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Mary's Books

I have loved to read since I was little. I would borrow many books from the library and still borrow to this day, but I also purchase books (mostly for my kids) and freebies on Kindle. I read as much as I can daily. Sometimes I read several books at one time. I don't have a preference of paper book over an ebook, I just love to read. Keeping lists of what I have read is a good way for me to remember. 

Currently reading

The Book of Kills
Ralph McInerny
Gray Mountain
John Grisham
Mardi Gras Murder: A Cajun Country Mystery
Ellen Byron
Churchill's Secret Agent: A Novel Based on a True Story
Linda Ciampoli, Max Ciampoli
Twelve Drummers Drumming: A Father Christmas Mystery Paperback October 30, 2012
C.C. Benison
Girl Missing
Tess Gerritsen
All Fudged Up
Nancy CoCo

The Whispered Word

The Whispered Word - Ellery Adams

#2 Secret, Book and Scone Society


A young woman has come running into the bookstore and has gone into the back room and fallen asleep. Nora, uncertain, what to do about this woman, calls the group together and they look at the scared young woman and try to decide what to do with her. Finally, she leaves her in the back room sleeping, covering her with a blanket and comes back the next day to find her front window redone and beautiful. The women are also putting bags together of items for people who are suffering the most following the town scandal and closure of the bank. When they go to the first house on their list, they find the woman dead in the pond. As the story progresses the friendship changes and adjusts according to the growth of the group. Also, bringing in new member - the young woman. 


The story was a great continuation of the story. I look forward to another installment. 

Americanos, Apple Pies and Art Thieves

by Harper Lin 

#5 Cape Bay Cafe Mysteries


Thanksgiving is coming and Fran is having people over to celebrate. One night, she and Matt go to a museum and see an art show that features a pretty famous artist. While they are there, she sees a painting that is so emotional for her that she wants to keep going to see it, but it is stolen from the museum by someone. She feels that she needs to help find the painting and starts asking questions. Suddenly she is getting death threats and damage to her place of business and someone is breaking into her home. She works to find out who is doing this to her and why. 


The story was very good. I know how hard it can be to lose someone close to holidays and then trying to make your way on that holiday, so this story spoke to me. Last Christmas, we made fruitcake for the first time since my mom got ill and then died. 



A Caribbean Mystery

A Caribbean Mystery - Agatha Christie

#10 of Miss Marple Mysteries


Miss Marple is sent on a vacation in the Caribbean after battling with pneumonia. While she is there she meets people and goes on small trips around the area and when a man she meets dies, she feels that there is foul play. She begins to ask questions and talk with people trying to find out the truth. 


The story is interesting as it shows Agatha Christie's knowledge of poisons and medications. 

Ripped from the Pages

Ripped From the Pages - Kate Carlisle

Brooklyn and Derek are staying Dharma, near their parents, housesitting for a neighbor/friend, while their place is being modified. While they are there, a cave is opened to be used as a wine bar, but in the process, a body is found. Also, found, treasures - art, furniture, jewels. When Brooklyn and Derek start looking into the treasures and the murdered man, they learn of the plan made by Guru Bob's family to help save the treasures of countrymen in France, during WWII. While all this happens, reporters descend on Dharma and then people start being murdered and attacked. They have to move quickly to find the answers. 


The story moved along nicely and it was a fun listen/read (I listened while driving and read when I was sitting still). 

The Scientology Murders

The Scientology Murders: A Dead Detective Novel - William Heffernan

Book #2 of the Dead Detective


The story starts in Clearwater, FL, where Harry Santos Doyle lives. He has issues with his birth mother - she tried to murder him and did murder his brother - showing up around him constantly. He also gets involved in trying to find the man who tried to kill his adoptive father and a young woman, the daughter of another retired Clearwater Police officer. As they investigate, they learn that the woman had been in Scientology and that she had been labeled 1:1. As the investigation continues, more women are murdered and Harry's dad is attacked again. For Harry, this is becoming personal as the church has started attacking him and helping his birth mother to get away with her stalking him. 


The story was really interesting and good listen. My children also enjoyed hearing this story. 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows

I had found the movie version of this book and loved it. Then I found out, there is a book! I then began the process of borrowing the book from the library. Now, I have a tablet and a Kindle. I found out that if you borrow a bunch of books and then turn off your Kindle's wifi you can keep the books until you are able to read them (what can I say, I borrow more books than I have time to read at times), so I had to download to the tablet. Now it takes some time for the tablet to open the app for reading and so it took me a long time to read the story. Then I would read where and when I could with the tablet. I loved this story. A story of perseverance, of love and of man's ability to be good even in the midst of evil. Such a great story. I eventually bought the book and I know that I will be reading it again. 

On What Grounds

On What Grounds - Cleo Coyle

Book #1 of the Coffeehouse Mysteries. 


This is the book where we meet Clare and her ex-husband, Matt, her mother-in-law, Madame, and her daughter, Joy. Annabelle works at the coffeehouse and has been put into a position of trust. She is allowed to close the coffeehouse and open, while Clare finishes moving from NJ. When Clare arrives the next day at the Coffeehouse, she finds the place locked up tight and then finds Annabelle lying at the bottom of some stairs, gravely injured. Clare does not feel that this was an accident, she feels that Annabelle was attacked. As we listened to the story in the car, the girls and I were trying to figure out who could have logically attacked Annabelle. I have come to really enjoy the audiobooks as I can listen while I knit and drive and put away laundry and this becomes a great way to get my kids involved in doing something other than screens (TVs, computers, etc). 


The story was interesting, but I have been reading the books out of order, as I am able to obtain them, and so while it makes following a little more difficult, it is not too bad. 


1984 - George Orwell

So prophetic. TVs that can watch you, books being banned and no thinking allowed. I remember reading the book back in high school (a classmate had had to read the book and when the year ended many books were thrown into the trash - I rescued them) and I was not a fan of sci-fi at the time. I still am not fond of the genre, but I have come to appreciate that many of the things foretold have come to pass. I assigned this to my girls for their literature and we had a lively discussion. 

Snakes & Ladders



1. Author is a woman - Ellery Adams - "Murder in the Locked Library" 5 5

2. Genre: mystery

3. Set in the twentieth century

4. Published in 2019

5. Published in 2018

6. Title has a color word in it

7. Author's last name begins with the letters A, B, C, or D.

8. Author's last name begins with the letters E, F, G, or H.

9. Author's last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K

10. Author's last name begins with the letters L, M, N or O - Jenn McKinlay "Due or Die"2 1

11. Author's last name begins with the letters P, Q, R, or S

12. Author's last name begins with the letters T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z

13. Author is a man - Miranda James - "File M for Murder" (the author uses a pseudonym) 5 1

14. Author is dead - "1984" George Orwell - published 1949

15. Genre: romance

16. Genre: fantasy

17. Genre: horror

18. Set in a school

19. Set in the UK - Mary Ann Shaffer - "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" - Set in London and Guernsey 4 1 (when I finish this book). 

20. Set in a country that is not your country of residence - George Orwell - "1984"

21. Set in Europe

22. Set in Asia

23. Set in Australia/Oceania

24. Set in Africa - (next up)

25. Snake - go back to 5

26. Part of a series that is more than 5 books long

27. Set during WWI or WWII

28. Written between 1900 and 1999

29. Someone travels by plane

30. Someone travels by train

31. Road trip

32. Genre: thriller

33. Set in North America

34. Snake - go back to 1

35. Has been adapted as a movie

36. Set in Central or South America

37. Has won an award

38. Newest release by a favorite author

39. A reread

40. Characters involved in the entertainment industry

41. Characters involved in politics

42. Characters involved in sports/sports industry

43. Characters involved in the law

44. Characters involved in cooking/baking

43. Characters involved in medicine

44. Characters involved in science/technology

45. A book that has been on your tbr for more than one year

46. A book that has been on your tbr for more than two years

47. Snake - go back to 19

48. A book you acquired in February, 2019.

49. Recommended by a friend

50. Has a domestic animal on the cover

51. Has a wild animal on the cover

52. Has a tree or flower on the cover

53. Has something that can be used as a weapon on the cover

54. Is more than 400 pages long

55. Is more than 500 pages long

56. Was published more than 100 years ago

57. Was published more than 50 years ago

58. Was published more than 25 years ago

59. Was published more than 10 years ago

60. Was published last year

61. Cover is more than 50% red

62. Cover is more than 50% green

63. Cover is more than 50% blue

64. Cover is more than 50% yellow

65. Snake - go back to 52

66. Part of a series that is more than 10 books long

67. Set in a city with a population of greater than 5 million people (link)

68. Something related to weddings on the cover

69. Something related to travel on the cover

70. Something related to fall/autumn on the cover

71. Involves the beach/ocean/lake 

72. Involves the mountains/forests 

73. Categorized as YA

74. Categorized as Middle Grade

75. Set in a fantasy world

76. Set in a world with magic

77. Has a "food" word in the title

78. Set in a small town (fictional or real)

79. Main character is a woman

80. Main character is a man

81. Ghost story

82. Genre: urban fantasy

83. Genre: cozy mystery

84. Genre: police procedural

85. Written by an author who has published more than 10 books

86. Author's debut book

87. Snake - go back to 57

88. Comic/graphic novel

89. Published between 2000 and 2017

90. A new-to-you author

91. Snake - go back to 61

92. Reread of a childhood favorite

93. Author's first/last initial same as yours (real or BL handle)

94. Non-fiction

95. Memoir

96. From your favorite genre

97. Title starts with any of the letters in SNAKE

98. Title starts with any of the letters in LADDERS

99. Snake - go back to 69

100. Let BL pick it for you: post 4 choices and read the one that gets the most votes!

Due or Die

Due or Die - Jenn McKinlay

Lindsey has been at the library for a year and she is still getting used to riding her bike, especially in the cold weather. When the Friends have a vote to elect a new president, the old one becomes angry and she is asked to come and make sure all is fair. When the old president is ousted from his position, he is angry and blames her for the problem. The girl who has a serious crush on him starts attacking Lindsey and anyone else keeping him from being president and keeps demanding that he be put back into his position. 


Then when Carrie's husband is found dead and then the attacks on Lindsey start happening. After a winter storm hits the area, the books for the Friends have to be moved, they find some of the more valuable ones missing. Lindsey feels the need to find out what happened and who killed Carrie's husband and who is behind all the attacks on her.


Book 2 and still just as good. This is the book that introduces Heathcliff. These can be read out of order and still make sense. 

File M for Murder

File M for Murder - Miranda James

Charlie's daughter has come to Athena to teach a college course for a semester. Her former boyfriend/fiance got her the job and keeps trying to get back with her. While he is there he starts to have memories from his life in Athena and uses those memories to write his play. When he is found murdered by Laura, she then becomes the target and is frequently attacked. Charlie feels the need to find out who murdered the playwright and keep his family safe from harm. 


I love these stories and they can be read out of order (basically the way I read them), without any problems. 

Confession of a Surgeon

Confessions of a Surgeon: The Good, the Bad, and the Complicated...Life Behind the O.R. Doors - Paul A. Ruggieri

What an eye-opening read on surgeons and life in the OR. I learned some things from this and was shocked to know that I hadn't asked the surgeons I encountered in my life the questions he says we should ask. I had thyroidectomy - triple threat (Graves Disease, Hashimoto's Disease and Cancer) and Gallbladder removal - worst ever seen (I was told I was a drug seeker before I was ever able to get the surgery). So scary to learn some of things that he had encountered while doing surgery and being a new surgeon. Good information and read. 

Letters from Father Christmas

Letters from Father Christmas - J.R.R. Tolkien, Baillie Tolkien

What a sweet set of letters set before during and after WWI and II. It shows how his route grew and how he is able to deliver to so many children. His life at the North Pole and North Polar Bear as a helper and how the elves started working for him. Such a fun read. I wish I had known about these when my girls were little, they would have been so fun to read to them and with them.

Beaches in Paradise

by Kathi Daley


It is the current last in the series and was on my to-read list as TJ is finally getting together with Kyle and they are trying to figure out their relationship without her sisters around getting too attached. 


While they are at a welcome back for the school year event for teachers, Kate, the newest deputy, shows up wanting to know where TJ's friend Gina is and finally says that there was an accident with her car and that she is a person of interest in the murder of her passenger. 


TJ feels the need to find Gina and help her prove her innocence in the death of the developer. Kyle helps her and they work together to get to the truth. 


Fun story and while suggestions of their activities are made, it doesn't go into details (a good thing as I was listening around my girls). 


Puppies in Paradise

Puppies in Paradise - Kathi Daley

TJ's friend was involved in a serious accident and she brings the puppies and mama dog over to her house, to care for them while her friend is in the hospital. While this is happening there is a severe storm that shuts down the town of Paradise and when it is finally over, the school has been out for about a week and the weekend they Kyle is working on a tourism commercial and during the storm, a friend of her grandfather is murdered. She helps the police in trying to figure out why he was murdered. 


The story is fun and you see the work it takes for her to be a mother to her sisters. Learning how to deal with all the issues that come from two different girls. 

Murder in the Locked Library

Murder in the Locked Library  - Ellery Adams

Set in Storyton Hall, VA, they are working on the spa for the resort and the earthmover uncovers a skeleton. It is determined that while it is very old, it was also a homicide. This poses an interest to Jane and the others. As they work on the book that was found with the skeleton they find out its history and its importance in history. 


While this is happening, a book "doctor" is murdered in the locked library and then another man is murdered. As they search for the killer they have suspects and so much history with the group staying at the resort. 


The story was interesting, but I started in the middle so there are questions that popped up as I was listening to the story so I am going to find book #1 of the series.