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review 2018-11-07 10:08
A cozy mystery with a harder edge and very engaging characters and location.
Death in a Mudflat. - N. Granger

I received a free ARC copy of this novel that I freely chose to review.

I enjoy reading mysteries, thrillers, crime novels, police procedurals… and I love watching crime movies and TV series, but my experience of cozy mysteries is a bit mixed. As a horror lover, I am not too squeamish and the fact that there is little violence (or at least not very graphically depicted) in the genre is not a big appeal for me. On the other hand, I don’t like erotica, so the lack of graphic sex is a plus. Above all, I love a good and solid story, and although I enjoy quirky and weird characters, I like the mystery to be well-plotted and detailed enough not to feel annoyed at major gaps or inconsistencies. (Yes, I know we’re talking about fiction, reading it requires a degree of suspension of disbelief and if a novel was truly factual, it would probably be terribly boring, but I can’t abide glaringly obvious mistakes or sleight of hand as a plot device to sort a complex storyline gone awry). I have read some cozy mysteries that I’ve enjoyed, but others place so much emphasis on other elements of the story and try so hard to be light and amusing, to the point where the mystery becomes an afterthought, that almost managed to convince me that the genre is not for me.

Having read N. A. Granger’s blog, knowing that she used to teach biology and anatomy and that her main character is an ER nurse, I was intrigued by her series and had put her books on my list. Her blog post about the creation of the cover for this book piqued my curiosity, and I was happy to try the book when I got the ARC copy.

This is the fourth book in the series, but the author has included a list of characters at the beginning and summarised the relationships between them, offering also a brief indication of the story so far, and that suffices to help new readers get their bearing and follow the story without difficulty, although at some points there were nuances that I was convinced would have delighted readers of the previous volumes that were lost on me. Rhe Brewster, the protagonist, is still an ER nurse, but only part-time now, and she has become an official investigator with the sheriff department (no more amateur sleuth now, although her friend Paulette takes up the role). Her brother-in-law, Sam, is the sheriff and also her beau (yes, there is a story there, for sure); she has a boy with ADHD, Jack, and she is that mix of the intuitive and clever investigator (still fresh from the amateur ranks, but getting increasingly professional, it seems) with the impulsive and rushed person who can get herself into trouble by following her intuition, always with the best intentions at heart.

We also have a wonderful setting, the imaginary small coastal-town of Pequod, in Maine, (and being a fan of Moby Dick, I love the name) where everybody knows everybody else (or almost), but large enough to have a college, a fairly big hospital, and plenty of restaurants and takeaways (if we are to judge by the number of meals and eateries mentioned in the book). Sailing, one of Rhe’s passions, is also featured, and it plays a fairly important part in this story.

The book manages to maintain the balance between the quirky atmosphere and characters, and the police-procedural-type of investigation and mystery. There are two cases, one involving three women who have been killed years apart, and a second one to do with drug overdoses at the college campus, which may, or may not, be connected. The story is narrated in the first-person from Rhe’s point of view (if you don’t always appreciate first-person narratives, I’d recommend that you check a sample of the writing first) and her personality shines through in the way the story is told. Some aspects of the story are described in plenty of detail —those that she knows well and is more interested in— like the post-mortem examinations, the steps necessary to maintain the chain of evidence, and the sailing scenes (I have read reviews praising their accuracy, but as I have no knowledge of sailing and little of its terminology, I cannot comment, and I must admit some of the finer details went over my head) and would seemingly push it towards a more straight-type of mystery. But, Rhe is not all procedure and protocol, and there are also plenty of details that emphasize the domestic and amateurish side of the plot (Rhe has two jobs and has to juggle those with her personal life as well, resulting in information not being relayed straight away, details and facts about the cases being confirmed only when there is a gap in her schedule and many discussions with her superior taking place in the comfort of their own home). There is a mix of very high-tech procedures (courtesy of the FBI intervention) with a somewhat old-fashioned feel to the book (people carry mobile phones but don’t often use them, and Rhe and Sam seem to prefer good old-style policing, knocking on doors and talking to people, and even confess to lack of technical proficiency), that is also in evidence when it comes to the personal relationships and lifestyle of the characters. Although Rhe is a woman of action and proves, more than once, that she can look after herself, Sam questions her decisions often and pulls rank on more than one occasion, and Paulette and Rhe are also concerned about the reaction of her friend’s husband to her adventures, although this seems to be played mostly for laughs.

The mix of high and low intensity also carries through when it comes to action. I have already talked about the importance of food, and how often it is the subject of conversations, but there is also plenty of action, involving Rhe getting herself into trouble and, either managing to rescue others at the last minute (with some assistance), or having to get rescued. I don’t want to reveal any spoilers, but let’s say that at some points the pace quickens, the stakes are high, and there is plenty more action than I have come to expect from cozies.

The writing is easy to follow and flows well, and the characters’ speech is distinctive, their quirks and personalities making the dialogue compelling. I particularly enjoyed the local words and occasional expressions that peppered the novel without overwhelming it or making it difficult to understand.

What about the mystery? Is it easy to crack? Because the story is told from Rhe’s point of view, it is difficult to get ahead of her, although the author is skilled at giving us some clues that Rhe seems not to fully register or process at the time, and those clues might help readers solve the case somewhat before the protagonist. There are red herrings and we are often lead down the wrong path, but as Rhe is now firmly on the side of the law (well, almost all of the time), the emphasis is on getting the required evidence and not only on coming up with a theory or a hunch. I felt that both cases were intriguing enough to keep readers turning the pages at a fast pace, and the place and the characters added atmosphere to the novel.

I am sure that readers who have followed the series will enjoy this novel more fully, as it is clear that the characters, and Rhe in particular, have developed and grown through the books, but I must confess that this first incursion into Rhe Brewster’s world got me attached to the characters to the point where I felt quite emotional and sorry to see them go. Ah, and the prologue of the next book promises a gripping read as well.

I recommend this story to readers of cozy novels who prefer their mysteries with a more realistic and harder edge, crossing into police-procedural terrain, and to all those who love series like Midsummer Murders and want to immerse themselves in a charming small town with a dark (or darkish) underside. (Beware if you’re on a diet, though. There’s plenty of food!)

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review 2018-11-05 06:45
FATE PLAYS ITS HAND IN OUR LIVES
The Biology of Luck - Jacob M. Appel

This is one of the oddest novels that I've ever read. At 207 pages, it isn't taxing on the reader's time and, on the whole, is well-written. 

'THE BIOLOGY OF LUCK' is set in New York City around the end of the 20th century and into the first few years of the 21st century. It's either a story within a story or rather, a story superimposed upon another, which is perhaps closer to the truth because they are both centered on 2 of the novel's central characters.

 

Larry Bloom is a guy in his 30s who works as a NYC tour guide. He's nondescript and would be seen by most people as unattractive and unremarkable because he is, and he knows that. But there is a woman he has known as a friend for 2 years with whom he has fallen in love. For her, he has written a novel -- part of which is played out across several chapters carrying within their titles the words 'The Biology of Luck - Chapter -- by Larry Bloom' --- which revolves upon her and one which Bloom sent to a major publishing company, who had sent him a letter by way of reply - a letter he has yet to open; Bloom hopes it will be 'the Ace up his sleeve' in his bid to win her heart. The woman of Bloom's dreams is Starshine Hart, a 29 year old woman noted for her beauty and for moving to the beat of a different drummer. 

Bloom's hopes for lasting happiness or everlasting despair hinges on a date he has with Starshine at an Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village. 

For any reader of this review with the slightest curiosity as to what 'THE BIOLOGY OF LUCK' is about, the following remarks from the book, I think, best sum up what it's about: "A day that began on the sleepy streets of Harlem will end in a dash to the finish. The soles of Larry's feet throb after hours of walking; his throat burns from wasted words; his clothes bear the scars of smoked eel and pickled herring. In less than twelve hours, he has saved the life of a pompous buffoon, failed to rescue a beautiful maiden, and abandoned a corpse to the mercies of the news media. An overbearing journalist has kidnapped his bouquet. ... It has been the most traumatic day Larry has ever experienced, a whirlwind of dreams extinguished and hopes renewed, but what makes this snippet of June so inconceivable is that the two greatest challenges are still to come. He may yet be an author. ... All depends on whether Starshine, glorious Starshine, will wait for him."

On the whole, 'THE BIOLOGY OF LUCK' is a decent novel. But not one to get overly excited about.

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text 2018-10-26 07:10
Biology Models Market Trends and Opportunities by Product Types 2025

October 26, 2018: This report researches the worldwide Biology Models market size (value, capacity, production and consumption) in key regions like North America, Europe, Asia Pacific (China, Japan) and other regions.

 

This study categorizes the global Biology Models breakdown data by manufacturers, region, type and application, also analyzes the market status, market share, growth rate, future trends, market drivers, opportunities and challenges, risks and entry barriers, sales channels, distributors and Porter's Five Forces Analysis.

