Thursday, August 25, 2016

Miss Seeton Cracks the Case by Hamilton Crane

The gossipy old ladies have won a trip and are off on a bus ride.  When the bus is stopped much in the same manner as the coaches by the highway men in the past and their valuable are stolen, they know they'll be in the paper and on the news and will have their fifteen minutes of fame.  But it doesn't work out that way and they're sure Miss Seeton must have made that happen.  After all, she's the most suspicious person living in the village...

Farrago and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published today, so you can grab a copy now.

Not only are there the bus robberies, a group of people help elders get their packages home and then drug them and steal their goods.  One man got drugged enough to die, so it's become a more vital case now.  The police ask Miss Seeton to try to sketch the people one of the witnesses has seen.  She draws a pirate and then a WW1 scene.  Is she lost in the past or is she trying to tell them something?

Then there's the new couple in town.  They're cleaning up their yard and remove the brambles from an old bunker.  There's a rumor there's a body in the bunker so they are selling chances for who gets to open the door on the day of discovery.

Miss Seeton wanders right through the midst of the scams, even gets approached by them but manages to get away by chance.  She also sketches a new picture with the two groups joined together as one but no one knows what that means.  Eventually, they find some other clues and manage to put the case together but it took Miss Seeton to set everything off.  As usual...

Death in Profile by Guy Fraser-Sampson

They're looking for a serial killer but they're looking in the wrong place...

Urbane Publications sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can pick the book up now.

This was a very interesting read.  The killer was a twist I didn't see coming.  There's also a psychologist who pulls back into a fantasy world to deal with the how the case is going and because he's losing his girlfriend.  There is more than one mentally off person in this book.

The case has been ongoing for some time, so a new lead detective is sent in.  The one that previously headed the case is determined to investigate on his own.  That causes some difficulty.  They also have someone feeding the newspapers.  Then they find out the first man arrested who died in prison was NOT guilty.  This is when the psychologist feels he's responsible and moves into Dorothy Sayers world.  He thinks he's Lord Peter Wimsey.  This is where it starts to become a bit surreal.

Between the psych games the police are playing to bring the psychologist back to the present day and finding more circumstantial evidence, they come up with another potential killer.  He denies it.  They're ready to push on and then they get the surprise of their life.  The killer is someone else entirely...

With a mix and match of old and new techniques, they were getting mixed results.  I'm not sure where this series is going but there could easily be further books in this series.  Will the gal leave her lover for another?  Will the man who headed the crime unit and attempted to charge two innocent men keep his job?  Will the cop who was taken off the case be content with his new role?

One thing you can easily say about this read:  It makes you think. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Reader by Traci Chee

Sefia was living the typical life of a child until she comes home from playing at the neighbor's house and finds her father tortured and dead on the kitchen floor.  She knows the plan and has practiced it enough she doesn't even have to think.  She grabs her supplies and opens the secret door and heads out to what she hopes is safety.  It takes her back to the berry patch and she goes to Aunt Nin for help.

G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 13th.

Sefia learns to fend for herself in the woods with Aunt Nin teaching her.  They avoid towns for the most part, only going in to sell furs.  They are on their way to the port to find a boat to take them further away from those who after them.  Sefia takes the furs in and trades them for money.  When she returns, Nin has been captured.  She knows she should go, but Nin is all she has left in her life.  She goes after her instead.

She has a secret treasure with her.  It's a book that the powers to be would kill for.  They already have, that's why her father died.  She doesn't know why it's so important.  She decides to try to make some sense of it and eventually learns to read.  She reads the stories in it thinking they are fictional.  They're not...

When she finds a young boy being kept in a cage, she knows he was stolen from his family and has now become part of their fighting team.  She helps him escape.  Now she has two groups of people who want to find her.  Not good.

This story is long but there's plenty happening.  You see the past of Sephia and her friend.  You watch her develop powers she had no idea she had.  And you get to meet the ship captain she was reading about.  She hasn't read about the future yet, but it's most likely in that book also.

When this segment of the story ends, there's still much more to the tale so there will be sequels.  This is the Sea of Ink and Gold series and it's quite impressive if a bit bloodthirsty.  The next book should be even more interesting.

Fuzzy by Tom Angleberger, Paul Dellinger

Imagine a robot that can feel emotions.  It doesn't seem real, does it?  In this story, it's possible.

Amulet Books sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It's been published and you can grab a copy now.

They are sending this robot to school.  It's to teach him interactions with humans, to use his own logic to program himself to respond in the appropriate manner, and to finish his training period.  He's named Fuzzy because he uses fuzzy logic.  (After reading about it, I think I do, too.)

