Cheli's Mountainous Category Challenge for 2021

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Cheli's Mountainous Category Challenge for 2021

Editado: Ene 21, 4:10pm

Hi everyone, this is my 13th annual category challenge.
This year, I made the decision that things have to change. I've been participating in the Category challenge since 2009 and have increased my number of categories each year to correspond with the year but I'm honest with myself that 21 categories was just too much so, this year I am going with something new. I'm going with the number of books to read in the categories instead. I made the definition of categories very simple so that maybe I concentrate more on the books and less on the way the books fit in categories.
This year my theme is CLIMBING MOUNT TBR. I have selected 5 categories (identified by 4 mountain ranges and a valley) to concentrate on the books that are currently sitting on my shelves, both virtual and real. I decided that I didn't seem to be making a lot of progress on catching up on series that I've already started so this year, I thought if I concentrate on specific series/authors, maybe I'll make more progress. So for each category, I will concentrate on Authors whose books I have already identified that I want to read.
The Alps Mountain Range will be for authors with initials A through E and 20 books to finish.
The Andes Mountain Range will be for authors with initials F through L and 21 books to finish.
The Himalayan Mountain Range will be for authors with initials M through R and 20 books to finish.
The Rocky Mountain Range will be for authors with initials S through Z and 21 books to finish.

Get it? 20 21, 20 21?

However, that can't be all, because as I thought, I realize that I do get some bright shiny new books or borrow from library for Book Club, so I realize that those books will fall into a valley since they aren't part of the mountains. I selected Sonoma Valley in California because it's one of my favorite places on earth.

In 2021 I'll be continuing the following formal challenges:

The 75 Book Challenge is where I can chat about my grandchildren, themes for the day or just anything I feel like as well as BOOKS.
US Presidents Challenge So far I'm still working on FDR and the Great Depression. I made very little progress the last few years so I really need to concentrate on this a bit more in 2021. Needless to say, this challenge has been extended to 2028 at least.
European Challenge - I still have 2/3 of Europe to explore. Hopefully, a few foreign countries are in my future this year - at least in books.
50 States challenge - Only five states left on the itinerary, and I'm hoping to finish this challenge in 2021.
Miscellanous monthly challenges that will help me find new things to stretch my reading include the CAT challenges, Alpha Kit - and books for my ladies' book club.

Then there are also several personal challenges that I will be endeavoring to work on in 2021.
Bookshelf Bootie - I'm trying to remind myself that when books come into to my house they need to be read soon. My goal is that 50% of new books in are read in the current year. Hopefully, that will include the books that I actually purchased as well as downloaded to my e-reader so that those books that show in my acquisition ticker on my ROOT thread will be read in a timely manner. I did manage to read nearly 50% of new books acquired in 2020. YEAH!!!
ROOT Challenge is my effort to read 84 books (7 per month at least) off my own shelves! (This includes books on my Nook/Kindle, ER & ARCs I receive for review, and audiobooks that I've downloaded in the past.) I've resolved to reduce the number of ARCs/ERs that I request so that more of the old books have priority. This resolution is very hard for me to do, but I'll try again in 2021. I did poorly in 2020 because I received 100+ books that had to be read and reviewed in the current year and I didn't keep up. Since the 4 categories only account for 82 books, the vast majority of my reading this year should be from my own books! Maybe I won't slide down the mountains too far!

When I first joined LT and took part in the 999 Challenge - I had my best reading year ever completing the 999 challenge twice with 162 books!
I really need to have that pace again or I will never catch up. But there may be a bright side - I saw somewhere that someone said that until they finished reading all the books on their TBR, they couldn't die! I like that philosophy, because I will be immortal!

I know in my heart that my book acquisitions are out of control... there is no way that I can ever read all the books in my possession in my lifetime and yet I keep getting more! I can't stop! At least it's not unhealthy like drugs or smoking or alcohol....but wait, I do drink wine while reading and eat candy and I'm not exercising, oh well.

So here we go!

Here are my categories and I am hoping to read at least the 20 or 21 in each mountain range category.

Alps Mountains
Sonoma Valley

Editado: Feb 15, 10:42am

I. The Alps - authors with initials A through E - 20 books

Probably one of the most photographed mountain ranges is the Alps. We've seen skiers ski down their slopes. We've seen castles that soar over their peaks.

Some of my favorite authors will fit in this category.

1. Lavender Blue Murder by Laura Childs
2. Page Marked for Murder by Lauren Elliott
3. Sayers Swindle by Victoria Abbott
4. One Poison Pie by Lynn Cahoon
5. Egg Shooters by Laura Childs
6. Little Bookshop of Murder by Maggie Blackburn
7. A Tourist's Guide to Murder by V.M. Burns
8. Peril in Paperback by Kate Carlisle
9. Killer Comfort Food by Lynn Cahoon
10. Big Fat Greek Murder by Kate Collins
11. A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison

Hard to believe that I am actually behind on a few of my favorite authors that fall in this category. They will have top priority and could even complete the category.

