Friday, February 27, 2009

The Art of Tasha Tudor by Harry Davis

The most comprehensive retrospective to date of one of America's most iconic artists, The Art of Tasha Tudor is the finest harvest of her remarkable art and extraordinary lifestyle. Harry Davis draws from more than 10,000 pieces produced by Tasha Tudor, and here includes 150 of her finest paintings and drawings, including holiday cards, illustrations from her classic children's books, fashion designs she made for Pierre Deux, and samples from her personal sketchbooks.

Tasha Tudor is the illustrator, author, or subject matter of more than ninety books, including The Secret Garden, one of the bestselling children's books of all time. She has left an indelible print on the traditions and celebrations of devoted fans from all over the world.

Tasha Tudor has lived her art for three-quarters of a century, raising her own food, spinning and weaving her family's clothes, and leaving the fruits of her hobbies to the world as paramount collections - her gardens are famous, and her collection of 1830s clothing is the world's best. The renowned Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center in Williamsburg honored her in 1996 with a landmark exhibition of her work.

This is the definitive look at how Tasha Tudor's life has created her art, how her art has shaped her life, and why it is essential to view them together to best appreciate her gracious legacy. Davis provides detailed biographical information, everything from the origin of Tasha's name to how she raised four children on her own, in order to illustrate the amazing connection between her life and her work. A longtime confidant of Tasha Tudor, Davis details his most personal memories of the good and bad times they shared together.

The Art of Tasha Tudor is sure to become the seminal book on her life and work.




I must say that the more I learn of Tasha Tudor, the less I like her as a person. The author even says: "She can be mean, stubborn, imperious, and unforgiving, by her own account." Then then he adds, "I have seen Tasha Tudor's dark side and it is, occasionally, frightening to behold."

It explains so much of her character and bad behavior to learn that she was born of old money parents. Of course she treats her "friends" as servants!

I found it more than a little disturbing to discover that she kept a supply of deceased mice and birds in her "mouse morgue" freezer and would pose partially frozen mice in various positions as models. Ew!

For someone who professed to love animals as much as Tasha, it was extremely disturbing to discover that, in order to meet a publishing deadline, she kept a raccoon captive in a cage in her kitchen until she was finished with him. The poor animal was trapped for days, scared and not well cared for, just so the bitch could have a live subject for her paintings. What kind of person even does something like that, let alone brags about it!

The highlight of the entire book for me was the 1996 print "The Harvest Pantry", which made me extremely jealous and make me wish I had a pantry just as large and organized!

This one gets seven stars. It was quite thorough about describing her life and art and the pictures of the prints were very nice.

Rating: ★★★★★★☆☆



Tasha Tudor's Garden by Tovah Martin

Tasha Tudor's poignant art has fascinated adults and children for decades. Her nineteenth-century New England lifestyle is legendary. Gardeners are especially intrigued by the profusion of antique flowers - spectacular poppies, six-foot foxgloves, and intoxicating peonies - in the cottage gardens surrounding her hand-hewn house.

Until now we've only caught glimpses of Tasha Tudor's landscape. In this gorgeous book, two of her friends, the garden writer Tovah Martin and the photographer Richard Brown, take us into the magical garden and then behind the scenes. As we revel in the bedlam of Johnny-jump-ups and cinnamon pinks, the intricacy of the formal peony garden, and the voluptuousness of her heirloom roses, we also learn Tasha's gardening secrets.

How does she coax forth her finicky Camellia blossoms in the dead of a Vermont winter? How does she train that fantastic topiary to model for her artwork? How can she keep her crown imperials from tumbling in the wind? Tasha's garden reflects a wealth of family lore, perfected through years and years of working the soil. We may be dazzled by the beauty of the garden, but we come away from this book with practical ideas about improving our own plots of land.

"Paradise on earth" is how Tasha describes her garden, and along with the flowers and the vegetables that provide her with food, her paradise is filled with an enchanting menagerie - corgies, Nubian goats, cats, chickens, fantail doves, and forty or more exotic finches, cockatiels, canaries, nightingales, and parrots, which inhabit her collection of antique cages.

