Friday, June 23, 2017

Book Review: Force of Habit by Alice Loweecey (Giulia Falcone #1)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Strong main character; decent mystery
Cons: Pacing a time or two; needlessly graphic details in second half
The Bottom Line:
A strong character
Faces interesting case
A bit too graphic

Giulia Debuts

Earlier this year, I read my first book by Alice Loweecey, and I completely enjoyed it.  I immediately wanted to back up and see where it all began for her characters with Force of Habit.

This is the book that introduced us to Giulia Falcone, a former nun who has left the convent and is now trying to figure out how to make her way in the world.  She’s 29, been out of the convent for 10 months, and been disowned by her family.  She’s landed a job working for PI Frank Driscoll.  Things appear to be going well, although she does have to fight her attraction to her boss.

Then they land the case of a stalker.  Someone is leaving notes for Blake Parker, a former high school friend of Frank’s.  Because Blake doesn’t want his reputation to suffer, he comes to Frank instead of going to the police.  Blake is getting notes with Bible quotes from Song of Solomon while his fiancĂ©e is getting threatening notes with quotes from the prophets.  As part of her job, Giulia interviews Blake’s ex-girlfriends since they are the most likely suspects.  She doesn’t get anywhere, but suddenly, she finds herself the target of the notes as well.  Can she and Frank figure out who the stalker is?

The first book I read to star Giulia was edging toward the darker side of the cozy genre, but it featured some very funny bantered that helped keep the book light.  This book does have the banter, although not nearly as much of it.  And it is definitely dark.  I definitely wouldn’t classify this book as a cozy since there is some language and quite a bit about sex here, both as Giulia struggles with her life outside the convent and because of this case.

Now, that’s not to say that this book is bad.  Far from it.  It’s just a warning before stepping into this book.  Having said that, I do feel that the book went too far in the second half.  I think we could have gotten the point without all the details that were provided, but maybe that’s just me.

Part of the content flows out of Giulia and where she is at this point in her life.  She is truly struggling with who she is after having left the convent.  It made her a very human character, and I identified with her even though I’ve never gone through anything similar myself.  That’s great writing and character development.  While this book is definitely Giulia’s story, we do get to know some series regulars here, and I like what I saw of them.

And the mystery?  It appears to get bogged down a time or two, but never for very long.  Still, things could be a bit tighter.  It’s a first mystery, and I know that Alice does get better with her plotting as things go along.

I wish this book hadn’t included the details it did, but I don’t regret reading Force of Habit.

Check out more of Giulia's cases.

This review is part of this week's Friday's Forgotten Books.

June 23rd's Book Beginning and Friday 56

It's that time of the week again, time for Book Beginning and Friday 56!

This week, I'm almost half way through Counterfeit Conspiracies by Ritter Ames.

This is a fun caper as the main character is trying to track down a relic and everyone, it seems, is after her.

Here's how the book opens:

Clouds shrouded the moon.  The Dobermans, Zeus and Apollo, snoozed by the rose bushes after devouring the tasty treat I had offered.  Waves crashed in the distance and gave the crisp sea air a taste and smell of salt spray.  The estate's showplace lawn ended a hundred yards away at a private beach.

I'm cheating a little on the 56 this week.  You see, page 57 is the end of a chapter, and it ends like this:

"One last thing.  Have you ever seen this person before?"
She took the phone and stared for a moment at the screen.  Then she pointed toward the middle monitor.  "You mean that man?"

I just couldn't pass up that ending for my second teaser.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

TV on DVD Review: Murder, She Wrote - Season 1

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Angela Lansbury is a delight in these mysteries
Cons: Look at the number of stars for a clue
The Bottom Line:
Come meet Jessica
Famous writer solves murder
Still delightful show

"My Occasional Exploits Are Grossly Exaggerated, Believe Me."

Not too long after I got out of college, A&E started showing reruns of Murder, She Wrote.  Being the good mystery fan I am, I started recording and watching them, and I was quickly hooked.  But that’s been years, so I was curious to see what would happen when I sat down to rewatch season 1.  Within minutes, I was smiling and remembering just why I love this show so much.

In the pilot movie, we are introduced to Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury).  When her nephew Grady (guest star Michael Horton) finds a mystery she’s written for her own amusement and submits it, she finds herself an instant bestselling author.  By the next episode, she’s written another couple mysteries, all of which just increase her fame.

