Wednesday, October 18, 2017

What's Next ,Wednesday (77)

  •  To play along share a book you've been looking forward to reading, whether it's new or has been on your reading list for a while.


I'm looking forward to... 

The Flats by Kate Birdsall. This is the first installment of another murder mystery series. Liz Boyle is the head detective when a murder victim is found in an area of town called the flats. When someone close to Liz makes the suspect list, this case becomes the most difficult and interesting of her career. I'm always up for the challenge of a mystery and this one seems like it's going to stump me. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Teaser Tuesday (286)

Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. It is very easy to play along:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.


Aaru (Kindle 38%)
   - David Meredith

"Aaru is a system by which we can save whole people," Askr went on. "Save whole minds. Every thought and feeling..." 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Short Story Sunday - Language of Thorns #3

The Witch of Duva

The monsters of Langauge of Thorns seem to always be closer than you think. In this short story, in the town of Duva girls start disappearing as winter begins. Whispers of a Khitka, a vengeful spirit, start sweeping the town. The main character is a young girl named Nadya. When her mother dies, a widow in town decides she wants to marry Nadya's father, Maxim. Karina, the widow, doesn't seem to like Nadya very much and the story takes the feel of the evil stepmother. Before their marriage, Karina warns Nadya that she must leave her home and her father. Nadya believes that it's because Karina doesn't want to have to take care of her through the winter. After they marry, Maxim starts to ignore Nadya, spending his time gambling, drinking, or with Karina. 

With the seeming goal of getting rid of Nadya, Karina begins sending Nadya to the woods each day to check the traps for food. One evening, Nadya gets lost in the woods and meets Magda. Nadya learns that Magda mixes tonics and potions for people who need them as the Witch of Duva. Yet, Nadya stays with Magda instead of returning to her home. For the price of two fingers, Magda helps Nadya make her home safe for her return. But again, like many of Bardugo's stories, the monster isn't the one readers have been led to believe. Nadya learns that her father was responsible for the disappearing girls. After her father's death, Nadya continues to live with the witch, learning potions and tonics, deep in the woods.

This story, like the two before, shares the message that what you think about people isn't always the truth and those you trust may not be trustworthy. However, the end of this story is a bit more disturbing than the others. It seems in the Grishaverse, monsters are always hiding in sheep's clothing which brings to focus the overarching theme of danger hiding in the least likely of places. One thing that I like about these stories is that many of the character's motives and goals are unpredictable. I like that Bardugo offers twists in her stories through both action and characters. I'm also starting to notice that none of the parents in any of these stories are good. They don't seem to actually care about their children or something causes them to stop caring. There is also the reoccurring instance of the main character being female (in the first story and this story) causing me to wonder if the morals of these stories are gender-focused.  We'll see if these patterns continue in the final three stories.

Next Story: Little Knife

Read about the first two stories:

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Brewing Up Murder (Coffee Cup Mysteries #1)

35697563As the owner of Mystery Cup CafĂ© in Wilton, Missouri, a town made famous by a string of long-ago murders, Blake Harper is used to the mysterious. When her barista is found strangled in a mound of coffee beans, Blake vows to find the killer, even though her sister, the town’s lead police detective, tells her to stay out of it.

Blake finds plenty of suspects, like the owners of a rival coffee shop and the handsome new bookstore owner. But when new threats are made, she soon realizes the danger is centered around Mystery Cup and someone is targeting her personally.

Will Blake be able to solve the murder, find a new barista, and perfect her recipe for espresso brownies before she becomes the next victim?

*May Contain Spoilers*

Neila Young introduces a new series with her first installment, Brewing Up Murder, combining the perk of being a coffee addict with the dangerous nature of murder. The main character, Blake, is a coffee shop owner on a street in which all shops boast a name associated with murder or death. When murder does return to this small town, Blake's curious nature threatens to get her into a grave of trouble. 

Blake Harper is one of the hubs of the small town this story takes place in. As a coffee shop owner, she sees many of the townspeople every day while also serving tourists who visit the small town with a murderous history. As a fellow coffee lover, I really liked Blake's character. She's nice, loyal, curious, but she definitely struggles to stay out of situations that could result in a mortal injury. Even though she has an insatiable need to know what's going on, I think if a killer warned me personally to stay out of it -- I would. I also found it very interesting, and entertaining, that Young would open up a love triangle in the middle of the murder mystery. It definitely seems to break some rules about murder mysteries, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The two men that appear with a deep interest in Blake are a bookstore owner and a doctor. While one is dark and brooding, the other seems to have a southern accent and loves to use the pet name, 'Sugar.' This line of romantic interest may just be the link connecting all of the Coffee Cup Mystery books because both men are set up with dates by the end. Even though Blake makes some silly decisions when it comes to her personal safety, I think readers will connect with her mainly through her personality. She's fun and interesting and can't help but poke the hornet's nest. 

The main plotline follows the murder of one of Blake's employees. With hardly any evidence but a long list of suspects, Blake decides to try to solve the crime even though her detective sister directly tells her not to. Of course, this gets Blake into a couple of very sticky situations. Most of the novel is Blake trying to put the seemingly disjointed pieces together, getting hurt, while the side plot love stories slowly build. I do admit that I wasn't able to identify the murderer before the novel ended, which is always nice. I like being wrong every once in a while, but in my defense, I was on the right track with the clues. I would definitely recommend this book to readers of romance and mysteries as this book combines them pretty well. 

Rating: 4/5 Cups