Can’t-Wait Wednesday: A Bitter Feast by Deborah Crombie

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months. So I have a while to wait!

I love finding out about books which will publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

A Bitter Feast by Deborah Crombie

Series: Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #18

Published by William Morrow

Publishing date: October 8

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

Synopsis: Scotland Yard Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his wife, Detective Inspector Gemma James, have been invited for a relaxing weekend in the tranquil Cotswolds, one of Britain’s most beautiful and historic regions, famous for its rolling hills, sheep-strewn green meadows, golden cottages, and timeless villages that retain the spirit of old England.

Duncan, Gemma, and their children are guests at Beck House, the country estate belonging to the family of Melody Talbot, Gemma’s trusted detective sergeant. No ordinary farmers, the Talbots are wealthy and prominent with ties to Britain’s most powerful and influential. A centerpiece of this glorious fall getaway is a posh charity luncheon catered by up-and-coming chef Viv Holland. After more than a decade in London, Viv has returned to her native Glouscestershire, making a name for herself with her innovative, mouthwatering use of the local bounty. Attended by several dozen of the area’s well-to-do, as well as national food bloggers and restaurant critics, the event could make Viv a star.

But a tragic car accident followed by a series of mysterious deaths could ruin her ascent. Each piece of information that surfaces makes it clear that the killer had a connection with Viv’s pub—and perhaps with Beck House itself.


One of my very favorite mystery series. And I’m caught up with this series! I’m so happy I don’t have too long to wait to get to see what Duncan and Gemma have been up to and to read the mystery.

Sunday Post: Summer is nearly over


Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Personal life

Hard to believe summer is nearly over. This summer has flown by. It’s dry here, but at least it’s not too hot. My husband continues to work on our driveway and is making great progress since it hasn’t rained lately. We need some rain, but if it’s too wet our clay soil makes it very hard to work.

Iowa State Fair

The Iowa State Fair started at the end of the week, but I don’t think we’ll get a chance to go this year. Maybe next year, since it’s great fun to go and see all the exhibits and shows and try the amazing foods (like deep-fried Oreos and pecan pie with bacon…lol). This year, of course, many of the Presidential candidates are visiting the fair where they each have 20 minutes to speak at the Des Moines Register Soapbox. Of course, they’re expected to try some of those foods!

Summer travel

We’re leaving next week to visit our daughters and then fly to Seattle to visit our son. I’m hoping the plane to Seattle won’t be too crowded, but since it’s still summer it probably will be. It’s always great to see our kids and we love Seattle. We’ve been in Seattle many times over the years since my husband’s sister and brother-in-law live there. Now that our son is also living in Seattle we have even more incentive! We’re also going to meet my brother and his family on the central Washington coast for a few days. My brother and sister-in-law live in Oregon so we’re each driving partway. It will be fun to see them.

Blog life

My head is feeling better, but I’m still taking it easy. Most mornings my head starts hurting so I lie down and close my eyes for a while. I haven’t spent much time using my computer, but have managed to do some reading especially audiobooks. I especially loved listening to Evvie Drake Starts Over. It’s a great summer read. Made me feel really happy!

Recent posts
Next week
  • Can’t-Wait Wednesday
  • Review
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • Craks in a Marriage by Barbara Barrett
  • A Necessary Evil by Abir Mukherjee
What I read recently
  • Ascending by Meg Pechenick
  • Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Dropbears by W.R. Gingell
Books I got recently

A Hundred Pieces of Me by Lucy Dillon

Bright Shards by Meg Pechenick

Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop

What have you been doing? What are your plans next week?

Review: Thread the Halls by Lea Wait

thread the halls by lea waitThread the Halls by Lea Wait

Series: Mainely Needlepoint #6

Genre: Mystery, Cozy

Setting: Coastal Maine

Source: Ebook, purchased

Publishing Date: 2017

320 pages

Synopsis: This Yuletide season, there’s no time for Angie Curtis and Patrick West to linger under the mistletoe. Patrick’s being needled by his mother–movie star Skye West–to set the stage for a perfect white Christmas as she brings her costar, screenwriters, and director home for the holidays. With his mother’s long list of wishes, Patrick’s becoming unraveled. To help, the Mainely Needlepointers offer to decorate Skye’s Victorian mansion and create needlepoint pillows as gifts for the guests.

But not long after the celebrity celebrants invade Haven Harbor, an unscripted tragedy occurs. Then some questionable Christmas cookies make Patrick sick. Before Santa arrives at the town pier on a lobster boat, Angie and the Needlepointers need to trim down the naughty list, catch a cold-hearted killer, and wrap up the case . . .

My thoughts

Note: This is a review I wrote at the end of 2018 for a book I read in December. I’m finally getting it posted! And I’m saying that I’m giving people an idea of a book to read for this Christmas…lol.

I wanted to read this book before Christmas 2018 so I’m glad I’ve done that. I enjoy reading holiday or winter mysteries. And I’m liking this series. I read three of the books during the last six months of 2018 and they’re very good.

