book review

Mini Reviews # 4

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend! It is super cold and rainy where I live but spring is coming y’all. I’m so excited. The rain is much needed but warm weather is my happy place. Today I thought I would share some relatively recent reads with you all.


On June 22, 1954, in the depth of a southern winter, teenage friends Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker went for a walk in a park with Pauline’s mother. Half an hour later the girls returned alone. Honorah Parker lay in a sea of blood on a lonely track. She had been savagely murdered.

In this mesmerizing book, lawyer and true crime writer Peter Graham tells the whole story for the first time, giving a brilliant account of the crime and ensuing trial, dramatic revelations about the fate of Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker after their release from prison and their strange lives today, and a penetrating insight into the crime using modern psychology.


This book really suffered from being poorly titled. This is basically a biography of Anne Perry’s early life and it was so boring it was hard to get through. If it had been titled something different I either probably wouldn’t have read it or I would have had different expectations going into it. I really thought based on the title and the synopsis that this would be a book about Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme (Anne Perry) murdering Pauline Parker’s mom. Instead it was way too much detail about the girls’ lives leading up to the murder. Some of which is needed for context but SO much is just way too much information. Also, the author bizarrely injected his opinion about events and people (mostly in the latter part of the novel) which was so unnecessary. This isn’t an opinion piece about the events leading up to and after the crime, it is supposed to be an account of the murder, the trial and their lives today. I would not recommend this book to anyone but a hardcore true crime aficionado.

Rating: 2/5


Murder at the Vicarage marks the debut of Agatha Christie’s unflappable and much beloved female detective, Miss Jane Marple. With her gift for sniffing out the malevolent side of human nature, Miss Marple is led on her first case to a crime scene at the local vicarage. Colonel Protheroe, the magistrate whom everyone in town hates, has been shot through the head. No one heard the shot. There are no leads. Yet, everyone surrounding the vicarage seems to have a reason to want the Colonel dead. It is a race against the clock as Miss Marple sets out on the twisted trail of the mysterious killer without so much as a bit of help from the local police.


I absolutely love Agatha Christie. Mysteries are my first love when it comes to reading and she is queen. This mystery I felt was more predictable than other ones that I have read but I really enjoyed all the different characters. Also, the reveals in Christie’s novels always so fun. I was disappointed that there wasn’t more Miss Marple in the story. She was more a periphery character than a main character which I wasn’t expecting. I can’t wait to read more from the Miss Marple series though in the hopes that there will be more of her.

Rating: 5/5


A remote lodge in upstate New York is the perfect getaway. . . until the bodies start piling up.It’s winter in the Catskills and the weather outside is frightful. But Mitchell’s Inn is so delightful! The cozy lodge nestled deep in the woods is perfect for a relaxing–maybe even romantic–weekend away. The Inn boasts spacious old rooms with huge wood-burning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a book and someone you love. So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity–and all contact with the outside world–the guests settle in for the long haul. The power’s down but they’ve got candles, blankets, and wood–a genuine rustic experience! Soon, though, a body turns up–surely an accident. When a second body appears, they start to panic. Then they find a third body. Within the snowed-in paradise, something–or someone–is picking off the guests one by one. They can’t leave, and with no cell service, there’s no prospect of getting the police in until the weather loosens its icy grip. The weekend getaway has turned deadly. For some couples, it’s their first time away. For others, it will be their last. And there’s nothing they can do about it but huddle down and hope they can survive the storm.


I really thought I would like this a lot more than I did. It was a pretty decent thriller and I liked the whodunnit aspect but I just didn’t like any of the characters. I found them all so blah that I just couldn’t get invested in the story. There was also a romance that I really didn’t appreciate and a subplot of an unhappily married couple that wasn’t necessary. If you like thrillers or are interested in a trapped room type of mystery I would suggest picking this book up.

Rating: 3/5


From author Gilly Macmillan comes this original, chilling and twisty mystery about two shocking murder cases twenty years apart, and the threads that bind them.

Twenty years ago, eleven-year-olds Charlie Paige and Scott Ashby were murdered in the city of Bristol, their bodies dumped near a dog racing track. A man was convicted of the brutal crime, but decades later, questions still linger.

For his whole life, filmmaker Cody Swift has been haunted by the deaths of his childhood best friends. The loose ends of the police investigation consume him so much that he decides to return to Bristol in search of answers. Hoping to uncover new evidence, and to encourage those who may be keeping long-buried secrets to speak up, Cody starts a podcast to record his findings. But there are many people who don’t want the case—along with old wounds—reopened so many years after the tragedy, especially Charlie’s mother, Jess, who decides to take matters into her own hands.

When a long-dead body is found in the same location the boys were left decades before, the disturbing discovery launches another murder investigation. Now Detective John Fletcher, the investigator on the original case, must reopen his dusty files and decide if the two murders are linked. With his career at risk, the clock is ticking and lives are in jeopardy…


This was an excellent thriller with my favorite addition of a podcast. I don’t know why but I really enjoy books with podcasts helping to narrate the story. Some books just have a podcast as a fun element to the plot but this podcast really was integral to the whole story. This book was suspenseful with great pacing. There were a couple of things that were revealed that I didn’t see coming and a couple of things that I did see coming. I marked a star off for two reasons. One, it had the annoying trope of characters not communicating with each other. The whole subplot of someone not communicating something important with someone they should was just frustrating and I didn’t think it added anything to the story. My second reason is that I figured out most of a reveal pretty early on but I was hoping that it would be more twisted than it ended up being.

Rating: 4/5

Last year I read predominately thrillers, which you can see reflected in this collection of mini reviews. I’m trying to be more intentional with the books I read this year so I don’t fall into a slump of only reading one type of book. Which is totally fine if that’s what you enjoy doing but I genuinely love pretty much every genre and I want to spread my love and attention around. Stay tuned for the beginning of next month for my quarterly wrap up to see how I’m doing with 2019 bookish goals.



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