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What Are You Reading / Reviews > Oct - Dec 2016 - What Are You Reading?

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Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 1116 comments Mod
We all want to know:

What are you reading?

How many stars?


Did you like it?


Why not?


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Throne of Jade (Temeraire, #2) by Naomi Novik Throne of Jade – Naomi Novik – 4****
In Book two of this series, the Chinese demand the return of the dragon known as Temeraire. Novik does a great job imagining a fantasy scenario where dragons are part of the Air Corps, while also keeping the reader in a (circa) 1801 time frame. The battle scenes are exciting, and the intrigue builds suspense. I really like the growing relationship between Temeraire and Capt Laurence. This is not my preferred genre, but I think I’m hooked on the series.
Full Review HERE

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Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1061 comments Mod
A Skeleton in the Family (Family Skeleton Mystery #1) by Leigh Perry

A Skeleton in the Family Leigh Perry

★ ★ ★

Very "cute", entertaining, & easy to read...

Georgia & her daughter Madison, have moved back into the family home in order for Georgia to work as an "adjunct" English professor in one of the local colleges, where her (off on sabbatical) parents have tenure...

Upon arriving home, Georgia is greeted by Sid, the skeleton that has lived with the family since the night he saved her life when she was six years old...

Madison is in to Manga, so when she goes to a Manga convention @ the college where Georgia is employed, Sid goes along dressed as Desu-sama "Great Lord of Death". While there he sees a woman who for some reason frightens him, thus begins the mystery...

She turns out to be a professor at a local University and when Georgia & Sid go to visit her (in order to find out more about Sid's fear of her), they find her dead.....

This leads to the secondary investigation as to whom Sid was, how he got to be a skeleton, & what his connection was to the now dead professor....

The book held my interest, but there were major flaws in the story, gaps, that a good editor would have caught & questioned, which provided for a semi-sloppy ending (thus less one star)

It is a fun series and I am already reading the second in the series.....

Thank-you whomever it was who read this before me, it was in my "updates", and I'm glad you reviewed it... I had run out of entertaining things to read.

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Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1061 comments Mod
The Skeleton Takes a Bow (Family Skeleton Mystery #2) by Leigh Perry

Skeleton Takes a Bow, Leigh Perry

★ ★

The continuing story of Sid (skeleton), Georgia, Madison, & Deborah.....

Madison is in the school play Hamlet and decides to use Sid's skull for the prop of Yorik. Sid goes to school w/ Madison everyday.

One fateful afternoon Madison gets so busy that she forgets to bring Sid home and he spends the night in the auditorium where he overhears a murder (no body or evidence is found). As time goes by Sid recognizes the voice of the murderer, but never sees him.....

Georgia accompanies her friend Charles to a funeral for a former adjunct who committed suicide... there are clues here... The woman's ex-boyfriend does not show up and it turns out he had an interview at the HS where the play is, but no one has seen him since.

And so it goes.......

The very first thing I noticed was a GLARING Mistake in chapter one: Georgia (an adjunct English professor) is talking about where she works... She says"JTU", when In FACT She Works @ McQuaid.

Second, how everything ties the murderer & reasoning in to the murder without segue is poor writing & even poorer editing.

All of a sudden I'm reading about the school play and BAM, at the last minute it all ties in, but the important part of the investigation is treated as filler, without full explanation until the end..... thus minus 2 stars.

Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews (silversreviews) I am almost done with TWO DAYS GONE by Randall Silvis.

A loving father, a professor, and an author is accused of killing his entire family one night.

The State Trooper in charge of the investigation can't believe it. We follow both the killer and the detective. Marvelous, descriptive writing.

I am enjoying the book.


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Dracula by Bram Stoker Dracula – Bram Stoker – 5*****
Stoker wrote this as a series of journal or diary entries, letters and newspaper clippings. This gives a certain immediacy to the writing, and builds suspense. The novel is wonderfully atmospheric; from the delights of a new culture as Harker first experiences the loveliness of Eastern Europe, to the creepy, skin-crawling scene with the hordes of rats, and finally to the “pure-white” snow of the mountain blizzard, time and again Stoker puts the reader smack dab in the middle of the scenes. But the novel is more than just a horror story. There are several themes which would be great for book group discussion.
Full Review HERE

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Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1061 comments Mod
The Skeleton Haunts a House (Family Skeleton Mystery, #3) by Leigh Perry

Skeleton Haunts a House, Leigh Perry

★ ★ ★
It is October. Sid Georgia, Madison are helping Deborah w/ McQuaid College's annual McHades Mansion Haunted House...

The college puts on the haunted house in conjunction with the McQuaid Quintent, 5 cousins that comply with the terms of the McQuaid will: Make use of the mansion, which was once the McQuaid Art School/Foundation or lose it to the heir, a missing uncle. The proceeds of the haunted house go to a McQuaid scholarship fund.

Sometime during the night, the body of a young woman (Kendall) is found in the haunted house having been bludgeoned to death... she was there w/ three other friends and Kendall was supposed to meet up with Linda, an old school acquaintance who was working inside the haunted mansion.

It turns out that Kendall was a part of a secret Facebook group (made up of herself & the three friends she was with) that would harass and bully random people as part of a game. Each instance of bullying would earn points. Kendall was well in the lead.... having literally harassed some young woman to commit suicide.

As Sid continues his internet search, he finds out that Kendall recently joined a 12-Step program and was in the process of making amends to those she harassed; one being Linda and another being Madison.

Madison, ignored the harassment and never let it bother her.... Linda on the other hand had agreed to secretly meet Kendall.... When the bloodied gloves from the crime turn up in Linda's dorm room, she is arrested for the murder of Kendall.....

Meanwhile, Georgia's parents have returned home early from their sabbatical, Deborah is having to decide between the local cop & McQuaid College head of security, and Georgia has begun dating "Brownie" another adjunct professor/carnival worker, who turns out to be the son of the missing heir.... and so it goes on.

Light, entertaining, and full of very interesting information about cyber-bullying....

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Anne's House of Dreams (Anne of Green Gables, #5) by L.M. Montgomery Anne’s House of Dreams – L M Montgomery – 4****
What I love about these books is Anne, herself. She’s so optimistic and friendly, with good common sense, a kind heart, and a generous spirit. She is no stranger to trouble and heartache, and this book definitely includes some heart-wrenching events. I love the young woman she has become.
Full Review HERE

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Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1061 comments Mod
Who Do, Voodoo? (A Mind for Murder, #1) by Rochelle Staab

Who Do Voodoo?, Rochelle Stabb (?)

★ ★

This was a light & semi-interesting read....

But since I didn't care for the characters, I really can not remember their names.....

So Friend 1 & friend 2 come hone to Friend 2's house to find an odd tarot card on her door.... Then a 2nd tarot card shows up. The two cards are the same as showed up in her her husband Josh's reading just before his fatal car accident....

Next another card shows up as well as a photo of Friend #2 with pictures of voodoo snakes across it.

After some "investigation" they find that Voodoo "princess" is pissed because she believes that Friend #2 has been poisoning her boyfriend's mind against her....

When VP turns up dead after a huge party, Friend #2 is arrested....

Friend #1 continues to investigate and comes across a fake "medium", a group of the VP's "friends" who have all purchased "amulets" for various spells from VP, a few angry spirits... as well and a bunch of pushy men "friends"...

Meh, the story was ok, but as I said, I didn't really like or ever warm up to the characters, they were all pretty shallow & lame.

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The Dinner by Herman Koch The Dinner – Herman Koch– 4****
In an oh-so-fashionable restaurant in Amsterdam two couples meet for dinner. I was completely fascinated by the psychological nuances explored in these two couples. Over the course of this meal they dance around the very serious situation their sons have gotten into. Emotions are triggered, and just as quickly suppressed. I can hardly wait for my F2F book group discussion!
Full Review HERE

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Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1061 comments Mod
Murder on the Brighton Express (Detective Inspector Robert Colbeck, #5) by Edward Marston

Murder on the Brighton Express, Edward Marston

★ ★ ★ ★

Joseph Pike, is an exceptional Engineer, careful, practical, follows regulations & speed limits to the T. When the Brighton Express derails& collides with an oncoming train and his mangled body is found on the footplate the brash & autocratic Sargent in charge of the investigation blames the wreck on Mr. Pike (without investigation) for excessive speed. The fireman says differently, but the Sargent ignores him completely.

Inspector Colbeck & Leeming are called into the investigation by the railroad company and they find that the Brighton Express tracks were purposely up ended, providing evidence that the Sargent is wrong in his conclusion, which of course angers the Sargent, who immediately speaks poorly of Colbeck to the press.

Several prominent men of Brighton were on that train: a Trump like politician; a pastor, who had just "blessed" the engine; a politically vocal wealthy land owner; & a banker, one of these men being the target of the wreck.... But which one?

Inspector Colbeck find a long list of suspects, all with grudges against someone on the train.... and all of those suspects are guilty of some type of action.

This was one of the more interesting books in the Railway Detective series, I never guessed the actual "target" of the train wreck, the red herrings were actually very well served up and tasty.

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Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1061 comments Mod
Blood on the Line by Edward Marston

Blood on the Line, Edward Marston

★ ★

The story was brutal as were the murders & murderers.... hence -1 ★

The continual whining of Constable Leeming, bullying of Superintendent Tallis, & blustering of Caleb Andrews just was on my last nerve... Seriously such unlikable men had me skipping over parts where they were featured.... Hence -1 ★

Inspector Colbeck has been after Jerry Oxley for many years, ever since Oxley abducted, tortured and murdered a witness to a robbery/murder he had committed.... The young woman & Colbeck were beginning to care for each other, when she was abducted by Oxley and Colbeck has never been able to let it go.

Oxley is finally in captivity and bound for London on a train, when a young woman desperately runs to catch the train, hops aboard as it is leaving the station and settles in the same compartment as the two policemen & Oxley.... As it turns out, Irene is Oxley's accomplice. She draws a gun and shoots one officer point blank between the eyes, while Oxley beats the other senseless with the gun. While in the tunnel, both police officers are thrown off the train and are sliced to fragments by another train....

Oxley & Irene run to ground, but Oxley has come up with a way to rid himself of Inspector Colbeck: he writes Colbeck a letter (which is intercepted by Superintendent Tallis) offering to meet face to face with the intention of murdering Colbeck. Stupidly Tallis, decides that he wants the glory of arresting Oxley, so he takes a young officer dressed as Colbeck with him to meet Oxley.... Oxley draws a gun and kills the young policeman.

In a state of self-pity and distaste, Tallis resigns, but Colbeck convinces him to come back (where is even more of a gormless prat)

Inspector is on Oxley's trail, whereupon he stumbles upon Oxley's friends (with whom he & Irene had been staying) who are also wanted for murder.....

Oxley & Irene then decide to sail for "America", as Mr. & Mrs. Colbeck (which tips Colbeck off) and Colbeck & Leeming taking a faster ship arrive before the pair and begin working w/ the NYCPD...

The violence & brutality put me off....

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The Monkey's Raincoat (Elvis Cole, #1) by Robert Crais The Monkey’s Raincoat – Robert Crais– 3.5***
This is a great detective story that reminds me of the old-fashioned noir tales by Chandler. I was hooked from the beginning and interested throughout. Will definitely read more of this series.
Full Review HERE

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Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1061 comments Mod
A Ticket to Oblivion (The Railway Detective, #11) by Edward Marston

Ticket to Oblivion, Edward Marston

★ ★ ★

Once again the Railway Detective, Robert Colbeck of Scotland Yard & his Sargent Leeming are called upon to solve a mystery.

Imogene and her maid are helped and settled onto the train to Oxford, where they will stay with Imogene's cousin, Emma. For once Imogene's over-protective mother will not be traveling with them.

When the train arrives at Oxford Station, Imogene's aunt Cassandra & cousin Emma are there to meet them... only the two women are nowhere to be found. Aunt Cassandra immediately calls the police & her brother-in-law (an upstanding member of Parliament) and he in turn calls Scotland Yard and demands the assistance of the "Railway Detective".

As the book progresses, Colbeck quickly figures out that Imogene & her maid did get off the train at Oxford, but they were disguised as a soldier & his woman who met up and left with another soldier....

Imogene and her maid believe they have run off to elope with the dashing Captain, leaving behind a gilded cage of a life and a truculent bully of a fiancee, who also happens to be a member of Parliament. In reality the Captain turns in to their kidnapper & tormentor.

Yes, I liked the story, it was mostly well written and exciting... However, as always, it was ruined for me by the continual whining of Sargent Leeming (seriously he acts like a 3-4 year old) always dissatisfied & crying about having to ride trains, being away from his wife, having to deal with other people he is subordinate to, and other parts of his job, which is why I continually - ★

As for Colbeck's new wife, Madeline & her fussy father, as usual, I skipped over those parts.

I have one more book in this series next to my bed. If Sargent Leeming continues to act like a selfish child, I'll not continue with the series.

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The Red Leather Diary Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal by Lily Koppel The Red Leather Diary – Lili Koppel – 4****
Lily Koppel was a young (age 22) writer working at the New York Times when she discovered an old red leather diary. It had originally been given to Florence Wolfson for her 14th birthday – Aug 11, 1929, and Florence dutifully wrote in it every day for the five years allowed on its pages. The diary did more than offer a fascinating glimpse into the past. As Lily read the young Florence’s record of her hopes, dreams, heartbreaks and triumphs, she discovered something about herself. And then Koppel went searching for Florence…
Full Review HERE

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Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1061 comments Mod
Signal for Vengeance (The Railway Detective, #13) by Edward Marston

Signal for Vengeance, Edward Marston

★ ★

From Goodreads: "1860, Wimborne, Dorset. Rebecca Tullidge, miserably married to her callous husband, is having an affair with a railway officer, who she finds dead on the railway tracks.

