Monday, February 28, 2022

๐Ÿ“š February Reading Wrap Up ๐Ÿ“š


February was a good reading month for me. I read great books this month, but just haven’t been real motivated to write up reviews. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿป‍♀️ I think I just need winter to be over.  


๐ŸŽง The Goodbye Coast - a reimagining of Raymond Chandler’s iconic detective Phillip Marlowe. Set in present-day Los Angeles, Marlowe is still a tough guy helping dames in trouble and taking care of bad guys. 

No One Will Miss Her - a twisty story featuring an anti-hero that I couldn’t help rooting for. 

Twenty Years Later - the story blends past and present into an engrossing tale of mystery and suspense. Thank you my pal Andrea for this gifting me this book and introducing me to author Charlie Donlea! 

The Suicide House - cold case specialist Rory Moore investigates the deaths of several students at a private boarding school. 


The Maid - really enjoyed this mystery featuring the very endearing Molly the Maid. A fun read! 

The Night Shift - has a ruthless killer returned after 15 years? Lots of twists and turns that kept me guessing. Thank you to NetGalley for the digital review copy. 

Road out of Winter - a thought provoking climate dystopian novel. Can we maintain our humanity while trying to survive? 

Don’t Know Tough - a gritty southern noir novel about an abused and angry high school football player and the coach who wants to help him. Thank you to NetGalley for the digital review copy. 


Lady Clementine - historical fiction novel about the life and times of Clementine Churchill. 

QOTD: what’s your best tip for staying motivated to write your reviews? Or give me your best reels making tips! 

#monthlyreadingwrapup #readingwrapup #bookstagram #igreads #crimefiction #historicalfiction #mysteryfiction #thrillerfiction #bookworm #bibliophile #booknerd #netgalley

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

The Night Shift


Author: Alex Finlay 

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press 

Year: 2022

๐Ÿ“– ๐—•๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ธ ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜„ ๐Ÿ“–

The Night Shift by Alex Finlay has already been popping up all over Instagram. His previous novel, Every Last Fear, was a huge favorite and I’m sure this book will be extremely popular too. 

The grisly murders of thee teenaged girls working in an ice cream shop has an eerie resemblance to the murders of three girls in a Blockbuster video store fifteen years earlier. The suspect in the Blockbuster murders disappeared without a trace just after the original murders. Could he be back? 

The story is told from multiple points of view. Ella is the lone survivor of the Blockbuster murders. She’s now a therapist and still trying to cope with her ordeal. Ella is asked to speak with the lone survivor of the ice cream shop killings. Ella feels an instant connection to the girl and wants to help her. FBI Agent Keller is brought in to help the local police department with the ice cream shop investigation. She’s smart, calm, fearless, and very pregnant. She was my favorite character. Chris is a young attorney working in the public defender’s office. He has a secret connection to the Blockbuster case that could ruin his life and career. 

Finlay deftly weaves the past and present murder investigations and the multiple points of view together. He also provides lots of twists and red herrings along the way to create a riveting mystery. I hope this isn’t the last we see of Agent Keller. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

Thank you to NetGalley  and St.  Martin’s Press  for the digital review copy. The Night Shift publishes March 1st. 

QOTD: How’s everyone doing so far this week? 

I’m doing good. I dropped all our paperwork off with our tax professional yesterday. That relieved some stress I didn’t even realize I had. ๐Ÿ˜…

#thenightshift #alexfinlay #stmartinspress #netgalley #mystery #mysteryfiction #crimefiction #murdermystery #murdermysterybooks #bookreview #bookrecommendation #publishingsoon #newjersey #blockbustervideo #bookworm #bibliophile 

Friday, February 18, 2022

The Ballad of Laurel Springs


Author: Janet Beard

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Year: 2021

๐ŸŽง๐—”๐˜‚๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ธ ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜„๐ŸŽง

Thank you for the #giftedbook. 

Grace is in need of an idea for her fifth-grade history project. Her aunt tells her the family legend of how her four-times great grandfather murdered his lover. Family lore also says the killing was memorialized in song- a murder ballad. The lesson Grace learns from her family history, to be careful of men and desire, and murder ballads tie generations of women together in this novel. 

The story rewinds Grace’s family history. Each chapter is told from the point of view from a different generation of women from the family’s past. Set in a holler in eastern Tennessee, each woman and her choices have an affect on the future generations. Author Janet Beard does a wonderful job of weaving all the different points of view and time periods into an engrossing and cohesive narrative. The murder ballads also run through each chapter and connect to each generation. 

The audiobook features a full cast and I really enjoyed it. Although I must admit, sometimes I had to really concentrate on keeping the family tree and the family ties straight in my head. 

