Murder, She Reads

Mystery, Suspense, and Horror blog with a few added genres thrown in.

Not what I had hoped.

River of Teeth - Sarah Gailey

So I guess I thought this was going to be something other than what it was so I am a little confused on how I feel about it. When I read ferral hippos in the bayous I thought horror, killer hippos but what I got was not much of anything close to what I thought. Goodreads list have it as science fiction which I guess it can be since it's an alternate America, but it's listed to some as fantasy which I can't see at all. 


It's set in the late 1800's and the government thought they would help with hunger by bringing in some hippos from Africa and using them as a meat source. What they didn't think about was that hippos are mean and got a snap that can snap a man in half, so that didn't work out so well. Now they have a lot of feral hippos in the bayous.


So the government hires some hippo wranglers to get rid of the feral hippos and with that you have a very strange mix of characters and they ride other hippos. It's kind of like cowboys on hippos instead of It seems that everyone is pretty much just looking out for themselves and it doesn't make for a great team. Houndstooth is more out for revenge than carrying about wrangling up hippos. 


In the end since this was a novella I feel like it just didn't have enough story to really pack a punch. It might be a good build up for book two I am not sure but I have it coming as a review audio so I guess I will give the second one a try and see if it gets any better. 


I thought the premise for this one sounded really cool and even cooler when I found out she actually got the idea from actual articles about the government thinking about doing this at one time. She took that and gave it her spin on what might have happened if it actually did take place and that is cool. I just wanted more hungry man eating hippo action. :) 

I adore this fun!

Shelby has her first big job as a consultant when the make who was robbed found out that she helps the police. She now has to try and find out who stole the money and the private investigator who was on the job before is not happy. He follows her everywhere trying to get in on the score as he wants his cut for finding the money.


Meanwhile, Chris is being threatened and the guy he is defending works for Uncle Joey some how and so Shelby is once again working with Uncle Joey. For once though she is happy to have such resourceful people keeping her and her family safe. Shelby is realizing that her gift of mind reading can come in handy but be a burden as well.


It’s one adventure after another and you never know what is going to happen when Shelby is involved! I think Lie or Die is my favorite of the three I have listened to so far and can’t wait for the next one. Lie or Die was face paced and full of humor and we get to see how Chris is really starting to embrace Shelby’s mind reading and have a lot of fun with it. I love that these novels feature a married woman who really cares about her family.


Still loving the secondary characters, Ramos and Uncle Joey are pretty funny at times. I know you shouldn’t like a bad guy but he can be a pretty good guy when he needs to be, but still you always know that he is still Joey “the knife”.


Great characters a fun, fast paced plot, so if your into cozy mystery type reads then  give the Shelby Nichols series a try! I think you will like it! :)

Just didn't win me over..bummer.

Midnight Crossroad - Charlaine Harris

Although I haven’t yet made it through all the Sookie Stackhouse books I really love them and the characters and story lines so I was excited to try something different from the author. I like mysteries so I thought this was going to be an awesome read but it was not at least not for me. :(


Manfred moves to Midnight, Texas a place were the strange pretty much live so he fits right in as a semi fake psychic. It might seem like a sleepy little town but it’s full of eccentric people. Although it has ordinary people there are witches and vampires at least those are the two types I know of for now.


Midnight Crossroad was for me very slow paced and I thought I would never get to the mystery part but around 80 pages in we get the dead body. It turns up to be Bobo’s girlfriend whom he thought had just ran off while he was gone on a trip. He came back and she wasn’t there and he has been very bummed since. The police think that Bobo did it because he never reported her missing and the gun that was used comes from his pawn shop.


The good people of Midnight must find out who the real culprit is which I must admit surprised me which was probably my favorite part of the book.


I liked all the characters just fine but I just thought it was a little two slow and boring for me. Which is a real bummer because I was so hyped up to read it. A lot of people I know really enjoy it so I am just thinking it was me so check it out for yourself and see if you like it better.


I have the second book to review, so I will be giving Midnight another try and crossing my fingers that I will like it more.

