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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Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt

Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt

Once Upon a Christmas Eve made me smile. Adam is a bit of a scoundrel, but has a soft heart, and even though he definitely deserves his reputation with women, he never "ruins" anyone. Sarah has run into at least one rake before, knows Adam and know his type and doesn't want anything to do with him. So of course, in between their verbal jabs and avoiding each other, they fall in love. They make a good couple who will keep each other on their toes. This is a novella, so the romance progresses quickly. To be honest, I wish the story had been longer. I would have liked to see more of Sarah and Adam and had their relationship progress a little more evenly. I love the Christmas house party setting and especially the last scene. I may have to read more of Hoyt's books soon. This was a wonderful Christmas romance — sweet and fun and a tad bit steamy....
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Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas adapted by Jun Asuka

Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas adapted by Jun Asuka

We always watch The Nightmare Before Christmas around Halloween at our house, but the story's as much about Christmas as it is Halloween. After all, it's Christmas Eve when Jack puts his plan into motion and almost ruins the holiday. This manga adaptation is really faithful to the movie, although it feels a little quicker paced. The style of the movie translates well to the illustration style , as you can see by the cover. I had the digital version though, and some of the smaller details were a little hard to see. Obviously, the movie is better, you just can't beat the songs, but this is a well-done reworking of the original. It would be a great stocking stuffer for any of the movie's fans on your list. It just might be in someone's at our house on Christmas....
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A Christmas Peril by J.A. Hennrikus

A Christmas Peril by J.A. Hennrikus

In A Christmas Peril, Sully has her hands full. This year's Christmas Carol is turning into a disaster and her best friend is arrested for murder. One of the difficult parts of cozy mysteries is having a legitimate reason for the amateur detective to be investigating. Sully, however, is perfect. Yes, she's currently a theater manager, but she had years of experience as a cop and it's her best friend who is the chief suspect. She really has no choice but to get involved, and it certainly helps that the family has asked for her assistance. I liked her. She's funny, loyal, smart, strong, but she's also learned some lessons along the way. And she only manages to place herself in major danger once. The dead man was not overly-loved, even by his family, but he was important in the community. The suspect list could have been long, but the only people who could actually have done it had to be...
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Murder for Christmas by Francis Duncan

Murder for Christmas by Francis Duncan

It's probably no surprise that I enjoyed Murder for Christmas. It ticks off all the boxes: √ Vintage murder mystery √ English manor house √ Eccentric set of characters √ Christmas celebrations √ Amateur detective with a romantic streak Benedict Grame always throws a large house party for Christmas and this year is not exception. It's an interesting collection of people. There's the usual household, Grame and his assistant Nicholas Blaise, his old friend Jeremy Rainer and Rainer's ward, a lovely young woman and her suitor. Grame also has a spinster sister who lives with them and another relative he assists, a gambler with a penchant for practical jokes. There's also a visiting scientist, a politician, a glamorous woman who both Grame and Rainer are attracted too, a couple from the village, and of course Mordecai Tremaine, our amateur detective who has been specially invited. It should be a fun, traditional Christmas. Of course the merriment is interrupted by murder - Father Christmas dead under the decorated...
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Santa, Please Bring Me a Gnome by An Swerts

Santa, Please Bring Me a Gnome is a sweet little Christmas story. I love how Tess' grandparents play along, building furniture and making a blanket for the gnome that Santa will surely bring. Of course, Santa doesn't bring a gnome, but he does bring a darling little hamster who needs a home. And the becomes her best friend of course. The illustrations are sweet and gentle, like the cover. It would be a nice read to book to share with kids. But I'm not a big fan of animals as Christmas presents. It made for a heart-warming ending here, but animals, even hamsters, are a big commitment not something to buy on impulse because your daughter is expecting a gnome on Christmas. But kids won't look at it that way, they'll just enjoy the story and maybe ask for a gnome or hamster of their own....
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