A Farewell To Yarns

It’s beginning to look like out next holiday mystery!

A Farewell to Yarns (Jane Jeffry #2) by Jill Churchill

Thoughts Before Reading:

It has been a while since we have reviewed a Jane Jeffry book. Let’s give a little background. Jane Jeffry is a widow with two sons, one daughter, a dog, and a cat. She lives in suburbia as housewife…er housemom? I’m not sure what the correct term would be. Anyways, her husband was head of the family company and she receives enough that she doesn’t have to worry about work but can focus on her children. In the previous book she was caught up in mystery when her cleaning lady was killed…only to turn out that the murderer killed the wrong woman.

What?!

As you might have guessed, all the books in the series are reworking of famous films/literature. This one is of A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway.

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Christmas is coming and Jane is extremely stressed out. Not only does she have to deal with the usual end of the year Christmas/Winter recitals and parties for her children, she is in charge of the Church Christmas Bazaar, and has to finish an afghan in only a few days.

She doesn’t need anything else to add to it, but what do you know? That’s life. It turns out Phyllis Wagner, Jane’s old friend, has finally decided to take her up on one of her halfhearted invitations to visit. Jane doesn’t really want her to visit but is stuck.

Ugh

Shelley drives her to pick Phyllis up from the airport, to give Jane time to knit her blanket, and she gets the shock of her life. Phyllis has arrived with her son! A son? When did she have a child?

It turns out that when Phyllis was in high school she ran off with a classmate and got married. The parents tracked them down and paid for an annulment, but Phyllis discovered afterwards that she was pregnant.

Her parents not wanting the child and Phyllis not believing she could take care of it, went to stay with an aunt, had the baby, and put it up for adoption. Afterwards she met Chet and married the much older, divorced father of two; them living in the same apartments as Jane and her husband.

Phyllis and Chet couldn’t have any children, and after a terrible near death experience, Phyllis revealed her secret. Chet searched for her son and found him, Bobby.

How sweet!

Bobby came to live on the island Chet set up as home and soon became a bad note in the symphony of their lives. Bobby is a major jerk, but Phyllis dotes in him and fulfills his every whim as she feels guilty for giving him up and sad about missing everything from his early life.

This is not good

Pretty soon Chet couldn’t stand another second with him and gave the ultimatum, him or Bobby. Phyllis choose Bobby and headed back to the States to visit Jane and find a place to live.

Jane is shocked about what has happened, and upset with Phyllis and Bobby. She happily leaves her home to go to Fiona Divine’s house, the widow of the famous and deceased singer Richie Divine, the one hosting the bazaar. Phyllis wants to come too and after they discuss details, Fiona relays that the house next door is for sale.

Phyllis is extremely interested and Fiona forces her second husband, Albert, to take Phyllis on a tour. By the time Jane and Phyllis head home; Phyllis is renting the house and in the process of buying it, has had one of Chet’s people purchase everything needed, and packed up all her belongings to send them to the house; vacating Jane’s home.

Yay!

Jane finds this unbelievable, but is thrilled to have the house back to the family only.

The next day, Jane receives a call from Fiona that the police are at Phyllis’ new home. Jane rushes right over and into her sometimes date/interested party Detective Mel VanDyne of the homicide division. Yes, it turns out that Phyllis was murdered.

All Jane wants to do is stay out of this, but finds herself caught up in the case. Will she figure out who the killer is before they strike again?

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Thoughts After Reading:

I did not like this book at all.

Jane was horrible and cruel to her friend; making fun of her so much that it was a terrible read. Why did she hate her so much? The was never really revealed.

The mystery’s solution was so obvious as well. As soon as the character entered the picture and Phyllis gave her backstory it was so easy to figure out and boring!

I can’t believe that Grime and Punishment was so good, and this book was an incredible stinker. It does not bode well for the next book.

For more Jane Jeffry mysteries, go to Grime and Punishment

For more Christmas mysteries, go to The Undoing of Saint Silvanus

For more mystery reviews, go to The Lesson

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A Taste of Fame

Atasteoffame

A Taste of Fame (Potluck Catering Club #2) by Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson

So some of you might be wondering where is the review for book one? Well there is no review for book one.

