CITY ON FIRE by DON WINSLOW

Winslow is back with the first book in a new trilogy. This time set in his own backyard. And it is fire!

The Irish and the Italians share an uneasy peace. Each controlling a different area of New England. Things seem to be pretty set in stone with the old guard being replaced by the new and sometimes impetuous generation.

Danny Ryan is part of that new generation. His father was head of the Irish until he drank himself out of that job. Now Danny is married to the daughter of the boss and looking to move up. Although he would much rather move on from that life.

The fragile peace explodes when a gorgeous woman comes into the group pitting them all against each other and leaving a trail of bodies in the streets.

With everyone turning on each other, Danny steps up. And he is ruthlessly practical. I admired that about him. I am pretty sure everyone in Providence and beyond was on the payroll of one of the gangs. And some were on both.

This is the first in a trilogy. I don’t think there is anyone better at crime thrillers than Winslow. And I read a lot! As soon as I received this I read it. All. There is no good stopping point in this book. You’re pulled through like a train gaining speed. And I can’t wait for the next one.

If you arent’ aware, Mr. Winslow is retiring. These will be his final three books. I can’t wait to join him in what comes next!





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SIMMERING WITH RESENTMENT by DARYL WOOD GERBER

A Cookbook Nook Mystery #11

This is the eleventh book in this series and I would recommend you read them all!

We are back in Crystal Cove, with Jenna and the gang at the Cookbook Nook, and the town has been taken over by brides! The Bride’s Dream Expo is in town and people are losing their minds over wedding stuff. Jenna has set up displays in the shop and these women are buying everything! Jenna is also attending the expo for any last-minute things to add to her own wedding in a few weeks to Rhett.

The last person she expected to see was Sarita Stachline. Who knew she was out of prison? A place Jenna helped to put her after she proved that Sarita had burned down her own restaurant and left with a ton of money. But here she is live and in-person making new enemies and annoying everyone.

It only gets worse when a bomb goes off in the kitchen of Rhett’s new restaurant while Jenna and Rhett are inside. While Jenna is okay, Rhett is not and Jenna is certain this is revenge brought about by Sarita.

She makes her case to the detectives and they tell her to back off. Which is what Sarita said. The next day those words are on a brick that sails through Jenna’s window. Who is feeling guilty? There are so many shady ladies and gentlemen in here. Secrets kept for years, a lot of red herrings, and a lot of really yummy-sounding recipes!

Personally, I could have done without about a fourth of the descriptive words. Also, Jenna didn’t seem to be involved or care about the wedding preparations and she seemed uncertain about the marriage. I wish we had heard more about the wedding prep before she walked down the aisle.

NetGalley/ April 26th, 2022 by Beyond the Page



THE VANISHING TYPE by ELLERY ADAMS

A Secret, Book, and Scone Society Novel #5

Welcome to Miracle Springs, NC. The snow is falling, a new year has begun, and Nora Pennington is still inviting people in for a good book and some treats. Nora runs her shop and also does bibliotherapy sessions. So she’s a busy lady. But she always has time for friends so when Deputy Andrews asks Nora to help her plan a surprise wedding proposal for Hester, she knows just what to do.

Right before the question is popped, Nora finds all her copies of The Scarlet Letter have been damaged by an angry someone who has dug out the name Hester on all the pages.

Nora doesn’t think this is a coincidence as she is one of only a few people, fiance’ not included, who know that Hester has a painful secret. The guilt of which is overwhelming. As if that weren’t enough a body of a hiker is found with a rare book in his pocket. Nothing about any of it makes sense. But Hester is spooked.

The Secret, Book, and Scone Society has taken on the case. Trying to find out how the man is connected to Hester. Someone is determined to get Hester’s attention and they are not above killing to get it.

Always a pleasure to read about Nora and the adventures of the Society.

NetGalley/ April 26th, 2022 by Kensington




DAMN LUCKY BY KEVIN MAURER

Damn Lucky: One Man's Courage During the Bloodiest Military Campaign in Aviation History

One Man’s Courage During The Bloodiest Military Campaign in Aviation History

The incredible true story of John “Lucky” Luckadoo, who survived 25 missions as a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot in WWII.

John “Lucky” Luckadoo truly was damn lucky. He and his best friend enlisted together. With John having a college degree, he was put into a bomber.

This guy flew 25 missions in combat. This was a pretty amazing stat considering what the odds were of him coming home alive.

The story is written from his firsthand accounts by Maurer. The actions scenes were incredible and the bravery of this generation is inspiring.

There was a lot of nail biting going on in this read. Comparing the planes we have now to what they had then, I’m surprised anyone signed up for that job and came home.

