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review 2018-08-13 20:17
Feel the Heat
Feel The Heat (Rockford Fire Department Book 1) - Kathryn Shay

Francey (Francesca) is a firefighter (I know- a female firefighter!). Her grandpa, dad, and a brother are also firefighters. She and her crew get called out to a fire. She rescues Alex, who fell asleep at his desk. 
I like both both Francesca and Alex. Fran is a tomboy and is one of the guys. Alex sees her and is intrigued. It helps that she doesn't fawn all over him. They play at being friends and later have things they need to work out.
I liked the firefighting terms and learned a little. I thought it was realistic at how a busy, city fire department is, with the stress of the job, but also the stress it puts on the family. There is a strong secondary story-line here too with Fran's parents, Ben and Diana who divorced when she was 3. 
The fire that Alex is saved from; that was predictable and I had wondered, at first, if that would have been a suspense point. Hint- it's not. Anyway, I was right.
Points off for this: "But it was her eyes that snared him. They were huge, almost translucent and the oddest color, indigo fanning out to deep purple." This is NOT a paranormal! (Natural) purple eyes do not exist!

Ripped Bodice Bingo:  firefighters square!

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text 2018-05-25 21:22
Reading progress update: I've read 242 out of 242 pages.
The Journey - Kathryn Lasky

Geez, I feel like I slogged through this. This was a lot more boring than the first book.

 

It doesn't help that I clearly need to see an optometrist because reading for more than 40 minutes is giving me headaches. I'm already diagnosed near-sighted. Now, it seems I may need bifocals. Joy of joys. I'm having to take frequent breaks as I read to keep from triggering a migraine. 

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text 2018-05-24 21:42
Reading progress update: I've read 101 out of 242 pages.
The Journey - Kathryn Lasky

This book is a lot slower to get through than you would think. I'm still making good time, but I was really hoping to get it done all in one day. And I don't see that happening.

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text 2018-05-24 04:50
A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie
A Is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie - Kathryn Harkup

Since this is a re-read for me, and I stand by my original review/rating, this post will serve as my final reading update.  As such a few thoughts on the final three entires:

 

Ricin:

"[...] to ensure no ricin makes it into the castor oil it is heated to more than 80C at it is extracted; this denatures the protein, so inactivating it."

 

Something for the raw food movement to remember:  don't buy cold-pressed castor oil.  Sometimes, processed is better.

 

Strychnine:

Oh dear god what a thoroughly hideous way to die.  The deciding factor for me, in a book full of thoroughly hideous ways to go, is that you're completely aware of what's going on the entire time it's happening.  Like Hemlock, only here there's zero chance of getting the "nice" kind (if a nice kind of hemlock actually does exist - let's nobody find out).  

 

I also had the weird and totally superfluous thought:  I wonder if anyone's ever tried spraying a victim down in solarcaine?  (Solarcaine is an aerosol form of lidocaine - topical anesthetic.)  Because, you know, it's a numbing agent, which would cut off nerve stimulation.  Although I can't imagine it would be very comforting to be in the throes of strychnine and hear: "Quick! Get the sunburn spray - this might feel a little cold..."

 

So, now you know where my mind goes when it's running from descriptions of horrific death.  Sunburn spray.

 

Moving on... Veronal.  

I had almost no thoughts about Veronal at all; probably because I was still musing over the sunburn spray ... not because of any deficiencies in Harkup's writing.

 

As I said at the start; I happily stand by my first assessment of the book at the 4.5 stars I gave it.  It's entertaining and accessible without sacrificing intellectual merit.

 

If you have a reading retention rate for details better than mine, you might find some of the sections she doesn't label as spoilers to be over-revealing.  Unlike others, the only one I found that will stick with me over time is the (to me) dead give away in the Veronal chapter for Lord Edgware Dies, although maybe it isn't. The way it's written it seems there's only one scene needed to identify the murderer, given what Harkup shares here.  Perhaps the scene is more complicated than she describes though.  Luckily, I need only read enough books between now and my next Christie to completely forget, confuse or conflate the details I've read here.  Silver linings...

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text 2018-05-23 08:50
Reading progress update: I've read 221 out of 320 pages.
A Is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie - Kathryn Harkup

Phosphorus:  Of all the undignified ways to glow in the dark...  and almost, but not quite, as horrible a way to die as strychnine.

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