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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

The Partner
John Grisham
The Christie Curse
Victoria Abbott
Truly Devious
Maureen Johnson
17 Carnations: The Royals, the Nazis and the Biggest Cover-Up in History
Andrew Morton
Thirteen Chocolates (A Chandler's Chocolate Box Mystery Book 1)
agatha chocolats
A Catered Wedding
Isis Crawford
The Know Your Bill of Rights Book: Don't Lose Your Constitutional Rights--Learn Them!
Sean Patrick
Delicious and Suspicious
Riley Adams
All Fudged Up
Nancy CoCo
The Devotional Bible: Experiencing The Heart of Jesus
Max Lucado
Progress: 51 %

Assaulted Caramel - Amish Candy Mystery

Assaulted Caramel (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery) - Amanda Flower

This is set in Holmes County, OH. My husband's family is from that area and I have family up that way, so we spend a lot of time in that area. I love going to that area so much that my husband gets a hotel room for three days around my daughter's and my birthday to celebrate up there. 


Bailey has rushed to her grandparents home and shop because her grandfather is ill and she knows that she needs to be with them. But she is getting calls from New York where she is up for a prestigious job offer...head chocolatier for a well-known chocolate company. Soon as she arrives, she sees her grandfather threatened by a man who is trying to buy up the whole neighborhood of Amish Businesses. That night, she goes to the kitchen and finds that man dead. She is considered the suspect in this crime and feels that to protect her grandparents she must work to find the true murderer. 


There were things that I had problems with, that had more to do with what I know about Amish in Holmes County, but it just spurred me to do some research of my own. It also had to do with the fact that when a child leaves the Amish, they are shunned and the family has to shun the child and their family, so I had problems with the idea that they had such a close relationship with their "Englisch" grandchild and yet are not shunned by the community, too, for keeping the relationship. I didn't like the sheriff in the story and hope that he is removed in future stories and I do hope that this storyline continues. It was a fun read and I did enjoy the story on the whole. 

First Grave on the Right

First Grave on the Right - Darynda Jones

I was warned. I have to agree with others who were not thrilled with this book, but I always give a book a try and I have taken to listening to the books and reading alternately, in order to get through the books I want to read. With all the driving I do, it cuts into my reading time and there are places where listening to the book is not advisable, so I go back and forth in order to keep up the continuity. My children are with me most of the time and so reading a book or listening to a book that they might pick up and read is not something I do currently if it would fall under the category of erotica or having explicit sex scenes. I am not generally a prude, but when it comes to my children, I am a prude. So I was shocked to hear a sex scene in the book (given that I was driving and the kids were listening). 


So for those who are trying to get the most from their reading time and have children, don't listen to this book when they are around. 

Duck the Halls

Duck the Halls - Donna Andrews

Michael and Rob have joined the Caerphilly VFD and a week before Christmas, they get called out to a problem at the Baptist church, where the Chief of Police and his family attend church. What is found there are a dozen irate skunks who have sprayed the caretaker and the whole church. After that, Meg is asked to help organize all the churches and their activities for Christmas so that there is enough space to accommodate all the special activities of all the different churches. As this is going on, Meg finds out who started the pranks but she knows that they didn't murder the cantankerous Vestry member who complained about every expenditure. 


I really do enjoy these stories and it is good that they can be read out of order or in order. I do recommend as a fun read. Another mind candy book. 

One Book in the Grave

One Book in the Grave - Kate Carlisle

Brooklyn is called by her friend, Ian, to come and fix a book that he has just purchased, but she recognizes the book as one she bought and gave to her friend, Max, and his fiancee, Emily. She also knows that this was a treasured present for Emily and stolen from her after the death of Max. 


Brooklyn goes to the store where the book was sold and finds the owner, Joe, dead. She calls the police and calls her boyfriend, Derek, who comes and together they find out that Max was not dead and that he faked his death because of death threats and threats to his family and fiancee. They then begin the process of trying to find out what happened and who is to blame. 


I borrowed this book in two formats, audio and kindle, reading and listening wherever I could. I thoroughly enjoy this book and would recommend to others who just want something to read that is like mind candy. 


I did enjoy the information about books that I didn't know and that old books can be put back together. 

Death of a Movie Star

Death of a Movie Star - Timothy Patrick Kirby

I was contacted by the author requesting that I review his book, sending me a free copy. After reading the story, I am pleased to state that the book is a good read. 


