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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.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Silent Cry

The  Silent Cry by Anne Perry.
Hardcover: 361 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books;(October 7, 1997)
ISBN-10: 0449908488



Amazon.com Review
Readers of Anne Perry's series of Victorian murder mysteries know that her novels are as much social histories as crime stories. She pens her tales with an acute eye for period detail and a strong moral outrage at the hypocrisies and miseries of life in 19th-century England. Mysteries featuring Inspector Thomas Pitt and his upper-class wife, Charlotte, explore the life of the middle class and aristocracy; those that center on William Monk illuminate the back alleys and pauper's hospitals of England's lower classes. In The Silent Cry, Monk and his friend Hester Latterly, an independent young woman inured to life's horrors by her nursing service during the Crimean War, investigate the murder of prostitutes in Seven Dials. As always, Perry's grim landscape of tenements, sweatshops, and boozing kens becomes almost as much a character as the living people who inhabit them, while Monk and Hester's rebellious intelligence and unconventionality keep us coming back for more.
 
Yet, another really good Mystery for Monk by Anne Perry!

This one began a tad slow (for me) but it was long before it picked up and with each time I sit down to read it was going faster and faster!   Towards the end I thought I had it figured out and of course Anne Perry had a few last minutes twists!  But I did  have part of it right!! 

This series is a pleasant surprise to me, since I don't generally read authors that are so prolific as they generally get into a set routine and after a bit are no longer good stories.  Well I've read 8 of the Monk series so far and am still enjoyed her mysteries and finding out about Monk!!

I have a few more of her books here, and although I occasionally slip a different book in between I will have no trouble reading the rest that I  have!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

Paperback: 290 pages
Publisher: Dial Press (May 5, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1448730686



Amazon Review:

“I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb. . . .

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.
Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.

 I needed a short bread from Monk!  But I am going right back to him starting today  :)
I love this book!  It is the third time I have read it over the years. 

The book is written in the form of letters from Guernsey to Juliet, a book writer. You get the feeling of looking into others lives during a time no one should have to go through.  By mid book, you are totally invested in the people of the Island and feel as if you have lived their lives with them.

I don't want to say a lot... just... if you read this book I doubt you will be disappointed.

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Cain His Brother by Anne Perry.

Hardcover: 390 pages
Publisher: Fawcett;(September 19, 1995)
ISBN-10: 044990847X




Victoria's London was the queen of the universe, a dazzling metropolis from whose magnificent mansions and discreetly luxurious clubs flowed the strategies that built the greatest empire ever known. Meanwhile the city's poor suffered and died in hopeless obscurity. Inspector William Monk knows his city's best and its worst--or so he believes until the day when charming Genevieve Stonefield comes to plead with him to find her missing husband. 

In his family life, Angus Stonefield had been gentle and loving; in business, a man of probity; and in his relationship with his twin brother, Caleb, a virtual saint. Now he is missing, and it appears more than possible that Caleb--a creature long since abandoned to depravity--has murdered him. 


And so Monk puts himself into the missing man's shoes, searching in Stonefield's comfortable home, his prospering business, his favorite haunts, and, finally, the city's dangerous, fever-ridden slums for clues to Angus's fate and his vicious brother's whereabouts. Slowly, Monk inches toward the truth--and also, unwittingly, toward the destruction of his good name and livelihood.... 


Cain His Brother builds from one astonishment to another until, in a transfixed courtroom, fate, or perhaps the devil, plays with men's lives and laughs a last mad laugh. Never before has Anne Perry penetrated so deeply into the darkness of the human heart and into a past that rises up to haunt us with its tragic ironies.


This one I really liked alot! I am getting to know many of the "families" that get involved with Monk's mysteries! 

Since I am not reading each and every one in succession sometimes Monk is Married and sometimes he is not ! lol.  But with each book one learns more and more of the main characters personalities .

I actually had my suspicions as to how this would end and (for a change) I was right ! lol.  But it was really well written as to how you will find out how it was figured out! 

Good book! (Big thank you to Kris's mom for sending it to me!!)

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Corridors of the Night

Corridors of the Night by Anne Perry.
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books;(September 6, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0553391402 





Amazon Review:

Anne Perry, that incomparable novelist of life in Victorian England, has once again surpassed herself, with this twenty-first installment of her New York Times bestselling William Monk series. In Corridors of the Night, nurse Hester Monk and her husband, William, commander of the Thames River Police, do desperate battle with two obsessed scientists who in the name of healing have turned to homicide. 

The monomaniacal Rand brothers—Magnus, a cunning doctor, and Hamilton, a genius chemist—are ruthless in their pursuit of a cure for what was then known as the fatal “white-blood disease.” In London’s Royal Naval Hospital annex, Hester is tending one of the brothers’ dying patients—wealthy Bryson Radnor—when she stumbles upon three weak, terrified young children, and learns to her horror that they’ve been secretly purchased and imprisoned by the Rands for experimental purposes. 


But the Rand brothers are too close to a miracle cure to allow their experiments to be exposed. Before Hester can reveal the truth, she too becomes a prisoner. As Monk and his faithful friends—distinguished lawyer Oliver Rathbone and reformed brothel keeper Squeaky Robinson among them—scour London’s grimy streets and the beautiful English countryside searching for her, Hester’s time, as well as the children’s, is quickly draining away.


