Saturday, March 31, 2012

Killer Hair

Killer Hair by Ellen Byerrum is the first of her A Crime of Fashion Mysteries. it is not the first in this series that I have read and will certainly not be the last. Lacey Smithsonian writes a column called "Crimes of Fashion" for a small Washington, D.C. newspaper. When hair stylist, Angie Woods death is ruled a suicide her friend and fellow stylist, Stella does not believe it to be so. Stella asks Lacey to investigate as Angie would not have given herself a drastic haircut and then kill herself. Angie had performed a makeover on Marcia Robinson who was D.C.'s latest scandal celebrity having encouraged people to take their clothes off on the Web. When Marcia is headed in for a hearing, Lacey asks her about Angie and Marcia later calls and talks to Lacey alone. There is a threatening note from "George" who sends Lacey a lock of hair which turns out to have been Angie's. Two more people are killed and Lacey has a lock of hair cut off before the crimes are solved by Lacey. There is a very handsome ex-cop turned private eye in the mix who becomes Lacey's boyfriend. This book is a wonderful introduction to this series of books. It is the perfect vehicle to make one want to read more about Lacey. It has wonderful descriptions of clothes and the surroundings. The cover of the copy I purchased mentions a Lifetime movie which would have been produced sometime after 2003 which is the copyright date.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ugly Princess

The Ugly Princess by Elizabeth K. Burton is a story about the Kingdom of Abernal. The heir to the throne has been in exile since infancy. When the King dies, it is up to the Royal Champion to make sure the the Ugly Princess gets her crown. We meet Bartrim Ruford who is the Seneschal to the House of Rediman who with his wife seems to be the person who sees that the castle is clean, supplies ordered and acts to protect the reigning monarch when the Royal Champion is away. We also meet Dagger Jack who is a thief and escape artist and as we find out in the end (spoiler alert) is also the illegitimate son of the King who died and thus brother of the Ugly Princess. This is a story of how Sir Christopher Evergild, the Royal champion gets the Princess home and how he manages to protect her and her kingdom. It is also a story about love, duty and friendship. I have to admit that I consider Lisa (the author) a friend. She live in Mansfield, PA before moving to Texas. Lisa worked for the local newspapers and her children helped care for my animals. If I had not liked this book, I would have told her before anyone else, but I loved it and would like to read more about the characters. My tastes have been toward science fiction vs fantasy but if all fantasy was as easy for me to read as this one, I would probably be reading more of them.

Matzo Ball Heiress

As one can see (The) Matzo Ball Heiress  by Laurie Gwen Shapiro has a green cover and thus meets the March Mini Challenge.  Heather Greenblotz is a documentary film maker who during Passover time and when needed helps give tours at her families Matzo Factory.  Greenblotz Matzo can be found anywhere Jews can be found.   The factory is kept kosher under Rabbi Blattfarb's supervision but Heather, herself is not kosher and neither is her home.

Heather's mother, Jocelyn Kaufman Greenblotz, usually goes on escapes during Passover which involve snorkeling.  Her father, Sol, was in Bali the last she had heard and had given her his vote on the Greenblotz Matzo family board of the directors and is gay.   Jake Greeblotz, Heather's cousin, runs the factory and lives with an Irish lass, Siobhan Moran.

The Food Channel  has a reporter who is doing a special on food pioneers and wants to know about Izzy Greenblotz, the founder of the business and Heather is called in to given him a tour.  Steve Meyers, the reporter,  brings along a soundwoman, Tonya who is also a gaffer (lighting expert) and Jared who is the photographer to the factory.  When they go back to the Food Channel they pitch the idea that they should do a special on the Greenblotz family seder.   This causes lots of problems for Heather as there has never been a Greeblotz family seder.  Heather has to gather enough family to have a seder and her search for her father.

This book is full of descriptions of the characters, of the factory, and the other places Heather visits.  It gives a full description of what goes into making Matzo and a seder.  It also follows Heather's dating debate between Steve and Jared.   I really enjoyed this book and looked forward to finding out if there would be a seder, who would be there and who would Heather wind up with.  I would not recommend this book for anyone under age 18 unless they had parental approval.  This is another 5 star rated book on my Goodread books.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Skull and Dog Bones

Skull and Dog Bones is by Melissa Cleary. There is a picture of Jake, the crime solving shepherd on the cover and he plays a part in the book. Jackie Walsh teaches film courses at Rogers University. She has a son named Peter and owns a former police dog named Jake. Jackie's father Pete Costello had been a writter of popular fifties tv shows and a film professor. She gets a call from Ralph Perrin, a friend of her father, who made an appointment to see her. Jackie receives a script from him. Perrin winds up dead, a house is broken into, the script is stolen and Jake is maced. Jackie's boyfriend, Sgt Michael McGowan goes to LA with her while Jake is recovering at the vets and Peter goes to stay with his father. In Los Angeles they meet Sgt Lavan and his dog Strausse, who stiffs the mace on Jackies bag and promises to help find the person who maced her dog. The book also includes wonderful descriptions of poker games, the college and Jackie's home. There are many interesting characters they met along the way. As a former dog owner of shepherds, I enjoyed the descriptions of Jake's activities. He is very protective of his family - which holds true of the shepherds, I had. Some day, I would like to find the other books about Jake.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Strangers In The Desert

Beth Fish Reads: What's in a Name 5: Topographical Feature

Strangers in the Desert by Lynn Raye Harris This is a Harlequin Presents book. It is the story of a King who finds his "dead" wife is still alive but with no memory of him or their child. Isabella is singing in Hawaii and the King brings her back to his country to try to get her to grant him a divorce so he can marry a childhood friend and be finally crowned King.
Good description of the desert country in which they live and of the clothing they wear.
This is a Harlequin book so it does describe making love very vividly, so it is not for the very young to read.
I do recommend this book for those of us who like a book to read quickly and are familiar with Harlequin's style of books.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Clouded Rainbow

Clouded Rainbow by Jonathan Sturak is available as a free e-book for Kindle from I used the Kindle for PC application. This book starts with a rainstorm and ends with a rainbow in the sky. It is a bittersweet love story.

Roger Belkin is in his office and his fish dies. He takes an object out of a drawer and heads home to his wife Lois. They have a date to go to dinner at the Hideaway. It turns out it is their anniversary and the object that was in the desk was a diamond necklace which Roger puts around Lois's neck. Unfortunately, the rain starts up again while they are driving home. There is an accident on a bridge and Lois is thrown from the car and lands in the water. There is a swim teacher who dives in and rescues her from the water. Roger is in their car and two people pull him out before the car catches fire. He is taken to one hospital and Lois is taken to another hospital.

She has no identification on her and is admitted as Jane Doe. Roger has a head injury and wakes up wondering where is his wife. The head injury makes him do things he would not normally do. A police detective is called in to find out the identity of Jane Doe.  The detective is made aware of the crimes Roger commits while trying to find his wife and tries to do all he can to re-unite them.  Unfortunately, that does not happen and Roger is killed by the police.  The detective gives Lois the picture Roger was carrying and tells her that he died trying to save her.

This book is very well written and you want to root for Roger and hope he finds his love, his dynamite wife, Lois.  The descriptions of the weather and the clothes and the various locations is wonderful.