A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

I have a soft spot for Sherlock Holmes, so when someone (I forget who) said they enjoyed this take on the characters, I had to put it on my to-read list. Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are descendants of the famous duo and they "just happen" to meet at boarding school. In Connecticut. But don't worry, the story will get to that. Coincidences are never really coincidences in a Holmes world. Charlotte is pure Sherlock, complete with drug problems, brilliant deductions, and violin-playing, which comes off a little differently in a 16-year-old girl. She can be tough to like, but we're seeing her through Watson's eyes, and he's either falling in love with her or is obsessed with her or both. When a student they both hates ends up dead, everything points at them, so of course they have to solve the mystery. What else could a Holmes and Watson do? The mystery was clever, with plenty of connections to the original Holmes...
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Spotlight on Courting Danger by Kimberly Dean

Excerpt: ‘Hello? Is anyone here?’ A low voice rumbled down the hallway, and her chest tightened. It was a man, but she didn’t recognise the voice. For a moment, she considered remaining quiet, but she licked her lips and made herself step forward. She was overreacting. If she wasn’t, there was an emergency call button hidden under the lip of her desktop. Security could be here in less than a minute if she needed them. She returned to the lobby and scanned the area. Her gaze came to a screeching halt when it landed on the man who was already looking in her direction. Oh. Wow. Her wariness didn’t decrease, but a different kind of awareness flooded her. ‘Hello?’ she said huskily. Somehow he’d known she was there, yet he seemed taken aback. His weight slowly rocked back from the balls of his feet, and his eyes narrowed. They were blue eyes. Startling blue. ‘Good evening.’ She wasn’t overreacting. The guy had danger written all over him,...
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Foul Play by Janet Evanovich

"A chicken was murdered yesterday. The investigator thinks there was some fowl play involved." I wish I was good at puns, this review could be full of them. But, alas, no such luck. Here's the basic story:  Amy lost her job to a rooster and is then accused of killing it. Jake rescues her from joblessness and falls in love with her at first sight. Oh, and she's a gorgeous, funny, caring, twenty-six year old virgin, just waiting to be deflowered. This was not a good book, but any stretch. It's goofy, absurd - and fun. We've got instant love, silly situations, and an adventure that includes falling into a dumpster, but it's entertaining and amusing.  The characters are bigger than life, but C. J. Critt does a good job as narrator. She gives the folks, even the secondary characters, great voices, full of personality, and kept me smiling. Yes, some of the conversations and phrasing are bordering on ridiculous, but she lets us enjoy...
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Thursday’s Tale: The Flying Witch by Jane Yolen

The Flying Witch is not a traditional Baba Yaga story, but it's still entertaining. The witch is after a tasty, plump child to eat, but the girl she finds is brave and clever. She has "two good feet, a fine sense of direction, two strong arms, and a clever mind." She finds a way to escape from the witch with - get this- her father's help. Dad is pretty smart himself, puts two and two together, and finds his daughter. I love that we have a strong female lead in the little girl and a dad who is not the stereotypical disinterested/absent fairy tale father. He cares and risks his safety to go after her. Yolen's Baba Yaga follows tradition. She flies using a mortar and pestle, is wrinkled and ugly and has an iron nose. The book doesn't talk down to its young audience, it explains and shows what the mortar and pestle look like instead of just letting her...
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