Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie is known as the queen of mystery writers and let me tell you this book really reinforces that notion. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd starts off with Roger Ackroyd's murder which has closely followed the suicide of a woman that Ackroyd was believed to be engaged to. There is a question of blackmail tied into the murders and before too long retired Hercule Poirot is asked to investigate. This book is different as it is narrated by the doctor of the town, James. He works alongside Poirot in a quest to find the true murderer and unravel the mystery.
I love Agatha Christie's work and have a personal goal to read all of her books. This book didn't disappoint and the ending blew me out of the water. I don't know why I ever expected less. She really is the queen of the mystery genre IMO. I really enjoy her books for the atmosphere that she creates along with the mystery. These are just fun books for me to read and I can never figure out whodunnit. Great read and I recommend!
Challenges: Anything Agatha Challenge
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5

On another note: I'm thinking about changing my rating scale to an A-F scale or 1-10. What do you guys prefer? I wouldn't be changing until the beginning of next year but I am looking for your opinions. Thanks in advance :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Written In Blood by Sheila Lowe

Claudia is a forensic handwriting specialist who is back comparing handwriting in this 2nd book of the series. I was sent this book for review so I hadn't previously read the 1st book and I'm happy to say it didn't matter one bit. In this story, Claudia is asked to compare the handwriting of late Torg Sorensen to the signature on his will. The will that leaves basically his entire fortune to his young wife and little to nothing to his grown children. Before she knows it, Claudia is drawn deep down into the lies and mystery of this family along with the academy that they own.
I love a good mystery and this didn't disappoint. This book was fast paced and filled with intrigue and it was fun to just let the author lead me where she wanted to go. I liked that it didn't affect me any that I hadn't read the 1st book yet although after reading this I'm definitely going to remedy that. I also thought that forensic handwriting was a different and interesting point of view to help solve the mystery from. With so many mysteries out in the reader world, this was something unique and interesting to read about. I enjoyed this book and look forward to the next book that she writes.
My Rating: 4 out of 5

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

What a perfect read for this time of year! Daphne Du Maurier is a highly skilled author who can draw the reader into the atmosphere of the story she is telling. I'm definitely going to check it out and see what else she has written.
Rebecca begins with a young girl (the narrator whose name is never used) meeting and falling in love with Maxim de Winter. They end up marrying and moving to Manderley. Except the new Mrs. de Winter feels out of place as Maxim was married once before to Rebecca. Rebecca was everything that the new Mrs. Winter isn't. Add to the mix a creepy housekeeper named Mrs. Danvers and an eclectic mix of characters and you've got a great cast. The author creates a creepy atmosphere filled with details that draws the reader into the story. I could picture Manderley by the way it was described.
The story started off a bit slow for me but it was my fault. I needed to slow down and just appreciate the writing and the atmosphere that the author was creating. After that, I was immersed in the story and it didn't let me go. Without giving anything away, the ending of the story took me by surprise. I actually had to go back and reread it as I wasn't quite clear about it. After giving it some thought and thinking back to the beginning of the story, I realized that it was a perfect ending for the story. I ended up really enjoying this book and think that it was a perfect slightly creepy read for this time of the year. I'm glad that I finally read this book and will be looking for more by this author.
Challenges: PBT Challenge (Play Book Tag), LIO Challenge (Lay It On)
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Sunday Salon- Books and More Books

Good morning Saloners! I've been away for a few weeks but am glad to be back and joining all of you once again this week. Last Sunday I was hiking with my kids at a beautiful state park that I used to go to when I was a kid. I haven't been there in years but it was still as awesome as I remember it. Don't you love sharing experiences from your childhood with your own kids? Plus, we hit the pumpkin patch and got pumpkins and apples. Talk about a perfect day! In other non-related news, my daughter turned 1 this week. I can't believe it! It seems like just yesterday....
In book-related news, I just finished Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier last night. Oh man! I love the way this author writes and I kept finding myself having to slow down while I was reading. It isn't one of those books that you need to read fast and in fact it is better if you take your time and enjoy the details and atmosphere that the author creates. I'll be posting a review soon. Now I'm trying to figure out what to pick up next. I'm off to cook breakfast now. Happy reading to all of you!
Edited to add a picture of my beautiful daughter. I haven't shared one in awhile and this is a cute one from today :) And I picked up Written In Blood by Sheila Lowe which is a book that was sent to me to review. Now I'm off for a walk with the kiddos.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this series! And I am kicking myself for waiting so long to read it. The Order of the Phoenix has a different feel to it compared to the previous 4 books as we begin to see a different side of Harry. He's angry that no one believes him about Lord Voldemort coming back and he's angry that Dumbledore hasn't talked to him or let him know what is going on. This is what makes Rowling such an amazing writer. She is able to portray Harry with realistic emotions while still making the reader sympathetic to everything that he is going through. I live in his world when I read these books. And don't even get me started on that evil Dolores Umbridge. Ugh! The things that she did to Harry made me cringe. I flew through this book even though it was 800 plus pages. I love me some Harry Potter :) Seriously though, you've all read these so I'm going to keep this review pretty short. Suffice it to say that I loved this book so much that I had trouble picking up another book as I knew it probably wouldn't compare. I gave it a few days and am now reading Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. From hearing so many positive things about this book I'm assuming it will be able to fill the big shoes that The Order of the Phoenix left behind. Plus, I was in the mood for a slightly creepy tale. Tis the season!
Challenges: Chunkster Challenge, Lay It On Challenge (Shelfari) PBT (England Tag)
My Rating: 5 out of 5

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Kitty Goes To Washington by Carrie Vaughn

In the second book of this series, Kitty is on her own and traveling from town to town doing her radio broadcasts. We are shown the life she leads now that she is without a pack and how she is dealing with it. Kitty gets a summons to appear before a Senate committee in regards to all things supernatural. And before she knows it she is caught up in the midst of a bunch of shady characters.
This book was so much better than the 1st book of this series in my opinion. Kitty is portrayed as a stronger and more confident person than she was in the first one and the changes to her character are realistic ones. She still can be submissive but she has learned to stand on her feet more and that made the book more enjoyable for me. I'm interested in seeing her grow even more in the 3rd book and am now looking forward to reading it sooner rather than later. All in all, I recommend this one!
My rating: 4.25 out of 5

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Purity In Death by J.D. Robb

I'm beginning to have a harder time reviewing these books as I read farther along in this series. This review is probably going to be spoiler-heavy so for those of you who haven't read this series or aren't as far into this series: STOP HERE!

Okay in this latest installment Eve is up against something completely new to her. A computer virus is killing people by causing their brain to swell and expand until it basically pops. Gruesome, I know. This was such a strong book in this series because again we see Eve grow plus we also get to see Peabody and McNab's relationship grow. Awwww! I love that these two are together and like their sidestory just as much as I enjoy the main relationship between Eve and Roarke. Robb continues to keep me hooked into the mystery that is going on as well as keeping my sucked into Eve's world. I can just picture this futuristic world that Eve has created. I love going to "visit" because it feels like I get to see old friends with each books in this series. I'm looking forward to the next one but I probably won't get to it for awhile as I have a bunch of other books on my plate. As they say, "So many books, so little time." That's the truth especially when you have a toddling or running (whichever she seems to prefer) almost 1 year old. It is amazing that I can do any reading at all :)
My Rating: 4 out of 5