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A Fistful of Divas by Camille LaGuire

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A Fistful of Divas by Camille LaGuire A Fistful of Divas by Camille LaGuire
Series: Mick and Casey McKee
Published by the author on August 26, 2013
Source: Purchased
Genres: Mystery, Western, Short Story
Pages: 32
Format: eBook
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Young gunslinger detectives, Mick and Casey McKee, are eager to hear some opera singing. But when somebody takes a shot at some visiting divas, the concert is off. The ladies won't sing until Mick and Casey solve a case of blackmail and murder.

So I love Mick and Casey McKee. I wish there were more stories in the series. They are a gunslingers in the old west, a young married couple. And I do mean young. She’s maybe 17. He’s the talker, she’s the shooter and they make a great pair. This time around, the couple want to see singing at the local opera house. There’s a cute story why, involving Casey’s dad. Anyway, with these two nothing is ever simple. Just as they walk in to see who is warming up, there’s a shot, apparently aimed at one of the women on stage. If the ladies are going to feel safe enough to perform, Mick and Casey need to figure what’s going on and stop it.

The mystery was good, for a short story. The actual shooter’s identity is quickly established, but who hired him and why is the question. There are a couple clues and a nice, small list of suspects.

Like I said, I really enjoy the McKees. You get a good feeling for their relationship here. It’s not quite as good as the only full-length mystery in the series, Have Gun, Will Play, but it’s definitely worth the quick read.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Published by Enhanced Media Publishing on December 28, 2016 (first published 1813)
Source: Purchased
Genres: Romance, Classic
Pages: 354
Format: eBook
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Mrs. Bennet has but one aim in life: to find a good match for each of her five daughters. Mr. Bennet, a mild and indolent man given to witty cynicisms, refuses to take this vulgar project seriously; he ridicules his wife instead of giving her support in her schemes. One of the daughters, Elizabeth, becomes prejudiced against her future suitor, Darcy, because of his arrogance and his uncalled-for interference with his friend Bingley’s courtship of her sister Jane. In interfering with Jane and Bingley, Darcy is influenced by Mrs. Bennet’s undisguised husband-hunt and her impropriety in general; he mistakenly believes that Jane is only seeking an advantageous match and that her feelings are not sincere. In spite of his disapproval of the Bennet family, Darcy cannot keep himself from falling in love with Elizabeth, and he proposes to her. The tone of the proposal (it is evident that his love for Elizabeth is a blow to his pride) and her own prejudice cause Elizabeth to coldly reject him...

How can I really write any comments about Pride and Prejudice that haven’t already been written? This is probably my third time reading it and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The dialogue, and the story relies on its dialogue, is sparkling and fun. Elizabeth and Darcy are a wonderful couple and complement each other well.

This time around I actually chose to read it because my daughter is reading it for her English class and it’s nice to be able to discuss the books she’s reading at dinner or on car rides. I didn’t read A Tale of Two Cities with her, and I only partly remembered Dracula, but I’m glad I joined her in this one.

Amber and I have talked about the story some. It’s interesting, since she’s looking at it from a different perspective. She’s 17 and it’s the first time she’s read it. Neither of those things can be said of me. I think the thing that struck me most is how she sees Elizabeth Bennet as an early version of the typical YA heroine. She’s strong, well-read, says what she thinks. She doesn’t allow society to dictate her choices and behaviors. At the same time though, she’s fun and more than willing to laugh at herself and others. And she still gets the perfect guy in the end. She is delightful, but even her flaws are positives.

Jane, as Amber sees it, is a little too perfect. Pretty, kind, always seeing the nice in everyone. Once again, her flaw is a positive too, always believing the best in everyone.

The other characters don’t really rate much notice from Amber. Wickham’s the bad guy, and Mr. Collins is rather stupid. She does have to write five essays, so I’m sure she actually does have to think more about the other characters, but we haven’t really discussed them much.

They’ve been watching the 2005 movie with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen. I haven’t seen it, have you? Is it worth watching? All I’ve gotten out of her is that it’s pretty true to the book and Bingley does not look like she thought he should.

Next up for Amber is The Great Gatsby. I haven’t read it; should I?

