“The only thing that would make this kiss better is if you promised me you don’t have cooties.”
That’s why they call me the Romance Ninja. . .
I don’t think anyone would have thought this series would continue from where the last left off, with one of the leads in jail. But rather than painting herself into a corner, Ms. Sokoloff had a plan, no doubt thanks to diligent research into California law.
So there are more killings while Cara is in jail; is it a copycat, or a devious plan to make her look innocent? Considering the attitude of her defense attorney, I certainly thought the latter was happening. But once Cara is set free she’s back to her old tricks, and Roarke and his gang are on her trail again, as well as that of the other killer.
I admit to a little surprise at the Singh/Epps hookup, since throughout the last book and this one we see him getting angrier and angrier, which you wouldn’t think would be an attraction to a brainiac like Singh. I’m sure he treats her well, just wondering what she saw in him the first time.
Basically if you read the first two and liked them, you’ll like this one just as much, possibly more. There are some fascinating psychological insights; when I reviewed the previous books in the series I made a point of comparing them to Criminal Minds, and this one even more so, with multiple killers this time. And though San Fran is still the main locus, in this one there are trips to the East Bay and Santa Cruz, which brought back a lot of memories for me.
Miracles and Conundrums of the Secondary Planets
As one would expect, the title had nothing to do with anything in this short-story collection, though there’s plenty of what might be called science-fiction here: in the first story an alien posing as a Latvian restaurateur falls in love with a college pro-life activist; later there’s a world in danger of global cooling; another deals with the resurrection of millions. But I’m thinking this tome falls into the “literary” category, mostly because a majority of these stories do not have what would be considered endings, or a better word for it is conclusions. So if you like having everything wrapped up at the end, avoid this. The story ideas themselves are the most powerful, and the writing is well-done, but there isn’t much plot or character development—remember, short stories—here.
Joss Whedon’s Names
This book has an incredibly long subtitle, mentioning every film and TV series—and whatever Dr. Horrible falls under—Joss Whedon has done, which seems a little silly. This writer’s previous works deal with Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, and Sherlock, so she’s definitely a genre writer, and in her blurb it says she used to teach college.
This wasn’t what I was expecting, and unfortunately it wasn’t a pleasant surprise. Came into this hoping for some insight as to why Joss chose these names, rather than just the meanings, something you can find in any baby book on the internet. There were valiant attempts to link the name origins to the characters, but it was all guesswork; maybe Joss simply liked the name or chose it because that was what his best friend as a kid was called. Since it is nothing but guesswork, there’s absolutely no insight, nothing new to be learned here. Ultimately a disappointment.
Nancy Drew: The Bungalow Mystery
Okay, this requires an explanation from the 46-year-old guy, right? Well, I couldn’t read any new Hardy Boys because I did all that as a kid. I’d read some Nancy at the same time, but as a five-year-old boy it was much harder to relate. So why now? No particular reason other than needing a silly escape after trying to soldier through a book on why teens and twenties don’t want to go into politics, and ultimately giving up on it.
I have to say, Nancy’s been hit on the head so much that I wonder why she’s not a redhead, with all the blood. And can still walk, considering she’s had more concussions than a helmetless football player.
So as to this particular tome, there wasn’t anything all that special about it. Having devoured this type of story as a kid, it was easy to figure out the guardians weren’t whom they claimed to be. As always Nancy is nice to everyone and can’t conceive of anyone being mean unless they’re a bad guy; not even one shade of grey here. But considering I read the whole thing in less than an hour, in which time I didn’t think of anything else, it did its job of escaping me from the real world.