REVIEW: A WEDDING AND A KILLING, BY LAUREN CARR

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000447_00064]It was supposed to be a quiet, simple wedding, officiated by their friend, Deborah Hess, the minister of the local church, and attended by close friends David and Chelsea. But the best laid plans are thwarted by something unexpected. Something that would interrupt their lives drastically for the foreseeable future. Mac Faraday and his long-time fiancée Archie Monday, are about to realize that even a wedding cannot be a simple event for them, not in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland.

The coming apart of the ceremony begins with Gnarly, the German Shepherd that believes he is part of the family, and even a member of the police force in this town. His furious barking outside a closed office door in the hallway, where Eugene, the head of the church trustees is supposedly working, leads to further investigation. And a startling discovery. Eugene, shot three times, and dead.

In the furor that follows, with an investigation that leads down numerous pathways, the police unexpectedly uncover another mystery: a killing that happened seven years before in New York’s Catskill Mountains.

What, if anything, does that killing have to do with what is happening in Maryland? What will Mac and David and other authorities discover about their friends and neighbors as they follow every lead, stymied at almost every turn, until finally, the stunning unfolding of the dramatic mystery culminates with a dangerous stand-off in a mountain home?

As usual, the characters and settings thoroughly engaged me as I rapidly turned pages, wondering what would come next. There were so many clues to sort through that the fascination was all about trying to guess who had done what and why. Another delightful story about characters I can’t get enough of. A Wedding and a Killing (A Mac Faraday Mystery Book 8) is part of a series featuring Mac Faraday, a former detective, whose famous birth mother, Robin Spencer, left her vast estate to him when she died. It is easy to follow the connections, as the author provides a cast of characters at the beginning. Another five star read!

WEEKLY SUNDAY/MONDAY UPDATES: IS YOUR READING/BLOGGING LIFE PREDICTABLE?

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Good morning!  Today’s post will link up to Sunday Salon, The Sunday Post,  and Book Journey, for  Weekly Updates.

**Mailbox Monday is now hosted at the home site:  Mailbox Monday.

Good morning, Bloggers!  Grab some coffee (or a mimosa), and let’s talk about our weeks.

 

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Earlier today, I was out running errands and having lunch…and couldn’t wait to get back home.  It is still very hot out, with triple digits through the weekend.  Someone posted about snow on her blog…and I was green with envy!  Even though I don’t necessarily want snow here…

Next weekend, I am looking forward to Bloggiesta...and the movie This Is Where I Leave You.  Yes, I have posted about it before, but I can’t stop gushing.  I loved the book, and I adore the actors in the cast….so that’s how it goes.

Do you have anything you are gushing about?  While you are pondering, here’s what happened in my blog world this past week.

 

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Under a Cloud of Suspicion:  An Excerpt from “Interior Designs”

A Guilty Pleasure:  I Am Obsessive About My TBR Stacks

Tuesday Sparks:  Intros/Teasers – “Then and Always”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Acceptance

Waiting for “The Girl Next Door”

My Bookish (and Not So Bookish Thoughts):  Subliminal Images

Friday Potpourri:  Book Beginnings/Friday 56 – “Midnight Betrayal”

Saturday Snapshots:  Taking Alec to College

Review:  Tears & Tequila, by Linda Schreyer and Jo-Ann Lautman (Publicist Request)

Review:  Gringa in a Strange Land (e-book), by Linda Dahl (Mt. TBR Stack)

Review:  The Devil’s Foothold (e-book), by Marilyn Meredith (Mt. TBR Stack)

Review:  Midnight Betrayal, by Melinda Leigh (Author Review Request)

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INCOMING BOOKS;  (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

 

Three review books came in my mailbox from Amazon Vine!  Yay!  And then I downloaded three e-books to feed the ever-hungry Sparky.

 

Friendswood, by Rene Steiner (Amazon Vine)

 

 

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Safe Keeping, by Barbara Taylor Sissel (Amazon Vine)

 

 

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Crooked River, by Valerie Geary (Amazon Vine)

 

 

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Downloads:

 

After I Do (e-book), by Taylor Jenkins Reid

 

 

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The Children Act (e-book), by Ian McEwan

 

 

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Virgin River (e-book), by Robyn Carr

 

 

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WHAT’S UP NEXT? (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

 

A Question of Guilt (e-book), by Frances Fyfield (for Mt. TBR Challenge)

 

 

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Then and Always, by Dani Atkins (Vine Review)

 

 

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A Wedding and a Killing, by Lauren Carr (Author Review Request)

 

 

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And there we are…the cycle is complete!  Blog Posts Written, Books Read and Reviewed, New Books on the Stacks….and Upcoming Reads.  Do you ever feel as if your routines are so predictable you could complete them in your sleep?  Is it a good thing to change up the routines occasionally?

Something to ponder.  I spend time every week messing around with my blogs, from the themes to the backgrounds and headers.  Earlier today, I cleared out some of the files in my office…it was amazing the outdated things I found there!

