Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

My rating: is 4 out of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. The setting is the marsh in North Carolina which the author describes with such beauty. Kya is a young woman who is known by the town as the Marsh Girl because she lives a solitary life in the Marsh. She is deserted one by one by her family, and the community in general when she was a child. Left to fend for herself this is the story of her coming of age, discovering what she is capable of, and finding friendship and love.

Her first friends are the wildlife of the marsh. She is shy and untrusting of the townsfolk except for Jumpin’ who is the man who runs the marina gas station and shop and is one of Kya’s only friends. He buys mussels from Kya so she can buy food and gas for her boat. She is also befriended by Jumpin’s wife who gives her clothes and other necessities she collects from her church’s membership.

Kya finds love with Tate, an old friend of her brothers. He teaches her how to read and she eventually writes her own books on biology. She is also abandoned by Tate when he goes to college and winds up in a relationship with another local high school hero who uses her and leaves her behind.

Chase is found murdered and Kya is the one and only suspect. She is eventually exonerated. She and Tate reconnect and build a life together. The book ends with a twist that I was not expecting.


Bundle of Trouble by Diana Orgain

Bundle of Trouble (A Maternal Instincts Mystery Book 1)Bundle of Trouble by Diana Orgain

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first installment in a series. it was cute. Kate becomes a new mother and a sleuth at the same time. Not wanting to leave her new daughter to go back to work, she decides to make this a new career. All then angst and trepidation that new mothers go through are evident in the book.

I will more than likely read the next book. I have a hard time starting a series and not completing them. If you are looking for a light cute book this is for you.


Bedtimes and Broomsticks by Amanda A. Allen

Bedtimes and Broomsticks (Mystic Cove Mysteries #1)Bedtimes and Broomsticks by Amanda A. Allen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Scarlett Oaken has returned home to Mystic Cove with her daughters after her husband leaves them. He wants normal children. Not the ones who have special powers which they inherited from their mother.

After arriving home, one of Scarlett’s daughters witnessed a murder and the murderer has hexed her memory. She must find out who committed the murder before Luna remembers what she saw because she would be in terrible danger.

The book moves quickly and keeps your attention. The characters are well written and very easy to get to know. This is not my usual genre, witches, druids, warlocks, and werewolves, but I have to admit I enjoyed it very much.

This is the first book in a series. I am looking forward to the next one.


New Orleans Mourning by Julie Smith

New Orleans Mourning (Skip Langdon, Mystery #1)New Orleans Mourning by Julie Smith

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Skip Langdon is a police officer in New Orleans. Her father, a doctor is a social climber and has disowned her for becoming a cop. Skip had gone to all the fancy schools that the girls from her father’s wealthy patients had gone to but recently has become a cop because she had wanted to do something that did some good with her life.

Skip is brought up close and personal with her past association with the St. Amant family during Mardi Gras. She is on crowd control along the parade route that Rex the Mardi Gras king is taking on Mardi Gras Day. Recognizing him she realizes it is Chauncy St. Amant. She watches as he is shot to death in front of her by someone dressed like Dolly Parton.

When she attempts to go after the shooter, she gets tangled up with a filmmaker who is making a documentary about Mardi Gras. She then realizes that the home the balcony belongs to is Chauncy’s best friend.

Skip is brought into the investigation because of her ties to the upper crust of New Orleans. We are brought into the dysfunctions of the St. Amant family with all of their secrets and distorted memories. Smith does a good job presenting the situations from the different perspectives of each character.

As the investigation moves along an acquaintance is rekindled with Marcelle, Chauncy’s daughter with whom she went to school. A relationship with Steve the filmmaker develops after he tells her he got the murder on film. He ends up being a help to her throughout the book.

The book was fast-paced and very enjoyable. I loved the New Orleans Southern setting. They say there is no placed like New Orleans.

This is the first of a series of twenty books. This book is from around 1990. I have just come across it on one of the sites I get my kindle books from. I plan to read the entire series.

I give it 4.5 stars.

The Dark Tower by Stephen King

I am sharing this review for all Stephen King fans. I read this series quite a while ago before I started this review blog. I agree with this review so much that I thought I would share this review.

The Critiquing Chemist

Rate: 3/5

Medium: Audiobook

Overview (No Spoilers): My journey through The Dark Tower series has finally come to an end. I have delayed for almost two weeks writing this review due to my conflicted feelings regarding this concluding installment.  The Dark Tower started off action packed as the events that had been taking place at the end of the Song of Susannahpicking back up full steam. However, rather quickly the pace reversed with King spending what felt like the majority of this book making the connections and tying up lose ends. With that being said, from an analytical perspective, the tying together of the remaining plot holes was quite satisfying, albeit it was done so in a way that caused this final novel to have the feel of moving pawns instead of big plays leading up to an action filled climax. Of course eventually our ka-tet finally…

View original post 456 more words

Older Book Reviews From My Blogger Site

Candle in the Darkness (Refiner's Fire Book, #1)Candle in the Darkness by Lynn Austin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Caroline Fletcher lives in the city of Richmond, Virginia with wealthy parents. Her father owns slaves and as Caroline begins to question the morality of owning them her mother dies after yet another stillbirth. Her aunt from Philadelphia takes her back home with her and Caroline stays with her for two years. While in the north, she meets Robert who is quickly taken with Caroline. He takes her to abolitionist lectures which increase her desire to do something for the slaves.

After returning to Richmond she meets Charles, they fall in love and plan their wedding. Three weeks before their wedding the Civil War begins. She is torn between her belief that owning slaves is immoral and her home in the south. She and Charles don’t see the war the same way. Five years after her engagement, the war ends. Charles cannot accept the things she has done throughout the war, even though she has nursed him back to health. His family and he dismissed her from their lives leaving Caroline alone with only her slaves who have only ever shown her love.

This is a story about love and hate, slavery and freedom, faith in God and the choices that must be made during this terrible time in our history. I enjoyed this book very much and recommend it to anyone who likes historical fiction.

Out of a Dream (Sandy Cove #1)Out of a Dream by Rosemary Hines

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first book in the Sandy Cove series by Rosemary Hines. Michelle and Steve have moved into their first home in Portland. Steve is working many hours at the law office he is a junior partner in. Michelle feels alone and isolated having left her family and friends in Southern California. She meets Monica at yoga, and they become friends. The yoga instructor introduces them to tarot cards and then to an owner of a bookstore. Michelle and Monica sign up for a class taught by the very handsome and charismatic Trevor who sets his sights on Michelle. She attends a seminar with him deluding herself that they are just friends. She definitely feels this attraction to him. She is lonely with Steve working so hard, but she loves her husband. Trevor makes his move and kisses Michelle. Michelle pulls away and from that point, it is never spoken about again.

Michelle’s father has attempted suicide. He is unsuccessful and winds up in the ICU with multiple brain injuries. Michelle goes to the hospital with the rest of the family and it is there that she sees that the New Age spirituality that she has been studying does not give her the strength she gets from God. I enjoyed this book very much.

Butterfly GardenButterfly Garden by Annette Blair

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sara is a midwife in an Ohio Amish community. She is called to her friend Abby’s home to deliver her fourth baby. When she arrives Adam, Abby’s husband is waiting for her on the front porch. He gives her a hard time when she tells him he is killing his wife having babies so close together. He finally lets her in to go to Abby and discovers Abby is dead and the baby is wrapped up and in the cradle by the bed. Sara lifts the sheets and discovers that Abby had bled to death.

Adam is filled with demons from his abusive childhood and tells Sara she must take his children. She fights him on this but relents. She falls in love with the girls. The time for her to return the girls to their father is pushed back until the time when Adam falls from a tree and injures himself. Sara moves into his house to nurse him back to health. Adam begins to fall in love with Sara, but he denies what he is feeling. The Bishop gets involved and the outcome of their hearing is that they must marry. They fall madly in love with each other and Adam learns that he can love without being abusive like his father.

I enjoyed this book, however, there are some scenes which are more adult than most of the book.

Life in the Iron MillsLife in the Iron Mills by Rebecca Harding Davis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a short story about one man’s life in the iron mill town in Virginia. It’s a little difficult to read, but I found it interesting and it gives the reader much to think about.

15th Affair15th Affair by James Patterson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lindsay, Cindy, Claire and Yuki, the Women’s Murder Club,  find themselves involved in solving the murder of four people at the Four Seasons Hotel. Lindsay’s husband Joe disappears. While doing surveillance on one of the murdered man’s house, Lindsay sees her husband go past the same house and is caught on the video recording. A 777 was hit by a missile when approaching the airport and it exploded killing everyone in the plane and two people on the ground and traumatizing all the kids in the schools in the explosion site.

