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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Dark Sacred Night

Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly.

Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company;(October 30, 2018)
ISBN-10: 0316484806




Amazon Review:

Harry Bosch teams up with LAPD Detective Renée Ballard to face the unsolved murder of a runaway, and the fight to bring a killer to justice.

Detective Renée Ballard is working the night beat -- known in LAPD slang as "the late show" -- and returns to Hollywood Station in the early hours to find a stranger rifling through old file cabinets. The intruder is retired detective Harry Bosch, working a cold case that has gotten under his skin. 

Ballard can't let him go through department records, but when he leaves, she looks into the case herself and feels a deep tug of empathy and anger. She has never been the kind of cop who leaves the job behind at the end of her shift -- and she wants in.
 
The murder, unsolved, was of fifteen-year-old Daisy Clayton, a runaway on the streets of Hollywood who was brutally killed, her body left in a dumpster like so much trash. Now Ballard joins forces with Bosch to find out what happened to Daisy, and to finally bring her killer to justice. Along the way, the two detectives forge a fragile trust, but this new partnership is put to the test when the case takes an unexpected and dangerous turn.

This time Bosh had a female "partner" to help solve his unsolved murder. The writing was set up a little differently but all went well.. no getting mixed up.  Again, short chapters, which I love, and of course 2 mysteries going at the same time.

I've been told by my friend Cath that there is a tv series on Bosch.  I think on Netflix.  While I do like this series, I don't think I'd like watching it as much.  I've already gotten a picture of him in my mind, and some of the sequences happen near where I lived when I was in California so I  have no problem picturing it all in my mind.

This was another good read. I would recommend this Bosh Series for anyone who liked murder mysteries.

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Two Kinds of Truth

Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly.

Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company(October 31, 2017)
ISBN-10: 031641



Amazon Review:

Exiled from the LAPD, Harry Bosch must clear his name, uncover a ring of prescription drug abuse, and outwit a clever killer before it's too late.
 
Harry Bosch, exiled from the LAPD, is working cold cases for the San Fernando Police Department when all hands are called out to a local drugstore, where two pharmacists have been murdered in a robbery. Bosch and the tiny town's three-person detective squad sift through the clues, which lead into the dangerous, big-business world of prescription drug abuse. To get to the people at the top, Bosch must risk everything and go undercover in the shadowy world of organized pill mills.
 
Meanwhile, an old case from Bosch's days with the LAPD comes back to haunt him when a long-imprisoned killer claims Harry framed him and seems to have new evidence to prove it. Bosch left the LAPD on bad terms, so his former colleagues are not keen on protecting his reputation. But if this conviction is overturned, every case Bosch ever worked will be called into question. As usual, he must fend for himself as he tries to clear his name and keep a clever killer in prison. 
 
The two cases wind around each other like strands of barbed wire. Along the way, Bosch discovers that there are two kinds of truth: the kind that sets you free and the kind that leaves you buried in darkness.

And yet.. another Bosch novel!   I have to say I do enjoy the fact that Michael Connelly seems to always give you two mysteries for the price of one.  And most importantly, they are easily kept apart so you are never wondering what's what.

I really like when he pairs Bosch up with Haller (the attorney) . And Haller is in this book.

The Bosch books are all fast reading, short chapters, and they keep you wanting to pick up the book as soon as you sit in your favorite chair.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

The Brass Verdict

The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly.

Hardcover: 422 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (October 14, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0316024627

 


Amazon Review:

Defense attorney Mickey Haller and Detective Harry Bosch must either work together or die as they investigate a Hollywood lawyer's murder in this "epic page-turner" (Library Journal).
 
Things are finally looking up for defense attorney Mickey Haller. After two years of wrong turns, Haller is back in the courtroom. When Hollywood lawyer Jerry Vincent is murdered, Haller inherits his biggest case yet: the defense of Walter Elliott, a prominent studio executive accused of murdering his wife and her lover. But as Haller prepares for the case that could launch him into the big time, he learns that Vincent's killer may be coming for him next. 

Enter Harry Bosch. Determined to find Vincent's killer, he is not opposed to using Haller as bait. But as danger mounts and the stakes rise, these two loners realize their only choice is to work together.

Bringing together Michael Connelly's two most popular characters, The Brass Verdict is sure to be his biggest book yet.

Yet another good book by Michael Connelly!  I guess when I picked it up at the thrift store I didn't notice that it wasn't a Bosch book.   Instead it was about Haller, an attorney , who I remembered from the last Bosch book I read.  And it turns out that Bosh is also in the book and it seems like this was the book where they first met.

The biggest part of the book was a trial that Haller had "inherited" about a movie mogul accused of murdering is wife and lover.  All I will say is there are a few surprises towards the end of the story!

This was a good read. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Wrong Side of Goodbye

The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly.

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company(November 1, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0316225940



Amazon Review:

California's newest private investigator, Detective Harry Bosch, must track down a missing heir while helping a police department connect the dots on a dangerous cold case.
Harry Bosch is California's newest private investigator. He doesn't advertise, he doesn't have an office, and he's picky about who he works for, but it doesn't matter. His chops from thirty years with the LAPD speak for themselves.

Soon one of Southern California's biggest moguls comes calling. The reclusive billionaire is nearing the end of his life and is haunted by one regret. When he was young, he had a relationship with a Mexican girl, his great love. But soon after becoming pregnant, she disappeared. Did she have the baby? And if so, what happened to it?

Desperate to know whether he has an heir, the dying magnate hires Bosch, the only person he can trust. With such a vast fortune at stake, Harry realizes that his mission could be risky not only for himself but for the one he's seeking. But as he begins to uncover the haunting story--and finds uncanny links to his own past--he knows he cannot rest until he finds the truth.

