Sandra (mycatscanread) - - Reviews

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Aunt Dimity's Death (Aunt Dimity, Bk 1)
Aunt Dimity's Death (Aunt Dimity, Bk 1)
Author: Nancy Atherton
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 251
Review Date: 11/12/2007


Sweet, enjoyable, cozy mystery.


Autobiography of a Face
Autobiography of a Face
Author: Lucy Grealy
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 171
Review Date: 3/24/2011
Helpful Score: 1


This is a beautifully written memoir of Lucy Grealy's lifelong struggle with the results of a jaw tumor, Ewing's sarcoma, that was diagnosed at age 9. Part of her jawbone was removed, causing her face to sink in on that side, which resulted in 38 reconstructive surgeries over her lifetime, and most were not successful. She was ridiculed, bullied and tormented by other children all the way through her school years until she entered college. It's a dark story of a very lonely child who felt unloveable and who defined herself by her face. The dynamics from within and without her family are interesting to look at and also Grealy's perception of her doctors and the years of treatment she underwent. This book is definitely worth reading and is hard to put down.


Baltimore Blues (Tess Monaghan, Bk 1)
Baltimore Blues (Tess Monaghan, Bk 1)
Author: Laura Lippman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 189
Review Date: 5/7/2009
Helpful Score: 1


This is the first of Lippman's books I've read, and since I'm from the Baltimore area, I gave it a try. I thought the book was awfully slow, and I just couldn't work up a liking for Tess. I plan on reading the next one in the series to see if I like it any better than this first one.

What I did enjoy were some things that I had completely forgotten about. BWI Airport used to be Friendship Airport and that really jogged my memory on that. I knew the places and streets pretty well, but the overall story seemed to drag, and a few things were predictable. I thought the plot was a little weak. I'll try again, though, with this author. It's just the first in a series, so not reading another wouldn't be fair judgment.


The Beach House
The Beach House
Author: James Patterson, Peter De Jonge
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 759
Review Date: 11/12/2007


The Beach House was good, suspenseful, but not my favorite James Patterson novel.


Beagle Mania (Pet Rescue, Bk 1)
Beagle Mania (Pet Rescue, Bk 1)
Author: Linda O. Johnston
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 54
Review Date: 4/2/2011
Helpful Score: 3


Laura Vancouver is the administrator of a no-kill animal rescue shelter called HotRescues that is near Los Angeles. Laura finds out about a puppy mill that is in operation and when she goes to the site, she finds animals being kept in horrible conditions and discovers that a young man who is working for the mill's owners has dumped four beagle puppies down a drainpipe. Laura has them rescued and taken to her shelter. She also has the man who committed this crime of animal abuse sent to her shelter to learn how to take care of animals, but he isn't that compliant and causes problems at the shelter.
Laura later on finds this man's body on the sidewalk of HotRescues...very dead, and she's the only person there with the body and the murder weapon. She has to prove to the police that she didn't kill him and find out who did, while finding homes for her sweet animal babies.

This is the first in a new series by Linda O. Johnston who also writes the Kendra Ballantyne lawyer/petsitter series. Kendra also appears in the book. I was pleasantly surprised with the book since not only is it a good mystery, but it also has a lot of information about animal rescue and shelters in it. For anyone who loves animals, this is a great read. The character of Laura Vancouver is very likeable and down-to-earth, as are her assistants and volunteers at the shelter. I'm looking forward to reading the second installment in this series.


Birds of a Lesser Paradise: Stories
Birds of a Lesser Paradise: Stories
Author: Megan Mayhew Bergman
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 7/19/2012


This is a very well-written book of twelve short stories that center around how nature and animals affect our lives and our relationships and how we respond to them. I found the book inspired some emotions in me as I read, especially in the stories where memories of parents long dead were the subject that inspired the story. This was particularly true in the story "Housewifely Arts" when a mother takes her child to a run-down zoo to see the talking bird that was once her deceased mother's bird, just so that she can hear her mother's words and voice come from the bird once more.

This is literary fiction in the form of short stories at its finest for a first time author. I am anxiously awaiting more from this young writer and would love to read more along the lines of the subjects of these short stories.

Highly recommended for short story readers and for literary fiction readers and also for readers who like stories of nature and humans.


Bleachers
Bleachers
Author: John Grisham
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 631
Review Date: 11/12/2007
Helpful Score: 5


This is more literary than what John Grisham usually writes. Standing alone as a departure from his courtroom dramas with all the mystery and suspense, Bleachers shows a new side of Grisham as a writer. He can write in other genres and still be the well-loved author whose characters come off the page.


