Scrapbook of the Dead by Mollie Cox Byran

This book is the latest in the Cumberland Creek Mystery series by this author.  This book will be released September 29, 2017

Synopisis

Reporter Annie Chamovitz is a former investigative journalist who is now a stay at home Mom.  In order to get more adult communication and out of the house, she is part of Saturday night crop group called the Cumberland Creek Scrapbook Crop.  They are making new scrapbooks for Halloween. However their new member is a little mysteries, the victims are sisters and there are gangs in the area who may have something to do with this crime.

Scrapbook of the DeadBook Review plus 4.3 stars

This is a very new read for me  because I was introduced to the author via her Cora Craft series.  However, I like cropping (don’t have a lot of time) and I like the fact that the main character has some experience.  Plus, this group of ladies is interesting.  I think it is a great read and a page turner.

 

Book Review: Miracle at the Higher Ground Cafe

Synopsis

Chelsea Chambers is on her own. After a public split from her NFL superstar husband, Chelsea takes a bold step out of the limelight and behind the counter of the Higher Grounds Café, an old-fashioned coffee shop in dire need of reinvention. But when her courage, expert planning, and out-of-this-world cupcakes fail to pay the bills, this newly single mom finds herself desperate for help. Better yet, a miracle.

Then a curious stranger lands at Chelsea’s door, and with him, an even more curious string of events. Soon, customers are flocking to the Higher Grounds Café, and not just for the cupcakes and cappuccino. They’ve come for the internet connection to the divine. Now the café has become the go-to place for people in search of answers to life’s biggest questions.

When a catastrophe strikes and her ex comes calling, Chelsea begins to wonder if the whole universe is conspiring against her quest to make it on her own. After a shocking discovery opens her eyes to the unseen world around her, Chelsea finds the courage to ask God a question of her own. Heaven answers in a most unexpected way. (summary from the publisher)

Book Review

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I really like this book, because even though I am not going through a high-profile split I feel like a need someone to care.  I need someone to hold my hand.  God is here and is helping. I know the reason I am in this situation, but I don’t understand why it keeps going the way it does.  It is a good book to read and get your thoughts wrapped around it and maybe you feel better.

Book Review: Cluttered Attic Secrets

Synopsis

Professional organizer Tina Shaw rushes to her best friend’s ancestral home to determine if Leslie really saw a ghost. Tina doesn’t see one in the cluttered Newport, Rhode Island, Victorian attic, but she does hear strange noises. As she tries to reassure Leslie, the police and firefighters arrive because a murdered man has been found in Leslie’s side yard.

A note in his pocket reads My name is Joshua Young in childish printing. Leslie’s father’s name is Joshua Young, but the men are about a decade apart in age, and this man was killed outside the house where Leslie’s father grew up. Tina must help her friend find the answers to who the murdered man really was and why he was killed. And to what’s making the noises in the attic.

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This book was good, I really want to read the series associated with Jan Christensen.  I think that it is well written, just the kind you need a night when sleep is so far away.  It reminds you that there are friends, but that there are other people who are just idiots. This is a very enjoyable read and I encourage you to read it all the way to the end.

This book was given to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: A Toast to Murder

Synopsis

As Milwaukee counts down to New Year’s Eve, bar owner Mackenzie “Mack” Dalton has but one resolution—unmask the dangerous mastermind who has been taunting her and killed bouncer Gary Gunderson. Mack and her fellow barflies have fleshed out a suspect and arranged an invite-only party to put a cork in the murderer’s game for good. But when the clock strikes midnight and their suspect is found cold and stiff on the basement stairs, it seems the celebration may have come too soon. Now Mack must rely on her special talents to find the real criminal among the crowd of revelers—or someone won’t survive until last call . . .

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This book was an interesting read.  I don’t mean that in a good way.  I had a difficult time reading the book because the MC: Mack was very self-centered.  I mean every three chapters we heard about her background, how she got her gift and on and on. . . .I almost made it a three, but the author did such a nice time in writing the book and I did like her friend that help her solve the mystery.

 

Book Review: Bearly Departed

Synopsis

Thirty-one-year-old Sasha Silverman leads a charmed life as a manager of the family teddy bear shop and factory. Well, except for the part about being a single divorcée with a ticking biological clock in small-town Silver Hollow. There is Will Taylor, the sales rep who’s set on making drastic changes to the business her parents built from scratch—with or without Sasha’s approval and making her feel like she is not worth consulting.

Unfortunately, someone has left Will’s dead body inside the factory. Now Sasha hot-tempered Uncle Ross is suspected of murdering him.  Sasha knows her uncle would never do such a thing, and she’s launching her own little investigation to expose the truth.

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Nice book, to many characters in it though, but I did like the premise of the bear making factory in the story.  Sasha is a good character.  However it is a good start to a fun series.

Book Review: Acting White

Synopsis

What does it mean to “act black” or “act white”? Is race merely a matter of phenotype, or does it come from the inflection of a person’s speech, the clothes in her closet, how she chooses to spend her time and with whom she chooses to spend it? What does it mean to be “really” black, and who gets to make that judgment?

In Acting White?, leading scholars of race and the law Devon Carbado and Mitu Gulati argue that, in spite of decades of racial progress and the pervasiveness of multicultural rhetoric, racial judgments are often based not just on skin color, but on how a person conforms to behavior stereotypically associated with a certain race. Specifically, racial minorities are judged on how they “perform” their race. This performance pervades every aspect of their daily life, whether it’s the clothes they wear, the way they style their hair, the institutions with which they affiliate, their racial politics, the people they befriend, date or marry, where they live, how they speak, and their outward mannerisms and demeanor. Employing these cues, decision-makers decide not simply whether a person is black but the degree to which she or he is so. Relying on numerous examples from the workplace, higher education, and police interactions, the authors demonstrate that, for African Americans, the costs of “acting black” are high, and so are the pressures to “act white.” But, as the authors point out, “acting white” has costs as well. (summary take from the publisher.)

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Although the book mostly involves African American examples, the book clarifies the extra burden that people of color must confront to navigate the racial landscape present in all types of predominantly white institutions. It really discussed the issue that we all feel, predominately African American.  The is  highly informative and entertaining, but sobering, read. I think it is a good way to try to understand the racial landscape in this world.

This book was given to me from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for a honest review.

 

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Book Review: Balancing Act

Synopsis
Rita Bellamy has had great success as an author, but it came at the expense of her marriage. Now she’s starting over in a small lakeside cottage, slowly rebuilding the confidence that was shattered.

Dory has moved to Washington D.C. to be with Griff.  This should be the beginning of an exciting new chapter in Dory’s life. Yet there are adjustments too, and sacrifices she never expected. And soon Dory must weigh the price of love against everything she hoped to gain. .

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This is a hard book to read, because Ms. Michaels writes in such a real manner.  It is almost as if your next door neighbor, your best friend or you are going through this section of the journey in life.  It is so hard!  So be prepared to live in your head and deal with the MC problems and you will come out of  it . . .

Book Review: Nic & Nigel Mysteries by Tracy Kiely

 A Perfect Manhattan MurderScreenshot 2017-09-07 17.03.07

Synopsis

Thrilled that their playwright friend’s Broadway debut was a rousing success, Nic and Nigel are trying to enjoy the A-list after-party with their pal Harper. Unfortunately, all the champagne and repartee in the world aren’t enough to overlook the churlish behavior of Harper’s theater-critic husband, Dan. (Not a nice person) Nic is shocked the next morning when she learns that Dan’s been murdered. Nigel thinks the world may be a better place without him.

Still, Harper is their friend and they’re intent on helping her any way they can.

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I did like this book and felt so sorry for Harper.  He was not a nice man.  He took full advantage over the fact that his wife was a lovely, well connected and RICH person.  Harper’s friends weren’t to happy with Dan, but well.  . . . read the book and enjoy!!!

 

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Synopsis

Visiting New York to attend a cousin’s birthday gala, Nic and Nigel Martini are looking forward to cocktails with old friends and a pampered stay at the Ritz. But when the birthday girl’s gold-digging cad of a husband goes missing, the Martini family worries that the social event of the season may turn into a story for the scandal sheets.

Nigel’s condescending aunt begs former detective Nic to find sleazy Leo, despite the fact that it would be better for everyone if he just stayed lost. Trailing a “married bachelor” with a penchant for trouble isn’t pretty; in fact it’s downright deadly. Assisted by Nigel and their newly adopted Bullmastiff, Nic must tangle with her old underworld connections if she hopes to hunt down the dirtiest Martini

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The Bullmastiff made that story.  He sounds like such a cute dog.  I kid you not.  Every time Nic was supposed to be doing something that dog bailed him out.  He is a huge dog by the description, however, I digress.  I felt same way about the missing husband as Nic did and I really didn’t blame him for his lack of care towards him.  But you have to read the story, if only to get to know the Bullmastiff. 

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Synopsis

Walking the red carpet at the Academy Awards with a bow-tied Bullmastiff draws Nic and Nigel Martini plenty of attention from the press. But that’s nothing compared to the attention they receive at the A-list after party, when Hollywood royalty learn they’ve discovered behind-the-scenes footage from an acclaimed film that left one of its stars dead.

Returning home after the party, Nic and Nigel find their house in shambles and their employee DeDee Evans beaten within an inch of her life. And when the weapon used to pummel DeDee implicates a beloved actress, Nic and Nigel drink and banter their way into a modern-day version of a golden-age crime caper.

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These books are so much fund and Tracy Kiely really know how to connect the two main charcters.  It was a lovely story and and the series just gets better and better.  Can’t wait for the next book.

Book Review: Book 4 Murder

Synopsis

Sophie “Phee” Kimball is not a cop. She’s a divorced, middle-aged mom who works as an account clerk for the police department in a small city in Minnesota. But her retired mother, Harriet Plunkett, is convinced Phee is the only one who can solve the mystery of a cursed book. According to Harriet, four members of her book club have already succumbed to the deadly curse. Harriet insists Phee catch the next plane to her retirement community in Sun City West, Arizona, to investigate.

Phee is certain that their book club selection isn’t cursed, but is somebody really knocking off the ladies? As Phee starts to uncover dark secrets hidden in plain sight under the blazing Arizona sun, she’ll need to read between the lines before it’s someone else’s final chapter….

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This book is perfect for the over 55 crowd and anyone connected with them. The authors nailed it. Lots of twists and the culprit I guessed early on, turned out to be someone totally different. If you’re to know what goes on in a senior community anywhere in the country, this is the book to read. Great first book in a series. I truly enjoyed it, especially since the MC is from Minnesota.  This is book I could relate to, understand and truly get.  You will love it!!

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