At the same time, unable to leave cop work behind completely, he volunteers as an investigator for a tiny cash-strapped police department and finds himself tracking a serial rapist who is one of the most baffling and dangerous foes he has ever faced.


The book started out a little slow and my thoughts were that I'd not finish this book.
Well, that didn't happen! It turned into a book I really got into and enjoyed.  The protagonist, Bosch winds up working two cases at once.  One for the Police department , and one a private case for an elderly billionaire trying to find out if he has any heirs to leave his fortune to when he dies.  

It turned into a real page turner !  If you like Michael Connelly this is one of the Bosch series you won't want to miss!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Inspector of the Dead

Inspector of the Dead by David Morrell.

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Mulholland Books(October 11, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0316323950



Amazon Review:
The year is 1855. The Crimean War is raging. The incompetence of British commanders causes the fall of the English government. The Empire teeters.

Amid this crisis comes opium-eater Thomas De Quincey, one of the most notorious and brilliant personalities of Victorian England. Along with his irrepressible daughter, Emily, and their Scotland Yard companions, Ryan and Becker, De Quincey finds himself confronted by an adversary who threatens the heart of the nation.

This killer targets members of the upper echelons of British society, leaving with each corpse the name of someone who previously attempted to kill Queen Victoria. The evidence indicates that the ultimate victim will be Victoria herself. As De Quincey and Emily race to protect the queen, they uncover long-buried secrets and the heartbreaking past of a man whose lust for revenge has destroyed his soul.

Based on actual attempts to assassinate Queen Victoria, Inspector of the Dead brilliantly merges historical fact with fiction, bringing a bloody chapter of Victorian England to vivid, pulse-pounding life.

The mention of Thomas De  Quincey reminded me of the books I read by David Morrell and totally enjoyed.  I looked at my saved books and found that I had,  Murder is a Fine Art and Ruler of the Night. But I didn't find Inspector of the Dead.  Not having the best memory I sent for a copy to read.  Once I was into the very first chapter, I let out a groan.  Dang it!  I did read this before!  But did I set it aside?  nada.  De Quincey grabbed me right into the book again!  What a character he makes for a murder mystery!!!   I found that I did forget a lot of the book so I enjoyed it all over again!

If you like really interesting characters in the books you read, the 3 Thomas De Quincey books are a must read!

If you don't recognize the author ...some of the books he wrote that became movies are: First Blood and the Rambo movies!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Find Her

Find Her by Lisa Gardner.

Hardcover: 402 pages
Publisher: Thorndike Press  (February 3, 2016)
ISBN-10: 9781410485342




Amazon Review:

Seven years ago, carefree college student Flora Dane was kidnapped while on spring break. For 472 days, Flora learned just how much one person can endure.

Miraculously alive after her ordeal, Flora has spent the past five years reacquainting herself with the rhythms of normal life, working with her FBI victim advocate, Samuel Keynes. She has a mother who’s never stopped loving her, a brother who is scared of the person she’s become, and a bedroom wall covered with photos of other girls who’ve never made it home.

When Boston detective D. D. Warren is called to the scene of a crime—a dead man and the bound, naked woman who killed him—she learns that Flora has tangled with three other suspects since her return to society. Is Flora a victim or a vigilante? And with her firsthand knowledge of criminal behavior, could she hold the key to rescuing a missing college student whose abduction has rocked Boston? When Flora herself disappears, D.D. realizes a far more sinister predator is out there. One who’s determined that this time, Flora Dane will never escape. And now it is all up to D. D. Warren to find her.

This book took me by surprise.  Smh.  For a female this is one scary book!  Based on true stories of girls/ woman who are abducted and how they are treated..but when it's Flora Dane they take, in the long run, they find out they took the wrong woman.

Lisa Gardner, the author is a super writer. She makes you feel like you are right there and feeling the feelings Flora is feeling. Like, I said... scary!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Bone Key

The Bone Key by Sarah Monette.

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Prime Books (October 18, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1607012901




Amazon review...

  • Kyle Murchison Booth is the unlikeliest of characters to gain a cult following, yet he has. Eccentric, socially awkward Booth is an introverted museum archivist, descended from a most unusual family, who frequently finds himself in the midst of the most unsettling supernatural experiences and strange necromantic mysteries. A gentleman and a scholar, the unwilling hero persevered through The Bone Key, a series of interconnected short stories, to win readers' hearts (and possibly their souls).
  • This new edition, with a "puzzle" cover and a new introduction by one of Booth's "successors" at the Samuel Mather Parrington Museum, will delight current fans and allow even more to discover its dark charms.

I am not a lover of short stories.. so of course I bought this book because of the cover!!! (Not the first time I've done that!)

Having said that.. I enjoyed this book!  Each of the stories had the same main character and tied them, more or less, together.  I enjoyed most of the stories with maybe an exception of the last 2 stories.  However, I would still recommend this book if you like mysteries, ghost stories and such.

It's quick reading, but I've been sick nearly all month so the most I did was read one short story and put the book down for a day or two.. so , short as it is it took me a bit to read it.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Once Upon a River

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield.

Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books (December 4, 2018)
ISBN-10: 0743298071




Amazon Review:

On a dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the river Thames, an extraordinary event takes place. The regulars are telling stories to while away the dark hours, when the door bursts open on a grievously wounded stranger. In his arms is the lifeless body of a small child. Hours later, the girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Is it magic? Or can science provide an explanation? These questions have many answers, some of them quite dark indeed.

Those who dwell on the river bank apply all their ingenuity to solving the puzzle of the girl who died and lived again, yet as the days pass the mystery only deepens. The child herself is mute and unable to answer the essential questions: Who is she? Where did she come from? And to whom does she belong? But answers proliferate nonetheless.

Three families are keen to claim her. A wealthy young mother knows the girl is her kidnapped daughter, missing for two years. A farming family reeling from the discovery of their son’s secret liaison, stand ready to welcome their granddaughter. The parson’s housekeeper, humble and isolated, sees in the child the image of her younger sister. But the return of a lost child is not without complications and no matter how heartbreaking the past losses, no matter how precious the child herself, this girl cannot be everyone’s. Each family has mysteries of its own, and many secrets must be revealed before the girl’s identity can be known.

Once Upon a River is a glorious tapestry of a book that combines folklore and science, magic and myth. Suspenseful, romantic, and richly atmospheric, the beginning of this novel will sweep you away on a powerful current of storytelling, transporting you through worlds both real and imagined, to the triumphant conclusion whose depths will continue to give up their treasures long after the last page is turned.

This book began a little slow for me.  I am guessing that after so many murder mystery books that this was harder for me to get into.  That... and as soon as I see Diane Setterfield's name I expect something comparable to The Thirteenth Tale.  Well, this is not that! lol  To me it was a bit more "fantasy" than a fiction novel.  

I did read it all so that means it wasn't awful!  And to many who are a bit more into .. I don't know what to call it!  But I am sure many will like this book very much.  So, if the review from Amazon sounds good to you... give it a try!

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Extraordinary People

Extraordinary People by Peter May.

Hardcover: 382 pages
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press;(November 30, 2006)
ISBN-10: 1590583353


 

Amazon Review:

What has happened to Jacques Gaillard? The brilliant teacher who trained some of France's best and brightest at the Ecole Nationale d'Administration as future Prime Ministers and Presidents vanished ten years ago, presumably from Paris. Talk about your cold case.

The mystery inspires a bet, one that Enzo Macleod, a biologist teaching in Toulouse instead of pursuing a brilliant career in forensics back home in Scotland can ill afford to lose. The wager is that Enzo can find out what happened to Jacques Gaillard by applying new science to an old case.

Enzo comes to Paris to meet journalist Roger Raffin, the author of a book on seven celebrated unsolved murders, the assumption being that Gaillard is dead. He needs Raffin's notes. And armed with these, he begins his quest. It quickly has him touring landmarks such as the Paris catacombs and a chateau in Champagne, digging up relics and bones. Yes, Enzo finds Jacques Gaillard's head. The artifacts buried with the skull set him to interpreting the clues they provide and to following in someone's footsteps--maybe more than one someone--after the rest of Gaillard. And to reviewing some ancient and recent history. As with a quest, it's as much discovery as detection. Enzo proves to be an ace investigator, scientific and intuitive, and, for all his missteps, one who hits his goals including a painful journey toward greater self-awareness.


Wow, if you like fast moving  detective work, this is the book for you!   

I liked that it was a cold case being solved.  There were "obvious clues" along the way.  They would  have taken me forever to figure out, but of course, Enzo and his growing group around him seem to figure them out in nothing flat! 

The book was different from what I am used to but since once I start one of these books, I "must" know "who done it"! lol
It's a good quick read and one you'd most likely enjoy.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Blood on the Water. A Sunless Sea

Blood on the Water by Anne Perry.

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books (September 9, 2014)
ISBN-10: 9780345548436




As her New York Times bestselling novels always remind us, Anne Perry is a matchless guide to both the splendor and the shame of the British Empire at the height of its influence. In her twentieth William Monk mystery, she brings us to London’s grand Mayfair mansions, where the arrogant masters of the Western world hold sway—and to the teeming Thames waterfront, where one summer afternoon, Monk witnesses the horrifying explosion of the pleasure boat Princess Mary, which sends to their deaths nearly two hundred merrymakers.

The tragedy is no accident. As commander of the River Police, Monk should handle the case, but the investigation is turned over to the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. An Egyptian man is swiftly caught, tried, and sentenced to die. But almost as quickly, Monk presents evidence that Habib Beshara, though a nasty piece of work, was elsewhere at the time of the blast. The investigation, now in complete disarray, is hastily turned over to Monk.

Is the crime connected with the soon-to-be-opened Suez Canal, which will enormously benefit wealthy British shipping companies? Or did all of those innocent people drown to ensure the death of just one? How did the bomber board the ship, and how did he manage to escape? Is he an anarchist or a madman?

Backed up by his astute wife, Hester, and his old reliable friend Oliver Rathbone, Monk vows to find answers—but instead finds himself treading the dangerous waters of international intrigue, his questions politely turned aside by a formidable array of the powerful and privileged. Events twist and turn like the Thames itself, leading to the shattering moment when Monk realizes, perhaps too late, that he is the next target.

This one was one of her different ones.  The lack of Rathbone put a lot more pressure on the other main characters.. which, of course, .. they still managed to dig out the truth!
I have liked all the Monk series and have to say, other than ONE other author have I read such a long series.  The difference being with the other series  often I had to wait a year for the newest book to come out. That series would be the late, great Ann McCraffrey, with her Pern series.

But if you like mysteries and being in court waiting for what you didn't know to become apparent.. this is a series for you!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Blind Justice by Anne Perry.

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books;(August 27, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0345536703



Amazon Review:

In Perry’s stunning new novel, Hester Monk, the wife of William Monk, commander of the Thames River Police, questions the finances of a London church whose members’ hard-earned charitable gifts appear to have ended up in the pocket of charismatic preacher Abel Taft, paying for his fine home and the stylish outfits of his wife and daughters.

Taft is accused of extortion, and brilliant barrister Oliver Rathbone, newly appointed a judge, is chosen to preside over his trial. It seems clear that Taft is indeed guilty. However, at the last second, the defense produces a witness who completely undermines the charges. Then Rathbone makes a well-meaning but reckless move that could ruin his career, his reputation, and his life.

Blind Justice presents a rich and lively panorama of London life, from the teeming Thames docks to the wealthy West End, while unfolding a magnificent courtroom drama. And while justice, law, and morality hang in the balance, Hester and Monk race to save their distinguished friend Rathbone from disgrace. The incomparable art of Anne Perry grips us fast until the final, unforgettable scene.


I really need to tank Kiyo Walsh for the wondrous gift of nearly every one of the Monk series.  What a gracious and wonderful gift.  Thank you again Kiyo!!

The end of the series!  I will miss Monk and Hester, Scruff and Rathbone.. They were true characters that always kept me hopping and always learning more of them privately, which I really enjoyed.

They are all easy reading but at the same time you are always in for twists, turns and surprises!!


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

A Sunless Sea

A Sunless Sea by Anne Perry

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books;(August 28, 2012)
ISBN-10: 9780345510648


 

Amazon Review:

As commander of the River Police, Monk is accustomed to violent death, but the mutilated female body found on Limehouse Pier one chilly December morning moves him with horror and pity. The victim’s name is Zenia Gadney. Her waterfront neighbors can tell him little—only that the same unknown gentleman had visited her once a month for many years. She must be a prostitute, but—described as quiet and kempt—she doesn’t appear to be a fallen woman. 

What sinister secrets could have made poor Zenia worth killing? And why does the government keep interfering in Monk’s investigation? 


While the public cries out for blood, Monk, his spirited wife, Hester, and their brilliant barrister friend, Oliver Rathbone, search for answers. From dank waterfront alleys to London’s fabulously wealthy West End, the three trail an ice-blooded murderer toward the unbelievable, possibly unprovable truth—and ultimately engage their adversaries in an electric courtroom duel. But unless they can work a miracle, a monumental evil will go unpunished and an innocent person will hang. 


Anne Perry has never worn her literary colors with greater distinction than in A Sunless Sea, a heart-pounding novel of intrigue and suspense in which Monk is driven to make the hardest decision of his life.



Ok, so...  Anne Perry never lets up!  

This one started off a little slow.  But, as they say, not for long!  I think this book, so far, of the Monk series, has the longest trial of all her books.  I could be wrong, but I don't think so.  

As always there are twists and turns.. and occasionally even a wake up slap across the face!

Yet another good story, what can I say?  How she keeps coming up with these novels I will never know!!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Acceptable Loss

Acceptable Loss by Anne Perry.

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books;(August 9, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0345510607



Amazon Review:

"Give her a good murder and a shameful social evil,"; The New York Times Book Review once declared, ";and Anne Perry can write a Victorian mystery that would make Dickens’s eyes pop."; And Perry’s new William and Hester Monk story, a mesmerizing masterpiece of innocence and evil on London’s docks, outshines all her previous novels in this successful and beloved series.When the body of a small-time crook named Mickey Parfitt washes up on the tide, no one grieves; far from it. But William Monk, commander of the River Police, is puzzled by the expensive silk cravat used to strangle Parfitt. How did this elegant scarf€”whose original owner was obviously a man of substance€”end up imbedded in the neck of a wharf rat who richly deserved his sordid end?Dockside informers lead Monk to what may be a partial answer€”a floating palace of corruption on the Thames managed by Parfitt, where a captive band of half-starved boys

Ok.. so I've pretty much really liked all the Monk series that I've read.  A few are outstanding.. this is one of them !

Children's lives in the balance if Monk fails.  Friendships are tested to the highest degree. Hester once again "invades" the land of the detectives to help Monk. And Scruff, the 9 yr old orphan who lives on the streets finds himself caring more  for Hester and Monk.
A lot of the story is in the courts, which I thought would be boring... but , by no means was it!

If you've read some of the Monk books I'd advise you find this one if you haven't read it yet.

Sunday, April 07, 2019

John Muir: Wilderness Essays

John Muir: Wilderness Essays. by John Muir.

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Gibbs Smith;(April 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1423607120


 

Part of John Muir's appeal to modern readers is that he not only explored the American West and wrote about its beauties but also fought for their preservation. His successes dot the landscape and are evident in all the natural features that bear his name: forests, lakes, trails, and glaciers. Here collected are some of Muir's finest wilderness essays, ranging in subject matter from Alaska to Yellowstone, from Oregon to the High Sierra.This book is part of a series that celebrates the tradition of literary naturalists―writers who embrace the natural world as the setting for some of our most euphoric and serious experiences. These books map the intimate connections between the human and the natural world. Literary naturalists transcend political boundaries, social concerns, and historical milieus; they speak for what Henry Beston called the “other nations” of the planet. Their message acquires more weight and urgency as wild places become increasingly scarce.

From the Publisher

john muir
John Muir, Father of the National Parks
Millions have read his books. Did he know the impact he would have with his ecological musings? Known as the 'Father of the National Parks,' his letters, books, and essays about nature are priceless. Read this wonderful edition, part of the Gibbs Smith Publisher series of literary naturalists.
  • Inspirational reading for those who love the outdoors
  • Convenient trim size for traveling and adventures
  • Beautiful cover illustrations
  • Read outside!
There's not much I can say about John Muir. He was a true lover of all nature and never could explore it enough.. 

Here is  a piece of his Wilderness Essays when talking about Yellowstone..:

"In these natural laboratories one needs stout faith to feel at ease. The ground sounds hollow underfoot, and the awful subterranean thunder shakes one's mine as the ground is shaken, especially at night in the pale moonlight , or when the sky is overcast with storm clouds. In the solemn gloom, the geysers, dimly visible, look like monstrous dancing ghosts, and their wild songs, and the earthquake thunder replying to the storms overhead seem doubly terrible, as if a divine government were at an end. But the trembling hills keep their places. The sky clears, the rosy dawn is reassuring, and up comes the sun like a God, pouring his faithful beams across the mountains and forest, lighting each peak and tree and ghastly geyser alike, and shining into the eyes of the reeking springs,  clothing them with rainbow light, and dissolving the seeming chaos of darkness into varied forms of harmony. The ordinary work of the world goes on. Gladly we see the flies dancing in the sunbeams, birds feeding their young, squirrels gathering nuts and hear the  blessed ouzel (a bird that resembles the blackbird) singing confidingly  in the shallows of the river,... most faithful  evangel, calming every fear, reducing everything to love." 



My special thanks to Cath (Sis) for sending me this book... It's a "keeper"!!!

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Execution Dock

Execution Dock by Anne Perry.

Series: William Monk Novels
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books (March 24, 2009)
ISBN-10: 9780345469335


 


Amazon Review:
Readers of Anne Perry’s bestselling William Monk novels feel as if they’ve experienced the many shades of Victorian London, from Belgravia to Limehouse, from drawing room to brothel. In Execution Dock, Perry’s first Monk novel in three years, we find ourselves on the bustling docks along the River Thames. Here the empire’s great merchant ships unload the treasures of the world. And here, in dank and sinister alleys, sex merchants ply their lucrative trade.

The dreaded kingpin of this dark realm is Jericho Phillips. On his floating brothel, sex slaves are forced to endure unspeakable acts. Now one such soul, thirteen-year-old Fig, is found with his throat cut, his tortured body tossed into the river.

Commander William Monk of the River Police swears that Phillips will hang for this abomination. But the miscreant is as wily as he is monstrous, and his wealthy clients seem far beyond the reach of the law. Monk’s attempt to bring about justice becomes the first electrifying episode in a nightmare that will test his courage and integrity.

However, reinforcements are on the way. Monk’s wife, Hester, who runs a free clinic for abused women, draws a highly unusual guerrilla force to her husband’s cause–a canny ratcatcher, a retired brothel keeper, a fearless street urchin, and a rebellious society lady. To one as criminally minded as Phillips, these folks are mere mosquitoes, to be sure. But as he will soon discover, some mosquitoes can have a deadly sting.

This gripping, terrifying story hurtles toward to a denouement that will leave the reader breathless but cheering. Execution Dock is Anne Perry at her incomparable, magnificent best.


Oh boy! This one was really a fast mover !  All of the Monk books have been good.. but this one was better than good! Hard book to put down!  I really can't say more... it's one I would recommend if you read any of Anne Perry, don't miss this one! (Thank you Kiyo!)

Sunday, March 17, 2019

A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir

A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir by Donald Worster.

Hardcover: 544 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press(October 21, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0195166825



Amazon Review:

"I am hopelessly and forever a mountaineer," John Muir wrote. "Civilization and fever and all the morbidness that has been hooted at me has not dimmed my glacial eye, and I care to live only to entice people to look at Nature's loveliness. My own special self is nothing."

In Donald Worster's magisterial biography, John Muir's "special self" is fully explored as is his extraordinary ability, then and now, to get others to see the sacred beauty of the natural world. A Passion for Nature is the most complete account of the great conservationist and founder of the Sierra Club ever written. It is the first to be based on Muir's full private correspondence and to meet modern scholarly standards. Yet it is also full of rich detail and personal anecdote, uncovering the complex inner life behind the legend of the solitary mountain man. It traces Muir from his boyhood in Scotland and frontier Wisconsin to his adult life in California right after the Civil War up to his death on the eve of World War I. It explores his marriage and family life, his relationship with his abusive father, his many friendships with the humble and famous (including Theodore Roosevelt and Ralph Waldo Emerson), and his role in founding the modern American conservation movement. Inspired by Muir's passion for the wilderness, Americans created a long and stunning list of national parks and wilderness areas, Yosemite most prominent among them. Yet the book also describes a Muir who was a successful fruit-grower, a talented scientist and world-traveler, a doting father and husband, a self-made man of wealth and political influence. A man for whom mountaineering was "a pathway to revelation and worship."

For anyone wishing to more fully understand America's first great environmentalist, and the enormous influence he still exerts today, Donald Worster's biography offers a wealth of insight into the passionate nature of a man whose passion for nature remains unsurpassed.


Well this took me a while to finish! But finish it I did!  I love John Muir, his quotes, and his life.  I never knew he was born and raised in Scotland... the man who helped save most of our National Parks!  There was, most likely, no person ever who saw nature the was he did.  I know I feel it, ever so slightly compared to him, whenever I am in the mountains and under the trees.  The peace.  All other life just drifts away.  It really is a feeling you wish you could keep and never have to go back to "the other life".

Eventually, I hope to get at least two small books that are written by Muir about his walks into the wilderness.

There is however a bit of politics of the time in this book also.  There were some parts a bit long or not as interesting as others.. but I am glad I read the story of his life.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Silence for the Dead

Silence for the Dead by Simone St. James.

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Berkley (April 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0451419480



Amazon Review..

“Portis House emerged from the fog as we approached, showing itself slowly as a long, low shadow....” 

In 1919, Kitty Weekes, pretty, resourceful, and on the run, falsifies her background to obtain a nursing position at Portis House, a remote hospital for soldiers left shell-shocked by the horrors of the Great War. Hiding the shame of their mental instability in what was once a magnificent private estate, the patients suffer from nervous attacks and tormenting dreams. But something more is going on at Portis House—its plaster is crumbling, its plumbing makes eerie noises, and strange breaths of cold waft through the empty rooms. It’s known that the former occupants left abruptly, but where did they go? And why do the patients all seem to share the same nightmare, one so horrific that they dare not speak of it? 


