Book Reviews

Review: B is for Burglar

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B is for BurglarReview
3.5 of 5 stars but I’m going to round down (since I sometimes round up for this author, and I suppose this makes it balance out a bit!) for the second book in the “Kinsey Millhone” [cozy] mystery series by Sue Grafton. In B is for Burglar, we get to know Kinsey more, figuring out what she likes and doesn’t like. And apparently she is a bit picky when it comes to client. First, she doesn’t want to take the case as it is too simple and sounds like a waste of her time. But when she digs a bit deeper, something strange is going on with a missing woman. Nothing adds up.

It’ s a good mystery in your head, and I think it might be better than the first book in some ways… but not enough to rate it higher. I liked the investigate and research style in this one. It’s a missing person’s case, so you really know as little as she does. You feel like you’re playing along more on this one. But at the same time, I didn’t have a strong connection until the middle of the book with the “victim.”

I found myself getting a little caught up in it being 1982 in the books, but it was published several years later, and I was reading it in 2000. I kept forgetting the time period, which is important in cases like these, given the available tools.

If you’re going to read the whole series take the time in these first few books to really synchronize with the time period, so you are not out of your element.

But Kinsey is a great main character. She’s got flaws. She’s got spirit. You root for her, get annoyed with her. All signs of good character development. But after 26… it might get a bit old!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Review: The Cat Who Saw Red

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The Cat Who Saw RedMy rating: 3 of 5 stars

Review
Qwill, KoKo and YumYum are at it again in The Cat Who Saw Red, the 4th book in Lilian Jackson Braun‘s “Cat Who” cozy mystery series. The interesting thing about this novel, besides my 3 star review (ha!), is that this is the first novel she published after taking a 20+ year hiatus from the series. The last ones were written in the 1960s and this was published in 1986. While she was busy writing it, I believe I was watching the NY Mets with the season championship. But I digress…

For a cozy, this one’s a little stronger than usual. A few dead bodies. Interesting ways to dispose of them. Qwill’s on a diet, but he is staying at MausHaus where his meals are included and cooked by a famous chef. The cats are becoming explorers. And Qwill’s hearing odd noises, or is it his lack of food intake? A fun edition in the story… nothing too different from the others, but it’s got the usual charm. The mystery is a little stronger than usual, which helps. Plus I like seeing Qwill try out different places to live. The cats seem to enjoy it, and after all, isn’t that what this one is all about?

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Review: Romeo and Juliet

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Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review
As I looked over my previously read books and searched for one that was missing a review, Romeo and Juliet stood out to me. But then I thought about it… who doesn’t know about this play? Who hasn’t read it in school sometime in the past? Who hasn’t watched a movie version or seen some sort of take on the classic tortured romance story? And why on earth would anyone care to read another review, let alone my review, on it? Exactly. So… don’t look for much here as I’m sure most everyone has read it already. And I’m not that funny to even make reading my opinions worth it. That said… a few shared thoughts about what I’ve learned from this play:

1. Parents exist to torture their children. It’s a simple fact. If your child wants X, it is your responsibility to keep X away from him/her.

2. Love will always end in disaster. Don’t attempt it without proper back-up.

3. Even though someone looks dead, they probably aren’t. Kill them again just to be sure.

4. Your bros or girls don’t always have your back.

5. Magic powders are the cure for everything. Always trust what you don’t understand. And just inhale it like the world is about to end.

In all sincerity, I do like the play a lot. I’ve enjoyed countless interpretations. I think parts of it are brilliant and parts of it are pure illogical nonsense. Every TV show and movie has their own re-appropriation to tell. Not everything can be perfect when it comes to love. But this play certainly teaches a lot of lessons and provides a lot of bumps. And this reader still goes along for the ride…

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Review: Two for the Dough

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Two for the DoughMy rating: 3 of 5 stars to book #2 in the Stephanie Plum mystery series, Two for the Dough, by Janet Evanovich. Since I’m going back to complete reviews on all the books I’ve read, and there are over 20 in this series, it would be too boring to do a normal review… so I’ll keep it short. A few fun things about this one:

1. We’re still getting to know how crazy Stephanie Plum is compared to everyone else. She’s neurotic in a fun way — sort of like I am.

