6/30/15

Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling by Ross King


This was an interesting book that at times got weighed down by the descriptions in vast detail of the processes that were used for different types of painting including but not restricted to the frescos that were painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.  This was really more a combined biography of Michelangelo, Pope Julius II, and Raphael.

The pictures of the Sistine Chapel frescos were beautiful but it would have been much nicer if they had not been all lumped together in one pictures but the panels shown individually.  I often had to search the Internet for an individual image so that I could understand what the writer was talking about.

★★★

GENRE: Children's
CHARACTERS: Michelangelo, Pope Julius II, Donato Bramante, Piero Rosselli, Raphael
Series/ Progress:
DATE READ: June 14 - June 29
NO. OF PAGES: 373
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, HistoryCat
SOURCE: library

The Meanest Doll in the World by Ann Martin


Anna Belle Doll, Tiffany Funcraft, and Auntie Sarah Doll leave the Doll House to explore the attic but fail to return before their human owner, Katie, awakes so Annabelle and Tiffany hide in Katie's backpack.  They are taken of to school and share an adventure before jumping back into the wrong backpack.  At the home of Katie's friend they meet other living dolls that are being terrorized by the Princess Mimi Doll.  Tiffany and Annabelle help the other dolls free themselves from Mimi's cruelties.  But when Annabelle and Tiffany manage to get back home, they have company.  

So much fun!

 ★★★

GENRE: Children's
CHARACTERS: Doll Family, Funcraft family, Princess Mimi
Series/ Progress: Doll People 2/4
DATE READ: June 26 - June 29
NO. OF PAGES: 260
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, AlphaKit
SOURCE: library

6/29/15

A Deadly Cliché by Ellery Adams


I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed the first in this series but was quickly reminded by the wonderful characters and the writing that kept me on the edge of my seat.

Olivia and her Dog, Captain Haviland, find a body buried in the sand one morning while strolling on the beach.  Before the end, they will be finding or connected to several other murders which all have a cliché portrayed by or near the body.  However, the Cliché murders aren't the only mystery that Olivia has to face when an unexpected letter comes and throws her for a loop.

Great fun and hurrying toward the next one!

★★★½

GENRE: Cozy Mystery
CHARACTERS: Olivia Limoges, Laurel Hobbs, Chief Sawyer Rawlings, Flynn McNulty, Will Hamilton
Series/ Progress: Books by the Bay 2/7
DATE READ: June 25 - June 28
NO. OF PAGES: 304
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, AlphaKit
SOURCE: Loaned from Tina

6/25/15

Staged to Death by Karen Rose Smith



Caprice DeLuca, a home stager is helping her high school friend, Roz,  prepare to sell the house  that she and her husband built when they were married.  Trouble in paradise and murder in the study of Roz's husband have Caprice assisting Roz to avoid the paparazzi as well as a stint in jail.  Caprice starts asking questions about Roz's husband's business, finds an attorney for Roz, and sets out to discover the murderer.

Okay, don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the story and the main characters but there were just a few too many other characters rolling through this one - 37 major/minor characters is way too many.  I really feel that with some rethinking, some of these minor characters could have been rolled in together.

Hopefully, future installments will have a lesser population.

★★★

GENRE: Cozy Mystery
CHARACTERS: Caprice DeLuca, Roz Winslow, Ted Winslow, Seth Randolph M.D., Dave Harding, Grant Weatherford
Series/ Progress: Caprice De Luca Mystery  1/4
DATE READ: June 22 - June 24
NO. OF PAGES: 384
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, AlphaKit
SOURCE: Nook stockpile

6/24/15

Drawing Conclusions by Donna Leon


As usual in the Commissario Brunetti series, the reader is taken on a ride through Venice while investigations are underway into the death of Signora Altavilla, an elderly woman found dead in her apartment by her neighbor.  The coroner rules the death by heart attack but Brunetti is alarmed by bruises on her body that don't seem to fit with a fall.  Delving into the woman's activities, along the help of Signorina Elettra, Brunetti finds the hidden world surrounding domestic violence and steps that often are taken to save those women who cannot protect themselves.

 ★★★

GENRE: Mystery
CHARACTERS: Guido Brunetti, Signorina Elettra Zozzi, Anna Maria Guisti, Signora Constanza Alavilla
Series/ Progress: Commissario Brunetti  20/24
DATE READ: June 18 - June 23
NO. OF PAGES: 407
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, AlphaKit
SOURCE: audio stockpile