About Jane Austen

Jane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Austen’s plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favorable social standing and economic security. Her works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century literary realism. Austen’s use of biting irony, along with her realism and social commentary have earned her great and historical importance to critics and scholars.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Cozy Christmas Shorts from Gemma Halliday Publishing

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Cozy Christmas Shorts from Gemma Halliday Publishing Cozy Christmas Shorts by Gemma Halliday, Leslie Langtry, Kelly Rey, Jennifer L. Hart, Gin Jones, T. Sue VerSteeg, Traci Andrighetti, Anna Snow, Jennifer Fischetto, Janel Gradowski
Series: Tahoe Tessie #1.5, Greatest Hits #8, Amelia Grace #2.5, , Franki Amato #2.5, Southern Pasta Shop #1.5, Working Stiff Mysteries #2.5, Culinary Competition #2.5, Helen Binney Mysteries #3.5, Jamie Winters #1.5, Gianna Mancini Mysteries #1.5
Published by Gemma Halliday Publishing on September 5, 2016
Source: Purchased
Genres: Anthology, Cozy Mystery, Christmas
Pages: 544
Format: eBook
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11 holiday themed cozy mystery short stories by New York Times, USA Today, and National Bestselling authors! Short holiday bites perfect for enjoying while waiting in holiday lines or binge-reading over a cup of hot cocoa.

This LIMITED TIME collection includes the holiday short stories from some of our most popular series:

Baby It's Cold Outside (Tahoe Tessie Mysteries) by Gemma Halliday & Sue VerSteeg

Have Yourself a Deadly Little Christmas (Greatest Hits Mysteries) by Leslie Langtry

Sleighed at Castle Rock (Amelia Grace Rock 'n' Roll Mysteries) by Anne Marie Stoddard

The Blonde Before Christmas (Barb Jackson Mysteries) by Anna Snow

Rosolio Red (Franki Amato Mysteries) by Traci Andrighetti

Christmas Al Dente (Southern Pasta Shop Mysteries) by Jennifer L. Hart

Ornamental Danger (Working Stiff Mysteries) by Kerri Nelson

Christmas Canapés & Sabotage (Culinary Competition Mysteries) by Janel Gradowski

A (Gingerbread) Diorama of Death (Helen Binney Mysteries) by Gin Jones

Motion for Mistletoe (Jamie Winters Mysteries) by Kelly Rey

Christmas, Spies & Dead Guys (Gianna Mancini Mysteries) by Jennifer Fischetto

This was my last Christmas read for the season. Like most anthologies, it has its ups and downs. Each of these short stories fits into a series, but the only series I had read before is the Southern Pasta Shop mysteries. I will say that each story gave a good feeling for the main character and style of mystery and I’d like to read more of a few of them.

Most of the mysteries were cute and fun, but I did have a few favorites. I didn’t really hate any of them, but there were a couple that I wasn’t fond of.

Favorites:

“Have Yourself a Deadly Little Christmas” by Leslie Langtry – The Bombay family may be assassins, but they are funny, pragmatic, inventive and really care about each other. And I loved the spin they took with And Then There Were None.

“A (Gingerbread) Diorama of Death” by Gin Jones – Helen, the main character, seems like an interesting lady, even though she’s one of the people who seem to attract murders. I loved some of the descriptions of the gingerbread houses and even though the mystery was wrapped quickly and maybe too easily, it was a short story so that’s forgivable.

“Motion for Mistletoe” by Kelly Rey – I just loved the characters in this one. And the bit of Christmas magic.

Least Favorites:

“Rosario Red” by Tracy Andrighetti – Grandma’s missing and of course her granddaughter the PI comes home to investigate. I just didn’t like where the plot went, it all seemed a bit silly.

“Sleighed at Castle Rock” by Anne Marie Stoddard – This one actually took place in the summer, with a “Christmas in July” theme. I didn’t care for the characters and the mystery was blah.

Overall, this collection was a good Christmas read. The mysteries are light and easy to read and I liked the little sparks of romance in several of them. They are short stories, so the plots are not overly involved and a couple are barely mysteries, but I enjoyed it.

 

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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