First, let me say that the opening of this book is one of the best that I've ever read. Sheriff Walt Longmire is attempting to read his grown daughter's favorite childhood fairy tale to a group of very peevish young children in a classroom. This is a group that may actually outlast Walt---great fun!!
Then the book goes into the real mystery with Longmire going to Philadelphia, with his Native American friend, where "Bear" will be speaking about art, and Longmire will be visiting his lawyer daughter, Cady, and her new boyfriend. But shortly after arriving, Cady is attacked and left in a coma. Her boyfriend is murdered and Walt goes on the search for answers. Walt's sidekick, Vick, and her Philadelphia policemen family are glad for Walt's help. Then all the twists and turns begin.
This third installment of Longmire takes place completely in Philadelphia. I definitely missed the Wyoming countryside, but Walt kept his own outlook on life in the city. Walt, Bear, and Vick keep the excitement going wherever they are. Romance comes into play now that we are becoming part of the Longmire family too. Keep them coming, Craig Johnson!
If you're a fan of every version of Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL as I am, you will be as thrilled with this book. Bennett has thoroughly captured Dickens' writing style and story line within the wonderful little Christmas tale.
Rather than beginning with the night that Marley returned in death to tell Scrooge of the impending spirits that would change Scrooge's life, this story begins at the start of Jacob's life. We hear of a kind and loving family that Jacob had to begin his life, but he managed to become an old skinflint anyway. How he managed to return to elicit a change in Scrooge's life makes up the majority of this expanded version of an old classic. It was done exceedingly well too.
This is a great version of the classic which tells of compassion and redemption and a life well lived. Though this is just a story, and a superb one at that, I would be remiss, as a Christian, if I did not point out that only Christ can bring about a person's eternal salvation. That said, I believe the message in these stories of doing good to your fellow man, is something that Christ does expect from his people too. A new favorite has been added to my Christmas traditions!
THE LIFE OF OUR LORD by Charles Dickens is a short version of the Gospel as Dickens wrote it to his children. It definitely shows where Dickens was coming from in his other writings --doing good works and helping the poor will get you to Heaven. That was done very well in this little book. If he had acknowledged the complete divinity of Christ, and the necessity of salvation ONLY through Him, I would give this 5 stars. ( John 10:30- "I and my Father are one." & John 14:6 "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Amongst other verses). Unfortunately, he did ignore this most necessary truth. But if you acknowledge this additional necessary truth to this little book, it was quit a nicely done summary of the Gosples.
I'm a real fan of Rollins' Sigma books, so I picked this book up without giving it much thought. The involvement of vampire like creatures, which is not really my thing, made it a bit difficult for me to get into this story. For this kind of book, I did believe it had some very interesting parts. It revolves a lot around the Catholic Church traditions, saints, faith, and history.
Beginning with an earthquake at Masada, Israel, a bomb and strange sacrificial remains are found below the mountain. This space is also occupied by some undead creatures. Some are evil and some have salvation from the blood of Christ. They are all searching for the Blood Gospel, supposedly written by Christ himself, which will supposedly reveal magic powers to whomever finds and opens it up.
Sent by the Vatican, three chosen ones go in search of this book----a brilliant but disillusioned woman archeologist, a military forensic expert, and an undead Vatican Priest. Of course their search is hindered by those evil ones who want the book for themselves. Among the undead, is Rasputin in Russia, who blames the Vatican for not caring about the hoards of children who were left to die during the siege of Leningrad. I found these sections connected with history to be some of the most interesting parts.
This is the first in the Sanguine Series. The Sanguines being a Vatican sect that was rumored to start in Biblical days, and whose start was depicted in a Rembrandt painting. Now that I've finished this first book, I do feel driven to continue on with this series to see what happens next. I think in the long run, I will really like, or really dislike this series. Sometimes it is hard to read a different kind of a book by an author whose writings you already adore!!
This is a "tell it like it is" story of the life of Pat Conroy's family, specifically involving his father--"THE Great Santini". I believe Conroy is one of the very best of American writers. This story comes from his memories of his life with his family----memories that are admittedly different for each Conroy family member. After years of best sellers with fictitious names telling family stories, this gets to the heart of this family with real names and memories.
I have a special interest in Pat Conroy's writings because my husband was also a '67 Citadel graduate, and one of Boo's Boys (Conroy's first book). Conroy also spoke about his family at a CASA ( Court Appointed Special Advocate--working with abused and neglected children) conference that I attended in Charleston, SC when I was a CASA. Name dropping??-- Pat Conroy wouldn't know me if he ran into me on the street. But, these things have added another level of enjoyment to books that needed nothing additional to become favorites in my library!!
Pat is the eldest of seven children born to a Chicago Irish Catholic highly decorated Marine pilot, and a beautiful daughter of a snake handling religious fanatic from the back woods country and a mother who deserted her four young children to defend for themselves. Pat's young life saw him going from place to place where ever his father was stationed at the time. Violence and love centered a difficult and volition family life, resulting in five of the seven kids eventually trying to commit suicide, with the youngest son eventually succeeding.
But the real beauty of this ranting family life, is the continual love-hate relationship between everyone in the family. After The Great Santini was published, Pat was demonized by most of his family, but his father---"THE Great Santini"---took perverse pleasure in referring to himself by that name for the rest of his life. The movie version somehow brought family members back together again in a mixing bowl of emotions. This book is Pat's version of a famous line from his book, The Prince Of Tides: " in families there are no crimes beyond forgiveness."
Though memories can be different for members of a family who lived through the same events, the raw emotions, and spectacularly open and dramatic telling of this story by Pat Conroy, makes this a timeless story of many families where violence harms and divides families, children and marriages take a beating figuratively and literally, and love and forgiveness manages to inch their way into people's hearts. Though this could have been a morbid tale if told be a different author, Pat Conroy brings this story into the realm of timeless story telling because of the explosive personality of someone who can get right to the heart of a classic tale! Wonderfully told and expertly written!
I'm not usually a fan of the early times in English history, but I read this book at the request of a friend who really loves these books. Surprise, surprise--I really enjoyed this book immensely!! This is a mystery involving Queen Elizabeth and her court in 1564. They are preparing to celebrate Christmas in the traditions of the time, to the definite dislike of the puritanical Protestant church leader. There is also the continuous conflict between sisters, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary of Scots, for throne of England.
At the start of these celebrations, Master Hodge Thatcher, Dresser of the Feast, is found hanging in the kitchen, dressed in the peacock feathers meant for the roasted bird. Queen Elizabeth is convinced that he was murdered and starts the investigation into his death. Then, the next days of the celebrations finds other deaths related to the each days activities. Who can the Queen trust? Clues seem to implicate those closest to her. The clues are truly interesting and red herons kept the story flowing. Queen Elizabeth's characterization is wonderfully done.
What I especially liked about the story was the deft way that the author used, and explained, so many traditions of the times, including an old time food recipe at the beginning of every chapter. This is the sixth book in this series. The excellence of this book is best proven when I say that I actually believe I want to rest of this books!
The reader added a great deal to the enjoyment of this book!!
Alix London is a beautiful and talented art consultant. She's also a Harvard drop-out. Born into wealth and privilege, she lost it all when her famous artist father was convicted of art forgery. Presently, she's house sitting in Seattle while she's cleaning expensive paintings for a client. Then her luck changes when she's hired by the novice art collector and newly rich, Christine Lemay, who wants Alix to authenticate a Georgia O'Keeffe painting that her art dealer friend is selling. They travel to the art scene in Santa Fe, the third largest artist area in the country, for this adventure.
The relationship between 'fallen from high society', Alix, and 'tell it like it is', Christine makes for a great caper. Though, when the art dealer friend is murdered, and the Santa Fe adobe cabin that Alix is supposed to say in explodes, they find danger chasing them too.
There's lots of interesting information about the art world and Georgia O'Keeffe that adds a real spark to this story. The underworld of art forgery creates real suspense and mystery, as humor mixes with danger in a great way throughout the story. A great start to a new mystery series!
Reader did a great job, adding a lot to my enjoyment of this story!!
The setting of this book really sounded interesting--North Korea. Then add a mystery, and I was really looking forward to reading this book, but it really disappointed me. It's the first book in a series, and "introduces" Inspector O. But that was one of my big problems. I'm one that always likes to read the first book in a series just so I can get a really good feel for the main character. This book is actually told from the perspective of Insoector O being interrogated about a crime. Unfortunately, that left very little opportunity to get any background on Inspector O. The setting was a different matter. I got a real feel for the mountainous scenery and different buildings of the area.
Someone is found dead in a hotel. But inspector O was sent on a diversion assignment to photograph a specific place at a specific time. Many chapters later, we see that all this was a diversion that Inspector O tried to muddle through on his own ethical terms, but the North Korean government wanted to keep their actual crimes covered up. This was not really developed sufficiently in my mind. I found the back and forth between interrogating and first person narrative a bit confusing also.
Though I found lots of potential to like, I think James Church (a pseudo name for an actual North Korean spy) could have done so much more to introduce this character and develop his mystery. Unsure if I would read more of these book or not, though the North Korean aspect still intrigues me.
PAGAN SPRING returns us to the small English village of Nether Monkslip where Max Tutor is an ex MI5 agent turned Anglican priest. His love life with the controversial spiritualist, Awena Owins, continues to blossom. Max also steps into a new possible murder. Thaddeus Bottle has moved back to a hugely renovated mansion in his family's home village. But humble he is not. Everything is about him and his desires. He desire is to be the center of everything, and his recent dinner party brings some upstanding townspeople to his home so they can properly admire the "celebrity" amongst them. But perhaps everyone is not quit so enamored as he might have hoped, as he's dead by the next morning.
Malliet fills her book with wonderful dry English humor, exquisite small town cliches, lovely clues, and characters that definitely entertain the senses. In this particular book, she also deal thoughtfully with some very serious subject matter from World War 2. Must read for cozy fans who want everything a cozy promises plus some excellent commentary on serious matters. Her best one yet!
I have many mixed feelings about this first Maggie O'Dell FBI profiler thriller. There was a lot of exciting writing and thrilling situations, but in many ways it felt like a story already told. Small boys are being ritualistically murdered, but someone was already executed for murdering three boys in the same way. Nick Morrelli has become sheriff after his father's retirement, but his heart really isn't in the job. He's a law school graduate, but his father talked him into this job. With these new murderers, it seems somebody in his father's department planted evidence, as the convicted murderer killed one boy as a copy cat killer, but two more were killed by someone else.
In comes Maggie O'Dell, with romantic and sexual tension, which doesn't feel original to the story. Her profile predicts someone that no one else believes is the killer. A bit to pat for me, though there was a lot of potential for a great story line. Then the book ends without a satisfactory ending. I'll definitely give this author another try, but I need and ending to my books, seems too much like a daytime soap opera otherwise!!
THE PROFET is a mystery that seems to say that everyone could reach a point in their lives that could cause them to be the villain that they feel they normally would condemn. I've read glowing reviews, and reviews that trash this book as being too much about football and not enough about a mystery. I think perhaps those one star reviews are missing something that make this book so much more than just a mystery. Will not say lots more on that because I believe the real discerning readers will be able to see this for themselves, and realize that this is a great mystery, but it is also a story that is so much more that JUST a mystery.
The Austin brothers live in the same small town where they were born and raised, but they have had virtually no contact with each other for 22years. Their relationship stopped one year when their sister was murdered. Both boys were football heroes, and Adam was supposed to drive his sister home from school every day. One day in his exuberance, he let his sister walk the five blocks home alone. She never made it home. Adam has been living in the guilt of his actions all of these years. Now as a bail bondsman, he lives a completely different live than his brother, Kent, more commonly known as "Coach".
As "Coach" is driving his high school football team to a state championship title, another 17 year old girl is brutally murdered. How the brothers handle this tragedy, and seek to solve and resolve this tragedy themselves, is what makes this a brilliant story.
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