Blog

book reviews (6)

3277602781?profile=RESIZE_710x

Penny The Railway Pup - Review by Martha A. Cheves

 

"Until recently there was a gypsy encampment on the waste ground near the railway station.  There was a knock on my door and two little girls were standing there, maybe eight to ten years old, with the older of the two holding a puppy in her arms.  You could tell they were sisters just by looking at them.   They told me they'd been out playing and saw that the gypsies had gone so they went to take a look in the field near the station where they'd camped, in case they'd left anything behind.  From the scruffy state of their clothes, their white socks covered in mud and muck, and their dirty faces, I could tell they'd had a really good time exploring the old gypsy site.  They walked towards the railway station, and on the other side of the fence, they saw something moving a few yards along the tracks.  They soon realized it was a little dog.  They followed the fence and realized that the puppy had a rope round its neck and that the rope was caught up on the track.  They knew that if a train came along the poor little puppy would probably be hit and killed by the engine.  They climbed the fence and ran to the puppy.  It took a few minutes to free it from the track and the elder girl picked her up and reassured her."  This was the rescue of the little puppy that became Penny the Railway Pup.

 

"The whole meaning of the word 'pet' when applied to a dog, speaks to me of a member of the family, one who shares the home and the life of their owner, not a 'thing' to be kept outdoors in all weathers and left to suffer in a freezing kennel or worse during the rages of winter.  Even working dogs, kept as guard dogs for example, need warmth and comfort in the depths of winter, otherwise how can they be expected to fulfill their role of protecting their owner's property?" - Brian L. Porter

 

I have read all four of the Rescue Dog books and can't help but admire Author Brian L. Porter and his family.  The love, affection and care that they provide for those that probably wouldn't make it otherwise shows me how much we forget about what we call 'our animals.'  He is totally correct in reminding us that they aren't just pets, they are members of our own family and should be treated as so.  If you're a dog lover, this is a must read book.  If you aren't a dog lover, read it anyway and maybe you'll become one.

 

Read more…

Silent Voices - Fran Lewis, Author

3172937371?profile=RESIZE_710x

Silent Voices - Review by Martha A. Cheves

 

All my life I had to struggle and work hard for everything that I ever needed. So, why not take advantage of a situation?  My grandmother, Gertie, was frail and much older, needing constant care at home. Her mind was sharp, but her legs were weak. She could no longer shop for herself  and going to the bank to deposit her disability checks had become a real chore. Each one of us had a different father, and not one of us had all of the conveniences that life should have given us. So, we joined forces to get what we deserved from our grandmother. My sisters and I had decided to take on the responsibility of her daily care. Of course, I felt, as they did, that we deserved something for our efforts. Moving into her huge house was not a problem, as she had six bedrooms, three baths, and enough closet space for everyone. The house was amazing, and the kitchen was state of the art. Taking some of what she had was not a problem until she began to realize that something was wrong.

 

The four granddaughters pool their ideas and resources to take over what their grandmother has worked her whole life to have.  BUT… the situation takes a turn when Gertie turns the tables on them.

Each of the stories within this book are voices beneath the tombstones.  How they got there and why.  These voices make you wonder just how many other voices are out there, never to be heard and never to be avenged for their demise.

 

 

Read more…

3086594514?profile=RESIZE_710x

The Adventures of Bang-Bang Man - Review by Martha A. Cheves

 

"It was about twenty-five years ago, a month after I sold my business and turned to gambling full-tine.  There were some good times and bad times associated with those animals... who knew that my life would become so controlled by them?"


Dr. Darla started to write things down.  As she did she asked even more questions about my past.  "So, are you saying that you gained all this weight you carry after that statement?"  


She was referring to the size I had become.  I weighed about six hundred pounds and that is why I had this damn heart attack in the first place.  The stress of my life had taken over my better judgement and I had ballooned up to my current weight.  Now the psychologist I am seeing wants me to think more about my past and try to find out why.  I was told that if I didn't lose some weight and get a better frame of mind I could not have the weight loss surgery I so desperately needed.  That was the only reason I began to let on more of my past to her.

 

Matthew Davis has found himself in a bit of a situation.  He loved to eat and gamble on the horses.  That was about all he loved anymore and it cost him dearly.  He lost his wife as well as his children due to his problem.  Now he is faced with a situation that his doctor feels all stems from his past.

 

This book reminded me of a woman I knew in the 80's.  She too was overweight.  She didn't weigh 600 lbs. but she was heavy.  When she was with you one on one she was nice and easy to get along with, but let there be someone even in hearing distance and she would crawl your rump for reasons only she seemed to have.  I never understood why she was so mean.  As I thought about other people in my life, then and now, I find myself remembering more and more who were the same as this woman from my past.  Even now there is a man who is very friendly when we speak one on one either on the phone or even through emails but when we are together around others he too is down right mean to me.  Reading The Adventures of Bang-Bang Man brought these people to mind but it also helped me to understand just why they are the way they are.  This book has actually helped me in the way I look at those people and how I handle myself around them.

