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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The Twelve Dogs of Christmas by David Rosenfelt

The Twelve Dogs of Christmas by David Rosenfelt

Isn't that cover adorable? If you read the blurb above, you know Andy's client, Pups. is clearly not guilty. Then it turns our the gun used to kill the neighbor was used a year and a half ago to kill Pups' husband. Someone is framing her, but who and why? The mystery is good. As Andy starts digging, he finds a prodigal son, a real estate broker, gang members, and a lawyer. I like Andy, especially as narrated by Gardner. He's smart and sarcastic and funny. The plot gets a little rambly for me and sports trivia is never going to be a clue I'll catch, but overall I enjoyed it. Really, how could I not enjoy it with dogs and humor, murder and Christmas? ...
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A Murder Yule Regret by Winnie Archer

A Murder Yule Regret by Winnie Archer

A Murder Yule Regret is the 7th in the series, but the first I read. It worked fine as a stand-alone, but I think I would have enjoyed it a bit more if I knew the characters better. Ivy is a good character, curious, caring. She's a freelance photographer and an assistant in the bakery. Her photos are important to solving the case, but to be honest I was more interested in the bakery and the bread than I was about her photography business. I'm not sure if that's because I haven't read earlier ones in the series or not. Or because I really love bread and this book has inspired me to try some baking of my own - or at least plan to try some baking of my own. I have a recipe and ingredients, just haven't started yet. The first victim is a "journalist" found dead at the bottom of a cliff during a party held by film...
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Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off by Darci Hannah

Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off by Darci Hannah

The Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off cover is absolutely adorable and honestly may have been the reason I picked it up. It's the second in the Beacon Bakeshop series but worked fine for me as a stand-alone. Lyndsey wants a perfect Christmas, she's got tons of lights for her lighthouse bakeshop, her family is coming, and her bakery is filled with all kinds of goodies. Then, of course, things start to go awry. The town announces a Christmas cookie contest with a celebrity judge, hoping to draw more tourists and their money. Every business that wants to participate, and everyone does, must have a signature cookie set out for visitors, then there's voting and a live finale. Except, most business owners don't bake or don't have time to, so Lyndsey's phone starts ringing off the hook for "signature cookies." She is overwhelmed until Carol Nichols arrives out of the blue and takes over most of the baking. And then the...
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The Old Fox Deceiv’d by Martha Grimes

The Old Fox Deceiv’d by Martha Grimes

The Old Fox Deceiv'd is the second in Richard Jury series, but can definitely be read as a stand-alone. This time around, Jury is sent to Rackmoor to investigate the killing of a woman whose identity is in question. If she really is the prodigal ward returned, old jealousies, angers, and future inheritance money all come into play. Jury is patient and thorough. As expected, he is focused on solving the mystery, but his soft side does come out once in a while. I was happy that Melrose Plant was back in this one. He is again Jury's sidekick, providing a sounding board and doing a bit of his own investigating. The townspeople and those at the house are an interesting bunch, from the broke artist to the child living more or less on his own with his dog. The situation at Rackmoor is complicated and full of emotions and secrets. The plot has some surprises and the major clue was...
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