Showing posts with label Books for Adults. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Books for Adults. Show all posts

Saturday, May 7, 2022

The Bone Island Trilogy – Book Reviews

 A Trilogy by Heather Graham, the author of the Krewe of Hunters series and the Harrison Investigations series.



This trilogy takes place primarily in Key West. The name Bone Island comes from the first explorers who visited the island around the beginning of 1600. They found the bones of deceased native tribes and called it the 'Island of Bones' or Cayo Hueso.  


Bone Island Trilogy



Ghost Shadow


The Bone Island Trilogy begins with Katie O'Hara who is drawn into a years-old murder when David Beckett returns to Key West. David, a photographer and film maker, had been gone from his island home for many years, working in his craft around the world. His fiancé had been murdered and some suspected that David was guilty of the crime. He returns home to deal with the paperwork involved following the death of his grandfather and perhaps to find a way to clear his name. Katie becomes involved in the mystery surrounding the decade-old murder, despite warnings from her spectral friend Bartholomew, an 18th century ghost. 


Ghost Night


While filming a slasher movie, two actors are murdered on Haunt Island, a remote island in South Bimini. Two years later, survivor Vanessa Loren meets up with Sean O'Hara in Key West where plans are underway to film a documentary about the storied region, including the unsolved crime that haunts Vanessa. As they begin filming along the coral reef, the discovery of authentic pirate treasures deepen the mystery. Spectral help is needed once again before more murders occur.


Ghost Moon


Officer Liam Beckett of the Key West police force finds an old man has died in his home. His granddaughter, Kelsey Donavan, returns to her former Key West home to catalog her grandfather's collections of artifacts and antiquities. But the old family home ~ Merlin House ~ gives Kelsey the feeling she is being watched. Is the house haunted; are the ghost stories true? Liam vows to protect Kelsey and discover the truth. 


Characters in the Bone Island Trilogy


Photo Credit: Pedro Lastra on Unsplash


This trilogy has continuing characters that are either related or have been good friends since childhood. They are all 'conches' – the name given to those who were born and raised in Key West. There is Katie and Sean O'Hara ~ brother & sister, David and Liam Beckett ~ cousins, Jamie O'Hara ~ Katie & Sean's uncle who runs a popular bar and restaurant where Katie does 'Katie-okie' 4 nights a week and where most of the friends congregate regularly, and several couples who make regular appearances throughout the trilogy. 


Then there is Bartholomew Miller, the most interesting of all the characters. You see, Bartholomew was a 'privateer' during the time pirates and privateers wreaked havoc in the Caribbean. He plied the seas for England for years and finally found a home on Bone Island. His home at the time is the house Katie now lives in, so Bartholomew shares the house with her. Katie has been able to see ghosts most of her life. Later, the ghost attaches himself to her brother Sean, and eventually to Liam. Bartholomew plays a part in helping solve the crimes and strange goings-on that occur throughout the Bone Island Trilogy.


Summary



I just recently discovered that there is a prequel  to the Trilogy – Ghost Memories - and it's all about Bartholomew!


I enjoyed this trilogy very much and recommend it to readers who enjoy mystery stories that are also 'ghost stories'. 


More Series by Heather Graham





*The Bone Island Trilogy book reviews written by Wednesday Elf.


+Intro Photo by Lynn Danielson on Unsplash 






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Saturday, April 23, 2022

Review of Harrison Investigations

 Book Series by Heather Graham




“Harrison Investigations specializes in the bizarre ~ the unexplained ~ the things that go bump in the night.:

There are those who walk among us who are no longer alive, but not yet crossed over.  They stay to seek retribution or to help or watch over and protect those they love.

Among the living, few sense their presence ~ but some can!


The Harrison Investigations Series


Adam Harrison began Harrison Investigations after his son, Josh, died. Adam started putting together a team of people to look into cases with a paranormal angle because, although he didn't have the ability, Josh did, and Adam is able to recognizes it in others who can see and talk to ghosts. 


Available on Amazon

Throughout this series of ten books, we meet many people, all trained as Private Investigators, who are able to see what exists in a slightly different dimension.


This series fits into several genres – mystery & thriller, suspense, fantasy, paranormal, Historical Romance and romantic suspense. Each story takes place in a different place and, quite often, we are given a history lesson from earlier times. You learn a bit about the history of the place going back to Civil War times and other events that occurred in the 1700s and 1800s. The current story is taking place in modern times, but the ghost(s) will be from the past. The ghost has stayed around to help or have a wrong righted.


