Book Review: Two Can Keep a Secret

I waited an eon for the latest from Karen McManus.

Basic Summary (Courtesy of Amazon):

Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone has declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.

My thoughts:

I have the stomach flu. Full on puking my guts up in a way I never did even with alcohol poisoning. And this book kept my attention from start to finish.

The characters are fun. The bevy of secrets delightful. The mysteries intense.

I didn’t know who done it. I knew the extra twist at the end, that one was obvious to me all the book. But I had no clue who done it. And no one was hiding information. There was no secret ooh she found, he found…and we aren’t telling so we can surprise you.  The author played it straight. Devious, but straight.

It’s as good as her first one. Maybe better, because it didn’t feel cribbed from Breakfast Club.

Aw crap it’s Thursday…

I totally forgot to write down something funny I was thinking about this week. Probably because not that much funny is going on.

The co-op is still struggling to work out a new location.

The hubs and I are fighting.

I still have pneumonia.

Every review of my new book talks about how they can’t wait for the next one.

Good luck with that, I ain’t writing it.

 

Book Review: A Death at the Yoga Cafe

I was being rushed out of the library by the kiddo as his arms were full of graphic novels and he wanted to go home, when I spied A Death at the Yoga Cafe by Michelle Kelly on an end cap for cozies. Yoga and murder? Right on.

Basic Summary (Courtesy of Goodreads):

Keeley Carpenter has found her center. After returning to Belfrey, the traditional English village she called home ten years ago, she’s opened her dream yoga café, which doubles as both a yoga studio and a delicious vegetarian café. Even better, Keeley is dating handsome Detective Ben Taylor, and things are beginning to look serious.

Too bad things never seem to run smoothly for long. Eager to get involved with the local community, Keeley sets up a booth at the annual Belfrey Arts Festival, along with her nemesis, fellow small business owner Raquel. Preparing herself to play nice, she’s shocked when Raquel’s boyfriend, Town Mayor Gerald, is found dead after a public spat. Despite Ben’s strict warnings to stay out of it, Keeley isn’t going to let an innocent woman take the blame for the murder—even if it is glamorous, spoiled Raquel.

Now Keeley must balance a precarious murder investigation with the demands of her growing business and now-strained relationship. But when the killer takes a personal interest in Keeley, can she find the culprit before she gets bent out of shape?

My thoughts:

The book was definitely missing that joie de vivre that English slang brings to Brit based books. Everyone talks like an American. LOL. Supposedly the author is English. I don’t know what to make of that.

I didn’t connect particularly with the main character. She was tepid tea.

And the detection was of the “suspect everyone until a surprise twist reveals who done it” style. I don’t thrill to that.

But the book was solidly okay.

I’ve been NOT thinking Thursday: Author down for maintenance

Good morning.

Things have been a bit mad here.

My son got the stomach flu last Thursday. Quick 24 hour bug for him, involving no fever and one episode of vomit.

You know what’s coming right?

I got the stomach flu on Friday. It was pretty quick but more like 30 episodes of vomiting in 18 hours. Yikes.

But wait there’s more….

When you throw up that much all the muscles in your abdominal area, including your esophagus get wore out. And little things, like say vomitous stomach acid, end up in your lungs.

Three guesses what happens when foreign material ends up in your lungs?

If you guessed Aspiration Pneumonia, winner winner chicken dinner.

Like I said, author down for maintenance.

Book Review: Death Over Easy

I’ve reviewed Maddie Day before. I still love her Country Store Mystery series. In the latest installment Robbie is up to her ears in murder suspects, some of whom are staying at her freshly opened B&B.

Basic Summary (Courtesy of Amazon):

June’s annual Brown County Bluegrass Festival at the Bill Monroe Music Park in neighboring Beanblossom is always a hit for Robbie’s country store and café, Pans ‘N Pancakes. This year, Robbie is even more excited, because she’s launching a new bed and breakfast above her shop. A few festival musicians will be among Robbie’s first guests, along with her father, Roberto, and his wife, Maria. But the celebration is cut short when a performer is found choked to death by a banjo string. Now all the banjo players are featured in a different kind of lineup. To clear their names, Robbie must pair up with an unexpected partner to pick at the clues and find the plucky killer before he can conduct an encore performance . . .

 

My thoughts:

I like Robbie. She is such a fun, yet capable woman. She doesn’t bumble all over place. She handles her shit, effectively.

And she takes responsibility when she screws up. Asking for help. Researching solutions. I might want to be friends with her. Maybe. People die around her a lot. LOL

She tries to stay out of crime but people tell her things. I can relate to that. People tell me things, too. Luckily I have managed to avoid any murders.

The entire series has been a solid cozy read. (this is book four maybe?)

I’ve been thinking Thursday: Hedging my Bets

I teach. This is not new news to you, I am sure.

I teach at a weird cooperative school where 75% of the students are non neuro typical. Lots of ADHD. Lots of ASD. Anxiety. Dyslexia. Dysgraphia.

And most of those are 2E.

Add in hormones and it’s a mad, mad zoo. But I love it.

Our current lease is likely not going to be renewed next year. Changes at our venue. They took two classrooms away this year, one literally the day school started. (Yes, we have a signed contract, no, they do not honor it.) Anyway…. If they do renew our lease they are taking another classroom next year. Shrinking our offered classes by 40% in one year essentially.

I got super nervous about this. And I started the process of getting another teaching job at another small school where a number of our coop students take classes.

They offered me an array of classes.

And then I realized, I didn’t actually want to teach there. I was hedging my bets. Insulation against the huge, grieving loss I would feel if the coop closed.

I turned down the classes at the new school, proposed 3 more classes for the coop for next year, and threw myself into the search for a new location that will allow us to grow rather than slowly choking us to death.

I may end up with no where to teach next year and that will break my heart a little, maybe a lot. For me though, it’s so much better to throw myself 100% into something that is a passion even if I lose in the end, than to tepidly hedge my bets and feel nothing.

I’ve Been Thinking Thursday: Big Corps

A lot of folk I know have been up in arms about the young woman, 19, who died because her asthma medication was too expensive. It is a tragedy. No one should die for lack of medication that is readily available. (Side note, I read she had meds but chose not to take it because she wanted to save it for when she really needed it and died before she got to the hospital.)

But all of the commentary is aimed at CEOs of big corporations who are only after money. They charge exorbitant rates because people will try to find a way to pay it. Lots of people calling for big corporations to be responsible and reasonable with their actions.

Sounds good to me. Sounds downright perfect.

Except, at the same time, we aren’t holding the average man/woman responsible for their choices.

Take this young woman, from what I read, she lived in the UK, where asthma medication can cost between 100-500 dollars a year. (yes, I know they have pounds there, monetary conversion done for you.) That’s between 8.35 and 41.47 a month for inhalers, I assume the variation is based on how many you go through.

So if you need an inhaler to live, that puts it in the category of housing and food, right?

If you can’t afford your meds, you must not have any disposable income, everything must be going to higher priority needs like roof and food?

But she clearly had disposable income. Dyed hair. Eyelash extensions. All lovely things that are not NEEDS. At some point she chose to spend her disposable money on those things rather than her medication.

How can we demand boards of directors and CEOs act reasonably and responsibly, dare we say with civic interest at heart, when we don’t hold people accountable for their choices. Big corps are run by people. People with money, but people none the less.

I can’t help but feel as a society we need to look at the choices we make and take responsibility for them, or we have no chance at getting people who are more interested in profit than people, to do the same.