Determined to win votes for the upcoming election of mayor, Mr Feltham calls for Inspector Colbeck and Sergeant Lemming to solve the hideous crime, which takes longer than anticipated.

With a pregnant wife at home, Colbeck must work at speed if he is to return in time to be there when he becomes a father."

Colbeck finds love letters from three different women proving the railway officer was having affairs w/ several married women: one, a sailor's wife found herself pregnant and committed suicide.

There was no lack of suspects, but I really got confused at the end.... trying to figure out where the clue was that pointed out the murderer.

For once Sargent Leeming was not a whining cry baby, and Tallis was actually very helpful. As always I skipped the parts with Colbeck's father-in-law.

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Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1061 comments Mod
The Discourtesy of Death A Father Anselm Novel by William Brodrick
The Discourtesy of Death, William Broderick

From Goodreads: "An anonymous letter sent to Larkwood's Prior accuses Peter Henderson, an academic celebrity renowned for daring ideas, of a grotesque murder: the calculated killing of Jenny, his disabled partner, believed by everyone to have died peacefully two years previously from a sudden attack of cancer.

But for this letter there is no evidence, no suspect and no crime. Time has moved on. Lives have been rebuilt. Grief and loss are tempered by a comforting thought: a paralysed woman, once an acclaimed dancer, had died quickly and painlessly, spared a drawn out illness; a life marked by agonising misfortune had come to a merciful end.

But now Anselm has been told the truth behind the soothing lie. He must move cautiously to expose the killer and the killing. He must think of young Timothy, Jenny and Peter's son. A boy who is still learning to live without his mother.

And so Anselm begins his most delicate investigation yet, unaware that Jenny's adoring father is also thinking of Timothy's future; that this urbane former army officer is haunted by the memory of torture and shoot-to-kill operations in Northern Ireland; that he remains capable of anything, if he thinks it's for the best; that he has set out to execute Peter Henderson.

Death, dying and killing, however, were never so complicated."

The book was confusing... jumping from the now to the past to the recent past and back & around again....

Some parts were clear, however, most others were convoluted....

Whom was whom, who died, when, where, why.... made no sense to me.

It would have been fine to stay with who killed Jenny and forget all about her father's past w/ the NRA....

Just like a hallucination and as difficult to follow.

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Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey Make Way For Ducklings – Robert McCloskey – 5***** and a ❤
Mr and Mrs Mallard search for a good home in which to raise their brood. This is a perennial favorite for children and their parents. Oh, how I loved the story of how Policeman Michael and the other people ensured the safety of Mrs Mallard and her brood: Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack and Quack, as they crossed busy streets, waddled past coffee shops and book stores, and finally made their way to the Public Gardens, for a reunion with Mr Mallard who waited patiently on the little island in the pond. It’s an absolute delight to revisit this story and I marvel at the wonderfully detailed illustrations.
LINK to my review

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Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1061 comments Mod
Death of an Avid Reader (Kate Shackleton, #6) by Frances Brody

Death of an Avid Reader, Frances Brody

★ ★ ★

I'm not quite sure how the author fit the pieces together..... This read like two different mysteries up until almost the end of the book.

Kate Shakelton, a former VAD nurse, is now a detective and Kate is asked by a well known society matron to find her illegitimate daughter that she gave up for adoption upon the child's birth. All the woman can tell Kate is the child's name and that the adoptive parents were fishmongers related to the "nanny"...

Somehow, Kate becomes involved with a stowaway monkey and a double murder at the library where she is doing research... where a dismissed employee is maybe or maybe not the missing adopted daughter.....

There were a lot of threads & possibilities, which were neatly bundled & tied up at the end.

This is not a great mystery by any means, and I liked the one I read before this better..... But, I am going backwards to read the first several in the series.

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Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1061 comments Mod
Bad Kitty School Daze by Nick Bruel

Bad Kitty: School Daze, Nick Bruel

Unlike earlier "Bad Kitty" books, this is a "chapter book"... and it proved to be a long and tedious one. Had it not been for the fact that my neighbor's granddaughter was reading it to me, I'd have dropped it like a hot potato...

The premise was good, but not only did it fall flat; it was long, drawn-out, boring, and full of the author trying too hard to be clever/funny.

Kitty & Puppy are unable to get along, so they are sent to "school"....

Kitty is to learn to be nice and puppy is to learn to stop drooling.... There are two other pets there: Petunia the Bulldog that HATES Cats (so Kitty tells her that she is a cow); and some insane, sociopathic warrior/ninja rabbit....

The kid loved it and was so happy to be able to read to me that I sat through the entire book. Thankfully I had a beer to ease my pain.

