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Title: The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hourse, Four Patients' Lives
Author: Theresa Brown
Genre: Memoir
Rating: 4/5
# pages: Audiobook ~9hours
Date read: July, 2017

n the span of 12 hours, lives can be lost, life-altering medical treatment decisions made, and dreams fulfilled or irrevocably stolen.

Every day Theresa Brown holds patients' lives in her hands. On this day there are four: Mr. Hampton, a patient with lymphoma to whom Brown is charged with administering a powerful drug that could cure him - or kill him; Sheila, who may have been dangerously misdiagnosed; Candace, a returning patient who arrives (perhaps advisedly) with her own disinfectant wipes, cleansing rituals, and demands; and Dorothy, who, after six weeks in the hospital, may finally go home. Prioritizing and ministering to their needs takes the kind of skill, sensitivity, and, yes, humor that enable a nurse to be a patient's most ardent advocate in a medical system marked by heartbreaking dysfunction as well as miraculous success.

From Sue Barton to Scrubs, I've always been fascinated by life at a hospital, so when I heard of this book, I knew that I had to read it. And fortunately it didn't disappoint. After having watched so many episodes of Scrubs, it was interesting to follow a real nurse during a shift (and actually also served to explain some things I'd been wondering about), and though I was slightly sad that I got to know all these patients, but was never told what happened to them, I still think following a day in the life of a nurse was a really good way to write the book, as it gave the reader insight into not just the highlights of a nurse's job, but also all the small extra tasks they have to do, in order to keep the ward running smoothly.
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Title: A Place to Belong (Sister Circle #4
Author: Vonette Bright & Nancy Moser
Genre: Christian fiction
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 338 pages
Date read: July 2017

Evelyn Peerbaugh is worried. Once again she has taken in new boarders, but this time she's opened the doors of Peerbaugh Place to women who can't pay a cent for her services. But the bonds of sisterhood are as strong as ever. As Evelyn reaches out to these sisters in need, she discovers that God has a whole new plan for the Sister Circle - and for her. Evelyn could not have predicted the shock in store for her and Piper.

Like with all the others, the book comes across as naive and too good to be true at times, so I cannot recommend the series without a disclaimer.... but I wish I could, because I absolutely loved the entire series. Right book at the right time I guess, but it was exactly the type of book / series I was in the mood to read - a thought-provoking comfort read. And as such, it fit the bill perfectly.

I found it funny how Piper went from only being a minor character in the first book, to almost being the main character in these last few. But all the sisters seem like people I'd love to meet in real life.

I sat up until past midnight to finish this, and am sad to have reached the end of the series.
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Title: An Undivided Heart (Sister Circle #3)
Author: Vonette Bright, Nancy Moser
Genre: Christian fiction
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 336 pages
Date read: July 2017

Things are ever changing at Peerbaugh Place, and once again Evelyn Peerbaugh opens her home to new boarders. This time she gets more than she bargains for. With one new tenant whose vanity exceeds all bounds, and another who is a doormat to her dominating fiancé, it seems these women will never find common ground, even as they struggle to share one house. But loyal members of the Sister Circle - Mae, Piper, Audra, and Tessa - are all close by to keep love and faith growing amidst the heartaches and joys. Evelyn even finds the courage to open her heart to new love... and this time, she's not the only one!

While I do still really enjoy this series, the books are becoming rather formulaic: new tenants move in, some are Christians, others aren't, those that aren't quickly discover that they should be. Conversion comes so easily to the sisters and their loved ones that it seems unrealistic. Still - since I know this to be the case, it doesn't bother me too much, and there is so much else to like. I've really grown to love all the sisters, and appreciate that the ones from the earlier books still show up from time to time.

I find it difficult to review these books, because they're really very naive... but they seem to be just what I need these days, so I'm inclined to love them all the same.
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Title: 'Round the Corner (Sister Circle #2)
Author: Vonette Bright & Nancy Moser
Genre: Christian fiction
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 322 pages
Date read: July, 2017

Evelyn is not so sure she likes the new dynamics of Peerbaugh Place, her impromptu boarding house. Even though it had been hard adapting to strangers living in her home, she and the other women from The Sister Circle) had found a calm cove of sisterhood. Now Evelyn is forced to start over with a new set of boarders - with more challenging personalities and problems. Evelyn fears that the bonds of sisterhood may not come as easily this time.

