Monthly Archives: May 2017

An Obvious Fact, by Craig Johnson

An Obvious Fact: A Longmire Mystery by [Johnson, Craig]
In A Nutshell
Title: An Obvious Fact: A Longmire Mystery
Author:  Craig Johnson
Publisher: Viking
Date of Release:  September 13, 2016
Genre:  Mystery/Thriller
Source: Chicago Public Library
Rating: 4 Nuts out of 5
I couldn’t go back to South Dakota for the Memorial Day weekend, so I did the next best thing – I read the latest Craig Johnson book. Lucky for me South Dakota, more specifically the Sturgis Rally, formed the backdrop for the 12th entry into the Longmire books.
Johnson caught the energy of the rally in a tale involving the original Lola, Henry’s love of long ago, her son and a gun manufacturer who uses a washed-up reality star in his illegal gun trade. There’s a couple ATF agents, plenty of action (including Vic’s wild driving, Henry’s stealth and Walt Longmire’s view of the world).
There’s a long chapter involving Vic shooting competitive skeet with the gun guy.  Usually I’d say it was superfluous – but it was Craig Johnson’s writing at it’s finest.  It turned out to be one of my favorite parts of the book.
There’s even great chase scene at the end!  I highly recommend!
Have a great week!
Susan

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Contagious: Why Things Catch On, by Jonah Berger

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by [Berger, Jonah]

In a Nutshell

Title:  Contagious: Why Things Catch On

Author:  Jonah Berger

Publisher:  Simon & Schuster

Date of Release:  March 5, 2013

Genre:  Non-fiction/Marketing

Source:  Purchased

Rating:  5 out of 5

Why do some things catch on and others don’t? According to Jonah Berger, a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, it depends on whether the particular thing or thought or whatever gets word of mouth. What’s more he’s broken down that even further to determine why people communicate about something and not others. That’s when this book gets really interesting. He has a theory with the acronym STEPPS that parses out what needs to happen for something to go viral.

Berger uses some great examples and has an engaging style that made this a quick read for me. I usually move a book off my Kindle once I’ve read it. This one is staying on for a while as I re-read portions. I highly recommend.

Have a good week!

Susan

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And Be a Villain, by Rex Stout

And Be a Villain (A Nero Wolfe Mystery Book 13) by [Stout, Rex]

In A Nutshell

Title:  And Be a Villain (A Nero Wolfe Mystery Book 13)

Author:  Rex Stout

Publisher:  Crimeline/Random House

Date of Release: 1948

Genre:  Mystery

Source:  Purchased

Rating:  2 Nuts out of 5

Rex Stout is one of my “go-to” authors when I can’t decide what to read next. I love the characters of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin and rather enjoy the other characters in Wolfe’s household and entourage as well.  But And Be a Villain just did not hold my interest.

It’s a great tale of blackmail and revenge and twisted minds (it is part of the Zeck trilogy if you’re into Nero Wolfe that deeply), but the characters are not as developed as usual and it’s all about Nero and Archie. While other characters have roles, they are much smaller than usual or even some are non-existent. It’s like there was a supporting character strike and Rex Stout wrote around them.

I’m just not feeling this one. I still love the series and Rex Stout will always be a “go-to” author for me, but And Be a Villain isn’t one of his best.

Have a great week anyway!

Susan

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Cat Nap (A Sunny & Shadow Mystery Book 2), by Claire Donally

Cat Nap (A Sunny & Shadow Mystery Book 2) by [Donally, Claire]

In A Nutshell

Title:  Cat Nap (A Sunny & Shadow Mystery Book 2)

Author:  Claire Donally

Publisher:  Penguin

Date of Release:  May 7, 2013

Genre:  Cozy Mystery

Source:  Purchased

Rating: 3 Nuts out of 5

I’ve had this title on my wish list for a few months. Frankly, there were a few others I planned to read first, but my cat walked across my keyboard and ordered it. I think she’s figured out that if I’m reading, I’m likely in a position where she can crawl onto my lap and take a cat nap of her own, or maybe not. At any rate, she has good taste.

This is another enjoyable cozy mystery from Claire Donally. This time the ex of Sunny’s rival for Will’s affection gets bumped off. There’s plenty of suspects in the murder of this unethical veterinarian and womanizer, plenty of twists and turns and plenty of action for both Sunny and her cat, Shadow.

Great characters, well-written and a real page turner.

Have a great week!

Susan

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The Burned Bridges of Ward, Nebraska

The Burned Bridges of Ward, Nebraska by [Curtright, Eileen]

In a Nutshell

Title:  The Burned Bridges of Ward, Nebraska

Author:  Eileen Curtright

Publisher: Little A

Date of Release:  December 1, 2015

Genre:  Humorous Fiction

Source:  Purchased

Rating: 4 out of 5 Acorns

This is story of Murphy’s Law in action: if something can go wrong, it will. It’s also a story about poor decision-making and bad luck. Rebecca Meer is a single mom in a small town and a lot of things in her life have gone wrong. It doesn’t sound like a very cheery premise for a novel, but Curtright tells the story in a self-deprecating manner and I found  it very funny in kind of a sick way.  It also called to mind some of my own impulsive decisions I lived to regret.

I noticed The Burned Bridges didn’t get a lot of great reviews on Amazon, but I thought it was a hoot.

Have a good week!

Susan

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