Kitty finds a dangerous ally in Jack Yates, an inmate who may be a war hero, a madman… or maybe both. But even as Kitty and Jack create a secret, intimate alliance to uncover the truth, disturbing revelations suggest the presence of powerful spectral forces. And when a medical catastrophe leaves them even more isolated, they must battle the menace on their own, caught in the heart of a mystery that could destroy them both.


This is the 4th book that I've read by Simone St. James!  The Haunting of Maddy Clare, Lost Among the Living and The Broken Girls are the other 3.

The book moves right along so it's easy to keep picking it up. (I had company for a week so I didn't read during that time) It's written so you think you know some answers but they usually aren't as it seems. Although this wasn't a "detective" book,  I enjoyed it very much.

Recommended along with her other books! (Not a series with all the same characters).

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Dark Assassin

Dark Assassin by Anne Perry.

Publisher: Ballantine Books; William Monk Novels edition (February 26, 2006)
ASIN: B00HTJPK00
308 pages


 

Amazon Review:

This is another Victorian mystery by New York Times best selling author Anne Perry. In this novel, William Monk, the Thames River Police superintendent, sees a man and woman, on a bridge over the Thames, plunge to their death into the icy waters. Was it an accident, suicide or murder? This is what Monk must figure out.

I am still loving Monk and Hester and his life continues with some of the same "side kicks".   So far I have not read a bad "Monk Series" book by Anne Perry. I have a few more to read but will be mixing them up with some other books, because then when I go back to Monk and Hester it's like revisiting an old friend!

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Me and My Walkin' Stick

This is just a short story about my walkin' stick.  That would be the one I use everyday when I leave the apartment.  You see, I have Scoliosis, Ruptured Disc's,and Sciatica in my lower back. (plus Bursitis in my hip) and since my Heart Surgery and being put on blood thinners I haven't been able to get an epidural  in my back for 4 months now, so I limp and am in a bit of pain.  The Walkin' Stick helps a lot!

Anyway...this first photo is of 3  walking sticks I got on trips but don't use.  They are my souvenirs from my trips with Cathy to the Forests along the East coast.  The little metal things are names of places we went or things we saw re: Blue Ridge Mts.






Now the photo below is the stick I use all the time....






I get comments on it all the time.  All nice comments.. mostly , "Oh, I like your walking stick".

Well, the other day I went with my girlfriend to Target's.  We walked in and I procured a wagon and put my stick in it.  Before I could follow my friend, a man, wearing Jeans and a western shirt and a cowboy hat walked over to me and got very close and softly said, "Don't you leave that wagon ..'cause if ya do I guarantee you that walkin' stick won't be there when you return!"

Luckily for me he was smiling when he said it!


So the moral to this story is that I keep a sharp eye on my walkin' stick wherever I go!!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Burying the Honeysuckle Girls

Burying the Honeysuckle Girls by Emily Carpenter.

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (April 26, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1503935019



Amazon Review

Althea Bell is still heartbroken by her mother’s tragic, premature death—and tormented by the last, frantic words she whispered into young Althea’s ear: Wait for her. For the honeysuckle girl. She’ll find you, I think, but if she doesn’t, you find her.
 
Adrift ever since, Althea is now fresh out of rehab and returning to her family home in Mobile, Alabama, determined to reconnect with her estranged, ailing father. While Althea doesn’t expect him, or her politically ambitious brother, to welcome her with open arms, she’s not prepared for the chilling revelation of a grim, long-buried family secret. Fragile and desperate, Althea escapes with an old flame to uncover the truth about her lineage. Drawn deeper into her ancestors’ lives, Althea begins to unearth their disturbing history…and the part she’s meant to play in it.
 
Gripping and visceral, this unforgettable debut delves straight into the heart of dark family secrets and into one woman’s emotional journey to save herself from a sinister inheritance.

Well, I went thru this book pretty quick! That says one thing... I enjoyed the book very much. Like the novel before this story went thru a later and earlier date.  Once again there was no problem knowing where, or I should say, when you are.

Short chapters with surprises as Althea tried to find out what her family history was for the all the secrets of the woman in her family.

A good and enjoyable read!

Monday, January 21, 2019

The Broken Girls

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James.

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Berkley;  edition (March 20, 2018)
ISBN-10: 0451476204



Amazon Review:

Vermont, 1950. There's a place for the girls whom no one wants—the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It's called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it's located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming—until one of them mysteriously disappears... 

Vermont, 2014. As much as she's tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister's death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister's boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can't shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past—and a voice that won't be silenced...


Totally liked this book!  It went back and fourth from 1950 to "present time" (2014). There was no problem following the story.  1950 was 4 girls sent a a school for kids that weren't wanted home for one reason or another.  2014 was a young female journalist writing a story about the school that was supposedly haunted.

Fast reading.  Short chapters.  Good characters. Good story. Do you believe in ghosts?

I have read one other book by this author a few years ago, The Haunting of Maddy Clare, which if I strain to remember I liked that book too!


Sunday, January 06, 2019

The Death of Joan of Arc

The Death of Joan of Arc by Michael Scott. (Short Story/ Kindle only)

File Size: 2442 KB
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (August 24, 2010)
ASIN: B003Z4JK9U


 

 Amazon Review:

Nicholas Flamel appeared in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter—but did you know he really lived? And he might still be alive today! Discover the truth in Michael Scott’s New York Times bestselling series the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel with The Death of Joan of Arc, an ebook original. 

In this never-before-seen lost story, Joan of Arc was not burned at the stake in Rouen, France in 1431. She was rescued from certain death by Scathach the Warrior.

The truth about that day is revealed in the last will and testament of William of York, and it will leave you wondering: does Joan of Arc still walk the earth?


This is a short story about Scathach saving Joan of Arc from being burned as a Witch. 
For you to know about Scathach you really need to read Michael's series of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel.  Scatach has a good part in the series and you get to understand her better.

