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  • Writer's picturehaleylynnthomas22

March Reading Wrap-up and Mini-Reviews

1. Color Me Murder by Krista Davis (Adult Cozy Mystery) (275 pages) (4⭐️)
Florrie Fox is a coloring book artist and bookstore manager. When the bookstore owner's nephew is murdered at the store and the owner arrested, Florrie must prove his innocence. This novel has a likable cast of characters though Florrie isn't the best sleuth I've read in a cozy mystery. There are several mysteries in the novel and it kept me guessing as to how they would all tie together.

2. Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano (Adult Cozy Thriller) (355 pages) (4⭐️)
Single mom and struggling author Finlay is mistaken for a contract killer. When she accidentally actually kills her mark she and her children's nanny, Vero, must hide the crime. This was a reread for me. This is the perfect book for a reading slump pick me up. It's a wild, unpredictable ride the whole way through and poor Finlay is in WAY over her head.
Full Review: Coming soon to the blog!

3. The Coloring Crook by Krista Davis (Adult Cozy Mystery) (272 pages) (2⭐️)
This is the second book in the Pen & Ink Mystery series which follows bookstore manager/coloring book artist Florrie Fox. In this book, Florrie is trying to solve the murder of her friend Dolly. This book was a major down step from the first book. The mystery was sloppily done and predicable. There was also needless romance drama.

4. Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead by Elle Cosimano (Adult Cozy Thriller) (352 pages) (4⭐️)
This is the second book in the Finlay Donovan series. In this book, Finlay and Vero are trying to figure out who put a hit out on Finlay's ex-husband Steven. This book is much like the first in that it's a fun, easy, crazy read.
Full Review: Coming soon to the blog!

5. The Broken Spine by Dorothy St. James (Adult Cozy Mystery) (320 pages) (5⭐️)
Librarian Trudell 'Tru' Becket is devastated when she learns her library is goign fully digital. She saves the book and opens a secret book room but this leads to her being a suspect in a murder that happens in the library. This book features likable characters and would be the perfect read for any book lover.

6. A Perfect Bind by Dorothy St . James (Adult Cozy Mystery) (294 pages) (3.75⭐️)
In the sequel to The Broken Spine, Tru must solve a murder while also discovering the culprit who is breaking into the secret book room. I liked the mystery in this book a little better than the first because it allowed us to know more about the history of the library and town at large. However, some characters like Tru's friend Tori annoyed me to no end.

7. Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun by Elle Cosimano (Adult Cozy Thriller) (294 pages) (4.5⭐️)
This is the third Finlay Donovan book and sees Finlay and Vero attending a police academy while trying to find out the identity of a hit man who is on the police force. Despite its short length it really packs a punch! The new setting led to Finlay and Vero always being an inch from being caught!
Full Review: Coming soon to the blog!

8. Ruthless Vows by Rebecca Ross (YA Fantasy Romance) (417 pages) (4⭐️)
This is the sequel to Divine Rivals which follows Iris and Roman, two reporters who find themselves falling in love on the front lines of a war between gods. This series reads like a love letter to the written word and is all about hope blossoming in times of darkness.

DNFs

1. Beaches, Bungaloes, and Burglaries by Tonya Kappes (Adult Cozy Mystery) (read 53 pages) (25%)
This book follows Mae West who lived a lavish lifestyle with her rich husband Paul West. Then Paul was arrested for a Ponzi scheme and she lost everything but an RV and a rundown campground called Happy Trails. Her husband is found dead in the lake there. I DNF'd this book because of Mae as a character. She's what I like to call too stupid to survive. She is incapable of doing even the simplest tasks. Apparently, she didn't grow up in vast wealth but rather married into it,. So, you think she'd be able to adapt better to losing that wealth and return to a life similar to what she led before but instead she's like a helpless, whiny child.

2. Rein Me In by Kayla Grosse (Adult Romance) (read 106 pages) (32%)
This book is about Blake Tanner who returns to her hometown for the first time after her brother's death. Local Gavin Montgomery, meanwhile, is organizing an auction for a date with available women to save his family's ranch. I was really invested in Blake's grief journey, but I DNF'd this book because of Gavin. First off, he undermines the auction meant to help his family. Secondly, every time he thinks about the love interest it is in regards to his physical appearance which makes their connection feel shallow.

3. A River of Golden Bones by A. K. Mulford (Adult Fantasy) (read 79 pages) (20%)
This is a sleeping beauty retelling in which Sleeping Beauty/Briar as a twin named Calla and they are shapeshifters who take the form of wolves. I liked all the commentary on gender roles and misogyny, but that's about it. The sisters felt more like strangers than two girls who grew up with essentially only each other for company. I also didn't like the whole concept of 'fated mates' (wolf soulmates) because it cheapens the romances in my opinion.

4. The Christie Curse by Victoria Abbott (Adult Cozy Mystery) (read 104 pages) (36%)
This book follows Jordan Bingham as she takes a job for a mean old woman hunting down a fabled play supposedly written by Agatha Christie. To be honest, I MIGHT give this book a second shot because I think it has potential. I DNF'd it initially because of the offensive way that Jordan describes an unpredictable cat as being psycho and bipolar. I will always advocate against this kind of harmful way that mental illness is misused/misrepresented in books. Us mental illness sufferers already face enough stigma.

TOTAL PAGES READ (JAN-MAR): 9,977
AVG. BOOK LENGTH (JAN-MAR): 356.32 pages
AVG. BOOK RATING (JAN-MAR): 106.5/140⭐️ (3.80⭐️)

AUDIOBOOKS (JAN-MAR): 11/28 (39.3%)
PHYSICAL READS (JAN-MAR): 17/28 (60.7%)
BORROWED FROM THE LIBRARY (JAN-MAR): 14/28 (50%)
BOOKS PURCHASED (JAN-MAR): 1
DNFs (JAN-MAR): 6
REREADS (JAN-MAR): 3/28 (10.7%)
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