This is the latest, and best installment, in the Debbie Macomber 'angles' series. It seems like an updated, Christian fun redo of the movie, An Affair To Remember.
The angles--Shirley, Goodness, Mercy, and the newest addition, Will are 'prayer ambassadors' from heaven who push the boundaries of their assignments. This time they cause two lonely people to meet in Times Square on New Years Eve. They have an instant attraction, but problems arise and the angels 'help' causes problems for the new couple.
This story has a fun interest because the two people are a chef, opening a new restaurant, and a food critique for the newspaper. Since I enjoy shows on the cooking channel, this book ties in the food interest, romance, and fun with a Christian message. Good read for this Christmas season!!
The ladies of Cayboo Creek, South Carolina are always there to support each other, often gathering in the Bottom Dollar Emporium to discuss life and everything happening in their small community. In book two, sisters, Chiffon and Chenille, are the center of interest. Never very close as children, and with a mom that was trying to raise beauty queens, they now find themselves thrown together by life's problems.
Chiffon's husband has gone to Hollywood on a prize that she actually won, but a sick baby kept her at home. Her sexy, handsome husband finds himself in the arms of a conniving Hollywood starlet, and he's not unhappy to be there. Added problems come because Chiffon has been left with no money but plenty of unpaid bills. Then she slips and sprains her ankle at her cafe job. Nothing to do but call upon her estranged sister to help with her children.
Conveniently, Chenille has just been fired from her teaching job because of the antics of her classroom helper. With everything in this small town being the source of gossip, and the media hounding Chiffon, it's up to the help of their friends for each of these women to take control of their lives and find true happiness.
I thoroughly enjoy these stories. The woman are all too human. The conversations and situations find truth in great humor and blunt common sense. The faults and foibles of small town life are wonderfully overrun by the loyalty, friendless, and community compassion found in difficult situations. Well written characters make me want to become friends with these ladies.
Don't know what it is about the Gourmet Detective books that interest me so, but they definitely intrigue me. This one was better than the first one. Perhaps because the mystery was much better--a closed room type. I also love all things Asian cooking, and the spices, meals, and restaurants spoken about in this book were mouth watering and familiar to me. There was also lots of name dropping stories about the times and life in New York.
In this book, the Gourmet Detective, who never gets a name, is called from England to New York to authenticate Ko Feng. This spice has been missing from the world for over 500 years, so everyone from chefs, to pharmaceutical companies want to acquire some, and many are willing to do anything to get some. It's worth a fortune and now it's missing and one of the men involved is dead too. The GD seems to do much of his investigating with beautiful and intriguing women.
This mystery has a definite feel of Christie's mysteries, with the gathering of suspects at the end of the story, where the culprits are revealed. If you're a foodie and can stand a bit of snobbery in your characters, you'll enjoy these books.
This book was a bit different from other Grisham books that I've read. It was as much a study on the evils of strip mining, the tragedy of black lung disease, the overpowering control of the mining companies, and the lives of the poor and powerless in mining communities, as it was a mystery. There were legal issues to be sure, but not the usual "got you" moments of a trial situation that exist in his other books.
Samantha was a high powered corporate lawyer in New York, untill the 2008 recession sent loads of such lawyers into the streets. She took an unpaid internship in the small Appalachian town of Brady, Virginia. For the first time, she dealt with real people and their real issues. She actually went to court rather than just doing research and filling out forms. Here she got to know the people and their families, whose lives are directly dependent on the coal companies. She saw the land that was devastated by mining from the top down, with the accompanying poisonous sludge run-off. She also got caught up in a huge court case involving illegal action by the mining companies, who would do anything, including murder, to win their cases and keep their mining operations going on their terms.
I did enjoy this book, keeping in mind that Grisham definitely had his point of view about the mines and their owners. He used specific cases, compelling families, and the suspense of avoiding ruthless mine owners to tell a good story about these Appalachian lands and peoples. I would actually like to read more about Samantha and her new friends at the Legal Aid Society in Brady. I listened to this on Audible and enjoyed the narration.
I'm not usually good with fantasy and suspension of belief, but this book drew me in right away with it's talking cats that can open refrigerator doors to get their food, can make telephone calls, and can think and investigate with the best of the local police force. Joe and Dulcie are special cats but also have all the endearing and naughty traits of normal cats.
In this second book, one of their human friends, a well resound artist, has been murdered. The police have a suspect in jail, but he's been talking to the lovely cat who visits the jail. He doesn't realize that Dulcie can understand everything he's saying as he bemoans his innocence. Dulcie believes him and sets out to find the real culprit. Joe's not as enthusiastic, but he's dragged into the search by Dulcie.
This is a really cute mystery. The cats are so catlike within their human abilities. The search for the murderer is very well done and is solved very logically, though the cops are sometimes bamboozled by how some of the evidence and clues are found. No one knows that the cats can talk and understand everything said around them but their two owners. I listened to this on Audible and found myself laughing at the antics so well told by the narrator. Looking forward to reading many more of these tales!!
This superb series has covered all the seasons with this fourth book. It's an awesomely humorous and mysterious book that combines Agatha Christie, Louise Penny and Dan Brown----and Malliet mentions all three authors' works within this book so cleverly too.
Former MI-5 operative Max Tutor, is called upon by his Bishop to travel to Monksbury Abby to check on some unusually financial issues with the records from the Handmaids of St Lucy nunnery. Max also finds himself investigating a suspicious fruitcake poisoning, while he's there.
This mystery, though serious, is sparked throughout by such intellectual humor and brilliant connections to those other famous authors, it is unlike any other cozy series I've read recently. There are chapter heads that tell the rules of these Handmaids St Lucy, along with history of this lady. There is a clash between worldly ways and silent contemplation that adds much to the mystery. I would consider this a must read for any enthusiastic cozy readers!! I listened to a fabulous Audible version of this book which made something great into something extraordinary!!
This is the third book in the quilting series. Emma and Lamar met after their spouses died. They found each other in their older age and have enjoyed teaching six week courses in quilting, teaching those who God brings to them. Because of Lamar's arthritis, they've taken a house in Florida for the cold winter, away from their Indiana Amish community.
In this book, the class consists of a sullen 14 year old who is paralyzed in her legs because of a diving accident, a young pregnant woman whose husband has just lost his job, an older artist who wants to paint the ocean before he dies from cancer, a busy charter boat owner, a lonely waitress, and a newly retired widowed teacher. Their lives are impacted by a visiting motorcyclist who was in the previous quilting class in Indiana.
This is a relationship book that shows how listening and trusting God helps people with their life issues. Very reaffirming and interesting story lines. I've thoroughly enjoyed all three quilting class books!
A MATTER OF TRUST by Lis Wiehl--Prosecutor, Mia Quinn, is a new widow with a teen-aged son and a four year old daughter. While talking on the phone to her best friend in the office, Coleen, Mia hears a shot then nothing but strange breathing from Coleen. Coleen's death resembles another prosecutor's death from many years ago. Mia and detective Charlie Carlson are teamed up to investigate the possible connection between these two deaths. But having a teen-aged son can cause problems of in itself.
I liked the interaction of all the characters in this book. The problems and situations were very realistic. Wiehl was able to follow three cases seamlessly and interestingly within this one story. Great start for a new mystery series! I listened to this on Audible and found it added to the enjoyment of this book.
This Brazilian mystery takes place just prior to the 1914 World Cup that is set to take place in Brazil. The Brazilian super star Tico, "The Artist", is expected to help Brazil run away with the win over their top rival, Argentina. But someone has kidnapped Tico's beloved mother and everyone is concerned that Tico won't be at his best with her missing.
Chief Inspector Mario Silva is assigned this case, with instructions to get her back before the highly anticipated games. There are plenty of suspects depending on whether the kidnapping was to hinder Brazil's chances of winning, or if it was a revenge kidnapping by another star player, or if it was purely for money.
Though this was a newer book from the CI Silva mysteries, I was immediately caught up with the characters. Silvia's boss was more of a hinderance that a help, and seemed only to be politically motivated in his actions. The excitement of the World Cup was very evident. Though I got engrossed in the characters and the mystery, the Brazilian location was only felt because of the country wide "football"/ soccer craze. I would read more in this series as I do like police procedurals, and this one was well done.
AND THE MOUNTAINS ECHOED by Khaled Hosseini---This is a series of stories that connect to tell a family's 50 year history starting in 1952 in Afghanistan, with a poor man who has decided that he must take his brother's offer to sell his daughter to the brother's wealthy employer who has no children. As the daughter and her older brother were extremely close, this affects them the most. Though the daughter, at four years old, soon settles into her new family and her past is only a shadow in her mind until many years later. The brother was basically a parent to his little sister because their mother had died, so he was devastated.
Chapters are told in the voice of various participants during different times in their lives. As the reader, we are drawn into the sorrows and affects of life and history of the people and of Afghanistan during this time period. Hosseini does a wonderful job of evoking the many feelings of everyone as they respond to life and their connections to one another and their places in the family's history, eventually returning brother and sister together as older and different people.
I listened to the Audible version which was read by the author and two other Afghanis. This made it more authentic, but was sometimes a bit more difficult to understand because of the accents. But, eventually I caught onto the rhythm of the speech patterns and enjoyed it very much.
Second book in the Odd Thomas series continues to please all my senses. It's really difficult to say much about the story in this book without giving too much of it away. Odd Thomas is definitely different, as he sees and talks to unsettled dead people, and he's drawn to trouble that only he seems to know about in advance. The sherif is the only one in his small town who knows about his gift or curse, depending on how you look at it. In this book he goes in search of a good friend who is missing, but finds evil in his path.
Generally, this would not be the type of book to interest me. Ghosts and such are not my favorites, but Koontz uses this subject to discuss some very serious themes, while adding huge interest through suspense, a bit of terror, and lots of humor. Free will is his subject in this book, and he handles it so creatively that you are taken on a journey without really knowing why till the end of the book.
I love Koontz's writing and strange thought processes. After saving lots of people from death in book one, people in his town now consider him a hero or an angel. One quip in the story has Odd saying that maybe it would be good to be an angle because then his halo would always provide a light for his book reading. Of course, he even says that thought so much better than I do. I listened to this book on Audible and found the narration to be eerily spectacular. Highly recommend the Odd Thomas books!!
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