This book of the Monk series was pretty much all about Hester.   And as usual Anne Perry gives me an interesting and enjoyable read. A tiny bit  historical in that it seems to have been the beginning of realizing blood transfusions.

As always there is Murder and mystery involved with characters that call you back to learn more.

I am not usually a person who reads books of a prolific author (excluding Anne McCaffrey) but Anne Perry has certainly given my characters that I like to read about and wrapped them into  good stories and good writing!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Shifting Tide

The Shifting  Tide by Anne Perry.

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books;(June 28, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0345514181




William Monk knows London’s streets like the back of his hand. But the river Thames and its teeming docks—where wharf rats and night plunderers ply their trades—is unknown territory. Only Monk’s dire need for work persuades him to accept an assignment from shipping magnate Clement Louvain, to investigate the theft of a cargo of African ivory from Louvain’s recently docked schooner, the Maude Idris. But why didn’t Louvain report the ivory theft directly to the River Police? Another mystery is the appearance of a desperately ill woman who Louvain claims is the discarded mistress of an old friend. Is she connected to the theft, or to something much darker? As Monk endeavors to solve these riddles, he can’t imagine the trap that will soon so fatefully ensnare him.

Well... The first half of this book didn't exactly excite me.  
I was disappointed and a chill went down my back realizing I had 7 more Monk books! 

 I pushed my way through..kinda slow.   Then... and then!  Along came Hester!!! (Monks wife)  The reading got a whole lot faster and slowly the earlier part that didn't interest me so much was woven into the second story involving Hester!!  So the second half of the book became really good!

I think the first half didn't appeal to me because it was by the docks and with ships and missing cargo... However, as I said the second half pulled it all together adding Hester and her trials and tribulations.  All in all.... I did like this book!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Funeral in Blue

Funeral In Blue by Anne Perry.
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books;(March 22, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0345514149




Amazon Review:

Two beautiful women have been found strangled in the studio of a well-known London artist. To investigator William Monk and his wife, Hester, the murders are a nightmare. One of the victims is the wife of Hester’s cherished colleague, surgeon Dr. Kristian Beck, a Viennese émigré who becomes the prime suspect. With an intensity born of desperation, the Monks seek evidence that will save Dr. Beck from the hangman. From London’s sinister slums to the crowded coffeehouses of Vienna, where embers of the revolution still burn in the hearts of freedom-loving men and women, Hester and Monk seek to penetrate not only the mystery of Elissa Beck’s death but the riddle of her life.

I found a few books in the Monk series at The Friends of the Library.  Just finished Funeral in Blue.

It is another good read in the series.  You will have a hard time figuring out the murderer in this one!  You don't learn who it is until the very end!  

I have a few more Monk books so I will begin another tonight!  I am not reading them "in order" but after the first two books, where you learn about Monk, I don't think it's necessary.

So, if you have a chance to pick one up.. do it! 

Friday, August 10, 2018

A Dangerous Mourning

A Dangerous Mourning by Anne Perry.

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books;(May 26, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0345513940


 

Amazon Review:

No breath of scandal has ever touched the aristocratic Moidore family–until Sir Basil’s beautiful widowed daughter is stabbed to death in her own bed, a shocking, incomprehensible tragedy. 

Inspector William Monk is ordered to investigate in a manner that will give the least possible pain to the influential family. But Monk, brilliant and ambitious, is handicapped by lingering traces of amnesia and by the craven ineptitude of his supervisor, who would like nothing better than to see Monk fail. With the help of nurse Hester Latterly, a progressive young woman who served with Florence Nightingale in the Crimea, Monk gropes warily through the silence and shadows that obscure the case, knowing that with each step he comes closer to the appalling truth.



This is book 2 of series of Victorian Mysteries by Anne Perry.  

In this series the main character is Detective Monk, however in book two it features Hester Latterly.

This was a good mystery. There is a murder in a very wealthy family and you need to figure out who.  Who did it?  Who is keeping family secrets? Who gets blamed for it?  And did he really do it??

Lots of questions and they all get answered! 

I am not one who generally reads books by many of the most popular writers.  Not because they don't deserve to be popular but because the content is not what I feel I want to read.

I enjoyed this book and have to others in this series (not in order) which I will be reading. You might want to try Anne Perry yourself!

Thursday, August 02, 2018

The Murder Room

The Murder Room by P. D. James.

Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Vintage;(November 9, 2004)
ISBN-10: 1400076099


 

Amazon Review:

Commander Adam Dalgliesh is already acquainted with the Dupayne--a museum dedicated to the interwar years, with a room celebrating the most notorious murders of that time--when he is called to investigate the killing of one of the family trustees. He soon discovers that the victim was seeking to close the museum against the wishes of the fellow trustees and the Dupayne's devoted staff.  Everyone, it seems, has something to gain from the crime.  When it becomes clear that the murderer has been inspired by the real-life crimes from the murder room--and is preparing to kill again--Dalgliesh knows that to solve this case he has to get into the mind of a ruthless killer.

I thought for sure that this would be a good book for me.  *sigh*  It turned out not to my liking. But being a female I  had to read it to see "who done it".

For me there was more description of everyone and everything than there was about the who done it.  Generally every so often you have a feeling of the culprit but not in this one.  And I never felt it was because it was "so well written".

I am sure for others it will be more enjoyed then it has for me.
On a scale of 1-10  it was only a 4 for me.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The House on Foster Hill

The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright.

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (November 21, 2017)
ISBN-10: 076423028X


 

Amazon Review:

Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious death fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather's Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house's dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide
.
A century earlier, the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe. When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property, Ivy is compelled to discover her identity. Ivy's search leads her into dangerous waters and, even as she works together with a man from her past, can she unravel the mystery before any other lives--including her own--are lost?

 
I really enjoyed this book.  I always like a mystery when the backgrounds of the family are discovered! 

There were 2 mysteries going on in this book:  Kaine Prescott, who moved when being stalked after her husbands death.  And Ivy, Kaine's Great, Great Grandmother.  The book has one or two chapters on Kaine and then one or two on Ivy.  Very easy to follow (that means it's really simple since I get lost easily) The chapters are not long, and the story grows with each chapter!  Hard to put this one down once you get into it!

I would definitely recommend this book if you like mysteries and enjoy learning the hidden secrets of the family lives!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

The Face of a Stranger

The Face of a Stranger by Anne Perry.

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books (September 30, 2008)
ISBN-10: 034551355X


 

Amazon Review...

In this exhilarating series debut, police detective William Monk must solve the mystery of his own past.
 
His name, they tell him, is William Monk, and he is a London police detective. But the accident that felled him has left him with only half a life; his memory and his entire past have vanished. As he tries to hide the truth, Monk returns to work and is assigned to investigate the brutal murder of a Crimean War hero and man about town. Which makes Monk's efforts doubly difficult, since he's forgotten his professional skills along with everything else.


Without realizing this was such a large series I happened to read "Revenge in a Cold  River" and enjoyed. Especially liking the flawed main character, William Monk.
So I searched and found the first book of the very long series (you do not have to read them all to enjoy them).  ... and I loved it!  A super read with questions in your mind at all times!  Set back in Victorian London, I find it enjoyable to read mysteries that don't have modern means to help them solve the murders!  I do, however, wish some of them were in other parts of England!

This book was so enjoyed I found a used copy on Amazon that is book number 2.  Monk leaves many questions about himself that I need finding out... let alone, another mystery!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

City of Bones

City of Bones by Michael Connelly.

Paperback: 408 pages
Publisher: Warner Books (October 2, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0446699535



Amazon Review:

It's a cold case, but for Detective Harry Bosch, it stirs up memories of his childhood as an orphan. He can't let it go. As the investigation takes Bosch deeper into the past, a beautiful rookie cop brings him alive in the present. No official warning can break them apart--or prepare Bosch for the explosions when the case takes a few hard turns. Suddenly all of L.A. is in an uproar, and Bosch, fighting to keep control, is driven to the brink of an unimaginable decision.

This is the third book of Michael Connelly's, using Harry Bosch, that I've read.

It was quite good. Lots of twists and turns as it got closer to the end.   Nice short chapters that certainly keeps you reading.

Mostly I do like that it takes place in Los Angeles near where I lived and so I get to hear towns names and street names that I know of.  Having that makes you picture exactly what's going on, and makes you feel as if you are there.

A good main character (Harry Bosch) and very good writing.  An enjoyable book if you like detective mysteries.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

The Essex Serpent

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry.

Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: Custom House;(April 24, 2018)
ISBN-10: 006266638X


 

Amazon Review:

An exquisitely talented young British author makes her American debut with this rapturously acclaimed historical novel, set in late nineteenth-century England, about an intellectually minded young widow, a pious vicar, and a rumored mythical serpent that explores questions about science and religion, skepticism, and faith, independence and love.

When Cora Seaborne’s brilliant, domineering husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness: her marriage was not a happy one. Wed at nineteen, this woman of exceptional intelligence and curiosity was ill-suited for the role of society wife. Seeking refuge in fresh air and open space in the wake of the funeral, Cora leaves London for a visit to coastal Essex, accompanied by her inquisitive and obsessive eleven-year old son, Francis, and the boy’s nanny, Martha, her fiercely protective friend.
While admiring the sites, Cora learns of an intriguing rumor that has arisen further up the estuary, of a fearsome creature said to roam the marshes claiming human lives. After nearly 300 years, the mythical Essex Serpent is said to have returned, taking the life of a young man on New Year’s Eve. A keen amateur naturalist with no patience for religion or superstition, Cora is immediately enthralled, and certain that what the local people think is a magical sea beast may be a previously undiscovered species. Eager to investigate, she is introduced to local vicar William Ransome. Will, too, is suspicious of the rumors. But unlike Cora, this man of faith is convinced the rumors are caused by moral panic, a flight from true belief.

These seeming opposites who agree on nothing soon find themselves inexorably drawn together and torn apart—an intense relationship that will change both of their lives in ways entirely unexpected.


In the beginning I became confused with so many characters and it seemed to jump from one to the other...(since I have always had a problem remembering names I get lost easily lol) but eventually it cleared up! 

I did get a feeling that there were things I read before (but knew I didn't read this book before.)  In the beginning it reminded me somewhat of a book I read long ago called Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier.

It was a good study of a Victorian woman finally living the life she wanted rather than what was expected.

The book wasn't what I thought it would be, but I enjoyed it anyway. 

Friday, June 29, 2018

Sitting Bull

Sitting Bull: The Life and Times of an American Patriot by Robert M Utley.

Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: Holt Paperbacks;(April 29, 2008)
ISBN-10: 080508830X

 


Amazon Review:

The definitive, award–winning biography of the legendary chief and his dramatic role in the history of westward expansion
 
Reviled by the United States government as a troublemaker and a coward, revered by his people as a great warrior chief, Sitting Bull has long been one of the most fascinating and misunderstood figures in American history. Distinguished historian Robert M. Utley has forged a compelling portrait of Sitting Bull, presenting the Lakota perspective for the first time and rendering the most unbiased, historically accurate, and vivid portrait of the man to date.
 
The Sitting Bull who emerges in this fast-paced narrative is a complex, towering figure: a great warrior whose skill and bravery in battle were unparalleled; the spiritual leader of his people; a dignified but ultimately tragically stubborn defender of the traditional ways against the steadfast and unwelcome encroachment of the white man.
 
I'm not sure what to say.

If you are at all interested in Native Americans, and the Hunkpapa's (Sioux) Then this is a very informative book.

I personally think he was a great leader and caregiver of his people. Yes, he killed.  But then again many were trying to kill him and his people.  I will keep this book along with a few others like Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.  To me, it's just sad what "all the immigrants" along with the politicians, killed off the Native Americans.

For one small thing, I no longer get angry with my phone when it says "press one for English". Because in truth.. it is NOT the "native language" of America.  

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The Various Haunts of Men

The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill.
Paperback: 437 pages
Publisher: The Overlook Press(April 1, 2008)
ISBN-10: 1590200276 



Amazon Review:

When Susan Hill first introduced us to the city of Lafferton, to its meticulously crafted cast of characters, and to its chief police inspector Simon Serrailler, readers went wild. When it was released in hardcover, The Various Haunts of Men was named a BookSense Pick and was immediately on the must-read list of every mystery fan. Now out in paperback, Hill's intricate and pulse-pounding novel will reach an even wider audience.
 
As the story begins, a lonely woman vanishes while out on her morning run. Then a 22-year-old girl never returns from a walk. An old man disappears too. When fresh-faced policewoman Freya Graffham is assigned to the case, she runs the risk of getting too invested--too involved--in the action. Alongside the enigmatic detective Chief Inspector Simon Serrallier, she must unravel the mystery before events turn too gruesome. Written with intelligence, compassion, and a knowing eye--in the tradition of the fabulous mysteries of Ruth Rendell and P.D. James--The Various Haunts of Men is an enthralling journey into the heart of a wonderfully developed town, and into the very mind of a killer.

Strangely enough, the first 1/3 of this book I wasn't sure what was going on.  I almost  set it aside. Then it finally got to the "mystery" and it got to be interesting reading.  Happily I read along trying to figure out how this would all end. 
 
All along I couldn't figure out how the name of the book fit what I was reading.. and I never did figure that part out.

Near the end when you think you have it all figured out, (and mostly you do!) an unexpected happening occurs.  What the.. ?? And you read on thinking "this really didn't occur"...  sigh.

One more thing that made no sense is that it's listed as, "A Simon Serrailler Mystery".. but there was very little of Simon Serrailler.  Huh?.
The final thing is this..  I think, for the most part, I enjoyed the book.... but I can't be sure!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Minding the Manor

Minding the Manor by Mollie Moran.
Paperback: 360 pages
Publisher: Lyons Press;(January 7, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0762796839



Amazon Review:

Born in 1916 in Norfolk, Mollie Moran is one of the few people still alive today who can recall working "downstairs" in the golden years of the early 1930's before the outbreak of WWII. She provides a rare and fascinating insight into a world that has long since vanished. Mollie left school at age fourteen and became a scullery maid for a wealthy gentleman with a mansion house in London’s Knighsbridge and a Tudor manor in Norfolk.
            Even though Mollie's days were long and grueling and included endless tasks, such as polishing doorknobs, scrubbing steps, and helping with all of the food prep in the kitchen, she enjoyed her freedom and had a rich life. Like any bright-eyed teenager, Mollie also spent her days daydreaming about boys, dresses, and dances. She became fast friends with the kitchen maid Flo, dated a sweet farmhand, and became secretly involved with a brooding, temperamental footman. Molly eventually rose to kitchen maid for Lord Islington and then cook for the Earl of Leicester's niece at the magnificent Wallington Hall.
 
So.. sometimes one needs to read something "different".. even if we don't realize it!  This book was given to me by my "Sis" Cath Russell, some time ago.  As usual, it got lost among the other 130 books I haven't read until now.  I began one book, read 100 pgs and tossed it aside.  Then I read American Lightening.. was not thrilled but I did finish it.  Not knowing what I wanted I searched thru ALL my unread books and found I was aghast that I hadn't read this yet.  So.. I dragged it out.  Uncertain about it since I "thought" I wanted another Gothic Mystery.  Boy.. was I wrong!  I flew thru this book faster than any I have read in a long time!
 
When Cath sent me the book she said, "Since you liked Downton Abby so much I thought you'd like this."  It turns out my Sis knows me well!
 
I really enjoyed this book! Here was a woman who began work at 14 yrs old as a Scullery Maid.  Nothing many woman of today would want to do!..  Her story was a true life tale.  Growing up with very hard work, going thru all things a young female goes thru, dreaming of meeting boys and dancing and enjoying life with what little time a job such as she had would give you.
 
It just sucked me in.  I felt what it was like (maybe because of Downton Abby). But also how ones mentality of what she was dong affected her life.
 
