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Welcome to Books R Us, a recommended reading blog from InfoSoup librarians and users and home to A Year of Listening Dangerously, the 2014 InfoSoup Reading Challenge! Find a great book to read next, add your own reviews, and check out our book related resources such as NoveList and BookLetters.

Murder

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Author: Ellery Adams

Having read the previous books in the Books by the Bay series, I was interested in the next installment.  It grabbed me from the beginning. Without giving much away, I was intrigued by the weddings being planned, emotional conflicts, the time capsule found and the body under the pier. The characters have evovled over time and have intriguing backgrounds.    There are secrets that come out in each of the books and most everything comes back to the main character Olivia.  Be aware even Olivia has secrets.  The past plays a major part in solving the murders and resolving personal issues of Olivia.

If there is a small town of Oyster Bay, I would find it interesting to visit as a tourist.  There  seems to be something being planned or happening all the time.  This cozy mystery is a quick read.  The book stands alone, but having read the  previous books I find the characters even richer.  The twists and turns are not always predictable.  Enjoy it.

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Title: White Fire
Author: Douglas Preston

FBI Agent Aloysius Pendergast is back in another thrilller from Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.  Pendergast is back to being eccentric, odd, brilliant, still doesn't like rules, but gets results. Our man in the black suit works his magic to find answers to an number of questions. His actions and thoughts take on Sherlock Holmes' attributes. I enjoyed how Sherlock was integrated into this story.  Corrie Swanson, Pendergast's protege, is determined to find information for her thesis.  She has been written as an intelligent girl who does not think through the problem before she acts.  It was irritating at times.  But throughly entertaining.  A great mystery thriller with a few twists.  Enjoy the read.

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Author: Mahree Moyle

I rated this book 1 star, but?  Could I possibly rate this a negative star?

After reading the reviews on Goodreads, I thought it would be really good.  BUZZER . . . NOT . . . WRONG ANSWER.  I kept reading because I thought it would get better.  Maybe it was just a slow start. BUZZER . . . NOT . . . WRONG ANSWER.  According to other reviews, there was suspense?

It is just so poorly written and fraught with errors. It is like reading a story written by a middle schooler who just wrote thoughts as they entered her mind.  The story is fragmented, and does not flow smoothly, although, chronologically the author didn't do too bad.

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Author: William Landay

I rated this book 3 stars. Andrew Barber is the Assistant District Attorney, but when his 14 year old son is charged with murder, he is put on paid leave.  Andy believes his son is not capable of a heinous crime, and proceeds to defend him ~ at all costs. The concept and story line of this book was very captivating, but for me, it just got too wordy at times, and a lot of legal references were made to cases (that I had no clue were about), and "lawyer talk".  This is something that drives me nuts in books is the use of acronyms but with no explanation of what they are.  I am not completely knowledgable in all things legal and the references made to them, so the author could have at least let the reader know what they stood for!  The author also tended to meander around, and jumped around in the time frame.  It was ok to read, but at times you didn't know if you were in the past or present.  It was only by reading several pages that you figured it out. I thought the plan was fantastic, but the execution could have been more polished for me.

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Title: Sister
Author: Rosamund Lupton

I rated this book 2 stars.  I just didn't think the book was that great.

Beatrice, living in New York, receives a phone call from her mother telling her her sister Tess is missing.  Beatrice flies home to her native England, only to find days later that Tess has been found in an abandoned park building, and has taken her own life.  Beatrice refuses to accept that her sister ended her own life, pursuing all avenues to prove that she was murdered.

I didn't really care for any of the characters and I thought the story was flat and drawn out. I didn't think it all that suspenseful. The plot was interesting, but I have a hard time believing that medical records are dealt with so haphazardly. There were just too many other red flags that it just didn't ring true like a real "whodunit".

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Author: Steph Cha

I rated this book 2 stars.

Not my kind of book.  I like a little more grit and substance.  The plot was ok, but pretty easy to figure out early on in the book.

The main character, Juniper Song, is an amateur slueth living in Los Angeles.  As a girl, her literary idol, was Philip Marlowe, who wrote noir fiction.  The book is written in this style.

The book was overly descriptive, and all the metaphors were too much.  Sometimes they went on for a paragraph.  Too, too wordy.  Take out all the metaphors, and you have half the book.  I don't need to have every feeling, action, or words described to me in minute detail ~ after all ~ I can read, and I hope after all these years of living I can deduce my own "feelings" by the author's words.

My tongue felt like a dead oyster in my mouth and my voice passed trhrough the thick sieve of air around my ears like piano music smothered by a stuck pedal.  A paralyzing exhaustion washed through my body, unsnapping ever sinew, and I thought I felt myself go limp, though I couldn't be sure.

I think with a little more editing this could have been a better book.  I am  not closing the door on this author.  Hopefully her next book will be better!

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Author: Loie Lawless

I rated this book 1 star.

I have to admit the story line was okay, and the plot was not difficult to figure out. The only reason I finished the book was that I thought maybe there would be a few twists, and maybe this "whodunit" wasn't so transparent.

I thought the dialog was stiff and unnatural. There were also several references to things that mid-twenty year old people just don't say. I know, I have a few mid-twenty children currently. They don't say, "I'm going to use my CELL phone." It's a given that it is a cell phone. They also acted like they were fifty years old! Come on! Young adults act like young adults. And their language is somewhat different than used in the book.

I also thought the characters were a little flat, acted to "goody-goody". They lacked any real depth and seemed to be to superficial. And the girls are always wearing dresses/skirts? In what decade? The 1950's? The so-called detective work was sloppy, at best. Most times the writing was juvenile and I thought it middle school level writing.

The story was just too contrite, wrapped up in a bow, and put together too neatly.

I will not waste my time reading the subsequent books.

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Author: Victoria Houston

I rated this books 2 stars.

A murder has taken place in rural northern Loon Lake, Wisconsin during an August torrential downpour.  Retired dentist, "Doc" Osbourne, and his love interest, Police Chief "Lew" Lewellyn Ferris set out to solve the murder.

I really wanted to love this book. After all, I am a born and bred Wisconsinite, and truly love the beauty of our four seasons (even though the summers can be a tad HOT for me). I love reading books with a Wisconsin base, as I have traveled this great picturesque state, and am able to "picture" myself in the surroundings described.

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Author: Mary Higgins Clark

This is the first book I have read by this author. What a disappointment.  I rated it 1 star.  I'm not even going to waste my time writing a synopsis of the book.

I don't know how to say this politely, so I'll just say it. The book read like it was a high school writing project that needed a lot of editing. The story too contrived with many sub-stories going on, the dialog stiff and unnatural, and just plain too hokey to be even remotely believable.

There was no suspense, and it was all pretty predictable.

I will not be recommending this book ~ at all.

Book Features:
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Author: Christine Barber

In historic Sante Fe, New Mexico, a house fire leads to the discovery of two dead men ~ not killed by the fire.  Then a third man is found.  Detective Gil Montoya tries to piece the puzzle together, and what, if any, does it have to do with the mysterious nuclear testing facility, Los Alamos National Laboratory.  The place is a locked down fortress, and secrets are rampant.

I gave this book 1 star.

I just didn't think this book was very good. The plot was ok, but at times just seemed to drag. The author included a lot of information about the culture of New Mexico and the beliefs of the Pueblos. At times it was interesting, but the segue into the culture was not pertinent to the story and I thought at times the author was trying to impress the readers with her knowledge (of that culture).

There were only two characters in the book that were even mildly developed. The rest of the characters were just thrown in. Just when you thought you might actually learn something about them, off we go in another direction. Instead of going off on a tangent explaining about the how and why of body language, how to conduct an interrogation, how to get a witness to say something, JUST DO IT. Sometimes explaining every little nuance is insignificant and detracts from the main storyline.

Not that life is all neat and tidy, but an epilogue would have been nice. Whatever happened to the characters in the book? NOTHING. ZIP. NADA. I certainly don't need everything spelled out for me, but there was no closure on anything. If the ending of the book was meant to be a cliff hanger, it sorely lacked. A sequel? I will not bother to read it, because frankly, I just don't care!