Tracy H. (FiberBabble) - - Reviews

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Body Double (Rizzoli & Isles, Bk 4)
Body Double (Rizzoli & Isles, Bk 4)
Author: Tess Gerritsen
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 258
Review Date: 3/5/2008


A good thriller. I don't have any experience with this author, but the book was enough of a stand-alone that I didn't feel like I was missing out by not starting with book #1 featuring this character.

I've read elsewhere that it's great for a medical mystery, but I don't really consider it a medical mystery. Sure, the main character is a Medical Examiner, but the only medical jargon is appropriate when describing causes of death. (Or maybe I'm too steeped in Discovery Channel medical shows and Kathy Reichs' "Bones" novels)

A little gory, but not done to death. The premise is creepy, and the ending might surprise you.

(This review was originally written for the unabridged audio book edition.)


Body Double (Rizzoli & Isles, Bk 4) (Audio CD) (Abridged)
Review Date: 3/5/2008


A good thriller. I don't have any experience with this author, but the book was enough of a stand-alone that I didn't feel like I was missing out by not starting with book #1 featuring this character.

I've read elsewhere that it's great for a medical mystery, but I don't really consider it a medical mystery. Sure, the main character is a Medical Examiner, but the only medical jargon is appropriate when describing causes of death. (Or maybe I'm too steeped in Discovery Channel medical shows and Kathy Reichs' "Bones" novels)

A little gory, but not done to death. The premise is creepy, and the ending might surprise you.

With regard to this being an audio book, once I got past Marin Frist (Anne Heche) reading the book, it was just fine. There is one minor continuity burp (or maybe it was a mildly unbelievable conclusion jump), but you probably won't notice it unless you listen to the book in one sitting, as I did.


A Cat Named Brat (Alice Nestleton, Bk 20)
A Cat Named Brat (Alice Nestleton, Bk 20)
Author: Lydia Adamson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 3/6/2008
Helpful Score: 1


******This review is for the abridged cd edition of this book.********

Hated it. Seriously hated it. The narrator (Deborah Hall) read the book in the most pretentious and condescending tone throughout. At the end of the 2nd cd (of 4), I quit listening.

I really wanted to like this book because if I pictured the words in my head when I was listening I could tell that it could be a decent, if not entertaining, book.

I'll give the author another chance in the future but I will definitely put the narrator's name at the top of my "avoid at all costs" list.

Don't skip the print version based on this review - just beware and don't get the audio version, ESPECIALLY if you're going to be stuck with it on a long car trip.


The Cat Who Sang for the Birds (Cat Who...Bk 20)
The Cat Who Sang for the Birds (Cat Who...Bk 20)
Author: Lilian Jackson Braun
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 139
Review Date: 5/7/2008


As always, a satisfying light read. There were a couple of continuity glitches in the book, but probably no one but I would notice them and they certainly did not take from the story.


The Cat Who Went Up the Creek (Cat Who...Bk 24)
The Cat Who Went Up the Creek (Cat Who...Bk 24)
Author: Lilian Jackson Braun
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 166
Review Date: 6/3/2008


I didn't make it much farther than page 50 on this one. I need to remind myself to NOT read a Cat Who book more frequently than once every six months or so; they all start to sound alike.

This one seemed to suffer from left-hand-right-hand editing. In the first 50 pages I lost count of the non sequiturs. Or maybe I just wasn't reading enough into the written situations to make the leap?

Either way, occasionally and in small doses I really enjoy these books. This one was particularly jarring, and I didn't even stick around to find out whodunit or whom it was dun to.


The Concrete Blonde (Harry Bosch, Bk 3) (Audio Cassette) (Abridged)
Review Date: 3/9/2008


This review is for the abridged audio cassette version.

There are quite a few reviews lauding the main character, Harry Bosch, and in my opinion he's a keeper (though his lady-friend seems a bit whiny).

This particular abridged version of the book is entertaining and satisfying, overall. The book has been abridged down to approximately 3 hours. I don't know if it's the publisher (Nova Audiobooks) or just the act of such heavy abridgement, but there are jumps and gaps that leave the listener (me) wondering, "How did he come to that conclusion?"

I think those jumps and gaps are to be expected, and the full-length version will (I assume) fill in the holes. This version is just fine, though.


Died in the Wool (Knitting, Bk 1)
Died in the Wool (Knitting, Bk 1)
Author: Mary Kruger
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 62
Review Date: 5/23/2008
Helpful Score: 1


Really liked this book, even though I figured out whodunit fairly early on. Very light read, hard to put down.

There was "inside dirt" on running a specialty yarn store and some detail on creating yarn from the sheep up. There was also some semi-heavy-handed "commentary" on pattern copyright and internet usage. The "free patterns" included in the back weren't anything to write home about, but there were interesting knitting-related passages throughout the book.

I could have completely done without the main character's family - ex is a loudmouthed controlling ass, mother/aunt are irritating butt-inskys, the child is glossed over unless it can create angst for the mother/main character (and nothing really gets resolved with the child).

All that and I still liked the book a whole lot. I'll be looking for the next one in the series right away!


Down on Ponce
Down on Ponce
Author: Fred Willard
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 3/14/2008
Helpful Score: 2


Wow, this one's a bit tough to describe. Bad guys against worse bad guys? If it were a movie or tv show, you'd have to know "violence, sex, language". The strange thing is that it is a quick and very entertaining read. Total escapism.


The Edge (FBI Thriller, Bk 4) (Audio Cassette) (Unabridged)
Review Date: 3/8/2008
Helpful Score: 1


First off, I liked this book. It wasn't boring. I'd recommend it. The reason that I'm saying this up front is that there were a few issues I had with the writing, but they weren't major enough to affect my rating.

I found it really, REALLY obvious that this was written by a woman. The protagonist is a 29-year old Joe Stud He-Man FBI agent Anti-terrorism operative. Joe Stud then proceeds to share things like how he likes to walk holding hands (along the cliffs above the ocean, no less), and loves flower gardens. He even said, "Hold me... I need you" and "I was so afraid, I thought I might cry." Puh-leeze.

It is also difficult to read a book set in a specific location by someone who hasn't spent much, if any time, in that location. I know it's done all the time, but just for the record? You're not going to get out of the rental-car lot at the Portland (OR) airport and be at the coast within an hour... at least nowhere on the coast that will allow you to just pop over to Salem to feed your friend's cat.

The audio-book reader was just fine; his style didn't get in the way of the story. One thing (again for those in the Pacific Northwest) - he didn't get the memo on the proper pronuciation of some of the locations. Try not to laugh.


Female Intelligence
Female Intelligence
Author: Jane Heller
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 72
Review Date: 3/17/2008


A Chinese food book, almost forgotten an hour after I was through with it. Light, fluffy, entertaining. The whole concept of "Womenspeak" came off as quite condescending, and the main character not all that likable. It's odd, though, because by the end I was still enjoying the book.


Flood Tide (Dirk Pitt, Bk 14)
Flood Tide (Dirk Pitt, Bk 14)
Author: Clive Cussler
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 154
Review Date: 3/11/2008


This review was originally written for the audio book version:

As always, Dirk Pitt does not fail to entertain me. For readers familiar with both Dirk Pitt AND Juan Cabrillo, this is where they first meet, though that's not the point of the book. The only down-side here is that Cabrillo is described as a Mexican American and the reader voices him as something resembling the Frito Bandito.


Hundred-Dollar Baby aka Dream Girl (Spenser, Bk 34)
Hundred-Dollar Baby aka Dream Girl (Spenser, Bk 34)
Author: Robert B. Parker
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 103
Review Date: 3/20/2008
Helpful Score: 1


What's not to love about Spenser? He has a sense of humor and he knows when to shut up and sit still. There was one point in this book (toward the beginning) that I laughed out loud, probably at something Hawk said.

Love Spenser. Love Hawk. Spenser's girlfriend? Yeah, I'd hang out with her (even though she does take every opportunity to wave her Harvard diploma).

The 'damsel in distress' - April Kyle (apparently back for a third time in Spenser's life)? I could not care less about her or what happened to her. Wow.

Now, I know that women who are 'damaged' (I've been reading that description a lot recently) often have issues, but if she burst into tears or flew off the handle for no apparent reason one more time, after asking Spenser for his (free) help, I woulda gone looking for a stereotypical Vinnie to pop her. Of course, I have no patience for manipulative women, so maybe I was too hard on her. Or not.

Read the book. I don't think you'll be too surprised or disturbed by the ending (which seemed a bit abrupt, by the way).


The Ice Maiden (Britt Montero, Bk 8)
The Ice Maiden (Britt Montero, Bk 8)
Author: Edna Buchanan
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 38
Review Date: 3/19/2008


Entertaining mystery. It might have been rated 4 stars if the writer had just stuck to the mystery.

