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review 2017-10-27 18:16
Went on a Louise Penny Reading Spree
A Rule Against Murder (Armand Gamache, #4) - Louise Penny

Wow. This one was really good and I was happy to see the setting of the book takes place in a former Robber Baron home that is turned into an inn. Our favorite Chief Inspector is celebrating his anniversary with his wife Reine-Marie at an inn they have stayed at every year of their lives together. While there, they meet old friends from Three Pines (Clara and Peter Marrow) and unfortunately murder finds them again. I loved the ins and outs of this case even though it did not take place in Three Pines. I am glad I read this book and the next few others back to back since I got a very good rhythm with all of the characters introduced so far. Can I also say that it was great to not have Armand Gamache dealing with a police conspiracy? We do get into his family's backstory which was nice though. 


"A Rule Against Murder" has Armand and his lovely wife Reine-Marie staying at Manoir Bellechasse. It is an inn near Three Pines (don't even ask, I still don't get how far apart they are based on the book description) which for once is not dealing with a dead body. While the Gamache's are staying there, we have Armand reflecting on his father's past as well as his own. The Gamache's arrival at the manoir coincides with a family reunion that has ties to Peter and Clara Marrow. When a murder takes place (by the way, the way this murder happens was a bit much for me, still gave the book five stars though) Armand and his team are quickly on the scene and have to get up close and personal in not only Peter and Clara Marrow's lives, but everyone they come across. 


We get more information on Armand and Reine-Marie's lives together and we hear about Armand's father. I loved that each book reveals itself to us about his background. I don't know if I would have liked all of this information dumped on us in just book #1. It definitely keeps the reader invested though since you want to keep reading about what is going to happen next. 


I also loved that we get more information about Peter's background in this one. We had hints here and there in books #1-3, but we really get to see who he is in this one. The crazy part is, Armand has known who Peter is for a long time, and I think he keeps hoping that Peter can change from a man being eaten alive by jealously that his wife is a better artist than he is. Based on the next few books, it's not looking likely though.


We get some other characters in this one that I don't want to reveal since it will spoil who the murder victim was and I like to leave that open for other readers in the series. Let's just say that the family reunion we are witness too makes the Wynant family in "The Thin Man" series look like the Waltons. And that's saying something. I don't know if I agree with the underlying premise though that the children in the family were loved. They were some warped human beings. 


The writing was very good in this. Louise Penny always does a great job of describing people and places. And I love reading her food descriptions. The flow in this one was much better than the other books too. Everything felt properly laid out. That said, still the way the murder is later explained and how the murderer did I am giving side eye to. I don't buy it. And I spent way too much time Googling stuff on the internet after finishing. Once again, don't want to get into it since I would be spoiling events from the book.

It was nice to get away from Three Pines in this one. I do miss the village and the people there and was glad to see we return to them in the next book which I found to be a heartbreaker. 


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text 2017-10-03 13:15
Book Review For: yy
Rule Changer (Rules of Engagement) - Sienna Snow

'Rule Changer' by Sienna Snow is book Three in The "Rules of Engagement" Series. This is the story of Carmen Dane and Thomas Regala. I have not yet read the previous book in this series but I would advise doing so to fully enjoy their story. I found that this book picks up after what appears to have been a bad break up between Carmen and Thomas. Thomas hurt Carmen and she left for Italy where she gave birth to twin boys. Now about a year and a half later she has returned. Thomas went directly to her house to claim his sons.
Their story was really hot and exciting for sure. Carmen and Thomas are both Dom's with that strong personalty too. So watching just their interactions were hot but the whole story was great! Ms. Snow has me hooked into this series so I have to go and get the other books!
Loved it!
"My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."

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review 2017-10-02 08:19
Bugged by David MacNeal
Bugged: The Insects Who Rule the World and the People Obsessed with Them - David MacNeal

TITLE:  Bugged:  The Insects Who Ruled the World and the People Obsessed with Them


AUTHOR:  David MacNeal




FORMAT:  E-book


ISBN-13:  9781250095510




I have mixed feelings about this book. Some of the information was interesting and informative (if superficial), some less so. However, the writing style was overly chatty and erratic, with various anecdotes jumping around all over the place and no real flow to the book. It reminded me a lot of a Mary Roach book, with the forced humour, over chattiness, disjointed subject matter and too much interview details in comparison with actual information. This is especially problematic with the first 3 chapters which tend to read like a collection of random facts. Later chapters are an improvement but could still use some work and less forced humour. I found the final chapter on bees and apiculture to be very interesting. This book also contains a vast number of, usually irrelevant, footnotes.


MacNeal focuses more on the "people obsessed with bugs" than the actual bugs, so if you are looking for information on insects specifically you aren't really going to find it in this book. If you are looking for information on humans and their strange interactions with bugs, then this book may be for you. The author covers such topics as genetically modified mosquitoes, cyborg cockroaches, assisted spider sex, insect taxidermists, insect farming and processing for human consumption, insect smuggling, bedbug extermination, dung and corpse "removal" services of bugs, and medicinal uses of bugs.


So, in conclusion, the book is interesting but could really use an editor, better structuring and focus, and less chattiness.


Warning Note:  The F-bomb is dropped several times.  Once in chapter 1 and several times in the chapter on cyborg-cockroaches.




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text 2017-09-18 22:14
Review: Rule Breaker by Lily Morton
Rule Breaker - Lily Morton


Sjeesh... As twisted borderline Gabe was behaving, I did like the basterd. It was a ff miracle Dylan forgave him that easily. Guess true love conquers.

I enjoyed the banter. I thought they were very funny together. And thank goodness, Gabe redeemed himself at the end.

Also see here for an extra bonus from the author Lily Morton Scrambled Eggs and Lemsip

I understand we can expect Henry's and Jude's story. I'm looking forward to that. They were awesome friends and they deserve an HEA.

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review 2017-09-18 20:24
A Rule Against Murder
A Rule Against Murder - Louise Penny

I've had a lot of audiobook time the last few months, so I was able to cruise through another book in the Chief Inspector Armond Gamache series. This one took us, Inspector Gamache, and a few of the other primary characters outside of Three Pines. The new setting was a refreshing change. It was also interesting to see Peter and Clara outside of Three Pines. In previous books you could see a bit of Peter's hidden personality, but it really came through when he was around his family. And what a family! It makes me second guess any complaints I have about my own. 


One of the things I've come to appreciate about this series is the diversity of the characters. There's diversity in race, gender, age, sexuality, etc. - but there's also diversity in the make-up of the characters. They don't all have the same flaws, and there are a few that I don't typically see in some books. Also, there are some characters who are just plain assholes and they don't change and there's no apology for them. I think this one fact helps to make this series extremely relatable. In life there are assholes who are that way their entire life. It seems that most times in books these characters are forced to grow or at the very least face their flaws. It's refreshing to see some unlikeable characters without the need for justification or apology. 


As usual, there were a few plot holes for me that I just couldn't overlook. The method of murder in this book is unique, but so over the top. I could never really buy into it. 

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