Thursday, April 29, 2010

Another St. Just mystery

Title of the book: Death at the Alma Mater by G M Malliet
Checked it out of the public library
What caught my attention: First I like this series and have read the previous ones and second I am waiting to see where the relationship between Inspector St. Just and Portia is going.
Great paragraph from the book: St. Just greeted Malenfant (the coroner) as he emerged from the tent and asked, "Time of death?"

Malefant gazed iconically at his old friend for a long moment before speaking.

"Always the same with you, isn't it?" he said, removing the latex gloves. "No matter how long since we've seen each other. Just, 'time of death?' he wants to know." Malefant, despite his years in England, remained thoroughly French in manner and habit, the more so when agitated. "You may have observed," he continued, "that my holiday at present lacks certain... amenities. For one thing, it is not taking place in France. Puzzlingly, I remain here, in my summer holiday costume, miles from the beach." (Malefant was called in because the coroner on call was sick and he hadn't left town yet.)

Tidbit of info: Lighting up, in scullers terms, is the time at shen the sun sets to 94 degrees below the zenith.
Thoughts on the book: I will definitely continue to read the future books, as the relationship with Portia and St; Just is heating up rather nicely. I really like the humor in these books but I also found the interrogation of the suspects a little slow. This books finds itself at one of the Cambridge colleges where Portia is finishing her thesis. On this particular weekend, alumni of this college are invited back in order to solicit money from them to cover the upkeep of the school, which they all seemed to realize why they were asked back. There is a underlining conflict between some of the alumni, where a gentleman and his current wife are attending along with his ex-wife which proves to be interesting especially when the ex-wife turns up dead. The events leading to her death turn out to be surprising in the end.

My rating: Should read.

Evolution here

Yes, that is the name of the game. Evolution. And this blog is going to evolve. Or expand. Which ever way you want to think about it. So here is the scoop. I am formatting the blog a newer way and focusing on why I picked the book, where I got it, a paragraph that caught my attention, a tidbit I learned and of course what I thought about it and my rating. I am also going to try to help myself whittle down my TBR piles so I have come up with theme months. For this month, April, I have only a few books left to read before I start this May's which will be cozies. I have a lot of them.
First post - new theme:
Title of the book: False Mermaid by Erin Hart
Caught my attention: American Pathologist trying to solve sister's murder between Ireland and Minnesota.
How I got it: Public library
Great Paragraph from the book: Fortunately Roisin had fallen in love with the sound of the fiddle, just as her father had with all its shades and feelings. No amount of technical ability could substitute for that. She had become a hunter of those quicksilver flashes of genius that enters the soul and came out the fingers - the enchantment. All he (her father) could do was to show her his own way of recognizing those rare moments, how to receive them when they came. ( from scene in Ireland during a fiddle contest and the father is a friend of the main character)
Tidbit learned from book: Proserpinaca is semi-aquatic and called mermaid weed - which means the lower part grows under water, the upper parts in air. Floerkia, false mermaid, grows in seeps and marshes and other wet places but isn't semi-aquatic, but looks quite similar to mermaid weed.
Thoughts on the book: It is kind of a psychological thriller having to do with a five year old murder of the main character's sister, supposedly caused by the husband but couldn't be pinned to him. So he moves on, gets another wife and we look to see if it will happen again. There is a really interesting twist in the plot when the pieces of evidence start coming out from strange places.
Rating: Must read.
I would like to hear your thoughts on my new blogging, if you would be so kind. Thanks!!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lonely Hearts Club

Okay so I am not a die hard Beatles fan that I would name my child after a song but that's what the parents in this did. All their kids. But the one this story is about is Penny Lane Bloom. This young adult book by Elizabeth Eulberg was really fun to read and I kind of sympathized with the main character. I, too, felt that the guys in my high school were too lame to date and awkward. Maybe that's why I dated guys from other schools. But Penny went so far as to start a club for girls who are going to wait till after high school to date. It proves to be so popular that the school administration feels threatened. But that was not the purpose of the group. It proves to be a very effective support group for all types of girls through all sorts of life experiences. I found refreshing was these girls were able to overcome the peer group issue and not have to worry about what other girls would say if you did something different. Ultimately, Penny does find that the boy that is the closest to her was the one. Anyone should read this book.
Also this week I read the second book in the series by Carolyn Haines. Sarah Booth Delaney, in Buried Bones, was more on top of her game on her second real case. This one involving a artist slash writer who decides to write a tell all with a cowriter who really wasn't experienced. With the help of her great-granny's nanny's ghost, she solves the case of who done it for the sake of a girl friend of the deceased. I am really liking these books more and will be talking about how you should read the series with me. And the ending was to die for with the hunk. Yeah!!!
Next post will include my new style of reviewing and a monthly theme, mostly for my disapline.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The First Annual Grand Prairie Rabbit Festival by Ken Wheaton

Father Steve Sibille finds himself in a little church in Grand Prairie, LA and seeming to questioning his faith. To get the congregation involved in the community, he comes up with the concept of a rabbit festival to draw them together. With the help of the previous vicar's illegitimate daughter and a priest that quits the faith as a result of his struggle with homosexuality, he inspires his flock to plan the celebration and the fundraisers beforehand. On top of this, a pentecostal minister arrives in town, with family in tow, to set up shop with a new church just down the road. The one-uppance between the two is amusing and I thought the struggle of Father Steve to be endearing. The ending is a shock and not quite what I expected. It was a nice read for you to try.

Accidentally Demonic

I was so excited when I found a copy of this book at the library. I have read all the other Dakota Cassidy's Accidental series and I think this, unfortunately, will be her last one. In this book, the person who has the accident is Wanda's sister, Wanda being one of the accidentals from one of the first three books. Casey accidentally gets demon blood spilled on her in a nightclub, by a vampire of all people. She was there as a kind of buffer for a pair of rich sisters, who have a penchant for getting into trouble, when they are drinking. After the blood gets spilled, she wrecks havoc on some paparazzi, and then the cops, which lands her in jail and calling her sister for help. Wanda and her friends try to help her deal with the transformation along with the hunky vampire. But of course nothing is as it truly seems. And there is the battle to be won. I have truly enjoyed these books and feel sad that they are coming to an end. You absolutely should read all of these books.

Stray Affections

Here was a wonderful spiritual book by Charlene Baumbich. It proved to be a very relaxing book for me to read over the weekend. The book centers around Cassandra Higgins, who seems to have the perfect life. Every year she goes to the Collectors Convention to pick up unique animal knick-knacks with her friend. But this year she has to go by herself, which proves to be difficult. What she discovers is a wondrous snow globe with a girl and three dogs. After she buys the snow globe she is accidentally bashed by a women with a large purse, not once by twice and then gets her wallet stolen. Once home, she peers into the snow globe only to have the girl and dogs disappear right before her eyes. So starts her struggle with old wounds from her childhood and the magic that comes from above to steer her in the right direction. Truly a story of reading more into a persons words than what they really meant. It was a warm, good read and fulfilling.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Nantucket Love Story

This is the sub line on a really sweet Christian romance book I just finished called The Seaside Letters by Denise Hunter. And there are others, I see, and will find. Anyway, in this one, it is a very interesting situation that exists for this couple. Sabrina is new to Nantucket after a lousy end to a engagement six days before the wedding. The groom was now in love with her cousin, of all things. So she escapes to the honeymoon spot, in Nantucket, and then decides to start over there. She starts waitressing and meets Tucker. But you see she is burnt bad and is not looking for relationship. But he is smitten. He eavesdrops on a conversation she has with a coworker about a local website to chat in and finds her there two days later and lo, they start a cyber friendship. He knows who she is, she knows who he is but she doesn't know he knows who she is. Confused? They do this for a while until he wants to trick her into admitting she is who she is. It is a fascinating process that he goes through to try to get her to reveal herself in person. With a little twist in the story, which I won't tell. This was a good read. Try it out.

Never Say Sty

Does the title give you a hint? You probably could guess that this book has to do with swine. In fact it centers on pot-bellied pigs. In this newest book in the Kendra Ballatyne Pet-Sitter series by Linda O Johnston, we get little tidbits of info about pot-bellied pigs. Kendra is now doing pretty good in her life, with doing legal work primarily for pet issues and pet-sitting for her favorite pets and now being a producer of a animal reality show stemming from a dispute with a animal trainer for movie roles. So the show is sold, funded by a hunky guy who owns a large pet shop enterprise and whom Kendra falls for, and the judges are picked. However after the initial taping, one of the judges gets murdered. So we find ourselves following Kendra figuring out if it was show related or something in his past that caused it. I will admit that this book did not give as much info on pot-bellied pigs as her previous books with their critters but still I learned something. And that is what I like to have happen. Learn something and be entertained and use my imagination and fantasize. The end was logical but wasn't easily figured out. I give it a should read.

100 posts

I just realized that I have done my 100th post. Wahoo! Who would have thunk. I am so tickled at my doing this blog and being able to give someone, anyone, a small glimpse at books they may never of known existed or give them incentive to try something different. I do have a varied sense of what I read. I took a survey the other day about book covers and yes, they do influence the reason I will choose a book. So if the book looks good on the outside, I check out the blurb about it. Then if that sounds good too, I will put in on my list. That's where my Amazon wish list comes in handy. I have 5 different wish lists: to keep track of what I want to read, what I would buy, what is coming soon and old books to find at some time. Plus gift ideas for family and friends. My family can be rest assured that they will get books for their birthdays and Christmas, whether they want them or not. But they usually do. So I will continue forth with my next book review. Hope you will like it.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Bad Book Affair by Ian Sansom

This book consisted of mostly a jolly banter between the main character, Israel Armstrong, a little Jewish guy who runs the local mobile library in northern Ireland, and Ted, his driver. The book centers around a goth looking girl, the daughter of a politician in running, who comes to the library and requests a Under the Shelve book. That's what the books are called that are not recommended for reading under the age of 18. The one she asks for is American Pastoral and Israel doesn't have a problem lending it to her as she seems very mature. Of course it gets around that he did and unfortunately the girl comes up missing and people try to pin her checking out the book on the reason why she is. During all this Israel is struggling in his life as he is creeping up on thirty, just lost his girlfriend and lives in a henhouse of all places. This is book number 4 in the series and may be losing steam, I think. It was a good read though.

Butter Safe than Sorry

So continues the hilarious exploits of Magdalena Yoder, Mennonite descent innkeeper now married to a Jewish doctor, and her four year old son, Jacob. Another series I have followed from the beginning from Tamar Myers. In this one, she is at the bank with her son when 3 Amish men come in to rob the place. Only they did not fit the typical Amish profile but were wearing disguises, which Jacob picked right up on. Observant like his Mom. The robbers don't get away with anything, thanks to Mags and her son but then the events turn to the worse with her sons life in danger. The bank teller gets murdered for a strange reason as well as a local seamstress, for another strange reason. But all will be clear when you figure out who the culprit is. It was a quirky tale involving her guests at the inn and with kind of a sad ending, I thought. I recommend reading the series and this was a good read.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Weekend reading

Sorry to do this but this will be a catchup blog of what was read over the weekend. 3 books. Imagine that. Even though I still wonder some times why I am doing this. Do I have more followers yet? Nyet. I, unfortunately have many friends who don't read and are not interested in this blog. And the ones who do read books read different ones than I do usually. But not all. I guess I will have to bribe the ones who are my sisters, in chick lit and cozies, so they will subscribe. Chocolate anyone?

I will start with the book I liked the most. Tragedy at Two by Ann Purser. This is the recent books in the Lois Meade series. Lois has a house cleaning service in rural England. Her past time is helping the local inspector, who is enamored with her even though she is married, with murders especially ones that affect her family. In this story, the murdered victim is her daughters partner/boyfriend. What's interesting is all the twists and turns she goes through to finally solve this mystery involving gypsies. This is a should read.

The next one I read was a new find called Them Bones, a Sarah Booth Delaney Series #1, by Carolyn Haines. Sarah is a southern belle in Mississippi who is broke and is danger of losing her family home. So she is desperate to make some money. So she kidnaps someones' dog and holds them for ransom. Only it doesn't quite end up the way you would expect. First it works but I think only because the person who's dog she kidnaps ask her to do the money drop. How fortuitous for her. This leads to a series of "jobs" she gets asked to do finding people and such. And all this while she has a ghost of her great grandmother's nanny goading her along. It was quite a cute read and I think I will continue in the series.

And lastly I read the second book in the Chet and Bernie series, books by Spencer Quinn. What is different about his book is that you get the story from the standpoint of the dog, Chet, who helps his owner Bernie with his private investigating job. I will tell you it does get a little strange when Chet's mind wanders, as you would suspect a dogs does. But it is interesting to suspose what the dog is thinking and catches. In this book, they are hired to be bodyguards for a dog, registered for a fancy dog show, that got death threats. Of course they are thinking this was the easiest money they will make. But the dog turns up missing right away and the owner turns up dead. But not for the reasons you think, especially knowing it is a dog eat dog world. Sorry, had to put that in. So these are nice reads and I am checking them out at the library. Check out the dog's blog.