Thursday, August 30, 2018

Review: Murder at the Book Club by Betsy Reavley

A group of women form a book group for various reasons. Not all get along though. After a fight at a meeting, a member is murdered along a Common. The victim was disliked by many as self-absorbed and attention seeking. After the death, the group struggles to understand. After another member is also murdered soon after, they are all on edge and it is clear that someone in their group might be involved.

I liked that the characters were fleshed out and distinct. It was very much a character driven story - not just about the clues and so on.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Review: Salem Witch Haunt by Theresa Sneed

Bess is the descent of a woman hanged during the Salem Witch Trials. She is transported through a rift in time to the actual time of the Witch Trials and can't keep her mouth shut - only to find herself accused.

The basic story was interesting and I did like the twist at the end. That said, I did this as a buddy read and both myself and my friend found ourselves wanting to smack some sense into Bess. By biggest issue is how she denied she was in the past for a LONG time despite all that was happening and didn't really seem worried at all about her family and their panic at her disappearance.

Though I love time travel books and books about Salem, this one just had a protagonist I disliked


Monday, August 27, 2018

Review: Ghost Writer - Netta Newbound

Natalie is a successful author who is stuck on her new book. After struggling with it for some time, she finds a chapter she has written , apparently in her sleep. 

Then the "sleep" writing continues.  She is absolutely unable to get anything done unless it is by hand and she doesn't remember it.  Like someone is channeling through her).  Even though she thinks it is odd, she doesn't question it.  After all - it is GOOD.

On a talk show later, she tells a bit of the story with character names and then the police show up at her door. Her story is really happening.  How can that be?  

All she can do is keep writing to find out.

Suspenseful and full of twists, I REALLY enjoyed it.


Monday, August 20, 2018

Review: The Last Sharknado: It's About Time!


I was really looking forward to this for quite a while.  Then, yesterday, I did the marathon thing and watched them all - looking forward to the last one.  And well, I was a bit disappointed.  I mean- they had a lot of the same old craziness and tongue in cheek fun, but it all just seemed rather ...tired...

Lots of time travel and yes - DINOSAURS even.  But no logical plot.  Find Gil.  Well, okay.. surprises - a Planet of the Aprils.. cute joke that made no real sense.

All in all, just go with it, have fun, and don't think about it. LOL  Just take it for the pop cultural fluff it is.


Thursday, August 9, 2018

Review: Sniffing Out Murder by Maria Grazia Swan

Mina runs a animal rescue and when one of her rescues is found that had been adopted, she tries to find out what happened.

The owner is dead -- a strange accident where she was run over by her own car.  (Which I would have once thought absurd for the cops to believe - but after Anton Yeltin's terrible, death.. not now).

The dead woman left two sons behind, and as Mina and her coworkers and friends help the boys to go on with their lives, AND keep their beloved pet, they find that it really wasn't an accident.

I did really enjoy the story.  As a mystery though, there really were not suspects or clues per se.  More of a - she knew who it was and how would she prove it?

That said, one of the things I loved about the book was how the amateur sleuth actually questioned her involvement and WHY she felt compelled to be so involved.  I thought that was a nice change from just having a sleuth follow an absurd reason to get involved which happens in too many cozies IMHO.

Anyway, really enjoyed.


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Review: Chickenfeed - Minette Walters

A fictionalized account of the 1924 murder of Elsie Cameron who was cut up and hidden in her fiance's chicken run in Sussex. Interesting and a very quick reed as indicated on the cover.

The victim was very unlikable and the fiance's story is that she hung herself and he panicked and hid the body. I would have liked to see a bit more details about the investigation etc..

From my perspective, the victim seemed like a Borderline Personality who caused tons of drama and manipulation and the fiance was a rather weak man.  Neither her family, him , nor his friends or family knew how to deal with her and in those days there certainly was no psychological help for them.  He passively kept hoping she would get the hint.

