Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Full Bloom

This is an okay book co-written by Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes. The temperature’s on “sizzle” again in Beaumont, South Carolina, where peach trees are in season and ripe for the picking. So is its newest entrepreneur, Annie Fortenberry, who has inherited her grandmother’s B&B (and its eccentric handyman Erdle Thorney). According to a local psychic she also inherited a spirit from its glory days as a brothel - not the kind of publicity the Peach Tree Bed & Breakfast needs if it’s hosting millionaire Max Holt’s upcoming wedding! If rumors of a naughty, prank-playing ghost aren’t stressful enough, a mysterious man has arrived with an eye on Annie and her master suite.

This is the 5th novel in the series.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

This is a solid movie. In 1891, Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) delivers a package to Dr. Hoffmanstahl - payment for a letter he was to deliver to Gypsy fortune-teller Simza. Hoffmanstahl opens the package, triggering a hidden bomb that is prevented from detonating by Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr). Moriarty's men attack Watson and Mary on a train to their honeymoon. Holmes, having followed the pair for protection, throws Mary from the train into a river below where she is picked up by Holmes' waiting brother, Mycroft. After defeating Moriarty's men, Holmes and Watson travel to Paris to locate Simza.

Although influenced by Arthur Conan Doyle's short story "The Final Problem", the film follows an original story and is not a strict adaptation. The score was composed by Hans Zimmer.

Gone (2012)

This is a solid movie. Jill Conway (Amanda Seyfried) arrives home after working the graveyard shift as a waitress and discovers that her sister, recovering alcoholic Molly (Emily Wickersham), is missing. She believes that the same man who kidnapped her a year ago and kept her in a hole now has her sister and will kill her very soon. The police are very skeptical of her claim that this serial killer actually exists, because they couldn't find any evidence before. She decides to look for proof on her own and find her sister before it's too late.


This is an okay book co-written by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston. In a locked Honolulu office building, three men are found dead with no sign of struggle except for the ultrafine, razor-sharp cuts covering their bodies. The only clue left behind is a tiny bladed robot, nearly invisible to the human eye. In Cambridge, Massachusetts, seven graduate students at the forefront of their fields are recruited by a pioneering microbiology start-up. Nanigen MicroTechnologies dispatches the group to a mysterious lab in Hawaii, where they are promised access to tools that will open a whole new scientific frontier.

The novel was found in Crichton's archives following his death in 2008. Approximately a third of Micro was completed by Crichton, and the publisher hired Richard Preston to finish the book according to the author's remaining outline, notes, and research. The published book includes a somewhat detailed sketch titled "The Pali." Near the base of the waterfall, reads the small inscription "NUMQUAM OBLIVISCEMUR MICHAELIS CRICHTONIS," which translated from Latin, reads "We Will Never Forget Michael Crichton."

The Columbus Affair

This is an okay book written by Steve Berry. Zachariah Simon has the look of a scholar, the soul of a scoundrel, and the zeal of a fanatic. He also has Tom Sagan’s estranged daughter at his mercy. Simon desperately wants something only Sagan can supply: the key to a 500-year-old mystery, a treasure with explosive political significance in the modern world. For both Simon and Sagan the stakes are high, the goal intensely personal, the consequences of opposing either man potentially catastrophic. On a perilous quest from Florida to Vienna to Prague and finally to the mountains of Jamaica, the two men square off in a dangerous game. Along the way, both of their lives will be altered – and everything we know about Christopher Columbus will change.

Cold Wind

This is an okay book written by C.J. Box. When Earl Alden is found dead, dangling from a wind turbine, it’s his wife, Missy, who is arrested. Unfortunately for Joe Pickett, Missy is his mother-in-law, a woman he dislikes heartily, and now he doesn’t know what to do – especially when the early signs point to her being guilty as sin. But then things happen to make Joe wonder: Is Earl’s death what it appears to be? Is Missy being set up? He has the county DA and sheriff on one side, his wife on the other, his estranged friend Nate on a lethal mission of his own, and some powerful interests breathing down his neck. Whichever way this goes…it’s not going to be good.

This is the 11th novel in the series.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Two for the Dough

This is an okay book written by Janet Evanovich. Stephanie Plum is after a ruthless bail jumper who has an affection for mailing Stephanie deadly notes and pickled body parts, and stealing 24 super-cheap caskets loaded with contraband. When the case overwhelms Stephanie and fast-talking vice cop Joe Morelli, she calls in a real pro: her grandma Mazur, a grey-haired, spandex-wearing dynamo packing heat.

The Sins of the Father

This is an okay book written by Jeffrey Archer. Only days before Britain declares war on Germany, Harry Clifton, hoping to escape the consequences of long-buried family secrets, and forced to accept that his desire to marry Emma Barrington will never be fulfilled, has joined the Merchant Navy. But his ship is sunk in the Atlantic by a German U-boat, drowning almost the entire crew. An American cruise liner, the SS Kansas Star, rescues a handful of sailors, among them Harry and the third officer, an American named Tom Bradshaw. When Bradshaw dies in the night, Harry seizes on the chance to escape his tangled past and assumes his identity. On landing in America, however, he quickly learns the mistake he has made, when he discovers what is awaiting Bradshaw in New York.

This is the second book in the Clifton Chronicles.

