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Shoo, Fly Guy! (Fly Guy, No. 3)
Shoo, Fly Guy! (Fly Guy, No. 3)
by Tedd Arnold
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $6.99
201 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A celebration of the brown, lumpy, oozy & smelly foods Fly Guy likes, March 26, 2016
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The small boys in my family seem to have an endless capacity to read the Fly Guy books over and over. They have certain passages memorized, and they put a lot of feeling into reproducing Fly Guy's buzzy vocabulary. The colorful illustrations are very appealing. It's quite an accomplishment to make an ugly hairy bug-eyed fly look expressive and cute.

All the Fly Guy Books are clever. This one is a veritable catalog of all the sloppy edibles that attract Fly Guy, and that's funny and fun. Naturally the humans trying to eat their burgers and pizzas say "Shoo Fly!" All except Buzz, who's always willing to share...


Death in the Tunnel: A British Library Crime Classic (British Library Crime Classics)
Death in the Tunnel: A British Library Crime Classic (British Library Crime Classics)
by Miles Burton
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.15
38 used & new from $5.56

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ingenious puzzle, March 24, 2016
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Miles Burton was one of the pen names used by Cecil John Street, a founder member of the Detection Club, famed bastion of fair-play Golden Age Crime writers. Street was not very interested in motive. His focus was on method, and this is very apparent in Death in the Tunnel (first published in 1936).

A prosperous and eminently respectable businessman, Sir Wilfred Saxonby, is shot to death in a locked first-class railway car. It looks like a clear case of suicide, but Inspector Arnold of Scotland Yard wants to make sure.

Arnold is a man driven by facts. But he sometimes consults with her friend Desmond Merrion, an amateur criminologist whose deductions are based purely on imagination. The two complement each other. For most of the book every apparent solution they come up with carries with it insuperable difficulties. Merrion's theories become more and more convoluted, and he changes theories readily. As it turns out, the murder is such an elaborate scheme, with layer upon layer of deception, that Merrion's imaginative approach is more than justified.

This type of wholly cerebral puzzle was more popular in the past than now. Which explains why Street's work has recently been mainly of interest to aficionados. I frankly prefer more emphasis on motive and character in my vintage mysteries. But I found this book interesting as an example of the Golden Age puzzle mystery. The introduction is excellent at putting novel and author in context of the history of crime fiction.


BubbleBum Inflatable Booster Seat, Black/Silver
BubbleBum Inflatable Booster Seat, Black/Silver
Price: $25.90
24 used & new from $22.53

5.0 out of 5 stars "I love it," said 5-year-old Harrison, March 22, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Harry finds this booster very comfortable. And he loves to say the name BubbleBum. He immediately asked, "Is the BubbleBum just for me?" I had to admit we might use it sometimes for his 8-year-old brother -- or if we had an extra kid with us.

It is very easy to blow up and put in place. The portability is great, because we move boosters around between two cars as needed. All in all, this is a very useful little item.


The Woman in Blue (Ruth Galloway Mysteries)
The Woman in Blue (Ruth Galloway Mysteries)
by Elly Griffiths
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.50
59 used & new from $12.31

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder in a atmosphere of spiritual fervor, March 20, 2016
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Walsingham is the setting for this Ruth Galloway mystery. This ancient British town has everything going for it -- spooky gravestones, a bloody history of martyrdom, medieval religious ceremonies, a secret cult, sacred relics, a Passion Play, swarms of pilgrims, women priests, Druids in flowing robes, and a strangely disturbing vibe. Walsingham is a center for both Catholic and Anglican worship with a special devotion to Mary (the Lady in Blue).

As it happens, the first murder victim is a beautiful young woman dressed in a long garment of blue. This naturally suggests connections to the Virgin to DCI Nelson.

As we fans of the series know, Nelson was once or twice indiscreet with archeology professor Dr. Ruth Galloway, and this indiscretion resulted in little Kate, who is now five. The tangled web of relationships that includes Nelson and Ruth, Nelson's wife and another detective, continues to be fascinating in this book.

