Merry Christmas Everyone.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Festive wishes & a Christmas book review by Kate O’Brien. 

Christmas is my favourite holiday. It is a time that I associate with family, friends, and lots of love. I really enjoy being festive. I enjoy buying and wrapping gifts, I love Christmas lights. I love when my home is filled with Christmas decorations. I love candy canes, I will have hot chocolate even though it is not my favourite…I do however, love a Baileys hot chocolate. 

Tis the season after all. 

I can’t believe that it is this time of year again. I feel like the year has flown by. 

It has been a busy year, but I am very thankful that I can say that it has been a great year. 

This will be my last review/discussion of 2022. I will be discussing two books. 

After I publish this piece I will be taking a break for Christmas. I love It is my passion project, but I work on my laptop, I’m doing my master’s which consists of lots and lots of research and essay writing, and I am always writing reviews so even though I love what I do, and I consider myself very lucky, I’m constantly typing so I think it is important to take time away from the laptop screen every once in a while. I will be writing and publishing reviews and discussions again in the New Year. 

Thank You. 

Before I jump into my final review of 2022, I want to take a moment to say thank you so much to all of my readers. You know who you are. Thank you so much to everyone who has subscribed to I really appreciate it, and I hope that you all have been enjoying my reviews and discussions so far. I hope that you continue to enjoy them as we move into 2023. There is so much more to come. Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates. I hope that you all have a happy and healthy New Year. Here’s to 2023. 

I want to say a special thank you to the Children’s Books Ireland team and to the Beehive Books team. I’m honoured to be a member of the Children’s Books Ireland reviewer team. I’m such an advocate when it comes to encouraging young people to read. I really believe that the books we read when we are young can open up so many doors. Everything that I do now can be credited to  the fact that I was an avid bookworm when I was young, and I am so glad that the adults in my life encouraged my love of reading and ensured that I always had books. This is why I am such a fan of the Children’s Books Ireland ethos, which is that every child has the right to be a reader, and every child should have access to good quality reading materials. Every school should have a library. I have huge admiration for everyone at Children’s Books Ireland, and for all of the work that they do, and so I am delighted that I can say that I am involved in some way. #everychildareader. 

I’ve also been so lucky this year as I have gotten to know some members of the Beehive Books team. I’ve had the opportunity to attend some book launches and to review some of their books. Everyone whom I have met has been so kind, so lovely, and so welcoming, which is something that I really appreciate. I have a keen interest in the publishing industry, and when you meet people who are doing what you are striving towards, and they are so encouraging, it is really lovely. Thank you to everyone at Beehive Books. 

I’m adding social links below. Be sure to check them out!




A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

(The first of two book discussions.)

The Christmas season never passes me by without reading A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. It is a classic that is synonymous with Christmas in my opinion. I think it is such a significant read. Everyone should have to read this book at least once, and I do believe that it should be taught in English classes at this time of year. It is extremely hard for me to choose a definite favourite Dickens’ text. He is my favourite classic author. I loved studying his fiction and his journalism. Writing about his works was challenging, but it was a challenge that I really enjoyed. I would highly recommend reading A Christmas Carol first if you have never read any of his other works before, as although it is a dense text, I think it is a straightforward story to get into. The book also does a great job of introducing readers to the writing style of Charles Dickens. He is a very descriptive, evocative writer, and some of the scenes in A Christmas Carol are incredibly vivid because they are filled with such detail. I would argue that is why this book is so cinematic, and why a story like this lends itself to so many film adaptations. 

I have discussed A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens in much more detail in a previous book discussion. You can read it by clicking the link below. 

I’m also looking forward to watching Christmas Carole starring Surrane Jones. This show will be airing on Sky on Christmas Eve, and based on the trailer, I think it looks quite good.

Surrane Jones is obviously taking on the role of Scrooge. She appears to be an uptight businesswoman who scoffs at Christmas and kindness. Following the classic Dickens plot, she will be visited by three ghosts. Some may call this plot predictable by now, and this is somewhat true because even if you have never read the original text, A Christmas Carol has been adapted so many times that by now almost everyone knows the story and how it plays out. It is a little formulaic, but that is okay. That is the nature of a story like this. It is predictable, it does follow a set structure, but nevertheless it is a heartwarming, and very important tale. I’m excited to see this new take on it, even though I already have clear ideas about how the show will play out. 

I’m a fan of Surrane Jones, and it looks as though this adaptation has a fantastic cast so I am looking forward to sitting down and tuning in this Christmas Eve. I will do a mini #watchtvwithme on the spot review as I’m watching so be sure to follow along on my Instagram stories @katelovesliterature

The Holly Pond Hill Christmas Treasury by Paul Kortepeter. 

(The second of two book discussions.) 

The Holly Pond Hill Christmas Treasury, illustrated by Susan Wheeler and written by Paul Kortepeter is a book that I have had since I was a little girl. I flipped through it again a few days ago, and I was reminded of just how charming this book is. 

This delightful book is a collection of festive recipes, Christmas stories, poems, and songs. It is filled with charming illustrations and it is the perfect read for when one is counting down the days until Christmas. The characters of Holly Pond Hill are getting into the Christmas spirit and readers will too when they flip through the pages of this Christmas treasury. I think it is such a sweet keepsake. I’m so glad that I still have it after all these years. I think that a book like this would make a lovely present for a young reader, because it is something that they can have forever. A book like this can become a Christmas tradition because it is one that can be returned to every year. I think my favourite poem in this book is A Call for Snow! It is short and sweet, and perfect for young readers who want to practise reading independently. 

I’m delighted that I came across this book. It made for a fun trip down memory lane, and I just had to share it here on 

I am looking forward to 2023. I have a feeling it will be a great year. There is so much more to come, and I believe that there is no way to go except onwards and upwards. 

For now, thank you all for reading. I appreciate every like, and every comment. I love what I do, and it is so lovely that people engage with what I write. Until next year…

Merry Christmas. 

Kate xo.

The Holiday Before Christmas: Leipzig.

A travel diary by Kate O’Brien.

Christmas trees, fairy lights, gluhwein, and more. The Christmas markets in Leipzig were a magical sight. Germany has been on my travel wishlist for a long time, and I was so excited to spend a snowy few days in Leipzig. 

I wasn’t expecting to travel again before Christmas, but my Mam surprised me with a trip to Germany. It was cold, it was snowy, it was a trip filled with festive fun. 

I couldn’t wait to go, especially because Leipzig is a city that has a rich literary history, and there is nothing I love more than exploring a #literarycity. 

We flew out on a Sunday and we flew back to Dublin the following Wednesday. 

It is fantastic that Ryanair now has direct flights from Dublin to Leipzig. 

It may have been a short trip, but it was filled with amazing food, lovely drinks, some shopping, and we explored some fantastic sights. I had the best time, and Leipzig is a city that I will most definitely be returning to, but for now, I’m delighted to be able to add Leipzig to the travel diaries. 

If you enjoy reading about literary inspired trips then read on, because I’m going to outline some of the exploring we did, and I’m going to share some of the snaps I took. This city is a photographer’s dream, especially since the entire city was decorated for Christmas. 

It was glittering, sparkling, and all things festive. 

Leipzig is a cultural hub, and I was especially excited about the city’s musical history. 

The city has often been called the city of music, and if you’re a fan of classical music then this city is one you won’t want to miss. 

Please note – All images shared are photographs that I have taken myself, with my own phone. They may not be shared without my permission. 

St. Thomas Church. 

One of the places that I was most excited to visit was St.Thomas Church. (Thomaskirche). 

This church is said to date back to the 12th century, and although it has seen some changes over time, it is hard to imagine that a structure has stood in the same spot for such a long time. 

After some renovations, today the church is a beautiful, gothic building. It is a sight to behold. 

St.Thomas Church is home to one of the oldest, and most renowned boys’ choirs. The St.Thomas Boys’ Choir has sung in these halls since the year 1212, and at one point in time the choir was led by the one and only Johann Sebastian Bach. 

Johann Sebastian Bach has a reputation as one of the best composers of all time. He has been called a genius due to the way he composes counterpoints. A counterpoint refers to when melody lines are woven together, creating the harmony at the same time as the melody. Bach was also a particularly talented organ master, and during the church’s renovations, a new Bach organ was installed. This is the impressive organ that visitors will see when they visit the church today. 

In a little corner room in the church, I found my dream come true. Instruments and sheet music, all saved and displayed in cases. It was amazing to see handwritten scores that have been saved for all these years. I love music, I studied music, and while I don’t discuss it as much as I should, I adore classical music and music theory. 

I love scores. I think that there is something incredible about seeing the work that someone put on paper. Someone sat down and created song, and that is a talent that I wish I had. 

Music is universal and immortal. It seems unbelievable that the music of a choir master from centuries ago is still being played, remembered, and respected today, but Bach has left behind an impressive musical legacy and reputation. 

I was really hoping to see some sheet music and scores, so I was not disappointed. 

Outside the church, a statue of Bach sits overlooking the grounds. I think it is lovely that he is being remembered in St.Thomas Church in Leipzig after all of his musical service there. 

It is said that Bach is buried there too. The Bach museum is directly across the street so all of these must-see sights are very easy to find. 

This is a stop that music lovers won’t want to miss. Lovers of architecture will really enjoy it too, as this building with its high ceilings and stained-glass windows is just stunning. 

I bet that hearing a choir echoing through these walls would be absolutely amazing. 

I also want to note that visitors can also view the tower, but unfortunately I could not do this as this tour does not run past November. Oh well! This gives me yet another reason to return to Leipzig, not that I needed much convincing. 

I’d also like to share one of my favourite Bach quotes. 

The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.” – Johann Sebastian Bach. 

I think that music is something that touches the soul and pulls on one’s heartstrings in a way that not many things can. It is absolutely incredible how a piece of music can resonate with a person so much. That is why I love this quote. 

St. Nicholas Church. 

The second church we visited was St. Nicholas Church (Nikolaikiriche). 

At this church, visitors are not permitted to take photographs.

This church is absolutely stunning, it is a sight you won’t want to miss, however it is a sight that you cannot take photographs of. You can buy a private photo pass in the gift shop for €1, which I did, however these pictures are for private use only. The church states that pictures are not permitted to be shared online or on any social media platforms. I’m sure that people share their pictures anyway, however I’m not going to do so, as I would not like any of my own photos to be shared without my permission. 

This church is a gothic building with baroque elements, and I would say that this building has a delicate, almost romantic feel to it. The interior is pink and white, and a huge silver organ sits overhead, looking down at all the pews. This organ is the largest organ in all of Saxony. 

Several of Bach’s pieces premiered in this church. This church is only a few minutes walk away from St.Thomas Church so it is definitely worth making a stop at both. 

Mephisto Bar. 

Mephisto is an elegant bar that you’ll find if you walk through the famous Mädler-Passage. The arcade was built between 1912-1914, and it is a sight of beauty and grandeur. At this time of year, it is also a sight of Christmas trees. Mephisto is a bar that has a wonderfully eccentric atmosphere. The stylish bar is home to Mephisto, who is a demon figure that can be found in German folktales. I just had to visit here as a lover of fairy tales and folktales. 

The bar is elegant, with a devilish touch. Mirrors change, and at certain times, smoke and lightning flashes as Mephisto himself makes an appearance on the ceiling. 

It is such good fun. Cocktail lovers need to make a stop here, as the menu is absolutely delicious. 

Christmas Markets. 

The highlight of my trip was exploring the Leipzig Christmas markets. These markets are the second-oldest Christmas markets in Saxony as they date back to 1458. The markets are huge, and at every turn you’ll find fairy lights, Christmas trees, decorations, gluhwein, toffee apples, and more. There are treats at every stall. Mugs, cakes, ornaments, jewellery, I could go on and on. 

