the same all the time, always, into oblivion. I’m still working from home, still not going out unless it’s absolutely necessary. This pandemic has definitely fucked with everyone’s vibe, and I’m no exception. Finding the desire to read and write has proven to be elusive under the stress, the weirdness and the fear.

BUT! It’s Halloween season! I’ve decorated the house and have been watching horror movies literally every night, trying to stay positive and enjoy the festivities, as pandemically altered as they may be. I’m not sure we’re handing out candy this year. I can’t think of a way to do it that doesn’t involve Lysol spraying every piece of candy or creating some kind of shoot delivery system that’s 6-feet long.

Maybe missing Halloween won’t be so bad. It certainly decreases the odds that you’ll be fucking murdered.

For today’s True Crime Tuesday case, I wanted to keep with my Halloween spirit and talk about a murder that took place over our most favourite time of year. For most of us it’s about candy and costumes and scary movies, but for some, the dark and twisted make-believe turns out to be real.

This the murder of Martha Moxley.

Continue reading “True Crime Tuesday: The “Mischief Night” Murder of Martha Moxley”

Review: American Sherlock – Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI by Kate Winkler Dawson

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★★

G.P. Putnam’s Sons | 2020

Opening Case: How much did Fatty Arbuckle actually weigh?

Main CSI: Gil Grissom maintains “old man crush” status.

Plot Truthi-ness: Beefs and peas in a dessert trifle.


You might think that you’re getting a novel about “murder, forensics and the birth of American CSI,” when you pick up this novel. That’s exactly what I thought. And also exactly what they put in the fucking title. But why should titles ever tell you what you’re really going to be reading about, I guess?

What you’re actually getting here is a choppy, mishmash of relatively boring cases and life stories about Oscar Heinrich, the “American Sherlock.” If I had known this was going to be about one man’s life, and not a historical rundown of the evolution of forensic sciences centred around different murder cases, I probably wouldn’t have read it.

But since I did, it’s necessary to note that I have no issue with a true-life story about a remarkable human who deserves to be applauded. It’s the execution of the telling of that life where it falls apart on this one.

I think this book is best described as the trifle Rachel makes on Friends. It was almost good, but something got fudged up so no one really wanted to eat it.

Season 6 Friends GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
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Review: Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

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★★★½

Dutton | 2019

Opening Hook: Catching your BF bending someone else over a couch.

Plot Twisty-ness: The entitlement of the rich.

Main Character: Every millennial woman.


If I had never read Final Girls or The Last Time I Lied, would I be giving this a higher rating?? Maybe. Please don’t look at my less-than-enthused review as a reason to not read this book, because everything Sager writes is a book to read, imho.

However, this third novel by Sager is just not as strong an offering as his previous two. Again, just my fangirl opinion.

I truly do love Sager. He and I should obviously be best friends because we like all the same things. And he’s built a writing career around paying homage to those favourite influences in the most satisfying way for me as a reader.

Lock Every Door is Rosemary’s Baby meets the United States poverty gap and healthcare. There are some elements included in the plot that are a bit misleading – is it a ghost story? Horror? Is there something satanic going on? But Sager takes that part of Rosemary’s Baby and flips it on its head to create commentary about U.S. healthcare and income inequality.

Now there’s a horror story, she says in Canadian.

That’s all I’ll say about that because I don’t want to get into spoilers.

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DNF Review: The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring

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★½

Imprint | 2019

DNF’d @ 53%


You know me – I generally don’t quit on books. I’m almost physically incapable of putting down a book if it means I will never know how the story unfolds. Even if I don’t necessarily like the story. It’s a neurotic trait that probably has something to do with the part of my personality that likes to know fucking everything, even the shit that doesn’t involve me.

Like, I don’t want to be involved in drama, but do I want to know about it? You bet you’re fucking ass. Tell me word-for-word what was said.

But, it turns out if the story is boring as all fucking hell, I have no issue putting it away and leaving it behind forever.

That’s the case with The Tenth Girl.

I am sorry, but this was possibly the most boring book I’ve ever read??? I’m struggling to think of something that has made my eyelids this goddamn heavy. All I can come up with is a curriculum book in tenth grade English class. I had my friend explain the book to me and I bullshit that essay like I do these reviews.

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Author Interview: Megan Goldin #blogtour

OMG hiiiiiii! Fancy meeting you here on my blog tour for Megan Goldin’s newest release, The Night Swim. If you’re just stumbling across this Q&A post, be sure to go back to read my mega-blog tour post with an excerpt from the novel. There’s also a review on the book coming soon! What can I say? It’s been a busy week.

If you’re here because I told you to be here, thank you. I like people who follow instructions. My instructions, specifically. You’ll be glad you did because there’s a puppy picture coming up. No one can resist a puppers!

The blog tour for The Night Swim is running until August 18th, so treat these next two-ish weeks like a bar crawl. Visit some other book bloggers’ posts, reviews and opinions. But always remember, I’m the most important.

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Blog Tour: The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

Get in losers, we’re going Blog Touring!!

This is my stop on the blog tour for Megan Goldin’s new novel, The Night Swim. This blog tour stop has everything and it’s coming at you fast and furious like a Vin Diesel and The Rock feud!

I’m giving you a book review (coming soon), an author Q&A, and an excerpt from the novel – the first two chapters! Plus there are screaming babies in Ru Paul wigs, two otters holding hands, puppets in disguise – it’s that thing like when Alf wore a trench coat, so he could go out in public; a Russian guy who runs on a treadmill wearing a Trump hat, CVS receipts and Bill Nye the Science Guy teaching you about climate change!

…Okay, most of those things are not real and are not included in this blog post. Sorry to get your Ru Paul baby wig hopes up. But the stuff about the book is definitely real, and that’s just as exciting.

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Review: Faceless (DI Rosalind Kray, #1) by Rob Ashman

“Being psycho doesn’t make you bad, being bad makes you bad. Being a psycho and bad makes you dangerous.”

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★★★★

Bloodhound Books | 2018

Opening Hook: Face/Off without Nic Cage.

Main Character: At least she’s not on pills.

Plot Twisty-ness: Not your average YouTube makeup tutorial.


If you’re the kind of person who just can’t resist a UK crime procedural with a damaged main character and a twisted killer who masturbates a lot (like a lot,) then this is the book for you, you fucking weirdo.

Lucky for me, I’m a weirdo too, so I was totally into this first instalment in the Rosalind Kray series.

Rosalind is everything you want to be – drunk and eating junk food.

Good times.

She’s also a single mother since her husband was murdered. Rosalind carries around survivor’s guilt by the butt-load, uses alcohol just to sleep, uses casual sex with her partner to numb the pain and investigates murder as a distraction.

So, you know, everything you don’t want to be.

Continue reading “Review: Faceless (DI Rosalind Kray, #1) by Rob Ashman”