That said, she definitely did not get the hint.  Whether it was suicide (as he claims) or murder, he did cut up and dispose of the body and lie to police about her whereabouts.

We'll never know the truth, but Ms. Walters made an interesting read of it.


Friday, August 3, 2018

Guest Blogger: Alice Duncan

It’s August!

Does anything exciting happen in August? Around here, school begins in August. When I lived in California, kids went from September to June, but here it’s August to May. Not sure why. And I really don’t much care, either, so I’m not sure why I mentioned it. Maybe because August is otherwise such a dull month? Oh, never mind.

Anyway, Bam-Bam, my winner-picking wiener dog, has selected the winners of July’s book, SPIRITS UNITED (he’s such a good dog, even though he did just bark madly at a huge scorpion his mommy had to squash for him. I hate doing that). The winners are: Lisa Brooks, Paula Adams, Brenda Winslow and Sandra Miller. Congratulations, ladies! I’ll send your books to you as soon as I can make it to the post office.

All sixteen of my regular readers will probably be delighted to know I finished writing SHAKEN SPIRITS, the next Daisy Gumm Majesty book. I’m hoping it will be published in October, but I have to go through it one last time and take out the boring bits. After Peter Brandvold gave me his character, Lou Prophet, to play with, there were no more boring parts. Even if Mean Pete did wait to share until Lou was old, broken-down and one-legged. But that’s okay. Daisy, Sam and I had a lot of fun with poor old Lou, even in his elderly guise. Daisy is even learning a new language: Old Westish.

Regarding carpal-tunnel surgery on my left wrist: It went perfectly! So few things do, you know? But the surgeon knocked me out (he used drugs, thank heavens), went snip-snip, and voila (or viola, as Julia Child sometimes said when she was in a funning mood), the wrist was fixed. It didn’t take long to heal, and I’m hoping to get the right wrist operated on before I head to California in mid-October. I’m right-handed, so this upcoming surgery might take a little longer to mend, but I was really happy the surgery was so trouble-free. People I know who had carpal-tunnel surgery some years back didn’t get off so easily. The surgery had improved lately, for which I’m grateful.

Any other news? Other than being a bit wobbly on my pins and taking the occasional fall in front of hordes of spectators in Cahoon Park (Roswell, New Mexico) as the hounds take me for our daily drag every morning, all is just swell. It’s really stupid for a crippled little old lady to walk four (sometimes five) dogs, as my younger daughter is always telling me, but if I walked them one at a time or in bunches, I’d be walking dogs all day long. And If I didn’t walk the dogs, I’d feel guilty. So. There we are.

Regarding August’s contest… Why don’t I give away copies of BRUISED SPIRITS, Daisy’s tenth adventure? All righty then, I will.

In the meantime, please feel free to pre-order SHAKEN SPIRITS:

If you’d like to enter August’s contest, just send me an email ( and give me your name and home address. If you’d like to be added to my mailing list, you may do so on my web site ( or email me (you won’t be smothered in e-mails, because I only write one newsletter a month, and that’s an effort). If you’d like to be friends on Facebook, visit my page at

Thank you!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Review: Workin' It by RuPaul

RuPaul Charles is an interesting man.  He has built a powerful brand and inspired so many to be better people.  And yes - Drag Race -- tons of fun and glamour.  What I like most is how he practices what he preaches and is very positive and determined.  My favorite quote is "If you can't love yourself, then how the HELL can you love anybody else."

So this book is full of positive thinking and lifestyle choices, with personal insight, beautiful pictures and how to tips.  

Now, I am not a drag queen, so the detail on wigs and tucking are not relevant to me - but is it fascinating to see how much work goes into it.  

Much of his advice transfers to non-drag life as well.  Style tips are style tips in many cases. :)


Review: Deadly Solution by Keenan Powell

Maeve Malloy is a lawyer who has had struggles with drinking, done a stint in rehab and trying to prove herself again as a lawyer.  She is...