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Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle)
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The Omen
The Omen
by David Seltzer
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HIS TIME HAS COME..., 9 Feb 2012
This review is from: The Omen (Paperback)
This is a first class, gothic chiller with a riveting story line. Katherine and Jeremy Thorn are a wealthy, older American couple in the political limelight. Katherine is pregnant and, while in Italy, gives birth to an ostensibly stillborn boy, a fact that is kept from her. Knowing how much his wife wanted the baby and the difficulty that she had in conceiving, Jeremy agrees to have the dead baby supplanted by a living newborn whose mother died in child birth, keeping this information from Katherine. They name this baby Damien.

All goes well for the prosperous Thorn family, until Damien's fourth birthday, when all hell breaks loose. A series of dramatic, unusual events begin to occur around the Thorns, all seemingly stemming from Damien. Well-guarded by a self sufficient, yet decidedly creepy nanny, there are those who would believe him to be the Antichrist. By the time that Katherine and Jeremy begin to realize who Damien may truly be, their lives are out of control. With the aid of an inquisitive photographer, a repentant priest, and an archaeologist who holds the key to the destruction of the Antichrist, Jeremy Thorn becomes a man with a mission. Will Damien let him complete that mission? Read this book and find out. You will not be disappointed. I guarantee that you will be sleeping with the lights on and the covers over your head.

If you enjoy the book, then view the original 1976 film, starring Gregory Peck and Lee Remick. It is relatively true to the book with only some minor changes, probably because the author of the book, David Seltzer, also wrote the screenplay. That movie is one of the most chilling ever filmed.


Share No Secrets
Share No Secrets
by Carlene Thompson
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SECRETS CAN KILL..., 9 Feb 2012
I have read many of the author's novels and have yet to be disappointed. She is a born storyteller, who is able to craft sustainable and suspenseful romantic mysteries that rival those of Mary Higgins Clark. I am definitely a fan.

In this novel, Adrienne Reynolds, an artist living with her teenage daughter, Skye, in her home town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, is trying to get on with her life. She is a widow, having lost her husband several years prior to a tragic vehicular accident. Adrienne has a beau, of whom she is fond but with whom she is not in love. She is just trying to get on with her life, when tragedy strikes again. One of her best friends, Julianna, is found murdered at the hotel La Belle Riviere, a grand hotel scheduled for demolition.

Suddenly, other people that Adrienne knows are meeting unexpected accidents or deaths. Even Adrienne herself has been the target of this known killer, thwarted only by the intervention of Adrienne's secret heart throb. Moreover, it seems that a number of those near and dear to Adrienne are harboring some pretty dark secrets. It may be that the killer may even be someone near and dear to Adrienne. But who can it be?

The book has many twists and turns and, as often happens in the author's novels, the reader can certainly expect the unexpected. The story line movies at a brisk pace and is well-plotted. The reader can expect to be caught up in the story that the author has woven.


A Royal Pain (Berkley Prime Crime Mysteries)
A Royal Pain (Berkley Prime Crime Mysteries)
by Rhys Bowen
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £4.81

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS WHODUNIT..., 9 Feb 2012
This is the second book in a new, charming cozy mystery series by the author, and it is a winner. This is a charming, funny look at life among the upper crust in 1930s England, as seen through the eyes of Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, known as Georgie to those near and dear. Her grandmother was one of Queen Victoria's daughters, making Georgie thirty-fourth in line to the throne.

Georgie is definitely a thoroughly modern Millie, who has left her family's manor home in Scotland for a sojourn in her family's New Hyde Park London townhouse, where she will fend for herself. While there, she meets old acquaintances, makes new friends, and continues to feel romantic stirrings for an irresistible and handsome Irish peer. Unfortunately, she is flat broke, as her brother, Binky, cut off her allowance due to a reversal of fortune. So, Georgie is without servants, virtually penniless, and unable to obtain even the bare necessities.

So, what is a girl to do, especially a royal who is not supposed to work? Well, what Georgie does is sure to set tongues wagging were members of her set to find out, and it would certainly get the Queen in a tizzy were she to discover Georgie's occupation and means of support. After all, it is not every day that a member of the nobility works as a maid.

