books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week in Books: January 7 -January 13

Not bad going this week, even if I do say so myself!

Read:

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Corporate Bodies by Simon Brett

Photo Finish by Ngaio Marsh

A Crafter Knits a Clue by Holly Quinn

A Reconstructed Corpse by Simon Brett

Tikka Chance On Me by Suleikha Snyder

Once Ghosted, Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

A Snapshot of Murder by Frances Brody

Started:

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Sicken and So Die by Simon Brett

Still reading:

Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood

A Well-Behaved Woman by Theresas Anne Fowler

 One e-book bought so not no books, but I’m trying hard!

American imports, Book of the Week, cozy crime

Book of the Week: Death by Dumpling

As mentioned yesterday, picking BotWs is being made harder by the fact that I currently seem to be working my way through two series at a rate of knots and it’s creating a lot of repetition in the WiB list – and could make these posts very boring.  Luckily, I also read the first in a new to me (and actually fairly new) cozy mystery series last week and it was a lot of fun and showed some great potential. Job done.

Copy of Death by Dumpling

Death by Dumpling is the first in the Noodle Shop Mystery series – and was also Vivien Chien’s debut novel.  Our wannabe detective is Lana Lee, 27 years old and back working at her family’s noodle house after walking out on her job and a brutal break-up.  But when the property manager of the plaza where the restaurant is is found dead, she and her family’s business are in the firing line.  Because Mr Feng died of an allergic reaction – to shellfish in dumplings from the Ho-Lee Noodle House.  But Lana knows everyone there knew about his allergy – so how did this happen?  Soon she’s investigating what happened while fending off dinner invites from the new guy at the plaza and hoping to get to know the detective investigating the case better…

I enjoyed this a lot and raced through it in practically one sitting – I moved from the sofa to bed 100 pages from the end but that was the extent of the movement!  The characters are fun and it’s really nice to see a different type of setting for a cozy.  Lana is a nice lead character – she’s got a nice balance of quirks and insecurities to self-confidence and skills.  The setting is good and the side characters are engaging too.  As the book is mostly setting up Lana and the series, you don’t get a lot of the other characters, but I’m hoping that changes as the series continues.   There were a few elements felt a little clunky at times, but as this is a debut as well as the start of the series, I didn’t mind too much because I think this series has a lot of potential.  I’m fed up with cupcake bakers and crafters – I’m so ready for an Asian-American detective working in the family noodle house and this delivers most of the time.

I picked my copy of Death by Dumpling up on a Barnes and Noble trip during my American Odyssey and brought it home with me.  I have no regrets about bringing it back across the Atlantic – because it meant I read a load of library books before I came home – although I do wish that I’d brought the second book in the series as well because they were cheaper to buy in the US than they are here!  But you can get hold of Death by Dumpling on Kindle and Kobo (the Kindle price is much better than the Kobo one atow)  and in paperback from Amazon – but I suspect it’s actually a special order US-Import type deal there, so I’m not sure what your luck is going to be in proper bookshops in the UK.

Happy Reading!

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week in Books: December 31 – January 6

A little bit of belated Christmas reading this week – some of my library holds came in – and a lot of Charles Paris.  I really need to stop just going straight on to the next in the series, because it’s making picking my BotWs very difficult!

Read:

Trust Me On This by Jennifer Crusie

In this Grave Hour by Jacqueline Winspear

Dead Giveaway by Simon Brett

What Bloody Man Is That by Simon Brett

A Series of Murders by Simon Brett

Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis

How the Dukes Stole Christmas by Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan and Joanna Shupe

Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien

Started:

Photo Finish by Ngaio Marsh

A Well-Behaved Woman by Theresas Anne Fowler

Still reading:

Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood

One book bought, but other than that, not a bad start to the new year!

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week in Books: December 24 – December 30

We’re all out of sync because of the End of Year round ups and New Year lookahead, but here’s what I read over Christmas and in the run up to the end of the year.  Coming up tomorrow is the December and end of year stats.