Super good read, when you feel you need a change!

Friday, June 15, 2018

American Lightning

American Lightning by Howard Blum.
Paperback: 339 pages
Publisher: Three Rivers Press;(October 6, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0307346951 




In this masterpiece of narrative history, acclaimed author Howard Blum evokes the original "crime of the century" and an aftermath even more dramatic than the crime itself–a seminal episode in America’s history that would spark national debate and draw into its orbit master sleuth William J. Burns, crusading lawyer Clarence Darrow, and industry-shaping filmmaker D. W. Griffith.


Generally, I enjoy a historical read about things like the beginning of Hollywood.  Add to it a mystery and it should be right up my alley.  But I can't say I enjoyed the way this author wrote.  At times it was a bit confusing, and it seemed like he would jump from the mystery to the history and then back again instead of it being smoothly integrated.   Rarely am I critical of the writing more than the story.. but this time, although I read the entire book.. it didn't do much for me.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Drop

The Drop by Michael Connelly.

Hardcover: 388 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company;(November 28, 2011)
ISBN-10: 9780316069410


 

Amazon Review..

Harry Bosch has been given three years before he must retire from the LAPD, and he wants cases more fiercely than ever. In one morning, he gets two.

DNA from a 1989 rape and murder matches a 29-year-old convicted rapist. Was he an eight-year-old killer or has something gone terribly wrong in the new Regional Crime Lab? The latter possibility could compromise all of the lab's DNA cases currently in court.

Then Bosch and his partner are called to a death scene fraught with internal politics. Councilman Irvin Irving's son jumped or was pushed from a window at the Chateau Marmont. Irving, Bosch's longtime nemesis, has demanded that Harry handle the investigation.

Relentlessly pursuing both cases, Bosch makes two chilling discoveries: a killer operating unknown in the city for as many as three decades, and a political conspiracy that goes back into the dark history of the police department.

 

Once, a long time ago, I read another book by Connelly using Harry Bosch as the main character... I liked that one.. and I liked this one!  This one takes place near Hollywood CA and when they mentions towns and streets I remember them all.  So it was a combination book and some memory involved.

I enjoyed the fact that Bosch and his partner were actually taking care of a cold case crime and a recent  death, which might be suicide .  I also liked that when you think you know what's next.. it isn't! lol.

This was an easy read and short chapters, which is always a way to get me to read more!

The one thing I missed though.. is all the ambience of the Victorian 1800's.. and England! lol  I need to find more Gothic Mysteries!!

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Cover of Snow

Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman.

Paperback: 326 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books(December 31, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0345534220




Amazon

Waking up one wintry morning in her old farmhouse nestled in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, Nora Hamilton instantly knows that something is wrong. When her fog of sleep clears, she finds her world is suddenly, irretrievably shattered: Her husband, Brendan, has committed suicide.



The first few hours following Nora’s devastating discovery pass for her in a blur of numbness and disbelief. Then, a disturbing awareness slowly settles in: Brendan left no note and gave no indication that he was contemplating taking his own life. Why would a rock-solid police officer with unwavering affection for his wife, job, and quaint hometown suddenly choose to end it all? Having spent a lifetime avoiding hard truths, Nora must now start facing them.


Unraveling her late husband’s final days, Nora searches for an explanation—but finds a bewildering resistance from Brendan’s best friend and partner, his fellow police officers, and his brittle mother. It quickly becomes clear to Nora that she is asking questions no one wants to answer. For beneath the soft cover of snow lies a powerful conspiracy that will stop at nothing to keep its presence unknown . . and its darkest secrets hidden.



This was a good little mystery.  No major detective solving the "crime" but the wife of the victim herself.  Although there is murder involved, this was a nice break from the normal detectives.  This was a good book with background being told a little at a time. And yes, there is lots of snow!

Quite a few surprising things happen along the way of her trying to find out why her husband committed suicide.  Obviously things are not always as they seem. But asking questions can be a dangerous business.

Friday, June 01, 2018

By Gaslight

By Gaslight by Steven Price.

Paperback: 752 pages
Publisher: Picador;(October 3, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1250141206




Amazon Review:

By Gaslight is a deeply atmospheric, haunting novel about the unending quest that has shaped a man’s life.

William Pinkerton is already famous, the son of the most notorious detective of all time, when he descends into the underworld of Victorian London in pursuit of a new lead on the fabled con Edward Shade. William’s father died without ever finding Shade, but William is determined to drag the thief out of the shadows.


Adam Foole is a gentleman without a past, haunted by a love affair ten years gone. When he receives a letter from his lost beloved, he returns to London to find her. What he learns of her fate, and its connection to the man known as Shade, will force him to confront a grief he thought long-buried.

A fog-enshrouded hunt through sewers, opium dens, drawing rooms, and séance halls ensues, creating the most unlikely of bonds: between Pinkerton, the great detective, and Foole, the one man who may hold the key to finding Edward Shade.

Steven Price’s dazzling, riveting By Gaslight moves from the diamond mines of South Africa to the battlefields of the Civil War, on a journey into a cityscape of grief, trust, and its breaking, where what we share can bind us even against our darker selves.

I really enjoyed this book!  You can trust that statement because I read ALL those pages!

The book is basically about William Pinkerton, Edward Shade and Adam Foole. The are very good other characters surrounding them.  It does a lot of background chapters which tells you much more of when Pinkerton is searching for Edward Shade. 

It takes place in the 1800's in London and in America. So there is some history tossed into the mix.

It kept my interest through the whole book, which in this case (752 pgs), is saying a lot!  I have the hardback which was rather heavy to hold, but I found that 2 small square pillows brought it up to eye level and took the weight of it! If you find a paperback it may be a tad better.  (maybe)

If asked if I would read it again... I would say probably not.  Although I like the book it wasn't as good as "Drood" which was 800 pgs and I've read it twice!  But if you like mysteries and the 1800's you will enjoy the book.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Cold Earth

Cold Earth by Ann Cleeves.

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books;(April 18, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1250107385



Amazon Review

In the dark days of a Shetland winter, torrential rain triggers a landslide that crosses the main road and sweeps down to the sea.

At the burial of his old friend Magnus Tait, Jimmy Perez watches the flood of mud and water smash through a house in its path. Everyone thinks the home is uninhabited, but in the wreckage he finds the body of a dark-haired woman wearing a red silk dress. Perez soon becomes obsessed with tracing her identity and realizes he must find out who she was and how she died.

This sounded like a book I would enjoy so I sent for it.... and I did enjoy it! I am not sure that I've read many murder mysteries by women, but it seems that Ann Cleeves is quite prolific about this!  I found out she has several books at Shetland with Jimmy Perez and several more books of another series. I do think I will try another from this series at some time or another!

You might want to check her out on Amazon and see if she's written anything that might interest you!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Magpie Murders

The Magpie Murders by M.Z. Gaston.

Paperback: 324 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform(January 8, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1505918960




Amazon Review

In the small town of Branfield, Georgia, the residents are shocked by a heinous, unspeakable crime against a mute, bedridden patient at the local medical center. The only person who might hold the key to the identity of her assailant has Alzheimer's, and her life is a tangled web of secrets and mystery. It becomes the job of the "outsider" and new sheriff, Al Thompkins, a man haunted his own memories of personal guilt and tragedy, to unravel the terrible knowledge of the past buried deep inside the lives of two generations of families. Along the way he discovers the price paid for that knowledge, and the dangerous lengths the enemy will pursue to keep him from learning the truth about the crimes.

I enjoyed this book.  It reads fast, and I enjoyed how the author put the mystery together. 

You learn about the character of Al Thompkins throughout the entire book, so by the end you feel you know him well.

The story takes place in Georgia, which is "different" for me . I generally like the books to take place in England, Scotland or Ireland, during the 1800's. But, like I said.. this is well written and was an enjoyable read. I believe he has a second book using the same character, which I will have to check out! 

 

 

 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.

Paperback: 337 pages
Publisher: Washington Square Press;(May 5, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1476738025






Amazon Review

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?


Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.


A feel-good story in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Fredrik Backman’s novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others. “If there was an award for ‘Most Charming Book of the Year,’ this first novel by a Swedish blogger-turned-overnight-sensation would win hands down” (Booklist, starred review).



Fredrik Backman is a fantastic writer. And, I would have had this finished a while ago but I had company for a week

I loved "My Grandmother told me to Say She's Sorry" and "Britt Marie Was Here".  This one still had plenty of humor... excellent characters as well as excellent writing.... but it was a bit sadder along with the humor.  It's a very thoughtful book, along with his others.  It's definitely a different sort of story.  I find his books really good for a "change" from the normal.

Reading any of them.  ... when you need a change.

 

 

 

 

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit

Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit by Chris Matthews.
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster;October 31, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1501111868


Amazon Review
With his bestselling biography Jack Kennedy, Chris Matthews shared a new look of one of America’s most beloved Presidents and the patriotic spirit that defined him. Now, with Bobby Kennedy, Matthews returns with a gripping, in-depth, behind-the-scenes portrait of one of the great figures of the American twentieth century.

Overlooked by his father, and overshadowed by his war-hero brother, Bobby Kennedy was the perpetual underdog. When he had the chance to become a naval officer like Jack, Bobby turned it down, choosing instead to join the Navy as a common sailor. It was a life changing experience that led him to connect with voters from all walks of life: young or old, black or white, rich or poor. They were the people who turned out for him in his 1968 campaign. RFK would prove himself to be the rarest of politicians—both a pragmatist who knew how to get the job done and an unwavering idealist who could inspire millions.

Drawing on extensive research and interviews, Matthews pulls back the curtain on the public and private worlds of Robert Francis Kennedy. He shines a light on all the important moments of his life, from his early years and his start in politics to his crucial role as attorney general in his brother’s administration and his tragic run for president. This definitive book brings Bobby Kennedy to life like never before and is destined to become a political classic.



 
All I can say is:  I loved JFK and I thought I loved Bobby.  After reading this book....
I KNOW I love Bobby.
The book is not a biography where it is a "tell all" book about his personal life.. But rather about his public life.  Much in this book, I did not know.  I was broken hearted when he was assassinated.. but until now I didn't realize just how much.
For me, this was a great book.  If he is on your list of people you admired... it is a must read.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Indian Days of the Long Ago

Indian Days of the Long Ago by Edward S. Curtis.
Paperback: 242 pages
Publisher: Forgotten Books (February 9, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1332437591 




Excerpt from Indian Days of the Long Ago 

The camp of Lone Pine, chief of the Salish, or Flatheads, was onithe banks of the Red Willow River, 'a beautiful stream flowing through the forests of the Bitterroot Mountains, in what we now call western Montana. Its cold, trans lucent waters come from the springs and snows far up among the mountain crags.