The Body in the Transept (Dorothy Martin, Bk 1)
The Body in the Transept (Dorothy Martin, Bk 1)
Author: Jeanne M. Dams
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 38
Review Date: 9/11/2012
Helpful Score: 1


In this first in Jeanne M. Dams Dorothy Martin Mystery series, The Body in the Transept is an Agatha Award Winner that introduces American Dorothy Martin who lives in the small cathedral and university town of Sherebury, England. She and her husband had moved there so that he could be associated with the university, but shortly after they moved, Frank died. Dorothy stayed on in their old, but cozy house with her cat she took in.

Dorothy has a natural ability for snooping around when things go awry, and on Christmas Eve at the cathedral, after a beautiful service, things did just that. Dorothy was leaving by a side entrance when she stumbled over something that just happened to be the body of Canon Billings with a heavy candlestick laying nearby. The police questioned Dorothy and she especially is in conversations with town Chief Constable Alan Nesbitt.

Dorothy has her own ideas about what might have happened and goes about her own investigation much to the disapproval of Nesbitt and the whole police department.

This is a wonderful start to a series that I intend to finish to the end. 5 stars for The Body in the Transept.

~SW


The Bone Vault (Alex Cooper, Bk 5)
The Bone Vault (Alex Cooper, Bk 5)
Author: Linda Fairstein
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 131
Review Date: 6/15/2009


The basic plot of this book is great, and the beginning drew me in right away with the entrance into the Egyptian display in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. However, once the initial crime was introduced, it seemed to get left behind for a while in a muddled pool of sub-plots and veering off into other areas that did nothing but confuse me. The story goes back and forth from the Met to the Cloisters, back to the Met, then the Cloisters. A major character and suspect leaves and nothing more is said about him/her until nearly the end of the book. I kept thinking, 'What happened to ___?' I struggled to get through this one, and was disappointed. I've read at least one other by Linda Fairstein and I never give up with just one book, so I'll read another of hers.

Despite all of that, I learned so much about the Metropolitan Museum of Art and especially a lot about Egyptian art history, which I did very much enjoy about the book.


The Book Club
The Book Club
Author: Mary Alice Monroe
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 62
Review Date: 11/12/2007
Helpful Score: 2


Wonderful story about five very different women in a monthly Book Club and how they connect their lives through each other and through what they read.
I want to read others by this author after reading this book.


Book of the Dead (Kay Scarpetta, Bk 15)
Book of the Dead (Kay Scarpetta, Bk 15)
Author: Patricia Cornwell
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 459
Review Date: 6/23/2008
Helpful Score: 1


I've read all of Patricia Cornwell's books and I wasn't particularly impressed with this one. Scarpetta, Marino and Lucy have moved to Charleston, S.C. I was much happier with Kay when she was in Virginia, but Cornwell keeps moving her around so much that the reader never knows where she'll wind up next.

There is too much going on with too many characters at once, and before you know it, the story has left one geographical location and is in another. I was totally confused with the storyline of Dr. Self. I couldn't stand the character and the testing that was done on her made absolutely no sense to me.

The storyline isn't pulled together in a cohesive way, and one part of the story isn't resolved at the end, so I hope that's one of the first things that gets attention in the next Kay Scarpetta novel. All in all, I didn't enjoy this one as much as I have some other of her books. It's basically a story of the woes of Scarpetta, Benton, Marino, Lucy and Rose. A big disappointment.


The Bookseller of Kabul
The Bookseller of Kabul
Author: Asne Seierstad, Ingrid Christophersen (Translator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 300
Review Date: 3/28/2008
Helpful Score: 11


I really enjoyed this book. A look into the lives of a modern Afghan family through the eyes of a journalist from Sweden. She lived with this family for three months and wrote about her experiences with them. As a western woman, the treatment of women was disturbing, but I have to remember that this is their culture, not mine, and that is to be respected.
For me, this is one more book and means along the way to understanding the rest of the world.


Broken Vows (St. Martin's True Crime Library)
Broken Vows (St. Martin's True Crime Library)
Author: Eric Francis
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 16
Review Date: 5/11/2007


A good account of this true crime.


The Broken Window (Lincoln Rhyme, Bk 8)
The Broken Window (Lincoln Rhyme, Bk 8)
Author: Jeffery Deaver
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 208
Review Date: 8/2/2010


This book was recommended to me by a man while I was waiting to get my oil changed in my car. He went on and on about this book, so I read it. Jeffery Deaver is a favorite author, anyway, and although fairly technical, I did enjoy the book. It's a bit scary what data mining can do, and makes one wonder just how easy it is to steal identities and find out any kind of information about anyone.

