Sunday, August 31, 2008

August Reading List

45. Just Murdered (Dead End Job Myteries 4) by Elaine Viets rating:B
44. Murder Unleased (Dead End Job Myteries 5) by Elaine Viets rating:C+
43. Undead and Unwed (Queen Betsy 1) by Mary Janice Davidson rating:A
42. Undead and Unemployed (Queen Betsy 2) by Mary Janice Davidson rating:B+
41. Undead and Unappreciated (Queen Betsy 3) by Mary Janice Davidson rating:B+
40. Undead and Unreturnable (Queen Betsy 4) by Mary Janice Davidson
rating:B39. Undead novellas (Queen Betsy) by Mary Janice Davidson
38 Undead and Unpopular (Queen Betsy 5) by Mary Janice Davidson rating:B-
37. Undead and Uneasy (Queen Betsy 6) by Mary Janice Davidson rating:A
36. Undead and Unworthy  (Queen Betsy 7) by Mary Janice Davidson rating:B
35. Dead End Dating (Dead End Dating 1) by Kimberly Raye rating:B
34. Dead and Datelss (Dead End Dating 2) by Kimberly Raye rating:C+
33. Sleeping With the Fishes (Fred the Mermaid 1) by Mary Janice Davidson
32. Witch Way to Murder (Ophelia and Abby 1) by Shirley Daamsgard rating:B+
31. The Ghost and the Dead Deb (Haunted Bookshop Mystery 2) by Alice Kimberly rating:A
30. The Ghost and the Dead Man's Library  (Haunted Bookshop Mystery 3) by Alice Kimberly rating:A
29 The Ghost and the Femme Fatale  (Haunted Bookshop Mystery 4) by Alice Kimberly rating:A
28: High Heels Are Murder (Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper 2) by Elaine Viets rating:B+
27. Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-hunting Soccer Mom (Demon-hunting Soccer Mom 1) by Julie Kenner rating:B+
26. Bitten and Smitten (Immortality Bites Series 1) by Michelle Rowen rating:B
25. Ghost of a Chance (Chintz'n China Series 1) by Yasmine Galenorn rating:B+
24. The Bride Finder by Susan Carroll rating:B

Currently Reading: Dead and Loving It by Mary Janice Davidson

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

AUgust Reads : 43-36 Queen Betsy Series

I've been meaning to read teh Queen Betsy series ever since I feel in love with MaryJanice Davidson's way of writing in her Wyndam Werewolves Series. I prefer reading books that have a bunch out in the series so I don't have to wait so lon gin anticipation of the next one as well as not forget what happened in the previous books. The new Queen Betsy just came out last month actually and I was able to mooch some of the books in the series so I decided to start on that

43. Undead and Unwed (Queen Betsy 1) by Mary Janice Davidson

Turning 30 was one of the worst day of Betsy's life and it's not done yet. After losing her job, she gets killed in a car accident, only to wake up in the morgue and find out that she couldn't die. Turns out she's suppose to be this prophesied vampire queen, and there's a bunch of people trying to convince her to help them overthrow the evil and sadistic ruler of the vampires.

I liked this book and the promise of the series better than WW. Betsy is funny although a bit of an airhead but she didn't really want the job in the first place so at least she knows what she wants haha The beginning scenes where she was trying to make sure she stayed dead was so funny. And of course when she couldn't do that and went home to reassess everthing, gets to charge over to the evil stepmother Ant's house to demand for her shoes and scream at her for dressing her with her secondhand shoes hahaha  I think all the supporting characters, Eric, Tina, Marc and Jessica are such a great bunch of characters. I love the interaction.And when Eric tempted her to help their cost with shoes. Priceless. Rating: A

42. Undead and Unemployed (Queen Betsy 2) by Mary Janice Davidson

Betsy's back and just being undead doesn't really mean she doesn't have bills to pay. Never mind that she's queen of the vampires, she can't just depend on her too rich friend and her king (who tricked her into being queen and into gaining the kingship in Betsy's opinion) who accumalted riches on his long undead life. She lands her dream job, working at Macy's shoe department. But all is not well in Betsy land, there's a vampire killer on the loose and the reluctant queen has no choice but to track this killer down.

The second book welcomes us back to the continuing adventures of Betsy and pals. I found this book really funny and a good sequel to the first book. The confrontation with killers or the vigilantes was really funny. I did kind of have my suspicion of who the headmaster was that part wasn't really much of a surprise. The part of seeing ghosts and the little girl with the mother was a good party of the story in my opinion. Sweet and Funny Rating: B+

41. Undead and Unappreciated (Queen Betsy 3) by Mary Janice Davidson

Book three of the Queen Betsy Series opens with the devil inhabiting a body of a human, having a baby and leaving due to all the hassles of babies. Turns out that the body the devil inhabited was the Ant, the evil stepmother and Betsy's apathetic dad drops the bomb that Betsy has a half sister somewhere. Even more is that this sister was prophesied in the Book of the Dead as the daugther of the Devil who will control the world. O-K  So Betsy goes in search of her half-sister and guess who she was, a goody goody raised by a priest, teaches sunday Laurie. But don't get her mad though or you're dust. Add to that, the Ant's pregnant! Horrors! And let's no forget the fiend in the basement who knits!

Book three starts adding new characters with the appearance of the half-sister. Betsy is still in denial about loving Sinclair so is insanely jealous when Sinclair starts paying attention to Laura. She gets pissed off about all the secrets that concern her "Queenship" and so locks herself in her room to read the Book of the Dead. Problem is the more she read, the evil she got and thus ended up going on a rampage attacking friends and family. I did still the book but I didn't believe that it was as strong or as funny as the previous two books. Some parts, Betsy started annoying me, the fight scene with Laura's light saber hellfire sword was cool though and Betsy crying "you knew! how could you not tell me!" And in the end, she and SInclair finally admitted how they felt to each other so it was all good. Rating: B+

40. Undead and Unreturnable (Queen Betsy 4) by Mary Janice Davidson
There's a serial killer loose in the city who is attacking females fitting Betsy's profile. The good detective Nick, warns Betsy of course and in turn asks Jessica out on a date. Can we say a love life for Jessica. As for Betsy and Sinclair, Betsy unintentionally blurts out a secret whe's been figuring out how to tell Sinclair and causes Sinclair to withdraw from her. The ghost of the one of the serial killer's victim is haunting her now to hurry up and catch the killer.

This next book in the Queen Betsy series was ok for me, I like Baby Jon, Betsy's new halfbrother who only Betsy can calm. The whole serial killer angle ended pretty abruptly for me with Laura going all crazy, giving an glimpse of devil-daugther. Marjorie the vampire librarian and Jon of the Vampire Killer squad was pretty good supporting characters in the book. Rating: B

39. Undead novellas (Queen Betsy) by Mary Janice Davidson

Before I continue with the other books, I grouped the novellas into one listing so here they are:
First off is the story of Andrea and Garrett, Andrea was a vampire who while sleeping was unearth by who else but Daniel. the guy she had been pining over in college before she died. Learnign about the defeat of Nostro the big bad ex-ruler, she was prepared for whatever happens when she pays her respects to the new queen. Daniel who isn't about to let this girl he's got a shine on be killed queen or not, decided to join her and be her distraction. I think this is after book two since this happened when Betsy still hated Sinclair.

Second is the story of Antonia and George the fiend. Antonia, is the oracle of the Wyndam Werewolves who could not turn into a wolf.  Becuase of her situation even the clan are wary of her and she feels like an outcast even in her own family and in her causes her to be bitter and angry all the time. She gets one of her visions which tell her to go to Betsy's place to help the queen. Who would have guessed that she would find the love of her life in George. This novella is set after Queen Betsy 3.

Third in the novellas is BITING IN PLAIN SIGHT the story of Dr. Sophie Tourneau, who is happy with her life as the veterinarian of the a small town, until one day she hears about a vampire serial killer on the loose breaking girl's hearts causing the girls to kill themselves. She sets off to inform the queen about this situation and Liam, local farmboy who has been crushing on the good Doctor for the better part of his adulthood, tags along. Special mention to LIam lamenting about all his animals being of perfect health because he had no excuse to visit the vet was so cute. This should be around 4.5

Out of all three I liked Biting in Plain Sight the best. I do recommend reading the novellas because it could become confusing when these characters show up in the book without knowing how they got into the story, especially the George/Antonia story.

38. Undead and Unpopular (Queen Betsy 5) by Mary Janice Davidson
It's Betsy's 31 birthday and her 1 year anniversary as a vampire. So amidst planning her non-party and her wedding, she decided to give up blood. But not only does she have to deal with Eric not showing a least bit of interest in the wedding plans, but the European entourage of vampires have come to pay homage. These are old powerful vampires who does not believe that Betsy can be the Queen. Sophie and Liam returns to ask permission for Sophie to turn Liam into a vampire. And then Sophie discovers that one of the entourage was the vampire that kileld her and was gunning for his head. And to top it all off, Jessica tells Betsy that she has myeloma, or blood cancer. It's one thing after another. What's a vampire Queen to do.

