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text 2020-02-28 21:06
King Hereafter - Dorothy Dunnett

In King Hereafter, Dorothy Dunnett's stage is the wild, half-pagan country of eleventh-century Scotland. Her hero is an ungainly young earl with a lowering brow and a taste for intrigue. He calls himself Thorfinn but his Christian name is Macbeth. Dunnett depicts Macbeth's transformation from an angry boy who refuses to accept his meager share of the Orkney Islands to a suavely accomplished warrior who seizes an empire with the help of a wife as shrewd and valiant as himself.  

 

I'm really enjoying this, but it's very slow moving.

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review 2020-02-28 02:22
Review ~ Awesome!
Popcorn and Poltergeists - Nancy Warren

Book source ~ Kindle Unlimited

 

Lucy Swift is getting very good at running her undead grandmother’s knitting shop in Oxford. Cardinal Woolsey’s is running smoothly and the vampire knitting circle is producing hand-knitted items at an incredible rate. Well, they are vampires after all so they knit very fast. The classes Lucy has set up are also taking off and she has a sneaking suspicion her newly undead grandmother is thinking of opening a new knitting shop somewhere far enough away that she won’t be recognized by former customers. Lucy’s not quite ready to let her grandmother go though, but she knows she’ll have to do it soon. Which is why she’s trying to up her studying of all things witchy. Oh, didn’t I mention that part? Lucy is also a witch. And so was her grandmother. Now that she’s got a handle on running the store, she needs her gran’s help with the witchy things. And then there’s the occasional murder to solve. Yep. I said it. Murder. And let’s not mention her love life. Who am I kidding? Let’s!

 

Rafe Crosyer is a very old vampire and the unofficial leader of the group in Oxford. He’s been there so long that he needs to think about moving on soon. But Lucy just got there and she’s not ready to move again. Plus, while Rafe is yummy and protective and smart and all that good stuff, he’s also a vampire. Who won’t age while she will. Dilemma! Of course, there’s Inspector Ian, but Lucy seems to have written off the good officer. Well, pooh. In any case, I’m looking forward to seeing where Rafe and Lucy’s relationship heads.

 

Now, to the murder…it’s an interesting one. There’s  a poltergeist in St. Mary’s College library! And with someone dead, Lucy and the vampires think that maybe the poltergeist had something to do with it. In any case, Lucy wants to figure out why the poltergeist is there and how to move it along before someone else gets hurt. Or worse.

 

I love this series of cozy mysteries with vampires and witches and love and humor. This particular one seems to better put together than the previous ones though I love them all. It flows easily and while I had my suspicions about the killer it still kept me guessing until the end. The addition of the poltergeist is a nice touch and I like how Lucy is finally taking her witchy abilities seriously. I hope there are many more books in this series.

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2020/02/popcorn-and-poltergeists.html
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review 2020-02-27 16:03
Vigilante or Rogue – The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz @deankoontz
The Silent Corner - Dean Koontz

It’s been a while since I’ve read a Dean Koontz novel, so I joined the Library Challenge to encourage myself to catch up on some authors I have been missing. I am so glad I did and have already downloaded Book II, The Whispering Room.

 

The Silent Corner (Jane Hawk, #1)

Amazon / Audiobook / Goodreads

 

MY REVIEW

 

I checked out The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz from the library and I am so glad I did. I love characters like Jane Hawk, who do what must be done when others are unable to stand for themselves.

 

Call her a vigilante? Maybe. Call her a savior? Well, she can’t save them all and she pays a huge price. It was the suicide of her husband that sets her on the hunt. She doesn’t believe it. She must find out for herself…WHY.

 

The hunter becomes the hunted, when those who want to keep the suicides secret find out she is on the hunt. She finds some unlikely allies as she struggles to stay one step ahead of those who want her dead.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed joining Jane Hawk on her wild adventure. It made me think…could this happen today? Nanobots…are they good or bad, or both? Someone always finds a way to take something good and make it bad and ‘they’ do it in a frightening way in The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz.

 

The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz is part of the Jane Hawk series and does not stand alone. Read in order of release.

 

I immediately downloaded The Whispering Room, Book II in the Jane Hawk series.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos4 stars

 

MY DEAN KOONTZ REVIEWS

 

 

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Source: www.fundinmental.com/the-silent-corner-dean-koontz
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review 2020-02-26 21:25
Gonzo Galore.
The Siamese Twin Mystery - Ellery Queen,Otto Penzler

I found myself getting more ecstatic every time this whodunit got more outrageous. The fact is, I'm long past the point of thinking "very clever, but big demerit points because this simply would not happen" when I read these things. In fiction, countless murders have happened in gentle little villages, in country houses filled with respectable people - with murder schemes and techniques that leave stunningly entertaining clues hinting at yet another slaying as "murder as intricate work of art, with flaw". It doesn't always happen, but I do love adding stars to my star rating, for every outrageous, over-the-top development, instead of deducting them.

 

This is one of those. It's so deliciously absurd - but it operates much like a truly great John Dickson Carr effort; I could not help thinking of the main underpinnings of The Crooked Hinge...but this is so much better, so much more fun - and so, more like The Mad Hatter Mystery.

 

I love the fact that I take issue with a major clue, and yet...I guess statistics would prove that someone would (reveal omitted) almost every time he or she (reveal omitted). Ellery Queen sure does sell a key piece of logic attached to a clue, and I'll allow it.

 

I love the fact that as the 'Reveal With Detailed Walk-Through' portion of the book started unfolding near the end - I GOT IT! I had an epiphany! I grabbed at a few slight reveals hinting at something, and I very stunningly figured out who the killer was, and how something "impossible" had to have happened...and I thought "Even though I figured out the brilliant trick, it's still brilliant, and the author is brilliant, and I'm brilliant for figuring it out, and it's a lovely, brilliant world, when it's brilliant.".

