Friday, June 22, 2012

The Lost Years, by Mary Higgans Clark


 


The Lost Years
Author:  Mary Higgins Clark
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Date Published: April 3, 2012
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 292
Recommended Age: Adults
Read and Reviewed By:  Me
Rating: B/4





I got the book from the library.

Summary:
Biblical scholar Jonathon Lyons believes he has found the rarest of rare parchments, a letter written by Jesus, which was stolen from the Vatican library in the 1500s.  He has several experts check it out in secrecy. Within days, he is found shot to death in his home office with his wife suffering from Alzheimer’s hiding in the office closet holding the gun and mumbling incoherently.  Did his wife shoot him because he was having an affair?  Or did one of his closes friends murder him for the parchment?

My Thoughts:
I enjoyed this book very much.  It’s the first time I ever read a Mary Higgins Clark book and since I enjoyed it I may read more of hers in the future. I found the plot of this story to be interesting.  It is what it intrigued me to pick up Clark’s book and put it on my To Be Read list. It’s an easy read.  The reader will not feel he or she is trudging through a swamp trying to figure out what is going on.  The characters are well-developed and made to be realistic. 

I did not like Detective Simon Benet.  He seemed to have prejudices, which led him to have a one-track mind.  I feel he wanted to choose the most obvious suspect just because it would make his job easier, and he would get annoyed with his female partner whenever she would suggest other possibilities.  I am also annoyed that I was able to pick out the true murderer several chapters before the last chapter and before the pompous detective did.

For these reasons, I gave The lost Years four stars and a grade of B.  Clark has a wonderful imagination and has told us a tale that could be plausible. The reader is not left thinking, “How ridiculous! That would never happen.”  If you are a fan of Mary Higgins Clark already, I recommend reading her latest book The Lost Years.  If you have never read anything by Clark before, but do love mysteries, I recommend giving this book a read.



Parents:
Language: some
Adult Content: None
Violence: Some


Let Love Find You, by Johanna Lindsey


 


Book Title: Let Love Find You
Author: Johanna Lindsey
Published By: Gallery Books
Date Published:  June 12, 2012
Genre: Romance, Historical Romance
Pages: 374
Recommended Age: Adult, Mature Adult
Read and Reviewed By:  Me
Rating: A/5





I got the book from the library.

Summary:
Devin Baldwin is a popular horse breeder who is also being referred to as “cupid” for his matchmaking abilities. He pairs the young ladies with eligible men based on animal magnetism and what they have in common. He speaks his mind and will dish out unsolicited advice to better one’s chance of getting a mate.

Lady Amanda Locke is on her third season among the ton and still cannot seem to find a husband.  Her family has gotten desperate and hires “Cupid,” whom Amanda finds infuriating, to give Amanda riding lessons so she can win an earl who talks about nothing but horses.

My Thoughts:
I love Johanna Lindsey’s books so when I heard she had a new book coming out I had to get on the waiting list for it at my neighborhood library, and it was well worth the wait.  I just loved this book!  It is well written and the characters are very descriptive. It’s an easy read and the story line just pulls you right in.  It’s one of those books the reader just can’t put down and is kept up until the wee hours of the morning reading. 

I loved how the book introduces the novelty of finding common interests in a future mate to the heroine, Amanda.  I found it funny that her father and aunt don’t think it is necessary to have some sort of common ground with one’s significant other. Common interests with one’s mate is something readers already know about and know that is why it’s not easy to find a mate as it used to be back in the days of the Regency.  The reader will want to climb into the book and tell the father and aunt that it is true.

I also love that there is a bit of mystery entwined with the story.  Who is Devin’s biological father? Who is trying to kill Devin and why? These questions are not answered until the last chapter and the reader is kept in suspense the whole time, but the suspense is not painful as there is some humor thrown in occasionally.

For these reason I gave Let Love Find You by Johanna Lindsey five stars and a grade of an A.   If you enjoy Johanna Lindsey’s books as much as I do, you must read this one.  If you have never read a book by Johanna Lindsey’s books but enjoy romance novels, I recommend reading Let Love Find You and then read her Mallory Family series. You’ll love it.




Parents:
Language: Very Little
Adult Content: Two small sex scenes and an attempted rape scene
Violence: People getting shot at




Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Turn of The Screw


 

Book Title: The Turn of the Screw
Author:  Henry James
Published By: Tom Doherty Associates
Date Published:  October 15, 1993 (First published 1898)
Genre: Classics,  Psychological Thriller
Pages:  146
Recommended Age: Young Adults
Read and Reviewed By:  Me
Rating: F/1






I got the book from the library.


Summary:
 A young woman agrees to take the position of governess over two children. The uncle of the two children tells the governess never to bring any concerns to him.  The Governess is left with the two children at a country manor with only servants as adult companions. The house seems to be plagued with ghosts.


My Thoughts:
Henry James writes a wordy psychological thriller. Well, it’s supposed to be a psychological thriller but it falls short.  James’ descriptions are wordy and tedious; it was like swimming through a muddy swamp. With no one but the governess seeing the supposed spirits of the late Governess and her lover, it makes the reader wonder if the governess is crazy, or are the children so fully possessed by the spirits that they will lie for them? 

The language used is so ambiguous that reader wonders if the late governess and her lover were mistreating the children in some way that may be sexual, but then again the reader could never really tell what  James’ was trying to install in the reader’s imagination.  This book was not a “page turner” as one would think a psychological thriller should be. The only good thing I can say is that it is a quick “death”.   For these reasons, I give The Turn of the Screw one star and a grade of an F.  Unless, you have to do a book report, I do not recommend reading The Turn of The Screw by Henry James.


Language: None
Adult Content: None
Violence: None



Little Shop Of Homicide, by Denise Swanson


 

A Devereaux"s Dime Store Mystery


Book Title: Little Shop of Homicide
Author: Denise Swanson
Published By:  Obsidian
Date Published: March 6, 2012
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 250
Recommended Age: Adult
Read and Reviewed By: Me
Rating: B/4




I got the book from the library.

Summary:
Devereaux Sinclair has left her fancy job and moved back to her small town in Missouri to buy the town’s five and dime store.  She was commissioned to make a gift basket for her ex-boyfriend by his fiancĂ©, Joelle Ayers.  When Joelle Ayers was found murdered in her hotel room by articles from the gift basket Dev Sinclair is the prime suspect.

My Thoughts:
Denise Swanson is the author of the popular Scumble River Mysteries, and now she has given her readers a new series. Swanson has done a wonderful job creating another world for her readers to fall into.  I like how Swanson interweaved Dev’s past into the story line so the reader would know why the Detective was keen on thinking Dev was the only suspect he should look at. 

I also liked the sarcastic humor the characters have and how Swanson paints the scenes.  It makes the reader feel as if she is right there in the town, at the Five and Dime store or the parish playing Bingo.  I just didn’t like the weird names the characters had. They were kind of out there.  Then there was the U.S Marshal coming to Dev’s rescue with all the sexual tension seemed to be straight out of a romance novel.  Taking all that into account, I gave Little Shop of Homicide four stars and a grade of B.  If you have read the Scumble River Mysteries and liked them, I recommend Little Shop of Homicide.  If you haven’t read the Scumble River Mysteries but do like mysteries, I recommend you read the Scumble River Mysteries and Little Shop of Homicide.



Parents:
Language: Some
Adult Content: Sexual tension, Adult Subject Matter, Heavy topics
Violence: some violent descriptions



Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen


Book Title: Sense and Sensibility
Author:  Jane Austen
Published By:  Public Domain Books
Date Published: October 4, 2009 (first published 1811)
Genre: Classics, Historical Romance
Pages: 336
Recommended Age: Young Adult, Adult
Read and Reviewed By: Me
Rating: C/3


I received this book free from Amazon.

Summary:
A tale about two sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, who learn that love does not come easily. After their father died, their half brother and greedy sister-law refuse to share and of their father’s money and have the move into a small cottage in another county, where Marianne meets and falls in love with the womanizer Willoughby. Elinor falls in love with Edward Ferrar, who is a man who is long-time engaged to another, although secretly.


My Thoughts:
Sense and Sensibility has many colorful characters, as my favorite was the comical Mrs. Jennings.   The characters were all well written.  I truly wanted slap the girls’ sister-in-law when it was made clear to the reader that she thought she should keep Marianne’s piano because she felt she was more worthy of it. 

I gave Sense and Sensibility only three stars and a grade of C, because although I liked it somewhat, I found it long and boring. Jane Austen would take extremely long sentences to describe something or some sort of action that by the time I reached the end of the sentence I have become confused as to what Austen was referring to.  I also found it quite annoying to read about Marianne chasing a man by letters and begging him to talk to her in front a crowd. I felt pity for the girl.  Austen has written better books and this was not one of them. I spent the time wondering when the book would end. If you are on a quest to read all Jane Austen’s books then I recommend reading Sense and Sensibility.  If it is not a goal that matters to you, then I suggest passing the book up.



Parents:
Language: None
Adult Content: None
Violence: None