Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Drop Dead Delicious~By Jill Brock

Drop Dead Delicious opens with Odessa tagging along with Maggie to meet her part-time boss, Frank. Maggie is a part-time investigator. Odessa had been working at an advertising agency in New York City, but Burke Peterson ruined her. (Since this is the second book in the series, we don’t know the back story on that, but it is still possible to read this book without reading book one. Which is titled Pennywise.) But now she is the owner of O So Sweet Cakes. Frank is teaching the girls to do a stakeout. They are investigating a suspected cheating husband (Mr. Portman). When they barge into his hotel room, he claims no wrong doing. So rather than give the pictures to Frank, Maggie steals the memory card. Maggie drops Odessa off at Blue Moon, Candace (Odessa’s sister's) restaurant. Her boyfriend Lee picks her up and tries to get her mind off of Burke Peterson’s sudden return. Burke calls her that evening wanting to meet at his hotel. Odessa refuses. When the FBI shows up at her front door, she knows that something is wrong. Odessa almost has to force them out of her home when they accuse her of helping Burke embezzle money. Maggie promises that if Odessa will help her on the Portman job, she will help Odessa get rid of the FBI. The FBI will be harder to get away from than either of them thought, because one of the partners from Odessa and Burke’s former firm turns up dead and Burke is accused of murdering him…

This was a good mystery. It was really cool to see part of the mystery taking place somewhere where the character isn’t in familiar territory. Maggie and Odessa take a trip to Las Vegas to get clues to help clear Burke's name. If you enjoy cooking (especially cakes) then this series is for you. I would recommend that a person read Pennywise first, but you don’t need to read it to make sense of this book. Another reason why I liked this book! And I especially like how Odessa finds her aunt’s famous recipes in the quilts she was given.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

One Amazing Thing~By Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

One Amazing Thing opens with Uma Sinha considering whether her boyfriend really loves her. She is in the basement of the Indian Consulate attempting to get a visa to visit her parents. A woman in a blue sari makes Uma very uncomfortable but she can’t figure out why. Uma feels a need for sun and tries to call her boyfriend, Ramon, but she is suddenly thrown to the ground when the floor buckles. She tries to think of something to say to Ramon’s voicemail because she feels that she is going to die. We then meet Cameron, an asthmatic ex-soldier who helped after a disastrous earthquake. When a young child tries to open a door, Cameron hits him. His justification is that the door may be holding up debris. The survivors didn’t need the building collapsing any more. Malathi, the woman in the blue sari, reflects on things she could have done in her life. She also thinks back on the kiss with Mr. Mangalam, a married coworker. Malathi believes that the earthquake is karma getting her back for the kiss. The story then touches on Mr. Mangalam and then flows back to Uma. When they realize there is no way out, Uma suggests that each person tells of seeing “One Amazing Thing” This is to keep their mind off of their possible death.

I received this book right after Haiti’s massive earthquake. Then just as I got around to picking it up, Chile had its earthquake. Honestly, I was a little tired of all the earthquake talk. But once a person picks up their book, they will find it enjoyable. And for those of you worried, it does seem to have a happy ending. But that is really up to the readers own interpretation of the final pages.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Espresso Shot ~ By Cleo Coyle

Espresso Shot is Cleo Coyle’s seventh book in the Coffeehouse mysteries featuring Clare Cosi. Clare is roped into supplying the coffee for her ex-husband and his new wife Breanne Summour’s wedding. Matt begs Clare to join him at a tavern to hang out with some friends. When Clare finds out that the guys are throwing Matt a bachelor’s party, she tries to escape. But she realizes that these are the men that keep her business running. A dancer is paid to impersonate Breanne at the party. When she has no car after the party, Matt and Clare invite her to the Village Blend but as they are walking down the street, the dancer is shot. Matt realizes that the dancer looked exactly like Breanne. Matt realizes this fact and confesses to Clare and her cop boyfriend, Mike. Matt, knowing Clare’s investigatory skills asks her to hang around with Breanne. Mike agrees and thinks this is a good idea and so Clare is forced to spend time with one of her least favorite people.

This is a good continuation to the series, but if you have any hope of Clare and Matt getting back together, it won’t happen. But I will be interested to see where Clare and Mike’s relationship will go now that Matt is married to Breanne. I enjoyed this book but not as much as some of the past books in the series. The series is listed in order at the end of this post. If you are a coffee fan then you must read this series.

1. On What Grounds

2. Through The Grinder

3. Latte Trouble

4. Murder Most Frothy

5. Decaffeinated Corpse

6. French Pressed

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Slept Away ~ By Julie Kraut

Summer is quickly approaching and Laney Parker doesn’t know what to do. Because her best friend Kennedy is having a nose job, they won’t be able to hang out much. After Laney and Kennedy’s day at the pool, Laney rushes home because every moment alone is sacred to her. Laney wants to spend the summer as a fashion intern, living on her own. Kennedy loves Laney’s idea, but her mother has other plans: summer camp in Pennsylvania. At the party that Laney attends at Kennedy’s boyfriend's party, Kennedy suggests googling other activities rather than going to camp. Laney’s mom won’t consider any other options. So Laney does the most drastic thing possible: Emailing her absent father. Nothing will stop Laney’s mom from dropping her off at the bus station in Long Island. Laney’s bus partner is a seven year old boy who annoys her. When they arrive at camp, Laney thinks some of her trouble is over. But of course, she is wrong. We will leave Laney getting off the bus. I don’t want to give away too much more of the story.

This is such a light read. If you are looking for a good summer read, then you must pick up Slept Away. There are many great lines in this book. One of my favorites lines are “Billboard Butts.” Many times I found myself giggling out loud because it was so funny. I will be watching Julie Kraut’s website to find out her next book.