In A is for Alibi, private investigator (and in my opinion, one of the best characters ever written) Kinsey Millhone, is hired by a woman named Nikki Fife to re-investigate the murder of her husband – a murder that she, Nikki, was imprisoned for.

I love this entire series and A is for Alibi is just as strong as those that follow. It’s action-packed, smart, funny and – most important of all – it will keep mystery-lovers guessing and turning pages at top speed to find out whodunit.

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If you’re a horror movie fan, you know the terrorverse well. The terrorverse is the universe of the horror movie and certain rules apply, as famously pointed out in the movie, Scream. How to Survive a Horror Movie goes further and the chuckles are in the recognition of the rules and tropes.

The more you like horror movies, the more you’ll enjoy this book. I flipped first to my favorite genre – the Haunted House – and the checklist for confirming a house is haunted had me chortling. It lists such things as “Do the faucets or showerheads bleed?” and “Does the temperature suddenly plummet if you discuss remodeling?”

My favorite line in the entire book is here, too: “When you reach into the refrigerator, does your arm appear in another part of the house?” The various chapters cover all the genres, from slashers to killer vehicles, to vampires, and demons. There are tips on monsters – terrestrial, ocean, and outer space, and what to do about them as well.

The second edition of How to Survive a Horror Movie – Seth Grahame-Smith has been updated to reflect the classic horror movies of the last ten years or so as well as all your favorite older ones.

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I love this book. Until now, it never occurred to me to fear top hats. Why should I be afraid of a top hat, after all? They always make Stevie Nicks look kinda cute. But alas, now I suddenly see what’s been hiding in plain sight all this time: Tops hats are scary. And so is Doctor Sleep. 

Thank you, Stephen King, for adding one more irrational fear in a very long list…

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The Secret Life of the Movies is a colorful and entertaining treat for movie lovers. It includes little known trivia from movies ranging from the silent era to brand new films. There are lots of movies of every type included and I was especially pleased to see my favorite genre – horror – well represented.

From the well-known fact that Halloween’s Michael Meyers mask was a spray-painted Halloween mask of Captain Kirk to the little known fact that when Harold Lloyd famously hung from the arm of the clock on a skyscraper (well, 9 stories up in actuality) he was really hanging on with only his left hand – he wore a glove over his mostly missing right hand – the book is a wealth of trivia.

This is the kind of book that makes a perfect gift for movie lovers. It would be great on a coffee table or perfect as bathroom reading. It’s written with humor and is quite entertaining.


The Remaking is a very original ghost story. Told primarily in first person present tense – my lease favorite writing format – it was nevertheless very hard for me to put down. It’s a page-turner.

The book opens in 1951 with a storyteller recounting a local urban legend about a witch and her daughter who were burned at the stake in the early 1900s. The tale is known as The Little Witch Girl of Pilot’s Creek. We then move to 1971 and meet Amber, a nine-year-old girl who has been cast in the role of the witch girl in a low budget horror flick. We remain in her head as the very creepy story of the production unfolds. Then, we jump to 1995.

The movie is being remade and Amber is now in her early thirties and playing the role of the mama witch. Finally, we move to the current day and enter the head of a podcaster who tracks middle-aged Amber down to find out what really happened during those cursed movie productions.

The book is very well written and quite original. The horror is psychological and – very possibly – supernatural. We’re primarily in Amber’s head. She put me in mind of Eleanor Vance in The Haunting of Hill House, but here the thoughts are unrelieved and unrelenting. It’s a disturbing read for fans of psychological horror.

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I could not put Old Bones down and was sorry to see it end. This is the first book in Preston & Child’s new Nora Kelly series and it absolutely rocks. I love how the authors combine history and fiction as well as their extensive knowledge of archaeology to deliver a page-turning read. This one is about a lost group of people from the Donner Party and combines reality with speculation and mystery in the best way possible. I couldn’t put it down! It will keep you guessing to the very end.

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Fast, furious, and fun, Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series is one of my all-time favorites. Any book in the series is an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon (as long as you don’t intend to relax too much – these books are seriously action-packed) and GUILTY PLEASURES is the one that kicks it off.

Give it a shot. I bet you’ll want to read the next one … and the next after that …

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