Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What I've Been Up To

So I hope everyone enjoyed my guest author feature last week with Jami Davenport.  Now it's time to get back to business as usual here at the Bat Cave and that means.....

Yep, it's back to being all about me.

Hey, at least I embrace my narcissism. 

So what have I been up to?  Gee, what haven't I?


First things first, I had a post go live over at Heroes & Heartbreakers last week all about my favorite librarian heroines in romance novels.  Why not head on over and take a gander, assuming you haven't already?


Despite the fact that I have review obligations coming out of my ears, I took a wee breather last week to read new books by two of my favorite mystery/suspense writers.  Just to make me a little bit of extra crazy?  Both of these new books released on the very same day!

I know as a romance reader that in some circles, all of my reading material of choice would be deemed as "fluff" - but romance is the last genre I tend to go to when I want "brain candy."  No, when I want fluff?  I mean, real fluff?  It's cozy mysteries all the way.  Death of a Neighborhood Witch by Laura Levine is the latest in her series featuring freelance writer Jaine Austen (no relation).  This story involves the untimely death of an unpleasant elderly woman who had a brief flirtation with 15 minutes when she stared on a D-grade Munsters knock-off sitcom.  When she ends up dead, Jaine ends up the prime suspect, seeing as how it was her cat, Prozac, who killed the old lady's decrepit pet bird.

I was disappointed in the last book in the series, and this one was a nice recovery read.  The mystery was solid, and Levine keeps the sitcom-like antics flying.  My only real complaint?  When exactly did Jaine's neighbor - fabulous gay Neiman Marcus shoe salesmen, Lance, morph into such an asshole?  I used to love his character and the last two books?  Yeah, asshole.  Still a solid B for me.

After that it was Last To Die by Tess Gerritsen, the latest in her Rizzoli/Isles series.  I gave up on the TNT TV series based on the books after one year, largely because Hollywood morphed Dr. Isles into a pod person - but I'm still going way strong with the books.  The suspense here involves three young teenagers whose parents were killed in suspicious looking "accidents."  Two years later?  The foster families where all three kids were placed are also killed.  Meaning all three of these children have cheated death, twice.  It's up to Boston homicide detective, Jane Rizzoli, and Boston medical examiner, Maura Isles, to find the connection - assuming there is one.

What I tend to really like about Gerritsen's suspense are her characters.  She writes really interesting characters, in large part, I think, due to her past as a romance writer.  You can fudge a lot with plot and tension in the suspense genre to overcompensate for ho-hum characters.  In romance?  Yeah, good luck with that.  The Rizzoli family "stuff" is fantastic here, and Gerritsen pushes Isles into an introspective corner after her ill-fated love affair with a priest (yes, a priest!) flames out.  I also thought she did a lovely job with the kids in this book, all misfits that don't quite fit in - even at the boarding school where they end up that seems to cater to tragic misfits.  The suspense?  Was OK.  Not terrible, but also not Gerritsen's best.  It didn't light my world on fire, but it's a good entry to the series, so there's not a lot to complain about.  A very solid B for me.


My idiot Detroit Tigers were in town over the weekend to play the Anaheim Angels, so Saturday night Lil' Sis and I hit the ballpark (sans Lemon Drop).  We got seats in the club section - which means we had a waitress who took our concession stand orders and brought us our food.  Good thing too, since the game required a lot of junk food and beer thanks to Angels rookie phenom, Mike Trout, Justin Verlander getting lit up like a pinball machine, my idiot third basemen Miguel Cabrera arguing balls and strikes with the umpire and naturally, getting tossed - and oh yeah, we lost 6-1.  Let us relive the day through a series of pictures Lil' Sis snapped....

Justin Verlander warming up.  I swear they paint those pants on him.
Timing is everything.  Miguel Cabrera and our rookie, Avisail Garcia - scratching himself.  Niiiiice.
I believe the Tigers were down 5-0 at this point, when this advertisement came on in the stadium.  Don't mind if we do!

I've still got a mountain of reading to get done, the September TBR Challenge is right around the corner, there will be more RWA tote bag giveaways and oh yeah - I owe the Lemon Drop fan club a post.

Stay tuned!


Ridley said...

Oh, there's little worse than being there for the away team as they get run over. My sympathies to you.

This past March, my mom and I flew to Florida to catch two Bruins games. For all our trouble we got to see Tampa score four goals on their first six shots, Stamkos pot his 50th goal of the season and experience the Times Forum's new Tesla coil electrical goal celebration no less than six times. The game against the Florida Panthers was moderately better. The Bruins managed to score at least one goal en route to a 6-1 loss.

I've blocked out the time we saw the Sox lose at Yankee Stadium. Those fans were *brutal*.

Victoria Janssen said...

I often read creepy violent mystery/suspense for comfort...weird, but maybe it has to do with "at least I'm not being stalked by a serial killer."

Wendy said...

Ridley: I have to say that Angels fans are the BEST fans when it comes to "dealing" with opposing team fans in their house. I think it's because this is SoCal and so many people that live here? Yeah, are from some place else. I always see LOTS of Tiger fans at the game, and I've never been "hassled" outside of some good-natured ribbing. Which, I can handle. Still, I wanted to weep when Mike Trout jacked a lead-off homerun off Verlander and then robbed Prince Fielder of a homerun in the 9th. ::sob::

Wendy said...

Victoria: LOL! Cozy mysteries are my ultimate fluff read - I suspect because I read a lot of them as a teenager. Sort of like comfort food and nostalgia all rolled into one.

Nikki said...

I've often wondered why baseball players and soccer players think it's okay to scratch/adjust/play with themselves when they would never do that if they had on an Armani suit or a pair of jeans.
One time while watching my son play in a college soccer game, I decided to count how many times a certain player did that. I stopped at halftime and the count was over 40 times! Jeez. Get a decent pair of drawers or a strap w/ a cup. Come on! :) Have a great day!
Oh, and I read some mystery too, especially Stuart Woods.

Wendy said...

Nikki: I know, right? Hasn't cup technology come far enough that guys can find one that fits properly? LOL