Day: December 28, 2015

Review of ‘Swindle Town’

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PI Gen Delacourt is hired by the owner of an exclusive club to find out why her club has so many missing wine bottles. Her investigation leads to another exclusive club where she finds the patrons are victims of a scam being run by the club’s beautiful owner, Amanda Grant. Then, to add to her complications, she’s hired by Amanda to find out who is sending her threatening notes. Gen’s life takes an unexpected turn when Shiloh James, a childhood friend of her boyfriend, SFPD detective Mack Hackett, becomes romantically involved with the owners of both clubs.

Swindle Town by Molly Greene, the fifth book in the Gen Delacourt mystery series, is a different kind of mystery. While there’s plenty of action, unlike other mysteries, there aren’t dozens of corpses piling up page after page; just a finely-crafted story with enough twists and false leads to keep you wondering who the bad guy or gal is until Gen wraps it up and ties it with a beautiful bow near the end.

Greene handles her characters well, so well that you love some and feel sorry for others—the hallmark of fine fiction. I’d love to give this book five stars, but there were a few too many typos, so I’m giving it only four.

Review of ‘Sir Princess Petra’s Mission’

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Having obtained her knighthood at the age of nine, despite her father’s strenuous objections, Sir Princess Petra of the Kingdom of Pan Pieyu is still not out of the woods. The king is still busy writing silly rules designed to transform Petra into a girly-princess, a transformation she’s willing to do anything to avoid.

When he writes yet another inane rule, sending Petra on a mission to capture the first ever car-panther, a quest she must undertake alone, she has to use all her wits to get around the impossible task. She uses her knowledge of his byzantine rules to point out that, as a knight, she can choose her own steed—and, for this, she selects her dragon friend, Snarl. She is also accompanied by Bograt, the bog witch, who is also a knight—the only other knight in the hapless kingdom, thanks to Petra’s ingenuity—and, the three find themselves bogged down in a boggy land of puny knights and elves who turn out to be anything but enemies.

I received a free copy of Sir Princess Petra’s Mission by Diane Mae Robinson in exchange for my unbiased review. I found this an enchanting little book that is perfect reading for the young end of the young adult demographic. It’s filled with wry humor and titillating prose, sort of Dr. Seuss without the rhyme. In addition, it has lessons for young people, especially young girls, about the power of persistence, self-confidence, and loyalty that will seep into young readers’ minds without seeming like lessons.

If you want to get your young ones off to a good start with their reading—learning while they’re being entertained—I can’t think of a better book to start with. This is the third book in the Sir Princess Petra series, and I give it four stars.