Heartbreaking, inspirational and a darn good read!

NetGalley/ April 19th, 2022 by St. Martin’s Press

THE CHILDREN ON THE HILL by Jennifer McMAHON

A genre-defying new novel, inspired by Mary Shelley’s masterpiece Frankenstein, which brilliantly explores the eerie mysteries of childhood and the evils perpetrated by the monsters among us.

I was more than willing to go down the rabbit hole with this one. I do love a good ghost/horror story and with a Mary Shelley-inspired piece, who could resist?

Our narration goes back and forth between 1978/80 to 2019.

In 1978 the highly regarded psychiatrist, Dr. Helen Hildreth, is working with the mentally ill in Vermont. A beautiful place on the surface. Her unorthodox methods carry over to home as well. At home, she is just grandmother to Vi and Eric, whose parents were killed in a car accident.

The kids are homeschooled and their lessons may be unorthodox, but they are also brilliant. Gran has her lab in the basement and lets them play with the mice. Eric collects injured animals from everywhere, filling his room with crippled critters. Violet is more into fighting monsters.

They have their own Monster Hunters Club where they look for clues and look for monsters who walk among us. And they don’t have to look far.

One day Gran brings them home a girl. Iris. She looks rough and has obviously had some type of brain surgery. She doesn’t talk at all but after a bit, the kids get her interested in the world and the monsters. She and Vi become inseparable.

Fast Forward to 2019. Lizzy Shelley is the host of the popular podcast Monsters Among Us and is hunting an elusive monster in Louisiana when she receives an email from a mnstrgirl. Come home, to Vermont, and find me. Lizzy understands that her past has caught up to her and one of the monsters is calling to her. Only this time she knows the monster is real because it is her sister.

Lizzy heads to Vermont to find a missing girl that a monster supposedly has taken and killed. Against all of her better judgment, Lizzy dives in and finds out just what and who a monster really is.

This was a really good read. All those ghost stories told around the campfire have nothing on this scary tale. I was shocked at the end and that is the best ending!

NetGalley/ April 26th, 2022 by Gallery/Scout Press





FREE by LAUREN KESSLER

5 percent of the millions of American men and women who go to prison eventually get out. What happens to them?

As I was reading this book, I was thinking we all need to read this! The author educates us on just how many people are being locked up for longer and longer periods of time for minor crimes. I think my favorite part was dealing with charging children as adults. I can’t even imagine being locked up at 14 with grown men. Thirty years later and the same child is released. But to do what? He has missed everything. No one will hire him or rent to him and the obstacles these people face are sometimes insurmountable.

Let’s not fool ourselves that prison is for rehabilitation. It is not. Although there are programs that help them to re-enter society, they are few and far between. There is no standard way to make sure they all get a fair shot.

Through intensive research and relationships within the prison environment, the author has told the stories of some of the hundreds of thousands of people being released into a world that is now foreign to them. Some are incarcerated as kids and now released into a place where they have no skills, no transportation, no way to fulfill the requirements of being let out with little to no resources.

Some of them can’t take the pressure of the outside and all of its temptations and continually cycle in and out of jail/prison. They may be free, but they really aren’t. We judge them we don’t give them second chances, we send kids to private prisons who make a lot of money from them and give them little in the way of skills they can use on the outside.

We want justice but we should also be teaching people an alternative to their former lifestyle. We should be getting them mental health treatment, but we aren’t. Out of sight is out of mind. And while they may have done the crime and the time, what do they do now?

This was heartbreaking but a much-needed look at the facts.

NetGalley/: April 19th, 2022 by Sourcebooks



HOOKER AVENUE by JODE’ MILLMAN

HOOKER AVENUE is the second in the Queen City Crimes series, which sees the return of attorney Jessie Martin in upstate New York’s Hudson Valley. Jessie is on her way home during a pop-up thunderstorm when she spots a woman drowning in a storm drain. She pulls over to save the woman—only to discover that no good deed goes unpunished.

Jessie’s sort of best friend, Detective Ebony Jones, and her partner are on the case and investigating missing women. Some are sex workers and the cases have been put on the back burner. But now they have a live victim who can give them a description. But the witness is shaky at best and is now missing.

Jessie’s personal life is complicated. Her boyfriend, Hal, is the DA and she is a lawyer. On extended maternity leave. With a horror of a husband, she is trying to divorce. He is demanding she stay home with their daughter, Lily, for a year. And then Jessie receives an offer from the attorney who ruined her former career. Work with him. His health is bad and she does like him.

Things go from bad to worse as a killer in an insane asylum keeps calling her and threatening her. She is keeping secrets and so is everyone here.

