Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Majoring in Murder: Murder, She Wrote by Jessica Fletcher & Donald Bain

In Majoring in Murder, Jessica Fletcher is teaching a writing course at Schoolman College when a tornado touches down…the first in sixty years. In the aftermath, a professor is found dead presumably killed as a result of the storm. However, Jessica has some doubts and tries her best to convince the authorities to look further at the death.

I love Murder, She Wrote; the TV series as well as this book series. Sometimes the storylines are a little farfetched, but they are always entertaining. The characters are generally interesting, fun to read about and occasionally a bit on the eccentric side. Jessica Fletcher/Donald Bain’s writing style is concise and easy to read.

Recommended for those looking for a nice light, cozy mystery.

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon by Crystal Zevon

I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon, Crystal Zevon presents the memoirs of her one-time husband and rock icon, Warren Zevon. She uses a series of anecdotes from the famous, infamous and others who knew Warren and were there to give us the inside details of the key events in his life. While the memoirs are presented in a unique and unusual manner, they are both thoroughly interesting and highly entertaining.

From his early days with the Everly Brothers to his death in 2003, Warren’s life is laid out in a comprehensive and thorough timeline; even the most devout fan will likely learn a thing or two.

A definite must read for Zevon fans and other rock aficionados.

[This was a ARE from FirstLook program at HarperCollins.ca]

Monday, April 16, 2007

Dark Room by Andrea Kane

In Dark Room, Morgan Winter witnessed the murder of her parents when she was just a child. As an adult, she comes to learn that the man in prison for their murders was wrongly convicted. The real killer is out there and along with the police and loved ones, Morgan is determined to find him.

Andrea Kane presents a hard-to-put-down suspenseful novel with remarkable and believable characters as well as a crafty story line. She’s included tons of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing until the very end. An all-round solid read. I’d recommend this to mystery lovers.

My one complaint: While the book was a very good read, it wasn’t as suspenseful as I thought the website write-up indicated. I was really looking forward to a page-turning psychological thriller and I don’t think I got that. Maybe it was just me who read too much into it.

I’ll be looking for more of Kane’s work in the future.

[This was a ARE from FirstLook program at HarperCollins.ca].

Crime in the Cards (The Hardy Boys #165) by Franklin W. Dixon

In Crime in the Cards, Frank and Joe have to determine who’s been stealing game cards from their friends. It seems that nowhere in the school is safe, not even the teacher’s desk. With the big tournament coming up, can the Hardy Boys solve the mystery and find the cards before time runs out? You’ll just have to read the book to find out.

This is another pretty good mystery featuring the Hardy Boys. I still prefer Nancy Drew, but these ones are almost as entertaining. Although, I enjoyed the story, I couldn’t relate to the fantasy game these kids were playing. I’m not into that sort of thing; never have been. The story contains some wacky characters and is fun to read.

Recommended for younger readers.

Tippy Toe Murder by Leslie Meier

In Tippy Toe Murder, Lucy Stone is trying to find a friend who’s disappeared. Caroline Hunter, retired ballet instructor, didn’t return from her morning walk and the community fears the worst. Meanwhile, a storeowner is dead after being hit in the head with Lucy’s video camera. Lucy is busy deciphering the clues and motives to both mysteries while trying to prepare her daughter for her dancing debut.

With domestic violence and child abuse as two of the many subjects in this book, this book is no fluffy, lightweight mystery. It’s a great book, though, that I devoured in a few sittings. Leslie Meier’s characters are believable and her story line is coherent and easy to follow.

Recommended for the mystery fan. I have another book by Meier and I can’t wait to see if it’s as good as this one.

Post-Mortem by Patricia Cornwell

In Post-Mortem, Kay Scarpetta is trying to find maniac killer who’s leaving very few clues for her to follow. Someone is trying to interfere with the investigation while the body count continues to rise. Kay could become the next victim as her department comes under scrutiny.

I thoroughly enjoyed this one from Cornwell. It has a very good story that is straightforward and easy to follow (unlike a few of her other works). The characters are strong and believable. However, Scarpetta seems too hard-hearted for me. I don’t like soft, mushy characters, but Kay just seems too “cold”.

Highly recommended. I have a few more from Cornwell that I have to read yet. I hope most of them are at least as good as this one.

Book Journal

Since I already use LiveJournal for my Backyard Journal (http://lazydaisy0413.livejournal.com/), I contemplated just adding my "book stuff" to that one. However, I really wanted to keep them separate, so here I am!

I'll be adding some book reviews shortly. Until then....