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Book Review: A People's History of the Vampire Uprising by Raymond A. Villareal

A People's History of the Vampire Uprising by Raymond A. Villareal
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟 (3 stars)
Publisher: Mullholland Books (June 5)

This was like Villareal tossed a bit of Justin Cronin's The Passage and Trueblood/Sookie Stackhouse novels into a Vitamix and poured out this interesting concoction that's two parts social/religious/cultural/political satire and one part horror (make your own determination where the real horror lies for you).

Book Review: Death by Dumpling (A Noodle Shop Mystery #1) by Viven Chien

Death by Dumpling (A Noodle Shop Mystery #1) by Vivien Chien
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟  (4 stars)
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks

This isn't just another cozy mystery with a plucky heroine with a food theme. This new series is told from the perspective of 27 year old, Asian American, Lana Lee. She's working at her parents' restaurant and a delivery order has gone awry and ended up with a dead customer. An investigation ensues and suspicion is cast about so Lana's got to figure this all out before anything worse happens.

Book Review: The High Season by Judy Blundell

The High Season by Judy Blundell
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (4 stars)
Publisher: Random House (May 22)

If I hadn't read it now, this is just the sort of read I'd be looking to take along when I head off to our beach destination in summer. I enjoy books about communities that are tony vacation or resort havens. My mother in law lives in one year round and used to live in an one adjacent that was likely sleepy some time before I was born but is rapidly building on seemingly every scrap of available grass and dune. It's remarkable to see a place change with the influx of new business and real estate opportunities. As some of The High Season characters point out throughout the book "Everything changes" and this book is to be commended on showing that well with the positives and negatives. I'm always interested in seeing how locales strike the balance of retaining the things that made it attractive to new residents and business without monetizing to the point that all the charm is lost that attracted people in the first place and the actual full time residents are priced out of living there in any season, not just the off.

Book Review: Our Kind of Cruelty: A Novel by Araminta Hall

Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (4 stars)
Publisher: MCD/Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Publishing Date: May 8, 2018

This was a thoroughly compulsive read. I picked it up in the morning and refused to go to bed until I'd finished. I won't be giving up any major spoilers but I will say that Mike is a great unreliable narrator and his recounting of this tale is consistently darkly disturbing. But more disturbing things are at play here too and that's what I really liked about this book.

Book Review: White Lies by Lucy Dawson

White Lies by Lucy Dawson
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (4 stars)
Publisher: Bookouture (April 2018)

It's all go in suburbia! White Lies is quite the coil of unreliable narrators roiling on a sand dune in a wind storm. I kinda loved that about it.

Book Review: The Glitch by Elisabeth Cohen

The Glitch by Elisabeth Cohen
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (4 stars)
Publisher: Doubleday (May 2018)

When Mad Men debuted I began watching the show and was pretty ticked off a few minutes in and my first reaction was to turn it off. But I stopped myself and thought, "Wait, perhaps the thing that's peeved you is there for a reason. Don't you want to know if there's more to the story?" I stayed and the pay off was worth it. I have to say, The Glitch was a bit in that same area for me. Shelley, our narrator, is initially not endearing, in fact, she's deeply off-putting. To the point that, her likability can only go up.

Book Review: Kale to the Queen (A Kensington Palace Chef Mystery #1) by Nell Hampton

Kale to the Queen (A Kensington Palace Chef Mystery #1) by Nell Hampton
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐ stars (3 stars)
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

I finished two cozy mystery series lately (or at least their last books feel like finales) and so of course, I had to jump right into a new series. Kale to the Queen had one of those cozy covers that I love and a blurb that also charmed so this went right on my TBR last year before it came out.