Jessie and Ebony are determined to help find these women. Only from two different directions and without telling each other anything. Miscommunication causes lives to be harmed and Jessie is putting her life on the line.

There are so many questions I have about this one. For one, where did Ebony put the money? And why didn’t anyone bring this up? $30,000? Parts dragged on and parts were brushed over.

NetGalley/April 19th. 2022 by Level Best Books

What A Wild Weekend!

Happy Whatever you are celebrating! In Oklahoma, the weather can change on a dime! While it is always windy, it’s a matter of 15mph or 45 mph. To our surprise, Friday dawned bright and hot! The High was 85 degrees so we were at the lake by noon and had our tent set up and the kayaks in the water. With the winds it was choppy! CoCo got “seasick” according to OU Boy who had her in a very safe doggy backpack, in his kayak, so they turned back. Eventually, we were able to go without her and it was amazing being back on the water, jumping white caps, and seeing who could go the furthest. It was me. It’s always me.

As you can see, I caved on the camping. I found this tent on Amazon and it was just what I didn’t know I wanted. Our big cabin tent was airy and it was not fun when the wind blew. Plus we gave it away. This little baby is aerodynamic and nothing moved! So cozy inside. We set it up on a tarp and then set up our screen house over it! Put down another tarp and a quilt so the princess could run around safely. Everyone did great until we woke up to 40 degrees and high winds. It took us 15 minutes to pack up and get our buns back to the house and the heat.

Saturday we checked each other for ticks. Apparently, that’s a thing. Luckily we did not have any unwanted guests. Then we laid around moaning about how sore our arms were.

Sunday we headed to the farm. It was a bittersweet day. Our first Easter without Grandpa and his birthday is today. We had a low-key celebration. Grandma cooked a delicious ham and I brought potato salad and cupcakes. I spent time on the back porch just rocking dogs and remembering why I loved that man so much.

Finally, everyone left and the pups crawled into their beds and slept. We were all worn out. And the weather was good so everyone sat outside. Most of us. Not me.

So the latest on Miss CoCo. She is at 1.1 pounds and is healthy. She has also found her voice and is annoying as a two-year-old. The first time I heard her I thought someone was strangling a cat and came running, but no, she wanted to let me know she pooped. She does this at 2 a.m.which OU Boy handles by bringing her back to bed with him. But here she is in all her stubborn glory. What was her first word? Here you go!

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DARK CIRCLES by CAITE DOLAN LEACH

An embattled actress turns to podcasting when she becomes entangled in a dark conspiracy at a spiritual retreat in this absorbing mystery about fame, violence, and our morbid fascination with murder—from the acclaimed author of Dead Letters.

Olivia Reed is an actress. With some success. Enough that the paparazzi follow her every move and are more than happy to splash all of her erratic behavior all over the tabloids. After hitting rock bottom, her friend and manager, Jess, gets her into a retreat. The House of Light. Not a rehab, a retreat. Only it’s not.

Everyone is odd and Liv can see something is off. Getting close to Ava, a local woman who is trying to find who killed her twin sister. If that ever happened. She pushes Liv to use her celebrity to do a podcast to find out what happened to other women there and why everyone is afraid to speak about it.

We also have the disappearance of Liv’s mother when she was a teen. And the father, who is a real piece of work.

I really struggled with this one. Mainly because the characters were so shallow and unfinished I thought. I could have cared less if any of them had up and died. Liv is clueless and just self-absorbed, Jess is controlling and suspicious, the dad is a cliched character of a Brit.

I couldn’t find one redeeming character here. And there were so many questions left in the end.

NetGalley/April 19th, 2022 by Ballantine Books





THE FALL by RACHAEL BLOK

The sins of the past echo in the present in the new literary thriller from Rachael Blok.

The wind is cold this high up. The man shouts out, but nobody hears. The cathedral roof has caught his fall, but it will not hold him for long. The night is dark. And it is such a long way down…

And so begins The Fall. It’s Good Friday at St. Albans cathedral and Willow is late. It’s dark and the exhibition materials she is bringing to St. Albans are late. It’s dark and while she is walking she could swear she could hear a scream. As she is leaving a man falls from the top of the cathedral.

DCI Jansen thinks it looks like a suicide. But this is an elderly man. How did he even get way up there and why? Digging into the past he finds the man was a verger here for a long time. He also helped out at a local mental hospital where a nurse went missing. And what does it all have to do with a pregnant woman, a child, and over fifty years of secrets and silence?

As Willow’s own family history becomes entangled in this case everyone is beginning to look suspicious.
A morally bankrupt verger has a lot of secrets and untangling them all was wickedly good!

NetGalley/ April 14th, 2022 Head of Zeus an Aries Book