Friday, April 12, 2024

The Dating List (2019) Movie Review

The Dating List Movie Review
The Dating List is a movie I would recommend if you are seeking an easy to watch romantic comedy.  

Romantic comedies are not movies that will make you fall out of your chair laughing as the word "comedy" might suggest.  Rather they include witty conversations or awkward interactions between a really likable couple.   

The Dating List characters, Abby Morel (Natalie Dreyfuss) and Dan Thrubrig (Andrew Dunbar), are the perfect example of a very likable couple that engage in witty rapport and both just seem naturally playful.  Their facial expressions exude happiness.  

The romantic part, well that is more literal and obvious.  In The Dating List, we watch Abby and Dan meet, fall for each other, and then go through that awkward phase of wondering if he or she likes the other one.  In this movie, it doesn't help that Abby is trying to set her boss up to date Dan. 


The Dating List Movie Synopsis

In a hurry to get to a job interview, Abby runs into a deli to grab some treats.  As she and another customer jockey for attention to place their orders, they end up getting mixed up orders and stop outside to trade.  During the trade, they accidentally trade binders too and neither realizes the mistake until later.

Abby had been a secondary managing editor for Lansing Publishing in Toledo and she hopes to get hired as a junior editor at Belle & Howe Publishing Co.  Since she arrives 2 minutes late for her interview with Susan Danvers and does not have the recommendation of a senior editor, she is immediately rejected.

Back home that night, Abby finds she has a book manuscript instead the waste water treatment manual she is supposed to be proofreading. Instead of "correcting" the manual, she edits the book manuscript.  In the morning, her deli-order-friend calls her in hopes of getting the manuscript back.  They agree to meet to trade binders.  Upon discovering that she is holding the only copy of the book, she insists they immediately make copies so the book is never lost.

During her meeting  with Dan to exchange binders and then make copies of the book, she gets a call from Ms. Danver's office with a temporary job offer, followed by an unusual request.  If Abby can screen profiles and find a suitable man for Ms. Danvers to date, she will give her an opportunity to get the junior editor job.  Abby jumps at the offer to work as a "temp" for Ms. Danvers and immediately starts sorting through potential men from a dating website.

Then she is sent to meet the men in person.  Finding the assignment harder than she expected, Abby starts thinking outside the box and remembers Dan.  She will introduce Susan Danvers to Dan and all will be perfect!

Well, not exactly .........


You may think you have the story all figured out by reading this brief synopsis and you may be right on some points.  However, this movie has an unexpected and quite satisfying ending.

If you enjoy a fun romantic comedy, this movie is for you!


I watched The Dating List on Frndly TV, a subscription streaming service, but it is currently available on several other subscription services as well.

Check Out More Movie Reviews at

The Dating List (2019) Movie Review by:
House of Sylvestermouse

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Review of Cozy Mystery Genre

Bar Harbor Maine
Bar Harbor Maine 
Photo by mbgphoto

 The "Cozy Mystery" Genre for stories has become very popular.  I thought this was a newer genre until I did a bit of research.  Actually, it has been around for a while.  Think about the TV program "Murder She Wrote" with Angela Lansbury and you find the perfect ingredients for a cozy mystery.  Like so many cozy mysteries this program features a woman who finds herself falling into the role of amateur sleuth.  She is an intelligent woman who also has main career.  The program takes place in a small, coastal town, where everyone knows each other.  She also has a good friend in law enforcement.  As I read more cozy mysteries, I find that these features are common to many of the books.

Why I Like Cozy Mysteries

I like cozy mysteries because they are fairly short, they feature a mystery that keeps my interest throughout the entire book, and many times there is a romantic interest in the story.  Often, they take place in places I have visited and really enjoyed.  In the past year I have read cozy mysteries that took place on the coast of South Carolina, in a small Irish village, small Colorado town, and along the coast of Maine.  I find this genre of books to be a wonderful way to relax and I often pick one up after I've been doing heavier reading.  They are great reads for a day at the beach or to bring along on a vacation.  Many cozy mysteries are part of a series of books with the same characters.

Cozy Mystery I am Currently Reading

Currently I am reading a book by Carlene O'Connor.  It is called "Murder in an Irish Churchyard".  It has an amateur sleuth named, Siobh'an who also runs a bistro.   It takes place in a small Irish village where everyone seems to know everyone and is willing to talk about it.  The book begins with a body being found in the local churchyard among the gravestones.  Siobh'an finds the body and the mystery begins.   All of these are common traits of the cozy mystery. Oh, and yes, there is a love interest with one of the local garda's (police).

As the story progresses, we meet a group of American's who are in Ireland researching their ancestors.  Do they have anything to do with the dead body? I will leave you to read the book and solve the mystery.  You can purchase the book on Amazon at the following link.

Review This Writers Review Cozy Mystery Books

Many of the writers for Review This have reviewed cozy mystery  books.  Here are a few that are in the RT archives.

Review This Writers Review Cozy Mystery Movies

Cozy mysteries are also very big in movies.  Here are several that Cynthia reviewed for Review This.
Enjoy a Cozy Mystery!!

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Some Danger Involved: An Excellent Victorian Mystery for Sherlock Fans

Aficionados of Sherlock Holmes are sure to love "Some Danger Involved," an award-winning novel by Will Thomas and book one of the author’s popular Barker and Llewelyn mystery series. This story offers a captivating blend of Victorian mystery, intrigue, and varied cultures that undoubtedly will satisfy even the most discerning readers.

Set in late 19th-century London, this novel introduces us to the dynamic duo of Cyrus Barker, an enigmatic private enquiry (the British spelling) agent with many similarities to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famed fictional detective, and his newest assistant, Thomas Llewelyn, a down-on-his-luck former inmate who is eager to learn the many and varied lessons his new employer has to teach him about the ways of the world.

Some Danger Involved by Will Thomas - Barker and Llewelyn Series Book One
Image created with Microsoft Copilot Image Creator

The Barker and Llewelyn Mystery Series

Before getting into book one, "Some Danger Involved," let's look at Will Thomas’s Barker and Llewelyn mystery series that, at the time of this post's publication in 2024, includes 15 books to date.

We are transported back in time to Victorian London, where gas lamps flicker ominously in fog-laden streets and whispers of unsolved crimes linger in the air. Thomas's meticulous attention to historical detail is evident throughout, immersing readers in a world teeming with authenticity and atmosphere. His narrative skillfully evokes the essence of Arthur Conan Doyle's beloved Sherlock Holmes tales while simultaneously forging its own unique path. 

At the heart of these stories lies the enigmatic figure of Cyrus Barker, a man of singular intellect and unorthodox methods. Much like Sherlock Holmes himself, Barker possesses a tremendous intellect and an uncanny ability to unravel the most perplexing of mysteries by employing keen observation and deductive reasoning. Yet, unlike Holmes, Barker's character is imbued with a sense of stoic pragmatism and moral ambiguity that sets him apart, making him a truly compelling protagonist in his own right.  Barker plays his cards close to the vest, revealing information in judiciously measured and carefully timed droplets on a need-to-know basis or to elicit a specific reaction. In the book's prologue, his assistant Thomas Llewelyn describes him thus:

"I find myself at a loss when trying to describe my employer, Cyrus Barker, to someone who has never met him. He is, in turns, wise and stubborn, thoughtful and oblivious, gentle and terrifyingly lethal."

Equally fascinating is the character of Thomas Llewelyn, the young, naive, academically-minded, but gutsy assistant who suddenly is thrust into Barker's wholly unfamiliar world of intrigue and danger. Llewelyn's backstory adds depth to his character, as we gradually learn of his struggles to rebuild his life after a tragic accident left him heartbroken and destitute. His journey from wide-eyed novice to capable investigator is a compelling arc that adds depth and nuance to the narrative, as he grapples with his own demons while navigating the treacherous waters of Victorian society.

"Some Danger Involved" — Barker and Llewelyn Series, Book 1

"Some Danger Involved" is Will Thomas's debut novel published in 2004. The story begins with Llewelyn's job interview and probationary hiring as Barker's assistant. The tale unfolds against the backdrop of a city on edge, as rumors of an attempted pogrom* against London's Jewish population cast a shadow over the bustling streets. Against this volatile backdrop, Barker and Llewelyn find themselves embroiled in a complex case involving the gruesome murder of a young Jewish scholar in an apparent crucifixion. As they delve deeper into the investigation, they uncover a web of conspiracy and betrayal that threatens to engulf them both.

