Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Small Mercies


Author: Dennis Lehane

Publisher: HarperCollins

Release date: April 25, 2023

Thank you NetGalley & HarperCollins for the digital review copy. 

Dennis Lehane’s Small Mercies isn’t always an easy. That’s what makes it so good. The book is set in the “Southie” enclave of Boston in 1974. It’s the eve of forced bussing to desegregate the schools. Everyone is on edge including Mary Pat Fennessy. Mary Pat has spent her life in the housing projects of Southie. She loves her Irish American community & takes pride in how the people in the neighborhood look out for one another. 

Just before the new school year is set to start, a young black man is killed in Southie. It’s the same night Mary Pat’s teenage daughter never returns home after going with some friends. Witnesses reported a group of white teens confronted the victim shortly before he was killed. 

Mary Pat turns to the neighborhood crime boss & his crew to help find her daughter after the police offer little help. The crew runs everything in Southie & even though they’re criminal thugs, she knows the neighborhood can always count on their help. After a few days, the crew tells Mary Pat her daughter simply ran off to Florida & to let it go. Mary Pat can’t let it go. What mother would? She’s determined to find the answers to her daughter’s disappearance no matter the cost. 

Mary Pat begins to question everything she grew up believing about her close knit neighborhood & the men who run it. She also must face her own racism & the fact that she passed her prejudices along to her daughter. 

Lehane does an exceptional job setting the scene & painting the Southie neighborhood and it’s characters. He perfectly captures the time period of a city that was ready explode like a power keg over desegregation.

Mary Pat isn’t a character who is easy to like. It would be simple to dismiss her as merely a product of her place & time. But somehow Lehane made me root for her. It was compelling to see Mary Pat confront her own racism & long held beliefs. She eventually questioned everything she held dear about her neighborhood and community. I didn’t always like Mary Pat, but she’ll stick with me for a long time. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Small Mercies publishes April 25th.

#smallmercies #dennislehane #harpercollins #netgalley #publishingsoon #boston #southie #bussing #desegregation #historicalfiction #crimefiction #mysteryfiction #thrillerbooks #bookstagram #reviewcopy

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Killing Me


Author: Michelle Gagnon

Publisher: Putnam Books

Publishing: May 16, 2023

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

Amber Jamison is saved from being a serial killer’s latest victim by a mysterious woman who quickly disappears. Amber doesn’t want any unnecessary attention on herself-especially from the police, so she quickly leaves town. Amber ends up in Vegas and is quickly befriend by Marcela, a friendly sex worker, and Dot, a noir obsessed vigilante hotel manager. Somehow Amber ends up in the crosshairs of another serial killer. Amber’s erstwhile mysterious rescuer also turns up in Vegas on a new personal mission. Can Amber and her new pals catch the serial killer before becoming victims themselves? 

Killing Me is fun read. I know it’s kind of weird to use the word fun to describe a book about a brutal serial killer, but it that’s the best way I can describe it. At times it’s absurdly funny, irreverent, tragic, and touching. I enjoyed the main characters especially Amber. She a former grifter who now just wants to finish her college degree and not live a life of crime. She’s a smart, funny, sexy lgbt main character. The plot had enough twists and turns to keep me guessing and chucking. There’s something for everyone here- quirky characters, a lot of snark, a dash of romance, and an intriguing mystery. This book will appeal to fans Finlay Donovan and Stephanie Plum. It’s a great mix of murder, friendship, romance, and humor. Looking forward to more! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thank you @putnambooks and @netgalley for the digital review copy. Killing Me publishes on May 16th. Put this one on your TBR list because it’s a lot of fun! 

QOTD: it’s tax day here in the US. ๐Ÿ˜• Do you wait until the last minute to do your taxes and file? 

I don’t like waiting until the last minute. My husband dragged his feet this year giving me the info needed for our rental property. So we’re filing today. 

#killingme #michellegagnon #putnambooks #netgalley #publishingsoon #crimefiction #serialkiller #thrillerfiction #mysteryfiction #grifter #whathappensinvegas #lbgtq #lgbtqreads #humorfiction #bookstagram #bookreview

Thursday, April 13, 2023

The Golden Spoon


Author: Jessa Maxwell

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Year: 2023

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

Happy #thrillerthursday! Thank you for the #gifted audiobook! Appreciate it! 

Jessa Maxwell’s debut novel is an entertaining locked room mystery crossed with The Great British Bakeoff. Betsy Martin has turned her talent for baking into a lucrative media business. She hosts a popular baking competition show where contestants get to spend a week at Betsy’s rural childhood estate while they compete for the Golden Spoon prize as best baker. A prize that could launch the careers of the home bakers to new heights. 

This year’s bakeoff has brought changes to Betsy’s beloved show. For the first time she’s saddled with a cohost. Archie Morris, an abrasive food competition show host, has been brought on board to liven things up. As the competition gets under way, things start to immediately go wrong. Does sabotaging the contestants lead to murder? 

Everyone involved in the show seemed to have secrets to keep. Lottie, the oldest contest, and Pradyumna, a bored, rich tech bro, were my favorite characters. I liked how their relationship developed into becoming allies and friends. The story is told from many different points of view. I loved that the narration had a full cast which really helped keeping track of POVs.

This was an easy, entertaining, and enjoyable listen for me. It’s a promising debut from Maxwell and I’ll be interested to see what comes next. This is the perfect choice for cozy mystery lovers and especially baking fans. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

QOTD: what’s your favorite baked treat? 

I think you can’t go wrong with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and a glass of cold milk!

#thegoldenspoon #jessamaxwell #simonaudio #thrillerbooks #thrillerthursday #crimefiction #cozymystery #lockedroom #mysteryfiction #bakingcompetition #bakeoff #debutnovel #audiobook #audiobookreview #audiobookstagram #audiobooksofinstagram #fullcastnarration 

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Book Mail: Moscow Exile


Author: John Lawton

Publisher: Grove Atlantic 

Release date: April, 18, 2023

๐Ÿ“ช๐—•๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ธ ๐— ๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—น๐Ÿ“ช

#bookmailmonday but make it on Tuesday. 

Thank you Grove Atlantic Press and author John Lawton for this gifted copy! 

This was on my doorstep when I got home after spending last week at the beach. I had too much catching up to do yesterday and didn’t get a chance to post about it. 

๐—ฆ๐˜†๐—ป๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐˜€๐—ถ๐˜€: Charlotte is a British expatriate who has recently settled in the nation’s capital with her second husband, a man who looks intriguingly like Clark Gable, but her enviable dinner parties and soirรฉes aren’t the only things she is planning. Meanwhile, Charlie Leigh-Hunt has been posted to Washington as a replacement for Guy Burgess, last seen disappearing around the corner and into the Soviet Union. Charlie is soon shocked to cross paths with Charlotte, an old flame of his, who, thanks to all her gossipy parties, has a packed pocketbook full of secrets she is eager to share. Two decades or so later, in 1969, Joe Wilderness is stuck on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain, held captive by the KGB, a chip in a game way above his pay grade—but his old friends Frank and Eddie are going to try to spring him out of the toughest prison in the world. All roads lead back to Berlin, and to the famous Bridge of Spies…

Sounds like lots of intrigue in the post WWII era! Can’t wait to dive into this one! Espionage thriller lovers mark you calendars. Moscow Exile publishes next Tuesday, April 18th. 

#moscowexile #johnlawton #groveatlantic #joewilderness #espionage #espionagethriller #spythriller #espionagefiction #moscow #coldwar #coldwarespionagethriller #thrillerbooks #bookstagram #spyfiction #bookmail #bookmailisthebestmail #bridgeofspies #joewildernessseries #publishingsoon 

Saturday, April 1, 2023

March Reading Wrap Up


April already?! March flew by in a haze of I didn’t really do anything, but it seemed kind of busy. I read 11 books for the month. 


๐ŸŽงThe Lager Queen of Minnesota- charming, heartfelt & delightful.

๐ŸŽง Thank You for Listening- Julia Whelan is my audiobook queen & can do no wrong. 


๐ŸŽงThe Golden Spoon-cozy mystery set in the world of reality tv competitions. A fun read! 

๐ŸŽงThe Lost English Girl-WWII historical fic & family drama. Lots of food for thought in this one including religion, racism, & women’s rights. Really enjoyed it. 

๐ŸŽง Wolf Trap- an entertaining action thriller with lots of moving parts. Edge of your seat read! 

๐ŸŽงHang the Moon-historical fic set in the rural south during prohibition. Lots of family drama & girl power! Main character Sallie Kincaid is a definite girl boss. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. 

๐Ÿ“–The House Party- thought this was YA but was really more adult even though it revolves around kids who threw a rager of a keg party. 

๐Ÿ“–The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany- generational family drama with a family curse & tons of secrets. Loved the Italian settings and upbeat Aunt Poppy. My whole book club enjoyed it. 


๐Ÿ“–The Island of Missing Trees-buddy read with two booksta pals. I didn’t throw this book across the room like one of them confessed to doing. This book had some good things going on but just too many messy parts got in the way. 

๐Ÿ“–Better Off Dead- I’m a long-time Jack Reacher fan girl, but Lee Child seriously needs to ditch his brother as cowriter. Either that or just let Reacher finally settle down in a crime-free place with a great diner that has strong coffee and delicious pie. 


Stay Awake-I can’t believe I actually made it through this whole book. The plot relied on way too may coincidences to move it along. Way too much repetition got boring. S.J. Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep is a better choice than this one for a story about a main character with memory loss. 

Thank you Simon & Schuster Audio for the gifted copies of The Golden Spoon, The Lost English Girl, Wolf Trap & Hang the Moon! 

#monthlywrapup #readingwrapup #audiobooks #audiobookstagram #audiobooksofinstagram #bookstagram #bookclub #buddyread #historicalfiction #crimefiction #thrillerbooks #contemporaryfiction #familydrama 

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...