Tag Archives: NaBloPoMo

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

More than Just a Pretty Face

Do you ever click on the Google doodle when the browser opens up? I like to check it out because it is a great place to learn fun, fast facts. Just little bits about someone or something that we thought we knew about. But that knowledge suddenly dims in the light of new information that is even more interesting.

Today would have been Hedy Lamarr’s 101st birthday. If you know who she was (forgiveness to all that are too young to remember her) a young Hollywood star more that likely pops into your head.

hedy lamar

She was a movie star from 1930 – 1985. But she was much, much more. Per her official website: “Hedy patented an idea that later became the crutch of both secure military communications and mobile phone technology“. (http://www2.hedylamarr.com/about/biography.html). She was a brilliant woman who wasn’t afraid to use her brain even though she could have be satisfied by standing by her leading man and smiling for the camera and audiences that loved her.

Check out her official website here: http://www2.hedylamarr.com/about/

Or just Google her – I’m sure info will pop up like meerkats on patrol.

meerkats

And think about this Hollywood Star when you make a cell call, or text, or are reading this on your computer using WiFi.

She was a woman before her time – the following quote says it all:

“The world isn’t getting any easier. With all these new inventions I believe that people are hurried more and pushed more… The hurried way is not the right way; you need time for everything – time to work, time to play, time to rest.” Hedy Lamarr

(tks Google for the info and the images used in this post)

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Filed under blogher, Google, Hedy Lamarr, Hollywood, Inventor, Movie Star, NaBloPoMo

NaBloPoMo – A Walk Down Memory Lane

I was reading some of the blog posts for NaBloPoMo   and came across this one by Cyn Donnelly about old photographs. ( http://www.blogher.com/myprofile/cynd ). She got me thinking about the boxes of old photos I have of my grandparents on both sides as well as most of my parent’s pictures. They are not as organized as I would like, but we have spent a few nostalgic afternoons with my aunts and dad making sure names, places and events are on the back of them so that the next generation will know who is in each of them.

I thought I’d take a look on my laptop to see what pics I have and one of the oldest is this one:

Weston st

It was taken out in front of the house we lived in from the time I was 3 until I got married. My little brother was six years younger than me, so I assume I was eleven and he was five here. I know by my hair (I know, it looks like an old lady by I was growing out a short cut!) that was wasn’t in middle school yet.

I have no idea why we were dressed up and wearing corsages. It had to be summer because the canna lily behind us is in full bloom. My grandma gave mom the bulbs to plant, so whenever I see them I think of her.

If you look closely in the screen of the porch you can see the porch swing that my dad made. I’ve talked about it before, so sorry if this is repetitive so some. I love, love, love this swing. Many summer afternoons and evenings were spent on it while reading or talking to friends. My dad gave it to me and it is still my favorite spot to sit outside to read, relax or knit.

DSC_0007_02

Thanks Cyn for the walk down memory lane.

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Filed under family, NaBloPoMo