Thank you for joining me here! I hope you enjoy this series and I’d love to hear from you about what you are reading these days.
Arya Winters and the Tiramisu of Death by Amita Murray (Length: 303 pages). This is a cozy mystery set in a small village outside of London and features a neurodivergent young woman who runs a bakery out of her home. Said baked good are macabre in nature and are apparently selling like hotcakes as she makes enough money to support herself. In her spare time she solves a few murders. Given the protagonist is on the spectrum, this cozy mystery has more depth than most in this genre, but be aware that the reader is not supposed to like her, but I found myself rooting for her, regardless. the central mystery has some truly odd elements, and the ending is a bit annoying. (The Kindle edition has a few typos as well, which is ridiculous in the age of spellcheck.) I am glad I checked this one out, ultimately, because I think it’s important to spotlight those who are neurodivergent and that angle in a “cozy” mystery is fresh, but ultimately given the issues I mention above, I wouldn’t recommend this pick.
Hidden Pictures by Jason Rekulak (Length: 375 pages). A perfect summer read that MUST be read in paper form so you don’t miss the pictures . . . this thriller is set in a wealthy enclave in Pennsylvania where a recovering addict becomes a nanny during the summer to a 6-year-old boy. She discovers he’s possibly being haunted by or channeled by a spirit as his drawings become increasingly disturbing (and shockingly well-done). The writing is a bit basic but the plot is incredibly propulsive. I really enjoyed the 6 year old Teddy, and I didn’t see the ending coming at all. Again, perfect vacation or poolside read.
Fault Lines by Emily Itami (Length: 220 pages). A gorgeous short novel set in Toyko about a housewife, Mizuki, who has 2 children and a husband who is constantly working. She ends up having an affair with a stranger she meets coincidentally a few times, and this is her story. I loved reading about Japanese culture (Mizuki plays tourist with the man so the reader gets a front seat to all of this) and this is beautifully written, never saccharine. This is a bit navel-gazing, but you won’t want to put it down. I promise.
Funny You Should Ask by Elissa Sussman (Length: 330 pages). This is a top 10 book of the year for me, for sure. I like my “brain candy” romances to have some depth, and this one does. Chani Horowitz interviews “the” hot celebrity Gabe Parker for a magazine article about him being the first American actor cast as James Bond. She ends up going to a movie premiere with him the next evening, and then to a party at his house the following night. Flash forward 10 years when she interviews him again for a follow-up article. Did they, didn’t they and will they? I LOVED this book! The writing is strong, the character development is excellent and the author does a great job of flashing forward and back between both time periods. I am recommending this to everyone I know in real life, and I hope you get a chance to read it too.