Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bundle of Trouble by Diana Orgain

Bundle of Trouble by Diana Orgain
Copyright 2009
Berkley Prime Crime - Mystery/Cozy
296 pages
Diana Orgain's website

Brief Summary:

Kate Connolly has her hands full, first preparing for a new baby's arrival and then learning to adjust after her daughter's birth. When the police call to say they think a body pulled from the San Francisco Bay might be her brother-in-law, George, she's concerned. And, when she finds out the victim may have ties to her family, she decides to investigate.

And, the bit where Bookfool expresses a keen desire to bash Blogger:

Okay . . . so . . . I started this review yesterday and I was having trouble concentrating because of an earache (got the antibiotic -- we should return to normality, soon). When I got online to work on it a bit more, last night, the auto-save feature wasn't working and Blogger has this hinky condition that keeps a blogger from highlighting, cutting and pasting her own text . . . miserable. So, if the auto-save feature isn't working and you've done some writing without realizing the auto-save isn't working, you're essentially screwed -- you can't even copy into a separate file. Meaning, I lost my second paragraph. I've decided it wasn't so hot, anyway. Therefore, I'm just going to do a question-answer review for this book.

Self: Hello and welcome to Bookfool Interviews Herself! Today, we're going to ask Bookfool some questions about Bundle of Trouble by Diana Orgain.

[scattered applause and one hacking cough from the back row]

Bookfool: Hi. That was a bit melodramatic.

Self: Hello! Yes it was! We love drama! Action! Exclamation points!! So, Bookfool, how did you acquire Bundle of Trouble and why did you choose to read it now?

Bookfool: I acquired the book via Twitter. Diana Orgain and I are twitterers who follow each other and she asked me if I'd like to read and review her book. I warned her I had a rather large backlog. Diana said That's fine; I can wait. That was about 2 months ago. Last week was really just the right time for a cozy mystery because I needed something quick and fun to read. I don't read mysteries often and I tend to let books call to me when they're ready, if there's not a specific due date. Bundle of Trouble let out a piercing scream, much like a very unhappy baby.

Self: You're kidding about the scream, right?

Bookfool: One could say it was all in my head; but, the book was definitely calling to me.

[Man in the front row points and shouts, "You lie!" Not sure who that was.]

Self: Tell us a little about the book and what you liked about it.

Bookfool: Bundle of Trouble is the first in a new cozy mystery series, a "Maternal Instincts Mystery". Since I've already briefly described the book, I'll stick to what I liked. I thought the mystery in Bundle of Trouble was nicely done, never confusing but with enough threads to keep the pages turning. And, I absolutely loved the fact that Kate Connolly didn't want to go back to her office after her maternity leave ended because that would mean leaving the baby with a caregiver. That's something I can relate to -- the horror at the idea of leaving a baby all day. I couldn't imagine letting someone else see all the firsts, read the stories, put together the puzzles, etc., with my kids. For a good portion of the book, Kate occasionally muses about and works toward figuring out how she can turn snooping into a legitimate private investigation business.

The story is set in San Francisco, where the author lives, and I loved that. San Francisco is nothing short of awesome, in my humble opinion -- a fantastic setting. Because it's an expensive place to live, it also figures into Kate's yearning to stay home with her baby. The Connollys simply can't afford to do without her income, so she's presented with a financial dilemma on top of figuring out how to be a mother and solve a crime (actually, more than one crime). Also, Kate's a listmaker and her lists can be pretty funny.

Self: You sure do talk a lot.

Bookfool: So does my cat.

[Meow, meow, meow noises . . . probably Bookfool, but nobody wants to confess]

Self: Was there anything you disliked about the book?

Bookfool: Yes, a few very petty things. I thought some of the everyday scenes with baby were a little boring. But, I think that was at least in part because this novel sets the scene, being the first in a series. Also, I loved the way Kate referred to her daughter as "jelly bean", "pumpkin pie" and a whole bunch of other cute names. However, I don't recall a single conversation with her spouse in which she said those names aloud. So, when her husband called the baby two of those names in separate conversations, it threw me a bit and I didn't like that. I'd like to have seen a funny conversation that revealed a little bit more depth to the characters. A chat between the parents, in which they call the baby all sorts of silly names, would have been a nice addition. In general, the characters could have stood a bit more dimension.

Otherwise, I really thought Bundle of Trouble was a nice diversion. As I said, I don't read mysteries often, but I like to toss one into the mix on occasion and it was a nice change of pace reading Bundle of Trouble.

Self: Anything else you'd like to say?

Bookfool: The cover is cute. I love that cover.

[scattered applause]

Self: Rating?

Bookfool: It's a good read but because I read so few cozies I don't feel like I can give it a numerical rating. Gradewise, I'd give it a B-. But, I don't do that. If you're a cozy lover, I think you'll enjoy the book. If you're a frustrated new mother, you might enjoy relating to the protagonist. It's a nice start to a series.

Self: And, what do you think of the weather?

Bookfool: It sucks. Muggy, rainy, blecch. Even the cat is disinterested in going outside.

Self: That's bad.

Bookfool: You're telling me. Why is the audience leaving?

Self: I think we're done!! Wait! And, now for our shocking conclusion, we will show you where Bookfool's husband went without her, last week!!!!

Bookfool says to Self: That is so wrong. At this point, things get so freaking confusing that the interview ends and the stragglers look for a Coke machine.

Are you a cozy mystery lover? The best place in the galaxy for cozy fans (in my personal humble opinion) is Not Enough Books. Kris hosts a rocking fine cozy mystery challenge.

In other news . . . I am really, really enjoying the Book Blogger Appreciation Week posts that I've managed to read. I can't wait to join in next year. We've been very fortunate in that the weather has been breaking during swim practice, so we're still doing the swimmy thing. Wahoo for that!

Don't forget! I have two drawings going on, at the moment:

The Way Home by George Pelecanos - drawing ends Sept. 21. And you get to guess my cat's favorite vegetable. What could be more fun?

The Smart One and the Pretty One by Claire LaZebnik - drawing ends Sept. 27. To enter this one, you get to tell me where you would go if you could travel any place on the planet. Because, you know, I'm curious.

I'll have more drawings coming up, soon, 'cause I figure giving away books from Hatchette is a way to channel joy. I'm really into joy channeling.

Happy happy day!

Bookfool with (according to Chris in New Orleans) "cute ears". Hahaha. I just love that.


  1. You make me laugh! That person coughing was NOT me! I may have been the person shouting, "Liar!" but not at you. And I would have waited for the picture before heading for the coke machine. Very cool interview.

  2. I love this post! It made me laugh with every line! :)

  3. I seriously laughed out loud during your "interview." Hooray for the scattered applause! Oh, and the meowing too...I'm certain it was indeed your cat cheering you on. Aw, as a kid, my nickname was pumpkin. Sometimes pumpkin pie. Not sure why.

  4. haha..that was fun reading :) :)

    I have read many god reviews of this one! and I think I will like it too :)

    Wow that pic is great... I have never seen anyone do tat in real :):)

    I am enjoying BBAW too! it is ending today :(

  5. Oh my. You interview yourself better than anyone else I know. Loved the "You lie!" comment. Seriously.

    That isn't Hawaii, is it? There's no way he could go off to Hawaii without you...

    Thanks for the laugh and I sure hope you're feeling better soon!


  6. That's not be back there hacking--I promise! You are my self-interviewing hero. And it if it makes you feel a little better--I'm going to Europe with hubby for a week and he's staying FIVE weeks without me. Wahhhhhhh!!!!!

  7. I do enjoy a cozy mystery, but haven't read one in a while. This one sounds like it would be almost as much fun as your interview!

  8. Booklogged,

    Are you sure you're not the lone heckler? Positive? Okay, then. I believe you. :) Thanks! I'm glad I made you laugh. I love hearing that more than anything. I want to be a smile machine. Isn't that a great picture? Hubby went to Hawaii without me. Grrrr.


    Thank you! I live to make you laugh, ya know. :)


    Thanks! Boy, I'm getting a nice morning warm fuzzy attack, here. LOL My nickname was pumpkin (sometimes), too! I just loved the cute little nicknames she gave the baby. My cat is definitely supportive in a "You feed me, I'll hang out nearby and look sweet" way. :)

  9. Veens,

    Thank you! I haven't read a single review of this book because I avoid reading reviews when I know I'm going to be writing one about the same book, but I'm glad the ones you've found are positive. I think it's a good start to a series.

    I've been to Hawaii and the surfing is really fun to watch. I couldn't go, though. Swim stuff and all that. :)

    I forgot BBAW is almost over! Well, I've enjoyed what I've read. Lots of love spread around is a great thing!


    Thank you! I've noticed a few other people occasionally do self-interviews, now. It's fun. Great for a change of pace.

    I kind of thought you'd like my heckler. LOL

    Yes, that's Hawaii. Sigh. Maybe next year. I want to go back to school, but the idea of traveling along with the husband seems to be winning out. I've waved goodbye too many times.

    I'm feeling better, already, thanks!


    Hahaha. Are you sure? Maybe you've developed a dry cough. Kidding, kidding.

    No, that does not make me feel better! At least you're going for a week!!! But, I do feel for you when it comes to having to stay home the rest of that time. I'm so sick of being left behind, but I'll be an empty-nester, next year, and I'm making plans!!