Unfortunately, her life as a mystery author isn’t all glamor and book signings.  It seems everywhere she goes, someone is murdered, and more often than not, a friend or relative is accused of the crime.  Between her sharp mind and her observation skills, Jessica winds up solving the mysteries.  Over the course of the season, she clears her nephew-in-law to be of killing his boss in San Francisco, solves the murder of a jazz musician down in New Orleans, figures out who killed a friend on his island off the Greek coast, and solves the murder of a movie producer who wants to turn her first book into a slasher.

You’ll notice I’ve said nothing about Jessica’s home town of Cabot Cove, Maine.  In fact, this show is famous for what has been dubbed Cabot Cove syndrome, an impossibly small town that has more murders than your average large city.  I always maintain that the show gets a bad rap since most people forget how much Jessica travels.  Rewatching this season, I was actually surprised at how many episodes start with Jessica in town until she is called out for some reason.  However, there are really only two and a half episodes that truly focus on Cabot Cove in this season, and only one involved any citizens of Cabot Cove.

With all the traveling Jessica does, she really is the only main character on the show.  That means this is really Angela Lansbury’s show.  And she is fantastic.  I’d forgotten just how much fun she is to watch.  She is charming and delightful, everyone’s favorite aunt.  She has no problem with letting someone under estimate her.  She just keeps going and proves her point.  It really is a shame that Angela Lansbury’s 12 nominations for this role didn’t land her one Emmy.  Since she carried the show by herself, they were well deserved.

That’s not to say that we don’t have some recurring characters here.  Jessica’s nephew Grady appears in two episodes.  Back in Cabot Cove, we’ve got Tom Bosley as Sheriff Amos Tupper, and Jessica’s friend, captain Ethan Cragg (Claude Akins).  Longtime fans of the show will get a kick out of seeing William Windom, who would recur as Dr. Seth Hazlitt starting in season 2, and Ron Masak, who shows up as the new sheriff after Tom Bosley left the show at the end of season 4, playing different characters here.  Each episode features a long list of guest stars to play the suspects.  Among the famous faces that pop up here, we have Martin Landau, Lynn Redgrave, a very young Joaquin Phoenix, Robert Reed, Jo Anne Worley, Leslie Nielsen, and Linda Blair.

I have to highlight two episodes in particular – “Tough Guys Don’t Die” not only introduced Harry McGraw, a PI played by Jerry Orbach who would show up again and star in a short lived spin off, it is also an obvious tribute to The Maltese Falcon.  (And trivia fans will also note that Jerry was Lumiere to Angela’s Mrs. Potts in the original Beauty and the Beast.)  Meanwhile, “Murder Takes the Bus” feels the most like an Agatha Christie tribute as a passenger on a bus full of strangers is killed.  Slowly, Jessica pieces together just how most everyone is actually connected to the victim.

Some people say they can identify the killer as soon as they walk on screen.  I’m not that sharp and never have been.  Heck, I can’t remember who the killer is most of the time, and I usually can figure out what the important clue is, but I can’t piece together who it points to until Jessica reveals all.  Or, if I can remember the killer, I miss the clues.  Either way, I know this show influenced my take on mysteries since its fair play is exactly what I look for in the books I read today.

This season premiered in the fall of 1984, and it is definitely dated in a few references and fashion.  However, as long as you expect that going into the show, you’ll be fine.

Season one consisted of 21 regular one hour (less commercials) mysteries plus the two hour pilot.  They are all preserves here in their native full frame and stereo sound.  (Remember the date I just mentioned.)  You won’t find anything in the way of extras here, but the shows look and sound good for their age.

Okay, I’ll stop gushing now.  Obviously, I enjoy Murder, She Wrote just as much today as I did when I first started watching it.  If you haven’t seen the show or want to revisit an old friend, I highly recommend you catch up with season 1.

Season 1 Episodes:
1. The Murder of Sherlock Holmes (2 hour pilot)
2. Deadly Lady
3. Birds of a Feather
4. Hooray for Homicide
5. It’s a Dog’s Life
6. Lovers and Other Killers
7. Hit, Run, and Homicide
8. We’re Off to Kill the Wizard
9. Death Takes a Curtain Call
10. Death Casts a Spell
11. Capitol Offense
12. Broadway Malady
13. Murder to a Jazz Beat
14. My Johnny Lies Over the Ocean
15. Paint Me a Murder
16. Tough Guys Don’t Die
17. Sudden Death
18. Footnote to Murder
19. Murder Takes the Bus
20. Armed Response
21. Murder at the Oasis
22. Funeral at Fifty-Mile

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Ornament Review: Cookie Cutter Summer - Cookie Cutter Through the Year #5 - 2017 Hallmark Ornament

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great scene in a fun shape
Cons: No summer blues here
The Bottom Line:
Great shaped ornament
Summer fun captured inside
Collectible smiles

It’s Fun in the Sun with this Summer Ornament

It’s officially summer!  This is my favorite season of the year.  Even as an adult with no ties to the school year, there is something relaxing about the season.  I feel like I have extra time for things.  If only my boss would agree with me, right?  That feeling is captures in Cookie Cutter Summer.

The cookie cutter this month is a butterfly.  Doesn’t that feel like summer right there?  And for the scene inside the butterfly frame, our mouse friend is riding a bike.  He’s just ridden past a tree.  There’s a fence behind him and the butterfly motif is carried through in the scene since there is a butterfly in front of him.  There are a few puffy white clouds in the blue sky in the background.

If you start looking closely, you’ll see some fun candy references in this ornament.  The wheels of the bike are obviously peppermints, and the red frame of the bike looks a bit like licorice to me.  The stones in the wall could be hard candies.  And the path he is riding on is soda crackers.  Maybe I’m reading too much into a couple of these objects, but that’s what I think of when I look at them.

Whether they are candy inspired or not, this whole ornament is fun.  While I haven’t ridden a bike in years, the freedom of riding a bike through a scene like this is irresistible.  I can’t help but smile when I look at it.  (I do that a lot with Hallmark ornaments, don’t I?)

Because of the depth of the cookie cutter shape, this ornament does actually stand up on its own, so you can display it that way if you want.  It’s staple enough that you’d have to be trying to knock it over.

If you want to hang the ornament, you’ll find that it tips forward ever so slightly.  This isn’t a huge issue, but it is something to note.  It’s a little odd since it seems like the ring could have been moved forward slightly and it would balance better.

On the back of the ornament, you’ll find the 5 in a Christmas tree series marker.

Cookie Cutter Summer captures those nostalgia feelings of carefree summer days, and it does it perfectly.  That makes it worth owning.

Enjoy more holidays with the rest of the Cookie Cutter Through the Year ornaments.

Original Price: $15.95

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Book Review: First Degree Mudder by Kate Dyer-Seeley (Pacific Northwest Mysteries #4)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Series regulars shine, interesting developments in Meg’s life
Cons: This book’s mystery overshadowed by other developments
The Bottom Line:
Body in steam room
Meg’s life gets complicated
Series fans will like

Meg Faces a Muddy Mess

My love of mud runs has come full circle.  I first heard of them when a mystery author I read did one, and now I’ve read First Degree Mudder, set during the training for a mud run.  (And yes, I even timed it so that I was reading it the week between doing the Camp Pendleton Mud Run and the Irvine Lake Mud Run this month.)

Meg Reed’s newest assignment for Northwest Extreme magazine is to participate in Mud, Sweat, and Beers, a mud run coming to Portland in three weeks.  But before that, she’s signing up for Mind Over Mudder, a training course that meets every morning to whip people into shape for the run.  The drill instructor running the course is Billy, and he takes his job very seriously.  Some might even say too seriously, and after two weeks Meg is seriously questioning her decision to sign up.

The Saturday before the race is the first time Meg and her team actually crawl through the mud as part of their training.  It doesn’t go well, and Meg sneaks out early instead of completing the rest of the run.  However, when she arrives back at the barracks the company uses as their headquarters, she discovers Billy’s body in the steam room.  What is going on?

First, I’ve got to say that author Kate Dyer-Seeley is much nicer to Billy than I would have been.  When I heard mystery set at a mud run, I was expecting the dead body to show up in a mud pit.  But that’s completely beside the point.

This is now Meg’s fourth mystery, and I really don’t recommend you jump into the series here.  In fact, if you do, I think you’ll be disappointed.  The mystery of what happened to Billy and why is more of a sub-plot than the focus of the book.  Instead, we get stories of Meg’s life changing and some serious twists in the plot of her father’s murder, a series long plot thread.

Here’s the thing.  As someone who has been following this series since the beginning, I want to know this information.  I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out what happened next.  But without that background, I don’t think I would have been as engrossed in this book.  Believe me, with the way this book ends, I’m already looking forward to finding out what happens to Meg next.  (Can we say cliffhangers?)

Given this, I’m sure it will be no surprise when I say that the characters introduced in this book are good, but not given enough page time to be fully developed.  However, the series regulars are more than up to the task of carrying this book.  Meg especially continues to grow as the book unfolds.

And at the end of the book, we get the usual adventure tips and tour guide if you’d like to go to some of the real places where this book is set.

If I sounded overly harsh earlier, let me be clear, the mystery here has some good twists and definitely holds together.  It’s just overshadowed by some other developments in Meg’s life that will only mean something to those who already care about Meg.

So if you are up to date on Meg’s adventures, you’ll definitely want to read First Degree Mudder.  If you are new to the series, I recommend backing up before you dive into these murky waters.

If you need to back up, here are the rest of the Pacific Northwest Mysteries.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Movie Review: Cars 3

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Heartwarming story
Cons: One inconsistency with the first film in one scene
The Bottom Line:
Lightning back on track
Sequel lives up to first film
Race out to watch it

“Race Cars Don’t Have Cell Phones.”

While I loved the original Cars, it took me a couple of viewings to warm up to Cars 2.  When they first announced Cars 3, I wasn’t sure whether to be excited or not.  Then came the preview with the cliffhanger, and I knew I had to see it.  I’m pleased to say that I also loved it.

Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) is in the middle of another winning racing season when the unthinkable happens – he starts losing.  His new biggest competition is Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer), a sleak newly designed race car that is not only younger but is more aerodynamic.  Jackson is breaking the 200 mph barrier, something that Lightning has never quite reached.

In the last race of the season, something even worse happens – Lightning is in an accident.  While he recovers during the off season, he has to wonder if it is even worth trying to come back.

Yes, I know.  I’m doing the exact same thing that preview I complained about did.  But there’s a reason that preview was so effective.  It really is worth it to watch this movie and let the story unfold.

What we get is another heartwarming story.  The focus is once again on Lightning.  In fact, most of the Radiator Springs crew have very small parts here.  Yes, that includes Larry the Cable Guy’s Mater.  While I missed those characters, many of them do get a moment or two to shine, and those moments are enough to make you smile.  They are just perfect.

With the focus once again on racing, this movie definitely feels like the first movie.  There’s no spy story or international intrigue.  Instead, it’s Lightning learning more about himself.  Don’t worry, this isn’t a repeat of the first film.  In fact, as much as I miss those Radiator Springs characters, seeing so little of them allows us to get a fresh story.  Okay, so it was predictable, but I was having so much fun I didn’t mind.

The movie is slow in parts, and the kids in the theater where I was watching it seemed to get bored a time or two.  Of course, those slow parts are the character development that makse this movie so good.  I’d argue that adults will appreciate those scenes even if kids don’t.

The voice cast is absolutely fabulous.  Yes, all the old characters are once again voiced by the same people.  The new cast member who gets the most screen time is Cristela Alonzo who voices Cruz Ramirez.  She and the other new cast members slip into this world seamlessly.

And the animation is outstanding.  Some of the nature shots in the original Cars are still among the best computer animation has to offer, but this movie has some shots that rival those.  You won’t be disappointed in that department.

However, I do have a nit to pick with them.  They forgot one things they established for Lightning in the very first film.  It’s only for a minute or two, and it doesn’t really matter, but it still bugged me.  This is especially true since it is the reason that Sally calls Lightning “Stickers,” somethings she still does here.

Before the film, we get a new short – “Lou.”  At first, this short seemed like it was going to be a retread of a scene from Toy Story, but it quickly grew into something more, and it became something really touching.  Definitely arrive in time to see it.

And if you stay through the credits, there is a fun throw away scene with Mater as well.

