Open Season (A Joe Pickett Novel) by C. J. Box
This author was recommended by a patron who was amazed that I had never read C.J. Box. I had seen this author go out a great deal and mostly to my male readers and so I promised that eventually he would make his way to my to read pile: an ever-growing pile.
So he did.
I did enjoy it and if my pile ever slackens I will look up more books by C.J. Box. I can honestly recommend him to any patron that passes by and likes suspense / mystery; however, I do not need to manipulate my to read pile to purposefully place him at the top. I do not need to finish the series before the next one comes out so I can eagerly await it. Yet I liked him and I do have great respect for his characters.
Joe Pickett is a game warden in Twelve Sleep, Wyoming. This is a culmination of his dream. He lives in a home owned by the state and is paid just enough to get by and his wife is pregnant with their third child. He is worried about making ends meet. He refuses to accept bribes so he looses access to forms of compensation previous game wardens have used to supplement their income.
Joe is going through his normal every day life preparing for hunting season and long days on the trails, when a man ends up dead near his wood pile. Unfortunately for Joe this raises situations both professionally and personally since this man had taken his gun from him and an investigation started. He is suspended from work. He is offered a job that is too good to be true from his former boss working for a gas company that wants to build a pipe line through town. People try to convince him it would be good for it would bring jobs to town and Twelve Sleeps could use all the help it can get.
This is a great book for the characters are amazing — some, like Joe are wonderful good people and then some, like his former boss are just plain sleezy. The story is great — part thriller part environmental head line.
Do yourself a favor and read C.J. Box. He may become your next favorite author!
Posted in mystery, Thriller/Suspense | Tagged CJ Box, environment, game warden, Joe Pickett, Wyoming | Leave a Comment »
Ghost Walk by Heather Graham
Nikki DuMonde lives in New Orleans and runs a ghost tour of the city with many different routes. She and her co-workers take tourists around telling tales about all kinds of famous city residents and their sometimes lurid histories. They meet their tourists at a coffee shop which becomes their de facto home away from home.
Everything is going very well until one day a bum runs into Nikki and her co-worker, Andy, while they are getting coffee. Nikki looks at the man and she thinks he is a little disoriented and gives him money. She tells him to buy food. At the time, she did not know that he was undercover posing as a bum and had been slipped something that eventually led to his murder.
Nikki and Andy continued their work day and had great tours and then had a dinner party. They all went home rather late and inebriated. At four o’clock in the morning, Nikki awoke to find Andy at the end of her bed asking for help. Nikki thought it was a practical joke and told her to leave and make sure to lock up on her way out.
Later that morning, the police knocked at her door to ask about the death of Andy her friend. It seemed to be a drug overdose and because of her junkie past, Andy’s death wasn’t going to be investigated until Nikki raised a ruckus. Nikki knew her friend had been a junkie, but she had been clean for a long time. She wouldn’t have gone back.
Nikki started seeing things; not only Andy was visiting her but also the bum. Everyone was getting very concerned about her well-being and telling her to go to counselors to feel better.
Then Brent Blackhawk showed up. He is a special agent — a paranormal investigator.
Then it just got wilder: drug rings, crooked politicians and illicit business people. The history of New Orleans, the suspense of the crimes and the help of ghosts makes this a great Halloween read.
Posted in Romantic Suspense | Tagged Brent Blackhawk, criminal ring, crooked politicians, drugs, FBI, ghost, historic tours, New Orleans, Nikki DuMonde | Leave a Comment »
Middle School: How I Survived Bullies, Broccoli, and Snake Hill by James Patterson
This is the first book in this series that I had read and/or listened to. I really don’t remember why I picked it up, but I think it had something to do with I was looking for something to listen to with the kids and we had just finished “Angels & Demons” and we needed something light and fluffy. This fit the bill perfectly.
Though I am sure we missed something by not starting the series at the beginning — it was fine. The main character was going to summer camp with his sister. His sister was going to the advanced academic side of the camp and he was going to the remedial camp section.
The camp was split into cabins and of course judging by the name of the book we find that our main character is in the ‘loser’ cabin and we see all kinds of bullying that occur and have occurred over the years at this camp. Many of the campers are repeat campers and know each other.
There are some great antics. Typical potty humor that all middle school students love and yet some really serious sections that make people think about motivations and what makes people tick. Plots of revenge for misdeeds, midnight adventures, and running away from camp.
I can see this is a great book for reluctant readers who may need encouragement to read or, like us, a great bit of light humor between harder, deeper books.
Posted in books on CD, kids fiction | Tagged adventure, bullies, cabins, James Patterson, Summer Camp | Leave a Comment »
Mr. Monk Goes the the Firehouse (Mr. Monk #1) by Lee Goldberg
I have watched a few of the TV shows and enjoyed them, this is the first time that I had actually listened to the book. I found it rather amusing.
To be honest, I listened to this because of my experience with “The Heist” which he co-authored with Janet Evanovich. I wanted to know whose voice was more prominent in that book.
Mr. Monk is an obsessive compulsive consultant to the police. He was a homicide detective until his wife’s brutal murder that he was unable to solve and that threw him into a case of OCD that he was unable to go back to work and now has need of a personal assistant to help him through society’s demands.
The book is written in the voice of the assistant, Natalie, a widow with a pre-teen daughter.
I enjoyed listening to this book and have ordered the next one on InterLibrary Loan. It deals with the complexities of friendship and the difficulties of murder investigations. It has great insight into the life of a person with OCD and what ‘normal’ people would consider everyday activities like going up elevators and garbage disposal.
I do look forward to the next in the series.
Posted in books on CD, mystery | Tagged arson, death of firehouse dog, firehouse, land development, Lee Goldberg, Mr. Monk, Natalie | Leave a Comment »
A Father’s Heart by Karen Young
This was one book that I picked up even wondering why I wanted to, but I needed some escapism and thought “hey, why not”. It was okay. I was not enamored with it. Part of me didn’t want to believe that the premise was possible. In the midst of divorce proceedings, the man in the story (a school principal) was falsely accused of inappropriate activity with a student. So now he was not only divorced, his artsy fartsy wife had full custody of his children and he was unable to spend unsupervised time with his children. He also was unable to work in a school ever again and has become a carpenter.
So the man is in Louisiana, and his wife and children are in New York. His daughter runs away from home and somehow makes her way to New Orleans in search of her father. She ends up on the streets of New Orleans and he is trying to help the police find her; however the police are very suspicious and think that he is a lecherous man who is hiding her in his house.
Eventually he finds a woman who can help him for she runs a home for disadvantaged youth — unfortunately it is the woman who brought forward the witness who falsely accused him of inappropriate activity. Somehow they start working together and they start thinking that maybe the other person isn’t completely horrible.
Through their contacts on the street they find the daughter and eventually they also learn that the girl who accused him of being naughty was forced into saying that by her family so he is cleared and can gain custody of his children because the artsy fartsy wife didn’t want them anymore.
I am sure I am missing something very important … like she was almost refused certification of her youth home because she had a man accused of sexual deviance volunteering for her and his son also ran away; but you get the general idea. This was an okay story. Exceptional? No, but good.
Posted in Romance | Tagged custody, false accusation, New Orleans, New York, runaway, Sexual deviance, youth home | Leave a Comment »
Daughter of Winter by Pat Lowery Collins
This book was recommended by an adult patron who reads a lot of children’s literature.
Addie lives in Essex, Massachusetts in 1849. Her father has gone West to the gold fields and has left Addie with her mother and baby brother. Her mother, who was never very strong, died with the flux as did her brother. Addie had sole care for her mother and brother for her mother refused any help from neighbors. Addie is afraid of being taken in by another family and forced to be a servant. So she runs away and lives in the wilderness.
Eventually she is joined by an old Wampanoag woman who teaches her how to survive in the woods. This woman Addie has seen around and knows that her father has purchased shell fish from so Addie trusts her. Slowly Addie learns that this woman knows a great deal more about her and her family than she ever dreamed.
This is really an amazing story and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a youth coming of age story and historical fiction.
Posted in Historical Fiction, kids fiction | Tagged 1849, Addie, coming of age, Essex, flux, gold fields, Massachusetts, Wampanoag | Leave a Comment »
Farm City: the education of an urban farmer by Novella Carpenter (read by Karen White)
I really enjoyed the vegetable, bee, and poultry part of the book — the pig part I could have done without.
Ethically, I wondered about growing vegetables on someone else’s property without their permission but I decided that it made for an amusing story and I liked all the mishaps and adventure of getting compost and raised beds in the abandoned lot. How her neighbors helped her by providing seeds or other supplies. How her neighbors helped themselves to her harvest and how she was okay with that most of the time. I liked her report on the experimentation with heirloom varieties and what worked for her locale.
I enjoyed the bee stories of her hives on her patio. How her friend’s children came to help her extract the honey and the different tastes she harvested throughout the year.
I began to really wonder about her when she got chicks, but since my sister-in-law has chicks in her shower every spring I wasn’t TOO taken aback. Her story of bashing the head of a possum in with a shovel was a little gross but since I have seen my father defend our chickens with a .22 I could understand the concept.
But I have had pigs — when we did we lived in a setting where the pen was some distance from our house and our neighbors houses and that was bearable. I do not know how she could do this living in an upstairs apartment right next to many other families. They are loud and stinky and hers seemed to like to run away. Depending on their personality that could have been dangerous — even if they only wanted to rub against you and say hello. They could step on your foot and you would know it if 300 hundred pounds of pig were on your toe.
I appreciate the fact that Novella wanted to learn how to process and preserve her pigs. I think that is wonderful. People do need to learn how their food is made and I do think we would appreciate our food and the animals that were sacrificed for our meals — however, I do not know if she does all her work credit by how she writes about the butchering of her pigs. Yes, I acknowledge that when my plans do not go as I hoped I am not always the most charitable of people; however, she was trying to write about the spiritual significance of her pigs and she was quite vulgar and mean about it. Could she have said, this is what I hoped for and it was unfortunate that the butcher didn’t agree with my sentiments?
Overall, I did like this book and thought her adventure in urban farming was worth listening to and I do recommend it for the audio book listener. I may even look into another book of hers, but I might look at the table of contents before committing to the second book.
Posted in Adult Non-fiction, books on CD | Tagged bees, butchering, California, chickens, garden, meat preservation, Oakland, pigs, sausage, turkeys, urban farming | Leave a Comment »