Rosepoint Reviews – May Recap—Welcome June!

Rosepoint Reviews – May Recap

Rosepoint Reviews - May recap

Yes, May is when I spend more time outside than in, working on my gardens; cleaning up the fairy garden, flower bed, and adding soil and amendments to the vegetable garden, turning that over and getting the veggies in. The tomatoes love it and take off immediately. Same with beans and peas—still cool enough for them with the occasional 90-degree day. I put in marigolds as usual to ward off bugs and the bunnies ate them. This year I’ve tried to secure all my defenseless little seedlings (except marigolds I guess) against all manner of deer and bunnies. (I’ve done that before but redoubled the effort this year.) The deer are being scattered due to construction on the other side of the pond. (I haven’t seen the doe with the broken leg in a while.)

Welcome Spring! I fired up the BBQ with a chicken and potatoes and then sat down to eat. Wasn’t long before we had a raccoon trying to clean up the drippings. He was wearing a mask and had no sense of humor. The bandit was a big boy intent on an easy meal and wasn’t happy with the interruption or my broom. At least the possums are smaller and non-threatening.

I relied pretty heavily on the CE for his reviews, so much of my time spent otherwise. The man can read three books to my one. We did read or listen to eighteen books in May, most from NetGalley as I’m still working on that badge, now up to a count of 460 and my ratio continues to be 95%.

May reads and reviews

The Trouble with Secrets by Jean Grainger
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah (audiobook)
Somewhere in the South Pacific by John J Gobbell (a CE review)
Last Night with Tokyo Rose by Alexa Kang (a CE review)
Gambling with Murder by Lida Sideris
The Boys by Ron Howard and Clint Howard (audiobook)
Warrensburg by Fleury Sommers (a CE review)
Answering Liberty’s Call by Tracy Lawson
TV Netflix series Along for the Ride vs the audiobook
Darkest Fear by Harlan Coben (audiobook)
Playing with Fire by Mary Burton (a CE review)
The Physicists’ Daughter by Mary Anna Evans (a CE review)
The Doctor’s Daughter by Shari J Ryan
The Crystal Beads by Patricia Black Gould
Flat Broke with Two Goats by Jennifer McGaha (audiobook)
Tom Clancy Zero Hour by Don Bentley (a CE review)
The Last Saxon King by Andrew Varga
The Wylder Ghost and Blossom Cherry by Sharon Shipley

 

Reading Challenges

Reading Challenges

My challenges continue to be a problem keeping up. I’ll get them all caught up soon—spring planting push now mellow.  My challenges for 2022 are all listed and linked in the widget column on the right. You can check out the progress of my challenges by clicking the Reading Challenges page but so far I’m at 45% of the Goodreads Challenge of 180 books at 81.

Spring Challenge

Speaking of challenges, that little Spring Challenge in the Kindle app is progressing, albeit not at full speed.

Have you checked yours out yet? It’s not something you joined, it joined you. Now it says I’m a Silver Reader—40 books. (A Gold Reader is achieved upon reading any 75 days during the Challenge.) Also notes I’ve earned eight of 16 achievements with 30 days remaining in the challenge. Actually, there are several I do not see ever achieving including a non-fiction. It’s been a while. Memoirs don’t count(?).

Book Club and Reading/Listening Update

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner is the new club pic. It had just started and I jumped the gun when I saw the audiobook. While it might not have been one I’d have chosen, it turned out to be quite compelling. Of course, it was published last year and achieved an “Amazon Best Book of 2021” designation—and a debut at that!

Soap Box

The NetGalley Shelf continues to be an exasperation. I thought short shelf life applied to food? The audiobooks are rift with blanks (guess I’m supposed to fill in whatever words I want?). I can’t afford to buy the books expired and I try very hard to fulfill the promise to review. Too new to be in the library. Ideas?

Have a rant you’d like to mention? Like the change in the Kindle app and mobi conversions?

June is a big birthday month around here (hubby and son on the same day). Welcome to my new followers and those who continue to read, like, share, and comment. What is this without you? Hope you saw something that piqued your interest above!

©2022 V Williams V Williams

 

Gambling with Murder: A Southern California Mystery by Lida Sideris – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Book Blurb:

Gambling with Murder by Lida SiderisA late-night call is all it takes for rookie lawyer Corrie Locke to kiss her day job at the movie studio goodbye, and do what she does best: flex her sweet P.I. skills and go undercover to find a senior who’s missing from a posh retirement community. One small stumbling block: skirting past security to gain inside access to the exclusive Villa Sunset. Time to call in the heavy artillery. Besides former security guard turned legal assistant—now wannabe P.I.—Veera, Corrie relies on a secret weapon: her mother, a surprisingly eager addition to Corrie’s team. Armed with enough pepper spray to take down a band of Navy Seals, Mom impersonates a senior to infiltrate the Villa, Corrie and Veera in tow. Turns out the job’s not as easy as they’d thought. These seniors have tricks tucked up their sleeves and aren’t afraid of using them.

The action gets dicey when the missing senior case turns into attempted murder by a criminal mind who’s always one step ahead. Corrie’s hot on the trail, but finds more than she bargained for…when her mother becomes a target.

My Review:

Oops! The fifth in the series and my first. I think I may have missed something. Wannabe PI Corrie Locke (also a newly minted lawyer) is trying her chops at finding a missing person. Villa Sunset is an exclusive retirement home in Santa Barbara and, yes, that is a gorgeous, very expensive area of southern California. The author sets the reader up for beautiful views, ocean-scented air, and palms swaying in the gentle breeze.

Gambling with Murder by Lida SiderisThe novel is a cozy mystery and moves at a laid-back pace. Corrie is joined by her best bud, Veera, a former security guard, and apparently this entry to the series, Corrie’s mother, who proves to be the interesting character (for me). Because it’s a senior community, they need her mother to be their “in.” It appears to work as she is readily accepted and they “temporarily” tag along.

It is supposed to be a senior community, but these seniors are apparently not only “active” but bored and tend to come off more as “geriatric delinquents” than seniors. But nothing is simple, even in a cozy mystery, and things begin, slowly, to become more complex adding characters to the plot, threads, and twists.

The author writes with wit, coining some interesting and funny phrases:

“…he regarded me with the disdain reserved for a virgin eggnog.”

“I can spot a liar like a hawk can spot a grasshopper.”

“I’m not doing it. I’d stick out like a raisin in a jar of mayonnaise.”

At about seventy percent, the narrative begins to heat up and the pacing finds the gas pedal. At this point, there are a lot of issues to clarify which do get ironed out in conclusion following a fairly low-key climax.

I’m not sure whether it was because I started well into the series or there was just too much minutia that didn’t help keep the plot on track, but I found it too slow for me. The dialogue could be humorous at times, however, there were occasions when action got a bit over the top and the residents too juvenile. I am a senior but these characters didn’t ring true for me.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Three-point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: Women Sleuths
Publisher: Level Best Books
ASIN: B09QYW2VYG
Print Length: 318 pages
Publication Date: March 29, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

 

Lida Sideris - authorThe Author: Lida Sideris first stint after law school was a newbie lawyer’s dream: working as an entertainment attorney for a movie studio…kind of like her heroine, Corrie Locke, except without the homicides. Lida was one of two national winners of the Helen McCloy Mystery Writers of America Scholarship Award for her first book and a Killer Nashville, Silver Falchion Award Finalist for her fourth book – Slightly Murderous Intent. Lida lives in the northern tip of Southern California with her family, rescue dogs and a flock of uppity chickens.

“A smart caper with a heroine to match.” – Kirkus Recommended Review

“…An excellent read. It has everything needed for a cozy afternoon curled up on the sofa – murder, mystery, humor, and plenty of action. The plot is extremely detailed and so well written that I found myself hooked on page one.” – Readers’ Favorite

Bio for The Cookie Eating Fire Dog:

Lida Sideris loves baking and eating all kinds of cookies. Never, ever leave her alone with a batch of fresh baked cookies…if you want any left for yourself. She is the author of a Southern California Mystery series. This is her first book for children. When she’s not writing, she’s running a legal non-profit in Southern California. Lida is a lawyer and mother of two human and two canine kids. She is an avid supporter of the three R’s: reading, writing and rescue dogs.

“The story is charming and readers will love Dan.” – Readers’ Favorite

“If you have any little aspiring firefighters at home, Lida Sideris has penned an adorable and motivating tale that is just perfect for them…the lesson is solid, and as Dan learns the value of selfless acts, so will many young readers” – IndiesToday

©2022 – V Williams V Williams

#TuesdayBookBlog

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