If you were disappointed with Cars 2, put that movie out of your mind and go see Cars 3.  If you were a fan of the first, I think you’ll find that this film is just as wonderful.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Book Review: The Mystery of the Galloping Ghost by Kathryn Kenny (Trixie Belden #39)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: It’s Trixie
Cons: Few regular characters; mystery, while interesting, has weaknesses
The Bottom Line:
Final mystery
Finds Trixie facing a ghost
Weak, but kids will like

For Trixie’s Final Case, She Faces the Galloping Ghost

Sadly, all good things come to an end.  The thirty-ninth book in the Trixie Belden series would prove to be the last in the series.  Most fans hate The Mystery of the Galloping Ghost, but I must admit I enjoy it despite its issues.

This book finds fourteen-year-old Trixie Belden, her best friend Honey Wheeler, and the Wheeler’s groom Regan traveling to a horse ranch in Minnesota to observe their training techniques with the pure bread Arabian horses they own.

However, the first night they are there, Trixie sees a strange horse and rider out the window that then vanish.  It’s the next day she hears the local legend of the galloping ghost.  When she meets a ghost hunter and strange things start happening around the ranch, Trixie begins to think there might actually be a ghost haunting the place.  Can she figure out what is really happening?

As I said earlier, many fans of the series don’t like this book (or any of the final five).  They have some legitimate complaints, too.  This is the final book in the series, but the only regular characters we get are Trixie, Honey, and Regan.  Of course, when this book came out, it wasn’t supposed to be the final book in the series.  In fact, book forty was being written when the series was canceled.  (And it would have finally brought Trixie to California, too!)  They also complain about Honey’s crush on a character we meet in this book when it’s been established earlier in the series that Honey has a crush on Trixie’s older brother Brian.  Honestly, this one bothers me, but not too much.

One reason these issues stick out to people is that they read this book as an adult and as the final book in the series.  In fact, this book was in print for such a short amount of time that it can draw a large amount of money on the secondary market.  I think one reason I feel the way I do about this book is because I read it as a teen while I was reading the rest of the series, and I probably had about half the series still to go when I read it for the first time.  Additionally, I paid cover price.  I’m sure if I paid a much higher price for it and read it as an adult, I’d be disappointed in it as well.

Not to say that the book is perfect.  The mystery is flawed.  It didn’t bother me as a teen when I first read it, but now reading it as an adult, I can see some serious flaws with it.  It works, and I think kids won’t mind, so I’m willing to let it pass.  It certainly has some interesting elements to it.

I actually kind of like the characters in this book.  Trixie actually seems more aware of people’s feelings, something that is often missing in other books in the series.  Honey reverts to her fraidy cat persona at one point, but that’s actually understandable considering what is happening.  The characters aren’t as rich as they are in earlier books in the series overall, but they aren’t at their worst either.

I certainly don’t recommend paying a high price for this book, however.  It isn’t the worst in the series, in my opinion, but it isn’t worth paying much money to read, either.

With the right expectations, I still find The Mystery of the Galloping Ghost enjoyable.  While not Trixie’s best case, it is still a fun mystery for kids.

Here are the rest of the Trixie Belden Mysteries.

This review is part of this week's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

June 17th's Weekly TV Thoughts

It's still proving to be a quite summer.  I'll have a little more TV starting up in the next month, but I'm enjoying the slower pace.  Not that I seem to have more time at home, but it is nice to have a less to watch when I am home.

American Ninja Warrior – Okay, I have to rant for a minute first.  (I promise I will only do this about this issue once all season.)  Right after talking about how women are really increasing their presence in the competition, they then announce that they are going to move five women on to the finals in each city automatically.  What?  If women are stepping up and making their presence known, they shouldn’t need the boost of getting in because they are women.  In fact, one thing I have always loved about the show is that the women advance because they earn a spot.  It showed true equality.  And my hat is off to the women who earned the spots tonight.  At least they are still having the same number of finishers plus however many they need to have five women in the finals, so they aren’t taking away spots from the top 30, they are adding on to the number of people going to the next round.

Okay, now let’s talk LA.  There were a couple of surprises, but they glossed over them.  Instead, we got to see the usual crowd finish the course.  This was definitely the course they used a couple of weeks ago for the celebrities, which was fun.  I really liked the football player and I hope he makes it to Vegas.  Always happy to see Flippy, I mean Flip, make it as well.

Spartan – I’m not as impressed with the set this year.  It’s all about the obstacles.  I much preferred the outdoor course from last year.  How could you not root for Heart of Texas?  What a story!  And Little Giants won, too.  Honestly, that surprised me since size is such an issue for some of the obstacles.  Looking forward to seeing what happens when these teams face off.