I have always loved that in Michael's Alchemyst story (6 books) he used real characters, such as Nicholas Flamel, and Dr. Dee, and he used mythical characters, and his own characters.. and made that mix work! I loved the books and these small stories.
Michael has written much more totally different from this series, but, like Harry Potter's series, I can't let go of the Nicholas Flamel series.

Try them.. I think you'll like them all.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Billy the Kid and the Vampyres of Vegas

Billy the Kid and the Vampyres of Vegas by Michael Scott. (Kindle only)

File Size: 2714 KB
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (November 22, 2011) (and old people!)
ASIN: B005PRJKNQ


Read the whole series!
The Alchemyst
The Magician
The Sorceress
The Necromancer
The Warlock
The Enchantress



Amazon Review

Nicholas Flamel appeared in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter—but did you know he really lived? And he might still be alive today! Discover the truth in Michael Scott’s New York Times bestselling series the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel with Billy the Kid and the Vampyres of Vegas, an ebook original.
Years before Sophie and Josh Newman met Nicholas Flamel, two legendary warriors fought together for the first time. Billy the Kid and Scathach the Shadow.

Now that lost story can be told . . .
Billy the Kid is immortal. And being immortal means following unpredictable paths. With this exclusive eBook, Michael Scott offers readers a never-before-seen short story from the world of the bestselling series the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel: the tale of how Billy the Kid and Scathach meet for the first time and join forces against the unseen, deadly and eternally hungry vampyres who control the city of Las Vegas—where Scathach must face her greatest fear.



This is a "story" I should have read years ago. (sigh) But I never had a way to read e-books. Now I can.. so I ran right to Michaels to side stories, this one and The Death of Joan of Arc, and bought them!  That, of course means Joan of Arc is next to read!!  They are short, and I wouldn't read them if you didn't read or at least know about Michael's series The Alchemyst.  They are for young adults..I guess at my ripe old age, as far as reading goes, I am still a young adult..because I love those books and loved this story and have no doubt I will love the Death of Joan of Arc.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Something extra: About the author who I think is such a wonderful writer.


   Michael Scott

Biography
"Some stories wait their turn to be told, others just tap you on the shoulder and insist you tell them."
By one of those wonderful coincidences with which life is filled, I find that the first time the word alchemyst--with a Y--appears in my notes is in May 1997. Ten years later, almost to the day, The Alchemyst, the first book in the Nicholas Flamel series, will be published in May.


Every writer I know keeps a notebook full of those ideas, which might, one day, turn into a story. Most writers know they will probably never write the vast majority of those ideas. Most stories wait their turn to be told, but there are a few which tap you on the shoulder and insist on being told. These are the stories which simply will not go away until you get them down on paper, where you find yourself coming across precisely the research you need, or discovering the perfect character or, in my case, actually stumbling across Nicholas Flamel's house in Paris. 

Discovering Flamel's house was the final piece I needed to put the book together. It also gave me the character of Nicholas Flamel because, up to that point, the book was without a hero.
And Nicholas Flamel brought so much to the story.


Nicholas Flamel was one of the most famous alchemists of his day. He was born in 1330 and earned his living as a bookseller, which, by another of those wonderful coincidences, was the same job I had for many years.

One day he bought a book, the same book mentioned in The Alchemyst: the Book of Abraham. It, too, really existed and Nicholas Flamel left us with a very detailed description of the copper-bound book. Although the book itself is lost, the illustrations from the text still exist.

Accompanied by his wife Perenelle, Nicholas spent more than 20 years trying to translate book. He must have succeeded. He became extraordinarily wealthy and used some of his great wealth to found hospitals, churches, and orphanages. Perhaps he had discovered the secret of the Philosopher's Stone: how to turn base metal into gold.

Of course the greatest mystery linked to Nicholas Flamel is the story of what happened after he died. When his tomb was opened by thieves looking for some of his great wealth, it was found to be empty. Had Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel been buried in secret graves, or had they never died in the first place? In the months and years to follow, sightings of the Flamels were reported all over Europe. Had Nicholas also discovered that other great mystery of alchemy: the secret of immortality?

What writer couldn't resist a story that combined magical books, an immortal magician and grave robbing and, even more excitingly, that had a basis in fact? It begged the questions: if he was still alive today, where would he be and what would he be doing? Obvious really--he would be running a bookshop in San Francisco.

The Alchemyst was a tough book to write, probably the toughest of all the books I've done so far. It is the first in a series, and because the story told across all six books is so tightly integrated, keeping track of the characters and events means that I have to keep extensive and detailed notes. A minor change in book one could impact dramatically book three. There are tiny clues seeded into the first book that pay off in later books. The time frame for the entire series is very tight--The Alchemyst, for example, takes place over two days--so I too need to keep an hour-by-hour breakdown of events.

For people who like to know the practicalities, I write every day and sometimes all day and often long into the night. Nights really are the best time for writing. It's that time the conscious side of the brain is starting to shut down and the unconscious takes over. The following day I'll read what I've written the previous day, then edit and rewrite. I work on two computer screens; the story on one screen, notes and research on the second screen.

And now let me answer the question you are about to ask me because, sooner or later, everyone asks, "What is the secret of writing?"

A comfortable chair. A really comfortable chair--because if you're a writer, you're going to spend a lot of time sitting in it.

Friday, January 04, 2019

A Death in the Small Hours

A Death in the Small Hours by Charles Finch.

