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Random words, pictures and thoughts of one who always wishes to be on the mind's road to discovery!

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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Monday, June 18, 2018

The Dry---Page Turning Mystery

The Dry (Aaron Falk, #1)The Dry by Jane Harper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Page turning mystery

Set in Australia, the book opens during a lengthy drought with the discovery of the bodies of a young farming couple and their five year old son. The man's childhood friend,now a cop in Melbourne , returns for the funeral. He received a message from the man's father who says he knows the boys lied about their whereabouts in the day,twenty years ago, when another friend was killed. Is this triple murder related to that still unsolved murder? Aaron Fall and the local cop,Sgt Raco set out to solve the mystery. Long buried secrets, less hidden animosities and suspicions hinder the investigation at every turn . The answers to both crimes are surprising and, at least in one case,totally unexpected. A sad story of mob mentality and emotional thinking.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Paris in the Dark--Anarchy and World War ! Before the US Entered the Fray

Paris in the Dark (Christopher Marlowe Cobb Thriller, #4)Paris in the Dark by Robert Olen Butler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

By page 14 when the hero decides he likes Head Nurse Pickering, I decided that I liked her, too. But, perhaps more importantly, I liked Kit Carson, reporter. As the story unfolded and other characters emerged, Kit's double identity--everyday reporter and American spy ---became fascinating. The streets of Paris and its clubs, the aura of war and the terrible toll it was taking on combatants as well as those who cared for them, were all interesting and written in a way to keep the reader involved. Until the revelation of the true villain, that is. Once that was evident, for some reason, I found the story less intriguing and began to become bored. There seemed to be too much political ideology and a preachy tone emerged and I almost gave up.

Still, I wanted to know how this was all going to end and so I continued on through this murky slow paced section and emerged into a methodical procedure for trapping the culprit before more damage could be done. This is not a James Bond heart pounding gadget wielding tale. It is pavement pounding rush to preserve the reputations of France and the US and an effort to solve an embarrassing crime so that the hope the US will join Europe in defeating Germany in the Great War will come to fruition. It is not until the very end, when our hero finds himself in the Catacombs, claustrophobic and racing against the clock, that there is a bit of heart racing and fingers crossed tension until the almost last page. That one is reserved for a bit of personal tension relief for our hero and that nurse that he found he liked at the very beginning. I'm glad I persevered along with Kit and his bosses and allies. This review is of an uncorrected proof provided by Goodreads for that purpose.

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Monday, June 4, 2018

Midnight Blue--Even the Book Cover Itself is Lovely

Midnight BlueMidnight Blue by Simone van der Vlught
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a lovely story about a young farm girl in Holland who dreams of life in the big city and who has artistic talent and a desire to use it. Despite several pitfalls she manages to fulfill her dreams. Not only is the story of Catrin's successes captivating but the story of the development and production of the beautiful blue and white Delft porcelain is fascinating. In addition, the description of the countryside and the means of getting from place to place is enchanting. All in all, a multifaceted, easy to read, engrossing tale.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Dallas et al Nab an International Serial Killer

Betrayal in Death (In Death, #12)Betrayal in Death by J.D. Robb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The In Death series never fails me-it is like a new episode in a favorite procedural TV program. There is the hard-nosed female detective, Dallas, her handsome IRISH billionaire husband, Rourke, Feeney, the old timer and mentor to Dallas, McNab the young, free-spirited internet expert, Peabody, Dallas' young uniformed cop. The romance between Dallas and Rourke is hot and the budding one between McNab and Peabody fraught with resistance to commitment. Happily, unlike most of the TV shows there is no really far out comic character, a la Abby or those two dimwits in NCIS:LA. There is, however, the dour butler, whom Rourke loves and cherishes and whom Dallas would love to see fired. The conflict between him and Dallas over Rourke is really funny to me, if not to them. Dallas always gets the bad guy but there is always a dangerous situation in which she or Rourke are threatened.
Looking forward to the next episode.

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Malloy, Sarah, Gino and Maeve Solve Two Murders in the Bowery

Murder in the Bowery (Gaslight Mystery, #20)Murder in the Bowery by Victoria Thompson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Have loved this series and read them all except the new one on Union Square. Usually I give a four or five star review but this one was a bit disappointing. At the halfway mark I already knew who was the source of Estelle's problems and the relationship with her Aunt. From then on it was just too long before Malloy etal caught on and started to figure out who may have killed both Estelle and Freddie and why. Not a bad book, I enjoyed it and did finish it, because the murderer was a mystery almost to the end and I did want to know who did it--part of the solution was surprising so that was rewarding.

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Monday, May 14, 2018

Confederates in the Attic

Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil WarConfederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War by Tony Horwitz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The writing was good, though the blurbs on the cover refer to humor and hilarious and I really didn't see much of that. The events took place well over 20 years ago and in my travels and stays in the South I cannot say that the almost fanatical attachment to the Civil War has not been evident to me. Is there remembrance and pride in the Confederacy? Yes. Is there commemoration of the actions of ancestors and heroes? Yes. But the family roots and connections are very different in the South than in the North. It is only in recent years that genetic testing and subscriptions to place like Ancestry. com have proliferated in other regions of the country. In the South those connections for the most part are already known and need not be searched for. BTW, I, too, like Horowitz as a kid considered myself a Johnny Reb and got my hat when we visited Gettysburg as a family when I was about 9. Even at that young age, looking down and across the field from Cemetery Ridge wondered what the Rebs had for brains when they tried Pickett's March. I also looking across the fields to see if the flag was flying at Dwight Eisenhower's place--if it was it meant Ike was there.
An interesting but very repetitive book and it took ages to get through it. I almost gave up several times but having visited so many of the battle sites and studied the War fairly often, I forced myself on the Wargasm, but there are other books I've read on the subject that were livelier.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Guernsey Under German Occupation But OH, So Much More!

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie SocietyThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How did I miss this book when it first came out? So much info and humor and wonderful characters and history and books and authors in one 275 page book. Not only was the content engrossing but the format was so easy to read--letters between friends. So intimate that by the end of the book their authors seemed like my friends, too and I so desperately wanted to join their circle and become a pen pal to all of them. I truly miss the days of hand-written letters and the wait between missives that sometimes became unbearable. Think the friendships were deeper and more lasting because a real effort had to be made to maintain them. Just a wonderful book, if you haven't read it, put it on your TBR list.

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