Friday, November 21, 2014

The Children Act by Ian McEwan

The Children Act

My thoughts
This is the story of a High Court Judge who deals with children’s cases. One such case is that of a 17-year old boy who is a Jehovah’s Witness and refuses medical treatment that could save his life. Meanwhile, she is also dealing with the crumbling of her marriage as her husband seeks to have an affair.

This book does deal with some tough decisions and topics, one, either has to enjoy Ian McEwan’s writing or not. Although, I enjoyed Atonement, this one; although remarkable was slow to get into and the characters were not ones that I could really care for.

Book Description
Fiona Maye is a leading High Court judge who presides over cases in the family court. She is renowned for her fierce intelligence, exactitude, and sensitivity. But her professional success belies private sorrow and domestic strife. There is the lingering regret of her childlessness, and now her marriage of thirty years is in crisis.

At the same time, she is called on to try an urgent case: Adam, a beautiful seventeen-year-old boy, is refusing for religious reasons the medical treatment that could save his life, and his devout parents echo his wishes. Time is running out. Should the secular court overrule sincerely expressed faith? In the course of reaching a decision, Fiona visits Adam in the hospital—an encounter that stirs long-buried feelings in her and powerful new emotions in the boy. Her judgment has momentous consequences for them both.

Disclosure: I received this book for review from the publisher. I received no compensation for my thoughts.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Flesh and Blood by Patricia Cornwell

Flesh and Blood: A Scarpetta Novel (Scarpetta Novels Book 22)

My thoughts
While getting ready for a birthday vacation, Dr. Kay Scarpetta notices seven shiny pennies on her stone wall. They all are from the same year as her niece Lucy’s birth year. Then Pete Marino calls to tell that a teacher was murdered and there goes her vacation.

A suspense story with the usual cast of characters make this Scarpetta novel as thrilling as it predecessors. Cornwell amazes me as she continues to develop these characters and the story; although an open ending one, still left me satisfied and look forward to what follows next.

Book Description
It's Dr. Kay Scarpetta's birthday, and she's about to head to Miami for a vacation with Benton Wesley, her FBI profiler husband, when she notices seven pennies on a wall behind their Cambridge house. Is this a kids' game? If so, why are all of the coins dated 1981 and so shiny they could be newly minted? Her cellphone rings, and Detective Pete Marino tells her there's been a homicide five minutes away. A high school music teacher has been shot with uncanny precision as he unloaded groceries from his car. No one has heard or seen a thing.In this 22nd Scarpetta novel, the master forensic sleuth finds herself in the unsettling pursuit of a serial sniper who leaves no incriminating evidence except fragments of copper. The shots seem impossible, yet they are so perfect they cause instant death. The victims appear to have had nothing in common, and there is no pattern to indicate where the killer will strike next. First New Jersey, then Massachusetts, and then the murky depths off the coast of South Florida, where Scarpetta investigates a shipwreck, looking for answers that only she can discover and analyze. And it is there that she comes face to face with shocking evidence that implicates her techno genius niece, Lucy, Scarpetta's own flesh and blood.

Disclosure: I received this book for review through the vine program. I received no compensation for my thoughts.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Key West Sunset - SOLD

Another one of my paintings went to its new home this past week!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Bones Never Lie by Kathy Reichs

Bones Never Lie: A Novel (Temperance Brennan Book 17)

My thoughts
Temperance Brennan is brought in for a murder case that is similar to ones she worked on years ago in Canada. The suspect, Anique Pomerleu was never caught and it now looks as though she is killing in the US; Vermont and North Carolina. Coaxing her former partner to help brings back bad memories and a determination to final catch Anique.

Not is all as it seems; as this story unravels there are so many twists and turns, that I wasn’t sure where it was heading. These characters are so well developed that I felt the hurt and anguish ooze from the pages. And the climax was such a surprise and unpredictable (to me at least). I found this one to be very intriguing.

Book Description
Unexpectedly called in to the Charlotte PD’s Cold Case Unit, Dr. Temperance Brennan wonders why she’s been asked to meet with a homicide cop who’s a long way from his own jurisdiction. The shocking answer: Two child murders, separated by thousands of miles, have one thing in common—the killer. Years ago, Anique Pomerleau kidnapped and murdered a string of girls in Canada, then narrowly eluded capture. It was a devastating defeat for her pursuers, Brennan and police detective Andrew Ryan. Now, as if summoned from their nightmares, Pomerleau has resurfaced in the United States, linked to victims in Vermont and North Carolina. When another child is snatched, the reign of terror promises to continue—unless Brennan can rise to the challenge and make good on her second chance to stop a psychopath.

But Brennan will have to draw her bitter ex-partner out of exile, keep the local police and feds from one another’s throats, and face more than just her own demons as she stalks the deadliest of predators into the darkest depths of madness.

Disclosure: I received this book for review through I received no compensation for my thoughts.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Geppi's Entertainment Museum, Baltimore, MD

Geppi’s Entertainment Museum is a must see for anyone who is a comic book fan, pop culture fan or wants a trip down nostalgia lane. On the second floor of a building, one walks up a flight of stairs that have paintings and posters of comic book characters and toys from a different era.

My wife and entered and was met by a very nice girl wearing a Nostromo outfit (from the movie “Alien”) who took out admission fee and explained the museum and how to visit the rooms. The first was a room filled with a large collection of comic books and a selection of Big Little Books. Other rooms included various toys and collectibles from different eras. One room had a collection devoted to Baltimore and Steve Geppi (the man whose collection gave birth to this museum).