It has a bit to much going on

Circling the Runway (Jake Diamond Mystery) (Volume 4) - J.L. Abramo

I didn’t realize at the time that this one book 4 in the Jake Diamond series and I do think it would help if you start at the beginning with the first book because you would know a little more about how Jake Diamond ticks. I read some reviews and they all commented on Jake’s manner and attitude but I didn’t really get any of that that they talked about from reading this so maybe if I had read the others it would help me know Jake a bit more.


There have been three murders and they all seem to connect. They also seem to connect to Lieutenant Lopez and Sergeant Johnson does not want to believe that she could have anything to do with these murders. She has been dodging him and it’s not making her look good. He doesn’t want too but he decides to ask P.I. Jake Diamond to look into thing because he can’t do it himself. Jake seems like a gruff kind of P.I. who has some unsavory connections, but some times that can be a good thing.


If you ask me I think there was just way too many things going on in this book and trying to keep the cast of characters straight was really hard. Besides the murders there is a sex offender after Darlene, Jake’s assistant. It just seemed like to much for on novel that isn’t all that long. Now it did have some interesting twist and turns and the mystery was solid, but just too many names to keep track of for me.


Despite my complaints it was a decent mystery and if you think it sounds like something you might like I do think you should start with book one. Maybe I would have liked it more.

Couldn't quit listening!

By C.J. Kyle Silent Night [Mass Market Paperback] - C.J. Kyle

Silent Night is set in a Christmas setting in a small town called Christmas. It’s Christmas all year round in this small town and they have never had anything like this happen in their happy little town. It starts out with a crime scene of a little blood and a missing teen. Then a body is found but it’s not the teen, but an adult male and there are rosary beads and a bible at the crime scene.


Chief Tucker isn’t just a small town policemen he has seen his share of violence as he use to work in Chicago. What he was not prepared for his Miranda. A newcomer to Christmas who knows way to much about what is going on and has a crazy theory about who is doing the killing.


Miranda has followed a man she believes to be the man responsible for the killings in her home town and she has a personal stake in finding stopping the killer. She comes to Christmas to get proof that the man she is following is the real killer and she has butted heads with law enforcement before so when she first meets Chief Tucker she sort of skirts around the truth a little.


There is a lot of chemistry between Chief Tucker and Miranda and then they clash a bit with the crimes that are happening. When finds out who she really is and why she is there he is angry but he is not the sort of cop who doesn’t check out every lead and now he is going to have to find a killer and keep the woman he is starting to fall for from harm.

Silent Night sucked me right into the story and held my attention to the very end. I started listening to this while I was cleaning and normally I can just stop and go about doing other things but even after I was done cleaning I was still glued to my earphones and didn’t want to quit. I did eventually have to put them down and go to bed but I picked it right back up the next day and finished this one out. I don’t normally finished an audiobook this fast so it was a great read for me.


I loved both the main characters Chief Tucker might work in a smaller town but he is no small town cop since he is from Chicago so he has seen bad before. He knows how to work a crime scene and he is good at what he does. He takes a liking to Miranda right off the bat which is something that doesn’t normally happen. The waitress tells her he must like you because the chief never shares his cornbread..or something like that it was Miranda doesn’t want to get involved with any type of law enforcement as she doesn’t trust them, but something about Tucker keeps drawing her in. Miranda is determined to come and prove a man a killer and she isn’t going to let Tucker get in the way. They make a great  couple.


If you like romantic suspense then I highly recommend you try this one out because I really enjoyed it and look forward to trying something else from this author.

I so wanted to be wowed but it didn't happen. :(

Red Queen - Victoria Aveyard

I was really hoping to be wowed by this one because a lot of bloggers I know really enjoyed it but it just didn't hit the mark.

Mare is a Red which means that she has red blood. Those that rule are Silver and they have silver blood. If your lucky and get an apprenticeship and learn a trade then you don't have to go into the army and go to war. The war is a never ending war that just really kills Reds because they are the ones with their lives on the line. Mare is head towards Conscription which means she doesn't have an apprenticeship. Her friend Kilorn had a job but lost it and is now heading towards the front line.

Mare wants to fix things if she can get enough money rounded up to save Kilorn and herself everything would be fine. But a serious of events due to things that she does sets her life in a different direction. She finds herself working at the Hall and while their discovers that she is not like any other Red, she has Silver abilities.

