Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Curioddity (review) - ODD Indeed!

TITLE: Curioddity
AUTHOR: Paul Jenkins
PUBLISHER: St. Martin's Press
PUBLISHING DATE: August 30, 2016

FROM GOODREADS: Will Morgan is a creature of habit―a low-budget insurance detective who walks to and from work with the flow of one-way traffic, and for whom imagination is a thing of the distant past. When a job opportunity enters the frame in the form of the mysterious Mr. Dinsdale―curator of the ever so slightly less-than-impressive Curioddity Museum―Will reluctantly accepts the task of finding a missing box of levity (the opposite of gravity). What he soon learns, however, is that there is another world out there―a world of magic we can only see by learning to un-look at things―and in this world there are people who want to close the Curioddity museum down. With the help of his eccentric new girlfriend Lucy, Will will do everything he can to deliver on his promise to help Mr. Dinsdale keep the Curioddity Museum in business.

Curioddity is Paul Jenkins’ debut novel... exciting, fast-paced, and uncanny. A must-read.


MY THOUGHTS: 
I've sat and thought about this review for a little while now and I guess it's about time I try to put it in to print. When I requested Curioddity, I figured I was in for a Harry Dresden/urban fantasy type book and while I was somewhat right, I don't think this book actually lived up to my expectations. That's not to say it's a bad book because it really isn't. It was just really hard for me to become engrossed with the plot and I didn't really connect to any of the characters until Lucy came along. And let's just add, it's a good thing that ODD is in the title because it very accurately Jenkins' latest endeavor.

Wil Morgan has his own business as an insurance private investigator but right from the start, the reader finds that Wil is not happy with his life and really has only been going through the motions since his mother died when he was 10. Wil's mother sparked Wil's creativity and imagination as a young child and especially an interest in all things science related, but when she passed, he was raised by his more practical father. Wil has always disappointed his father and has never really been happy and sad to say, I'm surprised Wil just didn't off himself several years before the events in this book even took place. However, one day he is approached by Mr. Dinsdale - an odd curator for the Curioddity Museum and Wil's subsequent involvement with Mr. Dinsdale and the museum leads him to unravel a new mystery which leads to Wil changing the way he looks at absolutely everything.

I never really became attached to Wil and perhaps it was because he was rather drab and boring. However, I imagine Jenkins portrayed him exactly as he wanted and he was supposed to be this way. It also took me quite a while to get used to Jenkins' writing. Many paragraphs and even the chapters are long and descriptive and for me, it bogged down the novel. However, once Lucy arrived on the scene, both the dialogue and the action picked up and I can honestly say in my opinion, she saved the book. Plus her driving abilities - priceless! Also, Wil's father comes to visit and the reader gets some insight on their very strained relationship which did succeed in making Wil a tad more interesting.

If you like mysteries, science fiction and strange adventures with odd characters and contraptions, then this might just be the book you have been searching for. At this time, I believe it's listed as a stand alone, yet I could see where it might have a sequel sometime in the future. If so, I might pick it up to see what happens to Lucy and Wil in the future, but it wouldn't be high priority on my list.

I received this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


RATING: 3 PAWS
 

A Deadly Tail and a Challenge Wrap-Up

TITLE: A Deadly Tail (Whiskey, Tango & Foxtrot Mystery #4)
AUTHOR: Dixie Lyle
PUBLISHER: St. Martin's Paperbacks
PUBLISHING DATE: February 2, 2016

FROM GOODREADS: Foxtrot has seen a lot of strange things as assistant to billionaire Zelda Zoransky at her wacky mansion. And that includes her telepathic cat Tango and ectoplasmic pooch Whiskey. So it's no surprise to find a horde of zombies lurching across the lawn-even if they are just actors in a horror movie that's filming on the mansion grounds. The special effects look pretty convincing. But all that fake blood doesn't fool Whiskey, who quickly sniffs out the truth: one of those corpses is real...

