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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

Borrower of the Night
Elizabeth Peters
Survival of the Fritters (A Deputy Donut Mystery)
Ginger Bolton
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 %

Color Me, Murder

Color Me Murder - Krista Davis

This is a new series by Krista Davis. It is set in Washington, DC and Florrie is the manager of the bookstore and makes adult coloring books. She is on good terms with the owner of the bookstore and when he asks her to move into his carriage house, she is happy to do so. Then all that could go wrong does go wrong. The nephew of the owner starts causing trouble for everyone and tells Florrie that he will one day be the owner and she will be gone. The owner is not happy with his behavior and tells her so. The next day, Florrie finds his body in the bootleggers hiding place and then begins to hunt for the person who really did this. 


I did enjoy this story and look forward to the next book. It was different from some others and introduces us to many of the things that are part of the DC area, bootleggers hiding places, tunnels for runaway slaves and just trouble that some of the older families have in their lives. 


A Knit Before Dying

A Knit before Dying - Sadie Hartwell

Josie is still in the town and running her knit shop, that her uncle gave her. She continues to live with her uncle, taking care of him, bringing him food from the g.s. The only place that is like a local store, gas station and restaurant. She is friends with Lauren, who is the only employee and cooks like a dream. Josie encourages her to leave Dougie and move into her own place. Josie also tries to help her friend, Mitch, keep an eye on his grandfather, as her great-uncle and his grandfather are feuding and had never hurt each other, just done some damage here or there, that they were able to fix. 


Josie is curious about a missing woman, Bea. Bea had been in the WAVES and was a radio operator. Her place is being converted into a small brewery that will cater to tourists. Josie had also fallen in love with the doilies that she had created years ago. 


She is also trying to maintain control of her property when a man is murdered in the shop she rented to an antique dealer and his partner. 


The story was interesting and since it was not an audiobook I read it a little here and there until I finished it. 

A Hiss Before Dying

A Hiss Before Dying: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery - Rita Mae Brown

Issues with this book:

1. Breast Cancer run in April - usually held in October as that is the pink ribbon month.

2. Have surgery and starts doing weighted lifting before 6 weeks have passed. 

3. All the radiation treatments so close together (I have a friend who just did these). 


On the whole, the book was fun, but I had so many issues that I had to just ignore them and let the book move on. I felt like the book was going over 6 to 8 weeks, but it was all taking place in 8 days. It just was not a good timeline. I liked that it dealt with cancer and the aftermath, but in order to move the book along, she shortened how long everything took and made it hard to believe that they were dealing with one of their own battling cancer. 


The story was okay but was unrealistic for the timeline. 

Dyeing Up Loose Ends

Dyeing Up Loose Ends - Maggie Sefton

The 16th book has moved ahead 4 years, to baby Jack is 4 years old and the rest of the kids either 5 or going on 4. My issue with this book was Carl, the dog. The dog acts still as young and as active 13 to 14 years later and Carl was not a puppy when she brought him to Ft. Connor, CO. So he should be showing his age. 


She is still helping the police when someone is found dead outside the Knit shop and cafe. She pays attention to the information provided by those around her and then shares it with Burt so that they can find the person who murdered the victim. 


It was a fun book and it was good to see how the families had changed and life had changed for all the friends. These books can be read out of order and then this book looked back on the past books so anyone who has not read any of the others doesn't need to unless they want to. 


Wound Up in Murder

Wound Up in Murder (A Yarn Retreat Mystery) - Betty Hechtman

Casey and her Knitting Retreat people are getting together again for another Retreat. This time they are sharing the Inn with a Group called My Favorite Year. They are celebrating the year 1963. When the wife of the My Favorite Year Leader shows up unexpectedly there is a fight between them and the woman takes great pride in destroying Dr. Sammy and his magic. Sammy is so upset, he takes a pitcher of martinis and goes to the beach to drink alone. He then wanders up to Casey's house and she hides him the entire time the police look for him because the woman was found dead on the Inn property, by Casey. 


At the same time, Wanda and Crystal cannot get along and battle over the projects for the Retreat and trying to get people to do the work they want them to do. 


I am reading these stories out of order as I am getting them as I can from the library and my daughters chose this one to listen to in the car while we were "raiding" with the PokemonGo Crowd on Saturday. 

Wedding Cake Crumble

Wedding Cake Crumble (Cupcake Bakery Mystery) - Jenn McKinlay

Angie and Tate are getting married. It is one week to the day and Mel and Angie are out paying off the vendors for the big day and when they get to the photographer's studio, they find him dead, strangled by his camera strap. When the limo driver they hired is found dead, the other vendors and the group suddenly have their own protection. While they are waiting, Angie and Mel are hired to make 500 cupcakes for a book signing. While at the book signing Mel learns that another vendor, but not one of theirs, had also been murdered. She figures out that the person being targeted is the author. She had the same vendors, except for the baker. When she is found murdered the first person suspected is Cassie, Mel's friend. 


Mel feels the need to find out who really had a reason to murder the author. But she has to focus on the wedding. 


This was a fun read, also. Love some of the quotes used in the story and the recipes at the end of the book. 

Sugar and Iced

Sugar and Iced - Jenn McKinlay

Mel and Angie are hired by the beauty pageant to make the contestants recipes for the competition and cupcake towers for the people who come to see the competition, participate and judge the competition. She balks at the thought but is finally convinced to participate. Lupe, Oz's friend, is going to participate and Mel's mother and friend, Carrie, get her ready and help her. She is the odd girl out as her mother is not there to help her, she is not blonde and blue-eyed and she hasn't been doing these contests for years, like the other girls. 


Mariel is the head judge and has a bias against Lupe and when Lupe confronts her there are issues. It is when Mariel's scores are reviewed that the lowest score on all the girls is thrown out. It is when Mariel is found dead the next day that Lupe is viewed as the murderer. It is because of this that Angie and Mel try to find out who really murdered Mariel. 


This was a fun story and definitely had a twist to it. I enjoyed it from beginning to end. 

Gone with the Wool

Gone with the Wool - Betty Hechtman

Casey is trying to fit into the community and so when the football team has their get together before the first game, she brings in corn muffins for the chili dinner. The next day she hears about two of the boys becoming ill and she is being blamed for poisoning the boys. One night, during the blessing of the butterflies, the woman who accused her is found with a knife in her back and she later dies at the hospital. After her death, Chloe, the sister of Dane, her current boyfriend, is being looked at as the one who did it. Dane asks Casey to help him, while this is happening, Dr. Sammy's parents arrive for a visit and think that they are living together and he asks her to help him pretend that they are. She investigates to find out who actually poisoned the boys and who actually murdered the woman who made everyone miserable. 


It was a good story and a continuation of the series. It would probably be better read in order, but I am reading it as I get copies. 

Sugar and Iced

Sugar and Iced - Jenn McKinlay

Beauty Pageant and trying to get her mother to talk to her again. I missed this book and I am reading it out of order. 

Caramel Crush

Caramel Crush (Cupcake Bakery Mystery) - Jenn McKinlay

Angie and Tate's wedding date is just 3 months away and Angie has become a Bridezilla and is hard to control. While dealing with that, Mel gets a visit from her former roommate from college. She wants Mel to make break-up cupcakes and personally deliver them to her ex-fiancee. She wants to humiliate him in front of everyone, just as she feels she was by him. She uses the "you owe me" to get Mel to do it, but Mel goes to the man's house, the club and then to the office where he works. It is when she is verbally berated into searching the warehouse that she finds the man dead in a ball pit. Her former roommate, Diane, then says she needs to prove her innocence. Mel has to divide her time between Joe, her almost-husband - they were almost married until the fake preacher was arrested, Angie (wedding things) and Diane (finding the real murderer). 


