This Book Was So Good, I Finished It in a Day

The premise of this book is – what happens when a reviewer gives a one-star review and suspects that the author might be stalking her?

I can’t speak for all book reviewers, but I feel like I must give an honest review of each book. I also don’t want to discourage or malign an author. So far, I have never given a one-star review.

I have given a two-star review once but never a one-star review. To be honest, I didn’t feel good about the two-star review either. If I struggle to finish a book, it will go on my DNF shelf on Goodreads. It might be something I am just not in the mood to read right now or it might be something I never want to see again.

Thankfully we don’t all have the same tastes, and I may not like something that someone else loves, that is fine.

If I did give a bad review, I would hope that I could do it in a constructive way that was not personal.

If it sounds like I might be a little paranoid about giving a bad review, you might be right and it’s all because of reading this book.


Emma Carpenter is house sitting in a lake home on an isolated beach in Washington state with her dog, hiding out. She spends her days reading cheap e-books. Either .99 cent or free because that is all her budget will allow. We don’t know why she is hiding out. When she isn’t reading, she is communicating with her only neighbor who lives a quarter of a mile away.

They communicate with white boards and nautical telescopes. They play a lot of hangman. Deek the old neighbor guy always wins. Deek is curious about Emma and invites her to meet in person and have some tea. She declines.

We know that Emma is depressed, and she keeps a backpack handy, filled with rocks. She also dreams about walking out into the waves with that backpack on and drowning herself.

If things weren’t bad enough. Deek recommends a book to Emma called Murder Mountain. She reads it and it is the worst book she has ever read. Now Emma has never written a book review before but because she is not in a good place, she writes a scathing review.

Shortly after she receives a response from the author who orders her to take the review down. She refuses. He responds with a few scathing remarks as well. She deletes their conversation and figures that’s the end of that.

If that was the only thing she had to worry about, she would be okay but lately she has been finding it hard to sleep. She has woken up a couple times in the past few nights and she swears she saw someone standing in her bedroom, watching her.

She sometimes hears the second bathroom toilet flush when she knows she is the only one there. And the owner’s teenage son’s room is just creepy.

When the motion detector lights start going off at night and Deek’s ring camera catches a man with a devil mask Emma starts feeling less safe. Deek contacts Jules, the home’s owner and Jules lets Emma know that she ordered a stun gun to be delivered.

Eventually we find out what is going on but that last quarter of the book had so many twists that I kept thinking I had it figured out but then something totally unexpected happened again and again.

I read this book in one day so you can guess that I was up late. I literally had heart palpitations so bad, I had to put it down and finish it in the morning. It was like that feeling you get when you are on a roller coaster going down that first big hill. You can’t wait to go down it, but you wonder if you will survive. Since I wear an Apple watch, trust me, I checked my heart rate, and I had reason to be concerned.


This is one of two books I’ve read so far this year, that I have said were my favorite books and to be honest it is still a toss-up, but I think this one may be inching into first place. I literally could not put this book down until I had finished it and then I felt bad it was over. This is one that I will read again. I gave this book five stars.

If you are looking for escape and you love a little mystery, suspense and tension, you really should read this book. I had never heard of this author, but I am so glad that I have now. Look forward to his backlist. He will probably become an automatic buy for me now.

Title: The Last Word

Author: Taylor Adams

Published: April 25, 2023

Category: Mystery Thriller

Pages: 340

Rating: Goodreads rated 3.97 stars

Setting: Washington Coast

About the Author:

I don’t have a lot of information about Taylor Adams. Here is the bio on the back of this book:

Taylor Adams is the author of several acclaimed thrillers including Hairpin Bridge and No Exit. No Exit has been published in thirty-two languages and was recently released as a Hulu Original film. Adams lives in Washington State.

I watched a couple of YouTube video interviews. He is married with a child, and he writes full-time. Also, he used his own dog, Laika’s name as Emma Carpenter’s dog. He originally planned to use it as a place holder until he could decide on a name but then changed his mind and decided to keep his dog in the book.

Coming Soon:

I have read so many good books this month and I have so many more to read. My next review will be Rose Cottage – by Mary Stewart.

I attended another AVID (Authors Visiting in Des Moines) book event this week. The author was Emily St John Mandel. Her most recent book is Sea of Tranquility. It is not a genre I generally read (metaphysical speculative fiction) but I did purchase it and will review later. Barack Obama included the novel on his list of favorite books of 2022. Those events are always fun. They usually draw a few hundred people. They are held at the downtown library and this week the weather was warm. The authors usually talk about their writing routines and sometimes about what inspires them. I always leave anxious to get back to my own projects.

