Monday, February 25, 2013

Wall-to-Wall Dead by Jennie Bentley

Wall-to-Wall Dead is the latest in the home remodeling cozy mystery by Jennie Bentley.  It is my least favorite of all Jennie Bentley's books, I usually really like them.  In this installment, Avery and Derek are remodeling a 1970's style condo and planning their wedding (can I get an ahhhhh?). 

The lady downstairs is a nosy old busybody, who never leaves the window overlooking the parking lot.  On their second day of working on the condo, Avery gets worried because Hilda Shaw (the aforementioned busybody) is not at her post.  Derek, Avery, and one of the neighbors break into the condo and find Hilda dead from what appears to be an allergic reaction. 

Avery immediately suspects foul play (although why I can't figure out) and sets out to solve the murder before it is even classified as a murder.  She again puts herself in danger by following and confronting people she suspects of being culpable.  Interestingly enough every person in the small complex had something to hide and I'm starting to get suspicious of every neighbor in every apartment where I ever lived. 

I look forward to the next book in the series, I just wish I'd liked this one more. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Die Buying by Laura DiSilverio and Bear

Die Buying is the story of a Emma Joy Ferris who was wounded in Iraq and after returning home the only job she is qualified for is as a mall cop.  She wants nothing more than to get a job in law enforcement, unfortunately her blown out knee keeps her from achieving her dream.

When she finds a naked, dead body in the window of a high end dress store in the mall, she starts to investigate, with reconnaissance help from her 81 year old, retired CIA grandfather.  Standing in her way, and offering no help whatsoever, is homicide detective Anders Hollend.  Yes, I see a romance in the making.

This is the first in a new series and I found the characters likeable and the ones who aren't supposed to be likeable are annoying, to say the least.  The author retired from the Air Force as an intelligence officer, so she knows law enforcement.  The book is also different than a lot of the cozy mysteries in that the main characters are usually in a field the chose and love and E.J. is there because she wants to work in law enforcement and can't.

On a totally different note, Bear had his teeth cleaned today and he is miserable.  He thinks he hates me, but he doesn't know for sure because he was knocked out during the procedure.  He does know that he was locked in a cage and that was totally not acceptable.  If I could just explain that it cost over $500, I think it would make him feel better.  Also, the fact that I had almost the same thing done last week (well just the cleaning) should make him less mad. 


Sunday, February 17, 2013

True Sisters by Sandra Dallas

Sandra Dallas writes stories that touch the heart of the reader.  True Sisters is a story that will stick with me for a long time.  Not only did it touch my heart, but it made me angry, and caused me to think about how lucky we are to live in this period of time.

True Sisters is the tale of four women who found themselves on a 1300 mile trek across the United States to get to the Promised Land.  They were promised this land by Mormon missionaries who traveled to England and Scotland to convert people and get them to join the LDS church.  The families gave up everything to travel to Utah, including most of their money and in return they were given a two wheeled hand cart which they had to pull and push the whole way and if they resisted they were taunted and called unbelievers, unworthy of a place in God's Kingdom..

Based on the true story of the Martin Company, a group who arrived in America a little too late in the year to start the trek, then found that the handcarts were not built, the wood was green, and provisions were a bit sparse. They also were told they only were allowed a small amount of personal provisions and had to dispose of many of their treasures they had brought from home.

The Mormon men, for the most part, disgusted me.  However, it's possible that part of my disgust is coming from a person who grew up in the 1960s. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Witch Before Dying by Heather Blake

A Witch Before Dying  by Heather Blake is the latest installment in the Darcy Merriweather Wishcraft series.  Darcy and her sister, Harper, are newly arrived residents of the Boston, Massachusetts enchanted village.  In other words, everyone who lives there has magical powers or they are married to someone with magical powers or they wish they had magical powers and they expect to trip up the magical residents and learn about magical powers.  My only magical power is the ability to procrastinate.

In my opinion, Heather Blake is one of the top five cozy mystery writers around.  She also writes under the name of Heather Webber and her gardening series is one of the first series I read.  The thing I like about cozies is that they are easy reading, fun, there's always a hunky guy, and, because they are quick reads, it's okay to can put them down and actually do other things.

In this episode, Elodie Keaton hires Darcy to clean her missing mother’s home (can you say hoarder) and sort the good from the bad so Elodie can sell.   Unfortunately, on the first day she's there Patrice's body is found inside a suitcase and beneath piles of old newspapers and stuff.  As the police investigate, Darcy is attacked and stalked by persons unknown. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Dead and Berried by Karen MacInerney

Cranberry Island in Maine sounds like a beautiful place, unfortunately people keep ending up dead.  In Dead and Berried, the second in the continuing saga of the Grey Whale Inn's owner, Natalie Barnes, her ex-fiance comes to try to win her back, a woman staying in the B&B is trying to learn how to run an inn, a ghost, a 100 year old murder, and Polly, the woman who helps out with the laundry and light housekeeping, ends up dead in the bog.  Oh yeah, and then there are the obligatory developers trying to buy up the bog and build a development.

Because the local policeman declares that Polly killed herself, Natalie decides to do some investigating on her own.  When a second person ends up dead, Natalie becomes a suspect and must try to clear her name and solve both murders.

I read the first installment, Murder on the Rocks, last year and liked the characters and the story.  I liked Dead and Berried, even more than I liked Murder on the Rocks

Monday, February 4, 2013

Head Over Heels by Jill Shalvis

I admit it, a lot of  the books I read are just for fun.  I don't have to be educating myself every time I read.  I like to read, I like to be entertained.  Someone recently referred to a book I was/am planning to read as "bubblegum for the mind".  Is that a bad thing?

Also, I have a different rating system (in my head), based on the type of book I'm reading.  Is that weird? 

Anyway, I just finished reading Head Over Heels by Jill Shalvis while I was waiting for mom to get out of her dentist and eye doctor appointments today.  I liked the book, even though some might think of it as bubblegum.

Head Over Heels is the third installment in the Lucky Harbor series.  The series is basically a boy meets girl, boy or girl aren't sure they want be more than friends with benefits, and true love conquers all.  I probably didn't ruin the ending by the last statement, because you know if they are having the benefits they are going to end up together, it's just the way the bubble pops. 

The first three books in the series are about three half sisters, all with the same mother, a free spirit who never settled down and followed the Grateful Dead from town to town.  When the mother dies, she leaves her daughter a B&B and they live together for the first time, while they remodel and open the B&B.  In Head Over Heels, Chloe takes center stage.

Chloe is a wild child, who is just starting to want to settle down.  She is the only sister who was raised by her mother and doesn't seem to believe she has a right to be happy.  Sawyer, the town sheriff, grew up in Lucky Harbor and spend all his time doing good, to make up for the fact that he was trouble when he was a teenager.  He also doesn't seem to believe he has a right to be happy.

Friday, February 1, 2013

What has happened to Customer Service?

I may be a bit jaded having worked with customers for most of my 33 1/2 years in telephony, but everyone knows when they are getting bad service pitched at them. 

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from a catalog clothing company offering $60 off any order of $200.  The ad said the offer expired on 1/20/2013, at 2:00 p.m. on January 20th I placed an order and the coupon was rejected as "expired".  I sent an e-mail to the company's customer service asking for an explanation and I am still waiting to hear back. 

Last week I ordered a comforter and sheet set from HSN's Joy Mangano's line.  It was the special value of the day at $150, which is an excellent price.  Unfortunately, the sheets had an awful odor, but it did come out when I washed them.  They were very poorly sewn and there were loose threads all over.  When I put them on the bed, the elastic snapped. 

I called HSN and spoke to a concerned representative who said (after speaking to a supervisor) they would send me new sheets so I didn't have to send the whole thing back. Unfortunately, I got cut-off and when I called back the new customer service representative spoke to two supervisors who said no way would they have said that. They did offer a credit of $25 for the sheet set, which is for sale at HSN for $79.99. Seriously? How can they possibly offer me $25 credit and then justify selling the same thing for $79.99?  Do I look stupid.  

I tried to leave a review on HSN, but for some reason they aren't accepting reviews.

I am a very unhappy customer, but no one seems to care.