Monthly Archives: June 2014

Higgledy Piggledy: A Tale of Four Little Pigs by B. Seymour Rabinovitch with Rebecca Treger and Mari Stein, Illustrator and Edited by Ruth A. Rabinovitch

Higgledy Piggledy

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Have you ever felt that you did not fit in with your family or your friends? Have you ever been teased about being different? That is Higgledy Piggledy’s problem.

In this happy little pig family, Curly, Twirly, Whirly, and Higgledy Piggledy live a content life baking apple pies, playing with butterflies and taking long naps. The only problem in any of their lives was that sometimes Higgledy Piggledy would be teased by Curly, Twirly, and Whirly. Why? Higgledy Piggledy’s name did not rhyme with his brothers. Of course Curly, Twirly, and Whirly rhymed with each other and that made Higgledy Piggledy feel left out with his name that rhymed with itself. Three against one was not a good feeling.

That all was about to change when a new neighbor arrived, a big wolf.

Higgledy Piggledy is a classic fairy story based on a combination of tales from Jewish folklore and the classic tale of The Three Little Pigs. As with many children’s fairy tales, these were originally told from generation to generation with slight changes matching the personalities and needs of the teller and the audience.

The Surgeon’s Son by Catherine Rose Putsche

The Surgeon's Son

Reviewed by Inishowen Cailín

‘Four teenage girls suddenly go missing without a trace in various locations based in the North and the East of England in a short period of several months apart.

One of these girls, Gracie Peterson, is found alive in a small wooden box on an abandoned industrial estate, with injuries that are so gruesome even the paramedics cringe in anticipation whilst trying to free her, after Gracie had spent eight horrific weeks in captivity.

Detective Inspector Marty Bride and his specialist team of detectives, forensic investigators and psychological profilers become chillingly aware that there is a brutal serial killer on the loose who enjoys leaving them various clues to his real identity.’ Amazon.com

The Surgeon’s Son is a crime novel about a serial killer in England who targets teenage girls. The reader is brought on a roller coaster ride of horror, hope, sadness and joy as the ‘Surgeon’ unleashes his own brand of torture on his innocent young victims.

‘The Surgeon’s Son’ is different to many other novels in the genre as it is more character driven and less about the police investigation in general. In most of the crime books I’ve read the police procedure is the centre of the story and the victims are only a means to provide clues in propelling the investigation to its conclusion. In this novel the investigative team; although an integral part of the story, takes a back seat. The ‘surgeon’ himself is really the focus of the novel along with the victims. We are given a lot of information about the victims and what they are thinking and feeling, the families viewpoint of having a missing child and quite a detailed look behind the serial killer himself and his motivations. There is a big back story behind him and the reader is left in no doubt who the killer is from the beginning of the book. There are no twists and turns to keep you guessing but there are plenty of thrills and excitement in the anticipation itself of the killer finally being caught.

An Amish Garden by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Tricia Goyer, and Vannetta Chapman

An Amish Garden

Reviewed by Jane Squires

Written by four authors – four stories. I love and have read all four authors and reviewed books for all of them.

All stories involve gardens. Each has a different message. In Rooted in Love, I felt love was endured until it was time for God’s plan. In Flowers for Rachel, Rachel had a hard time accepting help. Gideon had a hard time expressing himself as a lot of men do around women. In Seeds of Love, it is about giving to others even if different from you and the giving will return to you. In When Healing Blooms, there is lots of healing to be done. Grief, women and kids needing a safe place, runaway boy, and a ministry started.

The Devil’s Violin by Art Johnson

The Devil's Violin

Reviewed by Dianne Woodman

The Devil’s Violin begins with an act from the past that sets in motion an unexpected chain of events tying all the players involved in the story together. Niccolo Paganini, a world famous violinist termed by many as the Devil because of his extraordinary skills, is on his deathbed in Italy. Niccolo has promised his cherished violin to the mayor of Genoa so that it can be put on display in the museum. However, he wants the 1742 Guarneri to remain in the family, so he hides it along with secret documents that are inside the case under the floorboards in his apartment and leaves an exquisitely crafted forgery of the instrument for the museum. He plans to tell his son where the real violin is hidden, but dies without revealing his secret.

