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Mary's Books

I have loved to read since I was little. I would borrow many books from the library and still borrow to this day, but I also purchase books (mostly for my kids) and freebies on Kindle. I read as much as I can daily. Sometimes I read several books at one time. I don't have a preference of paper book over an ebook, I just love to read. Keeping lists of what I have read is a good way for me to remember. 

Currently reading

Mr. Lemoncello's Great Library Race
Chris Grabenstein
Girl Missing
Tess Gerritsen
Knit to Kill
Anne Canadeo
A Fatal Chapter (A Booktown Mystery)
Lorna Barrett
Thirteen Chocolates (A Chandler's Chocolate Box Mystery Book 1)
agatha chocolats
All Fudged Up
Nancy CoCo
The Devotional Bible: Experiencing The Heart of Jesus
Max Lucado
Progress: 51 %
Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 Days
John A Carroll
Progress: 60 %

Pawprints and Predicaments

Pawprints & Predicaments (Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery) - Bethany Blake

Daphne is working hard on opening her new business and enters the Polar Bear Plunge to support the big cat refuge. When she goes into the water she finds Lindsey, the woman in charge of making the show about how pet-friendly her hometown is, dead. Jonathon is there and pulls her out of the water and is always there to rescue her when her van dies. He also has to remove himself from the case since he used to be married to one suspect. She is also tasked with taking care of a St. Bernard who was found by the local newspaper reporter, owner. 


The story was okay, but it is important to read this series in order. There were moments that it felt unreal reading the story and things that I really questioned. 

Toucan Keep a Secret

Toucan Keep a Secret - Donna Andrews

Rev Robyn is pregnant and on bed rest. In her place, many of the parishioners are covering the things Robyn would normally cover. It is Meg's turn to close up the church and make sure that everything is working okay. As she is collecting the Toucan, that Robyn was caring for, for a young man who has been sent to sea, and the key to the church van, she hears knocking and it seems to be coming for the cemetery. She goes to investigate and discovers that one of the old-timers, who doesn't' like female priests and is against too many things to name. She calls for help and then helps Robyn notify the next of kin for those whose niches in the columbarium were disturbed. Along the way, she learns information and constantly notifies the sheriff. 


The story was in book and audio form (listening while driving and reading when I could sit at home) and in book format, I noticed some errors that I think are typing problems. I would recommend this story as it can be read out of order from the series and can be enjoyed by even teenagers (yep, I have teens) and they were chuckling at some of the things that happened in the story. 

People I want to Punch in the Throat

People I Want to Punch in the Throat: True(ish) Tales of an Overachieving Underachiever - Jen Mann

A friend recommended this book and I was skeptical because of the title, but after reading a few chapters I had trouble putting it down and was totally that mom and understood where the author was coming from. As I listened to the book (driving to KY and back is an easy 4 hours of listening) I told my kids this is why I never sell at a garage sale. Other points I was nodding my head in complete understanding. I even recommended this book to my sil. She went looking for it, too on the library sites to see if she could get it. 


The title may be off-putting, but I do think this is a good book and I really want to get my hands on her other books, especially the holiday one. 

Guilty as Cinnamon

Guilty as Cinnamon - Leslie Ann Budewitz

Pepper is helping a friend, Tamara, set up the spice needs for her new restaurant. As she is working in her shop one day, another friend, Alex - Tamara's current boss, storms in furious that she had not forewarned him that Tamara was planning on leaving to start her own place. When Pepper figures out who told Alex, she fires her on the spot. This starts a set of problems for her. She finds another dead body, her ex-husband, Tag, is still trying to get back with her and Alex is arrested for the murder of Tamara. She helps Alex in trying to figure out who really murdered Tamara and along the way, she learns things that she didn't know. 


On the whole, the story was pretty interesting. I like quotes at the beginning of chapters the information on the spices. 

Knit Your Own Zoo

Knit Your Own Zoo: Easy-To-Follow Patterns for 24 Animals - Sally Muir, Joanna Osborne

My daughter found this book in the "new" books section of the library and brought it to me. I looked at the patterns and they were very detailed, but I think I like the looks of crochet animals much better than those of the knit patterned animals. 

Liars, Leakers and Liberals

Liars, Leakers, and Liberals: The Case Against the Anti-Trump Conspiracy - Judge Jeanine Pirro

Judge Jeanine Pirro


This book looks at all the things that have happened since Donald Trump announced his run for the Presidency. She also tells about what she knows about him and his family as she had become friends with them and learned about him and his family. Some of the things she says can be researched and found to be true. Some things I was surprised to learn and others had me looking things up. On the whole, it was a very interesting read. 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon

With the growing number of kids being diagnosed with Autism or Asperger's, this book was a good look at families and their coping mechanisms and how literal things can be taken. 