In between cleaning jobs, Georgie is summoned to the palace by the Queen, who is going to host the beautiful and young Bavarian Princess Hannelore, whom the Queen hopes will distract her son, the Prince of Wales, from the dreadful and very married Wallis Simpson. The Queen asks Georgie if she would do her the favor of entertaining and chaperoning the Princess in her home. Unable to say no, after all, who would dare say no to the Queen, Georgie agrees. What Georgie does to ensure that no one knows of her dire circumstances is quite funny. It also turns out that Princess Hannelore turns out to be somewhat of a handful and not at all what Georgie expected. When dead bodies start popping up and become a recurring nightmare, however, Georgie is put to the test to discover just what is going on.

As with all cozy mysteries, it is the lives of the characters that propel the story forward. While the mystery is intriguing, it is merely the framework around which the characters evolve. The combination of some history with mystery, as well as a touch of romance and lots of humor, is irresistible. Set within the social mores of the time, all the characters, both downstairs and upstairs, manage to add to the ambience of the book. Those who enjoy cozy British mysteries will find this one to be an entertaining and humorous romp.


Agatha Raisin and the Fairies of Fryfam
Agatha Raisin and the Fairies of Fryfam
by M.C. Beaton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.24

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars NOT A FAIRY TALE..., 9 Feb 2012
In this tenth book of this amusing contemporary cozy mystery series, the indomitable Agatha Raisin is trying to recover from her heartache she feels over James Lacey, who happens to be not only her neighbor but the love of her life, as well. Since he is actively avoiding her, she takes to heart the words of a fortuneteller, who advises her that Norfolk is where she should be. So, Agatha impulsively leaves her home in the Cotswolds and rents a cottage in the village of Fryfam.

Unfortunately, Agatha's expectations are not met. There are problems with the cottage. The local yokels are less than friendly. There are mysterious lights in her garden for which there is no reasonable explanation. Still, Agatha is not easily deterred, and she tries desperately to fit in with the village locals. Then one of the villagers dies under mysterious circumstances. Agatha immediately gets into the fray, only to find herself a suspect.

When her friend, Sir Charles Fraith, pays her a visit, he joins her in her investigative efforts. Let the games begin! What follows is typical Agatha Raisin. There are many twists and turns, as Agatha, our ever engaging heroine, bumbles along as she tries to discover just who is up to no good. Fans of our heroine will not be disappointed.

As always, the dialogue is laced with humor and moves the plot along at a brisk pace, and the book is peppered with a host of quirky characters that entertain the reader. Agatha herself is entertaining as always, as she engages in her investigative efforts. This is a highly addictive series that makes its fans race off to get the next volume.


Agatha Raisin and the Witch of Wyckhadden
Agatha Raisin and the Witch of Wyckhadden
by M.C. Beaton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.24

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DING DONG THE WITCH IS DEAD..., 9 Feb 2012
In this ninth book of this contemporary cozy mystery series, the indomitable Agatha Raisin is now trying to recover from her last adventure in which she lost large clumps of hair when she got into a tangle with a murderer. Greatly upset over this turn of events, after all, her glossy hair is her shining glory, Agatha retreats to a seaside town to grow out her tresses.

Although the hotel she is staying in seems more like a geriatric residence and hardly like a resort, Agatha makes the best of it. While there, she decides to visit a self-professed witch for a hair restorer to help the hair growth process along. She also indulges in a love potion. After all, Agatha is woman in her fifties who is trying to look her best and, despite the encroachment of the aging process, is still looking for love, despite James Lacey, who has broken her heart and for whom she still secrets longs.

What is a girl to do? Well, Agatha tries out the potion on the local constable and, wouldn't you know, it seems to work. When the witch and then her daughter are murdered, however, once again, Agatha gets involved, snooping around to find out who among them is a killer. What follows is typical Agatha Raisin. There are many twists and turns, as Agatha, our ever engaging heroine, bumbles along as she tries to discover just who is up to no good. Fans of our heroine will not be disappointed.

