Friday, November 24, 2017

Blind Spot - A Review

Blind Spot

Dani Pettrey

A Review

Blind Spot is a romantic thriller - with a touch too much romance for this reader.

This book picks up where Cold Shot and Still Life began. The team of FBI and private investigators are onto the trail of human traffickers and a terrorist - it would take time to see the connection between the two cases and only one could be solved.

The newest book again weaves in both the professional and personal lives of the characters. Though I enjoyed the book, it felt like there was a bit more romance - though nothing provocative or uncomfortable - in the telling of this story than needed. The author also, as in the earlier books, again focuses on faith issues - notably for this reader, “trust.” Trust of God, of others, and trust of ourselves.  

The author also prepares the reader for the next book in the series as she concludes this story with:

“You did a great job.” Everyone’s attention swung to Luke standing in the doorway, a grim expression on his hardened face. “But we’ve got a far more lethal threat on our doorstep.”

But for that, we will need to wait till next year.
This review is based on a free copy provided by the author for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions are mine alone.

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Barbour Bible Study Companion - A Review

A Review
The Barbour Bible Study Companion is a Study Bible with the text of the Bible, thus allowing it to be used with the reader’s preferred translation.  The book is a reprint of an earlier title, The Layman’s Concise Bible Commentary, originally published in 2013. No explanation is provided for the change in title, even though the book is being reprinted by the same publisher.

The notes include brief introductions to each book which discuss the book’s theme, its author, and the occasion of its writing. The notes themselves are similar in quality to that found in most one volume commentaries - not a great deal of depth, but aimed to help the general reader appreciate the Bible’s major history, teaching, and application.  At nearly 500 pages, there is plenty of content for the reader to mull over as he or she reads the Scriptures. The commentary is essentially evangelical in its interpretation, though estimated dates are omitted for significant events such as the Exodus.

Published with an imitation leather cover, the book has an attractive feel and appearance. It would make the perfect gift for someone needing a well-done Study Bible, but who already has a good translation. It would also make for an inexpensive addition to a student’s Study Bible or Commentary library.   
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions are mine alone.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Imperfect Justice

Imperfect Justice.jpg

A Review

What do you get when you mix spousal abuse, three murders, and an abused child, a stalker, a group of female lawyers, and a successful investment manager - you get Imperfect Justice.  The author did a great job of pulling together too many sub-stories into a very satisfying novel that left this reader wanting more.  

The case was closed when Emilie Wesley’s client did not show up for the Protective Order hearing. She knew it, her boss told her it was true, and the fact that the client had died made it very clear - the case was closed. It did not help that police were convinced that Kaylene Adams, her client, had killed her older daughter, seriously wounded her younger daughter, and then killed herself. The case was closed.

There were two reasons she could not let the case go. First, her own gut told her this young mother would not harm her children. And, then, there was Reid Billings. Reid was the client’s younger brother and, he, too, was convinced that something was amiss. But there was no proof - never was, never would be. Yet, if Emily did nothing, Kaylene’s younger daughter, Kinley, might be left living with a murderer.

Cara Putnam’s experience as a courtroom lawyer has allowed her to write a novel as intriguing as anything coming from the pen of John Grisham or Robert Whitlow. As in her previous book, Beyond Justice, the author weaves in just enough faith and romance with the law to make this book of interest to an assortment of readers. Though not a direct sequel to the earlier work, a number of characters do cross over and help flesh out this newest work. The connection between the two books does not detract from the current story.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions are mine alone.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys: The Big Lie - A Review

HB & ND - The Big Lie.jpg

A Review

I grew up with the Hardy Boys - oh, I knew of Nancy Drew, but never read the books. I could not get my hands on a Hardy Boys book fast enough; it would be my first stop at the bookstore. Sadly, fifty years ago I outgrew them.

This past week Anthony Del Col renewed my interest. The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, the Bobbsey Twins, and Tom Swift, have all been recreated in the 21st century. This reincarnation is not for the book-loving fans of the past, but for the graphic novel loving generation.

The story is top-notch - easy to follow and involved enough to hold this sexagenarian’s attention for the entire 162 pages of graphic art. Though the stars are definitely The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew are the starts, but we also get a glimpse of the Bobbsey Twins and Tom Swift. Beginning with the suicide (or was it murder) of Frank Hardy, the Boys’ father, the story quickly shifts to the Hardy Boys being each (or jointly) being involved in the events surrounding the death. The police are quick to identify them as the wanted parties and give little thought to other possible suspects. The biggest part of the book focuses on unraveling the events of the night when Frank Hardy died.

Not a great fan or critic of comic art, I did find the art more remanence of the 60’s or 70’s than the more explosive style prevalent in much of today’s comic art. That may have made this reader feel more at home, but it should not drive away those more often exposed to the current style. Because I was reading an e-book, I am not in a position to evaluate how effective the artwork is reproduced with modern inks and paper.  Having said that, let it be known the e-book is well done.

The book concludes with a number of special features - interviews with the author, the artist, the colorist, and the letterist. A number of close-ups are provided of the art found within the stories pages are also included. And finally, a hint - what is that about the Bobbsey Twins and a future mystery? We will just have to wait and see.

Read the book - whether you are current graphic art fan, a fan of the comic books of yore, or a fan of the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew. The reader will not be disappointed - I wasn’t.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions are mine alone.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Stay Calm and Collie On - A Review

Stay Calm and Collie On

Stay Calm and Collie On.jpg

Lane Stone

A Review

A pet spa, a British matron, and a collection of characters that are enamored with Elvis Presley all contribute to a great mystery and a fun story.

The story takes place in Lewes, DE, a small coastal town sitting at the lower reaches of the Delaware River. New to town is the proprietor of Buckingham Pet Palace - and it is her employee Henry that is found dead in the store’s delivery van. The case seems to focus on the dogs that Henry is transporting back to their owners - but there is more. The many references to other cozy mysteries and art history woven into the story may for a great setting for a murder mystery.

The police chief was not a lover of dogs, but he would need the help of Sue Patrick, Lady Anthea Fitzwalter, and the other members of the Buckingham Pet Palace staff if this murder was to be solved.

If you like dogs, if you like Elvis, if you like British slang, you will like this cozy mystery. I can only hope that Lane Stone will be creating more novels set in Lewes, Delaware.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions are mine alone.