From Goodreads

To Be Published May 2, 2017 by Touchstone

From the author of We Are Called to Rise comes a novel about the interconnected lives of four women in Las Vegas, each of whom experiences a life-changing moment at a classic casino nightclub.

Spanning the six decades when Las Vegas grew from a dusty gambling town into the melting pot metropolis it is today, ‘Round Midnight is the story of four women—one who falls in love, one who gets lucky, one whose heart is broken, and one who chooses happiness—whose lives change at the Midnight Room.


I’m calling this now…FAVORITE COVER OF THE YEAR!! It’s just gorgeous and I knew as soon as I saw it I had to read this. Well, that and the fact that it’s wrote by Laura McBride whose first book, We Are Called to Rise, made my top 10 reads of 2016 list last year. This novel is similar in structure to her first and totally works just as effectively as it as well.

When the novel begins, we meet June, who seemed to me very much a free spirit, but also somewhat lost in terms of what she wanted in life. The year is 1960 and June ends up in Las Vegas where she and her husband, Odell Dibb, run the El Capitan hotel where the showroom The Midnight Room hosts the most popular singer in Vegas…one Eddie Knox. Let’s just say June manages to stir up quite a bit of drama at the hotel and in her personal life and I loved reading about it. The author writes in such a way that I was completely drawn into June’s life. Her writing style flows and is so engaging that I felt that I was a fly on the wall…privy to everything going on in and out of the casino.

I have to say the settingLas Vegas in the 1960’s to present day… was a character unto itself and I absolutely loved reading every detail about the casinos and life on and around The Strip.  I remember visiting Vegas as a kid when there were still coins clinking non-stop out of the slot machines just like in the book. I’ve since visited Vegas every summer for the past 15 years and while the sounds in the casino have changed (paper has replaced coins), the vibe, lights and action of the casinos and The Strip sure haven’t. Laura McBride captured all of this brilliantly.

Following June’s section, the timeline jumps to 1992 and we meet Honorata, a Filipino girl who reluctantly (and somewhat bitterly) ends up in Vegas but whose luck may be changing. Then, there’s Coral, a Vegas native and music teacher who longs to find her own kind of happiness. Finally, in the last section, beginning in 2010-present we meet Engracia, an immigrant woman from Mexico with a tremendous broken heart. The beauty of how these very different women’s lives connect lies in the author’s tremendous storytelling ability. There wasn’t a time that I wasn’t completely engaged with the story and intrigued about how the ladies’ lives would intersect. That being said, I was definitely more invested in June’s story and to a lesser extent Coral’s. I really wished there wasn’t such a huge time gap between when we first read about June and when she makes another appearance. She was the character that I was most connected to and compelled to understand and there just wasn’t enough of her, in my opinion. I never really connected with Honorata and Engracia wasn’t in the story nearly as much as the others so I didn’t feel like I knew her as well. In the end, while I hoped for a little more ‘wow’ with the final scenes, I was very happy with how the author chose to end it. If you like vivid settings and charismatic characters, I encourage you to pick up this book.  This is truly top notch writing and storytelling and all I can do now is impatiently wait for Laura McBride’s next novel!

Many thanks to Touchstone Books via Netgalley and Laura McBride for my copy of Round Midnight, I’m happy to provide an honest review.



I began this Throwback Thursday meme as a way to share some of my old favorites as well as sharing books that I want to read that were published over a year ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on my TBR list while I continue to pile more titles on top of them:)! I like that these older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere. If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, you’re welcome to use my pic as well. If you’d just link back to me I’d so appreciate it


My PICK this week is:



Published Sept. 2015 By Scout Press

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

On the eve of her daughter’s wedding, June Reid’s life is completely devastated when a shocking disaster takes the lives of her daughter, her daughter’s fiancé, her ex-husband, and her boyfriend, Luke—her entire family, all gone in a moment. And June is the only survivor.

Alone and directionless, June drives across the country, away from her small Connecticut town. In her wake, a community emerges, weaving a beautiful and surprising web of connections through shared heartbreak.