The Grand Finale

This is an okay book written by Janet Evanovich. Young divorcee pizza-parlor owner Berry has a kind heart – often too kind for her own good. When she sets out to hire a delivery boy, she takes on three homeless women instead. And since the women can’t see to get around town, they often end up in the kitchen with Berry herself making deliveries. One night, pizzas in tow, Berry can’t resist clambering up a tree to help a cat. But when she spies a handsome man undressing in the house, she promptly falls out of the tree and into the biggest romance of her life.

This is the author’s third standalone romance novel.

Wicked Business

This is an okay book written by Janet Evanovich. Lizzy Tucker’s once normal life as a pastry chef in Salem, Massachusetts, turns upside down as she battles both sinister forces and an inconvenient attraction to her unnaturally talented but off-limits partner, Diesel. When Harvard University English professor and dyed-in-the-wool romantic Gilbert Reedy is mysteriously murdered and thrown off his fourth-floor balcony, Lizzy and Diesel take up his twenty-year quest for the Luxuria Stone, an ancient relic believed by some to be infused with the power of lust.

This is the second book in the series.

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012)

This is a solid movie. High schooler Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) is captured by police after breaking into a satellite research center and trying to escape on his dirtbike. He admits to his step-father Hank Parsons (Dwayne Johnson) that he needed to boost a radio signal he had received. He believes the message is from his grandfather, but the coordinates point to a place on the globe that appears to be just ocean. Sean is determined to visit the location and Hank agrees to go along to protect him. In Palau tourism guide Gabato agrees to fly his helicopter out to the spot to see if they can find anything and his beautiful daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens) joins them. After getting caught in a severe storm, they survive and land on a strange island where big is small and little is large.

This is the second film in the Journey series and is the sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008). Following the first film, the sequel is based on another Jules Verne novel. Brendan Fraser and Anita Briem did not return, but Hutcherson reprised his role. Jane Wheeler also did not return and was replaced by Kristin Davis. The film was shot in Oahu, Hawaii and Wilmington, North Carolina. The theatrical release of the film was preceded by a Looney Tunes short film titled Daffy’s Rhapsody. A third film is expected to be released in 2014.


This is an okay book written by Jeffery Deaver. Country singer Kayleigh Towne shot to the top of the charts with her smash hit single, “Your Shadow.” But sometimes fame comes at a price. An insane fan has made Kayleigh the target of his craze obsession. Soon her friends start to die in mysterious accidents that really aren’t accidents at all. Now it’s up to Special Agent Kathryn Dance, and her unique skills in body language analysis, to discover who the killer is, and stop him before he strikes again.

This is the third novel in the series.

The Rocky Road to Romance

This is an okay book written by Janet Evanovich. When the delightful, daffy Dog Lady of station WZZZ offered to take on the temporary job of traffic reporter, Steve Crow tried to think of reasons to turn Daisy Adams down. Perhaps he knew that sharing the close quarters of a car with her for hours would give the handsome program director no room to resist her quirky charms.

This is the 4th novel in the Elsie Hawkins series.

Man on a Ledge (2012)

This is a solid movie. Nick Cassady (Sam Worthington) is a former policeman who escaped from prison where he was sentenced to 25 years for stealing a $40 million diamond from businessman David Englander (Ed Harris). He pays for a room on the 21st floor at the Roosevelt Hotel using a false name. He steps out onto a ledge and it appears to the crowd below that is going to jump. Negotiator Lydia Mercer is called in and she is still feeling guilty about a previous suicide she was unable to prevent. Nick is actually putting on a demonstration to pull away attention from his brother and his brother's girlfriend while they attempt to break into David Englander's jewelry vault.

Private #1 Suspect

This is an okay book co-written by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. Since former marine Jack Morgan started Private, it has become the world’s most effective investigation firm – sought out by the famous and the powerful to discreetly handle their most intimate problems. Private’s investigators are the smartest, the fastest, and the most technologically advance in the world – and they always uncover the truth. When his former lover is found murdered in Jack’s bed, he is instantly the number one suspect. While Jack is under police investigation, the Mob strong-arms him into recovering $30 million in stolen pharmaceuticals for them. And the beautiful manager of a luxury hotel chain persuades him to quietly investigate a string of murders at her properties.

This is the second Jack Morgan book.

Full Speed

This is an okay book co-written by Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes. When newspaper editor Jamie Swift suddenly finds herself minus a fiancé and with a major case of the hots for her silent partner, millionaire Maximillian Holt, any bit of predictability goes right out the window. Someone’s unhappy with Max’s recent business deal – dangerously unhappy. Before she knows it, Jamie’s hotfooting across state lines to help Max and land a story. Posing as husband and wife, with computer genius Muffin and a mutt named Fleas along for the ride, Max and Jamie are in the middle of another crazy case, closer than ever to each other – and too close for comfort to the kind of people who will do anything to stop them.

This is the 3rd novel in the series.

Full Scoop

This is an okay book co-written by Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes. There’s a whole lot of trouble going on in Beaumont, South Carolina. According to resident psychic-slash-astrologer, Destiny Moultrie, Mercury’s in retrograde; Venus is in the seventh house, and the combination has turned Cupid wacko! Chaos rules as tempers flare and lust runs rampant. Newlyweds Max Holt and Jamie Swift-Holt are trying to make a baby, but their recently purchased antebellum mansion is under renovation and filled with feuding contractors. Vera has a crush on her new mailman, and is bent on looking ten years younger. Destiny is marked for marriage by the changing planets, and she’s running her life as the local redneck and bait shop owner is determined to make her his.

This is the 6th novel in the series.