A Ring of Truth is not a mystery novel. It is a period romance with only the tiniest touch of mystery (a stolen ring). Most of the novel is devoted towards class related angst as Henrietta fears her family’s poverty and lack of education make her an inappropriate bride for Inspector Clive. While the novel is well written, the whining tone makes it difficult to bear. Henrietta is a sweet heroine, innocent and good intentioned. We see far less of Inspector Clive. He is more two dimensional. the prince to Henrietta’s Cinderella. I rolled my eyes a bit when I discovered Henrietta’s mother was actually an heiress who ran away, giving up her inheritance. It appeared to be engineered solely to justify Henrietta’s status and to elevate her family. It definitely wasn't realistic.
Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn
by Chitra Agrawal
Ten Speed Press
Cooking, Food & Wine
Pub Date 21 Mar 2017
I love Indian food, but like many I find this rich and complex cuisine daunting. Vibrant India makes Indian vegetarian more approachable for the novice and provides a rich assortment of recipes that even experienced chefs will treasure.
Normally, I skip the beginning and jump straight to the recipes. Do not do that with Vibrant India! Chitra Agrawal provides one of the best introductions detailing not only spices and their origin but also uses, techniques and necessary equipment. I found the section on dal particularly useful as the varied assortment of beans have long been a mystery to me.
The recipes are not all traditional. Often they are bold modern takes on traditional homestyle vegetarian recipes - far different from the heavy oily cuisine we find in restaurants. I liked the Red Cabbage and Citrus Coleslaw (a variation on kosambr...
Warren Ellis and Jason Masters have succeeded in creating a Bond graphic novel that has everything that makes James Bond a popular icon - the charm, the action, the humor, an attractive and compelling heroine and a villain worthy of Bond’s time. Originally, I had my doubts. It isn’t easy to pack so much in a limited number of pages. Eidolon blew me away. The graphic style is a perfect match for the cinematic action sequences and the well developed story is pure Bond. Eidolon has it all - fights, car chases, explosions and just a hint of sex.
If you like Bond, you will definitely enjoy Ellis and Masters’s graphic version of the eponymous hero and his adventures. James Bond V.2 Eidolon is best suited to teen and adult fans of the series.
I received a copy of James Bond V.2 Eidolon from th...
With its gorgeous and sultry illustrations and its hip steampunk storyline, Lady Mechanika is a graphic novel that makes for an excellent read. Part woman, part machine, the beautiful Lady Mechanika knows nothing of what came before her awakening. Who she is and where she comes from are questions that lie behind her every act. Her exploits are legendary, but is she the person she is believed to be? The inventor Lewis provides her with the technology that aids her in her cases and provides valuable backup.
Lady Mechanika is a fun, action packed adventure with monstrous technology and vivid illustrations. Often over the top, the first volume of this steampunk series is easily enjoyed by teens and adults.
I received a copy of Lady Mechanika V. 1 from the publisher and netgalley.com in exchange for an hones...
by T. C. LoTempio
Crooked Lane Books
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 14 Mar 2017
When Sydney McCall returns to Deer Park, North Carolina it looks like everything is falling into place. She is home just in time to put her publicity skills to good use, helping Kat save her animal shelter. Everyone is excited about the forthcoming cat cafe adoption event - with the notable exception of Trowbridge Littleton, Deer Park’s own Ebeneezer Scrooge. After a very public argument between Kat and Trowbridge, Sydney and her sister decide to try to smooth things over. Unfortunately they are too late and they discover Trowbridge’s body. Kat is naturally the prime suspect.
Sydney always wanted to be a detective, and now she has the chance. Despite her good friend (and potential love interest) being part of the detective team, Syd fears Kat will be railroaded. Trowbridge had many enemies, the question is which one killed him. F...
Marjorie Eccles can always be counted on to provide a mystery that is complex but at the same time utterly believable. A Sunset Touch is a well done thriller where Gil Mayo and his team must solve two cases - one of murder/arson the other an unexplained attack on the wife of an elderly vicar. It comes as no surprise to the reader that the two cases end up being related. Everything is related to two Polish refugees who fled Poland during WWII and fought alongside members of the RAF.
While the mystery is competently composed and the background is intriguing as well as well thought out, somehow A Sunset Touch is not as compelling as Eccles other novels. It didn’t generate the emotional involvement that I’ve come to expect of her novels. Mayo and his team go through the motions, but they are cardboard versions of the characters I enjoy. On the whole,...
Linda Huntingdon is beautiful, vapid and extremely bored - but she isn’t smart enough to target someone other than her neighbor’s husband. Her death appears to be an accident, but aspects are suspicious, and alcoholic former actor Aubrey de Lamplugh sees an opportunity to profit. He dies not long after, crushed in a landslide which definitely looks like murder. Suspicion natural falls on Kenneth, a man who once fell for Linda’s charms. The case is given to Inspector Borges, who reminds me of Christie’s Poirot, clever, nattily dressed, well mannered and focused on the psychology of the suspects. His self effacing manner and easy, open charm make him a likable inspector. Although I guessed early on who the killer was, I enjoyed reading about the various British expats living in the small Spanish village. One passage I found particularly amazing was the de...
The Pictures is a well composed noir thriller set against the glimmering backdrop of Los Angeles’ past. The Golden Age of Hollywood still attracts attention with its glamour, larger than life celebrities and its mystery. The motion picture industry, unlike most of America recovering from the depression, was successful, generating wealth and influence by creating a means of escape for a suffering public. Movie stars of the time were essentially idols, whose appearance could not be tarnished by scandal. “Fixers” were paid, and paid well to prevent unwelcome facts from becoming public. With its hidden corruption and cellulite femme fatales, it makes a perfect setting for a tale of gangsters, murder, blackmail and lust.
Detective Jonathan Craine is the archetypal noir antihero. He is as corrupt as it comes, willingly taking money f...
I couldn’t get through Death of a Kootch Show Girl. I tried, but in the end I put it aside. I admire the author for what he was trying to achieve, but I just didn’t like the book. Each chapter is narrated by a different character - told from their point of view complete with their individual speech patterns. That means there are some overlaps. The same event is described by different characters in different chapters. This takes some skill. While I initially was intrigued by the content based on the description, the more I read, the more I disliked the characters and the story. The mannerisms of the different characters also grated on my nerves as the story progressed. Normally I love mysteries and novels featuring carnivals, but Death of a Kootch Show Girl was far from appealing. Many will find its attitudes and de...
Felix the Railway Cat
The adorable story of Felix, the Huddersfield Train Station cat
by Kate Moore
Penguin UK - Michael Joseph
General Fiction (Adult)
Pub Date 23 Feb 2017
I am in love with Felix. She is more than just an amazing cat, she is the glue that keeps the Huddersfield community together. With more than 100,000 likes on Facebook she is more popular than many celebrities. Having a cat at the station makes everyone happy - from workers to irritated commuters. Even those who originally doubt the value of a station cat are quickly won over by her personality, beauty and persistence. She is far more than her job description- Senior Pest Controller.
Kate Moore’s book is all about relationships. It is tender, funny and quintessentially British. It isn't just Felix who has charm, but all of her friends and coworkers as well. I enjoyed how Moore takes readers from the very start, when she was just an idea through her kitten hood, trai...