From the couple running a motel on the Pacific Ocean where June eventually settles into a quiet half-life, to the wedding’s caterer whose bill has been forgotten, to Luke’s mother, the shattered outcast of the town—everyone touched by the tragedy is changed as truths about their near and far histories finally come to light


I have to say I passed over this book MANY times because the cover looks so boring and average! When I finally picked this up last year I read it in one sitting, it just captured my attention so much. In fact, this made my top 10 reads of 2016 list! The writing drew me in and June’s character kept me turning the pages…would she survive the tragedy of losing everyone who mattered? If she does persevere, what will life be like for her? So many questions surrounded June’s story and here’s another one…why was June the only one NOT in that house?? I know I couldn’t stop reading until I found out these answers. This is a fantastic character driven story with mystery and drama….tissues may be needed.

Happy Reading!

Throwback Recommendations around the blogosphere

Claire at I’m a Coffeeholic Bookworm

Deanna at Deesradreadsandreviews

Susan at Susan Loves Books

Patty at Moohnshinescorner

Ashley at The Bookish Mommy

Julie at Novel Thrills and Chills Review



Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where each Wednesday you get to highlight a book that you’re really looking forward to. This week I’ve chosen an upcoming new release by an author whose books scream SUMMERTIME READING☀️⛱ Every summer I look forward to finding out what new dramas, secrets, love, or friendship story she’s got in store for us…I can’t WAIT until June to find out!


My Waiting on Wednesday Pick is:



To Be Published June 13th, 2017 By Little, Brown and Company

From New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand, a summertime story about identical twins who couldn’t be any less alike.

Nantucket is only two and a half hours away from Martha’s Vineyard by ferry. But the two islands might as well be worlds apart for a set of identical twin sisters who have been at odds for years. When a family crisis forces them to band together–or at least appear to–the twins slowly come to realize that the special bond that they share is more important than the sibling rivalry that’s driven them apart for the better part of their lives. A touching depiction of all the pleasures and annoyances of the sibling relationship, Elin Hilderbrand’s next New York Times bestseller, THE IDENTICALS proves once and for all that just because twins look exactly the same doesn’t mean they’re anything alike.

Looks good doesn’t it!!


Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Faithless by Kjell Ola Dahl, available now and  published by the wonderful Orenda Books

Faithless cover

From Goodreads
Oslo detectives Gunnarstranda and Frølich are back and this time, it’s personal… When the body of a woman turns up in a dumpster, scalded and wrapped in plastic, Inspector Frank Frølich is shocked to discover that he knows her and their recent meetings may hold the clue to her murder. As he ponders the tragic events surrounding her death, Frølich’s colleague Gunnarstranda investigates a disturbingly similar cold case involving the murder of a young girl in northern Norway and Frølich is forced to look into his own past to find the answers – and the killer – before he strikes again. 

Faithless is the fifth book in the Oslo detectives series and yes, I’ve once again jumped into a series mid-way. If I didn’t know it was a series though I’m not sure I would’ve realized it because it very much reads as a standalone. I’m sure there are character threads woven throughout but I can’t say I noticed that I was missing anything.

The story begins with a stakeout and right away we meet Frank Frolich who’s staking out the house of a suspected robber. When a lady (Veronika Undset) leaves the house and he’s sent to follow and subsequently question her, several plot pieces are set in motion. It’s not long before Frank realizes his past seems to have firmly planted itself in his present, making him somewhat uncomfortable and on guard. Then a murder is committed leaving Frank stunned and searching for answers.

Frank’s comrade and fellow Oslo detective, Gunnarstranda, is investigating the disappearance of a University student so we are privy to 2 separate investigations which may or may not have connections. I found Gunnarstranda to be an interesting character as he sought to solve his case using old-fashioned detective work. His disdain for all the modern technology like CCTV’s was apparent and amusing. Then there’s Lena, a female colleague, who I have to say I never quite decided if I liked or not and then later in the story when she goes rogue and puts herself in a very precarious situation, I really thought that perhaps she wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed.

Faithless is classic Nordic Noir in that the pace is slow, the clues are layed out gradually, and the detectives work fairly methodically. The sentence structure was often short and choppy which did take some getting used to on my part. One thing I really appreciated, however, was the linear timeline. The story progresses in a straightforward manner…no flashbacks!   Something that was missing for me in this book though was a sense of place. I never felt like I could picture the surroundings and the atmospheric details I’ve come to enjoy in other Nordic Noir novels weren’t there for me in this one. I did find the characterization to be strong and while the resolution of one of the mysteries seemed to be pretty lackluster, the other one was a surprise. I always love to be fooled and the author managed to pull one over on me in terms of the murder.

Many thanks to Karen Sullivan for my copy of Faithless and Anne Cater for inviting me to be on the blog tour. I’m happy to provide an honest review.


About the author

One of the fathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Kjell Ola Dahl was born in 1958 in Gjøvik. He made his debut in 1993, and has since published eleven novels, the most prominent of which is a series of police procedurals cum psychological thrillers featuring investigators Gunnarstranda and Frølich. In 2000 he won the Riverton Prize for The Last Fix and he won both the prestigious Brage and Riverton Prizes for The Courier in 2015. His work has been published in 14 countries, and he lives in Oslo.

Be sure to stop by the other fantastic blogs on the tour 
Faithless is available now for ebook and paperback in the UK. Publication for print in the US is Sept 1 or you can order now through Book Depository



From Goodreads

Published August, 2016 by Orenda Books

September 1977. Mette Misvær, a three-year-old girl, disappears without trace from the sandpit outside her home. Her tiny, close middle-class community in the tranquil suburb of Nordas is devastated, but their enquiries and the police produce nothing. Curtains twitch, suspicions are raised, but Mette is never found. Almost 25 years later, as the expiration date for the statute of limitations draws near, Mette’s mother approaches PI Varg Veum, in a last, desperate attempt to find out what happened to her daughter. As Veum starts to dig, he uncovers an intricate web of secrets, lies and shocking events that have been methodically concealed. When another brutal incident takes place, a pattern begins to emerge. Chilling, shocking and full of extraordinary twists and turns, Where Roses Never Die reaffirms Gunnar Staalesen as one of the world’s foremost crime thriller writers.


While the missing child storyline is nothing new, this one drew my attention for several reasons. One, it’s an Orenda book and I have yet to read a book that Karen Sullivan has published that I haven’t really enjoyed; two, the fact that this missing child case has been unsolved for 25 years and the statute of limitations is almost up made it feel more intense, like the clock really is ticking to find out and bring someone to justice; three, I’ve recently discovered I love Scandinavian crime novels for the dark, somewhat gloomy settings as well as the often dark, gloomy characters involved.

Put all that together with the beginning pages of the story and I was hooked. The book begins with the armed robbery of a jewelry store gone wrong when a passerby literally runs into the robbers and gets shot and killed. When said robbers basically vanish into thin air it’s intriguing to say the least. The question will soon become, how, if at all does this seemingly random robbery tie in with a 25 year old missing child case?

From here we meet PI Varg Veum who’s losing the battle with himself over continually draining his liquor (Aquavit) bottle while on the job. There’s something tragic about Varg that made me really like him right off the bat. When the mother of Mette Misvoer, the little 3 year old girl who vanished from her front yard 25 years ago while playing in her sandbox pays Varg a visit you could feel his compassion coming through the pages and I immediately realized I was rooting for Varg to not only find the little girl but to save himself from the brink of what seemed like his own personal despair.

What follows is a story told in the style of traditional crime novels. By that I mean there’s no fancy detective tricks, no unreliable narrator, no high speed car chases or shoot’em up filler scenes…this is a guy battling his own personal demons who employs old fashioned detective work to find the missing Mette. With his amusing verbal sparring with suspects, I really found Varg to be a realistic and plausible character. As for the pace of the novel, it’s slow and steady (not in a bad way just in a methodical one)  until about the last quarter when the puzzle pieces begin to fall and click into place and I was racing to the end to find out every last detail. Can I just say…I didn’t see that ending coming! I had my theories but they always remained kind of fuzzy, I just couldn’t figure it all out which is exactly how I like to feel when reading a mystery.

I do have to say that many of you may look this up on Goodreads or Amazon and see that this is Book 18 in the series. FEAR NOT friends because this can be read as a standalone and really the only thing I wanted more answers to involved what happened to Varg’s love Karen which is what has led him to drown himself in Aquavit. So, with that said, I’ll be going back and reading Book 17, We Shall Inherit The Wind. I’ll also be eagerly awaiting Book 19, Wolves in the Dark,  which will be published by Orenda this June!

Many thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for my copy. I’m happy to provide an honest review



I began this Throwback Thursday meme as a way to share some of my old favorites as well as sharing books that I want to read that were published over a year ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on my TBR list while I continue to pile more titles on top of them:)! I like that these older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere. If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, you’re welcome to use my pic as well. If you’d just link back to me I’d so appreciate it


My Pick this week is:



Published April 2002 By Washington Square Press

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

From Goodreads

For twenty-eight years, things have been tripping along nicely for Cannie Shapiro. Sure, her mother has come charging out of the closet, and her father has long since dropped out of her world. But she loves her friends, her rat terrier, Nifkin, and her job as pop culture reporter for The Philadelphia Examiner. She’s even made a tenuous peace with her plus-size body.

But the day she opens up a national women’s magazine and sees the words “Loving a Larger Woman” above her ex-boyfriend’s byline, Cannie is plunged into misery…and the most amazing year of her life. From Philadelphia to Hollywood and back home again, she charts a new course for herself: mourning her losses, facing her past, and figuring out who she is and who she can become.


Can you say cover & title LOVE? Both of those just scream for you to pick up this fun read by Jennifer Weiner. I read this book shortly after it was published…that’s 15 years ago this month! Wow, it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. This would make a fantastic beach read or fun summer book to read by the pool. I remember really liking Cannie and rooting for her after her ex humiliated her, which if it was in today’s social media age that article he wrote would’ve found its way to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…and on. Even worse for Cannie! I wouldn’t call this fluffy chick-lit either. If you’ve read anything by Jennifer Weiner you know she writes with depth and really great characterization.

Happy Reading! 

Throwback Thursday recommendations around the blogosphere….

Rebecca at

Claire at I’m a Coffeeholic Bookworm

Susan at Susan Loves Books

Ann Marie at LitWitWineandDine

Deanna at DeesRadReadsandReviews




Welcome to the the cover reveal of the upcoming new crime thriller Watching the Bodies by Graham Smith, releasing April 25th by Bloodhound Books……


Watching the Bodies


Book Description:

When Jake Boulder is asked by his PI friend to help investigate the vicious murder of Kira Niemeyer, he soon finds himself tracking a serial killer who selects his next victim in a most unusual manner.

As the body count rises, Boulder has to work with the police to identify the heinous killer before more lives are taken. What ensues is a twisted game of cat and mouse, that only Boulder or the Watcher can survive.

Author Bio:

Graham Smith is married with a young son. A time served joiner he has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since Christmas 2000 he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland.

An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer and interviewer for the well-respected website since 2009

He is the author of four books featuring DI Harry Evans and the Cumbrian Major Crimes Team and one book, in a new series featuring Utah doorman, Jake Boulder.

“Watching the Bodies is a storming addition to the action thriller genre, and Jake Boulder a new tough guy to root for. Be under no illusion, Boulder is no Jack Reacher or Joe Hunter c



Author Website






Published April 4, 2017 by Ecco 

A body is discovered with the dismembered parts of six victims stitched together like a puppet, nicknamed by the press as the ‘ragdoll’.

Assigned to the shocking case are Detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes, recently reinstated to the London Met, and his former partner Detective Emily Baxter.

The ‘Ragdoll Killer’ taunts the police by releasing a list of names to the media, and the dates on which he intends to murder them.

With six people to save, can Fawkes and Baxter catch a killer when the world is watching their every move? 

 This is one fun serial killer read! You might think that’s not possible with a story about a serial killer who stitches together body parts of victims and then taunts the police with a kill list and a timeframe for 6 more murders, but believe me it is. This debut novel is creative, original and full of eyebrow raising moments…see how I avoided saying “twisty” because lately when I see that term I often think the opposite and I want you to realize this book REALLY delivers on surprises.  In fact, there are things that the killer pulls off in this book that left me thinking ‘wow.’

The story begins with an action packed prologue in which the Cremation Killer is on trial for burning alive several victims. William “Wolf” Fawkes, who’s hunted the Cremation Killer and is convinced of his guilt,  is in attendance in the courtroom and when the verdict is read…to say chaos ensues is an understatement.

Jump to 4 years later and things are very different. Wolf is called to the scene of a murder in which the victim(s) body parts have been stitched together to make a complete grotesque figure. This little discovery is soon followed by the killer releasing a kill list…the names of the next 6 victims and the date they will die. Can you say suspense? Wolf and his colleagues, Emily Baxter, Simmons, Finley, and Edmunds set out to find the victims and catch a killer with the clock literally ticking!

One of the very best aspects of this book is the dark humor blended within tremendously snappy, realistic dialogue.  So many of the exchanges between the characters made me laugh and then in the next instance I’d be holding my breath as one more victim’s time looked to be running out. Speaking of time running out, the story is told in straightforward narration (yes!) with short chapters broken up by date and time which contributed to the relentless pace. What I especially liked was that many of the chapters ended in mini-cliffhangers which ensured that I was staying up late for one more chapter.

As I keep saying, this book is pure fun, but if you’re a die hard stickler for complete police procedural realism you might have some issues throughout. I didn’t for one second mind suspending my disbelief in places but some might.  When all was said and done, I thought the ending was perfect for the story and I’ll be waiting with fingers crossed that we haven’t seen the last of these characters.

If you’re looking for a well-written, truly unique, out of the box serial killer mystery look no further than Ragdoll! I think it’s going to be a huge success

Many thanks to my friend Amy at NovelGossip for sending me a copy of this fun read!



Published April 4, 2017 by Seventh Street Books

After his unspectacular professional baseball career ends with a knee injury in Toledo, Ohio, Johnny Earl gets busted for selling cocaine. After serving seven years in prison, all he wants to do is return to his hometown of Steubenville, retrieve the drug money he stashed before he went to jail, and start a new life where no one has ever heard of Johnny Earl.
However, before he can leave town with his money, Johnny is picked up for questioning in the murder of Rayce Daubner, the FBI informant who had set him up on drug charges in the first place. Then his former prison cellmate shows up–a white supremacist who wants the drug money to help fund an Aryan nation in the wilds of Idaho.
Five memorable characters, each with a separate agenda, come together in this layered tale of murder, deceit, and political intrigue.


Can I just say that Robin Yocum’s books have the best book covers and titles I’ve come across in a long time. There is something about the colors and haziness that draws you in and when coupled with the intriguing titles just beg you to pick up the book. I mean we all say we try not to judge a book by it’s cover but it’s so hard when it’s the first thing you see and his are just tops! I recently reviewed his Edgar nominated novel A Brilliant Death which you can read here if you missed that 5 star review, so I was really looking forward to starting A Welcome Murder.

The novel is set in the small Ohio town of Steubenville, which being an Ohio native and still living here,  I have never been to Steubenville although I have drove through nearby areas now and again. I absolutely love that Yocum sets his books in a small town which, coming from one myself, I know have their own little ways of operating. We are first introduced to Johnny Earl who, fresh out of a seven year prison stint for drug dealing, realizes he’s going to be the prime “person of interest” in the murder that’s been committed. Not that he cares about the victim, he just doesn’t want to be sent back to prison. I have to say, I liked Johnny and I liked the flow of the story with him narrating. He’s one of those characters who’s done some really stupid things but there’s something about them you still like and want to root for…that’s Johnny Earl for me.

The story continues with four more alternating perspectives telling the tale. There’s Sheriff Francis Roberson who was a friend of Johnny’s in high school, Dena Marie (Johnny’s girlfriend in high school), Vincent “Smoochie” Xenakis (town wimp who’s currently married to Dena Marie ), and Allison who’s currently married to Sheriff Robinson. Whew…a lot of alternating first person perspectives right there and although the author successfully manages to tie everyone together and keep the loose threads from tangling, the many alternating perspectives lost me for a couple reasons. One…I really only connected with Johnny and Francis and I would’ve been happier if the book just alternated between the two of them. In fact, I really disliked the other 3 characters, especially “Smoochie” who’s name and character I found somewhat annoying. I also found the complete personality shift for him to be over the top.  Second, I felt like just when I found a rhythm to the story it would again change to a different perspective which left me feeling a little frustrated. I think this boils down to personal reading preferences and I just prefer less narrators.

While the five alternating perspectives didn’t work for me, what I did enjoy was the fantastic dialogue which the author seamlessly weaves throughout the novel that created such realistic conversations which kept the pace fairly quick. This, coupled with the fact that I had my detective hat on the entire time trying to figure out which person was the killer and why,  effectively kept me on my toes which I liked. I’m happy to report that my theory of ‘whodunit’ was completely wrong…I love it when that happens! Robin Yocum fooled me again and I couldn’t be happier about that.

Many thanks to Robin Yocum and Cheryl Quimba from Seventh Street Books for my copy of A Welcome Murder. I’m happy to provide an honest review.



I began this Throwback Thursday meme as a way to share some of my old favorites as well as sharing books that I want to read that were published over a year ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on my TBR list while I continue to pile more titles on top of them:)! I like that these older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere. If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, you’re welcome to use my pic as well. If you’d just link back to me I’d so appreciate it


My Pick this week is:



From Goodreads 

Published July 1998 by William Morrow

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Boston private detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro are hired to find four-year-old Amanda McCready, abducted from her bed on a warm, summer night. They meet her stoned-out, strangely apathetic mother, her loving aunt and uncle, the mother’s dangerous, drug-addled friends, and two cops who’ve found so many abused or dead children they may be too far over the edge to come back. Despite enormous public attention, rabid news coverage, and dogged police work, the investigation repeatedly hits a brick wall. Led into a world of drug dealers, child molesters, and merciless executioners, Patrick and Angie are soon forced to face not only the horrors adults can perpetrate on innocents but also their own conflicted feelings about what is best, and worst, when it comes to raising children. And as the Indian summer fades and the autumn chill deepens, Amanda McCready stays gone, banished so completely that she seems never to have existed.

Then another child disappears. . . . Dennis Lehane takes you into a world of triple crosses, elaborate lies, and shrouded motives, where the villains may be more moral than the victims, the missing should possibly stay missing, and those who go looking for them may not come back alive.

Settle in and turn off the phone. From its haunting opening to its shocking climax, Gone, Baby, Gone is certain to be one of the most thrilling, talked-about suspense novels you read this year.


It’s no secret here on my blog…I love Dennis Lehane’s books and writing! This one was brought to mind recently when I came across the movie on tv. It stars Casey Affleck and if you haven’t seen it, definitely read the book first but then grab the movie, it’s such an excellent adaptation of the book. About this book…once you pick it up I think you should have a free afternoon or evening because you won’t want to put it down! This is one of those stories that just gets under your skin, causes you to think about it during your work day, while running errands or making dinner. It’s not just the ‘What happened to Amanda McCReady’ angle, it’s the entire story and narrative that will have you wondering if anyone could possibly be telling the truth. To top it off, Patrick and Angie are fantastic together.  Now…I know you may see on Goodreads or Amazon that this is book 4 in the Patrick Kenzie series but this can absolutely be read as a standalone!  I hope you’ll give it a try and drop me a line if you do, I’d love to hear what you thought

Happy Reading!

For more Throwback Thursday Recommendations visit Rebecca at, Nicki at The Secret Library  , Susan at Susan Loves Books,  Deana at DeesRadReadsandReviews, Ann Marie at LitWitWineandDine