BLOG: And Then I Read... by Merry at Annie's/Sharon

The owner of Annie's Book Stop in Sharon succumbs to her love of books & her need to discuss them with anyone who will listen. Reviews, comments, and, sometimes, industry news, as the mood strikes.

Yes, there are still people out here who read actual paper, tree-based books - and I'm one of them.

My name is Merry and I'm a bookaholic. I own and operate Annie's Book Stop in Sharon, MA, so I may (just may, mind you) be a bit prejudiced in favor of books, rather than e-readers...

This is an experimental blog to discuss books, reading, the industry, and the authors we've spent our lives learning to love. I'll read almost anything in print - books, magazines, cereal boxes - and am primed to share a quick review/opinion at the drop of a bookmark.

Today, I'll talk about one of my most-recent reads, if it pleases you. Or even if it doesn't, I'm afraid. As a sort of test-case, as it were. After 25 years in the bookselling business, it's hard NOT to discuss books, believe me - I spend my days (and nights) surrounded by them - paperbacks, hardcovers, new, used, tattered or pristine. If it looks interesting, I'll find time to read it, sometime/somewhere.  In fact, you'll probably find more commentaries on older books than on new ones - I'm always so far behind on my TBR (To Be Read) piles! But I have also been fortunate enough to be the recipient of many, many advance copies - and I'll share on those, too, at times.

The last book I completed was first in a mystery series -  the Mississippi-set "Trailer Park Mysteries". First book in the series is "Flamingo Fatale", wherein our heroine, Wanda Nell Culpepper, finds herself under suspicion for the murder of her good-for-nothing ex-husband, Bobby Ray. The local police are basing their investigation on the facts that Wanda Nell and Bobby Ray had a screaming fight the night of the murder, in full hearing of the neighbors; that Bobby Ray was found not far from Wanda Nell's home, at the edge of the trailer park; and, of course, the incriminating detail - Bobby Ray had the metal legs of one of Wanda's yard flamingoes thrust through his throat. Her only recourse is to recruit her friend Mayrene and investigate Bobby Ray's death herself - the deputies are positive they know who did it, after all, and aren't even looking elsewhere. Meanwhile Our Intrepid Heroine also has to deal with working two full-time jobs, her three children and a grandson, and a crazed alcoholic ex-mother-in-law who wants to see her rot in jail. I enjoyed reading this one - it's a typical civilian-sleuth cozy; but Wanda Nell and her family and friends are very well-drawn... they really come to life on the page (well, except for Bobby Ray - he just dies in the first act) and make you care about what happens next. 

Will I be looking for the remainder of the series? Absolutely. Recommended for: Cozy lovers who don't need to "see" every bloody detail, but want to follow every step of the plot to a successful conclusion.

Next book I'm looking forward to reading? Lois McMasters Bujold's brand new "Captain Vorpatril's Alliance" - newest entry in the fabulous, fascinating Vorkosigan science fiction saga. In fact, it's sitting right here in front of me, and it's all I can do to keep from calling a halt to this blogging thing and grabbing up my new treasure...

Umm, talk to you later, okay? Lois is calling!

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