Sunday, July 24, 2022

Reading Notes @lucyburdette


LUCY BURDETTE: I think I've come to terms this week with the fact that I suffer from a book addiction. I've probably got enough books in my stack(s) to keep me busy for a lifetime, and yet, I want more... Here a few I've finished and enjoyed, and a few more I'm looking forward to, in addition to those by Zac and Leslie, whom you met this week. I know I can count on all of you to help me feed the beast:).

THE DROWNING SEA by Sarah Stewart Taylor. Sarah's such a gifted writer and I love the characters in this series--and it's all set in Ireland. What's not to like?



MISS CECILY'S RECIPES FOR EXCEPTIONAL LADIES by Vicky Zimmerman. This starts out a bit like many English women's fiction novels--with a perfectly nice protagonist dumped by the guy she thought was "the one." She's encouraged to try volunteering to get her mind off her misery, and meets a 97 year old woman in a nursing home who'd had a fascinating life, including writing a remarkable cookbook. Their growing friendship is wonderful, the old woman's a pip, and they share the love of food. I'm sorry it's over.



WHERE THE SKY BEGINS by Rhys Bowen. Okay, I will not gloat, but Rhys shared a few advance copies of her new standalone with the Reds, set during World War II in England. You are going to love it!



OUT OF THE CLEAR BLUE SKY by Kristan Higgins. I think I've read everything she's written from romance to women's fiction, but this may be her best. An enticing Cape Cod setting, a spunky character with an interesting career as a nurse midwife, a bum husband that she gathers the courage to leave behind...



And a few on my TBR pile...

RAZORBLADE TEARS SA Cosby

THE WEDDING PLOT Paula Munier

MUDDLED THROUGH Barbara Ross

CLARK AND DIVISION Naomi Hirahara

THIS PLACE OF WONDER Barbara O'Neal

THE BODYGUARD Katherine Center

And finally, one I hope you'll put on your list if you haven't already: UNSAFE HAVEN, which is out in paperback on Tuesday, and also now has a reasonable ebook price:). Here's an excerpt should you want to take a look...



Okay Red readers, pile on! What are you reading? What must I add to my pile?

73 comments:

  1. What have I read lately? A lot of picture books!
    But I have managed to tackle a few of the books on my teetering to-be-read pile: DO NO HARM by Robert Pobi . . . . ALL THE BROKEN GIRLS by Linda Hurtado Bond . . . . LITTLE DOES SHE KNOW by Pamela Crane . . . . THE WOLF, THE WALNUT AND THE WOODSMAN by Gabriel Hemery . . . . THE PRISONER by B.A. Paris . . . . FATAL WITNESS by Robert Bryndza . . . .

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    1. Oh, I am about to read the Linda Bond--and she'll be here at Jungle Red soon! BA Paris--what a rock star. (Lucky you!) And Robert Pobi is a genius. We have SO much the same taste! xx

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  3. Oh! This is impossible! and we are all happily guilty. THE IT GIRL by Ruth Ware. THE FAMILY REMAINS by Lisa Jewell. THE LAST TO VANISH by Megan Miranda. ANYWHERE YOU RUN by Wanda Morris. THE NEW NEIGHBOR by Carter Wilson MISS ALDRIDGE REGRETS by Louise Hare. DARK OF NIGHT by Barbara Nickless. I could go on!

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    1. I just saw MISS ALDRIDGE REGRETS on someone's list of mysteries--looks like that will be going on my TBR pile.

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    2. Flora, it is terrific! Jazz singer heroine, The Queen Mary, 1936.OOOH!

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  4. I have The Drowning Sea queued up on my Kindle but am now reading The Locked Room by Ellie Griffiths. Her Ruth Galloway is a great heroine.

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    2. I am so far behind on Ruth Galloway and Ellie Griffiths, it's not funny!

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    3. I discovered Elly Griffiths this year and am slowly reading the series Ruth Galloway series. I just finished The Women In Blue.

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    4. I loved The Drowning Sea, and I read The Locked Room last spring when it came out in the UK (Book Depository ships UK books free and they are usually no more expensive than in the US.) Terrific book, as are all of Elly's.

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  5. I've been planning to read The Drowning Sea and The Wedding Plot, and of course Where the Sky Begins. Now I have to add Out of the Clear Blue Sky (a midwife on Cape Cod? Bring it!). Muddled Through was excellent, also Clark and Division. I just finished Death in the New Land, the latest pre-history mystery by Kaye George, and next up is Amy Pershing's Murder is No Picnic. I have Leslie Budewitz's Peppermint Barked waiting to be picked up at the bookstore, with Leslie Karst's The Fragrance of Death and Joanna Schaffhausen's Long Gone preordered. Good thing I have a vacation coming up!

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    1. Oh - and of course A Dish to Die For is also preordered!

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    2. thanks Edith--you should be all set for vacation!

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    3. No surprise to this foodie that I also have the newest books from Amy, Leslie B & Leslie K & Lucy on my TBR short stack.

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    4. I am going to get my copy of DISH signed by the author;>)

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    5. LOVED The Wedding Plot!! And loved Rhys's Where the Sky Begins. Such a good story. It might be my favorite of her standalones, although that's a tough choice.

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  6. I loved RAZORBLADE TEARS and will be moderating it for my book club in August - enjoy! Working my way through the SLOUGH HOUSE books by Mick Herron - fabulous. And just finished WHAT MOVES THE DEAD by T Kingfisher - a reimagining of The Fall of the House of Usher.

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    1. I read and admired Cosby's first book, but then had to take a break because of the violence. I'll get back to it--he's an amazing writer!

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    2. I took a break after four of the Slough House books. I need to get back to them. Herron is an amazing writer.

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    3. BLACKTOP WASTELAND was a fantastic heist story. RT isn’t less violent, but feels … more balanced?
      Lisa

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  7. Mary Kay Andrews, THE HOMEWRECKERS. I was a great fan of Kathy Hogan Trocheck's Callahan Garrity mystery series, set in the former AJC reporter's Atlanta. I've never read her more recent women's fiction. This fun book is set in Savannah and concerns historic home renovations and an HGTV-like show.

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    2. Margaret, I loved The Homewreckers but her last year's book, The Newcomer is terrific, too.

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    3. Margaret, following your comment this week about how you became a writer, I wanted to read something by you. I downloaded the anthology Cozy Villages of Death and I greatly enjoyed your story: Dealing at the Dump and all the other stories.

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    4. Sorry, it was Danielle

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    5. Danielle, thanks for commenting! The Cape Cod garbage dump story was so much fun to write.

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  8. I am also currently reading MUDDLED THROUGH, and am enjoying this latest virtual trip to Busman's Harbor. My culinary mysteries are similar to Edith's list + DEATH BY BUBBLE TEA by Jennifer J. Chow.

    Looking forward to reading some great books by Level Best Books author friends: DEAD DROP, by James L'Etoile (new series), FATAL REUNION by Annette Dashofy, LIE DOWN WITH DOGS by Liz Milliron and HIDDEN PIECES by Mary Keliikoa (new series). Also the excellent Samuel Craddock series by Terry Shames is continuing with new publisher Severn House. MURDER AT THE JUBILEE RALLY is publishing in October.

    And I have to give a shout-out to three excellent Canadian thrillers:
    NEVER COMING HOME by Hannah Mary McKinnon, POISON LILIES by Katie Tallo and IN THE DARK WE FORGET by Sandra SG Wong.

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    1. Hurrah, Grace! I was really hoping that Terry Shames' Samuel Craddock would make another appearance.

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    2. Very pleased to see there will be a new Samuel Craddock!

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    3. Oh. what a lovely Canadian shout-out!

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    4. FLORA & DEBS: Yes, I was giddy when I got the Netgalley ARC this week for the new Samuel Craddock book.
      HANK: I do try to spread the word out about our great Canadian authors!

