Thursday, September 29, 2011

Death of a Chimney Sweep, by M.C. Beaton

I am currently waiting (for over a month, now!) for two books at my local library, and I really was wanting to read something in the meantime.  So, I found this book. :)

I love a good mystery, so I was intrigued.  (This author has written, apparently, 27 mysteries, all starting with "Death of...".) 

He starts his story off quickly, cutting right to the chase.  Someone dies, then someone else is dead (a lot of people die, actually)... there's a local police sergeant who's always trying to help solve the crimes, infringing on someone else's territory... and there are lively characters to keep it interesting.  Many details are added in to keep the reader guessing whodunnit, and the plot is enough to keep the pages turning.  The lingo is fascinating, as it's origination stems from England. 

I almost felt like the writer was trying to drag the story on longer than it needed to be, maybe adding too many details... but the ending was kind of funny.  The sergeant's cat actually did away with the bad guy, and in order to protect the animal, he dumped the body somewhere to make it look like an accident. 

It was clean, it was entertaining, it was enough to maybe lead me to another of his books should I have to wait any longer for the books I really want to read... and it was free from my library - can't beat that!

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Doll in the Garden, by Mary Downing Hahn

When I was younger, I loved a good ghost story - anything with mystery! I once read a book by Mary Downing Hahn called, "Wait Till Helen Comes".  I was in 5th grade and it terrified me!

My kids love a good ghost story, even though they can't sleep afterwards.  I think we have it in our blood to find such things so fascinating.  My MIL gave us some books this summer, this book being one of them.  When I saw who the author was, I snagged it, immediately! I've told my kids about the other book I read many times but they haven't gotten up the gumption to read it just yet.  I thought they'd like this one, though, so we brought it home.

I'm currently awaiting my turn for a book at the library, so I've been trying to find things around my house to read that I haven't read, already.  (And some things I have.) I saw this book and thought I'd see if it was as spine-chilling as the one I've read, before.

Alas, it wasn't.  Maybe if I were still 10 or 11, it might have been.  Being an adult, I saw where it was headed early on, which isn't saying it's bad.  I'm just a little too grown up for it.  (It's no Mary Higgins Clark, that's for sure.)

I think my kids might find it intriguing, though.  ;) If your kids like this sort of thing, I would guess it's more mysterious than scary, if I were to try to look at it from a juvenile's point of view.  A friend of mine and I were talking, yesterday, about how being an adult can sometimes take the fun out of things.  Oh, well.  :) 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Stolen Life: A Memoir, by Jaycee Lee Dugard

My biggest fear is my kids being kidnapped.  I can handle them dying even more than that.  (I'd really like to not ever have to test that theory...)

Wow.  This book was disturbing.  It was emotional.  It was... disturbing.  Unbelievable. 

Jaycee was kidnapped in 1991, when she was 11.  Her kidnapper, Phillip Garrido, kept her for over 18 years.  He fathered her two children.  He was married.  His mother was on the same property.

She not only survived, but she managed to do it well.  What I can't believe is how she was taken on outings, met Phillip's parole officers, had access to the internet... and she still wasn't found until she was.  That she was kept in the backyard and no one even thought to look back there is just unfathomable.  This man was sick.  Very messed in the head.  He had her brainwashed, controlled, scared.  She actually felt the need to protect him, to keep him happy, to rely on him.  His wife was in on this.  That, in itself is wrong in so many ways.

She was rescued, reconnected with her family, and is doing so amazingly well... her story is not one I would ever wish on anyone, but her attitude should be manufactured and sold in jars.

I love reading memoirs.  The real stories.  This one was hard.  She was able to recount so many things from those horrid years.  I hope she can continue in her positive outlook on life and build something wonderful for herself and her girls.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25, by Richard Paul Evans

This book took me less than eight hours to read.  I could not put it down! I had to, however, take breaks to digest what I just read and let it all sink in.

This was such an awesome book! Of course it is, RPE wrote it!

He can write men well.  He can write women really well. 

He writes electric teenagers with flare.

This is the first (yes, first - I have to wait for the next one!) in a series of, actually... I don't know how many books, but I guarantee you'll be hooked.

It's supposed to be geared toward the young adults of the world, but I'm a youngish adult and loved it! It had me hooked from the very beginning.  I kept thinking while I was reading it not only about how well it was written, but how well it was researched.  Much brain-stocking info had to be acquired to make this book seem realistically fiction vs. a far-fetched fake.  It's full of a little mystery, a nice flowing plot, and an ending that leaves you a mixture of satisfied with a want for more.

All I'll tell you is Michael Vey is the main character... he has special "powers" that stem from something that happened to him around the time of his birth... his mom has been kidnapped due to his new-found friend's research on their past - as they both have these powers in common... and he has to put pieces of a puzzle together to take you from one chapter to the next.  If you like Richard Paul Evans, mystery, thrillers, and a touch of science fiction, you'll love this book!

It's a page-turner.  It's a must-read.  I loved it! Can't wait for the next!