Little Black Book

June 29, 2021


Little Black Book
By: Kate Carlisle
Genre: Mystery, Cozy Mystery


When Brooklyn and her husband, Derek, are sent a mysterious package they have no idea they're about to be involved with a missing persons case with a few murders thrown in the mix. Their crime fighting skills even take them to Scotland. And all of this involves the beloved gothic classic, Rebecca. 

Book restoration expert Brooklyn and her husband, Derek, no sooner walk through the door of their San Francisco apartment then discover Derek's been sent a mysterious package. A mysterious book package, nonetheless. A black covered first edition, signed by the author herself, of Rebecca not only has been mailed to him, but becomes the source of much confusion. It doesn't take long for the plot to thicken with the arrival of Claire Quinn on their doorstep. Her beloved Aunt Gwyneth is missing and a mailing receipt shows the Stones' address. She's searching for information to her whereabouts. 

And thus begins the latest mystery in the well loved Bibliophile mystery series by Kate Carlisle. This newest adventure not only brings Claire into the mix of characters, but also the several bad guys on her heels. Nicknamed Mr. peppermint and Fish Face, they're trying to retrieve the book and shut Claire up at the same time. Now, Brooklyn and Derek are trying to figure out how Rebecca plays into everything, but also are trying to keep Claire safe. Turns out Derek and Gwyneth worked together for M16, so dots begin to connect. But where is she? Why are people trying to kill Claire? And what does all of this have to do with the Rebecca book sent to Derek?

I enjoyed this book! More often than not, books in a long running book series start to suffer in content. Mysteries become thin and a smaller part of the story. I can honestly tell you, this isn't the case with the Bibliophile series. The action started right off the bat and continued to the end. I loved getting to know the new characters and was questioning if they were the bad guys throughout. I loved the connection between Derek and Gwyneth. The Scotland parts of the story was fascinating. Kate not only takes you there, but also brings it to life by giving you some of the history. I was glued and didn't want it to end. 

Long standing fans of the series will thoroughly enjoy book 15. New readers of the book will enjoy it, as well. While there are a few references to past things, a first time series reader won't be confused by them. A great summer read for cozy mystery lovers. 

Live Your Life

June 15, 2021


Live Your Life
By: Amanda & Anna Kloots
Genre: Memoirs

When COVID came to the U.S. life as we knew it changed. The virus spread faster than the facts we needed to know about it. Amanda Kloots was forced to face this nightmare when it hit her husband. Facing the unknowns all while on lockdown and bringing up her infant son was nothing short of a nightmare. Here she shares the story of their life, his illness and the battle they desperately fought to the bitter, heartbreaking end.

2020 was a nightmare year. Life turned upside down with 5 letters: COVID. Life came to a scary, screeching halt as we watched hundreds of thousands get hit. While many recovered, many did not. And as the virus spread like the wildfire, the facts and information about it weren't as quick in coming. Fear reigned. Nick Cordero's case was one of the first that took early theories and threw them by the wayside. He was young- in his 40s- and had no pre-existing conditions. He was healthy. There was no reason to think he would get the virus and fully recover, if he did get it. Until he caught it and never recovered. What Amanda thought was  going to be an hour, or so, visit to the ER became the last time she ever talked to him again.

Amanda takes you on her emotional journey as they admitted him into the ICU- and he never left. 90+ days of him showing signs of improvement one minute only to take a turn for the worse the next. Times of doctors saying his numbers looking good and having hope of getting him off the machines. Times of medicines that helped other patients not helping him. Times of being told to get to the hospital as soon as possible because they didn't think Nick would survive a few more hours. The fight to get into the hospital to see him. The phone calls in the middle of the night. Amanda puts you right there with her. 

While she's in the fight for her husband's life, she also has a baby boy, Elvis, to take care of. You'll read how her family dropped their lives to come help her. You'll read how a neighborhood steeped up to help in any way they could. You'll read how celebrities got involved. These were my favorite parts to read. Her fight didn't stay just hers. A whole community of fighters was created in a time when it was needed. 

 Live Your Life is an emotional book. You'll be touched by strangers' generosity, you'll cry at the heartbreaking reality of this virus. You'll think he's going to get better. You'll be sad when he doesn't.  
You'll be shocked when you learn of the damage this virus did to his body. By the time you read the last word, you will have been all over the emotional map and have kept Kleenex in business. 

As devastating as Nick's story is, it's remarkably heartwarming, too. I smiled and cried my way through the pages. I thank Amanda and Anna for sharing their story as openly as they did. May every reader be blessed by it in some way.


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