Saturday, February 28, 2015

Kittens Can Kill: A Pru Marlowe Pet Noir by Clea Simon (Mar 3, 2015)

Product Details

Book Description

 March 3, 2015

The dead don’t keep pets. So when animal behaviorist expert Pru Marlowe gets a call about a kitten, she doesn’t expect to find the cuddly creature playing beside the cooling body of prominent Beauville lawyer David Canaday. Heart attack? His three adult daughters angrily blame drug interactions, feline allergies—and each other. And begin to feud over their father, his considerable estate, and that cute ball of fluff. While the cause of death is pending, each sister has an axe to grind—with arguments that escalate when David’s partner reads out the will. Pru’s special sensitivity to animals, which caused her to flee the cacophony of Manhattan for the quiet Berkshires, adds further problems. The local vet is overwhelmed as the animal hospital's money runs out. There’s a needy Sheltie and some invasive squirrels, too. But the dead man’s kitten, his former partner, and his troublesome family keep drawing “wild-girl” animal psychic Pru back in. Despite the wry observations of her trusty tabby Wallis, now the wrongfully accused kitten’s guardian, and the grudging compliance of her cop lover, this may be one time when Pru can’t solve the mystery or save the kitten she wants to believe is innocent. A single witness knows the truth about that bright spring morning. How far can Pru investigate without risking her own hidden tale?



This was an interesting book that could be called a ‘cozy’ although I would not do so. This is the fifth book in the Pru Marlowe series.  While some people could read this as a standalone, I would not suggest you do so. This was the first book I read in this series and found that because I hadn’t read the other four books, I was at a disadvantage.
The concept behind this series is an interesting one, although it has been done before.  Pru is an animal behaviorist who can also ‘talk’ to animals and they talk to her.   In this novel she sort of stumbles into, what on first glance, looks like an accidental death.  A kitten that one of the deceased daughters got him is what causes Pru to be there in the first place.  Confusion ensues, accusations are thrown back and forth and Pru is in the middle.  Now Pru’s instincts are telling her it is murder.

I had several problems with this novel and the most difficult for me was the fact that the protagonist Pru is a difficult person to like or to feel empathy for.  She may care for the animals but she sure doesn’t seem to give a darn for any humans and I have a feeling that this may have been explained in earlier books. (like why she is the *itch that she is). Her heavy drinking and bootie calls, leaves something to be desired also.

The writing and especially the dialogue is choppy and sometimes very difficult to follow, the clues are all there (some things are quite obvious right from the very start) but the characters choose not to ‘see’ them.  While this pushes the book to the climax, it can make this a frustrating read.

I will admit to a curiosity that will have me reading at least the first book to see if some of my difficulties with this book and these characters had already been explained.

ARC supplied by publisher.  




Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Girls of Mischief Bay

The Girls of Mischief Bay
The Girls of Mischief Bay
Price: $6.99

Book Description March 1, 2015

Susan Mallery, the New York Times bestselling author of Three Sisters, is world renowned for her "insightful, funny, and poignant" stories (Booklist). With her brand-new Mischief Bay series, she brings vivid color to the story of three friends on the brink of a new life. 
 Nicole Lord wants to be a good wife, but there's a difference between being supportive and supporting her husband, who quit his job to write a screenplay she's never seen. He won't even help take care of their son, leaving Nicole to run the house and work full-time. 

Sacrificing a personal life for her career is how Shannon Rigg became VP at her firm, but she wonders now whether she made the right choice. An exciting new relationship with a great guy convinces her that it might not be too late—until he drops a bombshell that has her questioning whether she really can have it all. 

Although Pam Eiland adores her husband, she feels restless now that the kids are grown. Finding sexy new ways to surprise him brings the heat and humor back to their marriage, but when unexpected change turns her life upside down, she'll have to redefine herself. Again.
Through romance and heartbreak, laughter and tears, the girls of Mischief Bay will discover that life is richer with friends at your side.







3.0 out of 5 stars I'm Reluctant to Write This, February 25, 2015


I know I am in the minority with my feeling for this initial book in this new series. I almost feel as if I need to apologize for how I feel about it.

This book is wonderfully written with thoroughly fleshed and well rounded characters. I agree that these women are the types that I could see being friends with. However, as entertainment value they left something to be desired. I read to escape my everyday problems, and these characters left me depressed. Let me try to explain ----->POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD<------ br="">
We have three women, each a decade apart in age. They range from 30's to 50's. Each brings to the table some sort of issue. From being depressed about no longer being young and attractive, to being single at nearly 40, to having a husband who left his job and is contributing nothing to his marriage. I am in my 50's so of course Pam's problems hit home with me and really depressed me. I too feel out of the loop and not very content with my age. But Pam manages to do something about it and just when everything is going her way, fate slaps her upside the head in the worst way possible and makes things horrible---to the point that she contemplates suicide.

Nicole to seems to finally get her life together and have hope for her marriage - until her husband strikes it big and becomes Hollywood an all the worst definitions of the word.

Luckily as far as HEA's go, Shannon our 40 year old comes the closest but it is a path fraught with complications.

All in all, instead of leaving this book happy and with hope for the future, leaving with the knowledge that I was entertained, I left instead looking for my anti-depressants and a glass of wine.