As much as I loved the first book in the series, I knew I had to pick up the sequel straight away. I was slightly disappointed to see that most of the Sisters had moved away from Peerbaugh Place (and again - the timing was way off. This would have been more realistic if it had been set 2 years after the first book instead of less than one), but fortunately most of them turned up on a very regular basis, so I didn't get to miss them too much.

Not quite as good as the first book - some aspects were too unrealistic for me to be able to entirely refrain from rolling my eyes - but even so I ended up enjoying it almost as much. I grew really fond of Heddy, and Summer is just a delight! (I've meet girls her age who are exactly as precocious as she is, so never felt she acted too old for her years). And again, the book seemed to have exactly the right message for me, spurring me on in my own walk with God.
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Title: The Sister Circle (Sister Circle, #1)
Author: Vonette Bright & Nancy Moser
Genre: Christian fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 351
Date read: July, 2017

Suddenly widowed with no means of support, Evelyn Peerbaugh hangs a "for rent" sign in front of her large Victorian home and her life changes in ways she never dreamed of. In a matter of days she opens a busy boardinghouse and must cope with the lives and emotions of the most incompatible group of women ever gathered under one roof. How will a meek woman like Evelyn manage?

Peerbaugh Place becomes a refuge to seven women of vastly different ages, personalities, and backgrounds. Through struggles and triumphs, the women forge a special bond of sisterhood.

This was a semi-random pick from Amazon. It came up during my search for Neta Jackson, and both the title, the cover and the back blurb appealed to me.

And fortunately the book itself was delightful. While certainly not as well-written as the Yada Yada books, it had many of the same qualities that spoke to me there. I found it charming, thought-provoking and delightful... at the same time fully seeing its flaws as it was at times both far too rosy and almost naive.

But at the end of the day, I didn't care. I grew to love the characters, and though I sometimes found their grown unrealistic (at least the speed at which it happened), it didn't bother me, because I appreciated the teachings the authors were trying to share - meaning I highlighted quotes all over the place.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Deception Point
Author: Dan Brown
Genre: Suspense
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 585
Date read: November, 2016

Rachel Sexton works for the National Reconnaissance Office as an intelligence officer. She is also the daughter of a Senator currently running for President. Her father's main offensive, and a very popular one, against the incumbent President is to attack the huge amount of NASA funding. Rachel is barely on speaking terms with her father, believing him to be totally corrupt, but is still worried she is being used by the President when he asks her to verify an amazing find by NASA, a find which will settle the arguments about NASA funding for ever.

Reluctantly agreeing to view the find Rachel is whisked off to the North Pole. What she finds once she gets there takes her breath away. However, she quickly learns that nothing is what it seems, and, with two civilian scientists, is soon fleeing for her life. Stranded on an ice berg they are rescued in the nick of time by a nuclear submarine, but once back in the US their attempts to expose the plot show them that they can trust absolutely no one...

Better than I'd expected, but of course it helps that I know nothing about the technologies described. Dan Brown likes to claim he knows everything about the things he describes in his books, but my experience so far has been that he really doesn't... artistic license is all well and good, but now when you start the book off with an authors note saying that "Everything exists exactly as described in this book" - WHEN THAT'S JUST NOT TRUE!!!

*Cough* Sorry, I got side-tracked. Like I said, I know nothing about the techs described in this book, so the inaccuracies didn't bother me, as I could just ignore them. The funny thing about Dan Brown's books (at least the ones I've read so far), is that the plot itself is seldom anything special, but his writing is so action-packed that it pulls the reader through the pages anyway. And even though I recognized his antics for what they were here, I didn't really mind, and still wanted to know what happened next!

