Category Archives: books

Book Reviews: The Magic School Bus Series for Early Readers

The Wild Whale Watch is one of many in the Magic School Bus series. The crazy field trips in Ms. Frizzle’s science class always involve magic, science and fun.

On thisDSC_0048 trip, the class learns all about whales. The journey is fun for the reader and fun facts are learned about whales.

The illustrations and format breaks up the information into bite sized pieces that avoids early reader overload. There is a lot of information, but all of it is easily read, interestingly changing formats.

Things I learned about whales that I didn’t know are:

* Each type of whale has a different blow pattern
* Flukes are different for each type of whale
* Narwhals are actually whales

Voyage to the Volcano is another book in the Magic School Bus series.

Kilauea at night

Kilauea at night

In this science based chapter book, the kids and Ms. Frizzle head out in the Magic School Bus to Hawaii to learn all about volcanoes.

It is formatted like the other books in the series. This one has illustrations and sidebars that look like notebook paper reports written by the kids in the class.

In this adventure the bus turns into a raft, a helicopter and a submarine to take the young readers along on a fun trip. Learning about volcanoes on the land and under the sea becomes an interesting and sometimes scary adventure that will have your kids turning the pages to find out what happens next.

We were fortunate enough to see Kilauea at night while on Hawaii – it is amazing! If you are planning a trip with a grade school age child, this book would be a wonderful way to introduce them to the wonder of volcanoes.

This series is a great way to teach children about the world around them. It encourages looking for answers by asking questions and going to other sources to find out how and why.

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Filed under Book Review, books, children's books, Early Chapter Books, Hawaii, Science

Book Review: The Puffin of Death a Gunn Zoo Mystery

The-Puffin-of-Death-Catalog-180x276The Puffin of Death

Betty Webb

Theodora (Teddy) Bentley is off on an unwanted adventure. Her demanding boss at Gunn Zoo ordered her to fly to Iceland to pick up some animals that the Reykjavik Zoo is sending to live in California. Teddy is less than excited about the trip, but at least she has the Zoo credit card to pay for everything.

Iceland is an entirely different world than California – volcanos, ice flows, glaciers and a population that all seem to be related. Teddy is determined to make the best of her time there, viewing puffins in their native habitat as well as bonding with the orphaned baby polar bear she is bringing home to live at Gunn Zoo.

Teddy is staying with Bryndis, the zoo keeper that will help transition Magnus (the baby bear) as well as a pair of puffins and a pair of Icelandic foxes that will round out the new Northern Climes exhibit at Gunn Zoo. Bryndis is also a member of a band, giving Teddy an opportunity to experience night life in Iceland after the zoo is closed in the evenings.

While out enjoying the diverse island, Teddy accidentally stumbles upon a dead body. The puffin pecking at the corpse surely isn’t the murderer, but who would want to murder an American tourist?

Simon Parr, the corpse in question, is a member of a bird-watching group with millions of reasons people may want him dead. First of all, he is the all-time biggest lottery winner in history. He seems to have a snarky personality and most likely a lover or two that his wife may or may not know about.

Murders are rare in Iceland. But soon another bird-watcher from the group dies. Teddy doesn’t think it was an accident and finds herself in more hot water than she has bargained for. Even though she knows her fiancé Joe is too far away to help her and the local police have told her to keep her nose out of the murder investigations, she can’t help poking around, asking questions and irritating the remaining birders. Will she become the third victim?

I loved this book and Betty Webb’s writing style. It is a cozy mystery with lovable characters both human and animal. Teddy is flawed, makes bad choices when murderers are afoot and is easy to like. Her escapades are crazy, yet believable and that is what I find so endearing about her character.

Webb brings the flavor and people of Iceland to life for the reader without lecturing. She obviously did copious research to get the names, customs and environment correct. I also love the way she gives the reader an inside look at the animals and behind the scene info about zoos.

This is the fourth in her Gunn Zoo series. It was refreshing to have Teddy go to an exotic place to introduce new characters and keep the series fresh rather than have another murder within close proximity to her home. The Puffin of Death can easily be read as a stand-alone novel. There are a few references to the other books, but nothing that will be a spoiler if you read this one first – because I know you will want to read the rest of them as soon as you are finished.