Books in the Series 


Haunted - Book 1


The series begins with Haunted, which takes place in an historic Virginia estate that dates back to the Revolutionary War. Suspecting that the house is haunted, owner Matt Stone finally allows Harrison Investigations in the form of paranormal investigator Darcy Tremayne to try and discover the truth about some strange happenings at the house.


Book #3 (Ghost Walk) finds us in New Orleans where Nikki DuMonde manages a successful haunted-tour company. Nikki doesn't scare easily until she wakes up at 4 a.m. to see her newest employee standing at the end of her bed begging for help. The next day she discovers that the employee had been killed. Nikki doesn't believe in ghosts, and no one believes her until Brent Blackhawk, a paranormal investigator able to communicate with the dead, arrives to help. 


Unhallowed Ground (Harrison Investigations Book #7) takes place in Florida where Sarah McKinley has bought an historic mansion that she has always loved.  While the house is being renovated, remains of dozens of bodies – some dating back over a century – are discovered in a wall.


Meanwhile Caleb Anderson, a P.I. With Harrison Investigations, is in town investigating several missing-person cases. He soon comes to believe that his cases are linked to Sarah's house and its dark past. Sarah and Caleb are compelled to research the history of the house to discover the truth.


For all ten books in the Harrison Investigation series, click here.


Summary



The characters in each book are always interesting and the ghosts are delightful.  There is usually a romantic interest between the main male & female characters, of course. And the historic background of each area and place is fascinating.


An interesting fact is that the Harrison Investigation Series pre-dates the Krewe of Hunters series reviewed earlier here on ReviewThisReviews. From being private investigators for Adam Harrison, the group's crime solve-rate is so good that eventually the FBI becomes interested and the Krewe of Hunters become a group of unusual FBI agents who are called upon when something complex (and usually paranormal) is going on.


I have now read my way through both series and really enjoyed them. Therefore, I recommend them to anyone interested in this type of genre. Classic paranormal romantic suspense by Heather Graham.



*Harrison Investigations Book Series reviewed by Wednesday Elf






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Saturday, April 2, 2022

Rick Mercer Talking to Canadians Book Review

Rick Mercer Talking to Canadians A Memoir is a fun read for anyone who appreciates Mercer's comedic genius.

Rick Mercer's autobiographical book appeared under many a Christmas tree in 2021. I myself gifted it to a number of family members after watching a program on which the 
Ottawa International Writers Festival featured Canadian journalist Linden MacIntyre interviewing Mercer and reviewing Mercer's life so far as depicted between the covers of this book. 

For those who might not know, Rick Mercer is a Canadian celebrity. He is a comedian who had great success on television on shows that included This Hour Has 22 MinutesMade in Canada, Talking to Americans and his biggest success and the program with which my family was most familiar, the Rick Mercer Report. When he eventually ended the Rick Mercer Report after 15 seasons, a question arose. What was Rick Mercer going to do now? 

The answer? He went back to stand up comedy, performing to packed shows wherever he went. That is, until the pandemic arrived. 

CELEBRITY REVIEWS


Mercer had to pivot again and this time his pivot found him writing this book, Rick Mercer Talking to Canadians: A Memoir. For once, Mercer was talking about his own life instead of about the lives of others.  It is an interesting tale, telling the story of his development from that of an unsuccessful student to that of a very successful comedian. 

On Twitter, Canadian author Margaret Atwood, said that the book is a "funny, pitfall-strewn, no-holds-barred memoir from the ranting TV uproarist, edge-walker, envelope-pusher and pot-stirrer who once talked me (Atwood) into impersonating a goalie!" On the Rick Mercer Report, Mercer talked many people into doing things out of their comfort zone.

Policy Magazine called the book "alternately funny, moving and always heartfelt." Touché!

Jann Arden, another Canadian comedian and songwriter, endorsed the book when she said "I laughed so much reading this, I kept waking up my dog in bed. Rick is a determined writer - he never stops pulling you into his stories and he never stops looking for the punchlines in everyday life. He made me realize how funny ordinary things are, how funny and how incredibly interesting. It's heartfelt and honest and generous and edgy - just like Mercer himself. Read it! It's fabulous!" I agree.

My only quibble with the book is that it isn't finished but then again, Mercer isn't finished. Who knows what the next book will have to share.

WHO SHOULD READ RICK MERCER'S MEMOIR? 


For one, anyone who is familiar with Mercer's television programs and comedic abilities will love this book. If you know his work, you will particularly enjoy learning about his background. If you enjoy true stories and autobiographies you will likely enjoy this book. If you have a Canadian connection in particular with Newfoundland and Labrador, you will enjoy it. It is an easy to read, funny book and I do find funny books hard to come by.  They say that writing humor is difficult. Obviously, Rick Mercer does not have that problem. Apparently, the audiobook is particularly enjoyable because Mercer himself reads it. With the audiobook, you will not only 'hear' his way of speaking in the words on the written page but you will literally hear them. Find your copy Rick Mercer's Talking to Canadians of the book on Amazon here

See you
at the book store!
Brenda
Treasures By Brenda

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Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Lessons in Chemistry Written by Bonnie Garmus ~ A Book Review

Warning Warning Warning:

Lessons in Chemistry is a book that will make you smile, get hot under the collar, shed a tear or two and make you turn the pages and not put it down.

Bonnie Garmus has written this book and it's a winner in my opinion. Today is the day that you can get this book in hardcopy or  you can read it from Kindle Unlimited!



Lessons in Chemistry takes place in the late 1950's early 1960's.  For anyone who grew up during that time period, you know as many women today still know, there is a disconnect in society when it comes to intelligent, talented, women in sciences.  It is getting better these days,  but for Elizabeth Zott life was not easy at all.

Elizabeth was a scientist, a chemist to be exact.  Her intelligence and understanding of complicated chemical processes is far superior to many of her male counterparts.  She, herself,  is never taken seriously though!  

She does manage to get a job at a Research Facility and there meets Calvin Evans another scientist who has the same intense understanding of Chemistry as Elizabeth.  He takes her seriously and they work side by side making good progress on their existing projects.  

Falling in love wasn't quite in the books for either Calvin or Elizabeth, science was their first love.  But another type of chemistry starts to blossom.  

Calvin, because of his "elevated" position at Hasting Research, is able to pave the way for Elizabeth to continue working in the research labs.  She has him to thank for the position she currently has.

But, like all things, nothing is static and things are always changing.  When Elizabeth is no longer welcome in the labs(due to changes in her personal life), her natural good looks and a sense of desperation,  take her to afternoon TV and a cooking show.  

There are so many twists and turns coming that I would be giving away too much of the plot to tell you more here.  

Let me just say that I could not put this book down.  

Smart women, glass ceilings, misogenistic groups all play a part in Elizabeth Zott's life.  What she does about it, is what makes this book such a good read.  

Put this book on your "TO READ" list, you won't be disappointed!






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Saturday, March 26, 2022

One Step Too Far – Book Review

 Book 2 in the new Frankie Elkin mystery series by Lisa Gardner. 



Last June I reviewed Book 1 (Before She Disappeared) in the Frankie Elkin series. At last, Book 2 has arrived ~ One Step Too Far


Frankie Elkin is a recovering alcoholic who travels the country searching for missing people. She does this for no money or recognition. Her reason is known only to her, but she feels compelled to search for those whom the police have given up on due to too many other cases that CAN be solved, and when the public no longer remembers and the media has never bothered to care. 


Synopsis of One Step Too Far


Wyoming Wilderness -Image Source: Pixabay

A young man goes missing in the wilderness of Wyoming. He and his 3 best friends had gone on a camping trip in the mountains for his bachelor party prior to getting married. The trip was Timothy O'Day's choice of a pre-wedding time with his friends. Tim was a very experienced camper who knew the woods and surrounding wilderness well. 

A set of circumstances caused Tim to leave the campsite and somehow disappear completely. He left behind his guilt-ridden groomsmen, two heartbroken parents, and a pile of clues that don't make any sense. Numerous searches were conducted, yet no trace of him was ever found.

Five years later, Tim's father is organizing one last search in an attempt to find what surely has to be nothing but bones now. But it's time for closure. The rescue team is made up of eight people, including the 3 best friends from that fateful night, a trained woodsman friend of the father, an experienced guide and a woman with her search & rescue trained dog.

Frankie Elkin doesn't know the woods, but she knows how to find people. She joins the rescue team, despite their reluctance. As they hike into the mountains, it becomes apparent that something dangerous is at work in the woods. Someone seems to be trying to stop their search. Time is running out and Frankie and the search party soon discover that evil waits for those who go one step too far..... 


