Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!
The main reason why I am giving this four stars is that it seems Chien is dabbling with a love triangle or possibly rectangle now and I want no part of it. I like the core couple of Lana and Adam and I hate it that a lot of cozy mystery's have now started to do this. I was glad that the "Liz Talbot Mystery" books moved away from that after the first couple of books. Hopefully "A Noodle Shop Mystery" does as well.
"Murder Lo Mein" finds Lana as the manager of her family's restaurant. She is wondering if her mother really will live things up to her, but so far so good. Her family's restaurant and others are now entering the annual Cleveland’s Best Noodle competition. Lana's family and others feel like they were cheated out of winning last year and that one of the judges was possibly fixing things so that the former contestant won. When one of the judges is found strangled, all eyes turn to who could have done it and why. Lana of course goes investigating and gets warned off by her boyfriend, Detective Adam Trudeau. Making matters a bit more complicated is that a new face has appeared in the plaza and he appears focused on asking out Lana. With Lana wondering where she and Adam's relationship is going, she starts to wonder what if while also trying to track down a murderer.
Lana is a good character and I keep rooting for her. She's more comfortable in going around and questioning people in this one and is still managing her family's restaurant. She and her sister have come to a truce of sorts so it appears that is working out well now too. She is left wondering about Adam though since he barely seems to have time for her these days.
I love the continuing development of Lana’s best friend and roommate Megan though I wish she get a love interest too. It was also nice to see some backstory into Adam and why he was previously so tight lipped about his past.
I think this was a solid installment and shows the cozy mystery genre in a good light. There's not any swearing (that I can recall) and there seems to be a subtle fade to black when you can imagine that a love scene may have occurred.
What a head trippy book this was. I think that it took a while to get going, but once it did, I couldn't put this book down. I think that Coben asks some interesting questions during the course of this book. I especially loved getting into secrets, white lies, and also what makes a marriage in the end. I did think that things got a big confusing though when we get to who was murdering people and why, but Coben was able to tie things up rather well in the end.
"The Stranger" follows Adam Price, a happily married man with two boys. He and his wife Corrine have been together for years and as far as Adam is concerned, there's not one thing he doesn't know about his wife. That all changes when a man comes up to Adam and tells him something shocking about Corrine. That reveal has repercussions for Adam who is left wondering if he even knows his wife at all and is there whole life just a lie. Along with that, "The Stranger" follows the mysterious stranger who reveals other damning secrets to people. When one of those people ends up murdered, it looks like someone is doing whatever is necessary to keep their lies hidden.
I liked the character of Adam. Coben takes a while to show us all of the faces of this character. You go into this wondering what you would do if you were Adam and honestly you feel a lot of sympathy for him. But as the story goes on and more truths are revealed about Adam and Corrine's marriage I started to feel a bit sorry for her too. I honestly thought this book showed what one can give up over the course of a marriage.
Coben also switches to other characters such as "The Stranger" and I liked the eventual reveal about this person too. We also follow a detective named Johanna Griffin who is investigating the death of a close friend that has ties to "The Stranger."
The overall mystery of Corrine going missing I thought didn't really have a sense of urgency about it. However, when the book links up to what appears to be a murder spree you start to feel more tension.
The writing I thought was wonderful and even though the flow didn't work out that well in the beginning, by about the 30 percent mark the book got much smoother. I think Coben was trying to juggle everyone he wanted to set up in this book so it just read as "smushed" to me initially.
The setting of this town where most people would want to live and marry which held a lot of secrets I thought was great.
The ending leaves us with a twist and wondering how many secrets can a person hold onto.
Well I finally finished one of the books that I bought a few months ago when I went to The Book Thing in Baltimore. I would have posted updates here, but BL was acting funky and I wasn't in the mood. Onto the book review!
Well this wasn't my favorite Tami Hoag. Probably because I hated the male lead (Dane) in this one. Going through a bad divorce years earlier and deciding the female lead (Elizabeth) must be a gold digger and only want one thing from men was gross. The murder mystery seemed to be getting overlooked a lot I thought in order for them to spar and then of course they end up in bed. Also the character development of both Dane and Elizabeth was poor. And Hoag for some bizarre reason kept having Elizabeth run around talking like a cliche since she was from Texas. When we get the reveal of who murdered the town's bully and overall scumbag I went really? Not a very good showing of Hoag's writing skills I thought.
"Still Waters" follows divorcee Elizabeth who has moved from Texas to Minnesota to start over again. Her teenage son and her are looking for a fresh start after the tabloid press hounded Elizabeth out of town. Elizabeth now runs the local paper and is hoping that she can eventually get her house together and grow closer to her son. After dealing with a car mishap, Elizabeth goes for help at a nearby construction site. Once there she finds Jarrold Jarvis who had his throat slashed and was left in his car. The town sheriff, Dane, is a local boy who made it to the NFL but then had to return home again. He finds himself angry and distrustful of women and reporters so as far as he is concerned Elizabeth isn't someone that can be trusted and he decides that she must know more than she is telling. When attacks ramp up and the guilty party that everyone thinks did it turns up dead, the town of Still Creek is left wondering if the person who murdered Jarrold is one of them.
I can't say much besides Elizabeth being a reporter made zero sense with her background. She got a divorce settlement, but deciding to move to Minnesota to buy a paper made zero sense to me. It didn't help that we didn't really see her off there reporting or anything.
Dane was terrible. He pretty much decides after a while that he and Elizabeth are going to have sex with each other and this is after he's pretty awful to her for the first half of the book.
Both leads have teens who have more sense than their parents.
The other characters in this one are not given much to do. The book just flips flops between people and you keep forgetting that there's a murder to solve. There's even an Amish carpenter in this one and I have to say that there's no way any Amish person would work for the "English" so that whole thing kept taking me out of the book.
The writing was okay but the flow was pretty bad. I think after a while the book was just spinning it's wheels.
The ending was a letdown. We find out who did it, but it didn't make much sense to me and I have to say that the book left some plot holes open that I don't even want to know they would get addressed.
Wow this was really good. I liked the idea of the secrets people keep and Adam realizing that he doesn’t really know everything about his wife. With the intersecting murders going on I wondered how everything would tie together and think it all worked.
The National Archives on Thursday located what appears to be an original handwritten “Juneteenth” military order informing thousands of people held in bondage in Texas they were free.
The decree, in the ornate handwriting of a general’s aide, was found in a formal order book stored in the Archives headquarters building in Washington. It is dated June 19, 1865, and signed by Maj. F.W. Emery, on behalf of Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger.
“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, ‘all slaves are free,’ ” the order reads.
“This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.”
Honestly this whole book felt like a waste of time. The only reason why I am giving it two stars is I liked how James described the location of the murders and we get into Dalgliesh's family history more.
"Unnatural Causes" follows Adam Dalgliesh as he returns to Suffolk to visit his aunt Jane. I maybe smiled at her name and had thoughts of Miss Marple dancing in my head. Adam's visit though is interrupted by a local writing group coming to call and then an Inspector Reckless interrupting to tell them that one of their own, Maurice Seton, was found dead and missing his hands. James takes you through all of the characters in this one, Adam, Sylvia Kedge, Maurice's secretary who is handicapped, Maurice's half brother and only heir, Digby Seton, Oliver Latham who is a critic, Celia Calthrop and her niece, Elizabeth.I am probably forgetting someone. We also have to deal with Adam and his tedious relationship and where is it going next throughout this one.
Honestly the description of Suffolk was great, I liked hearing things via Adam's third person point of view and other than that, this book dragged. I just didn't care about what was going on after a while. When the action moves from Suffolk things became even slower.
I have to say the ending was lackluster. The killer is revealed and I maybe went really? We then get the killer's taped confession that goes on and on for dozens of pages. I felt bored and things can be wrapped up by saying they felt insulted so they just went about murdering everyone they could.
This book dragged and the taped confession was laughably bad. And I don't know killing people cause of a nightgown choice? I went what a few times.
Really enjoyed these two short stories by Octavia E. Butler. They were wonderful and I was left wanting more.
Per usual, here are my reviews for the two stories.
A Necessary Being”(5 stars)-Butler creates a world in which the color of a person's skin means they are meant to be leaders. We find out that these "people" are able to change colors which shows what type of caste they belong to. We follow Tahneh who is a Hao. Hao are kidnapped and forced to govern "tribes". We get peeks into what was done to Taneh's father who was the Hao before her. Tahneh is not able to have a child which means her "tribe" is desperate for another Hao. When a Hao and two other "people" are found nearby, Tahneh can either go along with what her people want, or try to steer them to something new. This story really plays with race, class structure, and consent. You can see pieces of plots and narrative that will show up in Butler's Xenogenesis series.
Childfinder" (5 stars)-Way too short. Seriously. I wanted more. We are in a new world when those who have telepathic abilities are valued. An older woman has found a new child with these abilities. We find out that she is focusing on finding black children and trying to hide them from a larger organization who does not have their best interest at heart. We have Butler playing with the angry black woman trope a bit and how black people do their best at not showing their feelings, i.e. their hatred. Who better to go out and find children with special abilities and teach them to keep their feelings inside. This really did read like a start to a longer book and I really really wanted that longer book.
Ohh, we got a look at an middle-aged woman who had some "romantic" thoughts for the murdered writer Maurice.
I wonder who had such strong emotions to chop off the guy's hands. Her perhaps?
Just finished "A Necessary Being”. A story that follows peoples whose coloring decides who rules. This reminds me somewhat of Butler's Xenogenesis trilogy. She delves into race, consent, and class structures. I thought the story really worked. We follow Tahneh whose father was a Hao. The Hao are rare and are put forth as leaders for different tribes and are even crippled, kidnapped, etc in order for tribes to always have a Hao. When another Hao is found nearby, her tribe goes about trying to capture him and his companions. Tahneh is trapped doing what she has to in order to give her people a future, or doing something that can cause them all to die out.