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Lady Sam (100 Mile House / BC)

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Festive in Death (In Death, Book 39)
Festive in Death (In Death, Book 39)
Offered by Penguin Group USA
Price: CDN$ 15.99

5.0 out of 5 stars More Murder and Mayhem, Feb. 24 2015
The latest ‘outing’ if Dallas, Lieutenant Eve, ‘only’ covers one murder – and a very convoluted one at that. At first, it all appears very straight forward but we soon delve into money, privilege and chauvinism. And this is the main subject of this particular case.
Naturally, there are a lot of females involved – starting with our Lieutenant and her sidekick – making this another intricate and intriguing storyline covered by J D Robb. She does know how to pick them, take them apart and putting them right back again – and inspiring the reader to join her on yet another thought-provoking rollercoaster ride through murder and mayhem.
The other aspect of the life of our heroine is, of course, included again as well. While Eve has come a long way already where social etiquette and socialising in general is concerned, her feathers are once again ruffled when she, essentially, has to choose between resolving a case and ‘dealing with the devil’. She ends up having to act as hostess even before the big Christmas Party – a agreement she made with none other than Roarke’s butler, her nemesis Summerset. And it’s always GREAT FUN to read those particular segments of the story.
Once again, we have plenty of recurring characters that ‘long-term readers’ – this is book 39 of the ‘In Death’ series – have come to know and love, however, as always, there is enough detail within the tale to explain who they are and what their connection is without being boring and/or repetitive for ‘newcomers’. As the story is set in big, bright and busy New York, there are always new people to be found and involved – be that as victims or culprits or both, and they, too, are introduced in detail and well-defined.
Overall, the suspense is captivating, the characters and locations thoroughly depicted, and the plots well laid out, allowing the reader to work on figuring out what exactly happened from beginning to end.

Loyalty in Death
Loyalty in Death
by J. D. Robb
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.54
129 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing subject matter and plotlines, Feb. 19 2015
Despite the mention of several murders right from the start – this story begins rather placidly. Dallas, Lieutenant Eve, is called to a particularly gruesome killing that appears down-played and surreal, with the DA offering the culprit Man 2 without so much as waiting to receive the relevant paperwork. Case closed and shut in a day. Nice! And I am sure, we have all heard of cases just like that – no wonder, J D Robb uses this in one of her Eve Dallas plots.
Something doesn’t sit well with the Lieutenant, though, especially once she and Rourke attend the reading of the dead man’s Will, which ‘showers’ the murderer with millions – and there is no law against that. Can you blame Eve for digging deeper? And then, literally, all hell breaks loose!
Nora Roberts – writing this series as J D Robb – tackles the subject of mass bombings. Those people, who kill indiscriminately because they feel short changed – be that literally in financial endeavours or more laterally because they want their 15 minutes of fame. Murder the innocent and blame whoever or whatever comes in handy.
Yet another pretty controversial subject stacked on top of the other covered in this storyline is that there is one law for the rich – who can ‘buy’ themselves the best and most unscrupulous lawyers they can possibly find – and one for the poor who have to accept whoever is assigned to their case to defend their rights, a very active and troublesome subject indeed.
J D Robb – in her usual, easy flowing writing style – once again captures the reader’s attention and interest with intrigue and plenty of ‘Red Herrings’. This is an absolutely fascinating series, not only for the subject matters and thrills where murder is concerned, but even more intricate watching a very anti social homicide Lieutenant ‘learning the ropes’, evolving into a woman who is well loved and learns to love right back. And this time round, the people she cares about are alive and not ‘resting’ in the city morgue …

I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition)
I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition)
by Malala Yousafzai
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 13.49
36 used & new from CDN$ 10.65

5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST-READ!, Feb. 19 2015
Most of us will have heard when this young woman was shot and why. For those who haven’t, Malala Yousafzai is from Pakistan and resisted the Taliban when they tried to enforce enslaving her country by putting unbelievable restrictions upon the people. And all she wanted was going to school and contribute her fair share. Now literally living in exile, she continues her work which is literally supported by the world – and she is still only seventeen years old. If we are looking for heroes of humankind, she is it! And I predict, she will go far – fighting not only for the right that everybody deserves a decent education but literally for peace on Earth.
With the help of Patricia McCormick, Malala has now written about the events in her life leading up to this day and it is more than impressive. She has won a number of awards at her very young age already that others can only dream of and, by the sound of things, she deserves each and every one of them! Here is a young woman who started fighting for her rights at the tender age of ten, got shot and very nearly killed at fifteen and told US President Barack Obama to invest less in war and weapons, and more in the education of all in this world! And that is only a fraction of what this book reveals – it is an absolute MUST READ for everyone!

Cariboo Christmas
Cariboo Christmas
Price: CDN$ 5.71

5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming Stories, Feb. 11 2015
This review is from: Cariboo Christmas (Kindle Edition)
There are thirteen short Cariboo Christmas stories included in this book and each and everyone is based on an actual occurrence. However, you do not need to be a local to enjoy those tales and they are heart-warming not only at Christmas but at any time of the year.
A wonderful mixture of little adventures of young and old suitable for reading by anyone of any age, with beautiful illustrations by local artist Tom Godin. Enjoy!

The Death Dealer
The Death Dealer
by Heather Graham
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 7.59
82 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Another Paranormal Hit, Feb. 6 2015
This Heather Graham novel is somewhat different to the others. It is actually introduced and completed by a ghost narrator - literally a ghost presents herself as well as the story and then appears again in the summing up of the tale, explaining what happened in the end. On top of that, she is also involved in the actual adventure herself, thus her 'knowledge' of what is going on in the first place. And no, it does neither sound nor come across as cheesy, in fact, the author weaves everything in perfectly.
It turns out that Leslie MacIntyre (our ghost writer) lost her life only a year ago and is still trying to 'assimilate' to being a ghost. What does it take? What can they do? Is it a lonely 'life'? Can it be called a life? Is this what awaits us once we leave this life behind? Or, more to the point, how does Heather know all this? Is it really just fantasy and imagination or is there at least a grain of something in there?
What is for certain – Heather Graham is not only an accomplished writer and author, but she is really good at what she does. Having now read a number of her books, many based in different parts of at least the States, she always manages to describe whatever location the story takes place in in great detail and to the effect that the reader really and truly gets the feel of the surroundings. And then, of course, there is always a historic background to every adventure, and not all are always based in the USA. Yes, you can be well travelled and have come across many magnificent areas of the world, but how do you remember all the details necessary in order not to be caught in a misrepresentation of any kind?
What really amazes me about this author is what appears to be her detailed research – and yet, she seems to be publishing book after book after book. In this Edgar Allan Poe storyline, there are a number of references to book publishings and the amount of research necessary to do so. Something of an insight, maybe, into how much work Heather herself has to accomplish.
There is also a ‘subtitle’ – Death Imitates Art. This in itself is quite sad, as art is supposed to be something beautiful and death, especially murder, most definitely is not – yet another aspect of mastery of this most talented of authors. Plot, subplots and characters are so well derived and laid out that it is hard not to read the book from cover to cover non stop. Heather’s easy and straight forward style of writing makes her novels a wonderful, entertaining and intriguing adventure for everybody – be that in an easy chair in front of a burning fire or at the beach, sunbathing.

Ms. Holmes of Baker Street: The Truth About Sherlock
Ms. Holmes of Baker Street: The Truth About Sherlock
by C. Alan Bradley
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 21.91
15 used & new from CDN$ 21.91

4.0 out of 5 stars Elementary, My Dear Sherlock, Jan. 31 2015
When I came across the title (through author Alan Bradley), I was very intrigued - even without reading so much as an outline on what the book was all about. Was Sherlock Holmes a woman in disguise? Now that was something I wanted to read about.
Once I started what I presumed would be some sort of essay or maybe even a story turned out to be something of a thesis - a discovery of references throughout the detective's adventures of what made the writers (C Alan Bradley and William A S Sarjeant) believe and prove that their analysis was the correct one. Are there more ways of interpreting what has been presented? Of course - even though only small sections of the various tales are used, recounted and analysed. It is an interesting and intriguing thought and has been well-presented throughout the book.
There is also a second part to this 'thesis' that has been incorporated. The first and major part is all about male versus female, and who has been privy to this information. In the second part - Appendix I - the discussion turns to dating the various cases which, apparently, is not obvious in every case. Again, not all cases are included - only the 'controversial' ones - and only parts of the story quoted, those relevant to making the point.
What made me wonder overall is that there are people out there willing to delve in-depth into trying to figure out what makes a fictional character tick - a fact that included in the analysis right from the start. I can understand, wanting to analyse and research facts about people who have actually lived ... although I will admit that it almost feels as if Sherlock Holmes has been an actual human being and having lived at 221B Baker Street in London.
In any event - I am glad I read the book and I did enjoy 'spending time with Ms Sherlock Holmes', finding the thesis and analysis appealing, even compelling as well as the references to life in the 19th century, particularly where women were concerned. A valiant effort indeed!

Haunted
Haunted
by Heather Graham
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
74 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Harrison Investigation - Number One, Jan. 24 2015
This review is from: Haunted (Mass Market Paperback)
Having read quite a number of the so-called 'Harrison Series', I am glad to finally having found the first one, the initial story on how things came about. Adam Harrison became a father late in life and had a very gifted son - in this novel, Josh' story is finally told.
Haunted, as the title itself suggests, is a paranormal adventure taking place in 'historic Virginia' - on one of those huge plantations with an old mansion and various other buildings on it. As is deemed only right with such a property, there is plenty of history connected to it and the very sceptical owner is none too happy about those ghost stories he keeps on hearing, nonetheless, something does appear to be going on and he just has not as yet found the reason for it. In the end, however, he relents and invites Adam Harrison to come and do some research, after all, he is the head of Harrison Investigations and had been good friends with the owner's grandfather. And thus, the story is set ...
True to Heather Graham's framework for this series, there is a 'present day plot' that is generally based on the past with a 'history' element that is usually researched by one or more of the characters involved. Her suspense mysteries involve lessons from the past or, in the least, an element involving ancestors or previous owners of land and/or buildings involved which is not only entertaining and intriguing but also educational. The perfect mix indeed!

Bones Never Lie
Bones Never Lie
by Kathy Reichs
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 20.06
3 used & new from CDN$ 20.06

5.0 out of 5 stars Tempe gets herself into trouble yet again ... beautifully, Jan. 13 2015
This review is from: Bones Never Lie (Hardcover)
The latest adventure of Dr Temperance Brennan takes place in South Carolina - with excursions to Costa Rica and Montreal. An old nemesis of Tempe and Detective Andrew Ryan resurfaces - with Ryan still AWOL. What to do?
In this story, Dr Brennan does not exclusively stick to working with bones which is rather unusual, but she also actually partakes in an autopsy. However, she is still playing detective and getting herself into trouble, this time round with the help of her mother. And while I thought the explanations at the end were somewhat excessive, what happened next took me completely by surprise. Normally, I hate being left in 'midair' and having to wait for the publication of the next book in the series to find out what is going on - this time round it's not such a hardship. Nonetheless, I cannot wait to read the next adventure.
As always, Kathy Reichs spins a wonderful tale from beginning to end. Also as always, it all starts rather innocently but soon takes on a turn of the unexpected, making it the perfect mystery the reader has come to expect from this author. And while the suspense side of the story is as captivating as ever, so are the personal aspect and relationship issues that are always neatly woven in, and make both plotlines and characters come to life.

Common Ground
Common Ground
by Justin Trudeau
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 20.38
7 used & new from CDN$ 6.61

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting ..., Jan. 13 2015
This review is from: Common Ground (Hardcover)
While I’m not and never have been interested in politics, Justin Trudeau’s story intrigued me nonetheless. Was it the fact that I had heard so much about his dad, the former Prime Minister of Canada or the fact that Justin is working on entering that office himself? Maybe I was simply curious about the man himself, having heard a great deal of good about him and his views. Whatever it was that enticed me to read the book, I’m glad I did.
Common Ground is essentially the life story (so far) of a very interesting man, the son of an older man married to a younger woman who ruled an entire country. Justin Trudeau also had two younger brothers until tragedy struck. He appears to recount his childhood and life in general in earnest, and describes in detail his journey into politics and his rise up the ‘power ladder’. And I will admit that I have learned a lot about how politics work here in Canada, and since I am now living in this country, that’s probably not a bad thing. However, I did draw the line at reading his speeches, some of which are included in the back of the book.
There is no doubt that Justin Trudeau is a very intelligent, even intriguing man and definitely a hard worker to match. He is also very articulate and has a flair for and with words which will, undoubtedly, work in his favour when entering the election ‘war’ later this year. Will he rule Canada and bring the necessary big changes he’s promising? Only time will tell.

Deadly Night
Deadly Night
by Heather Graham
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
96 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Whodunit, Jan. 6 2015
Another paranormal mystery penned by Heather Graham. The ‘deadly’ trilogy involves the three brothers Flynn – all formerly involved with law enforcement and now working together as private investigators in Florida. And then they receive a call from New Orleans. An aunt they never knew existed had died and they were the sole heirs of a plantation, complete with a haunted house and cemetery.
The family history started turning dark during the Civil War and the dark events happening then appear to be repeating themselves. A number of women disappeared then and appear to be again, now. Right up the boys’ alley – right? Well, while at least one girl seems to have vanished into thin air, no bodies can be found. That being the case, the local police, FBI, even the overworked coroner are not convinced that anything out of the ordinary is actually going on. And we have a problem.
This is one of those stories with a free history lesson that will be repeated in later, popular and very impressive series written by this author. However, here – as then – the crimes are very real and perpetrated by living, breathing beings – not by anything supernatural as ‘paranormal’ may suggest. And that makes this such an interesting suspense novel.
As always, Heather fleshes out all characters in great detail and the tension keeps on going from beginning to end. While there is only the story of the boys arriving and a girl caregiver to begin with – in the end the reader will most definitely be taken very much by surprise as to who turns out to be the perpetrator. And yet, the whole story as well as the reveal make perfect sense. Such is the power and gift of this magnificently talented writer. Happy Reading!

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