Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

The Best Man by Kristan Higgins

The Best ManThe Best Man. Finished 10-21-14, rating 4.5/5, romance, 432 pages, pub. 2013

This is the first in the Blue Heron series.

Faith Holland left her hometown after being jilted at the altar. Now a little older and wiser, she’s ready to return to the Blue Heron Winery, her family’s vineyard, to confront the ghosts of her past, and maybe enjoy a glass of red. After all, there’s some great scenery there….

Like Levi Cooper, the local police chief – and best friend of her former fiancé. There’s a lot about Levi that Faith never noticed, and it’s not just those deep green eyes. The only catch is she’s having a hard time forgetting that he helped ruin her wedding all those years ago. If she can find a minute amidst all her family drama to stop and smell the rosé, she just might find a reason to stay at Blue Heron, and finish that walk down the aisle.

from Goodreads

This is the first book in the Blue Heron series.

Faith Holland left her hometown after being jilted at the altar. Now a little older and wiser, she’s ready to return to the Blue Heron Winery, her family’s vineyard, to confront the ghosts of her past, and maybe enjoy a glass of red. After all, there’s some great scenery there….

Like Levi Cooper, the local police chief – and best friend of her former fiancé. There’s a lot about Levi that Faith never noticed, and it’s not just those deep green eyes. The only catch is she’s having a hard time forgetting that he helped ruin her wedding all those years ago. If she can find a minute amidst all her family drama to stop and smell the rosé, she just might find a reason to stay at Blue Heron, and finish that walk down the aisle.

from Goodreads

What a fun contemporary romance!  It was lighthearted and the Finger Lakes region of New York was a great setting.  I love that beautiful region and loved visiting all of the local wineries when we took a trip there a few years ago.  At first I wasn’t sure I even wanted Faith and Levi to have a happily-ever-after because he was so…rigid? Then as I got to know him, of course, I loved him.  He is an alpha male as I prefer them in my romance novels. Good romance authors can make that alpha male melt under the spell of his crush and still remain true to his strong sense of self.  Higgins did that well with Levi.  It was never too much.

Faith really did have bad luck with men and then with women when she tried to find her dad a girlfriend.  She had a big family that loved her and when she came home it was no surprise that she stayed, but what was a little surprising is the friendship that she renewed with her ex-fiance.  She is a stronger woman than I am!

This was not all light and breezy, there were some somber issues like guilt, class, and abandonment and that added a nice layer to the story. The only thing keeping this from a higher rating is the mention Faith’s ‘rack’ more than once.  But the tone and characters of the book left me happy and looking forward to the next in the series!

I bought this one after so many bloggers raved about it and now I’m a Higgins fan :)


 

Enter to win a signed book by bestselling author Thrity Umrigar here.

November 11, 2014 Posted by | 4 1/2 Star Books | 8 Comments

Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

Dad Is FatDad is Fat. Finished audio 10-13-14, rating 4/5, humor, pub. 2013

Unabridged audio read by author. 5 1/2 hours.

In Dad is Fat, stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan, who’s best known for his legendary riffs on Hot Pockets, bacon, manatees, and McDonald’s, expresses all the joys and horrors of life with five young children—everything from cousins (“celebrities for little kids”) to toddlers’ communication skills (“they always sound like they have traveled by horseback for hours to deliver important news”), to the eating habits of four year olds (“there is no difference between a four year old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor”). Reminiscent of Bill Cosby’s Fatherhood,Dad is Fat is sharply observed, explosively funny, and a cry for help from a man who has realized he and his wife are outnumbered in their own home.

from Goodreads

This was the perfect audio for our road trip to Washington DC in September.  I didn’t really know anything about his stand up but figured a comedian talking about fatherhood would be fun for me and for Jason. It was.

