Daily Archives: August 4, 2012

Fatal Induction: A Professor Bradshaw Mystery by Bernadette Pajer

Fatal Induction Reviewed by Patricia Reid

Mystery, science, gypsies, and the assassination of President McKinley all play major roles in this novel. Benjamin Bradshaw is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and is currently involved in an electrical competition. The contest winner’s telephonic system will deliver music from the Seattle Grand theatre to homes throughout the city. The reader can only imagine what this would mean to people sitting at home and able to hear music from the theater.

Bradshaw is sidetracked a bit when he finds a gypsy peddler cart abandoned behind his home. The cart advertises “Ralph’s Redeeming Restorative, the Romany Remedy that Really Works”. The inside of the cart revealed a little girl’s doll. Bradshaw brings the doll in the house where he lives with his housekeeper, Mrs. Prouty, and his son Jason who is in the third grade. Mrs. Prouty is indignant because the horse attached to the wagon has been busy in her garden. Bradshaw is upset because he feels that the missing little girl may have witnessed a murder.

The Chiefs of Council Bluffs: Five Leaders of the Missouri Valley Tribes by Gail Geo. Holmes

The Chiefs of Council BluffsReviewed by Teri Davis

The city known as Council Bluffs, Iowa sits in a strategic place on the Missouri River becoming part of the Omaha metropolitan area. How did this place start?

Five Native Americans were instrumental to this place Big Elk, Captain Billy Caldwell, Chief Wangewaha who was also called Hard Heart, Petalesharo, and Standing Bear. Though all have different histories, tribes, and experiences, their interactions greatly and permanently influenced this place.

Gail Holmes weaves this tale of these outstanding Native American leaders with the Mormon people as they passed through this area on their way to Utah as a storyteller intermixing the events and historical figures of the day as well as their conflicts and solutions.

What was outstanding in this short historical collection was Mr. Holmes research about placing these events in the present day so that the reader can truly comprehend where these places were in this metropolitan community. He also has an excellent manner in explaining the geography of this area especially the loess hills and the river area.

The Chiefs of Council Bluffs is strongly connects with the Mormom centers in the area, especially the recent production of “Come Home to Kanesville” at the Council Bluffs’ Tabernacle. Mr. Holmes masterfully details the Mormom journey through this area and further relates it to the Native American and their interactions of the time developing a stronger understanding of the area, choices, and the people of this time.

The Boob Girls II: In Lies, Spies, and Cinnamon Rolls by Joy Johnson

The Boob Girls II: In Lies, Spies, and Cinnamon RollsReviewed by Teri Davis

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Supposedly Ben Franklin stated this or some variation of this old certainty in life. This depressing quotation is not the way that The Boob Girls, the Burned Out Old Broads at table 12, plan to live even though they live in a retirement community.

Hadley Joy Morris-Whitfield, Dr. Robinson Leary, and Mary Rose McGill recently had the adventure of their life, after raising their families. The threesome, along with Maggie Patten, learned to live after the death of their husbands, and to have the time of their lives. Unfortunately, Maggie died during the adventure which is chronicled in Book 1 of The Boob Girls.

Being that there is now an empty place at their assigned table 12, Patty Whack is the new Patty Whack addition to this table group at the retirement home. She is an undercover spy pretending to be a retiree while still working on current investigations. She essentially is taking Maggie’s place even though no one can actually replace this hardened, loveable character. Also, new to this novel is the larger than life, Mrs. Evangeline Goldberg and her large men and cinnamon rolls as they romp into a cemetery adventure.

Vampire Disaster by Phoebe Matthews

Vampire Diaster Reviewed by Douglas R. Cobb

Being transformed into a vampire isn’t always the most pleasant of fates, but it brought a whole new lease on life to the first-person narrator of Vampire Disaster, Georgia. She was facing an incurable illness in Phoebe Matthew’s spellbinding first book in the Turning Vampire series, Vampire Career, and had searched out a unique way to extend her years on the Earth: find a vampire to change her into one, also. In Vampire Disaster, Matthews continues writing about Georgia’s adventures and exploits, and–of course, her love life with Justin, whom she met and began having a relationship with in Vampire Career.