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  9. It is so hot here, probably at your home too! All I am doing for pleasure is reading.
    The Newcomer and The Homewreckers by Mary Kay Andrews. Just wonderful!
    Framed in Fire by Iona Whishaw. You need to read this series if you haven't already. This book is terrific!
    No More Lies by Kerry Lonsdale. (I can read thrillers again, and I'm thrilled!)
    Murder is No Picnic by Amy Pershing. Woo-hoo. A super good cozy!
    Murder at the Taffy Shop by Maddie Day/ our very own Edith Maxwell. I really like Mac's boyfriend, Edith! He's a keeper!!
    Unsafe Haven by Lucy Burdette. Heart pounding thriller! OMG, Roberta! Hope to post review this week!!
    Juror #3 by Nancy Allen and James Patterson. ( My very first Patterson! ) Total fun read.
    The 3 Novellas by Ali Hazelwood: Under One Roof, Stuck with You, and Below Zero. If you like romance, sigh, choose these!
    Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. Sometimes books with this much buzz don't deliver. I am half way through and can assure you that this one does!! It's amazing.

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  10. Razorblade Tears! Definitely move to the top of the pile. Hard to beat Shaun

    I’m still working my way thru all of Reginald Hill, rereading many nd finding some I’ve missed

    And I recently finished The Love Songs of W.E.B. DuBois by Honoree Fanonne Jeffers. A masterpiece.

    Plus See Them Run by Marion Todd, as recount Catriona McPherson. Debut novel and a great find. I think there are now three in the series.

    It seems our AC has died, new one to be installed in a week. I was hoping this one would last. Timing is purely crap. But we shall survive, most likely at the Hampton Inn!

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    1. My sis is reading The Love Songs of W.E.B. Dubois and loving it. I am looking forward to it when she's done.

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    2. Oh, Ann, so sorry about the AC. We have been so glad that we replaced both of ours in the last two years. Otherwise we'd be joining you at the Hampton Inn:-)

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  11. I've been working my way through the Cork O'Connor series by William Kent Krueger, loving them! The third one is waiting for me at the library. I also started reading the Maggie D'Arcy series by Sarah Stewart Taylor (thanks to her appearance here!), and really enjoyed the first two. I read Hallie's There was an Old Woman and loved it. Very suspenseful and dealt with very serious topics (alcoholism, death) in such a compassionate way. Last week I finished Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kemmerer. What a gem of a book. I can't recommend it highly enough. It made me want to find a way to volunteer doing ecological restoration. Currently I'm reading 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak. She's a great writer, but the book is very dark. It's a book group book, so I will finish it.

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    1. I love the Cork O'Connor series--how lucky that you have that many ahead of you! I also was given Braiding Sweetgrass but haven't read it yet.

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  12. Taking notes like mad -- all these books to read!

    And adding one in from me: LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY by Bonnie Garmus.

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    1. Lucy: I cannot recall who told me about it, but it's a great read: sharp, fun, smart. With a protagonist who is amazing: Elizabeth Zott.

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    2. I am reading it right now Amanda, and it really delivers!

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  13. So many wonderful suggestions! I already have a huge backlog of books to read and here are more. I am presently reading THE DROWNING SEA by Sarah Stewart Taylor and also THE REIGN of WOLF 21 about wolves in Yellowstone National Park and LIBRARY TALES by William Otten about becoming a librarian and the weird requests he's had in his job. I just finished MUDDLED THROUGH by Barbara Ross - LOVED IT!

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    1. Great list Chris! At least you don't have to read A DISH TO DIE FOR, LOL!

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  14. LUCY: I loved, loved, loved, loved the SKY novel by Rhys Bowen too. I was very lucky to get an advanced DIGITAL copy and read every page. The characters are wonderful.

    Recent books that I liked this year -

    ARTIFACT by Gigi Pandian

    an anthology of Romance stories for Ukraine charity

    THE SIGN FOR HOME by Blair Fell

    THE LOST BOOK OF ELEANOR DARE by Kimberly Brock

    THE DICTIONARY OF LOST WORDS by Pip Williams

    BY THE BOOK by Jasmine Guillory

    DONUT DISTURB by Ellie Alexander

    TBR:
    LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY by Bonnie Garmus

    Diana

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    1. see I knew this would happen, my list is getting longer and longer...

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    2. My list gets longer and longer too.

