This is the second book in the Burning Cove series that is written by Amanda Quick (nom de plume of Jayne Ann Krentz). I didn't continue on with buying the series (although I might get it from the library) simply because the third book doesn't quite match to the first two covers in my opinion. It is quite pretty but I think these books hover around three stars for me so I saw no need to complete my collection.
Anyways, this book is the second book in the series but they're loosely collected and can be read as stand-alone books. I think that's my favorite type of series sometimes because I don't always enjoy the massive backlog of characters who start popping up as series get longer. It's exhausting.
The Midnight Assassin: Panic, Scandal, and the Hunt for America's First Serial Killer
I picked this book up pretty much the moment it was released. I kinda talked about it but I didn't ever review it. I really like Skip Hollandsworth's articles and writing style so even if I wasn't interested in the topic itself, I knew that this book was going to be right up my alley. Of course, it's a real life historical mystery, so it's absolutely something I'm interested in.
This book is about a series of murders that took place in Austin in the 1880s, after the Civil War. Some of these murders (if not all of them) are thought to have been perpetuated by one person--presumably America's first serial killer. This was around the same time as Jack the Ripper and like his/her British counterpart, these series of crimes remains unsolved. It's somewhat difficult to write a long book about a series of unsolved murders, committed in the past, with unreliable evidence, so Hollandsworth also brings in the changing culture of Texas (a Confederate state). He covers politics (Austin was the new capital city), politicians (quite a few Confederate soldiers came back to run the state), new inventions, society changes (how servants lived) and how crime was taken care of during this time period.
Skip Hollandsworth has about 30 pages of articles from Texas Monthly if that's of any interest. His newest (as of today) article is titled The Serial Killer of Laredo: The Serial Killer That Hid In Plain Sight Among the Border Patrol's Ranks. One of the most fascinating articles he wrote is called "Midnight in the Garden of East Texas," about how Bernie Tiede murdered Marjorie Nugunt. The town (Carthage, Texas) rallied around Bernie during his arrest and trial (and his release). Honestly, it's one of these true-crime cases that is just...bizarre.
The Bookshelf is located in Thomasville, Georgia and is an independent bookstore. They also have a book podcast which is nice to listen to at work. The two hosts have really soothing voices that go well when you're working or just chilling. Sometimes Podcasts are dramatic or overly loud at moments but not this one. They talk about book releases, what they're reading and what the bookstore is up to.
They mentioned their book subscription a couple of times on the podcast so I checked it out when Uppercase ended. The subscription is a choice of different employees at the bookshelf. I choose Oliva's picks as she also reads mysteries so I figured (hoped!) we have similar taste.
I also picked the option to have the books and little extra from the store. I don't need the extras but I tend to like bookstore options. I figure if I like Olivia's suggested book titles I can keep going with this one or just the book titles. I paid for a three month subscription to try out.
Museum Piece by Anne Stuart
I think Anne Stuart jumped to a different publishing house because now her backlist is being re-released in ebooks. I bought this book before then...and had to hunt it down online in order to get a physical copy. Anne Stuart tends to write romances in several genres and with different plots. I've found that I enjoy them...even if they're not my normal genre.
My favorite series from her is her Fire and Ice series because it's action-adventure/mystery/romance/international spy stuff. Her heroes tend to be bad. I've seen them listed as gamma heroes, which is a different take on the alpha/beta romance hero (not the weird incel nonsense in which they base male worthiness on a impractical 'study' on wolves). I had never heard of gamma heroes before I looked up this type of male romance counterpart--it was unlike anything I had read before. I don't always like every authors approach to them but I like Stuarts and they tend to make sense...her bad boys are villainous bad boys. Granted, in real life...I would assume these men need to be medicated. Heavily.
I probably don't really need to talk about any of that because this book doesn't fit into that category at all. This book is set within the art world (painting and curation) which is such an insane, slightly unregulated world anyways. The book was written in the 1980s, so that was fun to go back to (with the note that it's a romance from the 80s...so I wasn't sure what type of asshole/Gordon Gekko type male romance interest would show up).
I don't know if the ebook is different, sometimes with re-releases things change. I have only read the print version below.
Popsugar Summer 2019 Unboxing
I believe PopSugar has been a quarterly box for at least a year now. I do miss the monthly boxes but I'm sure they were a pain to prepare and send out every month. The quarterly model seems to sell out almost every time as well.
I wasn't overly keen on everything in this box at first but then after trying it out...I became a fan.
PopSugar does release detailed descriptions on all their boxes with (affiliate) links to buy the items.
Mishibox: June and July 2019
So at the end of July or beginning of August, Mishibox canceled my recurring subscription and went MIA. I'm not out any money and I do know they're moving to NYC and their shop is closed but like...I'd like to know more. When are they coming back for instance?
I haven't heard of anything from them since so...that's a bit odd. Complete radio silence.
I can't recommend at the moment but before they were pretty reliable and the one time I had to contact customer support they were fantastic. So no idea what's happening but uh...I have a skincare stash. So I'm okay. Which, of course, is only important to me.
Strand Book Hook-Up Unboxing
I only did one quarter of the Strand to try out. It's a bit pricey but has little extras and two books (one hardback, signed). They also unveil their main book pick for the quarter--which is nice because you still get a surprise book but (in my case) it's good to know if its the type of mystery I want to read.
They also have different genres (NINE total), including 'mystery and suspense', 'fiction', 'Young Adult', 'sci-fi and fantasy', and 'political and nonfiction'. I choose the 'Mystery and Suspense' because that is my favorite genre and the book they unveiled looked pretty good.
For 'spoilers' for all genres, click here
For past books in the Mystery and Suspense, click here
For the main Strand Book Hook-Up page, click here
So this hurricane did a doozy on everyone didn't it? It legit just chilled in the Bahamas. Didn't move at all. For DAYS. Insane.
It didn't not go to Alabama. It was never going to go to Alabama. Anyone with a brain would note that.
Everything is flooded here but I have internet now so that's exciting enough. I've also got an emergency meeting with my volunteer group tonight to mobilize for the food pantry and homeless shelter in the area. So I'm not sure how these posts are going to go up. I might just try an catch up on all my sub-boxes.
For this book, it's a Shakespeare work of course (slightly abridged) but written using manga/graphics/comics. I love this type of work because I think it's a great way for people to be introduced to Shakespeare.