Watching the Detectives by Julie Mulhern

watching-the-detectives-julie-mulhernWatching the Detectives by Julie Mulhern

Series: The Country Club Murders #5

Publication date: May 23

e-ARC (from NetGalley and the publisher)

–All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Historical Mystery (1970’s Kansas City), Cozy

Ellison Russell wanted a decorator, not a corpse. Too bad she finds Mrs. White in the study killed with a revolver. Things go from bad to worse when she finds Mr. White in the dining room killed with a candlestick. With so many bodies, is it any wonder Detective Anarchy Jones’ new partner considers Ellison a suspect?

With the country club gossips talking a mile a minute, an unexpected cocktail party, a visit from Aunt Sis, and a romantic decision, Ellison hardly has time to think about murder. Unfortunately, the killer has plenty of time to think about her.


My thoughts

I’ve read these books since Julie Mulhern started publishing them in 2015. They are such fun books to read. They have a lot of humor, but also sometimes a very serious side which is the case with this book. It’s a cozy and historical, but Mulhern adds some serious issues. I like that.

Ellison Russell

Ellison Russell has a strong voice. Mulhern does a good job through these books showing Ellison from the first book when she’s an unhappy wife, protective mother and downtrodden daughter, not too sure who she is to the present loving mother and daughter who is very much her own woman–self-confident and willing to stand up to her strong-willed mother. With each book Ellison comes to know herself a little more.

With Watching the Detectives Ellison makes some decisions about her future, deals with her disapproving mother, her rebellious daughter, infuriating Aunt Sis and two very different suitors. And, of course, Ellison finds more murders which a new detective teamed with Detective Anarchy Jones finds very suspicious.

Clue aka Cluedo

I like the use of “Mrs. White in the study with the revolver”–reminiscent of the board game Clue. (Called Clue in North America, but originally begun as Cluedo in 1949 in the UK. I had never heard of Cluedo before!) Although the book doesn’t explicitly mention the board game Aggie at one point tells Hunter, “Mrs. White in the study with a revolver.” (Note: This may have changed in the final copy).

1974 Kansas City, Missouri, USA

The historical aspect–1974 Kansas City, Missouri in the United States–makes this series especially interesting. Ellison comes from a wealthy background where people are expected to marry well, belong to the Country Club, where husbands golf, wives play bridge and don’t have jobs and no one causes scandal. Secrets are kept in families. However, times are starting to change: the 1960’s have already happened with the Vietnam War, peace protests and perhaps the biggest change–birth control. Women can have control of their bodies and even start having careers. They don’t have to get married and have a husband take care of them. However, I think the country club set was probably slow to change–especially the older generation such as Ellison’s mother.

The mystery

I thought the mystery was well written. There are contradictory clues plus I didn’t know what to think of Mrs. White. Not knowing the character of the victim made it harder to guess the why and who of the mystery. I did guess before the end of the story who did it, but it didn’t take away my enjoyment of the book at all.

If you haven’t read the preceding books in this series, you really should read them before reading this book–mostly because they are so good. I was a little unsure about Ellison in the first book–The Deep End–because I thought Ellison let so many people walk all over her. However, she grows a backbone as the series continues and becomes a character I love.

I hope there are more books in this series!

Book Rating: B+



WWW Wednesday: May 3

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived by Taking on a World of Words. The idea is to answer the three questions below. For more information check out the Taking on a World of Words blog.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi (Science Fiction, Space Opera) — I’m listening to the audiobook narrated by Wil Wheaton. I’ve just started it and I’m loving it!

Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier (Fantasy) — Another book I’ve barely started, but I loved the first two books in this series. Blackthorn and Grim are such good characters.

Recently finished

Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor (The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #1) Science Fiction, Time Travel — Lots of action. So fun to read.

Watching the Detectives by Julie Mulhern (Country Club Mysteries #5) Historical Mystery, Cozy [NetGalley–publishing date, May 23] — This is one of my favorite mystery series and the series just gets better and better.

Reading next (perhaps–I’m very much a mood reader!)

Hunting Hour by Margaret Mizushima (Timber Creek K-9 Mystery #3) Mystery, Police Procedural

A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor (The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #2) Science Fiction, Time Travel

What books are you reading, want to read or have read?