Tasha's beautiful watercolors and her enchanting anecdotes color this sublimely beautiful book.



First of all, I didn't like the author, Tovah Martin, at all. Her text about the subject was almost as delusional as the subject herself. The only thing that saved this from complete horror was the stunning photography, although the subjects of said photography were annoying at best.

The book text was rather boring at points, to such an extent that I found my mind wandering and contemplating just how much Tasha's 250 acres in Vermont cost, and how her art must have done awfully well to afford the land, a custom built house, and the property taxes!

Tasha seemed a bit over fond of her flowers. She struck me as rather in need of the "You can love your dog, just don't love your dog." advice a la The Truth About Cats & Dogs. And her gardens were all so messy with long grass and flowers falling all over. How do you eve know where to step when everything's growing over the "paths".

Some of her actions might strike others as amusing, such as putting up a "Wanted" poster for the local stonemason, but I found them more the actions of a manipulative bitch, entirely too used to getting her own way. As a native New Englander myself, I was thoroughly offended that people are charmed by her "nineteenth-century New England lifestyle". Hello! If she pulled that sort of behavior in real nineteenth-century New England she'd be shunned! She was just so annoying. And what was the point in making other people suffer in the heat in those vintage dresses? Just because she felt the need to wear restrictive dresses in the heat of summer, others should too? How rude!

This one gets seven stars for the quality of the photographs alone. The author and the subject were both virtually intolerable and I am very, very glad that I don't know either of them!

Rating: ★★★★★★☆☆



Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Spring Cleaning Audiobook Giveaway Winner!

And the winner of the Spring Cleaning Audiobook Giveaway for Blood Sport is olympianlady !

Congratulations and I hope you enjoy it!

Thank you to all who entered!



Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Death of a Scriptwriter by M.C. Beaton

With this outrageously entertaining whodunit, internationally-acclaimed M.C. Beaton leads you on a fun-filled Highland Fling through scenic Scottish villages and rocky hillsides. Independent-spirited Constable Hamish Macbeth - Lochdubh's one-man police force - has his hands full after a glitzy TV company arrives in search of higher ratings.

Ever since a British television crew began filming a mystery series at nearby Castle Drim, Hamish has watched tension building. Middle-aged townsfolk and flashy filmmakers are clashing, the younger locals are vying for bit parts, and rumors are flying about vicious quarrels among the crew. But trouble really escalates after one of the scriptwriters is found dead, and Hamish discovers a full cast of suspects lurking behind the scenes.



This was the unabridged audiobook on cassette edition (5 cassettes/6.5 hours).

What a crazy cast of characters the film company members were that descended on Drim! And Drim of all places! Just perfect!

As the book is focused around a book being turned into a television series, I wonder if the author drew on her own personal experiences of having the Hamish Macbeth television series based on her books. It's interesting to think about such things. Especially as her television series was produced by BBC Scotland, as was the production in the book, a fact the book's characters weren't particularly fond of. Quite intriguing.

I was actually not particularly concerned by the murderer's victims, there weren't any nice ones in the bunch, really. I was actually quite glad of the murderer's identity, as I really did not like the person at all.

Sheila and the minister's wife got exactly what they deserved on their return to Drim. They were certainly not nice people either.

This one gets seven stars. A typically quite enjoyable Hamish Macbeth story that was only lacking in that Priscilla was still in London.

Rating: ★★★★★★☆☆



Saturday, February 21, 2009

Martin Misunderstood by Karin Slaughter

Martin Reed is thoroughly average in every way. So how has he wound up with such a pathetic existence? Martin has no friends, no lovers, and no respect. Working as a senior accountant at Southern Toilet Supply and still living with his nagging mother, his sole source of excitement is the crime novels he cherishes. So immersed is Martin in these escapes that he fails to notice the crimes going on all around him. When first one, then another, of his co-workers is brutally murdered, Martin is shocked to become the fetching female investigator's prime suspect. Center stage at last, Martin basks not in the glow of the spotlight, but in the harsh glare of interrogation...



This was the unabridged audiobook on CD edition (2 discs/2.5 hours).

First off, Wayne Knight (best known for portraying Newman on Seinfeld) was freaking amazing as the narrator! They could not have picked a better voice for Martin! And that this was his first audiobook was amazing. He was really that good as Martin.

It was actually good that this was a short book. It would have been intolerable if it were 6 hours long, but at 2.5 hours it was just perfect. It was like stepping into Willy Wonka's bizarre version of Law & Order! Everything was all slightly silly and totally unbelievable. There were a handful of laugh out loud moments and the rest was just silly fluff. Good silly fluff, but still silly fluff. The fact that Martin worked at a toilet supply manufacturer and was forced to work in an Office Space storage room/office with the company bathroom just typifies the entire book! In a good way.

This one gets seven stars. The whole plot was just crazy and completely out of control, but there wasn't time enough to be annoyed by it - it just remained light and fluffy and amusing. Well, except for the unusually distasteful murder methods. Even with the amazing job done by the narrator I still couldn't bump it up to eight stars because of the tackiness of parts.

Rating: ★★★★★★☆☆



Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Death of a Dentist by M.C. Beaton

If you haven't already fallen in love with the internationally-acclaimed M.C. Beaton, then this audiobook filled with her trademark wry wit and a wonderfully puzzling the plot will do the trick. When Hamish Macbeth - Lochdubh's one-man police force - awakens one morning with a killer toothache, the only dentist who will see him immediately is Dr. Gilchrist.

The dentist is infamous for some unsavory womanizing and his use of "The Great Australian Trench," a practiced slip of the drill that mars several teeth and ensures a return customer. Unfortunately for Hamish, and Gilchrist, someone has canceled all the doctor's appointments - permanently.

A toothache can drive a man mad, and Hamish, with a mouth full of throbbing pain, decides to go after the killer alone. Narrator Davina Porter captures Beaton's smooth blend of motive, means, fast-paced action, and delightfully quirky characters while transporting listeners to the Scottish Highland.



This was the unabridged audiobook on cassette edition (5 cassettes/6.5 hours).

Ah, to settle in with a visit to Hamish Macbeth and friends in Lochdubh is lovely. It's so relaxing, like visiting with old friends. You really feel like you truly know the characters.

Priscilla is unbelievable. Really, she must make up her mind and either let Hamish go completely or resolve to pick up with him again in a real relationship. This constant jealousy is quite annoying and very childish.

This was one tangled web of weird events! I didn't realize the murderer until just about the time Hamish did. Kylie was an annoying little brat that needed a good smack. What a greedy little wench! It was also quite predictable, yet sad, about Hamish and Sarah. She was such a lovely character. So very different, yet so similar, to Priscilla. I do wish she'd stuck around for at least another book, but that would just be improbable for her character.

This one gets seven stars. A nice, solid, homey Hamish Macbeth mystery filled with great characters and bizarre circumstances.

Rating: ★★★★★★☆☆



Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Private Patient by P.D. James

Cheverell Manor is a lovely old house in deepest Dorset, now a private clinic belonging to the famous plastic surgeon George Chandler-Powell. When investigative journalist Rhoda Gradwyn arrived there one late autumn afternoon, scheduled to have a disfiguring and long-standing facial scar removed, she had every expectation of a successful operation and a pleasant week recuperating. Two days later she was dead, the victim of murder. To Commander Adam Dalgliesh, who with his team is called in to investigate the case, the mystery at first seems absolute. Few things about it make sense. Yet as the detectives begin probing the lives and backgrounds of those connected with the dead woman - the surgeon, members of the manor staff, close acquaintances - suspects multiply all too rapidly. New confusions arise, including strange historical overtones of madness and a lynching 350 years in the past. Then there is a second murder, and Dalgliesh finds himself confronted by issues even more challenging than innocence or guilt.



This was the unabridged audiobook on CD edition (12 discs/15 hours).

It was so nice to see Adam Dalgliesh again. It feels like ages since his last novel! It was like meeting a pleasant old acquaintance to catch up after ages of not seeing each other. Not friends, one could never be friends with Dalgliesh or his comrades, or even Emma, but a nice visit nonetheless.

