My Reviews My Words

My Reviews My Words

You want to know how much I love reading? Daily, I carry 2-3 books, 2 Kindles (an ereader and tablet) and an iPad. Now who does that??? My favorite genres are fiction, mystery/thriller/suspense and cookbooks.

3 Stars
The Friend: An emotional psychological thriller with a twist - Teresa O'Driscoll



Sophie's life was at a stand still.  She adored taking care of her family, but after having her son Ben and being a stay at home mother and housewife, the excitement and adrenaline once felt from working outside the home was sorely missed.


Emma and her son Theo are newcomers to Tedbury.  When she and Sophie cross paths, a budding friendship begins . Sophie admired Emma's energy and spontaneity; traits she wished she had inside her.  But what happened in Emma's past that make her secretive?  What evil has she brought with her to Tedbury?


The Friend by Teresa Driscoll is written in chapters of the past and present.  The story's pace was strong and engaging in the beginning, however it slowly loses steam.  The "past" chapters took too long to get to the thrill of the plot and the end of the book whizzes on by.


I didn't form any connections with the characters and Sophie annoyed me with her passive attitude.


There's a good plot in The Friend, but unfortunately it took longer than I wanted to get to the point.


Thank you Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

4 Stars
Marinating In Murder - Linda Wiken


Marinating in Murder is the 3rd book in the Dinner Club mystery series.


When Alison, a cop and a club member of the Culinary Capers Dinner Club find herself in hot water for the murder of her ex-husband, she must rely on the investigation of the police department to solve the case.  Event planner J.J. Tanner and also a club member doesn't have faith in the swiftness of the department to protect Alison's innocence, so she hashes an investigation of her own.  


Cooking or food-themed cozy mysteries are one of my favorites to read.  I love to read the delectable dishes the characters are eating and the recipes the author normally adds at the end of the book.  


The characters were easy to like and imagine, however at times I felt J.J. to be a little naive about her instincts and affairs of the heart.


Though I knew early in the story who committed the murder that didn't lessen my curiosity because the writing was steady and likable and it's always fun to figure out the motive.


This is my first time reading books written by Linda Wiken and I will add the first two book in the series to my ever growing reading list.  


I recommend Marinating in Murder to all cozy mystery readers especially those who love food-themed mysteries.  This cozy mystery is a light read for beginner cozy readers, too.


Thank you Netgalley and Berkley for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.



3 Stars
The Girlfriend: A Novel - Sarah  Naughton

Trigger Warning:  Child Abuse and Rape


Mags enjoys the life she has in Las Vegas.  She's a bull-dog defense attorney and firmly plays by her rules.  But when she gets the news her brother, Abe has been seriously injured in a fall, she leaves for England to be by his side.  When Mags arrive at the hospital, she meets Abe's girlfriend, Jody who seems to be the only one who witnesses Abe's accident.  


Jody's account of the accident doesn't set well with Mags.  There's something that Jody isn't telling and Mags conducts her own investigation since she's not getting much help from the police.


This book started off very slow for me.  My rule for reading a slow book is if the first fifty pages of a book doesn't grab and hold my attention, I will not complete it.  I have so many other books I need read.  However, I thought I would give it another chance, set it aside and read something light and cheerful to cleanse my reading palette.  The story did pick up its pace a little after the first fifty pages, but not by much.


I had a difficult time connecting with the characters.  I didn't find Mags likable throughout most of the book, but she slowly redeems herself on the last twenty-five pages of the story.  The plot is good with gripping situations, however I felt some areas in the book needed more buildup.


If you like a dark, psychological thriller, Sarah Naughton's The Girlfriend may be the book for you.


Thank you Netgalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.



4 Stars
Color Me Murder - Krista Davis



Color Me Murder by Krista Davis debuts as the first installment in the Pen and Ink cozy mystery series.  As an added bonus the front and back covers are colorable.


Florrie Fox enjoys working and managing the Color Me Read bookstore.  She takes delight in helping the customers and making them happy with their book finds.  After a long day at work, Florrie loves to unwind with her cat, Peaches and design adult coloring books.  


Living in Reston, Virigina, Florrie is looking for a place closer to work. When the owner of the bookstore, Professor John Maxwell offers his empty carriage house rent free, Florrie jumps at the proposition, but she must take residence right away before his "good for nothing" nephew, Delbert takes claim on it.  One morning after opening up the bookstore, Florrie finds Delbert dead and the evidence points to dear, old Professor Maxwell.  Florrie knows he didn't kill his nephew and with paper and pen in hand, Florrie sketches out the clues to free Professor Maxwell.


Color Me Murder is a quick, enjoyable read.  The chapters are short and the pages are colorful, sprinkled with a little humor.  The author vividly describes each character and scene. My image of the bookstore is vintage and musty with tables of books in the center aisles and a sliding book ladder.  The characters are lively and well portrayed.  Florrie is my favorite character.  She's giving with a dash of spontaneity.  There are many characters in this cozy mystery, but they're easy to follow and each play an intricate part.  Both the plot and subplot are fast paced, yet smoothly flow into each other.


