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Thursday, February 04, 2016

A Mixture of Reviews

The Tracker by Chad Zunker. Remember the 6 word review?  

Political tracker, murder witness, flashbacks, predictable.  

This is supposed to be the first in a series featuring Sam Callahan.  Of most interest to me was the role of a political tracker.

NetGalley

Political Mystery.  2015.  Print length:  406 pages.









Breakdown by Jonathan Kellerman.  6 word review:  Psychotic, but loving mother; missing child

The two most recent offerings by Kellerman have appealed to me.  I really enjoyed The Murderer's Daughter, a stand-alone  in which child psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware made only a cameo appearance.  Breakdown has Alex and Milo Sturgis back in play.  

A disturbed mother's psychosis becomes so severe that she ends up living on the streets.   What has happened to the son she adored?   Alex treated the boy only briefly a few years previously, as a favor to the doctor who was treating the mother.

The plot has several twists and a slow build up that I liked.  The conclusion of the mystery, as well as the root cause left me a little cold, but I liked the majority of this novel enough to overlook that.  

Alex and Milo have to look into the past for clues as they search for Ovid, the missing boy.  

I've followed Kellerman for years and, at one point, sort of lost interest.  The last two novels have made me re-evaluate my desertion of the series.  And I've always like Milo Sturgis. Strange how important the sidekick can become to a series. 

NetGalley/Random House

Mystery/Suspense/Psychological. February, 2016.  Print length:  369 pages. 



The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain.  I loved Laurain's The President's Hat, and I enjoyed this one as well.  A woman is injured during a purse snatching; a bookseller finds the purse and, in trying to find the owner, becomes a little obsessed by the contents of the purse--especially the red notebook.  

More a novella than a novel, TRN is a little bit mystery, a little bit romance, and a little bit....  Well, it is a fast and fun read, even if a detail or two might give you a niggle here, a quibble there.  Lots of literary allusions, a light touch, likable characters.

The President's Hat also took an inanimate object and used it as a method of amplifying an idea, but The President's Hat was cleverer, offering a little more under the surface, and a wry and witty atmosphere.  Mitterand's hat had...influence.  

NetGalley/Gallic Books

Novella.  2014.  Print length:  159 pages.



The Deathsniffer's Assistant by Kate McIntyre.  

Olivia Faraday is a deathsniffer--a truthsniffer who investigates murder.  Most members of society avoid those who practice the profession, treating them with disdain and superstition.  Unless they need them.

Christopher Buckley is nineteen and has been responsible for protecting his sister Rosemary since the death of their parents six years earlier.  Christopher, a wordweaver, finds that the family fortune has diminished and takes a job with O. Faraday to support himself and his sister. 

Olivia Faraday is brusque, eccentric, and unconcerned about the basic rules of society.  Christopher, on the other hand, is almost annoyingly preoccupied with appearances.

Set in a Victorian world with elements of steampunk that do not override the story, the novel has plenty of mystery and magic to entertain the reader.  The characters are well-developed and the  plot kept me guessing.  The elaborate magical hierarchy is also interesting--there are wordweavers, deathsniffers, spiritbinders, and timeseers, each with specific places in society.  

I enjoyed this one, and I look forward to the next in The Faraday Files.

I was offered this by NetGalley, but could not get it to download.  Later it was on offer at Kindle Unlimited, and I snapped it up.

Mystery/Fantasy/Steampunk.  2015.  Print length:  424 pages.  

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I'm continuing to play with Mail Art and am taking part in A Month of Letters which is keeping me busy right now.  By busy, I mean playing with paint and faux postage, making envelopes and postcards, and generally having a fine time.  


Today is National Mail Carriers Appreciation Day.  

 I copied the mail carrier from a card,
but it doesn't do the original justice.

16 comments:

  1. Love your postcard! Your mail carrier was probably very pleased to get it. I am sure they don;t get thanked often enough!

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    1. Thanks, Stefanie! I doubt they do get thanked often. I take them for granted as I'm sure most people do, but since I'm interested in mail art again, I saw the calendar reminder. Perfect opportunity. Trying to post a letter a day is both challenging and satisfying. Decorating envelopes and postcards is great fun!

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  2. Ugh, lost my long comment when the dog on my lap licked a key on my laptop and changed the page (true story!). Okay, I am a long-time fan of Kellerman so glad to hear he's still doing well. I binged on his early works and stopped about four titles ago, but now I want to check out The Murderer's Daughter and maybe Breakdown.
    I like your 6 word reviews-- short and sweet!
    Have fun with your artwork, very cute....

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    1. Ha, ha! My problem is with cats and their annoying curiosity. The Murderer's Daughter has a character I'd love to see again. There you go--the binge on an author dilemma you talked about in your post. :)

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  3. I love the cover of the Laurain and 'The Death Sniffer's Assistant' sounds like something I would enjoy too. A touch of Philip Reeves, perhaps?

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    1. Philip Reeve as in Mortal Engines? On a more complex level! Reeve writes more for a middle school audience, and although this would be perfect for older YA readers, it is just classified as fantasy. As different as they are, both covers are wonderful~

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  4. The Red Notebook sounds amazing! So glad you reviewed it.

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    1. I liked both of the books I've read by Laurain. They are interesting and humorous--short, but entertaining!

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  5. Awesome mail art! Really enjoyed your reviews and the last two are the ones that definitely caught my attention.

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    1. Thanks, Iliana! If you decide to read Laurain--do try The President's Hat as well!

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  6. Those books sound like good reads to me. And your mail art looks lovely! :-)

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    1. The first one didn't appeal too much, but the others did. I'm having great fun with the mail art!

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  7. The Kate McIntyre looks like my kind of book!

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    1. :) Yes, I think you would like it! I have a problem with a lot of steampunk being more concerned with the "engines" than with character or plot, but not this one. I will be looking for the next in this series.

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  8. I'd forgotten all about The Red Notebook! I remember Andi blogged about it last fall and I thumbed through a copy at work, but never got around to buying the book. I'll have to see if we have any tomorrow. It sounds wonderful.

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    1. I'd love to hear what you think, Les!

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