Well, this was interesting to me. I had not read any previous books in this series, and frankly, am not interested in any of the author's other seriesWell, this was interesting to me. I had not read any previous books in this series, and frankly, am not interested in any of the author's other series, but this was a book I liked.
Lily Bard lives in Shakespeare, Arkansas, and when the book opens, she is participating in the town's Christmas parade, to promote her cleaning business. Lily is an interesting character, not a cuddly, sweet type, more a defensive, tough type. Which is apparently a result of having survived an abduction, rape, and mutilation. Anyway, she is headed to her home town of Bartley for her younger sister's wedding, and dreading every minute of it, since her family and former friends don't seem to know how to act around her since the harrowing event.
Shortly before she heads home, she reads a story in the local paper, that is part of a series they run every year, about cold cases. She is particularly drawn to one about a baby that was abducted from a nearby town, and the parents that have never given up hope.
It turns out that when she gets to Bartley, her current boyfriend, a private investigator, shows up, investigating the very child abduction case that rattled Lily. With only a few days before her sister's wedding, there are all of a sudden a few murders to solve, and Lily becomes convinced that they are related to the abduction of the baby eight years ago.
This was interesting to me, both as a new series, and with a main character that was not really that appealing, or who put the "cozy" in cozy mystery. Everything happens shortly before Christmas Day, and Lily wants it all resolved so she can be back in Shakespeare, celebrating the holiday the way that SHE wants to!
I am intrigued by this series, and will probably at least read the first installment for background....more
Yes, not a Christmas book! I started listening to this audiobook about a month ago, after going to a presentation by Alan Cumming a the Free Library oYes, not a Christmas book! I started listening to this audiobook about a month ago, after going to a presentation by Alan Cumming a the Free Library of Philadelphia's Author Series. And I just finished a few days ago, so it will be in here with my Christmas books. :-)
First of all, let me state that I love Alan Cumming. I think it would be a hoot to know him. I love him on the TV show, "The Good Wife," and think that if they ever created an Emmy for Best Reaction Shots, he would win, hands down, every single time.
Anyway, this all starts when he is asked to be on the British TV show, "Who Do You Think You Are?" where they research your roots. Alan was interested in learning more about his paternal grandfather, Tommy Darling, who left to fight a war, but never really returned to his family. During the course of background for the show, his father drops the bomb that Alan is not his son, but is the result of a brief affair between his mother and another man.
The story is told in "Then" and "Now" chapters, and details his childhood dealing with a father who seemed to go out of his way to make his child's life miserable. Actually, not just his one child - both children, as well as his wife. Cumming spares no horrible detail, and the reader (listener) comes away wondering how he has turned out as OK as he seems to be. The book details all of the whirlwind of activity and trauma surrounding the information found about Tommy Darling for the TV show (which is not what anyone expected), which was happening at the same time that Cumming's father was claiming no biological connection.
For someone who grew up in what most would see as an idyllic setting, Cumming's childhood was full of fear, confusion, and wondering why his father treated him as he did.
This was pretty amazing. The twists of the story, and the story itself, are both disturbing and upsetting. The fact that he is able to tell the whole story, and even move on from it, shows that people can overcome the worst.
By the way, if you ever have the chance to hear him in person, GO!!...more
It's December, so of course it's time for me to read holiday-themed books, and this is the one I chose first. I am not at all familiar with the seriesIt's December, so of course it's time for me to read holiday-themed books, and this is the one I chose first. I am not at all familiar with the series, and I have read very few things set in modern-day Wales, so I was curious. I enjoyed this book.
Penny Brannigan and her friend and business partner, Victoria, are busy planning for the opening of their new spa in a small Welsh town. They have previously owned a nail salon, but Penny received an inheritance that has allowed them to take their business to the next level. This is the core story of the book, around which all other events swirl.
During the renovation of the building, the skeletal remains of a woman are found, and the police are trying to see if they can identify the person. Then a well-to-do widow in the town meets a charming younger American man who she believes is romantically interested in her, but turns out to be a con artist. Penny spies a couple who she can't quite recognize one evening in the dark, who apparently are having an affair. And then, right before the spa opening and Christmas Day itself, the American con artist is killed during a visit by a local arts group to a nearby castle.
Penny and Victoria are asked by the widow to investigate, since suspicion falls immediately on her. So with everything else that they have going on, they agree to look into it. Penny is somewhat distracted by the theft of a valuable brooch recently given to her by her policeman boyfriend, and in the end, even that is part of the overall story.
As I said, I enjoyed this book, it was a new setting and some new characters, and of course, takes place at Christmastime....more
I have not read any of the previous entries in this series, and this is #7, so I'm sure that a lot of background has been missed. But anyway, Lucy StoI have not read any of the previous entries in this series, and this is #7, so I'm sure that a lot of background has been missed. But anyway, Lucy Stone lives in a small town in Maine, where she is a reporter on a local weekly newspaper, a wife, a mother of one son and three daughters, and apparently an amateur detective. She regularly covers the town council meetings, and though they are usually boring, she inadvertently learns that part of the reason a local tribe of Native Americans are hoping to receive recognition from the federal government is so a casino can be built. Needless to say, everyone in the town is worked up over that.
It's also Thanksgiving, and she is really excited that her son is coming home from his first semester of college. However, when he arrives, instead of bringing just one friend along as was planned, he brings four! Besides the wrench in things that extra people cause, Lucy feels like she is with a completely different person, which really upsets her.
When one of the tribal leaders is found murdered, a friend asks Lucy to please look into it, since she feels the police won't solve it at all, or not anytime soon. Somewhat reluctantly - but also to answer some of her own questions - Lucy agrees.
So between all of the preparations for, and the celebration of, Thanksgiving, and her investigation, Lucy starts to feel that neither is going well.
As with most books of this type, it ends with things neatly tied up. I didn't *not* like this book, but will likely not go out of my way to read others in the series. Having said that, it was nice to find a book focused on the Thanksgiving holiday....more
I have been curious about this book and when I found it in the stacks of the library where I work, I decided to make it a book I would read at work. II have been curious about this book and when I found it in the stacks of the library where I work, I decided to make it a book I would read at work. I started last July, but then with surgery and recovery, didn't finish until today. (We are not allowed to take books out of the library, so it had to stay there.)
This is a series of stories, rather than a novel. As is the case with these types of things, I really liked two of them, liked most others well enough, and only really wasn't interested in one. I do like Barrett's writing style, and her characterizations are generally spot on.
The first two stories "The Behavior of the Hawkweeds" and "The English Pupil" were my very favorites. The second particularly intrigued me since I had just finished working on a presentation about Linnaeus for a tour of some students studying the history of science. But overall I enjoyed all of the stories, and I think if you are interested in good writing, and the history of science and/or natural history, you would enjoy reading this one. ...more
I received this book for Christmas last year, but just now got around to reading it when it was the book choice for a book club. I enjoy Ann Hood's woI received this book for Christmas last year, but just now got around to reading it when it was the book choice for a book club. I enjoy Ann Hood's work, and liked that this was a collection of stories by well-known writers, writing about knitting.
I enjoyed this book overall. The reason I didn't give it more stars was because it was just a little bit too much what I expected. Not a bad thing, but nothing incredibly different or amazing either. As with any collection of stories by different people, there were some I liked better than others. I guess I was just expecting the stories to be more of a variety than they were - instead, they were mostly what I would have expected.
I did enjoy the fact that even "famous" people have some of the same issues with learning to knit/their knitting than the rest of us do.
I could see myself going back to parts of this now and then - and who knows, at different times, it may have a different effect on me.