Tuesday, October 23, 2012
This is a story of three people searching to heal from loss and find love and understanding.
Jill Anthony has just suffered a miscarriage when she returns home to find her husband in the arms of another woman. She flees to where she spent her young adult years, Sparkle, Colorado. Her husband not knowing what has happened cancels her credit cards and Jill now also has financial difficulties. She gets a job working with the ski patrol and babysitting Cassie.
Cassie has lost her mother to breast cancer and is trying to cope. She is so sad but doesn't want to upset her dad. She feels that her mother is sending her messages from heaven for her to find heart-shaped rocks. She does not get along with her babysitters but her father, Mike thinks that Jill will be the last one. The other alternative is to send Cassie to Arizona to her grandparents.
Lisa is Jill's best friend but her life isn't going anywhere. She has had a steady stream of male friends with no lasting relationships. She is getting off that 'race track' and ready to actually look for and accept love.
Jill escapes to Lisa's place and ends up moving in to the Kennel next door. The Kennel is a sort of frat house for the mountain employees. Woman, sex and drugs abound.
The plot line of this book is totally predictable. What makes this book very enjoyable is the way McLaren has written the characters. They are fresh, quirky and lovable. McLaren has a knack for character development. I loved this light feel-good read
First Line: "It was fair to say Jill Anthony's first day back at work had been a disaster - so much so, in fact, that her supervisor had sent her home early."
Buy this Book
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Algonquin Bay, Ontario police detective John Cardinal has been searching for two different missing kid cases. When multiple crimes of the same nature happen in such a small town, everyone wants to know what is happening. However Cardinal is suspected of tipping off a criminal and is reduced to burglary investigations.
When the body of one of the missing kids, Katie Pine, is found encased in ice in a mine shaft of an island in the middle of a lake, Cardinal is called back up to investigate. He's partnered with Francophone Lise Delorme, who also happens to be investigating whether he's a crooked cop.
Cardinal pieces together the evidence found at the crime scene and finds that there was another teen that went missing in Algonquin Bay but wasn't reported because he was from Toronto and it wasn't known he was travelling to Algonquin Bay. He soon finds that body too and the hunt is on to find the killer.
This book is truly Canadian. It takes place in a small town Northern community and everything about it is very Canadian. Blunt also has a great sense of humour and there are some pretty entertaining parts of the book. I really like Blunt's writing style. It's quite fluid and very easy to read. I had read the 2nd book in this series first. This is the first book in the series and I'm eager to read the 3rd one.
First Line: "It gets dark early in Algonquin Bay."
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Hannah Swensen, small town baker is going to be judging food at the Tri-Country Fair. Hannah is caught on the midway after it closes and sees her fellow judge, Willa Sunquist murdered. Sunquist was the home economics teacher at the high school. Hannah must, of course, investigate.
The arrogance of Hannah and her abilities to solve crimes is sometimes too much but she does get the 'job' done. There is the usual cast of characters: Hannah's two boyfriends (Norman and Mike), her two sisters (Andrea and Michelle) and her meddling and bossy mother. Hannah's cat is also not eating properly and this is almost another detective story in itself.
First Line: "At precisely eight forty-five on the second Monday morning in June, Hannah Swensen took a number from the deli-style dispenser mounted on a pole next to the secretary's desk and plunked herself down in one of the nondescript chairs in the nondescript waiting room to wait her turn."
Monday, October 15, 2012
Inspector Rebus is back with another mystery. This time he gets called to an underground city where a man has been shot 7 times in a military style. Rebus starts the investigation but gets pulled between his own office and the terrorism/drug squad who suspect that one of the loyalist groups may be behind the murder. When Rebus finds out that the murdered man is the son of his enemy, "Big Ger" Cafferty, he knows he's going to hear from him.
This is the worst Rebus book I've read so far. There was a variety of problems with it. The first was that there was very little character development for Rebus. There was a girl that he kissed once and then became obsessed over but I didn't feel this drove Rebus' character anywhere. The second was that I wasn't much interested in the loyalist groups that Rebus was looking in to. There were too many acronyms, too many groups and it got confusing.
Hopefully the next Rebus book is better.
First Line: "He could scream all he liked."
Monday, October 08, 2012
At the start of WWII, families in London sent their kids to the English countryside as evacuees to keep their children safe. William is one of the children that was placed in small country town of Little Weirwold with Tom and his dog Sammy. Will is timid and small, having been physically and verbally abused by his mom. Tom is a widower who lost both his wife and son many years ago. Tom helps strengthen Will with food and love and helps him learn to read and write. At the same time, Will helps Tom become less of a recluse and enjoy life a bit more.
This book is heartbreaking. Will is such an innocent kid but is so traumatized by his mother's treatment that it's impossible not to feel deeply saddened by his condition. Magorian did a fantastic job not only of showing how a child can overcome abuse but how a man can break out of his depression and learn to love a kid that just happened in to his life.
First Line: "'Yes,' said Tom bluntly, on opening the front door."
Sunday, October 07, 2012
In this book of the series about small town baker, Hannah Swensen the movies are coming to town. There is a movie being shot here. When the director shoots himself with a proper gun that was just checked for safety Hannah just has to investigate.
Who could have or would have wanted to change the prop gun for a real one? Hannah and her sisters start their 'snooping' and of course, solve the crime before the police.
What is wrong with this book: The way Hannah has decided to not accept her two proposals for marriage is degrading for the two gents and why they would ever bother with her again is another question, especially when she seems also infatuated with the writer and former classmate, Ross. How can the police be this stupid? Hannah's mother who is supposed to be interfering should interfere and tell her daughter to stop the dangling act between Norman and Mike.
What is right and why I seem to be a masochist: I love Tracey, Andrea's daughter, this is a fluffy read, I like the setting and it is easy to solve the crime. I also like the smattering of recipes.
First Line: "Cut."
Saturday, October 06, 2012
Thursday Next, the literary detective, is back in her second novel investigating literary crimes. Her Special Ops team is investigating a possible never-before-found play by Shakespeare. While investigating its legitimacy, Next gets another visit from mega-corporation Goliath. If Next doesn't help them get their ex-CEO out of The Raven, they are going to eradicate Next's husband.
Next eventually finds a group that can jump in and out of books as they please called Jurisfiction. She is apprenticed to Miss Havisham from Great Expectations to teach her the ropes. Once again, there's a heck of a lot for Next to solve, accomplish, and do in this novel.
You definitely need to have read the first book to understand this one! I read this book right after the first one and enjoyed them both equally. This book seemed a little less crammed than the first novel and I enjoyed the ending quite a bit more. This book is charming and a fun read.
First Line: "I didn't ask to be a celebrity."
Thursday, October 04, 2012
Hannah Swensen's, The Cookie Jar bakery is in trouble. Shawna Lee and Vanessa Quinn have opened up the Magnolia Blossom Bakery and all of Hannah's business has gone there. She is hoping it is just a passing fancy. She also hopes that Mike really isn't seriously interested in Shawna Lee.
Hannah's partner Lisa's wedding is here. Basically the whole town is invited and everyone has contributed desserts. In between the service and the reception, Shawna Lee is murdered. Who had the time and motive?
Hannah's mother's relationship with Winthrop is progressing much to the chagrin of Hannah and her sister, Andrea.
I like this book much much better than the last one of the series. There seemed to be a tad more substance although remember this is a cozy mystery. Hannah and her stringing along of Mike and Norman is awful. Mike should not have spent so much time with Shawna and Norman is taking things too slow for me. As for Hannah, decide already.
First Line: "Dick Laughlin just went in"