Thursday, April 26, 2018

Review: Woman No. 17 - Edan Lepucki

Lady is  working on a book so she hires "S" from Craiglist to take care of her young son as a live-in nanny.  S is a woman trying to explore herself and relationship with her mother through art - that art takes her to an ugly place with Seth - Lady's eldest son who is an elective mute.

The story is told from alternating first person POVs of Lady and S.  Both have terrible relationships with their mothers and secrets and lies which are tearing Lady's life apart.

Very introspective, often in a darkly funny way - not to mention quite a bit of irony.

I didn't LIKE either woman but the tale was fascinating and thought provoking and really raw.


Friday, April 20, 2018

Review: Death Overdue by Allison Brook

I always love cozies set in libraries and this is no exception.  Tend to like a bit of woo-woo too - so ghosts are fine and this one is rather grandmotherly.

Carrie has been staying in Clover Ridge with her Aunt and Uncle.  Rather than moving on as she has most of her life, she decides to stay and she gets a job as the programming and events director at the town library.  For her first event though, the guest speaker is murdered during his presentation.  He was a former detective and he was talking about an unsolved murder.  Carrie feels a sense of responsibility and tries to solve the murder with the victim's son Jared.

I really enjoyed the story and characters.  I had a couple suspension of disbelief moments - like a detective would have all his info on an iPad and not save to iCloud or use locate my iPad (I've seen that one work when an attorney here left his in a taxi - it makes a lot of noise and you can see ona  map.  Also, though I enjoyed the ghost, I am not sure how much she was a way to advance the plot without being able to get info another way.

That said, it was a very fun read and an Agatha Award Nominee.


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Review: In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen

A man falls from the sky when a parachute does not open. He is dressed at a British soldier but this is WWII and it is more likely he is a spy. 

Ben is charged to find out and who the man may have been meeting and who of his neighbors and friends may be supporting the Germans. 

As usual, Rhys Bowen delivers a believable historical story with wonderful twists and turns.

Fascinating characters and lots of spying going on. From Bletchley to London and back, secrets abound. Absolutely loved it!


Monday, April 9, 2018

Guest Blogger - Alice Duncan


It’s March already! How come the older I get, the faster time flies? No need to answer that question. Anyone who’s old knows the feeling, and if you aren’t yet old, you will know it—with luck and survival skills.

Winners of February’s contest, which is whatever book you want as long as I have a copy, are: Alicia Carol, Linda Rorex, Rita Wray and ALICE DUNCAN! Yes! There’s another one! And she lives in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. She also claims to wear a kilt, but I haven’t seen proof of same yet. I’ll send you an e-book of your choice, Alice, since I can’t afford to send a real book. Alicia, Linda and Rita, please let me know which book you’d like, and I’ll send it to you. It may take me a while to do so (unless you want an e-book) I regret to say, because I’ve been a bit dilatory of late.

So. Here’s the fabulous cover of next month’s release, SPIRITS UNEARTHED, Daisy Gumm Majesty’s 12th (actually, it’s her 13th, but let’s not go into that again) adventure. Right below the cover is a link to purchase it for your Amazon Kindle or your B&N Nook:

February was kind of a dopey month. I got edits for SPIRITS UNEARTHED while I was sick, and I fear for the book’s reception and overall worth. I think it stinks, although I do hope I’m wrong. The cover is spectacular. Yes, Spike is a black-and-tan dachshund; red dachshunds show up better on book covers. Therefore, he’s red on the cover (by the way, red is dachshund-speak for brown). But his attitude on the cover is pure Spike, and he’s doing precisely what he does in the book to get the action started. Hope the rest of the book lives up to its cover. If you ever want to understand insecurity, go in for a writing career. Insecurity guaranteed, curse it.

Oh, and everyone else I know was sick in February, too. Basically, February was a sickly, sucky month. Fortunately, the hounds seem to be all right, even Giblett, my problem child, which doesn’t seem quite fair to me but what do I know?

Also, I got an invitation to attend my – this just makes me gasp with appalled-ness – 55th high-school reunion. I swear, I don’t know how I got so old so fast. I wouldn’t mind the aging thing if it didn’t hurt so much, but oh, well. However, I’m going to attend. This is mainly because I’ll get to see Phyllis McKown and Janet Levine Goldberg, with whom I used to play flute in the Eliot Junior High School band in Altadena, California. I don’t think the three of us have been together since Eliot days! Egad. I only recently found out that neither Phyllis nor Janet considered herself a musician, but both merely sort of faked it. And here I thought we were all ardent flautists who practiced all the time (even though by doing so we made our dogs howl). Show’s how much anyone knows about anyone else when s/he’s a kid, huh? Also, it cleared up any doubt I might have had about why I was selected to be first-chair flute. Evidently, I was the only one who could play the instrument!

Anyway, now I’m in the process of writing Daisy’s 13th (or 14th) adventure, SHAKEN SPIRITS, in which Daisy has already been hit by a car and had her left shoulder dislocated. She’s recovering nicely, although she’s in a good deal of pain. The car that hit her was a 1923 Cole Sportster Sedan, quite a classy car. In fact, here it is! It’s not the real culprit. It’s the agent the real culprit used to whack poor Daisy. After he stole it from a grand estate in the San Rafael hills. Then he abandoned it on the Angeles Crest, the bounder:

Daisy’s going to miss choir practice for a couple of weeks, and she won’t be able to use the Ouija board or shuffle tarot cards for a while, but she’ll recover. I’m also relatively certain she and Sam will figure out who did the evil deed, why, and make certain whoever dunnit will never be able to do it again. If that made any sense.

Well, whatever. Let’s see now. What should I give away at the end of March? SPIRITS UNEARTHED comes out in April, so what I think I’ll do is give away one copy each of SPIRITS ONSTAGE (in which Daisy has a marvelous time playing Katisha, the mean old nastypants in Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado), UNSETTLED SPIRITS (in which people keep dropping dead during communion service at Daisy’s church), BRUISED SPIRITS (in which Daisy and her friends save the life of a battered woman – this is based on a true story, by the way. The woman lives in Australia), and SPIRITS UNITED, in which a dastardly plot at the California Institute of Technology (or Caltech as it’s affectionately known) is foiled by Daisy and her gang. I think Sam’s Voodoo juju goes a bit wacky in this one, too.

A word about my monthly contests. I love giving my work to people; however, I found out quite by accident a few months ago that sending books to Great Britain, Australia, and other countries outside the United States is beyond my monetary capability. If a resident of a nation other than the United States has an e-reader, I’ll happily supply that person with an e-book. If a person doesn’t have an e-reader and still likes to read book-books, he or she is on his or her own. I’m sorry, but what I laughingly call my writing career hasn’t made me wealthy yet. And it probably won’t, but let’s not get in to that because it always depresses me. So. That’s that.

If you’d like to enter the contest, just send me an email ( and give me your name and home address. If you’d like to be added to my mailing list, you may do so on my web site ( or email me (you won’t be smothered in e-mails, because I only write one blog a month, and that’s an effort). If you’d like to be friends on Facebook, visit my page at

Thank you!

Review: Blotto, Twinks and the Intimate Review by Simon Brett

Blotto and his friend go see  Light and Frothy;   a new popular show and his friend falls for the star of the show.  After his friend is k...