Christopher gets out of bed and walks around outside and while doing this, he finds a neighbor's dog stabbed to death with a garden fork. He is originally blamed and because the police did not know how to deal with him, they end up escalating the situation and he ends up arrested and taken to the station. He is told he has to behave himself and not do anything or he will end up with more trouble, but he decides to find out how murdered the dog. Along the way, he learns about the truth of what happened to his mother and the neighbor. 


I found the story very interesting and looked for whenever I could listen to the story. I have even assigned the book to my girls for school this year. 

Once Upon a Spine

Once Upon a Spine  - Kate Carlisle

Brooklyn and Derek are engaged and she still has not met her future in-laws (Derek's parents). She is nervous about their arrival, but they are ready for the week of having both parents under their roof. They go to the bookstore that has older books, the local store owned by Will Rabbit and some other places. The next morning, Brooklyn goes to Will's store to find Joey dead under a shelving unit and Will unconscious next to him. She calls 911 and Derek. Their friend and detective comes and interviews her and she gives as much information as she can. Soon after that, her parents and Derek's parents are in the house and they are taking them around and finding that they enjoy each other's company and help to solve the murder of Joey and attack on Rabbit. 


The story was fun and had moments that were funny. This was another book that I combined reading and listening in order to get through the book a little faster. I know that I will continue to read the series (out of order as I am able to obtain them from the library). 

Prisoner B-3087

Prisoner B-3087 - Alan Gratz

 This follows the life of a young boy to young man, who grows up in 10 different concentration camps during WWII from the ghetto in Poland, the loss of most of his family and learning lessons that will help him survive all 10 camps. 


This was a really good book, but I am uncertain if I would allow my children (older teens 13 to 16) to read this due to the graphic descriptions of the abuse he received, that had me in tears. 



The Sayers Swindle

The Sayers Swindle: A Book Collector Mystery - Victoria Abbott

Jordan is back. She is searching for Vera's stolen Sayers books. She and Karen have become friends and she helps her daily in the hopes that she will remember what she has forgotten after the attack she had received. Karen does finally remember who may have the books and where he lives and they go in search of him. Along the way, they run into Officer Smiley (the police officer that Jordan is starting to get to know) and her Uncle Kevin has come into the picture. She and Karen have a bad feeling about the old man and think someone (namely the wife and "son") are drugging him, so they enlist the help of Uncle Kev and the neighbor to find out the truth, so they can involve the police. She meets a woman that she thinks is a police officer by the name of Candy. 


By the time, you reach the middle of the night visit, you feel that Candy might not be what she is claiming to be. I do feel that some of the information about Dorothy L Sayers made me want to take some time to read a few of her books. I am not certain about this series of books and may read one more and then decide if I want to read the last one or not. 

Death of an English Muffin

Death of an English Muffin (A Merry Muffin Mystery) - Victoria Hamilton

Merry has inherited her father and uncle's castle and she was originally going to sell the place, but until it could be sold she had to do something to make money in order to pay taxes and upkeep. She agrees to host for a couple of months some women from New York and she has started calling the Legion of Horrible Ladies. It seems that one of the ladies is from England and acts very entitled and says things that should never be said. She is at the point of being forced to leave Wynter Castle because of her behavior, right down to demanding the room of Merry. The women she is with are just as bad at times. Finally, one day during tea, she disappears into the bathroom and they have to break in and find her dead. The sheriff and Merry work together to find out who murdered her and injured another lady. In fact, Merry and one of the ladies daughters get along so well, that she convinces her to start selling her baking goods in the town. 


The story was pretty good and there were some slow moments where I lost attention. But on the whole, it was a pretty good story. 

Vanilla Beaned (#8)

Vanilla Beaned  - Jenn McKinlay

This is the 8th book in the Cupcake Series. I divide time on this to get the book "read" by reading when I am not driving and listening when I am in my car driving somewhere. When the audio is playing the girls enjoy listening to the book. They enjoy several of the moments that just make you laugh. 


The Mel, Angie, and Tate are headed to Las Vegas, on the Elvis competition weekend (unknowingly) and they are there to meet the first person who wants to buy into their franchise of Fairy Tale Cupcakes. When they get to the hotel, they find out that this is the weekend that all the impersonators come to Las Vegas and so the hotel is filled with impersonators. Angie and Tate run out to explore and when it is time for the meeting with Stewart (the lawyer), Scott (the realtor) and Holly (the woman who wants to buy in), they are MIA and Mel is furious. She didn't want to franchise and when she sees Holly, who is drop dead gorgeous, she becomes mean and takes her anger out on Holly. They go to the location and finally, Holly has had enough and runs away crying. Stewart tells Mel that he knew she didn't want this, but that he didn't know she was going to be this mean. When she realizes that is exactly what she has been, she goes and talks with Holly and discovers that she does like her a little. When the location she wants to use blows up, injuring Scott severely and Stewart, she finds that she likes her even more. They eventually end up at Holly's home and learn some of the things that she hadn't told, her daughter and how she wants to have her more than just on Monday's (her off day). She is also being stalked and threatened and she is scared that her stalker is doing these accidents to her. The whole group comes together (even Marty and Oz and Manny come to town to help keep the girls safe). 


I laughed so hard at the very end of this book as something that happened in the book was also part of my life. I loved this book and can't wait to try some of these recipes. 


Dead, Bath and Beyond

Dead, Bath, and Beyond: A Victoria Square Mystery - Laurie Cass, Lorraine Bartlett

Katie Bonner quit a job working for a horrible boss, Josh, to run her own business, Artist's Mall. She has become very good and is earning a good living. She spends time with her friend and lawyer, Seth, floating on his boat in Lake Ontario. Josh from everything we learn, is not a good person and is living for free in her friend's B&B, that is still being worked on. She goes to their place and when she learns that they are considered suspects in the murder of Josh, found dead in a bathtub in the B&B and has a knot on his head and lake water in his lungs. She feels the need to snoop and help find out who really murdered Josh and left him. Along the way, she learns about others who have a boat and their issues with boats and wants to help them all out, becoming their friends. 


The story was okay, but I like the Booksellers stories more and may or may not try another in this series. 

Yarn To Go

Yarn to Go - Betty Hechtman

Casey works as a baker in a restaurant and selling muffins around town. It is something she is good at and enjoys. She had just lost her aunt recently to a hit and run accident and had just learned from her boss, Tag, that her aunt had collected monies and started getting things together for her Yarn Retreat business. It is too late to return the monies and cancel, so she goes forward with the plans. It is to be the end of the business since her aunt is gone. They all gather at the hotel across from her home and she meets the people who are going to make up the group, women mostly, but one man. She learns that the lady who teaches the classes has a business called Yarn in a Box that allows people to fill out information and then get a project meant just for them. She learns about the people and finds out, after the death on the first night, about the connections of the deaths. She begins to look at the deaths and puts together information, calling on a former boss as she works. 


This is the first in the series and I had read some of the others out of order and was pleasantly surprised with the story as it gave some information that was not in the other books and helps move the story along. The books can be read out of order, I know that I will continue to read the other stories. 

Raspberry Danish Murder

Raspberry Danish Murder - Joanne Fluke

Ross is still missing and Mike and Norman are doing their best to be there for Hannah. No one knows where he is or what he is doing. PK, Ross's assistant, is helping Michelle promote the plays that are coming up and being around her and Hannah. Offering them hope and letting them know if he has heard anything. One day, he asks if they can give him a ride, but they let him borrow Ross's car, that Michelle is driving, and as he is leaving work, he calls them on the phone and lets them know that he is having problems. He ate some candy found on Ross's desk. Since he was video calling them they were able to give Mike some clues as to where he went off the road. They go and find that Ross is dead, they find out that the candy was poisoned, but they don't know who the candy was really for. Hannah and Michelle and Lonnie and Mike all team up to find out who killed PK and was Ross the real target. 


When I got to the end of the story, I was disappointed because it was left as another cliffhanger and I walked away saying that I hated Ross. I just felt that there was not a good conclusion to the story. This story had 29 recipes! I saved several because I really want to try some of the recipes. One thing about the recipes is all the tips that are included in them. 

Murder, She Wrote Panning for Murder

Panning For Murder - Donald Bain, Jessica Fletcher

Jessica is set to go to Seattle, WA for a book signing and then begin her Alaska Tour. Her friend, Cathy, asks if she can come along as she needs help in trying to find her sister, Wilhelmina (Willie). They run into a crazy man who thinks Jessica stole his idea for a story (setting - California), many who remember Willie because she talked non-stop about finding the gold her aunt had left them. They meet many notable characters on the cruise and they use the library to find answers and they ask questions of all they can. The response they got was not good. They need to continue asking questions and searching for Willie. 


I really enjoyed the story as it was still reminiscent of the old shows.