There were a few twists and turns in this book... some I'd guessed ahead of time, others I hadn't. It seemed rather far-fetched in places, but I'd gone into it knowing that I probably shouldn't fact-check too much, and as a whole, I rather enjoyed it. Not really a book that lends itself to rereading though.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Spun by Sorcery (Sugar Maple #3)
Author: Barbara Bretton
Genre: Fantasy, Crafts
Rating: 2.5/5
# pages: 324
Date read: May, 2016

Chloe is always losing things-but an entire town? Just when she was about to settle down in Sugar Maple with her soul-mate Luke MacKenzie, her Fae enemy Isadora strikes, and her new hometown is gone. Even the Book of Spells, her lifeline to magick, can't help her now. Just in the nick of time, her friend Janice roars up in Chloe's ancient Buick with Penny the cat and her yarn stash in tow. If she is going to save her home she has to go back to Salem, where family secrets and centuries- old feuds pull her into the fight of her life.

Definitely the weakest of the lot, unfortunately. I liked the general plot well enough, but a lot of the details made me want to roll my eyes - which is annoying enough when it's obviously the intention, but even worse when it's involuntary.

I still like Chloe and Luke, and would like to know what happens to them next, but as the books have been slowly declining in quality, I may just pretend it's a trilogy (as the ending was relatively free from loose threads) and end my visit to Sugar Maple here.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: The Great Christmas Knit-Off
Author: Alexandra Brown
Genre: Chick-lit
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 400
Date read: December, 2015

Heartbroken after being jilted at the altar, Sybil has been saved from despair by her knitting obsession and now her home is filled to bursting with tea cosies, bobble hats, and jumpers. But, after discovering that she may have perpetrated the cock-up of the century at work, Sybil decides to make a hasty exit and, just weeks before Christmas, runs away to the picturesque village of Tindledale.

There, Sybil discovers Hettie’s House of Haberdashery, an emporium dedicated to the world of knitting and needle craft. But Hettie, the outspoken octogenarian owner, is struggling and now the shop is due for closure. And when Hettie decides that Sybil’s wonderfully wacky Christmas jumpers are just the thing to add a bit of excitement to her window display, something miraculous starts to happen.

Lovely read :) I was instantly charmed and found myself longing to go celebrate Christmas in a cozy English village like Tindledale where everybody knows everybody, everybody cares for their neighbour, and everybody wants to gather either at the pub, at the bookstore or to knit and natter!

Parts of it were perhaps a bit too perfect, but I tend to think that's allowed for Christmas stories :) It was a wonderfully cozy read and I never wanted to leave.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Madness (Asher Benson #2)
Author: Jason Brant
Genre: Horror
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 377
Date read: December, 2015

Asher Benson has once again fled to a secluded cabin in the mountains outside of the sleepy town of Arthur's Creek, West Virginia. Government agents surround him day and night, blanketing his entire life in constant surveillance under the guise of keeping him safe.

That facade is shattered when every cell phone in Arthur's Creek rings simultaneously. Anyone who answers the call is driven into a violent, psychotic madness that turns the entire town into a slaughterhouse.

And Ash is caught in the middle of it all.

Honestly, I can't quite figure out what I think of this book. It was every bit as captivating as the first book in the series, and I had serious problems putting it down, but it was a LOT more gory than I typically want my books to be, and I read most of it with a bit of a cringe on my face. The carnage started on page 5 and didn't end until 3 pages before the end!

But it was well written, I like the characters, and it ended with the main bad guy still not found, so I'm still contemplating whether or not I want to read the next book in the series.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: The Sound of Music Family Scrapbook
Author: Fred Bronson
Genre: Memoir
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 160
Date read: October, 2015

It's not an exaggeration to say that The Sound of Music is the most beloved film musical of all time. It has touched more than one generation, as over the years, many parents have shared the magic of this wonderful movie with their children. Seven very special children experienced The Sound of Music firsthand: the seven young actors cast as the von Trapp children. Now, for the first time, they tell their stories about making this celebrated film, from their auditions to rehearsals in Los Angeles to an incredible spring and summer in Salzburg, Austria. What was it like to work with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer? How did they learn the songs and dances for the musical numbers? Who almost drowned when the boat tipped over? What was it like to attend the gala Hollywood premiere? What were their lives like after starring in this legendary movie? And how did they become a family in real life, remaining as close as any brothers and sisters for the last 45 years?

