02 December 2023

A Whovian in Love -- Review: Doctor Who: Wild Blue Yonder

 I probably should have written a review of The Star Beast with a returning David Tennant and Catherine Tate, but by the time I got to it, it had been out a few days and I was in the middle of a really hectic busy work week. Just know that I loved it. I thought it was brilliant. And I was--and am--damned having to have Tennant and Tate back again. Their chemistry together is chock full of tension and talent and the two work together like the proverbial hand in glove.

Which leads me to today's episode in the series, Wild Blue Yonder.

A bad pun with Isaac Newton in 1666 certainly underscores the chemistry between these two actors. And first trip for Donna Noble, she's broken the TARDIS. And it left them behind, stranded on a spaceship. In the middle of nowhere. And it doesn't take them long before the Big Bad has them in Big Trouble.

It is so absolutely wonderful to have Russell T Davies back at the helm. The Doctor is the Doctor again. The whimsy back with the drama. The flashes of darkness in the story. And yet it all molds together to become the glory of The Doctor. The close calls. The action. 

Tennant still has the fire. Catherine Tate is still saucy. Wonderful to see Bernard Cribbins (Wilf Mott) one last time, along with Jacqueline King (Sylvia Noble) and Karl Collins (Sean Temple). The story is tight and angsty without giving up that whimsy and action. 

I loved this. I can't wait for next week's episode. And it makes me very anxious to meet Ncuti Gatwa. Now that we've got some decent writing again and the Master (no pun intended) at the helm. Again.

Brilliant. Just, brilliant.

Doctor Who is currently airing on Disney+ and the BBC. 


Review: "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny"


 I'm not sure who decided this movie sucked but I finally got a chance to see Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. And it most definitely does not suck. 

We pick up with a very young Indiana, played by the iconic Harrison Ford, on an adventure with partner Basil, played by actor Tobey Jones, stuck with Nazis as the villains, once again stealing treasure...and a notorious artifact. The Antikythera device. A time traveling device created by Archimedes. An adventure to keep it out of the wrong hands. Indeed. Right up your alley, Indy.

But the day is not saved for long when in present day, two milestones arrive. Indy is retiring as a professor, now old and worn down by time and his previous adventures. And his goddaughter Helena, played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who turns out to be a bit of a blatant thief. Beloq in a skirt. The other half of the Antikythera device is being hunted by a Nazi passing as the savior of NASA, played by Mads Mikkelson. The world needs Indiana Jones to save us once again. 

Indy has slowed down. Physically, not up for the job. Welcome to a touch of reality, which is probably why the reviews were mixed. We want our heroes young and virile, able to do anything. The idea of an aged hero just doesn't sit well. Which is too bad because heroes come at any age, shape, weight, and form. Harrison Ford once again delivers a brilliant performance. Indiana may have lost the sparkle and dazzle, but he hasn't lost his wit and sarcastic nature. Even in the face of personal tragedy.

It was great to see old favorites from the first movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark. John Rhys-Davies. Karen Allen. Every one of them has aged like fine wine and while not as physically active as before, they still retained their spirit. So, yeah, the action sequences aren't as full of ass kicking as they would have been once upon a time, but they were pretty damn good and held my attention. Kept my heart racing and my blood pumping. I held my breath and prayed Indy would get out of this one, only to watch it get even more impossible to survive. And yet he would. One more puzzle after another and he would solve it. 

A fitting farewell to a beloved character as he marches into a new chapter of his story. A wonderful good by to a man that many of us grew up with. And still love. A movie worth of the Indiana Jones name and series. 

Another 5 out of five stars. And here's to Indiana; may he live forever and may his adventures be many. Goodbye to a series that has kept us all on the edges of our seats, entranced with archaeology and adventures. Thank the Gods for DVD and streaming services that the stories and movies still live with us. 



30 October 2023

Review: Abigail Keam's "Death by Theft"


  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Worker Bee Press (October 30, 2023)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ October 30, 2023
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English

“Death by Theft” is a dark romp through a great read

 The latest book in A Josiah Reynolds Mystery series is yet another great read. Lots of drama and angst. And what made me happy – more of her daughter, Asa. Yes, Asa is back with her usual dark efficiency.

 Two of Josiah’s friends, Shaneika Mary Todd and the former June Webster of Monkey’s Brow, KY (now Lady Elsmere) have a new foal in common thanks to breeding their two thoroughbreds together. Jo finally gets to get a glimpse of the baby, but two things happen as they always do when Josiah Reynolds is around. The foal is missing. And they find the night watchman dead in his car.

 Lots of action. Lots of plot twists that are enough to turn anyone’s hair white. But Jo gives over to her daughter because, let’s face it, our favorite psychopath Asa Reynolds has ways of finding out information that her mother just doesn’t. Complicated characters that create complicated stories that are still easy reads and will steal your afternoon, if you let them. I know I can’t put them after I started reading. Death by Theft is no different.

 Another brilliant write by Abigail Keam and when you finish this one, go find “Asa is Back”, the prequel short story that leads into this one. More Asa but getting into her head now. Wonderful, real characters that I love and adore. As long as Ms. Keam keeps writing these, I’ll keep buying and reading them.

 Five out of five stars.

Find your copy at:

Amazon - https://amz.run/7Fu8
Barnes & Noble - https://bityl.co/M1tq

Or visit Abigail's website to find other vendors!




16 October 2023

Review - Asa is Back: A short story by Abigail Keam


  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0CKJ24CTX
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Worker Bee Press; 1st edition (October 16, 2023)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ October 16, 2023
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English

What a great little one shot for the character that I already love. Asa Reynolds is one of those enigmatic characters that you think of as beyond stoic, beyond a riddle -- she's a total badass of a character. And in her bad-assery, it's easy to forget that she is human.
As a prequel to "Death by Theft", this one totally knocks it out of the ballpark and then some. And I loved the tie in with one of Ms. Keam's other series, "The Last Chance Motel". Nice tight plot with action and a case Asa can sink her teeth into. Wounded from an earlier encounter/case, Asa is soon presented with another one. But does she have the physical wherewithal to solve it?
This short plays up on Asa's humanity and we get to learn a little more about her that explains so much. After reading about her in the Josiah Reynolds Mysteries, it's nice to peek inside of Asa's head for a while. See her inner thoughts. I've been waiting for this character to get spun off into her own series. I'm hoping this is the start.
5 out of five stars!!
Grab your copy - https://amz.run/7Crn and then, get Death by Theft on 10/30 - https://amz.run/7Crp

03 September 2023

Review - Donna MacDonald's 40 Ways to Say Goodbye

40 Ways to Say Goodbye: A Paranormal Women's Fiction Novel (Tales of a Midlife Witch Book 1

 It's been a long time since I've read a Donna MacDonald book. I've loved her books since I first started reading with the Never Too Late series. I lost touch with this wonderful author until I read her FB post that she had a new series out.

Reading 40 Ways To Say Goodbye has reawakened my love of her work. Aran Derringer marries against her parent's best advice, has a beautiful daughter, and ten years later, the rat she married has her thrown in prison. Fiends like that, who needs enemas. But then again, Aran has a demon for a familiar and is the child of Celtic Gods. After seven years, a representative of the very people who put in her that magickal prison comes to give her a way out. If she'll do them a favor.

All I know is that I started reading and didn't put the book down until I'd finished. The characters are fresh and intriguing. Aran is a strong woman who takes no guff off any man, not even her male familiar. But he's also a good woman and a powerful witch. She takes on the task at hand with a will and no one is going to stand in her way. The plot is engaging and filled with twists and turns. I finished the book and I'm ready to go on to the next.

There are three books in this series and I will be finishing every one of them. I love Donna MacDonald and I love her books. Wow I've missed them. 

***** out of five stars, a must read!!!

02 April 2023

Review -- Death by Greed by Abigail Keam -- Josiah Reynolds is still "Bullish" on Murder!!


***** / 5 stars out of 5

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Worker Bee Press (March 27, 2023)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ March 27, 2023
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English

 As murder cozies go, the Josiah Reynolds series by Abigail Keam is the best story telling around. And Death By Greed just continues the streak of wonderful writing and a taut storyline that'll keep you hooked from the first word to the last word.

Josiah, out tending to her bees, gets a visitor -- a very large, very angry longhorn bull that comes very close to turning her and Baby--her English Mastiff "guard dog"--into a mash. The vet that comes to tend the animal tells Josiah that he knows the owner. And of course, Josie is going with him to talk to the man. But--surprise, surprise--they arrive in time to see the other animals fending for themselves and in terrible shape. Along with the dead owner. Another job for Josiah Reynolds, Amateur Sleuth and Scourge of the Lexington Police Department. And this is going to be an all hands on deck sort of investigation.

The plot is complicated and riveting. I quit trying to figure it out and just went with the flow -- and by the way, the flow was exciting and kept me hooked. The characters in this novel are once again real, as if they exist in the real world. Josiah tends to be just as complicated as the plots; one minute, I truly like her and the next, I'm having problems with her sense of Kentucky Justice. She's like us all, a deep desire to do the right thing and make sure the real criminal is punished, but sometimes taking short cuts and telling a little white lie to do it. And yet, I can't help but root for her as she goes about it. And you wondered where her daughter Asa got it from. 

I love this series and the latest book is no different. Great plot, great characters. Excellent pacing--never too quick or too slow to keep the story going. I can see it all as if it were happening in front of me. I'm getting to know these people intimately and only a great writer can do that. I'm never bored. I keep thinking that the latest is Ms. Keam's best and then a new one comes out and I'm hooked all over again.  Death by Greed is certainly the current BEST in this series and a damn fine read. I hope The Josiah Reynolds Murder Mysteries never end. I'm too invested.


Available through:

Amazon at https://amz.run/6Xee
Barnes & Noble at https://bityl.co/Hz1L



20 January 2023

Review of Abigail Keam's Death by Drama -- and Oh, the Thrills Galore

 


Abigail Keam does it again.

Madison Smythe, leading lady of the play Josiah Reynold's amateur theater group is doing, drops dead and Jo's friend Franklin Wickliffe is arrested for a charge of Murder in the First. Jo makes a panicked call to the one person she can count on to find the real killer -- her daughter, Asa. And from there, the plot carried me along and the tension never lets go till the bitter end when the killer is finally revealed.

This is a first, exploring other points of view. We get to see through Josiah's eyes but also through Asa's as the Professional carries on the real investigation. Asa is part temptress and part cold blooded investigator, but her instincts are dead on. No pun intended.

I love Keam's strong women who are anything but stereotypical. They live and breathe, and they are as real as any of us are. Everyone has a story here and everyone has a motive. And EVERYONE is lying for some reason. To watch the mother/daughter team find the answers is a pure joy. And when I tell you that the thrills never stop, I mean that in a way that gives a breather now and again, but I couldn't stop reading. I had to know. I had to find out. I hated every moment I had to spend away from this novel.

Hunter Wickliffe is fast becoming my "Boyfriend of Choice". It's nice to see Jo with an older man. I am loving following their romance.

Another 5 out of 5 stars and truly an amazing read. Well done, Mrs. Keam! Well done!

*** Available through all online bookstores, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple Bookstore***




22 December 2022

Review of Abigail Keam's Death By Malice: A Josiah Reynolds Mystery


 I'm telling you, Abigail Keam is the Heir Apparent to Agatha Christie! That's how good these books truly are. 

Sandy Sloan stops at the bank and withdraws every cent from her account. Then shows up on the doorstep of our intrepid beekeeper and sometime amateur sleuth, Josiah Reynolds, and leaves her dog in Jo's custody with a BS reason, then goes home to scatter money and set the place on fire. 

Thus begins Death By Malice, number 10 in the series. As always, the story is engaging and addictive. I have such a hard time putting the book down just to sleep at night. I usually have to read these on the weekends so that I can devote the entire day. The disappearance of Sandy Sloan and her husband, Toby, draws Josiah in to find out what happened to them. Is this a murder? Is this a case of arson? Josiah, for the first time, seems to be stumped and a bit vulnerable. 

Josiah is a complicated woman and cynical, but something about this woman just keeps on going and refuses to completely give up. Her wonderful friends -- Matt, June (Lady Elsemere), and Franklin -- still stand by her side, helping her when the drama gets a little beyond her. And now, a new member of the friends, Hunter Wickliffe, joins the crew. The sparks fly between Hunter and Josiah as a possible new love interest. 

A great story, a satisfying conclusion, and once again, Abigail Keam has written one hell of a story. Five out of five stars. 


08 December 2022

REVIEW -- Guinevere's Revenge by Lucy Blue

 

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07CWK61PD
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Falstaff Crush (May 6, 2018)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ May 6, 2018
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English

  • Out of five stars: * * * * *

Love love love murder cozies, especially historical murder cozies. And if they happen to occur in Britain, all the more. The home of the murder cozy.

Stella Hart makes good an escape from an unwanted suitor, Tony, by heading towards her mother and stepfather's home in England. But when said suitor chases after her, step-cuz/crush George--who's already engaged to another woman, Mavis--comes up with the idea to pretend to be engaged themselves and he'll go away. All of the family is pressed into the charade, including Mavis. But then, things begin to fall apart. Overheard conversations and a dead body on the grounds lead to more complications and it's up to Stella to sort it all out. 

I love the characters in this book. Stella is as feisty as a girl in the 20's can be. George is a misunderstood hero in disguise and yet fits the profile of the cad that his fiancee and future in-laws try to make him out to be. Mavis is the woman scorned as the charade continues and yet, a thoroughly likeable woman scorned. Parents and friends gathered for a weekend and they all keep things lively. Everyone seems to be more than what they are. 

Plot was great. Absolutely fantastic. I couldn't help myself; I couldn't stop reading. I was hooked from the first paragraph to the last. It moves along but never goes too fast and never bogs down. I didn't even see that ending coming and yet, if I look back now, it makes perfect sense. Brilliant writing all around, Lucy Blue.  

I loved it so much, I bought the other three in the series and I can't wait to read them as well.  Definitely five out of five stars and a must read for anyone who loves Agatha Christie and Abigail Keam.





11 June 2022

REVIEW -- "Death by Design" by Abigail Keam

 I know it seems that I'm only reading this series but that's because I am. And working on my own series on another genre. But for now....

****************

I've only read one other series that was so satisfying, so full of plot and real people. Action. Mystery. And a plucky heroine that even at her worst, you can't help but adore her. Josiah Reynolds is still recovering from her 40 foot fall by the hands of a sick twisted cop. She's in NYC, getting her head together after finding out disturbing news on that score. She also gets accosted by an acquaintance -- help Bunny Witt of the Philadelphia Witts find whoever is stalking her. But Jo gets a very bad feeling about this. Too many lies being told by too many people. And Jo has her own fish to fry. Matt's home with the baby. Lady Elsmere and Liam are on the outs. And a very handsome, urbane British man is bent on seducing our Ms. Reynolds. And then comes the first murder. Of Bunny Witt. Abigail Keam is literally the Queen of the Murder Cozy. This series is engaging and engrossing to the point that I can't put them down. I have to read first page to last in one sitting. I can't read fast enough to find out what's happening next but I can't read slow enough to savor every single word, action, and reaction. I can't stop. And woe to the idiot who tries to interrupt me. Josiah is a soul in transition, recovering phyisically and emotionally. She can be bitter and arrogant in turns, but vulnerable and kind. She's a convoluted woman, which makes her conflicted but fascinating. She makes a great heroine because she's so real. You can't help but liker her, even at her naughtiest. A strong woman. I love her. And because of her, I love these books. Another five out of five stars for author Abigail Keam and Josiah Reynolds. Long may they write!


Click here to find the whole Josiah Reynolds Mystery series. And grab your copies. 


Next review -- Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli by Mark Seal