He has one student assigned to him as a mentor and she's happy to do that.  The problem is the computer at the school is out to get her.  She's getting bad grades on tests she's studied hard for and thought she had right.  She gets demerits for being late when a teacher held her up.  Sometimes the school blocks her so she's late!  Her parents are mad at her.  She may get kicked out of school.  But when Fuzzy goes to class with her, he can see her test and he knows she only missed one question.  Something about this school stinks.

Fuzzy likes his new friends, going to school and visiting the homes of other students.  He doesn't want to complete his mission he was designed for.  When they talk about rebooting his brain, he knows he has to do something.  What he does is try to save Max from the school computer's wrath for being different.  It turns out to be quite the battle!

I was really feeling for Fuzzy and hated to see the end of the book coming up but the authors were heroes and came up with a happy ending.

This book was well worth the read and I'll be reading it again.  I enjoyed it a lot.  Why not share an exciting fun tale with your young one?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Killer Punch: A Killer Wasps Mystery by Amy Korman

Kristin is looking forward to summer and hanging out with her best buds.  At the moment, the tomato festival is coming up and everyone around is helping out.  The famous TV chef bursts in on the scene and says he'll do the cooking and banishes the other cook.  Then a famous painting disappears off the wall.  The painting is worth six digits, so the owner wants it back.  Kristin knows the local cop isn't going to be much good at locating it, so she calls on her friends.  What they learn is that even their small local town can be a hotbed of cheating and double-dealing.

Witness Impulse and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published today.  There are more in the series so if you like to begin with the first book, check it out.

This is light cozy with odd characters.  There are the very rich, the economically challenged, some Italian mafia, a divorce going on that is going to be a fight to the finish, and Kristin's challenged love life.

One of the ladies is sneaking in tomatoes grown in New Jersey, who has better soil.  (That's against the rules.)  The famous chef is trying to bed a young waitress.  Kristin's boyfriend is out of town at a veterinarian education class and the guy with the hot kisses is on the site of the festival.  Then her boyfriend's ex comes to town and she's worried about her.  It's like the picture is a small problem in this world.  But find it they must.  Not only do they find the picture, they also find out that the major new development in town is a breach of contract.  They fumble right along, everyone doing their part and somehow it comes out OK at the end of the story.

Wonder what trouble they'll find in the next book?  And will Sophie ever get all her shoes back?

All My Treasures: A Book of Joy By Jo Witek

When she gets a real pretty porcelain box from her grandmother, this little one wants to fill it with treasures.  But which ones?

Abram Appleseed shared this book with me for review (thank you).  It is being published today so you can grab a copy now.

This is a casebound board book.  That means it looks like a regular oversized picture book but the pages are thicker inside.  The best touch are all the little flaps. With little fingers carefully opening up the flaps they will find treasures to go in the box!

She thinks of adding raindrops, bubbles she blows, treasured memories and more.  All things that give her joy and make her life special.  

Why not think about what you would save?  I have a memory box.  It's just a fancier cardboard box that I have kept things like a post card grandpa drew a stamp on,  a poem my mom wrote for a package one year, ticket stubs and other memories.  When I open and go back through what's in there it makes me smile.  What would save in your box?

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Adventurer's Guide to Successful Escapes by Wade Albert White

This is not a nice orphanage.  The orphans have chores to do, some work in the coal mines, and they only get enough to eat to keep them alive.  When they turn thirteen, they're ejected from the school.  If they are lucky, they can be accepted into a quest academy and begin training.   If not, they go away to another work crew, who knows where.  They don't have much but it's better than nothing.  Anne has Penelope as a friend and they are determined to go on an adventure.  Boy, do they!

Little Brown Book for Children sent me an ARC of this story to read for review (thank you).  It will be published September 13th.

This is a fantastic adventure with lots of action, plenty of good versus evil, robots, animated knight's armor and dragons.  With some magic, a riddle and good brain power, Anne gets closer and closer to the truth of who she is.  She has yellow eyes, doesn't remember her parents and doesn't even know what tier she's come from.  She wants to find out who she is but she also is longing for adventure.

When she runs after dog, who got away, she falls off one tier down to another.  The lady she meets there tells her she's come to get her for a quest.  When she asks if she can bring others, the lady says the more the merrier.  She returns to get Pen and gets caught by the matron, who takes the gauntlet she was given and throws her in the dungeon.  Pen gets her out, she retrieves the gauntlet and the book she was reading, and she's ready to go when the gauntlet attaches itself to her hand and attracts a medallion.  This is when all the fun begins!

It's a mighty quest, a brave adventure and new challenges come up every few pages.  I really enjoyed reading this one and can't wait for the next book.  She's in her rightful place now but it doesn't mean the challenge is over...