I think I have a mental block about New Hampshire. A good many of my ancestors started out there, but had all moved to Maine by the time the 1790 censI think I have a mental block about New Hampshire. A good many of my ancestors started out there, but had all moved to Maine by the time the 1790 census was taken. And, when one's home state borders only one other, all that contiguous-state-rivalry stuff gets concentrated on one place. So when I got to New Hampshire in my alphabetical A Mystery for Every State project, I had a hard time. I tried two other books before finding this one. Although it was somewhat lacking in sense of place to my mind, that may be because (shhh!) New Hampshire and Maine aren't really all that different.
Tricia Miles has left all she knew behind to open a mystery bookstore in a small New Hampshire town with ambitions to be the Hay-on-Wye of New England. Things are going reasonably well when two things happen: her much-married older sister shows up and the owner of the neighboring cookbook store is murdered. Sister Angelica brings up all the old sibling rivalry stuff, and Tricia comes under suspicion when a stolen (and very valuable) cookbook shows up in her mystery shelves. Plus, the sheriff doesn't like her at all. Since this is a "cozy" mystery, everything turns out in the end, but there are enough plot twists and subplots to keep things interesting. I enjoyed this book and will probably read more in the series when my TBR pile is a little shorter....more
Although I did have to put this book down a few times (dogs must be walked, and these old eyes get tired at night), I did finish it within 24 hours. TAlthough I did have to put this book down a few times (dogs must be walked, and these old eyes get tired at night), I did finish it within 24 hours. The third adventure for Jake Brogan, Boston Police Department, and Jane Ryland, reporter, was just as good as the first two. The theme of mortgage foreclosures was up-to-the-minute, and the introduction of a cold case gave us more insight into Jake's character. There was also a plot twist that I absolutely didn't see coming. I especially like this series because both Jake and Jane are people who take their professional ethics seriously, even when it interferes with their love affair. Very strongly recommended!...more
I read this book at a time I was not being good about reviewing, so I'm updating much later. I'd suggest reading some of the other 5-star reviews, witI read this book at a time I was not being good about reviewing, so I'm updating much later. I'd suggest reading some of the other 5-star reviews, with which I concur. I especially liked the Berlin setting since I lived there for a year, and the author's perfect ear for dialogue. Highly recommended, and if you (unlike me) are knowledgeable about jazz, so much the better....more
I didn't like this quite as well as the earlier books in this series. As nurse Bess Crawford and Sergeant-Major Simon Brandon search a fairly small poI didn't like this quite as well as the earlier books in this series. As nurse Bess Crawford and Sergeant-Major Simon Brandon search a fairly small portion of the English countryside for a wounded soldier who disappeared while in Bess's care, the story tends to drag a bit. The ending was rather complex and didn't exactly play fair with the reader. And the relationship between Bess and Simon continues to perplex. As this book begins, the Great War is beginning to draw to a close. It will be interesting to see what Charles Todd do with Bess after the Armistice -- will the series continue? Despite my disappointment with this entry, I do hope so. Worth reading for fans of the series....more
This review also applies to the other books in the trilogy. Fay Weldon apparently was one of the writers for the first season of Downton Abbey. The LovThis review also applies to the other books in the trilogy. Fay Weldon apparently was one of the writers for the first season of Downton Abbey. The Love and Inheritance Trilogy is set a bit earlier; in the first book, the Boer War is going on and Queen Victoria is still living. The second book centers on Edward VII's Coronation, and the last is set in 1905. It's also a bit edgier than Downton Abbey. The Dilberne family, an Earl, his up-from-the-demimonde wife, and their two modern offspring, are basically good-hearted, but have all the prejudices of their class and a few neuroses of their own. I found the series quite enjoyable and Katherine Kellgran did a magnificent job of reading it. Definitely recommended -- if you like Downton Abbey and enjoyed The American Heiress, you'll like this trilogy....more
I checked this out as part of my challenge to read all the Newbery Medalists and Honor Books (I'm working backwards in time). I may force myself to coI checked this out as part of my challenge to read all the Newbery Medalists and Honor Books (I'm working backwards in time). I may force myself to come back to it at some time, but so far it's one of the two books in this category that I couldn't force myself to continue reading. Oddly enough, the other was Kate DiCamillo's The Tale of Despereaux. Both are animal stories, but I disliked them intensely for opposite reasons. The Tale of Despereaux was just too, too twee for me. And The Underneath was too gritty. Although I'm sure there will be a reasonably happy ending, the dreadfulness of the one (so far, anyway) human character, the mistreatment the dog undergoes, and the jeopardy of the kittens and their mother made it a book I just couldn't go on with....more
Sequel to Thirteenth Child. Across the Great Barrier continues the story of Eff and her twin brother Lan -- she the "unlucky" thirteenth child, and heSequel to Thirteenth Child. Across the Great Barrier continues the story of Eff and her twin brother Lan -- she the "unlucky" thirteenth child, and he the powerfully magical seventh son of a seventh son, in a parallel universe where the U.S. is "Columbia," the "War of Secession" took place nearly 30 years earlier than in our world, and the "Mammoth River" (the Mississippi) marks the Great Barrier, on the other side of which both prehistoric animals and magical animals roam.
In this second book of the trilogy, Eff has finished Upper School and is faced with decisions about her future. She is coming to terms with her own magical abilities, but has no interest in university studies, so she talks her part-time work at the local college's menagerie into a full-time position. A chance to explore the area beyond the Great Barrier (where settlements under a sort of Homestead Act are progressing)is exactly what she hoped for despite battles with sabercats and other dangers. Back in Mill City, a telegram from Lan's Eastern university heralds trouble. Both Lan and Eff will face many dangers and learn more about themselves in this engrossing novel.
I listened to this as an audiobook and the narrator Amanda Ronconi does a wonderful job with the many voices needed to tell the story. Highly recommended....more
Imagine a world where America is "Columbia," the Mississippi is the "Mammoth River," and Franklin and Jefferson cast a Great Barrier spell dividing thImagine a world where America is "Columbia," the Mississippi is the "Mammoth River," and Franklin and Jefferson cast a Great Barrier spell dividing the West from the East, because mammoths, sabercats, and many frightening magical animals roam along with the bison. And imagine that not only Founding Fathers, but nearly everyone (except a few cranky Rationalists) uses magic for nearly everything from household chores to roadbuilding to protection while traveling. This is the world of Thirteenth Child. Eff's father is a professor of magic. She and her brother Lan are twins, and Eff came first -- so she is an "unlucky" Thirteenth Child, while her brother is the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son and expected from infancy to become a powerful magician. Even some of Eff's own relatives shun her for her supposed evil. Fortunately, her parents have more sense; and when a job at Northern Plains Riverbank College in Mill City (oddly for a longtime Minneapolitan, Mill City seems to parallel St. Paul) opens up,they take the chance for a fresh start for themselves and their younger children. As Eff and Lan grow up, they have many adventures and Eff begins to realize that her birth order need not determine her destiny. Highly recommended....more
I got this on Kindle for no more than 99 cents. I gave up on it fairly rapidly because the author seemed to think that the voyage of the Titanic was fI got this on Kindle for no more than 99 cents. I gave up on it fairly rapidly because the author seemed to think that the voyage of the Titanic was from New York to Southampton rather than the other way around. Not recommended....more