Kell's Reading Realm

Life is short, read fast! 


Turn of the Key

The Turn of the Key - Ruth Ware

When she stumbles across the ad, she's looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious "smart" home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn't know is that she's stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn't just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn't just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn't even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she's made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn't always ideal. She's not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she's not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.


My take: Another one I found hard to put down but the ending... ugh!


Death by the Dozen

Death by the Dozen - Jenn McKinlay

Still love this series! Unfortunately I don’t have a square to use for it but I enjoy listening to this series to and from work. 

Reading progress update: I've read 128 out of 516 pages.

The Turn of the Key - Ruth Ware

So I put Frost aside for the time being because it was just a bit too... I don't even know how to describe it. Childish, simple? I know it's a YA novel but most YA novels read like adult novels. Maybe it's the whining narrator of Frost that is getting on my nerves.  I will still give it a chance but I got The Turn of the Key from my library and wanted to dig in! 


Reading this one for International Woman of Mystery as Ruth Ware is from Sussex, on the south coast of England. 




First Bingo!!

 Three across 


Called 09/26/19: In the dark dark woods - In a dark dark wood by Ruth Ware (finished 09/08/19)

Called 09/08/19: Black Cat - Black Cat Crossing by Kay Finch (finished 09/17/19) 

Called 10/01/19 Free Space - Buttercream Bump Off by Jenn McKinlay (finished 10/07/19) 

Called 09/18/19: Cozy Mystery - Dying for Devil's Food by Jenn McKinlay (finished 09/26/19)

Called 09/16/19: Modern Noir TRANSFIGURED TO Psych - The Party by Robyn Harding (finished 10/06/19)

Buttercream Bump Off

Buttercream Bump Off  - Jenn McKinlay

Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura's Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery is gearing up for Valentine's Day. Unfortunately someone has iced Baxter Malloy on his first date with Mel's mother. Now Mom's a suspect, and Mel and Angie need to find time around frosting to dig into the man's shady past and discover who served him his just desserts.


My take: The "mystery" behind this one wasn't as good as the others that I have read, but the underlying stories concerning Mel, Angie, Tate and Joe are definitely worth the read. We get to meet Marty in this book, and he will become a main characters later on. It was nice to read how they met him.  I am still enjoying this series quite a lot. 


Using this for my free square which will give me my first bingo! 


Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 396 pages.

Frost - Marianna Baer

Starting this but can't decide whether I am going to use it for dark academia or supernatural... I will have to decide where it fits better when I get more into it. 



The Party - #2 Transfiguration Spell

The Party: A Novel - Robyn Harding

In this stunning and provocative domestic drama about a sweet sixteen birthday party that goes horribly awry, a wealthy family in San Francisco finds their picture-perfect life unraveling, their darkest secrets revealed, and their friends turned to enemies.

One invitation. A lifetime of regrets.

Sweet sixteen. It’s an exciting coming of age, a milestone, and a rite of passage. Jeff and Kim Sanders plan on throwing a party for their daughter, Hannah—a sweet girl with good grades and nice friends. Rather than an extravagant, indulgent affair, they invite four girls over for pizza, cake, movies, and a sleepover. What could possibly go wrong?

But things do go wrong, horrifically so. After a tragic accident occurs, Jeff and Kim’s flawless life in a wealthy San Francisco suburb suddenly begins to come apart. In the ugly aftermath, friends become enemies, dark secrets are revealed in the Sanders’ marriage, and the truth about their perfect daughter, Hannah, is exposed.

Harkening to Herman Koch’s The Dinner, Christos Tsiolkas’s The Slap, and Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies, The Party takes us behind the façade of the picture-perfect family, exposing the lies, betrayals, and moral lapses that neighbors don’t see—and the secrets that children and parents keep from themselves and each other.


My take: There was not ONE character in this book that I liked, not one. They were all pretty terrible. Unfortunately, I have run into a person that resembles almost everyone in this book. Pretty sad for humanity. Still, it was another book that was a page turner and I finished it really quickly. There was still more of the story to tell and I wish it had went on a bit longer... but then again I was also glad I didn't need to read about all the dysfunctional people anymore.


Amazon listed this is a Psychological Thriller so, I am using this one for Psych... transfiguring my Modern Noir square to Psych. 




Where the Crawdads Sing

Where the Crawdads Sing - Delia Owens

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.

Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.


My take: I read this book in one day. I couldn't put it down. I am still all over the place with emotions. I loved it and highly recommend it to everyone!! 


Lord of the Wings

Lord of the Wings - Donna Andrews

The brilliantly funny Donna Andrews delivers another winner in the acclaimed avian-themed series that mystery readers have come to love. The nineteenth book in her New York Times best-selling series continues to surprise and delight in this next knee-slapping adventure featuring Meg Langslow and all the eccentric characters that make up her world.

It's another holiday and Mayor Randall Shiffley has turned Caerphilly, Virginia into Spooky City, USA. The residents are covering every window with cobwebs and roaming the streets in costume to entertain the tourists, and Meg's grandfather is opening a new "Creatures of the Night" exhibit in the zoo.

When a suspicious fire burns the Haunted House and a body is found, Meg Langslow surrenders her home as a safer party venue. But all too soon a real body mars the town's creepy fun, and it's up to Meg to save Halloween.

Like Meg Langslow, the blacksmith heroine of her series, Donna Andrews was born and raised in Yorktown, Virginia. She introduced Meg to readers in her Malice Domestic Contest-winning first mystery, Murder with Peacocks, and readers are still laughing. This novel swept up the Agatha, Anthony, Barry, and a Romantic Times award for best first novel, and a Lefty for funniest mystery.

With Lord of the Wings, readers can look forward to another zany Meg Langslow mystery — this one filled with Halloween spirit and suspense.


My take: Another fun mystery series. I love Meg and her family and the zany characters that live in Caerphilly. I'd love to live in a town like that! Just like the other cozy mystery series I am reading, I need to go back to the beginning. 


Using this for the Halloween bingo square. 



Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 384 pages.

Where the Crawdads Sing - Delia Owens

My co-worker just lent me this book (I'm about 100th in line at my library). It's making the rounds at work and they all say they can't put it down. I'm excited to start it. I only have a little bit more of Lord of the Wings. I am going to take Themis-Athena's Garden of Books lead and use it for Fear the Drowning Deep! 


Kell's Reading Realm's 2019 Bingo Tracking Post

Reblogged from Kell's Reading Realm :





New Release - Trouble on the Books by Essie Lang (finished 09/01/19)

Murder Most Foul - Cleaning the Gold by Karin Slaughter and Lee Child (finished 09/10/19)

Monsters - Monsters Beware by Jorge Aguirre and Rafael Rosado (finished 09/17/19)

13 - Bunnicula Meets Edgar Allan Crow by James Howe (finished 09/22/19) 

Genre: Suspense - We, The Jury by Robert Rotstein (finished 09/20/19) 

Genre: Mystery (transfigured from Shifters) - Sprinkle with Murder by Jenn McKinlay (finished 10/01/19)  




09/04/19: Amateur Sleuth - Murder at the Lighthouse by Frances Evesham (finished 09/06/19) 

09/08/19: Black Cat - Black Cat Crossing by Kay Finch (finished 09/17/19) 

09/22/19: Spellbound - Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnus Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett (finished 09/03/19)

09/24/19: Dead Lands - Great Ball of Light by Evan Kuhlman (finished 09/23/19)

09/18/19: Cozy Mystery - Dying for Devil's Food by Jenn McKinlay (finished 09/26/19)

09/26/19: In the dark dark woods - In a dark dark wood by Ruth Ware (finished 09/08/19)



CALLED, BUT NOT READ (strikethrough if not on my card, * if read):

09/01/19: Ghost stories

09/02/19: Genre: Horror

09/03/19: Creepy Crawlies


09/05/19: American Horror Story

09/06/19: Dystopian Hellscape

09/07/19: Fear Street


09/09/19: Relics & Curiosities

09/10/19: A Grimm Tale

09/11/19: Stranger Things 

09/12/19: Creepy Carnivals

09/13/19: Country House Mystery

09/14/19: Classic Horror

09/15/19: Supernatural

09/16/19: Psych

09/17/19: Darkest London


09/19/19: Southern Gothic

09/20/19: Read by Flashlight or Candlelight

09/21/19: Modern Noir


09/23/19: Dark Academia


09/25/19: Slasher Stories 


09/27/19: It was a dark and stormy night

09/28/19: Paint it Black

09/29/19: Truly Terrifying

09/30/19: Locked room mystery

10/01/19: Free Square (Butter Cream Bump Off by Jenn McKinlay)

10/02/19: Full Moon 






























END! :( 



Halloween - Lord of the Wings by Donna Andrews

Cryptozoologist TRANSFIGURED to Doomsday - Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins 

International Woman of Mystery - Turn the Key by Ruth Ware

Supernatural - Floating Staircase by Ronald Malfi

Diverse Voices - A Study In Scarlet Women: The Lady Sherlock Series by Sherry Thomas

Full Moon

Darkest London - Bloodline by Dick Francis (maybe) or The Hollow of Fear by Sherry Thomas 

Modern Noir

Dark Academia

Shifters TRANSFIGURED to Genre: Mystery -  Sprinkle with Murder by Jenn McKinlay

Baker Street Irregulars

Fear the Drowning Deep - Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Serial Spree Killer - The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter 

Free Square




Reading progress update: I've listened 57 out of 395 minutes.

Buttercream Bump Off  - Jenn McKinlay

Starting book 2 in a Cupcake Bakery Mystery. I love the underlying stories as much as the main stories in this series. 


Using this for my free space. 


Sprinkle with Murder and #1 Transfiguration Spell

Sprinkle with Murder - Jenn McKinlay

Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are finally living out their dream as the proud owners of the Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery. But their first big client is a nightmare. She's a bridezilla who wants 500 custom cupcakes for her wedding.

When Mel stumbles upon the bride-to-be dead-by-cupcake, she becomes the prime suspect. To save themselves and their business, the ladies need to find the real murderer, before the cupcake killer ices someone else.


My take: I love this series. I am finally going back and starting from the beginning. It's so nice to read something light and fun. I love all the characters especially Mel and Joe.


I'm using my first transfiguration spell! 


Reading progress update: I've read 172 out of 307 pages.

Lord of the Wings - Donna Andrews

Reading progress update: I've listened 234 out of 385 minutes.

Sprinkle with Murder - Jenn McKinlay

Reading progress update: I've listened 117 out of 385 minutes.

Sprinkle with Murder - Jenn McKinlay