Category Archives: Reading

Cozy Mystery Challenge Update #2

So here it is, only September 4, and I’ve finished three of the books on my list already!

Last night I finished Fit to Die by J.B. Stanley. I really enjoyed spending some more time with the Quincy’s Gap supper club. I’m looking forward to the next in the series, Chile Con Corpses, set to be released on January 1, 2008. It’s nice to actually be caught up with another series anticipating the newest, rather than just wishing I was caught up.

Today I started and finished an entire book…which hardly ever happens these days. It “helped” that I was home sick with either a cold or allergies disguised as a cold, but even with dozing most of the morning away, I finished The Cinco de Mayo Murder by Lee Harris late this afternoon. I’m now caught up with this series as well, but sadly, this 17th Christine Bennett Mystery appears to also be the last.

Cozy Mystery Challenge Update #1

It’s just the second day into the Cozy Mystery Challenge being hosted by not enough books (aka Kris), and I’ve already finished the first book on my ambitiously long list. With one more day remaining in the long holiday weekend, I’m hopeful that I might finish a second book tomorrow. I’m usually lucky to read about six books a months, so if I can finish two within three days, I might have a chance of at least reading most of the 12 books on my list.

Today I finished Murder is a Girl’s Best Friend by Amanda Matetsky, the second in her Paige Turner series. I read the first, Murderers Prefer Blondes, almost exactly four years ago and really enjoyed the main character, the setting (NYC), and the time period (1954). The second didn’t disappoint on any of these points, and I’m hopeful it won’t be another four years before I read the next book in this series.

I’m an Idiot

Well, not really. At least I hope not.

It’s been a while since I’ve stopped at the Har Mar Barnes & Noble (for my out-of-Twin Cities readers, Har Mar is just the name of a mall) to check out the used book section and pick up the latest issues of a few of my favorite magazines. [The part where I should really subscribe to these rather than buying them at B&N is a whole other matter.] I didn’t have anything else planned for the evening or other errands to run, so I decided to swing by on my way home from work today. So far, so good.

I picked up a few magazines (Stamper’s Sampler Take Ten, Scientific American, Scientific American Mind), then headed over to used book section. I didn’t find any of the books I’m particularly looking for at the moment, but found another book in a series I’m collecting and a book I think my dad might like. I browsed the regular mystery section just to see if anything struck me, and I did find a new-to-me author with a series that sounds intriguing. All is still good.

Then I remember a book that’s been languishing on my Amazon list for a long time, and since my birthday was now about a month ago and I didn’t receive it as a gift despite its highest priority designation, I figure I can finally get it for myself. Great! Except that I started reading the introduction on my drive home (I had a lot of long lights to sit through; I don’t read and drive) and now I don’t want to put it down! Oh, the book? Girl Sleuth: Nance Drew and the Women Who Created Her.

Why is this a problem? Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows arriving at my doorstep tomorrow morning and the spoilers I need to avoid like the plague until I’ve finished reading it, of course. Why did I have to pull this book out of my B&N bag to browse while at a standstill? Why didn’t I pull out an innocent magazine with its nice short articles instead?

Well, at least I have something to look forward to, perhaps something that will help me read Deathly Hallows a little faster so by Monday morning I’m not a total zombie when I arrive at work.

Cozy Mystery Month Challenge

One of my online reading group friends is holding a Cozy Mystery Challenge for the month of September. Without even giving it any thought, I’ve decided to jump right in. It should be easy for me to devote a whole month to cozy mysteries, since that’s what I read the most of anyway. Right now I’m rereading the Harry Potter series and I want to catch up with a couple of other YA series this summer, so by the time September rolls around I’ll probably be ready to just read a few mysteries for a while.

For now, the list of the books I’d like to try to read in September will be the cozy mysteries from my “to-read” bookshelf at GoodReads, but if I get any of them read before the challenge starts (it could happen…), I’ll substitute something else from my much longer list of “to-read” books that I store on my PDA.

  • Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos – Donna Andrews (#3, Meg Langslow)
  • Died to Match – Deborah Donnelly (#2, Carnegie Kincaid)
  • The Cinco de Mayo Murder – Lee Harris (#17, Christine Bennett)
  • Nothing to Fear But Ferrets – Linda O. Johnston (#2, Kendra Ballantyne)
  • The Ghost and the Dead Deb – Alice Kimberly (#2, Haunted Bookshop)
  • A Vision of Murder – Victoria Laurie (#3, Abby Cooper)
  • What’s a Ghoul to Do? – Victoria Laurie (#1, M.J. Holliday)
  • Last Writes – Laura Levine (#2, Jaine Austen)
  • Dead Girls Don’t Wear Diamonds – Nancy Martin (#2, Blackbird Sisters)
  • Murder is a Girl’s Best Friend – Amanda Matetsky (#2, Paige Turner)
  • Needled to Death – Maggie Sefton (#2, Kelly Flynn)
  • Fit to Die – J.B. Stanley (#2, Supper Club Mysteries)

A list of 12 seems like a few too many to try for, since I normally only read 4-6 books a month, but you never know, right?

One Productive Weekend

Well, I’ve got to have one every now and again, but this time I’m pretty sure it was because I made myself not turn on my computer once, not even to check on my fantasy baseball teams, which was incredibly challenging.

  • I read an entire book. Sure, it was a short book and technically I started it Wednesday night, but I had barely read any of it by the time Friday evening rolled around. I rarely read a book that fast just because I have so much else going on.
  • I’m now 75% done with my cross stitch model project, so I should have no problem meeting the deadline.
  • I caught up with 6 episodes of CSI, plus a number of other random shows I had on my TiVo.
  • It wasn’t one I have from Netflix right now, but I watched a movie I found when I was flipping channels Saturday night when I couldn’t get to sleep.

On the other hand, I didn’t:

  • Do any laundry
  • Watch any of my Netflix movies
  • Do any cardmaking/designing
  • Clearing out of my bathroom in preparation for contractors

But that’s all okay, because that modelstitching job is, besides my day job, the most important thing I have going on right now.


I’ve been developing a wicked headache all day. I’m really hoping this doesn’t turn into a cold or something, because then I’d lose all motivation to try to make low-sugar pies for Thanksgiving. It didn’t help when a coworker went home mid-morning citing “fever and chills” as the cause.

In other wicked news, I’ve been reading Wicked. I’m not sure what when wrong the first time I started it a few years ago, but at that time I put it down after just 66 pages (my bookmark was still in it).

This time, I wish I didn’t have other things to do and read so I could finish it more quickly. It’s definitely a bit odd, but really good. I read all the Oz books when I was a kid, and now I want to re-read them.

I’m taking a quick break right now for a book I’m reading with an online group, but I hope to get back to Wicked by the weekend, nice long one that it is.