  10. Ha! I loved your "self interview"! I laughed (see my opening remark), I cried (okay, not really), I retweeted (or will in a sec at least)...

  11. Kathy,

    I don't read mysteries often, but cozies are my favorite because I am none too fond of blood and gore. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed that self interview!

  12. Completely fabulous idea for a book review. I think you should do those more often for fluffy books. I wish I were surfing in Hawaii.

  13. GMR,

    I saw that retweet! Thank you!! It's funny; this self-interview doesn't make me laugh at all. Sometimes I actually do snicker at my own writing, which is embarrassing because the family tells me to please shut up. That was an extra nice tweet. Thanks so much! :)


    Thanks! I usually use "Me, Myself and I" as my interviewing team, when I do self-interviews, but I didn't feel like it (and then I left the room, leaving Me and Myself feeling somehow lost . . . it's a long way to go for a joke). We try to just save the self-interviews for special occasions, like when we're having trouble describing a book.

    I don't surf, but I wouldn't mind if someone would transport me to Hawaii so I could watch and snap some photos!

    Will check out your blog. Thanks for the URL. :)

  14. Off I go to check out Not Enough Books and add this book to my GoodReads and library wishlists.

  15. Kylee,

    I can't wait to see what you think. You'll love Not Enough Books. Kris is also an excellent photographer. Her header is gorgeous.

  16. You're so hilarious, Bookfool. At least your husband went somewhere! Mine needs a hobby because on a rainy day? All he asks me is, "Whatcha wanna do?" when I want to read. Without interruptions. ;)

    I feel your pain about Blogger. But, then when I switched to WordPress I feel like I lost all my contacts. I guess there's no perfect world, try hard as I might to make myself believe otherwise.

    Bottom line: I love your interviews with Self. So very creative and witty.

  17. Bellezza,

    Thanks. My husband is always going somewhere. It gets tiresome after 20 years or so. I don't want to be left behind, anymore!! But, I can relate to your problem. When I want to spend a weekend day at home reading, my husband always has some sort of plan that involves getting in the car and putting on makeup (not in that order). He doesn't get the joy of an all-day book veg.

    I've thought about trying to figure out self-hosting, but I just don't know enough. Yeah, I could see how moving to another site could mess up your contacts. I just used a website grader and found out I have this ridiculously huge Technorati rating -- so big I'm not even sure I believe it. That would probably go back to nothing if I moved, so here I stay. For now.

    Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed that self-interview! I'm trying to figure out how to do my next review, but I have to run. Swim meet time. It's yucky out, so I'm dragging my feet.

  18. Loved this review! This book is sitting on my desk waiting to be read. I haven't heard it scream, but it keeps looking at me when I walk by on my way to bed. LOL

    Diary of an Eccentric

  19. Thanks, Anna. :)

    I think your copy is calling out to you, but just in a quieter voice. LOL I hope you love it!

  20. Thanks for mentioning my blog Bookfool! I do adore cozy mysteries, although I don't get to read as many as I would like. sniff sniff.

    Great review!

  21. Kris,

    You're welcome. You'll be reading this one. It's in the envelope. I just need your address and the time to send it.

  22. I LOVE your self interviews - what fun!!!

  23. Thank you, SuziQ. :)

  24. ROTFLMAO!! You crack me up, BF! I loved the "You Lie" jab. And what a great shot of Hawaii! He went back there again? And you didn't go?? Maybe we should go there instead of Utah. We could get SuziQ and Booklogged and Joy and anyone else and go hang out on Pat's boat. :)

    Great shot of the swimmers, too, btw. Love the hair!

  25. Les,

    I had a little fun with my imaginary audience, can you tell?

    Yes, he went back to Hawaii. This was his 4th trip. I think whatever project they're working on will be going on for a while. I'll have to ask. It would be fun to have a gathering in Hawaii!

    Aren't those swimmy kids funny? The blonde guy actually has really pretty, softly curly hair. He slicked his up and the other fellow (with his head tilted -- isn't that a hoot?) imitated him.

  26. Les,

    I had a little fun with my imaginary audience, can you tell?

    Yes, he went back to Hawaii. This was his 4th trip. I think whatever project they're working on will be going on for a while. I'll have to ask. It would be fun to have a gathering in Hawaii!

    Aren't those swimmy kids funny? The blonde guy actually has really pretty, softly curly hair. He slicked his up and the other fellow (with his head tilted -- isn't that a hoot?) imitated him.


Thank you for visiting my blog! I use comment moderation because apparently my blog is a spam magnet. Don't worry. If you're not a robot, your comment will eventually show up and I will respond, with a few exceptions. If a comment smacks of advertising, contains a dubious link or is offensive, it will be deleted. I love to hear from real people! I'm a really chatty gal and I love your comments!