Summary 


Amazon gives mixed reviews of this book. Some readers love it, some hate it. I liked it. I liked the character in the first book in the series and was interested in seeing what happens with Frankie in Book 2. I am also a fan of author Lisa Gardner and her 23 other suspense novels. I enjoy her style of writing. I particularly like the fact that she ends the story, then does another chapter of an Epilogue, filling you in on all the things that happen after a situation is resolved. Many books leave you to wonder. Lisa answers the questions you may have been left with. 

So, if you are a Lisa Gardner fan and like suspense stories with a continuing character, I recommend One Step Too Far. I would suggest you begin with Book 1 – Before She Disappeared – as the author makes a few references to things that happened to Frankie on her first missing person's case in Boston. 


Related Links of Lisa Gardner Book Reviews:




*Book Review of One Step Too Far written by Wednesday Elf




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Thursday, March 24, 2022

Book Review Smoke on the Whiteadder

 

This thrilling historical novel takes place in Scotland in the 1500's.  It is very well researched and in addition to following the  tale of the Cowan family you will learn about historical figures such as Mary Queen of Scotts, Queen Elizabeth, King James I, Sir Walter Raleigh, and many more memorable people from this time period.  

The Plot Line

     The story follows the lives of the Cowan family who live in Chirnside, Berwickshire, Scotland in the estate called Edington.  They are tenants of Sir Lauder.  Sir Lauder lives in the castle on the  manor and his tenants live on his property in meager housing.  They tend the land around their homes and pay a portion of their income as rent to Sir Lauder.  Sir Lauder has great control over his tenants including what they plant and what animals they have.
      In this book we are first introduced to Paul Cowan, as he is meeting with Sir Lauder for his report of his crops.  In the book we follow the joys and sorrows of the family through three generations.  We rejoice in the marriages and births and are sad when death, famine and home burnings are way too prevalent through the years.  The book shows how the political and religious turmoil of the times effects the family and their lifestyle.

The Book on Amazon

Here is a link to the book which can be purchased through Amazon both as a paperback and in electronic form.  Smoke on the Whiteadder

The Author's Notes

The author's notes are of course at the end of the book, so I didn't realize that the Cowans were a real family until I got to that point.  For me, this made the story even more interesting,  Here is a quote from the author's notes.
     "This family saga is based on the genealogial journey of my maternal ancestors, the Cowans.  It necessarily includes mention of related families as they encoountered the Cowans.  Consequently, you will be introduced to people with many other surnames.
     I like to put my stories in context with the broader social picture, especially as it describes the conditions that resulted in particular actions on the part of the story's charcters.  For this reason, the book includes vignettes about people like Henry VIII, Mary I, known as Bloody Mary, Elizabeth I, Sir Walter Raleigh and many more."

My Recommendation

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I found  it very compelling and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.  I am looking forward to the next book by the author where he continues on with the story of the Cowans.




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Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Bluebird by Genevieve Graham ~ A Book Review

Bluebird is a story that just fills a whole bunch of "MUST HAVES" for a book that I would recommend.  I was given an "Advanced Readers Copy" through Netgalley (https://www.netgalley.com)

Reading is one pleasure that I enjoy immensely and now that I am retired it is what I consider my "job".  So I'm happy to be a member of Netgalley and help authors by reading their books and commenting on them!  It helps the authors to know that they are on the right track and gives them feedback before that book is actually published.

Genevieve Graham is not new to writing and has many other books under her belt.  Bluebird is the latest and will be available  April 5th of this year 2022!  

 



Synopsis:  What happens when a home renovator finds a stash of ancient looking bottles that have been hidden in a wall!  The wall is coming down as part of the renos and the stash is uncovered in the process.  It looks like these bottles are full of something, but what?  Bailey Brother's Best is on the label and whiskey is the scent that follows.  Who has ever heard of Bailey Brother's Best?  

Guessing that the local museum might have some answers, Cassie, the Curator of the museum, is astounded  and eager to solve the mystery of the hidden bottles.  She is actually quite stunned by what Matthew Flaherty (the renovator) has brought to her attention.  She knows some of the history, but not all of it.  Given her own history, she is very eager indeed to find out more.  

As you read this book you will relive some of the horrors of World War 1, and the hardships that the men endured.  You will also learn about the "Bluebirds", the nursing staff that saw as much of the horrors of war as the men who fought.  The Bluebirds was a nickname given to them because of the uniforms they wore.  Many a man was thankful for the services that these strong women performed during their confinement. I'm sure that more than one of them fell in love with the caring nursing staff too! 

I don't want to give too much of the story away because I know that you will be totally enthralled and captivated by what is happening in and out of the trenches during the war and then the return to civilization when the war is over.

This book is a history lesson, a mystery, and a love story all rolled up into a great book!  Not only is it a great read, but, because of the times, so much was changing  all around.  Hemlines were going up, dancing was becoming wilder, booze was illegal and women were becoming independent,  It was a brave new world that these men were coming home to.  

 I know for a fact that you will enjoy this as much as I did.  I could not put it down.  Congratulations to Ms. Graham on this book, it's another one that needs to be read by many.


Also By Genevieve Graham:

Letters Across the Sea

The Forgotten Home Child

At the Mountain's Edge

Come From Away

Promises to keep

Tides of Honour

Somewhere to Dream

Sounds of the Heart

Under the Same Sky

Bluebird Available April 5, 2022!






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Friday, March 11, 2022

The Innkeeper and the Fugitive (Tales from the Highlands Book 3) Book Review

the innkeeper and the fugitive
Every once in a while I come across a series where each book is worthy of a separate review.  That is the case with the "Tales from the Highlands" by Martha Keyes.  All of the books have been captivating and have characters we wish to see succeed and others we wish could be brought to justice.

Angus MacKinnon has been the antagonist throughout the series. He is the self-centered laird of Benleith who stops at nothing to get what he wants, including kidnapping women and shipping them to the colonies for lives of servitude. 

Glenna, who is a maid at Glengour Inn, is another character in all of the books.  She is one of the women that Angus kidnapped previously, but she was rescued before the ship sailed. Needless to say, she abhors Angus. 

Christina and Lachlan Kincade own Glengour Inn, as well as the Dunverlockie castle and surrounding estate.  Because Christina was originally married to Angus' cousin, he believes Dunverlockie rightfully belongs to his clan.

Knowing these characters and the previous interactions with one another allows the reader to fully follow the story-line established in book one and continuing with each subsequent book.  Therefore, I highly recommend starting with The Widow and the Highlander, but this is a great story with or without the previous books.

 

The Innkeeper and the Fugitive
Tales from the Highlands Series - Scotland 1763

 The Innkeeper and the Fugitive
(Tales from the Highlands Book 3)
Check Price
In a desperate attempt to escape an unwanted marriage, Ana MacMorran must flee her home.  Her father is determined to see her wed Angus MacKinnon, which would unite their material & monetary holdings.  But, Ana knows Angus is a cruel man and she harbors no illusion that he would be kind to a wife.  She pleads with her father, but he will not relent.  As far as her father is concerned, she is underage, he has pledged her to Angus, and she will marry him.  

Having heard that the tinker and his wife are traveling through town, stopping at the Glengour Inn, Ana runs in the hopes that they will allow her to leave the area with them.  If they will simply take her as far as Fort William, she could get a ride to Glasgow where she can seek refuge with a childhood friend who previously planned to marry her.  Unfortunately, Ana arrives too late and the tinker has already left.  She decides to hide in the inn's stable for the night.

When Hamish, the innkeeper, discovers a woman in the stable, he assumes she is the new cook, Dorcas, they have been expecting.  Ana seizes the opportunity to hide in plain sight under another woman's identity. She hopes that will give her time to send word to her friend to come and get her.  Plus, as a cook, she can hide from the town's people by staying in the kitchen. It is not a perfect plan, but it is the best she has for now. However, Glenna recognizes her and Ana fears it is over for her even before she had any real chance of escape. But, Glenna has great sympathy for her and agrees to help her hide, covering for her when she might be expected to show her face in the inn.

As the days go by, everything seems to slip into a routine.  That is, until the real Dorcas MacGurk arrives.     





You may also be interested in reading my reviews of the first 2 books in the series

the Widow and the HighlanderBook 1 - The Widow and the Highlander Book Review The Widow and the Highlander - excellent book. When Christina's husband dies, she is sole heir. His family is not willing to let her have the estate and are determined to regain control of the estate one way or another.

The Enemy and Miss InnesBook 2 - The Enemy and Miss Innes
The Enemy and Miss Innes is a wonderful romantic historical fiction about enemies who unite against common foe. This is the 2nd book in fabulous Tales from the Highlands series by Martha Keyes



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Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Book Review of Autopsy by Patricia Cornwell


I have been a fan of author Patricia Cornwell for many years. I am particularly fond of her Kay Scarpetta series. The main character, Kay, is a medical examiner/forensic pathologist primarily based in Virginia where the majority of these crime novels take place. 