As usual, I had no idea about the identity or motive of the murderer. It was really quite intriguing to see it all unravel and play out. All the various threads were immaculately tied together into an intricate web. I did, however, find that it took ages, as usual, to actually get to the murder. I spent much of the first disc or so just wishing things would move along more quickly!

Rosalyn Landor was lovely as the reader. She had just the right tone and pace for each character's portrayal. She made the tome of a book speed by.

This one gets eight stars. The mystery was masterfully, if time consumingly, presented and woven with such intricate care as to make it virtually impenetrable to the amateur reader. It was lovely to see the progress of Adam and Emma's relationship as well. The book was so well done that if this were the last Dalgliesh novel I wouldn't feel deprived as everything was wrapped up so tidily.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆



Spring Cleaning Audiobook Giveaway!

This time I'm giving away a used audiobook on cassette edition of Blood Sport by James B. Stewart.

From Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and author of the blockbuster #1 bestseller Den of Thieves comes Blood Sport - an intriguing account of the mysteries surrounding the Clinton White House.

In Blood Sport, Stewart clears away the smoke obscuring answers to such questions as: Why did Vincent Foster commit suicide? How did Hillary Clinton turn a $1,000 commodities investment into nearly $100,000? What really happened int he Arkansas land deal known as Whitewater? Blood Sport is the story of how these scandals burst upon the national scene, and what the impact has been on the principal characters and on national policy, Stewart's revelations are vivid, revealing portraits not only of the President and First Lady, and the Arkansans who came to Washington with them, but also of the Clintons' bitterest opponents, including the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal.

Filled with revelations from Stewart's innumerable and highly placed sources and populated by some of the most fascinating characters on the national stage, Blood Sport is a gripping, relentlessly revealing look at the controversies surrounding the Presidency.



Contest runs from February 17, 2009 to 11:59 PM EST February 24, 2009. Winner will be announced February 25, 2009. Open to US residents only.

To enter - earn one entry for each of the following activities (up to three entries per person):
  1. Leave a comment on this post. Please include your e-mail address so I can contact you.
  2. Follow or subscribe to this blog, and leave me a comment on this post telling me you're a subscriber.
  3. Blog about this contest and include a link to this post. Leave a comment with a link to your blog entry.
Good luck!



Monday, February 16, 2009

The Earth Moved by Amy Stewart

In The Earth Moved, Amy Stewart takes us on a journey through the underground world and introduces us to one of its most amazing denizens. The earthworm may be small, spineless, and blind, but its impact on the ecosystem is profound. It ploughs the soil, fights plant diseases, cleans up pollution, and turns ordinary dirt into fertile land. Who knew?

In her witty, offbeat style, Stewart shows that much depends on the actions of the lowly worm. Charles Darwin devoted his last years to the meticulous study of these creatures, praising their remarkable abilities. With the august scientist as her inspiration, Stewart investigates the worms' subterranean realm, talks to oligochaetologists - the unsung heroes of earthworm science - who have devoted their lives to unearthing the complex life beneath our feet, and observes the thousands of worms in her own garden. From the legendary giant Australian worm that stretches to ten feet in length to the modest nightcrawler that wormed its way into Darwin's last book to the energetic red wrigglers in Stewart's compost bin, The Earth Moved gives worms their due and exposes their hidden and extraordinary universe. This book is for all of us who appreciate Mother Nature's creatures, no matter how humble.



This was a cute little book. Interesting and informative, and remarkable not sleep inducing! The author had a great voice and definite love of the subject that really came across.

There were great sections on everything from worm intelligence, Darwin's study of worms, vermicomposting, worm farming, using worms in sewage treatment, and invasive worms. This was certainly the A to Z of worm information!

This one gets eight stars for the wealth of information presented in such a readable way. It will definitely make me take another look into vermicomposting!

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆



Sunday, February 15, 2009

February Romace Giveaway Winners!

