…and the rest of 2016

I got behind on reviews this year for a variety of reasons that I won’t bore you with, let’s just say life happened. Instead of bombarding you with a ton of mini-review posts, I figured I would get the majority of them done right here. Just a quick rating and brief thoughts will do. I do have a few NetGalley reads that I will be doing separate write ups for, and there are a couple of books that I did read in 2016, but just didn’t feel the need to review them on the site. You can see my full list of 2016 reads recorded on my 2016 Goodreads challenge page.

Reviews are alphabetical by author.

Inferno by Dan Brown
inferno3.5/5 Stairs

The fourth book in the Robert Langdon series. As a standalone novel, it was good – full of suspense and mystery. But it wasn’t as good as the first two Langdon books – Angels and Demons and, of course, The Da Vinci Code. Those two books had a lot of puzzles that symbologist Langdon had to solve, and Inferno was really lacking that (unique) element.

Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben
foolmeonce4/5 Stairs

Right after her husband’s murder, Maya is determined to continue on and make a life for her and her two-year-old daughter. But when she sees something unexpected on her nanny-cam, she is forced to investigate. This was a fast-paced mystery with some big twists that I didn’t see coming.

The Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasco by Laura DiSilverio
falcolnfiasco4/5 Stairs

I’m a huge fan of Ms. DiSilverio’s cozy mysteries, and the first outing in her Readaholics series did not disappoint. A fun cozy where the primary detective is the head of a mystery book club.  I enjoyed the characters and look forward to reading more in this series.

Wedding Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke
weddingcakemurder3/5 Stairs

I can’t believe it. 19 books into the series and Hannah finally makes a decision and gets married! Other than this big revelation, it’s a typical Hannah Swensen mystery, this one centered around preparation for her wedding reception.

The Trespasser by Tana French
thetrespasser5/5 Stairs

The sixth book in the Dublin Murder Squad series, this is the second book I’ve read. The other book was The Secret Place, and it is where Conway and Moran are first paired up to solve a cold case. Now established partners, Conway and Moran are at the bottom rung of the Murder squad, getting the worst shifts and the worst cases. When they are assigned to yet-another-domestic murder, Conway is resigned to see it through but Moran sees potentially bigger picture and a much bigger case. The weary, tired Conway is a stark contrast to the eager, hopeful Moran. While the plot is interesting and moves quickly, it’s the characters and their relationships that truly bring this book to life. One of my favorite reads of 2016.

Castle Glower Series by Jessica Day George
tuesdayscastleTuesdays in the Castle, Wednesdays in the Tower, Thursdays with the Crown
4/5 Stairs

This is a cute series that my boys and I enjoy listening to in the car, especially my youngest. We have one more book left in the series that we will get to in 2017, and then I’ll do a review of the series.

The Babylon Line by Richard Greenberg
babylonline3.5/5 Stairs

This is an interesting play that takes place at a creative writing class in a small town. Some of the students take the class to heart, and begin to explore more honest accounts of their life. On paper, it felt that some of the character development and dynamics were a bit lacking, but I think on stage the actors would bring the spark that was missing. Overall I enjoyed the story.

The Murder of Mary Russell by Laurie R. King
maryrussell4/5 Stairs

I randomly picked up this audio book at the library. I wasn’t aware it was the 14th book in the Mary Russell series, but I had no problem jumping right in. It was so interesting to think about what Mrs. Hudson’s life might have been like before she met Sherlock. I was a little disappointed to discover the root of Sherlock and Mrs. Hudson’s devotion to each other, but other than that I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I plan on reading more in this series for sure.

Nooks & Crannies by Jessica Lawson
nooksandcrannies5/5 Stairs

My two boys and I needed a new audio book to listen to in the car, so I picked up <i>Nooks & Crannies</i> from the library. We all adored it. Tabitha and her mouse (and best friend) Pemberly find themselves in the middle of a mystery, and Tabitha channels her favorite fictional detective to help her solve the case.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
whataliceforgot4/5 Stairs

Another great read from Liane Moriarty. Such an interesting topic – would you from 10 years ago recognize the person you are today? Is your life where you expected to be, or has it taken an unexpected turn? Really enjoyed this one, although I think Big Little Lies and The Husband’s Secret are even better.

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
godsofasgard4/5 Stairs

Mr. Riordan has tackled Greek Gods, Roman Gods, and Egyptian Gods (didn’t finish that trilogy, couldn’t get into the characters); now he is writing in the world of Norse Gods. This is a decent first book into the new Gods of Asgard series, but I found myself missing the characters I’ve grown to love from both the Percy Jackson series and the Heroes of Olympus series.

The English Girl by Daniel Silva
englishgirl4/5 Stairs

I listened to this audio book early this year. I liked it, although felt a little lost since I have only read one other book in the series. The author seems to reference events from previous books. It had a few fun twists in it and overall was an enjoyable audio book.

Pasadena by Sherri L. Smith
pasadena4/5 Stairs

From the start, “Pasadena” reminded me of the TV show “Veronica Mars.” The book definitely has that noir vibe, which I really enjoyed. Jude is a spunky, somewhat lonely girl whose best friend was found dead in the swimming pool. Jude is sure foul play is involved, and determined to get answers. “Pasadena” is a page turner that kept me wondering until the end.

The Run of His Life: The People Versus O.J. Simpson by Jeffrey Toobin
runofhislife4/5 Stairs

I picked this up after watching the F/X mini-series that was based on this book. I was surprised to find that the mini-series was pretty faithful to Mr. Toobin’s non-fictional account of the case. There were some personal pieces that the TV show added in that weren’t found in the book, such as the potential personal relationship between Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden. The Run of His Life was a well researched, engaging story from a man who had been reporting on the case very early on.

6 thoughts on “…and the rest of 2016

  1. Pingback: TTT: The Diamond in the Rough. 2016 Edition. | Hidden Staircase

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  3. Pingback: TTT (on Hiatus): If you like Girl on the Train (or Gone Girl)… | Hidden Staircase

  4. Pingback: TTT: Great Books to Read with your Kids. | Hidden Staircase

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