Adult Mystery Review: "Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch" Is Sure to Enchant You

Title:  Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch
(Aunt Dimity Mystery #17)
Author:  Nancy Atherton
Format:  E-galley
Length:  240 pages
Publisher:  Viking Adult

Nancy Atherton's seventeenth cozy mystery featuring the beloved Aunt Dimity-the original paranormal detective
When Amelia Thistle moves to Finch, her new neighbors welcome her with open arms-and inquiring minds. Among them is Lori Shepherd, who isn't fooled by Amelia's unassuming persona. Amelia is, in fact, a world-famous artist with a rabid and eager-to-stalk fan base.
In order to keep peace in Finch, Lori must help Amelia conceal her identity. Amelia, meanwhile, sets about working on the riddle that brought her to town in the first place. A fragment of a family diary hints that one of Amelia's ancestors might have been Mistress Meg, the Mad Witch of Finch. Following the clue, Lori hunts through Finch's darkest and most secret corners, all the while dodging nosy neighbors and Amelia's frantic fans. With Aunt Dimity's otherworldly help, Lori inches closer to the true story of Mistress Meg-and Amelia.
Returning to the charming world of Finch, Nancy Atherton's latest novel is sure to delight faithful Aunt Dimity readers, Anglophiles, and cozy mystery fans.

My Review 
Lori Shepherd and her trusted Aunt Dimity are on the case once more in this coziest of cozy mysteries.
This is a story full of nosy neighbors, social scandal, sordid pasts, and top-notch paranormal intrigue. 
Readers of this book will find themselves privy to all the goings on of the sleepy English hamlet of Finch.
Finch is a place in which time doesn't quite stand still, but it does slow down considerably.
Don't be fooled by it's calm surface however.  There are secrets buried here that run much deeper than even Aunt Dimity ever dreamed.

The most captivating aspect of this read is the ease with which the reader is drawn into the lives that comprise the town of Finch long before the sleuthing starts.  A favorite character by far has to be Lori's stuffed rabbit Reginald. A bunny of few words, he is nonetheless front and center for all secrets.
Things really start buzzing around the homey hive that is Finch when a new bee by the name of Amelia Thistle, a.k.a. Mae Bowen wings her way into town; bringing with her the new mystery that is her life as well as an old mystery that involves all of Finch,

It is hard to believe that this story is the 17th in the series.  This book is so well written and so detailed within itself that there is no need to rely on past books for tie ins.
If you are looking for a bit of warm, a bit of fuzzy, a touch mystery and a whole lot of  fun, Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch can weave a spell for you.

Reviewers Note
I was lucky enough to receive an e-galley of this delightful book.  This galley was the first that I had heard of Nancy Atherton or the delightful Aunt Dimity.  I must admit that this read has captured my heart and I will be reading the series backward to 1.

Teaser Tuesday...You Know You Want It!! #8

Welcome to my version of 
Teaser Tuesday
Miz. B

My Teaser
"I awoke the following morning to a leaden sky and the drumming of the autumn rain
on the slate roof.  Having stayed up until the wee hours baking three separate batches of 
cookies and a quiche lorraine,
I felt almost as leaden as the sky when I rolled out of bed, but a hearty breakfast and the 
bracing company of my menfolk, perked me up.
By the time I reached Pussywillows with the fruits of my night's labor tucked safely in a canvas
I was ready for battle."

19% Kindle Ed. Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch
Nancy Atherton
 Release Date:  May 26th, 2012

DNF Pile: Keeping My Lips And All Other Body Parts Away From "Dark Kiss"

Just when I thought that I was about to enter 
the "spring of my bookish content", there comes
a menace in the form of:
Title:  Dark Kiss
(Nightwatchers #1)
Author:  Michelle Rowen
Format:  E-Galley 
Length: 348 pages
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Time of Surrender 25% Complete

 I don't do dangerous.  Smart, ├╝ber-careful, ordinary Samantha-that's me. But I just couldn't pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me...something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It's like part of me is missing-and I don't know if I can get it back. Then there's Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he's keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he's what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me.... NIGHTWATCHERS When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising...

