My GR friend Jean recommended this psychological thriller to me, and I almost liked it as much as she did. I felt that DCI Erika Foster's cha3.5 Stars
My GR friend Jean recommended this psychological thriller to me, and I almost liked it as much as she did. I felt that DCI Erika Foster's character needed to be fleshed out a bit more. Yes, she's damaged both professionally and personally because of her last investigation that led to the deaths of her team, including her husband. She's not quite the confident investigator as she used to be, but she does care about her victims greatly. She will get the person who brutally killed them. And especially, the first girl - the girl in the ice.
A young man finds the battered body of the once beautiful socialite Andrea Douglas-Brown under the ice in the boat house on a local museum's property. She's also the daughter of a wealthy and prominent member of the House of Lords. Politics and crime solving don't mix well if you as the investigating officer begin to find out that Andrea had a secret life that she kept well hidden from her family. And of course other members of the Douglas-Brown clan have a few skeletons in their own closet and try to hijack the investigation.
The killer is described only as "the figure" by Robert Bryndza. And I found that technique to be both unique and chilling. When this figure sets his/her eyes toward Erika Foster, things begin to get creepier. More women die. They are all found in the freezing water, strangled, and battered just like Andrea Douglas-Brown. And Erika is next. Can she save other women the same fate as Andrea and live to tell about it?
A few scenes felt a bit off where the writing was slightly weaker than the rest of the novel, and I didn't like the ending because Bryndzal gave us a few lines in the Epilogue to find out why the figure killed Andrea. Others were in custody too, awaiting trial. But The Girl In The Ice is a cross-over genre for author Robert Bryndza, and I expect he will become better and better as he writes more DCI Erika Foster novels. I give him an A+ for the story line and 3.5 Stars for his debut police procedural. ...more
I received a free ARC copy from Thomas Mercer Publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is my first novel from Bobby Cole and darI received a free ARC copy from Thomas Mercer Publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is my first novel from Bobby Cole and darn it I'm going to have to get the first two books in the series! But that is a good thing, I'm impressed with Jake Crosby - former stock broker turned to a newly minted Game Warden. Don't worry if you've not read the first two novels in the series, Old Money reads pretty much as a stand alone mystery. Cole alludes to Crosby's prior life and injury but doesn't go into a lot of detail so as a reader of series, I want to know how and why Jake Crosby switched careers. And his injury that was alluded? Sounds intriguing, so I must start with the first installment to find out.
I loved the play on a couple themes the Title implies, Old Money. There is old money hidden somewhere in the Mississippi county Jake Crosby patrols. Convicted conman, Bronson Bolivar, according to the locals hid a fortune before he went to jail. Now that he's dead, his former cellmate and his children are determined to find it. But the Bolivar twins aren't going to share the money with their father's mate. He'll disappear in the Mississippi marshes; the twins are that ruthless. But Harry Burns has other plans. He knows where the money is and he's not about to share it.
Jake's old high school sweetheart father is very interested in Harry Burns, the twins, and the money. The Federal Judge asks Jake to keep an eye on the ex-con and the Bolivars quietly. He's not to tell anyone, even his partner - Virgil, nor his wife - of his interest. Could it be because of the money? You betcha, but not for the obvious reason - some restitution to the victims old man Bronson stole from. What's the judge really up to? And of course, Virgil, dreams of what he will do with the money. It seems everybody, but Jake Crosby wants the old money.
Meanwhile Jake and Virgil are investigating a series of robberies of wealthy hunters who've become the prey of a vicious thief. The last two hunters have landed in the hospital with serious injuries. The clues left by the robber are minuscule. And their supervisor and wealthy land owners want the crimes solved yesterday.
And Jake's old flame has come to town, and Jake's wife isn't too happy. She's stressed out with their baby and teen-aged daughter, and Jake's dog - Kramer. Kramer had me laughing so hard that I cried. Oh there's another con being planned, so Jake has his hands full.
Cole rolls out the story lines deftly. He makes you turn the pages to find out what's going on with the old money and the old monied hunters who are being robbed. Also the Bolivars are old money as well as the judge. A couple of coincidences will stretch your suspension of disbelief, but it works....more
I don't understand why so many people hate this woman. I admit that I like her - even more now that I've read this memoir. I learned things I never knI don't understand why so many people hate this woman. I admit that I like her - even more now that I've read this memoir. I learned things I never knew about Palin: how she got scholarship money to go to school, how she suffered a miscarriage, how she eloped, how she entered public service, how she believes so strongly in the "what" she believes.
And she's a smart cookie, too. Her plain-speak may come across as dumb or simple. She's neither. But she wasn't ready to catapulted upon the National stage when McCain picked her as his running mate.
