Julie Bozza always writes a charming story, and The ‘True Love’ Solution is a fine example. Jules Madigan is a sweet character, whose naivete is nicelJulie Bozza always writes a charming story, and The ‘True Love’ Solution is a fine example. Jules Madigan is a sweet character, whose naivete is nicely balanced with his integrity and the love and loyality he has for his family. He’s a bit goofy and easily swayed, but it’s easy to see why he’s of interest to both PC Leonard Edgar, the steady copper who investigates the fraud case, and the glamorous Ewan Byge, Jules’s favourite author, whom he comes to know during the course of a fraud investigation.
The narrative is peppered with references to other works, including Philadelphia Story, from which the title is derived, Jane Austen and even the Harry Potter series.
Julie’s breezy style makes this a lovely light read, and of course the reader will be cheering for one of the men in Jules’s life while Jules is busy being dazzled by the entirely Wrong Man. In that regard, it’s not a matter of wondering who Jules will end up with but devouring the story to find out how he’s going to come to his senses!
The ‘True Love’ Solution has a wonderful, happy cast of characters outside the three protagonists as well. Jules’s father Archie is the dad we’d all like to have, and his sort-of-sister Jem has the slightly abrasive yet thoroughly loyal tough-love that siblings can display.
All up, The ‘True Love’ Solution is a light, fun, gentle, sweet read that dances its sprightly way to a lovely and satisfying conclusion. It’s a perfect pick-me-up if life has seemed a bit dark lately, and a cheerful confection if life’s good and you want to celebrate True Love, even if it does wobble off course sometimes....more
Atlin Merrick's last book, The Day They Met (as Wendy C Fries) told 50 perfect little stories about alternative ways fiction's great detective and hisAtlin Merrick's last book, The Day They Met (as Wendy C Fries) told 50 perfect little stories about alternative ways fiction's great detective and his best friend and biographer may have met. This time, the interpretation is 19 alternatives ways they met and fell in love. Either way, they are a perfect partnership.
These stories are set across time, from the Victorian and Edwardian eras, the Great War and the Blitz, to the latter half of the 20th century and beyond.
Each story has its own take - some funny, some filled with delightful cases, some heart wrenching and every single one full of wit, heart and soul....more
Cedar Grove Books is a new US press producing children’s and Young Adult books, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Mysteries and even some graphic novels. They’ve got soCedar Grove Books is a new US press producing children’s and Young Adult books, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Mysteries and even some graphic novels. They’ve got some cool looking stuff out already, and more on the way – including this entertaining little gem, Draculiza.
For starters, I loved the idea of a little vampire who wants to be a princess, and then is told she can’t be one because she doesn’t look right for the part. She determines to apply to the Fairy Tale Association anyway, puts on a disguise and sets about doing what she can to become a princess. (“This is not right. Everybody has a little princess inside them, and mine wants to come out now.”)
Draculiza bedtimeThe most fun is had with Draculiza in her disguises getting into all the fairytales and making a mess of them – I admit I wish there was more of that – but of course, fairy tales have strict rules and things really aren’t working out. After spreading havoc far and wide – and being cheered up by her faithful little bat Spike – she has an epiphany of sorts. (At least for now.)
It’s a simple idea and a sweet story, with charming art, about knowing who you are and being really good at that....more
I love a good yarn set in my hometown. I love books that are deft and go at a cracking pace and offer twists that are seem so natural just moments aftI love a good yarn set in my hometown. I love books that are deft and go at a cracking pace and offer twists that are seem so natural just moments after you've gone WTF? I love books that reflect diverse characters with great depth and texture. I love books that portray experiences outside my own. I love books that finish with a sense of satisfaction and yet as though the characters and their lives will go on after I've put the book down.
It's hardly a wonder then, that I loved Emma Viskic's Resurrection Bay so completely. I got so excited by developments when I was a quarter of the way through it, in fact, that I started sending tweets to the author along the lines of [engage allcaps] HOLY MOTHER OF HADES THIS BIT, THIS BIT, THIS BIT RIGHT HERE, OH. MY. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!!
Fortunately, the author seemed to respond well to my gleeful flailing over a few days.
So now, dear reader, I will flail gleefully at YOU.
We meet Caleb Zelic holding the blood-soaked corpse of his childhood friend, Gary, a policeman who was doing some work for Caleb's security business on the side. It's a few pages before we realise that Caleb's difficulty communicating with emergency services isn't only due to shock - Caleb is deaf, though he doesn't like to draw attention to the fact.
From this distressing beginning, things just get worse and worse for Caleb. Filled with guilt for the death of his friend, suspected by the police and desperate to not be one of the bodies that is starting to pile up, Caleb and his partner Frankie seem always a step behind. It soon becomes clear that it's not certain who they can trust. Is Caleb's drug addict brother part of this awful mess? Who is Scott, who is implicated but whom no-one seems to know?
The action takes place around Melbourne and the coastal town of Resurrection Bay, where Caleb grew up. At one stage I was on the #86 tram, reading, when one of the characters was also on the tram. (And yes, reader, I did have an idle look around for him. Just in case. But he wasn't actually there. Under the circumstances, this was probably a Good Thing.)
Caleb is a terrific lead character - likeable and capable, but flawed. His stubbornness can be admirable at times, but it's also the thing that leaves the people he loves just a little outside. Because he relies on more than his "hearing" (via fallible hearing aid and lip-reading), he sometime sees more than he wants to say. He sometimes turns away so he doesn't have to read things he doesn't want to know. He tends to keep a distance between himself and other people. But you live in his world while you read - the anxiety of not always catching what people are saying, the patronising way people can be when they realise he's deaf, and, oh hell yes, the strangely silent world of fighting for your life when one of your senses is barred to you. (Viskic notes in her afterword that she worked closely with people in the Deaf community to ensure Caleb's sensory experiences were accurately reflected.)
Frankie, his partner, is a woman with challenges of her own, as an alcoholic ex-cop, and Caleb's ex-wife, Kat, is a fabulously strong, dynamic character - a Koori woman, an artist, who is not impressed with his sometimes selective communications.These two very different and very textured women are an excellent foil to Caleb's strengths and failings.
With these great characters, the Victorian location, and the punchy writing, you've got it all - crime, danger, love, heartbreak, betrayal, murder, hope, violence, and enough surprises to keep you wolfing down the words right to the very end.
I look forward to more from Emma Viskic in future, and, I hope, more of Caleb Zelic....more