Mary (rxkicker) - , - Reviews

1 to 20 of 70 - Page:
All Mortal Flesh (Rev. Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne, Bk 5)
All Mortal Flesh (Rev. Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne, Bk 5)
Author: Julia Spencer-Fleming
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 68
Review Date: 9/30/2008


I _love_ this series. This book had two plot twists that made me want to throw the book against the wall. [Will these characters _ever_ get together??] Even so, I read the next one as soon as I could. And, boy-oh-boy, it made up for the frustration caused by this one.


Bank Shot
Bank Shot
Author: Donald E. Westlake
Book Type: Audio Cassette
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 12/14/2008


I have the book (on paper). Haven't read it (on paper). I do check out the audiobook from the library repeatedly. Dortmunder & crew have another job go sideways. They plan to steal a bank. Not _rob_ a bank... _steal_ a bank. This is laugh-till-I-cry funny. (The movie, funny enough by itself, is ho-hum in comparison.)


Bliss to You: Trixie's Guide to a Happy Life
Bliss to You: Trixie's Guide to a Happy Life
Author: Trixie Koontz, Dean R Koontz
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 22
Review Date: 8/27/2009


The audiobook contained one disk. I quit halfway through it.
The doggy grammar was irritating. Content is derivative. Seems to be an attempt to cash in on the _Marley and Me_ hype. Maybe it got better in the second half. I wasn't willing to find out.


Blood and Groom (Sasha Jackson, Bk 1)
Blood and Groom (Sasha Jackson, Bk 1)
Author: Jill Edmondson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 1/1/2011


Thirty-something former rocker-chick Sasha is now a PI in Toronto. (And she works at a phone sex call centre for extra cash.) She is hired to solve a murder plus finds (and solves) another crime in the process. Nice description of Toronto neighborhoods & bars/restaurants. Tightly written with no fluff. Well edited with no grammar/ spelling/ punctuation errors (except maybe one typo).

Interesting characters from a variety of backgrounds to provide Sasha with avenues to useful information. Sasha lives at home with brother and often-absent Dad. Dad travels via camper van, spending "the winters honing his card-shark skills as he travelled through whatever U.S. states had casinos." Chef brother co-owns a restaurant and dates Sasha's best friend. Sasha does background checks for her best client, a blueblood financial adviser.

The plot moves quickly. I thought of it as a short book, even though it has 254 pages of small type.
I would like to see the nerdy irritating former client become Sasha's co-PI.

Turns out... the 2nd book (_Dead Light District_) has just been released (Dec 2010) and a third is coming.


Blue Line Murder (Johnny Canuck)
Blue Line Murder (Johnny Canuck)
Author: Moffatt, James
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 2/2/2009
Helpful Score: 1


Originally published in 1965. From current perspective, this is a send-up (with a wink) of the hard-boiled private eye novel. This is a hard-boiled private eye story the way _Johnny Dangerously_ was a gangster movie. Unknown if it was originally intended to be funny.
Someone threatens, then kills, Tex, who plays for the fictional Lakeview Otters ice hockey team. Johnny Canuck, private eye, solves the murder and prevents at least one more murder. Johnny has to fight off many gorgeous women (all 'stacked,' of course, with gorgeous gams) when he is not hurting or getting hurt by gangsters. Like cartoon characters, he (and his adversaries) seem to recover quickly from a surprising number of gun butts and saps to the head. Characters are not completely cartoonish. The good guys/gals are likeable; the bad guys are appropriately unlikable and have some depth. Solution to the murder is clever. Plot is not particularly well developed, but does have some depth. A quick (190 pages) amusing story.


Bookplate Special (Booktown, Bk 3)
Bookplate Special (Booktown, Bk 3)
Author: Lorna Barrett
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 185
Review Date: 1/26/2010
Helpful Score: 5


3rd in the series. We learn more about characters' backgrounds, including info that makes some characters less unlikeable. Relationships start/change/end. Freegan characters present their arguments for the freegan lifestyle, but the sleuth remains unconvinced. The mystery features a missing diary that is discovered in stages. The diary's secret is not what I expected. -- Not shocking, but not the standard cliche secret. Decent resolution to the mystery strengthens some relationships and destroys others. Author gives the characters depth and interest. Charming book, interesting characters, good mystery with good resolution.


Cat Playing Cupid (Joe Grey, Bk 14)
Cat Playing Cupid (Joe Grey, Bk 14)
Author: Shirley Rousseau Murphy
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 18
Review Date: 1/10/2010
Helpful Score: 3


One of the better plots in this series. Clyde & Ryan get married. Joe Grey creates a great strategy for having the humans discover the (inevitable) body. He travels farther than usual to help his humans. Kit has a romantic crisis.

We learn more about the history of talking cats in Molena Point. We learn of additional discreet town residents who are aware of the talking cats.

The primary aggravation is the run-on sentences, they really annoy me, this is not a controversial topic in American grammar. Typically the author/editor have no more than 3 sentences strung together inappropriately.


The Christmas Train  (Audio Cassette) (Unabridged)
The Christmas Train (Audio Cassette) (Unabridged)
Author: David Baldacci, Tim Matheson (Narrator)
Book Type: Audio Cassette
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 9/26/2008


Most audiobooks do not have sound effects. This has great ones. Hear the train going down the track and lots more I can't remember. Good plot with (mostly) nice characters. Good twist at the end, when we learn the true identity of one interesting character.

This is the only Baldacci I have read. The others sound too scary, based on the bookjacket text. This one is sweet and definitely not scary.


Confessions of a Teenage Baby
Confessions of a Teenage Baby
Author: Paul Zindel
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 2/17/2008


ISBN is correct. Title is actually "Confessions of a Teenage Baboon."


Crimes of Passion: An Unblinking Look at Murderous Love
Crimes of Passion: An Unblinking Look at Murderous Love
Author: Howard Engel
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 12/14/2008


Beautiful TPB with heavy paper.
Not what I expected. This is non-fiction, covering notorious crimes-of-passion murders in history, mostly the 1900s. Foreword and lengthy Introduction cover a longer view in history.
Interesting. Useful, too... a book I read later referred to Ruth Ellis. Because of this book, I knew the background. Other alleged criminals discussed: Yvonne Chevalier, Jean Harris, OJ Simpson, Henriette Caillaux, Harvey Crippen, Jean Liger, Alpna Patel, Lizzie Borden, and Susan Smith. Short descriptions (typically < 10 pages) of each; not in-depth reporting/analysis of any one case.


Dancing Aztecs
Dancing Aztecs
Author: Donald E. Westlake, Richard Stark
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.8/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 11/1/2009


Oh, my. It's Donald E Westlake. How much more do I need to add to describe the wonderful-ness of this book? The back-cover description is only a start.

Omniscient narrator describes action and also addresses the reader. Example: at the end of section 1: "In their homes, in their beds, Ben Cohen and Mrs. Dorothy Moorwood are peacefully asleep, neither of them guessing what's coming their way on the morrow. Everybody is settling down now. Everybody is going to sleep. You, too."

Westlake uses separate (mostly short) chapters, each describing the activities of one set of characters at the moment. Can be a little hard to follow sometimes -- as is often the case with good farce. Consecutive chapter titles: In The Beginning; Prior To Which; That Night; Some Time Earlier; And Some Time Before That; The Next Morning; Later That Morning; But; Which Meant That; However; Unfortunately; Whereupon; ... you get the drift.

Great characters. Has some ethnic slurs that are as offensive as they were in 1976 (copyright date). Has some happy endings. Ultimate resolution was a surprise. Had to re-read some segments to see what I missed/mis-interpreted.

Best laugh-out-loud segment occurs on p.268 of 318:
"Where are you from, anyway?"
"Descalzo." [a small, poor, fictional country in South America]
"Never heard of it. That the way they dress down there?"
Pedro looked down at himself, slowly aware that his clothing consisted of faded dungarees raggedly cut off at the knee, and a kind of scoop-necked white peasant blouse with puffy long sleeves. The dungarees, which were too big in the torso, were cinched in around his waist with a white plastic belt, and on his feet were red four-inch wedges. "Oh," he said. "No, I got these on the plane."
"That must have been a hell of a flight," said the fellow.


Dead End Street (Museum, Bk 7)
Dead End Street (Museum, Bk 7)
Author: Sheila Connolly
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 18
Review Date: 11/25/2016


Well-done plot description is in another review. This is my favorite in the Museum series. Nell gets out of the office and does some things that are modern-day relevant. The book has some nice description of Philadelphia's history. Sure, we had to find out who was the murderer. I thought the more interesting mystery was how the property proposals were going to be resolved. Very well, I thought, in a win-win-win-win-win deal. This plot line, as Nell says, brings the Society into the 20th century, and maybe the 21st.
I was delighted to find my copy at a UBS.


Death Goes Shopping: A Jenny Turnbull Mystery (Jenny Turnbull Mysteries)
Review Date: 9/14/2009
Helpful Score: 1


Jenny is the promotions director of a large shopping mall in an unnamed Canadian city.
Book has a lot of administrivia about running a mall. A shooting murder occurs during a pumpkin-carving promotion.