Adams, Ellery
Books by the Bay(3)
Lethal Letters
Writing All Wrongs
Killer Characters
Book Retreat Mystery
Murder in the Cookbook Nook
Barbara Barrett
Mah Jongg Mystery (5)
Beware the East Wind
Flower Power
Jokers Wild
The Charleston Challenge
The Dragon Lady Gets Her Due
Lynn Cahoon
Tourist Trap Mystery (1)
Picture Perfect Frame
Cat Latimer Mystery (1)
A Field Guide to Homicide
Kitchen Witch (2)
✔One Poison Pie
Two Wicked Desserts
Murder 101

Farm-to-Fork Mystery (2)
✔Killer Comfort Food
A Pumpkin Spice Killing
Kate Carlisle
Bibliophile Mystery (10)
✔Peril in Paperback
A Cookbook Conspiracy
Book Stops Here
Ripped From the Pages
Books of a Feather
Once Upon a Spine
Buried in Books
Book Supremacy
The Grim Reader
Little Black Book
Laura Childs
Tea Shop Mysteries (3)
✔Lavender Blue Murder
Haunted Hibiscus
Twisted Tea Christmas
Cackleberry Club Mystery (1)
✔Egg Shooters
Here are 13 additional authors that I want to concentrate on, series begun, and the number of books that I have waiting to be read for each. As you can see there are many so hopefully, I will get caught up on a few. There are actually more authors but I had to be realistic and narrow it down, so others that may fit in this category may pop up.

Abbott, Victoria - Book Collector Mysteries (4)
✔Sayers Swindle
Wolfe Widow
Marsh Madness
Hammett Hex
✔Addison, Esme - Enchanted Bay Mystery (1)
Archer, Winnie - Bread Shop Mystery (1)
Barrett, Lorna - Booktown Mystery (10)
Berry, Steve - Cotton Malone (14)
✔Blackburn, Maggie - A Beach Reads Mystery (1)
✔Burns, V. M. - Mystery Bookshop (1)

Byron, Ellen - Cajun Country Mysteries (1)
Casey, Elizabeth Lynn - Southern Sewing Circle (8)
Chase, Erika - Ashton Corners Book Club (3)
Collins, Kate -
Flower Shop Mystery (15)
Goddess of Greene St. Mystery (1)
✔ A Big Fat Greek Murder
Connolly, Sheila - Museum Mysteries (5)
Coyle, Cleo - Coffeehouse (10)
Davis, Krista - Domestic Diva (8)
Delaney, Devon - Cook-Off Mystery (2)
Elkins, Aaron - Lee Ofsted (2)
Elliott, Lauren - Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery (2)
✔A Page Marked for Murder
Under the Cover of Murder

Editado: Feb 15, 10:36am

II. Andes Mountains - initials F through L and 21 books to finish
The longest mountain range in the world are the Andes Mountains which run the length of the South American continent. Some of the oldest ruins found are in this huge mountain range. I definitely can find at least 21 books for this category.

1. Murder at the Arts & Crafts Festival by G.P.Gardner
2. Dead-End Detective: A Piper and Porter Mystery by Amanda Flower
3. Murder at the PTA by Lee Hollis
4. Peachy Scream by Anna Gerard
5. The Body from the Past by Judi Lynn
6. Murder with a View by Diane Kelly

Here are the authors that I want to concentrate on, series begun, and the number of books that I have waiting to be read for each. Again, there are many so hopefully, I will get caught up on some. Narrowed down to favorites and hope to get to's, so others that may fit in this category are possible.

Amanda Flower
Amish Candy Shop Mystery (1)
Lemon Drop Dead
Living History Museum Mystery (3)
Final Reveille
Final Tap
Final Vow
Piper and Porter Mystery
✔Dead-End Detective

Daryl Wood Gerber
Fairy Garden Mystery(1)
A Glimmer of a Clue
Fluke, Joanne
Hannah Swensen (1)
Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder
Laurie R. King
Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes (1)
Castle Shade
Klein, Libby
Poppy McAllister Mystery (1)
Beauty Expos Are Murder
Hope to get to:

Fairstein, Linda Devlin Quick Mystery (1)
Finsilver, Janet Kelly Jackson 0
Fox, Sarah - Pancake House Mystery (2)
Frank, Dorothea Benton 14
French, Tana Dublin Murder Squad (1)
✔Gardner, GP Cleo Mack mystery (1) Anna Gerard
Georgia B&B Mystery (2)
✔Peachy Scream
Peaches and Schemes
Gregory, Lena All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery (1)
Gregory, Philippa - Plantagenet and Tudor Novels (13)
Hamilton, Victoria Merry Muffin Mystery (5)
Hechtman, Betty - Crochet Mystery (8)
✔Hollis, Lee - Maya and Sandra Mystery (1)
Hollon, Cheryl Paint & Shine Mystery (1)
Jenkins, Beverly - Blessings (2)
Laurens, Stephanie Casebook of Barnaby Adair (7) Cynster Next Generation (8)
✔Kelly, Diane - House-Flipper Mystery (1)
Lee, Amanda Embroidery Mystery (5)
Leon, Donna Commissario Brunetti (2)
Lippman, Laura Tess Monaghan (8)
Lynn, Judi Jazzi Zanders Mystery (2)
The Body from the Past
The Body in the Beauty Parlor

Editado: Feb 10, 1:03pm

Himalayan Mountains - initials M through R and 20 books to finish

The Himalayan Mountain Range has the tallest mountains - Mt. Everest, the tallest. I kind of think that the most TBRs are also in this group but it may just be my imagination. However, there are great authors that are sitting on the mountaintop.