Let me preface my review with the disclosure that Miranda James"s( AKA Dean Jones) Cat in the Stacks is my favorite cozy mystery series. I al4.5 Stars
Let me preface my review with the disclosure that Miranda James"s( AKA Dean Jones) Cat in the Stacks is my favorite cozy mystery series. I always wondered how a female writer could capture the mind of a 50ish widower librarian. Well, Mr. James himself is a librarian and he loves cats.
This 7th installment begins in Spring. Athena, MS is in full bloom. Mother Nature is not the only one undergoing new beginnings - Athena College has a new Library Director, Oscar Dillard. Not only is Dillard a Damn Yankee, he is vile human being. He's brash. He's ill tempered. He's succeeded in offending every one of his staff members. He's also a numbers cruncher brought in to "fix" the over budgeted funds of the College's Library Systems - and his first victims are the Archive and the Rare Book Collection. Yep, Charlie and Melba job's are on the chopping block. Not only that, Oscar has just decided that he's allergic to cats. Diesel, Charlie's Maine Coon Cat, is no longer allowed to come to work with Charlie.
Dillard has also falsely accused the other librarians of serious infractions. Added to that is a menacing stranger that is casing the building that houses Oscar, Melba, and Charlie. An email surfaces that sends Charlie's long time friend and co-worker, Melba, straight to the suspect list when Oscar Dillard is found murdered inside the library. Charlie get his son, Sean, to represent Melba while he ferrets out Dillard's real killer. But, the killer now has Charlie in his/her cross hairs.
There are more subplots that develop, but saying too much more would ruin the novel for those readers that haven't had the chance to read No Cats Allowed yet. The manner of Dillard's death really surprised me - OUCH! But, it was fitting. If I was was one of his employee's I'd have gone off and swung a hammer directly at Dillard's head long before the killer took care of him.
James uses more twists and turns in this installment, and I loved them. As Gomer Pyle said, "Surprise, surprise!" I can't wait for book #8!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ...more
I received a free copy of this novel from Thomas & Mercer Publishers and NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I love politiI received a free copy of this novel from Thomas & Mercer Publishers and NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I love political thrillers and the premise of The God's Eye View greatly interested me. In a post Edward Snowden era, the NSA Director has created the ultimate data, image, location, meta data Program - "God's Eye View". He will do anything to protect the U.S. from another terrorist attack, even arranging "suicides", "accidents", and the "murders" of any and all so-called "whistle-blowers". Even questioning these events can get a NSA employee killed. God's Eye is so compartmentalized, no one analyst knows what else is connected to God's Eye. And of course, the Director is using the program for his own personal use. Yes, the program the U.S. isn't supposed to have, let alone be using.
That is until, an analyst finishes the security protocols. You guessed it - she dies mysteriously. But she built in some backdoor access (probably for monitoring by her) and told her lover about it. Perkins meets with a reporter in Turkey. He thinks he's taken enough precautions to have been very discreet, but a young sharp analyst makes the connection between the two men. Shortly after their meeting and after Evie reports her findings to the Director, Perkins is killed in an automobile accident and the reporter is "kidnapped by ISIS affiliated terrorists."
Evie has information that links the Director to these events, and puts herself in the cross-hair sights of the Director. He has 2 assassins completely loyal to him. One, is a sadist that enjoys killing while the other is deaf and a tortured past. Manus can relate to Evie and her deaf son and also finds her attractive. Can Evie survive with these two men breathing down her neck? Will the country survive the The God's Eye View?
This is my 1st novel written by Barry Eisler and I'll read him again despite a few minor problems with the novel. A Size D heroine that gets horny every time she sees or hears from Manus? The buxom, but brainy broad theme got slightly weird and old. Her character and a few others weren't quite as developed as I felt they should have been. Marvin Manus was a terrific character. And the ending fell flat and a little short in my opinion. I wanted more information about Evie, Dash, and Manus in the Epilogue. That is why I knocked a half star off on this novel. ...more
Oh dear. The Coincidence of Coconut Cakeis your typical and predictable romance story: boy meets girl, conflict arises that causes boy to lose girl, bOh dear. The Coincidence of Coconut Cakeis your typical and predictable romance story: boy meets girl, conflict arises that causes boy to lose girl, boy fixes conflict for the girl, and boy gets girl back.
Straight from the movie, You've Got Mail comes the story line. Rather than a bookstore owner, you have a chef and restaurateur. And you guessed it the Tom Hank's character is a food critic who writes a scathing review of her restaurant. True, Al had a "tip" (from her ex fiance) and walks into Luella's on the very night Lou is at her lowest. Finding your fiance in bed with an intern would do that. The review writes itself and Lou's restaurant? You can guess.
