Review of “Aunt Dimity and The King’s Ransom”

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I enjoy the Aunt Dimity series by Nancy Atherton since the books tend to transport me to a cozy place.  This book did not disappoint.  I enjoy the easy repertoire between the main character, Lori, and her husband Bill as well as Lori’s innate ability to make friends wherever she goes regardless of their age and gender.

This novel begins Lori and Bill heading to Rye, a nearby town, for a weekend getaway sans kids.  Bill combined a work errand with the trip, so after dropping Bill off to his business colleague, Lori sets off for her deluxe hotel hoping to meet Bill later on in the afternoon. While on the road, Lori finds herself in the middle of a huge dangerous storm.

Due to the storm, Lori gets diverted to a town and is forced to spend the night at an inn called The King’s Ransom.  While there, she befriends a bishop named Bishop Wyndham and together they try and fathom what mysteries lie behind the strange noises they hear at night as well as the mystery behind the inn’s name.

This is a cute “mystery”, and there is no horror or gore involved. This is also not a thriller or even a romance; I think Atherton’s Aunt Dimity series are the epitome of the cozy mystery.  I enjoyed the setting and the characters.  The novel did get a bit mundane at parts, especially over the constant attempts at deciphering the mystery behind the inn’s name, but all in all, it was an enjoyable and light read.

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Review of “Broken Girls” by Simone St. James

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This was an enticing page-turner that kept me wanting to read it to the end.  It did get slow at some parts in the middle of the book, but the mystery about a ghost and a murder made me want to finish it.  You can read it in one night if you were dedicated and had the time, but it took me several nights to finish it.  There is something flawed about the book that I simply cannot put my finger on—-it was a page turner but it didn’t excite me as much as other thrillers that I have read in the past.  I thought that the intertwining of the Holocaust was a nice touch by Simone St. James, but I thought that the ghost story was a bit over-kill.  Maybe it was the unrealistic hauntings that made me not want to grab this book every night before bed; I am not usually a fan of ghost stories unless they are the focus of the book.  This book had a ghost haunting more of “an aside” from the main plot of the book, and it took a while before I realized that the ghost really didn’t have much to do with the main plot.  The love story between Fiona and her police boyfriend was realistic in the sense that it was both flawed and true.  I thought that both of them were made for each other, yet the love story was also a side story.  The main plot was more of a “who-done-it” of the murder of a girl found buried in the grounds of an old school that was being renovated.  What brings Fiona into this mystery is that her sister was also found dead on the same campus many years ago.  All in all, I recommend this book; it is well written and the characters are believable. If you can get past the ghost interlude, this is a book worth reading.

Review of the start of Season 3 of ABC’s “American Housewife”

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If you are a parent, this is a great TV show for you to unwind after a long day. I’m not sure about the appeal to the teens/children , but every parent will get the jokes and the laughter at the day-to-day ups and downs of parenting that the show highlights. The main actress is Katy Mixon who plays character, Katie Otto, a hilarious housewife, now turned working mom this season, who “tells it like it is”.  The family is middle class but lives in a high income suburb for the school district, and the son’s (Oliver played by Daniel DiMaggio) best friend showcases the economic differences of the Otto family and most of the kids at the neighborhood school.  Katie is mom to three fun kids, each with  entertaining personalities (especially those of Oliver and Anna Kat) and also plays wife to loveable, patient husband, Greg, played well by Diedrich Bader. Greg also has his own idiosyncracies.  I feel that these unique traits of the family members and how Katie deals with them are what makes the show so real.  An added twist to the show’s storyline is Katie’s daily breakfast with the “girls” played by hilarious Ali Wong (the rich and eccentric Doris) and Carly Hughes (the faithful friend and lesbian Angela).  The side tracks that involve Katie re-hashing her latest problems with Dora and Angela are a hoot to watch.

The latest season , number three that began in September 2018, shows the hard transition of Katie going from stay-at-home mom to a working mom now that her kids are older.  She loves her job as an event coordinator, but also depicts the guilt that almost every mom has about not being home enough for her children.  The support that Greg gives Katie is perfection, almost unrealistic to be honest, and her work-life balance seems a bit uncomplicated compared to most moms in reality.  However, that being said, this is a sitcom, and no one wants to see a struggling working mom on TV when they have played one in reality all day.  American Housewife is entertaining and makes me smile throughout the show which, I believe, is the point of watching TV at the end of a long day.

Review of ABC’s “Single Parents”

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Disappointed.

The one word that keeps going through my head as I replay the premiere episode of Single Parents on ABC.  Despite a great cast of talent consisting of Leighton Meester and Brad Garrett, the jokes and one-liners simply did not take.  I found the story line predictable, and the characters had forced chemistry amongst each other.  I had such high hopes for this series, mainly because of the great cast, but the cast could not save the sinking ship of the first episode.  I’m not looking forward to the second episode since the central plot isn’t going to change.  Don’t recommend.