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review 2018-01-21 17:00
Surprisingly Good read
Stronger - Janet Nissenson
Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
 

I’m really torn on this book. I want to tell you to definitely read the book but part of be is reserved about that. It’s one of those book that is a good book but also has some negative qualities. Let’s see if I can figure out how I really feel by the end of this review.

 

First, overall, as a story, it was a good story. The plot was well written and the characters were well developed – for as much as the author wanted them to be. Details and descriptions were on par with a well written story. I applaud the author on all of the technical aspects of the book.

 

Here is where things get a little fuzzy or hazy to me. First, and you’ll find this one my review on number five, I don’t believe these books should be listed as stand alone. They are all about each individual characters, but there always seems to be a little back story that’s missing. Since I read book 5 I thought maybe that I would be a little bit more well versed into the story. This book was easier to read having some back story, but I still think it would be easier to read all the prior books.

 

Secondly was the way that the author chose to write the female lead character. I understand the point was for her to overcome her issues and growing as a person, I appreciate that. However, I don’t like the way that the character was “grossly overweight” because she needed to lose 20 pounds. I think that part of the story could have been written a little bit differently.  Maybe I took it a little bit more personal because I’ve battled weight my entire life and maybe other readers won’t. Maybe it will help someone that is struggling but maybe it will push another person struggling that much deeper. I think it’s important to note that the character succeeded in doing what she felt she needed to do to overcome her problems. I also feel I need to note that the author deserves to write the story based on how the characters speak to her. The character was very real and had very real issues of her own that she had to deal with. So I applaud for the way the author made the character very real.

 

I’ve had a hard time trying to figure out just why I didn’t really enjoy this book. I think it was more personal issues and I didn’t appreciate the way the author chose to handle/tackle the issues the character had. I don’t think the author deserves a bad review or negative criticism for that – so I tried very hard to be sure my rating didn’t lose any points just for that. Since there were some issues with the way the story was written for it to be a stand alone, that’s why I gave it a 4 star. While I can’t recommend this story to you, it was a well written story and the author did a good job.

 

 

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *

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review 2017-12-27 02:20
Ice Cream related hijinks for Stephanie, Ranger, Joe, et al.
Turbo Twenty-Three - Janet Evanovich

While trying to apprehend an habitual hijacker, Lula finds herself behind the wheels of a recently stolen refrigerated truck -- which she promptly runs into a Trenton Police Car, much to Stephanie's chagrin. Both the police and the bounty hunters are surprised to find a corpse in the back of the truck -- covered in chocolate and sprinkled with nuts, just like a Bogart bar.

 

Coincidentally enough, Ranger just got hired to handle security for the Bogart ice cream factory and wants to send Stephanie undercover to help dig up some holes in the security there. She doesn't find a murderer straight off, but she does find a lot of problems with the security. Joe's not handling this case for the PD, but he's still able to provide a little intel when needed.

 

Speaking of coincidences, Grandma Mazur has a new fella in her life, who happens to tend bar where one of the prime suspects regularly drinks himself into a stupor. Which works out nicely for everyone.

 

About the only person not coincidentally connected to these crimes is Lula. She spends most of the book working on audition videos to reality shows. She and Randy Briggs make a couple of videos for Naked and Afraid-esque shows. Thankfully, there are no illustrations to this book or I'd have to bleach my eyes.

 

The comedy is a little dialed back from what it has been recently -- which is good. Although it is there -- once I saw that Stephanie was put undercover at the plant, I wrote in my notes, "we'd better get a Lucy [Ricardo] moment." Thankfully, we did, shortly after I'd given up hope and was prepared to devote a paragraph or two to ranting about how Evanovich missed the obvious and nigh-obligatory move. Outside the Lula stuff, I enjoyed the rest of the comedic beats (and, actually, the Lula stuff wasn't as annoying as it could've been).

 

The mystery itself was pretty easy for the reader to solve, but it's a pretty clever bit of criminal activity that Stephanie and Ranger eventually uncover -- and the way the story unfolds is entertaining enough that you don't mind seeing the solution more than 100 pages before Stephanie does.

 

This is a solid entry in this long-running and still (generally) entertaining series. It'd be a decent jumping on point as well as a pleasant reunion with old friends (new readers might find it more entertaining than I did, actually, running jokes being a bit fresher for them). As a story this might actually work a bit better than some of the books do, and it looks like Evanovich has the humor/plot ratio just right, nothing to complain about here.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2017/12/26/turbo-twenty-three-by-janet-evanovich
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review 2017-12-07 18:37
Review of A Race is a Nice Thing to Have by Janet Helms
A Race Is a Nice Thing to Have: A Guide to Being a White Person or Understanding the White Persons in Your Life - Janet E. Helms

This was a book that looked at how White People view themselves in society and how that can often lead to a natural racism.  It is an academic text and to be honest, it was not easy to get through even though it was short.  There were many important points in here, but I feel like I have read them all in many other places.

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review 2017-11-12 22:34
A good cozy read
Murder at the Mansion - Janet Finsilver

Renovations are going on over at the Redwood Cove B&B, so Kelly's boss has her putting up guest in a Victorian mansion he has since it's whale watching season. Kelly's in control of keeping track of the antique items but then she discovers a body and things take a different turn. 

Kelly is not real interested in looking for a killer but she hates that they think that Stevie could be blamed since they already think he might have been the one stealing things from the mansion, as well as one other person. So she does a little snooping and that leads her to finding some interesting things along the way. Someone doesn't want her snooping and tries to get rid of her so now the cops are trying to keep her safe as they try and catch the killer. 

Second book in the Kelly Jackson mysteries and I really enjoyed it. Kelly just wants to run her B&B but right now that is not happening so she tries to make the most of it. She doesn't really want to get involved in a murder investigation but at the same time she can't help but be a little curious about things going on. It has a great bunch of secondary characters and one of my favorites is the little boy Tommy, he is adorable. 

Overall, I think this is a fun series and if you are a fan of cozies you should check out this series!!

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review 2017-11-05 16:06
The Highlander Next Door
The Highlander Next Door - Janet Chapman

Got this this weekend at my local library sale (Nov 4th). Having heard about Janet Chapman's death, when I saw this, I picked it up. I've never read her and thought I should. I think this was the wrong book to start with (detailed below).
Here is her obituary.  I loved that her family mentioned she was on hospice.  

 

Oopsie, this is book 6 in a series that is a spin-off of another series. So, maybe I would have enjoyed this (a little) more if I had been more involved in this world and characters. So, back to the book.
Niall is originally from somewhere else. Make that a different time. Pretty cool, yeah? He is the Chief of Police. He had moments where I liked him and didn't. My main problems where with the heroine, Birch. And maybe Niall's intelligence in falling for someone like Birch.
Birch's mother has been married 4 times and has made some iffy choices. So, Birch is JADED. To the point she's a BITCH. Yes, in caps, because she is that BAD. I didn't like her, couldn't connect with her, and didn't believe her turn around. No, no, and no.  I didn't like that she ran a battered women's shelter. Wrong career choice there.  

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