Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Books 7-13

 The Fallen Girls by Kathryn Casey

She didn’t notice the corn stalks shiver a few feet to her right. By the time she looked up, the man towered above her. In a single movement he wrapped one thick hand around her waist, the other he clamped over her mouth, muffling her screams.
Detective Clara Jefferies has spent years running from her childhood in Alber, Utah. But when she hears that her baby sister Delilah has disappeared, she knows that the peaceful community will be shattered, her family vulnerable, and that she must face up to her past and go home.
Clara returns to find that her mother, Ardeth, has isolated her family by moving to the edge of town, in the shadow of the mountains. Ardeth refuses to talk to the police and won’t let Clara through the front door, believing she and her sister-wives can protect their own. But Clara knows better than anyone that her mother isn’t always capable of protecting her children.
When Clara finds out that two more girls have disappeared, all last seen around the cornfields near her family’s home, she realizes it’s not just Delilah who’s in danger. And then she gets a call that a body has been found…
Clara will have to dig deep into the town’s secrets if she’s going to find Delilah. But that will mean confronting the reason she left. And as she gets closer to Delilah, she might be putting her more at risk…
 This story is told mostly from two points of view, Clara and her hunt for Delilah and Delilah and her experiences. It is a great mystery with a twist at the end.

My Name is Eva by Suzanne Goldring

Evelyn Taylor-Clarke sits in her chair at Forest Lawns Care Home in the heart of the English countryside, surrounded by residents with minds not as sharp as hers. It would be easy to dismiss Evelyn as a muddled old woman, but her lipstick is applied perfectly, and her buttons done up correctly. Because Evelyn is a woman with secrets and Evelyn remembers everything. She can never forget the promise she made to the love of her life, to discover the truth about the mission that led to his death, no matter what it cost her…
When Evelyn’s niece Pat opens an old biscuit tin to find a photo of a small girl with a red ball entitled ‘Liese, 1951’ and a passport in another name, she has some questions for her aunt. And Evelyn is transported back to a place in Germany known as ‘The Forbidden Village,’ where a woman who called herself Eva went where no one else dared, amongst shivering prisoners, to find the man who gambled with her husband’s life…

Based on her desire for revenge, Eva makes choices that will guide her entire life, preventing her from ever moving on to form any other romantic relationships. We get to see this slowly unfold. It leads her into danger and there are some scenes that include violence and rape. One thing that becomes very clear is that Eva is a master manipulator who is controlling all those around her without their having any idea that she is doing this.   Some of what happened makes it clear that to some the end always justifies the means.  Years after World War 2, she fakes dementia to keep her secrets safe. Evelyn cleverly convinces those around her that she is losing her mind. The author delves into the not so moral choices made after the war. And, of course, Evelyn has her revenge. This was a very interesting book.

Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger

Selena Murphy is commuting home on the train when she strikes up a conversation with a beautiful stranger in the next seat. The woman introduces herself as Martha and soon confesses that she’s been stuck in an affair with her boss. Selena, in turn, confesses that she suspects her husband is sleeping with the nanny. When the train arrives at Selena’s station, the two women part ways, presumably never to meet again.
Then the nanny disappears.
As Selena is pulled into the mystery of what happened, and as the fractures in her marriage grow deeper, she begins to wonder, who was Martha really? But she is hardly prepared for what she’ll discover…
Full of twists and turns and people with hidden pasts, motives, and secrets and it's all closing in on Selena. As this mystery plays out we learn more about Martha, who she really is, how and why she is determined to be a part of Selena’s life. I found the plot fairly easy to predict but there were  lots of dangerous secrets and multiple layers of lies.

One Step Too Far by Lisa Gardner

Timothy O’Day knew the woods. Yet when he disappeared on the first night of a bachelor party camping trip with his best friends in the world, he didn’t leave a trace. What he did leave behind were two heartbroken parents, a crew of guilt-ridden groomsmen, and a pile of clues that don’t add up. 
Frankie Elkin doesn’t know the woods, but she knows how to find people. So when she reads that Timothy’s father is organizing one last search, she heads to Wyoming. Despite the rescue team’s reluctance, she joins them. But as they hike into the mountains, it becomes clear that there’s something dangerous at work in the woods . . . or someone who is willing to do anything to stop them from going any farther.
Running out of time and up against the worst man and nature have to offer, Frankie and the search party will discover what evil awaits those who go one step too far . . .
Everyone is hiding something. Everyone knows a bit more than they're letting on. does one of the group know what happened to Tim?
It's super fast-paced, enjoyable and a bit scary, to be honest, the tension was unbearable, suffused as it was by the threat of constant danger. I would definitely recommend this book.

