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28 June 2017

Rambling About.. The House of Memory by Carolyn Haines

Oh. My. Gosh. If I thought that The Book of Beloved had knocked my socks off, then the follow up has taken my knickers, too.

Raissa James and Reginald Proctor have teamed up to form the Pluto's Snitch private investigation agency which specializes in supernatural spooky stuff. She can communicate with the dead and he's quite gifted at reading the living (don't ever get into a card game with the man unless you want to lose!). Together they've earned quite a reputation and are summoned to consult with Zelda Fitzgerald about a friend of hers in trouble.

We get to see a psychiatric hospital practicing treatments worthy of gothic horror movies, possible evil possessions, ghosts galore, and Raissa being awesome. Reginald isn't bad, but Raissa is pretty dang kickass. It's 1920 and she smokes, drinks, drives, protests, investigates the seedy underbelly of society and communicates with ghosts? I would love to see a movie or tv series made out of these!

First line: The bow of the steamboat Miss Vandy cut through the dark water of the Alabama River as we moved north against the current.

Faves on 4s:
4% - "Have you ever considered that maybe your dead don't want you pining for them? Maybe that's why they don't show up." It wasn't a thought that had occurred to me, but I liked it.
24% - Unbelievable. Nurse Brady was no one's fool, yet Reginald had charmed her into doing exactly as he wanted.
44% - I walked the perimeter of the room, calming myself, opening up to the possibility of some other entity in that space. My mouth was dry, and my heart beat furiously -- I was afraid.
64% - "Curses don't always work the way they're intended."
84% - Their eyes rolled up in their heads, revealing only the whites. "Go away." Jagged red lines appeared at their throats. They widened into horrible gashes, and blood poured out.

27 June 2017

Teasing two by Carolyn Haines (Tuesday Intros & Teaser Tuesday)

I'm about 65% through the first of Carolyn Haine's Pluto's Snitch series, The Book of Beloved, and am tempted to just dive into the second, The House of Memory, as soon as I'm done. You might already know that I love her Sarah Booth Delaney series and this one is knocking my socks off even more!

There's a darker feel than the Sarah Booth books so far and, since the setting is the Southern US in 1920, that includes a lot of historical angst. The Civil War wasn't so long ago that there aren't still folks who remember and World War I is very much fresh in everyone's minds -- particularly those widowed young like Raissa James.

Raissa is a literature teacher and a big fan of Edgar Allan Poe, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and J. Sheridan Le Fanu. She loves the creepy and mysterious and this all comes in handy when she's faced with dead bodies popping up -- both recently killed and the ghosts of those who have been long gone.

If you like history, intrigue, and things that go bump in the night, Carolyn Haines new series is definitely recommended!

I know ... "First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros" from Bibliophile by the Sea is on vacation ... but I'm used to doing these two together so I'm just going to stick with it. "Teaser Tuesday" at The Purple Booker asks for a random line or two from anywhere in the book currently being read.

20 June 2017

Summer at Buttercup Beach by Holly Martin (Tuesday Intros & Teaser Tuesday)

I know ... "First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros" from Bibliophile by the Sea is on vacation ... but I'm used to doing these two together so I'm just going to stick with it. "Teaser Tuesday" at The Purple Booker asks for a random line or two from anywhere in the book currently being read.



I started reading Summer at Buttercup Beach on my way in to work Monday night. I already knew the main characters somewhat, having had "met them" in Spring at Blueberry Bay. Roman's the brother of Bella, the heroine of Spring, and Freya's his best friend/employee at his glassworks shop. It was pretty clear in the last book that they were fighting feelings, because .... you know .... things are never simple.


I couldn't put this down once I started it (aside from getting my son ready for school). I carried my phone with me everywhere and even cut my post-work nap short so I could finish it and then try and find the right words for a good and proper review.

I can't do that, it seems, so instead I'm going to write an open letter of sorts to Holly.

Oh, my dear Holly Martin. I don't know how you always seem to know just what I need from a book. It's as though you've been teaming up somehow with my Kindle app and, I don't know, maybe my cat (I'm fairly certain he at least has his own Twitter or Tumblr). 

You've somehow niggled your way into my very being. 


Once again, you have delivered to me (via your brilliant publishers & NetGalley) a book that's hugged me close and let me snot all over its shirt (if a book wore clothing, that is) and whispered that everything really could work out in the end. You've made me shed an almost ridiculous amount of tears, followed by laughing until I snort beverages out of my nose, followed by more tears.

Once again, you have given me believable characters to love and root for. You've developed an amazing couple who are able to overcome past foibles and future fears to reach that happily ever after that seems so elusive at times. And even though we all know that it's where they'll end up, it isn't so contrived and cliched in its telling that is feels like you've just called it in.


So thank you, yet again, Holly. Every time I open one of your books my romantic sappy side grows a little bit stronger and my pessimistic side weakens. If you're ever in my area, I owe you a drink.