Saturday, July 13, 2024

June Wrap Up


Well, better late than never.  Seems July has gotten away from me, with vacation, a work project and a few renovations around the house.  I am desperately behind on reviews but hope to catch up soon.  In the meantime, it's about time I shared what I read in June.  I would say the theme of the month was "4 paw reads" because that's the majority of the ratings.  

An Enchanting Case of Spirits 

The Presence (Harrison Investigations #2)

Life's Too Short

Annie LeBlanc Is Not Dead Yet

We Used to Live Here

Secrets in the Dark (Blackbird Trilogy #2)

White Trash Zombie Unchained (WTZ #6)

Pardon My Frenchie

Dark Things Crawl Out

Nosy Neighbors

Storm Front (The Dresden Files #1)

My biggest surprise was Nosy Neighbors, and I can't recommend it enough.  I loved reading about Darius Rucker so that was a fave as well.  My biggest disappointment has to be We Used to Live Here.  I think it's one of those books you are either gonna love of find "meh."

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Some Houses You Just Don't Enter


TITLE: Still, Dark Places
AUTHOR: Christina Graves
PUBLISHER: Horrorsmith Publishing
PUBLISHING DATE: June 25, 2024
PAGES: 292   

FROM GOODREADS: Young girls are going missing in Still Water. And the new sheriff, like his predecessor, is convinced they're only runaways trying to escape the confines of strict parents, stifling religious practices, and physical abuse. 
And why shouldn't the public believe them? After all, Nora Gray did the exact same thing. 
Nora now runs a well-known podcast that helps solve cold cases, and she's being called back to Still Water to help bring attention to one of the missing girls. 
But what she discovers puts both Nora and her co-worker, Rhys, in danger. Nora finds out that every ghost story has a shred of truth in it, and the dead don't keep secrets. 
But will she and Rhys find out what happened to the missing girls, and can they make it out of Still Water alive?

MY THOUGHTS: If you are looking for an immersive horror book to lose yourself into for a day or two, look no further because do I have a book for you!

Nora and Rhys are podcasters who specialize in cold cases.  Rhys suspects that Nora has experienced things in her life which have led to fascination, but he has no idea how deep her trauma runs when a call comes into the show from a lady asking Nora for help and telling her she knows her true identity.

When Nora was young, her sister was one of seven kids who disappeared from Still Water.  The disappearances were never solved, and not only did Nora's family fall apart as a result of her sister going missing, Nora's father, the local sheriff, then became obsessed with the case with led to a huge family estrangement.  Nora has limited memories of what happened but has always thought she should know more than what she recalls.  So, when another girl goes missing after all these years, Nora, Rhys and Rhys' girlfriend return to Still Waters to try to figure out if the disappearances are connected and to learn what happened so many years ago.

Graves does a wonderful job of creating a very spooky, atmospheric tale.  Nora is suffering a lot of mental health issues due to her childhood trauma and while I didn't find her extremely likable, I did become invested in her backstory and seeing her finally overcome her past experiences.  I never bought into the whole Nora/Rhys relationship, which is already over when the book actually starts, and later find out I was correct in questioning THAT connection.  There is a very creepy, desolate house in this tale and a lot of religious horror which shows how extreme some people will act to support their beliefs, whether right or wrong.

This book kept me on the edge of my seat and had some twists and turns I never saw coming.  It was a great vacation read and as I mentioned, I basically read it in under 24 hours.  I find that sometimes, shorter horror works better for me and that was definitely the case with this one.  Graves has already announced a new thriller book on the horizon, and I am very interested in seeing what else she comes up with next.  Bring on the next one!


Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Feed Your TBR - I Got Abducted by Aliens...


Can't Wait Wednesday, which I have adapted to better suit my blog as "Feed Your TBR" is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

FEBRUARY 18, 2025

FROM GOODREADS:  Dorothy Valentine is close to getting her PhD in wildlife biology when she’s attacked by a lion. On the bright side, she’s saved! On the not-so-bright side, it’s because they’re abducted by aliens. In her scramble to escape, Dory and the lion commandeer an escape pod and crash-land on an alien planet that has...dinosaurs?

