Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café by Richard Dee

Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café by Richard Dee

Andorra Pett and her side-kick Cy have left behind their man-troubles on Earth and settled on a mining station off Saturn. They're going to make a go at running the little cafe, but there's just one problem - the body in the freezer. Apparently the old owner never actually left. And, since this is a cozy mystery, Andorra has to decide to investigate herself, instead of leaving it to the security force. Her reason is somewhat legit. The owner of the diner, the cafe's only competition, is a bit of a mob boss with ties to everything and everyone and he might be just as happy if she ended up being charged with the murder. I like the whole set up, the station is full of interesting characters, some more quirky than others. Andorra gathers a group of fabulous friends to help her and Cy out at the cafe and show them the ropes of living on the station. She also...
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The Bookworm by Mitch Silver (with giveaway)

The Bookworm by Mitch Silver (with giveaway)

The Bookworm by Mitch Silver is a gripping thriller and enjoyable for the most part. There's so much going on though that it gets a bit overwhelming. Lara, the bookworm, is a Russian history professor who get caught in the middle of a couple of conspiracies. First, we have the WW 2  hoax that manages to draw Hitler's attention away from England toward Russia, stalling the invasion long enough that it never happens. Lara is given the Dictaphone cylinders to listen to by someone who is a little suspicious. Then we have the Alaskan oil field that is merely a prop in a "deal" between the Russian and American presidents, with no actual drilling going on. Lev, Lara's brother, discovers the charade, takes photos and barely escapes with his life. Somehow this all ties together in a well-pace novel with chase scenes, chess games, and a couple of dead bodies. The problem for me though is that it could have been fabulous, but...
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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea alternates between positively boring and absolutely fascinating. At the story's opening, the seas are (maybe) being terrorized by (maybe) a giant monster. Professor Pierre Aronnax, a French marine biologist and narrator of the story, and his servant Conseil join an expedition leaving from New York to hunt the creature. Also among the crew is a Canadian whaler and master harpoonist, Ned Land. The ship finds the creature after a long search. It attacks, but the creature damages its rudder and our three protagonists are thrown into the water, only to be rescued by the monster, which, as we all know, turns out to be the Nautilus, created and commanded by Captain Nemo. Thus begins their journey of exploration under the seas, during which they travel the titular 20,000 leagues, or over 69,000 miles. First the boring. Aronnax is a biologist and Conseil is gifted at classification and they are both entranced with all the fish and sea creatures...
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On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder

On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder

My Kindle needed re-charged last night, so even though I really wanted to finish my current read - I'm ready to be done with it, I had to pick up something else. I'd been planning on reading On Tyranny soon, so I grabbed it off my shelf and settled in. It's a quick read, more of an essay than a full-fledged book, but full of good nuggets. Snyder opens the book with “History does not repeat, but it does instruct,” and goes on to give us 20 mini-lessons we can learn from history, most notably from the Hitler, but also from Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, and Putin’s Russia. The warnings and lessons are well-presented, easy to read and understand and they're important. Some quotes I want to share: "Take responsibility for what you communicate with others. (72)"  "Since in the age of the internet we are all publishers, each of us bears some private responsibility for the public's sense of truth. If we...
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The Matter of the Crown by Linda Ferreri

The Matter of the Crown by Linda Ferreri

First I have to mention that the Crown of the Andes is real. It's currently at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The rest of The Matter of the Crown is entirely fiction, but I really liked having the image of the Crown in my head as I read about it's fictional theft and about the murder, kidnapping, intrigues surrounding it. I  tend to love books combining art and mysteries and this one full of twists and turns and interesting characters was as good as I was hoping. I also like the bits of religious history that were thrown in. The book started out a little tough for me. There are several characters that are introduced and it's tough to see how it's all going to pull together. Eventually, though, once I got into, I couldn't wait to see what happened next. Baldo, a retired Italian policeman who along with an American art lawyer, Claire determined to get to the bottom of the...
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Christmas Bliss by Mary Kay Andrews

Christmas Bliss by Mary Kay Andrews

Christmas Bliss was the last of my Christmas reads for the year. I have read two others in the series and really like Weezie and BeBe. This time around, Weezie's getting ready to marry her chef boyfriend, Daniel, but he's off in New York on a temporary gig at a very swanky restaurant. BeBe's pregnant and refuses to marry her live-in boyfriend Harry, but she also might still be married to one of her exes. It's complicated. It's a sweet story. There's not much conflict and the couple of  "issues" that crop up are quickly resolved. Weezie and BeBe are great characters, fun, quirky, but I don't know that this would work as well as a stand-alone. It was nice to already know them and appreciate that they were getting their "happily ever afters." I would love to visit Savannah some time, which is Weezie and BeBe's hometown. Books like this just make it seem so charming. Weezie even makes it seem...
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