Saturday, February 29, 2020

Book Review: Coded For Murder

Genre: Murder Mystery / Amateur Sleuth Publisher: DSB Mysteries Publication Date: September 26, 2019
Number of Pages: 358 pages

Jade O’Neal is a senior at West Texas A & M University in Canyon, Texas. She’s on track to graduate with highest honors and a degree in history until she is accused of murder. She juggles her busy school and work schedule around taking care of an overgrown Rottweiler and being questioned by police until she finds a series of clues hidden in puzzle form. Time is against her as she follows the clues to find the true identity of the murderer while avoiding arrest and her own murder.


 AmazonKobo iBooks  Barnes and Noble  Autographed Copies

Another great murder-mystery book that was right up my ally. Coded For Murder was an excellent read that reminded me why I love this genre so much!

I went into this book looking for a mystery to solve and that is exactly what you will receive. There is a challenge with reading this book because there were just so many possibilities on who the murderer or accomplices could be. I also appreciated all the side characters coming into this story because it just built up my suspicion on who the suspect could be or who may have been working for them. Could the suspect be Jade's obnoxious roommate Heather? Could it be the boynext door to Heather, Logan Rhodes? Could it be Uncle Erik's new lady friend? It was a big jigsaw puzzle putting people in each place and putting the clues together, which also went so well with the cover of this book. 

I also loved the way the author created her scenery. She focused a lot on each character attribute and the settings where simple conversations took place, like the diner that Jade and her uncle would eat at or Jade's walking commute at the beginning with Teddy,  that it was easy to visualize the story from beginning to end. Any reader can definitely appreciate that.

Overall, I would give this book a 5 out of 5 stars. Very good plot, dialogue, characterization and everything you want in a murder-mystery book. It was also just a fun time reading this story and you can't go wrong with that. If you're looking for something in this genre and something based in Texas, look no further! Until next time, Happy Reading!

Dianne Smithwick-Braden is a native Texan raised on the family farm near Vernon, Texas. She seasons her mysteries with a little romance, a dash of adventure, and a touch of humor. She currently resides in Amarillo, Texas with her husband, Richard. 

GRAND PRIZE: Signed copy of Coded for Murder, hot chocolate mix, mug, crossword puzzle book, mini-notepads, M&Ms, clip-on book light TWO WINNERS:  Signed copies of Coded for Murder February 25-March 5, 2020
(US Addresses Only)


   blog tour services provided by

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Book Review: Big Ten Ones by Janet Evanovich

Hey fellow book lovers! It has been a minute since I have reviewed or even read a Janet Evanovich book. If you are new to my blog, I am a big Janet/Stephanie Plum fan. I have been reading this series for years now and I'm only on the 10th book (technically 11th since I read a Christmas special book). I've been reading a lot of different books by various authors, but there's just something about the winter season that makes me want to read some more Stephanie Plum. Here is my full review on Big Ten Ones by Janet Evanovich.

A Little Bit of Background 

Janet Evanovich is a New York Times Best Selling author for plenty of her works. Her Stephanie Plum series started back in 1994. This book came out in 2004 and follows directly after the 9th book and Christmas special. 

This time, our heroine faces a notorious gang in Trenton who wants her dead. Morelli warns that she's in too deep, and Stephanie more than agrees. But the gang won't let her bow out. With Ranger missing in action, Stephanie has to go into hiding-and stumbles on to the secret location of Ranger's "bat cave." Is it the perfect place to disappear? Or will she get into more trouble than she knows by delving into his private world? The tenth Stephanie Plum novel is filled with Evanovich's trademark high stakes, high adventure, high wit, and sly comedy.

A Little Review

This is another typical Stephanie Plum novel with our main character getting into trouble and someone going after her and she somehow survives it all. Typical Stephanie formula, but it was still very enjoyable. 

If you have read a Stephanie Plum book, I am very much a Morelli fan, but Ranger is a very close, slightly there, second choice. He just seems more of the in and out type, where Morelli has turned into the in and definitely in kind of guy. This 10th book has really highlighted this dynamic and has defined these two characters very well. And even though I am a Morelli fan, I was rooting for Ranger, just slightly and very silently. I mean, how could you not? 

This book is just another great read for anyone looking for a fun, compelling and laugh out loud story. So many funny moments, I felt a little bad for the other people in my work building who were in the tenant lounge while I was reading. It was just too funny not to laugh!

I don't really have any criticism for this book. It is well-written and even though it's the 10th one in the series, Janet still didn't (hasn't) lost it's touched.


Overall, I recommend giving any Stephanie Plum book a read! I think you should start off from the beginning though, and then you'll be sucked into an on-going series that's full of fun and hookers and mystery! Until next time, Happy Reading!