Saturday, July 31, 2010

Stephanie Plum Series: High Five (Book 5)

In High Five, Uncle Fred has gone missing, and Stephanie's family asks for her help in finding him.  As the body count rises, and as more and more cars get blown up, she begins to think this is more than just a missing person case.

On top of trying to find her uncle, Stephanie still has a list of FTA's to apprehend.  One of those fugitives is a small person, and when the door to his apartment is destroyed during the apprehension, Stephanie finds herself with a new roommate.

And, just to throw in yet another complication, Benito Ramirez has been released and has a score to settle with Stephanie.

Up Next: Hot Six

Friday, July 30, 2010

Stephanie Plum Series: Four to Score (Book 4)

It's easy to fly through a series of such entertaining books. I'm going to have to get to the library soon, so I can get the next few books in the series!

In Four to Score, Stephanie is searching for Maxine, a woman who just got mixed up with the wrong man.  Stephanie makes a new ally while searching for her latest FTA, but she also makes some new enemies.  By the time this case is over, our favorite bounty hunter has been shot at, stabbed at, and held at gunpoint.  Two people are missing fingers, one is missing a scalp, and two more people are dead.  More vehicles and homes are blown up, and Stephanie starts looking for a suplimental income.

As always, this book had me laughing all the way through, and I look forward to the next in the series!

Up Next:  High Five

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Stephanie Plum Series: Three to Get Deadly (Book 3)

I really do enjoy these books. The third installment of the Stephanie Plum series, Three to Get Deadly, took me less than a day to read. I started it around 7pm, and finished around midnight. I kept thinking about putting it down, but it was just too entertaining!

This time around, Stephanie is hired to find Uncle Mo and bring him in.  Uncle Mo is an older man who has run an ice cream shop/penny candy store in the burg since 1958.  Everyone loves Uncle Mo.  Uncle Mo can do no wrong.  When the bodies start piling up in what appeared to be an easy, quick case, Stephanie's life is put in danger, and she turns to Morelli for comfort.  Grandma Mazur and Lula are there to provide quite a bit of comic relief, and I laughed when Stephanie tackled a chicken!

Up Next: Four to Score

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Boarder

I added The Boarder to my list because the author was on our local morning news program, and she's from a town just 45 minutes from me.  I like to support my local artists and authors.

The story line is a good one.  It takes place in Lincoln, Nebraska, and is about a minister, Zeb, and his family.  Zeb and his wife, Annika, already have two children, one biological, and one they adopted, and are presented with the opportunity to adopt another child.

While Annika is hesitant about adding to their peaceful lives, Zeb pushes the adoption till she finally agrees to welcome Carl into their home and family.  Carl is a troubled boy with a troubled past, and an unknown future, who wreaks havoc on his adoptive family.

I found the concept interesting, although it was a little scary in parts, but I really don't care for Mrs. Ryan's writing style.

Up Next: Three to Get Deadly

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Help

The Help has been recommended to me by many different people who usually have nothing in common when it comes to their reading preferences, so I figured that it must be a really good book.  I wasn't at all disappointed. I read the first chapter last Friday, got to to Chapter 5 by Sunday, and finished the rest yesterday.

The Help tells us a story about the lives of three women, Aibileen, Miss Skeeter, and Minny during the early 1960's in Jackson, Mississippi.  Aibileen and Minny are black maids who work for two of Miss Skeeter's friends, and one of their friends works for Miss Skeeter.  When Miss Skeeter starts taking notice of the unpleasantness of segregation, she begins a project that turns her childhood friends against her, but she gains the respect of some women she never thought she'd call "friend".

I think that this is an excellent book, definitely one that I will read multiple times.  Kathryn Stockett wrote an amazing book that leaves you wanting more.  If you haven't read it, yet, you should.  Don't bother checking it out from a library (there are 8 people on a waiting list for this book at my small local library!), just buy it.  You'll be glad you did.

Up Next:  The Boarder 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Stephanie Plum Series: Two for the Dough (Book 2)

Stephanie, Grandma Mazur, and Morelli are all back for this second book of the series. In Two for the Dough, Stephanie is chasing down Kenny Mancuso, who also happens to be Joe Morelli's cousin.  Kenny is a crazy and violent man, who sets his sights on Stephanie when he finds out she's learning a little too much about his secret.  Not only does he attack Stephanie, but he goes after Grandma Mazur, too.

To cover her expenses until she can catch Kenny, Stephanie agrees to do a side job for one of the local morticians, Spiro.  He seems to have lost 24 caskets, and eventually hires her as his bodyguard when he begins to fear for his safety.  As Stephanie (and Morelli) start putting the pieces together, they realize that the missing caskets are also linked to Kenny's disappearance.

I had stopped reading mysteries because I could usually guess the ending.  Author Janet Evanovich throws in enough twists and turns that you may only figure out part of the mystery.  And, even if you do figure out the mystery, Evanovich keeps you interested enough in Grandma Mazur and the possible romance budding between Stephanie and Morelli to make you want to finish the book.

Up Next: The Help

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Stephanie Plum Series: One For The Money (Book 1)

I admit, I almost took this series off my list. I mean, really.  A 30-year-old woman bounty hunter from Trenton, New Jersey?  Give me a break.  I could not find anything appealing about the way this series was described to me.  O. M. G.  (Yes, I think this is the first time I've ever "OMG'd", but you don't have to worry about it becoming a regular thing!)  This book is great!

