Monthly Archives: September 2013

Making Money by Terry Pratchett

Making Money (Discworld, #36)

With the Ankh-Morpork Post Office saved former thief Moist von Lipwig is bored. When Lord Vetinari offers the chance to run the Royal Mint and Royal Bank Moist takes the offer. With ‘unique’ bank employees, the ex-chairman’s scheming family and other bank related quandaries being bored is no longer a problem. Being discredited and/or killed, though, are…

The plot of Making Money exposes the reader to humor both thoughtful and slapstick. On the thoughtful end Moist’s experiences cause the reader to wonder what really runs banks and economics. Is it computer models which affect reality, odd regulations, people who play by their own rules or all of the above? On the slapstick end of the humor scale there is dog Mr. Fusspot’s attachment to a human toy, a clown courtroom scene and other chuckle worthy moments. Minor characters help make the book a fun read, but it is Moist and Vetinari who run the show. Moist is haplessly addicted to danger. He just can’t help accepting challenges and then has to wing his way through them. Vetinari has a sense of style that, as it is said in the book, even his enemies admire. He knows how people think and has a dry sense of humor. With diverting situations, interesting personalities and fantasy creatures such as werewolves and trolls Ankh-Morpork seems like it could be a fun place to visit if one survives the experience. Making Money is a good read for those wanting satire, humor, characters that entertain and/or a fantasy world with never a dull moment.

Want reads with elements of Making Money?

Another Fine Myth, by Robert Asprin, starts off a series chronicling the adventures of hapless magician’s apprentice Skeeve and the intelligent demon -dimensional traveler- Aahz

Bank Shot, by Donald E. Westlake, is another humorous tale with entertaining characters that involves a thief and a bank. In this case, thief John Dortmunder steals a bank. Now if only he could figure out what to do with it…

Trust Me, I’m a Banker by David Charters, is a satirical look at the world of banking. An employee decides he is unappreciated, has an opportunity to take revenge and things go on from there…

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Book of True Desires by Betina Krahn

The Book of True Desires

Explorer Cordelia O’Keefe’s grandfather will fund an expedition if she finds a Mayan treasure and brings his butler along. Hartford Goodnight is inexperienced, disrespectful and filled with dreams which strikes a chord with Cordelia. They are drawn together as they brave Cuba on the verge of the Spanish-American War and navigate the dangers of the Mexican rainforest. Unfortunately, their happiness is threatened by their stubbornness and a villain who will stop at nothing to make sure they fail…

The Book of True Desires first draws the reader in with the main leads. Cordelia is spirited and determined to succeed in a man’s world. Goodnight is stubborn and determined to meet his dreams despite failing before. The elegant but cruel villain, Cordelia’s loyal aunt and a perhaps untrustworthy professor are other characters which make the book worth reading. The atmosphere is another reason to read the tale: the tenseness of Cuba on the verge of war as well as the exotic beauty and danger of the Mexican rainforest are well portrayed. The hint of the supernatural and the villain’s ability to threaten the happiness of the protagonists make the plot appealing. The Book of True Desires is a good match for a reader looking for determined characters, a step into exotic locales, a quest for treasure and/or a fun love story.

Want other reads that, like The Book of True Desires,  are fun historical romances featuring pairs drawn together by the hunt for lost treasure?

Valerie King’s An Adventurous Lady also features a woman encountering a man who is more than he seems. The Earl of Rotherstone has a reputation as rudely unsocial but he’s the key to helping heiress Evelina Wesley locate a smuggler’s buried treasure…

Leslie LaFoy’s The Perfect Desire draws together rake Barrett Stanbridge and daring widow Isabella Dandaneau to find a pirate’s treasure. With Stanbridge accused of murder, a villain after the treasure and a growing bond this treasure hunt will not be boring…

Amanda Quick’s With This Ring features desperate gothic novelist Beatrice Poole joining with antiques expert Leo “The Mad Monk of Monkcrest” Drake to find a set of mystical rings. The result will be true love or death…

Find yourself curious about the Spanish-American War or the Mayans? Items such as the PBS documentary Crucible of Empire: The Spanish American War and Heather McKillop’s The Ancient Maya: New Perspectives can provide information.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Getting Old is a Disaster by Rita Larkin

Getting Old Is a Disaster (Gladdy Gold, #5)

Gladdy Gold, retiree PI, has a lot going on. First, her romance with her handsome boyfriend is heating up. Then there’s the witty “Grandpa Bandit” who thinks only herself and her fellow retiree PIs can catch him. Finally, there just happens to be the fifty year old skeleton that suggests a killer could be closer than they think…

Gladdy is a likable character: she takes life as it comes, is compassionate and won’t give up. Determined but patient Jack, Enya with her troubled past and the other residents of the Lanai Gardens retirement home in Florida are worth getting to know. Getting Old Is a Disaster is an atmospheric tale where the mystery is interwoven with challenges older people can face. Gladdy and her friends encounter one resident who lost her family in the concentration camps, a husband coping with his wife having Alzheimer’s and the issue of older people who cannot afford the health care they need. The seriousness is balanced by humor: Gladdy and her boyfriend struggle for privacy and the “Grandpa Bandit” has a roguish wit. The mysteries of locating the “Grandpa Bandit” and the killer move pretty quickly. Getting Old Is a Disaster is a good read for its humorous and serious focus on life as we age, interesting group of characters and funny but also serious plot.

Want more reads like Getting Old Is a Disaster? These cozy reads also feature older adults discovering the truth.

In Monica Ferris’ Crewel World a woman comes to a small village to stay with her sister, but ends up having to prove herself innocent of her sister’s murder…

In Anne George’s Murder Makes Waves two sisters find their vacation in the Florida village of Destin interrupted by a neighbor’s murder…

In Mitzi Kelly’s Classic Revenge three retirees seek to prove a friend innocent of his wife’s murder…

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Scandal in Venice by Amanda McCabe

Scandal in Venice

Lady Elizabeth Everdean flees to Venice after her life goes horribly wrong. Unknown to her, Sir Nicolas Hollingsworth has come to retrieve her to repay a debt of honor. He didn’t know she could understand how the pain can cause pain. She didn’t expect to meet a man who could bring joy into her life again. Unfortunately, the truth of his mission might destroy the love growing between them…

Elizabeth and Nicolas have a chemistry that not only comes from attractiveness but from being antidotes to each other’s pain. Nicolas shows Elizabeth that a relationship with a man, despite the examples she has seen, can be joyful. Elizabeth shows Nicolas that he deserves to be loved and can have a meaningful relationship despite the pain he holds. The other characters also make this book worth reading: witty and bold Georgina, pained Peter and loyal Stephen. Venice is a beautiful place full of parties, beautiful clothing and an almost mystical ability for people to be drawn together. The Regency atmosphere of cards, partying and the occasional slang is extravagant and fun. The plot also appeals to the reader: wondering if the heroine and hero will have a happy ending and whether Peter is truly seeking redemption. Scandal in Venice is appealing for its characters with pasts who threaten the present, Venice and Regency atmosphere in general and being an escapist read.

Want other reads like Scandal in Venice?

Married by Morning by Lisa Kleypas is another Regency Romance in which past secrets threaten future happiness. In this case companion Catherine Mark’s past threatens to prevent marriage to the man of her dreams…

Julia Quinn’s Romancing Mr. Bridgerton features a Regency heroine who thinks she has found the man of her dreams, but learning about his past may prevent future happiness…

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized