Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Land of Nod by Robert Hunter

Mr. Hunter's illustrations of this classic tale by Robert Louis Stevenson is lovely.  As the poem moves along, the graphics take you on the journey this young one takes in his mind...

Flying Eye Books sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can grab a copy now.

The boy in the story has broken his leg and uses crutches to get around.  When he goes to bed at night, he's well in his dream and travels about the land.  Children's dreams can be great fantasy and this boy is really good at it.  Mr. Hunter's illustrations help you visualize the journey the text takes you on.

This would be a good bedtime story or a good gift for those who are sick and bored with staying still.  It might inspire them to travel in their dreams also.  Robert Lewis Stevenson always writes good poems, so you can't go wrong there.  The artwork might inspire some drawing, too.  I was impressed with this edition of this work.

Mrs Pargeter's Public Relations by Simon Brett

Mrs. Pargeter's husband has been dead for a number of years now but she will let no one say anything bad about him.  He was a wonderful provider, left her plenty of money and a little black book that has all his old contacts on it.  She uses them to help her through life now.  One drives her, one is detective and there are all kinds of other skills within the black book.  She even got one to make her safe secure.  But evil doesn't go away just because you're prepared...

Severn House and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 1st.

It's when Mrs. Pargeter goes to a charity event for cats that she meets a woman who says she's her dead husband's sister.  She'd never heard of her before, doesn't like her much, and avoids her at the event.  However, she calls again.  She thinks she's owed something from the estate.  Mrs. Pargeter tells her to put it in writing and she'll discuss it with her attorney.  She thinks she's taken care of that but then she finds her failsafe safe that only opens with her fingerprint ID has been opened and her black book is missing.  She calls the detective and they go off on the hunt.

The trail goes to Greece and so do they.  But it's a dangerous place to be.  Everyone is related and they're all part of a conspiracy.  The facts get muddled the further they go.  And Mrs. Pargeter's husband was not the most honest and perfect gentleman in the world but she won't hear of it.  She's going to protect his reputation and work with his friends to do so.

This story is a bit tongue-in-cheek but I really enjoyed it.  Mrs. Pargeter is not as dense as she appears because she comes up with a way to nip the trouble in the bud.  You need to be careful around old ladies.  They may not be what they seem to be...

Monday, March 27, 2017

Tightening the Threads by Lea Wait

Sarah is an antique dealer here in town and Angie is friends with her.  When Sarah admits she's found relatives in town and is to meet the rest of her cousins, she asks Angie to come to the event with her and help.  She wants her mostly for moral support.  She's going to need it...

Kensington Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 28th.

Ted runs an art gallery and has some very expensive paintings from his father's work.  What he didn't know was that he had an Aussie relative from war days.  He embraces Sarah, though, and is changing his will.  That's why he invited his family home his for 75th birthday.  However, things don't work out as planned.  Ted dies at the lobster bake.  Then his son-in-law dies during a swim the next day.  Who's the murderer?

Angie works on trying to find the truth.  It's hard for her and Sarah to believe a family member killed them but that's all they had with them that day except for Angie and Patrick.  They weren't killers.

The further they dig, the worse it gets.  No one in this family is a sparkling rose; there are too many thorns.

I was surprised by the ending because there were two different motives.  This is the second book in this series and I'm enjoying it. 

Dream Eater by K. Bird Lincoln

This is fantasy filled with mythological creatures, gods, and a war between good and evil.  Koi has always known if she touches someone and makes contact with them, she sees more than she wants to.  She picks up fragments that make her dream about their wishes and hopes.  Some of the things she sees are real, real bad.  So she stays away from people.  But not everyone wants her to kept her skills hidden; they want her to use them.

World Weaver Press and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 4th.

Her father was Japanese but her mother wasn't.  What she doesn't know is that she has inherited an ability from her father that's been hidden from her.  What's worse is that the enemy knows she has this skill and he wants to use it.  All she knows is that this professor is a bad man and has killed two people she can see in her dreams.  She doesn't want more dreams like that.  But he's on her trail.

Then she meets a Japanese man who is very nice and willing to help her with her father but she's not sure why she trusts him.  Should she?

She meets more than one monster in this story.  She also finds that the gods have a funny sense of humor and certain rules to follow if you want to not lose something important to you, like her father.

By the end of the story, she's no longer innocent about her power.  She's also concerned about it makes her feel when she uses it.  It will be interesting to see where Koi's story goes next.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Man From Tucson by Mason Macrae

Sam didn't get the letter until almost a year had passed.  He packed up and headed out to help Tom but he was too late.  He'd been shot and was bed bound and didn't speak much.  But Sam could tell something wasn't quite right.  Especially since he caught some Indians picking on a young woman.  They were going to scalp her.  He stopped them, then he found out they weren't Indian, they were white.

Pioneering Press allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published, so you can grab a copy now.

When the woman Sam was in love with years ago (who's Tom's wife now) expresses an interest in him, it makes his ego proud.  She's still a beautiful woman.  And she's also still Tom's wife.

What he discovers is that someone is making a land grab and Tom is in the way.  He knows he's dying so he does a new will and leaves the ranch to original owner's granddaughter.  The judge took the will home with him.  The judge ends up being stabbed, Sam finds the will and hides it, and then he tries to stay away from those who are trying to kill him.  It's hard when most everyone is against you.

Despite the odds, he fights well and comes out ahead.  He's a bit disillusioned about some of the people he thought well of but he has someone else to comfort him.

This is another rip-snorting western with lots of action and a true taste of the old west.

Plain Missing by Emma Miller

Rachel owns the local bed and breakfast but when her mother has breast cancer and must use chemotherapy, she moves home to fill in and help.  Her mother still won't speak to her because she didn't get baptized but Rachel still loves her home and the community.  It hurts but she accepts it because she knows the reason she does it.

Kensington Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 28th.

Amish parents host singing nights with the young ones.  They provide food and drink and chaperone them until bedtime.  They allow them to sit out by the fire and chat.  Once in a while they have a few beers but nothing bad happens.  At least nothing did until Elsie and Dathan didn't come home after the event.  No one could find them or the carriage they'd been in.  Most everyone thought they'd run off to get married but her family didn't.  Rachel get caught up in it since she was her cousin.  When a senior trooper decides they must have done that, he stops investigating and tells the local trooper is to cease and desist on the case. Rachel's mother, still not speaking to her, lets her know she wants her to pursue the truth, whatever it might be.

First they find Elsie's body, buried in the Amish cemetery in an unmarked grave.  Then they find Dathan's.  He's been hit by a car or a truck.  Who would have done that?  And why kill Elsie?

This is a sad story because the killers committed their crimes more by being stupid and messing around drinking than from actual intent.  Elsie's older sister and Rachel almost die in the story, too.  Bad people are bad people.  

I enjoy Amish stories.  I had cottoned onto the killers a bit early in the story but I enjoyed how the author dealt with the ending.  Not everybody is happy ever after but most of them are.  If you like Amish stories, you'll enjoy this one, too.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts by Avi

Oliver is awakened by a big storm on the coast.  When he goes downstairs to see how his father is doing, he finds him gone.  It seems he took off to London, perhaps to see his sister who went there earlier.  But why now?

Algonquin Young Readers and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published May 16th.

It's unfortunate that his father has made so many enemies in town.  When they realize his father is gone and he's all alone, they accuse him of being younger than he is and stick him in the poorhouse.  It's not just poor, it's awful!  No food to speak of, work all day, and radical punishments.  As soon as he can, he runs.

He doesn't have very good luck with that either.  He can't use the stage so he's going to have to walk.  The first person he runs into is a highway man.  The second is another highway man who intends to use the boy as a way to get stages to stop.  He's made to do it against his will and he witnesses a strange collaboration between the highway man and one of the men from town.  He can be hung for his crime so now he has another problem to carry.  And he's still trying to get away.

They buy him a new coat, sew his handkerchief to his pocket so it can't be picked and then send him out onto the busy London streets.  They intend to capture the pickpockets and get paid for turning them in.  The first one to show up is his sister and they both run from the men.

Poor Oliver only has bad luck.  Even at the end when he and his sister find his father bad luck comes.  He has a new adventure ahead of him.  He's being sent away for several years to pay for his crimes.  I just hope his luck turns...