Review: Mercy’s Chase by Jess Lourey

FBI agent Salem Wiley is a tough cookie who was raised by an even tougher cookie. In this book 2 of a series, Salem needs to solve a decades-old mystery involving Stonehenge, secret codes, and underground societies.

I never knew who to trust in this book (I mean, neither did Salem!), and that kept me on the edge of my seat. Even when Salem thought she knew someone… e.g. Agent Lucan Stone… she had no guarantee that her government partners, family members, or colleagues had her back.

I loved the adventure and the suspense, I totally missed a fabulous clue about who the bad guy was, and I got to be a fly on the wall watching conspiracy theories and patriarchal politics intersect. Plus, Salem Wiley pretty much had me by the arm, bringing me from one point of interest to another, giving me the sightseeing tour of a lifetime. Really a fun ride.

-calliope

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Review: House Revenge by Mike Lawson 


This was a pretty entertaining read. Though it’s the eleventh in a series, I had no trouble keeping track of characters and their occupations, good guys vs bad guys, and the relationships among them all.

House Revenge takes the reader through Boston politics, from commercial land development to dirty congressmen to cops on the take to connections with Mexican drug cartels, all through the eyes of Joe DeMarco. Joe is a right hand man taking direction from politicians, but trouble arises when he doesn’t think through his approach.  

In House Revenge, at the request of those more powerful than he, Joe tries to help an old lady stay in her apartment. Her building is getting torn down to make way for bigger and better – and more profitable – enterprises. Joe doesn’t intend to get too involved, but we all know where the path of good intentions leads. By the middle of the book, Joe is halfway there. 

I liked the peek into DC and Boston politics, the interactions with Boston Police, and the local references. Though some of Joe’s “solutions” seemed pretty far-fetched, I’ve got to give him credit for getting as far as he did in a world where one hand washes the other, and quid pro quo is the status quo.

-calliope 

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Review: Hazardous Duty (Squeaky Clean Mysteries #1) by Christy Barritt

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Since I’m on a mystery roll, I scoured my early kindle purchases for a fun cozy mystery title. Hazardous Duty fit the bill. It reminds me of Evanovitch’s Stephanie Plum books – but subtler, cleaner, and with a smidge of God talk in there.

Gabby is a crime scene cleaner, so she runs into murders and mayhem all the time. Difference is, usually no one tries to kill her! Gabby tries to help a friend and solve a crime while maneuvering around politics and a dirty politician. Between trying to save her own life, spending time in her apartment house of quirky friends, and trying not to fall in love with a man anything like her loser dad, Gabby is a little bit scattered and a lot scared!

Thanks to two new friends who happen to be male, good-looking, and on the right side of the law, Gabby makes it to the end of the book alive. On her way, a little seed of faith is planted, and I can’t wait to see where it takes her in Book 2.

This is a deal at 99¢, and so good that I gladly paid $10 for book 2. 🙂 Yes. I did.

-Calliope

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Review: Hitch-22 by Christopher Hitchens

Hitch-22Okay, so I will be the first to admit, I’m not an expert on Christopher Hitchens. I’ve read “Morality” and that’s it. I didn’t watch him on television or read his reviews or articles or anything. So basically, I am unbiased. I am not a fan. I am not a hater. I am just me 🙂

First of all…there is no doubting that this man was touched with brilliance. However, there is no doubting that he is a bit condescending as well. *However* taking it a step further, he seems well aware of both these traits and does not apologise for them. To be honest, that’s quite refreshing. At least he was not playing to the masses, nor was he in denial.

I think a lot of people expect this book to be an autobiography it is, in fact, a memoir. After I finished it, I read some reviews and it was a common complaint. There isn’t a lot of his life story here. It’s mostly about events that happened to him and his viewpoints. It’s exactly what a memoir should be and it’s somewhat annoying to see people down-rating the book because there wasn’t enough talk about how he was brought up and his family life.

This was interesting in so many ways. One of the things I find most interesting about Hitchens is that he can see both sides of an issue very clearly. He could and does argue each side, at times making it hard to choose, yet he makes no holds about where he stands. I don’t think he straddled very many fences. Having said that, he also has no problems admitting he isn’t dead set in his viewpoints and had no issue admitting that perhaps he got it wrong. If he started to see that something he believed in the past wasn’t working any longer, but the opposing side was, well hey ho, he had no problem saying so and joining their ranks. So often people, especially famous people, once they declare an alliance with something, refuse to budge from their viewpoints. Especially when it comes to politics. Hitchens seemed to have no problem saying, okay, this worked in the past, but it’s not working now…what can? His loyalty seemed to be in what he found to work at that moment. Now I realise that some might see this as a bad thing. I don’t. I wish more people were able to open their minds to other viewpoints and think about what might work instead of just being loyal to the idea of the past. So often we only look at an opposing viewpoint to point out what is wrong about it. It is rarely that one is confident enough to look at one and see what is right.

I especially liked when Hitchens talked about his religious beliefs and his Jewish history (he was an adult when he found out he was Jewish) near the end of this book. He seemed very open to the fact that although he was an atheist he was waiting for someone to prove him wrong. His talk of his Jewish background (or lack of, I suppose) and the culture really fascinated me. So much so that I plan on reading more about it.

The thing about his book is…well, I didn’t really like it. I listened to the audio and there is no doubt that Hitchens was an arrogant sod. If I had ever met him, I am quite sure I would have disliked him. But there is much to enjoy reading this book. Hitchens might not have been my ideal person, but he had a great mind and was very precise on presenting multiple viewpoints on different, important subjects. I would have hated to meet this man in a debate. But my oh my…I would have loved to watch him in one….

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now Catch-22 by Christopher Hitchens

Review: Special Interests by Emma Barry

20140506-000210.jpg Special Interests is smart and sassy. Millie the idealist meets Parker the jaded, and they form an uneven friendship on Capitol Hill.

Parker is practical, working 24/7 to pass a budget. Millie is principled, standing up for the underdog. They grow to depend on each other, and something more than a friendship develops.

I love the quick-witted conversations, the last-minute phone calls, the impetuous touches. Millie doesn’t take any crap from Parker, and he respects her for that. I also appreciate that even though they don’t agree 100% on the best budget package, they manage to plow through their differences and maintain a personal relationship.

My very favorite scene is when Parker takes Millie home for Sunday dinner. What a fiasco. An eye-opening, fireworks-filled, falling-in-love turning point. It reminded me of real life, when those you love defend a position you disagree with, but their commitment to their values is so attractive it makes you love them even more.

–Calliope

Last time I checked, this was only $3.03 for Kindle!
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