Posts Tagged ‘Rosebud Book Reviews’


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.


The Mine (Northwest Passage Book 1) – “A Very Good Year”

February 23, 2016

The Mine (Northwest Passage Book 1) by John A. Heldt

 JOHN: This is not the kind of book that I would see the cover blurbs, then open it to read. A man goes into a mine and travels back in history (to 1941). He meets his grandmother as a young woman, people who will die in World War II and a Japanese woman who will suffer as bad a fate in America.

 SPANKY: We see things through today, his perspective, our perspective, yet relive the ordeal as someone going through this.

JOHN: It is an unusual approach that is very effective.

SPANKY: He falls in love with someone back then who, when he goes back to the present time, it breaks his heart.

JOHN: Or so we think, but later when he sees her again, she has not aged. She is no different.

SPANKY: Two things I found confusing. One, there are so many characters in his past life. Two, no reason is given why the girl hasn’t aged. Maybe that is to get us to read the next part of the series, but as emotionally satisfying as that may be, it is intellectually confusing in a way that the rest of the book is not. After 300 pages, I don’t want to get answers reading more.



Windy City Blues – “My Kind of Town”

September 22, 2015


Windy City Blues by Sara Paretsky

I usually read through introductions quickly, but the one to this book, about Chicago (the background of the story and its characters) is a masterpiece. And, it adds to each of the V. I. Warshawski pieces.

I have read Sara Paretsky before but never appreciated all that she brings to her work. These are not clever twists, but real life―hospital staff rivalries, tennis tournament coaching screw-ups, missing classical music scores.

I particularly liked the first 2/3 with “Grace Notes” and “The Maltese Cat.” “Settled Score” proved disappointing, but the nice thing about short stories is that you can always move on to the next.

And at the heart of them is a Polish, female, PI who gets things done. She lets us, as readers be part of the action in a real, Chicago way.

4 out of 5



Thoreau in Phantom Bog – “Elementary”

July 2, 2015


Thoreau in Phantom Bog by B. B. Oak

Were I to write a book in which Henry David Thoreau, because of his observation skills takes on the role of Sherlock Holmes, I would focus on him, perhaps using his friend, the doctor Sam Weller, as a kind of Dr. Watson, maybe even borrow the format of one of the Doyle’s books. A terrible mistake.

B. B. Oak shows Thoreau by sharply focusing on his world: “When we went into the root cellar…we inhaled the earthy scent of root vegetables stored in racks along stone walls. The walls sloped toward an arched ceiling, and the dirt floor dipped toward a pit where apples form last fall were stockpiled between layers of straw. The rough plank door was open, and a thin light seeped into the cool darkness.”

The book presents an issue as central to Thoreau, as it should be for us today, the prejudiced treatment of Blacks. But it does this by paralleling it with that of a pregnant woman who feels as much discrimination against her as the runaway slave. The alternate chapters by herself and her doctor/lover, create and solve mysteries. And there are many, besides showing excellent background research, not only into history, but also into the science of medicine.

No, looking for solutions will keep you turning pages late into the night. And the end of the book reveals a mysticism beyond what people would ordinary accept from Thoreau, but it is not only poignant, but very pertinent in an original way.



Deviations – Unexpected

May 25, 2015


Deviations by Mike Markel

Usually I can tell without looking if a book is written by a man or a woman. But this one starts with a female narrator on the skids. Fired, an alcoholic. Sleeping around. Only when she is rehired and goes after some neo Nazis does the plot move from emotional to cataclysmic. The police and political procedures are credible. I particularly liked the behind-the-scenes university stuff. And at the end Detective Seagate does go beyond the primary crime’s solution.

I knew a neo-Nazi when I grew up in Chicago (a real jerk) and just wanted that part left buried anyway.

A male writer isn’t afraid to trash his main character (and her Mormon partner), but though this is part of a series, I would have liked to see more of a personal resolution for the female narrator (a female author would have provided that). But I guess that is what keeps us going to the next book. Anyway, I am out of Montana for awhile.

3 out of 5_edited-1


No Way To Die – “More”

May 3, 2015


by M. D. Grayson

In this new age of Kindle and print-on-demand there seems to me to be more female mystery writers and female central characters, so it is interesting to compare them to a book by a man with Danny Logan PI, the central character.

Women have interesting plot lines, detailed clothing description and usually a subtext of an unhappy lover relationship.

Grayson provides specific interviewing strategies, how someone can “fixate” on a solution to the exclusion of other possibilities and the challenges of a “friend with benefits” relationship. Read the rest of this entry ?


Pink Balloons and Other Deadly Things – “Popping Them”

April 29, 2015

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by Nancy Tesler

Stop! Did you ever analyze why you are sympathetic to a narrator, or not? Sherlock Holmes is a smug guy with answers he eventually reveals to us, but Dr. Watson is the narrator. And Carrie Carlin is just the opposite of Holmes.

A stress-coping counselor, her life and her marriage of eighteen years, is falling apart. Plus her husband’s girl friend is murdered. Carrie bumbles from one disappointment to the next and we are with her. Read the rest of this entry ?