Day: December 1, 2018

Review of ‘Cat Killed a Rat’

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Luther Plunkett is a slightly bent construction contractor who, along with his even more crooked brother, Evan, is trying to get the town council of Ponderosa Pines to merge with a neighboring town. Lined up against him are Emmaline (EV) Valentino, one of the town’s elders, and Chloe LaRue, the anonymous author of the town’s gossip column, When Luther dies after falling (being pushed) from a ladder in a church where he was working on a job, because he and EV had had a very public spat just hours before his untimely demise, she is the prime suspect. Homicide detective, Nate Harper, back in his home town recuperating from an on-the-job injury, is tasked with finding the killer. The problem is, though, he has a history with Chloe.

Residents of Ponderosa Pines begin to take sides on the issue, depending upon whether or not they like or dislike EV, and when Evan, who also had a very public spat with EV, is found dead in his home, the heat on EV is ratcheted up several degrees. She and Chloe then realize that if her reputation is to be salvaged, and her freedom assured, they must solve the crime.

Cat Killed a Rat by mother-daughter writing team Erin Lynn and ReGina Welling is a cozy mystery that has all you need to pass the time on a cold winter day sitting in front of a cozy fire. Clues and red herrings pile up as high as your chin, and the authors keep you guessing until the killer is found—and, you’ll be surprised when this happens, but it comes at you completely unexpected. Not that there aren’t clues, it’s just that they’ve done such a fantastic job of masking them.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review. I loved it. I give it five stars.

Review of ‘Not Normal’

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I am a frequent participant in Internet polls, especially those on political issues, which in the past year seem to be more frequent than usual. One of the questions, ‘Do you think things in this country are on the wrong or right track?’, I always answer ‘The wrong track,’ because, despite lower unemployment figures and the occasional uptick in the stock market, I am convinced that things in the United States are heading in the wrong direction. Call me a pessimist, but now I have at least one intellectual who has publicly agreed with me.

In Not Normal: A Progressives Diary of the Year After Trump’s Election, progressive writer Stuart Shapiro has gifted us his Facebook postings beginning the night of Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the 2016 presidential election. Shapiro reacts in real-time to the many gaffes and missteps of candidate, and then President Trump, as he’s tweeted and lied his way from one crisis to another, all actions taking the country down a dangerous path of being isolated in an increasingly dangerous world.

Shapiro takes on Republicans in congress, voters who vote their anger rather than a careful analysis of t heir true self-interest, and mainly, a man who occupies the nation’s highest office, but who lacks even the most basic intellectual and emotional qualifications for that office. His conclusion that the situation in the US is clearly not normal, and regardless of the eventual disposition of the current administration, will be a long time (if ever) getting back to normal is chilling, and regardless of your political inclination or persuasion, should give you pause.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, and I recommend it highly. I give it five stars.