This is a good choice for historical fiction lovers, readers who like multiple points of view, and domestic fiction readers. I really enjoyed this book and found the women’s stories compelling and often heartbreaking. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

QOTD: do you have interesting or infamous family legends or stories? 

Family lore says one relative had his eye shot out while fighting at Gettysburg during the Civil War. My great grandfather was one of the few survivors of a coal mine collapse. My great Aunt Kit played the piano in a movie theater for the silent picture shows before “talking” movies were invented. She also taught at the last one room school house in Scranton, PA before it closed. 

#theballadoflaurelsprings #janetbeard #simonaudio #historicalfiction #murderballads #domesticfiction #familydrama #multigeneral #multiplepov #tennessee #audiobook #audiobookstagram #bookstagram #igreads #bookrecommendations #audiobookreview #familysecrets #familyhistory #bibliophile 

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Some Choose Darkness


Author: Charlie Donlea

Publisher: Kensington 

Year: 2019

๐Ÿ”น ๐—•๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ธ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜„ ๐Ÿ”น

I’m late to the Charlie Donlea is a fantastic author party. He only popped up on my radar when his latest book, Twenty Years Later, published in December. As I was checking to see if my library’s had that book, I discovered the library has some of his previous books. So I decided to give Some Choose Darkness a try. It did not disappoint! 

Some Choose Darkness is the first in a series featuring main character Rory Moore. She’s a forensic reconstructionist, often called in by the police to help solve cold cases. Here’s what I liked about the book: 

๐Ÿ”นRory is neurodivergent. She can sift through evidence, see patterns, and put the pieces together that others have overlooked. 
๐Ÿ”น The story’s timeline shifts from past to present and both timelines crackle with suspense. 
๐Ÿ”นFamily secrets.
๐Ÿ”นThere’s lots of twists and turns.
๐Ÿ”นRory has a really unusual hobby. 
๐Ÿ”นFast paced and well plotted. 

All of which made this a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read for me. Looking forward to reading Donlea’s Twenty Years Later. Shoutout to @andrea.c.lowry.reads for being so kind and gifting me a copy so I don’t have to wait months for a copy from the library. 

I don’t have a QOTD so Let’s do predict text. 

If _______ was an Olympic sport, I would totally have a gold medal. 

If I have to get some stuff for my mom’s birthday was an Olympic sport, I would totally have a gold medal. ๐Ÿ˜€ Very appropriate because tomorrow is my mom’s birthday. I got her a fleece vest and Lindor chocolate truffles from @lindt_usa. 

#somechoosedarkness #kensingtonpublishing #mystery #mysteryfiction #coldcase #thrillerfiction #kindle #librarybook #libbyapp #bookrecommendations #bookstagram #igreads #bookrecs #bibliophile #readerlife #bookworm #alwaysreading #lovemylibrary #backlistbooks 

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Chasing the Boogeyman


Author: Richard Chizmar

Publisher: Gallery Books

Year: 2021

๐Ÿ“š ๐˜ฝ๐™ค๐™ค๐™  ๐™๐™š๐™ซ๐™ž๐™š๐™ฌ ๐Ÿ“š

What’s not to love about this book? It’s a book within a book. The author has written himself into the story as the main character. It’s a love letter to his hometown and growing up there. It reads like a true crime story, but it’s fiction. Seriously, I had to go back to read the author’s note twice to make sure the story really was fictional. That’s how real this book feels. There’s lots of twists and turns. And there’s just a dash of creepiness for extra flavor. I loved it. Total ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ book for me. 

Any exciting plans for the weekend? 

We don’t have any plans. We’ll watch the Big Game tomorrow. I’ll probably read while the game is on unless it’s a nail biter. Really looking forward to the commercials though. ๐Ÿ˜€

#chasingtheboogeyman #richardchizmar #gallerybooks #bookwithinabook #thrillerbooks #crimefictionbooks #mysteryfiction #hometown #maryland #bookrecommendations #bookstagram #igreads #booksta #booklove #librarybook #thatsnotcoffeeinmycup #readersofinstagram #allbookedup #booknerd 

Monday, February 7, 2022

Book Mail ๐Ÿ“ช


๐Ÿ“ช๐‘ฉ๐’๐’๐’Œ ๐‘ด๐’‚๐’Š๐’ ๐‘ด๐’๐’๐’…๐’‚๐’š๐Ÿ“ช

Thank you to the tagged publishers and authors for the #gifted books! 

