Monday, May 22, 2017

Obadiah: A Ghost's Story by Robert Spearman

Obadiah: A Ghost's StoryObadiah: A Ghost's Story by Robert Spearman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Written in an endearing and heartwarming way, Obadiah: A Ghost's Story by Robert Spearman is highly entertaining and a quick story to delve into. The story is actually told by the ghost of Obadiah, after Obadiah's death. Obadiah works as a carpenter, has a buxom lady friend and all is well with his life. When he dies, his ghost lives on however. His ghost continues to influence and impact those people who were in his life. That in itself makes the story quirky, but there is plenty to admire about Spearman's writing and language. The beautiful Southern dialect and local colloquialisms come through in such a colorful manner, it is hard not to enjoy reading this story. A fun part of the story is a perplexing bucket that seems to follow Obadiah everywhere, even in death. With interesting characters, a glimpse into the afterlife, and a well rounded story, Spearman writes with ease and a light touch. Wholly amusing and different, this book is highly recommended.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

That Woman: Beating the odds in colonial New York by Wayne Clark

That Woman: Beating the odds in colonial New YorkThat Woman: Beating the odds in colonial New York by Wayne Clark
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wayne Clark writes an inspirational historical novel in his book, That Woman: Beating the odds in colonial New York. With a strong female protagonist Sarah, Clark quickly immerses the reader into France in the year 1748. Sarah, her father, and younger brother have gone down to the docks to finalize some business dealings her father has. Unfortunately, both children are soon kidnapped and begin a harrowing journey. Bound for New York and sold as an indentured servant, Sarah must come to grips with her new reality, and do anything she can for her freedom and survival. Well written with a compelling and touching story, Clark gives Sarah's character the strength to forbear and survive dire circumstances. A highly readable, riveting, page-turner with a strong plot and exquisite use of language, this is a highly recommended historical fiction book that will entertain until the strong ending.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Shattered Abacus by Tom Hoffman

Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Shattered Abacus by Tom Hoffman is a marvelously fun book that keeps you engaged until the last page. This is book two of a new series by the author, featuring Orville Wellington the anthropomorphic mouse. Written intelligently, the characters are well created, including Sophia, who is Orville's friend and confidante. This writing ability; keeping the level of discourse in the book above common language, raises this story above many others in the fantasy genre. We begin the story with Orville having a terrible nightmare in which he and Sophia jump into an active volcano. Beyond that, he wakes to discover there is snow in his bedroom. Sophia herself, has had a scary dream on the same night, and steels herself for what may be on the horizon for both she and Orville. To think that Orville sets off a series of events simply by buying his Mum a necklace is scary indeed. A highly imaginative science fiction tale with an interplanetary twist, this book is eminently readable, with appealing characters and a strong plot.

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Dazzling Darkness by Paula Cappa

The Dazzling DarknessThe Dazzling Darkness by Paula Cappa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paula Cappa quickly pulls in the unsuspecting reader in her novel, The Dazzling Darkness; a genre bending story. Taking place in Concord, Mass., and with vivid descriptions, a missing young boy, and the supernatural element, there is a lot of tension and action to enjoy in this story. When Henry goes missing on his walk home down the cow path from school, his family is understandably frantic. Elias Hatch, the Old Willow cemetery caretaker is the most obvious suspect, what with his mysterious, odd nature. Cappa includes overtones of religion, faith and even transcendentalism for a heady mix in this tale that will have your head spinning. All of the characters are well fleshed out by Cappa, especially appealing is Balducci, the lead detective. A riveting, unique story that revolves around every parent's worst nightmare, this is a highly recommended novel that will appeal to readers across the board.

View all my reviews

Thief in Law by Michael Dirubio

Thief in LawThief in Law by MICHAEL DIRUBIO
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a professional thief, Michael Davidson does a great job. He lives a luxurious life, while looking after his elderly next door neighbor. Robbery is Michael's life, and even though Michael is highly intelligent, he prefers to use his smarts to outwit and connive his way through life. The author Dirubio writes with great clarity and glittering descriptions of not only Michael's abode, but the surrounding environs. Overall, a good story that details what it is like to be a good for nothing thief, the "thief in law", excels at what he does, Michael is portrayed in an entirely human way, with love interests that complicate things and Russians who are out to get him. With complicated heists to work their way through, Michael and his gang spend a lot of time in the high end crime planning stages, making sure everything goes just right. Overall, an entertaining diversion that has the reader rooting for Michael the protagonist, even though he is not an admirable character. Highly recommend.

View all my reviews

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Memory Watcher by Minka Kent

The Memory WatcherThe Memory Watcher by Minka Kent
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What an engrossing thrill ride for the reader in The Memory Watcher- A Psychological Thriller by Minka Kent. Kent has written a psychological mystery/thriller with all of the characters being not too likable. Everyone in this story is manipulative, using one another, and has a hidden agenda. If you don't like that kind of thing, move on. But for readers who don't care about having a happy ending, who don't mind a little obsession, and gleefully read about betrayal, social media facades, and adultery, this is the perfect book for a riveting escape. Kent accurately captures the essence of a false narrative in this story, with unreliable and unlikeable narrators. Highly recommend for a total immersion into reading a creepy and fascinating look at suburban life with all of it's demons and secrets.

View all my reviews

Friday, March 31, 2017

Jukebox by Saira Viola

JukeboxJukebox by Saira Viola
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A gifted writer with an expansive vocabulary, Saira Viola's Jukebox is a modern take on the London style gangster story. A fast paced book filled to the brim with brilliant metaphors, alliteration galore and characters that are predictable in a surprising way, Jukebox exposes a fresh literary talent in Saira Viola. At it's core the story is about desperation, the main character Nick's father has Alzheimers; and all of the attendant hardships and sorrow that accompany that diagnosis. Nick wants to be a musician, but desperate times call for desperate measures as it were, and Nick has followed the advice of his father and become a fledgling lawyer. Gritty with a realistic feel to the people in Nick's life; his uncle, who thinks he is the next Bernie Madoff, to Nick's martyred mother, this novel so accurately depicts the human condition, it is hard to stop reading. Creative fiction that combines a wonderful use of language with a solidly engaging story. Highly recommend.

View all my reviews