Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Templar Legacy

The Templar Legacy by Steve Berry

Cotton Malone, a retired US undercover operative is now a bookseller in Denmark. He goes to a coffee shop expecting to enjoy a coffee with his ex-supervisor, Stephanie Nelle when he sees a purse snatcher take her purse. He pursues and retrieves the purse and follows the man up a tower, only to have the man jump off the tower and slit his throat on the way down. A bit drastic for a purse snatcher!

This sets Cotton off on a mystery to find the secret and treasure of the Templars who were thought to be exterminated in the fourteenth century. Cryptograms, headstones with wrong data and ancient ruins all figure into Berry's mystery. Throw in some really bad guys in the form of rogue Templars who have no problem eliminating people in the way and you have a thriller that is hard to put down.

I could see some people getting upset about the questions about Christianity that are posed but I found they made me think about the issues. I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

First Line: "Jacques De Molay sought death, but knew salvation would never be offered."


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Easy Prey

Easy Prey by John Sandford

A high profile model is murdered. Lucas Davenport is led into the world of drugs and sex and parties. Del Shannon, a colleague of Davenport's, was there at the party where the murder occurred as an undercover cop and now he is a suspect.

Lucas's love life is in turmoil as he has not one but four women interested in him, an ex-girlfriend, ex-fiancee, victim and new woman.

In past Prey books the reader knew who the killer was and then the killer's character was developed throughout the book. Here the reader is not given the killer's name and can't even guess at the identity as no glimpses of the killer are around until near the end of the book.

I felt that this book was confusing and goes in a completely different way then previous books in the series and as such was not as good as the others in the series.

First Line: "When the first man woke that morning, he wasn't thinking about killing anyone."


Imitation In Death

Imitation in Death by J. D. Robb

This time around a serial killer is killing people in the fashion of famous serial killers starting with Jack the Ripper. He leaves a note for Eve at the scene of his crimes, making it personal . Is Eve on the hit list? The list of suspects are either diplomats or celebrities making the questioning more difficult as these people put up obstacles.

Peabody is slated to take the detectives exam and the reader struggles right along with her as she studies. Peabody does not want to let her boss down and the stress of the exam is guaranteed to drive not only Peabody nuts but also Eve

The other usual characters are back and the sex scenes with Roarke are as good as always. Love this series

First Line: "Summer of 2059 was a mean and murderous bitch who showed no signs of lightening her mood."


Friday, February 24, 2012

Strawberry Shortcake Murder

Strawberry Shortcake Murder by Joanne FlukeCozy Mystery

Hannah is the judge of the first ever Hartland Flour Dessert Bake-Off. When one of the judges, Boyd Watson is found dead, Watson's abused wife, Danielle is the prime suspect. Hannah however follows her sleuthing instinct and sets out to prove Danielle innocent. Mike Kingston, the new supervisor of detectives and a romantic interest warns her to steer clear but we all know that Hannah can do a much better job than the police.

Hannah has two romantic interests now. Detective Mike and Dentist Norman. It is nice not to see Hannah settling and enjoying both men for their individual and different personalities. I did enjoy the interaction between Hannah and her sister Andrea.

First Line: "The sound of a crash startled Hannah Swensen awake."


Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke
Cozy Mystery

Hannah Swensen is the owner of the bakery, The Cookie Jar in lake Eden, Minn. Early one morning she finds the dairy deliveryman dead in the alley behind her bakery. Hannah's brother-in-law who happens to be a local detective asks her to keep her ears open and Hannah finds herself in the midst of all sorts of gossip and suspects.

Meanwhile, Hannah's mother is determined to get Hannah married and Hannah finds herself being fixed up with a blind date.

Is this the best mystery? Definitely not. Cute, yes but it stretches the imagination that Hannah seems to be doing all the work and Bill her brother-in-law seems to be waiting for Hannah to find dead bodies. Interspersed throughout are cookie recipes that sound good.

First Line: "Hannah Swensen slipped into the old leather bomber jacket that she'd rescued from the Helping Hands store and reached down to pick up the huge orange tomcat that was rubbing against her ankles."


Monday, February 20, 2012

The First Time

The First Time by Joy Fielding

Mattie Hart discovers her lawyer husband, Jake is involved in another love affair. Their sixteen year marriage is finished. Jake moves out to live with his girlfriend. Soon after Mattie discovers she has Lou Gehrig's disease.

Jake returns home to help Mattie. Jake is feeling guilty. Mattie is needy and their teenaged daughter wants nothing to do with Jake.

This is a romance with a bit more meat to it. It is about how conflict and tragedy brings people together. There should be second chances in life.

First Line: "She was thinking of ways to kill her husband."


Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Young Adult

In the post-apocalyptic world of North America, now Panem there is a capitol surrounded by 12 districts. There had been an uprising but the capitol in order to quell any more requires each district to select 1 teen-aged boy and 1 teen-aged girl to participate in The Hunger Games. These games are a death to the end reality show.

Katniss' sister is chosen as District 12's tribute but Katniss volunteers to go in her stead along with Peeta, the baker's son who happens to be hopelessly in love with Katniss. They are trained and dressed and paraded until the actual horrific games start.

I just could not put the book down and if I had had the sequel I would have started it immediately. A great book. The plot is developed bit by bit bringing the reader in and never letting him go. I could picture the festivities, the training and the games as the book progressed.

The only nit is why the districts didn't rebel against the slaughter of their children. It was like they were automatons doing whatever they were told to do. There is non-stop action in the book so the movie will probably be a best seller also but I don't think I could stand to see the gore in living colour

First Line: "When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold."


Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost

The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost

Maarten Troost doesn't feel like he fits in his normal American job, so when his fiancee is asked to work at a non-profit at the end of the world, Troost follows. The country is Kiribati, located in the central Pacific Ocean, requiring many flights to get there. The island has history, as Japanese and American fought on the island during WWII. Tarawa is also an incredibly populated city, despite being in such a small area. Troost describes with humour his two year adventure on Kiribati, including run-ins with people pooping in the sea water he was swimming in, a dry spell with no beer, and how the locals only seem to listen to the Macarena.

The book labels itself as laugh-out-loud funny but I didn't find it that funny. It was quite quirky though. I noticed that had the author's name not been on the front of the book there's no way I would have known what his name was because I don't think he mentions it at all throughout the book. Rather, Kiribati residents call him an I-Matang, which means a foreigner.

I don't think I would actively seek out Troost's two other books but if I ever came across them I'd certainly read them.

First Line: "One day, I moved with my girlfriend Sylvia to an atoll in the Equatorial Pacific."


then he ate my boy entrancers

then he ate my boy entrancers by Louise Rennison
Young Adult

Georgia along with her best friend, Jas are off to the USA(Hamburger-a go-go land) with Georgia's parents for a clown car convention in Memphis. Georgia plans to connect with her love interest, Masimo, the Italian stallion, who is singing in NYC. She plans to visit him and re-connect. Georgia thinks that NYC and Memphis are just a short distance away which unfortunately is never corrected in her mind. She also thinks she can find him by phoning all the Scarlottis in NYC. How bright:(

This book is just more of the same as the past books of the series. Georgia is incredibly selfish and rude. Why her parents just don't leave her behind is beyond me. Although the way her father circumvents her phone calls is fantastic. For Georgia it is all about her lust for boys, her appearance and her interests. Jas should hit the hills in search of a better friend. Libby, Georgia's younger sister and Angus the cat is what makes the books tolerable. They are laugh out loud funny. It will be awhile before I read the next one in the series

First Line: "Dear chumettes and chums, I hope you are alrighty as two alrighty things,."


Friday, February 17, 2012

Julie and Romeo

Julie and Romeo by Jeanne Ray

Romeo Cacciamani and Julie Roseman are competing florists in Somerville, MA, whose families have feuded for generations. Romeo's son Tony and Julie's daughter Sandy tried to date in high school but the families made sure it didn't get very far. Romeo and Julie meet at a small-business seminar and start a love affair that will not be happily celebrated by either of their families. Even though some of the family has no clue about how the feud got started, it still goes on, hurtful as it can be. Will anyone get out an olive branch?

This book has over the top situations that are just plain funny. A plain old-fashioned romance on the Romeo and Juliet theme but the protagonists are in the 60s. This is a welcome change from the girls with their flowing locks and fluttering eyelashes and guys with their brawn and might.

As an aside, I read the sequel first and consider it to be better than this book

First Line: "The first time I heard the name Cacciamani I was five years old."