As always, the dialogue is laced with humor and moves the plot along at a brisk pace, and the book is peppered with a host of interesting, quirky characters that entertain the reader. Agatha herself is entertaining as always, as she engages in her investigative efforts. This is a highly addictive series that makes the reader race off to get the next volume.


Agatha Raisin and the Wizard of Evesham
Agatha Raisin and the Wizard of Evesham
by M.C. Beaton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.24

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HAIR TODAY...GONE TOMORROW..., 9 Feb 2012
In this eighth book of this contemporary cozy mystery series, the indomitable Agatha Raisin is still trying to meld into village life in the Cotswalds. It is still slow going, as her insecurities still often get the best of her. Agatha is a menopausal woman in her fifties who is trying to look her best and, despite the encroachment of the aging process, still wants men to find her attractive. This can often lead to missteps by our feisty heroine, as when she tries to wash the gray right out of her hair and ends up with purple hair.

What is a girl to do? Well, Agatha turns to Mr. John, the much in demand hairdresser in the nearby village of Eversham, to rectify the situation. When she meets Mr. John, he actually succeeds in fixing her hair problem, and she, too, falls under the spell of his blue eyes and his charmingly, reassuring manner that inspires cozy confidences. Poor Agatha, she always seems to be looking for love in all the wrong places.

When some clients seem to be afraid of this hair wizard, Agatha's friend, Sir Charles Fraith, suggests that perhaps that those cozy confidences are simply the basis for some sort of blackmail by Mr. John. A concerned Agatha then decides to look into these allegations of blackmail, but before it bears fruit, the hair wizard of Eversham dies under mysterious circumstances, poisoned.

What follows is typical Agatha Raisin. There are many twists and turns, as Agatha, our ever engaging heroine, bumbles along as she tries to discover just who is up to no good. Her investigatory efforts, however, land her and Sir Charles Fraith in a bit of a pickle, as they themselves suspects in the murder of the wizard of Eversham. Moreover, just when Agatha thinks that her hair trouble is behind her, insult is added to injury when the actual murderer catches up with her.

As with all cozy mysteries, the mystery is secondary to the evolvement of the recurring characters and the ordinary discourse of life that binds them. As always, the dialogue is laced with humor and moves the plot along at a brisk pace, and the book is peppered with a host of interesting, quirky characters that entertain the reader. This is a highly addictive series that makes the reader race off to get the next volume.


Death on the Lizard
Death on the Lizard
by Robin Paige
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £4.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars AN EDWARDIAN MYSTERY..., 9 Feb 2012
This is the twelfth in a series of period mysteries written by a husband and wife team under a pseudonym. Well-written and well-researched, they are replete with detail evocative of a bygone era. The main characters are engaging and with each passing book, the reader becomes more interested with the details of their lives. As with all cozy mysteries, it is not so much the mystery that is of import but the characters that revolve around the mystery. While the mystery is intriguing, it is simply the framework around which the characters evolve.

The series revolves around Lady Kathryn and her husband, Charles, Baron of Somersworth. In 1903, they are off to Lizard Village in Cornwall. Charles is an enthusiast of all new scientific inventions, and the wireless is no exception. Lizard Village just happens to be the home of Guglielmo Marconi's wireless station. When apparent sabotage and unsatisfactorily explained deaths occur, Charles, an amateur detective, is asked to make an inquiry into what exactly is going on in Lizard Village and at the Marconi station. Aided by his wife, Kathryn, what they discover involves national security and an old nemesis.

It is of interest that these books always seem to include a historical personage or event that is intertwined into the mystery at hand. The authors' notes at the end of the book are most enjoyable, as they allow the reader to understand the reasoning and research that went into such inclusion. In this case, they provide a lot of information about the development of the wireless in England and some of its practices. The injection of Guglielmo Marconi into the storyline was also quite interesting, and, again, the authors' notes are illuminating as to why. For those who enjoy history, these notes are an added bonus to these books. Those who enjoy the historical cozy mystery genre will definitely love this series.


Agatha Raisin and the Wellspring of Death
Agatha Raisin and the Wellspring of Death
by M.C. Beaton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.24

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BOTTLED WATER IS NOT ALWAYS GOOD FOR YOU..., 9 Feb 2012
In this seventh book of this contemporary cozy mystery series, the indomitable Agatha Raisin is still trying to meld into village life in the Cotswalds. It is still slow going, as she sometimes just doesn't quite get it that a London outsider such as herself may never be a perfect fit for quiet village life.

In this book, Agatha volunteers to handle the publicity for bottled water from a village spring, a venture that proves to be somewhat controversial, as some of the villagers are totally against this new enterprise, fearing that it could change their peaceful way of life. Tempers run high, and Agnes finds herself with a potential public relations disaster, when a body turns up in those same spring waters.

Agatha is engaging as she tries to discover just who is up to no good. Of course, the on-again, off-again love of her life and neighbor, James Lacey, goes his separate way in his investigatory efforts, as they are off-again, Agatha, as always looking for love in all the wrong places, ends up with a brief romantic fling that she quickly regrets. Moreover, her investigatory efforts land her in a bit of a pickle, and her best friend, Mrs. Bloxy, steps up to home plate and comes to the rescue, when Agatha finds herself caught between a rock and a hard place.

As with all cozy mysteries, the mystery is secondary to the evolvement of the recurring characters and the ordinary discourse of life that binds them. As always, the dialogue is laced with humor and moves the plot along at a brisk pace, and the book is peppered with a host of interesting, quirky characters that entertain the reader. This is a highly addictive series that makes the reader race off to get the next volume.


Catching Fire (Hunger Games, Book 2)
Catching Fire (Hunger Games, Book 2)
by Suzanne Collins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE RETURN OF THE GLADIATORS..., 9 Feb 2012
Oftentimes, sequels to a bestselling book disappoint. This sequel to the "Hunger Games", however, the second in the trilogy, is just as good as the first, as it seamlessly picks up where the "Hunger Games" left off. The author is a born storyteller, and she weaves a story that, while simply written, is thematically complex.

The author continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, who along with the other tribute from District 12, Peeta Mellark, has survived the "Hunger Games". While on a whirlwind, governmentally mandated victory tour, Katniss and Peeta see portents that all is not well in Panem politically and signs of unrest and dissatisfaction with the despotic rule of President Snow are becoming all too apparent.

Suddenly, the stakes are raised, and the victorious tributes find themselves challenged in ways that they could never have anticipated. In fact, the author has come up with another ingenious plot that will keep the reader riveted. I could not put the book down, reading it in one sitting! So, again I find myself, running down to the local brick and mortar bookstore to buy the third and last book, which I simply cannot wait to read!


The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.50

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LET THE GAMES BEGIN..., 9 Feb 2012
This review is from: The Hunger Games (Paperback)
My daughter recommended this book, telling me how she totally loved it and that it was part of a trilogy. I was a little skeptical at first, especially as it is touted as being for young adults, and I am anything but. Still, my daughter was so enthusiastic about the book, I decided to give it a chance.

Well, I was totally blown way by this book. I could not stop turning the pages. What a great story! Though similar to "Running Man" by Stephen King in some ways, in that it involves a televised fight to the finish in a post-apocalyptic world, it is much more compelling.

The author is a born storyteller, seamlessly telling the story of Katniss Everdeen, a sixteen year old girl living in the country Panem, in District 12, which used to be part of the United States of America. The people in District 12 are very poor, and they are ruled by those who live in a part of Panem called the Capitol.

Every year there is a televised event called the Hunger Games, in which all children of a certain age group in each of the twelve districts of Panem are entered. Two, a boy and a girl from each district, are chosen to participate, and participate they must. The winner, and there can only be one, as it is a fight to the finish, is then supposedly set for life.

This is definitely a plot driven story, and what a great plot it has, with many twists and turns! I was riveted from beginning to end. In fact, when I finished the book, I immediately ran to my local brick and mortar book store, just to be able to get the sequel immediately. I simply could not wait to continue with the story!


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