2. This one is all about her libido with Joe Morelli. What’s more important… getting lucky or catching the criminal? She can’t decide but Evanovich presents many funny romantic situations in this edition.

3. Stephanie’s cousin is hilarious. He’s a creep. And I would not want to meet him in reality. But he provides necessary humor.

4. Not knowing how to properly catch a criminal can really get her in hot water. The situations she finds herself in are just laugh out loud. I don’t know how the writer keeps on coming up with them.

5. We’re learning a bit more about the dangers of Ranger. And I like it! He’s someone you just never know what to expect… it could be good or it could be the good kind of bad.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Review: A is for Alibi

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A is for AlibiMy rating: 4 of 5 stars to A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton, the first book in the Kinsey Millhone private investigator cozy mystery series. It’s the book that started it all for me…

The opening lines of the book grab you when the narrator tells you that she killed a man. You want to know more about this situation. Then you get to know a little bit about Kinsey. Twice-divorced. 32. New to PI work. You already start to root for her as much as you ask questions about her former life.

In this one, it’s all about divorce and a cheating ex-husband. Nikki, not very likable, is released from prison and goes straight to Kinsey for help. She served time for killing her husband, but she claims she didn’t do it. Years later, she wants answers so she can move on with her life. And she gets them. Kinsey finds a second body and actually has to protect herself. Right out of the gate, you know this series won’t be a traditional cozy. But at the same time, it’s a very formulaic story. And that’s OK… I like those, too.

Kinsey is mostly a good character. Her attitude is sometimes a little annoying. She is still learning her job to some degree… not quite as good as VI Warshawski, but not as silly as Stephanie Plum. Lots to like about her too… except no real family to speak of. She eventually has Henry, but not enough for me.

The setting is Santa Teresa, California… a beautiful place among the vineyards and not too far from the ocean. Makes a good backdrop and some pretty scenes.

For an intro book, it’s strong. It was started back in the 1980s… so if you’re looking for something more current, this series isn’t for you.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Review: Strega Nona

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Strega NonaMy rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review
Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola is the first book in a classic children’s literature series from the 1970s and 1980s. It was eventually made into a cartoon and several other children’s merchandise, all fun and educational toys as kids grew up. I enjoyed the premise of the books but only read the first one, and maybe the second or third (can’t remember). Caldecott award winner!

Strega Nona means “Grandma Witch,” and she helps the townspeople with all their problems through her magical pasta pot. One day, she has to go away and leaves Big Anthony in charge. And even though he was told not to use the pot, he doesn’t listen and causes all sorts of wacky situations.

These books were meant as little lessons for children. It all comes down to teaching the 4 to 8 range why it’s important to listen, what harm can happen if you don’t and how to always be honest and truthful. Valuable stuff… and when it’s in a picture book format, it’s quite strong.

Of all the picture books, these weren’t my super-high favorite ones, but they were still very good. I liked the idea of a witch teaching children, but at the same time… if you want this to be a listen, did she have to be a witch? Couldn’t she just have been a grandma with some magical powers? I suppose it’s a good way to show that not all “witches” can be bad. But I bet kids learned to eat a lot of pasta from them!!!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Review: The Last Suppers

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The Last SuppersReview
3 1/2 (rounded up to 4) out 5 stars for The Last Suppers, the fourth in the “Gold Bear Culinary Mystery” series, by Diane Mott Davidson. In this book, Goldy’s about to get married, but unfortunately the wedding might be delayed when Tom calls about a murder. And it’s a priest!

Goldy’s close with other parishioners and the clerical folks in her Colorado church, but she is shocked to discover what’s lurking beneath the surface when she digs a little deeper this time. For a bride-to-be, she’s certainly not having any fun. Drama everywhere, both in her personal life and with the murder. Tom warns her to stay out of it, but she can’t help herself.

The book follows the normal pattern and is another good edition in the series. I enjoy the characters and there is growth… unlike some cozies where the main character tosses back and forth between two suitors forever. In this one, there is actually forward motion and a marriage. I like when love wins out a bit. A nice surprise in the latter portion of the book makes things better.

Smooth sailing with the series at this point… I had no real concerns
at this point
.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews