Tag Archives: holiday books

Review: Santa Clawed, by Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown

Santa ClawedFrom the Jacket Flap:

As Harry well knows, there’s hardly a place on earth cozier than Crozet, Virginia, at Christmastime. The snowflakes drifting lazily down, the soft glow of the winter light, the sound of old carols in the streets … even cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter get into the spirit, battling ornaments and climbing the holiday tree. In fact, it’s this year’s tree that Harry and her husband, Fair, have gone to fetch when they find the one they’ve chosen grimly decorated with a dead body.

The Snapshot Review

What I Liked: Mrs. Murphy, Pewter and Tucker are as fun as ever; Crozet, Virginia, is as cozy as ever; and the snow and lights and merry-making add up to a Christmas-y feel, in spite of the murders. The mystery is a good, solid one. And the illustrations by Michael Gallatly are lovely.

Not Thrilled With: Unlike previous Mrs. Murphy mysteries, the characterizations just aren’t quite there. Dialogue in particular is a bit clipped.

Ms. Bookish’s Very Quick Take: A fun read for Mrs. Murphy fans, though readers new to the series should make sure to check out a previous book in the series, too.

Read the Full Review of Santa Clawed

TSS: Currently reading Brown, Cabot, Fowler and Neville

It’s Sunday again – time most definitely has been flying by. I’m currently reading four books, but this week is a hectic week for me in terms of editorial deadlines, so I’m not sure how many of these I will be able to finish up and review by this time next Sunday.

But there’s just something so comforting about having such a lovely line-up of books in my Currently Reading pile.

I’ve been getting into the Christmas spirit with Rita Mae Brown’s Santa Claws. Mrs. Murphy and the gang are back at it again, and even though a murder isn’t the most Christmas-y of things, Santa Claws is shaping up to be a nice, cozy read. It’s definitely the kind of book you want to read with a mug of hot chocolate and mini marshmallows by your side. (Oh, wait a minute … I get that feeling with every book, actually.)

I haven’t gotten any further along on Katherine Neville’s The Fire, not because it’s not looking like it will be a good read, but because it’s one of those big, complex looking books that say to me, “I dare you to pick me up, start reading me and then put me down half an hour later because you’ve got work to do. Go on. I dare you.” Frankly, I’m a real wuss when it comes to such challenges; The Fire looks like it will be hard to put down once I get into it, and with so many deadlines coming at me, I’m scared to pick it up.

I know, kind of pathetic. What can I say? Books rule my life. And I’m woman enough to admit it.

Moving right along, I’ve also started Meg Cabot’s Big Boned. I love Cabot’s work, whether it’s her children’s books, YA novels or books for adults. In Big Boned, Heather Wells is back to solve another murder. I personally am reading this not for the whodunnit, but to see if Heather (a) will ever go back to singing superstardom again and (b) ends up with Cooper. Tad’s okay, but Cooper’s more than okay. Poor Tad.

Finally, I’m also reading Christopher Fowler’s White Corridor, another in the Peculiar Crimes Unit series featuring Bryant and May. I really like this duo, who are as quirky as you can get; sure they’re older, but that doesn’t get in the way of solving the crime, another locked room murder.

So that’s my reading week for the coming week. Now if I can only get some of these pesky deadlines finished up, it will be a very good reading week.

And here’s a round-up of the reviews I posted this past week:

Not in the Flesh, by Ruth Rendell (review)

The Cruellest Month, by Louise Penny (review)

The Book of Lies, by Brad Meltzer (review)

Casting Spells, by Barbara Bretton (review)

Mailbox Monday: Another Eclectic Mix

It’s Mailbox Monday again, and here’s what arrived in Ms. Bookish’s household this past week:

Mystery/Thriller: The Book of Lies, by Brad Meltzer.

Chick Lit/Mystery: Big Boned, by Meg Cabot

General fiction/Holidays: The Christmas Train, by David Baldacci

Young adult/Fantasy: The Dragonfly Pool, by Eva Ibbotson

Thriller/Suspense: The Fire, by Katherine Neville

Romance: Sundays at Tiffany’s, by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

Graphic novel/Children’s book/Mystery: Max Finder Mystery Collected Casebook Volume 2, by Liam O’Donnell and Michael Cho

Paranormal/Urban fantasy: Personal Demon, by Kelley ArmstrongYoung adult: Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Children’s book: Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things, by Lenore Look

Mystery: Santa Clawed, by Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown

Chick lit/Romance: Daring Chloe, by Laura Jensen Walker

Mystery: Not in the Flesh, by Ruth Rendell

Children’s book/Fantasy: The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick

I suspect I’m going to have to start reading just a little bit faster to get through my TBR pile. Reviews on each of these will be upcoming as I get through them.

Review: Olivia Helps With Christmas, by Ian Falconer

Ms. Bookish’s Quick Take: Oh, what a wonderful, joyous ride is Olivia Helps With Christmas! This is a wonderful book about all the ways little ones get ready on The Big Day, with of course a dollop of special Olivia spice to it. Children don’t have to have met Olivia in any of her previous books to enjoy this one. We had several laugh-aloud moments. It’s a great book for ushering in the holiday season. See below for the full review.

From the jacket flap:

… Not a piglet was stirring.

Well, maybe just one.

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