Exploring the markets while Christmas music played was absolutely magical, and there was a festive joy in the air. I absolutely loved all of the hustle and bustle, even though it was very cold. 

I am so happy that I had the chance to tick Germany off my travel wishlist, although I definitely want to return to Leipzig as I know there is much more to do and see. I really wanted to see the Opera House, but unfortunately the schedule was tight. Next time that will be my first stop. 

I would absolutely return to the Christmas markets in Leipzig although I do think that the city would be lovely to explore in the summer, and I want to explore other places in Germany too, so be it in the cold or in the sun, I will be visiting Leipzig again. 

I really enjoy travelling to places that are filled with rich literature, history, and beauty, and I really enjoy writing about these trips. If you enjoy reading my travel diaries, then be sure to read all about my past trips to Oslo, London, Pompeii, Naples, Florence, and Rome as I did lots and lots of literary things in these literary cities. 

Links below: 

Only Murders in the Building #2: Episodes 7 & 8.

Tonight is the night. Tonight, we find out once and for all who killed Bunny. 

I’ve been reviewing the episodes in pairs and so my review of episodes 9 & 10 will be published later this week, but I thought that I would save my review of episodes 7 & 8 until today. 

I can confirm, I finally have guesses. 

I’ve said it before, but I will say it again, I felt season two had a more intriguing mystery. 

It took me longer to form guesses about who the killer could be. 

I think season one was better at adding certain details. Season two involved some doubling back over nights we’ve already seen and adding more things. A clear example of this was the show telling audiences that Lucy was actually in the hidden passage the night Bunny was killed. 

I liked the detail although it felt a little backtracked. This is just my opinion of course. 

Let’s dive into episode 7, Flipping the Pieces. 

This episode gives audiences an insight into Mabel’s personal life. We learn about her father and this window into her past allows us to have a better understanding of how Mabel handles things now that she is an adult. 

I like the idea of everything being like a puzzle piece in Mabel’s mind. It might be a little on the nose, as far as metaphors go, but Mabel only remembers pieces of the night of Bunny’s murder. She needs them to all come together to form a clear image, this is the only way she can fully know what happened that night. 

I like that the episode showcased Mabel examining herself and trying to remember that night more clearly, because Mabel is obviously struggling with the fact that she does not fully remember. It has shaken her confidence and it has shaken her belief in herself. She knows she didn’t do it. She believes she never would do it, but the fact that some things are a blur throws her off. She questions could she do that? Is she capable of something like that? 

She even says it is something that she would do. She would grab a knitting needle or anything that she could defend herself with if she came home to find a stranger in her apartment. 

In a show that is very satirical, and very self-aware, this episode’s storyline felt really realistic. 

If you’re being accused of murder and you don’t fully remember what happened, I think it’s really plausible that you would question yourself and fear the worst. 

This episode also brought us the unlikely pairing of Mabel and Theo. 

I really enjoyed their scenes. I like that Mabel and Theo found some common ground. 

Theo is the one who helped Mabel and got her home safely after the subway incident. 

The two try to communicate in the best way possible and I really liked the fact that this episode highlighted some of Theo’s struggles. Mabel does not know American sign language and as the episode goes on (and in the following episode) she attempts to start learning it so she can communicate with Theo properly. The two share the same fear. Theo thinks back to the night of the party very often. He asks himself over and over, did she fall? Did I push her? 

It must be awful to be haunted by such dark memories and questions. 

We get to see some brilliant Steve Martin and Martin Short scenes. They truly are a dream team. 

Charles and Oliver are very worried about Mabel as they don’t know where she is, and two fumble when they are faced with questions from Detective Williams. 

I love Detective Williams. Da’Vine Joy Randolph is wonderful. Detective Williams is no nonsense. She’s direct. She does not take any messing, but she’s kind. She’s understanding, and she is possibly the only one in the NYPD who is on the side of our trio.  

Theo and Mabel find themselves at Coney Island, and here they start flipping the pieces. Mabel sees the man who was on the subway, the man who got away from their trap. Glitter guy. The killer, or the person who is most likely the killer. 

The episode ends with Mabel having a breakthrough. She didn’t stab Bunny. She found Bunny in her apartment. Bunny was bleeding. Bunny came to Mabel, needing help, which is how Mabel became covered in her blood. Mabel can finally breathe easier knowing that she did not do it. 

The episode ends with our trio in the diner. Charles and Oliver are thrilled to see Mabel, and she is delighted to see them. Theo is looking in from the outside. He is happy for Mabel. Theo was a standout for me in this episode. I really enjoyed the fact that he and Mabel bonded and hopefully, the pair can become friendlier since they’ve discovered that they share common ground. 

The end of episode 7 sets us up perfectly for episode 8. Charles is on the phone to Lucy, who is in his apartment alone when the call dies due to a blackout. Charles is very concerned about Lucy as she is now all alone in his apartment in the dark and Mabel found pictures of Lucy in the possible killer’s bag, suggesting that she could be in a lot of danger. 

Episode 8 is going to be a blackout episode. We know this now, and this intrigues me because things are about to be done in the dark. Now, I’m not sure who originally said this, but I’m a fan of the saying that things done in the dark eventually come out in the light so we’re getting so much closer to finding the killer. 

Let’s jump into episode 8. 

Episode 8 introduces audiences properly to Marv. Marv is a fan of the trio and their podcast. He also has his own theories about who killed Bunny. Marv’s narration tells us about the “sixth avenue slasher”. Marv thinks that this mysterious killer could be the one who killed Bunny as this killer was never caught. He brings his theory to the trio, but their main concern at the moment is getting to Lucy and making sure she is safe. 

This episode is a strange mix of funny, a little bizarre, yet also quite touching. 

Marv’s narration is interesting, if at times a little grating. This is a personal opinion. I like Marv as a character, I just didn’t love his style of storytelling, however he did make some great statements. One statement that always rings true is that nothing brings people together like a crisis. Everyone in the city is dealing with the blackout. Everyone is frustrated. The fact that this episode shows everyone in crisis mode meant that we got to see snippets into other lives in the building. 

There are two sub-plots in this episode. Howard has a crush on a new resident, Johnathan, the handsome Broadway performer. He’s getting his flirting game going in the dark. What is a better pick up line than asking whether or not someone has any batteries for a torch? Clearly his new neighbour has similar conversation starter ideas as he asks Howard for the exact same thing. The pair ditch the battery ideas and decide to light some candles and get to know each other. It’s cute. 

The pair also start an apartment-wide sing-song of The Sound of Silence. It is a little bit far fetched, but I do like the idea of everyone being there for each other so I’ll give it a pass. They sang it well so good for them. 

We also get to see Nina again. She is exhausted and trying to get her newborn baby to sleep. While it was not really a crucial plot point, I felt that this little snippet with Nina and Lester the doorman was really important. Nina is very rude to Lester at first. She makes the older man who has been the doorman at the apartment building climb many, many stairs with her packages because the blackout means no elevators. I understand that she is an exhausted new mother who just wants to get her baby to sleep, but the baby swing could have waited until the elevators were working again. Just a thought. Their chat was very sweet though as Nina talks about how much Bunny taught her. She wishes that Bunny’s killer would be found as she’s devastated at the thought of someone hurting Bunny. Nina is a modern woman. She is a thinker. She wants to improve everything, however after talking with Lester and at last apologising for being rude, she does admit that while moving forward is important, it is also important that we don’t lose human connection. This little snippet was very poignant in fact, as Lester tells Nina that he thinks about Bunny a lot. Something that haunts him is the idea that on the night of Bunny’s murder, he most likely opened the door for the killer and let him walk right passed him. This moment was a really endearing little snippet. I also thought it was very clever writing. It can be so easy to skim over people or assume that things don’t impact them for whatever reason, but Lester’s story reminds audiences that everyone is going through their own stories and things impact everyone in different ways. 

The key plot of this episode is Lucy is in danger. The killer bangs on the door of Charles’ apartment and a terrified Lucy flees to the hidden passages. The killer is not deterred. He’s after her, and our trio is climbing the stairs as fast as they can. 

Everyone playing an important role in their own way is a theme of this episode. Marv overhears that Charles is worried about Lucy so he does what he can to help. He also goes to the passageways and by doing so, he scares the killer away. 

A blackout must end with the lights coming back on. I don’t make the rules, that’s just how it is. Watch your sit-coms, pay attention, enjoy the shenanigans in the dark and then take a deep breath with the characters when the lights come back on at just the right moment. 

The episode ends with Detective Kreps showing up. Oh Detective Kreps, arrogant, cocky, mannerless Detective Kreps. As he is chatting to Mabel, it becomes obvious that there is glitter on his neck… he is glitter guy!! Is Detective Kreps our killer? Mabel thinks so. Her eyes widen as she sees the glitter too and this discovery leads us straight to episode 9. 

I enjoyed this episode. I also like the idea that perhaps Detective Kreps is crooked. 

Here’s my initial thoughts. I think it could be a little too obvious if Detective Kreps is the killer. He has always disliked our trio. He’s brash and he definitely gives off the vibe that he abuses his authority. He’s involved. The glitter proves that he’s the one who ran away from the glitter bomb, but I think he’s a little too close to home if he is the killer. 

I know from watching a lot of crime shows, both true and fictional, that sometimes those who commit crimes return to the scene, however Kreps strikes me as the type of guy who would brag about it. The fact he did it and got away with it would give him a gigantic ego boost and mannerless Kreps would have to gloat that he’s the smartest. He’s involved, but is he the mastermind? Let’s see. 

I am so excited to watch episode 10 later tonight. 

If you follow me on Instagram @katelovesliterature, then you’ll see my #watchtvwithme updates. 

I do have guesses. These guesses formed more solidly after I watched episode 9. 

I will talk about this more in my next review as I will be finishing the season by discussing episodes 9 & 10 together. I’m planning to write my next review tomorrow, immediately after viewing the finale so stay tuned because my final discussion should be published very soon as I am so excited. 

Have you been watching Only Murders in the Building? 

Did you prefer season one or season two? Do we think there will be a season three? 

Let me know, and if you’re watching the finale later like me, enjoy!

Kate xo. 

Only Murders in the Building #2: Episodes 5 & 6.

The mystery is getting more intriguing with each episode.

Let’s dive into episode 5. I really liked this episode.

I knew that I would like this episode as soon as it started because I like the idea of people having “tells.”

Oliver introduces a party game that he used to love called The Son of Sam.

How do you play?

Well everyone at the party is given a card, someone will get the killer’s card and when the lights go out, the “killer” will kill someone else in the game.

The game then becomes a process of elimination as more and more people drop out, the remaining players have to try to keep from being found out.

I really like this idea because this kind of game allows one to see who has a good poker face and who doesn’t, or as Oliver would say, this game allows you to see if someone has a “tell”.

What is a tell? A tell is a nervous little habit that one does when they’re lying. Someone might subconsciously play with their hair or fiddle with their clothes or bite their lip when they’re lying, and this little “tell” is how you know that this person is being untruthful.

So, we know from the very start of this episode that this game is important and it will likely come up again, and it does, in Mabel’s apartment.

I mentioned in my discussion of episodes 3 & 4 that Mabel has been getting to know Alice. The two characters are dating, and while Charles and Oliver are happy for Mabel, they are also a little wary.

Charles and Oliver are unsure of whether or not they can trust Alice. They are being extra cautious because of all the chaos that is taking place in their lives at the moment, and they also find the timing of Alice’s arrival a little suspicious. It is important to say that it is Oliver who is more suspicious. Charles is happy for Mabel and he just wants what is best for her, however he does agree with Oliver’s questioning.

