Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Lessons in Chemistry

What a sometimes heartwarming and maddening novel all at the same time. All I can say is thank goodness I wasn't born in this age where I would have been stuck as a homemaker. 

I feel like I am very late to the party with finishing this book, but it was worth it. Elizabeth Zott is a scientist in the US in the 1950s and struggling with the misconception that women should be in the home and only in the home. What an incredible story that was told with plain speak matter of factness and not preachy at all. It simply and concisely explained the societal expectations surrounding men and women in the 1950s.

I will be watching the Apple+ series soon, but I am sure that it will not live up to the book as most movies and books based on best sellers do not. But I will watch just to see the live action Mad Zott. And six thirty, the dog.

Write more, Bonnie Garmus! Five stars!

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

A Smoking Bun

Also published in February, this was a nice cozy from a new to me author! Four stars!

*I received a free copy of this novel from NetGalley, St. Martin's Press and St. Martin's Paperbacks for my honest review.*

Jules and Carlos are hosting Carlos' ex and her family for a few days at New Year's and Jules is excited to be spending time with the whole family and showing them Mount Ashford. they take a midnight snow shoe excursion that is interrupted by a rude party pushing past them. The next day, there is a Downhill Dummy event and everyone is having a grand time until someone is killed by a dummy. So Jules investigates the death that might be a murder or might just be an accident.

What a cast of characters! This was my first time reading Ellie Alexander and I was surprised to see it was the 18th book in the series. I have a lot of catching up to do!

I enjoyed the descriptions of the events and the mountain! And the employees of Torte - seems like there could be a lot of side stories there. Even from not reading the prior books in the series, I didn't feel like I missed anything and I enjoyed what character development there was with the family from Spain and all of the employees in the bakery. I felt like the pacing of the mystery and all of the other happenings in the town were spot on and the re-hashing of the mystery every few chapters was great to keep up on the details that were important.

I will be reading the series to catch up soon!
 

The Guest by B.A. Paris

Published February 20, 2024 and a 5 star review for me! A great twisty thriller.

*I received a free copy of this novel from NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for my honest review.*

Iris and Gabriel have just returned from holiday and found Laure has taken up residence in their bed. As shocking as this seems to the reader, it is explained that Laure is a long time family friend who has had access to their home in the past while they are on vacation as they have had access to Laure's and her husband Pierre's home in Paris. But wow! Laure has had news of Pierre's one night stand from years past that resulted in a child that she was unaware of. And Iris and Gabriel can't kick Laure out of their house while she is in crisis, right?

Laure seems to be very overbearing and low-key obnoxious with wearing Iris's clothes and rearranging the kitchen without asking among other things. I won't lie that as a reader it gets a little irritating how much Iris and Gabriel let Laure get away with. I feel like everything at the beginning of the story pays off quite well.

As mentioned above, the first part of the story drags a tad, but sets up the rest of the story. At the end, I couldn't put it down and couldn't read fast enough! Paris writes a great twisty story with surprises.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

The Traitor


*I received a free copy of this novel from NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine, and Bantam books for my honest review.*

I loved the first in this series so much and I was very excited to get the second to read! It did not disappoint at all!

Taking the energy of Alias Emma running through London in one evening and add to it "Below Deck" on a super yacht and you have a super thriller mystery! Emma is investigating a dead MI6 operative and has to train to be a replacement steward on the yacht to investigate. And still trying to solve who the mole is within her MI6 department.

I cannot say enough good things about this book and this series. It is smart and sassy and fresh and well written and fast paced. I don't think you have to have watched all 15+ seasons of all the Below Decks, but it definitely helped me understand what obstacles Emma was facing by going undercover.

I am definitely recommending this book and this series to friends! Five stars! I think this is a standalone novel, but it is so good that I don't know why you wouldn't read Alias Emma first! Seriously.... do it!!

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

The Expectant Detectives

 

This novel was published just last week and I finished it today. I give it 5 stars. It is not a cozy mystery and not a rom-com - some foul language used. I highly recommend!

*I received a free copy of this novel from NetGalley, St. Martin's Press and Minotaur Books for my honest review.*

Alice and Joe are expecting a baby and decided to move from London to the Cotswolds to raise the baby in a smaller village. And it turns out that they have moved to a sleepy village with a "hippie, dippy" commune. They start prenatal classes and meet some other expectant families. At the second meeting, one of the other mothers ends up giving birth and a body is discovered at the nature store on the first floor of their meeting location.

This book was hysterical!! Helen is a riot! All of the main characters are fantastically different and totally believable and easy to root for in their "detectoring"! The pace was spot on and I can't wait for the next in the series. Very well done!!