Every once in a while you just need a novella to fill a quiet afternoon, to escape a boring evening. Pains and Penalties (A Geek and Things Cozy Mystery Novella #1) is a terrific choice for a short but complete read. A Projected hour and a half read I found that I didn’t have the feeling that the mystery was rushed or the main character under written. Sarah Biglow is quite brilliant in that she introduces her small town but doesn’t follow through and fully describe and deal with each and every individual in the area. Instead she focuses on a moderate assortment of pertinent (and perhaps a few red herring) characters and runs with it.
The main focus is on Kalina Greystone who is newly returned to her home town Ellesworth, Ma after her father’s passing and her inheriting of his comic shop. This is run with the assistance of her teenage nephew AJ. Included in the comic book shop are multiple references to games and comics, even super heroes that are current and memorable (Daredevil, Cards Against Humanity), there was even one for me to make not to check into later – Zombie Dice.
Right in the beginning we are introduced to ex high school sweetheart and current Detective Christian Harper. When Mrs. Davies known for her baking and wining of fair prizes is murdered at the annual Solstice Fair, Kalina can’t stop herself from getting involved. After all her nephew was on hand while the woman died and as hard as it was to return to her hometown from the city it IS her home now and for Kalina that means she can’t help but dig deeper and try and help.
I was stumped almost to the end as to who committed the murders. The timeline is actually quite reasonable over the span of a couple days. I did not feel this story was rushed at all. I would not call this a romance as well as a mystery, definitely murder and cozy but the romance is not really developed nor really focused on in this book.
I am definitely open to reading book #2… if you are looking for a fun and quirky setting with lost of current and contemporary references to all things “geeky” Pains and Penalties might just be the book for you!
Well, after finishing by Hounded Kevin Hearne, there was nothing to do but get the second book in the Iron Druid Chronicles – Hexed. Back to the world of an Irish Druid, his apprentice and his wolfhound (Oberon is STILL my favourite character)… don’t forget the widow down the street (another absolute gem) and Atticus’ lawyers – a vampire and a werewolf… the list goes on and on, so many amazing and hilarious characters in this series. I have grown firmly attached to them all.
Hexed, as you get a hint of in the name, deals more with witches this time round. Two warring factions, in fact. Now is as good a time as any to remind you to READ THESE IN ORDER, much of the conflict has bearing on past conflicts both resolved and unresolved… oh and it is also good to note… EVERYONE seems to dislike THOR in this universe…
Hexed, like Hounded, is a terrific mix of occult, adventure, humour and general shenanigans. Atticus, the main character, while being basically immortal is flawed and rather human. His friends and associates are equally as flawed and individual. No one is a perfect being, god, demon or other… rather it is a world of super humans, humans and more all trying to find their handhold on the powers available. I will warn you, sex, violence and some adult language is encountered in this book… but there isn’t the crass detail that I personally dislike.
The Iron Druid Chronicles is (at least by the second book) a well thought out and executed series of books. I find that I am sucked in almost immediately. It is relatively easy to follow the characters (though I did get confused on a few of the witches and their names but that may have just been inattention on my side), and equally as easy to find yourself deep into the book while the chores and other humdrum life items pile up around you. I do what to emphasize once again – READ IN ORDER! But what a wonderful continuation to a series that has not yet disappointed. I look forward to getting my hands on the third installment – Hammered and see what all the fuss is about Thor!
Hard to believe she is 8 already… And definitely her own girl as well. When asked what she wanted to do for her birthday this year she had a rather conclusive list:
Go to the YMCA to swim with JUST mom and Echo… so Daddy drops us off and LEAVES.
Opening presents with her brothers.
Dinner at Culver’s with the whole family.
Cake or cupcakes with Aunty Darcy and her boys (that last one will have to wait until a weekend of course).
The pool was basically empty (on the non lane side) except for us and after a minor blip of having forgotten out goggles and toy bag and having to call Daddy to drop them off we had a blast. I had to get the iPad out and email Ken to wait an extra half hour and come get us later.
I even packed a snack bag for the girls and myself. Echo angled successfully for an additional treat at the vending machines… I swear they ALWAYS go for the most irresponsible choice, though at the YMCA really the worst snack you can get is the rice krispie square.
We had a lovely stack of presents for Trinity to open, including a few items for the others. We had lovely parcels sent all the way from Canada and Aunty Holly, Uncle James and Cousin Jimmie, the items I made for Calli from our family AND a selection from Gammie all the way from Texas! Add to that yesterday’s FaceTime call from Nana and Baba and a phone call from Grandma in Canada after dinner and I think we did a good job covering the gift wish list.
Our afternoon had some minor classroom work, after all Mommy is a teacher at heart now, but for the most part we played on the new DS2D and hung out together in the bedroom.
Supper was at Culver’s, though Ken was kicking himself… WEDNESDAYS right now (apparently) are 2.00 kids meals… oops. Well we still spent less than you would eating out as a couple at a sit down restaurant and EVERYONE was full!
Cake will have to wait as we ended the day full up. BUT here are some more pictures from when I was playing with the camera of the girls. Happy Birthday darling Trinity.