Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Kitty Confidential Book Review

What If You Could Talk To The Kitty?

kitty eyes
Confidential conversations with a pampered cat
image courtesy of pixabay.com
I will be reviewing the book Kitty Confidential with you this morning. It is book one in the Pet Whisperer P.I. series by Molly Fitz. The series falls into the Cozy Mystery sub-genre of Mystery fiction and is a delightful addition to the other "cozies" in the world of books.

Angie Russo finds herself working as a paralegal in a local law firm after earning seven different associate degrees in college. She would just as soon go for another degree but her grandmother has insisted that it is past time for her to find her true calling in life. Little did either of them know what that "calling" would turn out to be.

Accidental Sleuth Meets A Spoiled Cat

Angie awakes from a near death experience in the law office of Fulton, Thompson and Associates. She was supposed to be making coffee for the people who have come to hear the reading of a will. Instead she finds herself flat on the floor with a large cat sitting on her chest. Octavius Maxwell Ricardo Edmund Frederick Fulton, said cat, is telling her that his late owner did not die of natural causes. The thing is, Angie understands what the cat is saying to her. None of the others gathered around her seem to be able to communicate with this pushy kitty. So, why can Angie suddenly understand everything he speaks?

Octo-cat, as Angie nicknames him, has led a pampered life in a huge home. He isn't too excited to stay in Angie's humble abode but he needs her help in solving the murder of his beloved Mrs. Fulton. He insists on only drinking expensive bottled water and his meals must be of a certain canned variety. He is moody, sarcastic and suddenly a very wealthy cat. 

Molly Fitz is the pen name for the author Melissa Storm. Writing under the different moniker, Ms. Storm has created a fun little series involving an interesting cast of characters. Any human who is owned by a cat can most likely relate to Angie being pushed around by a cat with an attitude. Well, except for the part of actually understanding what those mews mean. We are pretty sure what our kitty cat is trying to tell us but Angie can speak "cat". 

This was an entertaining little read that I think most of you will enjoy, especially if you share your life with a feline companion. The mystery has some nice little twists and turns while the characters are enjoyable to follow throughout the plot. I look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series; I think you will, too.





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Monday, June 3, 2019

Dog Company: A True Story of American Soldiers Abandoned by Their High Command Book Review

Troops at FOB Airborne preparing for a mission.
Each year over Memorial Weekend, I deliberately spend some time learning about and remembering our American military individuals who have given their lives in service to their country. This year I read Dog Company: A True Story of American Soldiers Abandoned by Their High Command and I am still reeling from what I read - knowing this is a story our government would prefer it's civilians not know. 

I already had some understanding that our troops who were deployed to Afghanistan often lived in very dangerous and "austere" conditions. I also had some awareness that rules of engagement made it difficult for our troops to stay alive. But authors Lynn Vincent and Roger Hill paint a detailed picture of how completely impossible the situations over there really were - and some reasons why so many families back home lost their loved ones.


Dog Company: A True Story of American Soldiers Abandoned by Their High Command by Lynn Vincent and Roger Hill


Dog Company is partially a day-in-the-life portrait of soldiers trying to carry out their missions in Wardak Province, Afghanistan and partially a court drama with accusations of war crimes. I'm immediately hooked in the story - getting to know the handful of soldiers at FOB (Forward Operating Base) Airborne.
'Sargeant Raul Lopez, the platoon sergeant at Sayed Abad Base, coming through his cell: "The CLP didn't bring any food and water with them this time, sir" '
Life sustaining supplies weren't getting through to Captain Roger Hill's troops. Not because they were cut off by the bad guys but due to the complacency or ineptitude of the leadership. The book begins with plans to move supplies from FOB Airborne to Sayed Abad.

The descriptions of the dusty dirt roads, narrow cliff-hugging mountainous roads barely wide enough for the vehicles, and how the men jumped into action every time something went wrong made me feel as though I were watching it all. 

