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Crime Waves

March 28, 2024

We’re not quite to summer yet, so the coming heat wave is still on hold. To keep us entertained until then, I’m offering you a literary crime wave. Pick your poison and settle in because the searing temps and eye-watering humidity will be here before we know it.

What’s a girl to do when her best friend gets framed for a stealing a necklace from a museum? That’s right. She puts together a crew to go out and steal it back from the fence that is currently holding it. Luckily, the fence’s daughter is having a wedding. Who doesn’t need a wedding planner? Unluckily, they are also a mob family. Sounds fun, right? I really enjoyed the back half of this one. Honestly, it took me a minute to get into it. I felt like the main character spent the whole first half freaking out and yelling at people (or maybe that was just the reader I was listening to). Once she settled down, I couldn’t stop listening to this. Check out the audio or the print - either way, this one is bound to suck you in.

A young woman wakes up in the middle of a Paris street with a bump on her head and no idea who she is. But when people start shooting, she knows she needs to figure out fast. I think I may have a bit of amnesia as well, because it wasn’t until I got towards the end of the book that I realized the title was a play on Matt Damon’s The Bourne Identity. Duh. Anyway, the story did not remind me of the movie at all - which was good. I listened to the audio book and I found it fascinating. Once I started it, I think I finished in about three days. Highly recommend this one if you are up for international hijinks with cute spy type people.

This is a fun cozy-esque series. The murders are secondary to all the great food and baked goods that make appearances. Since this is a series (Tita Rosie's Kitchen), you probably should read them in order - starting with Arsenic and Adobo, Homicide and Halo-Halo, and Blackmail and Bibingka before this fourth installation. If you are detecting a Pacific Islander flair, the family at the heart of Tita Rosie’s kitchen is Filipino. These books haven’t changed my life, but they are a fun distraction if you are just looking for a light whodunit. I highly recommend the audio version because the reader does a great job voicing the Filipino aunties. 

I don’t usually read whodunits like this one, but it was good for a change of pace. In 1997, Amber gives birth to a baby on prom night. Then twenty years later, she moves home to Baltimore and finds herself drawn back into that world. It was interesting how the author wove the characters together in both the past and present plotlines. I have to admit that as the present plotline reached 2020, it stressed me out a bit. The characters kept saying, “Oh it’s gonna get better” or “it will be over by summer.” To be fair, that’s exactly what we were all saying at the time, but all I could think was, “Oh honey, you have no idea.” I chose the audio version, but NPL also as print if you prefer.

A word of caution: if you chose the audio versions of these, I don’t recommend listening to them while walking because you’ll start to think everyone you pass is out to get you (or maybe that’s just me.) But if you need a bit of a caper to spice things up, these will do the trick nicely.

Happy crime-waving…
:) Amanda

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Amanda is a classically-trained pianist who loves to read. Like any good librarian, she also has two cats named after Italian cities. Amanda spends her free time sitting in Nashville traffic, baking, and running the Interlibrary Loan office at the Nashville Public Library.