Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Gone with the Whisker

Cass, Laurie. Gone with the Whisker. New York: Berkley, 2020.

I love Eddie the Bookmobile Cat! Minnie's niece Katie comes north to spend the summer, taking on three jobs. Rafe, Katie's boyfriend, works on the home he's preparing for them. In the meantime, Minnie lives on the houseboat. After Katie stumbles over the corpse of a bookmobile patron, Minnie promises to help catch the man's murderer. Eddie helps locate a second corpse later. He plays additional roles later. It's a fun read for mystery lovers who are cat lovers. I caught a couple of typos in the advance review copy that I hope an editor corrects in the final version. I received the advance review copy through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Speak, Lord, for Thy Servant is Listening!

COVID-19 continues to rage in our country. Unlike anything witnessed during our lives, it changes our day-to-day lives. The other day our associate pastor's wife posted the following to her Facebook page:

You've cleared our schedules.
You've flipped our focus.
You clearly have much to say, Lord.
Now will you still our racing thoughts?
Calm our spirits?
It is noisy, Lord.
Help us to not miss Your voice.

Those words reminded me of Samuel's words in the Old Testament, "Speak, for Your servant is listening." (1 Samuel 3:10, NASB)

Other Facebook posts remind us of how God is removing idols such as sports and money and giving us an opportunity to seek His face in this time of need.

This morning my Bible reading plan included Deuteronomy 4 as one of the texts. While it refers to circumstances in the lives of the Israelites, it reminded me of our present situation as well. In the chapter Israel was chasing after gods made by hands instead of the one true God. God allowed Israel to be scattered among the peoples. However, this time of trial and testing produced good for verses 29-31 proclaim:

29) But from there you will seek the Lord you God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. 30) When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you will return to the Lord your God and listen to His voice. 31) For the Lord your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.

May we recognize our sin and return to the Lord! Speak, Lord, for Thy servant is listening.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

A Body in the Bookshop

Cox, Helen. A Body in the Bookshop. London: Quercus, 2019.

I enjoyed this book until about 40% through the book when the book took a turn I did not expect. It was one I, as a Christian, did not wish to read about in detail. I took a break for a few days and returned to the book but when the theme picked back up immediately, I knew it was time to abandon the book. Nothing about this appeared in the book's description, and I will not be reading previous or future installments. I received an advance electronic copy through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020


Nesbit, TaraShea. Beheld. New York: Bloomsbury, 2020.

Nesbit imagines life in the Plymouth Colony in this fictionalized account providing a back story and after story to its first murder. The author writes in the vernacular of the day, creating a piece which helps the reader become absorbed in 17th century life. Much of the story's narration comes from the wife of the convicted murderer. Her differences with Bradford and Standish at times make the reader question her reliability as a narrator and at times create questions of the integrity of the colonial leaders. The book, lacking an action-driven plot, requires the reader to savor the characters and atmosphere created by the author. As someone who loves colonial American history, I enjoyed this book; however, it may not be a book for everyone. I received an advance review copy from Bloomsbury, the publisher. While an honest review was encouraged, it was not required.

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Eight Perfect Murders

Swanson, Peter. Eight Perfect Murders. New York: William Morrow, 2020.

What a fun read! Malcolm Kershaw runs a mystery bookstore in Boston.  A female FBI agent walks in near closing time one day to ask about a blog post he wrote some years back for the store on "Eight Perfect Murders." She sees a pattern between random murders and the post which discusses such crime classics as Strangers on the Train and The A. B. C. Murders. Readers ponder the reliability of the narrator among other things. It includes some aspects of a psychological thriller. Lovers of crime classics will want to dip into this one which may or may not leave them guessing until the last page due to twists and turns along the way. I needed its edginess as the moment. Did I mention there's a cat? I won an advance copy through GoodReads. Although requiring no review, the giveaway encourages winners to write an honest one.