Book Review: Ashley's War, The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Ashley's War:  The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is a non-fiction book published in April 2015.  The story follows several women and their quest to become the first women to be in combat along the Green Berets and Army Rangers. This is a book that was selected in my workplace for discussion between women and/or veterans.  The book discussion was broken into three parts much like how the story was broken up.  It garnered great conversations. Some of the things that happened in the book didn't surprise me, such as how physically demanding the tryouts were to be part of the special operations.  It's a demanding job that requires people to be not only physically strong but mentally strong.     What did shock me was that it took the military so long to allow women to fight along men on the battlefield.  Another thing that astonished me were how accepting most of the men in the Army Rangers were of the women fight

Book Review: Misfortune Cookie (Noodle Shop Mystery, #9) by Vivien Chien

Misfortune Cookie (Noodle Shop Mystery, #9) by Vivien Chien is a cozy mystery is about Lana, who is officially the manager of her family's restaurant, traveling to Irvine, California for a convention.  Her sister, Anna May, joins her on the trip, and they stay at their Aunt Grace's rental property.  When Lana witnesses an alteration between one of the convention vendors and a journalist, she's upset.  The trip is further soured when that journalist is murdered at an event that Lana, Anna May, and Aunt Grace are attending.  Who killed her?  Lana and Aunt Grace take it upon themselves to investigate.

Thank you, NetGalley and St. Martin's Press, for the digital copy of an Advanced Readers Copy of Misfortune Cookie (Noodle Shop Mystery, #9) by Vivien Chien.  I was happy to be approved to read this book.  I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

At first, I wasn't really sure what to expect with this book as I had never read anything written by Vivien Chien, but I was glad that I did.  The author did a fantastic job of giving the reader a recap of the backstories for the reoccurring characters in such a way that it flowed flawlessly.  Because of this, the novel can be read as stand alone book.  With that being said, I sometimes felt like the conversations between Lanna and Anna May could be stilted at times, especially when Anna May was speaking.  It seemed too proper for a lack of a better word.  I really did like all three of the main characters though, even though I think we're not supposed to like Anna May.

One thing that drove me a bit bonkers was that Lana's mother called her in California at midnight, pacific time.  That would mean it's three o'clock in the morning in Cleveland, Ohio.  It seems a little unrealistic to me that her mother would be up at that time, even working in the restaurant business.

As for the murderer, a lot of the suspicion was thrown on the husband, but I really didn't think it was him.  My guess was that it was either the fortune cookie vendor or Ernest, the editor.  You'll have to read it for yourself to see if I was right or wrong.

However, the story was entertaining enough and held my attention.  Despite it being about murder, it was a lighter read because it doesn't have all the guts and gore that most mysteries, thrillers, and suspense novels have. Four out of five stars is what I give Misfortune Cookie (Noodle Shop Mystery, #9) by Vivien Chien.

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