I grew up with "The Sound of Music" and it's always been one of my favourite movies, so when I heard of this scrapbook, I knew I had to have it! "Behind the scenes" information has always been of great interest to me :)

Fortunately, this book totally lived up to my expectations, and I breezed through it in one day. While I was perhaps less interested in the "where are they now" chapters, I loved the insights given and enjoyed all the fun anecdotes. The book was co-written by the people who played the seven von Trapp children, so I did miss a few more anecdotes about Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer but oh well. I did find it awesome that the seven 'children' still stick together :-)

A great book to water my enduring adoration of this movie :)
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Rising Strong
Author: Brené Brown
Genre: Non-fiction
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 288
Date read: August, 2015

This is the first book I've ever read by Brené Brown, but I've already gotten hold of "Daring Greatly" as I definitely want to read more of what she has to say.

"Rising Strong" is all about getting back up again, after life has brought us to our knees (or face down in the arena). It's about realizing that the stories we tell ourselves aren't necessarily based on truth, but are usually based on fear and shame instead; and that we need to reckon (identify our feelings after a fall), rumble (find the truth of what caused the fall) and use these to inspire a revolution (using these findings to move forward and get back up again).

The concept of "telling ourselves stories" really resonated with me, as I find myself doing this far too often. Hopefully realizing it for what it is, is a good first step for me, and I can use Brené Brown's inspirating of "not skipping the second act", but instead rumble with my story to find the truth in it, and use it to move onwards in a constructive manner.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek) Envy
Author: Sandra Brown
Genre: Suspense
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 549
Date read: July, 2015

When New York publisher Maris Matherly Reed receives a tantalizing manuscript from someone identified only as P.M.E., its blockbuster potential-and perhaps something else-compels her to meet its author. On an eerie, ruined cotton plantation on a remote Georgia island she finds Parker Evans, a man concealing his identity and his past. Maris is drawn into his tale of two young friends and a deadly betrayal ... and to Parker himself. But there's something especially chilling about this novel, its possible connection to Maris's own life, and the real-life character who uses her, or anyone, to get what he wants.

Sandra Brown writes trash. But ridiculously readable trash. I couldn't put it down and read it at times where I should have been doing other things ;) It's been so long since I read it last, that I'd forgotten most of the details, but they came back to me as I went along making for a fun combination of enjoying a new book and the fun of rediscovery.

It is not high class literature in any sense of the word, but it kept me nicely entertained. I have a hard time believing people as evil as Todd exist, but certainly enjoy reading about them getting their comeuppence... at least when they're brought to justice and aren't just killed off at the end because that's easier... Yes, that's a pet peeve of mine, can you tell? ;)
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Moon Called (Mercy Thompson #1)
Author: Patricia Briggs
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 317
Date read: June, 2015

Mercedes "Mercy" Thompson is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will. Mercy's next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she's fixing a bus for a vampire. This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy's connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water...

Very similar in style to Kelley Armstrong's "Women of the Otherworld" series. Well-written and engaging enough to keep me nicely entertained. I found it nicely contained though, so feel no need to rush out and read the rest of the series. Besides, Adam and Samuel's rivalry annoyed me, and I foresee a love triangle in the future, which I'd prefer to avoid.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Gehenna
Author: Jason Brant
Genre: Horror
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 176
Date read: March, 2015

When two cannibalistic, gravely wounded men stagger into the town of Gehenna, all Hell breaks loose. Infamous outlaw Mad Dog McCall, stuck in the city jail, must fight for his life to escape. The lonely, intelligent, and snarky Karen must make horrific sacrifices to survive the night against the growing army of the dead.

Together they set upon a journey of biblical proportions, fighting against the living and the infected, hoping against hope to find a safe haven in the middle of Hell.

I read Jason Brant's book "Ash" earlier this year, and was really pleasantly surprised by it, so when I found this book was free for Kindle, I downloaded it right away.

Unfortunately it couldn't quite live up to my expectations. It's still very well written, but it seemed more like an introductory novella than a book in its own right. Nothing was resolved, but the scene set very eloquently for book two.