Beautiful lodges or tepees made from the dressed Skins of buffalo and elk were scattered everywhere among the pines.

The village was like the camps of hundreds of other Indian chiefs or head men, which stood beside the forest stream, by the quiet brook of the open plain, by the lake in the mountains, or on the grassy bank of the prairie lake.

About the Publisher
Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at
www.forgottenbooks.com

This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.

What a great little book.   Above the title it says "Indian Life and Indian Lore".. and that's exactly what it was.

Most of the book is "stories" told by a visiting Indian about life in other tribes that they had never heard of.  And the Lore that goes with their beliefs back then.  It is a small part of children coming of age and how they learned to understand the beliefs of their tribe, and some of what life is like "in other parts of the country".  

Like I said, it is a small book, a quick read, and a little more understanding of what it was like to live back "in the time" before white man destroyed their way of life.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Revenge in a Cold River

Revenge in a Cold River by Anne Perry.
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books(August 22, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1101886374




When Commander Monk of the Thames River Police is called to investigate the drowning of an escaped prisoner, he’s forced to contend with customs officer McNab, who clearly bears a bitter grudge against him. But the reason is a mystery in itself. Monk’s memory loss—a secret he guards closely—leaves him vulnerable to repercussions from his missing past, especially his exploits overseas in the tumultuous Gold Rush days of San Francisco. And now McNab, as icy and unfathomable as the steel-gray Thames itself, appears intent on using whatever damning facts he can find to his advantage to ruin Monk’s future as an officer of the law. 

As Monk explores the possibility of a conspiracy, McNab’s game of cat and mouse escalates, with veiled threats and cryptic insinuations. Snared in an unforeseen trap, a desperate Monk must turn to his wife, Hester, and friend and attorney Oliver Rathbone for help, as his life literally hangs in the balance.


As many books as Anne Perry has written, this is the first one I have read.
As most know, Iike books that take place in Victorian England, so it fills the bill in that respect.

I thought the beginning was a little slow, but.. once it picked up it really moved right along!  I did enjoy the book enough so that I have put another of her books on my wish list.

I liked the main character of Monk and the twist she has on him of having a loss of memory, so that he doesn't realize why McNab seems to hate him so much.   The book has twists and turns and things you think you know ...you don't really know.  It kept me reading for sure. 

A good read. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Scribner;(January 9, 2018)
ISBN-10: 150111685




When a bookshop patron commits suicide, his favorite store clerk must unravel the puzzle he left behind in this “intriguingly dark, twisty” (Kirkus Reviews) debut novel from an award-winning short story writer.

Lydia Smith lives her life hiding in plain sight. A clerk at the Bright Ideas bookstore, she keeps a meticulously crafted existence among her beloved books, eccentric colleagues, and the BookFrogs—the lost and lonely regulars who spend every day marauding the store’s overwhelmed shelves.

But when Joey Molina, a young, beguiling BookFrog, kills himself in the bookstore’s upper room, Lydia’s life comes unglued. Always Joey’s favorite bookseller, Lydia has been bequeathed his meager worldly possessions. Trinkets and books; the detritus of a lonely, uncared for man. But when Lydia flips through his books she finds them defaced in ways both disturbing and inexplicable. They reveal the psyche of a young man on the verge of an emotional reckoning. And they seem to contain a hidden message. What did Joey know? And what does it have to do with Lydia?

As Lydia untangles the mystery of Joey’s suicide, she unearths a long buried memory from her own violent childhood. Details from that one bloody night begin to circle back. Her distant father returns to the fold, along with an obsessive local cop, and the Hammerman, a murderer who came into Lydia’s life long ago and, as she soon discovers, never completely left. “Both charming and challenging” (Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review), Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore is a “multi-generational tale of abandonment, desperation, and betrayal…inventive and intricately plotted”
I was excited about this book since the review sounded so good to me.

The first half of the book was slow and although it was setting things up I almost let it go.  But I am glad I did not! The second half of the book flew by!   It was very good!  (Albeit somewhat sad)  Some small parts reminded me of myself.. not knowing my father etc.  Sort of a sad ending, but it did tie up all the loose ends.  It's hard for me to say if you would like it or not. 




Monday, February 05, 2018

The Woman Who Walked into the Sea

The Woman Who Walked into the Sea by Mark Douglas-Home.
Series: The Sea Detective (Book 2)
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Penguin UK (November 1, 2017)
ISBN-10: 140592358X



Amazon Review:
Cal McGill is a unique investigator and oceanographer who uses his expertise to locate things—and sometimes people—lost or missing at sea. His expertise could unravel the haunting mystery of why, 26 years ago on a remote Scottish beach, Megan Bates strode out into the cold ocean and let the waves wash her away. Megan's daughter, Violet Wells, was abandoned as a baby on the steps of a local hospital just hours before. As McGill is drawn into Violet's search for the truth, he encounters a coastal community divided by obsession and grief, and united only by a conviction that its secrets should stay buried.

Having read the first book called, The Sea Detective, and having enjoyed it, I thought I'd give book 2 a shot.