Read:

The Winter Lodge by Susan Wiggs

Murder in the Title by Simon Brett

Not Dead, Only Resting by Simon Brett

An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear

Fear by Bob Woodward

You Say It First by Susan Mallery

Trust Me On This by Jennifer Crusie

Started:

In this Grave Hour by Jacuqeline Winspear

Dead Giveaway by Simon Brett

Still reading:

Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood

Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis

No books bought.  A minor miracle.  Well given that I got given books for Christmas and haven’t really been shopping, maybe not!

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week in Books: December 17 – December 23

In case you missed it over the weekend, my festive reading post is up and some of the books on this weeks list feature here too.  I’m finished work for Christmas now, but I’ve still got quite a lot to do so who knows what this list will look like next week!  There’s the usual Book of the Week post tomorrow and I’ve got a few more extras scheduled over the Festive period, so I hope you enjoy them in between all the unwrapping and enormous meals!

Read:

Situation Tragedy by Simon Brett

Murder Unprompted by Simon Brett

A Very Country Christmas by Zara Stoneley

An Unseen Attraction by KJ Charles

Christmas with the Sheriff by Victoria James

Campion at Christmas by Margery Allingham

Summer at Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs

Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear

Antidote to Venom by Freeman Willis Crofts

Started:

Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis

The Winter Lodge by Susan Wiggs

Still reading:

Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood

Fear by Bob Woodward

One Christmas ebook bought for me and a couple of books as presents for other people – but they don’t count!

American imports, Book of the Week, romance

Book of the Week: The Cinderella Deal

We’re into the final countdown to Christmas – if you missed them over the weekend, my annual Christmas book suggestion post is up as is my annual begging post of which books I’d like for me.  On to this week’s Book of the Week and yes, I know, it’s probably too soon to pick another Jennifer Crusie book, but sue me, I can’t help it – this was my favourite read last week.

The cover of The Cinderella Deal

In The Cinderella Deal we meet Daisy and Linc.  The only thing they have in common is the fact that they live in the same building.  Daisy is free spirited, artistic and can’t help but gather waifs and strays.  Linc is buttoned up, serious and a total workaholic.  But when Linc goes for an interview for his dream job, he realises that the thing that’s going to stop him from getting the post is the fact that he’s single.  So he invents a fiancée.  But when he and his fictional other half are invited to visit the college for a final interview, he needs to find someone to pretend to be about to marry him.  And Daisy owes him a favour.  But it all gets a lot more complicated than either of them expected.

I enjoyed this so much.  I think that fake relationships/engagements of convenience are one of my favourite romance tropes, but it is one of the hardest to pull off in contemporary romance.  However when it works, it really works and this really, really worked for me.  Daisy and Linc are a perfect opposites attract couple and she softens some of his hard edges while he gives her the skills to get tough and step up her work to the next level.  I was interested (ad slightly worried) to see how the fundamental differences between their outlooks on life were going to get resolved without Daisy changing herself and her personality to conform to Linc was wanted, but I really shouldn’t have been because Crusie pulls it out of the bag.

This is quite an early Crusie, so the plot maybe isn’t quite as developed as in her later books, but the secondary characters are a lot of fun and there is a lot more secondary plotline than I expected considering that it was originally a Loveswept book.  It’s obviously not a Christmas-themed book, but if you’re looking for a fun flirty romance to take your mind off your Christmas preparations, then this might be it.

I borrowed my copy from the library, but you can’t get it that way then you should be able to get hold of a copy on Kindle or Kobo, in paperback from Amazon or pick up a second hand edition from somewhere like Abebooks.

Happy Reading!

 

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week in Books: December 10 – December 16

A really busy week, but still managed to squeeze some reading in – despite a weekend away for work!

Read:

The Cinderella Deal by Jennifer Crusie

A Comedian Dies by Simon Brett

Lark, the Herald Angels Sing by Donna Andrew

The Dead Side of the Mic by Simon Brett

Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Started:

Situation Tragedy by Simon Brett

Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear

Antidote to Venom by Freeman Willis Crofts

Still reading:

Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood

Fear by Bob Woodward

No books bought except gifts for other people.  Points to me!