Friday, June 9, 2023


Rehearsed to Death (Domestic Partners in Crime, #2)

Rehearsed to Death by Frank Anthony Polito
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
On Sale: May 23, 2023

Over the years my reading choices have often been books that surprise me, that teach me something new. I picked up "Rehearsed to Death", because it was about theatre, an HGTV hit reality show, and Detroit. It was a fun quozy mystery mixed with romance, rescued dogs, and Mini Coopers.

FIRST LINE: "As cohost of a popular home renovation show, I had a few principles to which I prescribed:
If you're going to do something, do it right.
Don't pay someone to do a project you can do yourself.
Every project ultimately takes longer than you estimate it will."

THE STORY: Partners JP and Peter created 'Domestic Partners' (think 'Bargain Block'). During a break between seasons, playwright Peter has an opportunity to see his play produced locally with JP starring and directed by a first rate (and terribly unpleasant) director, Xander Sherwood Deva. Shortly before the show is to open, Deva is found strangled by his own elaborate neck scarf. Was it an accident or murder?

WHAT I THOUGHT: Frank Anthony Pollito has created a series that will be a favorite of many readers. Peter is the narrator and scattered throughout are mentions of special things (from Michigan and beyond) like Sanders Bumpy Cake, Creamora, and Carnegie Mellon University. It made the book lots of fun even though the plot construction was uneven. Some characters are more fully developed than others but the description of clothing especially on the well-dressed is great.

BOTTOM LINE: This is the second title, after "Renovated to Death", in the Domestic Partners in Crime Mystery and has gathered a lot of interest from cozy/quozy readers. The author reads the audiobook version which has gotten some nice comments too.

DISCLAIMER: A copy of "Rehearsed to Death" was provided to me by Kensington Books/Net Galley for an honest review.

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Monday, May 15, 2023


Everything She Feared

Everything She Feared by Rick Mofina
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
On Sale: April 11, 2023

FIRST LINE: "Seventeen-year-old Anna Shaw didn't want to die."

THE STORY: A strong and ambiguous opening draws the reader into "Everything She Feared" and the pages keep turning. A teen falls taking a selfie at the edge of a cliff. The last thing she sees is nine year old Katie Harmon looking down at her.

Using a variety of points of view, the story is a puzzle with bits and pieces carefully shared throughout. The worry is, "Was Katie involved?" This all turns out to be much more complicated and there are many characters to follow from detectives, therapists, true-crime podcasters, and a journalist researching the death of his sister.

WHAT I THOUGHT: This was my first (and probably last) Rick Mofina. His writing style is repetitive which works for most readers, but some will find overdone. He did his research on police procedures in Washington State and beyond. My other comment is the ending seems to happen quickly although I was finally able to stop holding my breath. He does know how to touch his readers and I would give this book a 3.5

BOTTOM LINE: RECOMMENDED for mystery/thriller readers. If you find you enjoy Mofina, he has written many books in several series and has a devoted following.

DISCLAIMER: A copy of was provided to me by Harlequin Trade Publishing/Mira /NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Sunday, May 7, 2023



Here's a preview of the best new books for the 2023 Fall/Winter season and it's FREE!

Buzz Books 2023: Fall/Winter, the 23nd volume in the popular sampler series, presents readers with an insider’s look at more than sixty books due out this season—the largest collection to date. At the end of most excerpts, you will find a link to the full galley on NetGalley!

Such major bestselling authors as Kate Atkinson, Chuck Palahniuk, Zadie Smith, and Mona Awad are featured, along with Stephen King, Mitch Albom, Nelson DeMille, and Janet Evanovich.
Fiction is broken down into categories such as Notables; Debut authors; and Commercial Fiction. A whole range of non-fiction categories are included as well as several Young Adult titles.

First introduced for the 2012 Book Expo America, the FREE digital Publishers Lunch Buzz Books have become the place for both industry professionals and book lovers in general to discover and read about the books expected to spark high demand BEFORE they are published! After many selections, you have the option to follow a link and request the complete galley copy from Net Galley if you qualify as a 'professional' reader.

Buzz Books 2023: Fall/Winter is available NOW on Amazon! Did I mention it's FREE!


Saturday, May 6, 2023

THE JOURNEY'S END (2023) - Review

The Journey's End: An Investigation of Death and Dying in Modern America

The Journey's End: An Investigation of Death and Dying in Modern America by Michael D Connelly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
On sale: August 4, 2023

Most of us would prefer to die at home surrounded by those who love us, but these days we are more likely to die in the hospital or a long care treatment facility.

"The Journey's End" is a well observed and researched description of changes in the medical world and how that impacts End-of-Life (EOL) care. In a clear but scholarly way, the author explains how the myriad parts impact each other and what would need to be done to make the difficult changes. The Bibliography is extensive and provides sources to consider that can improve EOL care. There are notes and an index.

Beyond that, the book lists the important documents and processes that one must understand and complete to guide their own death. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Author Michael Doring Connelly was CEO of one of the nation's largest health systems from 1994 to 2017. He is currently CEO emeritus of Mercy Health (now Bon Secours Mercy Health System).

Thanks to NetGalley, the author, and Rowan & Littlefield Publishers for an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Tuesday, April 4, 2023


But Have You Read the Book?: 52 Literary Gems That Inspired Our Favorite Films

But Have You Read the Book?: 52 Literary Gems That Inspired Our Favorite Films by Kristen Lopez
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
On sale: March 7, 2023

Author Kristen Lopez writes that she always reads the book before watching the movie. Movies sometimes are true to their book, but many times circumstances are ignored and/or changed. Presented by Turner Classic Movies, Lopez has chosen 52 screen adaptations and the books that inspired them. Beginning with a famous line from each entry, there are 3-4 page reviews, trivia facts, and suggestions about how to proceed.

The movies cover from 1931 through 2021 and include REBECCA (1940), TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962), BLADE RUNNER (1982), JURASSIC PARK (1993), THE HUNGER GAMES (2012) and so much more. There is an extensive bibliography and interesting illustrations. I've seen 16 movies but I've only read 10 of the books which surprised me. Having recently watched two versions of THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY (1999), the discussion of the differences between various directors/countries putting their own slants on the original 1955 work by Patricia Highsmith was interesting.

BOTTOM LINE: Seems like a perfect gift for both book readers and movie lovers. RECOMMENDED.

Thank you to NetGalley and Running Press for an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Saturday, April 1, 2023

THE QUIET TENANT (2023) - Review

The Quiet Tenant

The Quiet Tenant by Clémence Michallon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
On sale: June 20, 2023

Thinking it was time to read a thriller/suspense, I requested "The Quiet Tenant" when it was offered for review by NetGalley. Not being a fan of kidnapped women who are locked up for years, I was not sure I had made the right decision.

FIRST LINE: "You like to think every woman has one, and he just happens to be yours."

THE STORY: Who would believe that Aidan, the happily married man with the charming daughter, was sometimes someone else? Respected by the community, he was free to continue his activities undetected. The story belongs to 'Rachel', the name Aidan gave her, but is cleverly fleshed out with other female voices. The tension comes from how Rachel has managed to survive when others have not.

WHAT I THOUGHT: I devoured Clémence Michallon's "The Quiet Tenant". The author writes so that you understand what is happening without using common language to describe the dreadful acts. The emphasis is on the thrill of survival with insight into psychological trauma.

BOTTOM LINE: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for thriller/suspense lovers. It's going to be one of my top five favorites for the category in 2023.

DISCLAIMER: I received a free e-copy of "The Quiet Tenant" by Clémence Michallon from NetGalley/Knopf, Pantheon, Vintage, and Anchor, Knopf for an honest review.

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Friday, March 31, 2023

Y/N (2023) - Review


Y/N by Esther Yi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
On sale: 21 March 2023

Writing in the first person, Esther Yi has delivered an unusual debut novel with an unnamed protagonist.

FIRST SENTENCE: "The pack of boys had released their first album in Seoul two years ago, and now they were selling out corporate arenas and Olympic stadiums all over the world."

THE STORY: She lives with her roommate in an ordinary life until she becomes fascinated by the boys lead singer Moon. He is everywhere and he is nowhere.

WHAT I THOUGHT: A difficult, literary book, beautifully written, but like trying to move through a confusing maze. I chose this book because of curiosity about why fans become so attached to boy groups. There were quotes on which to linger and consider. And I learned what Y/N means. It's not Yes/No. It is Your/Name.

BOTTOM LINE: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED IF this sounds interesting to you. It has gotten many positive critical reviews.

DISCLAIMER: I received a free e-copy of "Y/N" by Esther Yi from NetGalley/Astra Publishing House, Astra House for my honest review.

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