This is not just about the murders at the Four Seasons, it’s bigger. CIA is involved and Lindsay discovers that Joe has been working for the CIA since the time their daughter was born. Lindsay is devastated that Joe has been lying to her. The spies are from the Chinese government and one of the CIA agents is changing sides. In the end, she is caught and dealt with. Joe sends Lindsay home and he goes back to the CIA headquarters. When he goes home to see Lindsay and Julie, he is not asked to stay.

I really liked the book, but there isn’t much that James Patterson writes that I don’t like. I give it 4.5 stars.

The WitnessesThe Witnesses by James Patterson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love James Patterson’s books. This doesn’t disappoint. A family in hiding. A suspicious man keeping them together. A neighbor who keeps watch expecting the worst. All this leading to a surprise ending.

The Designer Bag at the Garbage DumpThe Designer Bag at the Garbage Dump by Jackie Macgirvin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! This is a wonderful book for anyone who has questions about their faith in God. Julie finds herself on a train to New York having something to eat with Jesus. He tells her that she has been chosen by him to do some work for him. Jesus gives her a bible and tells her. When she gets off the train she finds herself in India instead of New York.

She doesn’t speak the language, loses her suitcase and is completely sickened by the smells and noise of the city. Every time her cab stops, beggars appear with their hands grabbing at her. She is dropped off and left by herself.

Julie meets orphaned children living on a garbage heap. They are digging through the garbage to find something to eat. Jesus tells her to feed his sheep. Julie’s designer dress is turned into rags and is filthy. She is sleeping on the ground in the dirt. Her hair is matted and dirty. She is exhausted. But she begins to buy food for the children. They begin to depend on her feeding them. She loses her heart to them. Her story continues with her learning to trust Jesus and learn obedience to his plan for her and the orphans.

As Jesus’ plan unfolds, other people become involved with the orphans. A church rents a house for the children and Julie assumes responsibility of the monthly rent. She gets all of the children new clothing. She sees them happy in their new home.

It’s time for Julie to go home. She has a newborn little girl and a 10 year old boy that are going home with her. She can’t wait for her husband and son to meet the rest of their family. As she walks off the train, Michael and Logan are there to greet her. She introduces them to the baby and little boy. They are welcomed into the family with open arms.

I really loved this story. I thought it was well written with a great perspective of what it means to know the Lord.

Play Dead (An Allie Babcock Mystery)Play Dead by Leslie O’Kane

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a story about the murder of a wealthy eccentric woman, named Hannah Jones, who has a dog names Sage. Hannah is very enthusiastic about the no animal product life style. She teaches vegetarian cooking classes and comes in contact with Beth Gleason one of her students. Beth has become embroiled in Hannah’s life and has been taken by Sage.

When Hannah is found dead, her death is ruled a suicide. She has had cancer and the idea is not out of the real of possibilities. Her neighbors take the dog in, but decide they cant keep him. They take the dog to the animal shelter. Beth Gleason has left her name at the shelter asking to be notified if a collie turns up. Beth is ecstatic when they call her to come get Sage.

Allie Babcock has just moved to Boulder and has opened a dog psychologist office. She is a guest on a radio program and gets a call in from Beth Gleason stating her dog is not eating and he has reacted terribly when a man has come near him. The host of the show tells everyone that the dog can identify the murder of Hannah Jones. Allie tells Beth to meet her at her office so that she can tell if the dog has any issues. Beth Gleason is found stabbed to death by Allie after Sage shows up at her office alone and his leash has blood on it. The story continues with many twists and turns with so many suspects in the murders.

I enjoyed the book very much.

My Father's House: a novelMy Father’s House: a novel by Rose Chandler Johnson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lily Rose Cates is a woman trying to find herself. Her father had died when she was sixteen and she never got over her loss. Her mother withdrew into herself after his death. Thankfully Lily Rose had Annie Ruth who became like a mother to her.

Lily Rose went to college and became close friends with Julie. She was her best friend. They planned to go to France after school and visit all the great museums. However, Julie falls in love with her French professor and they elope. Lily Rose is despondent because of all the plans to travel have fallen apart.