All supplies, not just food and water, were in short supply. Vehicles were unreliable. There were not enough men to guard the FOBs. At night, our guys put dummies up to look like there were more overnight guards and a larger presence than there really was.

And if that wasn't bad enough, they learn that there are spies among them, Afghan Nationals approved to work on the FOBs, giving the information to the Taliban to set ambushes. Ambushes like the one that killed Carwile and Conlon.


Remembering...


On that supply run, to deliver the food and water that Battalion (the higher-ups) couldn't seem to supply, two soldiers lost their lives.

Lieutenant Donnie Carwile:


"Formerly enlisted, Carwile, twenty-nine, had put himself through college while working as a policeman in Oxford, Mississippi, then returned to the Army as an officer."

SPC Paul Conlon:


"Back in June, Conlon, twenty-one, of Mashpee, Massachusetts, had taken heavy shrapnel wounds during a vicious firefight. this trip to Sayed Abad was his first chance to bet back into the field with his platoon brothers, and he was pumped."

Throughout the book, many other men were physically wounded. Yet they all wanted to remain to continue the mission and to continue to take care of each other the best they could in these dire circumstances.




Rules of Engagement


Due to the rules of engagement during that period of time, the procedures (or lack thereof) for handling dangerous detainees, and the lack of support on these distant FOBs, caused life and death decisions at every moment. In trying to prevent more of his men being killed in action, CPT Roger Hill made a decision that some view as criminal. He and First Sargeant Scott are carted off to military court due to their decisions and actions.

I found this story to be riveting; both the stories of the missions and the description of the court process. 

As an army mom, I appreciate CPT Roger Hill and his attempts to protect his men, including sacrificing his finances and his career. I don't know that his decision was the right choice - the line between right and wrong is often thick and blurry. But I also don't think he was given any other choice - except to watch more of his men die. I also appreciate First Sargeant Scott and his determination to follow his conscience against the odds.

This book was written via accessing many sources including: interviews of the men of Dog Company and others deployed with them, review of the documents used at the Article 32 hearing, the criminal investigation reports, and more. The authors also submitted the manuscript to be reviewed for issues of national security. As a result, there are portions of the book that are redacted. 

I am extremely grateful to Lynn Vincent and Roger Hill for going through all that they have in order to publish this story and shine a light on what some of our troops have gone through at the direction of our country. 

Photo Credit: public domain photo by Spc. Justin French. Delta Company, 2nd of the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division - FOB Airborne. Original photo cropped due to space considerations.

Previous Memorial Day readings:

Mindfulness on Memorial Day 2018. In 2018, I learned about the Bataan Death March. Prior to that time, I had not heard a thing about the invasion of the Philippines and the thousands of POWs held from 1942 to 1945. 

Mindfulness on Memorial Day 2017.  In 2017, I read World Changer: A Mother's Story: The Unbreakable Spirit of US Navy SEAL Aaron Vaughn. Karen Vaughn wrote about her son, memorializing him and writing with such honesty that I sobbed. 




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Sunday, June 2, 2019

Elizabeth Taylor Book Reviews: A List

A Selection of Elizabeth Taylor Books


The editor of Vanity Fair is quoted as saying, "Try to imagine a star who combines the talent of a Meryl Streep with the beauty of a Nicole Kidman, the sensuality of a Penelope Cruz, and the notoriety of a Lindsay Lohan. Magnify that a hundredfold, and you're still only halfway to Elizabeth Taylor." He's absolutely right, of course, and it is no wonder we want to read and learn more about the life and times of Elizabeth Taylor.

Since almost the beginning of her career, there have been a number of books available for those who are curious and want to learn more about Taylor's life and her career as one of the most beautiful and popular actors in the world but, with the passing of this legendary actress in 2011, publishers raced to release a new selection of books and magazines covering her entire life. Some publishers chose simply to update books that had already been published by adding information about the final years of her life. A cheat of sorts but at least it makes books that fall in that category more complete.

