MamaSylvia's Reviews


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If you're looking for something to read that will suit your taste, it helps to know what a reviewer looks for when deciding whether your taste is similar. I look for an involving story, likeable characters who feel real, and no "deus ex machina" endings or "with this clue that I'm not going to share with the reader, the hero knew whodunit" - I've been known to throw a book across the room when I run into those. I prefer a cheery feel but a few dark/gloomy series are also on my favorites list, such as Ian Rutledge. If a story doesn't start fairly quickly, or if it doesn't hold my interest, I give up on the book. Each review starts with a brief plot description, ideally without spoilers. The second paragraph is what the reviewer thought of the book and why. 1 star is awful, 5 stars is great, NR means I didn't finish it or rate it, usually because I discovered it was a genre I don't like. Hope you enjoy!

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Author: Dewhurst, Rick
Title: Bye Bye BertieJoe LaFlam # 1
Genre: P.I. Mystery
Rating: NR
A Christian P.I. is recruited to rescue a kidnapped cult victim.

I picked up this book free during an Amazon giveaway. I love the idea of a Christian investigator, but this was just another P.I. book with a thin Christian veneer. I quit pretty quickly.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 01/18/2014


 
Author: Limon, Martin
Title: Buddha's MoneySueno & Bascom # 3
Genre: Historical Mystery
Rating: 1
George and Ernie are drafted to help recover a kidnapped child, a task that may involve stealing a rare jade skull.

This has always been a dark, seamy series, but this book was too much for me to take, detailing the torture and murder of a little girl. I stopped reading barely a quarter of the way through the book. The low rating reflects that there is simply no reason to detail torture scenes to advance a plot.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 01/17/2014


 
Author: Rehder, Ben
Title: Buck FeverBlanco County # 1
Genre: Mystery
Rating: NR
A corrupt sheriff and greedy hunter conspire to shoot a pet deer.

I picked up this book free during an Amazon giveaway. Unlikable characters galore. I think it was supposed to be humorous, but I don't find stupidity or greed to be amusing. I managed to read 20% before I couldn't take any more. The title was certainly appropriate, though.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 01/16/2014


 
Author: Hibbert, Eleanor as Holt, Victoria
Title: Bride of Pendorric
Genre: Historical Romantic Suspense
Rating: 3
After a whirlwind courtship, Favel and her new husband leave the Mediterranean island that was her home for a new life on the coast of Cornwall and some surprising discoveries. But is someone really trying to make history repeat itself?

Not as engrossing as Holt's later work in this genre but still enjoyable. Mostly one-dimensional characters and the twins are just awful. I wanted to smack both of them. The explanation and villain were pretty obvious to any experienced mystery reader, and Holt really went overboard on scenery descriptions. The section between when the heroine realizes she is in danger and the denoument dragged somewhat, but the whole was still readable.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 01/15/2014


 
Author: Edmondson, Daniel
Title: Blue Murder at Kudu: A Very British Murder MysteryKudu # 1
Genre: Historical Mystery
Rating: 2
full title: Blue Murder at Kudu: A Very British Murder Mystery Novel

A colonial judge is found murdered after refusing to help the colonial governor's scheme for petty vengeance.

I picked up this book set in Africa free during an Amazon giveaway. It's never a good sign that the author felt compelled to give a book a title longer than that of a Congressional report. I thought the idea sounded promising, and the characters are appropriate if one-dimensional, but the story was so tedious and disjointed I gave up a third of the way through. It isn't throw-across-the-room awful, just a waste of my time. Spelling, grammar, and Kindle formatting are mostly okay with occasional lapses, like "window" instead of "widow" or words missing from the start of a paragraph. The title is relevant but uninspired.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 01/10/2014


 
Author: Neal, Toby
Title: Blood OrchidsLei Crime # 1
Genre: Police Procedural Mystery
Rating: NR
Officer Lei wants to help investigate the murder of a troubled young girl, although she is not a detective.

I picked up this book free during an Amazon giveaway. Police procedurals set in Hawaii are still PPs, and nothing about this one caught my interest. I quit pretty early.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 01/09/2014


 
Author: Parker, I. J.
Title: Black ArrowSugawara Akitada # 3
Genre: Historical Mystery - Japan
Rating: 4
Sent as deputy governor to the northern province of Echigo, Akitada and his lieutenants find a warlord and his corrupt allies running things, ready to do whatever it takes to eliminate Akitada's interference.

Political infighting has always been an element of the Akitada stories, but in this one it takes center stage. The murders are incidental to Akitada trying to impose Imperial rule with no money and no military or popular support, and the story didn't hold me as much as usual. I also didn't find Akitada's moments with his wife either engrossing or relevant to the story. As always, a superb re-creation of a time of which most Westerners are ignorant. Spelling, grammar, and Kindle formatting are fine.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 01/08/2014


 
Author: Rockwell, Patricia
Title: BingoedEssie Cobb # 1
Genre: Cozy Murder Mystery
Rating: 3
90-year-old Essie and her friends at that Happy Haven Assisted Living Facility look for foul play when a well-liked resident mysteriously goes into a coma.

This is a book whose idea is more intriguing than its execution. The author has totally nailed the problems and pitfalls of aging, although there are some minor medical inaccuracies, such as an aide administering medications to a resident. But two big problems overwhelmed any story. One is that, by and large, the problems of aging aren't very interesting, and I say that as someone approaching 60 herself. I finally gave up as Essie and her friends try to research a possible scammer on the Internet. The second is that Rockwell included lots of material that show the problems of aging but are completely irrelevant to the storyline, such as Essie's determination not to wear "diapers" or how fast she can get along using her walker. The bottom line was that what there was of story was not involving enough to keep me reading in spite of the drawbacks; this isn't an awful book, just not good enough to keep me reading, Spelling, grammar, and Kindle formatting were acceptable, and the title was very relevant.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 01/04/2014


 
Author: Bunn, T. Davis
Title: Berlin EncounterRendezvous With Destiny # 4
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 3
Assigned to bring two former Nazi scientists out of Soviet-occupied Germany, Jake faces more than the usual risks of behind-the-lines work. When Sally discovers he is in danger from a high-level spy, she charges to Berlin after him.

I don't mind a limited amount of coincidence in a story, but the coincidences here strained my credulity past the breaking point. I can't say much without getting into spoilers, and I haven't given up on the series because of the coincidences, but this was a weak entry and not up to the standard of the previous books. I also wouldn't recommend starting with this book because it depends more previously on having read the rest of the series.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 12/31/2013


 
Author: Lackey, Mercedes
Title: Beauty and the WerewolfFive Hundred Kingdoms # 6
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 3
Little Red Riding Hood tangled up with Beauty and the Beast: Bella is content with her life, running the household for her stepmother and figuring she will wind up a spinster. But when a werewolf bite forces her to live with the werewolf, she finds there can be more. Maybe even love.

Although there has always been quite a bit of explaining in this series, for some reason it bothered me in this book. It felt like there were bits of story in between pages of explaining, instead of the reverse - hence the lower-than-usual rating for a book in a series I have liked very much. Bella is well drawn, Duke Sebastian less so, the unlikable Eric seems to be drawn in most detail. The spirit-servants are possibly the most believable characters! Lackey has a real gift for creating heroines with goals and ideas acceptable to 21st century women while still making them fit into their period society. It was pretty obvious who the bad guy was going to turn out to be, but I wasn't absolutely sure until near the end. Spelling, grammar, and Kindle formatting were all acceptable. The title lacked cleverness but was certainly relevant.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 12/21/2013


 
Author: Vail, Jason
Title: Baynard's ListStephen Attebrook # 2
Genre: Historical Mystery - England
Rating: 4
King's Judge Valence frees Clement to find a list (written by a murdered spy) of those who sided with or against the king, and charges Stephen with the same task.