There is also a museum store that sold comics and collectibles. There we met the same girl that greeted us at the beginning. She also told us that she had a facehugger to go with her outfit but we didn’t see it. Since it was Halloween, she showed us comics that were available for free for Halloween ComicFest. That was a nice surprise.

If you ever visit Baltimore, I suggest you visit this place. It is near the Orioles baseball stadium.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Maxwell Street Blues by Marc Krulwitch

Maxwell Street Blues (Jules Landau Mystery)

My thoughts
Jules Landau is a private investigator who takes a case involving the murder of a friends of his; Snooky. Snooky was an accountant who was also a money launderer, so there are quite a few people who wanted him dead. It could be the local mobster, crooked contractors or crooked cops. Nobody seems to care who killed Snooky except for Jules. And Jules takes many a beating, abuse and the run around as he gets closer to the truth.

Set in 1990s Chicago, this reads like a film noir form the 30s or 40s and that’s what drew me into the story. Jules is okay as are the antagonists, but overall it was just okay. No surprises.

Book Description
Chicago runs in Jules Landau’s veins. So does the blood of crooks. Now Jules is going legit as a private eye, stalking bail jumpers and cheating spouses—until he gets his first big case. Unfortunately, the client is his ex-con father, and the job is finding the killer of a man whom Jules loved like family. Why did someone put two bullets in the head of gentle bookkeeper Charles Snook? Jules is determined to find out, even if the search takes him to perilous places he never wanted to go.

Snooky, as he was affectionately known, had a knack for turning dirty dollars clean, with clients ranging from humble shop owners to sharp-dressed mobsters. As Jules retraces Snooky’s last days, he crosses paths with a way-too-eager detective, a gorgeous and perplexing tattoo artist, a silver-haired university administrator with a kinky side, and a crusading journalist. Exposing one dirty secret after another, the PI is on a dangerous learning curve. And, at the top of that curve, a killer readies to strike again.

Disclosure: I received this book for review through I received no compensation for my thoughts.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Dick's Last Resort, Baltimore, MD

Where else can one yell at their waitress and not get kicked out of the restaurant? I don’t mean cursing and angry words but sarcasm is what Dick’s Last Resort is all about. The servers are obnoxious; timid at first until they get a feel of their customer and then if you feed their sarcasm they come back in droves. My wife and I had a ball and by the time we left we had three servers and a busboy all coming back with remarks and digs.

We were told about this restaurant by a friend so we kind of knew what to expect. What we didn’t expect was the paper hats they put on you with slogans that only the other patrons could read (and they could be clean but many were dirty).

The place is a bar/pub where the walls are decorated with kitschy stuff and the shirts and panties they sell. The food is average; I had fish and chips (French fries) and my wife had the buffalo chicken salad. She liked it since it wasn’t too spicy. The fried alligator taste like chicken. But the apple pie was the best.

Since it was the day after Halloween, the staff was still in costume and our waitress Denise was a clown. She was a lot of fun with the sardonic remarks and kept the beers coming even when we didn’t ask. And if you want an extra napkin, they throw a bundle at you!

If you are looking for something different in your travels, Dick’s is the place. It’s all about the atmosphere and the interaction more than the food. We will certainly visit again; maybe cut back on the beers but not the mockery.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Don't Talk To Strangers by Amanda Kyle Williams

Don't Talk to Strangers: A Novel (Keye Street Book 3)

My thoughts
Keye Street is a private investigator and a former FBI profiler who was fired for her alcohol abuse. She is called to investigate the murders of two 13 year old girls eleven years apart in the small town of Whisper, Georgia. But other than the Sheriff who asked her for her expertise, the rest of the police force and the residents resent her for being there and overturning stones and exposing their secrets.

Although the third in a series of stories involving Keye Street, this is the first one that I read. And I enjoyed the character because she is real and human. The t builds and I wondered where it was heading and was always intrigued and startled by its climax.

Book Description
He likes them smart.

In the woods of Whisper, Georgia, two bodies are found: one recently dead, the other decayed from a decade of exposure to the elements. The sheriff is going to need help to track down an experienced predator—one who abducts girls and holds them for months before ending their lives. Enter ex–FBI profiler and private investigator Keye Street.

He lives for the struggle.

After a few weeks, Keye is finally used to sharing her downtown Atlanta loft with her boyfriend, A.P.D. Lieutenant Aaron Rauser. Along with their pets (his dog, her cat) they seem almost like a family. But when Rauser plunks a few ice cubes in a tumbler and pours a whiskey, Keye tenses. Her addiction recovery is tenuous at best.

And loves the fear.

Though reluctant to head out into the country, Keye agrees to assist Sheriff Ken Meltzer. Once in Whisper, where the locals have no love for outsiders, Keye starts to piece together a psychological profile: The killer is someone who stalks and plans and waits. But why does the sociopath hold the victims for so long, and what horrible things must they endure? When a third girl goes missing, Keye races against time to connect the scant bits of evidence. All the while, she cannot shake the chilling feeling: Something dark and disturbing lives in these woods—and it is watching her every move.

Disclosure: I received this book for review through I received no compensation for my thoughts.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

New Orleans is a Crazy Town!

Recently, we were in New Orleans for the opening of Prospect New Orleans.  It wasn't Mardi Gras but that doesn't the fun!


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