Hostility to women priests is another theme in The Woman in Blue, and it provides a good plot complication.

Cathbad the colorful Druid plays a peripheral part in the plot. So does a creepy cat named Chesterton.

I loved this book, as I've loved every book in the series. They can't come out fast enough for me.


Dead Man's Quarry
Dead Man's Quarry
by Ianthe Jerrold
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.02
23 used & new from $9.96

5.0 out of 5 stars Dogged gentleman sleuth and his reluctant Watson solve a country crime, March 19, 2016
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This review is from: Dead Man's Quarry (Paperback)
Although Ianthe Jerrod only wrote two crime novels, she was made a member of the Detection Club, comprised of Britain's best crime writers of the Golden Age. She's as fine a writer as any of them, adept at contriving a puzzle, and equally adept at creating engaging characters.

John Christmas, her amateur detective, is not an eccentric. He's just a kindly Englishman with integrity, a sense of humor, and plenty of leisure for holidays and detecting. In this book, he's on a road tour of the Welsh Marshes with his scientist cousin Sydenham Rampson.

They encounter a jovial group on a bicycle tour, one of whom is soon to be murdered. The victim-to-be is Charles Price, a Canadian who has just come to England to claim his inheritance. As Sir Charles, he is the new proprietor of Rhyllan, a lovely country estate. Nobody likes him. But still, how he ends up dead in a sinister abandoned quarry is a mystery.

The police settle on their murderer early on. But John Christmas doubts that the haughty Morris Price, cousin to the dead man, is guilty. John's method is to collect a multitude of clues until at some point they all come together to make sense. His friend Rampson finds this haphazard method no method at all, and often says so. The repartee between these friends is a delightful display of barbed wit.

The plot offers fun characters, a dash of romance, and even a bit of gunfire. The denouement is surprising. I enjoyed this book thoroughly, and the informative introduction added to my enjoyment. Dead Man's Quarry is a lucky find for fans of Golden Age detective fiction.


Shelter: A Novel
Shelter: A Novel
by Jung Yun
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.13
67 used & new from $12.53

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Relentlessly depressing family drama, March 17, 2016
This review is from: Shelter: A Novel (Hardcover)
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First let me say that many readers will admire this book. But I had a hard time with it, because I disliked the protagonist so much.

Kyung Cho is a youngish Korean professor who blames his parents for everything that's wrong with his life. They are certainly nightmare parents, but I just wanted Kyung to get over it and get on with it. Kyung acts outs whoever he's upset. Granted he has excellent excuses for this, but still...

The basic situation is this: Kyung's parents are attacked by a pair of criminals in an vicious home invasion. Their torment lasts for days. Much as Kyung hates his parents, as a filial Korean son, he feels compelled to take them into his own home to recover from their trauma. The set-up is explosive because of Kyung's unresolved rage. Rage at his parents. Rage at the attackers. Rage at his in-laws, who Kyung believes dislike him. Rage at the world in general.

The family dynamics are complicated and unpleasant. The psychology of abuse is thoroughly explored. This is a very serious book, for readers who can handle a heavy subject and characters deep into their suffering.


Sheer Folly: A Daisy Dalrymple Mystery (Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries)
Sheer Folly: A Daisy Dalrymple Mystery (Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries)
by Carola Dunn
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.40
56 used & new from $0.59

5.0 out of 5 stars A hodgepodge of guests invade a country estate. Murder ensues..., March 15, 2016
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Carola Dunn, Sheer Folly

It's 1926. Daisy Dalyrumple in her role as a journalist is writing a book on follies with her acerbic friend Lucy. Lucy is a titled lady, but also a photographer. Fans of the series know about their days as bachelor-girl roommates. Their presence in the Apsworth mansion "on business" puts them smack in the middle of a murder case.

The victim is an obnoxious guest, a rich earl with the suggestive nickname Rhino. Rhino made a habit of insulting everybody in sight, providing almost everyone with good reason to kill him.