I borrowed this book through the Kindle Owners' Lending Library. This is a very dark series - life is cheap, cruelty is casual, convoluted politics are the rule, and betrayal is just a fact of life - but that is probably authentic to the setting, England in 1262 A.D. Vail starts slow but once the story takes off, he kept me reading. The characters are believable, and Vail shows a nice command of description: not over-flowery and not holding up the story, but adding those little touches that make a story feel real. The resolution made sense and was a fitting ending. There are certainly flaws. The murder victim is found in an unusual position, not entirely physically impossible but awkward enough that it needs a good explanation to be believable. No explanation was given. One character's name suddenly changed from Beth to Helen without explanation. Vail used "breaches" when he meant "breeches." Spelling, grammar, word use, and Kindle formatting were otherwise acceptable; the title was appropriate if uninspired. This isn't classic literature, but if you like dark stories and/or historical mysteries, I doubt you'll find anything better for the price.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 12/11/2013


 
Author: Lackey, Mercedes
Title: BastionCollegium Chronicles # 5
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 3
Newly returned to Haven, Mags tries to resume his studies but worries that his pursuers will endanger his friends.

Not quite as strained as the previous book, but still with major problems. If Lackey had cut out irrelevant material, the book would lose half its length. Lackey wastes pages on Mags' and Amily's introduction to sex, which doesn't contribute to the storyline at all. Dallen's new abilities border on deus ex machina - whatever is needed for a situation, Dallen suddenly has. Suspicious and irritating. I did not find Bey to be a believable character and couldn't tell if this book is supposed to end this series or not. I'm sure glad I got the book from my library, I would have felt cheated if I had paid money for it.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 12/08/2013


 
Author: Stohyn, Raisa Marika
Title: Baba's Kitchen: Ukrainian Soul Food With Stories
Genre: Cookbook
Rating: 4
I picked up Baba's Kitchen: Ukrainian Soul Food With Stories From the Village free during an Amazon giveaway. Collection of Ukrainian recipes, supposedly shared by a grandmother and containing lots of grandmotherly advice.

While I found many of the comments patronizing rather than amusing, and the broken-English got old quickly, I would have put up with them as an honorable paean to the author's grandmother except for one thing: there is no Baba. Stohyn admits that she created "Baba" as a composite character, so there is no justification for the poor English-isn't-my-first-language grammar. The recipes themselves look very usable and, in some cases, even tasty. If you want to try Ukrainian cooking enough to put up with being told, "Baba catch you put [sour cream] on her good borshch, she send giant spider to bite you on head," this is the book for you.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 06/03/2012


 
Author: White, Deb Hosey & White, David S
Title: Beyond Downton Abbey
Genre: Travel
Rating: 4
I picked up this book free during an Amazon giveaway. Listings and descriptions of various old castles and manor houses in Great Britain, from the house where "Downton Abbey" is filmed, to fabulous Blenheim, ruined Nymans, and working Wimpole Estate.

A bit of a sales pitch, as the authors emphasize restaurants, hotels, and places available to rent for weddings and conferences, and contact information is provided for all sites. But the history is intriguing and the photos are gorgeous on my K4PC. In fact, my major criticism is that there should have been more photos. The book only covers 24 manors, with 2-3 photos per location, and could easily have included more photos. Particularly irritating is a description of an especially noteworthy place, such as "the awe-inspiring views from the Temple of Apollo" at Stourhead or "rambling alongside the Montgomery Canal" at Powis, and then not have a photo to go along with the description! This book is unquestionably gorgeous, but more photos would have made it spectacular.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 04/23/2012


 
Author: Gorman, Ed & Greenberg, Martin
Title: By Hook or By Crook
Genre: Mystery Short Stories
Rating: 3
I picked up this book free during an Amazon giveaway. Collection of "best" short stories of 2009: "Animal Rescue" by Dennis Lehane, "Family Affair: A Smokey Dalton Story by Kris Nelscott (aka Kristine Kathryn Rusch), "Survival Instincts" by Sandra Seamans, "Julius Katz" by Dave Zelserman, "Seeing the Moon" by S.J. Rozan, "Dark Chocolate" by Nancy Pickard, "Telegraphing" by Marcia Muller, "The Valhalla Verdict" by Doug Allyn, "Pure Pulp" by Bill Crider, "Blood Sacrifices and the Catatonic Kid" by Tom Piccirilli, "Patterns" by Richard Lupoff, "The Tell-Tale Purr" by Mary Higgins Clark, "The Big Switch: A Mike Hammer Story" by Mickey Spillane & Max Allan Collins, "Crazy Larry Smells Bacon" by Greg Bardsley, "Femme Sole" by Dana Cameron, "The Dark Island" by Brendan DuBois, "The Caretaker" by Terence Faherty, "The Case of Colonel Crockett's Violin" by Gillian Linscott, "The Case of Colonel Warburton's Madness" by Lyndsay Faye, "Time Will Tell" by Twist Phelan, "By Hook or By Crook" by Charlie Drees, "The Final Nail: A Val O'Farrell Story" by Bob Randisi, "Amapola" by Luis Alberto Urrea, "Cougar" by Laura Lippman, "Digby, Attorney at Law" by Jim Fusilli, "The Way They Limp" by Clark Howard, "O'Nelligan's Glory" by Michael Nethercott, "Between Sins" by Robert Levinson.

Since there is no interactive Table of Contents, pretty much the only way you can read through this large volume is to just read through it. "Julius Katz" was an unusual PI story; he wasn't constantly getting beat up and he uses an SF-quality gadget. Many of the stories had a dark, cynical feel, not surprising in P.I. stories but it also showed up in stories like "Family Affair," "Femme Sole," and "Blood Sacrifices and the Catatonic Kid." I had to laugh at the basic premise of "Telegraphing" although it's not a humorous story at all. "Pure Pulp" offered no likable characters but a clever solution. There had to be a couple of Sherlock Holmes stories, of course. "The Case of Colonel Crockett's Violin" was pretty decent, while "The Case of Colonel Warburton's Madness" glaringly failed to reproduce Doyle's narrative style. "Dark Chocolate" is horror rather than a true mystery. The book overall leaned heavily to PI stories, which I generally don't like. There were a disappointingly large number of typos and word misuses, such as "here eyes" instead of "her eyes," "check" instead of "cheek," "site precedent" instead of "cite precedent;" they didn't affect the readability much, but I don't expect sloppiness from this team and it's a recent enough book that the ebook should have been produced from an editorial file, not OCRed. Combining okay but not great stories with such poor proofreading, the highest I can rate this book is 3.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 04/21/2012


 
Author: Trent, Tiffany and Radford, Phyllis Irene, editors
Title: Breaking Waves
Genre: Collection
Rating: 3
Collection of short stories, poetry, and essays to raise money to help the Gulf Coast shoreline damaged by the oil spill

Mostly uninteresting but with a few shining gems. See my more detailed review at http://redadeptreviews.com/breaking-waves-edited-by-phyllis-irene-radford/
reviewed by: Sylvia on 01/23/2012


 
Author: Dean, Anna
Title: Bellfield Hall aka A Moment of SilenceDido Kent # 1
Genre: Historical Mystery - England
Rating: 4
Spinster Dido Kent is summoned to palatial Bellfield Hall when the son, who is engaged to her niece, disappears. But her investigation is complicated by the appearance of an unknown dead woman.

Pleasantly intriguing and absolutely logical. Dido borders on Sherlockian in her ability to identify clues and make deductions from them. Catherine started rather whiny and spoiled but shaped up gradually. Set in the same era and social level as Jane Austen's novels, the characters are more authentic and enjoyable than the efforts of the many Austen imitators. The reader isn't given warning of which characters will turn out nice and which nasty, and Dido's love affair (such as it is) doesn't add anything to the storyline.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 01/04/2012


 
Author: Geddes, Anne
Title: Beginnings
Genre: Photography
Rating: 2
Collection of photographs of babies, nude pregnant women, flower buds and bulbs, and birds' nests.

If that sounds like an odd combination, it is, and I never understood what the point was supposed to be. I'll concede that a baby can sleep in a position similar to a flower bud, and that the profile of a pregnant woman bears some resemblance to parts of a flower, but so what? The photos themselves were nice if unexciting, but the combination did not say anything.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 09/11/2011


 
Author: Biggers, Earl Derr
Title: Behind That CurtainCharlie Chan # 3
Genre: Police Procedural Mystery
Rating: 4
Although Chan is desperately eager to return to 1920's Honolulu and his family, a murder at a dinner party on his last evening in San Francisco captures his interest even though Captain Flannery, in charge of the case, clearly does not want Chan's participation.

Slow start as usual, seguing into a nicely convoluted problem with lots of red herrings. I picked the wrong killer almost immediately. For some reason, this plot intrigued me more than previous books in the series, and the title was appropriate even though a bit contrived.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 07/28/2011


 
Author: Baker, Deb as Reed, Hannah
Title: Buzz OffQueen Bee # 1
Genre: Murder Mystery
Rating: 1
When the beekeeping mentor of newly-divorced "Story" Fischer is found stung to death, she desperately tries to save the honeybees by proving that yellowjackets killed him. But it may not have been an accident and Story winds up in one sticky situation after another.

I couldn't get into this book at all. It wasn't just the typical first-book-in-a-series introductions of a bunch of characters before Baker had given me no reason to care about, although this was the first strike. Story's incredible wussy tolerance of her hateful mother was the second strike; the third was Baker's endless lecturing about bees (not a particular interest of mine) and the final blow was Baker's obsession with toes. "Fetish" doesn't come close to describing it. I don't really care whether a character's toes were glossy and tanned, each with a little clump of man-hair (that is an almost direct quote), and Baker spent more words drooling over toes than she spent on the plot. I'd like to say something positive about the book, but the characters were either caricatures or one-dimensional and the plot played second fiddle to character description as well as toes.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 04/28/2011


 
Author: Todd, Marilyn
Title: Blind EyeIliona # 1
Genre: Political Thriller
Rating: NR
Spartan High Priestess Iliona agrees to impersonate another priestess for the secret police to protect a young boy, but discovers that the head of the secret police is the traitor they are searching for - and she probably won't live to expose him.

Although I wanted to like this book as not much is set in ancient Greece, it is a political thriller rather than a mystery. I quit halfway through.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 04/22/2011


 
Author: Lackey, Mercedes
Title: Brightly BurningValdemar #2
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 5
Young Lavan Chitward doesn't want to become a cloth-maker like the rest of his family. But after a horrible school experience activates his Firestarting Gift and he is Chosen, the ability he fears may be all that can save Valdemar.

Interesting take on a character who has been mentioned in several Valdemar tales. The story had a slow start but then it took off as Lackey does so well. Lackey's characters have more depth than in many of her stories; even the Heralds are not perfect, rolling inevitably towards the tragic ending.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 04/20/2011


 
Author: Gellis, Roberta
Title: Bone of ContentionMagdalene la Batarde # 3
Genre: Historical Mystery - England
Rating: 4
William of Ypres summons Magdalene to Oxford, where King Stephen is counting allies. He feels trouble coming and anticipates needing Magdalene's cover. Sir Niall, one of Lord William's knights, asks Magdalene's help when the young heiress he is courting is claimed by another man via a forged betrothal. Several deaths and a political crisis follow, as Magdalene tries to help Lord William without alienating Bell.

