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Murder, She Wrote: A Date with Murder by Jessica Fletcher, Donald Bain and Jon Land

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Broken Chord: A Music Row Mystery by Alice A. Jackson

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Shortcut (The Cut Series Book 2) by Arnold Eslava-Grunwaldt

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Flight of the Fox by Gray Basnight

Reviewed by Jud Hanson

Flight of the FoxProfessor Sam Teagarden never expected what happened one weekend as he was relaxing on his sundeck: the appearance of an armed drone over his head. He managed to escape but had to witness the death of his beloved pet and his 11-year old neighbor. Teagarden is forced to go on the run, carrying with him a mysterious document sent to him by an old acquaintance only days before: an encrypted FBI file dating back more than 50 years. There was a note with the file challenging Teagarden to see if he could decipher it, just for fun. Unfortunately, the file contains secrets the FBI wants to remain buried and they know the file was sent to Sam. A black ops team is dispatched to eliminate the threat and the resulting chase will run the length of the Eastern seaboard. The information in the file could turn American history on its head. The question is, would Americans prefer total transparency or blissful ignorance?

The Candidate (Newsmakers) by Lis Wiehl and Sabastian Stuart

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The CandidateErica Sparks (who has appeared in several of Lis Wiehl’s books) is a top flight newscaster and is very keyed up about the upcoming presidential race. She realizes that this type of excitement just adds to her show’s audience and thus her ratings. She decides that she will spend a lot of time checking out all the possible candidates and see who is most likely to bring her more listeners.

It turns out that two of the top runners very quickly put just about all the other hopefuls behind and therefore make them of little value to Erica and her network. Erica is also mindful of the fact that her boss is constantly watching the ratings battle and truthfully is always looking for results whether they come by way of Erica or someone else.

To help solidify her position and hopefully even add to it substantially she decides to hone in on Senator Mike Ortiz one of the Democratic candidates. He is currently locked in a battle with Fred Buchanan of Pennsylvania and would make a prime candidate for a moderated debate on Ericka’s show. She begins making arrangements although it means that she is going to be spending quite a bit of time away from her eleven year old daughter, Jenny. Jenny has begun giving her grief anyway because since the divorce of her parents Jenny doesn’t feel either Erica or her former husband care enough about her wellbeing.

On The Corner: A Novel of Lifelong Friendship by S.J. Tagliareni

Reviewed by Nancy Eaton

On the CornerDid you have a best friend who was there for you during the good times and difficult times in your life? This is the story of On the Corner.

Sal and his childhood friend, Michael have been there for each other. It is difficult to imagine what would have happened had they not been there to provide the emotional support to each other during the many events that took place over the years.

The reader will follow the story of these two men as they face many situations in life; marriage, deaths of loved ones, going their separate ways to college and reconnecting again.

Once you read On the Corner, it will make you really appreciate someone you might have known like Sal and Michael. Sometimes we take friends for granted but this story will make you take a second look at your close friends. Even if you have lost contact with a close friend, On the Corner will make you want to search for that person so you can reconnect again.

Matchup: The Battle of the Sexes Just Got Thrilling Edited by Lee Child

Reviewed by Allen Hott

MatchupCompletely different concept. This is a book of eleven short stories written by twenty two different authors. Each story has one male author and one female author. They discuss the story they have in mind. Then they begin working together building this new story. And each story features one of each author’s main characters. Very interesting concept on writing and done very well.

The first is Honor & …… which is a story involving Joe Pickett (C J Box character) and Lee Coburn (Sandra Brown character). They meet up in an interesting fashion in Pickett’s territory (kind of) and have to figure out who and what is going on. Together after they realize that they are both lawmen, they do a great job of getting the job done!

The second story is Footloose with Val McDermid’s Tony Hill as one character and Peter James’s Roy Grace as the other character. This one is a little more difficult to read as it is about a crime in England involving human feet that are found in various places. Lots of English titles and characters.

Next up was Faking a Murderer. This featured Temperance Brennan (Kathy Reichs’ character) teamed with Jack Reacher (Lee Child’s contribution). Reacher as usual interrupts a trip to pal up with Brennan and solve a murder as well as get Brennan out of trouble.

The Book of M: A Novel by Peng Shepherd

Reviewed by Diane Pollock

The Book of MWhat if you had no shadow? What if in losing your shadow you lost yourself?

This mysterious apocalyptic fantasy tale draws you into it’s world and holds you there, shivering.

Ory and his wife Max have been hiding out in an abandoned hotel, scavenging for supplies and avoiding both the shadowed and the shadowless. But, then Max loses her shadow.
With the shadow, she will lose her memories over time. And she will gain a power to manipulate reality that is dangerous to her beloved husband. So she decides to leave him before she forgets.