The book is still very funny but my interest in the series is so so at the moment. The book had primise and it was shaping to be one but the ending kind of just fell a little flat for me. WIth the ending, I gather we won't be seeing much of Dr Sophie and Liam anytime soon. Also I kind of liked the character or Alonzo too so we'll never really know what kind of person he really is now. The whole not drinking thing was kind of stupid though. You would think that betsy has been a vampire for a bit now so she should stop being so ditzy. I didn't really get the zombie part though. What's the point? Rating B-

37. Undead and Uneasy (Queen Betsy 6) by Mary Janice Davidson
At long last, the wedding is almsot here but before that happens it seems the bride and groom are constantly fighting about the details and then the groom suddenly disappears. Not only that but Betsy's dad and the Ant suddenly dies leaving Betsy a new mommy to half brother baby jon. With worrying about Jessica in the hospital undergoing treatment for her cancer, and all the other residents of Casa Betsy MIA, what's a bride to do.

First off, I don't get how Sinclair can be so disdainful of the wedding. In one of the previous books he reiterates that they were getting married because it means something to Betsy, so why can't he at least tolerate it. He doesn't have to join in every planning but at least show some attention not just snarking about everydetail. The frist half of the book was a bit dragging for me but I liked this book. Never could really guess about the ring and Marjorie though. And super power Betsy, at least she's starting to see this Queen gig as something serious. And the Ant is gone " Ding dong the witch is dead!" I love how baby Jon had more appearance in the book too And the Wyndam Werewolves makes an appearance. Brawl for all can we say. Rating: A

36. Undead and Unworthy  (Queen Betsy 7) by Mary Janice Davidson
Newlywed Betsy is drifting in wedded bliss when all hell breaks loose. Guess who's haunting her! Seems the Ant has unfinished business and is now staying until its settled. And not only that but ex-fiend Garett formerly known as George started feeding the other fiends and kind of woke them up. Now they are all blaming Betsy and gunning for her.

MJD mentions in the book that this is part of a new 3 parter and she is taking the books to a whole new level. After reading the book, I haev to agree. This book is more serious in that there's a tragedy and it's darker unlike her previous fluffy books. The book didn't make me go wow but I still would read the next book though just to see where she will go with the plot. Detective Nick really really annoyed me though. He's become this whiney bigot. He hates vampires but is not above using them. Ugh And I liked him in the previous books too. I'm seeing a Richard pattern here. I wish baby Jon was part of the plot though, Didn't really see him in the novel.  Rating : B

Monday, August 04, 2008

August Reads: 44. Murder Unleashed ( A Dead-End Job Mystery) by Elaine Viets

Book 5 in the Dead-End Job Mysteries

Helen's new Dead end job is at a pet store that caters to the rich and the extravagant.  Pet groomers that needs an appointment, dog cuisine that's more expensive than the food in a normal person's fridge are just one of the examples of services that the Pampered Pet Boutique offers. While delivering one of these pooches to her owner, Helen discovers the naked dead body near the pool, stabbed by 10-inch grooming scissors. Panicking, Helen runs and erases evidence at the scene. On the same day, one of the most famouse clients, a labrapoodle is kidnapped by one of the dueling owners of the dog. Also a hurricane is reported to be heading straight to South Florida and people are rushing to stock up and fortify their houses. With the hurricane coming as well as being suspected of both crimes, Helen must try to find the killer and the dog under the onslaught of this disastrous wedding.

Well, a lot of things did happen in the story and the ending was kind of good,where that it was ended well in my opinion but from the time Helen discovers the murdered Tammie to finding the killer, Helen just seemed to become more and more paranoid of being discovered by her ex and kept making stupid mistakes. And she goes all the way to ask for advice but never listens to me. This book kind of left me disappointed if I want to be honest. The premise was good and the story wasn't bad but I just didn't like Helen in the book. I know it was really painful to be betrayed by her ex and by telling Phil her story made her a little more free from her husband's hold. Kudos to her on that. I've been thinking about it but when she was in court with her husband, didn't she have all the money? why did she end up with the stupid lawyer and her husband gets a shark . It just never made sense to me. Couldn't she have filed in another court,s ue her husband or something. Sooner or later she has to face her husband, she can't really continue living like that . I'm getting frustrated. I would still like to read the other 3 books but I think I'll just wait until teh mooch is available. C+

Currently reading: Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson

August Reads: 45. Just Murdered ( A Dead-End Job Mystery) by Elaine Viets

I figured while I'm still on a roll and fresh from reading the book, might as well write about it.

Book 4 of the Dead end job mysteries.