On this page, you will find a selection of those books, biographical and otherwise, about the beautiful and talented Elizabeth Taylor. If you are interested in reading more, I know you will find a great choice on this page.

Elizabeth Taylor Eight Remarkable Stories From The Pages of Vanity Fair

Elizabeth Taylor A Loving Tribute

Eight Remarkable Stories From The Pages of Vanity Fair


About Hollywood's most beautiful, most controversial star, this book, which has the full title of The Best of Vanity Fair ELIZABETH TAYLOR: Eight Remarkable Stories About Hollywood’s Most Beautiful, Most Controversial Star, is available only as an ebook.  One way to beat the rush to bring new publications to market is to create an ebook like this one. This book features an introduction by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, stories by Dominick Dunne, George Hamilton and Sam Kashner and two new articles by David Kamp and Gwen Davis. It also contains a series of photographs by Firooz Zahedi, Douglas Kirkland and Helmut Newton, a biographical time line and a filmography of Elizabeth Taylor's films. A great resource for anyone who wants to learn a bit more about Elizabeth Taylor. Find it on Amazon by clicking here.

A Loving Tribute by Cindy De La Hozis


From 1942 until 2011, we were in love with Taylor's beauty, her movies and her lifestyle. Elizabeth Taylor: A Loving Tribute by Cindy De La Hozis, a 128-page book, reminds us WHY we have loved Elizabeth Taylor for more than 75 years. Find it here on Amazon.

People Magazine Tribute to Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor Her Life In Style by Susan Kelly

People Magazine’s Special Edition Hardcover Book


People Magazine's hardcover memorial book is a tribute to Elizabeth Taylor. "Now that was a star: Eight marriages. Three Oscars. Scandals, drama and diamonds galore, glittering from Hollywood to Rome, Acapulco and the French Riviera." It is full of photographs and stories and shares images and information starting with her appearance at the age of 12 in National Velvet, through her crazy years with Richard Burton to the legend and businesswoman she was in the end. Find it on Amazon here.

Her Life In Style by Susan Kelly


Elizabeth Taylor: Her Life In Style by Susan Kelly is a photographic record, with commentary, about Taylor's fashion style on and off of the movie screen. It includes her Hollywood gowns, her jewelry and her beauty, which really needed no adornment. She was one of the most popular movie stars in the world and the world watched her personal style evolve from starlet all the way through to the activist that she was in her later years. Find it here on Amazon.

Elizabeth Taylor A Passion for Life Joseph Papa

The Most Beautiful Woman in the World: The Obsessions, Passions and Courage of Elizabeth Taylor

A Passion for Life: The Wit and Wisdom of a Legend by Joseph Papa


Elizabeth Taylor, A Passion for Life: The Wit and Wisdom of a Legend by Joseph Papa is an anthology which includes Taylor's own thoughts about her life, including her childhood, career, love, motherhood and so much more. It shares the determined but generous personality of a legendary woman. Find it here on Amazon.

The Most Beautiful Woman in the World: Obsessions, Passions, and Courage by Ellis Amburn


The Most Beautiful Woman in the World: The Obsessions, Passions, and Courage of Elizabeth Taylor by Ellis Amburn is one of the most steamy Hollywood works in recent memory. Amburn put together a page-turning chronicle of Taylor's life based upon the huge number of public interviews, autobiographies and gossip columns that accompanied the actress throughout her very public life. It is a tour of her romantic life slanted to her reputation (as coined by Oscar Levant) as "the other woman of the year." Find it here on Amazon.

The Queen of the Silver Screen: Elizabeth Taylor

Queen of the Silver Screen by Ian Lloyd


Elizabeth Taylor: Queen of the Silver Screen By Ian Lloyd was released on June 9, 2011. Lloyd writes for Hello Magazine and he wrote Carlton's An Invitation to the Royal Wedding and covered Taylor’s visits to Britain. This book follows her life including her beauty and acting skills, her love of jewelry and lifestyle, and her seven husbands. Find it on Amazon by clicking here.