As I mentioned in my review of Vampire Career, I normally don’t read paranormal romance novels. However, I was glad that I did read Vampire Career because it’s a very well-written, page-turning novel. Vampire Disaster is another fantastic paranormal romance read from Phoebe Matthews, and it’s a bloody good fun paranormal thriller from start to finish.

The Turning Vampire series is set in Washington, “at the edge of the Olympic Peninsula’s Rain Forest.” It’s a suitably beautiful scenic place, but dank and wet, a terrific area to set a vampire novel in. Georgia is taking night classes, and she and Justin are running a cool coffee house/teen hangout, Vampaccino. Justin wears vampire makeup, a black cape and a black wig, to go along with the theme of Vampaccino’s. Georgia is naturally pale, but she’s been made even paler by being a vampire. She wears natural flesh-colored makeup to appear more human and alive.

There’s always got to be plenty of great conflict to make for a cool, page-turning read, and in Vampire Disaster, Georgia definitely her share of conflict and bad things happening in her life. For instance, her parents’ strange neighbors, medical doctor Matt Engle and his wife, Angie, keep following her, wanting to “gain fame,” by writing about Georgia’s seeming “miraculous cure.” They even wait for her, like stalkers, at the campus building were she has her night classes to try to waylay her and ask her questions. Georgia is barely able to elude them, and they continue to be a thorn in her side throughout the novel.

The First to Say No
by Charles C. Anderson

The First to Say No Reviewed by Douglas R. Cobb

Our nation’s health care system is in shambles. The emergency rooms of many of America’s inner-city hospitals are like war zones, where patients, nurses, and doctors don’t know from one moment to the next if another patient might lunge out and attack him/her. In the fantastic medical thriller novel, The First To Say No, retired ED Doctor Charles C. Anderson has penned an exciting, page-turning read about an example of one of America’s dysfunctional emergency rooms and what drives a female doctor who has been raped several times (Dr. Elita Romanov) to get her much justified revenge. Romanov and Dr. Kate Taylor, who is also fed up with the increasing numbers of violent attacks on hospital employees, decide that they need to be the first to say no, and fight back against the violence. Anderson’s novel will open your eyes about the dangerous situations that the medical profession faces every day that they work in the U.S.’s emergency rooms.

One aspect of the novel that struck me from the beginning was that it is told primarily from the point of view of its main female protagonist, the aforementioned Dr. Kate Tayler. Either sex faces many challenges while toiling in any emergency room; but, for women nurses and doctors, they additionally face the possibility of being sexually assaulted and raped. These sorts of attacks are becoming, sadly, increasingly more common, and I salute the author for bringing the dangers that ER doctors/nurses encounter to the attention of America’s conscience.

What’s more, the author tells Kate’s story with a very dramatic and compelling flair that is guaranteed to hold and maintain your interest. It’s one of those sorts of books you won’t want to put down, or turn your Kindle off, to even sleep at night. I can’t imagine what it would be like if I suddenly discovered that my wife or daughter had been raped; I wouldn’t be able to see straight, probably, and I’d desire to get revenge, just as Dr. Elita Romanov and Dr. Tayler do, though I might not carry it off with the panache that they do.

As The First To Say No opens, Dr. Romanov is tied to a table in one of the lairs of the Plagues, an inner-city gang that has been terrorizing the city’s ED, and the city, in general. She’s been raped multiple times by various members of the Plagues while unconscious, and is being raped by a Plague when she regains her consciousness.

Her hands are not tied very well, and her legs are free. She pretends to still be unconscious, and waits for the right moment when the Plague seems to be too engrossed in what he’s doing to pay much attention to her. Then, the resourceful Dr. Romanov kills her attacker in a manner that would make the Bond villain in Octopussy proud. She takes his gun, and uses it quite effectively to dispatch the other two Plagues in the adjacent room.