Friday, April 29, 2011

Waiting Waiting!

I am re-reading Dead in the Family in preparation for Dead Reckoning on May 3rd! It has been a while since I have read a Sookie book, I have been kept so busy reading other authors this year. I had almost forgotten how engrossing Charlaine Harris' books can be. I really have a lot of other stuff to do this weekend, but all I want to do is read Sookie.

Stay tuned for my review once I finish Dead Reckoning, probably by Tuesday night.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I just finished The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Potzsch. I don’t normally read many historicals, this one takes place in central Europe in the mid-1600s. My previous experience with historicals is mostly from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. I didn’t necessarily think that Potzsch painted as grand a picture as Gabaldon does. He focused a lot on sanitary conditions, there was a lot of discussion of chamber pots and where they were being emptied. But, there was a lot of fun discussion about medical science, or lack thereof in the mid-1600s. It brought back a lot of what I learned of the history of human anatomy when I took anatomy class a few years ago. The fact that universities were teaching the humours and from texts written by ancient Greeks, and others that didn’t rely on human dissection to understand how the body works blows my mind. 
At the end of the book is an author’s note that talks about how the author is related to the Kuisel family, who were real well-known executioners. It was interesting to read about his inspirations for the book and how much was real. 
I wonder a little why the book was called The Hangman’s Daughter. There were really three main characters, and the hangman’s daughter really had a small part. The story revolves around the murder of three children in the village and the resulting hysteria that spreads through the town. When a woman is arrested on suspicion of witchcraft, the terrible things happening in town don’t get better, they get worse.It is up to the hangman and the young doctor in town to figure out what is really going on. 
Overall I enjoyed the book, it was a good story, the characters were interesting and the historical detail was interesting. I would recommend it as a mystery, although there weren’t too many twists in the mystery. 
I’m going to give The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Potzsch, 3 bookmarks.

Friday, April 22, 2011

An Uninvited Ghost by E J Copperman

An Uninvited Ghost is the second book in the Haunted Guesthouse Mysteries by E J Copperman. In this second book, Alison Kerby and her precocious 10 year old daughter Melissa are welcoming the first paying customers to their guesthouse on the New Jersey Shore. This first group is mostly made up of seniors, who are excited to be staying in a haunted house.

Alison's guesthouse has two resident ghosts, former PI Paul, and his former client and also former home owner Maxie. Paul and Maxie's murders were the impetus of Night of the Living Deed, the first book in the series.

Along with having her first paying guests, Alison is also playing host to the filming of a Jersey Shore-type reality show. To add to the madness, as part of her agreement to get Paul and Maxie to perform ghostly tricks for the guests, Alison must help Paul with PI work. Paul has already found their first dearly departed client. The case appears to be an easy one, see if anyone was grievously hurt or killed by a "prank" the ghost, Scott, had been involved in.

At least it should have been easy, but after Alison hit it off with the target of the prank during a visit to determine her well being, the elderly woman comes to a seance at the guesthouse. Of course, this being a murder mystery, the old woman ends up dead, and Alison feels the need to investigate to keep her guesthouse's reputation from being damaged.

This series is a lot of fun. I like Alison, I love her daughter Melissa, and there's a cast full of great supporting characters to help Alison discover the killer. I will definitely read the next book in this great cozy series. I could hardly put it down, even while on a Caribbean vacation!

I'm going to give An Uninvited Ghost by E J Copperman, 1 bookmark.

Next up, The Hangman's Daughter. Just a little over a week until the next Sookie Stackhouse book!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Night of the Living Dandelions

Night of the Living Dandelions by Kate Collins

Abby Knight is back solving a new murder mystery in her small Indiana town. Abby is the owner of Bloomers flower shop, and is recently secretly engaged to Marco Salvare,hottie bar owner and former special ops soldier. Marco recently got recalled to active duty and has to report in a few weeks time. Marcos old army buddy comes to learn the bar business, unfortunately for Vlad the townspeople start spreading rumors about his being a vampire.

It doesn't help Vlad's case that he not only looks like Count Dracula, but a woman goes missing and circumstantial evidence points to Vlad. Marco is convinced his friend is not guilty, and although Abby has doubts, she is willing to trust Marco's judgement.

All of my favorite characters put in an appearance, from Abby's parents, niece Tara, and cousin Jillian, to flower shop co-workers Lottie and Grace. The vampire angle is fun, and handled very tongue in cheek. Abby is still a force to be reckoned with, even on crutches thanks to a badly sprained ankle.

I love the flower shop mysteries. I am ready for whatever Abby and her merry band get up to next!

I'm going to give Night of the Living Dandelions by Kate Collins,1 bookmark.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Hard Day's Fright by Casey Daniels

A Hard Day's Fright by Casey Daniels

A Hard Day's Fright is the seventh book in the Pepper Martin mystery series by Casey Daniels. This series is fairly light-hearted, especially considering it usually deals with cold case murders. Pepper works as a tour guide at Garden View cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio, and she sees dead people. She doesn't just see them, she can also hear them. She's not working at a cemetery because she can see ghosts, it's more the other way around. As if it's not bad enough to see ghosts, they always want her help. It often involves tracking down a killer, or some other bit of unfinished business.

This book finds Pepper unhappily single, and an unwilling mentor to co-workers daughter. It also finds Pepper on the mass transit train, known as the Rapid; and that is exactly where Lucy's ghost finds Pepper too. Lucy disappeared on her way home from a Beatles concert in 1966, and since her seventeen year old self is talking to Pepper, she more than disappeared that night. That was the night she was murdered.

 This book has some fun Beatles references, Lucy tends to diamonds? Lucy was just seventeen...if you know what I mean. Anyway, it turns out Lucy was like a big sister to someone Pepper knows. After initially telling Lucy that she couldn't help find her killer, or at least her body, Pepper changes her mind when she sees it will help her friend.

Pepper starts digging into Lucy's group of friends that attended the concert that night. She also interrogates Lucy's old English teacher, a famous poet who happens to be back in town. Pepper has picked up some "helpers" for this investigation.

The biggest shock of the book comes from not the reveal of the killer, but something that hits Pepper closer to home. This book was a quick, fun, read. I really enjoy Pepper, and the mystery. There were some red herrings to add some twists. I definitely want to see what's next for Pepper!

I'm going to give A Hard Day's Fright by Casey Daniels, 1 bookmark.

Friday, April 15, 2011

One of Our Thursdays Is Missing by Jasper Fforde

I have completed my reading of the Thursday Next series! One of Our Thursdays Is Missing is the latest book in the series. I doubt it will be the last book in the series though, there are still a few unanswered questions. This book picks up a little while, probably 3 years or so after First Among Sequels. The Thursday that has gone missing is the real world Thursday Next, right before she was due at a big peace summit with Racy Novel. 
Meanwhile, the written Thursday Next is having trouble with the supporting characters in the Thursday Next  novels. When the written Thursday’s life starts to see more excitement than usual, she learns that real Thursday is missing. This leads to Thursday saving a clockwork butler, who is then indebted to her and becomes Thursdays man Friday. Thursday and Sprockett the butler get chased by the mysterious Men in Plaid, and written Thursday gets to make a trip to the real world to find out what happened to the real Thursday. It really is less confusing when you read it in context.
This one takes place mostly in Book World, and I think it gets off to a little bit of a slow start. The previous book left real Thursday in a precarious position and I was disappointed that this one didn’t pick up there. I did enjoy some of the new characters in this book though. 
            One of Our Thursdays Is Missing gives us a more in depth view of Book World, and the whole world was remade, so we kind of have to learn about it all over again. I think I like the new Book World better. I did miss the Cat though. Count me in for the next adventure of Thursday Next!
I’m going to give One of Our Thursdays Is Missing by Jasper Fforde, 2 bookmarks.
Now, on to Caribbean vacation, and more new releases!

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Thursday Next: First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde

First Among Sequels is the fifth book in the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde. First Among Sequels starts off fourteen years after the conclusion of Something Rotten. Thursday and Landen are married with three kids. Most of Spec Ops has been shut down, Thursday is supposedly now working for a flooring company she started with some of her ex-Spec Ops friends. She is also not supposed to be working for Jurisfiction. However, it isn’t surprising that Thursday needs a little more excitement than just installing carpets. 
Thursday is still working in the Bookworld at Jurisfiction. She has been given a recruit to train, and it just happens to be Thursday5, the Thursday Next character from The Great Samuel Pepys Fiasco. It is a little disorienting for Thursday to be running around Bookworld with a copy of herself. Thursday5 isn’t doing that well as a recruit, she’s a little too new age for the real Thursday. Thursday also gets stuck with Thursday1-4, from the first four Thursday Next books. The first books were full of gratuitous sex and violence, and Thursday1-4 was too quick to shoot first and ask questions later. 
Bookworld isn’t the only thing giving Thursday trouble. She also has trouble on the homefront in the form of Friday, her teenage son. He was supposed to join the Chrono Guard three years before this book takes place, but he is refusing to join. Now the Chrono Guard is trying to set things right, even if it means replacing Friday with the Friday that might have been. Thursday and Landen want to keep their current Friday, thank you very much. 
There is also cheese smuggling, demon fighting, and a visit to Aornis Hades in her time loop prison. This was a fun entry to the series, there was a nice balance between the real world and the book world. I think it was probably my favorite since The Eyre Affair. It has cameos by characters from other books. This one has much less of the literary references that make me feel I haven’t read enough. It’s just a lot of fun, and a lot of action. 
I’m going to give Thursday Next: First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde, 1 bookmark.
I’ve already started into the newest release, One of Our Thursdays is Missing.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Ack! I need to stay better informed!

That's what I get for relying on Amazon for release dates. As you all probably already know, since it was announced back in January, Ghost Story is not due out until July 26, 2011. I actually went to the bookstore looking for it on Tuesday. Finally tonight I went to Amazon to order it for Kindle, and what?! I know I had looked at Amazon's projected date several times over the last few weeks and it always said April 5th.

A visit to Jim Butcher's website though had a posting from January giving the new release date. There are going to be some sneak peeks of the new book coming up, and there is a sneak preview of chapter one in the back of the paperback copy of Changes.

I apologize if anyone else was at their local bookstore on Tuesday looking for Ghost Story.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde

Thursday Next is going back to the real world. She has her son, Friday, two dodos and Hamlet in tow when she arrives at her mom’s house. Thursday’s husband, Landen is still eradicated,  but she is ready to get him back. Before she can tackle Goliath about Landen’s eradication, she has to find childcare for Friday, and get her old job back at Spec Ops. Oh, and she has to make sure no one knows that her Cousin Eddy is really Hamlet. 
Hamlet wanted to find out what people in the real world thought of him, he’d been accused of being indecisive. While Hamlet was away, other characters from his play started to rebel and change the story, so Thursday is stuck hosting him longer than she would have liked. Or, maybe I should say that Thursday’s mom was stuck with him.
Thursday learns that there is a prophesy concerning Goliath and Yorrick Caine that would allow them to both lose their power grab. The prophesy involves Swindons team winning the croquet championship, and no one thinks that is likely. Somehow finding a way for Swindon to win the Super Hoop because Thursday’s problem, and she takes on the job of general manager. 
So let’s see, Thursday has a 2 year old, a troublesome adolescent dodo, a husband to reactualize, a croquet championship to win.....did I mention she also has an assassin to avoid, and she has to find a way to get all books by Danish authors over the boarder to Wales so they won’t be burned? Our Thursday is definitely busy in this book. 
I’m not sure whether it was the short break I took to read Garden Spells, or just that I prefer Thursday to spend most of her time in the real world, but I really did like this book better than Well of Lost Plots. I think in general the pace was faster. I suppose there wasn’t as much need for a lot of description since it more or less takes place in the real world, and Thursday’s universe has been described in two other books. I do like seeing some of Thursday’s friends from Bookworld though, especially the Cheshire Cat. 
I am excited to get on to books five and six in the Thursday Next series. I feel a little rushed because this coming Tuesday is kind of a super Tuesday of book releases. New books by Casey Daniels (A Hard Day’s Fright), Kate Collins (Night of the Living Dandelion), and last but not least Jim Butcher (Ghost Story!!!). 
I am going to give Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde, 1 bookmark.