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Lady Sam (100 Mile House / BC)

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Naked Heat
Naked Heat
by Richard Castle
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 24.99
84 used & new from CDN$ 0.02

4.0 out of 5 stars Castle's character is improving, May 16 2015
This review is from: Naked Heat (Hardcover)
At least in the beginning and throughout the middle, this second installment in the Richard Castle series was again very annoyingly written, especially where the writer is concerned. However, while I had already pretty much decided at not reading any of the other books, suddenly, the writing changed and the male character also seemed to grow and becoming more acceptable and easier to read – meaning, he appeared to lose some of his ‘obnoxiousness’ which was more than welcome. In fact, just like his tv counterpart, he started acting more like an investigator, using his brain rather than depending on his ‘charm’. Of course, that got him into trouble – but ‘conflict’ is what writing, films and tv shows is all about. I’m just glad, it now appears to be redirected at the cases they investigate, rather than ‘an annoying little boy vying for attention’.
As for the investigation itself – there are various murders happening in the same night, however, the celebrity one stands out … naturally, particularly for the politicians. However, a gossip columnist is likely to have accumulated her fair share of enemies, making this case a lot more difficult to solve, while bodies keep on piling up.
Interestingly enough, in both ‘Heat Wave’ and ‘Naked Heat’, the ‘main’ casualties are rich people – or at least those in the public eye – and thus very ‘interesting’ to the media. That, of course, translates into politics and thus reflects, and in a way augments, the sad state of the world in real life. This makes me wonder whether ‘Richard Castle’ intended to focus on this situation or whether it was, yet again, a way of catching the eye of the public onto himself. And that, in itself, might just intrigue me enough to read yet another adventure at some point – after all, his counterpart and her friends and helpers definitely come across as seasoned detectives in search of the truth. Hmmm …

Heat Wave
Heat Wave
by Richard Castle
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 15.87
40 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars This is how it all begun ..., May 8 2015
This review is from: Heat Wave (Hardcover)
Yes, Richard Castle can most definitely be annoying as this first book in the Nikki Heat series proves. And somehow, on the page, he seems even more tiresome than on the screen - particularly when he does not only endanger himself and the case but also everybody else.
Nikki Heat also comes across different than Kate Beckett of the Castle tv series - probably because she has been written by Richard Castle and thus appears to fall into his arms quickly ... which is exactly what the writer wanted to happen in the first place. And being this overbearing millionaire, so full of himself, he thinks that everybody else should give him what he wants and do exactly as he says, this does not exactly come very much as a surprise. Needless to say, he thinks the world of himself and has absolutely no clue about cop work or real women, and exactly that does come across in the book.
As for the case itself - that is actually surprisingly good and full of red herrings - there are various leads available and Nikki Heat does pursue them all, while trying to keep the reporter on the sidelines and essentially keep him safe and herself sane. In that sense, the storyline does follow the tv series - where the writer is following a proper and very competent police detective about, solving crime by using her skills and brains which he essentially admires.
The title 'Heat Wave' exactly means what it states - New York in a heat wave where crime does not stop, although it appears to escalate when a blackout occurs due to too many air conditioners running non-stop. The red herrings also assure, that the reader is kept guessing just exactly what is going on right to the end - and there is every a twist that nobody saw coming. Well, at least, I didn't. Happy Reading!

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust
As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust
by Alan Bradley
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 18.77
9 used & new from CDN$ 14.89

4.0 out of 5 stars Flavia in Canada, May 5 2015
Another intriguing Flavia de Luce adventure, but this time, she is very much alone and living on a different continent. Up until now, our heroine was securely based in her ancestral home of Buckshaw in England, at the beginning of this story she is ‘shipped off’ to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy in Canada, where her late mother studied before her. However, Flavia still appears to ‘attract’ dead bodies, no matter where she is …
Alan Bradley, once again, delivers a wonderful suspense mystery around his now twelve year old heroine, set back in 1951, where the war years still loom very closely. In those days, ladies and ladies-to-be were still required to live up to certain standards, including obedience, something that young Flavia de Luce does not even appear to consider worthwhile. She does her own thing, is an expert – even at her tender age! – where chemistry is concerned and, having solved various murder mysteries in the past already, calmly accepts the challenge of doing so halfway across the world and completely on her own. In fact, said Academy does not encourage much interaction, never mind trust, between the girls and/or staff, in fact, there is an important reason for that – the reason, Flavia had been sent there in the first place.
Having read all of the books in the ‘Flavia de Luce Mysteries’ series, I have to admit that her adventures and the authors penmanship have grown on me and I would not want to miss one of the tales put to paper. They are all interesting and intriguing reads, even if some events sound strange at times. Flavia de Luce is definitely a ‘modern woman well before her time’ and that is exactly how the stories read. It is a ‘turn the page’ book you will not want to put down until you’re done.

The Mighty Quinns:  Ryan
The Mighty Quinns: Ryan
by Kate Hoffmann
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 6.25
22 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Another Kate Hoffmann Winner, April 24 2015
And another Quinn Trilogy comes to an end. This time the stories are based on three brothers in New Zealand - who also have a sister but she does not appear worthy of a story of her own which I find rather sad, even a little sexist. Since Harlequin Blaze tales are always based on a couple finding one another, why exactly could Dana not have found her man instead of one of her brothers?
Ryan Quinn, like his brothers, is a very outdoorsy kind of guy, but, wanting to spread his wings, he accepts a job entertaining a hen party from Hollywood. Talk about worlds colliding! However, what makes better reading - and writing - than having to overcome such a cataclysmic case of opposites attract? And, as we surely have found in real life, that can actually work.
Another issue - well, two, actually - covered in this book are stardom versus privacy and the woman earns a lot more than the man, which, again, can be a horrendous issue for the male ego. And, yes, it's all there, making this story entertaining and intriguing alike, and make the reader wonder just how exactly this is all going to be resolved.

In the Line of Fire
In the Line of Fire
by Jennifer LaBrecque
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 5.99
23 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Easy Read, April 23 2015
My favourite Harlequin series is Blaze and I absolutely love reading them in between the ‘heavier stuff’. They make me feel good, are a quick and easy read, and there is also a life lesson to be learnt along the way that may well influence the reader positively. Yup, I do believe that everybody should read one every now and then for one or all of the above reasons.
In the Line of Fire covers – as author Jennifer LaBrecque herself mentions in the introduction of her tale – a man in uniform (that so many people respect, are often attracted to and even find sexy – and that goes for both genders!), a runaway bride and the fact that those two grew up next door to one another and yet don’t even know what the other thinks or feels. How many times have we – the population at large – thought we knew everything about a person only to find out that we didn’t?
Jennifer has an easy to read writing style and crafts an interesting story out of the compounds she set.

Crimson Twilight: A Krewe of Hunters Novella
Crimson Twilight: A Krewe of Hunters Novella
by Heather Graham
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.95
13 used & new from CDN$ 6.06

4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing Short Story, April 20 2015
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This Krewe of Hunters novella by Heather Graham only consists of just over 100 pages, nonetheless, it is action packed and will not leave its readers wanting.
For the ‘seasoned’ followers of the series, the main characters will, of course, be very familiar, however, even newcomers will find enough details to familiarise them with members of the Krewe. Naturally, this being a new location to be explored, new faces are also firmly introduced and literally come alive on the page.
Also, as always, the mystery unravelling includes chronicle of the site – this time involving a striking ‘Romeo and Juliet’ story with an unforeseen twist. It’s these historical events that continually enhance the suspense of Heather Graham’s tales – the learning of what happened in the past, which may well have been interpreted incorrectly and thus needing to be rectified for the records.
This short story takes place in a scenic setting of New England – a medieval castle which was transported to the States literally brick by brick. It is amazing, how Heather Graham keeps on coming up with new places and events that are interesting, even intriguing and keep the reader turning page after page.

Fayed
Fayed
by Tom Bower
Edition: Paperback
27 used & new from CDN$ 0.19

5.0 out of 5 stars The Egyptian's Actual Life Story, April 15 2015
This review is from: Fayed (Paperback)
After reading ‘the bodyguard’s story’ of the only survivor of the horrendous crash in Paris that killed three (including Princess Diana) and seriously injured a fourth, I was very curious about the man that seemed to have instigated a certain romance and lost his oldest son in the process. After reading this book, I wondered how different an actually authorised version of this biography would have read – I doubt very much that it would have contained as much information as this one does or at least would have sounded a lot different. Personally, I much prefer the version as is.
Fayed is basically a man who has risen from virtual poverty to owning Harrods – for those who have never heard of this store or even visited London, England, it is THE place to be seen in and to visit! Essentially, this man has built himself an empire, made millions of money … but, somehow, he still feels insecure when everybody else would have been mighty proud of what they had achieved. This is the story told with an array of research having been done by author Tom Bower, who has written a number of similar stories – about specific people, even including revelations of the Nazis – and his experience shows.
Naturally, the accident had to be included – this may also have been the ‘trigger’ to publish this life story which was printed the year after the event – showing an openly grieving father mourning his son. However, there is a lot more to this tale than meets the eye and to that I can add my voice as I lived in London myself at the time. Murder, mayhem and conspiracy theories galore, which, it now appears, may well have been founded on previous experiences and traumas Mohamed (Al) Fayed went through in his life.
A fascinating biography of an interesting man on so many levels, from his birth in Egypt to becoming the owner of worldly Harrods in London and, as is often the case in matters such as these, it was not always a pleasant journey for the man himself or the people around him.

Raging Heat
Raging Heat
by Richard Castle
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 16.92
30 used & new from CDN$ 4.25

4.0 out of 5 stars Book vs TV Series, April 15 2015
This review is from: Raging Heat (Hardcover)
Having been an avid follower of the tv series, I simply could not resist reading a book supposedly written by Richard Castle, one of the characters in the tv series. Unfortunately, as with 'Murder She Wrote', the name of the actual author is not revealed, which I find rather sad.
In any event, whoever wrote the novel definitely captured the essence of Richard Castle’s tv personality, as it does read as if he had actually penned it and then some. The character in the book is even more obnoxious than on tv and it definitely sounds as if he (an almost child-like and, at times, very full of himself) male had written the story. And then there are passages when he actually sounds like a grown-up and appears supportive, even in charge of all his faculties … essentially having re-entered the real world.
If you can get past those early, very annoying passages, it is actually a very interesting and intriguing read – again, very comparable to the tv series. I dare state that if you like the tv show, you will probably like the book, too, and may, as I intend, read the remainder of the book series as well.

The Immortal Who Loved Me: An Argeneau Novel
The Immortal Who Loved Me: An Argeneau Novel
by Lynsay Sands
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.99
40 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting new twist ..., March 26 2015
When I first started reading the book, I quickly thought - oh no, not another Leo novel! This 'badie' has been cropping up in several adventures now and I have been hoping for him to be dealt with for quite some time. And yet, like a bad penny ...
However, as the story progressed, another plot - that turned out to be the main tale - emerged and started to intrigue me. A mortal who had been exposed to an immortal for at least two decades without anyone's knowledge. Huh. Now there was something author Lynsay Sands had not as yet explored in this continuing series - somehow she always seems to come up with an idea and/or mystery that catches the reader's attention and doesn't let go until it is finally resolved.
Granted, some stories are better than others - more fascinating and/or captivating - but there has ever only been one particular book that I did not finish reading because I simply could not get into it and the plot literally sucked in 23 stories. Not a bad track record! And the series still continues, with the next adventure out later this year.
Lynsay Sands is another one of those authors capable of introducing new readers to recurring characters, without sounding repetitive for those who have followed the Argeneau's for some time now. What I do miss, though is the family tree that was available in earlier editions, however, as family and friends 'expand', I guess, it is a matter of the simply not being enough space for it anymore. That, however, does make it somewhat difficult at times to keep up with who is who and how exactly they are related to each other.
Nonetheless, this is another interesting tale spun by a most talented writer, set right here in Canada which is another plus, with storylines, plots and subplots intricately set out and easy to read.

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

5.0 out of 5 stars Another Intriguing Adventure, March 23 2015
This tale takes is into the world of theatre and starts with one of those rare moments when Dallas, Lieutenant Eve, takes a bit of time off to enjoy an evening out with hubby Roarke. Naturally, where she goes, death is not far behind and this time she even witnesses the murder happening rigt in front of her eyes ... and still does not make it any easier for her to solve. In fact, have you ever considered the time and manpower necessary for the police to interview each and every attendee at an opening night at the theatre? And that, of course, includes the boss of the homicide department as well as the 'head shrink'.
All in all, J D Robb delves into the world of performing artists as well as supporting cast and crew as well as stand ins with vigour and appears to know exactly what is going on on stage as well as behind the curtains. Even the reaction of the audience is captured with the knowledge of someone who knows exactly what is happening. Once again, there are plenty of red herrings and secret lives to be discovered as well as insubordination among police which ups the antis some more as the story unfolds. And that is only the official and professional plotline!
As always in this series, Eve's somewhat underdeveloped social life as well as her early life are rearing their heads and introduce an amusing factor as well as one that almost tears your heart out. All the different plots, characters and overall descriptions come together beautifully, taking readers - whether new to the series or 'experienced' in what is going on - on a ride they will not quickly forget. There are lessons to be learnt, insights to be discovered as well as sheer, interesting and intriguing suspense and mysteries to be had - essentially, once you pick up one of this authors books in this series, you will no doubt be hooked from beginning to end.

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