Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Body In The Landscape - A Review

The Body In The Landscape

Larissa Reinhart

A Review

I found the body.
Actually, if you want to get technical, I found his hat, then the body.
I had escaped the guests at Big Rack Lodge to do a spot of plein air painting,
when my peaceful Monet-inspired afternoon took a nasty turn toward disturbing.
Landscapes aren’t even my usual genre.
I’m a portrait painter.
But how often do I get a free weekend getaway
in the countryside that included a portrait commission?

I’ll tell you how often. A big fat never

The first seven sentences of the book are perfect – they set the mood, the setting, and introduce the main character. What more could you wish for from a fun romp in rural Georgia on a late fall weekend. Oh, did I mention it is a cozy mystery as well.

Unless you happen to be Cherry Tucker, the unlucky artist who found the first body. Or unless you happened to be Abel Spencer – the unlucky owner of the first body. Or a member of the hunting party who were individually being considered as a suspect. Or …. maybe it was not such a perfect afternoon after all.

Cherry Tucker and her entourage (which included a friendly, but odd, Russian, two boyfriends, one a barely available Mr. McDreamy, the other nice and considerate and very available, and her ex-sheriff dad that taught her everything she knew and more than she ought to know) would be present to keep track of each possible suspect and finally locate the guilty party.

The story was a fun read – though some day's events seemed to take more than the normal 24 hours to accomplish. Max, the friendly Russian, had valuable advice – both about the crime and Cherry's love live. Todd, the considerate and available boyfriend, would take off with nary a goodbye. And Luke, the barely available Mr. McDreamy, was available by phone, though he could not get away for the week's events or murders.

I enjoyed the historical discussion surrounding the existence of hogzilla, both in Georgia and throughout history. One sign of an interesting read is that I am forced to visit the web to fill in my knowledge at some level; hogzilla did exactly that. As the reader picks up the book, be prepared to be educated, entertained, and excited as you, too, discover The Body in the Landscape.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review.  The opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Man With The Golden Typewriter - A Review

Man With The Golden Typewriter

Ian Fleming's James Bond Letters


edited by

Fergus Fleming

A Review

I like reading. I also like writing. It is rare that we get to see inside the life of a man who define much of the drama and thrills of the 20th century, but as we look at Ian Fleming’s letters and just enough editorial comment to help them make sense, this is exactly what we are able to do.  

Ian Fleming grew up in a childhood that left him deprived. He spent much of his life trying to fill his life with those things which were missing. This book is the story of his search - not a novel, not an essay, a series of letters which show his innermost thoughts and concerns.

As we follow the letters, presented in the same order his books were written, we see the literary politics that are a part of a major writer’s life - whether it be with publishers, bookstores, or media moguls. We see the negotiation that eventually leads to a best seller. And we see the emotions, the anguish, the satisfaction that follows the author as he makes tiny changes to accommodate the requests of reviewers and editors.

We also see the literary giants that Ian Fleming allowed to surround his life. Some are friends, some are critics - but the correspondence is interesting. The give and take is lively and active. Occasionally pieces are missing as the family has withheld some of the correspondence, but not as much as one might fear when first hearing about the missing documents.

The result is a book that is as dramatic, as interesting, and, at times, as intense, as the best books of fiction on a store’s shelves. Looking for a true story that will keep the reader involved as the author develops during his career.    

This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review.  The opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Unsee Realm - A Review

The Unseen Realm

Michael S. Heiser

A Review

I know that many are fans of Michael Heiser. I am not. That is not because I have a problem with him or his writing, I just am not familiar with him. I do not have enough knowledge of his work to be or not to be a fan. Having said that, I found the current volume to be a significant improvement to his earlier work, I Dare You To Bore Me With The Bible.

As I read the current work, I felt as if the author had access to my previous review prior to writing this book. Such concerns as a lack of an index (this book has two, including a Subject Index and a Scripture Index). References and footnotes are provided throughout the text. In addition, a companion website provides additional bibliographic materials. The companion website also contains a discussion guide - which delves more deeply into the topics covered in the text.

Having been trained in the sciences, where most textbooks include discussion questions and problem sets allowing the student to check their understanding of the topics, I have often wondered why there are not similar pages in the texts for other disciplines - including theology. Though not a standard adopted by publishers, this would appear to be the major lapse in the current text (and most theological texts). That fact notwithstanding, the current book is worth the time spent reading, considering, and responding to its contents. I would encourage many to take the time to partake of the author’s thought and conclusions.

This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review.  The opinions expressed are my own.