A DEADLY TAIL
Before you can say, "Lights, camera, murder," Foxtrot and her furry partners-in-crimesolving are caught up in the drama of who-killed-who...and why. With a crazy cast of characters including a neurotic director, a star-hungry diva-even with an appearance by Lassie's ghost-it's bound to have one hell of a twist ending. But first, Foxtrot and her supernatural sidekicks have to find a killer amongst them-before the whole case is a wrap......from author Dixie Lyle.


MY THOUGHTS: 
This was another fine addition to the Whiskey Tango and Foxtrot Mysteries. In this one, a movie crew is filming a new Sherlock Holmes/zombie flick at ZZ's mansion when both the director ends up dead and star ends up in the hospital. One is found on the menagerie property without their head and hands and the other is harmed in an explosion in the mansion estate. Foxtrot quickly jumps into action and starts solving the mystery. All of the usual crew are still present, but they weren't as prevalent in this edition as in the previous ones which left me missing the interaction with ZZ and Ben.

I found the primary mystery to be well done, but in this novel, it was all the secondary happenings that interested me more. Tango is convinced that she can direct an animal film with a feline star and makes a bet with Whiskey to do so. She then starts writing a screenplay and casting the animal spirits who live in the Crossroads Cemetery which is adjacent to the mansion. During the tale, she meets the spirits of Benji and Trigger, as well as some other notable famous characters. Her play is eventually sabotaged and Whiskey actually puts in his investigative hat to determine who is out to get his arch nemesis/best friend Tango (she is a cat after all).

My only real complaint is that I noticed several typos in this book which was not the case in the previous ones. I don't exactly know the reason, but overall it didn't distract from my enjoyment. I love Lyle's writing and as far as cozy mysteries go, this series is rather unique. There is supposed a 5th book supposed to be out, but it hasn't been released yet so I don't know what exactly is going on. This one does end on a tad of a cliffhanger which takes us back to some of the plot line of Book 3, so I hope I learn something of its release soon.


RATING: 4 PAWS




This book wraps up my "Can you read a series in a month challenge" and I just barely squeaked by in the nick of time.  I'm really glad I participated in this challenge and that I chose this cozy mystery series because I loved all the books so much.  Plus, it's nice to be caught up on another series I regularly read.  Thanks to Michelle at Because Reading Is Better Than Real Life for hosting this challenge because without her, I am sure these books would still be on the TBR challenge.  You can find the reviews for the previous book here:

A TASTE FUR MURDER (#1)
TO DIE FUR (#2)
MARKED FUR MURDER (#3)




Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (71)



"Waiting on" Wednesday" is weekly meme hosted over at Breaking the Spine which spotlights upcoming anticipated releases. 






Idle Ingredients (Sin du Jour #4) - February 7, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: Catering for a charismatic motivational speaker, the staff of the Sin du Jour catering agency find themselves incapacitated by a force from within their ranks. A smile and a promise is all it took.

And for some reason, only the men are affected. It’s going to take cunning, guile and a significant amount of violence to resolve.

Another day of cupcakes and evil with your favorite demonic caterers.

WHY I'M WAITING: Ever since I first saw this cover late last week, I knew I would be featuring it today.  I love this series so much and if you haven't started it already, you really shouldn't wait much longer.  I love Wallace's writing and dark humor and I can't wait to see what's in store for our characters in this edition.  I don't know how Wallace can top the Killer Easter Bunny from the last one!

What are you waiting for this week?
 

Monday, August 29, 2016

TTT - 10 Series That Should Be Required Reading For All Cozy Mystery Fans

This top 10 weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and can be found HERE.  Each week they focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading. This week is a "Back-to-School" freebie.  I thought long and hard and I know I've done similar topics which related to horror books which should be required reading in school and I also think I've done dog-related books.  So since you all know I am an eclectic reader, I've decided to focus on my 10 favorite cozy mystery series. I will add how many books are out so far which doesn't necessarily mean I've read them all.


The Wishcraft Mystery Series (7 books so far) - Heather Blake

The Library Lover's Mystery Series (7 books so far) - Jenn McKinlay

Magic Potion Myseries (3 so far) - Heather Blake

Paws and Claws Mysteries (3 so far - 4th in 2017) - Krista Davis

Whiskey, Tango & Foxtrot Mysteries (4 so far) - Dixie Lyle

Call of the Wilde (4 so far) - Laura Morrigan

Retired Witches Mysteries (2 books) - Jim and Joyce Lavene

Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries (2 books so far) - Lindo O. Johnston

A Mind for Murder (3 books so far) - Rochelle Staab

Devereaux's Dime Store (5 so far) - Denise Swanson

Dog Walker Mysteries (6 total) - Judi McCoy

OK, so I actually had 11 before I knew it so you get a bonus entry this week.  I've actually read at least one book out of each of these series and am current on the Dog Walker Mysteries (and sadly the author passed away so the series is over), the Library Lovers series, the Devereaux's Dime Store series and the Barkery & Biscuits series.

If you like a cozy mystery from time to time, why not give one of these a try?



Sunday, August 28, 2016

Everything Belongs to the Future

TITLE: Everything Belongs to the Future
AUTHOR: Laurie Penny
PUBLISHER: Tor.com
PUBLISHING DATE: October 18, 2016

FROM GOODREADS: Time is a weapon wielded by the rich, who have excess of it, against the rest, who must trade every breath of it against the promise of another day's food and shelter. What kind of world have we made, where human beings can live centuries if only they can afford the fix? What kind of creatures have we become? The same as we always were, but keener.

In the ancient heart of Oxford University, the ultra-rich celebrate their vastly extended lifespans. But a few surprises are in store for them. From Nina and Alex, Margo and Fidget, scruffy anarchists sharing living space with an ever-shifting cast of crusty punks and lost kids. And also from the scientist who invented the longevity treatment in the first place.

Everything Belongs to the Future is a bloody-minded tale of time, betrayal, desperation, and hope that could only have been told by the inimitable Laurie Penny.


MY THOUGHTS: This is another novella from Tor.com which was sent to me from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. I have to admit I love this new idea Tor has taken and ran with and it's a great way to be introduced to some new-to-me authors and commit to reading some things which I might not give a chance were they longer works of fiction.

"Everything Belongs to the Future" takes place in the far future at Oxford University. When the story starts, someone is writing letters from prison and the story unfolds in glimpses of the past as well as current events. The secret to eternal life has been found and is now being marketed in the form of a tiny pill. While this sounds like a great thing, it turns out only the rich are able to afford this fountain of youth and its discovery has made an already tenuous class system even worse. In the novella, there is a band of ragtag artists, who along with the pill's creator, are out to overthrow this system and create havoc in an already unstable world. They believe everyone should be given the same opportunity to eternal life and are displeased that only the rich are benefiting.

I admit to liking many of the characters in this book but a few things didn't quite work for me. It was an awful lot of information to flesh out in 96 pages and I actually think a longer work would have complimented to story better. Also, I never really felt a strong attachment to any of the characters because there wasn't much room for development. However, I can totally see society acting the way it was portrayed and the author did an excellent job of making a statement to the reader. It was interesting to see where the story traveled and I was mostly pleased with the resolution. If you like science fiction and short stories, I doubt you could go wrong giving this take a chance. 


RATING: 3 PAWS

Friday, August 26, 2016

Stacking the Shelves (78) - I Scored One Of My Most Anticipated!


Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves or TBR piles, may it be physical or virtual.  This means you can include books you buy in a physical store, online, books you borrow from the library or friends, review books, gifts and of course, ebooks! The original meme was started over at Tynga's Reviews.  Clicking on the book should take you to the Goodreads page. 

I really only received 2 review copies for this week but both are great.  "The Graveyard Apartment" is a book I feature on Waiting on Wednesday a few weeks ago and when I saw "Claude's Christmas Adventure" I couldn't resist.  I don't read a lot of Christmas stories or even romance, but around the month of December, I do like to add a few and this one was perfect!



Then a few books I had ordered from Book Depository (a new illness I have apparently been inflicted with) came in during the past week.


And then finally I picked up a few books for my Kindle.  I think one or two of these was on sale and maybe one was free. 


So what did you add to your shelves this week?  


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Weekly Reads (08/26/16)



So it's been a pretty good week here at the farm.  The boys and the rest of the family is fine and Booker T and Cassius even got to hijack the blog this week so they are happy.  The weather has been somewhat cool, although it is supposed to get really hot again this weekend.  Please bring on fall, I am completely ready.

We watched a few movies this past week and Fear the Walking Dead started back up.  We ended up watching "The Darkness" with Kevin Bacon and even though in a way it reminded me off "Poltergeist," and I don't exactly know why, it had some neat Native American references for the horror the family was experiencing so I really enjoyed it.  We also watched a movie called "Winter's Edge" which I didn't care for much at all.  I'm not a huge "Fear the Walking Dead" fan - I feel it was just an attempt to capitalize on "The Walking Dead" phenomenon, but it's a decent enough watch.  "The Strain" starts back up Sunday so I am THRILLED to have new episodes to watch.

I only have 2 books on the reading horizon right now.  "Curioddity" isn't bad but I'm having a hard time getting into it, and I have to finish "A Deadly Tail" by the end of the month for a reading challenge.  I think it may get bumped ahead of "Curioddity" so I can feel confident it will get done.



So what are your plans for this coming week?



Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Marked Fur Murder - So Much Fun!

TITLE: Marked Fur Murder (Whiskey, Tango and Foxtrot Mystery #3)
AUTHOR: Dixie Lyle
PUBLISHER: St. Martin's Paperbacks
PUBLISHING DATE: March 31, 2015

FROM GOODREADS: Deirdre "Foxtrot" Lancaster is fed up with all the goings-on at wacky billionaire Zelda Zoransky's mansion. Running around like a chicken with her head cut off, she's got a laundry-list of things to do. ZZ is hosting yet another one of her famous salons. Her nutty guests have more than their fair share of odd requests and strange demands. And now, friend Ben's estranged sister has been found dead in Zelda's pool, an apparent suicide, with a hairdryer floating beside her.

Yet Foxtrot doesn't buy it. Being a Thunderbird runs in Ben's family, and as the old saying goes, "you can't kill a Thunderbird with lightening." It's clear someone is trying to disguise a murder, but which of the guests could it be? Is it the renowned psychic who works with a painting dog? The slightly-schizophrenic transsexual writer of mysteries and children's books? And if it's the weather expert, what could the motive possibly be? It's a tall task, but with her fuzzy, slinky sleuths and a little bit of luck, Foxtrot might just solve her biggest mystery yet…


MY THOUGHTS: 
This series is a pretty steady 4 paw read for me. Actually, I'm so pleased I'm participating in a "Read a Series in a Month" challenge which has prompted me to finally get around to reading them. In this installment, Foxtrot once again is smack dab in the middle of a mystery along with her paranormal sidekicks. ZZ has a new crew of individuals staying at her mansion and Foxtrot's boyfriend Ben's sister has been found dead. Now very few people know it but Ben and his sister are members of a dying group of Thunderbirds, individuals with Native American roots who can control the weather. There is also another Thunderbird visiting and a bunch of other kooky characters including a rock star, a dog who can paint through psychic commands from his owner, a transgender mystery writer with mental health issues and Anne's husband, who seems out to only get Anne's money.

Without giving too much away, this book once again provided tons of entertainment. The banter between Whiskey and Tango and Foxtrot's off the cuff remarks really add some humor. Also, all the characters are painted so vividly that one can almost imagine being a guest alongside of them. I also enjoy how Lyle manages to have a major mystery, as well as some side plots all interwoven to keep the reader entertained.

Like most cozy mysteries, these are pretty light reads but if you are a fan of the genres, or enjoy animals or paranormal aspect, then you should seriously consider giving this series a chance. I have one more book to go and I can't wait to see what the crew is up to next!


RATING: 4 PAWS



BOOKER T'S THOUGHTS: I am really enjoying the interaction between Whiskey and Tango.  Whiskey soooo understands the inadequacy of the feline mind.  HOWEVER, why is there still only a cat on the cover.  I think someone iin the art department is extremely biased.



Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (70) - The Boys Are Back In Town!!!!

"Waiting on" Wednesday" is weekly meme hosted over at Breaking the Spine which spotlights upcoming anticipated releases.


"Guess who just got back today.....those wild eyed boys who'd been away..."

OK, so technically Cassius and I didn't go anywhere, but we are taking over the blog again and sharing a couple of books we know Mom's waiting for...or actually that WE told her to put on her TBR.


March 7, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: When Cody, a troubled fourteen-year-old, witnesses a murder, she tells no one. But it begins a spiral for her from which she cannot escape. Her worried mother Skye thinks a change of scene is just what her introverted, withdrawn daughter needs and since her dream has always been to own an inn, she jumps at the chance to buy a dilapidated bed & breakfast in the Berkshires. But being an innkeeper is harder than it seems and Cody still seems to fall in with the wrong crowd. When Adam March arrives as the inn’s only guest, he is accompanied by his rescued pit bull, Chance, a dog who has saved Adam in more ways than one. Cody and Chance begin a wary bond and soon, Adam finds another rescue who needs the kind of attention he gave Chance years ago. With Adam and Skye beginning a tentative relationship and Chance showing Cody how to trust again, this new-found family seems to be on the brink of second chances. But soon, a murderer is closing in—someone hiding in plain sight, and threatening everything and everyone—even Cody’s life.

WHY BOOKER T IS WAITING:  Isn't that cover really pretty (I hear Mom say things like that all the time).  I love how the dogs are just looking out over the lake.  Looks like a place Cassius and I would like to visit.  I also sniffed around Mom's shelves and she has a couple of other dog related books by this author so she must like her.



December 6, 2016

FROM GOODREADS: WILL THEY DIG UP THE TRUTH?
When a rash of college students falls seriously ill after ingesting Molly, a “club drug” also known as ecstasy, Officer Megan Luz and her K-9 partner Brigit are tasked with tracking down the dealers. Going undercover at the university leads Megan closer and closer to infiltrating the drug trafficking ring. But when the investigation implicates her former partner and workplace nemesis, Officer Derek Mackey, Megan’s powers of discernment are put to the test.
OR ARE THEY BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE?
Thwarted when the Feds seize control of the investigation and frustrated by the lack of attention the DEA is putting into the case, Megan continues her own unofficial investigation with Brigit’s help. But when the trail leads them in an unexpected and dangerous direction, Megan and Brigit find their own lives at risk. Can the K-9 team take down those in power? Or are some criminals simply above the law—and paw?
Above the Paw is the fifth book in Diane Kelly's series featuring Fort Worth Police officer Megan Luz and her K-9 dog partner Brigit.

WHY CASSIUS IS WAITING:  Booker T told me to.  (But I secretly know Mom LOVED the first one in this series and owns all 4 of the previous one - sticking my tongue out at Booker T!!!!!)

Monday, August 22, 2016

TTT - 10 Books That Have Been On My TBR Since Before I Started Blogging

This top 10 weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and can be found HERE.  Each week they focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading.  This week I am showing you some books that have been on my TBR since before I started blogging ( which was roughly 2 years ago).  This really shouldn't be too hard - how sad!






Bloodshot (Cheshire Red Reports #1) - Cherie Priest

The Urban Fantasy Anthology

Blood Feud (The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #1) - Steven A. Roman

 Damned (Damned #1)

Roam - (Alan Lazar)

Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death #1) - Bethany Griffin

Black Howl (Black Wings #3) - Christina Henry

Hollyweird - Terri Clark

I Thought You Were Dead - Pete Nelson

My Life as a White Trash Zombie (White Trash Zombie #1) - Diana Rowland

So have you read any of these?  What made your list this week?  Thanks for stopping by!