Jim and his wife live in a two bedroom, five-story walk-up apartment in New York City with their FIVE YOUNG CHILDREN!  That’s too many bodies for one cab and they don’t own a car so getting around by subway creates some fun times.  The process of how they get five children and themselves to sleep in a two bedroom apartment was funny and a little confusing.  How can people live like that?  Is there really any sleep being had?  I dunno, seemed crazy to me.  It was mostly funny and heartfelt and his love for his wife and children came shining through.  I did wonder about his sanity several times (taking 5 young kids by plane to ski in Aspen?) but  it was a great audio to listen to with your significant other.  I think having kids will help you truly appreciate it and the younger your kids are the more you’ll connect.  There are lots of laughs to be had.

I see he has as new book about food so I’ll have to give that a listen too.

I checked this out of the library.

 


Enter to win a signed book by bestselling author Thrity Umrigar here.

November 6, 2014 Posted by | 4 Star Books | , | 10 Comments

How well do you know your Jane Austen Quiz – guessing closed

quizIt’s Jane Austen time!  Tell me which books the quotes are from.

Take your best guesses, be entered to win a prize – you only need one correct answer to be eligible for a prize.  No cheating (using the web to help find answers) or copying.  All extra details can be found here.

Leave your guesses in the comment section by Tuesday afternoon.

Each of her 6 completed books is on the list twice.

1. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”  Pride & Prejudice

2. “You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope…I have loved none but you.”  Persuasion

3. “I cannot make speeches…If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am. You hear nothing but truth from me. I have blamed you, and lectured you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it.”   Emma

4. “I am the happiest creature in the world. Perhaps other people have said so before, but not one with such justice. I am happier even than Jane; she only smiles, I laugh.”   Pride & Prejudice

5. “Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.”  Mansfield Park

6. “Always resignation and acceptance. Always prudence and honour and duty. Elinor, where is your heart?”   Sense & Sensibility

7. “Men of sense, whatever you may choose to say, do not want silly wives.”   Emma

8. “Miss Morland, no one can think more highly of the understanding of women than I do. In my opinion, nature has given them so much, that they never find it necessary to use more than half.”   Northanger Abbey

9. “Let us never underestimate the power of a well-written letter.”   Persuasion

10. “I will be calm. I will be mistress of myself.”   Sense & Sensibility

11. “Is there not something wanted, Miss Price, in our language – a something between compliments and – and love – to suit the sort of friendly acquaintance we have had together?”   Mansfield Park

12. “Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove anything.”   Northanger Abbey


 

Answers to last weeks Picoult quiz here.

Leave a comment here to win a signed book by Thrity Umrigar.

November 5, 2014 Posted by | Quizzes | | 7 Comments

Mailbox Monday – November 3- with a giveaway!

mmb-300x282Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.  

Nothing arrived via mailbox this week but on Saturday I attended the 27th annual Buckeye Book Fair.  It was an hour drive but I considered it a personal date and enjoyed my excursion without pickups or meal planning or swim lessons for the little man.  It was bit overwhelming at first because it was so crowded, but then I took a deep breath and dove right in.  There were many well-known authors and lots I’d never heard of. It was tough talking to an author and looking at their books and then deciding not to purchase, but I could only justify so many books!!  Read or skip to the end to see what signed book I’m giving away!

I was really there thanks to author Emilie Richards since she mentioned it on Facebook last week and so I made sure to find her.  She was so nice in person, even insisting on a photo with the two of us. I’m a fan and am working my way through her books.  I purchased Somewhere Between Luck and Trust, the second in the Goddesses Anonymous series.

emilie IMG_1150

Cristy Haviland served eight months in prison, giving birth behind bars to the child of the man who put her there and might yet destroy her. Now she’s free again, but what does that mean? As smart as she is, a learning disability has kept her from learning to read. And that’s the least of her hurdles.

Georgia Ferguson, talented educator, receives a mysterious charm bracelet that may help her find the mother who abandoned her at birth. Does she want to follow the clues, and if she does, can reticent Georgia reach out for help along the way?

Both women are standing at a crossroads, a place where unlikely unions can be formed. A place where two very different women might bridge the gap between generations and education, and together make tough choices.

