Once again, I am putting two book reviews in one post, so as not to drag my back log of posts out even more, and make both reviews shorter than I maybe would have done otherwise.
Watered Down Death
by Lucinda D. Davis
This was a mystery that combined an interesting cast, nice setting and a plot I did not guess from the start. It came to my kindle as a free ebook from Amazon's kindle shop and is the first of a series.
Monica and Erin are not only best friends, but also run an antiques shop together. As if that wasn't enough, they are also gifted amateur sleuths AND have the backing of the local police in conducting their own investigation when a wealthy old Doctor is found dead.
The police backing makes this one a bit different from most other such amateur sleuth stories, where the hero or heroine usually gets repeatedly told off by the police and is ordered to "leave it to the experts".
The two ladies are opposite personalities - one is a neat freak, the other very untidy but has psychic abilities -, but that makes their friendship all the more plausible.
Some of the other characters remain a bit one-dimensional, but I suppose this is something a writer can work on in the course of a series. It could be that this one is not only the start of the series but also was the writer's first book, as sometimes the writing is a bit bumpy. The book would definitely have profited of professional editing, but it was still a good (and relatively quick) read.
Lucinda D. Davis' homepage is here, if you are interested.
by Felix Wetesrmühl
A gift from my sister - thank you! - and good addition to my collection of books about people involved in space travel, such as Wernher von Braun, the Astronaut's wives, Chris Hadfield and others. (A "physical" book, as in "not an ebook".)
On my blog, I have written a few times about Alexander Gerst. He does not only come across as an intelligent, honest, down-to-earth (pun intended!) man, but also happens to come from the same Swabian region of Germany as I.
The biography gives not only a detailed account of his life before, during and after his space missions, but also offers background information to human spaceflight that allows the reader to put current events in context.
Chapters alternate between Gerst's life story and such context information. All is backed up by a long list of referencing articles, most of them from online sources.
I enjoyed it, although there were no big surprises and the writing style was not exactly polished. Still, as I said, I enjoyed it, and it definitely has its place on the "space" shelf of my book case.