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review 2018-10-15 17:01
Review: “Gingerbread and Ghosts” (Peridale Cafe Mystery, #10) by Agatha Frost
Gingerbread and Ghosts - Agatha Frost

 

~ 3 stars ~

 

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review 2018-10-15 01:16
Claws for Concern
Claws for Concern (Cat in the Stacks Mystery) - Miranda James

Charlie Harris's grandson, baby Charlie, has been born and he gets to watch the baby along with his friends and girlfriend. But one day, a man asks for information on his uncle (married to his aunt) and he ends up searching for the truth of a murder from over 20 years ago. The man claims to be the son of his uncle from a previous relationship.

 

The story was interesting and I mixed the reading with audio, so my girls were listening as I was driving, too. They actually requested this book. My husband enjoyed some of the incidents as I had owned (can you ever really own a cat) a Maine Coon Cat when we got together and while she was a beauty, she didn't do well in moving with me to the new house.

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review 2018-10-14 23:22
"The Ballad Of Black Tom" by Victor LaValle
The Ballad of Black Tom - Victor LaValle

"The Ballad Of Black Tom" is a powerful novella which appropriates H, P, Lovecraft's occult lore and ancient gods and places a young black man at the centre of the story. 

 

I'm not a Lovecraft fan but I was fascinated by the way Victor LaValle took possession and Lovecraft's world and used it to explore a black man's rage at how he and his father are treated by the white men.

 

In less than 150 pages, we follow Charles Thomas Tester's transformation from a savvy twenty-year-old hustler with a passing knowledge of the occult and a flair for dissembling to Black Tom, a bringer of death and a herald of doom. The means for this transformation comes from occult knowledge provided acquired from the rich power-hungry white people who buy his time. The motive for the transformation comes from the contempt and violence he receives from the white men around him.

 

The text is vivid and full of energy. LaValle perfectly captures the sense of threat a lone black man experiences when venturing outside of Harlem. The scene where Tester learns of the brutal act of violence by a white private detective is chilling and makes a perfect trigger for his transformation into Black Tom.

 

Towards the end of the novella, Tester reflects on his own transformation into a monster by the way in which white people saw him, saying of white people:

“Every time I was around them, they acted like I was a monster. So I said goddamnit, I’ll be the worst monster you ever saw!”

He also recognises that his rage has cost him his connection with his own community and stripped him of his humanity.

 

H. P. Lovecraft's racism is well known so it interested me that the racist white private detective's surname is Howard, which was Lovecraft's first name.

 

Diverse Voices Mike Finn Halloween Bingo Card-002I read "The Ballad Of Black Tom" for the Diverse Voices square for Halloween Bingo

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review 2018-10-14 15:19
Review: “Birthday Cake and Bodies” (Peridale Cafe Mystery, #9) by Agatha Frost
Birthday Cake and Bodies - Agatha Frost

 

~ 4 stars ~

 

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text 2018-10-14 03:42
Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 366 pages.
One Last Time - Corinne Michaels

Her husband is an asshole 

 

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