My Take on the Situation
Angel comes to earth to "save" it,
but gets sidetracked by 17 year-old girl
who just happens to have become a demon on the very night 
of his arrival because....
(Despite being warned against it, 
she, in all her hormone driven glory,
sucked face with a demon who sucked out her
soul in the process.)

I'm sorry to say that aside from a few well placed murders (or should I say attempts at murder) the afore mentioned bit of paraphrasing was the best part of the 25% of this book that I managed to choke down.
The rest of that 2.5 hours that I can never get back were spent hoping that the never-ending chatter about how Sam was "special", she had to stay with Bishop (the angel) at all costs, and that she couldn't EVER feed or hang with the demon boys would pay off in something, ANYTHING, that would justify the time that I spent reading this book.

cycle for washing my hair takes less time
to reach a conclusion than the dry conversations in this BOOK!

Am I wrong here? Is there some hidden treasure trove buried DEEEEEEP 
within the confines of this book somewhere that my jaded eyes just failed to ogle.
If so, could someone provide me with directions to this paradise...complete with page numbers.
I'll be waiting.

Until then.
My Rating:

"Eve" Is A Beautiful Begining

 Title:  Eve
(Eve #1)
Author:  Anna Carey
Format:  Kindle Edition
Length:  336 pages
Publisher:  Harper Teen

The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.  -Goodreads

My Review
This is a story full of surprises.  Just when you think that you have another "breeder dystopian" on your hands, along comes Anna Carey's "Eve".
While it is true that this is a dystopian, and it is also true that girls are being tricked and trapped into forced breeding programs; Eve is at it's heart a romance of the highest order.
Eve is on a quest to save herself from a life of bondage, servitude, and most of all ignorance.
Aiding her in her journey are a whole cast of characters including her adversary turned friend Arden and most importantly, the "man" in her life, Caleb.
Having been sheltered form the outside world and told all of her life that men were ignorant savages and that romantic love was a lie; Eve is thrown for quite a loop when she meets the charismatic "wild boy" withe face of an angel, the heart of a gentleman, and the mind of a scholar.
Hearts will soar as we watch these two discover the meaning of "true love"while struggling to avoid capture separation, starvation, and death.
Can LOVE truly conquer ALL?

WTF's In My Mailbox #4

This week was book heaven again at my house,
thanks in large part to Net Galley.
I also got gifted six print books from
my bookish fairy god-mother
Cathy Carmichael!
I bought a few!!
19 in all!
I did read "Of Poseidon" already and loved every moment!
Anna Banks "You are a genius!"


*Support Your Libraries
They will support You*  

Though my post is not 
Stacking the Shelves
please visit
Tynga's Page

You'll Love the Changs in "Shifting"

 Title:  Shifting
Author:  Bethany Wiggins
Format:  Kindle Edition
Length:  356 pages
Publisher:  Walker and Co.

After bouncing from foster home to foster home, Magdalene Mae is transferred to what should be her last foster home in the tiny town of Silver City, New Mexico. Now that she's eighteen and has only a year left in high school, she's determined to stay out of trouble and just be normal.

Agreeing to go to the prom with Bridger O'Connell is a good first step. Fitting in has never been her strong suit, but it's not for the reasons most people would expect-it all has to do with the deep secret that she is a shape shifter. But even in her new home danger lurks, waiting in the shadows to pounce. They are the Skinwalkers of Navajo legend, who have traded their souls to become the animal whose skin they wear-and Maggie is their next target.

Full of romance, mysticism, and intrigue, this dark take on Navajo legend will haunt readers to the final page.


