Jenn McKinlay

A Likely Story

A Likely Story (Library Lover’s Mystery #6) By: Jenn McKinlay

Plot:

Small-town librarian Lindsey Norris must solve a murder and a missing person’s case involving two reclusive brothers.

NOT HIS BROTHER’S KEEPER

Delivering books to the housebound residents of the Thumb Islands, just a short boat ride from the town of Briar Creek, library director Lindsey Norris has befriended two elderly brothers, Stewart and Peter Rosen. She enjoys visiting them in their treasure-filled, ramshackle Victorian on Star Island until she discovers that Peter has been killed and Stewart is missing. Now she’s determined to solve a murder and find Stewart before he suffers his brother’s fate.

Review:

It’s been a while since I read a Library Lover’s Mystery and I had forgotten that there is a love triangle going on right now. Well, Lindsey knows who she loves but she’s apparently clueless that another guy really likes her. She somehow misses word usage both somewhat vague and not, for someone that’s able to spot a pregnancy before everyone else it’s really annoying.

The pace in A Likely Story felt a bit slow as well, but that could have just been my mood. The mystery was fine, though a bit cliché with the hermit brothers living on an island and affairs and long lost relatives or members of the community.

All in all it wasn’t my favorite in the series and the way it ended I’m not looking forward to the next installment.

3/5

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Carmel Crush

Carmel Crush (Cupcake Bakery Mystery #9) By: Jenn McKinlay

Plot:

When a breakup via cupcake threatens to crumble their friend’s life for good, Mel and Angie race to solve the murder as this New York Times bestselling series continues…

Love is in the air at Fairy Tale Cupcakes as Angie prepares for her wedding, but co-owner, Mel, is preparing for a breakup. Her old friend, Diane Earnest, is dumping her fiancé after discovering he’s only marrying her for her money. She wants Mel to personally deliver a batch of caramel breakup cupcakes to the louse and give her a play-by-play of his reaction.

When Mel finally tracks the man down, the look on his face isn’t the reaction she was expecting: he’s dead. After the police arrive and see the incriminating cupcakes, Diane becomes their prime suspect. If she hopes to taste freedom again, Mel and Angie must make sure the real killer gets their just desserts…

Review:

This was not one of the more entertaining and fun Cupcake Bakery books. I’ve never been a fan of Mel, it’s always been the side characters that have me enjoying the series, but this time they were just as annoying as her. The constant Mrs. Tate Harper and Mrs. Joe DeLaura, or whatever their last names are, was annoying. I’ve always hated that and I felt like I was beat over the head with it. There was constant “I’m not good enough for my man” to the point where I almost stopped reading. Angie and Mel were both like this so it was just constant. If maybe one of them had been confident with some self-esteem it might not have been so bad, but you’d get finished reading about one’s “failures” and have to start reading another. It was awful.

The mystery at least was fine. There were plenty of suspects to kill the guy, the clues were there to pick out who did it, the dude “deserved” to die. It was the only good part of the book.

Oh, before I forget, Mel’s college friend was awful. She was supposed to be unsympathetic to a point, but because of reasons owing to Mel’s lack of self-worth and messed up view of the world, she felt like she had to help her out. There was even a “cute” little romance between Diane and her IT guy. Of course this is all thrown away in the last part of the book and I just wanted to scream.

The views in this book about women and their relationships were awful. You do not owe someone big if they save you from being rapped and the video of your rape being distributed. They were being the bare minimum of a decent human. When you get married it’s not just about being someone’s wife and what you can offer them. I feel like McKinlay knows this but it was not clearly conveyed in the book and because of everything else that was going on it added to the lack of a positive female message.

I was really disappointed with this book, but I feel like I’ve invested so much time in the series so far that I need to continue it. Hopefully, things are better in the next installment.

2/5

On Borrowed Time (Library Lover’s Mystery #5) By: Jenn McKinlay

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On Borrowed Time (Library Lover’s Mystery #5) By: Jenn McKinlay

Plot:

Loving a good cup of coffee runs in the family for Briar Creek library director Lindsey Norris. But when her brother, Jack, a consultant for a coffee company, goes missing, her favorite beverage becomes a key clue in a dangerous mystery. Between preparing the library for the holidays and juggling the affections of ex-boyfriend, Captain Mike Sullivan, and her new crush, actor Robbie Vine, Lindsey has her hands full. But the mysterious disappearance of her world-traveling playboy brother takes precedence over all. Afraid that involving the police could brew trouble for Jack, Lindsey takes matters into her own hands. But as her quest for her brother embroils her in a strange case involving South American business dealings and an enigmatic and exotic woman, it’ll take the help of both her library book club—the crafternooners—and her eager-to-please suitors to keep Jack from ending up in hot water…

Review:

I’m well on my way to being a Jenn McKinlay superfan. I own ebook and paperback copies, though, I do still check out some from the library.

This book didn’t move Lindsey’s relationships forward as much as I wanted, still hasn’t gotten back with Sully. She was actually a bit stupid in this one, which is one of the things I’ve always liked about McKinlay’s books, the heroines aren’t stupid. Her plan at the end and the way she acted wasn’t the normal smart Lindsey. Of course her brother was involved and people don’t always think clearly when family is involved.

This book was kind of filler character and relationship wise. The mystery was fairly predictable but fine. Overall not my favorite in the series.

3.5/5

My 2015 Favorites

Movies:

2015 was not a good year for movies, for me at least. Of course, I’ve yet to see Star Wars so that could certainly change. I gave only two movies 5 stars, Tomorrowland and Mockingjay. I had several 4 stars that I remember very fondly though. Anyway, the following is a list of the movies I enjoyed the most, star ranking be damned.

    1. Tomorrowland– I was not expecting to love this movie as much as I did and I’m so thankful that I rented it. Literally the day after I watched it I went out, bought it, and watched it again. I have it downloaded on all of my devices and will just randomly watch parts of it. I love it and I could easily see this movie becoming one of my all-time favorites
    2. Jurassic World– This movie is another one that I bought, but I haven’t actually watched it yet. Thinking back to the theater I really loved it and I’m excited for more in the franchise like this. Also, Chris Pratt is awesome.
    3. Kingsman: The Secret Service– I think this movie was so great because I wasn’t expecting it. I went in with very little expectations and was pleasantly surprised.
    4. Parallels– I hesitate listing this because, while I liked it, it doesn’t feel complete. I really hope there’s more to come because the world created was very interesting.This was the year of books. I read over 100 books and so many of them were good. I did of course read a couple I absolutely loathed (I’m looking at you Fable: Edge of the World and Murder is Binding) but the majority of what I read I really enjoyed.

Books:

 

    1. Lois Lane: Fallout by Gwenda Bond– I gave this as a Christmas present, that should really tell you how much I enjoyed it. I can easily see this being the first book in a series I absolutely adore.
    2. Justice Calling by Annie Bellet– This is the first book in the Twenty-Sided Sorceress series and one of my favorite discoveries of the year. Great series and I’m looking forward to reading the most recent installment.
    3. Anything by Jenn McKinlay- I read several McKinlay books this year and I loved almost all of them and the one I didn’t love I still liked. If you’re looking for a cozy mystery I highly recommend anything she’s done. She writes great characters and her stories are light and fairly believable.
    4. Clariel by Garth Nix- Even after all this time Nix stayed true to the world and showed us a great character.
    5. Magic Breaks & Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews- It’s Ilona Andrews, of course these books were amazing.
    6. Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs- Just like Ilona Andrews, Briggs never fails to give me a book I love.
    7. Cinder by Marissa Meyer- Really liked the unique take on fairy tales this series has brought. I haven’t yet read the final installment, but I’m looking forward to it.

TV:

 

I don’t write as many TV blog posts as I should, probably because I watch too much damn TV, but here’s a list of my favorites for the year.

    1. Sense 8 on Netflix– This show suffered some pacing issues, but it didn’t affect how much I loved it. Season 2 can’t come out fast enough.
    2. Marvel’s Agent Carter on ABC– Loved this show. Really loved this show. I want to be Agent Carter when/if I grow up. She’s such a great character and I’m really looking forward to season 2 which starts in January.
    3. Jane the Virgin on CW– When I’m watching this show I’m in freakin love. When I’m not watching this show I can’t really understand why I liked it so much because it sounds so crazy. Every episode delivers and it has continued into the second season, there has been no dip in quality. Highly recommend, more people should be watching this.
    4. Daredevil on Netflix– Episode two has one of the best fight scenes of the year from movies or TV, it was that good.
    5. Jessica Jones on Netflix– I didn’t think it was possible, but this was darker than Daredevil. Not really a huge fan of dark, but they did this very well. I thought Jessica Jones was a realistic portrayal of an abuse victim that happens to have some superpowers. She was rarely likable, but I never hated her, you could always understand why she acted the way she did. Actors were spot on as well, it was freaky seeing Tennant be so evil.
    6. Dark Matter on SyFy– I found this show on Netflix and was pleasantly surprised. It takes a couple episodes to gather steam but when it does it becomes an interesting Sci-Fi tv show. Nice female lead and an interesting story.

 

This has been my 2015 year in review. What did you enjoy most this year?

Read it and Weep (Library Lover’s Mystery #4) By: Jenn McKinlay

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Read it and Weep (Library Lover’s Mystery #4) By: Jenn McKinlay

Plot:

Answering Shakespeare trivia comes with the job description for library director Lindsey Norris. But when the Briar Creek Community Theater mounts their newest production of the Bard, she has no intention of leaving the stacks for the stage. Unfortunately a villain is waiting in the wings… Former Broadway actress Violet La Rue is holding auditions for A Midsummer Night’s Dream—and everyone from the sour spinster librarian Ms. Cole to Lindsey’s youthful library pages are trying out for parts. Brought in to play the mischievous Puck is the flirtatious professional actor Robbie Vine, who seems to have eyes for Lindsey. Before her blush has faded, the Bard’s dream turns into a nightmare—when one of the cast is poisoned. Now Lindsey and her crafternooners must take center stage to unmask the culprit before the final curtain call…

Review:

OMG the tension between Lindsey and Sully was crazy! It was like a romance and I honestly didn’t care about the mystery I just wanted to read scenes with these two. SPOILER There was no satisfying ending with them and it looks like McKinlay will be spreading the relationship issues through another book.

Even with the distraction of Lindsey/Sully I guessed the ending fairly quickly but I still enjoyed it and it’s not something done too frequently. I did find it annoying that a love triangle has been introduced, again. She just got rid of her ex-husband and now another man turns up. He’s not a bad guy either, really tired of love triangles.

The side characters didn’t play as big a part in this book, but that could just be me only remembering the heat between Lindsey and Sully.

I really love this series.

For some reason neither library system I have access to has the next book in this series, so I’ll have to search my used book stores or wait until I have some cash.

4.5/5