Review: Cold Welcome by Elizabeth Moon

Cold Welcome by Elizabeth Moon

Series: Vatta’s Peace #1

Publication date: April 11 in the US; April 13 in the UK

e-ARC (from NetGalley and the publisher)

–All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

The UK cover

Science Fiction

After nearly a decade away, Nebula Award–winning author Elizabeth Moon makes a triumphant return to science fiction with this installment in a thrilling new series featuring the daring hero of her acclaimed Vatta’s War sequence.

Summoned to the home planet of her family’s business empire, space-fleet commander Kylara Vatta is told to expect a hero’s welcome. But instead she is thrown into danger unlike any other she has faced and finds herself isolated, unable to communicate with the outside world, commanding a motley group of unfamiliar troops, and struggling day by day to survive in a deadly environment with sabotaged gear. Only her undeniable talent for command can give her ragtag band a fighting chance.

Yet even as Ky leads her team from one crisis to another, her family and friends refuse to give up hope, endeavoring to mount a rescue from halfway around the planet—a task that is complicated as Ky and her supporters find secrets others will kill to protect: a conspiracy infecting both government and military that threatens not only her own group’s survival but her entire home planet.


I have read most of Elizabeth Moon’s books through the years and love them. She writes really good stories and a lot of them are military science fiction which is what the Vatta’s War series is as well as the start of this new series (Vatta’s Peace). Elizabeth Moon served three years in the U.S. Marine Corps so she has a good knowledge of the military and uses that very well in her military science fiction.

BTW, I like both the covers, but I think the UK cover is especially nice. What about you? Which cover is your favorite?

Read Vatta’s War series first?

It’s been awhile since I read the last book in the Vatta’s War series and reading this book made me want to go back and reread that series! I think that will be one of my goals while I wait for the next book in the Vatta’s Peace series! I think a person who hasn’t read the Vatta’s War series can begin with this book, but if you read the Vatta’s War series first there are things you will understand better and this book will be richer and the backstory more understandable. Also reading this book will give away some of what happens during the Vatta’s War series.

My thoughts

Ky is now an Admiral as well as founder and commander of Space Defense Force, but most of this book takes place on the planet with Ky stranded in a very inhospitable place when her shuttle is sabotaged and crashes. The odds are against her and her fellow survivors living through the crash let alone surviving when they’re not found quickly, but Ky is very good at surviving. However, there are no communications in this area of the planet (near a failed terraforming continent). They’ve crashed into the ocean and the weather is very harsh (think Antarctica and its surrounding ocean in the winter) with the nearest military base far away and perhaps saboteurs among the survivors.

Ky is very much alone as she attempts to lead the survivors and keep everyone alive long enough for a rescue. She doesn’t know whom she can trust and no one lives near the area of the planet they crash in. This is very much a story of survival against all odds. Her family and friends don’t know if she is alive or not, but they continue to hope. However, most people both on planet and off assume all aboard the shuttle are dead.

The book alternates between Ky and her group, family and friends both on and off planet and her command structure in the Space Defense Force. I enjoyed all these POVs, but mostly wanted to know what was happening with Ky and how she would survive. Ky and her group move from crisis to crisis and there are lots of tense moments. She’s very ingenious and has a definite gift for command. No one knows for sure how far the sabotage goes or who’s involved. The Vatta family has been a target before and no one is sure they really found everyone involved in earlier conspiracies. Is this a new threat, an old threat or both?

A very good series beginning. This book is a complete story, but by the end there’s lots of room for more adventures. I’m hoping the next book has more of Ky and her friends and allies together. And more on her ship in space again.

My rating: B+

Have you read any of Elizabeth Moon’s science fiction? Or her fantasy?






Silenced in the Surf by Kate E. Dyer-Seeley

silenced-in-the-surf-by-kate-e-dyer-seeleySilenced in the Surf by Kate E. Dyer-Seeley
Series: Pacific Northwest #3
Genre: Mystery
Setting: Portland, Oregon and Hood River on the Columbia River in Oregon
Published by Kensington, 2016
Format: e-Arc (Release Date: March 29)
–I received a review copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
304 pages
Grade: B-
Synopsis: Covering a windsurfing competition should have been a breeze for reporter Meg Reed, but with a killer in the curl, she’s headed for rough waters…

Hood River in the Columbia River Gorge is the windsurfing capital of the world, and Meg is stoked to cover the King of the Hook event for Portland’s Northwest Extreme magazine. Before the competition gets under way, Meg has a chance to try some windsurfing on her own. But when the current sweeps her downriver, she spots a body snagged on the rocks. The dead man is Justin Cruise, aka Cruise Control, a celebrity windsurfer and not exactly a nice guy. It’s soon clear his death was no accident, and Cruise had no shortage of enemies. As Meg dives right in to discover who wiped out the windsurfer, she’ll need to keep her balance—or she too may get blown away.

