Review: Behead Me

29284829Behead Me by Russell Atkinson

Retired FBI agent Cliff Knowles is hired by a company to investigate possible theft of proprietary industrial plans, an investigation that leads him to shady business dealings, danger, and even murder.

Before you ask, Behead Me refers to a word puzzle. No blood and guts here, Behead Me is an engaging and absorbing mystery that will quickly draw you in and keep you turning pages. Cliff is an unflappable investigator, and I enjoyed how his methodology was neatly laid out. This wasn’t one of those super-cop-hunches kind of solves, it was a realistic procedural, and I really enjoyed how Cliff ferreted out the smallest details and connected them to another case, and the presidential pardon sub-plot was heartwarming and added some human dimension to the story. Cliff’s geo-caching adventure in the desert and the high speed chase at the end added a lot of action kept me on the edge of my seat.

I haven’t read the other books in the series, so I can safely say that this book can be read as a standalone, or as an entry into the series. The few references to prior books were minor and didn’t cause any confusion.

Overall, Behead Me is an intriguing and fascinating read and I definitely recommend it for fans of mysteries and procedurals.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review

Behead Me is available at book retailers or online at Amazon  | Barnes & Noble

Series: Cliff Knowles #6
Rating:★★★★★ 5 stars
Publication Date: February 23,2016
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/Paperback
ISBN: 9781530039401
ASIN: B01C3QLX72
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)
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Review: The Papa Pacelli’s Pizzeria Series #1 + #2

I read the  first two books in the Papa Pacelli’s Pizzeria series, and because they’re so short, I’m going to combine my reviews into one post.

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Pall Bearers and Pepperoni: Book 1 in The Papa Pacelli’s Pizzeria Series by Patti Benning

Rating:★★★✰✰ 3 stars

Not long after her grandfather’s unexpected death, Eleanora moves back to Kittiport, Maine after a disastrous ending to her engagement and her job in Chicago to take over the family’s pizzeria. After reconnecting with Ben, a childhood sweetheart, Eleanora finds him dead behind the pizzeria. Under suspicion, Ellie knows it’s up to her to find a killer.

I enjoyed this book, a novella length mystery and the first in the new series. The pizza descriptions made me drool (if I had to read about gooey cheese one more time, I was going to call Dominos!) and the characters were likable and interesting.

I thought the plot had a lot of promise, and it was really getting good when BAM! murderer is caught. The ending was so abrupt, it was like the author suddenly got tired of writing the story and plopped an ending in there. It didn’t do the rest of the story justice and diminished my enjoyment.

Overall, a cute read but needs as much time taken on writing the ending as there was writing the rest of the book.

Pall Bearers and Pepperoni is available at book retailers or online at Amazon  | Barnes & Noble

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Bacon Cheddar Murder: Book 2 in The Papa Pacelli’s Pizzeria Series by Patti Benning

Rating:★★★★✰ 4 stars

Late one night, Ellie’s best friend, Shannon, comes to her door terrified and covered in blood. She was in the woods to meet a source for a newspaper story, when a masked assailant shot the source. Shannon is under suspicion for the murder, and Ellie starts investigating to clear her name and uncovers someone willing to kill to protect their business.

I enjoyed this one much more than the last one. A big draw for me is the characters, they’re all a likable bunch, and, of course, the pizza (I would kill for one of those bacon cheddar pizzas.) The plot was well developed and had a lot of twists and turns that kept me guessing. Although it wrapped up quickly, it wasn’t nearly as abrupt as the ending in the last book.

Overall, another cute book in the Papa Picelli’s Pizzeria series, and a quick, enjoyable read that’s a perfect accompaniment to a large hand-tossed pepperoni with extra cheese.

Pall Bearers and Pepperoni is available at book retailers or online at Amazon

Series: Papa Pacelli’s Pizzeria #1 + #2
Publisher: Summer Prescott Books
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/Paperback
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

Review: Iced Under

51rddzzja2lIced Under by Barbara Ross

It’s winter in Busman’s Harbor, and Julia has settled in for a quiet winter. The restaurant she runs with Chris is shuttered for a few weeks, and Chris has gone to Florida to help out a friend. When Julia’s mom received a package containing a very old and expensive necklace that has been missing for several years, Julia tracks down the sender and uncovers her mother’s long lost family with secrets someone will kill for.