 

Global Biology Models market size will increase to  Million US$ by 2025, from  Million US$ in 2017, at a CAGR of  during the forecast period. In this study, 2017 has been considered as the base year and 2018 to 2025 as the forecast period to estimate the market size for Biology Models.

 

Download sample Copy of This Report at: https://www.radiantinsights.com/research/global-biology-models-market-insights-forecast-to-2025/request-sample

 

This report focuses on the top manufacturers' Biology Models capacity, production, value, price and market share of Biology Models in global market. The following manufacturers are covered in this report:

  • 3B Scientific
  • GPI Anatomicals
  • Laerdal
  • Honglian Medical Tech
  • frasaco
  • Xincheng

 

Browse Full Report With TOC @ https://www.radiantinsights.com/research/global-biology-models-market-insights-forecast-to-2025

 

  • Simulaids
  • Algeo
  • PRODONT-HOLLIGER
  • Adam, Rouilly
  • Erler-Zimmer
  • Kanren
  • Columbia Dentoform
  • Sakamoto Model Corporation
  • Scientific Publishing
  • 3DIEMME
  • Fysiomed
  • Altay Scientific
  • Nasco
  • Dynamic Disc Designs
  • Sterling Manufacturing

 

Biology Models Breakdown Data by Type

  • Animal
  • Plant
  • Others

 

Biology Models Breakdown Data by Application

  • Education
  • Research
  • Others

 

Biology Models Production Breakdown Data by Region

  • United States
  • Europe
  • China
  • Japan
  • Other Regions

 

The study objectives are:

  • To analyze and research the global Biology Models capacity, production, value, consumption, status and forecast;
  • To focus on the key Biology Models manufacturers and study the capacity, production, value, market share and development plans in next few years.
  • To focuses on the global key manufacturers, to define, describe and analyze the market competition landscape, SWOT analysis.
  • To define, describe and forecast the market by type, application and region.
  • To analyze the global and key regions market potential and advantage, opportunity and challenge, restraints and risks.
  • To identify significant trends and factors driving or inhibiting the market growth.
  • To analyze the opportunities in the market for stakeholders by identifying the high growth segments.
  • To strategically analyze each submarket with respect to individual growth trend and their contribution to the market.
  • To analyze competitive developments such as expansions, agreements, new product launches, and acquisitions in the market.
  • To strategically profile the key players and comprehensively analyze their growth strategies.

 

In this study, the years considered to estimate the market size of Biology Models:

  • History Year: 2013-2017
  • Base Year: 2017
  • Estimated Year: 2018
  • Forecast Year 2018 to 2025

For the data information by region, company, type and application, 2017 is considered as the base year. Whenever data information was unavailable for the base year, the prior year has been considered.

 

About Radiant Insights

Radiant Insights is a platform for companies looking to meet their market research and business intelligence requirements. We assist and facilitate organizations and individuals procure market research reports, helping them in the decision making process. We have a comprehensive collection of reports, covering over 40 key industries and a host of micro markets. In addition to over extensive database of reports, our experienced research coordinators also offer a host of ancillary services such as, research partnerships/ tie-ups and customized research solutions.

 

For More Information, Visit Radiant Insights

 

Contact:
Michelle Thoras
Corporate Sales Specialist, USA
Radiant Insights, Inc
Phone: 1-415-349-0054
Toll Free: 1-888-202-9519
Email: sales@radiantinsights.com    
Blog URL: http://pharmaceuticalshealthcaremarketforecasts.wordpress.com

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review 2018-10-23 17:07
What is Life? Erwin Schrodinger
What Is Life?: With Mind and Matter and Autobiographical Sketches - Erwin Schrödinger,Roger Penrose

Scientifically very out of date, often unclear and self-condradictory. Frequently descends into religio-metaphysical mumbo-jumbo. The autobiographical part completely superficial.

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text 2018-10-22 15:52
Reading progress update: I've read 167 out of 194 pages.
What Is Life?: With Mind and Matter and Autobiographical Sketches - Erwin Schrödinger,Roger Penrose

Colour isn't a physical thing; electromagnetic waves are. Taste isn't a physical thing, chemicals are. Sound isn't a physical thing; compressional waves in solids and fluids are. We don't have a physical theory of "sense impressions" but all our information about what is real comes from them. This is the central mystery of the mind-body problem re-stated. Schrodinger doesn't even attempt to solve this problem.

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