Saturday, July 9, 2011

Book Review - The Witness Wore Bay Blood by L.C. Evans

I finished two books while on "vacation." This is the second one finished, so I'm sharing the review.

The Witness Wore Blood BayThe Witness Wore Blood Bay by L.C. Evans

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the first book by L.C. Evans I’ve read and the second in the series. I enjoyed it and will probably read others in this series and/or by L.C. Evans.

This series revolves a bit around horses and horse shows and is set in a small Florida town. A member of the local horse club is accused of murdering a friend of her husband. The husband seems indifferent at best. While not wanting to be involved, Leigh McRae is asked by the accused, Candy, to help her out. After Candy reveals something no one else knows and realizing that no one is going to help Candy, Leigh decides to do a little poking around. Tagged on and around this is her cousin Sammi’s belief that her neighbor is poisoning neighborhood dogs.

The clues are all laid out. I knew there was a connection, but there were numerous false leads, but in the end it all tied together nicely.

A few things did annoy me. The attitude of the sheriff. While Leigh did present some pretty basic things it was apparent he had his person and would consider nothing else. I guess I prefer to have law enforcement be willing to help and investigate instead of being the enemy.

Her relationships with the men in her life. I haven’t read the first book, but Kenneth, her ex-husband, is not written in a manner that anyone would like him. I also didn’t care for her wishy washiness over marrying Adam, the perfect man she now has. No man is perfect. I couldn't tell if the author was trying to throw romance into mystery or not. If she was, it was subtle and didn’t really work for me.

I did really enjoy the relationship between Leigh and her cousin Sammi. I couldn’t tell if Leigh had many other friends other than acquaintances from the horse club, though she seemed to know and get along with plenty of people. She has a daughter, who is youngish (11), but is barely in the book. Not sure what I think about that, though for most of the book the daughter was at dressage camp.

I thought her job woes got a bit tiresome as did the constant reminders of how run down her house was. While these did wear a bit thin with me, they didn’t really detract from the book and I will most likely read other books in this series.

Overall, this was a good book and I’d recommend it.

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Yearly Illinois trip...

I got back a few days ago from my yearly trip to middle of nowhere So Illinois. Once again, I was struck by how absolutely peaceful this area is. The people are really nice and there is no traffic to speak of; the towns are very small. Everything moves at it's own pace and nothing seems rushed. Now, it could be because it was July not May this time, but it's always been like that when I was there.

This time I wound up flying and driving. I flew in to Shreveport to join up with my Mom and then drove from there (in her new Escape, which I definitely enjoyed driving) to IL. We overnighted in a really nice little hotel in Arkansas and arrived the following afternoon. Pleasant drive. Different scenery - mostly flat, nothing like the mountains I drove through last year, but still peaceful. We made the return trip in a day and I flew back out of Shreveport. Horrible flights from DFW to S'port and vice versa, but then I don't do bumpy well at all.

Once there we attended to a couple of things needed for the house. Turns out a water pipe burst when the water was turned back on. Apparently there had been a leak outside. Someone from the water department noticed it and cut the water off at the meter and put a lock on the meter! When the person who usually turns our water on and cranks up the air got the for usre, he, of course, couldn't turn on the water. So, he went to the city, which explained the problem. Apparently, after my dad passed away, they sorta lost track of us and didn't realize we came in once a year (we figured that explained why we hadn't gotten a water bill -- oops). The joy of a small town - they turned the water on, saying that we could pay the deposit when we got there, and replaced the meter with a newer one (apparently it was a little dated). We did wind up talking with the guy from the city who did this, in the street, while trying to find city hall, which was closed because of the holiday as the lady who ran the office took some vacation days. We were able to drop it off in a drop box. We were also tickled that he referred to the house as "Pete's house." You gotta love small towns. Course, it's also why I hesitate to live in a town that small as it would be like living in fishbowl -- everyone would know your business.

The plumber fixed the pipes and kindly mopped up everything. There was no sign of water when we got there and for that we were really grateful. Actually, we were super grateful to have water when we got there. All else went fine. We also took the final step of officially listing it for sale. Bittersweet, but houses need to be lived in and it's time.

While there I found myself somewhat longing for "my space." It's been a while since I've felt the urge to buy or have "my home" as I'm perfectly happy where I am and renting. Maybe it was the peacefulness of the setting or the fact that there are no apartments there. You either live in a house or a manufactured home or a trailer but not an apartment. However, once I got back to my apartment I realized again that home is where the cat and my stuff is. It can be a place or maybe a building but for me, 98 percent of the time, it's where I feed the cat and hang my hat.

I figure we have one more trip back when the house sells and that's when I'll say my final good-bye to the place. In the meantime, I'm happily back home and getting back to the non-vacation routine.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Book Reviews

I set a reading goal this year on Goodreads and also have a goal to write a review for each book that I read. So far, so good. I've decided to start sharing some of the reviews on this blog.

I mostly read Mysteries - Cozies and some historicals. However, I also have an eclectic taste in books and you'll see a variety of titles that aren't mysteries. Some chick lit, but no romance. If it appeals to me, I'll read it.

Hope you enjoy the reviews.

Book Review - Savannah Breeze by Mary Kay Andrews

Savannah BreezeSavannah Breeze by Mary Kay Andrews

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this book! It was great to get more of BeBe’s story (she was introduced in Savannah Blues) and see more of Weezy. I was a little leary in the beginning as I could see that Reddy was going to probably take advantage of BeBe. And, he did. In a big way. What I loved was that while he took BeBe for everything, she owned up to her part in letting it happen and took charge of getting her life back together. She reached out to friends and family, but did not take advantage. She took the one thing she had left, a run down motel called the Breeze Inn, and set out to make it work.

BeBe also set out to get back what Reddy took. This involved a road trip to Florida with quite the cast of characters in tow. Her Grandfather, who was a hoot and not nearly as oblivious as he came across, Harry, whom she met at the Breeze Inn and who isn’t as gruff as he wants people to think he is, and of course, Weezy. Some tenseness ensues as does some hilarity. It works out in the end, but refreshingly, BeBe grows from this experience and doesn’t quite head back to the perfect life she had before.

This could have been a story of desperation, but it wasn’t. It was about people, friendships, family and taking what life throws at you. It wasn’t simpering, but full of life. BeBe literally takes lemons and makes lemonade.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book (though suggest reading Savannah Blues first if you haven’t read that one) and look forward to reading other books by this author.

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