My Love Affair with Jewelry by Elizabeth Taylor

My Love Affair with Jewelry by Elizabeth Taylor


This is a lovely, large book packed full of illustrations of Taylor's jewelry and written by the celebrity herself in her own very readable words. It is a beautiful coffee table book, one that I thoroughly enjoyed and can HIGHLY RECOMMEND. You can read more about this book in my complete review by clicking right here or find it on Amazon by clicking here.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo By Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo By Taylor Jenkins Reid is a fictionalized story not really about Elizabeth Taylor but certainly with similarities. If you are looking for a novel packed with Hollywood goings on, you might like to check out this book. You can read my complete review of this book here.

Autographed Elizabeth Taylor Books


For a fan, I cannot imagine anything better than the opportunity to own a book that was autographed by Elizabeth Taylor and the only way that I have of tracking down an autographed copy of one of her books is via eBay. You can see the signed book options currently available on eBay by clicking right here.

Are YOU a Taylor fan? Do you enjoy Elizabeth Taylor's movies? Have you read any of these books? Any others about the actress that you would recommend?

See you
at the book store!
Brenda

More Reading:


The Best Elizabeth Taylor Movies
Elizabeth Taylor was definitely an icon. Living from 1932 to 2011, she only recently left us but, because of her amazing beauty, talent and incredibly long career, she left us with some very memorable movies. This page is dedicated to the BEST...

Meet Elizabeth (Liz) Taylor: A Brief Biography
How would YOU summarize the life of someone as amazing as Elizabeth Taylor? Would you use words like beautiful and talented? If so, you would just be scratching the surface of what made Liz Taylor special. I just stumbled across a lovely video...






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Saturday, June 1, 2019

Zazzle's Grocery Tote Bags Make The Perfect Library Bags

owl grocery tote bag adult library bag
Purchase through Zazzle
Today I'm going to review how great Zazzle's grocery tote bags are as adult library bags.   I recently came back from a visit with my mom that prompted me to write this review as she is still using a bag I designed for her (that can be found in my Hooting Owls Zazzle Store) back in 2013.

My mum has always loved owls so I decided to create a tote bag for her with an owl design on it for Christmas 2013.   When I gave it to her she decided it would be her library bag.   Now my mum is an avid user of the library, not only that when I stay with her, my brother stays with her or her grandchildren stay with her we all use the library ... and her library bag.

Now this bag has had it's strength severely tested over the years as it has been extremely overloaded with books especially when a few of us have been staying at the same time!   It is still going strong and there's no sign of any distress whatsoever.

It has been washed on countless occasions over the last five and a half years and I do believe that the design may be a little faded (although it looked more faded in real life than the photos when it was brand new), but I can't be sure.

There's only been one occasion when this bag caused any distress and that was when my mother thought she'd lost it.   Luckily it's a distinctive design and one of the local ladies at the supermarket recognized it when mum left it in the trolley and gave it to her the next time she saw her!   Definitely a great reason to get a customized tote bag!

I cannot recommend these tote bags enough, in fact I've already reviewed them here on Review This, but having recently used this bag again and realizing how long it has been regularly used I felt it needed to be reviewed again.


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Friday, May 31, 2019

Agatha Christie's Ordeal By Innocence Movie Review (Amazon Prime Original Version)

Agatha Christie's Ordeal by Innocence Movie Review (Amazon Prime Original Version)
Image:  Film Site Image by Thomas Nugent / Ardgowan House
Trust Agatha Christie to write a story, which was made into a movie, that my husband and I could enjoy together!

While searching for a movie to watch one evening, I happened upon the Amazon Prime Original remake of Agatha Christie's Ordeal By Innocence.  The photo of a man with three women didn't really appeal to me.  As a matter of fact, it caused me to bypass the movie and keep searching.  However, I ended up going back to it simply because it was Agatha Christie and I thought I could always turn it off if it was to lewd.   I wouldn't expect Agatha Christie would have written anything salacious, but we can't truly trust filmmakers to remain completely true to an original story.    

I'm glad now that we went back to that movie to watch it.  As it turns out, we both enjoyed the movie and were still talking about how great it was the next morning.

I would highly recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys a mystery full of secrets and "interesting" characters.  


Agatha Christie's Ordeal By Innocence Movie Synopsis

 Agatha Christie's Ordeal By Innocence
Prime Original - Included with Prime
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Rachel Argyll (Anna Chancellor) is a wealthy woman who adopts multiple children, home-schools them, and raises them with a stern hand.  She isn't given to displays of affection and often comes across as cruel or unfeeling.  


When Rachel is murdered, her adopted son, Jack (Anthony Boyle), is accused and arrested.  He was a convenient suspect that doesn't seem to have a real alibi for the time of the murder.  Plus, he always seemed to delight in challenging and aggravating his mother.  It was believable that he might have lost is temper and murdered her.

18 months later, Dr. Arthur Calgary arrives at the Argyll's mansion to offer his testimony in defense of Jack.  Explaining that he has been out of the country since the night he gave Jack a ride and has just discovered the boy was accused of murder, he wishes to see Jack exonerated.  

Believing that he is another false witness just trying to make the news headlines, most of the family dismisses him, even threatens him in order to force him to leave town.  But, Dr. Calgary knows Jack was in his car at the time of the murder and he is not going to just give up and leave.   


Notes about the Amazon Prime Original Movie 

I really liked the actors they selected for this movie.  Not only were they believable, but they looked the parts.  I especially liked the way Luke Treadaway portrayed Dr. Arthur Calgary.  While all of the actors were awesome, Treadaway was exceptional.   
 

The Amazon Prime Original shows as Season 1, with 3 episodes. We watched the entire "season" movie on the same night. (less than 3 hours)

Check Out More Movie Reviews at
ReviewThisMovies.com



MORE AGATHA CHRISTIE MOVIES REVIEWED

Crooked House Movie (2017) ReviewCrooked House Movie (2017) Review

Agatha Christie held me spellbound until the very end of Crooked House starring Glenn Close. I had no idea who the murderer was and the ending was completely unexpected.




Based on Agatha Christie's novel, And Then There Were None is a riveting miniseries that will leave you guessing right up to the end.




Even though I have seen several previous versions of "Murder on the Orient Express" and was very familiar with the plot, I loved this new adaptation and can highly recommend it! Read the full review....




Agatha Christie's Ordeal By Innocence Movie Review (Amazon Prime Original Version) Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse



 


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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Hoopla Review: Free Streaming Service For Movies, Books, Television & More!

Cutting the cord is not quite as easy as it seems! Well, cutting the cable cord by cancelling cable TV is easy, but finding free economical and quality content can be a search. However, it is a rewarding search when discovering services such as Hoopla which offers free content which appeals to the entire household.
Collage of Hoopla features: credits, movies

What Is Hoopla?


Hoopla is the free online streaming service which offers a wonderful mix of free content including:

  • Movies
  • Television
  • Audiobooks
  • eBooks
  • Comics
  • Music


Your library card is the key to access Hoopla. Each patron has a monthly access limit quantified by credits. I have 20 credits per month and one credit equals one title. Just as with a physical library checkout, Hoopla requires the "return" of the item in 3 days.


Is Hoopla Free?

Yes and no or yes with an asterisk.
Yes, because there are no upfront fees, contracts or subscriptions.
No, because your library pays for access to Hoopla and your tax dollars pay for the library.

How Do I Access Hoopla?


Hoopla is accessed through your library card. Check the digital services offered by your local library to see if Hoopla is offered. Note: Super Sleuth Margaret Schindel of Review This Reviews! discovered when I reviewed the free streaming service of Kanopy it appeared the library did not offer Kanopy, but she found it actually was offered when the service was searched for on the app.