Samplers and Maine

I love the sampler information and quotes at the beginning of each chapter in all the books. They’re so interesting and often poignant. Most of the samplers were stitched by young women who lived in New England and many in Maine. The Maine coastal setting is also fun to read about. I have relatives in Maine and we have often spent time along the beautiful Maine coast. From what I’ve seen through the years Haven Harbor certainly rings true as a Maine coastal town.

The Mystery

The mystery in this book was interesting. I had some ideas about it, but didn’t quite figure things out which is a good sign. I like when the author is able to keep me guessing. The characters in the books are engaging and interesting–both the returning characters and the new characters who show up in this book.

Hollywood Characters

I did find the actions of some of the Hollywood people off-putting. The lack of feeling for a murdered colleague is probably true-to-life for some of these people so not a bad thing, but sometimes put me in a bad mood! I certainly understood Angie’s feelings about having to set aside her Christmas plans to help out Patrick and his mother Skye. This isn’t my favorite of the three books, but I think I was channeling my own frustrations about not getting some things done for Christmas and could totally feel Angie’s frustration…lol.

My Rating: B+

Have you read any books by this author?

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Doing Time by Jodi Taylor

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months. So I have a while to wait!

I love finding out about books which will publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

Doing Time by Jodi Taylor

Series: The Time Police #1

Published by Headline

Publishing Date: October 17

Genre: Science Fiction, Time Travel

Synopsis: Introducing The Time Police, the brand-new series by international bestselling author, Jodi Taylor – an irresistible spinoff from the much-loved Chronicles of St Mary’s series. Perfect reading for fans of Doctor Who, Ben Aaronovitch and Jasper Fforde.

At some time in the future, the secret of time-travel became available to all. Chaos ensued as people sought to take advantage. Because there will always be nutters who want to change history…

And so the Time Police were formed. Internationally sanctioned thugs whose task it was to keep the timeline straight by any and all means possible. And they succeeded. The Time Wars are over. The Time Police won. But who will win the peace?

Doing Time follows three hapless new Time Police recruits – Jane, Luke and Matthew – as they try to navigate their first year on the beat. It’s all going to be fine. Obviously.


A spinoff of Jodi Taylor’s St. Mary’s series? Yes! I’m very excited to start this new series. I love the St. Mary’s time travel series (even though I’m not caught up to the newest book)!

Sunday Post: A new month


Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Personal life

A little cooler again this week. I love it! Flowers are blooming in our yard. I’ve only seen a few Japanese beetles so far. Yay!


My husband and I are driving to northern Wisconsin for an annual family get-together. One of his cousins has a house on a lake so it’s a beautiful location. It looks like the weather will be great, too. This is a long drive for us and since I need to get there before 2 p.m. on Friday we’re breaking the drive into two days. When we drive home we’ll do it in one day.

I’m writing this before we leave on Thursday. The internet is spotty in northern Wisconsin so I don’t know that I will be able to update this or link my post to Caffeinated Book Reviewer until we get home.


We came home early since I tripped, fell and struck my head against a concrete wall on Thursday evening. I have a concussion and just wanted to rest at home. I had a CT scan and found out I don’t have bleeding, swelling or cracked bones! I’m still getting headaches so I’m limiting my time with computer, cell phone and TV. Trying to rest and stay quiet for a few more days.

Blog life

A couple books finished this week and stuff posted. I also visited quite a few people during the week and caught up on comments made since I’ve been back. I discovered quite a few which were sent to spam so I have to check that more often.

Recent posts
Next week
  • Review
  • Can’t-Wait Wednesday
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • Ascending by Meg Pechenick
What I read recently
  • The Scent of Murder by Kylie Logan
  • The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch
Books I got recently

Breaking the Lore by Andy Redsmith

We Have Always Died in the Castle by Elizabeth Bear

August 2019 books on my list

I keep a list of all the books I might want to read and add to it as the year goes on. As each month comes along I create a list on my blog for others and for me to keep track of asbooks-on-my-list the months go by.

I don’t buy all these books–since I already have way too many books to read and some of the new books are expensive. I’m trying to stick to a budget.

I hope people reading my post may find some new books to read. I also hope these people will point me toward books I missed.

July 22–it’s already available in the U.S. (or August 22)

Know Your Rites by Andy Redsmith

Series: Inspector Redsmith #2

Published by Canelo

Genre: Fantasy Mystery

314 pages

Synopsis: Inspector Nick Paris is back in this magical crime mystery perfect for fans of Douglas Adams and Ben Aaronovitch.

Inspector Nick Paris, now also known as ‘the one who stopped the demons’, has become an unlikely celebrity in the magical world. He is desperate to return to tackling more ordinary crimes on his home turf of Manchester.

However, the fates aren’t in his favour when he is called upon again by his more unusual police colleagues to solve a gruesome killing. The only suspect is a dwarf trying to make it in the rap business. But are there more mysterious matters afoot?

Paris is thrust back into the world of magic and murder – but who will face the music? 

August 1

Bright Shards by Meg Pechenick

Series: The Vardeshi Saga #2

Published by Sigil Press

Genre: Science Fiction

543 pages

Synopsis: Linguist Avery Alcott has spent three months proving herself to her Vardeshi companions and earning their respect. She arrives at Arkhati, the space station halfway between Earth and Vardesh Prime, eager to continue her adventure. But the next stage of her mission brings its own challenges. In the months to come, new alliances and old friendships will be tested. Avery will question her purpose and her place among the Vardeshi, and she will discover that the most memorable journeys are the ones we can’t predict. 