1. Wedding Bear Blues by Meg Macy
2. Murder at Chateau sur Mer by Alyssa Maxwell
3. Crown Jewels of Britain and Europe by Prince Michael of Greece

Here are the 18 authors that I want to concentrate on, series begun, and the number of books that I have waiting to be read for each. Again, there are far to many for me to get to all of them but, I certainly hope there will be many read here. My favorites will definitely get immediate attention when their latest books are released, the others will be part of my catch up plans


Mulhern, Julie
Country Club Murders (1)
Night Moves
Poppy Fields (6)
Fields' Guide to Assassins
Fields' Guide to Voodoo
Fields' Guide to Fog
Fields' Guide to Pharaohs
Fields' Guide to Dirty Money
Fields' Guide to Smuggling
Penny, Louise
Inspector Gamache (1)
The Madness of Crowds

Macy, Meg
Teddy Bear Mysteries (1)
✔Wedding Bear Blues
Maxwell, Alyssa
Gilded Newport (5)
✔Murder at Chateau sur Mer
Murder at Ochre Court
Murder at Crossways
Murder at Kingscote
Murder at Wakehurst

Karen MacInerney
Gray Whale Inn Mystery (7)
Berried to the Hilt
Brush with Death
Death Runs Adrift
Whale of a Crime
Claws for Alarm
Scone Cold Dead
Anchored Inn

Hope to get to:

MacNeal, Susan Elia Maggie Hope (1)
Marks, Mary - Quilting mysteries (7)
McKinlay, Jenn - cupcake bakery (9) Library Lover's Mystery (7)
Maron, Margaret - Deborah Knott (15)
Pearson, Ridley, Barry, Dave - Peter (4)
Perry, Anne - Thomas Pitt (13)
Rose Pressey - Haunted Craft Fair Mystery (2)
Quincy, D. M. - Atlas Catesby Mystery
R J Lee - Bridge to Death Mystery (1)
Raybourn, Deanna - Veronica Speedwell (5)
Riordan, Rick - Heroes of Olympus (2) Trials of Apollo (5)
Robbins, Sara Aspen Valley (6)
Rosett, Sara Ellie Avery Mystery (7)

Editado: Feb 15, 10:38am

The Rocky Mountain Range will be for authors with initials S through Z and 21 books to finish.

The major mountain range on the North American continent are the Rocky Mountains which run from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico in the Southwestern United States. The Continental Divide of the Americas is located in the Rocky Mountains and designates the line at which waters flow either to the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans. Will I be able to determine which way my reading will flow? I definitely can find at least 21 books for this category.

1. Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum by Kirsten Weiss
2. The Figure in the Photograph by Kevin Sullivan

Here are 18 authors that I want to concentrate on, series begun, and the number of books that I have waiting to be read for each. Again, there are far to many for me to get to all of them but, I certainly hope there will be many read here. My favorites will definitely get immediate attention when their latest books are released, the others will be part of my catch up plans

Paige Shelton
Scottish Bookshop Mystery (2)
Stolen Letter
Deadly Editions
Karen Rose Smith
Daisy's Tea Garden Mystery (1)
Murder with Orange Pekoe Tea
Victoria Thompson
Gaslight Mysteries (20)
Murder on Washington Square
Murder on Mulberry Bend
Murder on Marble Row
Murder on Lenox Hill
Murder in Little Italy
Murder In Chinatown
Murder on Bank Street
Murder on Waverly Place
Murder on Lexington Avenue
Murder on Sisters' Row
Murder on Fifth Avenue
Murder in Chelsea
Murder in Murray Hill
Murder on Amsterdam Avenue
Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue
Murder in Morningside Heights
Murder in the Bowery
Murder on Union Square
Murder on Trinity Place
Murder on Pleasant Avenue
Murder on Wall Street
Jacqueline Winspear
Maisie Dobbs (7)
Leaving Everything Most Loved (2013)
A Dangerous Place (2015)
Journey to Munich (2016)
In This Grave Hour (2017)
To Die but Once (2018)
The American Agent (2019)
The Consequences of Fear
Julia Spencer-Fleming
Clare Fergusson / Russ Van Alstyne (4)
I Shall Not Want
One Was a Soldier (2011)
Through the Evil Days (2013)
Hid from Our Eyes

Scott, Michele Wine Lover's Mystery (4)
Sefton, Maggie Knitting Mystery (8)
Shea, Susan C French Village Mystery (2)
Small, Bertrice Silk Merchant's Daughters (1)
Sprinkle, Patricia Thoroughly Southern Mystery (7)
Stanton, Mary Beaufort and Company Mystery (2)
Steen, Jane Scott-De Quincy Mysteries 0
St James, Dorothy Beloved Bookroom Mystery (1)
Susan Kiernan-Lewis Maggie Newberry Mysteries (18)
Swanson, Denise Chef-to-Go Mystery (1)
Taylor, Patrick Irish Country (13)
Thomas, Sherry Lady Sherlock (5)
Trauth, Suzanne Dodie O'Dell Mystery (1)
Walker, LynDee Nichelle Clarke Mystery (7)
Washburn, Livia J. Fresh-Baked Mystery (12)
Wilhelm, Kate Barbara Holloway (10)
Willig, Lauren Pink Carnation (1)
Weiss, Kirsten
Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum(4)
✔Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum
Pressed to Death
Deja Moo
Chocolate a la Murder

Editado: Feb 17, 4:08pm


Even though I have more than 500 books on Mount TBR, I know that there will be times when I will be reading books that are not part of the mountain ranges - in essence, they will be shiny new books I couldn't resist, library books, book club selections. So if I am not reading from the mountain, I must be in a valley. My husband and I have made repeated trips from the East Coast to the California Wine Country and our favorite valley is Sonoma.

Here is where those undiscovered and undetermined books will be slated.

