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An Unsafe Pair of Hands

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I received this book through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. I have read, and enjoyed, Chris Dolley's books before, but I found this one hard to get into. The protagonist, a policeman, seemed strangely inept, or inexperienced. There was an awful lot of internal introspection about what he should, or should not, have done, to the point where I just didn't really care. I should probably give it another try, but for now, this is one that I wasn't interested in finishing.
The Actor and the Housewife: A Novel

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I liked this book, but not as much as I expected to. I enjoyed the relationship between the two main characters, and felt that, while maybe a little far-fetched, it was still somewhat plausible--no matter how famous someone is, they are still human beings behind the facade. I guess I had a little bit of trouble with the religious aspects of the story. I'm not Mormon, so the strictness bothered me a little, although frankly it's pretty understandable given the relationship between the actor and the housewife. But all in all, a good read.
Pazuzu's Girl

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I received this ebook through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. I found this book difficult to get into. I read quite a bit of urban fantasy, and usually have no trouble suspending disbelief, but in this case, I did. Pazuzu manifests himself to his daughter as a cloud of grasshoppers; Morpho is, of course, another word for butterfly -- her mother, I believe, actually *was* a butterfly. I don't know,it just didn't grab me, and the insects kind of creeped me out. So unfortunately, I wasn't able to finish this one.
Plum Pudding Murder

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This is a pretty typical cozy, and as the 12th in this series, the reader is probably familiar with the characters by now. I like that, in most cases. I like reading series books, and Joanne Fluke does it well. I also love cozy mysteries set at Christmastime, so this one was doubly enjoyable.
Stakeout

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A new Stanley Hastings novel is like "comfort food" reading for me. They're usually a quick read, and the fact that they're all kind of the same is comforting rather than annoying. Stanley, a failed actor, works for an ambulance-chasing attorney taking photographs to back up their clients' claims of accidental injuries. But Stanley wants to be a "real" detective, and he thinks that means spending hours in a car on stakeout and peeing in a Gatorade bottle. But he doesn't really think about the consequences of his actions, and as a result he's always rushing in and messing up the crime scene, getting arrested for murder and then, of course, trying to fix things in his own bumbling way.Stanley has a long-suffering wife, Alice, who he readily admits is a lot smarter than he is, but strangely enough, he never seems to follow her advice.The murder mystery is secondary to the character study, in my opinion. I enjoy the relationships between Stanley and Alice, Stanley and Richard the attorney, and Stanley and his police detective friend McAuliffe. A very enjoyable read.I received this book from NetGalley in return for a review; I was not paid for this review, nor required to post a positive review.
Free Fall

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This is the eighth book in Chris Grabenstein's John Ceepak mystery series. John Ceepak and Danny Boyle are police officers in the "Sunny, Funderful" Jersey Shore town of Sea Haven. Ceepak, a former soldier, has a very strict code of ethics and behavior, Danny, not so much. But as the series progresses, Danny sees the wisdom of Ceepak's code, and begins to integrate it into his own life.This installment starts out with Danny being called to one of the mansions on the beach to mediate an argument between two women, one of whom he knows, but then, he knows pretty much all of the young women in Sea Haven, and has dated most of them at one time or another. The argument, between the lady of the house and a home health care aide, has turned physical, and Danny has to separate the two. The homeowner can't let it go, though, and files charges against the aide.Ceepak's parents play a large part in this book. Ceepak is now married, living in a small apartment above a bagel shop, and has helped his mother move into a senior retirement complex. His drunken, abusive father also shows up. He resents the fact that his ex-wife, Ceepak's mother, has inherited a couple of million dollars from an aunt and didn't share it with him. He's not going away until he forces her to pay him off, one way or another.I have read all of the Ceepak books and enjoyed them all. This one was no exception. I confess to not being that crazy about plotlines involving Ceepak's father, and am more interested in the relationship between Ceepak and Danny, and also in the various romantic entanglements that Danny finds himself in. I also very much enjoy the depiction of Sea Haven, a typical beach town, but all in all, this was a great book, and I read it throughout the course of one Sunday, imagining myself in Sea Haven along with Ceepak and Danny.I received this book from NetGalley in return for a review; I was not paid for this review, nor required to post a positive review.
Midnight Riot

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I really enjoyed this book! It isn't quite as action-packed as a lot of the current urban fantasy novels that it resembles, so it started off a bit slowly, but I kind of liked that. Peter is a brand-new constable on the London police force, hoping to be assigned to a murder investigation unit. But while he's on the beat, waiting to find out his assignment, he is approached by a ghost who was a witness to a murder. Soon thereafter, he meets up with Detective Thomas Nightingale, who heads up a secret police division whose task it is to "tackle ghosts, faeries, demons, witches and warlocks, elves and goblins," etc. Nightingale recruits him to become his apprentice, and before long Peter is creating a ball of cold fire in the palm of his hand, and listening for "vestigium," the psychic afterimage of a crime.
Try Me

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I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I've been reading a lot of YA paranormal fiction lately, and this is a nice addition to the genre. I liked the voice, thought it was very accessible and easy to read. It had a nice flow, and it was easy to lose myself in the story. That said, as the book was a PDF, it was a little difficult to read. For some reason, I just find it really difficult to read an entire book on the computer screen. I tried transferring it to my iPhone, but it was too small to read. That shouldn't affect a review, but I think the format does matter to a certain extent. That said, though, I really did enjoy the book, and will look for more books by this author.
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