Dory and her new lion bestie, Toto, are saved in the nick of time by a mysterious and sexy alien, Sol. On their new adventure, they team up with the equally hot, equally dangerous Lok, who may or may not be a war criminal. Whether it be trauma, fate, or intrigue, Dory can’t resist the attraction that’s developing in their trio....

As this ragtag group of misfits explore their new planet, Dory learns more about how and why they’ve all ended up together, battles more prehistoric creatures than she imagined (she, and questions if she even wants to go back home to Earth in this hilarious and steamy alien romance adventure comedy romp.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT: I devoured the Mead Mishap series this year and both related short stories.  Yes, this author's books are odd and a tad spicy, but they have all been so much fun to read. 


Friday, July 5, 2024

2 Bloggers 1 Series - The Presence (Harrison Investigations #2)


This month Stormi and I decided it was time to pick up another book in the Harrison Investigations series.  The first one was decent, but the male protagonist drove me crazy.  Read on to see if this one fared better and then hop over to Stormi's at Storm Reads and see what she thought.


TITLE: The Presence (Harrison Investigations #2)
AUTHOR: Heather Graham
PUBLISHING DATE: August 25, 2004
PAGES: 422   
SOURCE: Library

FROM GOODREADS: The ultimate moneymaking plan—buy the ancient, run-down Scottish castle and turn it into a tourist destination. Toni Fraser and her friends will put on reenactments combining fact and fiction, local history, murder and an imaginary laird named Bruce MacNiall. 
Just as someone arrives, claiming to actually be Laird MacNiall—a tall, dark, formidable Scot somehow familiar to Toni—the bodies of young women are found, dumped and forgotten in the nearby town. 
But even stranger, how is it possible this laird exists? Toni invented Bruce MacNiall for the performance…yet sinister, lifelike dreams suggest he's connected to the recent deaths. Bruce claims he wants to help catch the murderer. But even if she wants to, can Toni trust him…when her visions seem to be coming from within the very eyes of the killer himself?

MY THOUGHTS: I have to say that as much as the main male in the first book irritated me, I was worried about the character of Bruce MacNiall.  And while he may have started off kind of rocky, it wasn't long before I ended up loving him.  In fact, I liked him a lot better than the female MC, Toni, who I felt made a lot of stupid decisions and was downright bitchy at times.

Toni, her cousin and some friends from the US have rented a Scottish Castle and are doing historical reenactments for tourists.  They believe they have a legitimate contract until the owner, laird Bruce MacNiall, shows up and orders them to leave. Over the past year of so they have also been two dead women found on the woods of the property and McNiall fears allowing the Americans to stay may put them at risk. Toni and her friends convince laird MacNiall to allow them to stay while they figure out the contract scam.  To further complicate things, Toni keeps having visions of a historical laird MacNiall who allegedly killed his wife, standing at the bottom of her bed with a sword dripping blood.  

Now that I'm writing this review, it does seem like there was a lot going on in this book.  However, Graham pulls it together quite well and it was an enjoyable read.  I will say the author works extra hard to steer the reader toward the wrong perpetrator making it obvious it certainly can't be him.  However, the mystery element of the book wrapped up nicely and it was fun to see the tension between Toni and Bruce turn into something else.  Also, I will add I feel that Adam Harrison, the founder of the Krewe of Hunters, did take a long time to appear in this book and I was starting to wonder if he would show at all.

This book was definitely better than the first and I am looking forward to the third one.  Don't know when we will get to it as we have quite a few series reads going right now but the good thing about them is when we decide we want to move forward, all of the Harrison Investigation series is complete.