The story starts with the comment that if you are over 80 years old, you can commit a murder, just one murder, and get away with it because it would be too much money to try you and put you in jail. Because at 80 you are knocking on death's door and it would be wasted money. I didn't really like the thought of that as we are seeing more people live to their 90's and 100's. But I wasn't willing to leave the book at that point, I wanted to see how this would progress. 


Lenora is an aging film actress who hunts up another has-been actress and asks her who she would love to get rid of forever. The name that jumps to her lips is Cassandra aka Casmo. A young actress who has become a thorn in the sides of both women. Lenora has a plan. She wants to get rid of Casmo and wants someone else to take the blame. 


She runs a television show with her business manager, Micah Bailey. Micah is the host of "Starbash 2020" and he hates Hollywood and all the trappings. So much so that he states that he never watches tv or movies. He hides in the garage at Lenora's and works on cars and trashes the Hollywood elite. 


16 actors and actresses with known problems with temper, alcohol or drugs come on the show to go from the top to the bottom and show that they can become human. Along the way, you see the changes in Casmo and you see that she has an ax of her own to grind. One that goes back to when Lenora and her own mother were sharing an apartment and competing for acting jobs. It seems that Lenora is suspected of turning Cassandra's mother into the FBI during the 1950's witchhunt for Socialists. 


This did have a definite story and you could see people emerging from the face that they present to the world. I do recommend this story. 

Angels and Demons

Angels & Demons - Dan Brown

I had read "The DaVinci Code" a very long time ago, around the time the movie came out. I recently found this book and used the audio to help me get through the book quickly ("reading" in the car or while knitting). 


I was a bit shocked to learn that this was Robert Langdon's book #1. He is called to Cern to help find what had been stolen from the Cern in Switzerland and where it had been taken and who had taken it. 


A scientist was tortured and murdered and his work was stolen and taken to the Vatican where it was used as a threat to destroy the Catholic Church, just as the Church once tried to destroy the Illuminati. 


He uses his knowledge of the Illuminati to find out where the kidnapped Cardinals are going to be found and how they would be murdered. He tries very hard to stop these murders and tries to save the scientist's daughter and partner from being murdered by her captor. 


It was an interesting story, that I was glad that I could use the audio with the book in order to find more time to read. This is a story that provided some interesting information about the Cern and the Vatican. I do recommend that this book not be listened to around children unless they can handle the harsh murder descriptions. This limited the time that I could listen (before children woke up and after they went to bed and when I was alone in the car). 

Murder at the Vicarage

The Murder at the Vicarage - Agatha Christie

One of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple mysteries. The story is told from the pov of the Vicar, but Miss Marple is viewed as an older woman who knows all that is happening in the area and keeps track of all those who live around her. She can tell what they are wearing, what they are carrying and who they are with. The inspector sent out to investigate the murder of the Colonel refuses to let anyone tell him anything no matter how hard they might try and he has an obvious bias against women so that he doesn't like them very much. It makes him seem incompetent in his investigation. He then needs the help of the Vicar to find the truth because he does take time to listen to the women and dismisses them. There are unsigned notes being sent around that are meant to cause problems with people and spouses. 


I had been listening to this, over reading it and feel that there was much I may have missed through listening over reading. I will be revisiting the story in the written form so I can see what I may have missed. I did enjoy the story and the movement of people through the village and the hunting to find the truth. 


Dial Meow For Murder

Dial Meow for Murder (Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery) - Bethany Blake

This is book 2 in the series by Bethany Blake. It is Halloween and Daphne has moved into the old caretaker's cabin. She has shown up at the old Flynt Mansion to help sell her dog treats to help raise funds for the dog rescue. Her mother is having a fit in the mansion as the owner cannot be found and her cat is running around and the place is a mess. Finally, Daphne, trying to catch the cat finds the body of Lillian Flynt and then takes in her terror of a cat. 


She and Jonathon are becoming better friends and he has formed a good relationship with Artie and Axis (the two dogs from the previous book that she convinced him to adopt). His ex-wife has moved to the area and seems to be trying to have a relationship with him. Her sometimes boyfriend is trying to have a serious conversation with him. 


Along the way, she finds another body and finds the real murderer. 


Pretty good story and Daphne is starting to become more dependable, but still flighty. I do recommend reading the stories in order and there is a 3rd book on the way in the spring. 


