Musings on family history, regional history, book reviews, and miscellaneous observations and comments by a genealogist and librarian living near the Great Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee.
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Lansing, Kate. Killer Chardonnay. New York: Berkley Prime Crime, 2020.
Parker Valentine made her dreams come true when she opened her own Colorado winery. When a well known restaurant critic and blogger shows up at her opening and drops dead after drinking her wine, she decides to help the investigation along by snooping. Although I had figured out who must be the killer almost from the start, the author created plenty of red herrings to divert attention from the person which probably worked more effectively for some readers than for me. The mystery is more engaging than many of today's cozies, and I might enjoy reading future installments. I liked Parker and the police detective. Most of the characters work although I'm a bit lukewarm on a few. This review is based on an advance electronic copy received through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.
The Tinned Fish Cookbook
Van Olphen, Bart. The Tinned Fish Cookbook. Photographed by David Loftus. Translated by Laura Vroomen. New York: The Experiment, 2020.
This cookbook's recipes feature an often overlooked ingredient--canned fish. While I loved the concept and the book's gorgeous illustrations, I found very few recipes I would consider incorporating even occasionally. Most of the usable ones feature ingredients like tuna, salmon, mackeral, or crab. Others features anchovies, sardines, and other canned fishes. Persons who really love canned fishes may want to give this one a try, but for those of us who probably don't want to venture much further afield than variations of tried and true recipes, this one is an optional purchase. I received an advance review copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Saturday, May 16, 2020
A Deadly Inside Scoop
Collette, Abby. A Deadly Inside Scoop. New York: Berkley Prime Crime, 2020.
Bronwyn "Win" Crewse begins managing her family's ice cream parlor after a cousin's changes to its mission nearly causes its demise. Win wants it to do one thing well--ice cream--and avoid all the other things which did not separate it from other Chagrin Falls businesses. While playing in the snow, she falls over a dead body. When she realizes the detective suspects her own father of the dastardly deed, she and a friend investigate. The novel's pluses include an African-American sleuth, the ice cream parlor that tries to stick to locally sourced ingredients, and the character of Pop-Pop. The novel's minuses include marginalization and depiction of the police as incompetent, a sleuth who spends too little time in her new business, and the sheer stupidity of the sleuth and her friends when it comes to investigation. While I might pick up the second installment to see if it improves, I'm not in a rush to pick it up. I hope she spends more time in the ice cream parlor and less time exhibiting her stupidity in the next installment. I received an advance electronic copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Saturday, May 09, 2020
Mousse and Murder
Logan, Elizabeth. Mousse and Murder. New York: Berkley Prime Crime, 2020.
In the premiere installment of a new cozy series, Charlie and her cat Benny reside in Alaska where she runs the diner her now-retired parents established. When her chef turns up dead, Trooper deputizes Charlie and a newspaper reporter. Motives for several persons begin to emerge. While some plot elements seem a little far-fetched, I found this a pleasant mystery in an enjoyable setting with local characters I enjoyed. While I did figure it out before the sleuth did, I initially suspected a different person. I loved Benny the cat and his role in the mystery! I received an advance electronic copy through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.
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