Fleece Navidad – Maggie Sefton

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We agreed that it was never a good sign when a book includes a Cast of Characters at the beginning.  And there were a LOT of characters to keep track of.  Joan admits that she probably should have READ the Cast of Characters so she wouldn’t have spent so many chapters spinning her wheels, trying to figure out who the main character was.

But once the story got going, we enjoyed the light, cozy, seasonal aspect of it.  It didn’t make us feel “icky” as some of our darker mysteries do. We compared it to a holiday Hallmark movie.  Poor Joan read it in August and wanted to drink hot chocolate.

The book was terribly sweet, with the perfectly perfect people, town, and holiday scene, but we agreed that small towns can be that way.  We did get tired of the weather observations and all that wool made us itch.

The mysteries were interesting, though.  Who killed Juliet?  Was Claudia really a black widow?  Claudia didn’t LOOK like a black widow and she was a little too dumb, too.  But Sheila was sure full of hate and for so many reasons.  She really needed to get a life.

Darla made the ginger cookies featured in the book and they were delicious!

Favorite characters — Annie (the lamb) (of course), Kelly, Hilda and Lizzie, Claudia, even though she was so manipulative.  She was at least entertaining to watch.  Burt, Curt, and Juliet.

Least Favorite – Sheila — What a witch.  Claudia.


Live and Let Growl – Laurien Berenson

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We always seem to love a good dog-related mystery.  And though our dog du jour is a poodle, that’s NOT what is pictured on the cover of the book, which is a little disconcerting.  It was also disconcerting that while Miss Ellie was portrayed as an aging Grand Dame of the dog world, she was, in fact, only 63 years old.

We found this to be an interesting mystery, though it took us forever to actually get to anything mysterious.  But getting to the mystery was fun and we liked “visiting” Kentucky, the dog show, and the horse facilities, which were all declared to be true representations.

There were some plot holes and inconsistencies, but the group pretty much didn’t care and just enjoyed the book.

Fluff.  Entertaining fluff, but fluff nonetheless.

Favorite Character – Terry, Aunt Peg, Faith the dog,

Least – Billy, for lack of anyone else.  Miss Ellie (because she was drunk and in a car accident).

Fuzzy Navel – J.A. Konrath

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[Joan trying to decipher Pam’s notes…]

The group really seemed to enjoy the fast pace and non-stop tension of this book.  Members liked the locale (Chicago area), the author’s style, and the many bizarre characters.

One person who didn’t enjoy the book was Joan.  Too much blood, too many seriously crazy people, and a whole lot of unbelievable action.  Jack gets shot in the head, gets her head STAPLED and then JUST KEEPS GOING.  She’s like the frickin’ Energizer Bunny.

Then we get to the end [SPOILER ALERT] and someone dies, BUT WE DON’T KNOW WHO!

Did anyone see a fuzzy navel?

Favorite characters – Mom, Harry, Herb, Jack

Least Favorite – Psycho Alex, the three guys with guns