Wednesday, August 7, 2019

An Open Book: July 2019

Well, I think you can tell it is summer by what I am reading.  Since the few television shows that I do watch are just showing reruns, if they are on at all, I seem to have substituted some easy reading in their place.  I have been binge reading a favorite author, Kendra Elliot, catching up on a couple of her other series I haven't yet read.  And, of course, there's always more Nero Wolfe to be read!

Not Quite Dead Enough by Rex Stout
Archie Goodwin is now a Major in the Army and they want him to enlist Nero Wolfe's help in finding the murderer of two of their own.  While this was a good story, it has probably my least favorite ending of any books in this series.  However, as all good Nero stories go, it was plum full of great descriptions and one-liners.

It was the first time I had ever seen the top mackaroo of United States Army Intelligence. He was in uniform and had two chins and a pair of eyes that wasted neither time nor space.

Then I sat on the step again. I looked at my watch and it was 10:40. An hour later I looked again and it was 10:55.

“Not without Major Goodwin. I use his memory. Also for years I’ve found his presence an irritant which stimulates my cells."

Wolfe was in his chair behind his desk, leaning back with his finger tips meeting at the spot where the ends of no one-yard tape measure would ever meet again.

The Silent Speaker
When a powerful government official, scheduled to speak to a group of millionaires, turns up dead, it is an event worthy of the notice of the great Nero Wolfe.   Balancing on the edge of financial ruin, the orchid-loving detective grudgingly accepts the case. Soon a second victim is found bludgeoned to death, a missing stenographer’s tape causes an uproar, and the dead man speaks, after a fashion.

And Be a Villain
When a guest on Madeline Fraser's radio talk show drops dead after drinking a glass of the sponsor's beverage, Nero is hired to determine who would want him dead.  When everyone connected with the case lies about the circumstances of the event, the detective also needs to determine what secret is worth killing for again.

As a result the eight o’clock temperature permits him to have his tray on a table near the window without bothering to put on a dressing gown. Seated there, his hair not yet combed, his feet bare, and all the yardage of his yellow pajamas dazzling in the morning sun, he is something to blink at, and it’s too bad that Fritz and I are the only ones who ever have the privilege.

The Callahan & McLane series 
Kendra Elliot writes engaging and suspenseful stories that keep the reader guessing as to "who done it" until the very end.  Throughout each story the characters and their relationships develop.  Unfortunately, it seems each book usually contains a sex scene that comes across as soft core porn and a somewhat liberal use of God's name taken in vain. Because of this, as good as they are, I can never give these books five, or even four, stars on Goodreads.

Eleven-year-old Henley is abducted on her way to the school bus stop and the FBI jumps in to lead the search.  Local detective Mason Callahan is the ex-husband of the missing girl's step-mother and volunteers to be the spokesperson for the family with the growing media presence.  As he works with Special Agent Ava McLane to help the family, he finds himself drawn to the woman.

When dead bodies are found hanging from area bridges, Mason Callahan and Ava McLane know they are after a serial killer.  While in the midst of a tense manhunt, Ava's mentally ill twin spins out of control.

Ava McLane is used to solving crimes, not being a witness to one.  As a series of mass shootings occur in the area, she teams up with her beau, Mason  Callahan, to hunt for a reason so many young men are turning to such devastating violence.

When Detective Mason Callahan is on a fishing trip with the guys, he wakes p one morning to find his friend and boss murdered outside their cabin.  As more law officers are murdered, he and his fiance, Ava, team up to discover what is going on.

Bone Secrets series

Many years ago a busload of school children vanished.  Two years later a sole survivor, Chris Jacobs, walks out of the forest.  Eighteen years later the remains of the rest of the children are found and the hunt for the kidnapper resumes.

Head on over to Carolyn's for more An Open Book.


Friday, August 2, 2019

First Photo - August 2019

I guess I'll call this my not-quite-first-photo since it was taken and posted a day late.  August snuck up on me.  I don't like that it is here already.  There is too much talk of back to school and fall like temperatures.  I want to yell "It's still summer!"  Can't we just enjoy the here and now without planning this month away?

Take time and enjoy the pretty things!

God is like the sun; you cannot look at it, but without it you cannot look at anything else.
- GK Chesterton