One of the most impressive aspects of "Some Danger Involved" is Thomas's ability to weave a complex and multilayered mystery that keeps readers guessing until the very end. The plot unfolds with a steady pace, revealing a web of secrets and lies that ultimately lead to a shocking conclusion. Along the way, readers are treated to a series of cleverly devised twists and turns that will leave them eagerly turning the pages in anticipation of what comes next.

In addition to its engrossing plot and well-drawn characters, "Some Danger Involved" is also notable for its masterful prose and vivid imagery. Thomas's writing is rich and evocative, bringing to life the sights, sounds, and smells of Victorian London in exquisite detail. Whether describing the opulent drawing rooms of the upper class or the seedy alleyways of the criminal underworld, the author's prose is always immersive and atmospheric, transporting readers effortlessly to another time and place.

*A pogrom is an organized mob attack or massacre approved or condoned by authorities against a religious, racial, or national minority, in particular that of Jewish people in Russia or eastern Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Kindle Format Is Popular and Convenient

The Kindle edition offers a convenient option that allows readers to delve into the story at their own pace and carry it with them wherever they go. With the added bonus of access to maps, character profiles, and historical notes, the Kindle edition provides an enhanced reading experience that is sure to delight fans of historical fiction and detective mysteries alike.

The Audiobook Narration Enhances the Story

I also enthusiastically recommend the audiobook version of "Some Danger Involved," expertly narrated by Antony Ferguson. The audiobook captures the essence of the characters and brings the streets of Victorian London to life with vivid clarity. Ferguson's skillful narration adds an extra layer of depth and immersion to the story, making it feel as though Barker and Llewelyn are speaking directly to the listener. He delivers Barker's Scottish brogue convincingly.

In conclusion, "Some Danger Involved" is a triumph of historical mystery fiction that is sure to captivate readers from start to finish. With its richly drawn characters, gripping plot twists, and atmospheric setting, Will Thomas's debut novel heralds the arrival of an exciting new voice in the genre. Whether enjoyed on Kindle or as an audiobook, this thrilling tale is destined to become a favorite among Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts and lovers of Victorian literature alike. So, dear reader, do yourself a favor and embark on this thrilling journey into the heart of Victorian London—you won't be disappointed.

A Great Gift for Any Mystery Lover

Anyone who enjoys a good murder mystery with complex, well-drawn characters and hard-to-guess plots will enjoy "Some Danger Involved." Better yet, if they love it, they can continue with the rest of the popular Barker and Llewelyn murder mystery series, giving them many hours of reading or listening pleasure for a long time to come.

Some Danger Involved: An Excellent Victorian Mystery for Sherlock Fans by Margaret Schindel

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Monday, April 8, 2024

Most Popular Hallmark Spring Movies Review

Spring is here and Hallmark movies help celebrate the season with a Spring theme. Whether it be flowers, baseball, home renovation or vineyards Hallmark is shepherding in the warmer weather with Spring themed romance of course.

Enjoy the most popular Spring Movies by Hallmark sure to delight Hallmark fans. Here are my

Top 5 Hallmark Spring Movies

The Perfect Catch with Nikki DeLoach and Andrew Walker

Baseball and high school romance of long ago is the backstory for this Hallmark movie. Baseball training brings a high school flame who became a major league baseball player back to his hometown. Where he finds ... his high school sweetheart running the family diner. Walker plays the baseball player and wounded soul who has returned to hide from his fame and misfortune of the moment. DeLoach is running the diner and who comes in the door? 

Walker and DeLoach have a great chemistry whether it be as rom com leads or their witty repertoire throughout the movie. Enjoy as they reconnect with romance.

As Luck Would Have It with Joanna Swisher and Allen Leech

Ireland is the gorgeous backdrop along with castles, cliffs and a quaint castle town as an American is charged with convincing the family to sell. Sell? The family castle and accompanying small town are struggling and are the backbone of the community. Will the family sell? Will the town be saved? Swish and Leech have a wonderful chemistry enhanced by gorgeous scenery and a strong supporting cast.

Tulips In Spring with Fiona Gubelmann and Lucas Byrant

Filmed in Vancouver, the family tulip farm is in jeopardy. Can the city living daughter return to help the farm when a family crisis occurs? Flowers abound and are a lovely breath of spring to visually enjoy! 

