Thursday, November 01, 2007

What can I say. I already knew most of the tale and I already loved Laurie's writing. It's fun to get some of the earlier details, even
if she may have shaped them a bit to make the story fit nice and tightly. Or to protect the innocent.

I've already reccommended this tale of divorce, loss, discovery and recovery to several folk. The library copy hasn't been on the shelf
yet! I may need to order a second one.

Great job, Crazy Aunt Purl!

I couldn't even finish it. Even though I have to lead a book club discussion on it tomorrow. I just couldn't take
any more depressing dank Southern decay. I pumped my cousin who did read it and loved it, to find out if
the result of the heroine's sojourn into ClampODeath Christianity turned out okay or if it just got creepier. BH assures me it's
okay. The ending was pretty creepy though. I did read that part. Ugh. I would NOT have read this if I had not HAD to.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I'm awash in this mystery series about a woman who runs a needlework shop and sleuths out about one murderer every two or three months. If you can get over the crowded schedule, I'd say these are the best fiber themed books out there. They're light summer reading, mind you, but DE-lightful reading just the same.

Thematic fiction can be really dreadful, especially some of the needlework/knitting/fiber ones. Too sweet to stomach, too pat and tidy for even the most fairy-est princess among us. Making them a mystery leavens the dough a good bit. As I read through the series, I can see Ms. Ferris' literary skill develop. With any hobby there is a lot of jargon and for the most part our author weaves them into the plots with enough subtlety to keep the action moving. Not unlike Stealing with Style, by Emyl Jenkins, which I reviewed a couple weeks ago, this is a series that has actually gotten me a little more interested in some of the other beautiful fiber crafts.

There are a lot of them in the series, which does present a believability issue, for if I had half a dozen murders in my life in one year, or even three - well - I don't know if I'd be quite sane. I can make the literary leap but it takes a lot of spring.

Monday, July 02, 2007

As I said before, I am always going to love visiting Gabarone and Mma Ramotswe and all the people who come to her with problems. There is the mystery of the 3 deaths in the same bed in the same ward, always on a Friday, in the little hosptial in Mma Ramotswe's home village. There is the trouble of a wandering husband with a nagging wife. And there is some real pre-wedding tension between
Mma Makutse and Mma Ramotswe. But with the help from some supportive shoes, who never let a body hide from the truth, everyone is soon back in step.

I am always gently refreshed when I visit Botswana and the people at the #1 Ladies Detective Agency and Tlokweng Speedy Motors.

Actually, I've just about finished book 1, Miss Julia Speaks her mind and have brought home Book 2 - which tells you I liked the first book enough to read more.
Miss Julia is one of those people who does the right thing because it's the right thing to do - even when it's the hard thing to do. One of my favorite sorts of
people. I've known about these books a long time. Just getting around to reading them. Unfortunately, book 2, Miss Julia takes over didn't hold me tightly enough to read it thoroughly and I probably won't be reading any more in the series for the time being. I got a little tired of all the stock characthers. And I never did get a feel for just how old Miss Julia is.

I've moved on to other things.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Stealing with Style

Harumph. I deleted my original review, but here are some of the telling features that pleased me.

The heroine was my age. That is - old enough to have grown children.
The book was set in Virginia - a plus when it's well done.
Emyl Jenkins is an antiques appraiser and she begins each chapter with a question/answer about antiques which then folds into whatever happens in the upcoming pages. There's real economy and careful weaving done with this gimmick so you are glad she shared rather than irritated.
I liked the good guys and the bad'uns weren't so very evil. More like - so very human - bad humans, but just bad.

Ms. Jenkins is no novice to publishing, but this is her first foray into fiction and it shows. There is something that tells you it's a First Novel, though I can't quite put my finger on it without using words like ingénue and jejune which seem inappropriate when applied to anything a woman my age does. And yet raw is certainly not the word to use in such a gentile and gentle book. I just believe that with practice the author will ripen into something full and fun to follow, in the Mary Higgins Clarke vein.

Happily, the story concludes with enough open windows that Jenkins could be bringing us more. I certainly hope so.

It gets 4 stars, which I'll put here when I can find the code for them.

Monday, March 05, 2007


I'm still playing around with books that might inspire and instruct me as I create my own studio plans.
Both of these books are by the same author so it’s no surprise they feel very similar. WWC was a
major turnoff at first because so many of the studio spaces were cluttered beyond what my eyes could
tolerate. Granted, they were organized, colorful clutter, but the spaces were way too busy for my taste. After giving the book a second and then a third look, though, I began to find ideas that were appealing and even useful. Also, most of the women creators in these places create fussy cluttery crafts. Lots of scrapbooking/collage/stamping/found object crafts. Eventually I did find a few calm looking spaces that were not barren in their sleekness.

OYCS is a little more of a how to book, with some cute quizzes that, if you are a quiz sucker
like me, make for a little diversion in your reading. Lots of this information is No Duh info – I
expected that, mind. I’ve done my share of organizing and grouping and focus seeking so I didn’t feel
cheated of time for having read this book – or the previous. And I am going to buy those peel & stick
furniture pieces and get the grid paper because what I want to create will serve at least as a triple
purpose room. Besides, they look like paper doll furniture to me!

I’ve ordered in a half dozen more books on creating a home office and storage that works and such
because I don’t feel fully inspired, I'm not sure I've covered every base and besides, these books
are fun to look through. I think, though, I must set myself a deadline for starting the actual drawings
and another for completing that stage and entering into Royal Negotiations with the
Other Person who has a right to his opinion about project.

But because this is a Project which I hope to complete with Great Success, I'm also reading this.

Not that I haven't probably read all the information before either, but because sometimes I need to
hear it twice, or thrice, or quitillionice times before I remember to actually do some of those
things that I already knew were good ideas. And it's also what I'm in the mood for.

And because I haven't found another good book to thrill me lately.