Currently reading

I’ve been so focused on my writing that I haven’t been reading much this month. But I do have my current books I want to tell you about!

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This one is a true crime story called Goat Castle. It’s about the murder of an heiress in Mississippi. I got it from Net Galley and it sounds really good; however, I haven’t gotten far enough into it to tell for sure. Here’s the description though:

In 1932, the city of Natchez, Mississippi, reckoned with an unexpected influx of journalists and tourists as the lurid story of a local murder was splashed across headlines nationwide. Two eccentrics, Richard Dana and Octavia Dockery–known in the press as the -Wild Man- and the -Goat Woman—enlisted an African American man named George Pearls to rob their reclusive neighbor, Jennie Merrill, at her estate. During the attempted robbery, Merrill was shot and killed. The crime drew national coverage when it came to light that Dana and Dockery, the alleged murderers, shared their huge, decaying antebellum mansion with their goats and other livestock, which prompted journalists to call the estate – Goat Castle.

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The second book I’m reading is by an author I first found through book club. If you follow my blog you know I’m not always a fan of our book club picks, but we read The All Girl’s Filling Stations Reunion by Fannie Flagg and it was so much fun. This one is called Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven and it is set in the fictional town of Elmwood Springs, Missouri and I’m loving it. I’m about 1/3 of the way in. It was one of my thrift store finds this month and I’m glad I picked it up. These are great books for when you’re in the mood for a light, funny read. They’d be a lot of fun on audio too.

Combining southern warmth with unabashed emotion and side-splitting hilarity, Fannie Flagg takes readers back to Elmwood Springs, Missouri, where the most unlikely and surprising experiences of a high-spirited octogenarian inspire a town to ponder the age-old question: Why are we here?

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Which brings me to my last book, The Execution of Sherlock Holmes. It’s a collection of five Holmes-inspired short stories. The first one has Holmes kidnapped and awaiting his execution on “crimes” against a criminal gang. Basically it was a locked room escape story, and I really liked it. I didn’t like the second story about cracking some code – boring to listen to – but the rest have been good. I’m listening to this one in the car and it’s been very interesting.

 

 

That’s what I’m reading. I have a few I need to get to soon, including looking through MY book club pick, Daughter of a Pirate King. What are you reading? Are you liking it? Let me know!

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Humorous Mysteries

23014654If you like a little humor with your mysteries, Donna Andrews has got a series for you. Meg Langslow is a blacksmith whose family has a tendency to get involved in stuff that leads to murder. She has discovered a wide array of murder victims over the years, but she keeps her head and always manages to figure out who done it.

I love funny books, so I took a break from my Off the Shelf challenge this month and read two of Andrews’ latest books, Lord of the Wings and Die Like an Eagle. All of them have birds and bird-related puns in the title.

Lord of the Wings revolves around the mythical town of Caerphilly, Virginia where they’ve begun a new Halloween Festival. Things were going pretty smoothly until someone started a strange scavenger hunt. It started at the zoo and ended in a murder. The next book in the series, Die Like an Eagle, centers around Meg’s twins and their first baseball team. The books are #18 & 19 in the series, but you can start anywhere really and give it a go. My favorite is probably We’ll Always Have Parrots which involves a fan convention. It is just hilarious.  Great reads for curling up with a good book.

Book Review: French Fried

10478123Title: French Fried: One Man’s Move to France with Too Many Animals and an Identity Thief

Author: Chris Dolley

Setting: Rural France about 10 years ago

Found it: Read other things by this author

Format: Ebook

Author Chris Dolley and his wife decided they’d had enough of the rat race (for reasons I never quite grasped, but which ultimately don’t matter) and packed up the whole household for a sojourn in rural France. Despite not reliably speaking French, not having transport when there, and only seeing the house once. Yeah, if it sounds like an adventure and not like a crazy idea, then you’d like this book. If it sounds like an adventure when someone ELSE does it, you still might enjoy this book. I tried it because I am a BIG fan of his steampunk series, Reeves and Worcester. (Think a steam powered version of PG Wodehouse). This one was completely different, but the sense of humor that had me in giggles with his steampunk series is definitely at work here. Their move and the attendant chaos was hilarious.

I loved their friendships they made with the locals, but when he got to explaining the identity theft, I got caught in all the details and lost interest. I skipped around some there, so I’d only rate it a 3.25. But I completely recommend his R&W series. Wodehouse would approve.

Book Review: The Spirit Thief

Title: The Spirit Thief (The Legend of Eli Monpress #1)

Author Rachel Aaron

Genre: fantasy with humor (my fave genre right now)

Source: Kindle

“Eli Monpress is talented. He’s charming. And he’s a thief.

But not just any thief. He’s the greatest thief of the age – and he’s also a wizard. And with the help of his partners – a swordsman with the most powerful magic sword in the world but no magical ability of his own, and a demonseed who can step through shadows and punch through walls – he’s going to put his plan into effect.

The first step is to increase the size of the bounty on his head, so he’ll need to steal some big things. But he’ll start small for now. He’ll just steal something that no one will miss – at least for a while.

Like a king.”

Sorry, but I had to start with that quote. It just sums up the book so well. If that description doesn’t make you smile and want to learn more, then this just isn’t the book for you.

Eli is conceited, crafty, and every bit as awesome as he thinks he is. That’s what makes this book so much fun. But I love his friends just as much. The author does a great job of turning your first impressions on their head. The world building is great. I love the explanation for how magic works in this world and the magical creatures that are created.

I tried this series because I enjoyed the Dragon series by Aaron, but I really like this one better. The Dragon series is more geared to teens but this one, while not inappropriate, is a little more grown up. Recommending this one. 4.2 stars

Book Review: Fred the Vampire

Title: The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant (Fred, the Vampire Accountant #1)

Author: Drew Hayes

Genre: urban fantasy, comic horror

How I heard about this book: Familiar author

Format: Audiobook

Source: Kindle Unlimited

I really like old Fred the vampire accountant. He’s a funny guy. There was a lot about the world of this story that I wanted to know more about. The book was a collection of several adventures, starting with Fred’s 10 year high school reunion. The story starts with Fred already having been turned into a vampire. In fact, we don’t learn much about how it all started until the last story in the collection. His reunion kind of takes a downturn when a group of werewolves turn up and start devouring the alumni.

I liked all the characters, but  I *LOVED* Bubba! The worldbuilding was was well done and it was genuinely funny. I laughed out loud more than once.

But there was too much swearing in here, especially for an audiobook. I’m not sure if I want to read the next in the series or now. The narration was done by fellow Utahn Kirby Heybourne, and he does a really good job. But like I said, I got tired of hearing the F-bomb so many times.

Bubba alone is worth 1 star, so overall, I’m giving this one 3.3 stars.