Initial impressions

  • I love the setting of the book in the Columbia Gorge. The author did a great job bringing it to life.

The story

  • Meg works for Northwest Extreme Magazine and travels to Hood River to cover a windsurfing competition.
  • During a windsurfing lesson she is swept downriver and ends up finding a body on rocks along the shore.
  • It looks like the death could be accidental, but the windsurfer had lots of enemies.


  • I grew up in Oregon so this book was great fun to read. I’ve seen the windsurfers on the Columbia River. I’ve never done that myself or wanted to. I’m a little like Meg before she got her job at Northwest Extreme magazine…lol.
  • I haven’t read the other books, but was able to follow along just fine. However, I think reading the earlier books is a great idea!
  • There is an ongoing story arc that sounds like it started in the first book. Meg’s father who was a reporter working on a story was murdered. The murder was never solved and Meg is trying to discover what happened.
  • There are funny parts and some scary parts and even one I can think of which is both: when Meg gets a windsurfing lesson, is carried away by the wind and current, can’t get the sail up and falls off the board several times–funny and scary both.
  • A beautiful cover!
  • I like the way the author describes Hood River and the windsurfing scene and all the people who descend on the little town. Not everyone in town likes all the windsurfers and tourists. I like all the brewpubs visited during the book!


  • The end of the book didn’t feel like an end. I have a feeling the next book will start about where this ended.
  • The mystery part of the story isn’t quite complete either. Of course, in real life everything isn’t tied up in a neat bow, but I wonder if that will wrap-up in the next book also.

And concluding thoughts . . .

  • Book 4 in the series–First Degree Murder–is scheduled to arrive on shelves in December 2016.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • Kate Dyer-Seeley writes the Pacific Northwest Mystery Series for Kensington Publishing, featuring a young journalist, Meg Reed, who bills herself as an intrepid adventurer in order to land a gig writing for Northwest Extreme. Only Meg’s idea of sport is climbing onto the couch without spilling her latte.
  • She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and son, where you can find her hitting the trail, at an artisan coffee shop, or at her favorite pub. Better yet—all three.

Reading Challenges

Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs

fire-touchedFire Touched by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #9
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Setting: Tri-cities area of Washington State
Published by Ace, 2016
Format: e-Arc (Release Date: March 8)
–I received a review copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
352 pages
Grade: A-
Synopsis: Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?

Initial impressions

  • A great addition to the Mercy Thompson series. This continues to be one of my favorite series. And this book is one of my favorites in the series.

The story

  • A troll on the bridge! Eating cars and people (I always knew I was right when I was afraid of trolls as a child!)
  • The werewolves come out to fight with Mercy joining in as well.
  • The story gets even more complex with the appearance of a human stolen by the fae a long time ago. He has some dangerous powers. And the fae want him back.
  • The story escalates from there!


  • March is one of my favorite months of the year, because I can almost always count on a Patricia Briggs book. I love catching up with Mercy, Adam, the rest of the werewolf pack and other characters. I really like how characters grow and change in these books.
  • I love the relationship between Adam and Mercy. Ms. Briggs does a great job of showing their love and concern for each other.
  • The last Mercy Thompson book dealt with a volcano god and that has had lasting effects on the pack. Now they are dealing with fire again–and this will change their world even more.
  • I am glad to see Adam support Mercy so strongly.
  • This is a great story–lots of action and important plot twists.
  • I like the ongoing story arc with the fae and humans at odds. Lots of room for action on both sides. Is a war going to happen?
  • I’ve always liked that Mercy is a VW auto mechanic. That has always been a great job for her–shows her strengths and makes her more real. And throughout these books lots of action takes place at her garage. She’s doing repairs after the volcano god wrecked the garage.


  • I’m ready for all the pack to finally fully support Mercy. There’s progress in this book, but I want to make sure that continues…lol. The pack isn’t a democracy after all.

And concluding thoughts . . .

  • I love the world Ms. Briggs has created and that she writes two different (sometimes intertwining) series set in this world.
  • I don’t like waiting for the next book, but I’m glad the quality of writing is so high. So take the time you need for this series, Ms. Briggs!

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • Patricia Briggs, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Mercy Thompson series, lives in Washington State with her husband, children, and a small herd of horses. She has written 17 novels to date. Briggs began her career writing traditional fantasy novels. In 2006, Ace Books published Moon Called, the first book in her #1 New York Times bestselling—and signature series—about Mercy Thompson.
  • Briggs also writes the Alpha and Omega series, which are set in the same world as the Mercy Thompson novels. What began as the novella “Alpha and Omega” in an anthology called On the Prowl (2007), was then expanded into a full new series.

Reading Challenges

Shards of Murder by Cheryl Hollon

shards-of-murderShards of Murder by Cheryl Hollon
Series: A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery #2
Genre: Mystery (cozy)
Setting: St. Petersburg, Florida
Published by Kensington, 2016
Format: e-Arc (Release Date: Feb 23)
–I received a review copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
304 pages
Grade: B
Synopsis: When a glass-making competition turns deadly, glass shop owner Savannah Webb must search for a window into a criminal’s mind…

As the new proprietor of Webb’s Glass Shop, Savannah has been appointed to fill her late father’s shoes as a judge for the Spinnaker Arts Festival, held in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. With her innovative glass works, the clear winner is Megan Loyola, a student of Savannah’s former mentor.

But when Megan doesn’t show up to accept her $25,000 award, rumors start flying. And when Savannah discovers the woman’s dead body on festival grounds, the police immediately suspect her of murder. To keep from appearing before a judge herself, Savannah sorts through the broken pieces of glass scattered around the victim for clues as to who took this killer competition too far…

Initial impressions

  • I especially enjoyed the setting, the glass shop and the mystery.

The story

  • Savannah is the glass artist judge in a local arts festival.
  • The person she chose as number one in the glass art part of the arts festival doesn’t show up to get her award. When Savannah checks the artist’s booth it’s empty.
  • The next day when she’s jogging with Rooney, her young smoky blue Weimaraner, she discovers a body. And Savannah ends up as the chief suspect for the murder.
  • The police detective tells her she better have an alibi or figure out who did it.


  • I like the setting in the glass shop and the background of a businessperson trying to pick up the pieces after the death of her father.
  • I used to work with stained glass so the glass aspect of the book kept me interested. I’m impressed with the detail Ms. Hollon uses in the book without adding too much.
  • Rooney is so fun to read about. I really like reading about his agility training.
  • Ms. Hollon does a good job weaving the murder and other details into the story.
  • I did figure out who the murderer was before the end of the book, but I still enjoyed the mystery.


  • Savannah’s relationship with Edward Morris is puzzling to me. Since I haven’t read the first book in the series I don’t know what happened in that book. However, Savannah says she likes him and thinks about him as a possible boyfriend, but they mostly seem indifferent to each other.

And concluding thoughts . . .

  • I haven’t read the first book in this series yet, but plan to soon!
  • The third book should get published in June 2016.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • Cheryl Hollon is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America and Romance Writers of America. A mystery conference addict, she regularly attends SleuthFest in Florida, Malice Domestic in Washington, DC, and New England Crime Bake in Dedham, MA.
  • Cheryl and her husband live in St. Petersburg, FL in a 1920’s Craftsman Bungalow.

Reading Challenges

Out of the Blues by Trudy Nan Boyce

out-of-the-blues-trudy-nan-boyceOut of the Blues by Trudy Nan Boyce
Series: Unknown
Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural
Setting: Atlanta, Georgia
Published by G.P. Putnam’s, 2016
Format: e-Arc (Release Date: Feb 23)
–I received a review copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
352 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: From an author with more than thirty years’ experience in the Atlanta Police Department comes a riveting procedural debut introducing an unforgettable heroine.

On her first day as a newly minted homicide detective, Sarah “Salt” Alt is given the cold-case murder of a blues musician whose death was originally ruled an accidental drug overdose. Now new evidence has come to light that he may have been given a hot dose intentionally. And this evidence comes from a convicted felon hoping to trade his knowledge for shortened prison time . . . a man who Salt herself put behind bars.

In a search that will take her into the depths of Atlanta’s buried wounds—among the city’s homeless, its politically powerful churches, commerce and industry, and the police department itself—Salt probes her way toward the truth in a case that has more at stake than she ever could have imagined. At once a vivid procedural and a penetrating examination of what it means to be cop, Out of the Blues is a remarkable crime debut.

Initial impressions

  • I really liked this police procedural. It feels authentic. This is a strong debut and I’m so happy to find a new author.

The story

  • When Sarah Alt–better known as “Salt”–begins her first day in homicide she finds a murderer. She does a lot of things wrong that first day, but she still manages to catch the murderer.
  • She’s given a cold case (a suicide from 10 years ago that might have been murder). The information about this possible homicide is given by a prisoner who is in prison because of Salt–after he tried to kill her. If his tip is correct it will reduce his sentence.
  • Even though she’s not too happy investigating this case she pursues all the leads she can find.


  • I really enjoy Salt. She jumps from insight to insight to get to the bottom of her cases. Other officers don’t always see what she sees, but often it works for her to follow her instincts.
  • Her father was also a police officer, but he committed suicide when Sarah was 10 years old and she found him as he lay dying. The images continue to haunt her and go a long way to making her who she is. As she grew into an adult she realizes he must have suffered from depression.
  • She’s afraid she may have the same affliction. Ever since she was shot the year before the book opens she has vivid dreams which haunt her, but also help her solve some of her cases. Any of her friends she tells about the dreams think they sound “crazy.”
  • The cold case is about the death of a blues singer so there’s lots of music references which I really enjoyed. I like blues and though I don’t know a lot about it I really like that aspect of the book. Salt knows a lot about the blues since her father enjoyed and listened to them.
  • The book has a lot about friendship, professional allegiances and the connections we have with people. I like that aspect a lot. I like mysteries where we find out about the people in the book as well as just the mystery.
  • The mystery was also engrossing. And I like the way the author shows the day-to-day workings of a police department–good and bad.
  • Salt puts up with a lot of hazing and even discrimination on the job, but she’s pretty stoic about it. She’s very tough and really cares about people. I like that the book shows many aspects of police officers as well as racial tensions in the community.
  • The title is very clever!


  • The e-Arc was hard to read since the formatting made it difficult at times to figure out who was talking.

And concluding thoughts . . .

  •  When I was younger I worked in law enforcement (mostly clerical work) and though police departments have modernized a lot since then (mostly in the communications) I still recognized a lot of what the author writes about.
  • I really hope she writes some more books about Salt and her world.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • Trudy Nan Boyce received her Ph.D. in community counseling before becoming a police officer for the City of Atlanta. During her more-than-thirty-year career she served as a beat cop, homicide detective, senior hostage negotiator, and lieutenant. Boyce retired from the police department in 2008 and still lives in Atlanta.

Reading Challenges

Fall 2015 TBR books

toptentuesday2Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme I take part in when I can think up answers! It’s a great meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish blog. Every week they suggest a new book-related topic. It’s not only fun to think about my list, but to read what other people come up with!

This week we talk about the Fall books we want to read. I haven’t kept my list to 10 books. . . I just couldn’t lol. So I have added books on my actual TBR list, books for Fall challenges, anticipated books for Fall and NetGalley books. Nearly 20 books!


My TBR list books to read

These are all long-time favorite series I love and I already own these books:

The Sound of Broken Glass

  • by Deborah Crombie
  • Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #15
  • Contemporary Mystery–Police Procedural, United Kingdom

The Brutal Telling

  • by Louise Penny
  • Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #5
  • Contemporary Mystery–Police Procedural, Quebec, Canada

The Winter Long

  • by Seanan McGuire
  • October Daye #8
  • Urban Fantasy, San Francisco, California

Books for fall challenges

I’m participating in a few challenges and these are books I’ve picked out so far to read for the challenges:

Earth 2788–The Earth Girl Short Storiesearth-and-fire

  • by Janet Edwards
  • Earth Girl 0.5
  • Science Fiction

Zoe’s Tale, The Human Division, and The End of All Things

  • by John Scalzi
  • Old Man’s War #4-6
  • Science Fiction

The Last Chance Christmas Ball

  • by Mary Jo Putney, Jo Beverley, Joanna Bourne, Patricia Rice, Anne Gracie, Nicola Cornick, Susan King & Cara Elliott
  • No series
  • Historical Romance–Regency, Christmas
  • A NetGalley book

