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review 2018-08-21 01:24
After Words
After Words - Nina Mitchell

This has been the best in this series so far. I related to this woman on a spiritual level. She suffers 2 strokes in her 20s and loses her mobility and speech. This story chronicles her come back. I feel this because I have chronic migraine which is on the spectrum of strokes. I have been known to lose my sentences halfway through, zone out, slur my words, see glitter or lens flares, and smell burning wires. It is horrible to be trapped inside your head, to know what you want to say and be unable to communicate. Or sometimes be unable to even think of the most basic words. I've cried more than once because me, the writer, couldn't remember what a brontosaurus was or who Ewan McGregor was, either. 

 

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review 2018-08-20 16:58
False Positive / Andrew Grant
False Positive - Andrew Grant

Alabama detective Cooper Devereaux makes no apologies for his luxe lifestyle or the way he does his job. Most cops haven’t lived the kind of life he has—starting out as an orphan, raised by a grizzled cop savior—and most don’t use his kind of high-risk tactics. But he may have met his match in fellow detective Jan Loflin, who’s fresh off a long undercover stint in Vice when they’re partnered on a case that will test them both beyond their direst nightmares.

A seven-year-old boy has disappeared from his home in the Birmingham suburbs. But the more Devereaux digs into the missing child’s background, the more he discovers about his own, eventually shaking loose a series of harrowing truths—about bloodlines, mass murder, obsession, and what two damaged detectives have in common with the innocent victim they’re so desperate to save.

 

Perhaps I have reached the point in my reading life where I have read too many thrillers. I found myself reading this book mostly to analyze the plot twists and the characters, but not really with enthusiasm. Perhaps I’ve become jaded.

I was halfway through this book when I went to a conference at which Andrew Grant was a guest of honor. I went to a session where each of the guests did a reading—and I found Mr. Grant to be a charming guy. All afternoon, it seemed that I kept accidentally catching his eye and he always smiled an amused smile. I became rather paranoid—“Does he know that I don’t love his work? Does he guess that I really prefer his wife’s novels?” Finally I calmed down and realized that he was just a friendly author mingling at a writers’ conference and I relaxed.

I returned to False Positive with greater sympathy and enjoyed the last half more than I had the first half. I was quite satisfied with the ending—until the last two pages. They made me want to pick up the next book in the series against my better judgement! Well played, Mr. Grant, well played.

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text 2018-08-19 22:37
Reading progress update: I've read 23%. -wow, what a start
A Thousand Words for Stranger - Julie E. Czerneda

This is the first book in the Trade Pact series. It was published in 2012 but I only became aware of it this month. 

 

Stepping into was a bit like going to the first Star Wars movie when everything was new and unknown but it felt solid and it moved fast and you wanted more.

 

This is confident, complex, has a huge cast of characters but keeps the focus on people in the way the best Star Wars movies do.

 

My wife and I are reading it together. It's great fun.

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review 2018-08-09 17:04
A Fatal Waltz / Tasha Alexander
A Fatal Waltz - Tasha Alexander

At her friend Ivy's behest, Emily reluctantly agrees to attend a party at the sprawling English country estate of Lord Fortescue, a man she finds as odious as he is powerful. But if Emily is expecting Lord Fortescue to be the greatest of her problems, she is wrong. Her host has also invited Kristiana von Lange, an Austrian countess who was once linked romantically with Emily's fiancé, the debonair Colin Hargreaves. What Emily believes will be a tedious evening turns deadly when Fortescue is found murdered, and his protégé, Robert Brandon—Ivy's husband—is arrested for the crime.

Determined to right this terrible wrong and clear Robert's name, Emily begins to dig for answers, a quest that will lead her from London's glittering ballrooms to Vienna's sordid backstreets. Not until she engages a notorious anarchist in a game of wits does the shocking truth begin to emerge: the price of exonerating Robert can be paid only by placing Colin in deadly peril. To save her fiancé, Emily must do the unthinkable: bargain with her nemesis, the Countess von Lange.

 

Lady Emily and Colin Hargreaves are attending a party together, now that they are affianced. And of course, since this is an historical mystery series, there is a murder. It reminds me of Agatha Christie in that way—wherever Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot happen to go, there will be a murder. Christie tended to set her mysteries in a small town, to ensure that everyone knew one another. In this series, Alexander had chosen a certain stratum of society, who all socialize with and gossip about one another.

It seems that this series will also be a bit like Christie’s Tommy & Tuppence series too. This couple will team up to solve murders and diplomatic incidents together, like Tommy & Tuppence and their espionage endeavours. I have no idea whether Tasha Alexander set out to model her characters after Christie spy duo, but I will soon have the chance to hear her talk about her writing experience—the conference that I’ve been waiting all summer for starts tomorrow!

This is an engaging series and I will look for an excuse to read the next book as soon as I can.

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url 2018-08-07 18:41
Just 3 days until the When Words Collide conference begins!

 

I've read at least one book for each Guest of Honour and I'm ready to fangirl.

 

Plus, Guy Gavriel Kay (a guest of honour last year) is back and hosting a session on Friday afternoon!!!  *swoons*

 

Erin Lindsey and Tasha Alexander may feel like I'm stalking them before the weekend is over.  :)

 

I'm going to begin by going to a 2 hour session where all the guests of honour will be doing readings from their work. 

 

What an excellent way to begin a week's vacation!

 

 

 

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