Coming soon
๐Ÿ”นThe Mozart Code - a romantic drama set in post-WW2 Vienna (out 3/15)

Available now
๐Ÿ”นThe Last Night in London - a captivating story of friendship, love, and betrayal that moves between war-torn London during the Blitz and the present day

๐Ÿ”นThe Counsel of the Cunning - a detective goes on the hunt for a senator’s son who disappeared ten years ago

Which one should I dive into first?

#berkleypartner #berkleyIG #thelastnightinlondon #karenwhite #giftedbooks #thomasnelsonpublishing #themozartcode #rachelmcmillan #tlcbooktours 
#thecouselofthecunning #stevencharms #suspensepublishing #bookmail #bookstagram #igreads #bookmailsthebestmail #tbr #bookworm #alwaysreading #neverendingtbr 

Friday, February 4, 2022



Author: Kevin Goetz

Narrator: Kevin Goetz

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Year: 2021

๐ŸŽง๐—”๐˜‚๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ธ ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜„๐ŸŽง

Thank you for the #giftedbook. 

“๐‘ฐ๐’ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’…๐’‚๐’“๐’Œ๐’๐’†๐’”๐’” ๐’๐’‡ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’‚๐’•๐’†๐’“, ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’Š๐’“ ๐’…๐’Š๐’‡๐’‡๐’†๐’“๐’†๐’๐’„๐’†๐’” ๐’‡๐’๐’“ ๐’‚ ๐’„๐’๐’–๐’‘๐’๐’† ๐’๐’‡ ๐’‰๐’๐’–๐’“๐’” ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’‹๐’–๐’”๐’• ๐’ˆ๐’†๐’• ๐’”๐’˜๐’†๐’‘๐’• ๐’‚๐’˜๐’‚๐’š.” - ๐‘ฒ๐’†๐’—๐’Š๐’ ๐‘ฎ๐’๐’†๐’•๐’›

Kevin Goetz has made a career out of audience testing Hollywood movies. He works with studios to screen rough cuts of prereleases movies to an audience. He then questions the audience to get their honest opinions of the film to help filmmakers and producers make any needed tweaks to the movie. The audience feedback he elicits can help an average film become the next blockbuster. 

This is a fascinating look at behind the scenes at the business of movie making. Goetz has lots of stories about some of the biggest and best loved movies. He’s not out to spill the tea on any movie, director, or star. Reading this book, you can tell he’s very much a movie fan. He wants his work to help make a movie better. Goetz narrates the audiobook and his passion and enthusiasm for his work is palpable. 

Both big time movie buffs and causal fans will be entertained with Goetz’s stories and insights into an audience’s reaction to a movie. I really enjoyed this engaging and entertaining look at a little-known aspect of movie making. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

QOTD: what’s your favorite movie? 

#audienceology #kevingoetz #movies #testaudience #hollywood #moviemaking #simonaudio #audiobook #audiobookreview #audiobookstagram #bookrecommendations #audiobookrecommendation #booknerd #bookworm #alwaysreading #bibliophilelife #nonfiction

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Carnegie’s Maid


Author: Marie Benedict 

Publisher: Sourcebooks

Year: 2018

๐Ÿ“– ๐˜พ๐™–๐™ง๐™ฃ๐™š๐™œ๐™ž๐™š’๐™จ ๐™ˆ๐™–๐™ž๐™™ ๐Ÿ“–

A poor Irish immigrant girl takes a job as personal maid to the mother of wealthy industrialist Andrew Carnegie. 

Clara, the main character, has secrets she must hide from her employer and family. A coincidence and mistaken identity land her the job. She somehow manages to fool everyone in the Carnegie household into thinking she’s the exact opposite of the person she really is. As Clara settles in, she and Andrew bond over Clara’s interest in business and a budding attraction grows. Of course, one of the richest men in the world can’t be with a poor immigrant girl. Thanks to a nest egg built from a fruitful business idea Clara shared with Andrew, Clara has a way to help her family and improve her station in life.  She becomes Andrew’s inspiration to become a one of the world’s most renown philanthropists. Fun fact: Carnegie was the largest individual investor in public libraries in American history. 

Marie Benedict has the knack for blending fact and fiction into well researched and heartfelt stories of often overlooked women. She does an excellent job recreating creating the atmosphere of the time period and the contrasts between the rich and the poor. I also liked how she didn’t sugarcoat Carnegie’s ruthless business practices such as insider trading. Benedict’s skillful storytelling and attention to historical details makes this a pleasing book to get lost in. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

QOTD: what’s for dinner tonight? 
I made lasagna last night so it’s leftovers for us tonight. 