Enter the flower broker and romantic lead as the city daughter returns to help mend the family, the farm and maybe her heart. You cannot have spring without gorgeous gorgeous and more gorgeous flowers! 

Flip That Romance with Tyler Hynes and Julie Gonzalo

Spring is absolutely the time for home improvement projects. Hynes abnd Gonzalo have a romatic past of long ago and a flip the house competition brings the couple back together - on separate side of a home to be renovated.  Witty chemistry abounds as the project and compeition continues. Who will win?

Vineyard series with Rachael Leigh Cook and Brendan Penny

This favorite Hallmark couple spurred two sequels to their original Hallmark movie set in the beautiful Okonagan Valley in Canada which looks very similiar to the Napa Valley area of California. Enjoy the romcom repetoire between Cook and Penny as there families feud over wine and their relationship progresses..

In The Vineyard Series
Autumn In The Vineyard
Valentine In The Vineyard
Summer In The Vineyard

Don't forget Christmas In July is right around the corner at Hallmark! Hallmark now debuts a couple early Christmas originals each July between rotating the Christmas classics throughout the month.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Sunday, April 7, 2024

The Mystical Connections to a Solar Eclipse - History Meets the Unseen

The Mystical Connections to a Solar Eclipse - History Meets the Unseen

Solar eclipses have long captivated human imagination, evoking a sense of wonder and mystery. 

Across various cultures and civilizations, these celestial events have been interpreted in diverse and intriguing ways, often imbued with spiritual significance and mystical beliefs.

This blog post will explore the mystical connections to solar eclipses, delving into the fascinating beliefs and interpretations from different cultures worldwide.

Ancient Mesopotamia and Babylonian Beliefs: 

In ancient Mesopotamia and Babylon, solar eclipses were viewed as omens, often associated with the anger or displeasure of the gods. Priests and astrologers meticulously recorded these celestial phenomena, believing them to foretell significant events such as wars, the rise or fall of empires, and natural disasters. Eclipses were seen as powerful messages from the divine, prompting rituals and offerings to appease the gods and restore balance.

Ancient Chinese Traditions: 

In ancient Chinese culture, solar eclipses were interpreted as the result of a celestial dragon devouring the sun. To ward off the dragon and ensure the return of sunlight, people engaged in various rituals, including banging drums, making loud noises, and shooting arrows into the sky. The belief was that these actions would frighten the dragon away, allowing the sun to emerge again. Solar eclipses were also seen as harbingers of doom and were associated with the downfall of rulers or dynasties.

Indigenous Peoples' Spiritual Connections: 

Indigenous cultures worldwide have unique interpretations of solar eclipses, often rooted in spiritual traditions and connections to nature. For many indigenous peoples, eclipses are seen as moments of spiritual renewal and introspection, symbolizing the cyclical nature of existence and the interconnectedness of all living beings. Rituals and ceremonies honor the celestial event and harness its energy for healing, growth, and transformation.

Hindu Mythology and Symbolism: 

In Hindu mythology, the solar eclipse is depicted as the result of the demon Rahu swallowing the sun and later releasing it. This mythological narrative symbolizes the eternal struggle between light and darkness, good and evil. Solar eclipses are viewed as auspicious times for spiritual practices such as meditation, prayer, and charity, offering inner purification and enlightenment opportunities. Temples may also conduct special ceremonies to invoke divine blessings and protection during this celestial event.

Contemporary Perspectives and Approaches:

While ancient cultures viewed solar eclipses through a lens of mysticism and mythology, contemporary society approaches these phenomena with a blend of scientific understanding and awe-inspiring wonder. 

Advancements in astronomy and technology allow us to predict and observe eclipses with remarkable precision, unraveling the mechanics of these cosmic events. Yet, even in our modern age, solar eclipses continue to evoke a sense of awe and reverence, reminding us of the enduring mysteries of the universe and our place within it.

Solar eclipses bridge the tangible world we inhabit and the vast mysteries of the cosmos. Across cultures and civilizations, these celestial phenomena have inspired awe, wonder, and spiritual contemplation. 

Whether interpreted as omens, symbols of renewal, or manifestations of cosmic forces, solar eclipses remind us of the profound interconnectedness of all things and the enduring quest to comprehend the mysteries of existence. 

