Book Review: The Quick and the Thread

By far my most read category of books is Cozy Mystery. I can read them in 1 to 3 days usually, and I love the variety out there for me to choose hobbies, interests, and fun to go with a murder mystery. They are hard to review in that I read them so quickly I feel that it is easy to discount the work the author put into the book. However, I made this blog to share the books I am reading, so here it goes.

    In my desire to calm down and read I grabbed some Cozies off my wishlist at the library, and chose this one because it is An Embroidery Mystery. I love to cross stitch, so the idea of hearing about embroidery and cross stitch throughout the book appealed to me. The cover also actually made it easy to choose: large dog, books, yarn, puns. It is all my type of book. If you are into cozies, read this one, too.

    The only negative to this story was the motive. I am not enough of an adult yet to understand much about real estate and finances. So, the main conflict of mortgage fraud of some kind was confusing to me. I kept thinking, “I should go look this up,” but as I said, I read the book too fast for that. So, before you read it make sure you know what straw buyers are as they relate to fraud.

    This is the first book in the series, and I immediately liked the main character and her friends. The love triangle was disappointing only because I liked both the guys introduced, and while I knew who I wanted her to choose, I wanted the other one to just be a friend. That seems unlikely with his determination to get her to like him.

    I did predict the end (which is my thing, so it shouldn’t detract from the book for you), but I had my doubts all the way until the reveal. That is a great bit of writing. Usually I know who did it for most of the mystery, and I just enjoy seeing who figures it out and how. This time I was right there in with them suspecting everybody. Amanda Lee had a great way of writing to cast suspicion on others. Especially since we were just meeting the characters.

    An important piece of a Murder Mystery review for me is to share with you the gore level. There was nothing truly disturbing in this beyond the dead body being found. If you have an active imagination there might be times that you can get a thrill, but nothing is described to the point of disgust or disturbing, which is a very good thing for me. I enjoy the mystery, the relationships, and the relative peace in reading the book, so I don’t need the blood and guts.

The facts about the book.

Title: The Quick and the Thread: An Embroidery Mystery

Author: Amanda Lee

Place: Tallulah Falls & Portland, Oregon & San Francisco, California

Publisher: Obsidian, an imprint of New American Library, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Publication Date: August 2010

# Pages: 324, Including the first chapter of the next book in the series

Special Features: Cozy Mystery, First book in a Series, Embroidery

Price: Free from the library or from $0.01 on Amazon

ISBN: 978-0-451-23096-6


Book Review: The Rook (Excellent)

This book took me by surprise. I fell in love with it, and was disappointed to realize that the next book is still on its way toward publication. However, do not be dismayed, it was a great read on its own. I am not even sure how I came about reading this book. I had it on a list of “To Read” at the library, and I reserved it, a week of reading, and it was wonderful.

    The Rook is a fiction novel written by an Australian author, Daniel O’Malley.

Several aspects drew me into this book, which will help you determine if this is a book for you. I have recently discovered I am an Anglophile, I love English books. This book travels the UK in an interesting and fun adventure.

    Another aspect I am always drawn to is Mystery. The inside cover of this book hooked me immediately.

    “”The body you are wearing used to be mine.” So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her.”

    Finally, Secret Service. I did not actually read the tagline at the top of the book for awhile into the book, but the title, as you can see in the picture above reads: On Her Majesty’s Supernatural Secret Service: The Rook. I have been into the Mi6 intrigue in recent movies, and am finding myself drawn increasingly to books with this aspect.

The supernatural bit wasn’t what I was expecting, but it was well done. With a world of “Teen Paranormal Romance” and such garbage, it can be hard to find a good book with a fantasy element. This book was excellent in that regard. I was never taken out of the book by the weird, supernatural, or vampires. The language, characters, and action kept me fully engaged and did not require crass techniques to keep the reader stimulated.

    Because I am into English Mysteries involving the Secret Service, this was a wonderful find for me. If I was only into one of these, however, it would have been just as enjoyable. I thought that it was a book a great many people of different reading styles could enjoy.

It was also wonderful to read an adult book without extreme violence or lust being thrown in my face. I often read from Teen and Young Adult because I am wary of the content of adult fiction, but this one was very appropriate, and I would recommend it to 7th grade and older as the perfect alternative to Twilight, and as higher reading level than Harry Potter. As a young student my siblings and I had a great deal of difficulty in finding books to challenge and entertain us because we were excellent readers. This is one of those books for students who have already read “everything” as well as for the parents and adults who want a good, solid, fun read.

I don’t want to give anything away about the plot because I highly recommend that you go get this book from your library and read it yourself. Have fun! I sure did.

The facts about the book.

The Rook

Author: Daniel O’Malley

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy

Publisher: Back Bay Books

Date: October 16, 2012

# Pages: 512

Price: Library: FREE

Kindle: $4

Paperback: $13

ISBN: 978-0316098809

Book Review: The House On The Gulf: Okay

The House On The Gulf

by Margaret Peterson Haddix

A story of a broken family trying to support and take care of each other. The family moves to Florida because a college there has a program for single mothers. Their mom wants desperately to be a doctor, which is years and years of schooling. Her son finds a job house-sitting  and they all get to move into the house for the summer which allows for their mom to go to school. However, the younger sister senses that something is not quite right. The reader travels right along with her, never knowing if the truth has been discovered fully or not.

This book was so sad. Even the ending remained rather bleak. I would only recommend this book to others who already knew the author’s style and tone. I would probably not recommend this book to anyone who did not already love this author.

Due to the upcoming Tucson Festival of Books I am eating up the many many authors and many many many many books those authors have written. On a recommendation from a friend I wanted to make sure to read a book by Margaret Peterson Haddix before March 9th when the Festival begins. The only book at the library during a quick and insufficient glance through the children’s section. My return to the library after reading this book was much more successful because, A) I looked in the teen section as well, and B) I checked both hardcover and paperback books in the children’s section, and finally C) someone had returned some of the books that were not available on my previous excursion. Therefore, I hope to have some more reviews from this author’s bibliography soon.