In the future, I'm looking forward to reading more of the Pen and Ink series.  I recommend Color Me Read to cozy mystery lovers or not who love to read book-themed mysteries.


Thank you Netgalley and Kensington Books for the ARC.



3 Stars
Down the River unto the Sea - Walter Mosley



New York Detective First Class Joe Oliver was a good and fair cop who played by the book.  A family man who loved his wife and his daughter, Aja-Denise.  However, Joe had one weakness that he could never shake; the opposite sex.  His infidelity caused the downfall of his career as detective and landed him in Rikers.  After being released from a place which broke his spirit he begins to heal.  He opens a private detective agency and his daughter is helping him run it.  However, when he gets involve with two new cases, the fair and good cop who once played by the rules has a new set of rules.


I enjoyed the relationship between Joe and his daughter.  She helped pull him out some dark moments when he thought about the injustice and brutality he suffered while in prison.  She brought him pure happiness and helped in his healing.  


Although the two plots in the story were strong, I felt they were competing against each other to see who will win at capturing my attention.  There were too many characters to try and keep up with.  I found myself having to go back and read a section again to understand the reason behind that character.


The recipe for a great mystery was included with the police corruption, unsavory characters and graphic violence.  Even with all these components, there was a lull in the story that was hard to overcome.


Thank you Netgalley and Mulholland Books for the arc for my honest review.





4 Stars
Perish (A Gardiner and Renner Novel) - Lisa Black

Cleveland's police forensic scientist, Maggie Gardiner is called to the most gruesome murder scene imaginable.  The victim, a CEO of a mortgage lending firm has met a horrible death and it's Maggie's job to help police detective, Jack Renner catch the murderer.  Without any clues to go on, the deranged psychopath hones in on his next victims.


Perish is the first book I've read by author, Lisa Black.  It is the third book in the Gardiner and Renner series. I would benefit reading the first two books in the series to understand the secretive and strange relationship between Gardiner and Renner; even though flashbacks were given to figure it out.


Thirty percent into reading, I began to pull away from the story.  There was so much detailed writing about mortgage lending and unsavory practices which I didn't understand. However, Ms. Black soon redeemed herself and the "meat and potatoes" were served again.


The elaborate specifics of the murder scenes are attributed to Ms. Black's expertise as a forensic scientist and latent print examiner.  The descriptive, gruesome murder scenes and gathering evidence procedures could only be told by an expert....impressive! 


I truly enjoyed reading Perish by Lisa Black.  I will definitely read the first two books in the Gardiner and Renner series.


Thank you NetGalley and Kensington for the ARC for my honest review.

Reading progress update: I've read 7%.
Perish (A Gardiner and Renner Novel) - Lisa Black



The beginning pages...gruesome....but I like!!!

4.5 Stars
The Wife Between Us - Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen


The Wife Between Us is a mind-blowing psychological thriller on steroids.


To Vanessa, her life is a fairytale come true.  She marries Richard, a handsome and successful man.  She adores the way he dotes on her and lavishes her with beautiful things.  However, not all fairytales have happy endings.  The light that once glowed brightly has now diminished, leaving Vanessa in a sea of emotions.  Richard has moved on with his life and Vanessa is still picking up the pieces of her shattered life.


Nothing about this story is predictable.  There were a couple of times I had to reread a part to believe what I just read.  The twists and turns are cleverly written and the characters were dramatic and intriguing.  The story moved steady, allowing me to absorb every stirring moment.


If you’re a fan of psychological thrillers, I suggest you give The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen a try.


Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC

4 Stars
The Chalk Man
The Chalk Man - C.J. Tudor



 When you're twelve years old, playing with your friends and having fun is all that matters.  That's what Eddie and his four childhood friends did when they were around each other.  They even had an unusual way of communicating with each other at times; leaving messages in chalk.


The story begins in England, 1986.  A dismembered body is discovered.  A mysterious man comes to town.  Let's move forward to 2016.  Who's sending chalk messages?


First, I must say this novel has the potential of becoming a good screen psychological thriller. I was held captive once I began reading.  This story is intense and gripping.  Nothing is what it seems and with all its twists and turns, stopping at the end of a chapter wasn't an option.


 Tudor didn't skimp on the characterization.  Each character strongly described and just enough sub-characters to keep the story balanced.  


I'm glad I read The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor.  I look forward to reading more of this author's novels.


*Thank you Netgalley and Crown Publishing for the ARC.

4 Stars

Ditched 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery) by [Eaton, J.C.]


Book Description:



She’s handling a bridezilla—and hunting a killer . . .
Moving from Minnesota to Arizona was a big change for Sophie “Phee” Kimball. She’s much closer to her mother’s retirement community now—which can drive her a little crazy, but at least her mom, Harriet, has her book club and her chiweenie dog, Streetman, to keep her company. And now there’s even more activity, with Aunt Ina’s upcoming wedding. The seventy-four-year-old bride has roped Phee into working on the tent, the pastries, and even her headpiece in preparation for the ceremony. But it’s Harriet who really gets demanding when a dead body turns up yards from her front door.
Aunt Ina’s fiancé is acquainted with the victim—a local millionaire restaurateur murdered at the golf course. Working for a private investigator, Phee is drawn into the case—not just professionally but personally, since Harriet is in a panic about her safety. With a killer on the loose, Phee vows to figure out the plot—that is, if her side job as a wedding planner doesn’t kill her first . . .



My Review:


I enjoyed reading Ditched 4 Murder.  There was never a dull moment.  The characters were a riot.  The author effortlessly helped me visualize each quirky and colorful character and every hilarious moment.  However, at times I felt annoyed at the main character for not speaking up for herself too many times in the story.  For the most part the flow of the story was steady, but there were a few lagging moments that took too long to get to the point.


Ditched 4 Murder by J.C. Eaton is the second book in the Sophie Kimble series.  If you're looking for straight-up humor, I recommend this book.


Thank you Netgalley and Kensington for the ARC

4 Stars
The Secret Mother



Book Description:  

Are you my mummy?’


Tessa Markham returns home to find a child in her kitchen. He thinks she’s his mother. But Tessa doesn’t have any children.

Not anymore.

She doesn’t know who the little boy is or how he got there.

After contacting the police, Tessa is suspected of taking the mystery child. Her whole life is turned upside down. And then her husband reveals a secret of his own…

Tessa isn’t sure what to believe or who to trust. Because someone is lying. To find out who, she must first confront her painful past. But is the truth more dangerous than Tessa realises?

An absolutely unputdownable psychological thriller with a twist that will make you wonder if you can ever trust anyone again. If you loved Gone Girl, The Girl on the Trainand The Sister this book is for you.



My Review:  I enjoyed reading this fast-paced thriller which kept me glued to every page.  Shalini Boland did a great job expressing in detail what the main character was feeling and going through I couldn't help to feel compassion.  I took joy in seeing the main character's growth from just going through the motions in life to becoming strong and taking control.  The other characters' contribution to the story were traits of selfishness, ignorance, doubt and empathy.


The Secret Mother flowed effortlessly.  It was very easy to follow along with every twist and turn and the short chapters were a bonus.  When I thought I had the story figured out, something else happens.  


I recommend The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland to lovers of psycholoical thrillers.  It was hard to put down.  This is the first time I've read her work and I will definitely read more.


Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture for the ARC.



3 Stars
19 Souls Review


Publisher's Blurb: 


Private Investigator Jim Bean is a straightforward, to-the-point man. When his latest client, Sophie Evers, asks him to find her brother Daniel, Jim has no idea how complicated his life is about to become.

Daniel is not Sophie's brother. He is her most coveted prey. Clinging to the belief that they belong together, Sophie kills Daniel's real sister to manipulate Jim into flushing Daniel out of hiding. She will create the "perfect life" for the only man she's ever loved, no matter how many people she must kill along the way.

When Jim discovers the truth about Sophie, he's driven to set things right before her delusional plan claims even more souls.


My Review:  When I read the synopsis of 19 Souls I was immediately drawn in thinking this is really something I could sink my teeth into.  As I began to read the first page an image of an old classic PI scenario flooded my mind.  A cluttered, small office, dust bunnies and papers scattered everywhere.  At the desk sits a chain smoking, rugged PI who looks as if he's had too many benders.  In walks a beautiful woman with bright red lipstick and impeccably dressed looking to hire a PI to follow her cheating husband.  


This is where my excitement comes to a halt.  I had a difficult time reading this book.  The author did a great job with characterization.  The way each character was described made it easy to visualize them and each part they played in the story.  My favorite character was a sub character.  The scenes were also expressed in great detail and the plot of the story was stimulating, which kept me wanting more.    However, the pace of the story was too slow.  The beginning of the story began with intensity, but once the killer was revealed too early in the story the flow considerably dropped.  



J.D. Allen's 19 Souls is Book 1 in the Sin City Investigation series.  


Thank you NetGalley and Midnight Ink for this ARC. 

4 Stars
You Never Know What Goes On Behind Closed Doors!!
Behind Closed Doors - B.A. Paris

Cons:  A few slow moments, but towards the end I felt it started to rush and slightly predictable.


Pros: I had no idea I would be in store for a crazy good, demented psychological treat.  Every page turned built up anticipation for the next page.  The way B.A. Paris sets the pages for a smooth, gentle ride....then immediately shifts gears to a psychotic roller coaster ride.  The chapters switched from past to present which helped me fully understand the main characters' personalities.  I was absorbed in every page due to the intense characterization and gripping plot.  


"You never know what goes on behind closed doors" is a true adage when describing this book.  On the outside everything looks perfect and on the inside everything is dark and evil.  I highly recommend Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris to all readers who enjoyed a fast paced psychological thriller.  This was my first time reading one of this author's novels and have since added another one of her thrillers, The Breakdown as no.1,500,000 on my TBR list.