Friday, May 27, 2022

Speed Reviews: Comfort Me with Apples by Catherynne M. Valente & Sleeping Dogs Lie by Samantha Downing

I have another round of speed reviews. In this one, we have a Comfort Me with Apples, which wasn’t for me, and Sleeping Dogs Lie, which I highly recommend.

Sophia was made for him. Her perfect husband. She can feel it in her bones. He is perfect. Their home together in Arcadia Gardens is perfect. Everything is perfect.

It's just that he's away so much. So often. He works so hard. She misses him. And he misses her. He says he does, so it must be true. He is the perfect husband and everything is perfect.

But sometimes Sophia wonders about things. Strange things. Dark things. The look on her husband's face when he comes back from a long business trip. The questions he will not answer. The locked basement she is never allowed to enter. And whenever she asks the neighbors, they can't quite meet her gaze...

Publisher: Tordotcom| Genre: Horror/Thriller | Source: Publisher  | Rating:0

 This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2021; it’s been labeled as a ‘tantalizingly crooked domestic mystery’, ‘a darkly elegant fairy tale-horror story’, and ‘a delectable, nefarious thriller’ just to quote a few. Sadly, this turned out to be one of the worst books I’ve read.

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s going on.

The book starts with the HOA rules for Arcadia Gardens then introduces Sophia, who seems to be the perfect woman, with the perfect husband living in a perfect house in a perfect community. Although things are not as they seem and soon

Sophia starts finding macabre items that has her questioning both her husband and her own happiness.

I thought this was going to be one of my top ten books of 2021 and it was utter nonsense. I did like that the start of the book, it read like a dark fairytale with a domestic thriller thrown in. Then things started going downhill and this ended up being a Biblical re-telling, which I did not appreciate. I don’t like it when an author rewrites events from the Bible.

Had I known what this book was about, especially the way it was handled, I never would have read it.

Shelby works as a dog walker in Northern California, and she’s just finished up her biweekly trip to the park with a husky named Pluto. When she brings him back to his house, she finds his owner—Todd Burke, a well-known local businessman and founder of an organic supplements company—dead on the bathroom floor. As a detective interviews Shelby, a medical examiner inspects the body, and more cops search Todd’s home, it becomes clear that the victim’s life was less picture-perfect than his clean-cut persona might lead you to believe.


Publisher: Audible | Narrators: Melanie Nicholls-King, Lindsey Dorcus | Length: 2 hrs 8 min | Genre: Contemporary Mystery/Thriller | Source: Publisher | Rating: 4 Cups

I wasn’t sure about this one. I’m never fully into Samantha Downing’s full-length novels; they just never thrill me, but I’ve been working my way through the short stories in the audible plus catalogue and this one popped up so I thought I would give it a listen.

I’m not going to talk too much about this one because I don’t want to spoil it but Here’s a quick rundown, Shelby’s a dog walker, when she goes to return Pluto to his owner she discovers him dead on his bathroom floor. As the police and detectives process the scene and speak to Shelby, it soon becomes apparent that nothing is as it seems.

This was super quick but the pacing was spot on, nothing felt rushed or left out. So, the plot of this one was something I’ve not read before and it was interesting seeing how everything played out. The ending was fantastic.

Overall, this made for a great listen while doing yardwork. 

Have you read any good short stories or novellas lately?


No comments: