Tag Archives: Janet Evanovich

Four BOOK HOOKS on Friday

Book Hooks

Four BOOK HOOKS on Friday
Book Hooks . . . also known as, the things that attract me to a book before I read the synopsis teaser.  There are so many books on the market, and even though you can narrow down your choices by interest and reading the backs of the books, the sheer number is still rather daunting.  As I have mentioned previously, I love to wander bookstores to see what might strike my fancy, and I started to think about what attracts me to pick up one book to peruse the back synopsis and not pick up another.  To use the old cliche, I guess I do check out books by their covers.  So, here are four things that I look at BEFORE I read what the book is about.  A shout-out to my youngest for coming up with the title BOOK HOOKS; thank you, peanut!

I almost always look first at the author of a book . . . of course it helps that most stores arrange their books alphabetically by author!!  Although, I noticed recently, that a local Barnes and Noble separated cozy mysteries from other mysteries.  Hmmm.  “Cozy” mysteries is somewhat of an ambiguous term and I don’t like that they are telling me what is cozy and what isn’t.  Rather annoys me; kind of like when they pushed the mysteries to the back of the store.  Kind of gets my goat . . . but I digress.

I have a list . . . of course I have a list . . . of about 50 favorite authors that I follow and read regularly. Sometimes I add new ones and sometimes I have to break up with them, but if I see a book by one of “my” authors, I am going to pick it up.  Now, I don’t always read every series by each of the authors, but I am more likely to try something new from an author I like.  I do this with movies too; I follow certain actors, regardless of the film itself.  Richard Armitage is in a movie . . . yup, I’m gonna see it.

Cover Art
I suppose this is the cliche at its finest, but if a book has a castle and a character in period clothing, I am going to pick it up!  I know that was how I found both of my two most favorite authors – Anna Lee Huber and C. S. Harris.  Huber’s first cover indicates a period mystery set in Scottish Highlands (uh, yeah!) and Harris’ cover shows a darker, more gothic environment.

I will admit that the cartoon-y, cutesy covers tend to turn me off though and some books covers just don’t give the right feel for the book.

I appreciate a good play on words and enjoy a creative title.  Kate Carlisle’s Bibliophile series attracted me with the title Homicide in Hardcover, and I enjoyed the contradiction of Anne Cleeland’s Murder in Thrall.  A newer series by Loretta Ross (check out my review next week!) has Death in every title, but it is the name of main character.  Most of Rhys Bowen’s Molly Murphy mysteries are Irish phrases and song titles – In Like Flynn and Oh Danny Boy.

Because I tend to be a bit detailed oriented . . . you kind of figured that out, right . . . I really enjoy titles that have a pattern.  C. A. Belmond’s series all starts with “A Rather . . .,” as in A Rather Lovely Inheritance and A Rather Curious Engagement.  Juliet Blackwell’s witchcraft series titles all have clothing references in the title: A Toxic Trousseau and Hexes and Hemlines.  When I see a series of titles on the shelf that seem to follow a pattern, I will pick them up.  Sue Grafton’s Alphabet Mystery series and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series appeal to my sense of organization.

Finally, I look at endorsements.  I figure that if an author that I enjoy likes the book, there is a reasonable chance that I might also enjoy it.  I will get especially excited when more than one of my favorite authors comments on the book!  Both Anna Lee Huber and Deanna Raybourn commented on the Simone St. James books and that was clincher for me to try her out.  I have often wondered though how an author is asked to comment on another author’s book; is there an insiders secret code?  Hmmm.  Might have to research that.  Finally, once I have found a possibility based on one of these four draws, I will then read the synopsis.

Of course the real challenge starts next; how do I choose which to purchase from the stack that I have assembled?!  Ah, the life of a reader!  How about you?  What attracts . . . or detracts . . . you from picking up a book?

Armed and Fabulous

Armed and Fabulous

Title:  Armed and Fabulous (Lexi Graves Mystery 1)
Author:  Camilla Chafer
Publisher:  Audacious
Publication Date:  2012
ISBN:  978-1481113700

Book Summary:
Lexi Graves has a determined and inquisitive mind, although it doesn’t seem to be helping her much in her current position of “doormat of the office totem pole,” aka, an office temp at Green Hand Insurance.  Luckily her strong research and writing skills enable her to finish her assignments quickly which gives her extra time to online window shop.  However, Adam Shepard, her manager, seems to be on to her and although his flirting is innocent enough, there is definitely more to his story.

When Lexi stays a few minutes late to print out a report for the vice president, Martin Dean, she learns that overtime is not worth it.  When she delivers the report to his office, she discovers Martin in the center of a fraud investigation and in a pool of his own blood.  Recruited by a joint task force, Lexi works undercover to learn where the money has disappeared and who is responsible.  From baby showers to sex clubs to dark alleys with the loosely defined “help” from her boss, her nosy cop family, and a mysterious stranger, Lexi decides she must take some action and find answers to maintain her sanity and her survival.

Book Commentary:
I have to admit that I am a little embarrassed to be writing about this book.  Let me just say it is a bit suggestive, a bit raunchy at times, and really quite inappropriate.  And . . . it was funny!  Very funny!!  If you are looking for something that requires little to no thought, is fairly predictable, but will make you laugh out loud, check the Lexi Graves books out.  Although not number one on my list of “to reads,” yeah, I will be checking out the next book in the series.

Who might like this book:
If you like Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, you will enjoy Lexi Graves.  I don’t think the characters are quite as well-defined and the plot isn’t as tight as the Stephanie Plum books; however, it has been a long time since I read the first book in that series.  I think Lexi is worth a try.  There are eight total books in the series so far; the last three are ebooks only.

Here’s the entire series in order:
Armed and Fabulous
Who Glares Wins
Command Indecision
Shock and Awesome
Weapons of Mass Distraction
Laugh or Death
Kissing in Action
Trigger Snappy