The Broken Window isn't my favorite Lincoln Rhyme mystery, but I wasn't disappointed.


Buried in a Book (Novel Idea, Bk 1)
Buried in a Book (Novel Idea, Bk 1)
Author: Lucy Arlington
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 118
Review Date: 1/27/2015


I really liked this cozy mystery about a middle-aged woman who discovers a dead man with whom she had just had a conversation on her new job as an intern at a literary agency. This is the first book in the Novel Idea Mystery series. It's pretty much like the other formula written cozies, but it's more the characters and their development that make it a stronger book. The plot is good and it's a very enjoyable book to curl up with.


The Burnt House (Peter Decker & Rina Lazarus, Bk 16)
The Burnt House (Peter Decker & Rina Lazarus, Bk 16)
Author: Faye Kellerman
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 172
Review Date: 8/2/2010
Helpful Score: 3


This was the first Faye Kellerman book I had read, and I was caught from the beginning. I think it was somewhere around the middle that I got just a wee bit confused with characters, but overall I liked the book a lot. I've gone on to read others by this author and now I'm a fan.


C is for Corpse (Kinsey Millhone, Bk 3)
C is for Corpse (Kinsey Millhone, Bk 3)
Author: Sue Grafton
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 407
Review Date: 8/2/2010


I'm a bit late coming to read Sue Grafton's series, but I'm so glad I've started it. I think of the first three, this is my favorite. I love Kinsey Millhone's demeanor and her abbreviated lifestyle, with her small office, small car and her small home and a sleeping bag on the couch for a bed. Her investigative techniques are to be admired, and I wouldn't mind hanging out with her and eating in some of the places where she eats!

I really loved this book!


Canada
Canada
Author: Richard Ford
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 28
Review Date: 7/2/2012
Helpful Score: 3


Richard Ford's "Canada" is a beautifully written coming of age book that is carried along with simple and clean writing that makes it all the better.

The basic story is that Dell and sister Berner are twins living with their parents in Great Falls, Montana in the sixties. Bev, the father, was a career Air Force man and is more outgoing, while his wife Neeva, is a more quiet and scholarly woman. Bev has gotten himself in some trouble in a bad business deal and owes money that he doesn't have. He comes up with the idea to rob a bank in North Dakato with the assistance of his wife. They carry this out and eventually go to jail.

For Dell and Berner this is a real crisis, because their mother has arranged for Dell to go to Canada to stay with the brother of her friend, but before Berner can be sent, she runs away. Dell makes it to the open and lonely prairies of Saskatchewan, only to be forced into hard work and no school.

Dell's story is a bittersweet one, but he shows perseverance and acceptance in the harshest of conditions. He never gives up, and the ending of the book fits the rest of the story very well.

I loved the book and look forward to reading more of Richard Ford.


Candy Apple Dead (Candy Shop, Bk 1)
Candy Apple Dead (Candy Shop, Bk 1)
Author: Sammi Carter
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 189
Review Date: 5/8/2008
Helpful Score: 1


This is the first in the Candy Shop Mystery series. I'm surprised at how good this series is despite the off-putting titles of the three I've read so far. Abby Shaw has given up her job as a corporate lawyer to take on the candy shop, Divinity, that her Aunt Grace willed to her. The setting is in a lovely little town in Colorado. Abby finds herself caught up in the mystery of who set her friend's, and almost her date's, store on fire, where his body is later found. Abby's brother is a suspect. Abby's character is very believable and so down to earth that I felt like I'd met her a lot of times before. The dialogue is great between characters and there is just enough mystery mixed with a bit of comedy here and there to make it a light, cozy mystery. My only complaint is that since Abby was a corporate lawyer, I think she might be a bit more savvy about how she goes about doing her own sleuthing and keeping herself out of trouble and harm's way. I read this in about a day or two, so it's a quick and very pleasant read.


Capital Crimes
Capital Crimes
Author: Lawrence Sanders
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 35
Review Date: 8/2/2010
Helpful Score: 1


This book kept me reading and interested until the very end. I just hope we never have a president who falls for a "healer" like Brother Kristos. Brother Kristos is a so-called healer, preacher and a heavy consumer of vodka. The First Lady hears about him and soon Brother Kristos is inside the White House itself, with the special job of healing the president's son. However, Brother Kristos is doing more than just healing at the White House...he's getting into politics very friendly with the First Lady.

I'd recommend this book for the unique plot and subplots. I found it very entertaining.


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