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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-10-04 09:26
September 2017 — A Month with an Abysmal Reading Record

 

 

The previous month was all about graphic novels, comics, and anthologies. Here is what I read in September and what I thought about it:

 

Preacher, Vols. 4-9

It was irreverent as heck:

 

 

He means the Heavenly Host btw

 

It was full of sexist characters who say things like:

 

 

 

But oh, it was so good!

 

 

 

I read this one as part of Work Book Bingo for the Bestsellers’ Shelf. Glad I did because I loved it! Find a detailed review here.

 

 

Started this one Because. Neil Gaiman. Turns out, the book had an itty bitty poem by him. Anyway, I plodded on and found a collection of really weird stories. Check out my review here!

 

 

A thought-provoking collection of stories. Read my review here!

 

September seemed endless; maybe because I couldn’t cram much reading time into it. How was your September?

 

Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on October 4, 2017.

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text 2017-09-11 04:44
The Case of the Preacher Without a Prayer



A Professor Laura Kaylan and Detective Harry Gonzales Mystery

At first glance, Reverend Billy Roy Montgomery's parsonage office looked exactly as it did on the evangelist's Sunday evening program, Gospel Reflections: opulent furniture in mahogany and red leather, subdued lighting from a Tiffany lamp on the desk, shelves lined with leather-bound books. A second look around, however, revealed subtle and not so subtle differences between the genuine article and the studio stage set.  Here, solid oak bookcases provided the backdrop in every direction, instead of painted plywood that ended at the edge of the camera's field of vision.  The stage set never invoked the unmistakable aroma of fine leather and old wood that marked this room as the genuine article.  Like most TV studios, the Gospel Reflections mock-up smelled of hot lights, electric cables, and some technician's stale cigarette smoke and half-eaten burger.

 

But I digress, a quirk of personality I sometimes cultivate.

 

Summoned to the parsonage by a half-hysterical phone call from Reverend Billy's wife, I stopped just inside the open door to the study and marshaled the forces that would return me to some semblance of professional calm.  Reverend Billy's office did indeed look normal, except of course for the dead man sprawled face down on the carpet in front of the massive desk.  A wet red stain, too fresh even to have dried at the edges, covered the back of his once-white jacket.  The gold handle of the letter opener that had killed him gleamed in the muted light.


The tall case clock in the corner bonged discreetly three times.  I glanced at my watch; Billy's clock ran fast by about five minutes.  I glanced down at Billy; his time had run out.


The quiet sniffle from somewhere to my left dispelled a moment of contemplation.  A disembodied voice, floating on the morbid air, asked, "Can you keep everything quiet?  You know, out of the papers?"


Someone else might have laughed in reply, but few others, and certainly none of the cops who would arrive on scene within minutes, would have understood the request.

 

I turned to the huddled knot of people clustered in front of the closed door that led to the rest of the parsonage.  Pauline Bouchard Montgomery, who sometime within the past few hours had gone from being the wife of the most powerful evangelist in Phoenix to just another widow, separated herself from the group and stumbled toward me.

 

"That's why I called you first, Dr. Kaylan," she added.  "The publicity, if this should get out, would be . . . disastrous."


She tripped on the edge of the rug and only the quick action of a bathrobed elderly woman with the manner of a professional nurse kept the former Polly Bouchard from falling to the floor beside her late husband.


Polly accepted the nurse's assistance to a nearby chair, behind the desk and out of view of the body.


"I am the soul of discretion, Mrs. Montgomery, but as soon as the police get here --"

 

"No!" she shrieked, half rising from the chair until the nurse's hands on her shoulders brought her back down.  "No police.  We'll say it was an accident."

 

Her outburst, though brief, rattled me more than her earlier calm.  Her husband, a prominent personality in the religious community of a major metropolitan area, lay dead on the floor with a fancy letter opener protruding from his back, and she expected anyone to believe he died due to an accident? 

 

Yes, that's exactly what she expects, I thought. 

 

This attractive, slender woman in her early fifties came from a background that accustomed her to getting exactly what she wanted more often than not, no matter how irrational her request might seem to anyone else.

 

"I don't think you understand my position, Mrs. Montgomery," I began to explain as I walked closer to the widow and her caretaker.  Assuming a classic movie stance, I went down on one knee beside her and took her stone cold hands in mine.  "We have a duty to call the police.  Reverend Billy has been murdered, and the police have to find out who did it."

 

She gathered herself for another screamed protest; I squeezed her icy fingers tightly before continuing with only the slightest pause.  A man could not have communicated the emotional bond this way, but I knew Polly would respond to a woman's touch.

 

"I want you to tell me what happened as quickly as you can, no more than ten minutes, and then I'm going to call the police," I told her, with a quick look up toward the nurse, who nodded her understanding.  "Tell me everything, just as it happened, just as you remember it."

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-09-03 08:19
August 2017 — A Wrap-Up for the Month of Graphic Novels & Comics

 

 

The previous month was all about graphic novels and comics. Here is what I read in August and what I thought about it:

 

Monster of Frankenstein Vol. 1

 

1

 

As part of Project Frankenstein, this volume failed to make an impression. I was sad to see that all the stories missed the most essential characteristic present in the monster from the original work: its intelligence. This monster came off as a creature on a rampage. Even where it was shown to be clever, it was in an evil sort of a way.

 

Anyway, another book that I can cross off my list!

 

Kamala has my heart and is keeping it as far as I can see. The humor is amazing, I mean references to Dune, Spiderman’s wisecracks, and keeping things real— the comic has it all!

12.png

 

A Plague of Angels

 

2

 

I enjoyed the heck outta this book and have reviewed it in detail here.

 

Gotham Academy: Endgame #1 &

Annual #1

Gotham.jpg

 

These were cute and nerdy but I am still not too crazy about them.

 

Preacher, Volumes 1, 2, & 3

 

Preacher.jpg

 

Irreverrent as heck but funny and kick-you-in-the-gut sad too. If you can get past the first issue or two, then you are going to love it. If you are easily offended, this might not be the thing for you!

 

Raptor Red

 

5

 

I have already reviewed this one in detail and on Instagram; it was part of my Books&Chai series. Read my expression of Dino-Mania here.

 

Original post: https://midureads.wordpress.com/2017/09/03/august-2017-a-wrap-up-for-the-month-of-graphic-novels-comics/

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review 2017-02-14 20:40
Grace and the Preacher
Grace and the Preacher: A Novel - Kim Vogel Sawyer

Title: Grace and the Preacher
Author: Kim Vogel Sawyer
Publisher: WaterBrook
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Five
Review:

"Grace and the Preacher" by Kim Vogel Sawyer

My View....

A little predictable read but still a good one that will keep your attention till the very end. The characters [Grace, Theo, Bess, Philemon & Earl] were all indeed interesting being very well developed, defined, portrayed and believable giving the reader quite a good read. I loved how one of the characters were right on the mark being that she was 'older, wiser women whose counsel was so solid and Biblical.' Be ready for a read about Grace Cristler and Theophil Garrison...that goes through a little bit of it all from 'laughter, love, heart searching, lessons that were learned, more adventures that will go on till the end with grace and finally redemption achieved.' This author gives this novel a beautiful setting for this story that takes place in Missouri. What will happen as Grace gets 'growing affections for a man who turns out to be a con man?' As the story goes on ... I loved how Theo was gifted for being such a 'Good Samaritan.' Now, I will stop here and say to get this whole story you will have to pick up this good read to see for yourself how well this author brings it all out to the reader. So, if you are looking for a good action read with some romance you have come to the right place as 'Grace and the Preacher' will give it all to you.

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text 2017-01-02 02:16
Top 5 Graphic Novel reads from 2016
Suicide Squad, Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth - Adam Glass,Ryan Benjamin
The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes (New Edition) - Neil Gaiman,Sam Keith,Mike Dringenberg
Preacher Book Three - Garth Ennis,Steve Dillon
The Beauty Volume 1 - Jason A. Hurley,Jeremy Haun
The Boys, Vol. 12: The Bloody Doors Off - Garth Ennis

 

 

 

 

 

I managed to read 143 comics last year which was a bit more than anticipated and came at the expense of neglecting novels and audiobooks.

 

 

 

I love my comics but this year I'll be trying to pare it back a little and concentrate on getting my novel/novella TBR under control.

 

Suicide Squad, Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth - Adam Glass,Ryan Benjamin 

 

A fun first outing for me with the Suicide Squad team, the star is of course Harley Quinn and I'm looking forward to reading more of her this year.

 

The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes (New Edition) - Neil Gaiman,Sam Keith,Mike Dringenberg 

 

A beautiful start to the Sandman series with the Robert Smith inspired Dream escaping capture and returning to his kingdom.

 

Preacher Book Three - Garth Ennis,Steve Dillon 

 

I loved all six books in this series but the reason I picked this one was due to Herr Starr. He is left wounded by Preacher, his head now resembles a penis and there are some hilarious panels that show him trying on wigs and hats with the same sour expression on his face until the last panel when he finds something he likes.

Image result for preacher book 3 herr starr

Image result for preacher book 3 herr starr

Related image

 

The Beauty Volume 1 - Jason A. Hurley,Jeremy Haun 

 

Great premise of beauty being a STD and how society values outer beauty at any cost. Amazing artwork makes this a must read.

 

The Boys, Vol. 12: The Bloody Doors Off - Garth Ennis 

 

A shocking end to an amazing series. Garth Ennis is a genius.

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