Gritty Reads for Sunny Days

Friends and Readers,

How have you been? Sunshine has returned to Seattle, at least some of the time, and I've been enjoying afternoon walks after work, sauntering beneath the leafy tree canopy and watching the crows zoom around with mouthfuls of snacks.

Late spring is a great time for wildlife viewing around here, especially near the waters of Puget Sound. I was walking along the waterfront when I saw a sea lion taking a nap. He'd attracted a big crowd of admirers too.

A plump brown sea lion naps on a low concrete pier, next to ripply blue water.

Wherever you are, I hope you have a chance to enjoy some nature this month!

Deals & Discounts

Bargain hunters, this one is for you! Death by Team Building is on sale this week, only at

The book cover for death by team building. Business reports, a coffee cup, evergreen branches, and a knife.

Group work always bites you in the ass. That was true in ninth grade history class, and just as true in a murder investigation.

Kat wasn't thrilled to be “volunteered” to attend the Holy Heart Medical Center team building retreat, but after settling into the remote mountain cabin with the team, she has to admit it's not all bad. The setting is beautiful and there are plenty of snacks. She having more fun than she expected. Unfortunately, enjoyment turns to terror when a member of the group is literally stabbed in the back.

Buy for $2.99 at

Adventurous Reads

What makes a book gritty? Well, the word grit can refer to roughness, toughness, or ugliness, for sure. But it also implies a certain perseverance. The willingness to keep on going despite the roughest conditions.

I love stories with a bit of grit, be they fiction or non-fiction. And along those lines, here are some interesting reads for your consideration:

The Dark Horse by Craig Johnson

The book cover for The Dark Horse by Craig Johnson. It shows the silhouette of a cowboy on a horse.

Wade Barsad, a man with a dubious past, locked his wife Mary's horses in their barn and then burned it down. In return she shot him in the head six times – or so the story goes.

Craig Johnson's Website

Tokyo Vice by Jake Adelstein

The book cover for Tokyo Vice. It shows an American reporter among a red and black color scheme.

Jake Adelstein is the only American journalist ever to have been admitted to the insular Tokyo Metropolitan Police Press Club, where for twelve years he covered the dark side of Japan: extortion, murder, human trafficking, fiscal corruption, and of course, the yakuza.

Buy from the Publisher

True Grit by Charles Portis

The book cover for True Grit. It shows a stylized cowboy on a horse riding at sunset. The cover uses bright, cheerful colors.

While I haven't read it recently, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the aptly titled True Grit, which was such a surprisingly vivid read. I adored the young heroine.

True Grit is the story of thirteen-year old Mattie Ross who, allied with the stone-faced Rooster Coburn, embarks on an adventure to bring her father's killer to justice.

Buy from Publisher

I thoroughly enjoyed all these books! Sensitive readers should be aware they contain a fair amount of violence. That's especially true of Tokyo Vice, which discusses many real life criminal cases.

Works in Progress

An exterior wall with an interesting ornament on it. It looks like a face surrounded by brown leaves.

The writing is going well on my end, and I’ve passed the halfway mark on both The Hard Way Home and my next cozy mystery novel. I’ll let you know when I have official news to share.

In the meantime, I'm happy to share a few new posts from my blog:

Some Thoughts on Generative AI and Synthetic Voices

We can care about each other! It's a thing we're allowed to do. In a sense, it's the only power we have.

Life with a Flip Phone

My flip phone arrived, and just like that, I'm transported back to a different time.

To paraphrase Jessica Fletcher, that's all she wrote! As always, if you’ve read anything great lately, I’d love to hear about it, so shoot me a note anytime.

Have an excellent week, and I’ll talk to ya soon. :)

All my best,

Cheri B.

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