8/5/15

Hump Day Classic Movie: The Trouble with Harry (1955)

I've been using my DVD Netflix subscription this summer like crazy, catching up on my suspense and film noir queue. (My internet is too pokey to reliably stream). So far, the highlight has been this dark comedy with a very young Shirley MacLaine.

I like to think of this as the original Weekend at Bernies. Poor Harry is dead, and so many people in this small town are trying to cover up his death. He is stumbled upon—literally—by person after person. Instead of getting help, they are all convinced they somehow accidentally killed him. 

The Trouble with Harry is part screwball comedy, part quirky small town, and part mystery. Hitchcock goes a little over-the-top with the physical humor, and the romantic part of the story irritates me. No, wait...that's MacLaine. I've never been a fan. There's enough sly humor, though, to make me chuckle. I really enjoyed how genre-defying the movie was. There aren't many out there like this one.

The Netflix description: Alfred Hitchcock's second American comedy demonstrates the director's flair for gallows humor. The trouble with Harry is ... he's "expired," and the residents of a quaint New England tourist spot just can't seem to get rid of him. Shirley MacLaine makes her film debut, and that's Jerry Mathers (the Beave himself) as the bewildered boy. See if you can spot Hitchcock in his customary cameo (hint: he's strolling past a limo).

You can find it on Netflix or on Amazon here.

7/18/15

TBR Challenge Review: Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett

Format: mass market
Pub Date: January 2014
Publisher: Berkley Sensation (Penguin Random)
Length: 317 pages
FTC: Received for free at RT15

After last month's outlandishly early scheduling of my TBR Challenge post, I should have known I would fail at being punctual this month. This time, it was me going on vacation and forgetting the darn book at home. Oh well. The theme for the challenge was Lovely RITA, and I was so happy to find one right at the top of the TBR pile from RT back in May.  Bitter Spirits is up for a RITA this month at the RWA conference.

Although this is a paranormal historical romance, I think the "woo woo" stuff would get a pass from some with paranormal fatigue. There are no werewolves or vampires here. There are, as the name hints, some ghosts and spirits. There is also some Chinese mysticism, some seance-y stuff, and other more common paranormal elements. But it is shapeshifter and vamp free.

I've been pretty excited to try this series because it is something fairly outside of the norm in terms of historical romance. It's set in San Francisco which is so very rare. If you can find a US set historical, they're usually New York or Texas. It takes place during Prohibition (yay!) and has all of that jazz age cool going for it. The hero, a bootlegger,  is first generation American from a Swedish family and the heroine is an independent woman making a living as a stage medium. Everything about this book is fresh and appealed to me.


6/17/15

TBR Challenge Review: Dragon Actually by G.A. Aiken

Format: ebook
Pub Date: 2008
Publisher: Samhain/Zebra (print)
Length: 352 pages (includes prequel novella)
FTC: Purchased myself

Ok, so I cheated with this one. I DO have this book in print somewhere in my TBR, but since that book is currently boxed up and inaccessible, I bought a copy last month in e. *hangs head in shame*
But once I do find the print copy, I think I can finally let go of it, share it, pass it on.

I have several G.A. Aiken books in my TBR. The newer ones are *not* boxed up, and I suspect I'll be reading those shortly. This one I picked up because my RT Convention roommate shamed me into it. I LOVE Shelly Laurenston's books. And yet, for some reason, I had not read her as G.A. Aiken. There's no real explanation other than they didn't really appeal the first few times I picked them up. I love funny books, and this author is ALWAYS funny.

6/1/15

Brokedown Cowboy by Maisey Yates

Format: ebook, mass market paperback
Pub Date: May 26, 2015
Publisher: Harlequin
Length: 368 pages
FTC: ARC courtesy of the publisher

It's a happy, happy day when I get to read a book by Maisey Yates. She has a very strong writing voice which is funny, emotional, and not just a little bit sarcastic. Most are also on the lighter side, although that is not the case with this one.  All of that is to say that I tend to start every Maisey book predisposed to like it. It's also a friends-to-lovers story which are like catnip for me.

This is the second book in the Copper Ridge trilogy. I've read the first one, but of course didn't review it because I'm the laziest blogger on the planet. Or busiest. Whatever. We meet most of the characters in book one, but this is definitely a stand alone novel.

Gifts for the Baker