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Reviews Written by
Bernie Koenig (London, Ontario Canada)
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Calling Mr. King
Calling Mr. King
by Ronald De Feo
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 12.24
38 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Mr King Rules, Jan. 5 2014
This review is from: Calling Mr. King (Paperback)
This is a very clever, very funny, very dark book about a hitman who wants to change his life.

We learn about his childhood in upper New York State and how he got into the business and we learn a bit about his most recent jobs. We see that he is losing his appetite for the work, but he really doesn't understand why.

As a result of a job he did the Derbyshire he develops an interest in Georgian architecture and realizes he lives near a whole bunch of Georgian buildings.

Because of a screw up he is given a holiday sent to New York, where he buys all kinds of books on Georgian architecture and even goes to the Frick Museum to see a show on the British painter Constable. he gets to visit his hometown and starts to reminisce about his early life and how he got where he is. He is then sent to Barcelona for a job. In Barcelona he has time so he learns about Spanish architecture and starts to seriously tour the city. On the day of the job he doesn't feel well, delays going, and then misses the job.

He decides to stay in Barcelona, the last place the Firm as he calls it, would think of looking for him.

I don't want to give anything away, but the book ends perfectly.

A really enjoyable book, very well written.

Burn Notice Season 7
Burn Notice Season 7
DVD ~ Jeffrey Donovan
Price: CDN$ 39.97
21 used & new from CDN$ 21.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Suspense, Dec 29 2013
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This review is from: Burn Notice Season 7 (DVD)
We here at home have watched the whole series. Season 1 was okay so we thought we would give season 2 a shot, and then season 3, etc. We found that each season got better: The scripts got tighter and there was great character development. The addition of Jesse was great.

But season 7 goes in a whole new direction where Michael is under cover trying to get into a terrorist organization.

As an aside, it is interesting who defines what terrorism is, and in this season we had fun with that question.

Michael gets involved, and strange things happen. I don't want to give anything away, but I will say that Michael really loses his sense of who he is, which creates some interesting problems. We watched the last 3 episodes on the edge of our seats. Phenomenal tension, great acting and excellent script writing and directing.

If you have enjoyed any of the earlier seasons, watch them all and get ready for the roller coaster of this season.

Mozart Album
Mozart Album
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 13.95
6 used & new from CDN$ 5.66

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Versions of the Greats, Dec 29 2013
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This review is from: Mozart Album (Audio CD)
I love different versions of music. here the Canadian Brass play brass arrangements of various Mozart pieces written for orchestra and or for voice and orchestra.

I do a radio show where I play mostly classical music and I love to play original versions and then other versions of pieces, such as these arrangements.

This is a fun record, and should be enjoyed by all Mozart lovers.

Orphan Black: Season One [Import]
Orphan Black: Season One [Import]
3 used & new from CDN$ 29.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, Dec 29 2013
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This show is incredible. The acting of Tatiana Maslany is absolutely incredible, playing all the versions of the clone. She brings out individual characteristics of each.

The show is incredibly tense and we found we could only watch one episode at a time. The tension in how the plot developed as well as the tension between the characters is incredible.

The plot moves along as the various clones discover each other, and discover things about how they came to be.

Kevin Hanchard as Detective Art Bell is excellent as a sympathetic but very confused person. And Jordan Gavaris as felix is also excellent.

Indeed, this is as close to a perfect series as there can be. Excellent writing, acting, and directing.

Season one ends with enough to keep us guessing and to wait for season two.

Professions of Desire: Lesbian and Gay Studies in Literature
Professions of Desire: Lesbian and Gay Studies in Literature
by George Haggerty
Edition: Paperback
17 used & new from CDN$ 6.91

5.0 out of 5 stars How To Teach These Issues, Dec 29 2013
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This is an excellent, though, perhaps, somewhat dated book on how to present lesbian and gay issues in the classroom.
Some of the issues dealt with simply deal with definitions of what properly constitutes gay and lesbian literature. A lesbian novel that follows the traditional heterosexual model may not be deemed lesbian because of its structure, while novels that imply lesbianism might be truly revolutionary.

Other issues involve how to present these issues to straight classes, how to, or not to, out one's own sexuality, and how literature can express these issues.

I taught philosophy, not literature, so did not have many of these issues to contend with, but I wish I had read this book before I wrote my own. I would have approached some of the issues differently.

I bought this book since I had just read Ms. Zimmerman's full length work on lesbian literature (reviewed here)and found this to be an excellent companion.

Anyone teaching in these areas will find this book helpful.

Bell, Book and Dyke: New Exploits of Magical Lesbians
Bell, Book and Dyke: New Exploits of Magical Lesbians
by Barbara Johnson
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 11.84
19 used & new from CDN$ 2.53

4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, Love, and Magick, Dec 26 2013
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Avery enjoyable book. Four novellas, each dealing with the relationship between love and magic, or magick, as it is spelled in the book.

While all the stories are about lesbians, they easily could be about any kind of relationship. The theme of the book is not so much about real magic, though two of the stories use magic explicitly. But the real theme, as I read these stories, is about the magic of love.

All the stories are interesting. I found Sea Witch less well written than the others, but it still worked. It was about discovering a member of the coven was a bad witch, and how the others would deal with it.

By the Book is about a movie and TV stunt person, who discovers she is a witch, with a long past. Good twist which caught me by surprise.

Unbeliever is about a person coming to accept the reality of magic through accepting love.

And Chameleon is about tolerance, and how traditional thinking can be so negative.

Very enjoyable. Each story left me with a smile.

Takedown Twenty: A Stephanie Plum Novel
Takedown Twenty: A Stephanie Plum Novel
by Janet Evanovich
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 18.81
36 used & new from CDN$ 17.39

3.0 out of 5 stars Same Old, Same Old, Dec 23 2013
I have read the whole series, but I think this is the last one for me. It is the same stuff, with slightly different twists. WE still get the same characters without any real development, we still get the tension between Stephanie and Ranger and Morelli, we still get Grandma, and Lula.

The one difference, which I had hopes for, is when things get the better of Stephanie and she actually thinks of quitting.

The book was entertaining, but held nothing new and, as such, the jokes are wearing thin.

Maybe she should have quit so Evanovich could start a new series.

Blood Therapy
Blood Therapy
by Lynda Hilburn
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.10
28 used & new from CDN$ 4.92

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Therapy, Dec 12 2013
This review is from: Blood Therapy (Paperback)
This is a second in the series. It is not quite as humorous as the first and it took a bit to get into, but then things started to happen, and the book got great.

Kismet Knight is a therapist who treats vampire wannabes and real vampires. The head vamp, Devereaux, is taken with her, which causes some problems, and she is being sought after by a schizophrenic spirit of some kind. And then there is Alan, the FBI agent who is tracking that spirit.

She is asked to present a paper to the American Psychological Association in New York on her work with the vampire wannabes. And, of course, the spirit shows up.

Along the way we learn that Alan's mother had been turned into a vampire when he was a child and that Devereaux protected him. But he is still searching for her.

There are some really tender scenes between Kismet and Deveraux as they try to learn about each other. And, of course, there is plenty of action. We even get to meet Dracula.

A very imaginative work, by someone who also knows about therapy processes.

The Vampire Shrink
The Vampire Shrink
by Lynda Hilburn
Edition: Paperback
5 used & new from CDN$ 14.46

5.0 out of 5 stars My Kind of Shrink, Dec 8 2013
This review is from: The Vampire Shrink (Paperback)
What a totally delightful book, which works on all levels: a vampire adventure, a love story, and a story of personal discovery.

Dr. Kismet Knight has as a patient a young woman who wants to be a vampire. And without repeating too much of what has been said in previous reviews, this process gets her involved with real vampires, and a struggle within the vampire community. It takes her quite a while to accept the reality of vampires, but finally does.

One of the neat things about the book is how Hilburn brings out Kismet's thoughts in the text.

She gets involved with the lead vampire Devereaux and with an FBI agent on trail of vampires. She finds herself attracted to both of them.

One of things I liked best about the book is the big climactic scene at the Halloween ball. These days most big climaxes are overdone. This one was told perfectly, just as it played out, without overdoing it.

For people who love vampire stories, for people who love supernatural romances, and for people who just like a really entertaining read, this book is for you.

Kiss of Noir
Kiss of Noir
by Clara Nipper
Edition: Paperback
12 used & new from CDN$ 5.52

3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Adventures, Dec 8 2013
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This review is from: Kiss of Noir (Paperback)
After reading the first book in this series I had to read the second. It is okay but not as good as the first.

Nora Delaney is a great character. She has an energy that comes off the page. And she is always getting into scrapes. Here, after being fired from her coaching job in Los Angeles, she heads to New Orleans to live with her successful cousin while regaining her footing. She gets involved with all kinds of people and, of course, with a murder.

The energy of the first book is still here but there are two main problems for me. One is the beginning, and two is the ending.

The scene where she gets fired is a bit phony, though the fight is cool. I realize such a beginning can;t be too involved since that would take away from the main story, but a bit more background, or detail would have been welcome.

And the book just sort of ends. It leaves open a third installment, which I will probably seek out, but I thought the book ended too abruptly.

Otherwise not a bad read at all.

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