Angie Tribecca – I have a low standard when it comes to the mysteries on this show, but even by my standards this one just didn’t make sense.  It created a couple of great jokes, but with everything else that happened, I just truly don’t buy it.  Plus it feels like a cheat because everything that happened this season was a lie.  The cliffhanger is certainly interesting, however.  I wonder where they will go with that next season.

Team Ninja Warrior – Well, if the Superhero Squad is going to lose to anyone, it’s hard to argue with them losing to the godfather.  Seriously impressive second showdown there to top off a night of twists and surprises.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Book Review: Blood Work by Michael Connelly

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters; outstanding mystery
Cons: None
The Bottom Line:
Retired agent
Leads us through a twisty case
Hang on and enjoy

Pulls You in as Story Gets More Complicated

While I still have a long way to go to get caught up on Michael Connelly’s books, I’ve already learned to buckle up when I start one because you can never predict where the story will go based on how it starts.  There is no better example of that than Blood Work, a mostly standalone novel from the late 1990’s.

This book introduces us to Terry McCaleb, a former FBI agent who was forced to retire early due to heart problems.  Against all odds thanks to a rare blood type, he gets the heart transplant he needs.  The book opens two months after the procedure.  Things are looking good that his body will accept this heart.  Of course, it helps that he is taking it easy – spending his days fixing up the boat he inherited from his father.

Things change one day when he returns from his morning walk to find Graciela Rivers waiting for him.  She is there asking Terry to solve her sister’s murder.  Gloria was killed in a convenience store robbery.  Terry tries to explain that he isn’t interested until Graciela pulls him in with one final revelation – his new heart was Gloria’s heart.

Naturally, the police aren’t that interested in talking to an outsider, much less a former FBI agent.  Still, Terry manages to get enough information to start his own investigation.  Is there more to Gloria’s death than there first appears?  Can Terry figure out what happened?

Obviously, since this is a Michael Connelly book, there is much more to the case than it first appears.  If I told you where the book wound up (don’t worry, I’m not spoiling anything), you’d probably never believe me.  Yet each piece of the puzzle leads logically into the next one.  In fact, my mind was blown a couple of times by where the book went and how it was set up.  The plotting is wonderful, and the pacing is superb.  The book held my attention the entire way through.

All of the characters in this book are brand new, but they are all strong.  By the time the book is over, I felt like we’d gotten to know them very well.  A couple of the supporting players come across as clichĂ©, but I’m sure that’s a factor of how much page time they get, and if they’d gotten more, they would have been more fully fleshed out.

As I mentioned earlier, this book is pretty much still a standalone.  However, it still fits into the overall work that Michael Connelly is creating.  Since Terry is a former FBI agent, there is reference to The Poet, which involved that agency.  While he has yet to appear anywhere on page, we get another reference to Mickey Haller.  Terry McCaleb himself would pop up as a supporting characters in a Harry Bosch novel that would come out a few years later.  I can’t wait to get to that one for an update.  (At least I hope it’s a good update.)

I listened to the audio book while traveling over Memorial Day.  I was actually a bit disappointed when I saw that Dick Hill was the narrator since I find he can be annoying at times.  However, this time he behaved himself outside of one or two overly acted lines.  For the rest of the book, he did a fantastic job bringing the characters to life.

It really is easy to see why Michael Connelly has the reputation and fan base he does.  If you have missed Blood Work, fix that today.  This is an outstanding mystery that will keep you turning pages.

This review is part of this week's Friday's Forgotten Books.

June 16th's Book Beginning and Friday 56

It's another Friday, which means it is time again for Book Beginning and Friday 56.

This week, I'm featuring Force of Habit by Alice Loweecey.

This is the book that introduced us to Alice's character.  I was going to tell you about her, but the opening does a good job of that.

Giulia Falcone - formerly Sister Mary Regina Coelis - popped a tangerine Life Saver in her mouth to stifle a curse.
No wonder the client was desperate.  She would be too if a stalker had sent her notes that escalated from adoring to obsessive.  Given the choice, she'd rather be chased by a rabid Doberman.

Yes, we have a former nun turned PI, and she's a wonderful character.

Jumping to page 56, we find:

Blake waved a hand in Giulia's direction.  "Fine.  Whatever it takes to get us out of this mess."

That's all for this week.  Hope you have a fabulous weekend.