Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: orchids
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-10-15 04:23
Dream of Orchids by Phyllis Whitney
Dream of Orchids - Phyllis A. Whitney

Phyllis Whitney was 82 years old when she wrote this book. Seriously, guys - she was my mother-in-law's age (and I'm 51) and she would go on to write another 10 freaking books after she was 82. I'm giving it a third star just for that reason.

As far as the book itself, it certainly wasn't a bad book, although it also wasn't a great book. It's set in Key West, and at times Whitney got a little too travelogue in her descriptions. She usually does a better job integrating the setting details into the story itself. But, did I mention that she was 82 years old when she wrote this book? I'm still dealing with that fact.

This book definitely follows the Whitney formula: appealing young woman goes to a place where she is on her own, and some sort of dangerous situation develops. There is always romance, and sometimes the object of desire is a decent sort and sometimes he's the villain. There's always at least one questionable death that is usually murder, and the villain - who can be either male or female - often has a tenuous grip on reality. Often times, some historical crime is exposed.

In Dream of Orchids, Laurel is a young bookseller in New England whose mother has recently passed away, and who was abandoned by her father, Clifton York, a well known author. A young man shows up at her bookstore, asking her to visit it her father in Key West. Once she arrives in Key West, she learns that things are not as she had believed, and that there is something quite sinister going on with her father, her two younger sisters, Iris and Fern, a sunken Spanish galleon and the orchid house where her step-mother, Poppy, bled to death in a bizarre accident. There's also a creepy secretary, her scarred ex-husband, and Iris's much older and far too sketchy fiance, Derek.

This is not Whitney's best work. But goddammit, she was 82 when she wrote it. And that's amazing.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-02-19 20:26
Week 7 of 2017
The Ersatz Elevator - Michael Kupperman,Lemony Snicket,Brett Helquist
The Vile Village - Lemony Snicket
The Hostile Hospital - Brett Helquist,Lemony Snicket
Champagne for One - Rex Stout,Lena Horne
Black Orchids - Rex Stout
The Silent Speaker - Rex Stout,Walter Mosley

 Books Read: 6


The Ersatz Elevator, The Vile Village, The Hostile Hospital: I'm continuing A Series of Unfortunate Events, hoping to finish by the end of this month. Sunny, Klaus, and Violet begin to investigate the VFD after the loss of the Quagmire triplets. At the end of The Vile Village the series breaks off from it's usual search for a guardian for the siblings and leaves them to fend for themselves completely. 4 1/2 stars.


Champagne For One, Black Orchids, The Silent Speaker: I stated last week in my round-up that going back and re-reading the Nero Wolfe books I enjoyed them even more than the first time, this continues to be accurate. Champagne For One is my favorite of the three I've finished this week (5 stars), Black Orchids comes in second (4 1/2 stars), and The Silent Speaker comes last (3 1/2 stars).


Ongoing Reads: 1


The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Reveled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime: I'm still working my way through this. Reading this, I have to say, not much has changed in regards to how people behave during and after a murder investigation.


Like Reblog Comment
review 2016-12-19 14:01
Orchids and Stone
Orchids and Stone - Lisa Preston

This was a good book. It was intriguing and enjoyable, but not earth-shattering. This had been my March Kindle First book but I was way late in getting to it.

I went ahead and got the audio upgrade, voiced by Cris Dukehart, since it was available for just $1.99. Those have been helping get through these old Kindle First books that I hadn't reviewed in a timely manner. Dukehart was a great narrator, too. Her voice just felt perfect for Daphne Mayfield.

The book is listed as a mystery/thriller/suspense type book which isn't really my thing, but it was still a fun read/listen. Part of my issue with the genre is that it always feels a bit predictable to me, and in that, this one wasn't an exception. I felt like I knew where the overall story was going for most of it. Aside from that it follows that typical pattern all mystery novels seem to,  the parts of the story are great and the characters were amazing and written with great depth. There's also some great misdirection, and extra things that seem like clues but don't add up to anything, and blocks along the way that were totally normal but not things that I expected to see in a mystery. The ties between the back story and the plot were solid. I especially enjoyed the way some comments haunted the main character.

As a character, I really liked Daphne and identified with her as a woman working outside of expectations. I enjoyed the pieces of her relationship with Vic that were the opposite of gendered expectations and roles and the way it's even pointed out in the story. I felt like every character was someone I'd met before and I liked that about it, as mystery/thrillers go. I'm kinda over the whole super-specialized this or that type of character. I like that everyone was just a normal person and all the police procedural parts were entertaining for their absolute believably. One of the reasons I tend to stay away from this genre is all the pieces of the story that are expected to be there, like super concerned cops or the story getting the one cop who cares or the one that was amazing but just got divorced or has an problem with alcoholism after the one case they never solved. These guys were all normal and responding in ways that I would expect actual cops to respond rather than the stuff I see on television. I appreciated that even her best friend and boyfriend only humored her because of her past and that it was a bad anniversary for her.

I especially enjoyed that it was a mystery that wasn't about a cop solving a case, even though there are plenty of cops in the book. Personally, I'm sick to death of cop shows and cop stories. Don't get me wrong, I think cops mostly do as good as they can with what they have and I know that's different from county to county. I absolutely respect them, but these sensationalized crime stories are grating on my nerves and the concepts of criminals forming some sort of bond to the cop who usually gets their case and blah blah, snore. Anyway, this was not one of those stories, and I adored the cop who even pokes fun at that.

There are triggers to be concerned with in this book, specifically rape, suicide and murder. I'm not calling these spoilers though, because they are all part of Daphne's back story and revealed in the first two chapters as such. Whether or not they happen again later in the story is another matter....

Anyway, they are part of Daphne's motivation so they will come up a lot in the story as her character progresses through the plot. If these things trigger you, I wouldn't pick up the book. But then again, if they're problems, I'm sure you aren't reading mystery novels in the first place since most cover these topics.

Like I said above, I had gotten this book as a Kindle First back in March, but it's still available at Amazon for both Kindle and Audible and other places.

Like Reblog Comment
review 2016-11-24 00:00
Black Orchids (Nero Wolfe Mysteries)
Black Orchids (Nero Wolfe Mysteries) - Rex Stout This edition actually contains two novellas, along with an introduction by Lawrence Block, a noted author of crime novels. Black orchids (the flowers) appear in both novellas, but they are otherwise unrelated, other than having in common Nero Wolfe and his able assistant, Archie Goodwin. I read this book to get a handle on real Nero Wolfe stories so as to see if some of the stylistic tics that appeared in Alan Vanneman's Three Bullets, were Vanneman's own stylistic tics or actual mimicking of Stout himself.

These two stories, themselves, weren't particularly interesting or memorable, and now, a few weeks later, I can barely remember them. One of our friends in Pittsburgh, back a number of decades ago, was a big Wolfe fan. I'm not sure why. I doubt I'll be reading any more Wolfe stories any time soon. Part of the reason, I think, is because Wolfe is such an egotistical asshole. I have enough egotistical assholes in my life; I don't need to read about them.

Black Orchids [***]

Wolfe is hired to investigate some blight that is beginning to run rampant at a flower show. Was the introduction of the blight intentional or inadvertent? Wolfe agrees to investigate, but only if he is given some rare black orchids. Wolfe then sends his assistant Archie Goodwin off to the flower show to keep an eye on things. Mostly, Archie keeps an eye on a particular exhibit in which a shepherd and a nymph cavort in a glade (something like that). The nymph has nice legs that she dangles enticingly in a pool. Archie decides he wants to marry her. The shepherd naps under a newspaper each day at a certain time. But one day, the shepherd doesn't wake up. He's been murdered. Eventually, Wolfe/Archie finger whodunnit.

Cordially Invited to Meet Death [***]

I've pretty much completely forgotten this one. Something about a society lady who supports herself throwing fancy parties for the idle rich.
Like Reblog Comment
text 2016-11-08 13:04
VBT, EXCERPT, & #GIVEAWAY - An Ode for Orchids by James Fant
An Ode for Orchids - James Fant
Meet Dawn, Brook, Cicely and Karen: four cousins raised under the Southern sun. Their grandmother called them orchids and taught them to be independent, intelligent, chaste and courageous. So why does Dawn depend on a drug dealer? Why can't Brook see that her husband is cheating on her? Why is Cicely so promiscuous? Why is Karen so afraid of rejection? But most importantly, why does Cicely hate Karen enough to want her DEAD?
"An Ode for Orchids" is the story of four beautiful young women who want to love and be loved. But will their love outlive the lies and abuse? Is their love strong enough to survive the hatred?


Source: archaeolibrarianologist.blogspot.de/2016/11/vbt-giveaway-ode-for-orchids-by-james.html
More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?