There were some moments that I was laughing so hard, I had to rewind the audio just to hear what I had missed while laughing. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and moved onto the book before that I had missed "Sugar and Iced." 


If it weren't for the fact that I am downsizing, I would probably look into buying this series, as we have all enjoyed these books. 

"He’s the one with the sad man bun on his head. Honestly, it’s the mullet of our age."
Caramel Crush (Cupcake Bakery Mystery) - Jenn McKinlay

Caramel Crush by Jenn McKinlay


This is just such a great description of a bad hairstyle, in my humble opinion. 

Let it Go!

Let It Go Downsizing Your Way to a Richer, Happier Life - Peter Walsh

I loved this book. I have been listening to the book while driving and my girls have been listening, too and they also have been taking a lot of what is being said to heart. My oldest cleaned out her room. My youngest is sorting through stuffed toys and deciding which can leave forever. I love my girls and know that when my middle starts to feel better she will join in. We are slowly reevaluating things we have and things that are coming into our house. 

Twelve Angry Men

Twelve Angry Men - Reginald Rose, Dan Castellaneta, Hector Elizondo, Armin Shimerman

An iconic play about jurors who come together and their differences lead to an angry discussion about the innocence of a young man accused of murdering his father. It starts 11-1 guilty changing throughout the play with each person realizing that they do have doubts about the case put forth. This was such a fun play to listen to. I have seen parts of the play many times over the years and I loved this! 

By Hook or By Crook

By Hook or by Crook - Betty Hechtman

Molly Pink and her friends are trying to figure out who left the bag of crochet on the table when they had their show. They get a lead and on the day that Pink shows up at the house, the woman is dead. This starts her to hunt for the person who murdered the woman who made such exquisite work. 


They are also having the show that CC hosts come into the store and they are prepping for that and her mother has come to town with all her friends to get their act together and polished so they can see if they can go on a short tour together, one last time. 


All this is happening and she figures out what is happening with the two men in her life, an attorney, and a police officer. 


There are some funny moments in the story and Adele is not a well-liked character and acts as a foil to Pink. 

It's All Too Much

It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff - Peter Walsh

Peter Walsh is known for his organizational abilities and helping others to get organized. My husband, sil and I have been working on trying to clean out my fil's house. In that end, many things have been coming into my home and as the stuff comes in I have been feeling worse and worse and more and more despondent. It is taking up space and making me just want to keep all the stuff out of my house and get rid of it any way that we can. Peter made a point about how many people don't want the stuff that was their grands or great-grands and the stuff coming in is just too much (as the title states). We have things that we keep because we feel that we have to have it, but it sits in storage or in a cabinet gathering dust. (Boy that is the truth.) I went through a cupboard (of my own) and cleared out four bags of stuff. I look around the house and see things that are just dust collectors and start working on getting rid of it. I have books that I would gladly pass on to others, but for the moment, I am still homeschooling and they can be used for that. I am doing double duty on the stuff...getting rid of my own stuff that I don't want and the stuff that is coming from my fil's house. I highly recommend this book! 

A Tangled Yarn

A Tangled Yarn - Betty Hechtman

Casey is hosting her 5th yarn retreat. She is still having lots of help from Wanda and Cindy and her friend Lucinda at the meals. The hotel is also hosting a Writer's group and Madeline has returned from a trip and she is so happy with her friendship with a travel writer. When the writer is found dead the next day, Madeline doesn't want to be involved and hides every time the police detective or any police officer comes around. At some point, the police detective asks Casey for her help. She also makes some special muffins just for him to help him and make friends with him. 


My kids were rapt as they listened to the book as we drove to Kentucky (again). They put their own books down and laughed at some of the things that happened. It was a good story and the story is the 5th in the series and I am currently reading them out of order. I let the girls choose what they wanted to hear and they chose this book.