Copyright © 2015 Laura Hartman

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.

 

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Filed under Book Review, books, cozy mystery, Iceland, Mystery, NaBloNoMo

Book Review: Butterfly Kills by Brenda Chapman

Butterfly Kills

Brenda Chapman

371 pages

butterfly kills

When a college student is brutally murdered, her co-workers in the office of the campus confidential helpline are scrutinized as possible suspects. Each of them has issues, but all claim they are not guilty. One of them is a troublemaker, one is possibly her married lover and one is an ex-boyfriend. There is always the possibility that one of the callers may have a secret worth killing for to keep it from seeing the light of day.

Simultaneously, police investigator Jacques Rouleau learns of another crime scene. A young mother has been raped by her estranged husband. It is a coincidence or extremely bad luck that two major crimes are committed in Kingston, especially because they are unrelated. Or are they?

Soon the investigations heat up as another body turns up and an assault puts everyone on edge. Enter Kala Stonechild – Rouleau’s former partner. Rouleau convinces a reluctant Stonechild to stay in town long enough to help him investigate the attacks because his plate is overflowing with investigating these crimes and worry about his ailing father.

There is chemistry between Rouleau and Stonechild that could easily ignite if they fan the spark. They are reluctant to risk the work relationship on what could be, but both seem interested. Enter Rouleau’s ex-wife. The woman that turned his world upside down by having an affair, is now jealously and possessively trying to step back into the role she gave up so easily for another man.

This plot is intricate and involved. Chapman does a great job of blending story lines, adding twists and turns without losing sight of the characters and their roles. As a reader, I like having a bevy of bad guys and not so bad guys to pin the murder on. Chapman provides a wide variety to choose from.

This is a solid mystery with interesting characters that I liked, loved or downright hated. The inspectors, Rouleau and Stonechild, have depth and back stories that are sufficiently told in this second novel featuring them that allowed me to feel like I knew them.

Butterfly Kills was not a fast read for me. But I am not sure it is meant to be. I had to slow down and pay attention to the clues and characters to really enjoy the rhythm of the story.  I’m glad I did.

Copyright © 2015 Laura Hartman

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.

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Book Review: The Great Trouble – A Great Read for All Ages

The Great TroubleThe Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death & a Boy Called Eel

Deborah Hopkinson

234 pages

London 1854 is not a kind city for an orphan. Eel lives in a world where children live day to day in the filthy streets, sleeping under bridges, and begging, working, stealing for food. Eel has a steady job as an errand runner and a second job taking care of animals for Dr. John Snow a prominent London physician. Eel has it a bit better than other twelve-year-olds, but unfortunately he loses the errand job due to a thief and liar who has a grudge against him and the job with Dr. Snow does not pay him as much as he needs to make live.

Back on the streets, with a bad man from his past looking for him would seem like the worst thing that could happen. But Eel has a secret. This secret is costing him money each week that he does not have due to the boy that caused him to lose his job. His desperate attempt to make money forces him to make decisions that would terrify grown men, let alone a young boy.

With all of this going on, Eel goes to see a friend of his only to find the father of the family dying from “the blue death” which was cholera. The common theory is that this disease is spread by poisonous air, but Dr. Snow has a different theory. When he enlists Eel to help him investigate and support his theory.

Working against the clock amid the death knocking at almost every door in the neighborhood, Eel faces friends and foes to help the Doctor. This just might be the best thing that has ever happened to him.

This book was written for children 10 years and up. I am way past 10 and was thoroughly engrossed in this story. There was history, mystery, science, intrigue and relationships to wonder and worry about. The story is based on real people and the actual cholera epidemic in London.

I loved the way Hopkinson wrapped the true events in a great story that adds depth to the story to keep the reader’s interest high. As a bonus, at the end of the novel, she has biographical information on each of the characters that were based upon real people, including pictures of them. She also tells the reader about the books available for more information on the Broad Street cholera epidemic and the efforts of Dr. John Snow to stop the Blue Death from spreading.

I would recommend this book to adults and children that are interested in history and mysteries. It would be a great read-along for a classroom or with your child if it seems too long for him or her to read alone. The story will keep their interest.

If you don’t have any children to share this great book with, read it yourself. You won’t be disappointed.

 

Copyright © 2015 Laura Hartman

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review

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Filed under Book Review, books, children's books, history, Mystery, Science

Book Review: Sherlock Holmes The Missing Years: Japan

Sherlock-TMY-JAPAN-180x276

Sherlock Holmes The Missing Years: Japan

Vasudev Murthy

270 pages

Sherlock Holmes died at the hand of his arch nemesis Professor Moriarty. Much like Elvis, he is spotted in odd spots around the world afterwards, but his loyal friend and confidant Dr. John Watson has reconciled himself to the death of his dear friend and retired to the country with his wife. He has his papers and his memories as well as Holmes’ treasured Stradivarius, a thoughtful gift from Holmes’ brother Mycroft.

After two years he is comfortable with his life but a mysterious letter arrives beckoning him to Japan. It appears to be written by Holmes’ hand, in the brief style Holmes preferred. The entire message is as follows: “Watson, I need you. My violin, please. S. H.” . The envelop it arrived in also contains a first-class ticket aboard a merchant ship bound for Yokohama.

So begins Watson’s journey. Aboard the ship he encounters a deceptive bunch of characters. When his fellow passengers began dying, Watson jumps knee deep into the investigation, which unfortunately puts him on the murder’s radar.

After eluding total disaster, the very much alive Holmes and Watson begin a globetrotting race against time to get critical information to the Emperor of Japan to avoid disastrous events that may result in war. To compound the problem, Holmes can’t trust anyone because high ranking officials are colluding with Moriarty. The business of international drug smuggling is worth killing over, and the thugs involved are more than willing to execute anyone that gets in their way.

I love Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books. Written from 1887 – 1927, are a hard act to follow. Murthy did an admirable job. The first half of the book was fabulous. It took me back to all of the original stories by Conan Doyle that I have read. The fast paced, smartly written, intriguing plotline had me turning pages to see what happened next.

Then the plot seemed to deviate a bit by adding long letters from others around Holmes during the missing years. Watson received them to fill in information he did not have first-hand knowledge of. These tended to be long-winded and dragged the forward motion of the book to a crawl. The footnotes about the editor (Murthy’s notes) were just a distraction.

The pace picked up a bit during the final chase and conclusion, but by then I was not as drawn to the plot as I was in the beginning.

If you are a Holmes fan, by all means read this book. It is well written with a solid storyline. The characters are interesting and are not at all who they seem to be, much to my delight. Thinking back over the cleverly subtle clues, all of the information needed to know “who done it” was there. But the number of red herrings rivaled those written by Conan Doyle – I’m sure he would have approved.

Copyright © 2015 Laura Hartman

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.

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Book Review: Unleashed by Eileen Brady: Stellar Second Cozy Mystery

Unleashed (A Kate Turner D.V.M. Mystery) unleashed

by Eileen Brady

Poisoned Pen Press

225 pages

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Dr. Kate Turner is back. Doc Anderson is still on his world cruise, but that is ok with Kate. She has settled in nicely in cozy little Oak Falls. They need a competent vet while Doc was off on his adventure and she needs the tranquility of small town life in upstate New York.

Most of the people she comes in contact with have become fast friends or quirky acquaintances, but they all value her expertise as the person that takes loving, skilled care of their pets and farm animals. It isn’t the animals that are causing the problems in Oak Falls, it is humans.

Claire Birnham is found dead of an apparent suicide. She was a well-liked, talented artist with a bright future that gave no indication of distress or worry, certainly nothing that would sound an alarm with her friends and family.

Kate cannot believe her friend would kill herself. There were so many reasons for her to want to live. First and foremost, Claire’s love and devotion for her dog Toto. Named after the famous pooch in The Wizard of Oz, Toto is a dog with an attitude. He is a pussycat with Claire, but is intolerant of almost everyone else.

Lucky for Toto he was at the veterinary clinic at the time of his mistress’ demise. And lucky for Kate, her kennel helper Eugene is one of the few people Toto doesn’t try to eat.

Kate starts digging deeper into her friend’s death with the unwilling help of her friend and sometimes boyfriend, police officer Luke Gianetti. Her grandfather, a retired law enforcement officer, is much more willing to help. He even comes to town to do a bit of probing for Kate.

