Archive for the ‘Small Press’ Category


A Man of Genius – “Wright, Not Done Wrong”

April 14, 2016

A Man of Genius by Lynn Rosen

FL Wdownload

John and his dog, Spanky, review books, movies, DVDs, etc.

JOHN: Emotional conflicts of historic characters are not necessarily true, but, as humans, we know they are there. Rosen creates a fictional character that looks, talks and acts like Frank Lloyd Wright (“a small man with the mass of hair, clothed in a cape, and odd hat, who, when out of doors, was always holding a walking stick in a gloved hand. He presented a dramatic, dynamic figure, never at rest.”).

SPANKY: Of course he’s an architect who acknowledges a symbiotic relationship between man and his environment.

JOHN: His attorney friend writing this, is in italics and says stuff like, “It is generally accepted tat the past controls the pathway to our understanding of the present…I’ve now sat for many weeks refining Carlyle’s tale with my memories filling in the voids.” I think this is an elaborate way for Rosen to tell a fictionalized tale of a real event and a real man.

SPANKY: Which becomes very confusing because of the many characters she presents.

JOHN: Yes, but it does provide a longer time frame, and added suspense at the end.

SPANKY: The architect falls in love with a young mistress who looks like his wife once did. The wife confronts the mistress and one of them is murdered (along with two sisters who die in the architect’s fire to cover things up.

JOHN: We aren’t sure which person the survivor is (thanks to the general confusion you mentioned earlier. So after his death we are left with the dilemma of the man’s public reputation and personal indiscretion.

SPANKY: As we are with Frank Lloyd Wright. The supposed author says: It is the rare person who has the capability to explore down to the heart of the matter.

JOHN: But that is exactly what Lynn Rosen does in this book.

SPANKY: I give it fiver barks out of five.

JOHN: And I, five rosebuds.




Lana’i or the Tiger – “Mahalo!”

January 10, 2015


Lana’i of the Tiger

I have been to Maui and as the author points out in her Afterwords this book is a nice way of revisiting that part of the world. Sure, it’s a mystery, but it proves to be so much more. The narrator (who is re-assigned to one of the islands as part of the whiteness protection program) works at a B &B where she is torn between defending a movie producer and giving away her actual identity.

This unfolds naturally enough, along with the disturbing news that her best friend on Maui may be shacked up with her boy friend. I was pulled into the central character and the dilemmas she faced. The plot didn’t seem forced, the emotions were real, and the setting, as I said, was wondrous.

Maybe I just wanted to like this because I had been there and it was a behind the scenes glance at what I had experienced. I don’t care. With Wisconsin weather being in the sub zero range, I am happy to imagine being elsewhere.

5 out of 5_edited-1



A Temporary Ghost– “A Delicious Treat”

December 16, 2014


A Temporary Ghost by Michaela Thompson

This is an excellent book with plot, setting, back-story and unexpected twists. The narrator is asked to ghost write a book about a murder years ago. In Provence  she discovers, it is far from solved. I had about 10% left to read of this Kindle and still couldn’t guess who it was.

Usually the murderer in a book is the one you least suspect and when this is revealed some incidentals of the story show you how you should have known it was him or her all along. In this case we come to better appreciate the complexity of the narrator and why she was chosen for the job. Read the rest of this entry ?


Hounded – “Bait and Switch”

November 16, 2014


Hounded by David Rosenfelt, Minotaur Books, Sold by: Macmillan

Buy directly from Amazon for $14.95: Hounded (An Andy Carpenter Novel)

This book is not what I expected from the title or from the cover. It is about a Perry Mason like, wealthy defense attorney, who goes to bat for his friend, a police captain accused of murder.

I liked the breezy dialogue and though there were a few too many characters, they all tied together in the trial’s closing statement. Best of all there was some real heart. The dead victim has a son who the attorney comes to feel fatherly toward. Read the rest of this entry ?


Emily & Herman – “A Literary Romance”

November 12, 2014

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Emily & Herman by John Healey,  Arcade Publishing. $17. 54

BUY DIRECTLY FROM AMAZON. CLICK: Emily & Herman: A Literary Romance

Let me begin in left field. I am recently doing a book on Houdini where he has a talk with a modern magician, Teller. In Houdini’s day audiences would attribute magic to a supernatural cause. Teller supports a magic that gives the audience the appearance of  free will (but the illusion depends on its thinking as the magician wants it to). Spiritual or no? Free Will or not? Read the rest of this entry ?


Magic Mirror – “E-Books Have Arrived”

October 7, 2014

Magic Mirror

Magic Mirror

File Size: 405 KB

Print Length: 226 pages

Publisher: booksBnimble (August 13, 2013)

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Buy directly from Amazon. Click: Magic Mirror: A Parisian Mystery (Georgia Lee Maxwell #1) (The Georgia Lee Maxwell Series)

Times they are a changing. It used to be (a couple years ago) that the new technology opened the floodgates to anyone and everyone, whether they had something to say or not, whether they were talented writers or not. But Magic Mirror is a sophisticated tale of good storytelling, great location, plot twists and a theme that starts out strong and gets stronger and stronger, until (like the image of a mirror) it stares the reader in the face at the end. Read the rest of this entry ?


Death by Hitchcock – “Good Evening!”

August 24, 2014


by Elissa Durwood Grodin

Print Length: 174 pages

Publisher: Cozy Cat Press (June 1, 2014)

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Kindle: $2.99, Paperback: $13.46

Buy from Amazon. Click Here:  Death by Hitchcock: An Edwina Goodman Mystery

Love the title and the classic film background. This is an author who knows movies. My quarrel: she doesn’t use their plot twists to affect the book’s. So the great title and the festival back story are wasted.

I did like the documentary movie within the story and the narrator’s astronomy background. But the author needs to give readers more credit.

This book will be picked up by people who remember sitting in a dark theater or a classroom on campus at night. Will remember watching films we have seen many times before, as if our lives depended on the lines to be spoken. And they did.

3 out of 5_edited-1