Thursday, May 3, 2012

Book Review Thursday - 5/3

Two more reviews written!! Both of these books were read on my Kindle and checked out from my library. Super easy!

The Talk-Show Murders is the third book in the Chef Billy Blessing series by Al Roker and Dick Lochte. Billy is in Chicago with the morning show Wake Up, America! and has a chance meeting with a nosy ex-cop who remembers Billy’s previous identity as a con man. Billy paid for his crimes and reinvented himself and thought that he had left his shady past behind him. And Eddie is willing to forget the past as well… for a price. After meeting with Billy to share the information that he has and to suggest a price for the blackmail, Eddie winds up dead. And Billy is on the suspect list.

I think that this is the best book in the series so far! I really enjoyed the characters and the witty writing and found myself laughing out loud several times while reading the book. I did read this book on my Kindle as a check out from my library, but even without hearing Al Roker’s voice as the narrator on the audio version, it was easy to imagine his voice while I read. As usual, Billy doesn’t know who to trust and ends up in a few sticky situations. And he meets many new people, but I found it much easier to keep everyone straight in this novel. I would definitely recommend the book!

And finally, I remembered to mark a passage that cracked me up. Billy is being stalked, dodging bullets and hiding behind a car listening to a man cross a street towards him. "Moving slowly. But irrevocably. I use words like that when I'm about to pee my pants." That is classic!!

I recently finished the latest installment of Joanne Fluke’s Hannah mystery The Cinnamon Roll Murder. In this book, Hannah is on her way to see a jazz band, The Cinnamon Roll Six, at the Lake Eden Inn in the spring and narrowly misses an multi-car pile up in the snow. Hannah and her sister decide to see if they can help and they find the band’s bus overturned, band members and groupies with minor injuries and the bus driver dead at the wheel. They head to the hospital to get the keyboardist Buddy Neiman’s sprained wrist x-rayed and treated. Everything is turning out to be a normal day in the small town until Buddy is found by Hannah’s mother with a pair of surgical scissors in his chest. Hannah is asked to play detective to find the killer. As if that isn’t enough, Hannah’s friends and family insist that she fight for Norman after his announcement at the end of the last book that he was marrying his old girlfriend, Doctor Bev.

Thankfully, this book didn’t have me rolling my eyes as much as the previous books in this series have. I have learned to skip through the recipes and not even bother writing them down. I am sure that they are good, but the recipes and the notes in the recipes are written as if a 7 year old is reading them and following them to make something. Really, who needs to be told repeatedly that if you can’t crack an egg without getting shell into the bowl that you need to crack all the eggs in a separate bowl, remove the shells and then add the eggs to the mixture. I feel like if you haven’t figured that out by now, you probably shouldn’t be playing with the heat in an oven.

And I think that Hannah has finally made a decision about her “love triangle.” Hopefully, it will be completely resolved in the next book? Although, I find it very funny that she has been stringing these guys along for years in the series and has never entertained an overnight guest who wasn’t one of her sisters. But it is OK for Mike to sleep around with the other girls that he dates and for Norman to possibly have had a child with Doctor Bev when he wasn’t married? This author needs to realize that she is not stuck in 1960 and that it is way past the turn of the new century!

And seriously? A band named The Cinnamon Roll Six? Really? It sounds like the name of a group of grown men dressed up like junk food to dance around a stage for toddlers. Although, nowadays it would be a very popular group with the health food craze and the many changes in the food groups.

All that being said, I thought that this book was better than some of the recent books in the series. I’m just wondering how many more books the author can write without making a major change to something.


South Jersey Quilter said...

Hey Jill- do you check out the free books every day from amazon? Go to www ereaderiq dot com and there are usually a lot of good freebies.

Bonnie said...

Hum, Imust be a few books behind in this series. I don't remember Norman declaring for Dr. Bev. I think you are right on with the analysis of the series. She is a bit behind the times. And, honestly, how many murders can there be in a small community? I hope I can find the last few books as I do find them entertaining. Hopefully I can find them at one of the three local libraries I visit.

PunkiePie (Jen) said...

OH you are making me want to read the latest installment of Hannah just because! I agree with everything you said from the recipe writing to the love triangle. I HOPE she finally picks one of them and moves on to other topics. Would be nice. :)