**spoiler alert** This book surprised me. I was expecting this to be a good read, but i didn't expect an excellent read. The author, Carrie Berbris, e**spoiler alert** This book surprised me. I was expecting this to be a good read, but i didn't expect an excellent read. The author, Carrie Berbris, explains on the cover that her premisis for the Mr & Mrs. Darcy mysteries is the "Thin Man" movies. I had to tell her, but Lizzie and Darcy are no Nick and Nora. Despite that Ms. Berbris seems to capture the Austen characters in a way i haven't read in awhile.
In this particular mystery we see Mr and Mrs. Darcy in Highbury after getting robbed on the road. There they find themselves entangled in a possible murder mystery. They of course they meet Emma and Mr. Knightly. I was quite surprised at how well the author managed to keep the "Emma" characters true to form. None of them acted out of character. Even Mr. Woodhouse, Miss. Bates, and the Eltons were in character. Something i highly applaud the author and made the story highly enjoyable.
The mystery of the story was quite well done. You knew at once "Miss. Jones" was involved in the robbing somehow, but it was quite a surprise she was involved in the murder as well. Add along some new characters and you have a really good book. I applaud the author as well for taking a side storyline that could have been soap operaish and turning it into a nice add one. I'm not going to spoil it, but it involves a "long lost family member". Whom that person is i shall leave a secret.
Final rating: 5 stars. Great story, staying true to most of the original Jane Austen characters, and for adding in some truly humorous parts. A "must buy" as well.
**spoiler alert** This was a rather short book and i really have nothing to say about it. It was basically Cinderella from an Asian perspective. The o**spoiler alert** This was a rather short book and i really have nothing to say about it. It was basically Cinderella from an Asian perspective. The only thing different was that Xing Xing never met the prince before she agreed to marry him. Instead she's at a party, accidentally leaves her gold shoe behind, it gets sold, the prince buys the show, and the prince wants to marry the woman it belonged too. You still have the evil stepmother. The step sister is actually a half sister and is crippled. the end. Just a nice one time read. ...more
The tiny community of Land between the Lakes is not an ordinary community. This municipality is not only the home of the ordinary shops, houses, and aThe tiny community of Land between the Lakes is not an ordinary community. This municipality is not only the home of the ordinary shops, houses, and all of the regular buildings that make up a community. It’s also the home of a very active and smart animal population. These animals are not your ordinary animals too. They have professions, friendships, and lives like humans do. If may come as no surprise that this particular village is the home of Beatrice Potter. If you’re thinking that Beatrice herself made the animals this way I’d hate to say you’re quite wrong. They were living happy and productive lives before Beatrice ever bought “Hill Top Farm” many years ago. The reason I mention them is because this story takes place during a conundrum for both the animals and humans of the community. You see the Applebeck footpath has been closed off. The reason for this closure being that the owner of Applebeck farm is in the belief that the ramblers are the ones that burned his haystack down and he wishes to keep them off his land. It’s up to both the animals and human community of “Land between the Lakes” to figure out just who did.
This story surprised me. I was quite ready to like it since it started Beatrice Potter. I was just not quite ready to love it. You see this book had everything a lover of animals and Beatrice Potter could ever want. You have the cute and witty animals, a touch of the life of Miss. Potter, and a rather charming mystery. It also had a nice flow. The narrative of the story was like watching the old 1966 “Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree” film. You have a narrator outlining what’s going on in the story and bringing you to different places in the community. You then get to read the character parts in between. It was like being a fly on the wall. Susan Wittig Albert was also quite good in explaining “the times” as you might say it. You have explanations on the courtship habits and general beliefs of the time. You also get an insight into the lives of women on the verge of suffrage. The funny thing I have to mention about that is that the animals were a bit keener of giving female animals equalization than the humans at the time. Not to say there wasn’t animals who believed that a female wasn’t as smart as a male. Professor Owl is an example of that. The thing that I really liked about the book thought was that besides the talking animals you could really see the book happening. It’s always the sign of a good author when you can read a fiction book and see it as entirely non-fiction. This is because Susan kept in the spirit of the early twentieth century. Nothing terribly out of the ordinary happened and the people in the book had concerns that those living in 1910 would have. If it wasn’t stated at the beginning of the book that the entire story is fiction you can really see Beatrice Potter, Mr. Hellis, and the rest of the community try to figure out who burned down the Applebeck farm’s haystack. Therefore I have to give the book the high honor of a perfect ten in rating. Anyone who loves Beatrice Potter or just a good turn of the century county mystery will love this book as well. ...more
**spoiler alert** The first line of a review is always the hardest to write therefore i'm going to open it up with a fact: I finished and read the boo**spoiler alert** The first line of a review is always the hardest to write therefore i'm going to open it up with a fact: I finished and read the book mostly in the afternoon(s) and thus the title was quite appropriate. Nothing like a heatwave to make a favorite chair or spot of the bed seem like heaven with a book.
On another note i have to admit this was the first Hathaway book i read. I have the first three on my shelf having bought them at a book sale. After finishing this book i have to wonder why did i never pick up the other three because i loved it! I particularly liked Beatrix. I could totally see myself in her more so than any other heroine. Having six rabbits, 5 dogs, and nursed various baby wild bunnies to health i could easily identity with her on her animal obsession. I could also identify with her on her connection with nature. There is nothing more calming than being out in the woods.
Beatrice of course is described as being an odd ball in her neighborhood. I supposed in 1857 she would have been as well. In a time where girls were expected to sit proper, wear corsets and hop skirts, and be as feminine as possible she is oddly out of step. In stead she'd rather run around in her pants and boots. Training horses and helping hurt animals. Decidedly not womanish at all. It only makes since that the person she eventually marries should know her before seeing her and be a bit odd himself.
That brings me to the point of Christopher. He's portrayed as a tortured and hurt hero. He was a well to do dandy before getting sent to war, but while there he inevitably changed. It was only the letters from "Prudence" and his dog Albert that kept him sane and moving. Course Prudence being the stuck up bitch she was refused to write to him after his initial letter telling about the war. Therefore unknown to Christopher he was receiving letters from Beatrice and not Prudence. Christopher was a great hero, but for me he was overshadowed by Beatrice. If only he was slightly more tortured or haunted. Mean. I know. lol I can't help it. I like my men tortured and having some EMO moments. Christopher didn't experience enough of them. Though credit where credit is due Christopher wasn't entirely "healed" at the end and that gave his illness a more realistic approach.
The two had a really cute romance and i rather liked the interaction. They each pushed and pulled at each other which created great dialog and friction. It also gave some depth to their relationship. You didn't feel like things were going too fast, nor that they were progressing too slow. The relationship went perfectly. Points also to Lisa for prolonging their relationship into a couple of months. That fact makes it even more believable.
Final grade: 5 stars. Positively brilliant in almost every way. Only few small nit picks and complaints. I do hope that Mark Barrett and Aubrey get a book. ^^
**spoiler alert** It's a book review! Ya! I finally have a review i can post on here after seemingly so long. Anyways.... I love a good gender bender**spoiler alert** It's a book review! Ya! I finally have a review i can post on here after seemingly so long. Anyways.... I love a good gender bender and "The Education of Bet" certainly delivers. The book is set in an undisclosed period of time in the 1800's. My guess is sometime in the very late 870-1890's. I believe this because Bet mentions Dickens whom wrote the majority in the 1850-60's before dying in 1870. Also the fact that Bet's only complaint in dress is a corset. Therefore it's obvious the book is set after the hoop skirt trend of the 1860's. Trains haven't made itself to be known yet therefore i don't place it anytime in the late 1890's. But i'm getting off of the point here. The book centers around Bet and, as the excerpt clearly states, her adventures in an all male school parading as Will. The book is rather short at 186 pages and thus you really don't get info into her daily life or happenings at the Betterman's academy. The shortness of the whole thing is really my chief complaint. I really enjoyed reading the story and didn't want it to stop. It was like letting someone have a bite of chocolate cake and then whipping the rest out of their hands. I wanted to read more about Bet's adventures as Will and her attempts to keep her feelings about James secret. I also wanted to see more interaction between Bet, Mrs. Hunter, and Mrs. Smither's. The whole issue of women's rights was at the authors door step and the only she did was jump on it once, ring the door bell, and then run away. As my endless complaining clearly states i thought the book too short (Yep we've seen that tree before in this review).
Final rating: 4 1/2 stars. Great writing that left me wanting more. Unfortunately, the author didn't deliver the pizza....more