Next up is the one I chose by the cover alone because I loved it so much. Ghosting by Edith Pattou.  She even gave me a paper crane she had made herself.  Gage loves it :)

IMG_1148  edith

On a hot summer night in a Midwestern town, a high school teenage prank goes horrifically awry. Alcohol, guns, and a dare. Within minutes, as events collide, innocents becomes victims—with tragic outcomes altering lives forever, a grisly and unfortunate scenario all too familiar from current real-life headlines. But victims can also become survivors, and as we come to know each character through his/her own distinctive voice and their interactions with one another, we see how, despite pain and guilt, they can reach out to one another, find a new equilibrium, and survive.

Told through multiple points of view in naturalistic free verse and stream of consciousness, this is an unforgettable, haunting tale.

I stopped to chat with Shelley Costa because I had seen this title around and I wanted to tell her how clever I thought it was.  We chatted  few minutes and I learned that she lives in the next town (where I would love to live if we ever moved again) so I had to buy it, the first in a series, You Cannoli Die Once.

IMG_1149shelley

At Miracolo Northern Italian restaurant, one can savor brilliantly seasoned veal saltimbocca, or luscious risotto alla milanese, but no cannoli. Never cannoli. Maria Pia Angelotta, the spirited seventy-six-year-old owner of the Philadelphia-area eatery that’s been in her family for four generations, has butted heads with her head chef over the cannoli ban more than once. And when the head chef is your own granddaughter, things can get a little heated.

Fortunately, Eve Angelotta knows how to handle what her nonna dishes out. But when Maria Pia’s boyfriend is found dead in Miracolo’s kitchen, bludgeoned by a marble mortar, the question arises: Can a woman this fiery and stubborn over cream-filled pastry be capable of murder?

 

My next two purchases were by authors I didn’t know but something about the books made me want to give them a try.  Fourth Down and Out by Andrew Welsh-Huggins is about a disgraced Ohio State quarterback who lives in Columbus and since this is football season I had to have it.  The second is what happens to us as the world runs out of water.

fourth

Fourth Down and Out by Andrew Welsh-Huggins

The job seems easy enough at first for private investigator Andy Hayes: save his client’s reputation by retrieving a laptop and erasing a troublesome video from its hard drive. But that’s before someone breaks into Andy’s apartment in Columbus; before someone else, armed with a shotgun, relieves him of the laptop; and before the FBI suddenly shows up on his doorstep asking questions.

Soon, there’s a growing list of people with a claim on the computer, all of them with secrets they don’t want uncovered. When one of those people ends up dead, Andy has his hands full convincing authorities he’s not responsible, while trying to figure out who is—and who’s got the laptop—before someone else dies. Soon the trail leads to the last place Andy wants to go: back to Ohio State University, where few have forgiven him for a mistake he made two decades earlier in his days as the Buckeyes’ star quarterback. That misjudgment sent him on a downward spiral that cost him a playing career, two marriages, several wrecked relationships, and above all his legacy in Ohio’s capital city, where the fortunes of the OSU team are never far from people’s minds.

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn’t leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

Two for Gage.

egg

Whose Egg is This? by Lisa Amstutz

Eggs come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. Some eggs are hard. Other eggs are soft. Can you match each egg to its owner? Fun clues and multiple choice photos will have you puzzling to learn more!

The Giant of Seville:A “Tall” Tale Based on a True Story by Dan Andreasen

In the 1870s, a circus giant named Captain Martin Van Buren Bates left the circus and set off to find a town where he and his wife (also a circus giant) could live in peace. Captain Bates happened on Seville, Ohio, a sleepy little town that charmed him from the moment he arrived and welcomed him with open arms.


GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!

I picked up a book signed by Thrity Umrigar to give away.  I’ve heard her speak and have several of her books already so I wanted to give you the chance to experience a respected Ohio author for free. She lives up in the Cleveland area just like me!  This is not a new book but I chose it because I think most of you will like it.

