THINGS WE DO IN THE DARK by JENNIFER HILLIER

Paris Peralta comes to on the bathroom floor covered in blood and holding a straight razor. Oh, yes, and her thirty-year older husband is dead in the tub. Then the police arrive and she is arrested.

Paris knows she didn’t kill her husband, but who did? She isn’t afraid of going to jail, she’s afraid of being in the media. Paris has secrets and she doesn’t want them coming out. She has worked very hard to create this life. And one person could ruin it all.

Ruby Reyes, the so-called Ice Queen, was convicted in Canada in the early nineties. She knows who Paris is and has no problem exploiting that knowledge. All from prison.

Meet Drew, who is doing a podcast and is still pining for the girl he loved. That girl died in a fire.
So they say.

With Drew helping her Paris may have to confront an ugly and traumatic past before she gets charged with two murders.

Hillier is a master of misdirection and women behaving badly. She is at her best here.

NetGalley/ July 19th, 2022 by Minotaur Books

RIZZOLI & ISLES: LISTEN TO ME by TESS GERRITSEN

Rizzoli and Isles #13

Detective Jane Rizzoli and Forensic Pathologist Maura Isles are investigating the gruesome murder of a nurse, whilst also protecting a young student from a stalker. But immersed in their day jobs, will they lose sight of something sinister happening much closer to home?

Jane and Maura are back solving crimes. And this time they are investigating an awful murder of a nurse. While also trying to keep a stalker away from a young girl. They are so busy they don’t have time for Angela.

This book starred Angie! While her neighborhood doesn’t have an official neighborhood watch, Angela and her quirky neighbors always know what’s going on. Except now. A man and woman have moved into the rental across from her and she knows in her gut something isn’t right about them. So when the police don’t have time for her and Vince is out of town, she begins to poke her nose into her neighbor’s business.

And this is one of those times when you are looking so hard at the one thing you believe is wrong while the trouble is really where you least expect it.

I have read all of the Rizzoli & Isles books and watched the series. Angela is so funny and such a loveable character. You can see where Jane gets her stubbornness from.

I loved this one.

NetGalley/ July 5th, 2022 Ballentine

MUDDLED THROUGH by BARBARA ROSS

A Maine Clambake Mystery #10

Mud season takes on a whole new meaning in the coastal town of Busman’s Harbor, Maine, when local business owners sling dirt at one another in a heated feud over a proposed pedestrian mall. Vandalism is one thing, but murder means Julia Snowden of the Snowden Family Clambake steps in to clean up the case . . .

Julia and her family are back with another mystery and murder. This one begins with Julia seeing police cars in front of the shop Livvie works in, Lupine Design, a successful pottery store. While Livvie is safe the shop is trashed.

Lupine’s owner, Zoey, is out digging mud for more projects when the police arrive to tell her the bad news. She is shocked. Who in the world would do this to her? And why? While she and many others in town are all for a pedestrian mall to bring in more tourists and revenue there is one troublemaker. And he is in the shop next to Lupine. In an odd turn, they both share a basement.

Surely the fuss over a pedestrian mall isn’t enough to destroy property, but when the neighbor turns up dead in the basement, Zoey has some explaining to do.

This one was a bit more twisty than usual. So many secrets people are keeping. For decades, old slights fester and the more she digs, the more she finds herself in the line of fire.

Always a good time with the Clambake series.

NetGalley/ Kensington June 28, 2022



Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley

A dazzling novel about a young black woman who walks the streets of Oakland and stumbles headlong into the failure of its justice system–the debut of a blazingly original voice that “bursts at the seams of every page and swallows you whole” (Tommy Orange, best-selling author of There There)

When I saw that the author wrote this at 17 and lived on the streets of Oakland, I was floored.

The language is what I would expect from a teenager. All the feels are there.

Kiara and her brother, Marcus, live in East Oakland. A roach-infested hovel. That is all they can afford and they honestly can’t afford that. While Marcus is pretending to make a rap record, Kiara is hustling all over the dirty streets of Oakland looking for money. Their family fell apart long ago when her mom went to prison. Just teenagers themselves, Kiara also looks out for the little boy next door whose mother is an addict and never home.

After one drunk misunderstanding with a man turns into a career on the streets called night crawling. And since the johns are the cops, she is in it until they say she isn’t.

But then her name is connected to an internal investigation in the police department. A huge scandal involving officers and prostitutes.

The last thing Kiara wants is to be in any kind of limelight. She just wants to live.

This book was not pretty to read. It was raw, ugly, and made me cry and cringe quite a bit. But I am glad I read it and I hope we hear from this author again!

NetGalley/  June 7th, 2022 by Knopf Publishing Group



HELLO JUNE! Spillin’ Tea!

Here it is June already. It hasn’t been the greatest few weeks, has it? Children are being murdered in their classrooms, here in a hospital, and craziness is rampant.

I rarely turn on the news anymore. It’s soon primary time so all of the politicians in Oklahoma are bragging about being endorsed by the other guy who lost. It’s depressing. Guns before kids. Until one of theirs is killed nothing will get done. It’s easier for an 18-year-old to buy a long gun than it is for a rape victim to get an abortion. I guarantee if all the women in the country took up assault rifles over this issue the NRA would shut down assault rifles real quick!

Anyhoo, we have been fighting allergies and asthma, with both of us having to go to the hospital. OU Boy had another MI and had to have all of his 5 stints scrubbed out as they were 100% blocked. Then he had an ear infection and the doctor perforated his ear drum trying to get the wax out. The pup has allergies as well so we all look like we are crying all the time. I think we are all past the worst of it now.

Luckily I didn’t miss going on the river in the kayak because it has rained or been windy AF all week. Perfect weather for curling up with a book. And I have read a lot. Right now I’m reading Ann Cleeves Rising Tide, a Vera Stanhope mystery. I love the show, Vera. We are also watching The Sopranos from the beginning because OU Boy has NEVER seen the Sopranos! We finally got to see Stranger Things 4 and I quit halfway through. These aren’t kids anymore. It was a bit over the top. I enjoyed the Johnny Depp trial more. At least it was funny.

This morning the sun is shining and the birds are pooping all over the sidewalk. There is a red cardinal on my birdfeeder and I’m feeling hopeful I can get outside today. And in a stunning turn of events, I only have 10 books on my NetGalley list! I’ve managed to catch up on other reads and even edit a cookbook.

I was planning on going to the beach this month, but my sister went to Sanibel Island and came back with Covid, so maybe not. Coco is almost 2 pounds now and we call her The Flash. She could be a racing dog she’s so fast.

What is everyone planning for the summer? Going any place? Reading anything I should know about?

xx P

THE ISLAND by ADRIAN McKINTY

From the Best Selling Author of The Chain comes a new and explosive new thriller. The Island grabs your attention on page one and doesn’t let up at all.

Heather Baxter is still getting used to being married. A girl from a small island, she moved to Seattle and became a massage therapist. This is where she meets Tom. A doctor whose wife died in a fall down the stairs of their home. He has two kids, Olivia who is fourteen but looks like sixteen, and Owen who is eleven. Oh, they hate Heather. They are rude and spoiled and for some reason, medicated.

When Tom is invited to Australia to speak at a convention of other doctors the kids beg to go and maybe this is what they need to come together as a new family. It is not.

The kids are bored, Heather is sick of them and Tom is sketchy from day one. When someone tells them about Dutch Island, the kids beg to go after being told of all the koalas on the island. But the island is not open for company. There is one ferry that takes people out and back. But only the family who lives on the island. But of course, they all beg to go, and soon a German couple is asking as well.

Shortly after landing, they are told to be back by a specific time. There are no phones or internet on the island and they need to be off the island. But a horrific accident puts them on a collision course with the insane clan who lives there and suddenly Tom is gone and Heather turns into John McClane of Die Hard.

Sick and tired of being underestimated, Heather takes control of the situation in a way that had me wondering if she was secretly CIA! There was so much tension in this book, you could feel the heat and smell the fear.

I loved Heather. They never saw her coming. It was thrilling!

Soon to be a Hulu series.

NetGalley/May 17th, 2022 Little, Brown & Company

JUST LIKE MOTHER by ANNE HELTZEL

Well, this one started with a bang! Two children, little girls, cousins, walk into the woods and one turns into something insane.

The last time Maeve saw her cousin Andrea was when she fled the weird cult they were being raised in. The police moved in pretty quick and arrested all of the ‘mothers’. And from there the girls’ lives took many different turns.

Maeve wants to forget. She has walls securely built and isn’t letting anyone in. And when Andrea finds her again, Maeve is conflicted but Andrea is the only family she has.

Andrea seems to have it all. The house in the Catskills, a perfect husband and a brand built on having babies. It’s almost cult-like followers are about as crazy as they come. And soon Maeve is bowing to the wishes of her cousin, and spending almost all of her time at her cousin’s house with a bunch of nuts.

All they talk about are babies. The only reason we exist. Helping women have babies is a noble cause but this is not that. As happy as Andrea seems, she can’t have the one thing she wants. A child. She expects Maeve to lend her an egg or two and that is when Maeve finds her spine and refuses.

The weirder things get, the more memories Maeve is finding. Of what their past was really like and what they hid behind locked doors. Will she make it out alive?

Talk about your scary reads! This was some seriously messed-up stuff that was going on in this book. And the ending was a bit shadowy.

NetGalley/May 17, 2022, Tor MacMillan Forge


Starry-Eyed Love by Helena Hunting

Spark House #2

It’s great to be back at Spark House again. London Spark has finally broken up with her boyfriend. And now fun London has come out to play with her sisters, Avery and Harley. Celebrating out on the town. When a handsome stranger walks up to the table with eyes only for London, she tells him she has a boyfriend.

London doesn’t even have time for love. She handles the business aspect of Spark House and isn’t so keen on it, but it’s been a family business for a long time. London really enjoys the creative side of things. And with her Etsy shop going strong she already barely gets any sleep.

Luck or fate? When London takes a meeting with a huge media company that wants to sponsor them and their green ineciatives. But London isn’t big on meetings. Her anxiety overwhelms her to the point that she is nervously making origami stars again. All the time. So going to meet with these people has her in a state. But once she gets going, it’s not so bad.

Until a gorgeous man in a gorgeous suit walks in looking stunned. London thinks he looks familiar but can’t place him. He, however, has no problem placing her.

When Jackson takes over the account so he can spend more time with London, his team is shocked. This is not the Jackson they know. He doesn’t have relationships or work directly with the client.

But oh the spark between these two. What’s the answer to not mix business with pleasure? Put someone else in charge. But these two have painful past experiences and aren’t exactly spilling them all at once.

There was so much stress going on for London. Her anxiety, her sisters whom she loves but isn’t happy with Avery not willing to hire help. Jackson comes with his own baggage and a woman who thinks he belongs to her. Sparks will fly in all directions.

I loved the first book and I loved this one too. It’s nice once in a while to read a love story.

NetGalley/ May 10th, 2022 by St. Martin’s Griffin





Death by Tart Attack by TAMAR MYERS

Magdalena Yoder is accused of murdering her ex-husband in this delightfully quirky cozy mystery set among Pennsylvania’s Amish-Mennonite community.

On page one and I’m already laughing. Magdalena Yoder is not only the mayor of her town, she is it’s the richest resident. And she is funny! Oh does she make you laugh.

When her kind of ex-husband shows up planning to build a giant theme park based on the book of Revelations, Magdalena is incensed. They are a quiet community and don’t want some Disney version of the Bible bringing thousands of people to their quiet community.

Aaron Miller is not a good man. Not even close. But he owns the land and this could be ugly.

As he is showing his plans to the public community he bites into a tart and that’s the last thing he does. Obviously he’s been poisoned, but by who? Who baked the tart? Who would want him dead?

Suspicions fall on Magdalena of course and she isn’t going to stand for that. She is going to solve this murder and clear her name. But will the secrets bubbling below the town’s perfect facade mean the end of her?

Magdalena is one of the funniest characters in the cozy world. I could listen to her all day.

Another really good read.

NetGalley/May 3rd, 2022 by Severn House Publishers







Our Little World by Karen Winn

Coming of age in the ’80s. So much angst. So many secrets and misunderstandings that go with having a sibling in your school who you think is so much more than you are. It’s a dangerous thing and can end in lifelong emotional trauma.

Bee and her sister Audrina are 12 and 11. A new family has just moved into their cul-de-sac with a cute boy named Max and a little sister who is four named Sally.

It’s July and it’s hot and the lake is the place to be. Someone’s mom is always willing to haul them to the club pool or to the lake.

When Sally goes missing while at the lake, everyone looks suspicious to Bee. And her relationship with her sister is going from close to really far apart.

I enjoyed reading about the complexities of being and having sisters. There is always one who feels less than and that would be Bee. In her mind, her sister is the star and she is the nobody.

There was so much emotional trauma and heartbreak in this book that it was hard to read. I didn’t have an issue with all of the darkness, but I would have appreciated some balance with light.

NetGalley/May 3rd, 2022 by Dutton Books