Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev

Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev

I really wanted to like Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors. It's a gender-swapped retelling of Pride and Prejudice featuring a rich Indian-American family, which sounds really promising. I expected a fun, light read - a little wit, a little charm, a happy ending. I got the happy ending, but that's about it. Trisha is a brilliant neurosurgeon, the only one in the world who can perform this life-saving surgery but is awkward and can come off as arrogant. She also puts up with her father being pretty terrible to her. DJ's a brilliant chef, Cordon Bleu-trained, who quit his job at a Michelin starred Parisian restaurant to take care of his sister but can come off as cold and a jerk. Clearly, these two dislike each other, but to be honest I had a hard time there were sparks underneath. I knew they would fall in love eventually, but I didn't enjoy the story getting there. Julia Wickham was maybe...
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My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones

My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones

As I was thinking about what I was going to write about My Heart Is a Chainsaw, I had mixed feelings. Jade, the main character, is amazing in a damaged, determined, outsider way, but I didn't like where the story left her at the end. Actually, I didn't like how the story treated her all the way through. Even the adults that cared were disappointing. But I didn't realize it was the first in a planned trilogy. That gives me hope. Jade story isn't over. The opening of My Heart is a Chainsaw is perfect, sets the mood just right. Then we meet Jade. She's seventeen, knows all there is to know about slasher movies, and has a terrible home life. Things aren't much better at school or work either. When a new girl shows up, a potential final girl, Jade sees what she believes is a slasher cycle starting in her small town. The book moves slowly in parts, but...
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Death by Unknown Event by Eliza Smith

Death by Unknown Event by Eliza Smith

I had never heard of the Cindy James case before, but Death by Unkown Event, another podcast available on Audible Plus, caught my eye. Cindy James suffered for 8 years, filing multiple reports of harassment and assaults. The podcast takes us through the events in Cindy James' life, and looks at the investigators in her case, her ex-husband, the psychiatrists, neighbors, private detective. It's a devastating story. We see all the theories and options, but at the heart of the case is that everyone failed Cindy. I think that's the writer's point. Regardless of how you see the case, Cindy asked for help again and again. And ended up dead. ...
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The Murder of Robert Wone by AYR Media

The Murder of Robert Wone by AYR Media

I don't usually listen to podcasts - I'm not sure why. The Murder of Robert Wone is available for free on Audible Plus, and it sounded interesting. I honestly wasn't sure what I wanted to listen to, so free and short is as good a reason as any. It turned out to be pretty fascinating. Robert Wone was found stabbed to death in his friends' home in Washington, DC. The podcast was put together well. It took a thorough look at the people involved and evidence found that night and in the following days. I usually read crime fiction, where more often than not, we get a resolution. True crime can be messy like it is here. People may have their suspicions, but proof is sometimes impossible to get. ...
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Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

Wealthy, mean Simeon Lee has invited his family to spend Christmas. We've got 4 adult sons, three of whom have wives with them, and a granddaughter from Spain, an exotic young woman out of place in the traditional English setting. Simeon's goal, however, doesn't seem to be a happy family reunion. Instead, he is amusing himself by re-igniting all the old angers and rivalries. Of course, it's still a shock to them when he ends up dead, murdered in a locked room. Hercule Poirot's Christmas was another reread for me, and to be honest I'm surprised I didn't remember who the killer was. Poirot was staying with a friend in the neighborhood when the death was reported and agreed to help discover the killer. Of course, we've got plenty of motives, from hatred to money to diamonds, and everyone in the household is a suspect. I like how much even the most minor of the characters has their own personality. Each...
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Tied Up in Tinsel by Ngaio Marsh

Tied Up in Tinsel by Ngaio Marsh

Tied Up in Tinsel was a reread for me. I always enjoy Marsh's mysteries and this is no exception. Troy is spending Christmas at Hillary's manor house, painting his portrait. We meet all the other guests and staff, most of whom were former convicts. And then, of course, someone is killed. Well, someone disappears, but this is a Marsh book, we know he's dead, it's just a matter of finding him. Alleyn of course comes to the house and takes over the investigation. Reading Tied Up in Tinsel is like spending the holidays with old friends. Honestly, murders at country houses during the holidays are my favorites. The house guests and staff are an eccentric lot and almost all could be considered suspects. There were also enough clues that we could put it together, which is not always the case when Alleyn is investigating. We don't always know what he's thinking or clues he notices. Maybe I'll go back and...
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