I did love the scenes of Milwaukee and the foods! They were the best parts.
The 2 Stars? I'm just not a Romance Genre gal, I prefer murder and espionage to romance, especially if the story's been done much better in a different venue. ...more
Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas and Mercer Publisher for an ARC copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.
We all have dates on theThank you to NetGalley and Thomas and Mercer Publisher for an ARC copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.
We all have dates on the calendar that we dread. And February 17 is the date that Anna Ray not only dreads, but she numbs herself with lots and lots of alcohol.
When she was a child, her mother killed her father on February 17. She has never spoke of it, and she won't. She won't open her mother's letters or accept her mother's calls.
Last year on February 17, her husband killed himself. His lifeless body hanging too close to the secrets of Anna's past.
This February 17 finds Anna in a new town, hundreds of miles from the home she and her husband shared. She has a new job thanks to her cousin, Jeanie. She drinks way too much wine and beer, but she can still function. Jeanie has come to stay with Anna on this February 17, and Anna is grateful. They both drink themselves into a sleep filled stupor, and Anna awakens late on February 18 to a blanket of snow and a small hope that nothing bad has happened this year.
But it does. Two murders, and she's now the suspect rather than the grieving daughter and widow.
I gave this 3 Stars because the ending didn't really resolve the entire story line. A few loose ends were left dangling that I wanted resolved. And Anna's character wasn't as developed as her cousin, Jeanie. I understand that speaking about her mother and husband is difficult, but...And the fact that Anna is a functioning alcoholic got a little old. What was meant to be mysterious and painful about Anna made her, at least to me, somewhat cold and weak. I almost didn't care about her, then the author made me care for Anna again, but not the way I did at the beginning of the novel.
The revelation of the killer's identity surprised me. I thumped my head and thought, "Of course!" And the reason to frame Anna for the murders was delicious....more
Miranda James has taken a couple of delightful characters from James' Cat in the Stacks Series, Misses An'gel and Dickce Ducote and is featuring them in a brand new series, the Southern Ladies Mystery Series. While I did enjoy this 1st in the series novel, I like the other series best. But that may change with the addition of Benjy, Peanut, and Endora. James still uses the fictional Athena as the novel and murder once again visits the Ducote sisters' ancestral home, Raven Hill.
Misses An'gel and Dickce are cat sitting Diesel while Charlie and his family vacations in France. It's hot in Athena, MS. And it gets hotter when their old sorority sister, Rosabelle Sultan appears on their doorstep, dramatically announcing that someone in her family is trying to murder her. Within hours, said family members also arrive at Raven Hill. It may be that Rosabelle is overly dramatic and maybe seeking attention, but when her daughter in law falls to her death, An'gel and Dickce realize they indeed have a murderer under their roof. And an ill mannered one to boot. ...more
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
I loved this latest novel from Debbie Macomber. Macomber tI received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
I loved this latest novel from Debbie Macomber. Macomber truly understands a woman's heart and her needs, as well as a woman's strength.The stories of Leanne and Nichole are very uplifting. They are both mothers and have gone through divorce together. Leanne is Nichole's ex mother-in-law, but both women are very close because their respective husbands cheated on them. They move downtown into apartments across the the hall from each other and develop "rules" or guidelines on how to move on from their failed marriages.
They both volunteer: Leanne at the Community Center and Nichole at a shop that dresses women who are starting over like herself. These women are looking for jobs, and we get to see a success story there. At the Community Center, Leanne meets a handsome Ukrainian baker, Nikolai. He brings her fresh-baked bread every class. He tells her that his bread says what is in heart that he cannot say. Nichole meets a handsome tow truck driver that is completely different from her ex-husband, Jake. Rocco is rough-edged and has many tattoos, but is a good father and shows interest and tenderness to Nichole's young son.
But things don't always go as planned. Guides don't always work out. In other words, life happens, misunderstandings happen, and ex-husbands interfere with a well planned guide. What happens? You'll have to read this heartwarming novel to find out!...more
I really enjoyed the writing. Yukio Mishima writes almost poetically. However the story was a bit too dark for my liking. That said I did like this smI really enjoyed the writing. Yukio Mishima writes almost poetically. However the story was a bit too dark for my liking. That said I did like this small length-ed novel...more
Benghazi has become both controversial and political. Never for one moment did I believe that the attack on the the Mission and Annex in Beng4.5 Stars
Benghazi has become both controversial and political. Never for one moment did I believe that the attack on the the Mission and Annex in Benghazi, Libya on 9/11/12 was a protest to an anti-Muslim video. But covering up what exactly happened in Benghazi created the ballooning controversy surrounding the attack. I suspect that whole narrative was used to cover up the fact that the CIA had a presence there. What they were doing there, I don't really want to know. I've seen 3 of the surviving operators on Fox News and believed what they were saying about those 13 hours. They were there. As far as the stand down order, that Tanto and Jack heard from "Bob", I can't say with certainty if that order came from the Section Chief or Washington, D.C. All I know is what the surviving operators say that had happened that awful night. If they had left earlier, Smith and Stephens still may be alive. Perhaps, Roan and Daugherty too.
