Death By Pumpkin Spice by Alex Erickson – Book Review

Death By Pumpkin Spice  By Alex Erickson

Published By Kensington Books    September 27, 2016

Genres:  Mystery, Thriller

Pages:  320

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

__________________________________________________________________

Publisher’s Description

Bookstore café owner Krissy Hancock would rather spend Halloween serving pumpkin goodies than wearing costumes with Pine Hills’ wealthiest at Yarborough mansion, especially when the soiree shapes up to be more trick than treat . . .

As if a run-in with an old flame and a failed marriage proposal weren’t enough to horrify Krissy for one night, a woman is found strangled to death in a room filled with ominous jack-o’-lanterns. All signs suggest a crime of passion—but when the hostess’s jewelry disappears, malevolent intentions seem way more likely . . .

With the estate on lockdown and a killer roaming the halls, Krissy must help Officer Paul Dalton investigate each nook, cranny, and guest for answers—while also confronting a few demons of her own. Someone has lots of skeletons in the closet, and Krissy better tread lightly to expose them . . .

__________________________________________________________________

Story Notes

Alex Erickson’s third book in the Bookstore Cafe Mystery series is an okay read that will provide the reader with a story that they will finish easily in one sitting.

Krissy Hancock is the heroine of this story and I have to say she was not the most complex character written. I found her to be often immature and annoying in her attitudes and mannerisms and the lack of depth to her character was hurtful to this story.  I was hoping for a story that was similar to Erynn Mangum’s Cool Beans series with Maya Davis, but I was sorely disappointed in the story that Mr. Erickson created. It is clear Mr. Erickson is either rather new to writing in both the feminine and mystery voice or has a poor agent and editor who were not honest when they said this book should be printed. And I would be afraid to read the first book in this series based on the writing in this third book – authors usually get better at their subject the more they write. The murder that was committed in the story started off slightly interesting with lots of suspects but I, myself, figured out who had done the crime by page 80. And I figured out the motive a long time before the end of the story as well. I would have liked there to have been more advanced vocabulary and for the mystery to be just that – a mystery –  for longer than a third of the book. Books that spend the majority of the time describing different characters expressions and the random thoughts of the main character will never be a favorite with me. I kept hoping the story would gain “Yumph” (to quote a favorite actor William Powell) as it went on but the ending just seemed to be further dragged out by Mr Erickson’s sad attempt at a thrilling mystery.

I will not be recommending this book to anyone I know as I would rather they spend their time reading a better written book. Mr. Erickson might want to study the works of Stephen King, James Patterson and others who have been widely published and acclaimed before he attempts further mystery stories.

This E-book was provided to me free of charge from Kensington Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest and fair review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from either company for this review.

Advertisements

Magic for Joy by Holly Jacobs – Book Review

Magic for Joy  By Holly Jacobs

Published By BelleBooks/ ImaJinn Books   November 30, 2000

Genres:  Humor, Romance

Pages:  192

Rating:  4out of 5 stars

__________________________________________________________________

Publisher’s Description

***NEWLY RE-RELEASED***

The fairies are back! And they’re determined to see that another Aaronson sibling bites the matrimonial bullet. Whether she enjoys the experience or not.

Joy Aaronson is an accident waiting to happen. but she’s long since learned to accept her ability to create catastrophes. She doesn’t need help—especially not fairy help. But that’s just what she’s getting, like it or not.

Joy has always felt like a bit of an outsider, until she connects with a little girl who desperately needs her. Now, she’ll do whatever it takes to help Sophie . . . even if that means dealing with Sophie’s stern but sexy father.

She’s not the least bit worried that the fairies believe Gabriel is her own Prince Charming. After all, he’s described her as “comfortable!” That doesn’t sound like a match made in heaven. But the fairies are sure that Gabriel St. John will turn from a toad into a prince as soon as he falls in love with Joy. In fact, they’re counting on it.

And what the fairies want, the fairies get . . .

__________________________________________________________________

Story Notes

Holly Jacobs Second Book in the Dear Fairy Godmother series is a fun return to a world in which three fictional characters become the zany love life advisors to real humans who have to decide whether they have gone crazy or just been given the gift of a lifetime.

Although not the most deep subject or thrilling romance, Magic for Joy was non-the-less a really wonderful read that I easily finished in one sitting. I loved the characters Ms. Jacobs created in the three fairy Godmothers and especially in Joy Aaronson. Joy was a lovely and completely human character who exemplified almost exactly the reactions and words I would have had and said given her situation. I loved her compassion for little Sophie, who was feeling so unloved by her mother, and that she gave selflessly of her time to help Sophie arrive at her fathers house and then helped her feel comfortable in her new home. It was also great to watch her balk at the interference of the fairy Godmothers who were trying to match her up with Sophie’s father, Gabriel St. John. Joy  was content in her life and was not looking to fall in love and the absurd situations she finds herself in while trying to ignore the “help” of the Godmothers were laugh out loud funny. Gabriel is still feeling wary after his ex-wife Trudi left him, taking his daughter Sophie with her and allowing him little if any time to get to know Sophie. It is no surprise that both Sophie and Gabriel are a little shy of trusting one another although they both want to belong to a family. And when Ms. Jacobs added Joy and the Godmothers to the mix, she created a story that is sure to have readers coming back often to re-read this delightful story. As to the relationship between Joy and Gabriel,  Ms. Jacobs used my favorite literary devices in bringing two people together – Confused feelings and Assumptions. Joy feels an immediate attraction to Gabriel but is determined not to act on it as she is sure that Gabriel will be happier with his “girlfriend” Helen, given that Joy plans to return to Chicago as soon as a replacement nanny can be found for Sophie. When Gabriel offers her marriage she refuses, believing he cannot love her since she is neither beautiful nor will she help him further his career. Gabriel is likewise confused by his almost immediate attraction to Joy and must decide whether or not he can live without her if she returns to Chicago. Gabriel must work very hard to show, and tell, Joy exactly how much he needs her – not just for Sophie but for himself, as he loves her deeply.

There were a couple of things that made me give this story only 4 out of 5 stars – the odd formatting of the book and the inclusion of unnecessary language. If this book had not been released before I would not have made note of the formatting but this is a re-release and I expected it to have been properly formatted. It was somewhat distracting to be reading along and have to fill in the end of sentences that were incomplete. There was also a notable lack of punctuation in some of the chapters that was distracting to the story. Although some might not be bothered, I found this to be detracting from the story as I am an English buff. The other problem I had with this story was the inclusion of unnecessary language. I realize that the average person may choose to include curse words in their everyday life, but I never believe it has a place in literature. I find this to be especially true in a romance book where one likes to focus on the words spoken to feel the emotions of the characters. Its a little odd to be reading words of love and then stumble across a harsh curse word in the middle of a romantic conversation. I would have been much happier if those had been left out in favor of more appropriate words.

In spite of those two issues I would still recommend this book to my friends, with a word of warning of the inclusion of language for those who might be offended. I am looking forward to reading more from this author and will put her books on my “To Read” list.

This E-book was provided to me free of charge by BelleBooks/Imajinn Books through Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from either company for this review.

George Washington’s Secret Spy War by John A. Nagy – Book Review

George Washington’s Secret Spy War  By John A. Nagy

(Note – The cover illustration pictured is pending approval and may not match final copy)

Published By St. Martin’s Press   September 20, 2016

Genres:  History

Pages:  384

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

____________________________________________________________________

The Trouble with Women by Jacky Fleming – Book Review

The Trouble With Women  By Jacky Fleming

(Note – The cover illustration pictured is pending approval and may not match final copy)

Andrews McMeel Publishing   September 20, 2016

Genres:  Humor

Pages:  128

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

__________________________________________________________________

Perfect for fans of Kate Beaton, Lena Dunham, and Caitlin Moran, The Trouble with Women is a feminist’s brilliant, tongue-in-cheek, hysterical look at women’s “issues,” “frailties,” and “failures” in our not-so-distant history.

Ever noticed that women don’t feature much in history books, and wondered why? Then this is the book for you. In The Trouble with Women, feminist artist Jacky Fleming illustrates how the opinions of supposed male geniuses, such as Charles Darwin (who believed that women have smaller brains than men) and John Ruskin (who believed that women’s main function was to praise men), have shaped the fate of women through history, confining them to a life of domesticity and very little else.

Get ready to laugh, wince, and rescue forgotten women from the “dustbin of history,” while keeping a close eye out for tell-tale “genius hair.”

__________________________________________________________________

Story Notes

Jacky Fleming’s hilarious look at the treatment of women throughout history who dared challenge the accepted roles of women will leave you with a stitch in your side and a wide smile that will linger long after you finish the last page.

It is not often that I come across an illustrated book for adults that really peaks my interest and keeps me entertained throughout the entirety. Jacky Fleming’s topic is not a new study but this topic is one that usually leaves me with bad taste after reading how a certain people groups were discriminated against. However, I found that in spite of the truth telling that was behind this humorous book there was a smile on my face when I finished it. I really enjoyed her sarcastic and snappy way of showing how women were discouraged from moving beyond their socially acceptable roles to those outside of their homes and family. It was fun to look at the incredibly ludicrous reasons why men did not want women to study science, languages, accounting/banking, real estate or any other subject higher than eighth grade level. From the idea that women were unable to understand advanced learning because their brains are so much smaller than men’s to the laughable idea that women were not attuned to science and medicine because they lack “Genius Hair”, Ms. Fleming had me shouting in laughter as the pages went by. Three of my favorite topics were: Ms. Fleming’s description of “Big frocks were an early form of handbag”; that “Women who studied science ran the risk of growing a beard”; and that a girl who studied hard would “damage her health for the rest of their life and her children would be shriveled”. There were many others that could be considered equally as funny but I will leave those for other readers to discover. And although I am not usually a fan, the illustrations that accompanied each page were sometimes the part that made me laugh the most. This book was not extremely long in content but is definitely one I will look into purchasing for my personal library. I have not read any of Ms. Flemings works before but I will definitely be looking for more from her in the future. I would most enthusiastically recommend or gift this book to someone I know, knowing there is little if anything in the pages that would be offensive.

I received this E-book from Andrews McMeel Publishing through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from either company for this review.

The Honorable Heir by Laurie Alice Eakes ~ Book Review

The Honorable Heir  By Laurie Alice Eakes

(Note – The cover illustration pictured is pending approval and may not match final copy)

Published By  Waterfall Press October 4, 2016

Genres:  General Fiction (Adult), Religion & Spirituality

Pages:  192

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

___________________________________________________________________