Steep Price (The Tracy Crosswhite Series) by Robert Dugoni

Reviewed by Jud Hanson

Steep Price. Tracy Crosswhite, an accomplished homicide detective in the Seattle P.D., is facing a major life, change in less than a year: the birth of her first child. In the meantime, two major cases are one her plate. The first is the death of a promising young Indian woman, Kavita Mukherjee, whose roommate, Avita, has just broken the news that during her trip home to India, she had gotten married to a suitor arranged by her parents. Kavita disappeared shortly afterwards. The second case being handled by the “A” Team is the fatal shooting of a community activist in a part of Seattle known for its high crime rate. At the same time, Tracy is dealing with her pregnancy no longer being a secret and the sudden reassignment to the “C” team of a seasoned detective in favor of a novice Hispanic woman who seemingly appeared from nowhere. Tracy is determined to see both cases solved and it will take all the team’s skills to solve both cases.

Bad Luck and Trouble (Jack Reacher, No. 11) by Lee Child

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Bad Luck and TroubleA somewhat different concept for Jack Reacher (one of Lee Child’s favorite cop-type folks). Usually Reacher pretty much works alone as he travels the country with no changes of clothes, a travel toothbrush, and little cash but he normally does have his bank info so he can get cash if need be.

He really is in luck this time however as he now has an ATM card but he is completely startled when upon making a withdrawal request he finds he has much more cash than normal in his account. The deposit of $1030 means to Reacher and his MP associates that someone is in trouble. In military jargon 1030 means someone needs help. The deposit was in fact made by Frances Neagley, who had worked with him for over ten years in his army career. She was brilliant, resourceful, tough, and a true right hand to him in his position.

Reacher knows that something is wrong but as he tries tracking her down in Chicago where she used to work he finds that she is currently in LA doing some type of work-related activity. He immediately heads for LA knowing that he can track her down. When he does she tells him that one of their group is not only dead but was thrown from an airplane. The man, Calvin Franz, was one of Reacher’s closest friends in the service. And now Neagley planned to find out who killed him and she knew Reacher would also want that satisfaction.

Reacher had been in charge of a small group of ranger-type investigators of which Neagley was one. On hearing of how Franz died she felt the other eight members of the group should be brought together and do the same type of work they used to do and not only find the killers but the reasons for the murder.

Learn American Sign Language

Written by Nancy

Why learn American Sign Language? Did you know that ASL is one of the most popular languages studied at colleges in the United States. Each country has its own form of sign language. That is why it is called American Sign Language in the United Sates. Even though it is called American Sign Language, I did not know that sign language is different in other countries.

If you are interested in learning American Sign Language, click here for the recommended books.

Nancy Drew Books

Article written by Nancy Eaton

Why did you read a Nancy Drew book when you were a young child? Maybe because it was the thing to do back then or maybe it was because you loved a good mystery!

I know when I was about 7, my interest really grew in the Nancy Drew mysteries. I could not wait for the next book to be released. I knew it was going to be an interesting story, with characters that I liked and best of all a mystery that I wanted to help solve.

A person as young as 7 could start reading the Nancy Drew books. The first 56 Nancy Drew books are considered to be the Nancy Drew classic books.

Nancy Drew books are very popular all over the world and have been translated into many different languages.

Click here to see my list of Nancy Drew books.

Best Classic Books for Teens

Written by Nancy Eaton

What is the definition of a classic book? A classic book is one that has stood the test of time. A classic book so one that people will talk about when the get together. A classic book is one where the characters come across to the reader as genuine. A classic book is one where the characters are in situations or live in circumstances that are believable. A classic book is one that people do not read only once but go back and read it again.

I’m sure many of us can remember when we were a teen and a teacher would recommend a book for us to read. Most likely, that book was a classic at the time or it turned out to be a classic in years to come. Many of us might have had a recommendation from our parents about a classic book that they have read. This recommendation could go on from generation to generation because classic books never fade away. If anything, they become more popular over the years. One example I can think of is To Kill a Mocking Bird. I know this title was mentioned when I was a teen and it is still very popular today.

Listed below is my recommended list of top 10 classic books for teens:

    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The setting for this book is in Alabama. A lawyer defends a black man accused of raping a white woman. How can he possibly get a fair trial?

    Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

A coming of age story about four sisters. The story follows them through adulthood.

    Pride and Prejudice by Anne Austen

Elizabeth Bennett is very independent and one of five sisters. She has to marry someone rich and this results in an interesting courtship.

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Read about the adventures of a young boy who travels down the river with a runaway slave.

    Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Two young people fall in love and end up dying because of their love.

    Tale of Two Cities by James Butler

This novel is set in London and Paris during and after the French Revolution.

    The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

A young girl flees her home and goes into hiding during Nazi occupation.

    Lord of the Flies by William Golding

A group of schoolboys are stranded on a deserted island after a plane wreck.

    Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

A young boy is an orphan and struggles with poverty.

    The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

This is the story of an old Cuban fisherman and his continuing battle with a giant marlin.

For more information on these books or to order any of them, click here.

Just by looking at these titles, I have rekindled by own interest in these classics. I am going to go back and read these classic books once again.