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review 2018-07-19 18:20
Dead, Bath and Beyond
Dead, Bath, and Beyond: A Victoria Square Mystery - Laurie Cass,Lorraine Bartlett

Katie Bonner quit a job working for a horrible boss, Josh, to run her own business, Artist's Mall. She has become very good and is earning a good living. She spends time with her friend and lawyer, Seth, floating on his boat in Lake Ontario. Josh from everything we learn, is not a good person and is living for free in her friend's B&B, that is still being worked on. She goes to their place and when she learns that they are considered suspects in the murder of Josh, found dead in a bathtub in the B&B and has a knot on his head and lake water in his lungs. She feels the need to snoop and help find out who really murdered Josh and left him. Along the way, she learns about others who have a boat and their issues with boats and wants to help them all out, becoming their friends. 

 

The story was okay, but I like the Booksellers stories more and may or may not try another in this series. 

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review 2018-04-05 01:44
The Cricket in Times Square - George Selden,Garth Williams
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

I absolutely loved this book. It is an adorably entertaining read.

While reading it, I had vague recollections of having read it before, but nothing concrete. I think I read it in elementary school, but I don't remember much of it. I am so glad I read it now though.

Fantastic story. This is such a fun read. The characters are interesting and the premise is very unique. I really enjoyed the ending as well. A great all around book.
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review 2018-03-29 19:19
Funny, unsettling, fragmented literary thriller
Bellevue Square - Michael Redhill

Fascinating exploration of character, identity and perspective with excellent character writing. Not in love with the lack of closure in the wrap-up, but it's very literary and in keeping with the fragmented structure and unreliable narrator. Features nuanced depictions of mental illness, quirky character studies, excellent Canadian world-building/description, and some borderline horror/suspense elements. Despite a lack of traditional story structure, the reading experience was engaging; I basically inhaled this book in (almost) one sitting. Is there such a thing as a literary thriller?

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review 2018-03-05 16:29
Bellevue Square / Michael Redhill
Bellevue Square - Michael Redhill

Jean Mason has a doppelganger. At least, that's what people tell her. Apparently it hangs out in Kensington Market, where it sometimes buys churros and shops for hats. Jean doesn't rattle easy, not like she used to. She's a grown woman with a husband and two kids, as well as a thriving business, and Toronto is a fresh start for the whole family. She certainly doesn't want to get involved in anything dubious, but still . . . why would two different strangers swear up and down they'd just seen her--with shorter hair furthermore?

Jean's curiosity quickly gets the better of her, and she visits the market, but sees no one who looks like her. The next day, she goes back to look again. And the day after that. Before she knows it, she's spending an hour here, an afternoon there, watching, taking notes, obsessing and getting scared. With the aid of a small army of locals who hang around in the market's only park, she expands her surveillance, making it known she'll pay for information or sightings. A peculiar collection of drug addicts, scam artists, philanthropists, philosophers and vagrants--the regulars of Bellevue Square--are eager to contribute to Jean's investigation. But when some of them start disappearing, it becomes apparent that her alleged double has a sinister agenda. Unless Jean stops her, she and everyone she cares about will face a fate stranger than death

 

I rate this book at 3.5 stars. This despite the fact that I almost quit reading about halfway through it. At that point, it seemed like just another domestic noir novel and I couldn’t see why it was a Giller prize finalist—what could it possibly offer to deserve that? But I was home on a snowy day, appointments cancelled, coffee waiting, reading blanket at the ready, and I decided that I would give it a few more pages.

Suddenly things took a completely unexpected turn. I found myself questioning everything. The rest of the book slaloms back and forth between realities until I couldn’t distinguish between them anymore. I was hooked.

And then it ended. Those of you who know me, know that I like messy and ambiguous endings. Except this one. I was left absolutely baffled and unsure what the point of the whole exercise actually was. This was too much even for me.

Apparently there are two more similar books to come. I doubt that I will bother with them after this experience.

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text 2018-02-22 19:20
TBR Thursday
A Brief History of Seven Killings: A Novel - Marlon James
Bellevue Square - Michael Redhill
An Enchantment of Ravens - Margaret Rogerson
Alias Grace - Margaret Atwood
The Inimitable Jeeves - P.G. Wodehouse
The Lost Plot - Genevieve Cogman
Vlad: The Last Confession - C.C. Humphreys

So, I am home from a rather unpleasant trip to Taiwan.  The weather was unseasonably cold (yes, its winter, but it doesn't usually get so cold and wet and gray).  The birds were thin on the ground.  Most of Taiwan is not set up to deal with cold weather, so there was no heat on our bus, in our hotels or in the restaurants that we ate in.  My cold weather clothing got a lot of wear and could probably crawl to the washer itself at this point!

 

To make an unpleasant trip worse, I caught a nasty cold halfway through, complete with hacking cough.  Staying in cold, uncomfortable hotels did nothing to help.  Also, our ground agent (who ordered the food for us) didn't seem to care if we actually liked the food he was providing.  I can't tell you how many evenings at the end I just ate a couple of bowls of rice and decided I'd eat when I got home. 

 

So I've been under the weather for over a week even when I made it home to my nice soft bed in my warm house and where I get to choose the menu.  I've even been too groggy to have much interest in reading, something which is completely unlike myself.

 

So it is with great relief that I find myself feeling better and ready to tackle my stack of library books!  I'm going to hear Marlon James at a guest lecture next week, so I am plugging away at A Brief History of Seven Killings.  I'm finding it slow going, but I think I'm finding the rhythm and expect to make a dent on it this weekend.

 

Bellevue Square is not what I expected--I hope to finish it off tonight or tomorrow night.  I'm reading it for the B in my alphabetical title challenge.  Alias Grace will count toward both my Female Author A to Z challenge and my PopSugar challenge (a book about a villain or an anti-hero).

 

Then I get to treat myself to An Enchantment of Ravens and The Lost Plot, two books that I've really been looking forward to.  Plus get introduced to Wodehouse's Jeeves in The Inimitable Jeeves

 

And finally, Vlad : The Last Confession is by a new favourite author, Chris Humphreys, who I met at a convention last summer.  I recommended that our public library acquire the book and it has finally arrived!

 

Its still cold here in Calgary and we've had a pile of snow, so I will quite happily hide in my house this weekend, cuddled up with my books.

 

 

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