Sunday, March 4, 2018

Week in Review: March Mystery Madness

March came in like a lion in the Northeast. I hope my friends in that part of the country are safe and warm. Here in the Midwest, we experienced spring-like temperature and sunny skies. I am grateful for this little tease of better weather to come.

Thursday was the official start of March Mystery Madness - a  BookTube and GoodReads reading challenge that coordinates perfectly with my recent obsession with psychological thrillers.

While I don't plan to pressure myself to complete the full challenge or to read solely books in the genre during the month of March, I do have a running list of possible books and even managed to read (almost) two this week.

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware was the first book I finished for the challenge. Since I read this immediately after The Woman in the Window, I couldn't help but compare the two.

I liked both books. I enjoy an unreliable narrator. It holds my attention and keeps me guessing throughout the story. And inevitably, I am always surprised by the twist at the end.

I did find myself skimming the middle portion of this book. By this point, I knew the protagonist was suffering from PTSD ... I knew she was self-medicating with prescription pills and alcohol ... I knew she doubted herself. I was ready to move on to the climax.

BUT... the climax was worth slogging through the middle. And in the end, I rated the book a solid four stars.

I am about three-quarters through Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. I must confess, I am pleasantly surprised.

Originally I thought this book was going to be a light read: chick lit fluff that I could easily skim, enjoy, but remain unimpressed. I'm not sure where I manufactured such an inaccurate image.

I am loving this book.

I think the author does a fantastic job of developing the characters - especially the gossipy kindergarten moms of this quaint, upscale town.

But even more than that, I am fascinated by the author's style of writing. To create suspense (which in turn causes me to read "just one more chapter" long after I promised myself I would go to bed) .... she includes snippets of police testimony at the end of each chapter.

Now... we don't know the details of the police investigation. We just know that someone was killed at a school function, and everyone present has a different perspective of the people involved.

At this point in the book, I can easily see why four or five different characters could be the victim - and I can understand a plausible motive for four or five characters for committing the crime. I anticipate finishing the book today - and rating it five stars. And I will definitely add more titles by this author to the TBR list.

I'm not sure which book I will read next ... but if you are interested in learning the other titles on my March Mystery Madness list, here is my weekly video.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks :) I'm still not comfortable in front of the camera ... but I'm working on it.

  2. First of all, good job on the video! Loved it! OK, as to your books, well, I've read 3 of them. I can see how you would compare Ruth Ware's book with The Woman in the Window. There are certainly some similarities, as well as with The Girl On the Train (in my opinion anyway). Glad it ended up working well enough for you. Big Little Lies is a big favorite of mine and yes, I agree that there is a lot more character development than one might expect. I have not seen the TV adaptation as yet. Perhaps one day. Another Liane Moriarty book I might recommend to you is The Husband's Secret. I didn't like that one quite as well as BLL, but it's a good one.

    Still Life - read that one next!!! I am not 'paid' by Louise Penny to shout her name over and over when people mention her books, but I do so anyway. Ha! My very favorite mystery series - ever. And with all the crime novels and series I read, that's saying something. Hope you remember that it is a debut book and I will say that the series gets better and better and better.

    1. I LOVE this discussion, Kay! How I wish we lived closer and could meet in person to carry on such literary conversations :)

      I do plan to read My Husband's Secret soon ... in fact, I currently have it on hold at the local library. And you have convinced me to read Still Life (finally!!) as my next #MarchMysteryMadness (just as soon as I finish Jodi Picoult's The Storyteller)

  3. I haven't done a reading challenge in a long time other than long-term challenges. The latest I took on is the Classics Challenge, but it is set for five years. I felt like five years was a time frame I could do.

    Good luck to you!

    1. I like the idea of a long term challenge - especially one that involves such complex (and sometimes long) books.


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