Posts Tagged ‘death’

Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling  ISBN 978-0316228534


cover art from Casual Vacany by J.K. Rowling

cover art from Casual Vacany by J.K. Rowling

Warning — this is not a happy, feel good book.  If you are easily offended by not quite right behavior or foul language this book is not for you.

This is a well written story — many intricate story lines that really move forward well and culminate in a dramatic and depressing ending.  It is not a good story.  If anyone is a little low or feeling depressed … do not read this book, wait until things are looking up.

This book is a bit of introduction to British politics.  A casual vacancy is when there is an empty seat on a council or commission that needs to be filled mid-term due to a death or a person’s moving out of the area.

So we open in the first chapter with a man’s death in a small town.  So first everyone is in shock that the man died and then they are all thinking who can we endorse to fill that position on the board because of some very important issues on the docket at this time.

This book is very involved with social issues and hits upon many of them: drug abuse, drug clinics, the social system, schools, education systems, teen sex, murder, infidelity, libel and computer hacking.

I enjoyed this book that I listened to on audio book; however I would come into work and give updates to my co-workers.  How my goodness this character just did this.  That character just did that.  This is a book that I shared with many people all along the many discs.  It is very well read and performed — but it is not happy and the ending is certainly not uplifting.


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Full Blast by Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes  ISBN 978-0312983307

Full Blast by Janet Evanovich

cover art from Full Blast by Janet Evanovich


This is a fun light read with quirky romance, fun characters, and a few mysterious twists.  I found this book in the FREE box at the public library and it was definitely what I needed at the moment but it doesn’t have to stay in my permanent collection and that is okay.  If you have a weekend with not much to do but sit in front of the wood-stove and sip tea (or something else!) then this is the book for you!  All the zaniness you expect from Janet Evanovich: a lingerie store owned by the former librarian, a baker making brownies with aphrodisiacs, and an amorous poodle trying to waylay the heroines dog.  It’s funny.  It’s light.  It’s perfect for a stormy weekend!


From the Back Cover

Dear Reader,

Get ready to have the hottest time of your life with the sizzling duo of newspaper editor Jamie Swift and mysterious millionaire Max Holt. My good friend Charlotte Hughes and I set out to create a whole new world, separate from my Stephanie Plum novels, yet inhabited by the same kind of zany, hilarious, and totally unique characters that we love. There’s never a dull moment for the residents of Beaumont, South Carolina. Lately, a heat wave’s spiked the mercury-and everyone’s sex drive! These days, when Jamie runs into Max, it’s all she can do not to tear his clothes off-and the feeling is mutual. But trouble seems to follow Max like moths to a flame, and Jamie suspects he’s all wrong for her. Meanwhile, the lingerie shop is having a sale on edible underwear, while the bakery’s selling aphrodisiac-laced brownies and x-rated birthday cakes. Even Jamie’s dog, Fleas, is dodging passes from the amorous French poodle next door! But when someone starts bumping off some of the town’s more annoying citizens, all clues lead straight to the new personals section in Jamie’s newspaper. Pretty soon, things are getting hot and heavy, as Max and Jamie start uncovering secrets-and undressing each other…

So settle in with a tall, cool drink, and have fun with Full Blast. We’ll be back soon, with another steamy romantic adventure featuring Jamie and Max. Happy reading!

Janet and Charlotte

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Copper Beach: a Dark Legacy Novel by Jayne Ann Krentz ISBN 978-1410445162

Copper Beach by Jayne Ann Krentz

cover art from Copper Beach by Jayne Ann Krentz

Abby Radwell is a psychic.  She can read and ‘unlock’ psychic locks on special antique books to allow people to read the potion recipes or other aspects of the old books.  As you can tell this is a very specialized skill and few people have her expertise in the field.  Her title in the mundane world is antique book seller.

Abby Radwell is the daughter of ‘famed’ family therapist Brandon Radwell author of “Families by Choice”.  She is expected to be at book signings and smile pretty for the camera despite the fact that the same family sent her to a boarding school for juvenile delinquents and thought she was an ungrateful wretch.

Sam Coppersmith is a psychic.  He can utilize the energy in certain gems and crystals.  He is a paranormal engineer harnessing the power of said crystals to make cool new toys.  He is also an investigator and bodyguard.

When Abby is threatened … a trusted friend of Abby’s points to Sam for help and the story goes on at crazy speeds from there.  Many mysterious deaths and lots of steamy love.  All in all a great romantic suspense novel.

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Vanish by Tess Gerritsen ISBN 978-0345476975


I have fallen in love with Tess Gerritsen’s writing.  This is the fifth in the series and I haven’t been disappointed once and that is saying something.

The book opens in a court room with Jane Rizzoli on the witness stand.  A week past her due date and very uncomfortable (as only a woman past her due date can be … ask me both kids were two weeks late!).  Through the sequence the defendant acts in contempt of court and the bailiff tries to escort him out and during the scuffle Rizzoli successfully detains him and her water breaks.  Rizzoli goes to the hospital and we follow her through the myriad of halls and departments when the sky falls and complications ensue.  

A body is found by search and rescue and placed in a body bag and after 8 hours in a cooler Maura, alone because the other Medical Examiner is on vacation and she was woefully behind in autopsies,  finally gets around to noticing that the woman “ain’t dead yet”.  