Personally, as an audience member, I agreed with Oliver’s suspicions.

I’ve said it already, but I want to say it again, I think that Cara Delavigne is doing a brilliant job. I think she is playing Alice very well. Alice is a slick, sexy, confident character and Cara delivers every line in a very intentional manner. She is a very engaging presence, especially when she is speaking to Mabel, and Cara has this very intense stare that is almost piercing. I just think that she makes such an impression every time she is onscreen. You cannot help but pay attention to her, so I really like Alice’s character, however I also felt the timing was questionable.

Mabel and her friends are being framed for murder, they are being questioned, Mabel in particular is trending on social media, there is a lot going on in her life. If I were Mabel, I wouldn’t exactly be jumping into a new relationship, and Mabel has opened up a few times this season about her trust issues. Mabel wants to explore art, she wants to become more of an artist. She wants her life to be about more than just violence and death. She wants to move on. Alice understands and shares her love for art. Alice makes her happy and makes her feel normal. Mabel enjoys her company, so she sees this new development in her personal life as a welcome distraction. Fair enough, however because at this point in time, the writers have kept Alice fairly vague, I’m still questioning if she can be trusted.

Oliver says no. He thinks that Alice is hiding something and to prove it, he gets everyone involved in a game of The Son of Sam.

This part of the episode is fabulous. Charles and Oliver have crashed Mabel’s artist party in her apartment and during the game, everyone is transformed into a 70s look. It’s a quick process of elimination, lights on, lights off, again and again, until only Alice and Mabel are left. Oliver accuses Alice of hiding something, he points out her “tells”, he puts her on the spot and she finally confesses her truth.

Alice has been lying to Mabel…about her background. Alice didn’t go to a fancy school or come from a privileged upbringing. She felt the need to embellish her life story in order to make an impression in the art world, in order to make a name for herself.

Oliver feels guilty as he thought he would be exposing something more murderous, however Mabel is still furious with him for embarrassing Alice in front of everyone.

Mabel makes Alice promise that from now on there will be no more secrets between them and Alice agrees, however the episode ends with the camera showing us, the viewers, the inside of Alice’s bag, where she has hidden the Son of Sam card.

This moment shows us that Alice managed to cheat in the game and hide that she was the “killer”. This indicates to us that she is still hiding something and not being completely honest with Mabel.

In the meantime, Charles has his own love troubles. He’s still visiting Jan in prison and he reveals how inept he is at relationships because he says that the two never officially broke up even though she went to jail for murder. He has mixed feelings because he’s lonely and despite everything, the romantic feelings he once had for Jan didn’t just disappear.

Deceit seems to be the common thread of this episode because Oliver is faced with a DNA test when he learns that his son may not actually be his biological son.

Let’s jump into episode 6.

This is another character episode. The show likes to give us an insight into different characters. This time, we got a glimpse into the world of Poppy. Cinda Canning’s overworked and extremely underappreciated assistant.

Cinda is determined to air a podcast that will get big numbers tuning in, she does not care about the truth, and she is happy to paint Mabel as a violent loose cannon with a history of snapping.

The gang face some more personal issues in episode 6, alongside putting together a plan to try to trap the killer and figure out at last who is trying to set them up.

Oliver takes his DNA test and anxiously waits for the results and Charles realises that he must end things once and for all with Jan.

This leads me to my favourite part of this episode. That’s right everyone. Jane Lynch is back. She is utterly brilliant in her role as Saz, Charles’ stunt double. I just love Jane Lynch. I think she is a fantastic comedian. The way she delivers lines with such a straight face always cracks me up. I love the running gag that Saz is a better Charles. Saz does what Charles cannot do, physically and emotionally, which leads me to discuss the glorious scene in which Saz goes to visit Jan in jail, to break up with her on behalf of Charles.

Jane Lynch commits to this bit. She embodies this role and everything is perfect, from her lines, to her mannerisms, to her costumes, it’s just brilliant.

I never once imagined that I would see a show in which Jane Lynch is acting as the stunt double for Steve Martin, but it has happened, and it is the bit that I didn’t know I needed.

I would imagine that these scenes were so much fun to film, and I’d like to think that the actors had a great time working together because the energy onscreen certainly comes across that way.

Remember when I said that episode 5 implied that Alice is still lying?

Let’s talk about how episode 6 ended.

Our trio set a trap for the murderer. A glitter bomb, however the three are so busy chatting that they get distracted and they miss the murderer. Annoyed that they missed their chance to find out who this person is, Mabel decides to go home however when she gets to her apartment she is greeted by a strange scene. Alice has recreated moments of Mabel’s life, specifically tragic moments. There’s a party scene from the night Oscar was arrested. Alice herself is dressed up as Mabel from the night of Bunny’s murder, and she has an actor playing Bunny lying on the floor. Alice panics when she sees Mabel, because Mabel “wasn’t supposed to see it like this”.  She starts rapidly throwing out an explanation, something about examining trauma through an artistic lens however her voice becomes muffled as Mabel drowns her out. She stops listening. She feels lied to. She leaves the apartment so hurt and so upset. A distraught Mabel is sitting on the subway when she sees a figure dressed in all black, and covered in glitter. It’s the one who got away from the trio earlier. Mabel decides to confront him. The episode ends with bizarre footage of Mabel supposedly stabbing this person on the subway, footage that ends up on TikTok so “Bloody Mabel” will be trending once more.

I enjoyed episodes 5 & 6. I’ll be honest, while I thought it was an okay story, I wish more was done with Poppy. I appreciated her storyline. Poppy represents so many people who are overworked and underpaid by arrogant bosses who will never admit that they could not do what they do without their assistance. I hope she decides to ditch Cinda and help our trio discover the truth. Maybe this moment of Poppy seeing Cinda’s true colours will be important later. I’m not sure yet. I enjoyed her as a character, it just felt a little side-tracked in my opinion. I will say, Tina Fey does a good job of playing an arrogant boss. She is not in the show too much but she always makes her mark.