1. The Birth Order Book by Kevin Leman - book club
2. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo - granddaughter's class reading
3. The Wedding Tree by Robin Wells - book club

Editado: Feb 17, 8:49pm

1. One word title
2. By or about a marginalized group
3. Dark or light in title
4. Book with a character you'd like as a friend
5. Focus on art
6. Book with a title that describes you
7. Book you heartily recommend
8. A book about nature or the environment
9. Classical element in title (Western: earth, air, wind, fire, aether/void. Chinese: wood, fire, earth, metal, water) -
10. 2 or more authors - Sayers Swindle
11. Impulse read
12. Love story - The Wedding Tree
14. Set in or author from the Southern Hemisphere
15. A book that made you laugh
16. Suggested by a person from another generation - The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane my granddaughter
17. New to you author - Birth Order Book
18. Set somewhere you'd like to visit
19. History or alternate history
20. 20 or less LT members -Wedding Bear Blues
21. Less than 200 pages
22. Senior citizen as the protagonist - A Tourist's Guide to Murder
23. Book with the name of a building in the title - Murder at Chateau sur Mer
24. Time in title, subject
25. Book with or about magic -A Spell for Trouble

Editado: Feb 17, 4:11pm


1. Wedding Bear Blues
2. Lavender Blue Murder
3. Murder at Chateau sur Mer
4. Page Marked for Murder
5. Sayers Swindle
6. Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum
7. Murder at the Arts & Crafts Festival
8. Birth Order Book
9. Dead-End Detective: A Piper and Porter Mystery
10. Murder at the PTA
11. One Poison Pie
12. Egg Shooters
13. Peachy Scream
14. The Body From The Past
15. Little Bookshop of Murder
16. Crown Jewels of Europe
17. A Tourist's Guide to Murder
18. Peril in Paperback
19. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
20. Spell for Trouble
21. Killer Comfort Food
22. A Big Fat Greek Murder
23. The Figure in the Photograph
24. Murder with a View
25. For Whom the Book Tolls
26. The Wedding Tree

Editado: Dic 26, 2020, 6:42pm


Editado: Dic 26, 2020, 6:41pm


Editado: Dic 26, 2020, 6:41pm


Dic 26, 2020, 10:43pm

Beautiful pics! Good luck with your 2021 reading.

Dic 26, 2020, 11:46pm

Hope you have a wonderful year scaling those mountains of books to be read!

Dic 27, 2020, 11:04am

What lovely pictures! I think keeping it simpler is a great idea - it's so easy to get overwhelmed with the number of challenges.

Dic 27, 2020, 12:06pm

Have fun scaling Mt. TBR in 2021, Chelle!

Dic 27, 2020, 12:18pm

Great pictures and a great idea on how to accomplish climbing the TBR pile. Unless I'm reading things wrong, it looks like you have a number of series with only 1 book to be up-to-date. I wish I could say that.

Dic 27, 2020, 1:06pm

Love the images of the mountains. Wishing you luck in scaling mount TBR.

Dic 27, 2020, 1:55pm

Great idea to keep it simple and use the number "2021" in a different way. Good luck with your series reading!

Dic 27, 2020, 3:10pm

Chèli, wishing you a Happy New Year and the best of luck with your TBR climbing. I'll look forward to following your progress with BingoDog, too.

Dic 27, 2020, 4:30pm

I love this! Happy mountain climbing!!

Dic 27, 2020, 5:54pm

Great theme! My book acquisitions are out of control too . . . As you say, at least it's not alcohol or drugs!

Dic 28, 2020, 7:51pm

Interesting way to organize your reading and some great pictures.

Ene 1, 12:26pm

Hi Chèli, wishing you good luck as you climb Mount TBR in 2021!

Ene 5, 12:29pm

Enjoy your mountain climbing, Chèli! Armchair exercise is the best!

Editado: Ene 25, 2:21pm

Challenge Book # 1
Wedding Bear Blues ★★★★
Meg Macy
Category - Himalayas
Source - NetGalley
Other Challenges - ROOT Challenge, ALPHAKit (M/P), 75 Book Challenge

Sasha Silverman and her sister, Maddie, are pretty busy leading up to Valentine's Day - not just with work at the Silver Bear Shop and Factory but they serving in the bridal for their friend Cissy who is turning into a bridezilla! Things go downhill when the best man is found murdered in a ladies' room stall at the rehearsal dinner. Oops, that puts the wedding on hold! Well, while they wait for rescheduling (and whatever changes Cissy is going to insist upon) design efforts go forward on a Wedding bear couple to be ready for the June wedding frenzy. Further wedding party issues keep Sasha and Maddie busy trying to solve the murder so that the wedding can proceed.

I love teddy bears! So to have my first book of 2021 be chock full of teddies thrilled me but the mystery kept me enthralled as well. The characters are funny and lovable. The story was well-written with clues well-hidden.

Editado: Ene 25, 2:21pm

Challenge Book # 2
Lavender Blue Murder ★★★★
Laura Childs
Category - Alps
Source - OverDrive
Other Challenges - ROOT Challenge, ALPHAKit (M/P), 75 Book Challenge

Theodosia and Drayton are taking part in a old-fashioned shooting party (Indigo Tea is also catering) when they hear a shot that doesn't sound like it came from a shotgun but a revolver, so they head out to see if everything is okay. They come across their host, Reginald Doyle, shot and dead.

The days following are filled with private investigating of the people who were involved with Doyle's life as well as preparations for the Indigo Tea Shoppe's firsts of a Gone with the Wind tea and a Lavender Lady Tea. The possible suspects are frequently in the tea shop and Theo is busy checking into any connection that could be relevant to the murder.

The food that Haley provides makes your mouth water and the scents described the reader can almost smell. The regular characters are just like old friends.

I really wish there was an Indigo Tea Shoppe!

Editado: Ene 25, 2:21pm

Challenge Book # 3
Murder at Chateau sur Mer ★★★½
Alyssa Maxwell
Category - Himalayas
Source - NetGalley
Other Challenges - ROOT Challenge, ALPHAKit (M/P), 75 Book Challenge

Emmaline Cross, poor relation of the Vanderbilts and society columnist for the Newport Observer, is caught in a difficult situation when she is recruited by Senator George Wetmore's wife to discover the details that resulted in the dead body at the bottom of the steps at Chateau sur Mer, the Wetmore's home in Newport. The victim, Lilah Buford, a prostitute at the Blue Moon tavern, had been making an effort to contact Mrs. Wetmore at a polo match earlier in the day and now she was dead. What did she need to communicate with Mrs. Wetmore about? Was the matter the cause of her death? How could she have gotten into this guarded home without anyone knowing?

Emma sets out to find the answers but the manner of her investigation may endanger her livelihood if not her life.

It was great to see all the characters surrounding Emma again. The mystery was very complex as well as entertaining. The writing, as usual, was superb.

Editado: Ene 25, 2:21pm

Challenge Book # 4
A Page Marked for Murder ★★★½
Lauren Elliott
Category - Alps
Source - NetGalley
Other Challenges - ROOT Challenge, ALPHAKit (M/P), 75 Book Challenge

Greystone Harbor is preparing for their annual Fire and Ice Festival as the new year starts but Addie Greystone, owner of Beyond the Page bookstore, has preparations of her own to make. While standing outside in cold, looking at her empty display window, searching for inspiration, she is surprised by Pippi, a small dog who belongs to her friend Gloria, who never lets Pippi out of her sight. But where is Gloria. Crossing over to the Festival area, Addie finds that Gloria has fallen from a ladder and is injured. Martha, Gloria's friend arrives as the EMTs are taking Gloria to the hospital. Addie and Martha volunteer to get Gloria and Pippi's things from her home (Addie is recruited to dog sit) and while there, Addie notices that Gloria was reading a first edition of the Secret Garden - worth about $25,000.

When visiting Gloria the next day she asks Addie to bring the book to her so that she has something to occupy her while in the hospital. However, when Addie goes to Gloria's to pick it up, it's gone!

In the meantime, Martha has run into some trouble. Martha's daughter, Paige (Addie's assistant) is having custody issues with her daughter's father, and when he is found murdered outside Martha's bakery, Martha is the prime suspect.

Addie has to juggle Pippi's care, a murder investigation along with some romance of her own.

Such an entertaining story and very well-written!

Looking forward to seeing these characters again, hopefully soon!

Editado: Ene 25, 2:22pm

Challenge Book # 5
The Sayers Swindle ★★★½
Victoria Abbott
Category - Alps
Source - OverDrive
Other Challenges - ROOT Challenge, 75 Book Challenge

Jordan Bingham works for Vera Van Alst, living at her estate while helping to maintain the extensive book collection. Her main task at present is to recover the Sayers collection, eight Sayers mysteries that were stolen from Vera's collection before her employment. The local book seller, Karen Smith, had sold the books to another collector, not knowing they were stolen but she is unable to remember the details because of an attack which left her severely injured with a head injury resulting in memory loss. Jordan has been trying to help Karen jog her memory so that the new owners can be contacted to try to retrieve the books. When the buyers are located, their actions seem to be a bit strange and Jordan draws on her family to help determine what's happening and how she can get the Sayers collection back.

The twists and turns are accompanied by the less then lawful antics of her uncles, bringing a smile more than once. The characters still need some fleshing out, but the story was entertaining.

Ene 14, 5:23pm

>26 cyderry: That one should be coming up soon for me on my TBR list from the library where I work. It does look like it should be coming up next month and maybe sooner.

Editado: Ene 25, 2:22pm

Challenge Book # 6
Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum ★★★
Kirsten Weiss
Category - Rockies
Source - Nook
Other Challenges - ROOT Challenge, ALPHAKit (M/P), 75 Book Challenge

I wasn't really sure what to expect from this book. It had its moments, some interesting characters, but without the the Ghost detecting cat, and the hunky motorcycle shop owner, I'm not sure I would have made it through. The murder mystery wasn't very hard to solve, and some of the "regular" characters could stand some greater development. I might try another, but definitely not right away.

Editado: Ene 25, 2:22pm

Challenge Book # 7
Murder at the Arts and Crafts Festival ★★★
G. P. Gardner
Category - Andes
Source - NetGalley
Other Challenges - ROOT Challenge, ALPHAKit (M/P), 75 Book Challenge

Cleo Mack, head administrator of the Harbor Village retirement community, has a lot on her plate the end of March when Fairhope, Alabama is hosting its Arts & Crafts Festival. Just before opening day, Cleo needs to check out the Art that is for sale to get something for the main lobby. She has also been invited to an anniversary dinner for her friends and her "boyfriend" has the new house being redecorated just for her.

When se returns from the anniversary dinner, she's told that Twinkle Thaw, sister of one of residents has been taken ill after her sister's birthday party. Later, Cleo finds out that Twinkle died of poisoning. Need to protect Harbor Village, Cleo sets out to find the murderer.

It's great when the protagonist is a few years older than normal and the other regulars are seniors. The story had multiple layers as well as a few good laughs.