The murder method is unusual. The guests are all either wildly eccentric or weirdly secretive. Only the host is a normal, elderly, nice man with nothing odd about him, except that he has acquired his great wealth by manufacturing bathroom fixtures. Snide remarks about plumbers abound, especially among the more snobbish characters.

As always, Daisy is an appealing amateur sleuth who refuses to believe that anyone she likes could be a murderer. The dialog is bright and witty, the interviews with suspects fun. Daisy's husband, a Scotland Yard Chief Inspector, is only informally involved in the investigation, which makes for a change. The local cop in charge is none too sharp.

Fans of the series should enjoy Sheer Folly. I did. But it's not the best place for those unfamiliar to jump into the series. The back stories of the main characters would be missed, consciously or not.


Love Poems (New Directions Paperbook)
Love Poems (New Directions Paperbook)
by Pablo Neruda
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.52
105 used & new from $2.32

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating!, March 13, 2016
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I bought this book because I'm learning Spanish (or trying to), and the dual language feature is very appealing. I do recommend it highly as a language study aid. The poems are not hard to follow, and the flow of language is exquisitely beautiful, a real incentive to learn Spanish! I have my tutor recite these poems to give me a sense of the cadence of the language.

This is my first experience of Pablo Neruda, and I'm an instant fan. Normally my taste runs more to prose than to poetry. But I love the quirky quality of the poet's mind. He writes a poem to his lover's feet, for example. Everything he writes is unexpected. There are none of the usual love cliches, no gushing. Neruda's emotions are wonderfully idiosyncratic, somehow unsentimental and quite exhilarating.

Some of the poems are short and very accessible. Others are longer, bordering on surreal, full of bizarre imagery. All are as passionate as you'd expect from a Latin lover. The translation seems excellent to me, in both word choice and feeling very close to the original.


Fly Guy and the Frankenfly (Fly Guy #13)
Fly Guy and the Frankenfly (Fly Guy #13)
by Tedd Arnold
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $6.99
156 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good one, March 11, 2016
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All the Fly Guy books are funny, sweet, colorful, and deliver a nice message. They are everything books for kids should be.

In this book Buzz dreams that his pet Fly Guy creates a Frankenfly monster in a frightening laboratory. The monster fly is delightfully drawn. All ends well of course. And Buzz is left with a charming sentiment about friendship.

I always love the way the author translates plain English words into buzzy fly-words. Kids love to read these funny words and put great expression into them.

The boys in our family (ages five and eight) are always delighted when I buy a new Fly Guy book. This is a good one.


Black Ship: A Daisy Dalrymple Mystery (Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries)
Black Ship: A Daisy Dalrymple Mystery (Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries)
by Carola Dunn
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.86
67 used & new from $2.66

5.0 out of 5 stars A superlative Daisy Dalrymple mystery, March 10, 2016
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Black Ship is one of the best in the series so far. For one thing, the subject is fascinating. It's 1925, and Prohibition is going strong in America. But so much booze is getting into the country by sea, that the American government has invested in faster boats for the Coast Guard. And they're sending Prohibition Agents to England to find and discourage British vendors selling to American bootleggers.

One such agent turns up on Daisy's doorstep. She and Alec met Lambert in America. He's endearingly hopeless, helpless and hapless at cloak and dagger work -- but ever so eager to succeed. The Fletchers put him up for a while because his money and passport were stolen on the boat train.

The nicest of Daisy's new neighbors happen to be wholesalers of fine wines and spirits. Lambert can't resist spying on them. This has its comic aspect.

Meanwhile, a dead foreigner is found in the communal garden by Daisy's new home (the growing Fletcher family has just moved). Daisy's home swarms with detectives, because it makes a handy base for the investigation -- a wonderful opportunity for her to insinuate herself into the thick of the action.

I didn't know anything about the black ships before reading this book. So I really enjoyed the scenes at sea with the rumrunners.

The story has a nice flow, investigative activities alternate with tea parties, nursery matters, bootlegging and Daisy's assessments of her fellow suburbanites. The denouement is particularly satisfying.


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