Unfortunately, Kate was right. Her friend Clair was murdered. There are more suspects entering the picture than Kate could have imagined. Line up an ex that is a Rock Singer, an awful alcoholic mother, a vindictive, overbearing gallery owner and someone very near and dear to Kate.

The clock is ticking while Kate immerses herself in the local art scene and investigation. Either one can get her killed. She has to keep looking for the real killer before an innocent person is convicted of the crime.

Eileen Brady has done it again. Wrap a mysterious death in a cloak of critters and quirky characters and you have the makings of a great cozy mystery. Brady writes dialog and descriptions that pulls the reader into the old beat up truck of Doc Anderson’s and takes you along for the oftentimes bumpy ride.

Some of the characters from her first novel Muzzled make a welcome appearance. Both animals and humans have distinctive attributes and voices, all mixing together making a perfect cast for Brady’s cozy mystery.  The witty prose with the underlying knowledge of a practicing veterinarian brings a depth to this novel that some cozies are missing. I can’t wait to read the next one.

Copyright © 2015 Laura Hartman

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.

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Filed under art, Book Review, books, cozy mystery, dogs, mythology, Writer & Book Reviewer

Book Review: Shadow of Seth – Strong Characters and Plot – A Must Read!

The Shadow of Seth coverThe Shadow of Seth

By Tom Llewellyn

174 pages

It is apparent from the first few pages that sixteen-year-old Seth Anomundy has been alone for years, despite the fact that he lives with his mother. She is a hard worker, but a free spirit. Often that freedom means making poor choices and either forgetting about Seth, or dragging him along on some adventure that isn’t necessarily one a kid needed to take.

Now that he is in high school, she works nights cleaning businesses, so he comes home to an empty apartment over a boxing gym in a less than desirable neighborhood. Seth is surprisingly ambitious and centered, willing to pick up jobs here and there to make a few dollars. He goes to high school, making decent grades and most of the time keeps out of trouble.

Then his world spirals out of control. When picking up a clock for repair from one of the wealthiest families in town, Azura Lear answers the door. She is rich, beautiful and wants to spend more time with him. Seth brushes her off, takes the clock back to Nadel, an old-fashion clock repair man to be fixed.

Azura won’t leave him alone. At school she flirts with him and shows up in the most unlikely places to see him. This infuriates her previous boyfriend, who now is out to teach Seth a lesson about dating rich girls that “belong” to someone else.

Then the tenuous thread of stability Seth has snaps. His mother is found dead and the police are not really concerned about another junkie biting the dust. All evidence points towards murder, but they have other cases to solve and figure she put herself in a bad situation one too many times, therefore not much effort was involved in the hunt for her killer.

The only suspect they have is the owner of a diner that his mother used to clean who has turned up missing. Therefore, the case is not being worked until they find Miss Irene. Seth is sure Miss Irene is not guilty, so he begins searching for her, on the assumption that she must know something about the real killer.

Seth’s troubles explode. One of the neighborhood bullies is out to kill him and he doesn’t know why. He is falling hard for a girl that wants to be with him, but her ex-boyfriend and father will do anything to keep them apart. And worst of all he has to figure out how to make enough money to stay in the apartment so he is not homeless.

So this sixteen-year-old’s life becomes a game of cat and mouse while he works in the boxing gym as a sparring partner, runs errands for the clock maker, works in the kitchen at Miss Irene’s diner and becomes the barista for Choo-Choo, the owner of the gym. All this is happening as he continues to search for his mother’s killer.

This fast paced novel turned and twisted through the rough areas of Tacoma, Washington faster than a freight train. Llewellyn takes the reader along for this gritty ride with interesting characters doing sometimes appalling and/or comical things.

Each character is constructed as a whole person, the backstories interesting as well as the mixture of jobs and interests of each. I was especially amused by the barista info. Seth is taught how to make a perfect cup of coffee, so the reader also learns. The little things are important when making an exquisite cup of brew and none of them are lost on Seth. The unlikelihood of the perfect coffee in a boxing gym – good enough for Choo-Choo to come back in the middle of the night to see if there is a cup left – puts such a realistic feel to this book I felt like I could go to Tacoma, find the gym and enjoy a cup with him.

This is a YA novel, but like so many these days, is well worth reading if you are 16 or 61. It is a great whodunit and so much more.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.

Copyright © 2015 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Night Country Nocturne – as many twists and turns as Lombard Street!

High Country Nocturne

High Country Nocturne

By Jon Talton

317 pages

David Mapstone is comfortable with his life.  He loves his wife, lives in a quiet old Phoenix neighborhood in Midtown and has a Private Investigating business with his friend Mike Peralta, the former Sheriff of Maricopa County. The problem is Peralta is missing as well as the diamonds he was hired to guard.

As with most cases, things are not always what they seem. Good guys are bad and bad guys are good. Mapstone needs to find where Peralta falls on that scale. Both eye witnesses and surveillance cameras show Peralta shooting the other security guard and making off with the suitcase containing the gems. Did he really flip from lawman to lawless? If so, what could possibly motivate him to do an about face and turn his back on all his beliefs, family and friends?

The clues Mapstone discovers just don’t add up to Peralta deciding to risk his life and those he cares about for money he doesn’t need. Then things go from bad to worse in Mapstone’s life as he tries to find Peralta before the cops do.

First, a mysterious woman is trying to kill him. She has impersonated a deputy, stalked him and is earning the nickname Mapstone gave her: Strawberry Death. When she gets too close to someone he loves, Mapstone realizes the stakes are much higher and more personal than he imagined.

Then he gets a call from the current Maricopa County Sheriff Christopher Melton. He is, from all reliable evidence, a dirty cop. As deadly as a scorpion, the sneaky Sheriff “Call me Chris” Melton makes an offer Mapstone can’t refuse. He cannot risk his wife’s reputation and safety, so he reluctantly agrees to work for Melton investigating a old cold case file. Mapstone was the first deputy on the scene of a suicide in the desert. Now Melton wants Mapstone to find out if this was really a murder.

Mapstone has so much on his plate he needs a platter.  He doesn’t need one more thing to complicate the mess he is trying to untangle with the missing diamonds and the cold case. But life keeps adding another heaping helping of trouble to the pile. His personal life is in disarray, he is working for a man he hates, his best friend might be an international jewel thief and his cold case might be heating up and somehow linked to his other problems.

This fast paced mystery is intricately woven to end up with a completely surprising, yet deliciously satisfying end. The main plot of finding Peralta didn’t mind sharing page space with the subplots. Strawberry Death and Sheriff Melton frequently took over demanding attention from Mapstone and the reader.

Talton made me hate some characters, like others and become very frightened for Mapstone when some showed up on the page. Only extremely talented authors can create characters that resonate so deeply with their new readers and he is one of them.

High Country Nocturne is the eighth book in the David Mapstone Mystery Series. Set in Maricopa County, Arizona It works very well as a stand-alone book, with just enough background without long flashbacks or walks down memory lane. This fast-paced novel is easy to read in spite of the twists and turns. I can’t wait to read the rest of this series.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.

Copyright © 2015 Laura Hartman

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Book Review Anatomy of a Kidnapping: A Doctor’s Story – A Gripping True Crime Book

Anatomy of a Kidnapping,  Anatomy of a KidnappingA Doctor’s Story

By Steven L. Berk M.D.

248 pages

Berk begins the fascinating account of his own kidnapping with the theory of why the agitated gun toting kidnapper did not kill him. He feels his medical history and time he spent with patients and in hospitals may have given him some tools to fall back on when he faced death at the hands of an unstable, drug addicted man. He mentions this in an almost casual way, not in arrogance, but more puzzlement. He is thankful for living through his ordeal, but doesn’t have any doubts that it could have gone bad in an instant.

The story is told in four intertwined parts. Berg gives the reader an insight to a young doctor’s life by sharing true events and encounters he had with great patients and odd patients. He doesn’t pull any punches or expound as to his greatness. He is frank and honest when telling of mistakes he made when treating some of the cases throughout his career. Everyone makes mistakes, but when doctors do, it can mean someone dies.

We follow his life through the hospitals he’s worked in up to his current assignment in Texas. From Arizona to Boston then to Amarillo, TX Berk keeps learning and growing as a doctor. He always wanted to become a missionary doctor, but during his residency at Boston City Hospital he began to realize he really wanted to focus on academic medicine. He also became interested in infectious disease and clinical research.

When a  medical school classmate asked him to serve as the chairman of the advisory board of an Amarillo medical school, Berk agreed. He loved the challenge and the goals of Texas Tech, and felt the he could help. With his leadership, the campus grew and improved. Berk did the same. He moved his family to Amarillo and settled in to a rewarding career.

The fateful morning in March 2005 was like any other. Like any other incident of this magnitude, he could look back and say he should have done something differently and it never would have happened. Life is like that, one little pebble can begin a landslide. Seeing it from the doctor’s perspective is haunting, knowing his fear for his family and his life on that Sunday morning puts the reader in the passenger seat of the car with him.

he third part of the story we hear along the way is that of the kidnapper. Jack Lindsey Jordan was born to a wealthy TX family, but had a frightful temper as he grew older. He had spent 10 years in prison on a felony charge just before the kidnapping. We see the series of events that led up to kidnapping unfold as the book progresses.

The last part to weave throughout the chapters is the actual court proceedings as documented from the trial. So you know in the beginning that Berk has been kidnapped, Jordan is caught and goes to trial. It is fascinating to read the account from the victim’s perspective.

Berk acknowledges that in the end, life is just not fair sometimes. He questions why he was not harmed during his ordeal and other people are shot. There are no answers, only speculations and luck.

This memoir reads like a fast paced fiction novel by a New York Times best-selling author. Berk’s ability to bring all four parts of this story – his history, the kidnapping, the kidnapper’s history as well as the court documents together in a page-turning novel makes this book a must-read.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.

Copyright © 2015 Laura Hartman

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Filed under Book Review, books, family, memoir, True Crime

Book Review: Lost in the Garden by Philip Beard – I love this author!!!

Lost in the Gardenlost in the garden

By Philip Beard

230 pages

Lost in the Garden is a fictional biography written by Michael Benedict, self-proclaimed under achiever. Born into a wealthy family, he goes to law school then works the least possible billable hours to maintain his place in a law firm.

He is married with two daughters, both of whom he adores. Michael and his wife lost a third child and neither of them seem to be coping with the loss, but have settled into a comfortable routine as a family. The girls are in school, leaving more free time for Michael and his wife Kelly to rekindle the romance of their younger days.

Unfortunately, Michael decided he wants to become a pro golfer. Kelly scoffs at the idea because he just isn’t that great of a golfer despite spending most, if not all of his free time at the expensive country club he has grown up in. When Kelly tells him she is pregnant – an absolute surprise to both of them – the couple drifts further apart instead of becoming closer.

I wanted to slap Michael, tell him to put on his big boy boxers and stop whining. Beard is a master of making his characters, both lovable and downright annoying, come alive on the page. It takes a brave or crazy writer to make his main character unlikable. Most could not pull it off. That is not the case with Lost in the Garden. The fact that Michael made awful choices then rationalized them really worked in this book. Maybe men would be able to identify more with him as he hits his mid-life crisis, but women will still like this book. I loved it.

The subplots with his minor characters are just as compelling as the main story, sometimes taking it over for a chapter. The smooth transition back and forth between story lines makes Beard a master storyteller. He gets into the heads of all of his characters, no matter how big or small of a part they play overall. No one is glossed over, which ads a layer of depth not often found in a book that is so readable. I often thought about parts after I’d read them with “ah ha!” moments connecting why one character or the other acted the way they did.

Beard is one of my favorite new authors. He has written three stand alone novels, Dear Zoe is his first, Lost in the Garden is his second and Swing is his latest. They are all different subjects and characters, but all of them are deeply complicated, yet read like the latest best seller. I defy you to put one of his books aside without it calling you back to see what is going to happen next. I am honestly shocked that everyone who reads doesn’t have at least one of his books on their shelf. The only reason I don’t right now is I’ve loaned my copies out to friends, who then have loaned them out to friends….if you love a book or an author, share them!

In case you can’t decide which one to read first, here are the links to my reviews of his other novels:

https://writeknit.wordpress.com/2015/05/02/book-review-dear-zoe-by-philip-beard-heart-breaking-but-beautiful-novel/

https://writeknit.wordpress.com/2015/04/19/book-review-swing-by-phillip-beard-a-grand-slam-must-read/

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Book Review, books, Philip Beard, Writer & Book Reviewer