Not the most coherent book I've ever read, combining a love story, murder mystery, and political thriller, but the combination should appeal to those who like complicated plots. It dragged a bit in the middle but overall held my attention, and Magdalene continues to interest with her conflicting demands of loyal love for Lord William and confused love for Bell. The title isn't especially relevant, although there are several "bones" to be contended over before the book ends.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 04/19/2011


 
Author: Stabenow, Dana
Title: Blood Will TellKate Shugak # 6
Genre: Murder Mystery - P.I.
Rating: 2
Ekaterina manipulates Kate into coming to a native people's conference to identify who is opposing Ekaterina's land preservation plan. But when a second member of the tribal council dies, Kate's focus shift to who is eliminating Ekaterina's allies.

I have lost interest in this series. Too gloomy, too much politics, and too much PI-stuff. The secondary plot of Jack fighting his ex-wife to keep custody of his son didn't add anything, just distracted from the main plot.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 04/13/2011


 
Author: McCrumb, Sharon
Title: Bimbos of the Death Sun
Genre: Murder Mystery
Rating: 3
Geeky engineering professor Jason and his English professor girlfriend attend a SF convention ("con") to promote his SF book, but find themselves sharing the spotlight with an abrasive fantasy author. Then a murder disrupts the con. Can Jason use the attendees' blind spots to unmask a killer?

While McCrumb absolutely nails the portrayal of the con attendees (and I attended several cons, including the annual WorldCon, in the 1970's), it's a one-note song that had already gotten old before the murder occurred halfway through the book. The women characters were awful; one militant feminist and one militant I'm-gonna-get-what-I-want fan. (Not that the men characters were more likable ...) I felt sorry for the stereotyped police detective, trying to separate normal "fen" (SF fans) discussions from revealing clues. I did finish it but I'm not impressed enough to go hunting her other books.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 04/12/2011


 
Author: Cannon, Taffy
Title: Blood MattersRoxanne Prescott # 2
Genre: Police Procedural Mystery
Rating: NR
Now back on the police force, Roxanne investigates the murder of a rich adoption organizer.

Routine police procedural.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 04/10/2011


 
Author: Benn, James R
Title: Blood AloneBilly Boyle # 3
Genre: Historical Mystery Police Proc
Rating: 4
Boyle wakes up, injured, in the middle of the 1943 invasion of Sicily, with no memory of himself or how he got there, and naturally with some bad guys trying to terminate him. As he remembers and reconnects with Kaz and then tries to carry out his assignment by travelling with a paroled doctor across Sicily, that stubborn policeman brain keeps worrying at the various loose and contradictory threads he finds.

I suppose an amnesia story was inevitable in this series, and it's certainly believable as a wartime experience. But the story started to lose me when Boyle was recognized by Eisenhower's staff, and instead of admitting he doesn't remember what he was doing or what his assignment was, he assures Uncle Ike that he will finish it! That's just stupid pride, and stupidity never holds my attention. Fortunately that was the only irritating plot point, and I finished the rest of the book. Benn's endings are a real problem, long-drawn-out whimpers rather than a nice bang, but they haven't put me off the series yet.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 10/01/2010


 
Author: Heyer, Georgette
Title: Bath Tangle
Genre: Regency romance
Rating: 5
When her father the Earl of Spenborough dies unexpectedly, Lady Serena is appalled to discover that her fortune is controlled by her jilted ex-fiance, the Marquis of Rotherham, and quiet living with her beloved stepmother leaves her restless. A long vacation in Bath brings her back together with a former lover, and she and Rotherham both wind up engaged - but are they marrying the right people?

