The Cairo Affair by Olen Steinhauer

It's been a while since I've read a good espionage book. I've read a couple of barely mediocre ones, but that's beside the point. My library had The Cairo Affair available on audio and the title rang a bell, so I borrowed. Turned out that was a really good choice. It's nice to start of the new year with a winner. The story is told through several viewpoints, but it was always clear whose eyes we were seeing situations through. It was interesting, although not surprising, how much the same event could vary from viewpoint to viewpoint. The characters were all real, there were not over the top superagents, no too good to be true loyalists, no overly intelligent office worker able to predict everything. They are all doing the best they can given their abilities, limited knowledge and resources. Okay, maybe "the best" is not quite true, because we do have people willing to kill, to betray their country and...
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Pros & Cons by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

I picked up this short prequel to the Fox and O'Hare series just because I wanted something to listen to. It's a quick early meeting between Kate and Nick. Nick has an audacious plan, and Kate right behind him. It's a good introduction to the two if you haven't met them before. If you read the series, as I have, it's still fun. It's a similar formula to the books but Kate is still quite clearly on the opposite side as Fox. Or maybe it's Fox who's clearly on the opposite side. You get a feel for her determinedness and intelligence. You get to see his style and imagination. And of course you get to see a bit of the attraction between them. It's a good short read. Scott Brick is the narrator and as always he makes it a light-hearted adventure. The characters are over the top and he somehow straddles the line between telling the story with a straight...
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Thursday’s Tale: Who’s That Knocking on Christmas Eve? by Jan Brett

I know it's only Wednesday, but this tale is just perfect for today, and with tomorrow being Christmas, I doubt many people will be online, including me. I've mentioned before that when I was kid we had a wonderful book of troll stories, Favorite Tales of Monsters and Trolls written by George Jonson and illustrated by John O’Brien. One of the stories in that books is a retelling of "The Cat on the Doverfjell” from East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon. Jan Brett has down a marvelous retelling of that same story in Who's That Knocking on Christmas Eve? A boy is taking his polar bear to Oslo, but he is cold and hungry so stops at a cabin. Kyri has been left alone in the hut to prepare the Christmas Eve meal while her father has gone up into the mountains to watch for trolls. In past years, the trolls have come down, broke into the house, and devoured...
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Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis

I kinda wished I hadn't wasted an Audible credit on Simply Irresistable. It was okay, but I could have just put a hold on it at the library and waited. It wasn't worth "I need it"-ness of a credit. I was in the mood for a Christmas romance and it did fit the bill. I haven't read anything by Shalvis before, but her name comes up often enough that I felt pretty safe. Really the book had a lot of things I like, besides the nice coastal town setting and the Christmas season. Maddie and Jax are both good, nice people. Yes, she has trouble trusting, which is understandable, but she' trying to reinvent herself. Yes, Jax keeps some crucial information from her, but he doesn't have a choice, really. Maddie's sisters are great characters, both of whom I'm assuming will get their own love stories later in the series. I enjoyed the dynamics between the three of them. I like how everyone in the...
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Reindeer Dust by Kate Dwyer

Christmas is my favorite time of year - even if I hate the cold. So today, as part of A Month of Favorites, I thought I'd share a review of a new Christmas picture book I received this year. A Month of Favorites is hosted by Girlxoxo, Traveling with T and Estella’s Revenge. Today we’re linking up at Estella’s Revenge. When Amber was little, we always put out milk and cookies for Santa, but she's always been an animal lover, so we couldn't forget about the reindeer. They got carrots, but I bet they would have preferred reindeer dust. This is a cute story. Santa's got so many presents to deliver that he doesn't have time to feed his reindeer and, to make matters worse, it's a foggy night. Happily, William has been watching the weather reports and comes up with a plan to help Santa find his and his friends' houses - reindeer dust. Don't worry, the recipe's included in the book. I...
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#AMonthof Faves: The Dead Will Tell by Linda Castillo

Today's topic for A Month of Favorites is a book review or discussion, preferably about a book from from your fave genre or author. A Month of Favorites is hosted by Girlxoxo, Traveling with T and Estella’s Revenge. Today's link-up is at Girlxoxo. My favorite genre is mystery and I just happened to finish listening to The Dead Will Tell by Linda Castillo this past weekend. It's not my favorite series, but it has definitely improved over the years. This is #6 and I've read all except the novella. When I wrote my review of the first book, I said, " I’m hoping that this is one of those series that gets better as it goes. It definitely has promise and I’m glad I read this because we did get to know Kate and John quite well and got a good feel for the town dynamics." With #5, I stated, "This has been a series that had potential, but it’s finally getting to where...
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