I always enjoy a visit to Busman’s Harbor, even in winter. The intriguing plot was a refreshing change of pace from the usual stumbling-over-a-body type of plot, and I read it in one afternoon, I just couldn’t put it down! The mysterious necklace sent by a mysterious relative and the relative’s mysterious death made for a riveting story. I liked that more information was added to the family history, and the “lost” family added a great new dimension to the series.

Overall, the Iced Under is a great cozy read for a cold winter’s day by the fire, I definitely recommend it to cozy mystery fans. This book can be read as a stand alone or as an entry into the series, but I definitely recommend reading all the books in the series.

Iced Under will be released on December 27, 2016.  Pre-order your copy on Amazon Barnes & Noble

Thank you to Kensington Books and Netgalley, who provided an advance copy in return for my honest review

 

Series: Maine Clambake Mystery #5
Rating:★★★★✰ 4 stars
Publisher: Kensington
Publication Date: Dec. 27, 2016
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/ePub/Paperback
ISBN:9781410495778
ASIN: B01DRXCGEE
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

New Release! The Origins of Everything in 100 Pages

29771608The Origins of Everything in 100 Pages by David Bercovici

David Bercoivci’s The Origins of Everything in 100 Pages (More or Less) is actually closer to 150 pages, which still makes it a short, concise book considering there are 14 billion years of history packed into it.

I’ve always had an interest in the origins of the universe and life on Earth, but my knowledge is rudimentary. Before starting the book, I’d say my knowledge of the subject was pretty basic, limited to a few college courses years ago, some science documentaries on tv and an article here and there.

The author admits that “the goal of this book is not meant to be deep and comprehensive, but instead to be boldly (or badly) shallow and superficial in the best sense of these words.” Which is a good thing, because although the book is written to be understood by anyone, part of it were still over my head. I had to read this bit by bit because it was easy to overload on the information and at that point, it was hard for me to absorb the information. So I’d take a break for a bit, then go back to it.

Starting with The Big Bang and the formation of Earth, continuing through plate tectonics and finally the evolution of life on Earth, The section that interested me the most was the formation of our planet, including how and why Earth is the only temperate and habitable planet. I was fascinated by the explanations that answered many of the questions I had, such as why Venus didn’t evolve like our planet did and even raised new questions that I can explore.

I did think it was too wordy in some parts, that there was more information presented than was needed to understand a particular point.

Overall, The Origins of Everything in 100 Pages (More or Less) is an excellent book that covers the basics of Planetary physics and Geophysics and is a great overview for those starting out in learning, or who want to expand their knowledge.

Thank you to Yale University Press and Netgalley for providing an advanced copy in return for my honest review.

The Origins of Everything in 100 Pages by David Bercovici will be released November 22, 2016.  Pre order your copy today!  AmazonBarnes&Noble

Rating: ★★★★✰ 4 stars
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: November 22, 2016
Formats: Kindle, ePub, Hardcover, Audio CD
Genre: Science, Non-Fiction
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0300215137
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

New Release! A Killer Location

51y08xxumvlA Killer Location: A Home Sweet Home Mystery by Sarah T. Hobart

In A Killer Location, realtor Sam Turner is back in Arlinda for book 2 in the Home Sweet Home mystery. Life is good for Sam, she’s settling into the home she was finally able to buy, her romance with Bernie (her sister’s ex, Arlinda’s police chief) is heating up and her real estate career is starting to take off, thanks to an opportunity to stage an open house in a very exclusive neighborhood. But, of course, nothing is every easy for Sam. Her sister (Bernie’s ex-wife, no less!) and the open house from Hell leads to a corpse in the garden, Sam’s boss is arrested for the murder. Desperate to save her boss (and her job!) Sam sets out to find a killer before she loses everything.

This book was hilarious and every bit as good as the first in the series. Poor Sam, even something as simple as an open house doesn’t go right. You really have to feel for her, she’s got so many things going on; making a success as a fledgling realtor, supporting herself and her son, a dodgy ex-husband, and trying to enjoy her new romance with Bernie and then it all blows up. I loved the catastrophic open house, it had me laughing out loud – especially the fleas!

This was a great plot, very tricky with plenty of misdirection and plot twists to keep readers guessing. I thought I had it all figured out but no, I didn’t.

As with any book, the story is only as good as its characters and this is where the author succeeds; quirky, colorful and entertaining, they add so much dimension to the books. Smart and sassy, it’s easy to relate to Sam and her hapless struggles, and Sam’s neighbors are a hoot. I hope to see more them in the next book!

Overall, A Killer Location is a great addition to what is shaping up to be an outstanding cozy mystery series. I definitely recommend the series to cozy mystery fans; with a lot of humor, a strong, independent single woman and great plots, it will appeal to fans of Stephanie Plum or Kinsey Milhone.

Thank you to Random House and Netgalley, who provided an advance copy in return for my honest review.

A Killer Location is available online at Amazon  | Barnes & Noble

Series: Home Sweet Home #2
Rating:★★★★★ 5 stars
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: Nov. 22, 2016
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/ePub
ISBN: 9780399177859
ASIN: B01AQNZQB8
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

Review: Scottish Crime: True Crime Stories

32955914Scottish Crime: True Crime Stories by Roger Harrington

Scottish Crime: True Crime Stories details several heinous crimes that occurred in Scotland over the last century.

It is very short, with only a few cases highlighted, but each each case is extensively explored, with a lot of background and facts.  However, it’s heavily in need of editing to clean up the grammatical errors and confusing passages. If this book was expanded to include more cases, it would easily be a 5 star book. If Scottish history is as rich in crime as the author claims, it shouldn’t be hard to make this a full length book.

Overall, I enjoyed Scottish Crime, but it wasn’t without problems. I still think it was worth the read, especially for people with an interest in true crime.

Series: True Crime Books
Rating:★★★✰✰ 3 stars
Publication Date: Nov. 12, 2016
Language: English
Formats: Kindle
ASIN: B01N8ZAM2H
Genre: True Crime
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

Review: Death Comes to the Fair

29770003Death Comes to the Fair by Catherine Lloyd

I’ve enjoyed this historical mystery series from the start, and each book is better than the last. In Death Comes to the Fair, Robert is impatiently awaiting his wedding to Miss Lucy. Acting as a judge at the harvest fair’s vegetable contest, Robert awards most of the prizes to Ezekial Thurrock, angering many villagers. When Thurrock is later found dead, Lucy begins to suspect that his death wasn’t an accident. Was he killed by an angry villager? Or is his death connected to a decades old feud?

The suspenseful plot was enjoyable and tricky; there’s a whole village of suspects, including the victim’s brother, whose claims against the Kurland land and the story behind it were a great subplot. The plot unwound steadily up to an action packed ending, where Lucy proves herself a resourceful and stubborn woman, and I look forward to watching how Robert and Lucy spar once married – and their future investigations!

This book can be read as a standalone, or as an entry into the series, but I definitely recommend starting from the beginning, as there are some plot threads that run through the books.

Overall, Death Comes to the Fair is an excellent historical mystery that I definitely recommend to fans of historical and/or regency era mysteries.

Thank you to Kensington Books and Netgalley for providing an advance copy of the book in return for my honest review

Death Comes to the Fair will be released November 29, 2016.  Pre-order your copy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Series: Kurland St. Mary #4
Rating:★★★★ 5 stars
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publication Date: Nov. 29, 2016
Language: English
Format: Kindle/Paperback/ePub
ISBN: 9781496702043
ASIN: B01CMGS5QA
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

Monday Musings: Motivation

It’s Thanksgiving already.  Where has this year gone?  It feels like summer was a just a few days ago.  Wait, it was!   70° on Thursday and Friday plunged to 30° and snow showers on Saturday.  Ugh.  I’m over winter and it’s still a month away.

I haven’t been posting much, for several reasons.  First, my desktop, a 6 year old HP and my baby, started to die.  I used it as little as possible and relied on my unacceptably slow laptop to do a lot of my computer-ing.   But last week, as an early Christmas present, I got a brand new HP desktop that’s infinitely better but has a long way to go until it’s my baby.   Windows 10 is pure evil and every day, I pray that everyone at Microsoft is sentenced to  spend an eternity in Hell where they lose all of their work because their computer continually reboots to install updates.  So much of my time has been devoted to figuring out the easiest way to downgrade back to Windows 7.

But, the new computer also means I can play my beloved Sims game again.  After spending 4 hours copying over my game data from my old computer and reinstalling all of my downloads/mods, I wasted several days happily Sim-ing.   Reviews did not get done.  New rule: no playing Sims until a review are posted.  I’ve only broken that rule 3 or 4 days out of the last week but I’m trying.

A big part of the problem is that I’m review-stipated.  I have 6 or 7 reviews to write for books I’ve read within the last 3 or 4 weeks and I keep putting them off. It certainly isn’t due to the quality of the books I’ve read, they’ve all been fantastic.  I don’t know why I’m just not inspired to write.  Every review I’ve written lately has taken hours to do.  I sit down, write a few sentences and then wander off to do something else.  You know it’s bad when I decide to vacuum the floor and dust, just so I can put it off that much longer.

So, how do you motivate yourself to keep your blog updated?  Leave a comment, I’d love some tips on how to stay focused and get my reviews done faster!

Review: Arrivals and Arrests

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Arrivals and Arrests by Diana Xarissa

I’ve been a long time fan of Diana Xarissa’s other series, so I was eagerly anticipating this book when I saw it come up on Amazon. Set in the familiar locale of the Isle of Man, Arrivals and Arrests has a whole new cast of characters to get to know. I liked it from the first paragraph and liked it even more when I saw Fenella moved from Buffalo, NY – my hometown! And not one joke about the weather! (People from Buffalo will understand.) I enjoyed this book so much, I read it in one afternoon, I couldn’t put it down!

The book follows Fenella, a middle aged college professor who inherits a flat from her aunt, Mona. The day after she arrives, she stumbles upon Alan Collins, a shady businessman, laying dead in an alley behind her building. Fenella finds herself in the middle of the investigation and as if that’s not stressful enough, Fenella finds that Mona hasn’t “moved on” after her death, and keeps popping up unexpectedly to prod Fenella into investigating.

I really enjoyed the twisty plot. Having just arrived to the island, Fenella doesn’t know anyone and you’re just as much in the dark about the suspects as she is, and every motive she uncovers is as new to her as it is to you. With many misdirections, it was fun to join Fenella as she tracks down a killer while meeting new friends on the island.

Arrivals and Arrests brings a whole new crew of characters to love. Mona and Shelly were my favorites, I thought they were a real hoot, adding lots of humor to the story. Fenella also finds herself beihng courted by three eligible men, her neighbor Peter, the dashing Donald Donaldson and dishy detective Daniel Robinson. Which one will Fenella choose? (I’m partial to the dishy detective.)

Most of all, I loved the Tale and Tail pub! Like Fenella, I could easily spend hours there among the cats and the books. Is there an actual place like that on the Isle of Man? If so, I’m booking my flight tomorrow.

Overall, Arrivals and Arrests is an excellent debut to a promising new series and I look forward to more of Fenella’s adventures. I definitely recommend this to readers looking for a fun cozy mystery to curl up with for an afternoon.

Arrivals and Arrests is available at Amazon

Series: Isle of Man Ghostly Cozy #1
Rating:★★★★ 5 stars
Publication Date: Nov. 18, 2016
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/Paperback
ISBN: 978-1537699547
ASIN: B01KQWEU2U
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

New release! Butter: A Rich History

28110851Butter: A Rich History by Elaine Khosrova

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to read and review a cookbook that recommended using a high fat butter.  While that book went into a little bit of detail on what constituted high fat butter, I realized I still had a lot of questions after a discussion on my review about exactly what determines a butter to be high fat.  So when I requested this book, I hoped to learn more about how to choose a good butter for baking but got a whole lot more.

Butter: A Rich History, by Elaine Khosrova, explores not only the mechanics of making butter, but also the sociological, biological and the cultural aspects of butter and answered questions I didn’t even know I had.  Who knew cows self-medicate by eating different plants? Who imagined that the prohibition of consuming butter led many countries in Northern Europe to turn to Protestantism and separate from the Roman Catholic Church?  I never knew butter was so life changing and interesting. I loved the many stories about the history and folklore, including the story about the mjolkhare or milk hare:

“…a little woolly hare was woven out of sticks, wool, skin, clipped-off fingernails and human hair.  The milk hare was then “sent off” to a neighboring dairy to drink up all their milk, after which it raced home and vomited up all the milk into the thief’s own pails.”

Elaine Khosrova, Butter: A Rich History p. 74

The book answered many of my questions about butter, from which cows give the richest milk to the best way to store butter. The recipes included in the book sound delicious and look easy to make.  I knew a bit about some of the more unfamiliar ones (like Kouign Amann) from watching The Great British Bake Off and I can’t wait to give many of the recipes a try.

Overall, Butter is a very well researched and entertaining book that will make you better appreciate the rich, thick, creamy slab of butter you slather on your toast.  A great gift for any baker, this book would be a great addition to any cookbook collection. (Great Christmas gift idea!)

Thank you to Algonquin Books for the ARC to read in exchange for my honest review

Butter: A Rich History is available at book retailers or on  Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating:★★★★★ 5 stars
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publication Date: November 15, 2016
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/ePub/Hardcover
ISBN: 9781616203641
ASIN: B01B3VMBO2
Genre: Culinary, Cookbook
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

Review: The Skeletons Of Birkbury

61etjg0qvilThe Skeletons Of Birkbury (DCI Hatherall #1) by Diana J. Febry

When a tree uprooted during a storm reveals the bones of a young woman, DCI Hatherall and partner DI Fiona Williams have the difficult task of picking through decades of secrets and lies to find a killer.

The Skeletons of Birkbury is so unequivocally British, the rural setting of Birkbury and the age-old rivalry between villagers and landowners helps set the scene with its quirky village atmosphere, colorful villagers and an engrossing plot that draws you into the story. The slow, steady pace of the book lulls you into complacency, you barely realize how the suspense grows because you’re so drawn into the fabric of the village life. I love how realistic the characters are; DCI Hatherall is an enigmatic investigator with several skeletons in his closet that he’s dealing with along with solving the case. I really felt for poor Frank! Still grieving over his wife’s death several years prior, he’s done things he isn’t proud of and when he gets caught in the middle of this decades old murder investigation, you can’t help but empathize with him. I loved Joyce’s loving loyalty and protection of Frank, even going so far as to search for evidence to exonerate him. It was very sweet and added a real touch of humanity to the story.

The well crafted plot had many misdirections and red herrings that kept me turning pages, and each new clue had me questioning my suspicions. There were so many facets to the plot; not only do they have to untangle the murder of the young woman whose bones were found, but also the suspicious car accidents, one fatal, that are connected to the case. I really enjoyed how well the disappearance of another woman, seen with one of the suspects, dovetailed into the story, and the action packed ending raced to a satisfying conclusion. I was sorry when it all ended.

Overall, The Skeletons of Birkbury is an outstanding entry into the world of DCI Hatherall and I don’t hesitate to recommend it for mystery fans to curl up with and spend a few hours.

The Skeletons of Birkbury is available online at Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Series: DCI Hatherall #1
Rating:★★★★★ 5 stars
Publisher: Wings ePress
Publication Date: May 11, 2012
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/ePub
ISBN: 2940152882391
ASIN: B0082PXOQM
Genre: Police Procedural
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

Review: Natural-Born Grillers

29843144Natural-Born Grillers (Amateur Australian Sleuth #2)  by Morgana Best

When one of the new boarders, an eminent professor of Socratic philosophy, is found poisoned by hemlock in a meal of grilled quail, eccentric boarding house owner Cressida Upthorpe soon becomes the main suspect. Sibyl Potts, with the help of Mr. Buttons, launches herself into the investigation, much to the consternation of stressed police officer Blake Wessley. As the body count mounts, will Sibyl be able to clear Cressida’s name and find the real killer?

I liked the first book in this series, but I loved this one! It can be read as a standalone, as the references to the previous book are few and not very important to understanding the story. A great plot, lots of humor and the unique location in the outback of Australia combine to create a very enjoyable cozy series.

Mr. Buttons is just hilarious! When Sibyl enters the boarding house and finds someone dead at the bottom of the stairs, I yelled “IT BETTER NOT BE MR. BUTTONS!” I like Sibyl and the other characters, but Mr. Buttons really makes the books that much better, and I can’t wait to find out more of his back story.

The plot was engrossing and very well crafted, with lots of misdirections that kept me turning pages. I really enjoyed the ending, especially Mr. Button’s gold medal performance.

Just a small thing I want to point out; there was one chapter of the book where Cressida and Sibyl were talking about a bushranger named Thunderbolt and a parade in his honor, and it had absolutely no introduction or context. Finished one chapter and the next was like walking into the middle of a conversation about Thunderbolt being gay. While it was really funny, it completely baffled me a nd I’m not quite sure why it was in the book, except perhaps as comic relief.

With that aside, it was an excellent book and I definitely recommend it to cozy mystery fans or anyone looking for a light, funny read.