I am a mystery/crime novel fan. I became interested in Cornwell's Scarpetta Novels when the series began in 1990 because at the time I was working for a Medical Examiner. I have followed character Kay Scarpetta, medical examiner, through all 25 books in the series. Book #25 grabbed my attention immediately. Not only was it the latest in the Scarpetta Novel Series, but the title AUTOPSY really appealed to me. You see, I used to type my medical examiner boss's Autopsy Reports! This may not appeal to everyone, but I loved my job and was fascinated with both the pathology and the back-story to each case my boss, County Medical Examiner Dr. D., was involved in. Even the scene investigations were interesting. 

*Writer's Note: My M.E. boss even met Author Patricia Cornwell at a medical examiner's convention around the early days of her writing career. 

Synopsis of Autopsy by Patricia Cornwell 



Two widely different and chilling murders occupy forensic pathologist Dr. Kay Scarpetta as she returns to Virginia to become the Chief Medical Examiner for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Kay and her husband, Benton Wesley, former FBI Profiler and now a forensic psychologist with the U.S. Secret Service, have relocated to Old Town, Alexandria which puts them close to both to the headquarters of the Chief Medical Examiner's Office and to the Pentagon in Washington DC. where Benton works. It is a different post-pandemic world filled with much unrest.


Image Source: Pixabay

The first case involves a woman's body found shockingly displayed near railroad tracks in a U.S. Park. Eventual identification of the victim brings the trail unnervingly close to Kay's own historic neighborhood. Helping her with the investigation are Pete Marino, former homicide detective who has assisted her on cases for many years, and Lucy, her niece, who is FBI-trained and a whiz on computers.

As the investigation continues, they discover that another young woman was killed in a near-duplicate fashion and found in a similar location. Kay determines that the cases most-likely are connected, even though the first case was signed out as an accidental drowning. 

Image Source: Pixabay

At the same time, a catastrophe occurs in a top secret laboratory in space, endangering at least two scientists aboard. Kay and her husband Benton are called to the White House for a meeting of the classified Doomsday Commission they work with which specializes in sensitive national security cases. As they work remotely with the first potential crime scene in space, an apparent serial killer strikes again very close to home. 

Summary 


Autopsy will keep you on the edge of your seat with the shocking twists and deep tension as these cases reach a conclusion. The forensic details are fascinating to those of us readers who enjoy this type of crime story. 

Of Additional Interest... Comet Pictures & Blumhouse have secured the rights to The Scarpetta Series. The books will be adapted to an hour-long TV drama series. The main character, Kay Scarpetta, will be played by Jamie Lee Curtis. Being so familiar with all the Kay Scarpetta stories, I cannot think of a better actress to play the part of the main character. It's perfect, and I look forward to the TV series as much as I look forward to each book in the Scarpetta Novel series. 

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*Review of the book Autopsy written by Wednesday Elf 



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers Book Review

Written with humor, Mary Roach's Stiff is an interesting look at the uses of human cadavers past, present and future.

Mary Roach's Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers is not for everyone. This book, a non-fiction look into the uses of human cadavers past, present and future, was different than my typical read and will likely be for yours, too. Our book club reviewed it and for some, the subject matter was simply too uncomfortable during a difficult time or even at any time. For others, like myself, it was an interesting endeavor.

The official book description says that the book touches on morality, ethics and spirituality and it does but it is really a look at the science of the uses of the cadaver. With chapter titles like A Head is a Terrible Thing to Waste, Crimes of Anatomy and Life After Death you will learn about surgery performed on the dead, body snatching, human dissection and human decay. You will learn about how the human body has been used to test France's guillotines, how it has been a guest on NASA space shuttles, how it has helped uncover causes of airplane crashes, how it has improved automobile safety and, of course, much more.

Mary Roach's Stiff shares the science of how the human cadaver has been used in the past, present and future. Sometimes gross, sometimes funny, always very interesting.

On the back of the book, Entertainment Weekly calls Stiff  "gross, educational and unexpectedly sidesplitting." I agree. Mostly. This book is at times unnerving, always teaching and told with a great deal of humor though the subject matter keeps it from being exactly what I would call "unexpectedly sidesplitting. I guess it delivers the science in a slightly dark but humorous way.

Morbid Monday calls it a "one-stop book for everything you ever wanted to know - or never wanted to know - about dead bodies." Touché!  There is a lot to think about here. I did find the book tough going at times but I also found it very interesting. I knew nothing about the actual scientific process that allows doctors to transfer organs from a dead body to that of an organ recipient. Do you? If not, you should read this book. The introduction is quite funny, the first chapter is tough but tough it out and see if you find the overall subject interesting if perhaps also "gross."

I recommend this book if you are looking for something outside of your usual fare, if you want to expand your reading subject matter and if you are willing to push you way through some unpleasantness though of course, you could skip any chapters that really disturb you. Each chapter stands alone.

Will you donate your body to science? Should you? Definitely something to think about and Stiff will definitely leave you thinking. Not everyone in my book club read it or cared for it but some like myself did find it quite interesting. If you think you might be one of them, you can find your copy of Stiff here on Amazon.

See you
at the bookstore! 
Brenda 

More Book Reviews:

A list of award winning movie-themed books for your Kindle.

Visit 1970s Walt Disney World via this book of information, pictures and illustrations from the park.

The story of retiree who went looking for something active to do. Eventually she found track and field and went on to became a 90-something year old super star.

Visit St. Petersburg, Russia, via this action-packed Steve Berry book.

How you can sustain wildlife with native plants.

A mother and son's journey from a world gone gray.


Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, A Book Review







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Wednesday, March 2, 2022

The Boy Between: A Mother and Son's Journey from a World Gone Grey ~ A Book Review

 The Boy Between is a title that leaves you wondering what will happen between the pages.  I think that's what got me wanting to read this book.  Being the mom of two "boys" I was curious to see  what this author had to say about all that time "Between"!



As it turns out this book had me right from the start.  One of my favorite "women's lit" authors co-wrote this with her son.  Amanda Prowse is better known for her lovely stories of women who find their strength through the ways they are tested.  She has written many (over 25) books and is probably one of the most prolific writers in the UK.  But I must say, she is loved around the world for her great stories.

The Boy Between, is not FICTION, it is real and downright heartbreaking and thought provoking.  Josiah (Josh) Hartley and Amanda Prowse are mom and son, co-authors of this book.  Chapter by chapter you read about what is happening in Josh's life from the perspective of  Mom (and dad) and then from Josh's perspective.  

THIS IS NOT AN EASY STORY TO READ!  But it is one that I wish every parent or caregiver SHOULD and Would READ!

If you have ever had someone in the family or close friend suffer from Depression, this book is an eye opener for you!  We all think we know what depression is and unless you have suffered from this debilitating mental state, you cannot begin to know! Josh writes honestly and very openly about his life and how this mental condition makes life not just difficult, but almost impossible to deal with.

Through many trials and tribulations during his life, his parents are forever hopeful that the fog of depression will lift and give Josh some peace and solace to face another day.  They are his support network even when they didn't realize that that was what Josh needed.  What Josh was living through, they were living through it as well.  This story has two very different sides to it and seeing both of them helps us to understand better!  It is the life of Josh and the life of his parents as well.  They are not two separate and distinct lives, they are forever intertwined and wrapped around each other.



If there is one thing that everyone should take away from reading this book, it's the notion that DEPRESSION is the elephant in many people's lives and that ignoring it will not make it disappear.  It needs to be talked about and understood  in each and every circumstance.  The biggest problem being that every circumstance will be different and one solution will not necessarily fit all!   

The world today is a very hard place for our young people to grow up in.  They are bombarded with ideals of perfection from social media and opinions from the world at large.  The pressure for these young minds to deal with is sometimes more than they can bear.  That is when their spirit and/or their minds can become broken.  Awareness must be the key!

As parents and caregivers, we need to understand that each child is different with many varied strengths and weaknesses.  That it is alright for them not to follow the majority and that forging their own path in life is not a sign that they are "less", rather they are different.  If there was ever a time when we should be celebrating everyone's individuality it is NOW!  Before there are more statistics of young people not being able to cope with today's world and it's expectations of our young people.



This book in my opinion is one that should be read by everyone and right now it is available for free with a KindleUnlimited membership or with an Audible trial.  

Put this book on your MUST READ list, you won't be sorry!





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Review This is Dedicated to the
Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor

Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner


We may be apart, but
You Are Not Forgotten





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