IMG_1154

First Darling of the Morning:Selected Memories of an Indian Childhood by Thrity Umrigar

First Darling of the Morning is the powerful and poignant memoir of bestselling author Thrity Umrigar, tracing the arc of her Bombay childhood and adolescence from her earliest memories to her eventual departure for the United States at age twenty-one. It is an evocative, emotionally charged story of a young life steeped in paradox; of a middle-class Parsi girl attending Catholic school in a predominantly Hindu city; of a guilt-ridden stranger in her own land, an affluent child in a country mired in abysmal poverty. She reveals intimate secrets and offers an unflinching look at family issues once considered unspeakable as she interweaves two fascinating coming-of-age stories—one of a small child, and one of a nation.

In addition, author Duffy Brown graciously contributed a great canvas bag highlighting her new series set on Mackinac Island, Geared for the Grave.

I’ll draw a winner on November 25 so I can get it mailed before Thanksgiving.  It would make  great Christmas gift for yourself or someone else :)  Open internationally.

Wanna win?  Just tell me so in your comment and leave an email address. Good luck!

 

 

November 2, 2014 Posted by | FREE, Mailbox Monday | , | 26 Comments

October’s Movies – help earn money for charity

It’s hard not to compare the two movies with hot hit men, especially since they were both fighting the Rusian mob.  Keanu’s came out  on top for me, but maybe that’s because I love him :)

Now it’s your turn.  Add your 5 words (or less!) to mine and earn $1 for charity.  Once we get to $100 the person with the most reviews will choose the charity.  Click here to see the past winners, the charities they chose and the other reviews you can add to.  Anyone is welcome to join in at any time.

I hope that you will take a few minutes to participate when you can each month.  It’s fun for me and for everyone else who reads it.  I’m not looking for a critical review, just a few words about how you felt about the movie.  This is ongoing so you can leave your 5 words anytime.

We’re up to $58!

Two adults and two children in a group hugThe Impossible, 2012 (Cast-Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor)        Grade A-

Tears, love, tears, hope, tears.  

Gut wrenching, full of hope.   (Susan)

Beautiful story under tragic circumstances.   (Heather)


 

A man in a blue shirt standing by a body of water, wispy clouds in the blue sky above. A woman's eyes are superimposed on the sky. Near the bottom of the image there are horizontal distortion error lines.Gone Girl, 2014 (Cast-Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon)   Grade B+

Amazing Amy meets Brazen Ben.

Pretty true to the book.   (Kathy)

See world. Ben CAN act.   (Michelle)

Must see the first movie!   (Staci)


 

A gentleman holding a pistol directly to the screen.John Wick, 2014 (Cast-Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen)    Grade B-

Keanu can be my hitman.


 

The Equalizer poster.jpgThe Equalizer, 2014 (Cast-Denzel Washington. Marton Csokas, Chloe Grace Morentz)      Grade C+

Denzel only reason to watch.


 

October 30, 2014 Posted by | 5 Word Movie Reviews | | 11 Comments

Jodi Picoult by the Numbers Quiz – guessing closed

quizI was looking up something for another quiz and got caught up in Picoult’s world for a bit so I thought I’d how much you all know. NO CHEATING!

Take your best guesses, be entered to win a prize – you only need one correct answer to be eligible for a prize.  No cheating (using the web to help find answers) or copying.  All extra details can be found here.

Leave your guesses in the comment section by Tuesday afternoon.

1. How many books has Jodi written?  18, 20, or 23?

2. Which book was about a school shooting? 19 Minutes

3. How many months does it take her to write a book?  6. 9, or 12?

4. What does she consider her favorite of her books?  Second Glance

5. How many kids does she have?  3

6 & 7.  She starts her day at 5:30 with a 3 mile walk.

8. What was her first novel published in 1992?  Songs of the Humpback Whale

9-12.picoultOnly one of these has a number in the title but you’ll get points for all you know :)

The Tenth Circle

The Pact

Vanishing Acts

Perfect Match

October 29, 2014 Posted by | Quizzes | 9 Comments

The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

The Silent SisterThe Secret Sister. Finished 10-13-14. rating 4.25/5, fiction, 343 pages, pub. 2014

In The Silent Sister, Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager.  Now, over twenty years later, her father has passed away and she’s in New Bern, North Carolina cleaning out his house when she finds evidence to the contrary.  Lisa is alive.  Alive and living under a new identity.  But why exactly was she on the run all those years ago, and what secrets are being kept now?  As Riley works to uncover the truth, her discoveries will put into question everything she thought she knew about her family.  Riley must decide what the past means for her present, and what she will do with her newfound reality, in this engrossing mystery from international bestselling author Diane Chamberlain.

from Goodreads

I received this from the publisher courtesy of She Reads and it’s the first book I’ve read by Chamberlain.  I’m so glad I discovered another great author!  This book was addicting right from the very first page and I was always looking for a spare minute to read it.

Riley felt lost and abandoned when her father died. She had a brother, but he was fighting his own battles and wanting to relive the past talking about their dad was not something he was willing to do.  Riley started taking care of her father’s estate and made some weird discoveries causing her realize how little she really knew about his life.  I felt for Riley but it was really the secrets that kept me reading.  Yes, Riley was alone (ish) after losing a sister and both of her parents but there was a woe-is-me attitude about her that rubbed me the wrong way at times.

I was invested in Riley’s story and then we switch to Lisa’s and I was disappointed at first, but as the book progressed it worked.  Where Riley felt somewhat entitled to me, Lisa did not.  Lisa, a girl what had been caught in a hard place and only the love of her father gave her a chance at a life, was such an interesting character.  She made such a rich life for herself, with purpose and people, and it was impossible not to like her.

Obviously, I really liked this one.  It didn’t finish as strong as it started, but it was a great ride.

 

October 28, 2014 Posted by | 4 1/2 Star Books | | 7 Comments

Mailbox Monday – October 27

mmb-300x282Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.  

I love fall and wish it could last all winter long ;)  Not much reading lately, too busy enjoying the crisp air and beautiful colors of autumn, but a few books are still trickling in here and there.

IMG_1045

The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth (sent by St. Martin’s Press)

A novel about three generations of midwives (a woman, her mother, and her grandmother) and the secrets they keep that push them apart and ultimately bind them together

THE SECRETS OF MIDWIVES tells the story of three generations of women devoted to delivering new life into the world—and the secrets they keep that threaten to change their own lives forever. Neva Bradley, a third-generation midwife, is determined to keep the details surrounding her own pregnancy—including the identity of the baby’s father— hidden from her family and co-workers for as long as possible. Her mother, Grace, finds it impossible to let this secret rest. For Floss, Neva’s grandmother and a retired midwife, Neva’s situation thrusts her back 60 years in time to a secret that eerily mirrors her granddaughter’s—a secret which, if revealed, will have life-changing consequences for them all. Will these women reveal their secrets and deal with the inevitable consequences? Or are some secrets best kept hidden?

 

Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis by Carole P Roman (sent by Red Feather Productions)

Captain No Beard and his crew of loyal pirates heave anchor for another adventure, this time in the icy waters of the Arctic. Captain No Beard’s steering a course due north, sailing by the light of the North Star. Everyone on the crew wonders what the captain’s up to, especially as he gets embarrassed when they ask. When the captain finally admits his plan, the crew discovers he plans to steal the aurora borealis, the beautiful northern lights that brighten the arctic sky. They’re all shocked. They may be pirates, but even they know stealing is bad. Besides, how can anyone steal the lights from the sky? A charming, engaging tale about doing what’s right, Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis is the latest installment in Carole P. Roman’s award-winning pirate series. The first book, Captain No Beard-an Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life, received the Kirkus Reviews Best of 2012 award and the Star of Remarkable Achievement. The series presents real-life problems in an imaginary setting and encourages discussion with both parents and educators.

The After House by Michael Phillip Cash (by Red Feather Productions)

Remy Galway and her daughter Olivia are rebuilding their life after a failed marriage in a 300 year old cottage in historic Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island. Little do they know, another occupant is lurking in the haven of their own home. Will the After House be their shelter or their tomb?

Did anything interesting arrive in your mailbox this week?  Books or otherwise :)

 

October 27, 2014 Posted by | Mailbox Monday | 12 Comments

Sundays with Gage – And birthday makes 4!

October 19, 201020112012bdcake12013

4th birthday 34th birthday2014!

