Father's Day Murder by Leslie Meier

Streak being a good bookstand.
Streak being a good bookstand.

Narrator: Karen White

Publisher: Dreamscape Media, LLC (2016)

Length: 6 hours 58 minutes

Series: Book 10 A Lucy Stone Mystery

Author’s Page

Note: Even though this is Book 10 in the series, it worked just fine as a stand alone novel.

Lucy Stone works part time at The Penny Saver newspaper in Tinker’s Cove, Maine and her boss, Tom, wants her to attend a newspaper conference in Boston. She’s very excited to be getting a week away to the big city, but she’s worried that her family won’t be able to manage without her. While in Boston, a death livens up the boring conference panels and Lucy finds herself far more interested in investigating the murder than in the conference.

The story starts off with some household drama as things seem to be falling apart at home even before Lucy leaves for the bus station to head to Boston. Their big dog Kudo got into the neighbor’s chickens, again. Her husband, Bill, is having a big argument with their son Toby. Her oldest daughter Elizabeth is off on her summer job as a nanny to a three-year-old. The twins, Sara and Zoe, are mucking about. Honestly, I thought Bill might end up dead and Lucy would have to solve a murder long-distance from Boston. He came off as rather selfish and a bit of a jerk. He wasn’t pleased that Lucy would be off the week before Father’s Day because he likes to be pampered on this special day. All that made me roll my eyes a bit.

Alas, it wasn’t Bill who died but rather Luther Read, head of a newspaper dynasty, while at the Boston conference. His family was there, including his grown children Junior and Caroline, and they are immediately under suspicion. I did like this core mystery. There were plenty of interesting characters, though I did think it was a little obvious who did not do it even if Lucy and the police suspected them at some point.

A chunk of the book is Boston site-seeing and shopping. Indeed, Lucy has an almost erotic thing for shoes and toe cleavage (which made her a little quirky which is cool). While I didn’t mind the site-seeing stuff, I haven’t been to Boston so, for me, it was just page filler. Also, all the shopping for special name brand stuff was rather boring to me as I didn’t recognize any of the labels and don’t really care for shoe shopping, etc. Luckily, audiobooks allow multi-tasking so I wasn’t wasting my time during these parts of the book.

The book did live up the cozy mystery category. There’s no bloody scenes and our main character is never damaged (except by her fancy stylish shoes). I did get tired of Lucy’s horrid family after a while. They aren’t good at solving their own problems and Lucy is definitely the glue that holds them together. Basically, the story is riddled with one person or the other complaining about something. However, to balance that out a bit, we have the interesting Read family. They are all guarded to some extent, wanting to keep their private lives private and yet they are unfailingly polite to everyone, even invasive reporters. I also liked Morgan for her go-gettem attitude even if I didn’t approve of all her methods. The ending had a bit of drama to it, which I liked. All told, this book was so-so for me.

I received a free copy of this book with no strings attached.

The Narration: Karen White was a very good choice for this book. I loved all the regional accents she managed. Also, her male characters sounded masculine. Her upper cut, educated voices for the Read family in general were very well done. I liked her voice for Lucy and how she captured Lucy’s emotions at any given time, even her excitement over shoe shopping. 

What I Liked: It’s a cozy mystery; Lucy is the glue that holds her family together; the murder mystery is more interesting than the conference to both Lucy and myself; some very interesting characters at the conference; the dramatic ending; great narration. 

What I Disliked: The Boston site-seeing was ho-hum; the clothes shopping was very boring; the mystery was a bit predictable; why does the cover art have a golf ball on it? There was no golf in this book; Lucy’s family is rather horrid.

What Others Think:

Reviewing the Evidence

Home Cooked Books

Bloggity Award and Other Stuff

Lynn over at Books & Travelling with Lynn blog recently nominated me for the Real Neat Blog award. I tend to enjoy blog awards because it forces me to be a little more personable and chatty. Plus, we all get to talk about books.

The Rules:

    • Thank and link the blogger that nominated you.
    • Answer the 7 questions that the nomination has provided you.
    • Create 7 questions for your nominees.
    • Nominate 7 other bloggers.
    • Bend said rules

1. If you could meet any author, from any time (past and present), who would that be and what would be your most pressing question?

That’s a tough one. Andre Norton (Forerunner Foray, Timetraders, etc.), Alan Dean Foster (for his Pip & Flynx series), Isaac Asimov (for his Lucky Starr series), and Anne McCaffrey (for her Dragonriders of Pern series) all an impact on me as a kid and it would be cool to get a drink with them and find out what books, authors, or artists had an impact on them.

2. Who is your absolute favorite character, ever. I know you’re probably groaning and rolling your eyes but there must be one character that springs to mind immediately – probably followed by a host of others – but, I want that first knee jerk reaction please and why!

I find that if you ask me this today, you’ll get one answer and if you ask 6 months from now, you’ll get another. I’m easily swayed by whatever I’m reading and thoroughly enjoying at the moment. Let’s go with Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only practicing wizard PI. I like how he can think out side of the box and come up with crazy polka powered T-rex zombie type solutions to messed up situations.

3. What is your favorite series out of all the books you’ve read?  The series you would recommend without hesitation.

I will always adore Jacqueline Carey’s Terre D’Ange Cycle. The epic fantasy, the alternate history, breaking so many standard tropes! However, I’m not sure I would recommend it to everyone because of the sex. I love the sex, and that’s part of what breaks so many dated, sexist standards in fantasy fiction, but is everyone ready for it? Personally, 9/10 people I recommend this series to, has enjoyed it.

4. What’s your preferred reading format, book or e-reader?

These days I do a lot of audiobooks. I dabble in other formats, but find that my deep fatigue from illness makes concentration an issue. Audiobooks are great for me because I don’t get hung up on typos, grammatical errors, large words that I once knew but now find difficult to connect meanings to, etc. The story continues with an audiobook no matter what issues the book may or may not have.

5. The book you were most looking forward to but ended up being really disappointed with?

Station 11 by Emily St. John Mandel. Wow! This book was a bit of a snoozer for me. The main character that ties it all together, that everyone knows or is tied to in some manner, is pretty darn boring. I kept on with it to the end hoping it would get better. There’s plenty of interesting side characters and I liked the slower pacing than usual for the fall of modern society story. But instead the book really is about this one guy who is pretty bland.

6. Blogging – what do you love/not love – any embarrassing moments?

I love that I don’t have a schedule. I blog when I feel like it (or when I feel up to it) and can take a break from it when I don’t. I like that I have kept it small and just blog what I want to blog about and don’t try to force myself into being glitzy, trendy, or the first to post a review on the latest hot ARC. There’s plenty of blogs that do focus on those things, and I’m glad they’re out there because I read them.

So far, I haven’t done anything too embarrassing. I know my typos and such have gone up this past year while I have been sick. But in the big scheme of things, that’s rather small.

7. Most anticipated book for the remainder of 2016?

Kevin Hearne is coming out with his first epic fantasy, I think. Hooray! I really enjoy his Iron Druid Chronicles (urban fantasy). Scott Lynch may be releasing his next Gentleman Bastards book (hooray!). As far as I know, there’s no release date yet for Peace Talks by Jim Butcher. Henry Hertz & his two sons have at least 2 more kids books coming out this year – they’re always so well illustrated! Of course, the next A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin. I always look forward to something new from Jim Bernheimer. I’m hoping Domino Finn does another Sycamore Moon book. I’ve really enjoyed the first 3 Jonathan Shade urban fantasy books by Gary Jonas and I’m hoping he puts more of the series out as audiobooks. Joe Hempel does a great job narrating them.

Here’s my 7 questions:

If you could be an extra on a period piece (Outlander, Spartacus, etc.) what would it be and what would you be doing?

What makes you cringe?

What’s the most interesting gross fact you know?

It’s time for you to host the book club. Who do you invite (living, dead, fictional, real)? And what 3 books will you be discussing?

If you had to choose someone to rescue you from the jaws of certain death would it be a superhero, supernatural creature, or a space alien?

If you could, what book/movie/TV series would you like to experience for the first time all over again and why?

If everyone came with warning labels, what would yours say?

Bonus Question: If you were asked to create the syllabus for a college class about your favorite genre, what books would be on there as required reading? As passing discussion?

While I will mention some favorite blogs below, I’m going to leave this open mic. If you find the questions (or my answers) amusing, feel free to chime in down in the comments or create your own blog post answering them – if you let me know you did so, I’ll swing by and check it out.

I like to visit author David Lee Summers blog for the steampunk – most definitely for the steampunk. Viviana, Enchanstress of Books is doing a lot of cool audiobook stuff this month. Broken Teepee has a fun mix of home gardening, book reviews, and info on home brewing kits and such. I’ve found Home Cooked Books by narrator Karen White to be a fun place with lots of interesting bits on what it’s like to make an audiobook. Violin in a Void is constantly expanding my world of books, and I like her focus on African authors and book blogs. Mike Powell is a photographer and he focuses on nature. I especially love his photos of herons. Evelyn Aster, who writes mostly contemporary romance (which, admittedly, is a bit outside my favorite genres), regularly posts pics of her fancy nails and her fancy drinks.

On a personal note, I haven’t been as involved as I normally am due to chronic illness. 2015 was one of the toughest years of my life and 2016 is shaping up to be as well. However, just last month I finally got a diagnosis! Hooray! Turns out I have many, many tiny blood clots throughout my lungs. Because the blood clots have been tiny, the condition didn’t present with the normal sharp pains to the chest, etc. Various scans and doctors missed it, and I was often misdiagnosed as having an asthma exacerbation. Now my doctors suspect the blood clots could have been going on as long as 2 years, with my lungs absorbing at least some of them. Because it went on so long, I have a moderately high case of pulmonary hypertension, which in turn has enlarged my heart. So, I have lots of work to do to get better and it will take many months. I’ve been on 24/7 oxygen since January and will be for at least a few more months, perhaps longer.

So, if you pinged me about something and I haven’t responded, feel free to ping me again. I’ve been hypoxic for probably about 12 months now and when your brain doesn’t have it’s regular stream of healthy oxygen, you get stupid, tired, and forgetful.