 

So, read The Adventures of Bang-Bang Man and I have a feeling you too will have people come to mind.  I just hope you read into it as I did and it will help you cope with them.

 

Read more…

Death on Tyneside - Review by Martha A. Cheves

 

"You want to be involved in solving this murder case.  Hasn't it sunk in yet how close you came to being murdered yourself, the last time you poked your nose into a murder inquiry?"

"Alan, I know I very nearly got myself killed a few months ago."  Agnes took his arm and they restarted their walk down the corridor.  "But I got through that.  Look at me.  I'm still here - alive and well, and ready to be involved in this case.  If the body had been found by someone else, then I might have stayed out of it.  Might,"  she repeated, wagging her finger at him.  "But it wasn't.  It was found by me.  And now I want to see it through."  She stopped walking and swung around in front of him.  "Alan, please, I need to see this through."


Agnes Lockwood has returned to Tyneside after spending a few weeks visiting her sons in Australia.  This is where she was from and the ties were pulling her back.  Or was it Chief Inspector Alan Johnson who was connected to those ties?  The two had gone to school together and Alan had always had a crush on her.  Now, after marriages and many years, they met again and Alan finds his feelings are still there and stronger than ever.  

 

In her first visit, she and Alan had eaten dinner and were walking back to her hotel when they found a body laying on the sidewalk.  The investigation into this murder almost got Agnes killed.  Now she's back and finds herself in the middle of yet another murder.

 

I've read everything Eileen Thornton has written and must say that she grabs me from the beginning and all the way through to the end.  She fills her writings with twists and turns that keep you guessing and flipping the pages to see what happens next.  I love her work and can't wait for Book 3 of the Agnes Lockwood Mysteries.

 

Read more…

My Life for Her - Review by Martha A. Cheves

 

With so many commuters bustling about, it was difficult to catch sight of the supposed drug dealer, but Tex spotted him as he slipped onto the train at the last minute.  As Rob followed him to the seats closest to the front door, Tex lowered his voice to a whisper and said, "That dude's either a crooked cop or a member of the cartel.  Worse, I think he's onto us.  We've gotta get rid of him, before our cover's blown."


Rob looked toward the rear of the car.  "Yeah, the dude gives me a bad feeling too."


Tex was silent as the attendant came around to check their tickets, but then he whispered, "Listen, Doc, if he comes into this car, we'll get up and head to the one in front.  You go through the door first, and I'll wait for him behind it."


"Then what?" Rob asked.


"Then... Well, I think I can handle it from there," Tex said with a grin.

 

Rob Marrino, is a 31 year old Vietnam Vet who is now a Pikeville, NJ policeman.  Life has had its up and downs as he and his wife Beth Anne deal with wartime memories and paranoia.  They have settled down quite well with Beth Anne working at the hospital while their two children are in school.  Then the bottom falls out when Rob does a high speed chase with a car that not only contains 2 Colombian drug runners but more drugs than the Pikeville police have ever seen.  It gets even worse when one of the  dealers is shot and killed with the surviving one promising Rob that he will pay for his interference.  Those words come back to haunt him when his worse nightmare comes true and he, along with a fellow Vet, end up in Columbia. 

 

This book is so intent!  It's filled with action and narrow escapes.  I would like to see this one made into a "Made for TV Movie." 

Read more…

These Haunts Are Made For Walking - Review by Martha A. Cheves

 

The next morning was my first day as head librarian in Devil's Moon.  I'd been back in town for a couple weeks before I'd had to start work at the library.  That had given me time to start the haunted tour.  As soon as I'd moved back to town I'd decided to fulfill a lifelong dream - start a haunted tour.  This town was crawling with ghosts.  Well, not literally crawling, but you know what I mean.  So by day I was the mind-mannered librarian and by night I was the queen of spooky.  At least that was what Tammy told everyone.  I was ok with that description.


Ripley Van Raden has moved back to her hometown after a breakup with her ex-husband-to-be.  She has always loved the feel she got when surrounded by books, so what better job than being head of the library.  She would also be working with her best friend Tammy and a woman named Leslie.  Tammy would be enjoyable but after meeting Leslie Ripley knew things just weren't going to be that great.  She isn't sure but thinks it may be because Leslie possibly wanted the job as head librarian herself.

 

All goes well until the evening of her first day on the job.  The "Bookworms" book club came for their monthly meeting to discuss the book they are reading.  The outcome of the meeting put a true damper the day that started out so smoothly.

 

Oh yeah, there is also a 'library' ghost that not only can Ripley see but one who also sends her text messages.  This combined with the ghost tour ghosts, give Ripley a very interesting life.

 

This is a fun book to read full spirits, murder and a touch of humor.  Now I'm ready for Book 2 - A Walk on the Haunted Side.

 

Read more…