It broke my heart when each operator realized that no gunship was coming. And I grew livid. Why wasn't any military assets in the area ready to deploy given the significance of the date? The IM message that Smith sent to his gaming buddy - "If we don't die tonight." sent chills down my spine.
I did learn a few new things about the Benghazi attacks, though. I didn't know that a truck from a friendly Libyan security force stopped directly across the street from the Mission and a "security officer" was taking pictures down into the Compound from a 4th floor window of the building across the street. The Mission GRS detail didn't find that odd. Nor did they accept Roan's offer of additional operators in the Mission the night of 9/11/12. The Ambassador's negative decisions on additional security fortifications for 9/11 also surprised me. Roan, who lost his life that night, had extended his stay in Benghazi for the Ambassador's visit, and was dumbfounded when all of his suggestions were shot down.
Another fact that I didn't know was that all of the Libyan security ran away from the Compound and the operators were trapped in different parts of the Compound. The 17 February Militia that State had hired to provide additional security for both the Compound and the Annex either turned tail or didn't even show up. Those few 17 February Militiamen who did show up performed heroically. Glen "Bub" Daugherty died because he climbed up on Building C rooftop to see his old friend Roan, rather than staying inside the building with the other Tripoli operators. Jack, Tanto, Oz thought the man walking around the perimeter of the fence near Zombieland was suspicious, but didn't fire at him because he wasn't shooting at them. The guy was in fact giving GPS locations of where the men were. The 4th bombardment got bot both Roan and Daugherty. The CIA weapons trained men stayed in Building C, never volunteering to go help DB, Tig, Oz, Tanto, Jack, and the TL from the Compound. That both shocked and pissed me off. Perhaps Roan and Bub might have made it if they had helped in the Annex attacks.
What really happened in Benghazi, Libya will be made public many years from now, since the Government keeps the Top Secret classification for decades, Only the President can declassify those documents. Obama won't, neither will Clinton if she's elected. I'd like to know the entire story of what happened that night, Washington's decisions and the rationale behind those decisions. I also want to know why no one was held accountable, except for the film maker still sitting in jail. I won't live to see those answers unfortunately. ...more
Ed Tarkington's novel, Only Love Can Break Your Heart, reads like a Pat Conroy Southern Gothic Tragedy. And I love me some good Southern tragedies. Tarkington's prose is beautiful, at times the characters' pain and fear jumps out and touches the heart. The characters are deliciously flawed and I found myself falling in love with Rocky, Paul, and the "damaged" Leigh. Even the minor characters were well developed. My GR friend, Susan and I read this together as a buddy read, and she commented that Only Love Can Break Your Heart a coming of age story. It is, but to me, it's much more.
We have the 2 brothers (actually half brothers) who are about 8 years apart. Rocky adores his big brother, Paul. His "first love" is the same as Paul's - Leigh. The two boys boys are wonderful to and with each other, until they're not. The book blurb says that Paul abandoned Rocky in the woods and then took off. That's not entirely true. Eventually, I could see and relate to both Paul and Rocky's feelings.
Paul was the rebel, the "bad boy" if you will. (And I loved his character! Better than I did Rocky.) After Paul disappears, Rocky begins to act out, becoming the rebel, the bad boy. He allows a much older Patricia Culver to seduce him, carrying out their affair throughout the summer. Unbeknownst to him, a series of events is started that will have dramatic consequences for those people Rocky cares about, and for some he really despises. It's a guarantee that the people of the fictional Spencerville, VA won't be the same by novel's end.
There's a little of everything for a wide spectrum of readers - coming of age story line, family saga, small town life, love affairs, and even murder. I would strongly recommend this to Pat Conroy readers! ...more
He served and fought for his country. He was hurt several times and his blood pressure was dangerously high, but he never got a Purple Heart, because he was afraid he'd be shipped back home to the U.S. by the military doctors. He doesn't lament the 160+ confirmed kills he made during his 4 deployments, because he honestly believed the bad guys were evil. By killing insurgents he was saving American lives - SEALS, Marines, and Army. His belief system was "God, Country, and Family" in that order, much to his wife's (now widow Taya) regret. It was refreshing to see her thoughts interspersed throughout the memoir.
Toward the end of his last deployment, a couple of his buddies were killed or severely wounded. Kyle also had a couple of close calls himself. He cheated death and became obsessed with his own mortality. “I am a strong Christian. Not a perfect one—not close. But I strongly believe in God, Jesus, and the Bible. When I die, God is going to hold me accountable for everything I’ve done on earth. He may hold me back until last and run everybody else through the line, because it will take so long to go over all my sins. “Mr. Kyle, let’s go into the backroom. . . .” Honestly, I don’t know what will really happen on Judgment Day. But what I lean toward is that you know all of your sins, and God knows them all, and shame comes over you at the reality that He knows. I believe the fact that I’ve accepted Jesus as my savior will be my salvation. But in that backroom or whatever it is when God confronts me with my sins, I do not believe any of the kills I had during the war will be among them. Everyone I shot was evil. I had good cause on every shot. They all deserved to die.” ...more
The Cats that Surfed the Web by Karen Anne Golden is a good swift read for a rainy day. However, Golden's portrayal of Midwestern small towns and its citizens I found to be slightly offensive, since I grew up in a very small Illinois village. But the premise was fresh and new. It took Golden a long time to get to the mystery of two murders in Katz's house, then the author raced to the conclusion by having the killer confess and Katz, her 3 Siamese cats and her late aunt's Abyssinian, Abby live happily ever after: at least until Book 2 in the The Cats That Series.
But as I said The Cats that Surfed the Web has a good premise and I liked it. I loved Katz's quirky BFF, Colleen. Both characters had me laughing hard. Katherine "Katz" Kendell is a typical New Yorker. She's a hard worker. She has 3 cats. And she's about to become very rich. Her great aunt left her an old Victorian house, a cat, and $44 Million dollars. You guessed it, there is a catch. Katz must live in the house for 1 year to collect the fortune. and if something happens to Abby during that time, she loses the millions. Both the house and cat must be in tip-top shape at the end of the 12 months.
Well, that's easier said than done ; because her home is vandalized not once but twice. And she finds two bodies in her basement. Someone in Erie, Indiana doesn't want her in town or even breathing. Could it be because of her aunt's will, Katz wonders? Duh - of course it is. ...more
Who says not much happens in Haven Harbor, Maine? Certainly not Angie Curtis. She's returned to her hometown after the body of her mother was found. SWho says not much happens in Haven Harbor, Maine? Certainly not Angie Curtis. She's returned to her hometown after the body of her mother was found. She's promised her Gram to stay in Haven Harbor 6 months, and finds herself managing her grandmother's business - Mainely Needlepoint - as well as preparing for Charlotte and Reverend Tom's wedding.
The Mainely Needlepointers have a huge job. They are to restore the embroidered panels that hung in the once grand, but now crumbling Victorian mansion, Aurora. The mansion now belongs to the actress, Skye West, who has some history with the old house. She believes Jasmine Gardener was murdered there in 1970. Old Mrs. Gardener believed so, too. And she's left clues in the panels as to who her daughter's murderer is.
The police think Skye is nuts, but Angie believes Skye West. After all, she witness the actress' close call to her own death. Skye's arrival and announcement has shaken a killer who thought he/she got away with murder 45 years ago. Angie and the Mainely Needlepointer's will stitch together the identity of a killer that will kill again to insure Skye will never reveal his/her identity.
Threads of Evidence by Lea Wait is a delightful cozy. I enjoyed the suffusion of sampler quotations at the beginning of each chapter - they fit well. The writing is easy and smooth like the author is whispering in your ear. The clues build at a steady pace, and no I didn't figure out "whodunnit" until it was revealed. I'm going to read the first in this series and then the third. Thanks Carla - your recommendation was perfect for me....more
Yes, the Christmas season is murderous. Old man Simeon Lee has called all of his family together for Christmas. One son, Alfred, is loyal to his fatheYes, the Christmas season is murderous. Old man Simeon Lee has called all of his family together for Christmas. One son, Alfred, is loyal to his father, David, the sensitive artist, has a burning hatred for his father. Harry is the prodigal son, returning after 20 years. George is an MP and needs money to support his young wife. Pilar is the granddaughter Simeon has never seen. The brothers wives hope the old man wants to reconcile with his sons and granddaughter. But that hope is short-lived as they enter Simeon's bedroom on Christmas Eve. Old man Lee is on the phone talking to his lawyer. He informs his family that he is going to change his will and reduce their allowances. He curtly dismisses them, telling them that he will see them all in the morning.
But morning never comes to Simeon Lee. The family hears furniture overturning and Simeon's unearthly scream. They all run upstairs to find his bedroom locked and Simeon isn't answering them. Stephen Farr, Simeon's old business partner's son help breakdown the door and the family finds the old man dead in a pool of blood. So much for a Merry Christmas. There is no shortage of suspects, everyone under the Lee roof has a reason to want the old man dead. M.Hercule Poirot is spending the holiday with his friend, the Police Super-indent, and is called upon to solve the case.
Christie weaves many red herrings into this classic tale of a lock room mystery as well as many Shakespearean quotes. A mustache, missing uncut diamonds, and a painting lead Poirot to the identity of the murderer. ...more
Snow Angel Cove is a delightful novel. And I'll probably will be reading more by RaeAnne Thayne. Yes, the novel is chic lit, but tells a good story. ElSnow Angel Cove is a delightful novel. And I'll probably will be reading more by RaeAnne Thayne. Yes, the novel is chic lit, but tells a good story. Eliza Hayward with her 5 year old daughter, Maddie, arrive in Haven's Point ID to start her new job as the manager of one of the hotels. But she finds the Inn has burnt to the ground. She has quit her job and given up her apartment. She doesn't know what she's going to do. She's a young widow and Maddie has a big health problem. On the way to a diner, a savior will appear - albeit in an unusual way.
Aiden Caine has recently bought a ranch near Haven's Point along with some commercial properties. He's also hiding a big secret himself. He sees a woman and a little girl crossing the street, but can't stop because of the patch of ice he had skidded on. He hits Eliza and is horrified. Much to his relief, she comes too. Some of the townspeople are outright hostile to him. And he can't figure out why. Eliza is a bit cold towards him, too. It was an accident!
At the hospital, he convinces Eliza to come to Snow Angel Cove for the night. It's either that or spend the night in the hospital, and she has Maddie to think about. Feeling guilty, Aiden offers Eliza a temporary job at Snow Angel Cove to help Sue ready the house for his family who are coming for Christmas. Eliza knows this will give her time to send out feelers for a job, so she accepts. Neither Aiden or Eliza could imagine that sparks will fly. But will they be enough to thaw both of their hearts? ...more
Myron (he hates the name) Bolitar was in the NBA after leading his college team to two championships. But a freak accident cut short his pro3.75 Stars
Myron (he hates the name) Bolitar was in the NBA after leading his college team to two championships. But a freak accident cut short his promising NBA career. He went to law school then worked for the FBI for a while before becoming a sports agent. He's an honest broker who really cares about his players. And he still lives with his mom and dad, albeit in a basement suite.
His secretary is a former female wrestler and she had me me in stitches. So did Myron's partner and sidekick - Win. Readers, please bend your suspension of disbelief to the breaking point when regarding Win. Every amateur sleuth has to have a superhero sidekick.
Myron is negotiating a big contract for a QB that is the dictionary's definition of the small town boy who made it big while being very humble. Christian Steele receives a porno mag with the picture of his fiancee that has been missing for over a year and a half. Kathy is also the sister of Myron's ex girlfriend who is back in town. Could Kathy be alive? If so, why hasn't she reached out to her family or Christian? Could the murder of Jessica and Kathy's father have been more than just a mugging gone bad? You betcha. Read Deal Breaker and everything becomes clear....more
I still love this small book. It is the only Dickens novel that I've ever been able to read from cover to cover without giving up on the Updated 2015
I still love this small book. It is the only Dickens novel that I've ever been able to read from cover to cover without giving up on the book. I've read this so many times that I found myself reciting passages before I got to them.
But on this reading, I did discover a new nugget. How could I have missed that the ghost of Jacob Marley was always near Scrooge!?!
Anyway, I always shed a few tears each Christmas Season when I re-read this Classic. Tears of sadness for the Crachett family, especially for Tiny Tim. But tears of joy when Scrooge's heart becomes full again. The avarice, the bitterness of his losses and he rejoices with what he has, namely his nephew and the ability to help Tiny Tim.
Lastly I still full stand behind my first review of A Christmas Carol which is below these remarks.
Review in 2011.
“I HAVE endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.” ~Charles Dickens, 1843.
And so A CHRISTMAS CAROL has since its publication; it has never been out of print or truly out of fashion. It is the quintessential Christmas story and the easiest of Dickens books to read. The narrator introduces us to Mr. Scrooge, a man whose heart has turned to stone from ambition, care, avarice, and greed. We see him at his desk in Scrooge and Marley Money House dark and chilled since he is too tightfisted to permit decent coal fires and candles. He scorns everyone that visits his office Christmas Eve, especially his nephew, Fred. But when he finally gets home, the massive door knocker transforms into Marley’s face and strangely lights the foggy dark night.
But Marley specter follows Scrooge to his bed chamber with chains, locks, and money boxes wrapped about his transparent body. He means to save his friend the fate that he has endured since he died seven years ago on this very night. Three Ghosts will haunt Scrooge: The Ghost of Christmas Past, The Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come – whom looks much like Death. Through the lessons these specters will reveal, Scrooge has a chance to become a different man and employer and lead a different life.
Scrooge’s transformation is genuine as it is remarkable. Through Dickens’s simple narration, we not only witness Scrooge change but we also feel his emotions. We cry at the possible demise of Tiny Tim and the true affection Fred has for his uncle. Scrooge on Christmas morning has rediscovered faith, hope, and charity and his heart is full of love for the season as well as his neighbors. This novella is one I read every Christmas and I love it more each year....more
Shugak has allowed her former boss and part time lover talk her into finding out what happened to two crewmen on the Avilda crabbing vessel captained by the ne'er to well son in law of a major Board Diector of the vessel's parent company. Harry Gault isn't whom he's thought to be. Crabbing in the Bering Sea is hard work as well as dangerous. Kate has much to fear while she's on the Avilda. Mother Nature is brutal this time of the year, and so are some of her crew members. But which ones?
The Author's descriptions of the roiling waves, the ice being beaten, the hard work of the crabbers were wonderful as well as spot on. The Aleutian Islands she visited made me want to go out and purchase a ticket to see them. And we readers learn more about these wondrous indigenous people. I wish more stories were included. And I loved the ship line's names of all of their vessels - very appropriate for a Kate Shugak novel....more
A true classic of libertarian science fiction as well as a scathing indictment against collectivism. Ayn Rand fury at the communist/collectivist systeA true classic of libertarian science fiction as well as a scathing indictment against collectivism. Ayn Rand fury at the communist/collectivist system explodes in this short novel. I both agree and somewhat disagree with her politics/philosophies. But Rand was always clear to her views without regard to what others thought of her. ...more
I prefer Ernest Hemingway over F. Scott Fitzgerald, and still do. However, this gem of short stories will have me reading more novels by Fitzgerald. II prefer Ernest Hemingway over F. Scott Fitzgerald, and still do. However, this gem of short stories will have me reading more novels by Fitzgerald. It may be my own prejudice that has kept me from reading a lot of Fitzgerald, since Hemingway thought he was a drunken hack.
What I saw in these short stories, shows me that my favorite author may have been wrong. Don't look for any happy endings in any of the stories here; there aren't any. Bernice Bobs Her Hair has the most satisfying ending. Hell has no fury as woman mocked, publicly. Ice Palace also ends satisfactorily. The Diamond as Big as the Ritz reads like a horror story with a dash of Sci-fi here and there, at least to me. ...more
Life and a family emergency interrupted reading and reviewing for awhile. The Heist is funny and a fast read. Nick Fox is handsome, charming,3.5 Stars
Life and a family emergency interrupted reading and reviewing for awhile. The Heist is funny and a fast read. Nick Fox is handsome, charming, and one of the FBI's most wanted man. FBI Special Agent Kate O'Hare has been chasing the world's greatest conman for 5 years. She always confronts him saying, "You're under arrest." But Fox always escapes at the very last second, until he doesn't. O'Hare has finally caught her man.
Then the unthinkable happens, Nick Fox escapes from custody under rather humorous circumstances. O'Hare is not assigned to go after Fox, so she goes it alone. Well, her father helps. When she finds Fox, she learns he's conned her bosses to allow him to help the FBI find and capture the most wanted guys that have conned or stolen lots of money. One caveat though, Kate O'Hare must partner up with him.
Their target: a wealthy banker whom ran a scam on his his investors. $500 Billion missing. He's holed out on an island in Indonesia. Kate and Nick must find him and the money. What could go wrong? A group of misfits, pirates, explosions, and Fox thinking about stealing the FBI slush fund that he and his team are using.
The writing is easy and fast paced. The reader wants to know what happens next. The Heist kept me interested and entertained until the very last word. ...more
My Goodreads friend, E.. says in her review of A Little Life to read this tome when you are in your "happy place." She's right, because when I finisheMy Goodreads friend, E.. says in her review of A Little Life to read this tome when you are in your "happy place." She's right, because when I finished this novel this afternoon, I was emotionally spent. I need my "happy place" now, more than ever.
A Little Life is about 4 college roommates - JB, Malcolm, Willem, and Jude - their relationships, their loves, and their love for one another. There is no plot to speak of, just the characters and their lives. It is a character driven novel. What is a family? Is it one that you're born into, or is a family one that the 4 friends make?
Each character is flawed, dysfunctional, an enabler, a success in their chosen field. But are they successful friends, lovers, sons, and spouses? (view spoiler)[I don't think so. (hide spoiler)]
Hanya Yanagihara seems to have used every literary tool she learned in "Creative Writing" when she wrote this massive novel. She shows more often than she tells. (view spoiler)[ Why did I need to know that the night when Harold understood he was in love with his first wife, she had vomit globed on her right hand. The hand that she wore a small diamond ring? What was the point of this? It didn't add anything to the story line. (hide spoiler)] And the detailed explanations of JB's pictures? Much too wordy. Yes, these details explained different scenes and times in Judes and Willem's lives, but they left me bereft. And Malcolm seemed to have been forgotten until about 100 pages to the end. (view spoiler)[ Why did the author do that to him, Sophie, and my favorite character - Willem!?! (hide spoiler)]
And Jude? Poor Jude, he's really what A Little Life is all about. (view spoiler)[It seems like Hanya Yanagihara took every horrific and abusive thing she could think of and infused Jude's childhood with them. I've had nightmares, now for three nights. Of course, with Willem gone, Jude's little life is no longer worth living. But I saw that outcome in Part IV for Jude. (hide spoiler)]...more
Black Coffee by Agatha Christie was first written as play in 1929 then novelized in 1930. And it truly is a masterpiece mystery. Hercule Poirot is sliBlack Coffee by Agatha Christie was first written as play in 1929 then novelized in 1930. And it truly is a masterpiece mystery. Hercule Poirot is slightly bored until he gets a call from Sir Claude Amory. He believes that his new formula is going to be stolen by a member in his household. Shortly before dinner on Friday, Sir Claude checks his safe - the formula is gone. He makes a quick call to London. After dining, Sir Claude, his family, his secretary, and and an Italian Doctor move into the library. The doors are locked until Poirot and Hastings arrive from London.
Sir Claude tells everyone that the lights will go out and the thief can return the formula without any repercussions. But when the lights return and Poirot walks through the door, he's not only got to investigate the theft, but murder. Sir Claude is dead. ...more
I thought Girl Runner by Canadian author Carrie Snyder would focus more on "Aganetha Smart, a former Olympic athlete who was famous in the 1920s, butI thought Girl Runner by Canadian author Carrie Snyder would focus more on "Aganetha Smart, a former Olympic athlete who was famous in the 1920s, but now, at age 104, lives in a nursing home, alone and forgotten by history. For Aganetha, a competitive and ambitious woman, her life remains present and unfinished in her mind." I believed the blurb, but alas, the novel was more about Aggie's trials, tribulations, and losses in her life.
I dare say if one had that many losses and bad stuff in his/her life, one would go completely bonkers. Thank goodness Aggie's escape mechanism was running. What could have been a beautiful historical novel became tedious. The prose was so, so. Was really disappointed with this one. ...more
Wow! Such an amazing read! A true classic in the Murder Mystery Genre. Agatha Christie loved this plot: 10 strangers on an island, lured by U. N. OwenWow! Such an amazing read! A true classic in the Murder Mystery Genre. Agatha Christie loved this plot: 10 strangers on an island, lured by U. N. Owen (Unknown), are going to be killed for taking the life of another. Not only are they going to die, they are going to die exactly as the nursery rhyme:
Ten Little Soldiers
Ten Little Soldier Boys went out to dine, one choked his little self and then there were nine.
Nine Little Soldier Boys stayed up very late; One overslept himself and then there were eight.
Eight Little Soldier Boys travelling in Devon; One said he’d stay there and then there were seven.
Seven Little Soldier Boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.
Six Little Soldier Boys playing with a hive; A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.
Five Little Soldier Boys going in for law one got in Chancery and then there were four.
Four Little Soldier Boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.
Three Little Soldier Boys walking in the zoo; A big bear hugged one and then there were two.
Two Little Soldier Boys sitting in the sun; One got frizzled up and then there was One.
One Little Soldier Boy left all alone; He went and hanged himself and then there were none.
Christie, herself, says that she had to write an Epigraph to explain what happened. Do any of the ten survive? And who among them is non plumbed U.N. Owen? The note in the bottle finally gives the readers the "who-dun-it". Agatha Christie surprised me. It's no wonder that And Then There Were None is considered a classic to Mystery fans and movie goers. The fact that is that And Then There Were None was published in 1939 shows Christie's genius....more