Rita Mae Brown’s novels are always entertaining, and Crazy Like a Fox is no exception. The characters, both animal and human are fascinating, and the story is unique. There is a murder, which lies at the heart of the story - but that isn’t where the plot begins or ends. The dapper, charming horseman Wesley Carruthers disappeared in 1954. Rumors flew, but noone knew the truth. Now, a man who is the spitting image of Wesley, down to his carriage and voice has stolen Wesley’s hunting horn. “Sister” Jane Arnold doesn’t believe in ghosts, but someone very like Wesley is visiting those who were present at the time of his disappearance. It is an unusual mystery rich in Virginia history and fox hunting lore. Before I read Crazy Like a Fox, I did not realize that fox hunters didn’t seek to kill the fox and that some did all they could to...
Growing up I loved the Pip and Flinx adventures - I read and reread the novels, loving every minute. I was happy to have the opportunity to review Strange Music. Unfortunately it didn’t live up to my expectations. It had only a shadow of a plot - finding a human interfering in the development of a world not yet part of the Commonwealth. Flinx is pure ego with no ingenuity. And as to the villains, well they are as textbook as can be. Where is Alan Dean Foster’s trademark humor and creativity? Where is the plot? It is almost as if he’s gotten tired of two of his most beloved creations and is simply making the motions. I have to admit that towards the end the novel improved significantly, but it doesn’t make up for the lackluster bulk of the novel
The Girl in the Tower is a magnificent novel, rich in history and filled with the magic that warms dark nights and lingers in memory. It is a fairy tale deftly woven, that easily mesmerizes the reader transporting them to a time long past in a country foreign in nature and experience. Vasya is not a beautiful princess, instead she is far more - a woman who dreams, unafraid of challenging the status quo, unwilling to accept the constrained life even fortunate women must endure. She sees what has been forgotten, beings fading in time and memory. Some say she is a witch, but she doesn’t know what she is. Her power lies in her courage and uniqueness and her willingness to act and remember. Vasya is at once hero and pawn in a game where elder powers struggle to remain and monotheism is on the rise.
Wagging through the Snow by Laurien Berenson
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 26 Sep 2017
If you love dogs and mysteries, you should take the time to read Laurien Berenson’s novels. She does a wonderful job portraying the unique personalities of dogs, in particular standard poodles. Wagging Through the Snow is a light mystery that s perfect for an evening relaxing with a cup of cocoa. The mystery isn't much of a puzzle, but that doesn't mean it isn't easy to enjoy. Melanie Travis and her family are fun to observe and easy to like. But if you are looking for a serious hard bitten mystery this will not be your cup of tea. This is simply a light holiday cozy.
When Melanie’s brother buys a dilapidated Christmas tree farm, it comes with an unexpected addition - a dead body accompanied by a small Maltese. At first it looks like the homeless man died accidentally while drunk. But a friend of his is adamant that he stopped drinking several mo...
The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross is a decent, but entirely unremarkable paranormal mystery. I expected more based on the description.
What would you do if a man enters your home, cries witch and dies at your feet? In the case of Jesperson and Lane, you investigate, particularly when the unknown man has your card in his pocket. Charles Manning died of no known poison, but the peculiar circumstances surrounding his death imply foul play. The man, previously employed in the city had recently abandoned all practical concerns to write poetry and research the occult in Aylmerton. At his brother’s request, the two travel to Aylmerton to uncover the mystery of his last days. Amongst the suspects number Felix Ott an occult researcher and lecturer, Miss Buls...
The Ghost of Christmas Past A Molly Murphy Mystery
by Rhys Bowen
St. Martin's Press
Pub Date 14 Nov 2017
Rhys Bowen’s newest Molly Murphy novel is an entertaining holiday mystery, offering a taste of early 20th century celebrations as well as an interesting plot. Unfortunately it isn't without problems.
In The Ghost of Christmas Past, Molly Murphy Sullivan and her family accept an invitation to celebrate the holidays with the family of an old friend of Captain Sullivan’s mother. While the estate is sumptuous, there is tension in the house. Winnie is clearly afraid of her husband Cedric, and is still in mourning for the daughter who disappeared 10 years earlier. Cedric continually claims Winnie is unstable - and appears to be seeking any excuse to have her committed. Naturally Molly wants to help, but is there anything that can be discovered after so long a time?
For most of the novel, Molly attempts to uncover the closel...
The Secret, Book & Scone Society by Ellery Adams
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 31 Oct 2017
I was definitely impressed by The Secret Book and Scone Society. Its central characters are genuine and the development of their friendship is believable - particularly as its first test comes when Nora and the others (Hester, Estella and June) begin their investigation of a suicide they are certain is murder. I loved the idea of bibliotherapy - healing your issues through books, both fiction and non. Any reader can tell you that books possess the power to touch and to transform. That along with Hester’s ability to create personalized scones that bring back pleasant memories give the mystery a touch of magic. I believe it is the characters and their personal backgrounds and interactions that make this novel stand apart from other cozies. The villains on the other hand are roughly sketched and obvious from the get go. It’s less of a whodunnit focusing more on th...
The Trouble with Twelfth Grave A Novel
by Darynda Jones
St. Martin's Press
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 31 Oct 2017
If you are looking for a fast paced urban fantasy with plenty of snark and a delightfully quirky cast of characters look no further. The Trouble with Twelfth Grave is the newest addition to Darynda Jones’s long running series featuring grim reaper Charley Davidson. It’s been a while since I’ve read one of Jones’s novels, but I was able to quickly catch up and understand what is going on. Still I highly recommend reading the novels in order. If you like one you are likely to enjoy the others. Charley Davidson is a character with a unique outlook on life. Her narration is hilarious, which makes up for weaknesses in the plot.
Basically most of The Trouble with Twelfth Grave involves running from one place to another hoping to find and stop Reyes who has become an angry and unpredictable god. Charley’s godhood is repeatedly expressed, though...
The Dogist Puppies by Elias Weiss Friedman
Home & Garden
Pub Date 19 Sep 2017
Who doesn't love puppies? Soft cuddly bundles of fun are always wonderful to watch, whether they are playing, exploring or simply sleeping. The Dogist Puppies is a charming book, filled with pictures of many different popular breeds, pure and mixed, as well as lesser known breeds. Friedman uses the book to advocate responsible care and highlight some of the specialized methods used to raise and train service dogs. The Dogist: Puppies is an informative book filled with pictures of adorable puppies. It’s only weakness is that most of the pictures are of puppies standing still. I prefer action shots that showcase more of a puppy’s natural exuberance and personality. This book is a perfect gift - charming, inoffensive, and not overly personal. I liked it, but it didn't create an emotional response. I didn't laugh or grin the way I do when pictures have more personality. The f...