Wednesday, April 1, 2020

March 2020 Reading Wrap Up

Well y'all, March is finally over! For many of us it's been the longest month in history and it won't be missed. I have to admit that it has taken a little while for the anxiety of our new reality to set in for me. I thought that I was doing pretty well until the last few days. My attention span has scaled down to almost nothing and I hope that it will pass soon. My March reading month on the other hand has been pretty good. I read 13 book this month. Four were four stars, six were three stars, and three were two stars. I hope that you are all complying and coping with the stay at home orders. Stay well and stay safe!

Four Star Reads

Execution in E Execution in E by Alexia Gordon #5) by Alexia GordonI love having an author that I can reliably depend on to give me a story that I will enjoy and for me Alexia Gordon is one of those authors. I enjoyed this installment just as much as the others. It's a little darker in theme with a hint of the occult, more deaths, betrayals, and coerced loyalties that go wrong. I enjoyed every page of this one and read it in a day which is my only complaint! That's the bad thing with a story that I enjoy so much-it ended before I wanted but left me satisfied and ready for the next installment. The story greed is real!

Story 4 stars
Narration 5 stars

I really enjoyed this second installment in the IQ series. The big tragedy in Isaiah's life is resolved, the main action in the story was interesting and connected to Isaiah personally which I thought was so clever. I loved Dodson as a foil to Isaiah-he provides much needed straight forward common sense and people skills that Isaiah just does not see easily. AND Dodson is hilarious. Sullivan Jones narrating this is perfection and I will be listening to the rest of these books instead of reading them because of him. I see that book 4 is narrated by Zeno Robinson and not Jones, and I hope that I can deal with that switch. lol I highly recommend these as audio books if you can.

Pauper and Prince in Harlem (A Ross Agency Mystery #4) by Delia Pitts: This was the darkest and for me the most emotional of the Ross Agency installments. Rook is faced with an untimely and unfair death, a potential shift in his relationship with Brina, old demons that still haunt him, a young teen that challenges societal rules that Rook never thought to truly question before, and a brush up against a mob boss that will not leave him unscathed no matter what deal Rook thinks he's made. I love Pitts' writing and found myself trying to stretch this story out for as long as possible even though it's the longest story in the series so far!

Story 4 stars
Narration 4 stars

Another enjoyable installment in this long running series. In each installment we get more and more character development and I love it. I really enjoy the narrator for these and I'll definitely be continuing with the audio books. I've a long way to go to catch up to number 50!

Three Star Reads

Story 3 1/2 stars
Narrator 4 stars

This was a very pleasant surprise. I went into Deep Fried Trouble not realizing that it was a Christian cozy mystery. I almost hate to admit this out loud, but if I see something labeled "Christian Fiction" I will skip right over it. I don't tend to enjoy overt religiousness of any kind in my fiction. I feel preached to and I find that unpleasant. However, Tyora Moody may make me give another Christian fiction book a more fair shake in the future. Although Eugeena's faith is without a doubt front and center in this story it didn't make me feel beat about the head. There is a story in Deep Fried Trouble that is engaging and the characters feel like people I would know. I will be picking up book two in the future as an audio book again. The narrator Sharell Palmer is so good that I would like to contiue experiencing these stories in her voice.

Peril & Prayer (A Sister Lou Mystery #2) by Olivia Matthews: Sister Lou is a character that I really enjoy reading. She is relatable in a way that I found surprising in book one and even more enjoyable in book two. Matthews writing is descriptive-sometimes more than I personally want, but I don't find that it distracts me from the story. If you are a cozy mystery fan this is a series I'd definitely recommend giving a try. These stories are steady and enjoyable without being boring. I enjoy the characters and am looking forward to more.

B is for Burglar (Kinsey Millhone #2) by Sue Grafton Enjoyable story but it didn't grab me like the first one. It could be that I had to stop and start it too many times because of real life interference. I'm definitely continuing in the series because I like Grafton's writing style overall.

Obsession, Deceit, and Really Dark Chocolate (Sophie Katz Murder Mystery #3) by Kyra Davis:This was a quick enjoyable installment in the series, but there wasn't anything that stood out as particularly special about the story. It didn't keep me guessing but I did find myself rapidly moving through the story. Worth the read though and it filled a spot for MarchMysteryMadness.

No One Knows You're Here by Rachel Howzell, Rachel Howzell Hall: I enjoyed this one and I hope that there will eventually be more stories featuring Syeeda in the future. I had to read this in stops and starts because of traveling and real life and I'll probably reread this at some point down the line. I'm glad to be working my way through Howzell Hall's back list.

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher: This was pretty much what I expected. It was like a Lifetime movie/soap opera-y hot mess page turner and it was entertaining. This is no in depth character study or deep psychological thriller-it was a good weekend read that provided some escapism reading and that's what I was looking for. I'd pick up another adult fiction story by Tarryn Fisher.

Two Star Reads 

I don't go into too much detail about the books that I don't enjoy but I'll list what they were and briefly explain what didn't work for me. 

The three 2 star books were: Heart & Hand by Rebel Carter- it fell short of every expectation that I had but it was readable. The Hangman by Louise Penny- this hurt my feelings because I really thought that it would be enjoyable. I've enjoyed everything that I read by her up to this point. However, after reading it I found out that it was a story written for a special adult reading program. So then I felt like crap for disliking it. My last 2 star was Sarah's Game by Ernie Lindsey. Just sub-par writing, story, and lackluster characters. And the narrator didn’t help it at all-luckily this was a super bargain at only 99 cents for the audio book so it wasn't a costly listen. 

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