I’m very interested to see what the writers do with Alice. It’s safe to guess that Mabel will feel used and betrayed. I’m curious about the angle that they’re going to take with Alice. Is she just an artist who had this grand idea and then she got swept away in it? Are they going to try to spin this as a positive thing? I hope not. I love art and I understand that acknowledging one’s pain can be a cathartic part of the creative process but Alice deciding to study trauma through an artistic lens by specifically studying and making a piece out of Mabel’s very personal trauma is wrong, especially when Mabel opened up to her about her trust issues. At the moment, I feel this move makes Alice’s character feel disingenuous. Did she reach out to Mabel because she liked her art and wanted to meet? Or did she reach out because she was fascinated by Mabel and wanted to make art out of her story but felt that she needed to get close to her to do that? Is this her only secret or is she connected to Bunny’s death? I want answers.

I’m also curious about Oliver and his son. It looks as though Oliver’s wife had an affair with Teddy Dimas and Oliver’s son might be Teddy’s son, but he’s still waiting on his DNA result to come back. I wonder where this storyline will go if Oliver’s son turns out to be biologically Teddy’s and whether or not this plot will have anything to do with the murder.

As I’m writing this review, I have watched episode 7.

I plan to write about episodes 7 & 8 together. At this point in time, I still don’t have a guess about who I think the killer is. I think it is a man, based on height, build, and the hands of the figure who Mabel was chasing, but I don’t know who it is. I don’t even have guesses about who that figure may be.

Is it someone we already know? Is it someone who we don’t know but they’re connected somehow? I’m determined to lock in a guess before the final two episodes, and by then I hope the clues start coming together.

If I’m remembering correctly, this time last season, I had guessed Jan. I didn’t lock it in until the second last episode but I always felt that Jan protested too much and tried to put the focus on others a little too often, and that made me wary of her. This time I don’t have an idea yet, but maybe others do so please, if you have thoughts and theories, let me know.

Oscar still has not appeared, nor has he been mentioned. I’m losing hope that he will appear.

I’m aware I could look it up and find out if the actor left the show, however I don’t want to look up anything about the show at all because I want my discussions to be based solely off of my thoughts after watching the episodes. If I found out now that Oscar isn’t in the show because the actor couldn’t come back for whatever reason, that’ll just disappoint me more, so I’d rather watch and hope he arrives, or at the very least, I hope he’s mentioned in more detail.

I’m planning to talk about my overall thoughts on season 2 once all the episodes have aired and I get my answers, but for now I’ll say that in my opinion, the show has done a really good job of building a suspenseful mystery in season two. I feel it’s more complex, and I think it has been much harder to guess this time, which is impressive as this demonstrates how the show has upped its game since season one.

What has been your favourite moment of season 2 so far? I’d love to know.

Kate xo.

Only Murders in the Building #2: Episodes 3 & 4.

Season two of Only Murders in the Building has done a good job so far of taking characters that we either knew about or heard of in season one and expanding them. 

I’ve just finished watching episode 6, and while I’m very intrigued by that episode’s ending, I think that my favourite episode of season two so far has to be episode 3, The Last Day of Bunny Folger. 

I’m going to start this discussion of episodes 3 & 4 by saying that I hope Bunny appears in more flashbacks. I don’t know if Only Murders in the Building will go on to have a third season because realistically, how many murders can happen in one building, and how many times can our trio be framed? 

Season one had a great premise, avid podcast listeners decide to create their very own murder investigation podcast when someone in their building ends up dead and this dynamic worked really well and it also allowed the show to build up towards a second season that had a reasonably logical premise. Podcast trio got too close to the crime, they exposed the truth, and now someone wants revenge so season two follows our trio as they try to clear their names after being blamed for Bunny’s murder. 

The show is still satirical. It very much breaks the fourth wall and acknowledges that it is in its second season. The characters make jokes about how things are heightened, evolved, they’re clearly aware that season one’s formula worked and so they’re doing the same thing, just on a slightly bigger scale because as the old saying goes, if it isn’t broke…

Bunny Folger is a character. When I say someone is a character, what I mean by this is that this person stands out. Bunny had a reputation of being the mean lady who was very strict, she didn’t like Oliver, and she had certain standards for the building that she grew up in, the building she inherited, the building that is her family’s legacy. Bunny takes great pride in the fact that her home has not been turned into just another modern building that could be anywhere and I said in my last review how I really enjoy the fact that the apartment building itself is just as much of a character as everyone else in the show. 

Episode three gives audiences the details of Bunny’s last day alive. In this episode, in my opinion, we learn that Bunny was a firecracker. She was determined, she was opinionated, she knew her own mind, she didn’t suffer fools. Bunny was a New Yorker through and through. She was very generous when she wanted to be, a fact that she didn’t flaunt, she even seemed to have a sense of humour tucked away. It was a side that she didn’t share with many, but throughout this episode I found myself saying “I love Bunny.”

Bunny is planning to retire and so she spends a lot of time in episode three thinking about moving to Florida however after a few moments trapped in a hot elevator with Charles and Mabel, she declares that she hates the heat. It was my favourite moment in the show. The line was delivered so perfectly. 

Bunny’s character arc also showed the downside of keeping your caring, funny side hidden away from so many because when she ventures out of her apartment with a bottle of bubbly for our trio, they completely miss the hint that she would like to drink with them, and then when they hear how upset she is, they feel too awkward to go into the hallway and get her, and this awkwardness is topped by the fact that because of their less than perfect relationship with Bunny, she is not exactly someone they want to celebrate with in the first place. With that being said, my heart broke for Bunny when she cried in the hallway because that moment showed that she is not heartless, she does not want to be friendless, she is just a woman who has built walls to protect herself. She has a hard job. She deals with every problem, every complaint, and it is not always fun to have to be the responsible one, the one who gets things done. She runs a tight ship, and it is often something that people don’t appreciate until the person running that ship is no longer around, but also when you have to be so firm, you won’t always be someone that people feel they can let their hair down around and while this is unfortunate, this is very true so those uncomfortable scenes with Bunny trying to fit in after being firm felt painfully realistic. 

