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Showing posts from October, 2016

With Malice

With Malice
Eileen Cook
HMH Books for Young Readers, 2016
Source: E-Galley, Library
Audience: Older Teens

From Goodreads:
It was the perfect trip…until it wasn’t.

Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last six weeks should be. She discovers she was involved in a fatal car accident while on a school trip in Italy. A trip she doesn’t even remember taking. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident.

As the accident makes national headlines, Jill finds herself at the center of a murder investigation. It doesn’t help that the media is portraying her as a sociopath who killed her bubbly best friend, Simone, in a jealous rage. With the evidence mounting against her, there’s only one thing Jill knows for sure: She would never hurt Simone. But what really happened? Questioning who …

Blood Will Tell

Blood Will Tell
April Henry
Henry Holt and Co., 2016
Source: Library, E-Galley
Audience: All Teens

From Goodreads:
When a woman’s body is found in a Portland park, suspicion falls on an awkward teen who lives only a few blocks away, owns several knives, loves first-person shooter video games, and doodles violent scenes in his school notebooks. Nick Walker goes from being a member of a Search and Rescue team to the prime suspect in a murder, his very interest in SAR seen as proof of his fascination with violence. How is this even possible? And can Alexis and Ruby find a way to help clear Nick’s name before it’s too late?

Oh, this book was so action-packed and suspenseful, it was fantastic. Seriously. Readers can skip book one in the series, The Body in the Woods, if they need a quick read. They won’t miss a ton about the characters, and the mystery in Blood Will Tell was far more interesting. Occasionally, there was a small plot hole, but in the sense that I’m old thinking, “Oh, a teen…

The Body in the Woods

The Body in the Woods
April Henry
Henry Holt and Co, 2014
Source: Library, E-Galley
Audience: All Teens

From Goodreads:
In this new series told from multiple perspectives, teen members of a search and rescue team discover a dead body in the woods.

Alexis, Nick, and Ruby have very different backgrounds: Alexis has spent her life covering for her mom’s mental illness, Nick’s bravado hides his fear of not being good enough, and Ruby just wants to pursue her eccentric interests in a world that doesn’t understand her. When the three teens join Portland County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, they are teamed up to search for a autistic man lost in the woods. What they find instead is a dead body. In a friendship that will be forged in danger, fear, and courage, the three team up to find the girl’s killer—before he can strike one of their own.

This first book in April Henry’s Point Last Seen YA mystery series is full of riveting suspense, putting readers in the middle of harrowing rescues and crim…

Peril at End House

Peril at End House
Agatha Christie Harper Collins, 2001 (1932) Audience: Adults, All Teens Source: Library
From Goodreads: While on holiday in Cornwall, Hercule Poirot falls, turns his ankle and stumbles into pretty Nick Buckley, accident-prone heiress of a local estate and the survivor of several near-fatal mishaps. Poirot suspects more when strange connections surface between distant relatives, an absent pilot and a local gang of friends.
I loved And Then There Were None so much that I immediately did some research on what the next best Agatha Christie might be. After scouring Goodreads ratings and reading descriptions, I decided on The Peril at End House - but of course it was checked out. So I put it on hold and waited. Now that I’ve finally read it, I can say that I enjoyed it - but not as much as And Then There Were None. The solution to the mystery of The Peril at End House got REALLY complicated at the end, but it had a nice, mostly unexpected twist. And I never thought I would…

I Am the Cheese

I Am the Cheese
Robert Cormier
Puffin Books, 1977
Source: Library
Audience: All Teens

From Goodreads:
Adam Farmer is on a journey - he has to get to Rutterburg with a parcel for his father. But as he travels, he starts to remember the events leading up to this point, memories which are also being prised out in gruelling psychiatric interviews. What is the secret of Adam Farmer? And what will happen when he finds out?

I Am the Cheese was a little too abstract for me. The ending left me wondering if I understood everything correctly - but I didn’t care enough to go back and read it again. I liked that it was short and it was well-constructed. The element of mystery kept me reading and I understand why it’s considered a classic. Additionally, I could see how it would absolutely blow teens’ minds and that some would absolutely love it. Overall, it wasn’t my favorite, though.

Bandette Volume 2 and Volume 3

Bandette Volume 2 and Volume 3
Paul Tobin, Colleen Coover
Volume 2: Dark Horse Books, 2015
Volume 3: Dark Horse Books, 2016
Audience: All Teens
Source: E-Galley, Library

From Goodreads:
Volume 2
Bandette returns to steal readers' hearts once again! The teenaged master burglar has thrown down the gauntlet with the Great Thieving Race, and friendly rival Monsieur has stepped in to take the challenge. This second charming collection of the Eisner Award-winning series sees the two competing to steal the most priceless artifacts from the criminal organization FINIS and turning over whatever they learn about its plans to the long-suffering Inspector B. D. Belgique. But FINIS's response could make this Bandette's final crime spree! 


Volume 3:
Bandette, greatest thief in all the lands, uncovers the greatest of all mysteries: a clue to the location of the legendary House of the Green Mask! But the sinister Voice has set his sights on the same treasure and sent a deadly assassin after t…

Diagnosis Murder: The Shooting Script

Diagnosis Murder: The Shooting Script
Lee Goldberg
Signet, 2004
Source: My Own Bookshelf
Audience: Adults, Older Teens

From Goodreads:
At his neighbor's Malibu beach house, Dr. Mark Sloan discovers the bullet-riddled bodies of an aspiring actress and Rick Kershaw, a Hollywood mega-producer. The police suspect Kershaw's wife. But when Sloan and his son investigate a local mob kingpin's involvement, Mark soon finds himself a prime suspect-while the real murderer is about to kill again.

This was a reread for me. Years ago, I got this book and read it. I liked it and now I wish I had sought out the other books in the series. Recently, I decided to go back and read them all in order. I’ve been getting them used from Amazon since they’re out of print. Oh, the sadness. Murder, She Wrote still gets new books. Why is no one reading Diagnosis Murder? Anyway, according to my research, I have five books left to enjoy in the series!

I liked The Shooting Script just as much the second t…

Diagnosis Murder: The Death Merchant

Diagnosis Murder: The Death Merchant
Lee Goldberg
Signet, 2004
Source: My Own Bookshelf
Audience: Adults, Older Teens

From Goodreads:
A dream vacation in Hawaii turns into a nightmare for Dr. Mark Sloan and his son, Steve, when a man they've befriended falls victim to a shark attack. But when Mark discovers evidence indicating the victim was murdered prior to becoming shark food, he and Steve comb the beaches to find a different kind of predator...

I miss this show. I really do. I realize that I’m not in the expected demographic for Diagnosis Murder viewers, but they’re always such good mysteries. And who doesn’t love Dick Van Dyke?

This particular mystery takes us to Hawaii, where Dr. Sloan is supposed to be on vacation. But he can’t take a vacation, he continues to work and solve mysteries. I like the new locale and the opportunity for bickering between Steve and Mark. Unlike Mark, Steve wanted to relax on his vacation - not work. The mystery didn’t disappoint and I’m glad I can …

A Potion to Die For

A Potion to Die For
Heather Blake
NAL, 2013
Source: Library
Audience: Adults, Older Teens

From Goodreads:
As the owner of Little Shop of Potions, a magic potion shop specializing in love potions, Carly Bell Hartwell finds her product more in demand than ever. A local soothsayer has predicted that a couple in town will soon divorce—and now it seems every married person in Hitching Post, Alabama, wants a little extra matrimonial magic to make sure they stay hitched.

But when Carly finds a dead man in her shop, clutching one of her potion bottles, she goes from most popular potion person to public enemy number one. In no time the murder investigation becomes a witch hunt—literally! Now Carly is going to need to brew up some serious sleuthing skills to clear her name and find the real killer—before the whole town becomes convinced her potions really are to die for!


Basically, this book is half Stephanie Plum, half Charlaine Harris. It could be Plum and Aurora Teagarden with a little superna…

Wink Poppy Midnight

Wink Poppy Midnight
April Genevieve Tucholke
Dial Books, 2016
Source: Library
Audience: Older Teens

From Goodreads:
Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying.


What I loved most about Wink Poppy Midnight was the characters’ unique names. I really had to pay attention as to which character was which, but I didn’t mind because the names were so fun. I wish I was half as creative as the author. It’s a quick, engaging read and keeps the reader guessing. If the reader doesn’t like uncertainty or su…

A Dying Fall

A Dying Fall
Elly Griffiths
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013
Source: Library
Audience: Adults, Older Teens

From Goodreads:
Forensic archeologist Ruth Galloway investigates her most heart-stopping case to date after an old university friend and fellow archeologist is murdered in an arson attack.

I can’t wait until I’m caught up on the Ruth Galloway series! I enjoy all of the books so much. However, I have definitely noticed that the books follow a pattern, and although some of my favorite series do the same thing, I had higher hopes for Elly Griffiths. Perhaps she will expand her creativity in future books. In A Dying Fall, one nice difference was the modern setting. Usually, Ruth’s salt marsh and job give the books a timeless feel, but the amusement park was a nice touch. Also, Cathbad is becoming my favorite character, I need to know what happens with Ruth and Nelson, and I love Kate’s small interjections - they’re perfect!

One thing that I noticed in A Dying Fall that I didn’t like w…