Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Thanksgiving in Paradise - A Review

Thanksgiving in Paradise

byKathi Daley

Paradise is small-town America, located along the shore of Paradise Lake, with the normal collection of small-town businesses - the kind of place most of us might like to visit. Near the center of town sits the bank, the police station, and the town hall. And that was the problem. On Tuesday, October 31, the Town Hall had exploded. At least two were dead, several were injured, and “TJ” Jensen was trapped in the building which was about to collapse. She would be free, but it would take three weeks to identify the guilty party.

Kathi Daley is a capable writer whose cozy mysteries I have enjoyed in the past. As expected, the characters are interesting and believable. The same can be said about the scenic setting in which Paradise calls home. However, Thanksgiving in Paradise takes an approach to resolving the mystery of the bombed town hall that this reader found disappointing. Rather than slowly uncovering clues during the course of the story, the author seems to drop clues from nowhere on to the amateur and professional detectives that form the core of the story. Of course the same is true for the reader. Henery Press and Kathi Daley have done better. I was left feeling disappointed.
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, September 4, 2019

It's A Numberful World - A Review

I picked up the book expecting to find an assortment of number and mathematical based trivia. Though not entirely wrong, the book is more scholarly than the typical trivia book. The book is not full of equations but is aimed much more at the visual learner - filled with illustrations and graphs. Each chapter tackles a specific topic of interest in mathematics and illustrates its place in our natural world.  For example, Chapter 7 is entitled “What Sunflowers Know About the Universe”. In the course of 20 pages the author takes the reader through a study of symmetry, into a discussion of the golden ratio, and concludes by saying:

A BRIEF NOTE: It’s not really that sunflowers are intelligent beings who worked out the equations to come to this conclusion -- but simply that any ancestral sunflowers that didn’t use the golden ratio produced fewer seeds per flower, and were therefore weeded out by the process of natural selection. But the fact that this natural algorithm should arrive at a mathematical truth like this is almost as beautiful as the fact that human beings calculated it through their ingenuity and insight!

The author, an Australian public school teacher, has been named Australia’s “Teacher of the Year” and identified as one of the top ten teachers of the world. In 2018, he was named “Australia’s Local Hero of the Year”.  This book serves as great evidence for the validity of those honors. More information about the author can be found on Wikipedia and with a Google search. As a Christian, I found the dedication of interest:

Dedicated to the Author of Life
“Mathematics is the language with
which God has written the universe.”
—Galileo Galilei

Though mathematical, it is not a difficult read - and will be enjoyed by many.  Whether a mathematician, a physicist, a general lover of knowledge, this book has a place on your bookshelf or bed stand. The junior high and high school library will want a copy on their shelves. This is also true of the liberal arts college library. It is less likely to be found on the shelves of the university library, but perhaps on the coffee table in the math department’s lounge. 
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.

Justice and Revenge are not the same things - a lesson that would be difficult to learn and to live out for FBI Special Agent Allison Radcliffe. She would come face to face with people who had killed her family 15 years ago, she would also see the brother she thought she had lost in the same events and whom she thought dead. The tears would flow. But in the middle of all the pain and confusion, her faith would grow in unexpected ways.

Lynette Eas
on has written a faith-based thriller that would compete well with the likes of NCIS:LA or Criminal Minds if found on TV. The plot is solid with just enough turns to keep the reader wanting more. And if the hint embedded at the end of the book is any clue, more is to come.

Unlike her earlier book, Code of Valor, the book does not focus on a cultural issue, but on more personal issues that many face, Maybe not as intense as Allie’s, but just as real. The book would be a welcome addition to the church library - either as part of the set of four books in the series or as an independent purchase. It would also serve as a welcome addition to the public library willing to include faith-based books in its collection. Any reader enjoying well-written thrillers would find the book a good weekend’s worth of reading.
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.