Friday, June 25, 2010

Ronald's Funeral and Reviews

Thursday afternoon, we had Ronald's funeral. We had the full military rites with a twenty one gun salute and "Taps". It was an emotional time for the family and I was honored to be a pallbearer along with other members of his family. My thanks go to the American Legion for offering their services to make it a fitting tribute to a veteran and showing the family members that veterans remember their own extended family.

Here are some reviews from Harriet to tide you over.

Death in Show
Judi McCoy
Obsidian, Jun 1 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9780451230485

There is nobody quite like professional dog walker Ellie Engleman as she talks to her canines and hears what her four legged friends have to say. It is a gift she hides from people so they will not commit her, but it is a prime reason her business is a success.

One of her paw pals is Lulu the Havanese who is a strong candidate for champion ribbons at the Mid-Atlantic Canine Challenge held at the Javits Convention Center. At the show, Lulu's handler dies. The police arrive with Ellie's boyfriend Detective Sam Ryder as the lead investigator who hopes he can Ellie her from snooping. Before she even learns that the handler's death was probably a homicide, Lulu's owner Mrs. Flora Steinman asks Ellie to be the handler in the competition. After surviving that ordeal, Flora thinks the cops are working too slowly on solving who murdered Arnie Norris, so knowing Ellie has solved some homicides before asks her to investigate. Ellie agrees placing herself in the crosshairs of a killer.

Although the police are unsure whether a homicide occurred, the audience knows from the onset the cause of death. The fascination in the latest Dog Walker Mystery lies with the unknown toxin, the method of delivery and the motive. Readers will enjoy the latest escapades of the heroine who frustrates Sam as she plunges into another amateur sleuth whodunit (see Hounding the Pavement and heir of the Dog) while her dog Rudy and her canine clients add amusing antics to the mix. Harriet Klausner

The Time Pirate
Ted Bell
St. Martin’s, Apr 13 2010, $17.99
ISBN: 9780312578107

In 1940 the Nazis invade the British Channel Islands. To repel the enemy, teenager Nick McIver teaches himself to fly an obsolete WWI fighter plane that he had found in an abandoned barn. From the air, barnstorming Nick photographs minelayers and patrol boats during the day and conducts bombing raids over Nazi airfields at night.

Meanwhile his enemy pirate Captain Billy Blood wants possession of Nick's time machine. Using his own, he travels to Greybeard Island where he kidnaps Nick's sister Kate, and takes her back to 1781 Port Royal, Jamaica; but he leaves Nick a message that in exchange for his sibling he wants the time machine. Traveling to the late eighteenth century, Nick of Time learns of a plot that could result in Washington's defeat as Blood has amassed an invincible armada.

Fighting in two wars over a century and half apart, heroic Nick hopes to be on time to save his sister and for his side to win twice. Incredibly fast-paced with over the top happenstances, this lighthearted fun teenage pulp fiction is very entertaining though not deep in either era except when blood and tomatoes mix as Nick battles The Time Pirate. Harriet Klausner

A Cast-off Coven
Juliet Blackwell
Obsidian, Jun 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9780451230492

Lily Ivory is a bona fide powerful witch who has made a home for herself in San Francisco as the owner of Aunt Cora's Closet where she sells vintage clothing. She is promised a trunk full of clothing if she exorcises what is scaring the students. They hear ghostly noises and movements at the San Francisco School of Fine Arts. The students and faculty also hear moans and footsteps that a ghost can’t make, but nobody sees anyone walking.

She enters the building believing she is dealing with a ghost and in a sense she is right because someone committed murder at the school decades ago. When she goes to the bell tower she finds the dead body of billionaire businessman Jerry Becker. After the police rope off the murder scene and finish questioning everyone who was in the area, Lily enters the closet where the trunk is. She sees and hears something that makes her realize someone called up a demon but didn't bind it. With each new day, the demon grows stronger. While the police investigate the homicide, the demon targets humans with no defense against its assaults; only Lily stands in the way.

This awesome paranormal mystery stars a terrific heroine who for the first time in her solitary life has friends, a home, a job she loves, and a responsible boyfriend who does not belittle or assault her. The supernatural subplot does not overwhelm the whodunit because there are several human suspects who could be the killer and have summoned the demon. Lily has to figure out if she is dealing with one or two antagonists as either scenario is plausible. Harriet Klausner

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