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  15. I finished a few books recently that I enjoyed a lot. Jessica Ellicott's DEATH IN A BLACKOUT, COLD SNAP by Marc Cameron and COLD FEAR by Brandon Webb & John David Mann. I also finished three books for potential Mystery Scene reviews - Scott Turow's SUSPECT, SHOULD I FALL by Scott Shepherd. The third book is probably my favorite of the bunch, the debut legal thriller MYSTIC WIND by James Barretto (a sitting Massachusetts judge). I thought it was so good, I wanted to read it again for the first time and that was right after finishing it in the first place. Oh, and I had a friend ask to borrow a couple of books for an upcoming trip so I'm lending her Elizabeth Breck's ANONYMOUS. I'm a big fan of her Madison Kelly series so I'm recommending that as often as I can.

    I've got a few more books coming down the pike that I've been offered advance copies of by the author or the publisher that I'm sure I'll be able to recommend the next time this topic comes up too.

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    1. Jay, those are the books I make room for on my shelves--the ones I reread as soon as I finish them. Going to be looking for MYSTIC WIND.

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  16. "Switchboard Soldiers" by Jennifer Chiaverini. Telephone operators during WW1, requested by Gen. Pershing because the men were too slow in the Signal Corps. It took 60 years after the end of the war for the women to be recognized as veterans with benefits. At that time only about 18 were left. Grace Banker from NJ, received the Distinguished Service Cross for her work on the frontline. Susan Witting Albert's "Darling Dahlias and the Red Hot Poker", continuing the Dahlia series. This small town Alabama during the 1930's and how they coped during the Depression. The latest has Huey Long's rise to power as a back drop and an arsonist.

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    1. Switchboard Soldiers sounds fascinating. Adding to my list.

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  17. Reading and really enjoying at the moment, A Distant Grave, because I loved The Mountains Wild by Sarah Stewart Taylor, again I found her here. Also, I just finished and recommend Ilaria Tuti, an Italian writer of beautiful character-driven books about nasty murders in the Italian Alps. Before bed I'm reading Sharon Dempsey, The Midnight Killing. Adrian McKinty's The Island I read in bits because it's fairly stressful – but in a good way. Slough House was fabulous. Lucy, Unsafe Haven goes on my list! and the other Reds, so many wonderful books, so little time!
    Joyce W

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  18. Navigator's Daughter by Nancy Cole Silverman - left me checking daily for the pre-order date for the next in the series.

    Deadly Trespass by Sandra Neily - set in the Maine woods. Will keep you on the edge of your seat.

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  19. Taking notes... thanks everyone for great recommendations.

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  20. As I said above, I've just finished The Women in Blue and added the next two books in the series to my pile. I'm currently reading The Thread of the Unicorn by Jane Thornley. Recently added The Cold Way Home by Julia Keller to my TBR pile. Oh, there just isn't enough time in the day.

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  21. My ability to concentrate still ebbs and flows, so I started AUGUSTA HAWKE by GM Malliet and THE DICTIONARY OF LOST WORDS by Pip Williams, but couldn't finish. I mostly take books out from the library now, so when this happens, I can return them for other readers and check them out later when I'm ready to try again. A series I have been able to read from cover to cover--Ashley Weaver's Electra McDonnell, set at the beginning of WWII in England. Just finished book #2, THE KEY TO DECEIT. TWO NIGHTS IN LISBON by Chris Pavone was so good, I reread most of it simply to get to the satisfying ending again. Just finished Kathy Reich's COLD, COLD BONES--a series I've read from the beginning of her publishing career. I also read Kate Khavari's A BOTANIST'S GUIDE TO PARTIES AND POISONS. If anyone else has read this one, please chime in. The author has written romances and I think this is her first mystery. I felt like it was a mishmash of an historical romance and a mystery. I wanted more focus on the mystery.

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  22. Also, I just finished the nonfiction BREATH: THE NEW SCIENCE OF A LOST ART by James Nestor in one sitting and immediately bought a copy so I can go back through and reread, take notes (and yes, gasp, mark it up to my heart's desire). Fascinating information and well-written!