And the winners of the February Romance Giveaways are:

  • Mending Fences: Sara
  • Hawk's Way Grooms: techyone
  • Going Home: Kat Bryan

Congratulations and I hope you enjoy them!

Thank you to all who entered!



February Cookbook Giveaway!

This time I'm giving away a hardcover copy of The Young Man and the Sea : Recipes and Crispy Fish Tales from Esca by David Pasternack.



Contest runs from February 15, 2009 to 11:59 PM EST February 28, 2009. Winner will be announced March 1, 2009. Open to US residents only.

To enter - earn one entry for each of the following activities (up to three entries per person):
  1. Leave a comment on this post. Please include your e-mail address so I can contact you.
  2. Follow or subscribe to this blog, and leave me a comment on this post telling me you're a subscriber.
  3. Blog about this contest and include a link to this post. Leave a comment with a link to your blog entry.
Good luck!



February Cookbook Giveaway!

This time I'm giving away a hardcover copy of A Great American Cook: Recipes from the Home Kitchen of One of Our Most Influential Chefs by Jonathan Waxman.



Contest runs from February 15, 2009 to 11:59 PM EST February 28, 2009. Winner will be announced March 1, 2009. Open to US residents only.

To enter - earn one entry for each of the following activities (up to three entries per person):
  1. Leave a comment on this post. Please include your e-mail address so I can contact you.
  2. Follow or subscribe to this blog, and leave me a comment on this post telling me you're a subscriber.
  3. Blog about this contest and include a link to this post. Leave a comment with a link to your blog entry.
Good luck!



Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke

The best-selling Hannah Swensen mysteries whip up a well-seasoned suspense and scrumptious recipes, attracting a huge fan base. In Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, her first foray into the sleuthing game, resourceful, red-headed Hannah must find the right ingredients to solve two perplexing murders.

One chilly morning in Lake Eden, Minnesota, as Hannah drives to her bakery, The Cookie Jar, she discovers Ron, the dairy delivery man, shot dead in his truck. When Hannah begins to investigate, she suspects the dairy owner, but when he, too, is murdered, Hannah must look further afield for the culprit. Now, while Hannah's mother is busy fixing her up with eligible bachelors, Hannah is juggling mixing bowls and mysterious evidence.



This was the unabridged audiobook on CD edition (8 discs/9.5 hours).

First off, I found the reader to be a bit annoying. Add to that the fact that she sounded significantly older than the 30 something the character was supposed to be, and it wasn't the best listening experience.

I didn't particularly like the characters. Moische was certainly the best of the bunch! As was to be expected, I suppose. They were all very stereotypical and not overly bright. The human characters, that is.

And what the heck was up with the police force? Were they completely incompetent that they couldn't do routine police work? And Hannah with her snooping drove me crazy! Anyone who has watched as many forensic shows as she professed to should have slipped on a pair of gloves at the very least. Hello contaminating the crime scene!

This one gets six stars. It was like a Hershey's chocolate bar - acceptable but certainly no Godiva. I won't be rushing out to get the others in the series, but if I do happen across them then they might be a good beach read - no thought required.

Rating: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆



Friday, February 6, 2009

The Elements of Organic Gardening by The Prince of Wales

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has spent more than twenty-six years transforming the grounds of the Highgrove Estate into one of the finest gardens in the world. His strict adherence to organic principles has helped shape and define a garden that is both beautiful and environmentally sound. The Prince's expertise in this area is at the heart of The Elements of Organic Gardening.

In his previous book The Garden at Highgrove, the Prince described Highgrove's development during a twenty-year period. His Royal Highness wrote of the "enormous satisfaction" he gains from gardening: "Ever since I began the garden I have planted a very large proportion of the trees and plants myself, which means that you at once develop a proprietary interest in all of them, and they become remarkably like children whom you watch growing up year by year.

In The Elements of Organic Gardening, he and Stephanie Donaldson show how to create an organic garden the Highgrove way. The Prince also applies the same organic principles in his other gardens - Birkhall in the Scottish Highlands and Clarence House in central London. Both are works in progress, with different conditions, challenges, and rewards. This book describes practical organic practices, most of which can be adapted to any garden, large or small, such as healthy soil, compost, planting, favored varieties of flowers, trees, fruits, vegetables, how to choose ornamental features, s well as how to keep pests, weeds, and diseases at bay organically. The Prince is quite hands on in the running of his garden at Highgrove. The Duchess of Cornwall is also closely involved with the planting and the garden's progress.

Beautifully illustrated with photographs by Andrew Lawson, The Elements of Organic Gardening offers a wealth of wisdom to delight and inspire any gardener.

As the Prince writes in expressing his deeply held practical and spiritual beliefs about sustainability and responsibility: "Gradually, as you look further and deeper into the processes of Nature, you begin to realize that we ourselves are a microcosm of that vast, all-encompassing - essentially ordered - living entity. And the remarkable thing is that nothing is ever wasted. There is a constant process of renewing; of death followed by rebirth; of valuable materials being provided on a constantly sustaining basis, if managed with sympathy and continuity."

He adds with great hope: "Her bounty depends for its long-term continuity on the consideration and respect we show Her. 'Stewardship' and 'husbandry' may be considered old-fashioned words, but they encapsulate precisely that sense of continuity of management that is in harmony with the perpetual natural laws and rhythms of the Universe of which we are an integral part."



I have to say that after reading this book I do like Prince Charles a bit more. I still don't particularly like him as a person, but he's grown on me. Actually Camilla has also. The book certainly makes you see them in a different light.

In any case, the book is fabulously photographed, and remarkably well written. It's fascinating to see the gardens at Highgrove and all the work that goes into them! It's also interesting to see the gardens from the point of view of someone in a different climate zone.

This one gets eight stars. The photos were beautiful and the text amazingly readable. The book itself as more of a coffee table book and extremely unwieldy to read, but worth the effort.

Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆



Fresh Food frrom Small Spaces by R. J. Ruppenthal

Fresh Food from Small Spaces is a practical, comprehensive, and downright fun guide to growing food in small spaces without relying on complicated and energy-intensive systems like indoor lighting and hydroponics. Readers will learn how to transform their balconies and windowsills into productive vegetable gardens, their countertops into sprout and mushroom farms, and their patios into a haven for honeybees and chickens. Amazing, almost no space is too small or too dark to raise food.



This was actually quite interesting and informative. I wasn't sure how much would be helpful since I don't have a space issue myself, but it really was packed full of info any gardener can use.

There were great sections of raised beds, composting, growing mushrooms, making fermented foods (sauerkraut and yogurt), and even keeping chickens and bees. And a chapter on sprouting, which the author seems quite fond of.

This one gets eight stars for the breadth of information presented and the various ideas given.

Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆



Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The New Self-Sufficient Gardener by John Seymour

John Seymour's classic guide gives you the knowledge and expertise to create your own self-sufficient garden.

Whatever the size of your space, you'll find out how to garden organically and maximize your harvest, with the need for radical changes to your lifestyle.

From cultivating vegetables to making cider, keeping chickens to training vines, you'll garden in tune with the seasons, growing for the year, eating for today and storing for tomorrow.



This was an uncommonly unwieldy and physically hard to read book. It's an oversized paperback edition and is hence quite floppy and difficult to hold so the reader must rest it on a surface or use both hands. The illustrations in the book are simply fabulous and really help the reader to understand and assimilate the information.

This is really more of an encyclopedia of fruits and veggies, rather than an enjoyable theory of self-sufficient gardening. Nonetheless it was very well written and engaging. The only thing that I did not like was that there were no USDA hardiness zones listed for any of the plants. This is to be expected, I suppose, since the author is in Britain, but it was still disappointing since I've rather gotten used to it elsewhere.

There is also a rather disturbing chapter on keeping chickens, ducks, and rabbits (!) for meat, eggs, and manure. There are detailed illustrations of how to kill and skin the animals that made my skin crawl. It is certainly not for the faint of heart and confirmed that keeping animals for meat is so not for me!

The book is rather confusing at points as it talks extensively about double digging deep beds and intensive planting, but then it lists the traditional spacings in the individual plant descriptions.

