Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Book Review: 'Blood on the Water' by Anne Perry

✰✰✰½ In the twentieth William Monk mystery, Monk witnesses the spectacular explosion of the Princess Mary, a pleasure boat. With pieces of debris and bodies everywhere, Monk and the River Police rush into action. Soon it is clear that this was no accident. Before Monk can begin his investigation, the case is handed over to the Metropolitan Police. Although a man is quickly caught, tried, and sentenced, Monk discovers that the defendant was somewhere else at the time of the blast. Now with the case back in his hands, Monk must sift through the twists and turns of the investigation before he or others end up dead.

The Bottom Line: With international intrigue and lots of courtroom scenes, this complicated mystery is a page-turner. Having not read the previous books in the series, I was missing some of the backstory of the characters; however, this did not deter from my enjoyment of the novel. Recommended for fans of mysteries and historical fiction.

Details: Blood on the Water: A William Monk Novel by Anne Perry. Hardcover published by Ballantine Books in 2014. 320 p. ISBN: 978-0-345-54843-6 NOTE: I received a free copy from Ballantine Books in exchange for an honest review. This was made possible by the Early Reviewers program at LibraryThing.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Book Review: 'A String of Hearts' by Laura Malone Elliott

✰✰✰ Sam has a crush on Tiffany, the most popular girl in class. With Valentine's Day coming up, Sam has a plan to win Tiffany's attention. All he has to do is make the perfect Valentine. With the help of his best friend, Mary Ann, Sam creates a beautiful Valentine. Will Tiffany like it? Sam soon finds out that sometimes it's easy to overlook what you already have.

The Bottom Line: Laura Malone Elliott's sweet, classic story highlights the value of friendship and telling others what they mean to you. Meanwhile, Lynn Munsinger's charming watercolor illustrations bring the story to life. Recommended for kids in grades 1 & 2. Also, recommended for teachers and librarians planning a Valentine themed story hour. The book includes a brief summary of the holiday as well.

Details: A String of Hearts written by Laura Malone Elliott & illustrated by Lynn Munsinger. Hardcover picture book published by Katherine Tegen Books in 2010. 32 p. ISBN: 978-0-06-000085-1

Monday, February 2, 2015

Book Review: 'Double Trouble Groundhog Day' by Bethany Roberts

✰✰✰✰✰ There's always double trouble when twins are involved. Gregory and Greta Groundhog are no exception. When Grampie Groundhog decides it's time to retire from forecasting the weather, both twins want the job. There's only one way to settle drawing straws. Gregory wins. However, when he loses his glasses, he can't see his shadow. With reporters waiting, the pressure is on. How will Gregory make his prediction? Read this charming picture book with your little ones and find out.

The Bottom Line: Celebrate Groundhog Day with this adorable book. Whether you read it at bedtime or storytime, children are sure to enjoy it. Lorinda Bryan Cauley's colorful watercolor and colored pencil illustrations perfectly complement the story. Highly recommended for seasonal reading for kids ages 2 - 7.

Details: Double Trouble Groundhog Day written by Bethany Roberts & illustrated by Lorinda Bryan Cauley. Hardcover picture book published by Henry Holt and Company in 2008. 40 p. ISBN: 978-0-8050-8280-7