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books (August 6, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1250031494




Amazon Review
From Charles Finch, the critically acclaimed author of A Beautiful Blue Death and A Burial at Sea, comes A Death in the Small Hours--an intriguing new mystery in what The New York Times calls "a beguiling series" 
 
Charles Lenox is at the pinnacle of his political career and is a delighted new father. His days of regularly investigating the crimes of Victorian London now some years behind him, he plans a trip to his uncle's estate, Somerset, in the expectation of a few calm weeks to write an important speech. When he arrives in the quiet village of Plumley, however, what greets him is a series of strange vandalisms upon the local shops: broken windows, minor thefts, threatening scrawls.
 
Only when a far more serious crime is committed does he begin to understand the great stakes of those events, and the complex and sinister mind that is wreaking fear and suspicion in Plumley. Now, with his protege, John Dallington, at his side, the race is on for Lenox to find the culprit before he strikes again. And this time his victim may be someone that Lenox loves.

This is my second book by Charles Finch. I read "The Inheritance" in 2017.

I always love short chapters, it keeps me reading longer than I would with long chapters.  If you like short chapters you will be happy because this is one of those books.

Charles Lenox is in Parliament but has a love solving crimes, which he used to do. He seems to be now doing what his parents would be proud of rather than what he loves.
I enjoyed this story.  Victorian times are always among my favorites.  I will most likely read another by Charles Finch.. but who knows when? I don't think I could read all my TBR books I have before I die!  Which is why there is always a large TBR pile (about 130) at my home!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

If You Knew Her

If You Knew Her by Emily Elgar.
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks (January 23, 2018)
ISBN-10: 006269460X



Amazon Review:

A woman in a coma.
The man who could save her life—if only he could speak.
 
When young, beautiful Cassie Jensen arrives unconscious to the intensive care ward at St. Catherine’s hospital after being struck in a hit-and-run while out walking her dog, chief nurse Alice Marlowe thinks she looks familiar. She starts digging deeper into Cassie’s relationships, only to discover something about her patient that she’d been keeping secret from everyone, including her devoted husband and family. Soon Alice finds herself obsessed with her patient’s past and future, even willing to put her own career on the line in her single-minded search for answers. 

Frank, a patient on the same ward who has locked-in syndrome, can hear and see everything around him but cannot speak. Soon he comes to understand that Cassie’s life is still in danger. While the police continue to look for clues, only Frank holds the truth, but he’s unable to communicate it. 


As the novel flashes between points of view, the reader will get closer and closer to the truth of who Cassie Jensen was, and why she was out on the road that fateful night . . .


I can't remember where I picked this book up but it turned out to  be  and enjoyable read....for most of it.  One sad part.  Anyway.  Each chapter was one about one of the characters in the story, and how, slowly, it all started to come together.  But,  you still weren't sure until the very end.

I liked that it was different in that two characters were in comas.  Both were thought not to recover. But one's brain was fully functional and heard everything that went on in the hospital and especially the room he was in...   I like it when a character is different and interesting!

So if you like something a touch different this might be a good one for you.




Thursday, December 20, 2018

The Christmas Thief

The Christmas Thief by Mary Higgins Clark.
Print Length: 336 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1439173079
Publisher: Simon & Schuster;(November 9, 2004)




This time they get in the middle of a case involving a beautiful eighty-foot blue spruce that has been chosen to spend the holidays as Rockefeller Center's famous Christmas tree. The folks who picked the tree don't have a clue that attached to one of its branches is a flask chock-full of priceless diamonds that Packy Noonan, a scam artist just released from prison, had hidden there over twelve years ago. 

An excited Packy breaks his parole and heads to Stowe, Vermont, to reclaim his loot. Once there, he is horrified to discover that his special tree will be heading to New York City the next morning. With a bumbling crew consisting of Jo-Jo, Benny, and an unsuccessful poet, Milo, he knows he has to act fast. 


What Packy does not know is that Alvirah and Regan are on a weekend trip to Stowe with Alvirah's husband, Willy; Regan's fiancé, Jack; Regan's parents, Luke and Nora; and Alvirah's friend Opal, a lottery winner who lost all her winnings in Packy's scam. On Monday morning when they're supposed to head home, they learn that the tree is missing, Packy Noonan may be in the vicinity, and Opal has disappeared. 


From two of America's beloved storytellers, The Christmas Thief is filled with suspense, comic characters, and holiday cheer, and is sure to delight its readers.



 Well, this was different..in a nice way!  The use of "comic characters" gave smiles while reading a "mystery about a tree".

This is the first time I've read Christmas mysteries that I can remember. They were small and short and enjoyable!  I may try it again next year!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

A Christmas Journey

A Christmas Journey by Anne Perry.

Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books;(November 18, 2003)
ISBN-10: 034546673X



Amazon Review:

It’s Christmas and the Berkshire countryside lies wrapped in winter chill. But the well-born guests who have gathered at Applecross for a delicious weekend of innocent intrigue and passionate romance are warmed by roaring fires and candlelight, holly and mistletoe, good wine and gorgeously wrapped gifts. It’s scarcely the setting for misfortune, and no one–not even that clever young aristocrat and budding sleuth Vespasia Cumming-Gould–anticipates the tragedy that is to darken this light-hearted holiday house party. But soon one young woman lies dead, a suicide, and another is ostracized, held partly responsible for the shocking turn of events.

To expiate her guilt, Gwendolen Kilmuir sets out for the Scottish Highlands, hoping to explain to the dead girl’s mother the circumstances surrounding the sorrowful act–and to bring her back to England for the funeral. Gwendolen’s sole companion on this nightmarish journey is Vespasia. As Vespasia learns more about the victim and the ugly forces that shaped her desperate deed, she understands the heartbreaking truth of the tragedy.

A nice little book, and fast reading.

I especially liked the trip they took to bring the letter to the dead girl's mother. The descriptions of where they were made you feel as if you were on the trip with them.  From bad weather, to horseback riding, to boats, they went through much of England and even more of Scotland.  

Sometimes one must go thru many things to realize why they are how they are.