Thursday, January 25, 2024

In a Nutshell Reviews

Clover Hendry's Day Off
 by Beth Morrey
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons on January 30, 2024
Age/Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Fiction

A hilarious and empowering perimenopausal Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, about Clover Hendry, 46, and the day she decides to stop keeping the plates spinning, say F@#! it all, and finally get hers.

Today is not the day to mess with Clover Hendry.

Clover hasn’t said “No” a day in her life. Until today. Normally a woman who tips her hairdresser even when the cut is hideous, is endlessly patient with her horrendous mother, and says yes every time her boss asks her to work late—today, things are going to be very different. Because Clover is taking the day off. Today, she’s going to do and say whatever she likes, even if it means her whole life unravels.

What made Clover change her ways? Why doesn’t she care anymore? There’s more to this day than meets the eye.

Clover Hendry's Day Off is a joyful, raging, galvanizing story about putting life on pause, pleasing yourself, and getting your own back. Whatever it takes. Because when Clover stops caring, she can start living.

She may blame the upside-down forks in the dishwasher, but after years and years of endless capitulations, Clover decides to take a day off.

Though there is an obvious nod to our friends Ferris in the title, I felt Clovers story fell somewhere between that famous day off and Dirty Harry. No, Clover didn't come out with literal guns blazing, but she did have a similar sort of mental break. Clover had been the good daughter, the good wife, the good mother, the good worker, but what did she have to show for it?

Years of compromising her own wants and needs led to this rather chaotic day. There were many hilarious and laugh out loud over-the-top moments as Clover leaned into saying "no" and putting herself first. There were also quite a few missteps and many learning moments as Clover reflected on her past and acted in the present.

In the end, this was an eye-opening day. Not just for Clover, but also for those close to her. She tapped into a part of herself that had been dormant for a long time, and in the process, she found her voice and empowered herself. This story took on some weightier issues under a light-hearted guise, but I still connected with all the appropriate emotions. I felt the pain, joy, disappointment, satisfaction, and rage right along with Clover as she took this unconventional personal journey.

Though I thought Clover went a bit too far at times, I still rooted for her and was proud that she took a stand for herself. It was a great reminder that it's never too late to right the course, to put ourselves first, and mend relationships.

The Spy and I
 by Tiana Smith
Published by Berkley on February 13, 2024
Age/Genres: Adult, Action & Adventure, Fiction

Right place. Wrong person. After a case of mistaken identity, one woman must work with her sister’s sexy spy partner to save the world in this heart-pounding romantic comedy.

The first thing to know about Dove Barkley is that, even though she works as a cyber security analyst, she is one hundred percent not an undercover CIA operative. But when a group of bad guys mistake her for her super-spy sister (news to her!), Dove gets roped into a dangerous government mission that she’d very much rather be left out of, thank you.

Too bad Mendez, the man who claims to be her sister’s partner, says she's in too deep to back out now. He’s smart, capable, and has a body almost distracting enough to make Dove forget about the team of trained assassins after her.

Dove has information that can help prevent a national tragedy, but there’s mounting evidence that Mendez might not be who he claims. More importantly, she's running out of time to save her sister. Because the last thing Dove wants is for either of them to go out with a bang.

When the CIA comes knocking, you can't say no. Especially when your sister's life and reputation hang in the balance.

I have seen other readers use the term "cozy" when describing this book, and I know you're thinking this is a spy thriller with lots of shooting, chasing, and near death scrapes, but cozy is a good way to describe it. The Spy and I was a fast-paced and engaging story that was fun and breezy. Told with lots of humor and a light hand, I had a great time trying to get to the bottom of things with Dove and Mendez.

My one disappointment was that the story was a little light on the romance. There was some early flirting and Dove's pining, but not much else to make me buy into the rom-com label associated with this book.

Overall, I enjoyed this fun and action packed tale which featured a lovely sibling relationship.


What would your day off include?
Let us know in the comments!


  1. Clover had truly had enough! Maybe that's why she went too far at times. lol It's so satisfying to cheer for someone who is finding their voice and standing up for themselves.

    1. This is the second book I read about a woman this age kind of just saying "no". It was an interesting journey and she was in a good place at the end

  2. Both of these sound good but I am drawn to The Spy and I because it sounds really fun.

    1. It was fun. Very fast paced, as expected, and light and fun

  3. I like to see a character take charge and stand up for herself after being walked all over. Sounds like a good read. The Spy and I sounds fun too!

    1. Absolutely like seeing someone get that backbone. Clover reminded me a lot of Amazing Grace Adams. Both great stories about women who were pushed to that point. The humor mixed with the truth bombs were a great combination

  4. Replies
    1. I agree with that description. Like how we have cozy mysteries. It's like that vibe

  5. I've really been enjoying books with that cozy vibe lately so I'll definitely have to check out The Spy and I.