Mar 30, 2024

An Island Romance and Two Mystery Novels: Sunday Salon

 Now Reading

Romancing on Jeju by Hyun-Joo Park, translated from Korean by Paige Morris, publication August 20, 2024; Amazon Crossing, NetGalley
Genre: romance

Romi, a young illustrator from Seoul, meets an enchanting beekeeper from the island of Jeju in South Korea, but he disappears from her life after a chance meeting at the airport. She is determined to find him, and goes searching for him among the 100 beekeepers on the beautiful and lush island of Jeju.

I was attracted to the book by the setting on Jeju island that featured on several contemporary Korean dramas on tv. The romance novel might be just so-so but learning more about the island was a plus for me. Bee keeping? Who would have guessed. (Jeju also is the setting for Lisa See's historical novel, The Island of Sea Women.)

A Farewell to Arfs: Chet and Bernie Mystery #15 by Spencer Quinn, publication August 6, 2023, Forge Books, NetGalley

I was chuffed (pleased to bits) to be approved for Spencer Quinn's most recent dog mystery, A Farewell to Arfs. For those who are not familiar with the series, Chet the dog is the artful narrator in the mystery series set in Arizona; he is an amusing and clever partner in crime solving with his human, PI Bernie Little. And he gives us a dog's eye view/point of view of what's going on.

In this book, Bernie's next door neighbor, Mr. Parsons, is scammed of his life savings by his son Billie. Billie has disappeared and Mr. Parsons is in the hospital. Enter Bernie and Chet to find Billie and find out just what the score is. 

I've read all 15 books in the series and find them very entertaining. This is the 15th book in the series, and Spencer Quinn is already working on the next one! 

You Know What You Did by K.T. Nguyen, April 2024; Dutton, NG

Genre: thriller, OCD disorder

I'm eager to start reading this one, just to see what OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) is all about! I throw that term around, but what do I really know? 

Description: In this thriller, a first-generation Vietnamese American artist must confront nightmares past and present…
Annie “Anh Le” Shaw grew up poor but seems to have it all now: a dream career, a stunning home, and a devoted husband and daughter. When Annie’s mother, a Vietnam War refugee, dies suddenly one night, Annie’s carefully curated life begins to unravel. Her obsessive-compulsive disorder, which she thought she’d vanquished years ago, comes roaring back—but this time, the disturbing fixations swirling in Annie’s brain might actually be coming true.

A prominent art patron disappears, and the investigation zeroes in on Annie. She distances herself from family and friends, only to wake up naked in a hotel room next to a lifeless body. The police have more questions, but Annie doesn’t have answers. All she knows is she will do anything to protect her daughter—even if it means losing herself. (publisher)

To learn more about OCD symptoms, treatments, and resources, visit the website of the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF dot org). —K.T. Nguyen 
K. T. Nguyen is a former magazine editor now settled just outside Washington, D.C. 

What are you reading/watching this week? 

Memes: The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated BookreviewerAlso, It's Monday: What Are You Readingand Sunday SalonStacking the ShelvesMailbox Monday


  1. The Jeju setting sounds inviting. I would like to read more Lisa See, so I may seek out The Island of Sea Women because of this setting.

    I like the idea of a dog partner in crime solving for a detective. We need more stories told from a dog's point-of-view, I think.

    1. Ha ha. This author does it very well, I think. This book is the 15th in the series so it's quite popular.

  2. A Farewell to Arfs looks fun! The title certainly made me laugh. :D

  3. Just the title of A Farewell to Arf made me laugh. What a great title! I love the look of Romancing on Jeju. It looks like a fun read. Have a great week!

  4. The dog mystery sounds like a treat. I'm intrigued by the books you mention set on Jeju Island.

  5. All those books sound good! I hope that you enjoy them all.

    Have a great weekend!

    Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog
    My post:

  6. Sounds like some good books. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I am curious about You Know What You Did. Have a great week, and here's my post: WEEKLY UPDATES

  8. I’ve read a few of the Chet & Bernie mysteries and enjoyed them. Given the current 4B movement in South Korea the proliferation of k-drama and romance novels is ironic.

    Wishing you a great reading week

    1. Didn't know about the 4B movement in S. Korea, but I did notice that a lot of women in the dramas are in careers, are single even in their 30s, and without children. There are long term romances and love affairs though.

  9. I've just DNF'd a book, so now I'm reading 'Divided - Why We're Living in an Age of Walls' by Tim Marshall. Then there's the next book in my buddy read set 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

  10. You Know What You Did sounds like my kind of read. I love to learn about new things when I read books, or things I didn't know much about.

  11. A friend of mine with OCD refers to it as 'CDO'. XD

  12. I've never heard of Jeju but it sounds like a neat location. I would love to learn more about beekeeping as well! Telling the story through a dog's perspective is new to me. Sounds like a fun mystery.


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