Michael Connelly’s The Crossing-Harry Bosch 20 Mickey Haller 7

Overview: Harry is now retired fro the LAPD. Unfortunately, Martin O’Dell’s attempts to save money for the department, may backfire for it instead. One of the perks of having a lawyer for a brother. Now Harry can see the downsides of having a defense-attorney for a brother. Mickey needs a favor, and Harry is the only one he can turn to. Mickey is positive that his client is innocent, and his investigator–Cisco–has had an accident. Harry begrudgingly agrees to look into the case. But will he survive the crossing?

Story Telling: We have a suspense-novel, and a mystery. You can’t call it a police-procedural this time, as Harry no longer has a badge. Surprise! This is a third-person point-of-view story.

Dislikes: Harry seemed so depressed this time around. Maybe, I’ve gotten too used to his mission-oriented thinking. Or it could be that I’m no where near retirement.

Likes: Lucia is terrific. She could have easily gained brownie points with her colleagues by snubbing her former partner. I like how she handled it.

It’s good to know that Harry’s mission is to the truth, and not the prosecution.

Oh, and I finally learned how to pronounce Cisco’s name.

Favorite Character: It’s a toss-up between Lucia and Cisco.

Favorite Quote: Here’s what I mean about Cisco’s name. “It sounded like she pronounced the name Watch-Your-House-Key.”

Favorite Scene: Mendenhall is back. And she agreed to go on a date with Harry.

Conclusion: This is a pretty good book. If you are a fan of Harry Bosch you might want to catch this one.

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Jenn McKinlay’s Assault and Beret-A Hat Shop Mystery 5

I received this book for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Vivian and Scarlett are in Paris, France for a couple of reasons. Vivian has a hat making class that she’s looking forward to teaching. And Scarlett is on a missing person’s case, so to speak. See, Vivian is technically married, and she wants an annulment. When they find William, will they be able to peaceably put this marriage thing behind them all? Or will they disappear faster than a mysterious painting?

Story Telling: We get a doubly-foreign cozy mystery here. See, the series usually takes place in England; this one takes place in France.

Dislikes: Oh boy. Vivian needs a reality-check. And don’t give me that “she’s an artist” crud. When you are getting paid, your business credibility is more important that your artistic credibility. If it helps, remember business credibility gets you paid. If you get paid, you can make more art. Vivian may just be too flighty for me.

Oh, and Scarlett seemed to like lying a little too much.

Likes: Harry was quite devoted. And I appreciate how Nick and Andre were described. Their relationship wasn’t over the top.

Favorite Character: Harry.

Favorite Quote: This one requires a bit of an explanation. See, Scarlett vowed not to date a guy for a year. Here’s Harry’s response. ““No.” He held up his hand. “If we start talking about us, I am going to kiss you, if I kiss you at this point, it won’t be enough and you’ll end up breaking your vow of celibacy.””

Favorite Scene: It would be when everyone is snooping at a museum. The wordplay, when they see the female bust, of a sort, was a good show.

Conclusion: I do believe Ms. McKinlay’s writing style is not suited to me. I hope you find it more enjoyable. Oh, just for a reference, cowboy hats and boots are not suited to all occasions, and a wise Texan knows it.

Amanda Lee’s Better Off Thread-An Embroidery Mystery 10

I received this book for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: The Seven-Year Stitch is pretty busy this time of the year. But that doesn’t stop Marcy from jumping to help Captain Moe when he asks for a favor. And, what might a large, white-haired, fully bearded, man need as a favor–especially during the Christmas season? That’s right, Santa needs an elf. It’s for sick children at the hospital. Unfortunately, the gig is up when Captain Moe finds the body of the hospital administrator. Who would want Sandra Vincent dead? That’s the question Marcy and her crew has to answer, before Captain Moe gets placed on the naughty list.

Story Telling: We have a cozy mystery. Let’s hope this one doesn’t have too much romance.

Dislikes: Does anyone know a polite way of referring to Bellamy Carstairs and his parents. Please don’t say jerk, that’s just too nice. These are people who need a reality check.

Also, Marcy has a major character flaw, in my opinion. She doesn’t seem to have a backbone, at least when it comes to charity work.

Likes: Captain Moe makes a great Santa. And he does it right. Ted has great relationship with his family. Also, his nickname for Marcy is perfect.

Oh, we didn’t get a love triangle. While there is something involving three people, not even the biggest triangle fan could confuse it for a love triangle.

Favorite Character: It’s Captain Moe.

Favorite Quote: ““You can have a bite of mine in a few minutes,” Riley told him. “That way I’ll only have to run on the treadmill an extra hour rather than an extra hour and a half.”” Riley to Angus.

Favorite Scene: It has to be when Captain Moe asked Marcy his favor. It was funny, and sweet all at the same time.

Conclusion: This was a pretty good story. It was a little slow concerning the mystery, but it fits with the season.

Carole P. Roman’s If You Were Me and Lived In…Israel

I received this book courtesy of Mrs. Roman for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: It’s time for a trip. This one is taking us to the near-universally-acclaimed Holy Land. What will we learn here?

Story Telling: We get another cultural travelogue for the little ones.

Artwork: We get illustrations crossed with photography this time around.

Likes: We still get the glossary, and pronunciation key. Also, it my just be due to how many Yiddish-inspired words have filtered into English, but this one wasn’t so hard to read.

Conclusion: This was an interesting book. Enjoy it with your travelers.

Carole P. Roman’s One to Ten: Squirrel’s Bad Day

I received this book courtesy of Mrs. Roman for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Squirrel lost her acorns on her way home. Can her friend Rabbit help her put this problem into perspective?

Story Telling: We get another children’s book, this one focuses on putting problems into perspective.

Artwork: Our illustrations are bright and stylized. This time they play a key role to the story.

Dislikes: My problem with this book is more with the one to ten approach. It never fails to tell the child that his or her rating isn’t accurate. That if somebody doesn’t agree with your rating, then you have to change it. In my opinion, the only reason you should change such a rating is if you revisit the problem later with more information. If you wish to use the one to ten approach, why not use it as a lesson in empathy, compassion or sympathy? After all, isn’t it better to teach that what is a ten to someone else may not reach that level for you, but your friend, parent, sibling, or family member was crushed by it anyway and he or she could use your support?

Likes: Friendship did play a big role in this story.

Conclusion: This strikes me as a book, that if read should be discussed and used as a talking point. I hope you find it useful.

Lexington Alexander’s What! Is In My Broom Bristles?

I received this book for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Maud has a problem. You see, she’s afraid of rats, and it’s looking like she may have one or two unwelcome guests. What will she and her family do?

Story Telling: This is a rhyming story for children. And it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Artwork: The illustrations are simple, and in a similar, albeit black and white, vein as the Family Circle comic Strips.

Likes: This story has a great premise, as well as it is simply written. Most of Mr. Alexander’s chosen audience will be able to follow the story.

Favorite Character: It would be Sam.

Favorite Quote: “Maybe it fell out of Santa’s Hat?”

Favorite Scene: There’s not really a favorite scene, as this part could so easily spoil the book for you.

Conclusion: This was a cute story, though I, personally, would go with something far more efficient than a trap.

Roger Cannon’s Cross-Out

I received this book courtesy of Mr. Cannon for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Can a member of a street-gang make a good cop? Jaime Flores intends to find out. You see Jaime, or Kimosabe, is a member of a street-tagger gang. That’s a nice way of saying that he does the graffiti words, signs, and pictures you can run across in gang-trafficked areas. He is also a tag-a-long in the LAPD’s Explorers program. So, what happens when both sides of his world seem to war against each other?

Story Telling: This book is billed as an Urban Thriller. And, as the genre states, there are some thrilling sequences in this book.

Dislikes: As I prefer ending on a good note, I thought I’d tryout a new style. My major problem with this book was the lifestyle of the main characters. I don’t agree with it at all.

And two, according to Jaime’s teacher, Jack Horsley, a college graduate can make six figures throughout his or her working life. I’m not saying that he is wrong, but shouldn’t high-schoolers be ready for the truth that this is a more complicated situation? After all, not all degrees carry the same weight, and one should be willing to start at the bottom.

Likes: This is a hopeful book. Jaime is trying to better his life. And Chago shows what true grace can look like. A glossary was included for those unaware of the lifestyle and lingo of street-taggers.

Favorites: The only real favorite that I had here was Chago. He seemed to be a good influence on Jaime.

Conclusion: I didn’t like the characters here, but that’s because I prefer my fictional worlds to be more black and white in regards to the morals there in. In other words, I want to be able to easily identify the good guys from the bad. You might like this one. After all, life isn’t always black and white.