Friday, October 16, 2015

read: Death Before Decaf (3 stars)

Death Before Decaf (A Java Jive Mystery, #1)Death Before Decaf by Caroline Fardig
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm obviously not in the intended demographic for this book: wrong gender and probably too old. Yet I didn't struggle at all reading it through to the end. There was a pretty decent mystery, some suspense and likable characters. The first-person narrator's voice was just snarky enough and never whiny. I think the comparisons being make to Evanovich's Stephanie Plum are pretty apt.

There are some rough patches. Every so often, a sentence would make me go 'huh?'. But it did not stop the story and I moved on. I also thought a few more clues needed to be dropped about actual murderer. They were a bit of a surprise.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised and I can easily recommend this book to anyone in it's intended audience.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review.

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read: Failure Is Not An Option (4 stars)

Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and BeyondFailure Is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond by Gene Kranz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this. As a child of the Space-Age, I grew up with Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. I thought I knew a lot about these programs, but Gene reveals some backstage drama and even some mission peril that I did not previously know about. There were some points where the litany of names became a little tiresome. But the space program was built by real people and they deserve every shout out. Recommended.

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Saturday, October 10, 2015

read: The Scam: A Fox and O'Hare Novel (3 stars)

The Scam: A Fox and O'Hare NovelThe Scam: A Fox and O'Hare Novel by Janet Evanovich
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A fun, light and quick read. Though not quite as fun and a little more light than the previous volume in the series. An on the nose call-out in the middle of the book compares events to 'The Sting', 'Ocean's 11' and 'The Thomas Crown Affair', though I would throw in 'Remington Steele' and 'Burn Notice' for the added romantic 'tension' and quick pacing.

You've still got a Federal agent working both sides of the law paired with an art thief who's supposed to be helping her pull cons on behalf of the United States government to nab criminals that are beyond the reach of normal investigations. This time around her combat skills are ramped up to Jason Bourne levels and he's got international connections that are worthy of James Bond. They bring in several of their usual cohorts to scam a casino owner who'd using his gambling operations to help mobsters, pirates and terrorists launder their money.

This paragraph is lifted from my review of the previous book: Just like a television movie, none of the story makes any sense when submitted to any scrutiny. The capers are paper thin. The characters are cardboard flat. Real motivation is missing in action. And yet, like a television movie, it's fast-paced, colorful, and eye-catching.

Pick this up for a read on a plane trip or sitting on the beach and the minutes will fly by.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review.

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