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review 2017-06-14 23:28
A collection of easy to read, short, crime fiction tales
Offshore: a short story collection - Ann Cleeves

Why did I read it? I enjoy Anne Cleeves' Shetland series, and I also like the television serialisation of her Vera novels, so a collection of short stories to dip into during short breaks sounded good.

What's it about? A collection of short, crime fiction tales featuring some of the characters from Anne Cleeves' books, Willow Reeves, Jimmy Perez, and Vera Stanhope.

What did I like? The stories were short, complete and were well written, holding my attention the whole way through; some even managing a twist in the tale.  

What didn't I like?  There were too few stories?  Sorry, but that's about all I could find to dislike.   

Would I recommend it?  If you are a fan of Anne Cleeves, then, yes, I would recommend them, though they are only available in ebook form.  If you enjoy crime fiction, but don't have the time to read an entire novel, then this may be for you, too.

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review 2017-06-02 08:08
WHAT IT MEANS WHEN A MAN FALLS FROM THE SKY BY
What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories - Lesley Nneka Arimah

WHAT IT MEANS WHEN A MAN FALLS FROM THE SKY

Lesley Nneka Arimah

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books (April 4, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735211027
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735211025
  •  

    Lesley Nneka Arimah debut is a collection of short stories set in Nigeria and the US. Each short story is complete, solid, clear, and well written. I love her characters, strong, straight forward, and genuine. Lesley Nneka Arimah writing shows humor, horror, and shock in some places, yet her characters and plots flow naturally, and are engaging. I found myself immersed into each story. Her incredible grasp of language and the powerful way in which she uses it to form a story is unique, and captivating. Definitely something I would reread, and recommend

     

    ***Thank you to Penguin House and Riverhead Books for the print copy I received through a giveaway in exchange for a fair review.****

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review 2017-03-28 23:23
Dreams of Distant Shores ★★★★☆
Dreams of Distant Shores - Patricia A. McKillip

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Booklikes & Librarything and linked at Goodreads & Mobileread by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Dreams of Distant Shores
Series: ----------
Author: Patricia McKillip
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 290
Format: Digital Edition





 

Synopsis:


A collection of short stories and a novella showcasing McKillip's writing style and preferred story content.

 

 



My Thoughts:


The majority of this book is taken up with the novella, Something Rich and Strange. I read that back in '05 and wasn't very impressed then and this time around nothing improved. That is the reason for the 1 Star deduction.

 

Now, the rest of the stories, they were excellent. They were what I EXPECT from McKillip. My favorite was about an artist who draws the Gorgon's mouth and it becomes his muse, until it convinces him to fall in love with a real life girl who then becomes his true muse. Not being an artsy guy myself, most of the time I poo-poo stories dealing with art. However, this story, appropriately entitled The Gorgon in the Cupboard, drew me in and made the artist character sympathetic enough that even I was able to like him. The counter-story about the woman who becomes his muse, is poignantly sad and heartwrenching and provides a sad canvas upon which a happy story is drawn.

 

The Forward by Peter Beagle I could have done without. I am not a fan of Beagle, so his musings on meeting McKillip at various times came across as self-serving and very faux-humble.

 

If I ever read this again, I'll just skip the novella and concentrate on the short stories.

 

 

★★★★☆

 


 

 

  1. 2005 Review of Something Rich and Strange

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2017-01-29 05:13
The 1st Detective Story

Murders in the Rue Morgue & Other Stories (Library Edition)Murders in the Rue Morgue & Other Stories by Edgar Allan Poe

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I checked this audiobook out to celebrate the October Spooky mood. I have been an admirer of Poe since I was a grade school student, and what I've read by him, I've loved. I have been meaning to read more by him, but haven't taken the time. Audiobooks are such a good way to maximize my time because I can listen and do other things, so I grabbed this one. In all honesty, it wasn't very scary or even eerie (with the exception of "The Raven. " I am glad that I did listen to it though. I had never read any of these stories. I could have done without a couple of them, but overall, it was enjoyable, and this four hour audiobook format was a good way to keep me company as I did other things. The narrator's voice was a bit irritating, with a nasally tone that wasn't my favorite. He was good with accents and voices though.

Here are my thoughts on the stories:

"Murders in the Rue Morgue" --I love a good detective story, and this is the first detective story, and that is to be celebrated. I saw a lot of Sherlock Holmes in C. Auguste Dupin and Watson in his anonymous friend. It was a great mystery with a crazy resolution. I never would have guessed. My only issue with it is that it's basically telling and not showing. Dupin seems very pompous in his way of analyzing people, and he seems very self-important. He shows the observant trait of a good detective, which Poe terms ratiocination. I loved the twist on how each witness thought the guttural speaker was a foreigner, but from a place that had never been. In light of the resolution, that was a very nice touch. I give this four stars because it's impressive as the first detective story. I think all the detective fiction readers and writers owe Mr. Poe a great debt.

"The Purloined Letter" --I didn't find this one as impressive as the first. It seemed very simplistic, and there was no real tension. I do give Dupin props for his handy solving of a mystery that had the police stumped, but he's so obnoxiously arrogant about it. Sherlock with some aristocratic French attitude thrown in. 3 stars.

"The Thousand and Second Tale of Scheherazade" --I didn't care much for this, sadly. I love Scheherazade and the Arabian Nights stories, and I don't think this added anything to the mystique of the stories. I felt like it was full of weirdness, way too random, with bizarre diversions in the storytelling, but at the same time, really quite boring. Besides, it ruined the best aspect about the stories, so that was a downer for me. Probably my least favorite story by Poe. 2 stars.

"A Descent into the Maelstrom" --This felt more like a Jack London story than a Poe story. It's good to see that he does venture into straight adventure, no pun intended. I felt it was an average read. It didn't have much of an impact on me, but I didn't dislike it like the previous novel. 2.5 stars.

"The Raven"-- A classic by this author. I love poetry, especially eerie poetry. I admit I don't like overly long poems, so this was a nice length. Long enough to get a reader involved, with a beautiful rhythm to it. Listening to this was a lot of fun. I think I would need to read it, to delve more meaning out of it. It's a bit oblique, in my opinion. 3.5 stars

"Masque of the Red Death" --I really appreciated listening to this. I have seen the movie with Vincent Price and thought it was very clever. It's interesting how they managed to get a full-length movie out of this, since it was very short. I think the tone was nicely Gothic and sinister, and it has an impactful statement about the concept of believing that being wealthy and high status makes one exempt from all ills. And there is something very repugnant about indulging debauchery and hedonism when people are suffering around you. Death finds everyone of us. 4 stars.

Conclusion: Four hours of my life that I can't say I regret. It helped that I was finishing a project for school at the time, so it kept me busy. I would say that one's life is not added to much by "Scheherazade" and "A Descent into the Maelstrom", but I recommend the other stories.




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review 2017-01-05 23:44
Stalking the Zombie (John Justin Mallory #3)
Stalking the Zombie - Mike Resnick

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Booklikes & Librarything by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Stalking the Zombie
Series: John Justin Mallory #3
Author: Mike Resnikc
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 222
Format: Kindle digital scan

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

 

A collection of short stories about John Justin Mallory, a private investigator who has been transported to an other worldly version of Manhattan.

 

Solving mysteries with an old fat lady who hunted monstrous creatures in the deepest jungles and taking care of a spoiled cat girl, Mallory also has to put up with the East Coasts most powerful demon. Who never tells a lie. Odd that.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

This was ok. While it is the 3rd book in the series [something I didn’t realize when I started reading this], being a collection of short stories it fills in everything you need to know to feel right at home. Certain aspects were extremely repetitive, which once again, is because of it being short stories that were written at widely varying times and for widely varying publications. I found I could skip about 3 paragraphs per story once I’d read the first story.

 

Mallory was supposed to be a hard bitten PI but he came across a gambling addict who relied too much on his own perceived smarts instead of working hard. One short story was ok but more than that and it just wasn’t fun any more. Too bad, because Resnick has a pretty good track record with me.

 

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