So check with your library, the library website and on the Hoopla App - Hoopla Digital (another reason cutting the cable cord can be a little more work!) Hoopla is very accessible. It can be accessed via desktop,  iPhone, iPad, Android devices and Apple devices, Fire TV and Apple TV.

What Is The Difference Between Hoopla And Kanopy?

It is apples to oranges regarding content which is a bonus for the user! Each offers different content with Kanopy having a strong selection of documentaries and classic cinema and Hoopla offers more mainstream content with a robust catalog from the British Broadcasting Company (BBC.)

The main difference is the content from Hoopla can be downloaded! Excellent for those with an unstable internet collection or travelling. Listening to audiobooks when travelling is a breeze when the book can be downloaded to your phone.

BBC Fan Alert!

If you are a fan of television and movies by the BBC then Hoopla will not disappoint. Was it so long ago when I would seek, search and find an older BBC series on DVD at the library and then go through the checkout hoops of:


  • Putting the series on hold
  • In numerical order 
  • Find a parking space
  • Pay for the parking space
  • Checkout the DVD
  • Return on time
  • Wait for the next DVD to be available
  • Checkout the next DVD
  • Rinse and repeat
Along with the BBC content there is a large selection of British movies and television by Acorn TV. Acorn TV offers original British content including comedies, mysteries and drama series.




Streaming is so much easier especially for binge viewing!

My first Hoopla checkout is RBG , documentary of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.




Free Alternatives To Cable TV




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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Four of the Best Father's Day Gifts for the Handy Dandy Dad Reviewed

The next big event on the horizon for everyone to get excited about is Father's Day!  I know my teacher friends are already busy getting the craft ideas ready so that Dad's will get a nice surprise on June 16th.  

Key finder,Tile,  father's day

I'd like to bring your attention to some interesting handy gifts that any Dad will want and enjoy too.

Whether they are true handy men or not, these tools will stand the test of time and usability.  I know from experience that even mom's would appreciate this gift. (What does that tell you?)

So what do I have in  store for you? Let's see!


Number One Father's Day Gift


Vitorinox, better known as the Swiss Army Knife, comes in a wide variety of styles. This one shown has a 5 out of 5 star rating and it is the one that my husband got many years ago from his children. He is never without it. I cannot tell you how many times he has tightened a nut and bolt on the kids' bikes or used it to pry out something that was stuck where it should not have been and so on.  This knife is small, but fits nicely in his hand to use and into his jeans when he's done.  I think the only time he's without it is when we are at a wedding or a function where we are all dressed up.  Even then, this knife is so handy that it  would fit into his jacket pocket without being too bulky.  It truly is a handy and useful tool that every father should have.  You just never know when you might need it.  It will not replace his tool box, but in a pinch the Swiss Army Knife is ready to do the job.


Number Two, Three and Four

There are countless father's out there that on a busy morning have forgotten where they put their keys or their cell phone. 


 Let's get that crazy picture out of our heads and find a way to make that scenario a thing of the past.  There is a new gadget out there that will help to make Dad's life a little easier.  It's call the "Tile"




It's a little gadget that will really get used!  Just this past weekend I was with my grandchildren and Dad misplaced his keys.  Frantic running around ensued, when his  lovely wife says,  "Tile your keys with your phone!"  Lo and behold, his keys started "chirping" and the sound was getting louder till one of the kids came up with the "lost" keys.  The whole search process lasted less than a minute, and dad was on his way. Everyone had smiles on their faces too!




This item is Number two, three and four, for good reason.  With this package you get Four Tiles.  They are small,so they can be attached to several different objects!  Most people use them for their keys, but you can attach the Tile to almost anything.  If your briefcase isn't where you thought it should be, you can add a Tile to that.  It has a small hole in one corner so that you can attach it with split rings to almost anything.  Afraid someone will notice the "Tile" on your briefcase?  No problem, mount the "Tile" in the briefcase and no one but you knows it's there.  Problem solved and future problems averted!  This is a #1 Best Seller.