What?

The first book isn’t a mystery but a Christian novel that chronicles the lives of six women who change from a potluck prayer group to a catering group. Each member has different issues in their lives, as they grow in friendship and through trials. I wanted to skip it, but as I can’t completely do that without confusing you, I’ll give you a bite.

gotthis

The potluck group was started by Evangeline and grew to have five other members; Vonnie, Goldie, Lizzie, Donna, and Lisa Leann. The women go through trials, tribulations, prayer, and delicious food.

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Synopsis:

So since the hiccups of the first novel, the women have had a successful time with their catering business in their hometown. But things are about to change.

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Lisa Leann’s son came to visit, and decided to film them for his media class. It turns out that he also used the footage to enter them in the reality show, The Great Party Showdown.

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Even though most don’t want to participate, they signed a contract and have to, besides that the church could really use the money they win.

We are so happy for you

We are so happy for you

They win their first challenge of catering a special event in the community, creating a 1930s Animal Crackers themed party.

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And now the ladies are off to New York.

Yay!

Yay!

Evangeline has adapted to married life with her long time crush, Sheriff Vernon Vesey. She has even developed a better relationship with her stepdaughter, Donna, who has previously hated her. Her biggest issue, she and Lisa Leann are going into the city to do preliminary research, will she survive spending time with the Texan she can’t stand?

2013-11-27-bradpitt friends ugh slap face stupid

Lisa Leann’s old affair came back to bite her in the last book. She admitted everything to her husband, but while he agreed to work on their marriage; he has been cold and silent. When Lisa Leann has to leave, Henry gives her an ultimatum: stay with him and they will stay together or leave and that will be the end.

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Vonnie is a little unsure about being in the city, but happy that her son David will be joining her. Vonnie was married when she moved to California to a Latina man. He died in Vietnam and Vonnie went into labor. Knocked out by grief and drugs; her mother told her that her son died and Vonnie signed the release papers, unknowingly signing her son’s adoption papers. When David surprised her by knocking on her door and revealing everything, Vonnie felt blessed to have her child back and loves every moment she has with him.

love

As they prepare for their next challenges, continuing the movie theme they find a few things they did not expect. They are doing very well, but a few things seem to be going wrong. Almost as if someone is sabotaging them.

Sabrina the teenage witch salem dum di dum dum dum

But which team?

HMMM

Lizzie is enjoying the break and opportunity to visit New York as she has had a lot on her plate. In the last book she had her mother’s Alzheimer growing worse, her youngest daughter’s wedding to plan, her son and his family moving in with her when he lost his job, and her husband being injured. But when she helps a deaf couple find their lost handbag, she discovers one of the production assistants for the show on a date with a contestant. She reads their lips and sees that the assistant has “everything arranged.” Is the contest rigged from on high? And if so, what can Lizzie do to stop it?

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Donna is feeling pressure from all sides. In high school Donna and Wade dated, and she became pregnant. She lost the baby and Wade began drinking. Now 12 years later, Donna is a deputy and Wade is sober and taking care of his nephew Peter, the boy being the same age as their boy would have been. Donna is considering getting back with him, but then there is David who is crazy about her and wants to start a new relationship.

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But now there are the paparazzo hounding her, a Cajun cook trying to start a relationship; all the while Donna being on two cases. First looking to see if her tip about Pete’s mom fleeing her abusive husband for New York to be true, and second who the saboteur is.

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Goldie and her husband Jack have had a rocky relationship. Jack had been cheating on Goldie since they first got together, due to his compulsion for sex. They’ve been in counseling, and with the help, Jack has been able to master his compulsion. However, Jack’s health has been bothering him, and when he has to have surgery Goldie leaves the competition to fly out to be by his side. Will she make it in time? Will Jack survive?

Aw...

Aw…

How will the potluckers be able to win this whole thing down a player and with a saboteur on the loose? Time to pray.

dearlordhelpme

 

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Thoughts After Reading:

I thought this was pretty good. The story was fun and interesting and I thought the development of the characters was great.

likeit

I loved the idea of the movie themed parties from An Affair to Remember, King Kong, and Guys and Dolls; defintely the theme direction I would have gone in.

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The only thing I thought was dumb was that Deputy Sheriff Donna was kind of dim about a few things. She starts investigating Bubba, the Cajun chef, as the potential saboteur and when he tells her she probably mistook his cousin Bordeaux who looks just like him.

really?

What a joke. Come on how could you not see through that.

seriously

There were a few other times when it would have been easy to see through things but she didn’t.

Idon'tthinkso Idontseeit

But otherwise, I thought it was a good read and think it is worth a read. 🙂

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For more caterer mysteries, go to Catering to Nobody

For more Christian novels, go to A Change of Fortune

For more sabotage mysteries, go to The Silence of the Llamas

For more mystery reviews, go to The October Game

Sleeping Beauty

sleepingbeauty

I’m not talking about that Sleeping Beauty. I’m talking about this one:

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Sleeping Beauty by Phillip Margolin

Lawyer Miles Van Meter is on a book tour to promote his bestseller, Sleeping Beauty, a true crime account of the attack on his twin sister Casey that left her in a coma.

Aw...

Aw…

As Miles begins discussing the case, talking about everything that happened, little does he know that afterwards; something extremely important to the case will be revealed.

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We travel to six years earlier and to an event that would change the course of someone’s life forever.

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Ashley is seventeen years old, soccer star, and just your average girl next door. After winning the state championship, her best friend decides to stay the night. But what should have been a fun time with friends turns out to be night filled with horror.

Sabrina the teenage witch salem dum di dum dum dum

But somebody else decides to crash the party.

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A serial killer kills Ashley’s father, along with raping and murdering Tanya. After taking care of Tanya the serial killer does something completely unusual, takes a break and eats some cake left out downstairs.

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How weird is that? Does killing activate his sweet tooth? Is he so confident in his success he can just break to celebrate?

HMMM

While he is occupied, Ashley is able to escape.

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After the ordeal, Ashley is ready to give up on everything. That is, until she and her mother receive an invitation and scholarship for the prestigious private school, Oregon Academy. They decide the best thing for everyone is a new start, and accept. There they meet Casey Van Meter who shows them the school and introduces the pair to their onsite writer, Joshua Maxfield. Ashley’s mother, Terri, decides to stay on for the summer to attend Joshua’s writing class while Ashley helps out in the summer soccer camp.

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Terri attends the writing class and becomes horrified when she hears Maxfield read a story that is full of details of her daughter’s case, including the part about eating sweets which was never publicized.

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Terri notifies the police and starts researching into Maxfield. When Terri discusses it with Casey, Casey rebuffs her; only to call Terri later and stranglely, ask to meet up at the boathouse to reveal some information.

Very fishy

Very fishy

Later that same night, Ashley is walking around when she has the misfortune to hear screams and discover her mother’s and Casey’s stabbed bodies.

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She also sees Maxfield with a knife.

AAAAHHHHH

While a huge manhunt after Maxfield commences, once again Ashley flees for her life.

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Within this story are a lot of twists and turns, secret adoptions, revealed identities, psychotic killers, and more.

urkelgif interesting hmm

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Thoughts After Reading:

I HATED this book.

Hate him.

The plot wasn’t bad but the way it was told was horrible.

IDon'tlikeit

It keeps going back and forth in time which is so confusing and makes it so hard to focus on what was happening and when it happened.

What'sHappening?BigBangTheory

At times I thought it was boring and a bit too unbelievable. Really stretching it there.

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I thought that the end twist was good, but the path wasn’t done well. It was just too confusing and made the book horrible to me.

thumbsdown

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For more stand alone mysteries, go to Ticker

For more serial killers, go to The Alchemy of Murder

For more mysteries, go to A Murder in Mohair