Tuesday, September 15, 2020


Four-star review of A Lime to Kill by Summer Prescott

The murder didn’t happen until 45% into the story, but I enjoyed reading about Tiara’s decision to help her mother Marilyn run her key lime pie store in Key West. The characters were fun. Marilyn, the narrator of the story, was especially well-rounded. There were enough hints about her and her daughter for me to know this series has a lot to explore. I’m not a particular fan of cozies or romances, but I’ll be happy to read more about them and their delicious shop. And the recipes included at the end were an added bonus.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Tuesday Book Review

 A Girl Called Ari

Five-star review of A Girl Called Ari by P. J. Sky

This dystopian YA story grabbed me from the start and carried me onward. A true page-turner. The mayor’s daughter is kidnapped from a walled city of spires and towers. She finds herself in the wastelands near the salt mines where another teenaged girl, the one named Ari, toils and lives. The two set off together to get back to the city, encountering numerous perils, both natural and man-made. The author avoided going for the expected happily ever after ending for both girls. I’ll never doubt an author’s tweet about her book again. I’ll look for more by this author in the future.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Tuesday Book Reviews


Five-star review of The Secret Servant by Daniel Silva

A page-turning thriller about the role an Israeli spy and art restorer, Gabriel Alon, plays in the rescue of the daughter of the American Ambassador to England after she is abducted by a jihadist group. The story takes place in England, Holland, Denmark, Egypt and Israel. This is the seventh in a series but the first I’ve read, yet I didn’t have any problems following the interaction among characters who obviously took part in earlier novels. An emphasis is made on the fact that the growing numbers of Muslims throughout Europe include members of radical groups.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020


Murder Aboard the Flying Scotsman: a 1920s cozy historical mystery (Ginger Gold Mystery Book 8) by [Lee Strauss]

Four-star review of Murder on the Flying Scotsman by Lee Stauss

I’ve enjoyed Strauss’s cozy mysteries before. This one, in the Lady Ginger Gold series, is as good as the others. A head has been found in the mail car aboard the Flying Scotsman train taking Ginger and her new husband, Inspector Nigel Reed, for their honeymoon in Edinburgh. All of the first class passengers become suspects as the jewels of one of them are stolen. Those cars are separated from the rest of the train, and the Reeds assist the York police in solving the crimes, which are related to the 1855 Gold Robbery.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Tuesday Book Reviews on Wednesday

The Killing Fog (The Grave Kingdom, #1)

Five-star review of Killing Fog by Jeff Wheeler

Quite a bit different from the Kingfountain series by the author I’d read over the years, and even more engrossing. I enjoyed reading about Young Bingmei, her connection to the Phoenix Blade, her freeing of the Dragon King and all the other people involved in her story. First in a series, this novel was full of action, tension, world- and character-building. According to the author, his visits to the glaciers in Alaska and to China gave him the ideas for this story and that shows. The fight scenes are reminiscent of Martial Arts movies, especially when Bingmei flies over her opponents and performs well-practiced maneuvers with staff and sword. I look forward to the other titles in the series. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

 The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression

Four-star review of The Emotion Thesaurus second edition by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi

An improvement over the last version of the book I used a few years ago. Expanded to 130 entries so you can find most emotions you can think of, and for each a long list of physical signals and behaviors as well as shorter ones of internal sensation and mental responses. Acute and long-term responses are also addressed. This is a good reference book for when you want to show a characters emotional response to something that occurred.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Tuesday Book Reviews on Wednesday

Four-star review of The Pythagorian Solution by Joseph Badal

This was an exciting story set on the Greek island of Samos. Lots of action and good descriptions of the beautiful island. The good guys are well developed but, though there are short chapters about what the bad ones are planning, their characters are all charicatures. I could have done without the rape scene too. The basis for the story, that a fisherman has such a good understanding of geometry that he can leave the clue to leads the good guys to find a treasure aboard a Turkish boat that sank at the end of WW II, is a leap. But the tension built throughout, so this book was a page-turner.