I enjoyed episode 3. It felt like a character episode rather than an episode fuelled by new clues, however I enjoyed this. I felt this episode rounded out Bunny’s character because honestly even though it is Bunny’s building and she spent season one being less than best friends with our trio, I originally thought she was an odd character to kill off even though I will say I think killing off a character we already knew worked much better than it would have if they brought in a completely new victim but I still think it was smart to include Bunny flashbacks, especially since I feel they were designed to allow us as the audience to warm to Bunny a bit more. 

Let’s talk about episode 4. 

In this episode, we finally got to meet Lucy. We learned a lot about Lucy in season one. Charles dates her mother. He was part of Lucy’s life for a significant amount of time. He clearly cared for her as though he was her father and he found it difficult after the relationship ended and Lucy was no longer in his life. We had that very sweet moment in season one where he reached out and his face lit up when Lucy texted him back. 

I will pause here and say that I think Steve Martin is the dad of all dads in dad roles. 

I cry when I watch Father of the Bride. I just think he plays the doting dad part so well. He’s very endearing, and so seeing his character Charles have to navigate seeing Lucy again now that she’s older and her mother has married someone else was really interesting and really sweet. 

Something that I didn’t love is how they made Lucy almost cartoonishly “young.” 

I’m saying “young” because the show is never afraid to mention generational gaps. Mabel is obviously younger than Charles and Oliver and now Lucy is much younger than Mabel, but they made Lucy, for the first few minutes anyway, impossible to talk to. There is a scene where she talks to Mabel about TikTok and she speaks so quickly about so many different things that even Mabel finds it hard to have a conversation with her. 

I understand the joke here is that Mabel is saying “she makes me feel old, and I’m the young one”, but I’m very glad they calmed this down because if Lucy continued to speak this way for the entire episode, it would have become very grating. In my opinion, this would not have been fair because Lucy so far is a very intelligent young girl, who is dealing with a lot, and she articulates herself very well and I think having her reconnect with Charles whom she loved as a stepfather figure would be a really lovely arc.

Spoilers ahead, although if you’ve read this far then you either don’t care about spoilers or you’ve watched the episodes but it turns out that Lucy was hiding in the passages the night that Bunny was murdered so I’m intrigued to see how that storyline will play out as the season continues. 

Based on Lucy’s flashback to the night of the murder, a figure snuck into Mabel’s apartment by going through the secret passages. In my opinion, I think Bunny’s killer was a man based on the tall, broad figure that Lucy hid from in the passageway. 

I think it is a little bit interesting that the show is almost backtracking a bit on season one because in episode 4, Lucy explains how she came to the building and hid from Charles and left after the chaos, but I think I would have preferred if we had have seen her in season one. It would have been better if there was a shot of her entering the building and then we could have wondered who that was, where did she go, and then when she came into the show properly in season two, we could have said “that’s the girl who walked into the building, so she was there that night, ohh what happened?”

It’s just my opinion, but I feel that although it is an interesting storyline and I’m interested to see what the show does with it, it feels a little bit as though the show decided to say “Look, see. Lucy was there too!” 

Out of all the new storylines in season two so far, this one just feels a little clunky, but it is not ruining my overall enjoyment of the show. 

Still no Oscar. I am disappointed. 

I am writing this review of episodes 3 and 4 having already watched episodes 5 and 6, but I am going to write about 5 and 6 separately, so I already know how things take an odd turn with Alice, but at this point, in episodes 3 and 4, I like her. I like how we are not sure yet if she can be trusted or not. I said already, I have no problem with Mabel dating other characters, but I am disappointed that Oscar does not seem to be appearing after everything they’ve been through. They don’t need to date. They can be friends. Oscar was acknowledged so briefly that I think it does season one a disservice. I’m hoping that he is at least mentioned more before the season ends. 

Things have taken a turn in episodes 5 and 6 and to be honest, while I have some thoughts, I don’t have a clear guess yet on who I think the killer is. I’m hoping that I will be able to guess because when I watch any kind of mystery I like to lock in a guess and see if I am right or wrong, but I’m not ready to lock in a guess yet so I’m still wondering who killed Bunny? 

Let’s keep watching and find out. 

Do you have any ideas about who the killer could be? I’d love to read some guesses/theories so let me know. 

Kate xo. 

Only Murders in the Building #2: Who Killed Bunny?

Season two of Only Murders in the Building is fianlly availible on Disney plus. Last night I sat down with a drink and some popcorn and I eagerly watched the first two episodes. 

I really enjoyed the first season. I’ve written about it. I thought the show was really fun. It was quirky, it was a bit satirical. I thought the premise was interesting and I have said many times that I am a fan of Steve Martin. I think that he and Martin Short are a dream team and the addition of Selena Gomez made for a really fun dynamic. 

Warning! There will be spoilers ahead so if you still have not watched the first season, you should. Season one ended on a cliffhanger. Mabel finds Bunny in her apartment. Bunny has been stabbed with Mabel’s knitting needle. The series ends with our three favourite podcast hosts, Mabel, Charles, and Oliver being taken away in handcuffs by the police. Mabel is covered in Bunny’s blood. It is safe to say that I was extremely excited that the show was going to have a second season and I can’t wait to see what happens so I have very high hopes for season two. 

Season two picks up right where we left off. The gang are in the police station being questioned and they are firmly told; no more podcasts. The trio however can’t help themselves and they are determined to figure out what happened so they can clear their names and not let anyone else tell their stories. 

We are introduced to some new faces in season two. Amy Schumer has moved into the building and she is playing herself. Schumer wants to buy the rights to the podcast so that she can make a show and Schumer has decided that she wants to play Jan, our season one villain.  So far Schumer has mostly just had scenes with Martin Short and this works because Oliver is the character who is the most obsessed with the recognition the trio receive from doing the podcast. He is the one who stops to speak to the press when the three leave the police station etc. so it makes sense that he is the character who would be excited to see Schumer and discuss projects. It is an interesting dynamic and I am intrigued to see how the show incorporates Schumer as the season goes on. It is clear to see that because this show did so well, they have been able to get more big names in their second season, and I have no doubt that Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez have many connections, however personally I am not Schmer’s biggest fan. Her brand of humour doesn’t really land with me. There are times that she can be funny, but mostly I find her type of humour to be a bit too “try hard” and even in the few scenes she was in, there were moments where I just found the over exaggerated version of herself irritating. That’s not to say she’s not talented. Schumer is talented, and her timing and line delivery has been very good and her quirky humour does fit the show quite well and the clash with the stardom obsessed Oliver is funny, but overall she wouldn’t be my favourite and I was surprised when I saw her on the screen for the first time. I’m very interested to see how it plays out, I could end up loving her. We’ll see. 

The other new addition to the show is Cara Delevinge as Alice and it seems like she will be playing an important role. I was so impressed by Delevinge as Alice. Alice is an artist. She is effortlessly cool. She seems to be somebody that Mabel can relate to and open up to. They both share an appreciation for art, they’re both creative. They both find the other easy to talk to. Spoiler warning – I sensed from the second that Alice and Mabel spoke so easily in the art gallery that we would see a kiss before the episode ended. I was right. The two share a kiss after Alice encourages Mabel to destroy a sculpture as a way to let out all of her frustration and anger. 

It seems like Alice and Mabel may go on to date in this season, but we’ve just met Alice, and it will be very important that Mabel knows who she can trust at this difficult time. All eyes are on her. She is trending online and she has been given the nickname Bloody Mabel and something about the way she was recorded destroying that sculpture with an axe doesn’t sit right with me. I feel like that footage could be used against her somehow. I love Alice as a character. She’s got such a cool energy about her and I hope that she becomes someone Mabel can trust and rely on and she may even help solve the case. We shall see. 

In season two, we are learning about Bunny’s mother who is played by the fabulous Shirley MacLaine and we are learning about Charles’ father. We are also learning more about the apartment building itself and I love that the Arconia is almost a character itself. The trio have already discovered a secret lift in Bunny’s closet so I’m sure that there might be some more hidden places to come. I love a building with secrets. 

Let’s talk about season two’s plot. It is clear that the angle the show is going for is that someone is trying to frame the trio for Bunny’s murder. It also seems like the motive behind Bunny’s murder could be fuelled by money. It seems that Bunny owned a very expensive painting. 

Spoiler warning – When the gang break into Bunny’s apartment to look around, they discover that the painting has been stolen. They come to the conclusion that the killer must have the painting but that idea is quickly squashed when Charles arrives home to find the painting hanging on his wall. The gang then become determined to discover who is trying to set them up, while Mabel keeps having flashbacks to the night she found Bunny. It is all a blur but as the episode plays out, Mabel starts to remember that Bunny spoke before she died. 

She said “fourteen” and “savage”. Now, Savage is Charles’ last name and it seems that his father is the man in the painting, but we don’t know what fourteen refers to yet. 

It seems like it will be another scavenger hunt style mystery, similar to the format of season one. Mabel’s disorientated memories are really all the gang can work with so I would guess that the next episode may incorporate them trying to figure out what Bunny meant by fourteen. I also wouldn’t be  shocked if Mabel remembers something else being said. The painting is also going to be important because (spoiler) Bunny’s mother reveals that the painting that was hung in Charles’ apartment is not the original. It is a copy so now we have to figure out where the real painting went. 

I’m excited to see what the next episode does. It’s a good setup and I’m interested to see where the mystery goes as we have to do something different from season one. Speaking of season one, I really hope Oscar makes a comeback because even if he is not going to be Mabel’s love interest, I think he still should be her friend and season one ended with him watching her get taken away in handcuffs after the two characters had reconnected.  I’d be disappointed if we don’t see him again after all the two have been through and I think it would make sense if his character helped figure out who was trying to blame Mabel because they have been friends all their lives. A huge plot point in season one – again spoiler – was that Oscar had been in jail for a crime he did not commit and Mabel worked so hard to clear his name. There had been so much character development between the two that I think it would be so odd if he didn’t return. His character looked so concerned when Mabel was taken away in handcuffs. Oscar knows Mabel is not capable of murder. He knows the pain of being accused of something you did not do. Aaron Dominguez gave a really great performance in season one and his character was so important to the investigation. Oscar’s father is the superintendent of the Arconia, it just doesn’t make sense to me if he is not in season two at all so I hope he shows up. Oscar doesn’t have to be Mabel’s love interest. The show can still have Mabel explore what she wants and her feelings for Alice can still continue to grow, but I will be disappointed if Oscar has just disappeared because lifelong friendships don’t just abruptly stop, not when the two characters have clearly been through so much together. It is early days though, it is only episode two so we shall see. 

I’ve mentioned already that I am going to write in a more spontaneous way and write about what I gravitate towards rather than feeling like I have to write about certain things at certain times. My schedule has changed dramatically lately so I’m trying different things and figuring out what works best for me as I never want to publish a piece that I am not 100% happy with. 

I think I might try something new and write episodic reviews of Only Murders in the Building. 

So if you haven’t started season two, you should because otherwise my reviews will be spoilers galore. 

I am so excited for episode three. If you love the show like I do and you have guesses or theories that you want to share, leave them below. I’d love to read them. 

Kate xo.