5 book reviews for The Monthly Reading Challenge
|1. Mystery INC. By Joyce Carol Oates (a library eBook from Overdrive)
The story is mysterious, frightening, intriguing, hellish and other descriptive words I could use. It is about a book store. Really, it is about the people who own bookstores. Really, is it about the history of book stores?
It takes place in a small town in New Hampshire. “I am very excited! For at last, after several false starts, I have chosen the perfect setting for my Bibliomystery.” You will find lots of descriptions of books, the store, and other characters as you read.
The main character has a plan and as he is prepared to follow it through. He owns more than one book store. “You would not see shelves devoted to Ellery Queen in a store of mine,” he says.
I’m interested to note how often types of poison are discussed in stories that involve murder and mayhem. “it is almost our duty to eradicate them,” he says. I think you can learn something from the internal workings of this story about old collectible copies of books and how they might be sold on the internet.
Two of the main characters spend a lot of time talking. Be prepared to follow the conversation closely. Happy Reading.
2. On Writing.com this is a 18+ rated book. The Last Victim by Karen Robards (a library eBook from Overdrive)
Karen Robards has written at least 40 books. The copyright on this one is 2012. Robards is a New York Times bestselling author.
This story is from the Charlotte Stone series. Charlotte Stone is a Dr. of psychiatry who’s life is dedicated to learning about serial killers. “His ankles were also shackled, and a chain around his waist was secured to a sturdy metal ring set into the wall.”
The story is unusual. It is the first book in the Charlotte Stone series. The story follows Dr. Stones life after an event in her teens changes her world forever. It is a mystery story but also has elements of the super natural.
There are FBI agents, police, serial killers, teenagers, and musicians among the characters. “Charlie was conducting a forensic assessment of him”.
There are several bodies in the story. Dead bodies that is but, some also that don’t stay dead. And, keeping track of bodies that are not dead can be difficult.
The story has some sexual content that would be rated for over 18 on WDC. It gets plunked down in the center of the story and makes the main character appear unstable. The sexual content is from cult ideas. It is a fiction book. Don’t believe everything you read.
3. Revenge of Innocents by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg (a library eBook from Overdrive)
The story has a complicated beginning. The beginning is mysterious and leads the reader down a slippery slope. If you think you have it figured out you might not have it figured out.
I like the theme about a social worker in California. She is suppose to be a good interrogator during the mystery. She works with the police to solve a murder. However, there is really only the voice of the narrator to tell about her abilities. As the main character seems unable to make smart decisions and is at times on the verge of hysteria.
The story tells about a woman who works in the Ventura County Probation Department. It is a murder story that takes the reader into a maze of clues and doesn’t bring anyone out until the end.
I was a little disappointed that this intricately written story was not edited. As an ebook it did not keep track of the names of characters, within their actions as it should. Mixing up Rebecca and Jade more than once and making other small errors.I would have preferred a better edited book.
The author has lifted the main character out of the miseries of probation work and given her a home environment that does not really seem real.
I did like the story. Because of the errors and settings of characters, it actually became interesting. Well, it just wasn’t old hat.
4. Keys to a Happy Life by Michael L. Faber
In the introduction Michael Faber begins his comments on the Beatitudes by talking about happiness. Faber proclaims this writing as a devotional work. “This is a devotional work. “ He compares this writing with what would make up a scholarly book.
He starts with Matthew 5:3. Talking about what he believes Jesus was pointing out in the gospels about humility, temptation, and other situations Christians may experience in life.
Each Beatitude is quoted at one point in the book. Faber tells his reasons for why they relate to the Christian experience. He also explains, “pastors have found much of the teachings of Jesus as problematic and tried to write them off as belonging to a prior dispensation.” The teachings of the book join the Beatitudes to Christians in 2016.
As a pastor, Faber brings a lot of teaching into this book that will explain some of the misconceptions, about faith in Jesus, that are being spread through out Christianity.
Faber’s explanations and interpretations are based on faith. His voice is speaking out to answer questions. The book brings clarity to the Beatitudes and strengthens faith. Helping the Christian to “put on the armor of God.”
5. Southern spirits by Angie Fox (From a box set of 8 Tales of Mystery & The Paranormal sold by Amazon) e Books
The heroine finds herself in a position she does not like. She is in danger of losing her home. “Tomorrow my ancestral home would go on the market.” Without a job she does not have many prospects for her life. Her fiancé cheated on her before the wedding. There are a few other problems in her life but, you get the picture.
In her corner, she has a sister who is helping her and at least one solid best friend. She also has a pet skunk. Then, as the story moves along she finds a couple new friends. What happens next is funny and entertaining. She gets a new job. She becomes a ghost hunter. Ghost hunting is an interesting job for someone who is afraid of ghosts.
The author, Angie Fox, is a New York Times Best Selling Author. This is the first book in her new series.
Things escalate as a murder story should. It is an adventure story that has lots of surprises and lots of characters that keep you reading until the end.