Editado: Ene 25, 2:23pm

Challenge Book # 8
The Birth Order Book: Why You Are The Way You Are ★★★
Dr. Kevin Leman
Category - Andes
Source - Nook
Other Challenges - ROOT Challenge, 75 Book Challenge

My ladies' Book Club selected this as a change of pace to start 2021 and we had a good time with it. The vast majority of the group were firstborns with a few middleborns and one baby in the mix. Mostly the group felt that the analysis stated was spot on with only a few disagreements. I, personally, didn't feel that I fit my birth order category, but everyone else said that it was definitely me. The discussion was lively and a great deal of fun and laughter ensued.

The style of writing for such a "serious" topic was light and friendly making us all feel as if Dr. Leman was speaking directly to us. Including his own family made it more personal however, he did seem to be trying to sell a bunch of other books at the same time. It was a good book for a book club to help getting to know each other better.

Ene 21, 6:16pm

>32 cyderry: Fairhope! I've been there many times. I may need to try the series even if you only gave it 3 stars.

Ene 22, 1:11pm

>34 thornton37814: Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, I just didn't think that the mystery was as good as the others in the series.

Editado: Ene 25, 2:23pm

Challenge Book # 9
Dead-End Detective: A Piper and Porter Mystery ★★★
Amanda Flower
Category - Andes
Source - NetShelf
Other Challenges - ROOT Challenge, ALPHAKit (M/P), 75 Book Challenge

Was so excited about a new series by Amanda Flower - one of my favorite authors and then when I was granted an audio version to "read" that's even better! The story surrounds Darby Piper who as a partner with Samantha Porter owns a detective agency. But when Samantha is found murdered, Darby is totally thrown for a loop. Not only is she the prime suspect but instead of inheriting Samantha's part of the agency she is saddled with Tate Porter - Samantha's nephew - who seems to be a unreliable world traveler with a past. Will they be able to get along and figure out who and why Samantha met her end?

I really enjoyed the story as well as the narration by Laura Faye Smith. I can foresee a future of unusual collaborations between the two principals and know that Ms. Flower's writing will bring them even more fully alive!

Ene 22, 4:43pm

>35 cyderry: I hope to start with #1 so maybe I'll be enjoying the series before I get to that installment.

Editado: Ene 22, 4:45pm

>36 cyderry: Sounds like an interesting premise for that series. (I see we cross-posted. I had several threads open.)

Ene 24, 3:51pm

When you have books that you really enjoyed reading, do you hold on to them or pass them on to someone else?

I always kind of think that I'm going to re-read them but rarely find time for a re-read - there are so many that I haven't read yet!

This week I was talking to my sister and she mentioned that she found an author, Mary Balogh, whose books she really enjoyed and when she told me who it was, I agreed saying that I loved her books too. Then we started talking about the Bridgerton series from Julia Quinn that's on Netflix and I said that I just loved the books. She said "They were books!!?" So I told her yeah and that she had just seen the adaption from the first book, that there were at least 7 more. I checked my catalog and found I had several on my shelf waiting for that elusive re-read. Today I boxed up all the ones that I'd already read to send to her. 14 were by Mary Balogh and the 8 first Bridgerton books. Her birthday's next week.

Ene 24, 6:10pm

Happy early birthday to your sister! Great idea to pass along the books for her to read. I pass along books I've already read to my parents or my best friend, but I always tell them whether I want the books back. If I don't specifically say, though, they assume I want the books back.

Editado: Ene 25, 2:23pm

Challenge Book # 10
Murder at the PTA ★★★
Lee Hollis
Category - Andes
Source - NetGalley
Other Challenges - ROOT Challenge, ALPHAKit (M/P), 75 Book Challenge

Sandra Wallage, the wife of United States Senator Stephen Wallage, has been elected the President of the PTA at the high school where her two sons attend, however, there doesn't appear to be smooth sailing ahead since not only has the local scandal sheet, The Dirty Laundry, targeted the Senator, but there seems to have been a murder at the school as well.

Sandra teams up with Maya, a former high school classmate/retired cop, to try to get to the bottom of who and why the Dirty Laundry is attacking.

The pace was very slow at the beginning, not sure if it was related to introduction of the characters or connecting everyone involved. A few fewer characters may have helped.

Editado: Ene 25, 2:24pm

Challenge Book # 11
One Poison Pie ★★★★
Lynn Cahoon
Category - Alps
Source - NetGalley
Other Challenges - ROOT Challenge, ALPHAKit (M/P), 75 Book Challenge

It's always fun to read about a good witch, reminding me of Glinda, the Good Witch of the North from the Wizard of Oz. In this new series, Mia Malone, a kitchen witch, has return to Magic Springs and is starting a catering business. She has an ex-boyfriend/chef who is after her recipe book, while at the same time sharing her home and business with the ex's sister. Mia's first client is murdered just before the birthday party that Mia is catering and the murder weapon could be Mia's missing chef's knife.

There is a full cast of characters that is integrated well into the story which leads to more character development.

My only question is - where is the poison pie?

Ene 25, 2:19pm

Challenge Book # 12
Egg Shooters ★★★★
Laura Childs
Category - Alps
Source - NetShelf
Other Challenges - ROOT Challenge, 75 Book Challenge

Suzanne Dietz decides that she's going to take a thermos of chili to her fiancé Dr. Sam Hazelet at the hospital, however, no good deed goes unpunished because while waiting to make her delivery she is a witness to a masked gunman killing the security guard and wounding a nurse. The only thing she can think to do to protect herself is to throw the thermos full of chili at the gunman. The gunman escapes, and Suzanne is labeled a hero. But she believes that the security guard was the hero and is determined to everything she can to find the killer.

The story was very well-written and the characters continue to grow. It was so much fun to be able to hear them in this audio version. The story really came to life.

Ene 25, 2:49pm

Challenge Book # 13
Peachy Scream ★★★½
Anna Gerard
Category - Andes
Source - NetGalley
Other Challenges - ROOT Challenge, ALPHAKit (M/P), 75 Book Challenge

Nina Fleet, owner of Fleet House B&B in Cymbeline, Georgia is all prepared for the Georgia Amateur Shakespeare Players Troupe (GASP) to take up residence in her B&B for the annual Shakespeare Festival, what she wasn't prepared for was her archenemy, Harry Westcott III to be a member/director of the troupe. Calling a truce to their feud, Nina and Harry join forces when on the first day of rehearsals, Len, who was cast as Hamlet, is found dead in the garden. How did he die and are others at risk?

This was a very fun mystery with the characters continuing to b e fleshed out as well as the one time characters being very entertaining. And the dog will steal your heart!

Feb 1, 2:59pm

Challenge Book # 14
The Body from the Past ★★★★
Judi Lynn
Category - Andes
Source - NetGalley
Other Challenges - ROOT Challenge, ALPHAKit (M/P), 75 Book Challenge

Jazzi Zanders along with her husband Ansel and cousin Jerod are starting on their next flipping project - manor type home in nearby Merlot. During demolition, they have come across a locked room. After breaking in, they find a time capsule, the room has not been open since the 70's when the teenage occupant was murdered at her high school graduation party and it was never solved.

Jazzi finds a hope chest with years of personal journals of the victim, but none of the family want anything to do with the contents. Jazzi can't seem to let Jessica's hopes die without justice and so she sets out to find out who end this young life.

What a great mystery! There were so many variants because of the time lapse since the murder but somehow this reader was completely sucked in.

I really love Jazzi and Ansel and their family dynamics. What a wonderful contrast to the mystery. Looking forward to the next one!

Feb 1, 5:37pm

Challenge Book # 15
Little Bookshop of Murder ★★★
Maggie Blackburn
Category - Alps
Source - NetGalley
Other Challenges - ROOT Challenge, ALPHAKit (M/P), 75 Book Challenge

Summer Merriweather, a Shakespeare professor, returns to Brigid's Island, NC, for her mother's funeral. Hildy Merriweather's death was completely unexpected and the more that Summer hears about her mother's last day, the more she is certain that death was not from natural causes. When there is a fire at her home and arson is determined, and then a burglary at the Beach Reads bookstore, Summer and her Aunt Agatha are sure that someone is trying to eliminate the family.

I enjoyed the mystery however, I'm not sure about the foibles of the main character. I think it would have been better without them. The Book club members needed more dimension as well as the other family members.

This was a Advanced Reader's Copy but even with that known there were a few too many grammatical and spelling errors.

Feb 1, 5:56pm

Challenge Book # 16
Crown Jewels of Britain and Europe ★★★
Prince Michael of Greece
Category - Himalayas
Source - Amazon 2020
Other Challenges - ROOT Challenge, ALPHAKit (M/P), 75 Book Challenge

When I started watching the Crown on Netflix, I was intrigued by the flash and sparkled of the crown jewels. I purchased 3 books - Crown Jewels: The Official Illustrated History which showed all of Great Britain's crown jewels, The Jewels of Queen Elizabeth II: Her Personal Collection, and this book. I wanted to see how the British collection stood up to the rest of Europe. Europe lost. Some of the pieces from the Danish, Swedish, and Belgian were gorgeous, and the pictures in this book were so much better - more close up so that you could see the details - however, the variety and volume of Queen Elizabeth II's collection as well as the British Crown Jewels made this collection far superior to any other. I'm not sure why, maybe because of the extent of the British empire of Queen Victoria (who received much of the collection) or the acquisitions of the Russian Tsar's family jewels my Queen Mary.

Whatever the reason, if you want to see some really sparkly jewels, Great Britain has them hands down.

Editado: Feb 2, 5:34am

>47 cyderry: I will never stop finding the velvet hat inside the crown funny. I know it's for warmth in draughty old buildings and the fur rim is to cushion the wearer's head, but the velvet cushion sticking up through the metalwork just makes me giggle every time. :D

Feb 15, 11:31am

Challenge Book # 17
A Tourist's Guide to Murder ★★★½
V.M. Burns
Category - Alps
Source - NetGalley
Other Challenges - ROOT Challenge, ALPHAKit (T/K), 75 Book Challenge

Samantha is joining her Nana Jo and Shady Acres friends on a trip for a mystery tour of England - Sam to do research for her next book, the ladies just to have a good time. However, things don't start off well with forgotten passports, nearly missed planes, lost luggage, and the murder of the Tour company owner. Not that the ladies are suspects, but they do want to get involved in solving the crime. After all, they could be traveling with a murderer!

Not knowing the area/people/culture creates some interesting scenarios for this band of senior sleuths. I also enjoy the story within the story - Samantha's new book in progress. I wonder if the author will publish Samantha's writings all together at sometime.

Feb 15, 11:51am

Challenge Book # 18
Peril in Paperback ★★★★
Kate Carlisle
Category - Alps
Source - NOOK
Other Challenges - ROOT Challenge, ALPHAKit (T/K), 75 Book Challenge

Brooklyn has been invited to the 50th birthday party of her friend Suzie's aunt Grace at her isolated country home located on the shores of Lake Tahoe. Grace had been the owner /primary designer for a computer game developer and she has taken her skills and incorporated them into the design of her retreat home - moving walls, hidden accesses and holographic changes.