Monday, July 1, 2024

Farm News - July 1, 2024


It's been a while since the last news update but as usual, summer has been pretty hot and busy.  Mr. Barb and I had a five-day weekend which started June 19th, but I spent four of those five days repainting and redecorating the bathroom. Our home is 124 years old and doesn't have central air so there is no AC in the bathroom and as the heat index was over 98 on most of those days, I could only work a few hours before being totally exhausted.  Most of it is done now just waiting for a few things we ordered to come in and put on the finishing touches.

We are also on our annual 4th of July staycation right now.  We aren't doing anything spectacular except hanging out with the pups, doing a few more things around the home, and chilling.  I've managed to finish two books on my first two days off so I'm hoping that trend can continue.  I also need to get my haircut if my stylist can work me in.  It's been a while and I need about six inches taken off.

We watched two really good movies over the weekend.  First up was Furiosa, the latest in the Mad Max saga.  I really enjoyed it and if you like action movies or any of the previous Mad Max ones, then you don't want to miss this one.  We also watched The Watchers.  I wanted to read the book first but that wasn't happening.  However, I'm glad we jumped in because it was a great Saturday night scary feature.  I highly recommend it.

The pups are doing fine.  Apollo went to the vet and the vet wants to monitor his lump on his leg a while. It's sitting right on a major vein and his vet says if it doesn't grow and it stays soft, then he's not too worried. He and Zekey are enjoying their summer, but it's been so hot they haven't been able to walk too much

A fresh month means fresh new reads and I have a lot planned this month.  Here's what I think is up first this month.  I'd love to get all three of these read before heading back to work on July 8th but that's probably wishful thinking.  

I also received a few ARCs which I'm thrilled about and appreciate more than I can express.

The Book of Witching - C.J. Cooke
The Visitor - Kevin Bachar
An Academy for Liars - Alexis Henderson
Influencer - Adam Cesare
Pretty Dead Things - Lilian West
Memorials - Richard Chizmar

Hope everyone is having a safe and happy summer.  Have you read any of these books already?  If so, where should I start?

Friday, June 28, 2024

Buried by Books #3

 It's time to once again evaluate my bad habit of putting things on hold on Libby for all kinds of reasons.  It's been a while since my last one, so I figured it was time to share some of my latest, and sometimes 
questionable, holds.  

The Breakup Tour: Emily Wibberly & Austin Siegemund-Broka - Pretty sure this one landed on the reserve list around the same time as Dead Poet's Society was released.  I am not a Swiftie but do enjoy some of her songs.  Don't know when or if I'll get to this one.  I keep pushing it back and I'm not sure I'm really very interested.

The Last Bloodcarver: Vanessa Le - Strictly added because of the cover.  Do you blame me?

Stories I Only Tell My Friends: Rob Lowe - I added this after watching Brat on Hulu the day it came out.  I'm an 80's child so what can I say? I really enjoy the documentary and it renewed my interest in the Brat Pack and I may currently have a physical copy of the Andrew McCarthy book checked out from my local library as well right now 😁.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

2 Bloggers 1 Series - Storm Front (The Dresden Files #1)


So, I just finished up one Urban Fantasy series and was already missing it when Stormi mentioned she and another friend were doing a reread of The Dresden File series.  I started this series a long time ago (I checked, it was 2014), got five books in and then quit.  Not because I wasn't liking it though, it just feel by the wayside.  So, I took Stormi's reread as a sign to hop back in so technically the first five books will be rereads but as I remember nothing except the talking skull named Bob, I'm treating them as new again.

So read on for my thoughts and then hop over to Stormi's at Storm Reads and see what she thinks.


TITLE: Storm Front (The Dresden Files #1)
AUTHOR: Jim Butcher
PUBLISHING DATE: April 1, 2000
PAGES: 336   
SOURCE: Library

Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment. 
Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he's the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the "everyday" world is actually full of strange and magical things—and most don't play well with humans. That's where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a—well, whatever. There's just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks. 
So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry's seeing dollar signs. But where there's black magic, there's a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry's name. And that's when things start to get interesting. 
Magic - it can get a guy killed.