Even though the outcome was blatantly obvious from the beginning, this was the first Heyer Regency romance that I enjoyed. The two principals are goodhearted as well as headstrong. Only a couple of minor players were positively annoying, and they were not onscreen much. Fairly fast read and I read it all and wished it could keep going.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 09/30/2010


 
Author: Cleverly, Barbara
Title: Bright Hair About the BoneLaetitia Talbot # 2
Genre: Historical Mystery
Rating: 2
reviewed by: Sylvia on 06/20/2010


 
Author: Alexander, Bruce
Title: Blind JusticeSir John Fielding # 1
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 1
reviewed by: Sylvia on 06/19/2010


 
Author: Michaels, Barbara as Peters, Elizabeth
Title: Borrower of the NightVicky Bliss # 1
Genre: Suspense
Rating: 1
reviewed by: Sylvia on 06/19/2010


 
Author: Allingham, Margery
Title: Black Plumes
Genre: Suspense
Rating: 1
reviewed by: Sylvia on 06/18/2010


 
Author: Benn, James R
Title: Billy BoyleBilly Boyle # 1
Genre: Historical Mystery
Rating: 4
reviewed by: Sylvia on 06/16/2010


 
Author: Finney, Patricia
Title: BetrayalLady Grace # 2
Genre: Historical Mystery
Rating: 4
reviewed by: Sylvia on 06/15/2010


 
Author: Lutz, John
Title: Better Mousetraps
Genre:
Rating: 4
reviewed by: Sylvia on 06/14/2010


 
Author: Lippman, Laura
Title: Baltimore BluesTess Monaghan # 1
Genre: Murder Mystery
Rating: 2
reviewed by: Sylvia on 06/13/2010


 
Author: Lackey, Mercedes
Title: By the SwordVows and Honor # 4
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 5
reviewed by: Sylvia on 01/17/2010


 
Author: Stiefel, Vicki
Title: Body PartsTally Whyte # 1
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 01/16/2010


 
Author: Tapply, William G
Title: Bitch CreekStoney Calhoun # 1
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 01/15/2010


 
Author: Perry, Anne
Title: Bluegate FieldsCharlotte and Thomas Pitt # 6
Genre: Historical Mystery - Victorian
Rating: 1
reviewed by: Sylvia on 01/14/2010


 
Author: Healy, Jeremiah aka Terry Devane
Title: Blunt DartsJohn Francis Cuddy # 1
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 01/12/2010


 
Author: Maron, Margaret
Title: Bootlegger’s DaughterJudge Deborah Knott # 1
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 01/08/2010


 
Author: McCaffrey, Anne
Title: Black Horses For the King
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 01/07/2010


 
Author: Heyer, Georgette
Title: Behold, Here's PoisonInspector Hannasyde # 2
Genre: Police Procedural Mystery
Rating: 3
When household tyrant Gregory Matthews is found dead, none of his family are particularly grieved, and accusations fly thick and fast. But when an autopsy reveals that he had been poisoned, Inspector Hannasyde has to wade through multiple surprises to identify the killer. Even so, he stays one step behind another interested party.

What an amazing collection of unlikeable characters. One selfish wimpy sister, one selfish overbearing sister, one selfish manipulative sister-in-law, one idiotic wastrel nephew, and one troublemaking wastrel nephew. The niece who wants to marry the neighborhood doctor is the closest to a nice person in the bunch. But Heyer plays absolutely fair with the reader, providing all the necessary clues along with lots of distractors.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 01/06/2010


 
Author: Lackey, Mercedes & Dixon, Larry
Title: Born to RunSERRAted Edge # 1
Genre: Fantasy - Alternate History
Rating: 1
reviewed by: Sylvia on 07/19/2009


 
Author: Bruns, Don
Title: Barbados heatCaribbean mystery # 2
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 07/06/2009


 
Author: Sawyer, Kim Vogel
Title: BygonesSommerfield # 1
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 07/05/2009


 
Author: Graham, Jo
Title: Black Ships
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 07/03/2009


 
Author: Novik, Naomi
Title: Black powder warTemeraire # 3
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 06/29/2009


 
Author: Berenson, Laurien
Title: Best in showMelanie Travis # 10
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 12/29/2008


 
Author: Steele, Volney
Title: Bleed, blister, and purge
Genre:
Rating:
Detailed history of frontier medicine, but unfortunately not very readable. I read it in small chunks because it had amazing information on what really happened on the frontier.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 11/14/2008


