Wednesday, January 12, 2022

A Three Book Problem - A Review

 



A Three Book Problem



by

Vicki Delany

A Review

Vicki Delany is quickly becoming a favorite cozy mystery writer, both with her Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series and her Lighthouse Library series (written as Eva Gates). The Three Book Problem only adds to the collection.

Gemma Doyle and friends are chosen to cater the weekend Sherlockian retreat organized by David Masterson for his friends and acquaintances. It was a strange affair from the beginning. It became stranger when the host is shot with a dart and found to be nearly bankrupt. Luckily one of Gemma’s friends was New London MA lead police detective Ryan Ashburton. Gemma Doyle also had a knack for getting her nose into local murder cases. Together, the pair gather enough evidence to determine the guilty party and again bring justice to New London.

With the exception of spending too much time discussing the wardrobes of the various characters (especially in the first 20% of the book), the story was enjoyable and entertaining. The late Fall New England scenery in which the book is set is beautiful and inviting. The collection of characters range from obnoxious to inviting. I give the book 4-stars.
______________
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Proposing Mischief - A Review

 



Proposing Mischief



by

Regina Jennings

A Review


Offered as a romantic thriller, the publisher forgot to mention this was more romance than thriller. Because of this, this book is not one I would usually pick up and read. On the other hand, it was a light-hearted trip through late-1800s, early-1900s, Joplin MO, that did hit my interest as an historical, faith-based novel.

Beneath the city of Joplin sits a crystal filled cave, now flooded, but at the turn of the century it became a major tourist attraction - inviting both the wealthy and the lowly population from far and wide. This fictional novel creates a story around its original discovery and development into a successful business venture. While the characters and their actions (with a few minor exceptions) are fictitious, the places and community are very real. It leaves the reader wishing he could still visit the crystal cave sitting beneath the city of Joplin.

The book could easily be subtitled “A Marriage of Convenience” as both Maisie Kentworth and Boone Bragg marry to avoid the suitors and connivors who are trying to woo them into unwanted marriages. The last chapter or two leads toward a possible violent confrontation between the various families. The result is a piece of humorous, romantic, fiction that was more satisfying than this reader was expecting as he moved through the story. I give the book 4-½ stars.
______________
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.




Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Life Flight - A Review

 



Life Flight



by

Lynette Eason

A Review


Lynette Eason has created another suspense-filled, faith-based thriller. Beginning with an helicopter crash in the mountains outside Asheville NC and ending with the successful apprehension of two (or is it three) serial killers, the reader is kept on the edge of their seat throughout the story.

Penny Carlson is the Life Flight helicopter pilot that day as they are bringing the young hiker who had fallen down the side of the mountain to the hospital. But the storm had gotten worse and she had lost control of the copter. Though the tail was damaged, she was otherwise able to set the plane down safely. Penny had no way of knowing that there was an escaped serial killer on that same mountain - she not only was responsible for the life of the on-board patient along with the two medical members of her team, she also had to protect them from the murderer who had discovered their presence.

Penny and FBI Special Agent Holt Satterfield would have their hands full as they both tried to evade and apprehend the men who roamed the mountain that day. My only disappointment with the book was the level of violence seen throughout the book. I felt I was watching a Hallmark Mystery churned together with a violence filled episode of Criminal Minds (CBS) - it did not quite work. I can only give the book 4-stars.
______________
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.



Monday, December 27, 2021

The Maid - A Review



The Maid


by

Nita Prose

A Review

I am your maid. I’m the one who cleans your hotel room, who enters like a phantom when you’re out gallivanting for the day, no care at all about what you’ve left behind, the mess, or what I might see when you’re gone.

I’m the one who empties your trash, tossing out the receipts you don’t want anyone to discover. I’m the one who changes your sheets, who can tell if you slept in them and if you were alone last night or not. I’m the one who straightens your shoes by the door, who puffs up your pillows and finds stray hairs on them. Yours? Not likely. I’m the one who cleans up after you drink too much and soil the toilet seat, or worse.

When I’m done with my work, I leave your room pristine. Your bed is made perfectly, with four plump pillows, as though no one had ever lain there. The dust and grime you left behind has been vacuumed into oblivion. Your polished mirror reflects your face of innocence back at you. It’s as though you were never here. It’s as though all of your filth, all of your lies and deceits, have been erased.

