Weekly Mash-Up #91

It’s always fun to get book mail, especially when it’s the latest giveaway win!

One of the latest in my favorite anthology series, the nineteen stories include classic shorts from some well-known names like Elmore Leonard and Edna Buchanan, and some new-to-me authors; I’m looking forward to getting into this one!

The Week in Books

The Pvritan by Birgitte Margen — 4 out of 5 stars!

I stayed up waaaay too late finishing this but I just couldn’t put it down!  A fast-paced thriller where we have Boston homicide detective Marti and her partner, Neil, searching for a serial killer dubbed the wing maker…you may not want to know how that name came about!  It’s creepy, and with plenty of twists and turns to keep you going right up to the very last page.  (A quick note: the v in the title is not a misprint.  It’s based on the spelling used in the Geneva Bible, which is referenced throughout the story)  (13/31)

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia — 3.5 out of 5 stars

This was one of my most highly anticipated reads for 2020 and…well…

Let’s start with the positive.  Moreno-Garcia does a wonderful job of setting the perfect dark goth scene, complete with a  mysterious mansion and perpetual rain and fog.  And the horror twist was soooo not what I was expecting, which made it all the more entertaining!  However, the build-up just wasn’t there for me.  I like a good slow-burn in my stories, but this just burned out before it really got started.  However, I know when I eagerly await a book like I did with this one, I tend to get over-critical so this may just be me.    (14/31)

America’s First Female Serial Killer: Jane Toppan and the Making of a Monster by Mary Kay McBrayer — 3.5 out of 5 stars

Mary Kay McBrayer reimagines the life of notorious killer Jane Toppan, from her childhood up to her eventual capture and confession.  Note I use the word reimagine.  McBrayer has done a wonderful job with researching the notorious killer, including actual articles from the era and a portion of Jane’s confession, but the majority of the book is what I would call historical fiction based on true crimes.  Overall it’s a good read, but don’t expect to come away with any real  answers as to the “whys.”    (15/31)

Gruesome Missouri: Murder, Madness, and the Macabre in the Show Me State by Nick Vulich — 3.5 out of 5 stars

Nick Vulich takes us back in time and shares some of Missouri’s crime addled past.  These true crimes took place between the mid 1800’s and the early 1900’s, and range from unsolved murders to family feuds that make the Hatfield/McCoy situation look like child’s play.  The writing is straight-forward, pretty much a rehash of old newspaper articles and other documents, but if you’re a true crime buff it’s worth it to check it out.  (16/31)

The Science of Women in Horror: The Special Effects, Stunts, and True Stories Behind Your Favorite Fright Films by Meg Hafdahl and Kelly Florence — 3 out of 5 stars

I really don’t know how they came up with this title as it has nothing to do with a majority of the book!  This is more of a woman’s studies dissertation, with glimpses into women’s rights, pregnancy and motherhood, victimization, etc.  Compared to their earlier work, The Science of Monsters, the writing here comes across as dry, and by the half-way point they were starting to repeat themselves on certain topics.  It wasn’t terrible as it did have some interesting info and points of view, but it just wasn’t what I was expecting.  (17/31)


Have a spooktacular week and Happy Reading!

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