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review 2017-11-04 01:47
The Mixed-Up Mask Mystery - Elizabeth Levy,Mordicai Gerstein

 

This was a very cute mystery for young readers. 

This is the first book I have read in the series, but it is still easy to understand without having any background knowledge on the characters or past events.

I enjoyed the silly mystery story and especially liked how nicely everything tied together at the end.

A very pleasant read.
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text 2017-10-31 12:19
#PROMOTIONAL_POST - The Mask of Sanity by Jacob M. Appel
The Mask of Sanity - Jacob M. Appel

On the outside, Dr. Jeremy Balint is a pillar of the community: the youngest division chief at his hospital, a model son to his elderly parents, fiercely devoted to his wife and two young daughters. On the inside, Dr. Jeremy Balint is a high-functioning sociopath—a man who truly believes himself to stand above the ethical norms of society. As long as life treats him well, Balint has no cause to harm others.When life treats him poorly, he reveals the depths of his cold-blooded depravity.


At a cultural moment when the media bombards us with images of so-called “sociopaths” who strive for good and criminals redeemed by repentance, The Mask of Sanity offers an antidote to implausible tales of “evil gone right.” In contrast to fictional predecessors like Dostoyevsky’s Raskolnikov and Camus’s Mersault, Dr. Balint is a man who already “has it all”—and will do everything in his power, no matter how immoral, to keep what he has.

 

Source: archaeolibrarianologist.blogspot.de/2017/10/promotionalpost-mask-of-sanity-by-jacob.html
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review 2017-09-03 08:02
What is Hiding Behind Your Mask?
The Mask of Sanity - Jacob M. Appel

Another fantastic read from Jacob Appel!! The author, enlisting his vast knowledge of psychology, not only created a convincing character as the serial killer, but also took readers into the murderer’s authentic and methodical plotting and preparations of his ‘kill-plans’. I have not rooted for a killer this intensely since Dexter!
The title, borrowed from the book written by the psychologist, Hervey M. Cleckley, is definitely the best name that could have been given to this book! Many people have their true selves that are hidden and have their ‘masks’ which they show to the public. Often, it is more pleasant to deal with the ‘masks’! This was most certainly the case with this book’s antagonist!
While reading this book, I kept thinking how it was going to end. I kept hoping that it wouldn’t end a certain way, then the story would shift and I hoped it wouldn’t end a different way. I had this battle with myself for the last third of the book. True to his form, Appel did not disappoint; he supplied none of the endings of which I had imagined. The ending was absolutely not expected, and certainly was a perfect choice!

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review 2017-09-03 02:15
The Miss Silver Mysteries: Grey Mask, The Case is Closed, Lonesome Road
The Miss Silver Mysteries: Grey Mask, The Case Is Closed, and Lonesome Road - Patricia Wentworth

GREY MASK: 3.5*

 

I adore Golden Age mysteries. If it’s got a detective in it and a flapper on the cover, I am predisposed to like it. Consequently, I think I’m more forgiving of them than I otherwise might be. Take Grey Mask, for instance. Some of the characters and situations border on the absurd, some of the plot twists seem out of left field, and some of the villains are just short of mustache-twirling, but that’s all part of the charm for me.

 

Miss Silver herself almost failed to win me over until the very end. She pulls a bit of a Scarlet Pimpernel, having very little page time in her own debut novel. Once she’s introduced, she’s just some sort of Sherlockian investigatory oracle, popping in every now and then to drop little bombshells concerning the case and berate her client for his stubborn reticence whilst managing to make the knitting of baby clothes seem monstrously intimidating. If it hadn’t been for her performance in the final chapters, I can’t say I’d be so enthusiastic to continue the series. Now I’m very much looking forward to getting to know her better.

 

THE CASE IS CLOSED: 2.5*

 

I’m having trouble rating The Case is Closed. It’s entertaining, it’s charming . . . and it’s really, really similar to the previous book in the series.

Much like Grey Mask, this book has:

 

  • Hardly any Miss Silver
  • Fog!
  • Quarreling lovers
  • Shady servants
  • A pale, too-thin, tragic damsel in distress who scratches out a living as a fashion model
  • Shenanigans with wills
  • A worthless nephew who collects art and directly benefits from the will shenanigans

 

I’m not bothered by formulaic patterns in cozy mysteries. That’s part of what makes them cozy. The only thing I found truly annoying was the repetition. As the book starts, it’s nearly a year and a half since the titular murder case was tried. A man was found guilty, and the details of that trial and the evidence given are repeated ad nauseam. And as the characters investigate, looking to clear the convicted man, the details of their discoveries are also repeated ad nauseam. SO. MUCH. REPETITION. Miss Silver, when she does appear, is a mere expositional tool for revealing information the other characters weren’t in a position to discover on their own.

 

But I found Hilary and Henry far more likable than Margaret and Charles. And the author did a better job creating suspenseful scenes this time around. But if you cut out all that repetition, this book would be a good fifteen chapters shorter and the story wouldn’t suffer for it.

 

LONESOME ROAD: 3.5*

 

The third Miss Silver mystery features a blessed deviation from the pattern of the previous books. We still have inheritance issues (but no will shenanigans), good-for-nothing relatives (LOTS of those), and (of course) fog. But this time Miss Silver appears in the very first chapter and makes regular appearances throughout. And she does more than swoop in, drop an info dump, and swoop out again. The effect was rather pleasing. After three books, she’s still no Miss Marple, but I’m finally getting a read on her character and I like what I see. The only downside I can see to having more of Miss Silver in her own mysteries is that the more page time she gets, the more Tennyson she quotes.

 

There’s been a loose connection between each book thus far. The pattern has been that a character from the previous book recommends Miss Silver’s services in the current book. It’s a nice nod to past adventures, but nothing that would be too confusing should you wish to read these books out of order. I’d like to continue this series, but it will probably be through the local library. My wishlist and wallet both quail at the number of books involved.

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text 2017-08-31 08:04
August Reading Colophon
The Informed Gardener - Linda Chalker-Scott
Lowcountry Bonfire - Susan M. Boyer
If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't) - Betty White
Death in the Vines: A Verlaque and Bonnet Provencal Mystery - M.L. Longworth
Grey Mask - Patricia Wentworth
Murder on the Ile Sordou - M.L. Longworth
Basket Case - Nancy Haddock

17 books this month with only one 4.5 star read sitting at the top, which is a typical month for me; much more typical than the spectacularly good reading months I had in the first half of 2017.

 

Six 4 star reads rounded things about and the worse book I read was... really, there weren't any.  Nothing below 3 stars, so really a very average reading month overall.

 

And now, on to BINGO!

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