The King and Queen think they can use her to help further their cause against Reds and the Scarlet Guards.

It's a wicked game they are all playing and no one is to be trusted. Mare finds this out the hard way. Mare is a decent character she is tough, and a bit sassy. Some times that gets her into a bit of trouble.

Not sure what type of love triangle this was starting out to be but I was beginning to think she was going to fall for every guy she met. Kilorn, Cal, Maven I could never really tell which one of those I might have liked by the end I think I might have figured it

The story ran a little slow for me up until about the last 20% or so and then that is where all the good action, etc is. It is that last part that put my rating up .5 instead of a straight 3 star. I was really getting a bit bored with the story and it reminded me a little too much of Pawn by Aimee Carter. I know some others make references to Selections but I haven't read that one. But because it reminded me so much of Pawn I couldn't get into the story as much as I hoped too.

The part I really enjoyed about the story is the Silver abilities and Mares ability. It's like they are super human and I found that interesting. The writing is decent and I think it was a good attempt at a debut novel. It ends leaving you wanting to know what will happen next and even though I wasn't wowed I will probably try the next book to see what happens.

If your into Dystopian fantasy type novels then you might like this one.

On my blog it got a 3.5 rating.

Her books always makes me laugh!

The Accidental Genie - Dakota Cassidy

The Accidental Genies is the seventh book in Dakota Cassidy’s Accidental series and it was a lot of fun. I have really enjoyed all the of the Accidentals but I think this one is probably my second favorite one besides the first one.


What I thought of this book


The Accidental Genie brings all the fun characters from the previous ones and then adds a new person Jeannie Carlyle. Jeannie is a caterer and can handle most problems that come her way. At a party she had a client ask her to open a bottle of Gin and when she did she got a bit more than she bargained for when a man popped out of the bottle. All of a sudden she gets sucked into the bottle and has no idea what to do, so she uses her phone to search out the term paranormal and finds a number for OOPS (Out in the Open Paranormal Support).


OOPS is a support group that Marty, Nina and Wanda started after they were all accidental turned paranormal. Sloan is Keegan’s brother and quite the playboy werewolf and he is not real keen on talking to a distraught woman. He is the only person around to answer the OOPS phone and now has to go and find Jeannie’s bottle.


When Sloan rubs the bottle Jeannie comes out she starts calling Sloan ‘master’ and it was then that I knew this was going to get real interesting. That and the fact that some how Jeannie has became a really powerful Jeannie and can grant anybodies wish even if they just think it. So you can imagine the chaos that ensues.


Jeannie has some secrets of her own though and it’s bad enough to get them all in trouble. It’s almost more trouble that the OOPS ladies can handle.


The Accidental Genie, like all the others had me laughing. I love humorous  paranormal romances as they are just so much fun as long as they are done right and I haven’t yet read one of these that I haven’t liked. I love all the characters and Jeannie fits right in with all the other accidentals. Though some how I accidentally jumped from book 4 to book 7 and now must go back and get the other two I missed…lol.


Narrator: Meredith Mitchell


Meredith is the voice of the Accidentals and I can’t imagine anyone else narrating this series. She is great with the pacing and voices and I really enjoy her narrations. When I started out with book one I wasn’t sure about her but now I am so use to her that she really makes the series fun.



I really enjoyed this one!

The Iron Trial - Cassandra Clare, Holly Black

First Thoughts:
Though there are similarities to HP, I found this to be nothing at all like HP. It’s it’s own story-line and it was very good! I really loved this book and can’t wait to find out what will happen next!!!!


What’s The Iron Trial about?
It’s about a group of kids who start out by going to a testing to see if they will get picked to go to the Magisterium and be apprentice under the Masters. Callum’s father has told him all his life about how bad magic was and that he needs to do his best to fail the test so he can come home. So Callum tries his best to fail but gets picked anyway.


Call knows nothing about magic yet he is picked by one of the greater Masters to study under. This causes a rift between him and another kid who wanted his spot. Their are two others that are studying under the same Master.Tamara and Allen both who were top of the leader board on the testing.


