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I spent the morning browsing through Murder by the Book and actually walked out with less than a dozen books!

I picked up the latest, for me, of four books in a few series I've read:
Dead Man's Bones by Susan Wittig Albert is the 13th in the China Bayles mystery series. China is a former lawyer who runs an herbshop/tearoom and New Age store with her friend Ruby.
The Goodbye Body by Joan Hess is the 15th Claire Malloy book. Claire owns a bookstore in Arkansas.
Malpractice in Maggody is the 15th book in the Maggody series also by Joan Hess. Arly Hanks is the police chief in the small town of Maggody, Arkansas.
The Oxygen Murder is the 8th Periodic Tables Mystery. This is an Advance Uncorrected Proofs edition and was a complete surprise to me to see on the shelf. I've been waiting for the 7th book, The Nitrogen Murders to be published. Gloria Lamerino is a retired physicist in Massachusetts.

I also picked up the first books in three culinary mystery series that I've been meaning to read:
On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle (AKA Alice Kimberly) is the first of four books in her Coffeehouse Mystery series with the fifth due out in July. Clare arrives at work to discover the assistant manager dead in the back of the store, coffee grounds strewn everywhere. Two detectives investigate. But when they find no sign of forced entry or foul play, they deem it an accident. Still, Clare is not convinced. And after the police leave, Clare can't help wondering...If this was an act of murder, is she in danger?

Murder Uncorked is the first of two, the third is due out next month, in A Wine Lover's Mystery by Michele Scott. Nikki has just set foot on Napa Valley's rish soil when she realizes her new job may not be as safe as she thought. First off, Derek Malveaux is disconcertingly sexy. Second, his top winemaker is dead in the bushed outside Nikki's cottage. It doesn't take a connoiseur of foul play to know something's taken a terrible turn...

Something's Cooking is the first of fourteen books in the Angie Amalfi mystery series by Joanne Pence. Life's a banquet for Angelina Amalfi—a gourmet chef and food writer with enough sass and spunk for two. But things start to go really bad really fast when the man who's been contributing unusual recipes to her column is discovered dead and Angie suddenly finds herself being stalked by a killer whose appetite was merely whetted by the first deadly course. On the plus side, Paavo Smith, the homicide cop assigned to the case, is one delectable dish. But when more people start to fall all around her like ruined soufflés, ever-resourceful Angie realizes she'll have to cook up a survival scheme quick before her personal goose gets cooked. This case may be too hot to handle and the stakes are high, for she's about to take on deadly arms smugglers and lethal food fanatics. But if anyone can keep her cool, Angie can.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 17th, 2007 09:51 am (UTC)
I am so happy you are reading Joan Hess' series. What do you think of them and which series do you like best?
Feb. 17th, 2007 02:11 pm (UTC)
I'd have to say that I like the Claire Malloy series better since I've read all of those while I haven't read all the Maggody books yet!
Feb. 17th, 2007 03:06 pm (UTC)
I liked the Claire Malloy series better at first because imo they are written smarter. However, now I know the characters in Maggody so well they feel like family. Or maybe the Buchanons just feel a little too close to home. Kidding!
Feb. 18th, 2007 06:48 am (UTC)
Murder Uncorked
Hi, firstly thanks for 'friending' me. And then; I'll be interested in hearing what you think about 'Murder Uncorked'. I read it when it looked likely to come up as a group read - but then it didn't. I ended up with opinions and nobody to listen to them. :o)
Feb. 19th, 2007 08:15 am (UTC)
Re: Murder Uncorked
Now there's a good reason to put the book at the head of the tbr stack - someone to talk to about it! :D
Feb. 21st, 2007 01:07 am (UTC)
Re: Murder Uncorked
I'm ready to listen! and talk! :D
I liked the book well enough to get the second book from the Library. Putting the recipes in the middle of the book really threw me out of the story whereas a little note saying which page at the end of the book the recipe is on does not. I know I'll be able to see it after the story is done (yes, I love culinary mysteries...with recipes!)
For someone who was raised by a homicide detective, she sure hasn't learned to confide in the police, has she?
Feb. 22nd, 2007 12:02 am (UTC)
Re: Murder Uncorked
::faints:: This is the same reaction another person who read the story had!

I think I'm swimming against the tide here, but I really disliked it. I thought the writing was stilted and poor, and the characters were inconsistent and unappealing. I was so bored by the story I would have stopped after 50 pages (my usual decision point) except that it was up for discussion.

Compared to ... Earlene Fowler, Monica Ferris, etc, you really thought it was good? Not just suspending judgement until you see how you like the next one?

(I'm starting to think there's something wrong with me for thinking it was awful!)
Feb. 22nd, 2007 01:30 am (UTC)
Re: Murder Uncorked
That’s how I feel with Martin’s Song of Fire & Ice series. I couldn’t even finish the second book after barely finishing the first one and everyone else is raving about how wonderful a series it is!

Compared to Earlene Fowler or Jennifer Chiaverini, no the book wasn't that great. It was a fairly quick read for me but did have some things I noted as "not normal." It probably is a case of suspending judgment ‘til the next one because it’s a culinary mystery (with recipes!). Culinary and Books (writers, publishers, bookstore owners, etc) are two mystery categories that always get my attention. They’re not books that will be on my shelves to read again but I’ll probably check them out from the Library to read.
Feb. 22nd, 2007 01:49 am (UTC)
Re: Murder Uncorked
Oh good! I'm not a nutter then.

I think I do the same with book-themed mysteries - forgive them a little more than, say, mysteries with talking animals (which I already know I don't like, so my tolerance is really, really low). I'm reading Julie Kaewert's Alex Plumtree books and really, I know I don't like them much but I just keep plugging away at them.

At home I don't cook or bake (husband does one, I buy in the other) so recipes don't 'save' a book for me, though I must admit I read every single recipe in Laura Childs' Tea Shop Mysteries. I might not have been inspired to actually get off the couch and try any of them, but I was certainly drooling.

I usually also try to read more than one in a series (well, except this Wine Lovers Mystery series) because when I first met cozy mysteries it was with Donna Andrews' Murder with Puffins, which I thought was good, but not spectacular. Then I read the next in the series and completely changed my mind! Suddenly I was rearranging the whole bookshelf so I could fit in anything she'd ever written. :o)

We should probably be having this chat in one of your communities. ;o)
Feb. 22nd, 2007 03:02 am (UTC)
Re: Murder Uncorked
Yah, someone who’s reading Julie Kaewert!! I really enjoyed those books! *grin* I do find the British mysteries slower to read and he's a publisher which is different. Whether I’d like them now or not, I don’t know but I sure remember liking them back then! I recently started to reread a fantasy series that I enjoyed many years ago and couldn’t get into them, ended up putting them away unread the second time around. Carolyn G. Hart’s Death on Demand series is one of my favorite book-themed series.

I’ve been a baker for 20+ years so I find the recipes interesting, especially the baking ones, like Joanne Fluke’s cookie baker Hannah Swenson. I’ve even tried several of those recipes out instead of just thinking about how good they’d taste which is what I usually do! I haven’t yet read any by Laura Childs though she is on my list.

I actually started Donna Andrews’ Turing Hopper series first. I usually take a second glance at computer mysteries and to have an Artificial Intelligence Personality as the main detective…well, I read them, liked them and went on to all the other books she’s written! Turns out I like the Meg Langslow series better than the Turing Hopper.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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