December 31, 2022

4-star review of "Whisker of Evil" by Rita Mae Brown

Whisker of Evil (Mrs. Murphy, #12)Whisker of Evil by Rita Mae Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There are several reasons I liked Whisker of Evil better than The Tail of the Tip-Off. 1] A body is discovered almost immediately in chapter one, rather than having to read all sorts of backstory about the characters before the first murder occurs. 2] When we finally learn who did it, the motive and method are both clear and understandable. 3] This may be particular to me, but after working in genetic testing for decades, I appreciated how our sleuths used genetics to determine that one horse had been substituted for another, critical to the plot. 4] Last but not least, the two potential romances that haven't been making much progress over recent books finally make big jumps towards conclusion. I'm now looking forward to reading the next book in the Mrs. Murphy mystery series, "Cat's Eyewitness."

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Posted by maggie at 09:55 PM | Comments (0)

December 25, 2022

The Tail of the Tip-Off  (Mrs. Murphy, #11)The Tail of the Tip-Off by Rita Mae Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked the characters, especially the felines, but the mystery wasn't that interesting and the story dragged. At least there wasn't too much politics. I confess that I accidentally saw one of the final pages so I knew who the murderer was, but even then I never could see why he did it. I like police procedurals where the reader knows who done it, yet enjoys watching the detective figure it out. However, I wasn't intrigued or drawn in to see how that happened in this case. Disappointing.

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Posted by maggie at 12:08 PM | Comments (0)

December 16, 2022

4-star review of “Catch as Cat Can” (Mrs. Murphy, #10 by Rita Mae Brown

Catch as Cat Can  (Mrs. Murphy, #10)Catch as Cat Can by Rita Mae Brown
My rating:
4 of 5 stars

This time I read the print book version of this Mrs. Murphy mystery instead of listening to the audiobook, which vindicated my decision. The two-page cast of characters at the beginning is invaluable, and I referred to it many times. In addition, once I'd finished the novel I went back to check out the clues and critical information that I'd missed. Everything held together and I appreciated how the plot explored a new type of criminal enterprise that I wasn't familiar with. All the scenes in the salvage yard, and especially the formal gala there, were a pleasure to imagine after reading the book's descriptions. The animals were as clever and engaging as usual, but I miss seeing Bain among the recurring human characters.

Posted by maggie at 12:55 PM | Comments (0)

December 11, 2022

4.5 star Review of "The Matchmaker's Gift" by Lynda Cohen Loigman

4.5-star review of The Matchmaker’s Gift by Lynda Cohen Loigman. I enjoyed this novel so much that I read it in 36 hours and gave it 5 stars on Goodreads and Amazon. The dual POVs of matchmaker grandmother Sara and divorce attorney granddaughter Abby, past and present, one per chapter, were done very well. I had no trouble believing that these women actually existed. The plot was unique in that the subject was love and romance, yet we never see how either protagonist finds a match of her own (one reason why I only rated it 4.5 stars, not a full 5). I admit I liked Sara’s story better. Her scenes, mostly set between 1910-1921, brought the world of New York Jewish women to life. The magical realism of Sara’s gift for discerning who was destined to love whom was wonderfully creative. Abby’s scenes, especially with her hard-nosed boss, came across more stereotyped than real. Maybe I just found the divorce and prenup discussions too crass and soap opera like. Abby had become a divorce lawyer in order to protect wives from being taken advantage of by their deceiving soon-to-be ex-husbands, but she had somehow gotten off track. I would have liked to see at least one scene where we see Abby doing what she’d set out to do. But overall, this novel is a sweet and fast read.

Posted by maggie at 10:01 PM | Comments (0)

December 07, 2022

4-star review of "Project Hail Mary" by Andy Weir

Project Hail MaryProject Hail Mary by Andy Weir
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I started out really liking Project Hail Mary. The plot and alien characters were very creative, while the Earth characters were mostly stereotypes. But the more I read, the more disappointed I felt. This was definitely a novel with TMI, much of which--especially the scientific details--lends little to the story. I have a degree in Chemistry and ended up skimming most of it. I wanted to focus on the wonderful relationship between Grace and Rocky. The ending was well done, but I would rather the book was shorter so I didn't have to slog through so many catastrophic situations that the protagonists had to deal with. By the last third of the story, I was mentally saying, "Oh no, not another almost fatal disaster that will be remedied somehow." But all things considered, I still gave a 4-star rating, but not a 5.

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Posted by maggie at 01:40 PM | Comments (0)

December 02, 2022

Reasons for time between posts

By the way, the delay between posts is due to preparing for and celebrating a grandson’s Bar Mitzvah, plus organizing a family trip to Israel in June that he wanted instead of a big fancy reception. So many changes to the potential itinerary until we agreed on one; choosing among the many possible place to see was a challenge when some of us had been to Israel before, but the majority had not. Then dealing with LAUSD’s sudden change in schedule as the last day of school was moved up a week earlier. And don’t get me started on trying to arrange the flights between Los Angeles and Tel Aviv. But the trip is finally booked. Hallelujah!

Posted by maggie at 03:52 PM | Comments (0)