 
Author: Smith, Barbara Burnett
Title: Beads of doubtKitzi Camden # 2
Genre:
Rating:
Kitzi is livid when a cousin wants to take over the family manse and appalled when his co-worker is found murdered in a dumpster next door. In between admiring bead creations and hosting an ovarian cancer benefit, she tracks down a missing candlestick and fights to keep her home. Better than the previous book in making sure the reader has the information needed to identify the murderer, but still more than a bit confusing as Smith runs numerous simultaneous storylines.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 10/26/2008


 
Author: Smith, Barbara Burnett
Title: Bead on troubleKitzi Camden # 1
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 10/26/2008


 
Author: Fielding, Helen
Title: Bridget Jones: the edge of reason
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 10/24/2008


 
Author: Fletcher, Martin
Title: Breaking news
Genre:
Rating:
Absolutely riveting autobiography of an NBC cameraman-turned-producer. Full not only of dramatic scenes he experienced but the effect they had on his psyche and his family. Another book that was not a fast read but well worth the time it took to get all the way through.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 10/22/2008


 
Author: Gaskin, Catherine
Title: Blake's reach
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reviewed by: Sylvia on 10/21/2008


 
Author: Fielding, Helen
Title: Bridget Jones's diary
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reviewed by: Sylvia on 10/20/2008


 
Author: Pattison, Eliot
Title: Bone RattlerDuncan McCallum # 1
Genre: Historical Mystery
Rating: 1
reviewed by: Sylvia on 10/17/2008


 
Author: Hawes, Louise
Title: Black pearls
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reviewed by: Sylvia on 10/13/2008


 
Author: Coffey, Tom
Title: Blood alley
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Essentially noir 1940s story about a young wannabe newspaperman who investigates the murder of a young socialite for which a black man is blamed. Not involving enough to keep me reading.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 10/12/2008


 
Author: McInerny, Ralph M
Title: Body and soilAndrew Broom # 2
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Full of unlikeable people, including a serial killer that literally gave me nightmares. Andrew Broom himself was okay, but not worth wasting the time on the rest of the characters.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 10/09/2008


 
Author: Lofts, Norah
Title: Blossom like the rose
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Strange book about the crippled son of a British minor noble during the Restoration, that I never found a story in and gave up on.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 10/08/2008


 
Author: Johnson, Claire M
Title: Beat Until Stiff
Genre: Murder Mystery
Rating: 2
reviewed by: Sylvia on 10/07/2008


 
Author: Saunders, Kate
Title: Bachelor boys
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 10/03/2008


 
Author: Fluke, Joanne
Title: Blueberry Muffin MurderHannah Swenson # 3
Genre: Murder Mystery
Rating: 4
reviewed by: Sylvia on 10/01/2008


 
Author: Burke, Shannon
Title: Black flies
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 09/27/2008


 
Author: Shors, John
Title: Beneath a Marble Sky
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Grim more-or-less-fact-based novel of the building of the Taj Mahal, from the viewpoint of the oldest daughter of the beloved Empress. Beautifully written, with lush language reminiscent of Dickens or Austen, but I gave up halfway through because the story was just too depressing.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 09/26/2008


 
Author: Parker, Gary E
Title: Beyond a reasonable doubt
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reviewed by: Sylvia on 09/25/2008


 
Author: Boynton, Sandra & Ford, Michael
Title: Blue Moo
Genre: Children's Book
Rating: 5
reviewed by: Sylvia on 09/18/2008


 
Author: Lanagan, Margo
Title: Black juice
Genre:
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In this collection of unrelated short stories, Lanagan demonstrates a strong gift for creating alternate universes and putting believable people in them. Unfortunately, that does not translate to enjoyable stories. The only one I really liked was the last piece in the book, "Rite of Spring."
reviewed by: Sylvia on 05/27/2008


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