My Review
Maggie Mae is a girl that you can't help but love.  Your heart goes out to her from the start and you spend the entire book praying that she will find the happiness and acceptance that she deserves.
When she seems to start doing just that after being taken in by Mrs. Carpenter, her foster mother, whom she trusts enough to reveal the secret of her shifting nature; you just want to stand up and cheer.
Before the happy dancing can truly begin, you must first deal with the "fly in the room" aggravation that is her hot/cold relationship with  the mysterious, rich boy, Bridger O'Connell.  Their attraction to each other is a force that can't be matter how many pages in the book are wasted trying to do so. (There are a lot.)
More focus was placed on the two of them making half-hearted attempts to be "friends" than on her shifting.
This game of emotional cat and mouse,coupled with his uncanny ability to "feel Maggie's emotions" and always be there when she needs him, really makes one want to know just what the deal is with Mr. O'Connell.
Ok...enough with the griping.
Now for the good parts.
The attention to detail that went into the Native American spiritualism that serves as the basis for this tale is second to none. This is in fact one of the saving graces of this book at many points where there is a lull in the action or the loves me/loves me not that is Maggie and Bridger get tedious.
What really makes this story however, is the ending and the ten or so chapters that lead you there.
This is where the majority of the story's questions get answered, mysteries get solved, and th sweet bow that makes the "pretty ending" is tied nice and tight.
The thing that makes the end of this book so special s that it is timely.  There is no rush.  
Yes, the action does speed up a bit, but not in a forced way.
What happens is just a natural progression.
This is a fun stand alone read that will definitely leave you happy at it's ending.

My Rating:

This Book "Revived" My Reading Pile

 Title:  Revived
Author:  Cat Patrick
Format:  Print ARC
Length:  336 pages
Publisher:  Little Brown & Co.

As a little girl, Daisy Appleby was killed in a school bus crash. Moments after the accident, she was brought back to life.

A secret government agency has developed a drug called Revive that can bring people back from the dead, and Daisy Appleby, a test subject, has been Revived five times in fifteen years. Daisy takes extraordinary risks, knowing that she can beat death, but each new death also means a new name, a new city, and a new life. When she meets Matt McKean, Daisy begins to question the moral implications of Revive, and as she discovers the agency’s true goals, she realizes she’s at the center of something much larger—and more sinister—than she ever imagined.

My Review
Thank you Cat Patrick.  Once again you have managed to bring the brain back to YA.  This book is such a welcome change form the "fang and fur" onslaught that seems never ending in Young Adult fiction at present.

It seems that all teenagers have some sort of secret life, but what if the big secret was "your life."  Well... at least the part of it where you die five times and are a test subject for the government's 'elixir of life.'   

Seems out there right?

Not if your Daisy Appleby, or whatever her name happens to be at the moment.  
By the time that readers are introduced to her, our girl Daisy just wants to fit in, find some friends, and put down a few roots.
This is the point at which this read takes a decidedly contemporary turn.  Although it does so at lightening speed.  Before we know it, Daisy has a bestie that can't be beat in the form of Audry and a real, live, "save the princess" boyfriend in Audry's brother Matt.
As the bonds of friendship tighten between these three...(insert theme music from "Dawson's Creek here)
things come to light that cause Daisy to question the Revived program.
As Daisy and her readers soon find out, "dig long enough and you're bound to come up with a few worms."
In this case though, the secrets that Daisy uncovers about Revived are deadly.

The Parental Unit
Yes, even test subjects in "back from the dead" governmental cloak and dagger experiments have them.
Daisy's come in the form of agents Mason and Cassie.  Before you start getting those warm fuzzies, just be warned that "appearances are not always what, or in this case who they seem".

One Last Thing
Though the book starts rather slow, the pace of the story picks up well before the half-way mark of the book.  Once that happens readers are off and running on an adventure that keeps one on the seat's edge until the last.
Oh out for the bees!

Just Sittn' Here...Waitin' On Wednesday #17

This wonderful meme is based on the one started by Breaking the Spine

I hope that this post finds everyone basking in the sun.
With a book...of course.  LOL!

This week's' want...

  Title:  My Life In Black and White
Author:  Natasha Friend
Publisher:  Viking Juvenile
Expected Publication Date:  June 28th, 2012

Lexi has always been stunning. Her butter-colored hair and perfect features have helped her attract friends, a boyfriend, and the attention of a modeling scout. But everything changes the night Lexi's face goes through a windshield. Now she's not sure what's worse: the scars she'll have to live with forever, or what she saw going on between her best friend and her boyfriend right before the accident. With the help of her trombone-playing, defiantly uncool older sister and a guy at school recovering from his own recent trauma, Lexi learns she's much more than just a pretty face.

What's Your Status...Can You Tell Me? #7

Zakiya from Butterfly Feet Walking on Life has a fantastic meme. In this meme you post your status of the books your reading this week, books you finished this week, books you're going to read next, and books you plan on buying this week. You can also post what reviews and memes you participated in for the week.
Finished Titles
Title:  The Hunt 
Author:  Andrew Fukuda

Title:  The Girl in the Steel Corset
Author:  Kady Cross

Title:  The Girl in the Clockwork Collar
Author:  Kady Cross

Title:  Revived
Author:  Cat Patrick

Title:  White Witch
Author:  Trish Milburn

Currently Reading
Title:  All These Things I've Done
Author:  Gabrielle Zevin
35% Complete

Title:  Back and Deader Than Ever
(Monster High #4)
Author:  Lisi Harrison
14% Complete

WTF's In My Mailbox #3

Welcome to my mailbox for this week.
After the deluge of books that I got last week,
I am happy to report that this week's haul
was a mere 12 books.

*Support Your Libraries
They will support You*  

Though my post is not 
Stacking the Shelves
please visit
Tynga's Page

You'll Get Hung Up on the "Girl In the Clockwork Collar"

Title:  The Girl In The Clockwork Collar
(The Steampunk Chronicles #2)
Author:  Kady Cross
Format:  E-Galley
Length:  416 pages
Publisher:  Harlequin TEEN

In New York City, 1897, life has never been more thrilling - or dangerous.

Sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne and her "straynge band of mysfits" have journeyed from London to America to rescue their friend Jasper, hauled off by bounty hunters. But Jasper is in the clutches of a devious former friend demanding a trade-the dangerous device Jasper stole from him...for the life of the girl Jasper loves.

One false move from Jasper and the strange clockwork collar around Mei's neck tightens. And tightens. 

My Review
Just when I thought that Kady Cross couldn't get any better.  I was lucky enough to get the chance to read the ARC of "The Girl in the Clockwork Collar", and be proven wrong...wrong ...oh so delightfully wrong.
Jasper was a character that was not discussed in the review for "The Girl in the Steel Corset" because in that book, he was merely eye-candy and a less than effective third for a love triangle of sorts for Emily + Sam.
This book is ALL about Jasper and proves that he is able to more than hold his own story-wise with Finley, Griffin and the gang.

The Baddies
Mr. Reno Dalton, who unlike Jack Dandy, who again, was not mentioned in the first review for lack of literary relevance beyond that of irritating third for Finley + Griffin and eye candy is truly wicked.
In Dalton, readers are presented will real menace.  He has some very evil plans that he is not beyond kidnapping, extortion, and even murder to achieve.
Yes, I did say baddies. That was not a typo.
There are a few "unexpected" snakes in the steampunk garden, so tread lightly dearest reader.

The Romance
There is romance in this book.  Bear in mind however, that though this book may be full of corsets; there will be no bodice ripping or heaving bosoms here.
Instead you will find the first blush of "budding love".  The rekindling of past fires. The continuation of realized love and betrayal and love lost.

The Tech
This book proves no slouch in the tech department and this time the mechanical goodness comes courtesy of one Nikola Tesla.  It is so nice to see Emily interact with the great man and his "jaw dropping" genius.
It all takes place in America!!!!!!!

This book is so much fun, has so many plot twists and so much action that you can't help loving it from start to finish.


I Wanna Be "The Girl In The Steel Corset"

 Title:  The Girl In The Steel Corset
The Steampunk Chronicles #1
Author:  Kady Cross
Format:  Kindle
Length:  451 pages
Publisher:  Harlequin TEEN

In 1897 England, 16-year-old Finley Jayne is convinced she's a freak. No normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch. Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special . . . that she's one of "them."  -Goodreads

My Review
This is a truly "gush worthy read."  There is so much going on on this book that it's like being locked in a candy store.  You can't isolate one part of the story as the best or the most appealing because its all so good.

