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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

By Victoria Abbott The Wolfe Widow (A Book Collector Mystery)
Victoria Abbott
Pumpkins in Paradise (A Tj Jensen Mystery Book 1)
Kathi Daley
The Cat of the Baskervilles
Vicki Delany
Girl Missing
Tess Gerritsen
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 %

Death of an Honest Man

Hamish Macbeth: Death of an Honest Man: Hamish Macbeth, Book 33 - Audible Studios, David Monteath, M.C. Beaton

The story is set in Scotland and written in dialect so there were times where I didn't know what was being said or what was meant. I had to look up so words (kirk) but I did enjoy the story. I liked the title of the book, I thought it was kind of funny. I was not disappointed in the book. It was a fun read. 


Hamish Macbeth (Shakespearean reference) is a police officer in Lochdubh and he is partnered with another officer sent up to "spy" on him because he seems to be pretty good at solving cases, but he doesn't like the attention and doesn't want a promotion to detective. He likes where he is at. He also has women troubles as his two previous women keep coming around. He also has a wildcat that he took to a refuge, but when he hears that someone is shooting at the cats in the refuge, he goes up to save the cat and ends up saving another cat that is viewed by the villagers as a demon. 


When a man moves to the area Hamish patrols, he discovers that the man says he is honest and speaks the truth, but it is making people not like him. When he is found dead in a bog with Hamish's handcuffs on him, an investigation is started. Who could he have called for help and who would come out and kill him. 


I could not find this as an available audiobook, so I read it when I was home only. 

Claws for Concern

Claws for Concern (Cat in the Stacks Mystery) - Miranda James

Charlie Harris's grandson, baby Charlie, has been born and he gets to watch the baby along with his friends and girlfriend. But one day, a man asks for information on his uncle (married to his aunt) and he ends up searching for the truth of a murder from over 20 years ago. The man claims to be the son of his uncle from a previous relationship.


The story was interesting and I mixed the reading with audio, so my girls were listening as I was driving, too. They actually requested this book. My husband enjoyed some of the incidents as I had owned (can you ever really own a cat) a Maine Coon Cat when we got together and while she was a beauty, she didn't do well in moving with me to the new house.

The Christmas Cake Murder

Christmas Cake Murder - Joanne Fluke

This one goes back to when Hannah moved back to Lake Eden to take care of her family after the death of her father. It goes over how she got started with her bakery and it also introduces another story. So we get two stories for the price of one. 


Essie is an older lady who lived in the town and had story times for the children of the town on Saturdays. She would entertain and love on the children while their parents ran errands or just took a break. She fell going down the stairs and was having to live in the hospice as her place was not fit for the living (no electric, water, heat) and Annie, Grandma Knudsen, and Delores got together and decided to give her a gift from the whole town. They plan a Christmas Ball with a Christmas Cake Parade. 


It had a lot of recipes and it was a fun read. I didn't want to put it down. 

The Christmas Cookie Chronicles - Carrie

The Christmas Cookie Chronicles: Carrie: A Twilight, Texas Story - Lori Wilde

I looked at the cover photo, read the little blurb, saw it was short and borrowed it. It was okay, but it became like romance novels when it threw in the steamy sex scene. 


Carrie lives in Twilight, TX running the yarn shop her sister opened, dreading the coming Christmas season, her mother died on Christmas Eve when a rumor has started that her former high school sweetheart and ex-husband is coming to town to tape about the local legend. The legend states that if you throw a penny into the fountain you and your high school sweetheart will marry and be together forever. It doesn't matter how long it takes, but that it happens. 


Just to be clear, I do not like romances. If a book catches my attention, even if it is a romance, I will read it, but I can live without the sex scenes and fantasy love. 



Death in the Stacks

Death in the Stacks - Jenn McKinlay

Lindsey is battling with the newest President of the Library Board. She is abrasive, controlling and mean. She is on the attack, trying to get rid of Lindsey and all her staff, especially those who don't meet her standards of dress and decorum. She is also demanding that places contracted to make food, flowers, etc for the Dinner in the Stacks event to earn money for the library, do the service for free. She has created so much ill will that it is no surprise that after being horrible at the event, she is found dead in the stacks, having been stabbed with a steak knife from the event. Paula, the woman that Olive (Boyle...listening it sounded like Olive Oil, Popeye's girlfriend) was tormenting the worst, is thought to be to blame for the death and the mean girls (Olive's friends) also blame Lindsey and Paula. When people start making life miserable for Paula, Lindsey breaks her vow to not investigate anymore and looks into who would want Olive dead. 


This was so fun. It had a whole cast of new characters, including the visiting cupcake bakers from AZ (Fairytale Cupcakes....Cupcake Mysteries, the author's other series). It also dealt with all kinds of other information. I woke up and started working on finishing this story because I was invested in knowing who did the deed. 

Halloween in Paradise

Halloween in Paradise (A Tj Jensen Mystery) (Volume 6) - Kathi Daley

I borrowed the audio from the library, thinking it would be fun and good for our trip to the Halloween Haunt at Cedar Point. It was fun to listen to, TJ is a young woman working as a high school teacher and soccer coach at the Serenity/Lake Paradise High School. She is raising her two younger half sisters and helping her father and grandfather run their ranch (with two dogs, 4 cats, 6 horses and a cow and a new puppy). She is helping with the reunion homecoming parties and the Deputy, her friend, Roy, notifies her that the show, Second Chances, is coming to look into the Cold Case of the death of a former classmate, Holly. He asks her to help him figure out what happened and maybe end the cold case. 


My my kids were given a list of about 15 books that we could listen to and they chose this one. It was about four hours listening time. It moved very quickly and there was some chuckling at what was happening in the story as it hit near home on some occasions. 

Dead Men Don't Crochet

Dead Men Don't Crochet - Betty Hechtman

Molly and her friend, Dinah, are still crocheting with the group and are forming relationships with them. One day, another woman asks to join, but she wants to knit and Adele is vehemently anti-knitting. Shiela is a very talented student who is struggling to make ends meet and when the new owner of the cottage refuses to pay her a fair price for her wares, she comes to the group and Molly suggests they go and back her up. That doesn't seem to help and the man ends up dead and Sheila is viewed by Detective Heather as the culprit and makes her life so bad her apartment is threatened and so is her only job (she is told that if the scrutiny results in her arrest she will lose both). 


My problem with the story is that there is someone so anti-knitting that she is not welcoming to the new people. She, in fact, runs them off with her behavior. I have always found that people who knit or crochet or both are very friendly and welcoming. 


I did enjoy the story and will read another. 

Arsenic and Old Books

Arsenic and Old Books (Cat in the Stacks Mystery) - Miranda James

Charlie and his cat, Diesel, are asked to come to his office to meet with the Mayor, who wants to give more of the diaries from her husband's great-great-grandmother. That night, he starts getting phone calls from a reporter and a visit from a professor that is not liked. They are insistent that they have to have access to the diaries right away and the professor says it has to be exclusive. This makes him curious, so he goes to the office on his day off to go through the diaries. He arrives in time to have another dispute with the professor and see one between her and the reporter. Then the reporter tries again to gain access to the diaries. He goes to lunch and comes back to find that the diaries have been stolen. He can only think of two people who want them this desperately. The night that her place is searched, the professor is murdered. The mayor also turns up with another diary. Charlie is tasked with reading the diaries and helping the police with the information he learns. 


As I was reading, I ended up researching arsenic and learned that it was found in fabric, wallpaper, hats, and books. It was amazing how much they used arsenic on and the death rates because no one knew that it was as dangerous or deadly. In fact, one comment I came across was about hat makers and the phrase "Mad as a Hatter." 


I like books that make me think and go off on a tangent to research for more information. 

The Darling Dahlias and the Unlucky Clover

The Darling Dahlias and the Unlucky Clover - Susan Wittig Albert

Opie is a female reporter earning extra money to help her family through the depression era. She and the other women of the Dahlias grow vegetables and fruits in the gardens of their "clubhouse" and give to the people who need and earn money by selling to give to people who need. At the same time, there is a mystery of what happened to the husband of a woman in their community.


This book is set in 1934 and FDR is president and Huey Long is running against him. What I enjoyed about this story was all the historical information that was provided in this story. After I got far enough I realized what a goldmine it was and hunted down an audio version so I could have my kids listen. We talked about coming out of the depression, putting people to work as they wanted to work not be given handouts. We talked about party line phones and so many other things brought up in this story. I will definitely be looking at the other books by this author to see what else she brings up that will be interesting to my girls for history. 

Not the Killing Type

Not the Killing Type - Lorna Barrett

We are back in Stoneham, NH with the Miles sisters. Angelica is running against Bob for the Chamber President and so does Stan. The problem is that after the two have their hats in the ring, Stan goes to the bathroom and Tricia finds him there, murdered. Her life is then thrown into an uproar while she searches for who could or would have murdered the man. Her current boyfriend, Baker, the police officer in charge of the murder investigation and her ex-husband are either trying to get back with her or pretend that they aren't involved with her. She has to figure out what she wants in her life and take some time off from her job so that she can come back refreshed. 


The story was interesting and it was interesting to listen to (I was in the car a lot yesterday with grocery shopping). So where possible I had read the book and listened while driving. 

60 Quick Knits

60 Quick Knits: 20 Hats*20 Scarves*20 Mittens in Cascade 220� - Sixth&Spring Books, Sixth&Spring Books

Hats, Scarves, and MIttens. I have on my "To-Learn" list - mittens. I love looking at the patterns for hats and scarves as they can have so many different looks and be fun and colorful and they are fast. I have been cold-sheeping (no new yarn until a large amount of the old yarn is used up...more storage for the newer, prettier yarns coming out) and I decided that I would make a bunch of hats and scarves for homeless and kids who would go without (give to the schools and IHN). It isn't much, but this gave me some patterns to consider using while I make these hats and scarves, and patterns for the mittens so that I might get that skill accomplished, too. 



The Big Book of Socks

The Big Book of Socks: The Ultimate Beyond-The-Basics Guide to Knitting Socks - Kathleen Taylor

I love this book. I love the colors, the patterns, the yarns. I love to make socks, I guess that helps, but I love this book for all the different ways to make socks. I had so much fun looking through the pictures and patterns. I even went so far as to say, "I Want This Book!"

99 Yarns and Counting

99 Yarns and Counting: More Designs from the Green Mountain Spinnery - Green Mountain Spinnery Cooperative

This was a fun read and so many pretty yarns and patterns. 


The book was about the yarn and what you can make and the designs that you can make. Lots of different items, but seemed to have more sweaters. I don't feel confident enough to make a sweater. It is a future goal. 

The Marsh Madness

The Marsh Madness (A Book Collector Mystery) - Victoria Abbott

Back to Ms. Bingham and her search for first editions for her employer, Vera. They had been contacted by the assistant to a man who had inherited from his uncle. They were to bring cash to the sale and after they had left the place, it was quick because that is the way, her Uncle Lucky drove. The next day, she gets a phone call from her friend, Lance, telling her that the man who owned the books was found dead. The detective feels that Vera, Lucky, and Jordan were the people who murdered the man and does everything to make it true. Lucky has disappeared and Jordan is being followed and Officer Smiley has broken up with her via text. She is hurt and angry and when the books are taken from Vera, she tasks Jordan with finding out who really did the deed. 


The story was okay and I promptly borrowed two books by Marsh. I had not heard about this author and I was interested to read this author as with previous books, I was familiar with the authors and had some of those books. This was an author I had not heard of before and so I want to check her out. 



Survival of the Fritters

Survival of the Fritters (A Deputy Donut Mystery) - Ginger Bolton

I loved the title on this book and that was what made me pick it up and borrow it from the library. I also loved the cover art, it is fun. That being said, this is the first book in the series and because it was a paperback vs a kindle and an audio combination (like I have been doing to help me get through the books faster), it took me some time to find to read the book. 


Em and her father-in-law, Tom, run a donut shop together after the death of her husband and his son. Tom is a former police chief and she is a former 911 operator. Tom is very observant and noticed that one of their regulars was missing. When she went over to talk with the ladies of the knitting group, she also noticed that Georgia was missing. Later the women return with the key to her house and a group to go see if she is okay. When they get to the house, they are shocked to find her dead. Brent comes and interviews the women and sends them on their way and keeps in contact with Em. 


Later that night, while visiting with a friend in her backyard, Em with her cat Dep's help finds one of the women, Lois, in her backyard, which borders Em's property on the ground with an injury to her head. This is when she gets involved in finding out who really murdered Georgia and five years before, Georgia's son, Matthias. 


It was a good story and I did enjoy reading it. 




Hooked on Murder

Hooked on Murder - Betty Hechtman, Margaret Strom

This is the first in the series and Molly had gone to her neighbor, Ellen's house, to return her hooks and bag that she had forgotten at the bookstore that Molly works at. When Molly arrives, the front door is open and she calls out and walks into the house. When she sees Ellen on the floor she drops down next to her to check her, but she is stopped by the police who have arrived after the door had been open for hours without anyone paying any attention. She is then viewed as the person of interest in the murder of Ellen by Detective Heather, who does not like Molly, because the other detective, Barry, is attracted to and sometimes dating Molly. 


We get to meet the crochet group and Mrs. Shedd, of Shedd and Royal, the detectives and her friend, Dinah. A lot happens in this book as it is introducing everyone and you are learning all the backstories of the characters and their interpersonal dynamics. 


I was reading and listening to this book so that I could try and finish it faster.