A Bookaholic, Pro-life, Pro-Family, Pro-Oxford Comma, Catholic (with Asperger's) who reads and writes as her obsession. I've been reading over 400 books a year lately. These are my ramblings on some of the books I read. To read about all the books I read and comment on, visit me at LibraryThing or Goodreads.

I've been blogging since 2007 and at this point (July 2015) am trying my hand at turning the theme of this blog towards mystery, thriller, and crime, fiction and nonfiction. I have some special interest topics and categories within this broad genre which include (but are not limited to) serial killers, scandi-crime, Victorian history and historicals, history of the criminally insane and asylums, psychopathology, death, funerary practices and burial, corpses, true crime and anything dealing with the real life macabre, or that portrayed in fiction.

I also read a short story a day from various collections, sometimes anthologies othertimes collections of a single author's work. These reviews are also posted here and while they are of mixed genre the mystery, thriller, horror, gothic and macabre often appear within their pages as well.

I also blog about
graphic novels and manga on a separate BLOG.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

My Latest Reviews

Read my latest reviews on Goodreads while I take a break from blogging!

Last Five Books

The Strand Magazine June-Sept. 2013
3 of 5 stars
I enjoy this magazine and while this volume mainly contained unimpressive stories I still took pleasure in my time with it. I Love the book ads and book reviews just as much and maybe in this issue's case, more. Not the best collection o...
Naruto (3-in-1 Edition), Vol. 3: Includes vols. 7, 8 & 9
4 of 5 stars
Vol.7 - Encompasses the second exam and ends with a bit of a cliffhanger so we don't know if they've completed it yet. Kitts of battles with the same groups we've met before. There are some viscious bad guys out there. And they are all p...
Classic Goosebumps #22: Stay Out of the Basement
4 of 5 stars
The second Goosebumps book and the second one I've read. (though this is the one and only GB book I had previously read years ago). All was fresh to me as I didn't remember the story at all. I found this particularly well written having ...
Tweedles Go Electric
5 of 5 stars
I love Monica Kulling's historical and biographical picture books so it is with no surprise that I found The Tweedles adorable. Usually Kulling relates a true story but this time we have an historical fiction piece centred around the ele...
Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller's Tragic Quest for Primitive Art
5 of 5 stars
When I think of Imperialism, Colonialism and empire building, the last country that would have come to mind is The Netherlands. But they did indeed have colonies such as Dutch Guiana, Gold Coast, Mozambique, South Africa, and many others...


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Pruwahaha Monster by Jean-Paul Mulders

The Pruwahaha Monster by Jean-Paul Mulders
Illus by Jacques Maes & Lise Braekers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 26 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by Kids Can Press
Source: egalley via netgalley

I thought this story was charming. About a monster who smells a child and hunts him but when he tries to scare him the child only laughs. While the story is delightful, the real joy of this book comes from the illustrations which are done in a pastel turquoise and peach. The pages are a graphic design dream. The main characters are not often the focus of the illustration but rather the backgrounds are detailed referring to items mentioned in the text. Often illustrations run off the page or are asymmetrical. The eye keeps moving and they enhance the text wonderfully. Delightful!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners by Therese Oneill

Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners by Therese Oneill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 25th 2016 by Little, Brown and Company
Source: Received a print copy to review from the publisher

Well-researched and full of nifty little bits of information on what Victorian life was really like for women. The author takes us back to mid-century 1800s and switches between US and England telling us what our life as a wealthy woman would be like going into detail about the naughty bits, the toilette, the marriage bed, disease, etc. She also takes us downstairs as we learn to deal with servants, housekeeping and cooking. The book is easy-breezy to read and the author takes a laissez-faire attitude pushing jokes and puns throughout. As a voracious reader of Victoriana mostly interested in the downstairs and back alleys, I didn't find much I didn't already know but it was fun having a book devoted to the topics. The only thing that annoyed me was the author's poking fun at everything. It started off cute but just got more and more irritating as the book went on, until I got to a point where I just wished she'd stop. It would have been wiser, and easier on the reader, if she had opened each chapter with the teasing and sarcasm and then got down to the business at hand of imparting her knowledge.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe by Robert Matzen

Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe by Robert Matzen
Foreward by Leonard Maltin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 400 pages
Published October 24th 2016 by GoodKnight Books
Source: egalley via edelweiss

This is a biography or history of Jimmy Stewart's war years of which very little has previously been written as Jim refused to talk about it. Born into a family who had a male fighting in every war since the Spanish-American War, Jim was raised that one day he too must serve his country at war. The book may also be said to be a history of the 445th Bomb Squad where Jim spent most of his active service, ultimately reaching the rank of full Colonel. Matzen has a flowing narrative style which is very easy to read. Stewart is one of two of my most favourite Silver Screen actors and I enjoy war biographies so the book was of particular interest to me. I found the beginning which covers James birth to his early Hollywood days and his joining the service and training days to be the most interesting aspect for me. The rest of the book was too militaristic for me, describing in detail every mission in which Stewart participated. It was interesting but I'm not military minded preferring the social history of wars rather than what is presented here. Even though I enjoyed the book very much because it was about Jimmy, I think the book will be better appreciated by those more interested in the military history than those looking for celebrity information.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Unwanteds #4: Island of Legends by Lisa McMann

Island of Legends by Lisa McMann
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 496 pages
Published September 2nd 2014 by Aladdin
Source: Local library

The Unwanteds (#4)

It's been a while since I read the first three and this wasn't as good as I had expected. Not much goes on between Quill and Artamae but instead Alex and gang spend their time with the other islands. They are invaded by the Warblers, go to the underwater island to rescue Sky's mum, then journey to a crab island. I loved getting back to the familiar characters. Didn't like the cliff-hanger ending, though. Good but not great. Here's hoping the next one picks up steam.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Front Seat Passenger by Pascal Garnier

The Front Seat Passenger by Pascal Garnier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 144 pages
Published March 10th 2014 by Gallic Books
First published in French 1997
Source: egalley via edelweiss

Garnier writes dark psychological suspense and "The Front Seat Passenger" does not disappoint. Reminiscent of Simenon the story features a man whose downfall comes because of a woman. But he is a weak man and his fate is inevitable. Fabien finds out his wife was cheating on him when she dies in a car accident with her lover. Fabien tracks down the man's widow and becomes obsessed with her, stalking her, in hopes of finding some revenge against his wife and the man who was her lover. Once he meets the widow face to face things go further downhill becoming darker and darker until he is trapped. None of the characters is likeable but events keep taking unexpected twists until they each descend into oblivion through their own action or inaction.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Nate the Great & Nate the Great Goes Undercover by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
Illus by Marc Simont
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 64 pages
Published April 1977 by Yearling
First published 1972
Source: Thrift shop

Nate the Great (#1)

Wonderful easy reader! This is the first in a large series and introduces us to the pancake-loving super sleuth. Nate has a dry sense of humour and the story is hilarious. The mystery is well played out, the solution a surprise, and clever. The art is wonderful! As most books from this era, the pages alternate with black and white drawings to two-colour illustrations. The colour theme for this book is pink and yellow which gives it a very '70s vibe. This should whet a kid's appetite for mysteries and detective stories.

Nate the Great Goes Undercover by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
Illus by Marc Simont
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 48 pages
Published December 31st 1974 by Coward McCann
Source: Thrift shop

Nate the Great (#2)

The second book in this series introduces Nate's dog, Sludge, who will be his companion in the rest of the books. A friend asks Nate to solve the mystery of who or what is tipping over his garbage can every night. Nate uses deductive reasoning skills to figure out who is *not* stealing the garbage. Then he uses the library to narrow down his list of who could be the culprit. I love the humour in these books. It is so dry and hilarious. The art, of course, is wonderful with the two-colour theme being yellow and navy blue; perfect for a book that is about the night time.