The recommendations for preserving garden produce also concern me greatly as 95% of them are suggested in ways that do not meet USDA safety standards - such as canning in a warm oven not canning pickles.

The author suggests making vegetable and fruit wines, or "country wines", at home. I can thoroughly embrace the fruit wines, but parsnip and carrot wines are a bit beyond my culinary comfort zone.

This one gets eight stars for the sheer wealth of information presented in such an accessible way.

Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆



Monday, February 2, 2009

Death of a Macho Man by M.C. Beaton

Everybody in Lochdubh knew about the Macho Man, a mean bully claiming to be a professional wrestler. His insults at the local pub caused some bonny brawls. His sneaking around aroused suspicion that he was romancing some Lochdubh wives. And his challenging policeman Hamish Macbeth to a public bout triggered an epidemic of bookmaking. Everyone suspected Hamish to take a bloody pounding; no one expected a murder. Amid all the excitement Hamish would rather be fishing for salmon instead of clues. But the brutal Macho Man left a trail of hatred and fear in his wake - even managing to disrupt Hamish's career...reason enough for a stubborn Scots cop to comb the Highlands if necessary to track down a heartless killer.



This was the unabridged audiobook on cassette edition (5 cassettes/6.75 hours).

I enjoyed Priscilla's involvement in the case, and it's nice to see that she and Hamish are almost back to their old selves instead of backbiting constantly. She's so darn jealous and judgemental though!

The murders, and murderers, this time around were decidedly different and quite intriguing. I never would have figured out all the background on them!

It really irks me, as of course the story is designed to do, that while Hamish is constantly under threat of expulsion from the force, Blair always escapes unscathed. I hope karma bites him in the butt soon. Jimmy Anderson is a nice ally to have though, as are the rather fickle villagers.

This one gets seven stars as usual. Davina Porter was brilliant, as always, as the reader. Another solid addition to the series it was refreshing and more upbeat than the last one.

Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆



Sunday, February 1, 2009

January Thumb Thing Giveaway Winners!

And the winners of the January Thumb Thing Giveaway are songbirdz, Valorie, and liane66!

Congratulations and I hope you enjoy them!

Thank you to all who entered!



February Romance Giveaway!

In honor of the month of romance I'm giving away a paperback copy of Going Home by Nora Roberts.



Contest runs from February 1, 2009 to 11:59 PM EST February 14, 2009. Winner will be announced February 15, 2009. Open to US residents only.

To enter - earn one entry for each of the following activities (up to three entries per person):
  1. Leave a comment on this post. Please include your e-mail address so I can contact you.
  2. Follow or subscribe to this blog, and leave me a comment on this post telling me you're a subscriber.
  3. Blog about this contest and include a link to this post. Leave a comment with a link to your blog entry.
Good luck!



February Romance Giveaway!

In honor of the month of romance I'm giving away a paperback copy of Mending Fences by Sherryl Woods.



Contest runs from February 1, 2009 to 11:59 PM EST February 14, 2009. Winner will be announced February 15, 2009. Open to US residents only.

To enter - earn one entry for each of the following activities (up to three entries per person):
  1. Leave a comment on this post. Please include your e-mail address so I can contact you.
  2. Follow or subscribe to this blog, and leave me a comment on this post telling me you're a subscriber.
  3. Blog about this contest and include a link to this post. Leave a comment with a link to your blog entry.
Good luck!



February Romance Giveaway!

In honor of the month of romance I'm giving away a paperback copy of Joan Johnston's Hawk's Way Grooms.





Contest runs from February 1, 2009 to 11:59 PM EST February 14, 2009. Winner will be announced February 15, 2009. Open to US residents only.

To enter - earn one entry for each of the following activities (up to three entries per person):
  1. Leave a comment on this post. Please include your e-mail address so I can contact you.
  2. Follow or subscribe to this blog, and leave me a comment on this post telling me you're a subscriber.
  3. Blog about this contest and include a link to this post. Leave a comment with a link to your blog entry.
Good luck!