St. Valentine’s Day Cookie Massacre #Valentine’sDay #ElisabethCrabtree

Do you know how hard it is to find a good book that is specifically for St. Valentine’s Day!? As many book as are written for Christmas, one would think that this would be a breeze. If they are out there, please let me know because I have searched high and low and the pickings are slim, to say the least. Luckily for me, I found this little gem hiding in the FREE Kindle books on Amazon.

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Kat has moved back to her hometown of Hatter’s Cove and is now working for her local paper. She’s finding it to be a let-down after years of crime reporting. Now, she has been relegated to covering the society pages, specially being the ace food critic, a job that has led to multiple bouts of food poisoning as well a death threats. Apparently her restaurants reviews are similar to my book reviews. 🙂  When she receives an invitation to the grand opening of the newest Cookie Shop, she is reluctant to go but knows she has to attend. After all, the owner is her mother’s best friend. Later that evening, Kat receives an anonymous call beckoning her back to the cookie shop. The caller tells her that they have a big tip regarding an old murder. When Kat arrives, she discovers a dead body holding a bag full of cookies from the shop. The owner, her mother’s friend, is promptly arrested despite everyone’s protests. Kat knows she has to do whatever it takes to find the real killer – to save her mother’s friend and possibly her own life.

If you’ve read cosy mysteries, and I’m sure most of you have, then you know that sometimes they are just too adorable for words and the characters are sooo sweet but the substance of the mystery is, well, lacking. If there is too much crime and violence then the book is no longer a “cosy” so it’s a tightrope to walk for authors. Thankfully for us, as readers, Crabtree knows exactly how to tread that tightrope perfectly. There is plenty of humor, the characters are quirky and funny but they still have plenty of depth and, most importantly, the crime itself is plausible, within reason of course. If you like a lite read, a mystery without gore, then you will find The St. Valentine’s Day Cookie Massacre absolutely perfect and it’s a great seasonal read too – who could ask for more?

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Pieces of Her @KarinSlaughter

Different is good, and this book IS GOOD!

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I am a Karin Slaughter fan. I thought a few of her previous books were graphically violent just for the sheer shock value, but Slaughter remains a masterful story-teller. I also like her stand-alone books better than her series. While I adore Amanda and Will, too much more of Sarah’s perfection would make me ill. Every book has a reader for them and those who adore Slaughter’s series most likely will find this book too different for their tastes. I, however, loved it. Aside from Cop Town, Pieces of Her is my favorite Slaughter book.

Slaughter creates a scenario that is plausible. Not every woman in America is a ball of fury, strong and has their life together. I live in the “rust belt” where there are very few strong, “life-together” women and most of the 20-30 year old women that I know are exactly like Andrea. They are struggling, never have been made to stand on their own two feet and, barring some major life-altering event, this is exactly the way they will stay. A handful of the women in their 50’s are exactly like Laura. I know because I am one of them. We marched, we rallied, we protested and we fought. Not all of us have had a personal experience with a “cult” but we knew people who did and we personally saw far too many of them in the news. Now, we are mothers, lead boring lives but there are pieces of us that are not like other people. We want change but we live in a world that is different now. Our kids don’t understand us – they think they do – but they don’t. They can’t. They didn’t experience Watergate, Vietnam, the PLO, the SLO, Beirut, Civil Rights and more. We fought so they wouldn’t have to – maybe they should have to! Which is, to an extent, the point of this story! I think many missed it. They wanted a good crime novel. They wanted a good guy and a bad guy. This, however, is a story that can teach you something if you try just as Cop Town did.

If you’ve already made up your mind to only like Slaughter’s very safe series, then this is not the book for you. IF, however, you would like to have your mind opened, explore a different perspective of a different time and era; IF you understand that growth comes from change – and Andrea did grow – then this is a book for you. I remain a Slaughter fan and I am a fan of this book!