As we safely gaze up at the darkened sun during an eclipse, we are reminded of our place in the vast tapestry of the universe, where science and spirituality converge in a dance of exploration and wonder.

Safety Glasses For Viewing the Eclipse:

ISO 12312-2 Certification: Look for glasses that meet the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard for filters for direct observation of the sun. This certification ensures the glasses have been tested and meet the required safety standards for viewing the sun.

Eclipse Glasses Available on Amazon

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Saturday, April 6, 2024

National Hug Your Dog Day – Holiday Review

Hug Your Dog Day is held on April 10th each year. The day was created by Ami Moore, a professional dog trainer and behavior expert.

This day was designated for dog owners to shower their dogs with love to show appreciation for the joy dogs bring them.

Grandson hugging his dog, Pepe the poodle
Grandson Tyler & GrandPuppy Pepe the Poodle

Of the dozen plus contributing writers on, a large percentage of them are dog owners and/or dog lovers. Thus, there have been many, many articles and reviews written about things that are dog-related.

For National Hug Your Dog Day, we shall gather these articles together from the archives of Review This Reviews and list them on this one page for your reviewing pleasure.  


Dog Books and Movies

Dog wearing glasses with a stack of books
Image Source: Pixabay

Dog Foods, Dog Treats, Dog Bowls, Dog Toys

Tofu the Golden Retriever and Pepe the Poodle waiting for their treats
Treat Time!

Dog Holidays

Products for Dogs

Abbi the Boston Terrier
Abbi the Boston Terrier


So, give a 'hound hug' to your favorite pooch on this National Hug Your Dog Day (April 10), then give them their favorite treats and check out the helpful dog products and entertaining dog books and movies listed in this review.

Happy National Hug Your Dog Day! 
April 10

Family meeting - Golden Retriever Mama, Poodle Daddy, Golden Doodle Puppy
Golden Retriever (Tofu), Pepe (Poodle), Golden Doodle Puppy (Pinkie)

*Summary of Dog-Related Reviews compiled for you by Wednesday Elf from the archives of Review This Reviews!


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Friday, April 5, 2024

Lemon Mini Muffin Cakes Recipe Reviewed

lemon mini muffins
A few weeks ago, my mom came to our home with a special treat for my family.  Lemon flavored anything is always my favorite.  These little mini muffin lemon cakes were fabulous!  

They were so good, I seriously could not make myself stop eating them.  I finally stuck them in the microwave so they would be "out of sight, out of mind".  However, the little mouse in me kept sneaking back for crumbs and tiny bites.

I don't have pictures of the making process because I was not with my mother when she baked them, but she did agree to let me share and review her recipe. Based on what she told me, this recipe is so easy, more pictures are not really needed.

They would be perfect for a party snack, dessert, breakfast, or perhaps all three if they can last all day in your home. Here, they only survived for one day before they were all gone. We had to guess at how many mini muffins this recipe made and decided it was approximately 48 mini muffins (2 batches when using the featured mini muffin pan below). If you should make them, please count them BEFORE you start eating or sharing them and return here to tell us how many muffins this recipe makes.

Delicious Lemon Mini Muffin Cakes & Glaze Recipe

    Mini Cakes Ingredients

  • 1 Box of Yellow Cake Mix
  • 3.4 oz box of Instant Lemon Pudding 
  • 4 Eggs
  • 3/4 Cup Vegetable Oil


    Glaze Ingredients 

  • 4 Cups sifted Powdered Sugar 
  • 1/3 Cup Lemon Juice   (Real Lemon can be used)
  • 3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Water
  • Grated Lemon Zest from 1 lemon, if desired



  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2.  Spray mini muffin pan with non-stick spray
  3.  In a large bowl, combine all mini cake ingredients and mix (with mixer) for 2 minutes  
  4.  Spoon 1 Tablespoon of mix into each mini muffin cup
  5.  Bake for 12 minutes
  6.  In a medium bowl, mix together all of the glaze ingredients
  7.  Prepare a drip tray by lining a cookie tray with wax paper and place a wire rack on the tray
  8.  Turn the muffins out of the muffin pan
  9.  Dip each muffin in the glaze, covering mini muffin as much as possible
  10.  Place the dipped muffin on the prepared "drip" tray

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Lemon Mini Muffin Cakes Recipe Reviewed Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse

© 2024 Cynthia Sylvestermouse

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

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