One for the Money is the first in a series of books about 30-year-old Stephanie Plum.  Six months after losing her job, her car is repossessed, and she has sold almost all of her belongings to cover her food, rent, and a new (to her) car.  She's desperate for a job when she hears that her cousin Vinnie is looking for a new filing clerk at his bail bonds business.

Stephanie shows up just in time to find out that the filing position has been filled, so Vinnie's secretary suggests that Stephanie ask Vinnie for a position as a recovery agent.  One of the agents is out for a while, Stephanie is desperate for a job, and they need someone to cover the extra files.  After blackmailing Vinnie, he decides to give her one week to apprehend a man who is out on a $100,000 bond.

The man she is looking for is Joseph Morelli, a former "bad boy" from her childhood neighborhood, and a former cop who is accused of murdering and unarmed man.  The deeper she gets into the hunt, the more dangerous it becomes, until Morelli ends up protecting her from a crazy boxing champ, and she helps to clear his name.

I strongly recommend reading this book.  Even if the main plot doesn't sound appealing, Stephanie's Grandma Mazur appearances will make the book worth your time.  I. Love. Her.

Up Next: Two for the Dough

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sookie Stackhouse Series: A Touch of Dead (Short Stories)

A Touch of Dead is a collection of five short stories about Sookie Stackhouse and take place in between various books in the series.

Fairy Dust takes place after Dead to the World (Book 4).  It's about a set of fairy triplets, Claude, Claudette, and Claudine.  When Claudette is murdered, Claude and Claudine ask for Sookie's help in finding out who murdered their sister and why.

The events in Dracula Night occur between Dead to the World and Dead as a Doornail (Book 5).  Sookie receives an invitation from Eric to attend a party at Fangtasia in honor of Dracula's birthday.  There are parties all over the world for Dracula, with each host hoping that Dracula will show up to their party, and Eric is convinced that he and his guests will be honored with the birthday boy's presence.  When "Dracula" reveals himself, Sookie's life is put at risk.

One Word Answer falls into place after Dead as a Doornail.  When Mr. Cataliades informs Sookie of her cousin Hadley's death, Sookie is immediately suspicious.  After the details of Hadley's demise are revealed, Sookie is given an opportunity to avenge her cousin's death.

Lucky comes in after All Together Dead (Book 7), and is a lighthearted story about Sookie and her witch friend Amelia Broadway as they search for who is trying to sabotage Bon Temps' insurance agents.

Gift Wrap occurs before the events in Dead and Gone (Book 9).  Sookie is not looking forward to spending Christmas alone, and during a walk through the woods on Christmas Eve, she happens upon a stranger who gives her a Christmas to remember.

I have yet to begin the Sookie Stackhouse Series, but when I do, I hope to get A Touch of Dead from the Library again so that I can read the short stories in chronological order with the books.  This book of short stories has me excited to begin the series!

Up Next:  One for the Money

Monday, July 12, 2010


I read several reviews of Covet before actually reading the book, but I was still a little disappointed.  Because of the reviews I read, I started reading this book thinking that it was an extension of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  It's not.  Phury makes a quick appearance, although not by name, and Trez is in this book a little, but that's about it.

Jim Heron is a former assassin who is now living as a construction worker, trying to live a clean life.  When working at his construction site, he is accidentally electrocuted, and finds out that fate has other plans for him.  He is given the opportunity to go back to his life, but he must go with a new mission in life.  With the help of a couple of fallen angels, he must save seven souls from the seven deadly sins.  If he does not succeed, evil will win.

Vin DiPietro had a poor childhood with an alcoholic mother and an abusive father, and was made fun of due to his "gift".  In his adult life, he thinks he has everything a man could want.  He's rich and powerful, lives on two floors in one of the most prestigious buildings in Caldwell, and has a beautiful girlfriend who he is building a mansion for and is planning to propose to.  Then he meets Marie-Terese, and he begins to question everything.

Marie-Terese Boudreau is a single mother running from a dangerous past and works as a prostitute at Iron Mask.  She is used to having to constantly look over her shoulder, and begins to think she's becoming paranoid when she feels that she is being followed.  After meeting, and falling in love with, Vin, she realizes there is someone after her, so she makes plans to flee with her son so they can remain safe.

When their three lives collide, the outcome is both triumphant and tragic.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Covet. If you like the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, there's a decent possibility that you'll like this new series by the same author.  The next book (Crave) is due out in October, and I hope to read it shortly after it comes out!

Up Next: A Touch Of Dead

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Ten Mile Trials

I was at the library the other day, and happened across this book on the new arrivals rack. It has been a while since I've read a good mystery, so I thought I'd give it a try. After realizing that this was just the latest book in a series by Elizabeth Gunn, I found that my library did not carry the first book of the series, so decided to just start with this one.

The story is told from the view of Jake Hiines, a detective in Rutherford, Minnesota.  There has been a string of unusual burglaries in the small town just outside of Minneapolis/Saint Paul, and when a dead man is found in the garage of a drug house, Jake and his fellow officers find out that the men responsible for the crimes are part of a much larger group that has been hitting suburban towns all over the US.

It took me a while to get into the story (okay, I wasn't that interested until about half-way through), but I did eventually get to a point where it was kind of hard to put the book down.  I don't see this as a book that I'll read over and over again, but it has peaked my interest enough to make me want to read the rest of the series.

Up Next:  Covet