MY THOUGHTS:  This book was a lot of set up about Harry Dresden, what he does, why he does it and basic worldbuilding.  Which in a series that is currently 18 books long is to be expected.  

Harry Dresden is a wizard and a private investigator specializing in the supernatural and unexplained.  He is sometimes commissioned by the local police force to assist them with incidents outside of their league, even though it seems they do so reluctantly.  In this first book, two people have been murdered and law enforcement suspects something powerful is responsible.  The dead giveaway is that their hearts actually exploded out of their chests.  Harry is behind on his rent so he also takes a side job locating a missing husband.  Harry suspects the husband might be dabbling in some pretty shady stuff, and as the book progresses, he expects the two cases may be connected in one way or another.

I really enjoy Harry.  He has a sarcastic and snarky attitude and lots of colorful friends.  I loved his overly large cat, Mister, and remember Bob, the talking skull (actually he has been imprisoned within the skull) who helps Harry create potions and things in his basement lab.  The mystery was intriguing and introduced us to several supernatural beings and side characters.  The ending was action-packed and had just enough element of mystery to keep me guessing.

I am really excited to continue on with this series next month.  While I don't know if I will end up loving this series as much as I did the White Trash Zombie one, I do believe it may satisfy my recent urban fantasy urges.  


Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Feed Your TBR - At the Bottom of the Garden


Can't Wait Wednesday, which I have adapted to better suit my blog as "Feed Your TBR" is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

January 28, 2025

FROM GOODREADS: Clara Woods is a killer. At the bottom of the garden is a flowerbed, long overgrown, where her late husband rests in peace – or so she always thought. Until the girls arrived.

Lily and Violet are her adolescent nieces, recently orphaned and in urgent need of care. Raising teenagers is certainly not what Clara had envisioned for herself, but her funds are drying up and the girls come with a hefty sum attached.

There is only one thing, both girls are untrained witches, with newly heightened powers which they inherited from their mother when she died. Lily can literally see how people feel and knows when they lie. And young Violet can see the dead man at the bottom of the garden. She can see all the dead and call them back.

Soon Clara is surrounded by apparitions, and at war with the gifted girls in her care. The latter have become a liability – and know far more than they should. There is a war waging in this house, and only one side can win…

WHY I CAN'T WAIT: I have a few books by this author sitting on my shelves waiting to be read.  I probably should read them before adding another but this one sounds so good.  I love witches and the Gothic vibe it's giving off.  


Monday, June 24, 2024

Nosy Neighbors to Cozy Neighbors


TITLE: Nosy Neighbors
AUTHOR: Freya Sampson
PUBLISHING DATE: April 2, 2024
PAGES: 384   
SOURCE: Library

FROM GOODREADS: Twenty-five-year-old Kat Bennett has never felt at home anywhere, and especially not in crumbling Shelley House. According to her neighbors, she’s prickly and unapproachable, but beneath her tough exterior, Kat is plagued by guilt from her past. 
Seventy-seven-year-old Dorothy Darling is Shelley House’s longest resident, and if you believe the other tenants, she’s as cantankerous and vindictive as they come. Except there’s a good reason Dorothy spends her days spying on her neighbors—a closely guarded secret that no one else knows and the reason Dorothy barely leaves her beloved home. 
When their building faces demolition, sworn enemies Kat and Dorothy become unlikely allies in their quest to save their historic home. But when someone starts to play dirty and viciously targets one of the residents, Dorothy and Kat suspect foul play in their community. After the police close the investigation, it's up to this improbable pair to bring a criminal to justice.

MY THOUGHTS: I had moderate interest in this book when I saw it n the new release shelf at my local library.  I went ahead and grabbed it, not knowing when I might get to it.  I started it on a whim while reading two other books and it quickly became the book I thought about the most and wanted to read way more than the others.

