Posts Tagged ‘mystery’


Lawyer for the Dog – “At beck and call” by Lee Robinsin

April 24, 2016


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

JOHN: The judge is her ex-husband,she has a mother with Alzheimer and there is a dog, Sherman, who she is to protect (being given temporary custody). The owners are going through a divorce and have different views of handling Sherman (the wife is overly strict, he a little too casual).

SPANKY: We get first hand experience, not only with differences in dog care, but with divorce, Alzheimers, a single working woman who still has feelings.-

JOHN: Surprises with each turn of the page that make you think.

SPANKY: And ask questions what you would do under these circumstances.

JOHN: This is a unique book whose title and picture of a cute dog on the cover suggest it will be something less.

I say 5 Rosebuds out of 5.


SPANKY: I like the cover, but agree with you about the rest.

5 Barks, from me.


Wipeout – “Paying the Price”

October 26, 2015


Wipeout  by Chip Hughes

I don’t know why I like these books so much. I’m not a surfer (I live in Southern Wisconsin for godsake) but find the Hawaiian backdrop exotic and accessible.

This story does have an involved plot though. A surfer, who is supposedly dead, in reality has taken up with another woman leaving his pregnant wife. But equally intriguing the surfer detective she hires sleeps with the missing husband’s new woman despite his having a pregnant girlfriend who he believes wants a commitment of marriage.

I can’t remember a book where we distrust and disapprove of the actions of the narrator. It all turns out OK in the end, plus the love of surfing, as opposed to making money, one way or another, comes across in a very real, very cathartic way.

I don’t know if I feel like facing 30 foot drops myself (I do know: I wouldn’t), but somehow reading about them as I look across the corn-filled fields of Wisconsin, seems exciting.



Retirement Is Murder – “Clues”

September 25, 2015


Retirement Is Murder by Susan Santangelo

This is not a book you would expect. The narrator is in her sixties and she gets her husband (unhappy with work) to plan for retirement (or so she thinks. He believes this will be a new client.)

Why would this be on Kindle (not exactly a media for older readers)? Why the subject of retirement (not something people usually plan)? And why am I reviewing this (who happily waddle through my own senior years without much direction)?

It is free. And worth thinking about. Not the plot which is kind of interesting, but what retirement means today.

I asked my 80 year old neighbor some of the discussion questions at the end of the book. If like him, and me, you don’t have a clue to your answers, read this book.

4 out of 5


Cat Trick – “Now You See Them. Now, You Don’t.”

April 25, 2015

by Sofie Kelley


I was drawn to this book because I like cats and magic. What I didn’t expect was a good picture of small-town, Midwest living. Oh, one of the narrator’s cats can become invisible, and the other walks through walls (but these are unnecessary distractions more than anything else).

Oh yes, there has been a murder, but I was at least 90% through the book without a clue who might be involved. Then things started to fall into place.

Too much reference to other books in the series, too many characters to keep straight, but the non-magical description f the cats is fulfilling…at least my ten cats enjoyed it.

4 out of 5


Worse Than Being Alone – “Not Really”

March 23, 2015
Jack Lehman, book reviewer

Jack Lehman, book reviewer

Worse Than Being Alone by Patricia Clark

This book has the best Prelude about writing of any book I have ever read. I firmly do believe both fiction and non-fiction needs to be based on true emotions.

Two nurses form a business on tracking down questionable work related claims. So far so good. One of them has an issue with her father falling for a new wife. Even better. The story takes place in St. Louis. Different.

But we are lead to expect some kind of closure. In other words a plot with a beginning, middle and an end. In that we are disappointed and realize that we want more from art than genuine issues. We want resolution. Perhaps we don’t get that in life, but if we want life we just need to look out the window.

I don’t know how Patricia Clark could have delivered. But that is her job. Not mine.

2 out of 5_edited-1


An Appetite for Revenge – “Satisfying”

January 20, 2015

crime scene tape

An Appetite for Revenge by Jennifer L. Jennings

Some mysteries work, many don’t. There is an intriguing subtext here as the female detective is suspicious her boyfriend is still attracted to his ex-girlfriend. Maybe that’s how the title (which fits the plot, but not well) keeps us guessing what is really going on.

Motivation of all the characters seems real and the pacing of the story keeps us turning pages. Eventually, things get resolved and it is interesting how all the pieces fit together.

Tight, sophisticated,…satisfying.



Dying to Read – ‘Whodunit”

January 13, 2015


Dying to Read by Lorena McCourtney

This book starts off with a Whodunit Mystery Book Club meeting at which the leader is found dead. The Associate PI, sent for other reasons, is a niece living with her uncle and aunt. She can’t find work. At one point her uncle, who owns the detective agency falls off the roof while cleaning its gutters and…well, surprise after surprise continues (the best is when the niece takes on a cat, belonging to the dead woman, as her client).

I think I discovered the secret of a good mlystery here. Have two explanations for what happens, each equally convincing, so the reader is left wondering which is true. And the truth ends up being a third option, which didn’t even seem a possibility though it was hinted at all along.

These are not only surprises, but well written surprises. Lorena McCourtney dun it.

5 out of 5_edited-1