In true March fashion, this month came in like a lion. We began with the premiere of The Little Mermaid, Jr. and that kept me occupied for the first full week of the month. There was little time for anything else, between show days and recovering from show days. But slowly and steadily, I started to pull myself out of the comfy dark confines of the theater and back into the light of all my other interests.
My first book this month was from a tried and true author, Andrea Kane. I also consider her books one of my guilty pleasures (although, truth be told, I’m old enough now that I’m not really that guilty about any of my pleasures). Her books are pure easy reading: fairly predictable mystery/thrillers that I usually read in 1-2 sitting. But I adore them all. Kane is the creator of the Forensics Instincts series, which showcase an unconventional private investigation team whose methods aren’t always strictly legal. I’ve read all the books in the series.
For Dead in a Week, Kane does something a little different. She focuses on another, similar investigative team searching for the kidnapped daughter of the CEO of a large technology company. She has been used as a bargaining chip by another company to try and steal their secrets. The main character, Aiden, and his team are racing against the clock to figure out where she is, rescue her and investigate the case more in depth. The story moves along quickly, and in true Kane fashion, I finished the book in record time. Some of the original Forensics Instincts team is involved, but this veers from the usual. I actually liked this technique, even though I missed the original characters and am hoping they will be back for the next book.
Next up was another author catch up. I read/listened to The Witch Elm, by Tana French (I’ve been doing audio books lately since I can listen to them while sewing). French is another author that I have been a longtime fan of, and I always look forward to when her books come out. Her books also tend to follow related characters, and all narrated from the perspective of a member of the Dublin Murder Squad. However, this new book took a new approach and made the narrator the victim of a robbery. Where Kane created a new set of characters that I enjoyed, French did not. I wasn’t invested in anyone’s fate really, and I found myself missing the connection to the other books.
My main issue with this book was that it took SO LONG to get to the actual mystery. There was so much character development and set up that I found myself wondering what the story was, and had to go back and check the description. It was just SO slow! I ended up reading spoilers about who the murderer was before I finished the book because I got too impatient with the narrator going on and on and on.
It’s unfortunate when tried and true authors disappoint, but you can’t win ‘em all!
I originally thought this post was going to be just the two books, but I surprised myself with a surge at the end of month. I managed to get two more books in. Next up was The Perfect Mother, by Lucinda Berry. This book was crazy creepy. It told the story of Helen and Christopher Bauer and their adopted daughter Janie. Initially childless and unable to conceive, they come to adopt Janie after she was brought into the hospital after being abused in her biological home for many years. She has regressed in behavior – for example, she is six years old but still needs diapers. She quickly takes to Christopher, but ignores Helen and eventually becomes openly hostile towards her. Janie also throws tantrums and exhibits sociopathic behavior. Hannah grows increasingly frustrated as her husband refuses to see their adopted child as anything but a girl in need of help. Things get worse when Helen gets pregnant with their child, and feels she must protect the baby from Janie. Throughout the book, the reader will sympathize with Helen and be completely infuriated with Christopher.
The story moves along at a quick, thrilling pace and I read it in two sittings. It was one of those books that I needed to get to the end of before I could function doing other things, since I wanted to know what was going to happen.
Finally, we have one “read” in the audiobook category. I’ve been wanting to read Jenna Fischer’s The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide for a while not but just haven’t had time. Between sewing projects and driving upstate, I got this one in. I prefer audiobooks when it comes to books written by actors. It’s always more fun to hear the book in their voice, and Fischer’s was no exception. First off, let me just say how much I adore her to begin with. She is my life goal for being an adorable human being (have you seen her Instagram stories about bread?), and the book just encapsulated that. While I have no acting aspirations, it was still fun to listen to her advice about the field, and to hear a little insight into behind the scenes of her many projects, including The Office. Whether you’re an aspiring actor or just a Jenna Fischer or The Office fan, this book is a quick and enjoyable read (especially as an audiobook!).
March was a good month for my reading record this year, and helped keep me at an average of three books per month. However, I’m going to have to up that average if I want to make my goal of reading fifty books this year!