Nosy Neighbors centers around a run-down apartment building with a plethora of diverse characters and one awesome dog, a Jack Russell named Reggie who manages to steal every scene he is in.  One day the neighbors all get eviction notices.  Joseph, the elderly man in flat #1 decides to protest and try to save the building.  He has recently taken in a tenant for the extra bedroom in his flat, a pink-haired girl named Kat.  Once day Kat arrives home and finds Joseph close to death on the living room floor.  Left with the care of Reggie, even though she is busy hiding her own secrets, she ends up befriending the mean elderly lady in flat #2, Dorothy Darling, and together, they try to determine what happened to Joseph.  Dorothy hates Joseph but even more, she hates when something happens in the building which she isn't aware of.

This book sort of sells itself as a mystery and while there are a few mystery elements, such as finding out who attacked Joseph, it's more a tale of day-to-day struggles, secrets from the past that never let go, and starting anew.  The people in Shelley House have little to do with each other in the beginning but I loved seeing them come together for a great good.  And as I mentioned, you have Reggie.  Dorothy hates Reggie (if you read this book, you will soon learn Dorothy hates a lot of people and things), but she also helps out with him when Joseph is attacked, and he slowly licks his way into her heart.

The past few years, I've really enjoyed books featuring found families and that is how I would best describe Nosy Neighbors.  I also love elderly characters, and, in many ways, Dorothy Darlin reminded me of Vera Wong and she was one of my favorite characters from last year.  If any of this sounds like something you are even remotely interested in, then run to your nearest library or bookstore and grab a copy.  Hopefully you'll find it as hard to put down as I did.


Monday, June 17, 2024

NEVER Let Strangers in Your Home!


TITLE: We Used to Live Here
AUTHOR: Marcus Kliewer
PUBLISHER: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
PUBLISHING DATE: June 18, 2024
PAGES: 320   

FROM GOODREADS: As a young, queer couple who flip houses, Charlie and Eve can’t believe the killer deal they’ve just gotten on an old house in a picturesque neighborhood. As they’re working in the house one day, there’s a knock on the door. A man stands there with his family, claiming to have lived there years before and asking if it would be alright if he showed his kids around. People pleaser to a fault, Eve lets them in. 
As soon as the strangers enter their home, uncanny and inexplicable things start happening, including the family’s youngest child going missing and a ghostly presence materializing in the basement. Even more weird, the family can’t seem to take the hint that their visit should be over. And when Charlie suddenly vanishes, Eve slowly loses her grip on reality. Something is terribly wrong with the house and with the visiting family—or is Eve just imagining things?

MY THOUGHTS: I was so excited to read this book and while I don't really regret reading it, I'm not going to lie and just say I'm a bit disappointed. 

Charlie and Eve have been together over eight years and have made careers out of house-flipping.  They purchase an ancient, secluded house and one evening while Charlie is in town (working, shopping, who knows why), Tom and his family come knocking on the door.  Tom claims to have grown up in the home and wants to show it to his family while they are passing through.  Eve is initially hesitant (trust you gut woman!) but she eventually relents. The visit starts out strange and just gets worse.  Just as the family is finally leaving, the little girl decides to play hide and seek in the basement.  Charlie finally arrives home just in time for everyone to get stranded in a snowstorm.

I will say something for this book.  It's been a long time since I felt such dread when reading and so early on.  By chapter two, the feeling was cemented and only got worse.  As the book went on, so did my confusion and I will say if you like open-ended books, this is definitely one for you.  Although I never really liked Eve as a MC, I was invested in what happened to her.  And to be truthful, even after having finished the book, I'd still like to know.  There is also an adorable dog named Shylo which I am pretty sure doesn't die in the book but maybe just disappears.  I remember commented to a friend that this book reminded me of reading House of Leaves, except I never read House of Leaves 😆.  