My granddaughter Fiona (below) changes her hair color.

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REVIEW: THE DEVIL’S FOOTHOLD, BY MARILYN MEREDITH

Devils-Foothold_sm-resizedIn a small Northern California town, a young Sheriff’s deputy, Jessica McGuire, is raising her son as a single mother and trying to do the job of keeping the community safe. Not too much seems to happen in those parts, until one day, something very strange happens. And then a few more odd events transpire, and before she knows it, Jessica is investigating the happenings that seem to suggest a devil worshipping cult in their midst.

Her boss doesn’t believe any of these things can be happening, and dismisses what she tells him. What is the most challenging aspect of the cult is that the most powerful members of the community seem to be involved. And a few teenagers, most of whom are good kids.

With the help of the local minister, widower David Tanner, who first got involved when he discovered that an infant’s grave had been robbed, Jessica is able to follow the clues that lead to the sinister answers. Along the way, there is plenty of suspense and a few tidbits about the personal lives of the characters that made me root for them.

Definitely a page-turner, The Devil’s Foothold gifted the reader with the author’s depiction of small town police procedures, while offering a glimpse of life in a part of California that I love. 5.0 stars.

WEEKLY SUNDAY/MONDAY UPDATES: LOOKING FORWARD!

PicMonkey Collage-WEEKLY UPDATES IN JULY

 

Good morning!  Today’s post will link up to Sunday Salon, The Sunday Post,  and Book Journey, for  Weekly Updates.

**Mailbox Monday is now hosted at the home site:  Mailbox Monday.

Good morning, Bloggers!  Grab some coffee (or a mimosa), and let’s talk about our weeks.

 

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The heat is still high in these parts, and even though fall is on the horizon, I’m not feeling it yet.  But I am looking forward to the fall lineup of new shows and the return of some old favorites.  One of my old favorites is The Good Wife...what about you?

 

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Monthly Wrap-Up:  August is Gone

Giveaway Winner:  Congratulations!

Go out on a Limb and Enjoy:  Intros/Teasers – “This Is Where I Leave You”

Savor the Books, Wherever You Can Find Them

Hump Day Serendipity:  Waiting on “The Look of Love”

Hump Day Potpourri:  Pondering End-of-Year Goals

My Bookish (and Not So Bookish) Thoughts:  More Coffee, Please!

Ignite Your Friday with Book Beginnings/Friday 56 – “Tears & Tequila”

Savoring the Coffee:  New Perspectives

Savoring the Moments:  Enjoying the Beach

Review:  An Italian Wife, by Ann Hood

Review:  The Home Place, by Carrie La Seur

Review:  This Is Where I Leave You (e-book), by Jonathan Tropper

Review:  The Good Girl (e-book), by Mary Kubica

 

INCOMING BOOKS:  (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

One delicious review book came in my mailbox….allowing me to catch up a little.  However, I downloaded four books, because Sparky was hungry!

 

Then and Always, by Danie Atkins (Amazon Vine)

 

 

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Downloads:

 

Where We Belong (e-book), by Catherine Ryan Hyde

 

 

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Three Story House (e-book), by Courtney Miller Santo

 

 

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Apple and Rain (e-book), by Sarah Crossan

 

 

 

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Accidents of Marriage (e-book), by Randy Susan Meyers

 

 

 

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WHAT’S UP NEXT? (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

 

Tears & Tequila, by Linda Schreyer and Jo-Ann Lautman (Review Request)

 

 

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Midnight Betrayal, by Melinda Leigh (Author Review Request)

 

 

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Alterations (e-book), by Rita Plush (For Mt. TBR Challenge)

 

 

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Gringa in a Strange Land (e-book), by Linda Dahl (For Mt. TBR Challenge)

 

 

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And that’s it for now….what are you reading/blogging about?  I hope you’ll stop by and chat.

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REVIEW: THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU, BY JONATHAN TROPPER

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When Mort, the patriarch of the Foxman family dies, the four grown children, Wendy, Paul, Judd, and Phillip, gather around, supporting their mother, Hillary, and sitting shiva.

This will be the first time the four of them have congregated in years, and with them comes the baggage of childhood animosities, failed relationships, and the angst of knowing that they all could have done more to maintain contact with one another.

As they gather, however, we see them in their grief, interacting with the visitors and with one another. And intermittently, the first person narrator, Judd, takes us back to those moments in the past when they were at their best…and at their worst.

In the more recent past, Judd bemoans the loss of his nine-year marriage to Jen…and the humiliating circumstances under which it ended: Jen’s affair with Judd’s boss, and the fact that he walked in on the two of them, permanently searing the horror of it all on his brain.

Judd’s humor and cynicism reveal much about his pain, just as the occasional dreams that populate his nights show us some of his greatest fears.

Hillary is a hilarious character, openly displaying her physical assets while issuing proclamations that are reminiscent of her best-selling book about parenting, a tome that still embarrasses her children and reminds them of the teasing they suffered years before.

I liked that she was open and seemingly unafraid, and that each of her children have inherited some of that candor from her, even though it often comes across as sarcasm and cruel banter. Then again, sometimes they cling to secrets and hide their true feelings, like any family. Does this make them dysfunctional? Why do they all cringe when their mother expresses herself? Below the surface lies their inability to truly connect with one another, and for a family with supposed openness, why are they such poor communicators when it comes down to it?

While grieving their father, Judd is also learning new information that will complicate his divorce from Jen and make moving on a challenge. Paul and his wife are dealing with issues of infertility, while Wendy’s husband is a consummate workaholic who ignores her most of the time. Phillip is still reveling in his role as the “baby,” but at some point, he must grow up. How will each of them find a way to accept their loss, while dealing with how much their own families are in a state of disarray?

A wonderful foray into one family, This Is Where I Leave You: A Novel shows all of its flaws and foibles, a reminder that even at its worst, family can offer our best chance at a feeling of belonging. 5.0 stars.

HUMP DAY SERENDIPITY: WAITING ON “THE LOOK OF LOVE”

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Waiting on Wednesdays is a weekly bookish event in which we share the eagerly anticipated upcoming releases we have on our lists.  Click on over to Breaking the Spine to see what everyone is sharing.

I didn’t have anything on my list…and then, while scrolling through Library Thing, I found it, SERENDIPITOUSLY!  Sarah Jio is one of my favorite authors these days, and she has a new one coming out on November 25, 2014.  Yay!  The Look of Love is the story of one woman’s gift:  the ability to see true love.

 

 

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Blurb:  Born during a Christmas blizzard, Jane Williams receives a rare gift: the ability to see true love. Jane has emerged from an ailing childhood a lonely, hopeless romantic when, on her twenty-ninth birthday, a mysterious greeting card arrives, specifying that Jane must identify the six types of love before the full moon following her thirtieth birthday, or face grave consequences. When Jane falls for a science writer who doesn’t believe in love, she fears that her fate is sealed. Inspired by the classic song, The Look of Love is utterly enchanting.

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This cover is quite different from those of Jio’s other books…I don’t know how much I like it, except that I adore the colors.  The brightness stands out and seems like a celebration of some kind.

What are you sharing today?  I hope you’ll stop by and share….

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WEEKLY SUNDAY/MONDAY UPDATES: HAPPY LABOR DAY WEEKEND!

PicMonkey Collage-WEEKLY UPDATES IN JULY

 

Good morning!  Today’s post will link up to Sunday Salon, The Sunday Post,  and Book Journey, for  Weekly Updates.

**Mailbox Monday is now hosted at the home site:  Mailbox Monday.

Good morning, Bloggers!  Grab some coffee (or a mimosa), and let’s talk about our weeks.

 

 

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And Happy Labor Day to those who celebrate it!  For those who are going on the road, have safe, happy trips!

I plan to spend the weekend reading and watching movies/DVDs/Netflix.  Here’s one on my list:  Fading Gigolo.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen Woody Allen in a movie that wasn’t directed and produced by him!

 

 

 

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LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Sunday Potpourri:  Blissful Euphoria

Curl up with Books, Movies, & Our Routines

Out on a Limb with Intros/Teasers:  “An Italian Wife”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Contemplations

Creative Wednesday:  Waiting for “Ruth’s Journey”

My Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts:  An Unsettling Week

Thursday Potpourri:  Released!

From the Interior:  Book Beginnings/Friday 56 – “The Home Place”

Creative Saturday:  Back to School!

A Darkness Hovers Overhead:  An Excerpt from “Interior Designs”

Weekend Potpourri:  Going outside my Comfort Zone

Review:  Falling Into Place, by Amy Zhang

Review:  The Silent Sister, by Diane Chamberlain

Review:  The House on Mermaid Point (e-book), by Wendy Wax

 

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INCOMING BOOKS:  (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

One lone book arrived in my mailbox…BUT I downloaded FIVE e-books to feed Sparky!

 

A Wedding and a Killing, by Lauren Carr (From the Author)

 

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Downloads:

 

The Next Time You See Me (e-book), by Holly Goddard Jones

 

 

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A Long Time Gone (e-book), by Karen White

 

 

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In the Woods (e-book), by Tana French

 

 

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The Murderer’s Daughters (e-book), by Randy Susan Meyers

 

 

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Silver Bay (e-book), by JoJo Moyes

 

 

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WHAT’S UP NEXT? (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

 

An Italian Wife, by Ann Hood (Amazon Vine Review)

 

 

 

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The Home Place, by Carrie La Seur (Amazon Vine Review)

 

 

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This Is Where I Leave You (e-book), by Jonathan Tropper (Movie coming soon!)

 

 

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The Good Girl (e-book), by Mary Kubica

 

 

 

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And, like the book listed above, THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU…but we will be connecting throughout the week.  Enjoy the holiday, if you are celebrating it!

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