12/10/14

Tim Cratchit's Christmas Carol by Jim Piecuch



Sequels of great books of the past rarely live up to the original, however, I truly believe that Charles Dickens would have been proud of the portrayal of Tim Cratchit in this book and the revival of the spirit of the redeemed Ebenezer Scrooge.

Tim Cratchit is a grown man, a doctor, who in the past had given his time and talents helping the poor but in the past few years he had gotten away from aiding the unfortunate and concentrated on his wealthier clientele.  Several weeks before Christmas, Dr Cratchit has a impoverished young woman appear at his Harley Street office needing help for her sick child.  We see again the small Tiny Tim and how generosity can cure not just the spirit but the body as well.

The story that continues is worthy of Dickens' character and the holiday season.
I loved the story and the characters and would happily recommend this book to everyone for the holidays!

★★★★★

GENRE: fiction
SUBJECT: generosity, compassion, Christmas
Setting: London, England
CHARACTERS: Dr. Tim Cratchit, Jane Crompton, Ginny Whitson, Jonathan Whitson, Dr. Eustace
DATE READ: December 8 - December 10
NO. OF PAGES: 272
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, 
SOURCE: NetGalley

A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear



The British Secret Service enlist Maisie's unique talents in this installment sending her to teach at a college that stresses pacifism.  Before she is even settled in the head of the college is found dead Maisie is forced to walk a tight line between assignment for the Secret Service and the murder investigation. 

Maisie is also juggling her relationships with her assistant Billy (trying to get him to accept help for his young family), Sandra (a former servant for the Comptons who has been widowed my murder), and her own relationship with James Compton.  The interactions are cleverly woven throughout the story.

I'm ready for the next one!

 ★★★½

GENRE: Mystery
SUBJECT: Education, pacificism
Setting: England
CHARACTERS: Maisie Dobbs, Robbie MacFarlane, Greville Liddicotte, Francesca Thomas, Rosemary Linden,  
DATE READ: November 29 - December 7
NO. OF PAGES: 461
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, 
SOURCE: Audio - Public Library

12/8/14

Emerald Atlas by John Stephens



Kate, Michael and  Emma have a special destiny and when their young lives become imperiled they are sent away to an orphanage unknowing what the future holds for them.  10 years later after having being sent from orphanage to orphanage, they arrive in Cambridge Falls and their adventures begin.  

Kate has a unique connection to the "Emerald Atlas"  which allows her to time travel.  The children use this special ability to go back in time to save a town and its people.

Magic, time traveling, dwarfs, hidden tunnels and more made this book a thoroughly entertaining experience and had me running to the bookstore for the next in the series.

 ★★★★

GENRE: Young Adult
SUBJECT: magical powers
Setting: Cambridge Falls
CHARACTERS: Kate , Michael, and Emma Wibberly, Dr. Stanislaus Pym, Gabriel, Wallace, Capatain Robbie, Countess
DATE READ: November 29 - December 7
NO. OF PAGES: 432
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, 
SOURCE: Nook stockpile

11/30/14

Scorched Eggs by Laura Childs


Suzanne along with her two partners, Toni and Petra, run the Cackleberry Club.  On a rare afternoon off, Suzanne is at the town hair salon, when the building next door goes up in flames, killing a friend of Petra's.  With pleas from her friends, Suzanne sets out to find the reason for the fire and why the victim died.

In the meantime, Suzanne is also caring for a baby owl, preparing for the County fair, and the Dinner Theatre that will be at the Cackleberry Club.

The story is fun, keeping the reader entertained, solving the mystery as well as seeing our favorite characters grow.

I'll be watching for the next one!

★★★½

GENRE: Cozy Mystery
SUBJECT: murder , arson, wildlife
Setting: Kindred, MN
CHARACTERS: Suzanne Dietz, Toni Garrett, Sam Hazelet, Hannah Venable, Bruce Winthrop, Darrel Fuhrman, Sheriff Doogie, Kit Kaslik, Ricky Wilcox
DATE READ: November 23 - November 29
NO. OF PAGES: 291
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, 
SOURCE: ARC from Author, signed

Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg


Having watched the movie and knowing the story didn't make this children's book any less enjoyable.  Seeing the little boy and his desire to believe that Santa is real makes this story touch even the heart of those older.

The love  of Christmas and belief in Santa will always make this story a classic.

 ★★★★★

GENRE: Children's
SUBJECT: Santa
Setting: North Pole
CHARACTERS: Santa, Conductor, little Boy
DATE READ: November 29 - November 29
NO. OF PAGES: 32
Challenges: 75, Category, TIOLI, 
SOURCE: Public Library