I can see why this book is getting lots of hype.  And I am very interested in seeing the Netflix adaptation when it releases.  I am sure many people will love all the twists and turns but at the end, I just wanted off the rollercoaster.


Friday, June 14, 2024

Did the Dolphins Make You Cry???


TITLE: Life's Too Short
AUTHOR: Darius Rucker
PUBLISHER: Dey Street Books
PAGES: 256   

FROM GOODREADS: In 1986 Darius Rucker cofounded Hootie & The Blowfish at the University of South Carolina. What began as a party band playing frat houses and dive bars quickly became a global pop rock phenomenon through their multiplatinum-selling debut album, cracked rear view, which featured era-defining hit songs like “Only Wanna Be with You,” “Let Her Cry,” and “Hold My Hand.” Later, Darius would chart a pioneering path as a solo country music artist, with classic anthems like “Wagon Wheel” and “Alright.” 
Nearly forty years after the band’s formation, Darius tells his remarkable story through the lens of the songs that shaped him—from Al Green, Stevie Wonder, and KISS to Lou Reed, Billy Joel, Nanci Griffith, and so many more. 
Set against the soundtrack of his life, Darius recounts his childhood as the son of a single mother in Charleston, South Carolina. He traces the unlikely ascent of his band and shares wild tales of life on the road—but he also faces his missteps, defeats, and demons. As moving as it is entertaining, Life’s Too Short is a timeless book about a man and his music.

MY THOUGHTS: I'll admit that I haven't followed Rucker's career a whole lot since he has moved to country, as it's not one of my favorite music genres, but I am a HUGE Hootie and the Blowfish fan and their debut album was the first CD Mr. Mike bought me when we started dating.  I also had no idea this book was on the horizon but when I caught him on the Today show promoting it the week it was set to release, I immediately ordered a copy.

The formatting of this book really solidifies it as one of my favorite memoirs ever.  There are 21 chapters each named for a song in Rucker's life which meant a lot to him.  The book ranges from his childhood with five siblings and a single mother, to his days in college and with Hootie, and then how he always knew he was meant to sing country music.  I also love that he emphasizes Hootie never broke up, they just moved on (in fact, they have a tour planned this summer).  Rucker talks some about the women in his life as well as his children but is very respective considering Hootie was basically dubbed a party band (which I also never really knew).  I had no idea Rucker struggled with addiction but his openness about his struggles really showed how hard the rock and roll life can really be.

If you love memoirs, music or just Rucker in general, then I strongly recommend you pick up this book.  I flew through it and it made me really revisit some of my favorite songs, including those from his lesser-known single R & B album, which many are not familiar with, but which remains an all-time fave.  My only complainant is when I finished, I wanted more.


Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Feed Your TBR - When the Wolf Comes Home


Can't Wait Wednesday, which I have adapted to better suit my blog as "Feed Your TBR" is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

April 22, 2025

FROM GOODREADS: One night, Jess, a struggling actress, finds a five-year-old runaway hiding in the bushes outside her apartment. After a violent, bloody encounter with the boy's father, she and the boy find themselves running for their lives.

As they attempt to evade the boy's increasingly desperate father, horrifying incidents of butchery follow them. At first Jess thinks she understands what they're up against, but she's about to learn there's more to these surreal and grisly events than she could've ever imagined.

And that when the wolf finally comes home, none will be spared. 

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I have two books on my TBR from this author so I really should read one.  However, this is a great cover grab - look at it!


Tuesday, June 11, 2024

2 Bloggers 1 Series - The Blackbird Trilogy


So today Stormi and I are continuing with our series review of Heather Graham's Blackbird Trilogy, one of the spin-offs from her Krewe of Hunters books.  When we started the series, there were only three books but just earlier this year, she added a second arc of three books so we will see.  Maybe we will catch up eventually.  So read on for my thoughts and then hop over to Stormi's to see hers!


TITLE: Secrets in the Dark (Blackbird Trilogy #2)
AUTHOR: Heather Graham
PUBLISHING DATE: July 25, 2023
PAGES: 400   
SOURCE: Library

FROM GOODREADS: Over a century after Jack, a new Ripper is on the loose. 
Following in the footsteps of notorious serial murderer Jack the Ripper, a killer is stalking the streets of London. The self-dubbed Ripper King strikes at night, leaving a trail of eviscerated bodies in his wake. Fresh off a case with potential ties to the recent rash of killings, FBI agents Della Hamilton and Mason Carter are all too familiar with a slayer set to rule with a lethal fist. And they’ll stop at nothing to end his reign. 
The killer’s MO may be nothing new, but his desire to be infamous makes him dangerous. Della and Mason know it’s only a matter of time before their investigation emboldens this new Ripper, forcing the agents to work quickly before another woman winds up dead. But now that the heat is on, their game of cat and mouse takes an unexpected turn, leading Della and Mason into a deadly trap they never saw coming…

MY THOUGHTS: This was a planned buddy read from last month that I didn't manage to get to. For some reason, I was doing some serious mood reading (I still am if I'm being honest) and it wasn't calling to me that strongly. However, once I made myself sit down and focus on it, the book wrapped up pretty quickly and I'm glad that I finally knocked it out of the way. 

In the first book, the reader sees the development of a new international Krewe of Hunters group deemed Blackbird. This book finds them fresh off of realizing the main killer in book one had help and some of them have taken over where he left off. Della, Mason and several other inspectors from London are in the Whitechapel area looking for a new Ripper killer. This individual has taken on the role of recreating the old Ripper murders but with a new spin. This time around, Della and Mason get some help from the ghost of Abigail Scott, someone from the Ripper era who worked to save women who were struggling to survive and make it on their own. Will the team be able to stop this new Ripper before too many people die, including people from their own group? 

As I mentioned, I did enjoy this book. I really love Ripper related tales as the unsolved mystery of his true identity has always fascinated me. Della and Mason are still enjoying the newness of their partnership, both professional and romantically and they make a good team. I did have a few issues thought. I feel like there was a lot of repetitiveness in this book but when I think about it, it does make sense. Every night the team would go out and basically pub crawl, but they were looking for men who fit the description of their Ripper suspect and all his disguises. Also, the ending seemed a big anticlimactic. There was a huge buildup for Ripper's next killing and when it finally came around, he was thwarted pretty easily. Abigail the ghost was a great addition to this novel though and she was actually one of my favorite characters. 

If you like mysteries, action and don't mind a supernatural element, then I think you would enjoy this book as well as any other in the companion series. Graham has definitely found her niche in writing and for the most part, I find it an enjoyable one. 


Sunday, June 9, 2024

Farm News - June 9, 2024


It's been an interesting two weeks culminating in the fact that Thursday was my boss's last day at work.  Things just kept getting more stressful as the week progressed and in fact, were downright weird at times.  However, once Friday arrived, it felt like there was a huge weight lifted off of us.  There will be some change moving forward but I think it will be positive.  I also did the e-learning module on my year-long training project and have an online meeting about it on the 14th.  Then I can start working on my next training project.

The boys are doing really well.  It's been hotter in the evenings, which when Mr. Barb works, is the only time they can walk, so we've been playing a lot in the backyard, and they love it.  We even played out in the rain (guess it was more like sprinkles) one evening and lots of fun was had by all.  Apollo has a vet appointment in two weeks.  He is due for some shots, and he also has a lump on one of his legs we need to have removed so after he is seen, we will plan that.  Mr. Barb and I fully plan on taking time off with him when it happens.

I have been doing a lot of reading so far in June.  I think I'm on my 6th book so far.  I don't know if I can keep up with this pace, but I'd love to try.  Here is what I'm currently reading.

I also acquired some new books from Netgalley and the publishers.  Thanks to everyone for sending them my way and I as always, I'm excited for them all.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend and thanks for visiting Booker T's Farm!