**Now the only thing I dislike about this package is that this model of the "Tile" only lasts one year.  Newer models are made with replaceable batteries but will cost you about double what this package runs.  If you are not sure that this would be a workable item for your Dad, you could always try it for the year and then decide if you should upgrade to the newer models.  It would be something to think about.  
**This is my own personal opinion!

 Fathers all over the world will be proud of their families and best of all,  they will all be Handy Dandy Dads with your help!

Father's Day, Gift ideas for men, Swiss Army Knife, Tile





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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The Birthday Mystery Reviewed

Cooking For A Birthday Can Be Deadly

birthday mystery
Mystery at a birthday party
Last night, I finished reading The Birthday Mystery by Faith Martin. I would like to offer my review to you this morning.

This book is the first in a newer series by the author known for her DI Hillary Greene series that spans back some thirty years or so. Ms. Martin does not disappoint with her new concept for a good old fashioned whodunit. 

Our sleuth in The Birthday Mystery is Jenny Starling. Jenny travels around the British countryside cooking for different clients. She has been hired to cook the dinner and birthday cakes for a party being given for Justin and Alicia, an upper-class set of twins who will turn 21 in a few days. As she arrives at the home of the twin's parents, something is already amiss. A body has been found in the pond on the residence. Jenny really does not want to get involved and plans to start preparing the plans for the meal and cakes. 

As reluctant as she is, Jenny can't help but overhear conversations that make her curious as to what is really going on in this home. The resident staff do not take well to her being there and give her a hard time whenever they can. She feels there is something off with the family dynamics but can't quite put her finger on it. Justin the birthday boy is a bit pompous and yet she can't help but like him in an odd sort of way. Alicia is beautiful but spoiled and demanding. 

I found this to be a fun reading experience with plenty of twists to the plot. The concept of a traveling cook was interesting and Jenny's sleuthing skills were impressive. The characters were well thought out and the mystery flowed along nicely. It reminded me a bit of the style of Agatha Christie and her Miss Marple which was enjoyable. 

I highly recommend The Birthday Mystery to those of you who enjoy a good old fashioned murder mystery that is not predictable at to "whodunit". To find out who dies at the birthday celebration and more importantly who caused the death, you will have to read the book. I do not think you will be disappointed. 




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Monday, May 27, 2019

Kanopy Review: The Free Streaming Service

Free! Yes. Free. Kanopy is the free streaming service you may be unaware exists and unaware you can be a member with your library card! Movies on demand with the click of a mouse at no charge to you. No contracts or subscriptions are required.

What Is Kanopy?

Be Entertained. Be Enriched. is the tagline of Kanopy.

Kanopy is a movie lovers' dream! Particularly if you are a fan of documentaries, Indie Films and non fiction entertainment then you will not be disappointed. It is akin to being transported to your local library, but through the ease of your computer.

Who can Access Kanopy?


Kanopy is free to members of participating public libraries and universities.  Check the digital services section of your library website or university; chances are Kanopy is available.

How Does Kanopy Work?


The Kanopy membership is linked to your library card account number. Create an account on Kanopy and the activation of the account is triggered when the library card number is entered and then automatically verified. An account can be created, verified and activated in less than five minutes.

A member receives 10 credits per month and one movie equals one credit. The checkout process is one familiar to library card holders when checking out a DVD or CD. The movie must be viewed within 3 days of checkout except with canopy the checkout is online access to the movie.

How Do I View The Movie?


Very easily! Kanopy is available on the majority of platforms including: Apple OS, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Android, Android TV, Chromecast, Roku, Fire stick, Fire tablet and desktop.Simply download the app or access Kanopy in the menu section of Roku or Fire TV.

My first two "checkouts" were the documentaries "Above The Fold" a profile of legendary journalist Robert Scheer and "Celebration of the 89th Anniversary of The Martha Graham Dance Company."

What Does Kanopy Offer?

The major categories of Kanopy are:

  • Movies
  • Documentaries
  • The Arts
  • Business
  • Health
  • Education
  • Media & Communication
  • Global Studies
  • Sciences
  • Social Sciences
  • Instructional Films & Lessons
The title selection is huge with over 30,000 titles including the Criterion Collection which features classic cinema at its' best.

Kanopy Kids

Looking for the littles?  Kanopy has a collection curated specifically for children at Kanopy For Kids. One of the main differences between the content on Kanopy For Kids and Kanopy is a parental control dashboard and unlimited viewing (because we know the littles love to watch and rewatch and rewatch their favorites!)

Again the variety of content is impressive with organized categories easily navigated:

  • Movies
  • Story Time
  • TV Series
  • Funny Stuff
  • Adventure
  • Quick Flicks
  • Explore Science & Math
  • Learning Languages
  • Animals
  • Tales From History ... to name a few.

Is Kanopy Really Free?


Kanopy is free with free* receiving an asterisk. The library or university pays a fee to Kanopy for access to the service. Just as your library card is "free" to obtain, but ultimately paid for by your municipality. Check with your local library or the library website to find out if Kanopy is available. Students and educators at .edu can also access Kanopy with their library card.

Cutting The Cable Cord?


Kanopy is an alternative to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime. As I am currently in the process of cutting the cord with cable television I am thrilled to find Kanopy and even more ecstatic with the easy access to Indie films, documentaries and classic cinema which are genres I already favor.

More on my journey to cutting the cord ... it is a work in progress!




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Sunday, May 26, 2019

Father's Day Gifts Reviewed on Review This

Treasures from the Archives of Review This!


 Father's Day Gifts Reviewed on Review This
Warm weather beckons us to enjoy our favorite outdoor activities which makes June the perfect month to celebrate Father's Day.  When I think of  baseball, camping, swimming, boating, fishing, hunting, four-wheelin, motorcycles, bicycles, or even washing cars, I think of my dad.  As a child and young adult, all of those summer activities included my father.  In fact, as an adult with adult children of my own, my dad is still a part of all of those family activities and more.

The Review This contributors recognize that not all fathers are the same or enjoy the same activities listed above.  Some dads prefer video games, radio controlled devices, woodworking, or other hobbies.  Many play golf like my father-in-law.  One thing every man I know enjoys, is eating!  Some may enjoy cooking as well, but they all love food.

Because we have over a dozen contributors on Review This, we have dozens of hobbies, entertainment, and activities that our own fathers, husbands, brothers or sons enjoy to use as a reference for reviews of excellent gifts for men. 

So many wonderful memories in our lives include our fathers.  Let's be sure to remember our dads on Father's Day with a phone call, visit, a card, perhaps dinner, and even a specially selected gift.  Either of those things would be considered a "gift" to your dad because it will be you taking time to express your appreciation and love.    




A Review This Pinterest Board - Father's Day Gifts Reviewed 

 There are dozens of Father's Day Gifts Reviewed 
by our Contributors!
The board below features the 30 most recent reviews. 








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The Review This Contributors

Cynthia SylvestermouseCynthia SylvestermouseDawn Rae BDawn Rae BMary Beth - mbgphotoMary Beth - mbgphotoBrite-IdeasBrite-IdeasBev OwensBev OwensWednesday ElfWednesday ElfBarbRadBarbRadOlivia MorrisOlivia MorrisRenaissanceWoman2010Renaissance
Woman2010
Lou16Lou16The Savvy AgeThe Savvy AgeTreasures by BrendaTreasures by BrendaMargaret SchindelMargaret SchindelBuckHawkBuckHawkDecoratingforEventsDecorating
forEvents
Heather426Heather426Coletta TeskeColetta TeskeMissMerFaeryMissMerFaeryMickie_GMickie_G

 

Review This is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but You Are Not Forgotten

Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner