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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

Run Silent, Run Deep
Edward L. Beach
The Cereal Murders: A Culinary Mystery
Diane Mott Davidson
Fatally Flaky (Goldy Culinary Mysteries) Publisher: HarperAudio; Unabridged edition
Diane Mott Davidson
Death on Eat Street
J.J. Cook
A Wrench in the Works (Fixer-upper Mystery)
Kate Carlisle
The Square Root of Murder
Ada Madison
The Orphan's Tale
Pam Jenoff
Mardi Gras Murder: A Cajun Country Mystery
Ellen Byron
Churchill's Secret Agent: A Novel Based on a True Story
Linda Ciampoli, Max Ciampoli
A Cajun Christmas Killing
Ellen Byron

The Whole Enchilada

The Whole Enchilada - Diane Mott Davidson

#17 Goldie Bear Mystery


Goldie is co-hosting a birthday party for her son Archie and her friend Holly's son, Drew. When Holly dies soon after the party, Goldie is then attacked at Holly's home, when the deck collapses under her weight, when she sees an envelope with Drew's name on it. When she is being harassed by others who think she has something on them and when a woman who has been trying to steal her business is found dead next to Fr. Pete, the Episcopal Priest, who has been stabbed, but not dead, they feel that she is a target. She works with her husband to find out who murdered her friend and attacked Fr. Pete. 


The story is interesting and moves quickly. Currently, I am reading the stories out of order and that works. I think it works better in order, but I am borrowing from the library and get them when I can. 

Cockatiels at Seven

Cockatiels at Seven - Donna Andrews

#9 Meg Langslow Mystery


Michael and Meg are home from their honeymoon and she is working in her blacksmith barn and he attending to faculty meetings at the college. She keeps being interrupted by her family and friends while she works. In fact, her grandfather, Dr. Blake, asks why she doesn't just set up a format so that the items she is making doesn't require as much work so that she doesn't have to do so much...in order to work on what he wants to work on. She responds that he should just have all the animals at the zoo stuffed so that it requires less work. Her sarcasm doesn't work well with him, but he does leave her alone. When her friend Karen shows up with her baby, Timmy, asking Meg to watch him for a short time she is then strapped with a very active two-year-old, who keeps her and her family busy. While this is happening Meg begins searching for Karen, because Timmy has been with them for a long time, three days. When a body turns up and things where Karen works and her home are being searched by the police (after a break-in) Meg knows something is really wrong and gets involved with the search for Karen and her ex-husband who may have caused all the issues. 


This was another story that my family enjoyed and asked for while we were driving. 

The Penguin Who Knew Too Much

The Penguin Who Knew Too Much - Donna Andrews

#8 Meg Langslow Mystery


Meg and Michael are finally moving into their home, now that it is free of all Mrs. Sprockets' mess and the repairs are mostly finished. It Memorial Day Weekend and her family is helping to move them in and then her father drops the information that he has found a body in the basement, where he had been digging a hole for a pond for the penguins. Why penguins? Because the Caerphilly Zoo is being shut down and her dad has agreed to care for a large percentage of the animals, using her house, yard and his. She works to find out who would use her basement for the burial and get to the courthouse on time for her and Michael to be married, so they can start their honeymoon. We are also introduced to Dr. Blake, an animal rescuer and someone that may save the zoo. 


My family loved this story and begged for it whenever we got back in the car. 

"I was almost asleep when a bloodcurdling scream jolted me wide awake. “What the hell was that?” Michael asked. “I think someone found the snake I put in the hall bath,” I said. “Why did you—never mind. That came from the backyard, not the house.” The screaming had subsided into muted wails, and I could also hear voices, and someone laughing. I stumbled over to the window overlooking the backyard. Rob, wearing a black cape and a smear of stage blood around his mouth, was sprawled on the ground just outside the cellar doors, laughing hysterically. The wailing appeared to be coming from a small cherry tree. Dad, Horace, and Rose Noire were standing beneath the tree, saying soothing things to it. The Adirondack chair was empty. “Ah,” I said. “Rob was helping Dr. Smoot relive childhood memories.” “Serves him right for telling everyone about his damned trauma all day,” Michael muttered. Rob’s laughter died down—not that he’d stopped, but he’d reached the point where he only had the breath to utter an occasional, barely audible squeak. But just about then, the hyenas kicked in, more than making up for his silence. Chief Burke burst out of the back door, strode over to the cherry tree, and stood looking up at it with his hands on his hips. “Get a grip on it, man!” he bellowed. I heard another scream at closer range. “Now that was definitely the snake in the hall bath,” I said. Michael groaned, and pulled a pillow over his head. I followed his example."
The Penguin Who Knew Too Much - Donna Andrews

The Penguin Who Knew Too Much by Donna Andrews

Murder Most Frothy

Murder Most Frothy - Cleo Coyle

Coffeehouse Mystery # 4


I worked at finishing this book because the mystery part was interesting, but the love scenes were a little over the top and made my family uncomfortable.


Claire Cosi accepts an offer from another restauranter to help get his coffee service as good as the one she currently supervises with her ex-husband for her ex-mother-in-law. The deal is that she and her daughter can stay at his home and work part-time at the cafe. When one of the servers, who resembles him, is found dead in his bathroom, she feels that he is the target and works to find out who has put the target on his back. Along the way, she begins a relationship with a former Navy Seal who is now taking paparazzi-style photos.


The love scenes were a bit much for the family (yep, listening in the car while driving) and made husband and children uncomfortable and I had no way of getting through them fast enough.

The Baker's Secret

The Baker's Secret: A Novel - Stephen P. Kiernan

This is set in France - Normandy - during WWII. Emma is an apprentice baker to a Jewish man who is a fantastic baker. One day she is baking in her yard and the German Commandant stops because of the smell from her baking. She is given provisions to make bread for the German Commandant and his troops daily. She works to make the provisions stretch so she can give bread to others in her area so that they too can survive. She grinds straw into a flour-like substance, adding a little at a time until she figures out how much until they figure out that it isn't right. When the baker she apprenticed with is murdered by the Germans in the churchyard, she starts working harder to help people in her community get what they need and take from the Germans. When her father is taken away and sent to a prison camp she starts working at moving things among the people, even more, hiding things from the Germans. 


The story was well written and I didn't want to stop listening or reading until I was finished.  

Death by Chocolate Malted Milkshake

Death by Chocolate Malted Milk Shake - Sarah Graves

#2 Death by Chocolate


Jacoba and Ellie are looking at the end of their business as the place is not making enough money. They are hoping that the wedding of a young teacher and coast guard officer will make their business, but when the teacher's ex-boyfriend is found dead and they are considered the main suspects. The women start looking for who is really to blame for the murder. 


This story was interesting and I did enjoy it. 

The Night Before Christmas 1914

The Night Before Christmas, 1914 - Richard Davis

An interesting re-write of the "Night Before Christmas" Poem, set during WWI. What I liked was that the author did a preface of some of the history of that night and they also had links for other information on the WWI Christmas Truce.

Last Wool and Testament

Last Wool and Testament - Molly MacRae

#1 Haunted Yarn Shop


I really didn't enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. Kath has come back to her grandmother's home town in TN for the funeral and to put all to rights. But she meets a deputy who seems to antagonize her and calls her grandmother crazy. When she gets to the funeral she is late and then meets up with some of her grandmother's friends. Nicki has been helping herself to some of her grandmother's clothing and says that she was given it. The other problem is that people are dying and Kath feels she needs to find out who is doing all the killing and keep herself alive as she does. She also meets up with the ghost who is living in the house that she is allowed to live in when she learns that her grandmother's house is now owned by someone else and she cannot get in. 


There was just too much happening and too many antagonistic behaviors. At times I felt that I just wanted to DNF the book and I am uncertain if they get better later in the series or if I should just quit here. 

Terns of Endearment

Terns of Endearment - Donna Andrews

#25 Meg Langslow Mystery


Meg's grandfather, Dr. Blake, has started touring, giving lectures on cruise ships and his first trip, he is able to take the whole family and friends on a reduced trip to Bermuda. Meg and her family are all on board and the trip does not start well. The luggage is not loaded timely and she refuses to leave it until someone else trustworthy is watching it or she has seen it loaded on the ship. She ends up being the last to board the ship and then after conferring with her husband, Michael, she goes to get a drink from a bar. She meets and becomes friends with 4 authors who are all on the cruise to celebrate the life of their friend. The next morning when it is thought another author, not liked by the other authors, is thought to have committed suicide and the boat is not moving. As things begin to happen, Meg and her family come together with the other passengers to solve the problems on the ship.


This was different from previous stories but still fun. I liked that they left Caerphilly and were taking a vacation.

The Paris Architect

The Paris Architect - Charles Belfoure

I guess you could say that I am on a World War II kick and that I am reading/listening to books from that time period. I had to listen to this one when I was alone as it became quite graphic with descriptions of the torture and the adultery of the soldiers and people in general. The architect is out of work and is called to a millionaire industrialist's home for a meeting. The man does not know what he has been called for and shows up for the interview, after witnessing a Jewish man's death at the hands of the Nazis. When he is given his first job it is a two-fold job. Figure out how to hide a man in the millionaire's apartment, in such a way that the Nazis would never find him (i.e. no false walls). He is offered an outstanding amount of money and then offered another job to build another building for the man's business. This continues all the while the Nazis continue to search for Jews and those helping them. The story was well researched and even brings up the priest holes used in England to hide priests. 

Reading up a Storm

Reading Up a Storm: A Lighthouse Library Mystery - Eva Gates

#3 Lighthouse Libary Mystery


Lucy is encountering her first hurricane in NC and she is a bit nervous and she sees a boat in danger out in the sea and calls the police, who send out the Coast Guard and the police then pick them up from the beach and take them back to town. Then they show up at the book club and then the man is found dead. When Lucy's new friend, Stephanie, is in the sites of the police for the man's death and then it is found that he is not what he has been claiming to be. Lucy works to find the truth so that she can protect her friend. 


I have already borrowed book 4 and sad that that is all that is available. 

Three Strikes You're Dead

Three Strikes and You're Dead - Jessica Fletcher, Donald Bain

#26 Murder, She Wrote


Jessica has gone to Mesa, AZ to watch a farm team play baseball with her friends. The team wins, but the owner screams at the manager about putting her friend's foster son in to play. Later that night, the owner's son is found dead and the main suspect is the foster son. Jessica begins to work on finding the truth of who really murdered the boy and proving her friend's son innocent. 


I do enjoy these stories as Murder, She Wrote is on so late that I am not able to stay up to watch them. 

The Diva Haunts the House

The Diva Haunts the House (A Domestic Diva Mystery) by Krista Davis (2011-09-06) - Krista Davis

#5 Domestic Diva Mystery


It is almost Halloween and the school has had the offer of a house to use for making into a haunted house to raise monies. Sophie has volunteered to set up the house and work with the kids. Her ex-mother-in-law has come to stay with her and tells the vampire story and then when someone is found dead near her ex-husband's house with two holes in his neck the story gains wings. Things are creepy and Sophie feels the need to find the truth of the deaths and keep her haunted house open. 


I so enjoyed this story as we get ready for Halloween and my oldest prepares to be a scare actor at an amusement park haunted house area. 

Dressed to Kill

Dressed To Kill (A Tourist Trap Mystery Book 4) - Lynn Cahoon

#4 Tourist Trap Mystery


Jill's boyfriend's ex-wife, Sherry, wants to make Jill look bad with all the businesses in South Cove and gets the meeting moved to her store and she pays people to attend and gives out goodie bags to all the attendees. She makes the meeting into a circus and has the outline changed to put things on the agenda that has not been included before. Then Sherry becomes the main suspect in a murder and her best friend and business partner starts harassing Jill to find out the truth and get the real murderer found and arrested. She even promises to rein Sherry in and get her to stop bothering Jill and her boyfriend. 


I am enjoying this series and looking forward to the next story.  

1,000 Awesome Writing Prompts

1,000 Awesome Writing Prompts - Ryan Andrew Kinder

This book is meant for an older group, but I have found quite a few prompts that I have been assigning to my girls for school to get them writing on a more frequent basis.