I doubt I'll read book 2 though - not because I didn't like this one, but simply because it's a tad more firmly in the horror genre than I prefer. Zombies are all well and good when they further the plot like in Mira Grant's books, but when they're just an excuse for gore (I literally winced on several occasions while reading this), then I'd rather move on to something else.

I do think it'd make a terrific horror movie though. Not that I'd ever watch it - I'm too much of a scardy-cat for that - but it did remind me quite forcibly of "From Dusk Till Dawn" at times.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Ash (Asher Benson #1)
Author: Jason Brant
Genre: Suspense
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 336 pages
Date read: February, 2015

9 AM EST: A senator shoots himself on national television.

10:32 AM EST: An entire floor of government agents leap to their death from their office building.

12:57 PM EST: All the police officers inside a station murder each other.

And the day has just begun.

Lieutenant Asher Benson left Iraq with a traumatic brain injury, PTSD, and a Purple Heart. His doctors warned that the symptoms would be life altering. They had no idea. As his body healed, the thoughts of those around him began to echo through Ash's mind, stretching the boundaries of his sanity.

Five years later, Ash is drowning the voices with copious amounts of booze and self-loathing.

When unidentified intelligence agents abduct him in broad daylight, Ash is thrust into a world of espionage and assassinations. A unique terrorist is operating on U.S. soil, and the government needs Ash, and the malady that has plagued him for half a decade, to find the killer.

A random Amazon Kindle daily deal that turned out to be FAR better than I had ever expected. I had great difficulties putting it down, and finished it in just a few days (would have been faster if I hadn't deemed it perfect commute reading). Well written (or engagingly written, anyway) and lots of action from the very first page.

It did leave a couple of threads hanging, but no more than what is acceptable for the first book in a series (no cliffhangers!) and I'll definitely be checking out more of Jason Brant's books.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Laced with Magic (Sugar Maple #2)
Author: Barbara Bretton
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 327
Date read: April 2014

Knit shop owner and sorcerer's daughter Chloe Hobbs felt the Fates finally got it right when she met Luke MacKenzie. And no one could have convinced her otherwise-including the trolls, selkies, or spirits who also call Sugar Maple, Vermont, home. But then out of nowhere Luke's ex-wife suddenly shows up, claiming to see the spirit of their daughter, Steffie-a daughter Chloe knows nothing about.

Steffie's spirit is being held hostage by a certain Fae leader. And if Chloe weaves a spell to free her spirit, her nemesis will also be free-free to destroy her yarn shop and all of Sugar Maple. But if she doesn't, Steffie won't be the only one spending eternity in hell. Chloe'll be joining her, cursed with a broken heart.

About half way through the book it looked as if I would end up giving it two stars at best. A horrible disappointment after I had enjoyed the first book so much. But fortunately Barbara Bretton managed to redeem herself in the second half, and in the end she regained my trust and at least almost lived up to my expectations. So after thinking I might not finish the book at all, I now find myself considering continuing with the series after all.

But the first half was absolutely ripe with foreshadowing - one of my hugest pet peeves in books. At page 111 I was disgusted enough with the entire thing that I considered just giving up on the book altogether. Fortunately I gave it the benefit of the doubt, and not only did the main characters not run quite as straight-forwardly into a brick wall as I had feared, but there was only one more incident of foreshadowing in the rest of the book. Still, the extreme use of the feature in the first half subtracted a full star off my rating.

I'm not sure I buy into Luke and Chloe's relationship any longer, and there were quite a number of plotholes here and there, but I absolutely adored Karen and her weird friendship with Chloe, and am sad we won't get to see her again.

Even the cliff-hanger at the end of the book was decent enough that it only subtracted half a star rather than the full star it would usually do.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Hyperbole and a Half
Author: Allie Brosh
Genre: Essays
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 288 pages
Date read: November, 2013

Touching, absurd, and darkly comic, Allie Brosh's book showcases her unique voice, leaping wit, and her ability to capture complex emotions with deceptively simple illustrations.