The two subplots were totally unnecessary and out of place. I just skipped ahead over most of those parts. Seriously. Totally unnecessary. The unnecessary romance subplot was particularly difficult to bear because the character didn't seem like she went in for male company... in that way. How can you not have chemistry between two characters when you're writing them BOTH?

I loved the supporting character of Lottie, especially her 'take' on the Queen Mum and Lassie


Jennifer Government (Audio CD) (Abridged)
Jennifer Government (Audio CD) (Abridged)
Author: Maxx Barry, Patrick Frederic (Narrator)
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 1.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 3/3/2008
Helpful Score: 1


I listened to the unabridged CD audio book. The back of the case says, in part, "Max Barry's hilarious vision of the near future...."

Well, not so much. I kept listening because the plotlines held the promise of something much more, but it just ended up being nine or more hours of my life that I won't get back. It's not that the book is bad, it's just that there's nothing funny in it. The employees taking the name of their employer is mildly amusing, but seriously...

The book had a lot of storylines that merged and veered; the elements were there to provide a big-bang ending, but it just kinda fizzled to an end.


Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
Author: Susanna Clarke
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 194
Review Date: 4/28/2008
Helpful Score: 1


The book kept my interest, but it seemed like it was the longest book ever written. Wait - it WAS pretty darned long, at ~850 pages. The various strings of the story got tied up pretty quickly in about a 15-page clump way at the end of the book; the actual ending (the last two pages or so) was not as satisfying as I could have hoped.

I guess that after giving this book so many hours of my life, I was hoping for something a bit more meaty at the end.


Kitty Goes to Washington (Kitty Norville, Bk 2)
Kitty Goes to Washington (Kitty Norville, Bk 2)
Author: Carrie Vaughn
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 509
Review Date: 5/21/2008


2nd in the series. Enjoyable, enough action and humor to make it a quick read.

Kitty learns more about her attorney, is outed (in a most graphic manner) to her family, and gets to play with vampires and other things that go bump in the night.

The bit about the faith healer seemed pretty thin, with an anti-climactic climax.

After finishing this book, I immediately ordered the remaining two in the series.


The Lighthouse (Adam Dalgliesh, Bk 13)
The Lighthouse (Adam Dalgliesh, Bk 13)
Author: P. D. James
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 76
Review Date: 3/16/2008
Helpful Score: 1


After watching (and liking) the Adam Dalgliesh shows on PBS, I am pleased that my first PD James book did not disappoint.

The book had characters and situations that were obviously a continuance from previous books, but it stood on its own very well. The mystery was good, the characters "comfortable" and the writing was, at times, almost poetic.


Lullaby Town (Elvis Cole, Bk 3)
Lullaby Town (Elvis Cole, Bk 3)
Author: Robert Crais
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 156
Review Date: 3/5/2008


My first experience with this author. I enjoyed the book more than I expected; the main character doesn't take himself too seriously and the supporting characters are well developed. It's more than fluff, but not so heavy (and depressing)as many mystery/action novels that are out there.

There is some violence, though except for one scene it is not over-described.

One small grumble: I don't quite understand the author's choosing to have the main female character hiss - not just once, but multiple times, usually when she was frustrated or irritated. Is the author a cat person? I'm female. I don't recall having hissed at all in at least the last 6 months. This female is like a leaky air mattress.

This review was written originally for the audio book version.


Lullaby Town (Elvis Cole, Bk 3) (Audio CD) (Abridged)
Review Date: 3/5/2008


My first experience with this author. I enjoyed the book more than I expected; the main character doesn't take himself too seriously and the supporting characters are well developed. It's more than fluff, but not so heavy (and depressing)as many mystery/action novels that are out there.

There is some violence, though except for one scene it is not over-described.

One small grumble: I don't quite understand the author's choosing to have the main female character hiss - not just once, but multiple times, usually when she was frustrated or irritated. Is the author a cat person? I'm female. I don't recall having hissed at all in at least the last 6 months. This female is like a leaky air mattress.

With respect to the audio format, each of the 5 cd's had about 85 tracks. One track every 45 seconds or so. That's great when I needed to jump back to hear what a character just said, but a real PITA if I need to stop the cd and then re-find where I was (usually about track 65). That's a lot of >> button pushing.


The Murder Room (Adam Dalgliesh, Bk 12)
The Murder Room (Adam Dalgliesh, Bk 12)
Author: P. D. James
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 50
Review Date: 3/24/2008
Helpful Score: 1


It's hard to get better than this. Another gripping mystery with fully realized characters, evocative writing and a satisfying ending.


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