The Azalea Assault – Alyse Carlson

This is the first of three cozy mysteries in the Garden Society Mystery series. As the 3rd one was written in 2014, I do not expect there to be others. Truly a shame ☹

the azalea assault cover image

Cam Harris is the PR person for the Roanoke Garden Society, and gardening has never been more dangerous. When the nationally celebrated Garden Delights magazine agrees to come to Roanoke to feature Roanoke’s best gardens, Cam is tasked with making sure everything goes off without a hitch.

With the help of her best friend Annie, and her boyfriend Rob, she soon finds herself in the middle of a bunch of suspects who had motive to kill the star photographer. Now she not only needs to find another photographer, she also needs to keep her sister Petunia and brother-in-law Nick on the right side of the law, as they soon become the main suspects.

There are a lot of characters wrapped up in this book, but they all have their place in the story, and it flows smoothly from one chapter to the next. If you have read many cozies (such as I have), you sometimes can see what is coming next. This story keeps you guessing to the end.

There are descriptions of many different plants, but not much on the side of actual gardening tips (which I wasn’t expecting).

Here in Michigan right now we are wrapped in the middle of a polar vortex, and literally the whole state is shut down. Which means I took tomorrow off from work, so I have plenty of time to finish book three, write review number two, and do some writing for my own cozy mystery book number 1!

You can learn more about Alyse here: Alyse Carlson – Penguin Random House

Are you trapped inside too? What are you reading to get you by?

What I’m Reading…

… I had to order 3 books from a library two hours away, since my library got rid of all of these books😔 How did I miss that sale?

These books are what got me started on my book obsession. And Encyclopedia Brown, of course.

This book is stamped 1974; I was two years old.

There are not too many books I will read over and again; but it has been so long since I read this story that everything is brand new and like I am reading it for the first time.

Please tell me you have read these stories!

Denial of Justice – Mark Shaw

Oh how I waited to get this from my library. I have been obsessed with watching “What’s My Line” for weeks; and absolutely adore Dorothy Kilgallen.

Disappointed. This book was drier than the toast I burned and tried to give to my daughter with no butter last weekend.

I thought maybe I was not in the mood to read this type of story, so I watched Mr. Shaw’s YouTube video on this. Still dry.

I have been following so much about her. The first gossip columnist; yet she never gossiped about her many year affair, and no one else talked about it.

I just want to say so many good things about this because I admire her so much; and believe she was killed, and did not overdose. But I could not finish this book 😔 I feel like it is time for my own investigative story; one of the truth.

Do you know this story? Do you love the game show as much as I do?

Lethal White – Robert Galbraith

Well, I finished this book over a week ago, and have been avoiding writing a review on it ever since. I liked it well enough, but I certainly did not love it like the previous 3 books in the series. I had no sense of enjoyment every time I picked it up to read it. The first thing I always checked was where my bookmark was, and how much farther I had to go. It is hard to read a book that you just aren’t loving.

Lethal White Cover Image

The things I didn’t like were …. The length of the book. I felt like there was way too much detail to every single thing in the book that was not necessary and did not add to the story. Then there were so many characters, I had a hard time keeping up with all of the different story lines and subplots and interactions with everyone. The last few chapters felt like everything was just tossed out there to tie everything together.

I love the characters of Strike and Robin, and they were both going through personal issues that lent a new dynamic to their working and personal relationship. The blackmailing and possible decades old murder of a child are what was driving the story plot, and it was just too much.

I’m not the only one who took issue with this story. I have seen more reviews with the same complaints I have than reviews that were all positive.

Will I read the next story in the series? Absolutely! I also had huge issues with her novel “The Casual Vacancy”, but it did not stop me from picking up the first book in this series, “The Cuckoo’s Calling”. My review on “The Casual Vacancy” had comments from most that felt the same way I did. And one comment from someone who had a real issue with the fact that I did not like the book, and dared to say so on my own blog that I pay money for to keep up every year 😊 Such is life; you can’t please everyone. You can see my rant over that story, nearly 4 years ago, here: The Casual Vacancy book and TV Show

I got 12 books from my local library yesterday, so I am back to enjoyable reading time! How did you feel about this book?

That One Perfect Picture

Once in awhile, I get a photograph that even leaves me speechless, and I am my own worse critic!

PM Beach Sunset 2
Pere Marquette Beach, October 17, 2018: property of booksandopinions, LLC

This was my first attempt at using a lens ball for photos, and I was really happy with the results. I am hoping it won’t be my last time using it, as it rolled off those jagged rocks it was propped on and I know there are two spots that are now scuffed. Hopefully they are exactly opposite of each other, and I can keep them to the sides and use this ball again.

I took a lot of photos, which I will be adding here and on one of my other blogs. If you are in the mood for some teen angst as well, you can always check out my blog Parenthood and Other Horror Stories . I have about a week’s worth of teenage drama that is about to get aired out, as well as some other things going on in my life right now.

I promise I’ll be back to the books on here soon!