If You Were Me and Lived in…India, If You Were Me and Lived in…Kenya, If You Were Me and Lived in…Norway, If You Were Me and Lived in…Portugal, If You Were Me and Lived in…Russia and If You Were Me and Lived in Turkey by Carole P. Roman

turkeyrussiaportugalnorwaykenyaIndia

Reviewed by Teri Davis

“If You Were Me and Lived In…” is a wonderful journey experiencing life in other countries with different languages, foods, and customs. How can anyone be completely prepared to visit any country? Reading a book by Carole P. Roman is the perfect introduction into other ways of life in other parts of the world.

The Partner by John Grisham

The Partner

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Once in a while it is good to go to an old book by one of your favorite authors. In this case The Partner really filled the bill. This is one of Grisham’s that I never read and I do not know why but I do know that I put off reading a really great story for too long. As usual with many of Grisham’s stories it is centered around the Mississippi Gulf Coast and especially the Biloxi area. And pretty much as Grisham’s style it is also about lawyers and the courts.

Danilo Silva was finally located in a small town in Brazil when the hunters made their catch. He had been living rather humbly in a small house and basically blending into the neighborhood. However his living conditions were about to change drastically when they, after watching him for quite a period to insure he was their man, finally grabbed him off the path during one of his daily runs.

The Traitor’s Wife by Allison Pataki

The Traitor's Wife

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Benedict Arnold is a name that is synonymous with the term traitor for almost giving West Point to the British. The American general definitely had some legitimate gripes with the leadership of the time. What about his wife? Did she have knowledge of the changing of loyalties? Was she the cause of the change?

The Traitor’s Wife by Allison Pataki focuses on Peggy Shippen, the much younger second wife of Benedict Arnold through the objective eyes of her fictional lady’s maid, Clara.

Clara was orphaned finding herself in need of a home and work when the Shippen family renewed an acquaintance which provided her both. Clara was to assist both of the Shippen daughters but being that the older sister was less demanding and soon to be wed, Peggy demanded the constant assistance of what would quickly become her own lady’s maid.

In the Hall of the Mountain King by Allison Flannery (Author) and Vesper Stamper (Illustrator)

In the Hall of the Mountain King

Reviewed by Teri Davis

The Peer Gynt Suite by Edvard Grieg is frequently one of the first recognizable favorite of many children. Grieg perfectly wrote the music to a tale written by Henrik Ibsen featuring a beautiful woman, a handsome and brave man, and terribly horrible monstrous creatures who captured the woman. As the brave hero approaches the prison within the mountain, the listener can easily imagine the battle especially with the tune “In the Hall of the Mountain King“.

Like many fairy tales including the original tales by the Brothers’ Grimm, the story was not written for small children or for those who do not enjoy graphically violent episodes. Surprisingly though, Grieg’s The Peer Gynt Suite does not only contain the few selections that are well-known, but twenty-six separate musical pieces for the entire Suite.

After the Parch by Sheldon Greene

After the Parch

Reviewed by Diane Pollock

After the parch, the thirst. The hunger and thirst for righteousness fills this dystopian tale.

Bran leaves the small farming community that has hidden itself away from the world following a massive disaster that leaves California an independent nation. He must register a claim to his people’s land, or risk losing it to the huge corporation that controls most of the land and available resources. Bran has had an ideal and happy life in his isolated community, but is now forced to face the larger world and it’s problems.

Elective Procedures: An Elle Harrison Novel (An Elle Harrison Thriller) by Merry Jones

Elective Procedures

Reviewed by Julie Moderson

Jen goes to Mexico for a bunch of cosmetic surgeries because they are cheaper there. She invites her three gal pals to hang out on the beach. It doesn’t take much to convince the girls to come on a vacation since they don’t have to pay for lodging.