The Sunny Side Up Cosy Mysteries by Rosie A. Point
This is a set of 5 books but I only read the first two.  Maybe I'll read the others at a later date.

1. Murder Over Easy
When Sunny arrives in Parfait, Florida, she's set on sun, sand, and rejuvenation after a messy divorce. She’s done dealing with her flaky ex, and the criminals he worked with. But when Sunny arrives at her quirky Aunt Rita’s cottage, all she finds is a grumpy cat and a note waiting for her...
Sunny’s expected to take over her aunt’s Sunny Side Up Café while Rita’s on vacation, and Sunny’s never managed a mood swing let alone a restaurant.
Before she knows it, she’s up to her neck in trouble, fielding complaints from a snobby food vlogger, serving cold chicken noodle soup, handling the eccentricities of the local baker’s club and… dealing with murder cases?

The mysteries are mounting, and they all revolve around her according to the local detective.
With so much to lose, her aunt's café included, Sunny has to figure out whodunit before it's too late.
The main character, Sunny, is kind of ditsy and annoying. How does a grown woman not know how to make eggs? And her aunt, who raised her, is a cook and runs a cafe!
Sunny frequently found trouble and got involved where she should not have. At the risk of loosing all things her Auntie had worked so hard for, Sunny was often trying to bail herself out of trouble and get right with people of the town.

2. Muffin But Murder
Sunny Charles has only just gotten used to running her aunt’s café. It’s been a learning curve, what with the moody customers, the eggs over easy, and now, her chef leaving for a baking course for five full days. With him gone, she’s in charge of everything ‘food’—and cooking is not her strong suit.
Sunny’s got to hire outside help, but when she goes over to her aunt’s best friend’s house looking for advice, she walks in on a dead body instead. And the murderer, shrouded in darkness, mid-escape… If only she’d seen his face. Sunny’s convinced that she knows whodunit, but with the tension mounting in the small coastal town of Parfait, Sunny’s got to decide what’s most important to her: her friends or her life.
Sunny became more annoying in this second book. She didn't seem too bright when it came to exposing the treasure map and she was very nonchalaunt and careless with the notebook walking around reading it in the street when she knew that people are after the book. She was encouraged several times to give the information to the police but she always felt she knew better and consequently found her getting into more difficult situations and almost killed.
I have to remember these books are cozy mysteries and are always very predictable and events are usually unrealistic.  The 2 books were quick, light reads but I don't think I'll be reading the other 3 any time soon!!

Too Late by Rylie Dark
Morgan Stark, 25, is finishing her Ph.D. in forensic psychology, doing her residency at a psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane that contains the worst of the worst—when the FBI urgently summons her: they need her help tracking down her most brilliant patient, an elusive serial killer who has managed to escape.
Morgan, as brilliant as she is, knows she is up against a mastermind with no equal. This killer will stop at nothing to outwit them all, and going too deep into his mind may be just the thing that undoes them all.
Morgan’s skills are put to the ultimate test in this harrowing cat-and-mouse thriller, as new bodies pile up, and as Morgan realizes that she, herself, may just be the target.
Morgan has great instincts but little self control to the point of being extremely annoying and frustrating. He didn't listen to anything people said to him and it was always all about him. This is the first book in a series so hopefully his character will become more likeable as time goes on.

Friday, April 7, 2023

Time Flies too Fast!!!

And before you know it he's 81/2  months old  and has 2 teeth, pulling himself up and taking a couple of wobbly steps!!!

Time most definitely goes by too fast!!

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

6 weeks post op

 I had my 6 week post op appointment with the surgeon.  First thing I asked was could I get rid of the compression stockings - yes!  That was definitely good news.  They are so uncomfortable when wearing them 24 hours a day for 6 weeks.                                                                                 Then every question I asked him-clunking and clicking in the knee, pain in different areas, at different times, swelling etc. I got the same answer, this is all normal and it will take a year to recover!!  He is very pleased with my progress and come back to see him in another 6 weeks!                                                    Then I went to physio today.  I was concerned about all the back pain I am having, lots of time it is worse than the pain from the knee. He said it's because I am not walking like I did before surgery because the new knee is still learning how to operate so it's not taking half the load like before.  He gave me some additional excercises to do that should help my back and he also got me to walk up and down the stairs properly.  That wasn't too bad although harder coming down than going up. After that he said he was discharging me, I graduated, and only come back if I'm having a problem.  Of course I was in so much pain the rest of the day I didn't know what to do with my self as nothing was giving me any relief.  This seems to be typical after every physio appointment.  He really pushes me, I push myself, I work on the bike and there were new excercises as well.  Hopefully things will ease off by tomorrow and also I get a decent nights sleep. Oh and I also walked to the end of our street and back when I got home.  It's not really that far.  There and back was probably only 75 metres.

