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review 2018-11-28 02:55
HAT by Renee Paule, illustrated by GR Hewitt
Hat - Renée Paule,G R Hewitt

HAT

written by Renee Paule 

illustrated by G R Hewitt

Paperback, 36 pages

Published May 2018 by RPG Publishing

099350986X (ISBN13: 9780993509865)

 

The colors that G R Hewitt used in the illustrations is great. A lot of colors, more muted rather than overly stimulating bright.

Paule describes each hat with shorter and longer words, which makes it a wonderful book to help young readers to learn some "big" vocabulary words, without making it feel like work. I really enjoyed the book, and the little comprehension test that she includes at the end.

 

 

***This book was won in a Booklikes giveaway held by the auther, in exchange for a fair review. ***

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review 2018-11-22 18:14
Murder in the Rue de Paradis by Cara Black
Murder in the Rue de Paradis - Cara Black

The used bookstore I frequent (at which I have almost $200 in credit) is a treasure trove of books. It's also a muddle - I realized the last time I was there that the shelves are actually 2 deep in books, and there really isn't any way to know what's behind the first line of books without digging. Therefore, it is like a treasure hunt every time I am there.

 

The last time I was there, I found a little section of Soho Crime, which had several of the Aimee LeDuc mysteries. I've read the first two of the series, but they are fairly expensive on kindle, so I'm reluctant to buy them. I could probably check them out of the library. Anyway, I figured out which of the available books was earliest in the series and bought it. This still meant that I would be skipping 5 books, since Rue Paradis is #8 in the series. I figured what the heck, and bought it anyway. When I saw that one of the qualifying book elements for International Day of Tolerance was to read a book set in Paris, I immediately thought of Aimee.

 

The action for this book is set in 1995, which is in the near past. I was not at all current on Aimee's private life, so her reporter boyfriend, Yves, was new to me. I have no idea how much of a role he plays in the earlier books before becoming the murder victim in this one. The murder itself was interesting, and I definitely didn't figure it out.

 

I really love the use of Paris in these books, though. It is such a vibrant, diverse, real city as portrayed by Cara Black. She definitely shows the duality of Paris - the romantic, glittery aspects, but also the dirty, urban elements as well. I doubt that they will ever make it into my first tier of mysteries, but I've enjoyed every one that I've read.

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review 2018-11-19 23:01
Plum Pudding, with a side of murder
A Christmas Party - Georgette Heyer

I love Christmas mysteries, and I especially love the narrow sub-genre of the English country house murder mystery, which includes Hercule Poirot's Christmas and The Adventure of The Christmas Pudding by Agatha Christie, The Santa Klaus Murder by Mavis Doriel Hay, and Mystery in White by J. Jefferson Farjeon, as well as this one.

 

Originally titled Envious Casca, somewhere along the way the publisher realized that people really love mysteries set over the Christmas holidays, so the book was repackaged with a fantastic cover and republished for a new generation of readers. 

 

I've enjoyed this one more with subsequent readings, in spite of the fact that I know whodunnit. This is definitely a book to take to any holiday gathering that involves members of your family that are difficult to deal with - Heyer's acid pen and her descriptions of the brutal verbal sparring between the members of the Herriard family make dealings with passive-agressive mothers-in-law and #MAGA-inspired uncles seem like child's play by comparison.

 

And hey, if you manage to get yourself home without murdering, being murdered, or witnessing a murder, it's all good!

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review 2018-11-19 21:03
A Festive Re-read
Winter Solstice - Rosamunde Pilcher

I read this book nearly every year in the weeks leading up to Christmas. I have loved Rosamund Pilcher's sagas since I picked up The Shell Seekers at a Barnes and Noble somewhere around 20 years ago. I passed it onto my mother, who fell in love with her writing.

 

I don't know if Winter Solstice is my favorite Pilcher, but it is such a comfortable read for me that I can't give it less than 5 stars. I love all of the characters, and I love the theme of the book, which really acknowledges that sometimes your most important family is the family that you create. The relationship that grows between the lonely Lucy, whose self-centered parents are wrapped up too deeply into their own lives to give her the attention she deserves and Elfrida, her great-aunt, a former actress who never had children, but whose peripatetic life was endlessly fulfilling, is perfect. 

 

This is one of those books that I can't see clearly, because it has become a part of my bookish DNA. I've read it probably dozens of times, and each time I pick it up, it's like saying hello to a group of old friends that I've not seen for a while. The best kind of comfort read.

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review 2018-11-19 15:32
Death Spiral
Lethal White - Robert Galbraith

This is a classic J.K. Rowling book - twisted plot and complicated characters with disastrous personal relationships.

 

Why does the English upper crust insist on nicknames that sound like anthropomorphic animals from a children's book? Pringle, Flopsy and Fizzy? Really?

 

Anyway, this book was both a haul and a sprint - it's really, really long - but is riveting, nonetheless, and has enough characters to fill Wembley Stadium. This is an apropos analogy, given that it was set during the London Olympics. Which begs another question, what compelled Rowling to set the Strike novels in the near past? Why 2012 and not 2018? 

 

I do have a couple of quibbles. First, while I hope that Robin is thoroughly shed of Matthew, since their relationship has been nothing short of a train wreck and he's an absolute jackass, I am absolutely NOT feeling the Strike/Robin pairing at all. Second, could we please have a book where Robin does not end up in mortal peril? 

 

Because Cormoran Strike is former military, I'm using this book for the Armistice Day task!!

 

Now I wait for book 5.

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