Good-guy characters are likeable. I thought the killer and motivation could have been developed more. Probably an editor deleted an explanation of Jenny's bad reaction to a liver dinner. (Liver dinner as in Betty Crocker, not Hannibal Lecter.)

Would like to see one character, Tiny, developed in a sequel.


The Deputy
The Deputy
Author: Victor Gischler
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 1/24/2012


Generally: sweet noir. Toby is 25, back in the small hometown he thought he had escaped. He's a part-time deputy with a wife and a child he calls 'the boy' for a few chapters. Toby kills bad guys (who are trying to kill him) as if he were in a gangster movie. He admires the police chief/sheriff who is !surprise! not quite what he seems. Toby is a sweet kid. He is funny in a not-trying way. My favorite line: "And anyway I had bigger worries. More Jordan brothers who wanted to kill me. And the station house was still a little bit on fire." (p. 218 in my copy.) Toby is exhausted, but manages to kill about a dozen bad guys while worrying about his son. Good thing it's a small town. Toby has to jog and run a fair amount after he destroys a few vehicles. Good character development. Good plot development with fair clues. More subtle than this author's earlier work.


A Dog About Town (Bull Moose Dog Run, Bk 1)
A Dog About Town (Bull Moose Dog Run, Bk 1)
Author: J. F. Englert
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 26
Review Date: 7/2/2008
Helpful Score: 1


The sleuth is a sentient dog, Randolph, in NYC who communicates with his owner via the owner's favorite cereal, Alpha-Bits. He doesn't speak or dial the phone (as Shirley Rousseau Murphy's cats do). He reads... mostly classic literature and poetry. As you can tell by the cover, if he were a real dog, he would be in one of those English hunting dog paintings. Good plot, good characters, good cozy.


The Education of Little Tree
The Education of Little Tree
Author: Rennard Strickland (Adapter), Forrest Carter
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 109
Review Date: 2/17/2008


Originally described as a memoir. Later, it was revealed to be fiction. Even so, I laughed while crying, as I read it.


The Fall Hunt (Hummingbird Falls, Bk 3)
The Fall Hunt (Hummingbird Falls, Bk 3)
Author: Joanne Clarey
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 12/9/2009
Helpful Score: 1


Retired (but retired early) widow Ellie lives with her dog in a small town in New England. Written in 3rd person. Ellie's thoughts are conveyed when she talks to her (wonderful) dog. Multiple plot lines are tied together well. Small town characters are distinct, believable, and (mostly)nice. Ends well for the characters who deserve a happy ending. A cozy, so no graphic gore/violence. I won't rush right out and get other titles by this author, but I will pick them up if I see them at UBS.


The Financial Wisdom of Ebenezer Scrooge : Transforming Your Relationship with Money-7 Essentials to Financial Freedom  Prosperity
Review Date: 3/1/2009


Proposes changing your attitutude about money; not a financial planning guide.

The authors suggest the best way to work through unproductive attitudes about money is to have a therapist who is a Certified Financial Planner.

The essence of the book (p.144): "Finding facilitators who have experienced their own transformation and who model authenticity, abundance and integrity may be essential to your success."

For this to work, you have to believe it is going to work.


First You Fall (Kevin Connor, Bk 1)
First You Fall (Kevin Connor, Bk 1)
Author: Scott Sherman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 12/12/2008


Sleuth is a young, cute prostitute in NYC. He is sweet to his mother (like Fred Hunter's character Alex Reynolds), has a great best friend, and is determined to prove a mentor's (Allen) death is not suicide. Oops -- the detective on the case is a former boyfriend.
Multiple potential bad guys. Unexpected twist/twist/twist at the end. Who killed Allen -- that motive seems to appear from left field, a bit of lame surprise. That character was nice. I wanted one of the meanies to be the killer. Oh, wait... the meanies killed _other_ people. But some of the meanies were innocent. Good sub-plot about Kevin's parents (not) getting a divorce.
Waiting for the next one. Can't post this until 3 more friends read it.


Forty Words for Sorrow (John Cardinal, Bk 1)
Forty Words for Sorrow (John Cardinal, Bk 1)
Author: Giles Blunt
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 47
Review Date: 9/26/2008
Helpful Score: 4


The only 'creepy' books I read are by Giles Blunt. (But I don't read them at night!) The language and mood are beautiful. I don't know much about snow... but felt I did after reading one of his books. Set in the Algonquin Bay area of Ontario.


1 to 20 of 70 - Page: