Thursday, January 24, 2019

A Unique Valentines Day Gift for a Mystery Reader

Valentines Day is just around the corner, bake those special Valentines treats in a horror-ific apron by That’s Terri-IFIC. Only $25.00, washable, adjustable and feature two pockets.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Guardian Spirits and Random Thoughts

Austin Kleon wrote about how he has chosen 'guardian spirits' for each of his notebooks. I decided to choose him for mine since my copy of Steal Like An Artist has been read and reread a number of times.

I'm currently reading Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams, which has been sitting on my shelf for over five years. In fifth grade I was the Inca specialist inspired by the 1954 movie Secret of the Incas. I rewatched it the other night on You Tube and was not particularly impressed although it is obvious that Harrison Ford got the basis for Indian Jones from Charleton Heston's character. (Thomas Mitchell, Robert Young, and Yma Sumac were also involved.)

Sunday, January 6, 2019


 A wide variety of subjects are covered including this middle school book about joining the band and spending a summer at band camp. Something many Michigan students will enjoy reading.

Read about the twenty notable books either about the Great Lakes area or written by Michigan authors. Here's an article from the Detroit Free Press.


WarlightWarlight by Michael Ondaatje

Warlight refers to the dimmed lights that guided emergency traffic during wartime blackouts and we see the story in the same way. What remains of a mysterious childhood?

In 1945 Nathaniel (14) and his older sister Rachel are left in London by their parents with an odd and mysterious man they call The Moth. The first part of the book are his memories of people and places. The second part becomes his quest to learn about his mother's past as an important part of the intelligence work during and after the war.

Beautifully written and haunting, a reminder that the effects of war are far reaching.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Two Cozy Mysteries by Donna Andrews

Reviewer: Joy Rosynek

 Toucan Keep a Secret by Donna Andrews

This is the 23rd and latest publication in the series by the author featuring Meg Langslow and her various engaging family members. The series, which began with Murder with Peacocks, always features a bird which is often integral to the plot. Andrews features different locales in the fictional town of Caerphilly and frequently revisits them, she has done so again as Meg finds the body of a very contentious vestry member in the crypt at Trinity Episcopal Church. As her husband, Michael, comments, “ Why do our local murderers always manage to commit their crimes when you’re around.”

Of course, for Andrews’ many readers, this is exactly why we look forward to each new book. I always know that there will be a plot twist or two, her family members will pop up to either help or hinder her investigations and foil the murderer. This book lives up to the previous novels in providing the reader with amusing dialogue, a visit to a mansion from another book and a reenactment of an unsolved burglary that helps to tie up many crimes from the past and present.

Hardcover:  294 pages
 St. Martin's Press (August 7, 2018)
ISBN: 9781250115478

Lark! The Herald Angels Sing by Donna Andrews

This is the fifth entry into a Christmas novel that features murder and mayhem in Caerphilly by Andrews. This time the bird in the title is not a bird, but a child left in the manger of the Christmas pageant that Meg Langslow is directing at Trinity Episcopal Church. A note left with the baby seems to indicate that Meg’s brother, Rob, is the father. While Meg is trying to find out the truth about the paternity of the baby and help her brother, the events that are happening in Clay County spill over into Caerphilly.

The Christmas novels always bring the spirit of Christmas to the reader, even if some of it is idealized. As a reader, we would want to visit the town of Caerphilly with singers on the sidewalk serenading the shoppers. We would like to buy bake goods from the stalls set up in the square by the various churches and synagogue. We could attend Meg’s husband, Michael’s, one man show of “The Christmas Carol” and the Baptist choir concert led by the police chief’s wife. We can visit Meg’s grandfather’s zoo and watch as the holiday parade passed by followed by a community sing along. However, this year the reader gets to experience what happens when the good ladies of the Caerphilly peacefully invade the infamous Clay County, the site of many misdeeds and save the day and some lives, including several of Meg’s closest relatives. Andrews’ Christmas novels always put one in a festive mood as Meg and the good citizens’ triumph in bringing the holiday spirit to their corner of the world.

Hardcover:  279 pages
 St. Martin's Press (October 16, 2018)    ISBN: 978125019294-3

Donna Andrews has won the Agatha, Anthony, and Barry awards, an RT Book Review for her first novel, and four Lefty and two Toby Bromberg Awards for funniest mysteries. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Private Investigators and Security Association. Andrews lives in Reston, Virginia.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

LIES by T.M. Logan (2018)

A roller coaster of a ride riddled with lies. Once you start reading you are hooked. Twists and turns and surprises are around every corner. Guaranteed to keep you up late at night.

FIRST SENTENCE: "My son's first word wasn't Daddy or Mummy. His first word was Audi."

THE STORY: Joe Lynch is happy with his life. He has a beautiful, loving wife and an adorable four year old son. As a teacher he can spend quality time with his child. It only takes one impulsive seemingly innocent decision to bring down his whole life.

WHAT I THOUGHT:Good writing, careful plotting, full of unexpected twists makes this a fun read.

BOTTOM LINE: If you like psychological thrillers, you will totally enjoy LIES. Just be sure to suspend disbelief since some details may seem a bit unrealistic.

Hardcover:  432 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (September 11, 2018)
ISBN-10: 9781250182265
ISBN-13: 978-1250182265

DISCLAIMER: I received a free e-copy of  LIES by T.M. Logan from NetGalley/St. Martin's Press  for my honest review.

Bestselling author T.M. Logan was a national newspaper journalist before turning to novel-writing full time. His debut thriller LIES (2017) was one of Amazon UK's biggest ebooks of 2017, selling 330,000 copies and gathering more than 1,300 5-star reviews so far. It is now being published in ten other countries worldwide. His next thriller, 29 SECONDS, will be published in the USA in summer 2019. Tim lives in Nottinghamshire, UK, with his wife and two children.

Short Takes 10/09/2018

Have you been seeing references to the page 69 test? I decided to check it out and this is what I found.From Epic Reads:

"You know that moment when you’re in a book store, casually browsing, and you’re not sure if the book you’re thinking of buying will be any good? Well, this test will help solve that problem!
In his 2006 novel, How to Read a Novel: A User’s Guide, John Sutherland surmised that in order to determine whether or not you’ll enjoy a book, you should flip to page sixty-nine and read that page only. If you like that page , there’s a pretty good chance you’ll like the rest of the novel too. Why? According to him, a lot of action seems to happen right around then for novels."