I hope you find time this week to read and write and I look forward to sharing more information soon.


Sinister Spring/Explosive Eighteen

I am one of those people who really likes to finish a book before I start another one. I will DNF (Did not finish) a book if I really am not enjoying it or if it feels like too much work. But I do enjoy listening to an audio book once in a while.

This week I finished two books. Sinister Spring by Agatha Christie and Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich. Both mysteries but that is probably the only thing they had in common. Sinister Spring is a hard cover while Explosive Eighteen is an audio book. In fact it is a re-listen. I love this series. That is my secret but I don’t always finish the audio book the same week I start it. I listen while driving and walking. It is what helps me get out and move.

Sinister Spring is a series of books that are hard covers with short stories. Each book is for a different season. So far, I own Sinister Spring, Midwinter Murders, and Midsummer Mysteries. I plan to buy the Fall edition as soon as it is available.

Sinister Spring was filled with warm cozy stories told by a handful of Christie protagonists. Poirot, Miss Marple, Parker Pyne, and the Tommy and Tuppence stories, I enjoyed most of them. I don’t remember Parker Pyne though I had heard of his character in a recent biography of Christie.

The cover and end pages are beautiful in this edition and were the main reason I wanted them for my collection. The cover has a lot of shiny gold on it. I liked the way the covers looked so much that I bought the Midwinter Murders in hard cover even though I already owned a paperback.

I think my favorite of the stories was Greenshaw’s Folly. Like most of her stories, it was set in a small town. This involved an older woman who lived in a large home. She was the last of her family line. Her will is witnessed and soon she is found dead. Was it her housekeeper, her gardener, her nephew, or a stranger?

As usual, she sprinkles enough clues that I usually guess who the murderer is but she always spins a nice tale explaining everything. All these stories had been published in a multitude of magazines beginning in the twenties, but this is the first time they have been included in a book together. I enjoyed them and do plan to read them again next spring. I gave it 4 stars while Goodreads gave it 3.86.

Explosive Eighteen is a re-read for me. I listened to it in an audio book. If you have not tried audio books, I highly recommend this series. All the voices are different for each of the quirky characters. I love Lulu and Grandma, but I am guessing those are everyone’s favorites.

Stephanie Plum is the main character. She picks up people who were bonded out by her cousin Vinnie. Stephanie lives in New Jersey. She is single but has an on-going relationship with two lovers. Morelli, the cop and Ranger, who hunts the really bad criminals out on bond. He also runs a security company. He often supplies Stephanie with vehicles because she has a bad habit of getting them blown up.

If you ever go to one of Janet Evanovich’s book signings, which I did at a conference in Nashville several years ago, called Killer Nashville. She has pins at her table for you to pick up and vote for either Morelli, or Ranger. Personally, I think Stephanie’s only chance for marriage is with Morelli.

Lulu is her assistant. Lulu is a former Prostitute. She is a larger than life woman who wears her clothes three sizes smaller than she should. She has a Firebird that she drives, and she carries a handgun, not that she really knows what to do with either one of them. Lulu helps get Stephanie into trouble. Again, not that Stephanie needs much help doing that.

Grandma Mazur lives with Stephanie’s parents. Her long-suffering father who tries not to get too involved with anything and her mother who often takes a nip of her cooking sherry.

Most of the people Stephanie gets involved with are so strange and quirky but somehow the author makes you believe it and by the end of the book, you really want more. I haven’t read all of them, but I plan to eventually catch up.

This story involved Stephanie’s return from Hawaii and her left ring finger having a tan line. We don’t learn that much about what that was all about, but I am guessing the next book will tell more. While on her flight back, someone sticks a large envelope into her messenger bag. When she gets home and opens it, it is a picture of a strange man. She tosses the envelope into the garbage.

Immediately she becomes the target of lots of people looking for that envelope. In this story we meet Buggie, a big stupid oaf that Stephanie needs to capture. Before she can get him to the police station, he keeps stealing her car.

Lulu accidentally drinks a supposed love potion and becomes enamored of Buggie. No one understands that but that situation leads to more problems for Stephanie.

These stories are always a great ride, and they are easy to listen to and I often find myself laughing a lot. I gave this one 4 stars while Goodreads gave it 3.96.

With 19 books read so far this year, I am feeling good about my Goodreads yearly goal of 40. Do you use Goodreads and have you ever participated in the yearly challenge?

I have just started reading another Karen White novel but I will tell more about that as soon as I finish reading it. I do love her series so don’t expect any surprises but maybe I will be able to introduce you to a new series.

Happy Reading,


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