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Messages From Henry (Book 1) by [Scarberry, Rebecca]
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Messages From Henry (Book 1) Kindle Edition

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 28 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product Description

Product Description


Messages from Henry is a highly original young adult novella about a
very unlikely hero, a homing pigeon. Henry is trying to save his owner
from death by the hands of her kidnapper. It’s a mystery thriller that
will have you on the edge of your seat, routing Henry on, and praying
for Evelyn’s safe return.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 119 KB
  • Print Length: 28 pages
  • Publisher: Rebecca Scarberry (June 14 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008CJ1R5S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #974,503 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I downloaded this book for my daughter.

It was a smooth, short read. (she finished it in an evening) The characters were interesting, and it was even better that one of them was a pigeon. ( a smart one at that)

I recommend this to anyone in the mood for an animal themed mystery/adventure.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This story is such a gem. If you love quality writing with a superb original story to match, then this is the book for you!. All I can say is the author has a true gift, LOVED IT!!
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By Kathryn svendsen TOP 500 REVIEWER on Oct. 17 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Henry is a homing pigeon who delivers messages to his owner’s friend and neighbour when his owner is kidnapped and held for ransom. The bird flies back and forth between this neighbour, Tammy and his owner, Evelyn from the variety of places that her kidnapper takes her.

Ms. Scarberry wrote this novel from Tammy’s (the neighbour) point of view. It is simply written and easy to read.

Unfortunately, Ms. Scarberry did not research homing pigeons very well. After reading the novelette, I checked on the internet to see if homing pigeons could be taught to fly to a person rather than to a specific location (their home). They cannot. Homing pigeons are taught to return to one location. “Pigeons can only go back to one "mentally marked" point that they have identified as their home” ([...]

I also found the story to be very repetitive. Henry flies to Tammy with a message. Tammy tells the authorities and puts Henry in the cat carrier. Authorities take Henry and the message (and presumably is released to fly to wherever Evelyn has been taken). This happens for several different locations. It would have been interesting to know how Evelyn was able to collect the bird and write a note if she were someone’s captive. Wouldn’t she have been tied up? Wasn’t her captor watching her?

All of that aside, this is a cute story suitable for children who are just beginning to read chapter books (ages 8-12). Ms. Scarberry’s novelette is a good first attempt at novel writing. I hope she continues to develop her craft.

I gave this book 1 star.

I got this book for free on Amazon.ca. All thoughts are my own.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9eba1ab0) out of 5 stars 85 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f6195e4) out of 5 stars A Prince of Pigeons July 8 2012
By LINDA STRICKLAND - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Almost from the instant that I began reading Messages From Henry, I was completely transfixed by this spellbinding mystery. Rebecca Scarberry has composed a unique novella that's incredibly gripping, yet simultaneously heartwarming.

Tammy is alerted to her friend Evelyn's disappearance by Evelyn's homing pigeon, Henry. It's up to Henry to keep pace with her abductor and bring back handwritten messages of Evelyn's whereabouts. As Evelyn's kidnapper constantly changes her location, it becomes a mad dash to locate her before it's too late.

Henry's immeasurable devotion to Evelyn is nearly palpable. You can almost feel your soul take flight along with this amazingly loyal and spirited creature. Henry demonstrates to us that heroes come in all shapes and sizes. It's also very evident that Scarberry has done her research on these phenomenally intelligent birds.

Messages From Henry is definitely a one-sitting read, as you will not be able to put it aside until your exhilarating journey with Henry is at an end. Then, you will find yourself craving more stirring adventures with this prince of pigeons. This book is a series begging to be made. I was very moved by this enchanting story and hope to read much more of Rebecca Scarberry's imaginative style in the future.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f619830) out of 5 stars Poor Writing July 7 2012
By MG - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Henry is one amazing, loyal homing pidgeon! However, the writing is poor. No offense to the writer. Hopefully, Rebecca Scarberry will learn to write more interesting stories.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f619a70) out of 5 stars The Bird Is The Word! July 20 2012
By Douglas R. Cobb - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Indie authors deserve our respect, because they are at the vanguard of the direction literature is going in, and has been going in, for several years now: ebooks. This year, over half the books that adults buy and read are ebooks, and the number is growing. There are many very talented Indie authors writing novels, nonfiction, and poetry that rival the best books written by traditionally published bestselling authors.At the risk of leaving many of these authors out, a handful of them (besides myself) are Teodor Flonta, Regina Puckett, Vonda Norwood, Douglas Wickard, Scott Bury, Daniel Kemp, and...the author of the novella I'll discuss in this review, Messages from Henry, the talented and inimitable Rebecca Scarberry. Besides being a great author, she's a fantastic friend of authors, too. You can Tweet her at [...]

What is Messages from Henry (Click the title to buy it from Amazon for a mere 99 cents) about? It's about a normal person, the first person narrator Tammy, who is placed in an extraordinary situation that involves saving her older neighbor, Evelyn Bury, from a ruthless kidnapper.

The novella opens with Tammy and her cat, Cinnamon, enjoying a peaceful day on the porch of Tammy's house. That changes when Henry shows up. Who is Henry? One of Evelyn's favorite Rock Pigeons. Though Tammy knows Henry, and sees him fairly often, it's somewhat odd that he has flown to her out of the blue. He has a note attached to one of his legs. Rock pigeons are fantastic homing pigeons. Tammy removes and reads the note, and reads the ominous words: "Help, kidnapper is going to kill me."

Tammy notifies the police right away and tells them of Henry's arrival with the note. Both she and Evelyn are widows, and Tammy has developed a friendship with and feels an obligation towards her neighbor. She hopes that Henry will bring future messages, and that they will help her and the police rescue Evelyn before the kidnapper makes good his threat to kill her.

Tammy gets a series of notes that lead her and Sheriff Kincaid closer and closer to discovering who the kidnapper is, and towards saving Evelyn. Who could want to kidnap and murder such a sweet elderly lady? Who would benefit the most? Maybe her grown-up son, Scott, who has suffered large gambling losses and who could use the ransom money? Who else would have a good reason, if not Scott?

Besides its fast pace and twists and turns, I got a kick out of reading names I recognized that Rebecca uses in her novella, the names of some of the Twitterverse's most recognizable authors. For instance, there's the aforementioned Douglas Wickard, who, in Rebecca's story, is a four-year-old blond-haired boy. Also, there's Scott Bury, who is Evelyn's gambling-addicted son in the novella, but a great author of mysteries and thrillers in real life.

Are Tammy's efforts successful in rescuing Evelyn, through the help of Henry's messages from her? Is Scott the kidnapper? I'll never tell-you will have to read this superb novella yourselves to find out! I look forward to reading and reviewing more from Rebecca Scarberry in the coming years. She's a terrific author and a wonderful lady!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f619cec) out of 5 stars Gentle character-driven mystery Sept. 4 2012
By Gary Henry - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The plot device of Henry the carrier pigeon was original and imaginative. Not sure how Henry could always find Evelyn, but since he did, I accepted it. Tammy and Warren seemed like comfortable old friends that I'd known for a long time.

I also liked the unhurried pace of the book. Rebecca lets events unfold in their own time, in between cleaning the chicken coop, weeding the garden and relaxing in the recliner. Life does go on, even when we're worried about friends.

So who writes a perfect book? Rebecca has penned a gentle character-driven mystery with a highly original premise. Not a breakneck-speed-adrenaline thriller by any means. Just a nice, quiet, satisfying story. In strident times such as ours, that makes Messages from Henry worth reading.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f619b84) out of 5 stars An interesting premise that would benefit from further development Sept. 11 2015
By Ethan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's no secret that the ways in which readers consume books has changed drastically in the last few years. The introduction of e-readers has allowed people to purchase, store, and read books in new and exciting ways. This technology has also changed the way in which authors publish and connect with their readers. More specifically e-books allow independent authors, those who are not affiliated with one of the main publishing houses, to produce and share stories that might otherwise never have been available. Rebecca Scarberry is one such author. She has published several works in varying genres and has helped to promote other indie authors through her large following on social networks. When she reached out to me about reading and reviewing one of her works, I was happy to oblige.

Tammy and Evelyn are widows whose life-long friendship has blossomed even more in the years following their husbands' deaths. Evelyn and her husband made a comfortable living raising homing pigeons. The birds are trained to return to their home after they are released. Tammy has helped her friend to care for the animals and has grown fond of them in the process. Although Evelyn cares deeply for each of her creatures, she has a unique connection to one of the birds named Henry. All of the pigeons are confined to their hutch, but Henry is allowed to roam freely as he keeps his human companion company.

One day, as she walks onto her front porch, Tammy finds Henry perched on her banister. Tied to the foot of the bird is a note with the startling message, "Help, kidnapper is going to kill me, Evelyn." After an unanswered phone call to Evelyn's house, Tammy dials the number of Sheriff Warren Kincaid and relays the troubling news. An investigation of Evelyn's home confirms Tammy's worst fears. Someone has kidnapped her best friend and Henry, the loyal homing pigeon, may be their only hope to find her.

The idea of having a pigeon be the only tangible contact between victim and investigators is a highly original take on this genre. As investigators continue to receive correspondence from Evelyn, a rapid chase of cat and mouse ensues. The novella focusses on Tammy and her commitment to locating her friend. Scarberry avoids the common pitfalls of indie works by presenting a well edited and easy to read story.

In this case, the narrative does not truly live up to the promise of its unique concept. Messages From Henry is advertised as a novella for young adults, but it struggles to own this identity. With main characters who are elderly women and with content that explores more adult ideas, younger readers may find it difficult to connect with the story. The action soon stalls in a tedious repetition of Tammy receiving messages from Evelyn, relaying them to the authorities, and waiting to hear about their investigation. Because Tammy is merely an observer of the case, readers remain on the sideline for the majority of the action. By solely focussing on Tammy's perspective, the book lacks the depth it could have achieved with accounts of Evelyn's captivity. Messages From Henry is a very short work that would benefit greatly from being fleshed out into a larger story. Rebecca Scarberry demonstrates a natural ability for placing characters into original situations that will only continue to flourish as her writing progresses.