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Midnight Snacks are Murder
by Libby Klein
As Poppy McAllister struggles to renovate a Queen Anne Victorian into a B & B to support herself and her aunt who raised her, she finds herself in the thick of a lot of situations. Personally, she is torn between her old flame Tim, a local chef, and Gia who owns a coffee shop and has commissioned Poppy to make gluten-free treats for his shop. Poppy is also juggling some pretty quirky characters on the home front: Smitty, a handyman reminiscent of the Three Stooges; Aunt Ginny, an eightyish aunt determined to live life to the fullest; Georgina, her domineering mother-in-law; and Figaro, her cat who is always in the middle of things. Unfortunately, Poppy, recently returned to Cape May, finds herself embroiled in the second murder in less than a year. This time, however, she is not a suspect, but has to clear her rather kooky aunt of charges.
Libby Kein’s Midnight Snacks are Murder is a very funny cozy mystery with lots of amusing zingers sometimes addressed to others, but more often what Poppy is thinking. The plot moves along quickly as blame passes to a number of characters and the victim is shown in various lights ranging from evil to saint. Poppy has to find out the complex truth about him in order to vindicate her aunt. The first book in the series was lots of fun and so is this one.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Notes: #2 in the Poppy McAllister Mystery Series but works well as a standalone.
Publication: July 31, 2018—Kensington Books
I had a better chance of teaching a badger to ride a bike than winning an argument with Aunt Ginny.
Her supermodel good looks made me feel more schlubby the moment she floated into the kitchen. But then I was too tired to grouse this morning about what God had given me and Betty Crocker had perfected, so I moved on to acceptance faster than usual.
Those kids could text the Constitution in thirty seconds using just emojis.
Double Dog Dare
by Gretchen Archer
I was surprised to see that Double Dog Dare, a cozy mystery, is also classified by the publisher as humor…until I read it. It is hilarious; all the way through from one complication to another. The storyline starts out simply enough as Davis Way, who is part of the security team at a Biloxi, Mississippi, casino anticipates the arrival of her sister Meredith and Meredith’s friend Vree, a nonstop, stream of consciousness talker with her dog who will be competing in a canine competition at the casino.
From the moment Davis opens the door to the early arriving Vree instead of Meredith, absolutely nothing goes as planned. Author Gretchen Archer creates fun characters and really amusing dialogue. The plot is intricate and when you are not laughing, you will be saying “What???” over the latest development. There are a variety of crimes including kidnappings, impersonations, and thefts. Meredith has a moral dilemma and in trying to help her, Davis also explores ethical and legal boundaries.
While all of these complications are occurring, Davis has to role play the wife of the casino’s owner, care for her twin 20-month old daughters, manage several dogs, and not tell her husband what is going on at home while he is attending a conference in Nashville.
If you want a nonstop mystery that will keep you smiling, laughing, and shaking your head, you’ll want to grab Double Dog Dare. It is now available in Kindle format.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Henery Press for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Mystery, Humor
Notes: #7 in the Davis Way Crime Capers series, but works well as a standalone
Publication: March 20, 2018 —Henery Press
Vree could talk the stars out of the sky. I believed she talked so she wouldn’t have to listen; there was always something Vree didn’t want to hear.
We’d wasted the half hour before that racking our brains for a doctor, a medical examiner, an EMT, a mortician, or even a Girl Scout with her Corpse Badge who owed us a favor…
“It was our constellation prize to them since our dog drew blood.”
I always thought she was just mean, as opposed to otherworldly. As it turns out, she’s neither. She wants what everyone else wants. Someone to love who loves her back. That’s it.
by Sophie Kinsella
I have really enjoyed books by Sophie Kinsella and was looking forward to reading her newest book Surprise Me. At first I felt like I was the one “surprised” in a disappointed kind of way. The characters in Surprise Me are two-dimensional, the premise is bland, and the attempts at humor are not very effective—for the first half of the book. The novel was good enough for me to plug on, however, and I’m glad I did. The pace and interest pick up dramatically in the second half. The characters grow and develop and become people you can actually care about. The original proposition seems silly: how do you live with and love the same person for over sixty years? I know the world is changing a lot in terms of longevity of marriages, but there are many examples that demonstrate the success of long marriages and the happiness of people in such marriages.
There are many surprises for the reader and the main character Sylvie as she discovers that she does not really know the people close to her as well as she thought she did. In encountering difficulties, she discovers a strength she never knew she had. There are a lot of negative feelings associated with this book and a lot less fun fluff than initially appears to be the case or is usually associated with Kinsella’s books such as the Shopaholic series. Although I came away with mixed feelings, I also took away some serious musings about the ability of testing in life to help build character.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Random House (Dial Press) for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: General Fiction (Adult), Romance
Publication: February 13, 2018 — Random House (Dial Press)
Living with five-year-old twins is like living in a Communist state. I don’t quite count out the Shreddies into the bowls every morning to make sure things are equal, but… Actually, I did once count out the Shreddies into the bowls. It was quicker.
“Oh, marriage.” She makes a snorting sound. “Did you not read the disclaimers? ‘May cause headache, anxiety, mood swings, sleep disturbance, or general feelings of wanting to stab something.’ ”
“If we don’t stick up for the ones we love, then what are we good for?”
Superman and the Miserable, Rotten, No Fun, Really Bad Day
by Dave Croatto
As you were growing up, did your storytime include Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst? Or maybe you read it to your kids. As a teacher, I saved it for a really bad day for the initial read in my classroom. It’s one of those special books that puts problems in perspective and a smile on your face.
With those memories in mind, pick up Superman and the Miserable, Rotten, No Fun, Really Bad Day. MAD promotes it as 100% parody, and I think you will get a kick out of the story and illustrations. Poor Superman is just having one of those days. He wakes up to broken glasses and cell phone. Kids on the bus and the other superheroes don’t give him the respect he deserves. He gets a lousy assignment at work. You just need to read it yourself to learn of all the “miserable, rotten, no fun, really bad” things that happen to the Man of Steel. Maybe your problems won’t seem so bad!
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to DC Entertainment/MAD for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Comics, General Fiction
Publication: October 17, 2017— DC Entertainment/MAD
If You Give a Man a Cookie
Written by Laura Joffe Numeroff
Illustrated by Brian Ajhar
For as long as I can remember, our family byword for “one thing leading to another” has been “if you give a mouse…” We don’t even have to finish the title; we all know what it means. I’m sure a lot of my readers can identify with that as you grew up with If You Give a Mouse a Cookie as a storytime favorite. Or maybe you were one of the many adults who shared this book with children.
Laura Joffe Numeroff has since produced many variations on this children’s book, but now she has written one for adults: If You Give a Man a Cookie. In this humorous parody, a woman offers up a cookie to her husband and, to nobody’s surprise who has read the original, he asks for milk to go with it. The book progresses in this delightful fashion with lots of helpless husband scenarios that may seem familiar to patient spouses.
Whereas Felicia Bond is responsible for the sweet, funny, and appealing artwork in Numeroff’s children’s books, the illustrator of If You Give a Man a Cookie is Brian Ajhar. His style is very different with sharper lines in a more comic book manner, with more appeal to its adult target audience. Be sure to note the dog who appears on almost every page adding to both the story and the humor.
This book would make a fun, less serious gift for the woman who has it all, including a man with 24/7 needs. I think most men would even find the humor in it. Also, consider it for those contemplating marriage; they might have second thoughts!
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Andrews McMeel Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Entertainment, Humor
Publication: October 10, 2017—Andrews McMeel Publishing