logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: female-authors
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2020-09-13 09:08
The Sun Down Motel
The Sun Down Motel - Simone St. James

I am not a fan of horror, but I'm a big fan of old-fashioned ghost stories, when read in broad daylight.  I've been a big fan of Simone St. James' ghost stories since I first found The Haunting of Maddy Claire, the first of ... five?... historical ghost stories.  She branched off in a new direction with The Broken Girls, going with a dual time-line plot, which I read hesitantly, but enjoyed thoroughly.  The Sun Down Motel is another such book: a dual time-line mystery firmly rooted around a haunted place, this time a hotel that was pretty much doomed before it ever opened its doors.

 

I'm still a fan of St. James - I think this was a riveting read, and I devoured it in 2 sittings (daylight hours, all of them), but it wasn't as good as some of her others for two reasons, both purely subjective.  The first was the heavy handedness of the message: that women have always been, and sadly will always be, to some extent, vulnerable and expendable.  This is as unavoidable a fact as it is an inexcusable one, but more subtle writing would have had more powerful an impact.  Instead, there were times - just a few - that I felt like I was the choir and I was being preached at.  This wasn't a massive issue; it was just enough to pull me out of my head and the story a time or two.

 

The second reason is almost silly:  the ghosts.  They were almost exactly my right level of scary, but, and it took me some time to figure this out, they didn't have quite the effect on me as the ghosts in her previous books, because they never really focused on the main characters.  These hauntings were almost the remnant-kind: they were there acting in an endless loop, whether anyone witnessed or not, although there was a trigger.  The main ghost communicated with the historical time-line mc, but only once without being pushed into it by Viv.  The other ghosts communicated with the present day mc, Carly, but benignly.  They were spooky, absolutely, but at a remove, so that they fell just short of spine-tingling.

 

And I guess, as I write this I was left unsatisfied by Nick's story; it felt like it should be going somewhere and it didn't.  I'm also disappointed that there was never an explanation for the present-day entry in the guest book of one James March who registered the day Carly and Nick had their first real experience with the Sun Down Motel.  That was a BIG little thing to leave hanging with no follow up.

 

But overall, it was a good story; I liked that both Viv and Carly had solid friendships in their timelines; I liked that Nick was her support from pretty much page 1, and I liked the investigatory process of the mystery plot, even if I thought Viv was a reckless idiot.  The story sucked me in, and I remain a solid fan of St. James' books.

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2020-07-17 03:23
Consider the Platypus
Consider the Platypus: Evolution through Biology's Most Baffling Beasts - Rodica Prato,Maggie Ryan Sandford

I had this book on my list to buy long before it was published, so when I did buy it a few months ago, I was surprised:  I was expecting the book to be about the platypus.  Silly me.

 

It is, instead, a book about the animals that display aspects of evolution in its most baffling forms, or animals through whom are knowledge of evolution and homo sapiens has been advanced.  It's cheekily written, and could almost be used as a supplemental text for introductory classes in high-school, though it's nowhere near comprehensive enough.  Each animal gets between 2-4 pages, with a generous, though not excessive, illustrations.

 

I learned a bit about just about everything, and learned about a few creatures I'd never really heard of before.  Light, enjoyable to read, and something that is easily picked up and digested in small bits.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2020-07-17 03:13
The Mystery of the Hasty Arrow
The Mystery of the Hasty Arrow - Anna Katharine Green

It's a long-term goal of mine to read all of Anna Katherine Green's mysteries and this one has been sitting on my shelves for awhile now.  

 

AKG was, and is, considered a strong mystery writer, but as is true of most every writer, her work is sometimes better than others.  This was one of the ones that wasn't quite so great, though still an enjoyable read.  I imagine Green was going for what we'd call today a police procedural, as the murderer isn't kept a mystery; the reader is made privy to the information the same time Inspector Gryce first voices his suspicions.  I'm not a procedural fan, as it contains less puzzle than I prefer.  There was also a plot twist that was either poorly hidden, or I'm too jaded, but I called it from the first.  Her reveal of it, though, would have knocked my socks off if I hadn't guessed early on.

 

Overall, I enjoyed it and look forward to acquiring more of her work.  

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2020-07-02 02:50
Miss Kopp Just Won't Quit (Kopp Sisters, #4)
Miss Kopp Just Won't Quit - Amy Stewart

I always enjoy these books; they're soothing reads in many ways, as Stewart doesn't try to over dramatise or create more suspense than history dictates.  (This series is based on the real events and life of Constance Kopp.)  This 4th instalment surrounds the election for Sheriff, a pivotal point for Constance, because the sitting sheriff - the one that was bold enough to hire a woman - has hit his term limit and can run.

 

It's a bittersweet story with an interesting ending.  I look forward to finding out how the Kopp sisters fare.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2020-07-02 02:32
Airs Above the Ground
Airs Above the Ground - Mary Stewart

Not her best work, but a fun read nonetheless.  More a straight up mystery than romantic suspense, and while the plot villain was obvious, Stewart at least had some fun misleading the reader about the plot itself.

 

Aside:  I bought this years ago at a FOTL sale for a dollar; when I finished reading it, I saw that it was published and printed 3 blocks from where I live now.  On its site now sits a 'home improvement store' - Bunnings, the Aussie answer to Home Depot.  A place a spit and swear about every time I have to visit it.  Now, it seems, I have even more reason to dislike it - I'd rather the book publishers were still there.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?