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Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 1116 comments Mod
Kimberly wrote: "Bad Kitty School Daze by Nick Bruel

Thankfully I had a beer to ease my pain...."

Best "succinct" review yet!

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Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1061 comments Mod
Book Concierge wrote: "Kimberly wrote: "Bad Kitty School Daze by Nick Bruel

Thankfully I had a beer to ease my pain...."

Best "succinct" review yet!"


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Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1061 comments Mod
Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

Britt-Marie Was Here, Fredrik Backman

★ ★ ★ 1/2

This was a very interesting story, but it was also very odd.... so odd that I almost didn't finish it.

The characters were not deep, but their stories (which we didn't really know until nearly the end) were. Many were sad yet filled with hope. Britt-Marie herself was ocd? Or maybe it was the circumstances of her life that made her ocd, certainly it made her socially inept.

Without saying a word, Britt-Marie has left her cheating husband, after a phone call from his long-time mistress that informs her he is in the hospital from a heart-attack.

She looks for employment, continually imposing on the employment office clerk, and lands a position as a soon to be defunct caretaker of a recreation center in the town of Borg.

Borg is a rundown semi-abandoned town that is on a main highway, that much of the world drives through without stopping. Borg lost its economy, when the local trucking company that employed them closed.

As Britt-Marie takes on her new job, she makes friends and builds family by inadvertently becoming the town's soccer coach, something she knows absolutely about, but hesitantly does for the kids.

The people of the town are less than cordial & mistrusting, yet at the same time do not want her to leave.... With grudging respect they accept their new soccer coach and warm to her as she takes the team to the regional tournament.

When her husband turns up there is tension filled triangle, until Brett-Marie decides how to continue with her life.

I liked the conclusion....

The writing was odd, but then the book was originally written in Swedish, and I could tell by the underlying phraseology & accent.

I'd give it a 4th star, but I'm still at odds and still feeling a bit off-kilter from the experience.... so 3.5 will suffice.

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Mrs. Mike (Mrs. Mike, #1) by Benedict Freedman Mrs. Mike – Benjamin and Nancy Freedman – 4****
This is a novel, but it is based on the real life story of Katherine Mary O’Fallon. It’s a great adventure story, love story, and pioneer story. The young couple endure several misadventures and tragedies, including wildfires, floods, and epidemics of diphtheria and influenza. It is their deep love for one another that sees them through, as well as their willingness to understand the cultural mores of the Indians and adapt to, or at least tolerate, their differences.
LINK to my review

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Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1061 comments Mod
The Inheritance (Charles Lenox Mysteries #10) by Charles Finch

The Inheritance, Charles Finch

★ ★ ★ ★

Charles Lennox is called upon by an old school chum from years past for help.

Leigh, was expelled from Harrow in his 3rd year, for simply not caring or doing the work he loathed. He then boarded a ship for India and Charles lost contact with him....

Leigh has returned to London in order to give a lecture on his scientific work on the microbe at the "Royal Society" and pick-up a 25 thousand pound inheritance... but before he is able to do so he is almost killed.

When Leigh does not show up for their meeting, Charles goes to the hotel but is unable to find Leigh, who it seems has disappeared into thin air. Charles with the help of his other detectives find Leigh holed up in a coffee shop...

Charles goes to the solicitor who contacted Leigh about the mysterious inheritance, the solicitor is found dead by gunshot and thus enters Scotland Yard and a notorious gang known as The Farthings.

Dallington & Polly are investigating problems @ Parliament when they are oddly "called off" the case. John (Dallington) decides to spend one more night and is found near fatally injured in the process and his doctored by Charles' friend McConnell.

I like Lennox, I like Dallington, & I like McConnell..... For me the wives & children are just a personal aside and filler for the story: setting a more personal & human tone to the main characters.

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Emily and Einstein by Linda Francis Lee Emily and Einstein – Linda Francis Lee – 3***
Alexander “Sandy” Portman dies in a tragic accident, but comes back as an old dog, which his widow, Emily, adopts and names Einstein. Interesting premise, mediocre execution. Much of the drama was over-the-top ridiculous, including the tortured memories and soul-searching. On the plus side, it was an entertaining and quick read. I was captured by the story and enjoyed it as a kind of break from more serious reading.
LINK to my review

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Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1061 comments Mod
Book Concierge wrote: "Emily and Einstein by Linda Francis Lee
Emily and Einstein
– Linda Francis Lee – 3***
Alexander “Sandy” Portman dies in a tragic accident, but comes back as an old dog, which his widow, Emily, ..."

Bummer, good premise..... not gonna waste my time!

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Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 1116 comments Mod
Nov 20 - Currently Reading

TEXT – People of the Deer by Farley Mowat People of the Deer by Farley Mowat
AUDIO in the car - Redwall (Redwall, #1) by Brian Jacques Redwall by Brian Jacques
Portable AUDIO - Homemade Sin (Callahan Garrity Mystery, #3) by Kathy Hogan Trocheck Homemade Sin by Kathy Hogan Trocheck

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Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 1116 comments Mod
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins Even Cowgirls Get the Blues – Tom Robbins – 2**
Entertained as I was by the occasional wild description and laugh-out-loud moment, however, in general I was bored by the book. All those interludes to wax poetic about this or that philosophy seemed nothing but an attempt to distract the reader from the lack of a story. Clearly, Robbins is not the writer for me.
LINK to my review

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~*Kim*~ | 30 comments Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley....5 Stars

Solomon is a 16 year old agoraphobic who hasn't left the house in 3 years. Lisa is a high school junior who desperately wants to get in to one of the top psychology colleges in the country. Lisa thinks Solomon is the answer to getting in to this school. Lisa sets out to "fix" Solomon. Bringing her boyfriend Clark in to the mix, the 3 soon become close friends.

This was a cute "coming of age" story of unlikely friends. It is a YA book, so I had to keep that in mind, but it was still a great read overall.

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~*Kim*~ | 30 comments China Dolls by Lisa See - 4 Stars

Ruby, Helen and Grace all meet in San Francisco in 1938. All come from very different backgrounds but with the town booming and war brewing, the 3 strike up an unlikely friendship. The story follows the girls as they become dancers in a local night club and then throughout the next 10 years. But can this friendship last? As quoted from Amazon, "But after the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, paranoia and suspicion threaten to destroy their lives, and a shocking act of betrayal changes everything."

I really enjoyed the story of the girl's friendship and all that they went through. This was the first book of Lisa See's that I've read, but I may give some others of hers a try.

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Signs and Wonders by Philip Gulley Signs and Wonders – Philip Gulley – 3***
Book three in the Harmony series looks at a year in the life of the Quaker community’s residents. I just love this series. Each book gives us a glimpse of all the good – and not so good – in human nature, but with the hope that the good will outweigh the bad. They are a perfect break from the stresses of life, and a reminder that there is much good in this world.
LINK to my review

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Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 1116 comments Mod
~*Kim*~ wrote: "China Dolls by Lisa See - 4 Stars

Ruby, Helen and Grace all meet in San Francisco in 1938. All come from very different backgrounds but with the town booming and war brewing, the 3 strike up an un..."

I like See's writing, but haven't gotten to this one ... yet.

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~*Kim*~ | 30 comments The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer - 3 Stars

Beth's one worry is that her daughter will go missing. One day, her worst nightmare comes true. Her daughter Carmel has gone missing while the 2 of them were out at a fair. The story alternates between the 2 points of view, Beth & Carmel's. Carmel is only 8 years old and doesn't realize she's missing, while Beth is constantly searching for her.

The book has good ratings, but I didn't care for it. I had to force my way through it.

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Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 1116 comments Mod
Redwall (Redwall #1) by Brian Jacques Redwall – Brian Jacques – 5*****
What a wonderful story; I was engaged from beginning to end. Every mouse of Redwall Abbey has taken a solemn oath to never harm another living creature, unless it is an enemy seeking to harm the Order by violence. I love this message of peaceful coexistence and tolerance. The mice are willing to live-and-let-live, but they will defend to the death against those who seek to overtake their peaceable kingdom. Jacques filled the book with detailed descriptions which serve to really put the reader right into Mossflower County. It’s entertaining, scary, exciting, and inspiring. I think I’ll read more of this middle-grade series for the sheer joy of it.
LINK to my review

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Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 1116 comments Mod
~*Kim*~ wrote: "The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer - 3 Stars

Beth's one worry is that her daughter will go missing. One day, her worst nightmare comes true. Her daughter Carmel has gone missing while the 2 of..."

How disappointing ... sounds like a good premise.

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Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1061 comments Mod
Lady Cop Makes Trouble (Kopp Sisters, #2) by Amy Stewart

Lady Cop Makes Trouble, Amy Stewart

★ ★ ★

1915: Women are just being allowed to work as Deputy Police Officers

Constance Kopp (I know, right?), the female jail matron (who is hoping to become a "deputy") inadvertently allows a dangerous criminal to escape... A doctor who had been preying on women: using their maladies as a means to glean $$$$ from their unsuspecting families.

Being taken off of police duties, doesn't stop Constance, nor does being told to not interfere with trying to recapture the doctor.

She goes out on her own and tackles the doctor's brother (his accomplice) and successfully interviews several other witnesses/abettors.

Meanwhile, Constance is also working on the case of a woman who supposedly shot & killed her renter (while aiming at her abusive husband). As the investigation wears on, it becomes clear that the woman doesn't want to be cleared of the crime and wants to stay in jail.

The parts about Constance's family (her 2 sisters) is a bit of a distraction and not as interesting (- ★)

It was a good story, I'm hoping as more of the series is written that there will be a better balance.

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Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1061 comments Mod
Dying In the Wool (Kate Shackleton, #1) by Frances Brody

Dying in the Wool, Frances Brody

★ ★ ★

Circa 1919: Kate Shakelton, former VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) nurse has been working for free helping friends, friends of friends, friends of family et. al. solve mysteries & find missing loved ones.

Her former VAD friend, Tabitha Braithwaite, is soon to wed and has hired Kate to find her father before the wedding.

Joshua Braithwaite, owner of a large textile plant, was last seen running away from the local hospital, where he was remanded for the crime of "allegedly" trying to commit suicide.

There are a few people who do not want him found, there are a few who might stand to profit from his disappearance, there are a few who stand to lose if he is found (alive)....

The family all have their motives, as do a few of the mill workers.....

I found this to be not only an interesting story & mystery but also the information on mills, textiles, weaving & dye making was informative.

Dosha (Bluestocking7) Beard (bluestocking7) | 10 comments I just started The Back Building and it has taken me by surprise. I expect to go through this one pretty quickly. It takes place in Ithaca New York, early 1900's. Iona is the tomboy daughter of a farmer who does not accept that trait. It doesn't look too good for the poor kid right now.

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Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 1116 comments Mod
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell Black Beauty – Anna Sewell – 4****
I had a copy of this book when I was a child, but for some reason I never read it, even during my “horse crazy” phase. I’m so glad I finally got to it. It’s a timeless tale with a simple message: Be kind to everyone (and everything). Sewell manages to convey this through Beauty’s experiences, both good and bad. The hardcover text edition I got from the library was also beautifully illustrated by Lucy Kemp-Welch.
LINK to my review

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Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1061 comments Mod
A Medal for Murder (Kate Shackleton, #2) by Frances Brody

A Medal for Murder, Frances Brody

★ ★ ★

Kate & Sykes have been hired by Mr. Moody, a most discreet pawn broker, after being robbed. He requests that they go to his clients and explain the loss and the circumstances of restitution should their valuables not be recovered.

While Kate is in Harrogate attempting to locate one of Mr. Moody's clients (who has given a false name , de Vries, and address) she stays to go to the theater.... After the play a man (Milner) is found dead of a knife wound, the young woman he planned to marry (Lucy) goes missing as does the young woman (Alison) she supposedly spent the night with, and a ransom note for Lucy shows up. In order to avoid going to the police Lucy's grandfather asks Kate to step in.

As Kate investigates: Lucy's grandfather is not who he appears to be; Milner turns out as a blackmailer & womanizer; Alison is hiding out; Mrs DeVries is right under Kate's nose; Kate's "friend" has sticky fingers; one of the Grandfather's tenants has a secret past & habitually eavesdrops on the old man's conversations.

Part of the background story goes back to the Boer War and the egregious actions of the British Military & their concentration camps, which intercepted the reading of the book's current events. The other part of the background story involves the aforementioned, Lucy's grandfather & Lucy's "inheritance" (which she demands to be given in order to attend a London based drama academy).

There was a lot going on in this book, all tied up neatly in the end. The characters were realistic and not unlikable.

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Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 1116 comments Mod
People of the Deer by Farley Mowat People of the Deer – Farley Mowatt – 4****
Farley Mowatt examines the various factors that led to the demise of The People of the Deer in this fascinating book. He went into the vast Barren Plains of North central Canada to study the caribou, and the Ihalmiut people who depended on “the deer” for their very existence, living among them in the late 1940s, when their tribe had dwindled from several thousand in about 1900 to less than 50 individuals in 1947.
LINK to my review

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Malinche by Laura Esquivel Malinche – Laura Esquivel – 4****
Malinalli was a Native woman from Tabasco, whose ability to speak Spanish as well as two native languages brought her to the attention of Hernan Cortes. In this lyrical, poetic novel, Esquivel gives us a strong woman with deeply held beliefs who wanted to free her people, and realized her mistake far too late. I love Esquivel’s writing. Her imagery is vivid and tangible. This is a decidedly Mexican novel. Esquivel infuses the story with magical realism, mysticism, and spirituality. It reminds me of the oral story traditions of my grandparents.
LINK to my review

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~*Kim*~ | 30 comments Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber
5 Stars

Anne Marie is a 38 year old childless widow who is looking to find happiness again. She owns a bookstore on Blossom Street, but feels this isn't enough. On Valentine's Day, her and her other widowed friends get together and decide to make a list of 20 wishes. One of Anne Marie's wishes was to do something good for someone else, so she volunteers to be a Lunch Buddy for an 8 year old girl named Ellen. What she doesn't know is that Ellen will change her life in ways she hadn't even imagined.

The story also follows her friends Barbie and Lillie and their wishes.

Another warm fuzzy by Macomber. This was the 5th in the Blossom Street series , but could also be read as a stand alone. I really enjoyed this one and it made me smile at the end. :)

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Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1061 comments Mod
Ghost Ships True Stories of Nautical Nightmares, Hauntings, and Disasters by Richard Winer

Ghost Ships, Richard Winer

★ ★

To begin with, I was intrigued by the title....

Some stories were harrowing, some were spooky, and some were a let down.

Much of the "nautical" stuff was a bit boring & confusing and too in depth, but in other places there was just enough information to give one a good idea of what was going on....

It took me a long time to read, and is only available in Paperback... I also would have liked more photos.

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Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1061 comments Mod
Murder In The Afternoon (Kate Shackleton, #3) by Frances Brody

Murder in the Afternoon, Frances Brody

★ ★ 𗰵

Kate is called upon by her sister (who once worked for the Quarry owner & his wife) to find out what has happened to her husband Ethan.

Ethan, a highly skilled mason, was working on a delicate blue slate sundial for the quarry owner's wife, when his children find him laying next to the sundial without a pulse..... when his daughter goes back to the quarry with Kate, Ethan has disappeared and the sun dial is in pieces.

Ethan was the union representative and had just lost the strike vote, with someone being a snitch for management. His best friend had just sold his farm over to the quarry owner, which caused a riff between the two.

Too many people, including the local policeman, would prefer to believe that Ethan up and ran away.....

The town gossip (vicar's sister) is found dead & whispers to Kate about something "bitter", but the local doctor prefers to call her death "heart failure"...

A good story with a satisfying conclusion.

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Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1061 comments Mod
A Woman Unknown (Kate Shackleton, #4) by Frances Brody

A Woman Unknown, Frances Brody

★ ★ ★ ★

Kate Shackleton & Sykes are hired to keep an eye on a previous "client"....

Although she is no longer shoplifting Deidre Fitzwilliam is exhibiting suspicious behavior, disappearing off & on and being seen in the company of other men, all seeking incontestable divorces from their wives....

The last man she was seen with, was found dead in the hotel room they shared, but as she had been passed out, she remembered nothing.

The mistress of the dead man was shot in the arm, the photographer helping Kate is found hanged, and Deidre goes missing after her mother dies....

Kate is also at odds with the Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard she once dated as he attempts to shut her out of the case...

Very satisfying and tied up nicely at the end.

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Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 1116 comments Mod
C is for Corpse (Kinsey Millhone, #3) by Sue Grafton C is for Corpse – Sue Grafton – 3***
I love Kinsey Millhone; she’s smart, determined, hard-working, loyal to her friends, and strong in mind and body. I also like that Grafton occasionally gives us a little humor to ease the tension of some very dark situations. It’s an entertaining series, and I’ll keep reading it.
LINK to my review

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Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1061 comments Mod
Quiet Los Angeles by Rebecca Razo

Quiet Los Angeles, Razo, Rebecca

★ ★

-3 for including Hotels, spas, bookstores, & other commercial ventures as well as not having a table of contents that I could use as a check-sheet of places visited......

This book was a waste of $$$$$, I was told that this book was full of quiet places in L.A. that one could visit for solitude, quiet, & contemplation....

I was looking more towards museums, parks, & open spaces, not places that I will have to spend exorbitant $$$$ in order to have a contemplative moment..... Places where I could visit any day of the week for a photo shoot....

Want to read this book? Borrow it from the library first, then decide if it is a "must have"!

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Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1061 comments Mod
111 Places in Los Angeles That You Must Not Miss by Laurel Moglen

111 Places in Los Angeles That You Must Not Miss, Moglen, Laurel

★ ★ ★ ★ ★    
Ok, included are many commerical places to visit, but the museums here are more prolific, colorful, and include more "open to the public" parks...

I like the photos better, I like the written descriptions better...  These are places I want to visit, unlike those in the the afore mentioned title....

This book is laid out alphabetically by name of destination: 2nd Street Tunnel, Audubon Center, Brady Bunch House, Descano's Ancient Forest - York Blvd, plus 5 pages of street maps.... and the table of contents is one that may be used as a checklist! 

For me, this one is a keeper....  

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