Hostages, sex slaves, and illegal immigrants — this book has it all and yet the development of characters and their friendships is amazing.  As I have said — I eagerly await the time to start the next book because I know it will be worth the time to read it!

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Organize Your Corpses: death is never tidy by Mary Jane Maffini ISBN 978-0425215807

Organize Your Corpses by Mary Jane Maffini

cover art from Organize Your Corpses by Mary Jane Maffini

Organize Your Corpses: death is never tidy by Mary Jane Maffini was a great read.  Charlotte Adams is a professional organizer who has returned to the small town where she grew up after a messy split with her fiance.  She is renting an apartment from an old friend who has convinced her to adopt two dachshunds and is trying to get her to adopt a third.

An old teacher whom everyone refers to as Hellfire Henley, has recently inherited an old house that was owned by a hoarder and fallen into disrepair.  She calls Charlotte to help her find some “very important documents” and help her shovel out the old family home.  Charlotte dutifully goes home and writes up an estimate and a contract and returns to the home to find Hellfire Henley crushed under a fallen beam and piles of old moldy newspapers.

This book is fun and twisty with lots of vibrant characters and enough questions to keep you guessing.  The book says “organizing tips included!” — but even us unorganized people won’t be too upset by them for they are little quotations that start a chapter and allude to something coming up: for example, “Never place a large object over a smaller one…”

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Fundraising the Dead: a museum mystery by Sheila Connolly  ISBN 978-0425237441


Fundraising the Dead: a museum mystery by Sheila Connolly

cover art from Fundraising the Dead: a museum mystery by Sheila Connolly

Eleanor “Nell” Pratt is a fundraiser at a prominent Philadelphia museum.  Over the many years of the historical society’s existence they have gathered a great deal of very important artifacts from the leading families.  Nell is one of the employees with the most seniority because the non-profit realm often having a pretty quick turnover because of the abysmal pay and semester interns who only help as long as it looks good on the resumes.  When important papers (signed letters from George Washington) go missing from the Terwilliger Collection, Marty Terwilliger  turns to Nell.  The Director is new (and Nell’s on again off again lover) and the collections manager is relatively new and they also have some of the easiest access to the collection.  Nell is a known entity with a commitment to the Historical Society.  So Nell and Marty Terwilliger (the trustee) enlist Marty’s cousin who just happens to be an FBI agent who researches lost historical pieces.  This cat and mouse game goes back and forth in all kinds of red herrings and “planted” artifacts in employee apartments and enlisting Marty’s youthful nephew in the high tech bugging scene.  It was a wonderful story that is rich in historical trivia and museum life.  After many questions and much plotting — Marty and Nell capture the “bad guy” and kudos are passed around to all deserving people.  A very satisfying conclusion.



From Publishers Weekly

Old families, old papers, and the old demons of sex and money shape Connolly’s cozy series launch, which will appeal to fans of her Orchard and (as Sarah Atwell) Glassblowing mysteries. The venerable and cliquish Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society has a security problem. Documents worth millions are missing, and the staffer who uncovers the losses is found dead in the stacks. Nell Pratt, the society’s director of development, is instructed by board member Marty Terwilliger to account for the absence of Marty’s ancestor’s correspondence with George Washington. It’s a rare improbability–why ask the fund-raiser and not the director of collections or the board itself?–in an otherwise sturdily constructed plot. There are no real surprises, but the archival milieu and the foibles of the characters are intriguing, and it’s refreshing to encounter an FBI man who is human, competent, and essential to the plot.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Description

At The Society for the Preservation of Pennsylvania Antiques, fundraiser Eleanor “Nell” Pratt solicits donations-and sometimes solves crimes. When a collection of George Washington’s letters is lost on the same day that an archivist is found dead, it seems strange that the Society president isn’t pushing for an investigation. Nell goes digging herself, and soon uncovers a long, rich history of crime.

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Night of the Living Deed: A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery by E.J. Copperman ISBN 9780425235232

Night of the Living Deed: A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery by E.J. Copperman

cover art of Night of the Living Deed: A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery by E.J. Copperman

Alison Kerby is freshly divorced mother of a nine year old who has moved back to her home town and bought an old Victorian to renovate and make into a guesthouse (NOT a Bed & Breakfast — she doesn’t cook).  Shortly after she starts her work, a strange occurrence takes place — a bucket of compound lands on her head and she starts seeing ghosts.   After this she discovers that her mother has always been able to see and speak with ghosts and her daughter as well.

Alison bought the house based on the fact that it had 7 bedrooms and would be relatively easy to transform into a guesthouse.  It was only discovered later that the previous owner had been found dead in the home with a private investigator.  According to police reports, they had committed suicide.

This was a wonderful romp through small town New Jersey shore — part home make-over, part paranormal ghost whisperer.  However, despite my poor verbalization, it was a well-done mystery with great characters and a good story.  I would recommend this mystery for a quiet weekend on the porch or in front of the wood  stove (it just depends on the season!)


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Welcome to the first Haunted Guest House mystery-the getaway every reader can afford.

Newly divorced Alison Kerby wants a second chance for herself and her nine-year-old daughter. She’s returned to her hometown on the Jersey Shore to transform a Victorian fixer-upper into a charming-and profitable-guest house. One small problem: the house is haunted, and the two ghosts insist Alison must find out who killed them.

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