Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis

I kinda wished I hadn't wasted an Audible credit on Simply Irresistable. It was okay, but I could have just put a hold on it at the library and waited. It wasn't worth "I need it"-ness of a credit. I was in the mood for a Christmas romance and it did fit the bill. I haven't read anything by Shalvis before, but her name comes up often enough that I felt pretty safe. Really the book had a lot of things I like, besides the nice coastal town setting and the Christmas season. Maddie and Jax are both good, nice people. Yes, she has trouble trusting, which is understandable, but she' trying to reinvent herself. Yes, Jax keeps some crucial information from her, but he doesn't have a choice, really. Maddie's sisters are great characters, both of whom I'm assuming will get their own love stories later in the series. I enjoyed the dynamics between the three of them. I like how everyone in the...
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The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah

I have been a Poirot fan for as long as I can remember, so of course I had to pick up The Monogram Murders. I have to admit I was disappointed. As a mystery, it was okay, if you can overlook the horrible  Scotland Yard detective Poirot has paired himself with, Catchpool. He's incompetent and spends way too much time dwelling on events in his childhood, on his weaknesses. The mystery, the way the murders are committed and how the bodies are laid out is interesting enough. There's even a nice little bit that confuses the time of death and the clues fit together well. The mystery itself could have been good, but it relied on the Poirot hook and in that it failed. Maybe give me an original character, or even a better sidekick and I would have felt differently. Poirot is just not Poirot. He's too Poirot, if that makes sense. It's like he's overly conscious of his own mannerisms and...
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The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

Now this was a good one. I already knew I liked Cormoran Strike, the detective, from his first outing, The Cuckoo's Calling. He's the same basic guy here. The publicity from that case has worn off a little, but business is going well, even if he's working mostly divorce cases or for rich guys he doesn't really respect. It's money. And we do get to see a bit of him working on the other cases, not enough to distract from the plot, but enough to remind us that he doesn't just have one case to focus on. Robin, his assistant, is starting to come into her own, we're learning a bit more about her, what she wants and what she's capable of. Then a plain, poor-looking woman, asks him to find here missing husband, author Owen Quine. He's gone missing after his latest, as yet unpublished, novel was leaked, a book that is going to make a lot of people bad. It's...
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Grim Shadows by Jenn Bennet

I have to admit that at first I was a bit annoyed with the male lead, Lowe Magnusson. When he first meets Hadley Bacall, he just keeps going on and on about her rear-end. Thankfully he eventually moved on to noticing her as a person. And they are a good match. Lowe is a con-artist, liar and a thief, but he has a truly good heart. Who doesn't love that type of bad boy, the kind that's just bad enough to be interesting but isn't going to intentionally hurt the people he cares about? Hadley has spent her life proving she's worthy and trying to keep her spirits at bay. Because they do want to kill someone, they're just waiting for her to get angry enough to let them. And she comes close - Lowe is quite good at pushing people's buttons. While this is a romance, Lowe and Hadley are also on a mission. They need to collect the pieces of an artifact, but...
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Thursday’s Tale: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

I know "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is not actually a folk tale, but it has become so familiar to us, so much a part of our culture, that I think it still fits in my rather loose Thursday Tales collection. I've read the story of the schoolmaster, Ichabod Crane several times and I love the descriptions of the area and the locals. It really sets the stage for the story. They are given to all kinds of marvelous beliefs, are subject to trances and visions, and frequesntly see strange sights and hear music and voices in  the air. The whole neighborhood abounds with local tales, haunted spots, and twilight superstitions; stars shoot and meteors glare oftener across the valley than in any other part of the country, and the nightmare, with her whole ninefold, seems to make it the favorite scene of her gambols. The dominant spirit however that haunts this enchanted region, and seems to be commander-in-chief of all the...
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Audiobook Review: The Long Way Home by Louise Penny

I don't know where to start with my feelings about The Long Way Home. I love this series, but this was not one of my favorite installments. Even though it's a mystery, it's more interested in character than plot, in thoughts and feelings than actions, which has been true of all Penny's books; it's what makes them stand out. It also makes it a series best read from the beginning, to know the characters, to learn their stories, the things that are important to them, how they interact with each other. However, it can also make it slow, a bit plodding. It's also not a typical mystery in that it doesn't start with a crime, it starts as the search. There are eventually crimes uncovered, and there is a murder, but not til late in the story. I don't think that's really a spoiler: there's always a murder in her mysteries. I hate to admit that I didn't actually like Peter....
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