After graduation, Lily Rose stays in the little house that she has shared with her two roommates and gets a job for the paper. She also works at a flower shop part time. She has no social life and is lonely. She flies to New York to spend time with her cousin. They have a wonderful time and Julie meets Manuel, their handsome waiter at dinner. He asks for her phone number and she gives it to him.
A whirlwind romance ensues and they marry. The honeymoon is barely over when she discovers that her handsome, considerate husband is abusive. She loses a baby. Lily Rose stays for 2 1/2 years then realizes that she must leave for her own safety.  Her friend Julie who lives in Canada helps her get away.

Lily Rose has the house her daddy grew up in and Manuel knows nothing about the house. She travels to Georgia where she begins the process of healing. She meets her neighbors and they all had known her as a little girl from when she and her daddy had come to visit with her Aunt. While walking to the town from the highway, a little dog joins her journey. She falls in love with the dog.

She meets Sam when her dog eats a bag of Hershey Kisses.  A friendship develops and they begin to spend a lot of time together. Unfortunately Manuel finds Lily Rose and forces himself on her. Sam shows up the next morning after her husband had left. She is beside herself. She tells Sam her husband was there. He walks away from her. Lily Rose is pregnant. And feels alone again,

This is a story of fear, loss, grief, strength, growth, love and a relationship with God. Sam finds his way back to Lily Rose and they find the happiness they both had been searching for. Lily Rose gets her forever after.

From the Heart (Sandy Cove #5)From the Heart by Rosemary Hines

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is book 5 of the Sandy Cove Series, but it is a great standalone book too. I didn’t realize that it was part of a series until after I had read it.

Joan is grieving over the loss of her husband. She feels alone and lost. Not wanting to live with her daughter in Portland, she insists she is staying in the home she shared with her husband. She has wonderful friends and a neighbor who check in on her. After injuring her back, her daughter Sheila begins to look for a place for Joan near her. Joan is slowly coming to terms with the fact that she really needs to be closer to family. As she is going through things, she finds a box with a letter attached to it from her husband. It’s marked do not open until Christmas. Joan falls and fractures her arm. Her move to Portland comes much sooner that she had expected. Joan has spent her life as a minister’s wife and her relationship with God helps her to make this change. I really liked the book. I had never read any of Rosemary Hines’ work before. I plan to read the other books in the series.


Chameleon by Valerie Tate

Chameleon (The Dunbarton Mysteries Series, #5)Chameleon by Valerie Tate

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Chris and Alicia Mallory have a horse farm in the lakeside town of Dunbarton which is a small old town that is named after Alicia’s family. Chris’ sister Angie works for a TV show which features a dog as the star. She arrives with Penny, her sister, and Richard, her sister’s boyfriend, under the guise of scouting locations for an episode of the show.

Alicia takes them around the town so that they can take pictures of the area for consideration by the show’s producers. While on their scouting trip, Richard and Penny are involved in a hit and run accident.

This all leads to the development of the main reason Chris’ sisters have come to Dunbarton. Penny has enlisted her sister Angie to help her spy on a suspected art thief. After Richard is killed and Penny is hospitalized for injuries sustained in the hit and run it is clear they are on the right track.

I found the book to be a fun light read with a few surprises. I liked the characters and thought they appeared genuine. This book was the fifth installment of the Dunbarton series, but not having read the previous books I felt it was a good stand-alone read.

I give it 4.5 stars.


The Rosary: Your Weapon for Spiritual Warfare by Johnnette S. Benkovic

The Rosary: Your Weapon for Spiritual WarfareThe Rosary: Your Weapon for Spiritual Warfare by Johnnette S. Benkovic

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found this book an excellent description of just what the Rosary offers us in our prayer life. Many miracles have been attributed to its use. It offers a direct path to Jesus Christ through the meditation on his life and passion. It is my favorite prayer and I feel so close to God when I am praying it.

I have found that indeed this prayer is a very strong weapon against spiritual warfare. Anyone who thinks that the devil and his minions don’t exist is very foolish. He works tirelessly to snatch souls away from God. The new world order that denies this evil is doing the devils work.

This book explains the scriptural basis for the rosary and the evils that are there to befall us on our journey through this life.

I highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in understanding the rosary.