She is a great focus for this read, both for her ability to hold the reader's attention because of her "shadow twin" personality a la Heroes Niki Sanders; and the way that she can give over the spotlight whenever other people in the story need quality face time.
The fact that we meet her as she is fending off a would be rapist in the form of one very drunk Lord Felix August-Raynes, who just happens to be her boss and who neither she, nor her readers are quite sure that she has left alive is just more icing on the "kick ass" cake.

If you like Charles Xavier, then you will love Griffin King.  He has money, power, looks, AND he can see and manipulate the astral plane, known for the purposes of this book as Aether.
Don't let his refined exterior fool you, he packs a serious punch.

He is the "tower of power" in this read.  He is strong, Griffin's best friend, and doesn't trust Finley.
He spends the majority of this read as a foil for Finley.  A fact that if you are a Finley fan (guilty), will make you want to see him get run over by a steam coach.
Don't be too quick to axe him though, he has some major issues of his own that make for great reading as the story progresses.

She is the coolest version of Mission Impossible's Q ever.  She may be little, but her brain is huge!
The inventions that she creates are steampunk gold.  She also seems to be the emotional glue that holds the group together.

It would be very easy to get wrapped up in the drama that is Finley, but there are so many other secrets and discoveries and oooooh my undercover goodness that Finley is just one stop on the train to literary happiness.
1.  Finley's past
2. Rogue Automatons
3. Sam's Past
4. Inventions Discoveries, Secrets, Lies, Victorian England

Not Too Sure That I Want In On "The Hunt"

 Title:  The Hunt
(The Hunt #1)
Author:  Andrew Fukuda
Narrator:  Sean Runnette
Format:  Audiobook
Length:  11hrs. 35mins
Publisher:  Macmillan Audio

Don’t Sweat.  Don’t Laugh.  Don’t draw attention to yourself.  And most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them.

Gene is different from everyone else around him.  He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood.  Gene is a human, and he knows the rules.  Keep the truth a secret.  It’s the only way to stay alive in a world of night—a world where humans are considered a delicacy and hunted for their blood.

When he’s chosen for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt the last remaining humans, Gene’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble around him.  He’s thrust into the path of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible—and into a ruthless pack of hunters whose suspicions about his true nature are growing. Now that Gene has finally found something worth fighting for, his need to survive is stronger than ever—but is it worth the cost of his humanity?

My Review 
This book was a journey to the inexplicably weird.  Though there are some aspects of this book that are similar to "that book," this book is such a stripped down version that there really is no point in comparing the two beyond frame of reference.
The vampiric master race is supposed to be a more evolved one than the "heper" or humans that they prey on for food.

Bring On The Weirdness..
As one reads more of this story, questions as to the true level of intelligence of the vampires comes into serious question.
What can not be denied however is their strangeness.
They don't show emotion.
They laugh by scratching their wrists.
They don't have names.
They have erogenous zones in their ARMPITS!

This was a question that one can't help asking the while immersed in this read.
Why is he so intent to live alone, in a hostile society, and in constant danger?
What does he hope to accomplish during the hunt?
How is it that if the vampires are so smart, they are so blind to what he really is?

One of the saving graces of this tale is it's focus on the relationships that the main character is able to build with everyone "human."  These are the true stars of the story, and in truth the only parts of the book that are truly complete.
This book is suffering from a case of "first bookitis."  This is a condition on which the first book in a series is not completely able to answer the questions or resolve the situations posed in the first book.  Instead, the first novel acts as a mold for the direction of the second.
This book is one that is truly hard to either love or hate.
So here I stand in the middle of the road until further notice.

Audiobook Review
I am sorry to say that Sean Runette was not the person that I would have chosen to voice this book.
His voice is much to mature for what is clearly a YA novel.  This is no reflection on his performance.
He was very clear and easy to follow. Just not the right fit for this.

My Rating: