Monday, March 28, 2016

Cozy mysteries are in danger.

Today, while searching for a new book to read, I found out that cozy mysteries are in danger.  Due to mergers and other business factors, some publishers are culling their cozy mystery collections.

What, pray-tell, is a cozy mystery?  Wikipedia states that "Cozy mysteries, also referred to simply as "cozies", are a subgenera of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detections takes place in a small, socially intimate community."

If you are a cozy mystery lover, please be sure to contact the publishers of your favorite series to express how much you love them.  Ask them to continue their support of these great stories and the writers who make them happen.

You can find out more about this issue at Save Our Cozies.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Britt-Marie Was Here will make you laugh and cry

It has been a long time since a book both make me laugh and broke my heart.  "Britt-Marie Was Here" did just that.  If you loved Fredrik Blackman’s “A Man Called Ove” or “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry”, you will love this book.

Britt-Marie is a 60-something woman who walked away from her husband, Kent, and their loveless marriage of 40 years.  She has taken a job as the caretaker of the soon to be closed recreation center in the down and out town of Borg. Britt-Marie can't stand disorder.

Seeing a utensil drawer that is not organized correctly sends her into a tizzy. She feels that only crazy people sleep past 6 am and that dinner should be at the same time every day.

The town of Borg, hit by the economic downturn, has a few die-hard citizens who have not given up on the town.  The one thing holding them together is the one thing Britt-Marie hates, soccer.

 Notable characters in the town are, Somebody - the wheelchair bound proprietor of the only pizzeria left.  Sami, a young man trying to raise is younger brother, Omar, and sister, Vega, after the death of their mother.  Sven, the local policeman with a heart of gold. Her landlady, Bank, is mostly blind with a wicked sense of humor.

The children of Borg play soccer on an improvised field with cups as goal posts.  Ever since their coach died, they have not had a legal "team" and therefore cold not play in any competitions.  Somehow, Britt-Marie becomes their coach, much to her chagrin.  Her hatred of soccer comes from the fact that her husband, Kent, ignored her completely during soccer season.  With the help of Bank, who used to play soccer, the children of Borg enter a soccer cup.

Even though Britt-Marie's husband Kent shows up she is torn between going home to her loveless marriage or staying in Borg. Has she finally found a place where she can make a difference? By agreeing to be the coach, she keeps the children of Borg from getting into trouble. When a friend of Sami's puts on a mask and tries to rob the pizzeria, Britt-Marie and Sven try to keep Sami and Omar from getting revenge.

I don't want to going any more details and ruin the book for you.  The author, Fredrik Blackman, has a way of writing characters who seem unlikable but turn out to be completely different.  I would suggest reading all three books.

Check your local library or independent bookstore for “A Man Called Ove” and “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry” .  "Britt-Marie Was Here" is currently scheduled to be published on May 3, 2016.

Thanks for reading.


I was given an advanced reader copy of Britt-Marie Was Here from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

J.K. Rowling....um....I mean....Robert Galbraith's The Cuckoo's Calling

I loved every word of the Harry Potter books written by J.K. Rowling.  When I learned that Robert Galbraith was a pseudonym she was using to write a new series of books, I was very excited.   I thought "YAY!!!  If they are as fantastic as the Harry Potter books, I'll read every one!"  Then I learned that they were NOT fantasy or kids books.  I was so annoyed that I refused to read any of them. That is, until I decided to read a book each month by an author that I have avoided - and I chose The Cuckoo's Calling by Galbraith as my March selection.

Cormoran Strike, an ex-military man working as a private investigator. John Bristow hires Strike to investigate the death of his super model sister, Lula, which was ruled a suicide. Strike is pulled into the lifestyles of the rich and famous as he tries to find out the truth about what happened the night Lula died.

One of the things Rowling/Galbraith knows how to do is develop characters. While I didn't love the book, I might consider reading the next book in the series if I run out of books.  A little wordy and over descriptive, which was a plus in the Harry Potter books, in this book it dragged to story down.

A decent detective story but not one I'd put on my "must read" list.

Next month I am supposed to read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.  Wish me luck as I have tried to read it once before and gave up.

Hurricane stories

Excuse me for the non-reading related post, but I wanted to share some things I observed during Hurricane Irma. Steak n Shake 17509 N Pa...