Natural Born Grillers is available at book retailers or online at Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

Series: Australian Amateur Sleuth #2
Rating:★★★★★ 5 stars
Publisher: Cozy Mysteries Books
Publication Date: March 27, 2016
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/Paperback/ePub
ISBN: 9781530778911
ASIN: B01DJB7VVC
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

Review: Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places

29933974Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

Colin Dickey is on the trail of America’s ghosts. Crammed into old houses and hotels, abandoned prisons and empty hospitals, the spirits that linger continue to capture our collective imagination, but why? His own fascination piqued by a house hunt in Los Angeles that revealed derelict foreclosures and “zombie homes,” Dickey embarks on a journey across the continental United States to decode and unpack the American history repressed in our most famous haunted places.

I was interested in this book because if there’s one thing I love, it’s true ghost stories/haunted places. I was a little disappointed to find that’s not what Ghostland is about. It’s about the history of haunted places,  and the real facts surrounding the alleged hauntings.

I enjoyed the writing, it was obviously well-researched and there were a lot of interesting stories and I particularly liked that the author spent a lot of time presenting the real facts of the case. The chapter about the Winchester House was my favorite, not because it’s allegedly haunted (I never thought it was) but because the idea of someone continually adding on to their house was just bizarre. Doorways and staircases that lead nowhere, all designed by one woman with no training in architecture. The true facts about Sarah and the Winchester family were presented, debunking a lot of the myth around the house. I was fascinated!

Overall, it was an interesting book, but a little dry in parts. History fans would enjoy it, but if you’re looking for a scare-your-pants-off true ghost story book, you’ll be disappointed.

Ghostland is available at book retailers or online at Amazon  | Barnes & Noble

Rating:★★★✰✰ 3 stars
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: Oct. 4, 2016
Language: English
Format: Kindle/Hardcover/ePub
ISBN: 9781101980194
ASIN: B01BD1SUA6
Genre: Non-Fiction/History
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

Review: Runes for Beginners

28700190Runes for Beginners: Simple Divination and Interpretation by Alexandra Chauran

This is a great resource for anyone who would like to learn more about the use of Runes in divination, whether you’re just getting started or an experienced user. The detailed and easy to understand information covers everything from the history and meanings of the runes to how to cast and create your own set of runes.

When I began this book, I already had a set of runes and some basic understanding. While some of the rune names are different then what I learned (the book calls one rune Neid, I know it as Nauthiz) it was easy to understand and I liked the suggestions for how to remember the meaning of each rune. I also learned a great many new casts to try out, and I look forward to exploring them. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on creating bind runes, something I always wanted to try but never found any instruction on how to do it.

Overall, Runes for Beginners is an enjoyable and informative book, great for anyone interested in Runes or divination.

Runes for Beginners is available at book retailers or online  Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating:★★★★★ 5 stars
Publisher:Llewellyn Worldwide
Publication Date: November 8, 2016
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/ePub/Paperback
ISBN: 9780738748283
ASIN: B01APSXKYO
Genre: Divination, New Age
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)

TBR Tuesday (08 Nov 2016)

November already,   I can’t believe how fast this year has gone!

Today is Election Day in the US (FINALLY) and I’m so over the drama.  I plan on spending as much of the day offline/unplugged as I can.  Going to crack open some new books, maybe catch up on the 4,000,000 reviews I have to finish (ok, maybe more like 8) and in general, just have a drama free day.

This week’s TBR is heavy on the Cozy but still full of great reads:

29759761A Killer Kebab (Greek To Me Mystery #3) y Susannah Hardy

The Bonaparte House is closed for the season, and Georgie Nikolopatos looks forward to fixing up the Greek restaurant and historic landmark—until her renovation plans hit a fatal snag.

I got into this series because I love cozy mysteries and I love Greek food. That’s one of the things I love about cozies; no matter what your interest, there’s a series for it.  Besides the yummy Greek food, I love the characters and the great, suspenseful plots.

32866702 Dead Nasty (Calladine  & Bayliss #6) by Helen H. Durrant

A GIRL’S BODY IS FOUND IN A DUSTBIN. DEAD MEAT IS WRITTEN ON A NOTE FOUND WITH HER.

The girl was part of a group of bullies from the local school. But DI Calladine recognises the MO of Craig Donnelly, a killer he thought he’d put away forever. And coincidentally Donnelly has just been released from prison. But when Detective Calladine charges in, he finds out that Donnelly has a watertight alibi and is under the protection of the local vicar, who thinks Donnelly is a changed man.

When another girl goes missing from the same group of friends, Calladine must look elsewhere for the killer and comes across a sinister online predator who was in touch with all the girls.

I read #5 in this series a few months ago and was amazed how quickly I sank into this book, so I’m expecting this to be just as good.

32494098 Earthbound Wings by ReGina Welling

Some days even an angel can’t catch a break.

Waking up in strange places has become stock in trade for earthbound angel, Adriel. This time she has landed right in the middle of a crime scene where some guy who looks like a superhero wannabe gives her a hard time about her performance. The Powers That Be keep sending her on jobs without explanation and now she has to rescue her own guardian angel from the clutches of evil.

I love this series, Adriel first makes an appearance in the Psychic Seasons series (which was excellent, you really ought to check it out) and now has her own series where she Quantum-Leaps from situation to situation.   I’m already about a quarter of the way into this one and it’s shaping up to be a great read.

29013475 Death at First Sight by Lena Gregory

It doesn’t take a crystal ball to see that something’s not right on Bay Island…
Since she left her psychiatric practice in New York City to open up a psychic shop in her hometown on Long Island, Cass Donovan has given her fair share of readings to conflicted customers. But what she sees in Ellie Hawkins’ future doesn’t bode well.

This is a first in a new series, so I have no idea what to expect, but there were several 4 and 5 star reviews.  I quite like the idea of a psychiatrist becoming a psychic,  should be an interesting angle.

Kiss & Tell Luke MurphyKiss & Tell by Luke Murphy

With the death of her father…

Officer Charlene Taylor has received her dream promotion—working Homicide with the LAPD. Her first case is the high-profile murder of Ken Anderson, a playboy UCLA professor with a haunted past. A mafia kingpin, billionaire tycoon, cheated wife and jaded lover are only a few on a long list of suspects, all with motive and opportunity.

…all hope of reconciliation is lost.

Not only does she feel the pressure from media and her boss to solve her first case, but Charlene must also deal with her father’s murderer, the “Celebrity Slayer,” a serial killer who enjoys baiting her with his knowledge of her life and routines.

Can a rookie detective work two high-profile cases and still keep her sanity?

I was offered a copy of this to read and review and after reading an excerpt on Amazon, I was hooked!

That’s the top of my TBR this week.  What’s at the top of yours?  I’d love to hear about it!

Review: Aunt Bessie Joins

29930859Aunt Bessie Joins (An Isle of Man Mystery #10) by Diana Xarissa

Dear old Aunt Bessie is caught up in another mystery!

The Manx Heritage Society (No, I don’t know why people on the Isle of Man are called Manx.  I thought that was a cat) is making preparations for the Christmas at the Castle fundraiser.  Several charities around the island have set up Christmas themed displays to be auctioned off on Christmas Eve.  When a committee member brings in a disagreeable designer who manages to upset and anger several people, it comes as no surprise when he’s found murdered in his hotel room. Bessie’s friend Inspector Corkill is on the case and they team up to find a killer.

The enjoyable plot followed Bessie’s investigation into the murder of designer Christopher Hart.   He is thoroughly unlikable, so it’s not hard for Bessie to uncover several likely motives and suspects.  While perhaps not the most intricate plot, it was engrossing and the lovely world the author has created on the Isle of Man is definitely the big draw for this series.  I love going along with Bessie on her blustery walks down the beach past the holiday cottages to Thien Yn Trae, on her cab rides to shop in Douglas, and settling down for a good read in her cozy, book-filled cottage.   I loved the Christmas at the Castle idea, it sounded so cute!  A big old castle, decorated for Christmas with cute displays, I would be there in a heartbeat.  I loved the room where kids could write letters to Father Christmas, what a great idea!

Aunt Bessie Joins can be read as a standalone,  but there are a few minor plot threads that run through the series, so they’re better enjoyed in order (and really, this is such a cute series, why wouldn’t you want to read all of them?)

Overall, another enjoyable stay on the Isle of Man and I don’t hesitate to recommend the series to cozy mystery fans.

Aunt Bessie Joins is available at book retailers or online at Amazon   | Barnes & Noble

Series: Isle of Man #10
Rating:★★★★★ 5 stars
Publisher:
Publication Date:
Language: English
Formats: Kindle/ePub/Paperback
ISBN: 9781532772870
ASIN: B01EBA4YTC
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)