As I suspected it might be, Gage’s first big birthday party was a lovely chaotic few hours.  I am so thankful that Gage has friends who want to celebrate with him.  We had 14 kids between 3-5 and they were great. I planned the party myself and I learned a lot for next time, lol.  Here’s what we did.

IMG_0932We put up our bounce house in the family room and Gage welcomed the kids by taking them there first thing.  It got crazy so I put Jason in charge ;)  Lesson learned-need lots of alternative activities close by for the kids who are waiting.

balloons 2Robert the Rogue (he came sans pirate gear) made awesome balloon animals for all the kids.  Lesson learned-definitely worth the money since I really considered this the big part of their take home favors.

pumpkinsThen the kids headed down to the basement to decorate their own little pumpkins.  Lesson learned-needed someone helping the kids the whole time, more supervision.

dance partyStill in the basement we turned out the lights and turned on the disco ball and music. I didn’t really get any good pics of this but Gage will tell you that this was his favorite part of the party.  There was a box of noisemakers for them to choose from and keep but I don’t think I made that clear.  Lesson learned-if you don’t want a lot of extra noisemakers in your house make sure that you pass them out to the kids with instructions to take them home!

 

IMG_0957Headed back upstairs and Robert the Rogue did a short magic show.  Gage missed some of this by having a mini-meltdown in the kitchen but he made a pretty quick recovery.  Lesson learned-Robert earned his money.

IMG_0961Cake time! Everything we served was gluten free-dairy free. This cake was made by a vegan bakery and we served almond ice cream.  Gage ate neither deciding instead to eat as many grapes and pretzels that he could get his hands on.  Lesson learned-So many things I wish I could have done better here, but my biggest problem was not taking a deep breath and actually making sure all of the food and drinks got to all of the kids.  Parents started chatting and lots of food got left on the island.

 

lilyIt was time for his friends to go and I couldn’t get a smile from Gage in any of these pics, not even with his best bud Lily.  Lesson learned-Gage likes parties and friends and we should have more of both in our house!

It was a great day and I think a good time was had by the kids.  All 14 of them and their parents ;)   As for me, the last guest who came by for Gage’s birthday left at 10 pm.  Needless to say I was happily exhausted.

Can you believe my guy is 4?!?!  If you want Gage to take up a few more minutes of your time you can read all about his entry into the world here.

October 26, 2014 Posted by | Gage | 21 Comments

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)

The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike Series #1)The Cuckoo’s Calling. Finished audio 10-10-14, rating 4.5/5, pub. 2013

Unabridged audio read by Robert Glenister. 16 hours.

Book 1 of the Cormoran Strike series.

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you’ve never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you’ve never seen them under an investigation like this.

from Goodreads

Like most readers of Harry Potter, I am a JK Rowling fan, but unlike some I wasn’t too keen on reading her adult books.  I think I just wanted her to live in my Hogwarts bubble and that would have been a shame.  After reading mixed reviews of her first book The Casual Vacancy I decided to skip it, but when I started seeing the reviews for this one I knew I’d have to give her a post Harry Potter chance to win me over again.  And she did.  I loved the start of this new series.

Strike is a smart but struggling private investigator in London who has money and girl problems.  He hires a new temp, Robin, and manages a new client, an old childhood acquaintance, so things are looking up.  The only problem is that he has to prove the infamous suicide felt ’round the world wasn’t a suicide at all.  As far as mysteries go this was solid with lots of characters and potential suspects.  I didn’t know for sure what would happen at the end although I had a sneaking suspicion every now and then.

What sets this apart from others in this genre is the flawed and solid character of Strike.  He’s a mess but an honest and earnest one.  While his fledgling business shows his shortcomings, the way he treats people and his intelligence made me love him.  I am excited to see what’s in store for Strike and his not-so-temp Robin in the next book. I already have it on hold at the library.

I loved the narration by Robert Glenister. He became Strike for me so it looks like I’ll be going the audio route for the series.

Checked this one out of the library.

October 23, 2014 Posted by | 4 1/2 Star Books | | 21 Comments

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