Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ghost At Work

Ghost at Work

Carolyn Hart

4 out of 5

First of all, teenaged girls in 2008 don’t use the word swell or even swellest, which isn’t even a word, even if they are a PK (Pastors Kid).

The dearly departed Bailey Ruth Raeburn has been asked to join the Department of Good Intentions, her role, to return to earth in spirit form, being called a ghost is against regulations, and help out those in need. Sounds easy, that is if there weren’t all those silly little precepts about when you can appear in human form and who you can scare the “be-gee-bee’s” out of.

Bailey pops in just in time to see the body of the town’s bad guy Daryl Murdock sprawled dead on the back porch of the rectory and the PW (Pastor’s Wife) trying to figure out what to do it.

What ensues is a very good who done it with a cast of characters that all look guilty from afar, that is until Baily goes around Wiggins’ (her heavenly supervisor) wishes and starts to investigate the facts.

Great start to a new series.

Amazon Review: http://www.amazon.com/review/R1SI14UZB0LX6U/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Deja Demon

Deja Demon: The Days and Nights of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom

Julie Kenner

5 out of 5

I love this series. Who knew that zombies could be so funny.

Book #4 in the Soccer Mom series. This book rehashes many of the previous storylines so you would be lost if you don’t start this series at the beginning.

Kate’s life is busy enough with a toddler, a teenage daughter and a husband running for political office – what she doesn’t need are two angry demons joining forces to take her off the planet. There is just no reasoning with Abaddon and Goramesh - you would think that demons would have a better sense of humor. But, no, it’s up to Kate, with a little help from her friends, to save San Diablo from the infestation of Demons and Zombies. But how do you do that while still trying to find a giant rabbit for the neighborhood Easter Party?

So while Kate is patrolling at night with David who isn’t only David, Kate must finally come to terms with her husband Stuart and put all of her hunting paraphernalia on the table and come clean about who she really is and if he wants to stay married to a level 5 demon hunter.

Amazon Review: http://www.amazon.com/review/R1MMZA2RH6HXND/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

It Ain't All About the Cookin'

It Ain’t All About the Cookin’

Paula Deen

5 out of 5

You’ve got to love a woman who refers to Eleanor Roosevelt as Ellie. The irrepressible Paula Deen comes through in this book like the funny approachable woman that you see on TV.

With what seemed to be insurmountable problems, she managed to pull herself up from her bootstraps and go on to create a safe loving home with the financial security that she had always dreamed of for her boys first and then herself.

After marrying the wrong man and battling years of agoraphobia, Paula decided that enough was enough and with the begrudging help of her boys started a small catering business that has turned into a multimillion dollar empire of restaurants and TV shows.

But she will be the first to admit that if it wasn’t for family, it just never would have happened. Family love is first and all else is just fried chicken. I highly recommend this book for its inspiration and humor. You will laugh your way through it.

Amazon Review: http://www.amazon.com/review/RKKN4QK8FWALB/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

French Pressed

French Pressed

Cleo Coyle

4 out of 5

In this the sixth installment of the Coffeehouse Mysteries, Coyle, the writing team of Alice Alfonsi (Rosemary Grace) and Marc Cerasini, who also write The Haunted Bookshop mysteries under the joint pseudonym Alice Kimberly, bring together an interesting assortment of characters.

As Clare Cosi is trying to do her job as the manager of the ever popular Village Blend, murder just always seems to pop up around her. But this time, it’s her daughter Joy that is in trouble and if mommy and daddy don’t run to her defense, it is quite possible that she will spend the rest of her life in jail for murder.

Restaurants are quite a cutthroat business, but when two employees of Solange are found dead, and Joy was the last to be seen with them what are the police to think? Even Clare’s new love interest, Mike, the NYC Detective, is having a hard time with this one. And a couple other things.

There are multiple sub-plots that keep this book humming along and it’s really a very good series that should be enjoyed with a great cup of coffee and maybe even try out a couple of the recipes in the back of the book.

Amazon Review: http://www.amazon.com/review/R12AL2AZ83NP9E/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

Friday, October 17, 2008

50 Harbor Street

50 Harbor Street

Debbie Macomber

4 out of 5

Though better than the previous one, this series is just getting too syrupy for me. And if Macomber is going to have a teenager as a character she should never have them putting on a housecoat – a robe, a cover-up, but nothing that sounds as old as something that their grandmother would wear.

This book covers the lives of Corrie and Roy, the local private investigator that have been receiving gift baskets and postcards with subtle messages. Seems that there is a little secret in their past that has now surfaced. Not too surprising, but most of the book is then tied up too neatly.

In the past I have enjoyed Macomber’s books as a nice break from harder edged things, but the last two just make the women sound too much like victims to the whims of the men in their lives.

But, if you live your books with whipped cream and a cherry on top, well then, this is for you.

Amazon Review: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3Q8J41B5J4RV1/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

Thursday, October 16, 2008

American Wife

American Wife

Curtis Sittenfeld
3 out of 5

Overly Long, Quite Redundant

Told in the voice of Alice Blackwell, you meet a young woman born in a simpler time to a simply family who one day finds herself dating and marrying a man with big dreams and little actual talent.

But don’t let the little talent surprise you, this man becomes president of the United States and Alice has to battle her inner demons and keep her secrets to stand by the man she loves. How much of herself will she sell out to keep his dream, to keep her family intact, to support the joke of his family?

Of course everyone has already mentioned the similarities of Alice Blackwell to our current first lady, but to be fair, she could have just as easily been talking about Roselyn Carter or Ladybird Johnson; or any presidential wife living in the shadow of her bumbling husband.

Alice is a likeable character enough, if you like your female characters to be followers; I just wish that Sittenfeld would have been less repetitively descriptive and moved the story along faster. Easily 150 pages of this book could have been removed and the story would have been better.

Amazon Review: http://www.amazon.com/review/RYKXL39KOJFPA/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Decaffeinated Corpse

Decaffeinated Corpse

Cleo Coyle

4 out of 5

What’s unique about this cozy mystery is that the mystery doesn’t actually happen until the end of the book. You are first taken through the history and science of Coffee and there is also an interesting drive through New York beforehand, then Coyle throws in a body or two to keep Claire’s life interesting and then of course she must help her husband and his best friend clear their names. No wonder Matteo refers to her as a nose-hound.

True coffee aficionados would never drink decaffeinated, but when Matteo’s best friend Ric cultivates a new variety of naturally decaffeinated beans the world, and quite a few questionable people, are interested. What are the secrets behind these beans and why are people dying for it. Once again it’s up to Claire to find out what is going on; that is, when she isn’t trying to keep her daughter from dating a chef that is older then her father and keeping Detective Mike Quinn close enough to keep her warm.

I love this series. I’m usually a tea drinker, but when she gets talking about the aromas and the different subtleties in a brew I just can’t help myself and have to head to our little coffee house and have a cup. I look forward to the next book in the series.

Amazon Review: http://www.amazon.com/review/R1B4Z76W4BQZGK/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

Monday, October 6, 2008

Die Decorator Die

Die Decorator Die

Franklin H. Levy

3 Out of 5

A Poor Attempt at Witty Repartee

I don’t know if Levy was trying to impress himself or the reader, but he failed miserably. Too many one-liners that fell flat and took the reader away from what was supposed to be a mystery with an over abundance of characters that really had very little to do with moving the story forward. Someone needed to rein in this author, just wish it would have been before I read this book.

The story is told from the perspective of Buzz Levine a paunchy middle aged attorney and his apparently hot, though not domesticated, interior designer wife. They run in higher society and seem to get by doing very little actual work.

When two bodies show up in the Annual Boston Designer Show House fingers are pointed and apparently it’s up to said paunchy attorney to save the day and bring down the murder and still pick up a pepperoni pizza for dinner.

Apparently, this is the first in a series, but one was enough for me.

Amazon Review: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3VY80I5QQZICL/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Lost Girls

The Lost Girls

George D. Shulman

4 out of 5

I love this author, I love his take on his subject matter and I love that he doesn’t bind up the reader in unnecessary background fluff, that being said, I just wish that it didn’t remind me so much of the movie Human Trafficking. There are too many similar plotlines.

What begins for Sherry Moore as an assist with the U.S. Navy Seals to rescue climbers on Mt. Whitney suddenly turns into bizarre images of a castle in the jungle and women being held in cages. Sherry is not quite sure what images she is picking up from Sergio Mendoza, but when she finds out who he is and who his father was, she knows that she has crossed into a twilight zone that has no happy endings, but possibly she can make a difference.

There are many gut wrenching moments in this book and it’s definitely not for the squeamish, but Shuman handles the subject matter well and takes the reader on a journey into a world where nightmares live.

Amazon Review: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3846RJUS4JV26/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm