What a fun book. It's laugh out loud funny and filled with the most enticing flavors. I loved it from beginning to end, finishing it in one day. Thank...moreWhat a fun book. It's laugh out loud funny and filled with the most enticing flavors. I loved it from beginning to end, finishing it in one day. Thank you, Ms. Reeves for a fun read. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves fun novels. Looking forward to the next one.(less)
First off, on the plus side, this book has a killer cover which attracted me first. Secondly the dialogue sparkles. It's both smart and funny in place...moreFirst off, on the plus side, this book has a killer cover which attracted me first. Secondly the dialogue sparkles. It's both smart and funny in places. The writing is surprisingly skilled. The problem: the silly, stupid heroine and a story that makes no sense.
Remember the old horror movies where the heroine hears a mysterious sound from the second floor and goes up to investigate rather then fleeing despite the many attempts already made on her life. We know going up those stairs is going to make the stupid heroine dead, very quickly. That is how I felt about For Love of Livvy.
In the first chapter, the author goes to great lengths to make sure we understand that Lavinia Esposito is very smart. She teaches criminal investigative techniques at a university. Her aunt died under mysterious circumstances and she inherited her aunt's house. We are also treated to a number of characters telling Vinnie not to investigate the death (she should have listened). Of course by the third time, you know she's going to do exactly that.
Enter hunk #1 who wants to rent the apartment upstairs from her. She agrees knowing nothing about this man. Does no background check to make sure he can pay his rent. In fact, doesn't even know what he does for a living. And we're supposed to believe she's naturally suspicious because the author has told us a couple times now. Vinnie dismisses another character's question about this because hunk #1 was referred to her by a local police officer. And no, she doesn't even check with the local police officer to verify her new tenant's story, at least not at the point when I quit reading. Especially after her home had been broken into, not once, but twice. And she still hasn't checked her tenant's background or even asked for references. This suspicious lady, who we are supposed to believe teaches investigative techniques, can't even follow her own class outlines. Add into this mix, the unprofessional behavior of a state trooper (hunk #2) investigating aunt's allegedly mysterious death and add some other elements that don't make sense and you have one big mess of a story.
Once I lost patience with the stupid heroine's stupid actions #2,3, and 4, I quit reading. And yes, she did hear a mysterious sound (in this case the scent of a cheap man's cologne) and instead of calling the cops, she grabs a baseball bat to handle the issue herself. This is the point where I skipped to the end to find out what the aunt was involved in, but even that didn't work for me on a number of levels that made absolutely no sense.
This writer has tons of personality and good writing skills, what she needs is to put together a story that holds together. Maybe other titles are better, I doubt I'll find out.
What did I like? I thought the dialogue sparkled. It was funny in places that made me smile. I liked Vinnie's parents. The author caught the flavor of the relationship that exists between parents and children and came very close to making it believable. I liked Vinnie's best friend, Lola. What I didn't like was Vinnie. I didn't believe she was smart, a university professor, or a person capable of investigating a crime no matter how many times other characters warn her not to get involved or tell her how smart she is.(less)
I've been reading Dan Brown since before he made it to the best-seller lists with The Da Vinci Code. I loved pretty much everything he wrote until The...moreI've been reading Dan Brown since before he made it to the best-seller lists with The Da Vinci Code. I loved pretty much everything he wrote until The Lost Symbol which did not even begin to live up to expectations. Because of the disappointment of The Lost Symbol, I wasn't sure I wanted to read Inferno, the 4th Harry Langdon novel, Needless to say, I did anyway. I have always liked the character of Harry Langdon and his ability to see symbology and they way he puzzles his way through each section of the puzzle.
The story, which was very different in structure than earlier stories, was all right and I was pleased with the concept of using Dante's The Divine Comedy as the story since like so many others, I've always been fascinated with the epic poem.
I wasn't disappointed, but I wasn't totally charmed with Inferno. When I'm reading any story I always have questions that pop up as I read. Most often the questions I have is "why did something happen?" I keep reading because I know the answer will eventually come. With Inferno, I was deeply curious about why the perpetrator was doing what he was doing. An answer of sorts did appear, but it was so lame, I almost put the book down. I did finish because I was curious to see if a better answer would come along. One did, of sorts, but it didn't have the same impact it would have had if answered properly the first time.
One of the elements of his books is the history he embeds into the story. Usually the historical background is seamless, but this is one time when I felt I was being lectured. Some of the history read as though it had been copied out of a travel book or article. And in a few areas, the historical background felt gratuitous. While this didn't lesson my enjoyment, it did stop the story and I would find myself fumbling to get back into it.
All in all, I still liked the story, but the word 'liked' pretty much sums up my response. I didn't love it the way I loved Angels and Demons or The Da Vinci Code, or even Deception Point and Digital Fortress. Though I will admit, at times Florence, Venice and Istanbul felt so real I checked them out on Google Earth and plotted Harry's journey.
Thank you Mr. Brown for a reasonably good read. (less)
It isn't often that I find myself loving a series so much I seek out every book the author has ever read. I just spent the last two months working my...moreIt isn't often that I find myself loving a series so much I seek out every book the author has ever read. I just spent the last two months working my way through each one of Toby Neal's Hawaiian mysteries. Even though I've only been to Hawaii once, I felt as though I were revisiting an old friend. Everything about each book is perfect. I can't wait for more.
The Lei Crime series features Leilani Taxeira who starts her career in law enforcement in Blood Orchids. Each storiy takes place on a different island as she moves up in the police department. Each mystery is carefully constructed and filled with just the right amount of action, sleuthing and character growth to keep a reader in suspense.
I loved each one including the accompanying Lei Crime Companion Novels featuring other characters who orbit around Lei.
Highly recommended to everyone who truly enjoys mysteries.(less)
I picked up Abigail Padgett's first book Child of Silence (Bo Bradley Mysteries 1)a couple weeks ago. I was intrigued by the manic-depressive heroine...moreI picked up Abigail Padgett's first book Child of Silence (Bo Bradley Mysteries 1)a couple weeks ago. I was intrigued by the manic-depressive heroine and since I love reading books about cities I've lived. San Diego is one of the nicest cities I've ever lived and occasionally wish I could move back.
I was nicely surprised by the first story enough to read the whole series. Though the first book appeared in 1993 and it was just enough dated to stop me on occasion, I still enjoyed it. The author, a former court investigator, brings her sleuth, Bo Bradley, to life through thorough knowledge of the San Diego Juvenile Court system. Bo investigates cases of child abuse, a daunting job that produces its own stresses. For a manic-depressive, having certain strategies to help her through the horror of each case is interesting. How she deals with the stress of each case has it's own delightful charm. In one story when the stress gets too much, Bo lists shipwrecks by name and date. In other stories, she talks to her late therapist whose practical advice she tries to heed. And when her late therapist is replaced by a live one, the new therapist's down-to-earth advice is perfect.
Bo's illness is handled with sympathy and grace. I have two friends with the disorder. My knowledge is small, but I learned a great deal about manic-depression in a way that made me love Bo even more. Her bravery in each story is awe-inspiring as she works in the most determined manner to solve the mystery despite her own mental demons and an unsympathetic boss. Never once did I ever feel sorry for Bo. Her courage in the face of some staggering obstacles, made me love her more.
If I have anything negative to say, and it's a very minor negative comment. The dated areas in each story would have been easy enough to update to present time. When I'm reading, I assume that every story takes place in the ever-present now unless otherwise noted.
I anxiously await the next story which I've read Ms. Padgett is working on. Ms. Padgett, you have a life-long fan of Bo, Andy-the love interest, Es-her best friend, Eva-her life therapist, Molly-her dog and even Madge-her boss, in me.