#carnegiesmaid #mariebenedict #sourcebooks #andrewcarnegie #pittsburgh #bookstagram #historicalfiction #industrialist #philanthropy #philanthropist #steelmagnate #immigrant #booknerd #bookworm #bibliophile #igreads #bibliophilelife #bookbooksbooks

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

A Line to Kill


Author: Anthony Horowitz 

Publisher: Harper Collins

Year: 2021

♠️๐๐จ๐จ๐ค ๐‘๐ž๐ฏ๐ข๐ž๐ฐ♠️

A gruff former police detective turned PI and an author investigate murders on a remote English island. 

A Line to Kill is the third installment of Anthony Horowitz’s delightful series in which he’s cast himself as a main character. Horowitz acts as Watson to Hawthorne’s Sherlock. In this volume, the book about the duo’s first investigation is about to be published. They attend a small literary festival on a remote island to start promoting the book. Horowitz is sure Hawthorne has an a hidden agenda for choosing this book festival, but can’t figure out what it is. It doesn’t take them long to get involved with investing the murder of the tiny island’s wealthiest resident. 

I really like this cleaver series. Horowitz hasn’t cast himself as the hero. He is clearly the second banana, always trying to play catch up the genius detective. The series falls somewhere between being a cozy mystery and a hard boiled mystery. It never takes itself too seriously while still supplying lots of twists, turns, and fun. This book can be read as a stand alone. I recommend reading the books in order just because they are so entertaining. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

๐™ƒ๐™–๐™ฅ๐™ฅ๐™ฎ ๐™‚๐™ง๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฃ๐™™๐™๐™ค๐™œ ๐˜ฟ๐™–๐™ฎ!
Who’s watching the movie Groundhog Day today in honor of our weird Pennsylvania tradition of having a groundhog forecast the weather? ๐Ÿ˜€ The groundhog saw his shadow this morning and now we’ll have six more weeks of winter. 

#alinetokill #anthonyhorowitz #hawthorneandhorowitz #harpercollins #mysteryfiction #crimefiction #lockedroommystery #alderney #privateinvestigator #murdermystery #bookstagram #bookreview #bookrecs #igreads #kindle #librarybook #lovemylibrary #alwaysreading #booksbooksbooks #booknerd

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

❄️ January Wrap Up ❄️

January was an enjoyable reading month for me. I read mostly mostly mysteries and thrillers and branched out a smidge too. I even managed to squeeze in a nonfiction booked. 


๐Ÿ“– The Dark Hours - author Michael Connelly continues to prove he’s the master of the police procedural. 

๐Ÿ“– Five Decembers- a sweeping saga set against the backdrop of WWII. This is part mystery, part historical fiction, and part romance. You won’t read anything else like this. 

๐Ÿ“–Chasing the Boogeyman - a mystery novel disguised as a true crime book. Really cleaver! 

๐Ÿ“– Some Choose Darkness - a gifted young woman who helps solve tough cases discovers secrets about her own past after her father dies and she must take his place as lawyer for a notorious criminal. Great main character and lots of twists! 

Really Enjoyed

๐Ÿ“– Ink and Shadows - features a mystery-solving former librarian turned bookseller. How could I not like it? Thank you to Kensington Press and TLC Book Tours for the gifted copy. 

๐ŸŽง When We Were Them - an emotion-filled teen novel of friendship and love. Thank you to Simon and Schuster Audio for the gifted copy. 

๐Ÿ“– A Line to Kill - the third book in the series in which author Anthony Horowitz has cast himself as the exasperated sidekick to a surly investigator. This series is lots of fun. 

๐Ÿ“– Last Seen Alive - the victim that got away from a notorious serial killer must confront him again. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the digital review copy. 

๐Ÿ“– Carnegie’s Maid - historical fiction novel about an Irish immigrant who inspires Andrew Carnegie to become one of the world’s greatest philanthropists. 

๐ŸŽง Audience-ology: How Moviegoers Shape the Films We Love- author Kevin Goetz provides a peek behind the scenes at the art and science audience movie testing. Really interesting-especially for movie buffs! Thank you to Simon and Schuster Audio for the gifted copy. 

๐ŸŽง The Ballad of Laurel Springs - a multi-generational novel about the women and secrets of an East Tennessee family. One tragic event has heartbreaking effects on generations. Thank you to Simon and Schuster Audio for the gifted copy. 

Just Ok

๐Ÿ“– Undermoney - a financial thriller about crime and money laundering. I liked the premise of the story, but the execution was meh. Thank you Scribner’s for the gifted copy. 

#readingwrapup #alwaysreading #bookstagram #audiobookstagram #crimefiction #mysteryfiction #alwaysreading #books 

Under Your Spell

  Author: Laura Wood Narrator: Ellie Heydon Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Year: 2024 ๐ŸŽง๐—”๐˜‚๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ธ ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜„๐ŸŽง Many thanks...