One of the early "events" for the celebrations, is a séance where one of the guests is poisoned - but the poison was meant for Grace! A massive snowstorm arrives shortly after Gabriel who helps keep the remaining guests "safe" while waiting for the police.

This was so much fun - not just figuring out the whodunnit but also trying to picture the various changes as they happen.

Feb 15, 12:56pm

>39 cyderry: I enjoyed the Netflix series Bridgerton, but I expect the books would make me crazy. I tend to dislike the 'romance' genre as a whole. I just can't get behind the whole idea of knowing the end before you begin with regard to happily ever after.

Feb 15, 1:57pm

Challenge Book # 19
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane ★★★★
Kate DiCamillo
Category - Sonoma
Source - Public Library
Other Challenges - ALPHAKit (T/K), 75 Book Challenge

What a delightful story of a china rabbit and his adventures! As one who believes that stuffed animals, dolls and such do have feelings and a life somehow, somewhere, it was so much fun to read about Edward Tulane's adventures.

My granddaughter was reading this book for school and so I borrowed it from the library so that we could discuss it. With the pandemic still in our midst, phone calls and skype calls are our way of communicating and having such an amusing story to talk about was refreshing. Great for kids of all ages!

Feb 15, 3:11pm

Challenge Book # 20
A Spell for Trouble ★★★½
Esme Addison
Category - Alps
Source - NetGalley
Other Challenges - ROOT Challenge, ALPHAKit (T/K), 75 Book Challenge

Alex Daniels has run into a bit of personal problems including unemployment, so she has accepted the invitation of her aunt to visit Bellamy Bay, NC and reconnect with her mother's family. During her time helping at her Aunt Lidia's herbal shop, Alex learns that she is descended from "mermaids" and is a water witch. When her aunty is arrested for a murder, Alex is determined to use her emerging powers to prove her innocent.

This was a fun story introducing Alex and her family. I can see many happy hours in the future in their company

Feb 15, 4:00pm

Challenge Book # 21
Killer Comfort Food ★★★★
Lynn Cahoon
Category - Alps
Source - NetGalley
Other Challenges - ROOT Challenge, ALPHAKit (T/K), 75 Book Challenge

Angie Turner, co-owner and chef for the County Seat restaurant, has a lot on her plate literally. Besides her duties in the kitchen, Angie is battling a land takeover by a large conglomerate who want to building a soybean factory on her farm and those around her. She is the lone holdout for selling. She wants to stay on her little farm with her private little zoo. But things are getting tough - the townsfolk are anxious for the plant and new jobs and the improvements they think will come with it. However, the lawyer in charge of the land acquisition has his own problems - getting Angie to change her mind and the fact that his wife is missing. Why does the factory have to be on that piece of land? Is it all related?

Angie and her crew are a great cast of characters, people you would want as your friends. The story was interesting with sufficient twists and turns and a great ending.

Feb 15, 4:18pm

Challenge Book # 22
A Big Fat Greek Murder ★★★★
Kate Collins
Category - Alps
Source - NetGalley
Other Challenges - ROOT Challenge, ALPHAKit (T/K), 75 Book Challenge

Athena Spencer works at her family's garden center keeping the books. She also helps out at the family diner on occasion. When a wedding rehearsal dinner is booked at short notice (her sister, Selene, is an emergency bridesmaid) Athena jumps in to help. But nothing can help the fact that the groom is a no-show and later found stabbed to death with her sister's hair shears. Athena is positive that Selene is innocent even as circumstantial evidence continues to point Selene's way. Enlisting the help of Case Donnelly, Athena is definite they can find the evidence unmasking the real killer.

The mystery was good, but I felt like the characters needed a bit more definition, more dimension. - right now they seem a might two dimensional. Maybe next book

Feb 15, 4:26pm

Challenge Book # 23
The Figure in the Photograph ½
Kevin Sullivan
Category - Rockies
Source - NetGalley
Other Challenges - ROOT Challenge, ALPHAKit (T/K), 75 Book Challenge

Unfortunately, I did not enjoy this book. I'm not sure whether it was because of the beginning set in Cuba or images that it conjured but I just couldn't get with the main character or the story.

Probably was me, because the writing, though slow at times, gave the reader a good idea of the character's feelings and kept the action moving. I wasn't a fan of the shift in locale or lack of real tie-in between the Cuban portion and the Scottish portion.

Ayer, 2:01pm

Challenge Book # 24
Murder With a View ★★★
Diane Kelly
Category - Andes
Source - NetGalley
Other Challenges - ROOT Challenge, ALPHAKit (T/K), 75 Book Challenge

Whitney Whitaker and her cousin Buck are house flippers but in this installment they are renovating an old motor lodge into condos. The location is close to the musical venues in Nashville so musicians may be as interested as promoters. Things, however, don't go according to plans. First day, they discover a homeless veteran squatting in Room 9 and Day two reveals the dead body of a well-known singer. The mystery of who killed the singer is filled with possibilities from a stalker, groupies, band members ,and managers and let's not forget the unknown girlfriend.

Whitney feels that they need to solve the murder before they can advertise the sale of the renovated units but that doesn't seem to be as easy as they hope.

The mystery seemed to lack a bit of spark and the characters were a bit two dimensional. I hope that the next installment will improve.