I am your maid. I know so much about you. But when it comes down to it: what is it that you know about me? (The Maid, “Prologue”)


Murder, drug dealing, revenge, and humor, combine to make a readable mystery that ends with a surprising twist. The first person narrator tells the story as she moves in and out of the rooms assigned to her. Cleaning, dusting, mopping, bringing the room once again to the perfection that Mr. Snow, the hotel manager, expects from all his employees. There is much that she knows but will not tell. The result is a story that will hold the reader’s attention from the “Prologue” to the “Epilogue”. The book gets 4-½ stars.
______________
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.



Monday, December 20, 2021

C# Via the Happy Path - A Review

 



C# Via the Happy Path



by

T. Cloudhorn

A Review

The author claims this book is or the “busy undergrad”; but to this reader it is not clear to whom this book is addressed.

The author starts where most beginning programming texts begin, defining simple concepts such as bits and bytes. He then moves to explaining how transistor work and how they are used to build simple logic gates (i.e. AND, OR, NOR, and NAND gates). He then moves into defining the difference between compilers, interpreters, and hybrid language systems.

From there he begins discussing classes, claiming, “One caution – this book does not cover some very basic programming constructs (built-in language features) like strings, for loops, while loops, if-else statements etc. because these are assumed to be easy enough for the reader to quickly learn by themselves through other resources.” Yet these are the basic building blocks from which programming solutions are actually built. To be fair, the author makes it clear that his purpose is to introduce the reader to Object-Oriented Programming (aka OOP), though it appears he wants to do this without the foundation needed to write complete programs. Doing so, it appears that the book is aimed at those who learned to program before the development of OOP in the eighties and nineties. These programmers will know about the basic building blocks of programming but not how to use them in an OOP setting. Sadly, many of us who learned programming in this era are nearing retirement age. The book comes 20-30 years too late. I will only give the book 2-stars.
______________
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review as well as a Kindle book purchased on-line. The opinions expressed are mine alone.

Friday, December 17, 2021

A Gift Most Rare - A Revew

 



A Gift Most Rare



by

Tom Leihbacher

A Review

This book is a parable. But within the book, each chapter is almost a parable of it own.

The story takes place in a very real, small town just North of New York City, Briarcliff Manor NY. The town is the former home of The King’s College and features Dr. Robert Cook, its former President, as a minor character. The Fath-Based story features Charlie Riverton, a middle school student, who is used by God to transform his community and the people who reside there. Each chapter seems to focus on a theme that is important to the Christian life - grace, fellowship, forgiveness, love, etc. Yet, as a whole, the book shows how God can use one young man to touch the lives of so many.

Tears came to my eyes as I saw God touching the lives of Mr. Smythe, Parker Jones, Mr. Olson, and others. I was reminded over and over of how God touched my own life during some very broken times. The story and the memories require that I give the book five-stars.
______________
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.



Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Christian Basics - A Review

 



Christian Basics



by

Robert M. West

A Review


The author has chosen 66 words which occur frequently when Christians discuss their faith. Beginning with “God”, “Jesus Christ”, “Holy Sprit”, and “Trinity”; and ending with “Judgement Day”, “Resurrection”, Glorification”, “Second Coming”, and “Kingdom”. The 66 topics are presented in roughly the same order on would find them in a typical systematic theology.

Though presented in the order one would find them in a systematic theology, this is not a theology book. It might better be termed a laymen’s dictionary or devotional. Each entry occupies one or two pages and divided into five parts:
  • A brief, “In Ten Words or Less”, definition of the term.
  • This brief definition is fleshed out with a longer layman’s description which incorporates scripture and the author’s personal insigh
  • This is followed by two or three key scripture which further help the reader understand the key concept
  • Each entry includes a quote from a pastor, theologian, or author.
  • The entry ends with an inspirational or devotional thought based on the current word.
One could only hope that the author might have included a “To Learn More” entry for each concept studied which would allow the reader to dig a bit deeper than the relatively light devotional highlights included in the book. A good systematic theology would help with this but one could hope that these kinds of references would be placed at the reader’s finger tips either in the context of each entry or as part of a concluding bibliography.

The material included is well chosen and is a good jumping off point for the new believer or a adequate summary for the more mature church member. I give the book 4-½ -stars.
____________
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.