The Christmas Joy Ride

  • by Melody Carlson
  • No series
  • Contemporary Christmas book
  • Also a NetGalley bookthe-immortal-heights

Fall 2015 books to read

These are two of my most anticipated books this Fall:

The Immortal Heights

  • by Sherry Thomas
  • The Elemental Trilogy #3
  • Young Adult Fantasy–Romance
  • The last of the trilogy

White Hot

  • by Ilona Andrews
  • Hidden Legacy #2
  • Urban Fantasy

Library books to read this fall

I’ve already gotten these books from the library. Super excited to get to them and read them!


Magic Shifts

  • by Ilona Andrews
  • Kate Daniels #8
  • Urban Fantasy

Ink and Bone

  • by Rachel Caine
  • The Great Library #1
  • Young Adult Fantasy

Second Street Station

  • by Lawrence H. Levy
  • A Mary Handley Mystery #1
  • Historical Mystery–Brooklyn, late 1800’s

NetGalley books to read this fall

I’ve started participating more in NetGalley and these books all come out this Fall and I’m super excited about reading these books! Just so happy I was approved for them. . . lol

Tower of Thornstower-of-thorns

  • by Juliet Marillier
  • Blackthorn & Grim #2
  • Fantasy

Guaranteed to Bleed

  • by Julie Mulhern
  • The Country Club Murders #2
  • Historical Mystery–1970’s, Kansas City

Named of the Dragon

  • by Susanna Kearsley
  • No Series
  • Fiction–Historical, Contemporary, Romance

An Ancient Peace

  • by Tanya Huff
  • Peacekeeper #1
  • Science Fiction–Military

What books do you want to read this fall?

Sunday Post: Oct 26

rp_sundaypostmeme13.jpgHappy Halloween!

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading. This is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!


Last Week

Home & blog

A few years ago my daughter carved a pumpkin for her grandpa!
A few years ago my daughter carved a pumpkin for her grandpa!

My husband returned from Oklahoma City on Friday. My sister-in-law has been in town all week at a conference so we met her for dinner in Washington DC. It is always fun to spend time with our family and have a good dinner, too. The rest of the weekend has been quiet.

The weather is cooler and we’ve had lots of beautiful sunny days, but it’s hard to believe the end of October and Halloween are nearly here.

I finally bit the bullet and requested some books from NetGalley. I had signed up a year or so ago, but never actually requested anything. When I got an email this last week inviting me to request the latest Mary Balogh book–Only Enchantment. I definitely wanted it so I requested that and three other books which caught my eye. I didn’t think I would be approved any of the books, but I got all four of them! I’m trying to get Only Enchantment read and reviewed before the book comes out on Tuesday.

Blog posts


What I’m reading

Only Enchanting by Mary Balogh

Codex Born by Jim C. Hines

What I read the this week

A Finer End by Deborah Crombie

Books, E-books, Audiobooks–Netgalley, library, purchased or free

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Only Enchanting by Mary Balogh

Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish

Undercity by Catherine Asaro

Dreaming Spies by Laurie R. King


A Finer End by Deborah Crombie

Turn Coat by Jim Butcher

The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas

Library e-book

And Justice There is None by Deborah Crombie

Kindle e-book

My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni



Around the Internet

  • I’m participating in the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-thon hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Jennifer @ The Book Shelfery (formerly Bawdy Book Blog) which begins November 6. I love Christmas books so it’s a good way to get started!
  • I’m also participating in Blog Ahead during November hosted by Anna @ Herding Cats & Burning Soup where the goal is to increase our pre-scheduled posts by 30. I’m not sure I’ll be able to do quite that much, but I do plan to do as much as I can.

Next Week

Home & blog

Halloween this week! We don’t do anything special, but when our kids were little they had lots of fun dressing up. Our son has been in New York City during October, but will be back in the DC area on Halloween and we’re hoping to get together.


  • Review: Only Enchanting by Mary Balogh
  • Top Ten Tuesday
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Review: Leave the Grave Green by Deborah Crombie
  • November books on my radar…
  • Sunday Post

What books did you collect last week? What are you planning next week?