The latest dead end job Helen has is working in a bridal shop. You would imagine it would be full of smiles and joy but not in Fort Lauderdale. The bridal shop is set to tailor the wedding of the daughter one of the biggest names in the city. The mother is cold manipulative woman who could care less about her daughter, a mousy girl who has secrets of her own. So when Kiki, the mother is found dead on the wedding day, suffocated by the bride's wedding gown. Helen has the hard job of narrowing down the suspects of people who all have motive of killing Kiki. From her ex-husband who she was milking money from with all the wedding expenses, to the boy-toy chauffeur who she was supposed to leave a million on her will, to the daughter, the actor son-in-all, all the way to the theater people she endorses. When Helen's fingerprints are found in the wedding dress, she has to hurry and clear her name before the police figure out her secret as well as deal with Phil's country singer soon-to-be-ex wife who is staying at Phil's place.

I did enjoy this book and I loved the part when Helen was feeling overwhelmed by all the selfishness that goes on in the people that go to the braidal shop and one customer came in and completely turned everything around. I think the mystery was quite solid with a whole garden of evil kind of theme. It was sad and tragic and ironic all at the same time. Phil... man stupid move... never ever surprise a girlfriend like that. Brings back the whole Ross-Rachel episode for me. The only thing for me here is that the story of Helen's past is becomming so repetitive to me. Also, the romance between Phil and Helen seemed to just sprung out of nowhere, where now both parties are declaring love to each other, leaving me feeling like I missed a book or something. I'm sensing I'm close to brink with the series and might need to take a hiatus. B

Reading next: Murder Unleashed

Friday, August 01, 2008

July Reads Part 2

Here's the continuation of my July reads

48. Gunpowder Green (Tea Shop Mysteries) by Laura Childs

Book 2 of the Tea Shop Mysteries

Book 1 Death by Darjeering introduces us to our heroine Theodosia Browning and her staff in the Indigo Tea Cafe in the city of Charleston. Book 2 takes us the the annual boat race of the Yatch Club, a big awaited event in the whole town. Serving as caterers to the event. The idyllic day turns into tragedy when the antique gun used to announce the winner explodes killing one of the prominent men in the city.

Despite people saying it was an accident, Theodosia have a feeling that there was mroe than meets the eye, that the gun might have been rigged to explode!! So with her sidekicks and fellow tea shop employees, Theodosia sets out to solve this mystery.

First off, I adore the covers of her books. There were more recipes here than the previous book. Hmm I really should give these a try. I felt that this second book from childs was more solid than the first one in my opinion, although I kind of knew . But she mentions the killer in the first book so if you haven't read the first book don't read this before. Mystery was kind of predictable to me didn't really have an I knew it! moment but the tea descriptions were very nice and I liked how she is starting to write more of the characters.  B


47. Killer Heels (Molly Forrester Mysteries) by Sheryl J Andersen

Book 1 of the Molly Forrester Mysteries

Molly Forrester was just showing one of her best friends this ugly picture in her office when she discovers the dead body of her colleague, Teddy. Wanting to write more hard hitting news than her advice column in her magazine, she sets out to solve the mystery of Teddy's death and sell it to a serious magazine.

As Molly delves more and more into the life of Teddy along with galpals Cassady and Tricia, she discovers that there was way more to Teddy than what she hears in the office. And she keeps wanting the cute homicide cop suspecting her of the murder.

I didn't really plan on reading this book this soon, but someone wanted it so I had to read it before I sent it :) I found myself liking the book and wanting to read the next in the series. The detective doesn't really have any redeeming qualities that stand out so much so we'll see. I love Molly and her friends though. Most people would really feel the "Sex and the City" plus murder in the narrative and the interaction of the characters actually. I've mooched the 2nd book now so let's see how that goes. B


46. Curiosity Killed the Cat-Sitter (Dixie Hemingway Mystery) by Blaze Clement

Book 1 of the Dixie Hemingway, Petsitter Mysteries.

Dixie used to work as a deputy before her husband and little girl were hit in a car accident and she was let go from the department  when she went a little crazy. Now she works as a pet-sitter taking care of pets whose owners are away or not able to take their pet for a run.

One morning while she was visiting the house of a woman and her cat, she finds a body with his head taped to Ghost, the cat's water bowl. Turns out that this man is from one of the prominent families in the state and when she find the woman's body after a few days, Dixie is becoming under suspicion herself. Maybe it's the cop in her or her need to find out the truth about her client, but Dixie starts her own investigation to find the murderer.

It didn't really say how she was fired though but you can feel the overwhelming grief and pain from the character even a few years after the event. I imagine this kind of pain would be something that you can't really get over. There's an underlying sadness in the whole book actually that it read very melancholic to me, with her tragedy and the other people around her. I like the supporting characters though, the brother and his partner. The animals and their owners. I kind of knew who was the murderer in the first few chapters so  it did not really come out as a surprise when it was revealed( more liek what took you so long). I hope the mystery is better in the next book. I did like the book though and would still read the next one. B


Currently Reading : Just Murdered : A Dead-end Job mystery by Elain Viets