I admit on the positive side this book did force me to contemplate my life a little closer, but is that what we really want our romance (and that was what this book was being advertised as when I chose it at NetGalley) to do? I had hoped for a slightly more frothy read, but I understand well that Ms Mallery really doesn't write frothy. At least not now.

This book also lacked in the sizzle department - tepid at best, although some sex scenes are quite amusing.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Tales of the Alaska State Troopers




With the elements against them, the state troopers of Alaska face every day with a fight for their lives.

In the state of Alaska, anything goes. For the state troopers, an average day can include blizzard conditions, midnight sunsets, and subzero temperatures. Tales of the Alaska State Troopers gives insight to just how the brave men of the law combat these conditions while still upholding their duties to the fine people of Alaska.

Follow Trooper Dan Valentine as he finds himself in the midst of a crisis when an abandoned truck holds more than just an old blanket on the passenger seat. Dan’s responsibility for the town of Trapper Creek becomes a fight for survival when he realizes the truck has enough explosives in it to make a small dent in the Alaska Range.

Troopers such as John Adams and Terrance Shanigan also have more to worry about than frostbite. Their stories include rescuing an Eskimo who has fall through the ice on his snow mobile, locating missing teenagers after a terrifying bear attack, and occasionally scraping dead, frozen, thousand-pound moose off major highway roads.

Tales of the Alaska State Troopers is rich in content and action. Anyone familiar with the life of a lawman or the state of Alaska will be fascinated with the way Mathiesen delivers his narrative. It’s all in a day’s work for troopers like Dan Valentine, who never know what a new day can bring.

 Until space travel was invented, Alaska was known as the last frontier. Yet, this author proves just how much those in the 'lower 48' don't really know what it's like to live in such a State like this one. In so many ways, Alaska still IS the last frontier and will most likely always stay that way.

Most of us, not all of course, probably could never conceive of living where we couldn't get access to our public safety officials within a matter of minutes. Alaskans who don't live in one of the very few larger towns or cities, live with this constantly. Imagine having an emergency that needs a police officer or paramedic pronto and learning that you won't get one for hours.

That is what this book is all about. It is a sometimes extremely dry narrative (nearly report like) but an always informative look into the jobs and lives of some of these men (nope, no women troopers in this book). There is a great deal of information, both historical and geographical in this book and I enjoyed that aspect a lot.

Even some of the stories that had meant to be humerus took on a the authors dry aspect. The exception was one notable story concerning a dead moose and a trooper trying to get this carcass off of the road. He was doing this in 40 below weather with the moose actually frozen onto the black-top! This story had me in stitches.

I wish that some of the stories had been from the last few years so we could have seen exactly how far Alaskan troopers had come, but I am hoping to see a sequel.

*ARC supplied by publisher for reviewing purposes.



Tales of the Alaska State Troopers: Stories of Courage, Survival, and Honor from the Last Frontier

Tales of the Alaska State Troopers: Stories of Courage, Survival, and Honor from the Last Frontier

Tales of the Alaska State Troopers: Stories of Courage, Survival, and Honor from the Last Frontier
by Peter B. Mathiesen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.60



With the elements against them, the state troopers of Alaska face every day with a fight for their lives.

In the state of Alaska, anything goes. For the state troopers, an average day can include blizzard conditions, midnight sunsets, and subzero temperatures. Tales of the Alaska State Troopers gives insight to just how the brave men of the law combat these conditions while still upholding their duties to the fine people of Alaska.

Follow Trooper Dan Valentine as he finds himself in the midst of a crisis when an abandoned truck holds more than just an old blanket on the passenger seat. Dan’s responsibility for the town of Trapper Creek becomes a fight for survival when he realizes the truck has enough explosives in it to make a small dent in the Alaska Range.

Troopers such as John Adams and Terrance Shanigan also have more to worry about than frostbite. Their stories include rescuing an Eskimo who has fall through the ice on his snow mobile, locating missing teenagers after a terrifying bear attack, and occasionally scraping dead, frozen, thousand-pound moose off major highway roads.
Tales of the Alaska State Troopers is rich in content and action. Anyone familiar with the life of a lawman or the state of Alaska will be fascinated with the way Mathiesen delivers his narrative. It’s all in a day’s work for troopers like Dan Valentine, who never know what a new day can bring.

Until space travel was invented, Alaska was known as the last frontier. Yet, this author proves just how much those in the 'lower 48' don't really know what it's like to live in such a State like this one. In so many ways, Alaska still IS the last frontier and will most likely always stay that way.

Most of us, not all of course, probably could never conceive of living where we couldn't get access to our public safety officials within a matter of minutes. Alaskans who don't live in one of the very few larger towns or cities, live with this constantly. Imagine having an emergency that needs a police officer or paramedic pronto and learning that you won't get one for hours.

That is what this book is all about. It is a sometimes extremely dry narrative (nearly report like) but an always informative look into the jobs and lives of some of these men (nope, no women troopers in this book). There is a great deal of information, both historical and geographical in this book and I enjoyed that aspect a lot.

Even some of the stories that had meant to be humerus took on a the authors dry aspect. The exception was one notable story concerning a dead moose and a trooper trying to get this carcass off of the road. He was doing this in 40 below weather with the moose actually frozen onto the black-top! This story had me in stitches.

I wish that some of the stories had been from the last few years so we could have seen exactly how far Alaskan troopers had come, but I am hoping to see a sequel.

*ARC supplied by publisher for reviewing purposes.