06. February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fiction, Historical Fiction · Tags:

The Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett, 272 pages, read by Angie, on 02/05/2015

Cecily and Jeremy are evacuated to the country with their mother before the London Blitz. They take refuge with their uncle Peregrine in Herron Hall. On the way they adopt an evacuee named May to stay with them for the duration of the war. Fourteen-year-old Jeremy is not happy to be evacuated. He believes he is old enough to contribute to the war and to stay in London with his father. He is angry at being stuck in the country. Twelve-year-old Cecily is a selfish, bossy girl who wants things her way. She wants May to be her pet and follow orders but May has a mind of her own. The girls explore the countryside and discover the ruins of Snow Castle. There are two mysterious boys at the castle who intrigue and frighten the girls by turns. In the evening, Peregrine tells the children the story of a duke who wants to become king and must take care of the two princes in his way.

I really wanted to like this book more than I did. I think one of my issues was the fact that none of the children were really that likeable. Cecily in particular is completely unlikeable. May was the only one that had a decent personality and she wasn’t that developed. I really enjoyed Uncle Peregrine however and really wanted more of him. As an adult reader, I knew immediately who the story Peregrine tells is about. It is clearly meant to be the story of Richard III and the princes in the tower even though they are never identified by name. I liked the story, but didn’t buy the connection to Snow Castle. I guess as long as the truth is unknown any speculation as to the fate of the princes is valid, but I just felt this was a stretch. I didn’t feel like the two boys at the ruins really added anything to the story and the story could have been just as good if not better without them.

20. October 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Thriller/Suspense, Tracy · Tags:

Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill, 376 pages, read by Tracy, on 10/06/2013

Aging, self-absorbed rock star Judas Coyne has a thing for the macabre — his collection includes sketches from infamous serial killer John Wayne Gacy, a trepanned skull from the 16th century, a used hangman’s noose, Aleister Crowley’s childhood chessboard, etc. — so when his assistant tells him about a ghost for sale on an online auction site, he immediately puts in a bid and purchases it.

The black, heart-shaped box that Coyne receives in the mail not only contains the suit of a dead man but also his vengeance-obsessed spirit. The ghost, it turns out, is the stepfather of a young groupie who committed suicide after the 54-year-old Coyne callously used her up and threw her away. Now, determined to kill Coyne and anyone who aids him, the merciless ghost of Craddock McDermott begins his assault on the rocker’s sanity.

18. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Mystery, Tracy · Tags:

Aunt Dimity and the Lost Prince by Nancy Atherton, 246 pages, read by Tracy, on 06/04/2013

This is the newest of the Aunt Dimity cozy mystery series. Lori Shepherd takes her twin sons and a friend, Bree Prym, to Skeaping Manor. It’s a museum full of curiosities. Lori meets a young girl named Daisy who tells some interesting stories. When Daisy and her mother disappear suddenly Lori is determined to find out why. As usual Aunt Dimity, who is a ghost, helps Lori solve the mystery. I never get tired of reading these books, they are a nice break from the usual murder mysteries.

14. January 2013 · 2 comments · Categories: Angie, NonFiction, Paranormal · Tags:

A Haunted Love Story: The Ghosts of the Allen House by Mark Spencer, 240 pages, read by Angie, on 01/13/2013

A Haunted Love StoryMark Spencer and his family live in the Allen House in Monticello, Arkansas. The Allen House is one of the most haunted houses in the United States. When the Spencers moved to Monticello they were fascinated by the Allen House, not because of the stories, but because of the house itself. It took years but they finally convinced the owner to sell it to them. Once they moved in they discovered that the ghost stories were real. The Allen House was inhabited by at least four Allen family members and several others who they are unable to identify. The Spencers allowed paranormal investigators into the house and were able to verify the existence of the ghosts. However, Mark Spencer also discovered a cache of letters belonging to Ladell Allen Bonner who killed herself in the master bedroom. These letters revealed the reasons behind her suicide.

I really enjoyed this book. Spencer does a great job in describing what happened to them in the house and what the paranormal investigators discovered. However, the real jewel is the cache of letters from Ladell. These were a true treasure and allowed Spencer to tell the tragic story of Ladell. It is a story of love and heartbreak and depression and suicide. I am glad the story didn’t rely on the few words the ghost hunters heard but on real background information about the family. Spencer did a fabulous job researching the Allen’s and the history of Allen House.