Six Geese A-Slaying

Six Geese A-Slaying - Donna Andrews

It is Meg and Michael's first Christmas together as a married couple and they are busily trying to get the Christmas Parade finished so they can spend it alone before celebrating with her family. In order to celebrate, they have to get the Caerphilly Holiday Parade out of their yard and off to town. They are having a Nativity, a 12 Days of Christmas, Boy Scouts, SPOUR members and many other things to celebrate along the way. But soon Eric, her nephew, and Cal, the Chief of Police's grandson, come to her to say that Santa (played by Mr. Doleson) is dead and who would kill Santa. She quickly gets the Chief on the scene and starts replacing people (the Chief who was a wise man and Santa). The parade arrives in town just before the snow can trap anyone at Meg's and she goes into town and enjoys the festivities before she and Michael return to their home. Along the way, Caroline Willner and the vet are arrested for breaking and entering and then many other things begin to happen. Who really killed Doleson and why becomes the main question. 


The story is just plain fun and full of many twists and turns as you try to figure out who is really to blame for the murder. I did have moments of questions concerning the keys that she is constantly handing to someone for some reason and the small evil one (Spike, their dog) being left locked in a cage while they might have been trapped in town. It was like they are mentioned and forgotten but then remembered on the second day when they take the dog to town with them on the off chance they are trapped in town. 

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré

It is the summer before Year 6 and Harry is back at his aunt and uncle's house and he is waiting for Professor Dumbledore to come and get him to take him to the Burrow. Everyone in the wizarding world is nervous and know that he is "The Chosen One" because that is what is being printed in the Wizarding Newspaper. When he returns to Hogwarts he is treated differently and he is suspicious of Professor Snape and Malfoy. He begins to try finding out what they are up to and still go to all his classes. 


I borrowed the audio version to go with my Kindle version so I could listen to Jim Dale tell the story while I was driving (back and forth to KY and Columbus, OH). I would read the book version when I was able to sit quietly somewhere (like home after the kids were in bed). I do enjoy hearing Jim Dale tell the story he is a master at the art of storytelling and I do enjoy the Harry Potter books very much. They are kind of a mind candy. 

Forever Hatter Mad Tea Party Recipes

Forever Hatter: Mad Tea Party Cookbook [Digital Companion to the Coloring Book Comic] (These Aint No Confidential, Top-Secret Recipes from Literary Kitchens Kinda Cookbooks Series 1) - Wonderland Cafe, Buffy Naillon, Buffy Naillon, John Tenniel

This was such a fun cookbook with recipes that I will enjoy making. This book also can be printed and becomes a coloring book. It has some fun information on tea and what a high tea is and why it originated. Very good information. 


Cozy Mysteries Cookbook

Cozy Mysteries Cookbook: Recipes from Hope Callaghan's Cozy Mystery Books - Hope Callaghan

I do enjoy mysteries with recipes in them. I have found some really good ones and I love when the author puts all the recipes (or a large grouping of them) into a cookbook so that I can just look in one book for the recipes instead of searching through all of the books. I realize that the author was attempting to get people to buy her books by putting excerpts from the books near the recipes, but I didn't want to read the excerpts here, I just wanted to look at the recipes and plan when I was going to use them (like for Easter). 



For the Love of Knitting 18 Weekend Projects

For The Love of Knitting: 18 Easy Weekend Projects - Tammy Asselin

This is another book that I was able to acquire for free and finally had the time to go through. There were so many different things to make from slippers to headbands. They are all deemed weekend projects so that you should be able to make them in a weekend. 


I did like a few of the items but was uncertain about others. When I get to the point of making something from this book, I may change my mind. 

Rainbow Sock Knitting Pattern

Rainbow Sock Knitting Pattern - Olivia Clark

This was one simple sock pattern. It was okay and I was glad that I was able to get the pattern book for free. 

Sock Monkey Knitting Pattern

Sock Monkey Knitting Pattern - Sarah Taylor

When my girls were little we would go to a nearby Lutheran Church and a wonderful lady there would bring in her sock monkeys when she would do the children's sermon. My girls eventually became enamored with sock monkeys. I bought this book when it was reduced/free priced and put it aside to make when I had some free time (getting less every day it seems). I think this pattern is super simple to make and will still make for my girls. 

Knitting Socks

Knitting Socks for Beginners: Quick and Easy Way to Master Sock Knitting in 3 Days (Sock Knitting Patterns in Black&White) - Emma Brown

Like I explained in another post, I received 2 skeins of sock yarn and I want to make myself some socks and I love patterns, pattern books and I especially like books that help me to understand what I need to do to make socks. This book breaks down all the ways to make socks and all the tools, all the yarns and even has some patterns in it to help along the way. It was good to revisit this book.