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Book Reviews

It has been a good month for reading, so let's get started!

To me, nothing says summer like a Mary Kay Andrews book. And since it will feel like summer for another two months, you are not late AT ALL if you decide to read one of her books right now! Mary Kay's books always take place in the South, maybe on an island off the coast of Georgia, or in Atlanta. There is always a struggle facing our Southern heroine, but she has good friends and a lovin' momma to see her through. I actually got one of my best decorating tips from an MKA book, which is that every room should have one piece of art, one antique, and a really good quality rug. I can't say this is completely true of every room in my own home, but it's a nice rule of thumb when in doubt, and it makes me sound smarter when speaking with designer folk.

Anyway, this summer I read Sunset Beach, which follows plucky-but-currently-unlucky heroine Dru as she grudgingly moves back home to work for her personal injury lawyer dad and his current wife, who also happens to be an old frenemy of Dru's. Mary Kay's books often follow a formula, and for this particular author I find that formula comforting. And because she writes such great characters, the books don't feel stale. This book's characters are enjoyable to get to know as they solve a mystery and grow into better people.

Next up is The Something Girl. I held off on reading this book for as long as I could because I knew that once I started reading it, I would finish it, and then, it would be over. I loved, LOVED, Jodi Taylor's The Nothing Girl. The Something Girl is about a year later, where we find our favorite girl, Jenny Checkland still happily married to chaotic artist, Russell. A new neighbor has moved into the area. As has a new donkey. It's all going so swimmingly till Jenny spies her nefarious cousin following her, and then the dread and drama set in. I promise, you will laugh out loud reading this charming, delightful sequel.

Finally, (finally? Yes, I'm only reviewing 3 books, even tho more are listed. I'm not done reading Out of Sorts, and I want to finish the entire trilogy involving The Cracks in the Kingdom before reviewing. But if you cannot wait, I'm loving Out of Sorts by Sarah Bessey - my friends and I are reading this book for our Bible Study, and I can tell you it starts strong. And I completely adore this new-to-me author Jaclyn Moriarty and her Colors of Madeleine trilogy. My BFF's daughter in California is reading it with me, and her mom doesn't want to be left out so we'll be a bookclub of 3 for this series, so these get reviewed later).

So. Finally, let me recommend Alexander McCall Smith's My Italian Bulldozer. This is a quiet sort of book, as are most of McCall Smith's books. You will recall he wrote the series about the Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency books, of which there are at least 20. The man is prolific; in addition to being a Medical Law professor, he's written 6 different series! There will never be outlandish zany antics in these books, nor crazy drama. More like, nice people going about their lives, sometimes finding themselves a mystery to quietly solve, which brings them into polite contact with other people.

My Italian Bulldozer is the first in the new Paul Stuart series. Paul is a food writer, and he is currently suffering a malaise/broken heart. His editor trundles him off to Italy to work on his new book. His plan to rent a car goes completely awry (some might read this as zany, but the author makes it clear that No, this is just Italian), and he ends up touring the Italian countryside in a bulldozer. This is in no way The DaVinci Code; this book is charming and sweet and should be enjoyed with a truly delicious glass of wine.

I hope you find a good book in here, my darling readers!

Til next time...

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