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review 2018-10-16 01:41
Pumpkins in Paradise
Pumpkins in Paradise (A Tj Jensen Mystery Book 1) - Kathi Daley

This was book 1 (and I read them out of order) and my children had chosen the later book and we borrowed this one to go back and check out the rest of the series. TJ was just given custody of her half-sisters following the death of their mother and father. They have come to live with her, her father and grandfather. She is a coach and teacher at the local high school and is friends with a man who spends all his time in his mansion. She finds him dead and doesn't feel that it was a suicide or an old age death.

While she navigates life as a parent to her sisters, a teacher, a coach and friend, she meets the newest police officer (detective) and makes friends with him. He looks into the death of her friend and the two become friends.

Nice short story (about 5 hours audio) and I paired it with the book and we were able to finish it pretty quickly. The girls and I enjoyed the story. We have even borrowed another from the series.

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review 2018-10-16 01:21
The Wolfe Widow
By Victoria Abbott The Wolfe Widow (A Book Collector Mystery) - Victoria Abbott

Jordan is back in book 3 and she is let go from her position just before Thanksgiving. It seems a woman named Muriel has come and has something she is holding over Vera's head and gets her to let Jordan go and tell Senora and Kevin that they cannot talk to Jordan at all. The two are frantic and beg Jordan to find out what is happening and get rid of the woman.

 

This book is tied to Nero Wolfe books by Rex Stout. She uses the lessons she learned from Archie (in the books) to help her in her quest to find out the truth.

 

I am actually glad that I finished this series. While I enjoy the tie-in to mysteries and learn some things that have encouraged me to borrow books by authors I have heard about or never heard about before. I didn't like parts where she talks about how she doesn't whine and then does. How she is so dependent on others to help her, but she does find her own feet while whining, and finding the truth. 

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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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