 

Of course I was wrong. Do you even need to ask?! Looking back at my epiphany - I loved my little epiphany, it was a good epiphany as epiphanies go; it meant well...it was just the wrong epiphany. I watched as the Big Reveal continued on its merry way, and became mystified as each further bit of clearing-up seemed to be taking me farther away from my epiphany. "This doesn't seem to be supporting what has to be the finale of the book - I don't understand...you're making it very hard for my brilliant realization to be the explanation for everything that has happened. Stop that! If you keep going on like this, Mr. Queen, it's going to be impossible for you pull a Big Reverse of this bullshit Big Reveal you've got going, and, y'know, brilliantly jump over to the real brilliant solution that I know is the truth!!".

 

Turns out: I don't know nuthin'.

 

Even. Better. Reveal! Thrilled I was all wrong (more shocked and pissed off, at first...but that fades)!

 

This book features a fire raging up the side of a mountain, at the top of which Ellery Queen and his crusty dad are trying to solve a murder (author and lead detective have same name, in case that's news) before everyone fries (probably asphyxiates, actually). It just keeps getting stranger and stranger, and then it all makes sense.

 

But don't trust your first epiphany. Sort through them, if a few pop into your head, and pick something less shiny, but smoother. ("I mean, okay, looking back, that was a wild idea - even for this nutty book!").

 

Recommended to all fans of Golden Age Mysteries! It is endlessly entertaining, like all the best.

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review 2020-02-26 18:10
The phone was smarter than he was.
Loose Tongues - Chris Simms

I remember, years ago, I caught something on "Talk Radio" that reeled me in and had me listening, even though I normally avoid talk radio (I can't remember why I was tuned to the station at all). Some fella who had a radio program was dedicating air-time to what was, basically, a confession. He was, it seemed to me, still riled up over something that had erupted in his personal life, and because he had his own radio talk-show, he could come on and, well, expiate his sin.

 

He told how he had been at an ATM, doing his banking business, and a young woman behind him who was on her cellphone suddenly shrieked out an expletive about as loudly as a person can. Just yelled to her friend, over the phone - out of the blue, from the point of view of the man in front of her, our radio personality. He blazed into anger...and turned around and slapped her in the face. She had sent his nerves jangling up through his spine that he lost control and slapped her. And there he was, on his own radio show, telling the story - regretting, yes, but also trying to explain how politeness and decorum seems to be dissolving with the arrival of cellphones. This was fairly soon after cellphones had arrived and taken over.

 

I remember when cellphones were just starting out, but quickly becoming all the rage, and I was already sick of them. I was. I was intuitively unhappy about all the one-sided chat around me - this was a new thing - and some people were loud. But my first annoyance was all the advertising, that was trying to make me buy one of the things. And I remember walking in a mall, and a guy planted outside a store was suddenly in my face with a lot of fake, "I'm selling you something so I'm nice and I'm energetic" friendliness, and I interrupted him and said "Augh - enough with the cellphones.". And he looked very unfriendly and said something like "Enough with the cellphones?!". This means he wasn't really rude to me - he just seemed shocked that I was anti-cellphone. I was a troublemaker, speaking heresy...a talking pebble trying to slow down the steamroller of the future.

 

And he wins. We got steamrolled. "Buy a cellphone and get hooked on it - Make a billionaire richer!". Last word goes to cellphones, now smart-phones...but I've never owned one. I can only see myself owning one of the damn things if I ever need it to help find a new job. And these are uncertain times - but for now, I'm employed.

 

This crime novel - Loose Tongues - involves police detectives, especially DI Sean Blake, tracking a psychopath they don't want to think of too early on as a serial killer. However, the reader quickly learns - via frightening opening sequences - that this is the dark and timely tale of a man who already hated all the noise from our cellphone world, but who then, because of one incident, wrecked his life by slapping a cellphone user. Consider him filmed and fired.

 

There are tricks and traps ahead, for the police and the reader. What we know leads to things we think we know - so, let it be said that the novel is a little sneakier than what I've laid out so far suggests. I do feel like I've read a book that can stand in for the just-releasing film The Invisible Man, in which a woman is stalked by her ex-boyfriend, who cannot be seen. The male obsessive, snapping, and embracing violence that soothes the anger - temporarily...and for the longest while, no one can see what is really going on. In the Simms novel, Sean Blake is dragged through a nightmarish subplot that only adds to the tension - but the main story, involving a misogynist who decides he can't tolerate loud women on cellphones, is chilling. A few weeks ago, I was on the bus and going home from work, and one woman glared hate at another woman who was shouting her personal financial details into her phone (the cellphone shouter is a regular on that bus, at that time every workday, and I just ignore her as best I can, because this is now our world - and on a short trip home, I am not freaking out at anyone, or slapping them, because I can't handle it).

 

I don't know how much violence has erupted in our world, due to someone wanting someone else to be quiet while on their phone - but this book seems like a believable version of who would take it to murder, and why. It's got some stuff to think about, and it's very suspenseful, if, y'know, kind of formulaic at times.

 

Anyway, it did make me think back to maybe the first person in front of me on a sidewalk - again, cellphones a fairly new phenom - talking loudly into his phone, but also so distracted that he was weaving around in front of me and making himself difficult to avoid or pass. I finally passed him, barely, and I was shaking my head. He chuckled and said to his buddy "This guy is all upset at me because I'm on my cellphone.".

 

These days, when seven out of ten people walk past me on their phones and with their heads down, or someone in front of me jars to a halt and starts texting while I try not to bump into them and win myself a dirty look...it's just...normal. I'm in the city, having a day in the life. No slapping, okay? And no killing!

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