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

28 days later

Every night since the surgery I have had to wear this brace in bed. 4 weeks, what a nightmare. This brace goes from high up on the thigh down to just above my ankle. The brace doesn't bend so you have to keep your leg straight all night. It took almost 2 weeks  before I could lie on my right side and I still can't lie on my left side without a lot of pain.  Needless to say there is very little continuous sleep. BUT, the 4 weeks are up and I don't have to wear this @#$%$#@ thing any more🎈🎉🎈. I was talking to my surgeons nurse this morning and she said I should bring it in and throw it at him, I suggested I should bring it in and tell him to find a nice place for him to put it.  She thought that was a much better idea!!😂🤣😂
Next thing to go is the compression stocking that I have to wear 24 hours a day for 6 weeks, 2 more weeks to go!!

Sunday, February 19, 2023

3 weeks later


January 31st I had a full knee replacement.  In and out of the hospital within 24 hours. Not the best hospital experience I've ever had!  The hospital unit that I was supposed to go to after surgery was full to over flowing.  So I was sent back to the day surgery unit where I started out, only that unit was full so I was sent to the overflow unit from the overflow day unit.  This was a unit that is used for overflow DAY surgery, except myself and 19 others were staying overnight but it was definitely not set up for overnighters.  There was one toilet and sink for 20 people. 

 Instead of a bedside cupboard/cabinet I had a chair to put my glass of water etc. on.  

On the other side of the bed right up against my bed was a large linen cart on wheels.  Because it was a day unit the overhead light did not turn off at all, all night, and the ice machine is in use (right across from my bed) from 6a.m. on. Needless to say I was quite happy to go home when physio gave me the all clear. 

DIL Rhonda was at the house when I got home and stayed until yesterday. I don't know what we would have done without her.  For the first several nights she was even setting her alarm for in the middle of the night so I got my pain meds on time. She was cleaning, doing laundry, cooking, putting my splint on and coming to all physio appointments so she knew exactly what I needed to be doing and we even got to have there dog Sadie here all the time.

This is how it looked when I came home.

By about the third day there was quite a bit of bleeding.

Not to mention all the bruising which is even worse today. Even the side of my foot and the back of my knee and below the staples to my ankle are bruised and very very swollen.

There were 36 staples that were removed after 2 weeks.
Steristrips were then applied, there were several areas that were still oozing. The oozing continued on for many days but appear to have finally stopped today.
During this entire time I have had to wear compression stocking 24 hours a day and that will be for 6 weeks. I also have to wear a big splint every night in bed for four weeks.  It's like having a log wrapped around my leg and is not exactly conducive to sleeping.
Over the years I have had several surgeries but this one takes top place for the most painful by far.  I doubt I would want to go through this with my other knee if I had to.
Things can only get better!!

Monday, January 30, 2023


After waiting 2 years I'll finally be here in the morning!!!!! 

Books 1-6

 The Next Girl by Carla Kovach

She thought he’d come to save her. She was wrong.
Deborah Jenkins pulls her coat around her as she sets out on her short walk home in the pouring rain. But she never makes it home that night. And she is never seen again …
Four years later, an abandoned baby girl is found wrapped in dirty rags on a doorstep. An anonymous phone call urges the police to run a DNA test on the baby. But nobody is prepared for the results.
The newborn belongs to Deborah. She’s still alive.
I did enjoy this book.  I kept picking it up to see what was going to happen next. Wasn't crazy about the ending (the epilogue) it was a little too cut and dried given the horrors that happened to Deborah.  

Losing Your Head by Clare Kauter
She’ll clear his name of murder – if she doesn’t kill him first.
Checkout-girl turned amateur sleuth Charlie Davies at your service.
My nemesis has been accused of offing his billionaire uncle for an inheritance, and as much as I’d love to see James McKenzie rot in prison, there are two problems.
One: He definitely didn’t do it. (Probably.)
Two: In exchange for proving his innocence, he’ll pay up big.
And I simply can’t resist his… cash.
I have to find the killer somehow, because the reward money isn’t the only thing on the line. If I don’t catch the murderer before they catch me –
I might just lose my head.
This book was so over the top, unrealistic and beyond belief that it was quite funny.  I don't think I'll be reading any more in the series but it did make me laugh.

Jinnie by Josephine Cox

Ten years ago, Louise Hunter's life was torn apart by tragedy. Her husband, Ben, killed himself; her brother-in-law, Jacob, was murdered; and her sister, Susan, abandoned her new-born daughter, revealing the baby is Ben's child. Louise remains haunted by guilt over the one night she spent with Ben's friend Eric, and refuses to return Eric's love. But after adopting Jinnie, she finds new happiness - until Susan decides she wants Jinnie back.
Meanwhile, Adam and Hannah, whose mother was killed with Jacob, are on the run. What Adam witnessed on that dreadful night has put them all in danger, but their beloved grandmother knows that one day they must return to the place where it all began . . .
I did enjoy this book and it was very heart wrenching and touching in parts, but I was a little disappointed in the ending.  Can't say much without giving away the ending but it all fell into place a little too easily.

Last Seen by Joy Kluver

I can see her, shouting with laughter as she swings as high as she can, her beautiful blonde curls flying out behind her. I can feel her tiny hot hand in mine, and my heart aches. My little girl. If only I’d listened to my gut. Then maybe she’d be safe here with me…
When five-year-old Molly Reynolds is snatched from the park in the small village of Otterfield, Detective Bernadette ‘Bernie’ Noel throws herself into the search, sick with worry for the quiet, sensitive little girl and her distraught mother.
Wasting no time, Bernie finds a small green cardigan under a bush in the park. It still has the smiley face sticker Molly won that week at school. It’s the first in a chain of clues – and Bernie can’t shake the feeling that it was left deliberately, as a message.
But Bernie encounters a wall of silence. Otterfield is a close-knit community, yet no one in the village seems to care that Molly is missing at all. Why?
And then Bernie makes a chilling discovery: twenty-five years ago, another little girl went missing from the area. Her name was Sophie, and all they ever found of her was her teddy bear, hidden under a bush. Now Bernie knows she’s in a race against time to save Molly’s life.
Bernie’s team work round the clock to find a connection between the two girls, and just when they think they’re making progress a devastating tragedy strikes at the heart of the case. Molly’s family have been hiding a secret, and now their little girl is in greater danger than ever.
Can Bernie outwit the most warped criminal she has ever faced and bring Molly home safe, or will another innocent life be lost?
This was an interesting crime thriller. I found it went from tame to crazy quiet quickly. I loved the dynamics between Bernie and her team, especially her newest member who is one moment obnoxious and the next nice, thoughtful and kind-there seems to be more to his story.
I liked how this case is uncovered and how deeply things go. It is done so well and believable as well. I was hooked from the beginning and couldn't put the book down.

Murder at the Manor by Catherine Coles

Evelyn Christie has resigned herself to another long, boring weekend at Hessleham Hall, the home of her husband, Tommy's, family. However, it turns out to be anything but dull when his uncle, the Earl of Northmoor, is shockingly murdered!
Evelyn must use all of her sleuthing knowledge, gained whilst she was a member of the Police force during the war, to find out who the murderer is before the bungling local police force decide the Earl was bumped off so Tommy could inherit his title.
This is a very light read. A lot of interesting, if not all of them likeable, characters. The story wasn’t over complicated, so I finished it very quickly.

The Force by Don Winslow

All Denny Malone wants is to be a good cop.
He is "the King of Manhattan North," a highly decorated NYPD detective sergeant and the real leader of "Da Force." Malone and his crew are the smartest, the toughest, the quickest, the bravest, and the baddest, an elite special unit given carte blanche to fight gangs, drugs, and guns. Every day and every night for the eighteen years he’s spent on the Job, Malone has served on the front lines, witnessing the hurt, the dead, the victims, the perps. He’s done whatever it takes to serve and protect in a city built by ambition and corruption, where no one is clean—including Malone himself.
What only a few know is that Denny Malone is dirty: he and his partners have stolen millions of dollars in drugs and cash in the wake of the biggest heroin bust in the city’s history. Now Malone is caught in a trap and being squeezed by the Feds, and he must walk the thin line between betraying his brothers and partners, the Job, his family, and the woman he loves, trying to survive, body and soul, while the city teeters on the brink of a racial conflagration that could destroy them all.
 As you might expect, there is a lot of violence and strong language in this book. The language, authentic, though it may be, is rough, very rough.
This book is mind boggling. It is packed with layers of drama, tension and suspense, and is utterly engrossing and riveting.
However, it is not an easy read in many ways. It is intensely somber and bleak. 
Denny reminded me of a member of the mob, in reality, he is, he's the "the King of Manhattan North",the leader of "Da Force" with his fingers in every pie, wheeling and dealing, working the system, compromising, living large and on the edge, instead of a member of law enforcement. The lines were very very blurred.
This is a book that leaves you at the end pondering the story and asking questions. For me what the author did with Denny Malone at the ending, was unbelievable and as such, it was very much a let down. But over all I liked the book. It was a great read.  
I'm not sure I want to read another book like this though as I did found it just too much in the violence department.

That's it for January. 6 books, more than I expected!