I was about 130 pages into this one when things were beginning to sound awfully familiar... I read on 50 more pages.  Now I felt sure I either read this before OR there are other books with a bunch of similarities .  So I donned my detective cowboy hat and dug into my blog... and low and behold ! I HAD read this book 1 12 yrs ago!..and I enjoyed it!  Of course that should surprise me since when I read the review from back then .. I enjoyed it!  duh.

So knowing I read this I contemplated ...  do I read it again?  Or do I put it down and begin another book?

When suddenly I realized, I didn't remember how this book ended!  GAH!  So I "re-read" the entire book...  and enjoyed it.  *snort*

Both the books by Mark Douglas-Home are well written and very enjoyable.. This goes on the recommended list, and no I am not saying more for a review than Amazon did!.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Sea Detective


The Sea Detective by Mark Douglas-Home.
Series: The Sea Detective (Book 1)
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Penguin UK; UK ed. edition (November 5, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1405923563


The first mystery in a truly unique crime series. 'There comes a time when a novel raises the bar for a particular genre, and The Sea Detective does just that for Scottish crime fiction' (Scotsman)

Cal McGill is an Edinburgh-based oceanographer, environmentalist and one-of-a-kind investigator.

Using his knowledge of the waves - ocean currents, prevailing winds, shipping records - McGill can track where objects have come from, or where they've gone. It's a unique skill that can help solve all sorts of mysteries.

Such as when two severed feet wash up miles apart on two different islands off the coast of Scotland. Most strangely, forensic tests reveal that the feet belong to the same body.
As Cal McGill investigates, he unravels a web of corruption, exploitation and violence, which threatens many lives across the globe - very soon including his own...

I liked this book quite a bit! Interesting, different, numerous good characters with good stories to them.  Once I hit about half way thru the book it got even better!  I spent most of the day (I am not a fast reader) and read the second half of the book all in a few hours.

I also liked that most of the characters are flawed in one way or another and that it took place in Scotland with mention of the Islands off of the coast. Some are real, some are not. The main island in this book is fictitious. 

There is a second book by Douglas-Home using the same main character of Cal McGill called The Woman Who Walked into the Sea.  That one is next to read.

I would definitely say to anyone who likes mysteries that this is a good one.  Fairly short chapters and easy reading.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Heart of Everything That Is

The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend :  Bob Dury & Tom Clavin.


Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster;(September 2, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1451654685
 



Amazon Review

An acclaimed New York Times bestseller, selected by Salon as a best book of the year, the astonishing untold story of the life and times of Sioux warrior Red Cloud: “a page-turner with remarkable immediacy…and the narrative sweep of a great Western” (The Boston Globe).


Red Cloud was the only American Indian in history to defeat the United States Army in a war, forcing the government to sue for peace on his terms. At the peak of Red Cloud’s powers the Sioux could claim control of one-fifth of the contiguous United States and the loyalty of thousands of fierce fighters. But the fog of history has left Red Cloud strangely obscured. Now, thanks to the rediscovery of a lost autobiography, and painstaking research by two award-winning authors, the story of the nineteenth century’s most powerful and successful Indian warrior can finally be told.


In The Heart of Everything That Is, Bob Drury and Tom Clavin restore Red Cloud to his rightful place in American history in a sweeping and dramatic narrative based on years of primary research. As they trace the events leading to Red Cloud’s War, they provide intimate portraits of the many lives Red Cloud touched—mountain men such as Jim Bridger; US generals like William Tecumseh Sherman, who were charged with annihilating the Sioux; fearless explorers, such as the dashing John Bozeman; and the memorable warriors whom Red Cloud groomed, like the legendary Crazy Horse. And at the center of the story is Red Cloud, fighting for the very existence of the Indian way of life.


“Unabashed, unbiased, and disturbingly honest, leaving no razor-sharp arrowhead unturned, no rifle trigger unpulled....a compelling and fiery narrative” (USA TODAY), this is the definitive chronicle of the conflict between an expanding white civilization and the Plains Indians who stood in its way.

There is not a lot I can say about this book.  Red Cloud, who it is about, is a true Hero for his people, the Oglala Sioux.  Being adopted made life hard for Red Cloud.  But in the end he won. 

Many of the Indian Chiefs that I have read about can be nothing but admired.  The didn't have to be "drafted" to go to war for their families.. they were constant volunteers. 

It is so sad how the Immigrants from Europe treated the Native American, who, by the way, was willing to share a lot of land, until the realized that all the promises were lies.  I wonder how todays Americans would feel if others took everything we had away from us how we would act.  Like Animals?  Like Killers?  Like protectors of our own?..    I swear, in another life, I must have been an Indian.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Rules of Murder

Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering.

Series: A Drew Farthering Mystery
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (August 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0764210955




Amazon:
It’s 1931. Young Drew Fartherington and his friend Nick Dennison arrive at Drew’s home in Fartherington St. John to find his mother and stepfather throwing a house party that’s in full swing. He’s incensed to find his own room occupied, and occupied, no less, by David Lincoln, the man rumored to have had an affair with his mother. The only bright spot is the arrival of his stepfather’s American niece, Madeline Parker, whom Drew finds himself immediately drawn to.

Before the weekend is out, David Lincoln is found murdered in the greenhouse, and Drew’s mother has apparently committed suicide. But something seems wrong about both deaths, and Drew begins his own investigation, with the help of Nick and Madeline.

 
A very easy read.  I enjoyed this book. There was a good mystery to the murder(s) and along the way good introductions to the characters and their development. I would read another with the same characters.