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  23. It looks like I’m not alone in having trouble concentrating. (Two recent, unexpected, deaths in my family and some personal medical issues have been distracting me.) And like many of you, I have books pouring out of bookcases, piled on end tables and nightstands, and sitting in my Kindle. Last fall I made the decision to stop buying books indefinitely, at least until I make a dent in the TBR pile. (I gratefully accept gifts of books, though!) I had already preordered some books, and I did not cancel those orders!

    I just finished reading Lucy’s Unsafe Haven. Read it!!!! (And Roberta, I hope to see you at the Milford Barnes and Noble next month!) Do you have any more standalones in the works?

    DebRo

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    1. Oh DebRo, so sorry to hear about deaths in the family and medical problems. We are with you in spirit. thanks for the kind words on Unsafe! Once I finish #13 in the Key West series, I can decide what's next. I have several ideas floating around. Look forward to seeing you in Milford!!

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  24. I have several of the books on Lucy's list literally on my kitchen table (which seems to be where I'm keeping my immediate TBR these days.) I'll add Karen Odden's DOWN A DARK RIVER, the first in a new Victorian series. Her protagonist is an orphaned Irishman raised rough in Seven Dials in London, who has risen to be a superintendent in Scotland Yard. At the opening of the book, someone has sent a beautiful young lady's body floating down the Thames in a tender, a la the Lady of Shalott. It's a little darker and grittier than her previous books, perfect, I think, for a time and place that could be very dark and gritty indeed.

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  25. I don't have much to add to this today. I've been reading Jenn's cupcake bakery series from book 1 and that has helped keep me sane. Otherwise, my head is brimming with very dark non-fiction things. Looking forward to adding some of these recommendations to the TBR list though. I would add to Grace's Canadian list: Thomas King writes both fiction and non-fiction. His mystery series is typical of his style which is a treat.

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  26. c d , I frequently turn to Jenn's books when the world overwhelms.

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  27. Kathy Boone ReelJuly 24, 2022 at 3:00 PM

    I was finishing up my lengthy comments and my computer did a disappearing act, so I'm paring down what I said to the following. Books I highly recommend that I've read recently are The Companion by Lesley Thomson, The Island by Adrian McKinty, In Place of Fear by Catriona McPherson, Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt, The Navigator's Daughter by Nancy Cole Silverman, Fatal Reunion by Annette Dashofy, The Spy at the Window (Justice Jones #4) by Elly Griffiths, The Locked Room by Elly Griffiths, and The Liar's Girl by Catherine Ryan Howard. Coming up are A Dish to Die For by Lucy Burdette, Death in a Blackout by Jessica Ellicot, Things We Do in the Dark by Jennifer Hillier, Hokuloa Road by Elizabeth Hand, Where the Sky Begins by Rhys Bowen, The Many Daughters of Afong Moy by Jamie Ford, The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell, Bayou Book Thief by Ellen Byron, and The Bird Cage by Eve Chase.

    Reviews of the books I've read can be found on my blog The Reading Room at https://www.readingroom-readmore.com/ My review of The Island goes up today and In Place of Fear this week. I'm directing you to my blog since I don't have time to describe the books here. Happy Reading to everyone!

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  28. A hilarious read for summer is Guncle by Steven Rowley. I just "discovered" Valerie M. Burns' bookstore cozy mysteries (with Samantha Washington). I am looking forward to Lucy's new Key West food critic book. Can't wait.

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    1. I'll second your recommendation for The Guncle!

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  29. My comment keep disappearing, both yesterday and today. If this goes through, thank you all for the recommendations! I'd like to recommend HOLY CHOW and BARK TO THE FUTURE.

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  30. Hi. I'm new here. Until a year or two ago, I hadn't read much mystery since Encyclopedia Brown in the 1980's. After starting some various cozy series, including Agatha Raisin, I'm now tackling my Minnesota roots. Embarrassed to admit I'd never read William Kent Krueger, so recently started Iron Lake. I just finished Marcie Rendon's Murder on the Red River and will definitely read the next one - loved Murder on the Red River. I discovered Jess Lourey's Murder by the Month series in July, and now need to go back and start from the beginning (May and June). The latest non-Minnesotan mystery authors I've read were Kirstin Chen (Counterfeit) and Jesse Sutanto (Four Aunties and a Wedding). My TBD list grows faster than my Finished list.

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