Friday, April 26, 2019

The Flight of SwansThe Flight of Swans by Sarah  McGuire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I always dreamed of writing a retelling of the Six Swans story, so when I saw this, I had to read it. I'm glad I did. It was not the story I pictured telling, but it was a gripping tale of pain, strength, and the will to survive and save others.


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Aunty Lee's Delights (Singaporean Mystery #1)Aunty Lee's Delights by Ovidia Yu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I've never been to Singapore, so some of this book was a little hard to follow, but I enjoyed the characters and the food talk. I wish it had a glossary and more recipes. The mystery was about 2 bodies found on the coast, and it developed nicely. Like all first books in a series, it spent a while describing the characters and I was not familiar with all the groups. I need to read this series with a dictionary handy.


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Murder with Fried Chicken and WafflesMurder with Fried Chicken and Waffles by A.L. Herbert
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After reading a book set in a foreign country, I was glad to read a book set in an area where I lived for over 30 years and could recognize the places mentioned. Mahalia (Halia) owns a soul food restaurant in the DC suburbs. She finds her business partner dead on the kitchen floor, and since the police are running after an incorrect lead, she sets out to find the killer. The mystery itself was good, although a bit rushed at the end, but I had 2 (minor) problems with the book. One was Halia's cousin, Wavonne, and her speech (mild swearing) and actions. At least they were 'in character' but it distracted me from the plot. The other one were small things that a chef would never do, like drop a cast iron pan into a sink full of water. That drove me crazy! ;-) I will probably try to read the rest of the series, but they won't be a priority.


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Murder Ties the Knot (A Haunted Souvenir Shop Mystery, #4)Murder Ties the Knot by Christy Fifield
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Glory is helping BFF Karen get ready for her wedding. When she goes to pick up the special quilt she ordered as a present, she can't find the quilter. A few days later she is stunned to find out that 2 bodies are found dead in the quilter's property.

I found this mystery a little odd, as it's usually the MC who finds the body, but in this story the murders are really off off stage. Still, it was a good mystery, I love all the characters and the recipes, and Bluebeard the parrot/ghost is a hoot. A lot happens in Glory's life, which may explain why the murders were almost storyline B.


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Death by Water (Phryne Fisher, #15)Death by Water by Kerry Greenwood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I've been on a cruising cozies reading thread for a while, and this one at least went to places I've never been. Phryne is hired by the cruise line to see if she can figure out who is stealing jewelry from the passengers. Wearing a magnificent sapphire as bait, she and her assistant Dot move among the First Class and third class and staff respectively. With unexpected help from a ship's cat, they set up a trap for the thief, but before they can catch him, there is a murder on board.

I found this book a bit confusing between the time setting (1920s) and the area (Australia/New Zealand), but it is loaded with information about local flora, fauna, and native peoples. The mystery itself was not hard to guess, but the motive was somewhat unexpected. At the end of each chapter there is a note from a passenger on the Titanic, but there was no explanation as to if they were real or made up.


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The Golden Tresses of the Dead (Flavia de Luce #10)The Golden Tresses of the Dead by Alan Bradley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Flavia and am glad that she's back to her usual hijinks after her father's death. In this book, Phoebe's and Dieter's wedding is almost ruined by a finger bone stuck in the wedding cake. Of course Flavia must investigate along with Duggar. Are the 2 missionaries visiting from Africa involved? What are they up to with their lecture on "Christian Health?" and where did the 27,000 pounds that were deposited into the Vicarage bank account come from?


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In the Neighborhood of TrueIn the Neighborhood of True by Susan Kaplan Carlton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A bunch of years ago, I watched a short-lived series about a Jewish girl moving from the North East to the South. She meets a girl named Grace and they become friends. That series awoke my interest in the stories of Jews in the Southern US, so when I saw this book, I wanted to read it. Ruth and her family belong in Atlanta, where her mother grew up, but in the interim, she had moved to New York, married a Jewish man, converted to Judaism, and raised her 3 daughter's as Jews. Ruth is 16, and it's 1959. She gets caught up with the debutante crowd and keeps her Jewishness a secret. Then the synagogue she attends gets bombed, and everything changes.


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