Thursday 21 December 2017

Read in 2017 - 39, 40, 41

This is a three-in-one post with reviews of the last books I have read - I am so behind, and therefore, they are much shorter than what you are used to from my reviews.

# 39: Death Comes To Town
by K. J. Emrick

This mystery was a relatively quick read - and, admittedly, quickly forgotten.

The plot? Young woman with supernatural abilities (she can "sense things", talks to her cat - who doesn't? - and sees her late Aunt Millie every now and then) plays detective when her neighbour is killed.

Throw in a love interest (which, as is so often the case in books like this, starts out as a real twerp, detested by our heroine at first sight), a cast of rather one-dimensional characters populating the small town of Misty Hollow, some frightening epxeriences for our heroine, and you have a book.

Not one I consider a total waste of time; don't get me wrong, my review probably comes across more negative than I felt about this story. But it is definitely not something I recommend, unless you really, really like Nora Roberts and similar.

When I downloaded the book two years or so ago, I didn't know it had the supernatural element. I do like mysteries, and every now and then - very rarely! - I also like a dash of fantasy and/or ghost story.

Maybe I wasn't in the right mood this time; maybe I found the switch from hate to love a bit too sudden (and not very credible), but I simply could not bring myself to care for the heroine or for anyone else in the book.

It helped pass the time on my train trips to and from work, but that's about it.

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# 40: Flight 308 to Christmas
by Nancy Isaak

I've always liked seasonal reading, but this year, I started really late with any Christmas-related books. This one was short and sweet - not too short; the characters gain enough depth to make the reader sympathise with them.

Connie is an 11-year-old girl who has come to live with her aunt after her parents died in a car crash. Just when she starts getting used to this new stage in her life, her aunt is diagnosed with cancer and needs to start treatment in hospital.

For the time being, she can not look after her young niece, and so the only other living relative has to step in: Connie is going to live with her grandfather - a man she has never met.

All she knows is that the elderly man is in a wheel chair and lives at the other side of the Rocky Mountains, hundreds of miles from her aunt's home.

To make matters even more difficult, Connie has to fly there on Christmas Eve - alone with a pilot in a small plane, facing a snow storm across the Rockies.

And everybody seems to think she should believe in Santa, only because she is not an adult! But Connie does not believe in Santa. After all, she never got what she wanted for Christmas. And besides, she is not a baby anymore, is she!

As the small plane makes its way across the Rockies, thrown about by the snow storm, things begin to happen that change Connie's life forever.

A charming read; predictable, yes, but heart-warming and just the right thing for a long train ride home on a dark Sunday night in December.

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# 41: Let's Do Christmas
by Cynthia Lee Cartier

My 2nd seasonal read of this year's pre-Christmas period was longer than "Flight 308" but almost as predictable:

Grumpy family members who really do not want to celebrate Christmas together are forced to stay longer than planned when they are snowed in.

As expected, this extreme situation brings out the best - and worst - in them; eventually, the grumps make a 180-degree turn and the spirit of Christmas prevails.

I found this one rather amusing, because the characters are so cliché-laden that you can not possibly take them serious.

The underlying currents and tensions between siblings and parents, in-laws and grandchildren are something many people may be able to relate to, as I don't think there is any one family in the whole world that does not have its reasons for holding grudges - or for forgiving past sins.

Nothing magical or super-natural happens in this story, and although it ends well, it somehow manages to avoid too much sweetness and is not as cheesy as it may sound.

PS: I have just realised I've read this before, in 2015! My old review is here, if you are interested. No wonder it seemed so familiar :-D

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All of these have something in common: They were free ebooks on Amazon's kindle shop; I had not heard of the authors before, and I downloaded the books years ago when my kindle was brand new and I went on a downloading spree.


  1. I love books like these, especially the seasonal varieties, for cold nights in front of the fire. Nothing heavy, just heartwarming.

    I'm enjoying your blog. I'll be back once the holidays are just a memory!


    1. Hello Jane, I believe this is your first comment on my blog - welcome, and thank you for stopping!
      Yes, sometimes a light entertaining read is just what I want, but after a few of this kind, I need something more substantial again.
      Merry Christmas to you!

  2. You mentioned the red dress...I scrolled down your posts but didn't find it. Maybe you haven't posted pictures yet. Let me know when you. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. In Italy today is Santo Stefano so all shops are closed, it's a public holiday.

    1. It was a public holiday in Germany, too, Francesca. Shops have opened again only today, and I imagine there will be a big rush to the groceries stores and supermarkets around town - good job I still have some fresh food in my fridge :-)
      You're right, I have not yet posted the red dress, but will do so soon.