Since Call knows nothing about magic he also knows nothing really about the history of magic or exactly how his mother died. He learns about the Enemy of Death, he is a Makar who went bad. They have went to war with him a few times and right now they have a treaty, but the Masters are on the look out for another Makar who will be able to hopefully one day defeat him.


Call and his friends learn how to use their magic and Call learns that he sort of likes magic and feels conflicted because his father hates it. He also learns some things about himself that his father has told him about.


It has some great twist and turns in the story and the ending is what really has me wanting to know what happens next.


What I liked about this novel:
Although there are some similarity to Harry Potter as everyone seems to lash out about, I found it to be nothing like HP. If I went on similarities to this book or that book, then I am afraid I would never read a book again. So just because this book contains children, magic and a villian doesn’t not make it a Harry Potter rip off.


Okay now that that is off my chest.. I loved this book!! I loved that it’s about elemental magic, no wands here. They use there minds and the elements to do their magic. Most of them can call upon Earth, Wind, Fire and Water but there are a few select that can use Chaos. Those that can use Chaos are the Makar.


Call’s story is interesting. I find talking about this book difficult as I don’t want to give anything away. I found it interesting that he comes from magic but yet knows nothing about it because of his father. His father blames the mage for his wifes death and now wants nothing to do with them or the Magisterium. So pretty much everyone else knows exactly what they are going into and Call has no clue.


I love how I thought I knew how things were going to go until the last proabably 30% or so and I was totally thrown for a loop. If you think you might know how this book is going to go without reading it then I bet you don’t.


What I didn’t like about this novel:
Not a dag-gum thing! That is my hillybilly speak for I didn’t really find anything in it that I disliked. I totally loved the last part of this novel even though it does leave you wondering what is going to happen and you might think it’s a little cliffy, but not sure how else it could have ended. So well done!


Last thoughts:
If any of you follow my reviews you probably know I dont gush that much about a novel, but I really enjoyed this one. Not going to say that everyone will be like me, but what is stopping you from giving it a try!! It’s a great novel IMHO and if you like middle grade fantasy books with cool magic then I think you will enjoy this one. So put aside your snarly it’s a HP ripoff and give it a try before you snarl then if you don’t like it, snarl away.

Reading progress update: I've read 488 out of 488 pages.

The School for Good and Evil - Soman Chainani

Finally finished this one. It started out a four star but in the end I gave it a 3.5 star because it was just to long and seem to lag and drag. I enjoyed the story and will read the next one to see what happens next but it might be a it's a long one too. Over all if you like fairy tale/fantasy MG books you might like it. :)

I love second chance romances!

For the Longest Time - Kendra Leigh Castle

For the Longest Time was a cute and quick listen and didn’t really seem like it was nine and a half hours long.


Summing it up:

Sam needs a do over and quick. She leave the big city to go back to the quiet small town life of Harvest Cove, but coming home brings up lots of memories. The biggest memory is of Jake who she finds out is now the town Veterinarian.  You don’t really get as much details as I would have liked on what happened between Jake and Sam but it left a scar on Sam’s heart.


Now they are adults and it’s time to push the old fears away and start again, but Sam has a hard time letting the past go. Especially when CeCe comes back to town, she was Jake’s girlfriend during high school and one of the main people who hurt her a lot with her mean talk. Jake didn’t even realize  that he hurt Sam so much and he just wants to put it behind them and move on as he really never forgot Sam.


What I liked:

I love second chance romances, they just make me all gooey. Sam was the outside goth painter in High School but she grew up to be a really beautiful painter, but then life happens. Jake was the football jock that everyone crushed on and now he is the Veterinarian. Grown up version of Jake is pretty dreamy, though I don’t think he learned much about how to choose friends.  I loved Sam’s boss Zoe who ones the art gallery in Harvest Cove, she is very spunky and a lot of fun. I hope she gets a story soon..maybe her and Jason??


What I didn’t liked:

There wasn’t really to much that I didn’t like about this book. I do think that there needed to be a little more background about what really happened between Sam and Jake back in high school. I get the feel that it was more than just Sam having a crush, but Jake seems to be oblivious to anything bad happening back then.


Final thoughts:

I thought it was a cute quick read and if you are into Contemporary romances then I think you will probably enjoy it. I can’t wait to see what happens with Sam’s sister Emma in the next book in the series,Every Little Kiss.


Very cute but extremely long!

The School for Good and Evil - Soman Chainani

I am currently reading this book and it is a really cute middle grade book but at almost 500 pages I really do think that it's a bit to long. Some of it could have been cut out to make it shorter as I am at page 321 and it's sort of like can we just get to the end..don't get me wrong I like it but just ready for the ending. 


Anyone else read this book? What are your thoughts?

A real cute children's book

First Thoughts: Very cute and colorful book for children.


Bli the fly wants to be friends with Danny the Wizard Lizard but her mother is not sure if that is wise. Lizards can be dangerous for flies. So Danny decides the best thing to do is to meet Bli’s mom and prove that he is a nice guy.


Don’t Judge a Lizard by His Scales is a beautifully illustrated book about how you shouldn’t judge someone until you meet them. Bli’s mother was concerned for her child and wanted to meet her new friend. I’m not a parent but I know that it is important for parents to be involved in their child’s life and to make sure their friends are good people. Just because they might be a little rough around the edges doesn’t mean that they are necessarily bad and that is why a meeting is a good thing. Mrs. Bli realizes that she had judge Danny wrongly after she  gets to meet him. You should always be concerned with who your child hangs out with as you need to make sure they are safe.


At the end of this book The Principle Gang has notes for both kids and parents because these books are made to build fundamental principles in your child and help guide your children.


I would highly recommend this for anyone who has young children that like to read or be read too.


Hot Cowboy...need I say more? :)

Branded - Laura Wright

First Thoughts: Whew..I need more male narrators doing romance novels. *Fans self* Only need one word to describe Branded..Cowboys!


Branded is my first novel by Laura Wright and man was it one hot read.


Deacon has been pained by the past and he thinks the only thing that will help take care of that pain is to destroy his fathers ranch. He has worked hard in the corporate world buying business and tearing them down. He has bought up a lot of the land around his fathers ranch and now that his father is dead he is coming back to claim the Triple C so he can tear it down. He just didn’t expect to have such a feisty ranch foreman make sure that it never happens. A secret that nobody knew about also comes to light and now they have to deal with the fact that they might also have a brother, who happens to be McKenzie’s best friend, Blue.


McKenzie “Mac” Byrd grew up crushing on Deacon Cavanaugh but after their sister Cass was killed three brothers left town. Now Mac is the foreman of the Triple C and she will do anything to get Deacon to not tear the place down and ruin all she has worked for. She never understood what happened to them after Cass died and the boys never wanted her to know. It’s a painful part of Deacon’s past that he doesn’t like to talk about but all the reason why he thinks getting rid of the Triple C will help him.


When Deacon comes home he wasn’t looking for anything but to get rid of the Triple C, but after he lays eyes on the grown up McKenzie he is pretty much a goner. One drunk kiss and he is going to do anything to make McKenzie his and talk her out of of this nonsense she has about fighting him to keep the Triple C. McKenzie might really want Deacon but she also knows that getting rid of the Triple C is not going to get rid of the pain and heartache that he has lived with all his life.


Branded was a very hot read with sexy cowboys and a feisty cowgirl and I really felt sorry for Deacon and the torment he was going through and didn’t blame him one bit for wanting to get rid of the ranch he grew up on. I also could see why McKenzie fights so hard to keep the place she calls home and pretty much grew up on as well.


I would recommend this for anyone who loves sexy cowboys and I can’t wait to find out what happens next with the second book. This book leaves you with a little bit of mystery as they learn some things about Cass’s murder.


Narrator: Kaleo Griffith

Oh my Goodness, let me tell you something. At first I wasn’t sure about Kaleo but his soothing voice soon won me over and his sexy voice reading those love scene..well…whew wee. His female voices were not real great but it was easy to get past that and I think I need more male narrators reading my romances!! HOT HOT HOT

Cute, sweet and fluffy romance

Just Like the Movies - Kelly Fiore

First Thoughts: If your in the mood for a fun fluffy YA romance then you will like Just Like the Movies.