August 6

Love and Death Among the Cheetahs by Rhys Bowen

Series: Royal Spyness #13

Published by Berkley

Genre: Historical Mystery

304 pages

Synopsis: Georgie is excited when Darcy announces out of the blue that they are flying to Kenya for their extended honeymoon. It is only after they arrive that she suspects he has actually been sent there on an assignment. She tries not to be angry, because she is, after all, in a paradise!

They are picked up in Nairobi and taken to a lovely house in Happy Valley–the center of upper-class English life there. Darcy finally confides that there have been some spectacular robberies in London and Paris, and it is suspected that the thief was a member of the aristocracy and may have fled to Kenya.

Georgie is shocked at the completely decadent lifestyle that involves wild parties and rampant infidelity. One of the leading lights in the community, Lord Cheriton, makes a play for Georgie. She rebuffs him. Then he is found dead along a lonely stretch of road. At first it seems to be a lion attack. But why was he on that stretch of road, alone, late at night? It seems the Happy Valley community wants to close the case, but as Georgie and Darcy investigate, almost everyone has a motive to want Lord Cheriton dead. 

Singapore Sapphire by A.M. Stuart

Series: Harriet Gordon #1

Published by Berkley

Genre: Historical Mystery

320 pages

Synopsis: Singapore 1910–Desperate for a fresh start and to distance herself from her tragic past, Harriet Gordon finds herself in Singapore at the height of colonial rule. Hoping to gain some financial independence, she advertises her services as a personal secretary. It is unfortunate that she should discover her first client, Sir Oswald Newbold–explorer, mine magnate and president of the exclusive Explorers and Geographers’ Club–dead with a knife in his throat.

When Inspector Robert Curran is put on the case, he realizes that he has an unusual witness in Harriet. Harriet’s keen eye for detail and strong sense of duty interests him, as does her distrust of the police and her traumatic past, which she is at pains to keep secret from the gossips of Singapore society.

When a second body is dragged from the canal, Harriet feels compelled to help with the case. She and Curran are soon drawn into a complex web of stolen gemstones and a mysterious gang of thieves who have no qualms about killing again to protect their secrets. 

August 13

Beneath the Surface by Jo Spain

Series: Inspector Tom Reynolds #2

Published by Crooked Lane Books

Genre: Mystery

347 pages

Synopsis: Did I know it would come to this? That I was playing Russian Roulette? I would give anything to turn back time and to be with my girls. There is no shot at redemption. I am going to die. The gun is in my eye-line as the second bullet is fired. That’s the one that kills me.

Late at night, two powerful men meet in a secret location to discuss a long nurtured plan about to come to fruition. One is desperate to know there is nothing standing in their way – the other assures him everything is taken care of. Hours later, a high-ranking government official called Ryan Finnegan is brutally slain in the most secure building in Ireland – Leinster House, the seat of parliament. Inspector Tom Reynolds and his team are called in to uncover the truth behind the murder.

At first, all the evidence hints at a politically motivated crime, until a surprise discovery takes the investigation in a dramatically different direction. Suddenly the motive for murder has got a lot more personal. . . but who benefits the most from Ryan’s death?

August 20

Turning Darkness into Light by Marie Brennan

Series: Unknown

Published by Tor Books

Genre: Fantasy, Dragons

416 pages

Synopsis: As the renowned granddaughter of Isabella Camherst (Lady Trent, of the riveting and daring Draconic adventure memoirs) Audrey Camherst has always known she, too, would want to make her scholarly mark upon a chosen field of study.

When Lord Gleinheigh recruits Audrey to decipher a series of ancient tablets holding the secrets of the ancient Draconean civilization, she has no idea that her research will plunge her into an intricate conspiracy, one meant to incite rebellion and invoke war. Alongside dearest childhood friend and fellow archeologist Kudshayn, must find proof of the conspiracy before it’s too late.

TURNING DARKNESS INTO LIGHT is a delightful fantasy of manners, the heir to the award-winning Natural History of Dragons series, a perfect stepping stone into an alternate Victorian-esque fantasy landscape.

August 27

A Better Man by Louise Penny

Series: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #15

Published by Minotaur Books

Genre: Mystery

448 pages

Synopsis: It’s Gamache’s first day back as head of the homicide department, a job he temporarily shares with his previous second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir. Flood waters are rising across the province. In the middle of the turmoil a father approaches Gamache, pleading for help in finding his daughter.

As crisis piles upon crisis, Gamache tries to hold off the encroaching chaos, and realizes the search for Vivienne Godin should be abandoned. But with a daughter of his own, he finds himself developing a profound, and perhaps unwise, empathy for her distraught father.

Increasingly hounded by the question, how would you feel…, he resumes the search.

As the rivers rise, and the social media onslaught against Gamache becomes crueler, a body is discovered. And in the tumult, mistakes are made.

What books are you excited about this month?