This full-color, illustrated edition features more than fifty percent new content, with ten never-before-seen essays and one wholly revised and expanded piece as well as classics from the website like, "The God of Cake" "Dogs Don't Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving" and her astonishing "Adventures in Depression" and "Depression Part Two" which have been hailed as some of the most insightful meditations on the disease ever written.

I'd better start out with a confession -- I've never read the Hyperbole and a Half blog. I've tried a couple of times, but just never really got it.

Despite that, somehow this book found its way into my claws, and when I saw that it was making the finals of the Goodread's Choice Awards I figured "Why not?" ... and that was all it took.

Just two pages in I was completely sold. I devoured the book in two quick sittings (would have been one, but I had to go to work), and am now slowly working my way through the blog - trying not to gorge on it all at once. Now I can honestly say I understand all the hype - Allie Brosh is brilliant, and the mix between text and cartoons in her essays makes for a very different reading experience that - IMHO - works perfectly.

Her letters to previous selves was probably my favourite essay, but the two essays on depression were heartwrenchingly relateable.

Terrific read.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Casting Spells
Author: Barbara Bretton
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 320
Date read: March, 2013

Sugar Maple looks like any Vermont town, but it's inhabited with warlocks, sprites, vampires, witches and an ancient secret. And Chloe Hobbs, owner of Sticks & String, a popular knitting shop, has a big secret too. She's a sorcerer's daughter in search of Mr. Right and she's found him in Luke MacKenzie, a cop investigating Sugar Maple's very first murder. Bad news is he's 100% human, which could spell disaster for a normal future with a paranormal woman like her.

A fun mix between the knitting novels that I love and the paranormal novels that I love :) There wasn't quite enough knitting in it for my tastes, but on the whole I really enjoyed it. It's been awhile since I completely disappeared into a book, so it was nice to discover I still could ;)

It isn't high literature, and there were aspects I thought were glossed over too quickly, but for pure entertainment it fit the bill, and I can always hope some of the remaining questions will be answered in later books in the series :)
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Beauty Queens
Author: Libba Bray
Genre: YA
Rating: 4/5
# pages: Audiobook ~17hrs, 400 pages
Date read: February 2013, April 2015

The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea, crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.

What's a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program - or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan - or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?

I was in the mood for some light reading, and this fit the bill perfectly. The plot seems to be a mix between "Miss Congeniality" and "Lost", and, though absurd at times, actually works. I found myself laughing out loud on more than one occasion.

The audiobook I found was narrated by Libba Bray herself, and she did an amazing job. No doubt a lot of my enjoyment of the book was due to her narrating. I especially loved Tiara's "voice".

The book is neither deep nor thought-provoking, but it's fun and entertaining. Sometimes that's all I ask for.
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Title: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Author: Alan Bradley
Genre: Crime, Historical fiction
Rating: 3/5
# pages: Audiobook ~10hrs
Date read: December, 2012

It is the summer of 1950 - and a series of inexplicable events has struck Buckshaw, the decaying English mansion that Flavia's family calls home. A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath. For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw.

To Flavia the investigation is the stuff of science: full of possibilities, contradictions, and connections. Soon her father, a man raising his three daughters alone, is seized, accused of murder. And in a police cell, during a violent thunderstorm, Colonel de Luce tells his daughter an astounding story - of a schoolboy friendship turned ugly, of a priceless object that vanished in a bizarre and brazen act of thievery, of a Latin teacher who flung himself to his death from the school's tower thirty years before. Now Flavia is armed with more than enough knowledge to tie two distant deaths together, to examine new suspects, and begin a search that will lead her all the way to the King of England himself. Of this much the girl is sure: her father is innocent of murder - but protecting her and her sisters from something even worse....

I'm typically not too interested in detective/sleuth type novels. They have to be something very out of the ordinary for me to be impressed (which is probably also why I've never cared for Agatha Christie or Sherlock Holmes), so it was with some trepidation that I started this audiobook. However, it came highly recommended, so I figured it was worth a shot.

And it was. It kept me nicely entertained for the 10'ish hours it lasted, and while I doubt I'll read any more books in the series, I did rather like Flavia de Luce... even if she wasn't a very believable 11-year-old.


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