This book was just the fun light-hearted romantic fluff I was needing and I really enjoyed it. I read Taste Test by the same author and enjoyed it so I figured I might enjoy this one and I am glad I grabbed it. Honestly, I don't normally read YA romances because I don't really enjoy them as they are filled with way to much drama and even though I did have a problem with one of the main characters a little it didn't take away to much from the story.


Everyone at one point in time has probably wished their life was just like the movies and when Marijke and Lilly meet at a movie theatre they decided to try and get that movie romance. What they forgot was that life is not like the movies, it's not scripted, or planned. Both girls grow along the way and discover new things about themselves.


Marijka (thank goodness there was a part that told me how to pronounce it.) life revolves around her hot boyfriend Tommy. She is really insecure about her relationship because every time he talks to a girl, smiles at a girl, text a girl she thinks he is being unfaithful. (That is the part that drove me crazy). She is crazy in love and she is pretty sure he feels the same way but he never says it. Wake up guys, sometimes a girl just needs to hear it! Along the way she starts to see things in a different prospective and it changes her life.


Lilly, is a little bit shy and very involved in school. She is the one who does so many things for the school that she is taken for grant it and nobody even knows her name. She is crushing badly on Joe a motorcross guy. Marijka helps her get her movie moments and it sort or works as at least Joe talks to her. Joe seems to like her for who she is but Lily at first tries being someone she is not (like dressing like a Marijka) and it gets her looks but it's not really her.  She goes out of her way and jumps out of that comfort zone and things don't go exactly how she had planned.


The one thing that these girls learned was about being yourself and not settling for less that what is best for you. They also learned a lot about friendship. They wanted a movie romance but ended up with a movie friendship.


This is not some deep emotional romance so if that is what your looking for then don't try it. If you want some thing cute, fluffy and light-hearted then you will probably enjoy this one. It was sweet and fun and I really enjoyed it.

Decent British crime novel

The Burning - Jane Casey

First Thoughts: Not quite as fast paced as I was hoping, but it was a good crime novel.


This is my first novel by British author Jane Casey and her series with DC Kerrigan. All though at times it had me a little confused and the pacing wasn’t as fast as I would have hoped I still enjoyed it enough to try another novel.


DC Kerrigan is the only woman on The Burning Man case and she takes a lot of crap from her teammates. When a new victim shows up but the MO is just a little off from The Burning Man, Superintendent Godley wants Kerrigan to take it on. Godley and Kerrigan are the only two who think that it could be a copy cat killer. DCI Judd, doesn’t see it that way and he is not a fan of Kerrigan’s so he pretty much tells her to do what ever but he didn’t think she was going to find anything.


Kerrigan tries her best to get into the victim, Rebecca’s life. When her and a colleague goes to check out Rebecca’s house they find her friend Louise cleaning it up. This pretty much ruins any chance of getting an idea of what Rebecca’s last moments at her home where like. She interviews Louise, Rebecca’s ex-boyfriend and anyone else who had contact with her. It leads Kerrigan all the way back to something tragic happening to when Rebecca and Louise when to Oxford.


Piece by piece she tries to put the pieces together and find out what happened to Rebecca and keep one foot in on The Burning Man case as well. One of her colleagues Rob helps her a little with the case and we find out that he likes her a bit. Though some times he doesn’t really show it but I think it’s because he doesn’t want the other guys to know he is crushing on Kerrigan, but it lends a little romance to the story.


It didn’t really pick up for me until about 7o% into the story and at first I was a little confused about why we were getting Louise’s point of view as well as Kerrigan’s. After a while I sort of put things together and got an idea on why we were getting her POV but at first it was a bit confusing and well a bit boring. For the most part I liked DC Kerrigan and would be interested in reading the next novel in the series. I’m not a big fan of Rob yet but if he isn’t such a jerk in the next book he could grow  on me, but right now I don’t see what Kerrigan finds in him. I couldn’t stand DCI Judd and Superintendent Godley was okay but at time still acts like a male chauvinist pig like DCI Judd.


If your into British crime stories then you will probably enjoy this one.

Do I have the same book as you?

Burn Out - Kristi Helvig

I have seen all these great reviews for this book and maybe I just haven't given it enough time but it's boring me so badly. The main character is so annoying and the pacing is slow. So I am starting to wonder if I am reading the same book as everyone else. :(

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