26. Cream Puff Murder – 3 – Joanne Fluke – this series may (should!) be coming to its’ end – the characters’ storylines seem to be winding down. Without giving away too much, there is now no doubt as to which man Hannah should choose, and if she just drags it out further – then it is just being drug out. I knew who the murderer was as soon as the character was introduced. The recipes weren’t even really original this time. I hope this series goes out on a good note, one or two more books, one for getting engaged and all that goes with it, and maybe the last one could be “Wedding Cake Murder”, and then wrap it all up and let them live happily ever after.
27. Evenly Choirs: A Constable Evans Mystery – 3.5 – Rhys Bowen – not a bad little murder mystery. Constable Evans does not carry a weapon, though, and he always apprehends the killer, who is armed. I wonder what he will do when he runs up against a killer who is actually willing to use a gun, or is a decent shot………other than that, a basic little murder, set in the mountains of Northern Wales, with the usual cast of eccentric village characters and the complicated love triangles.
28. Emma’s Journal – 3 – Ed Rowell –The story of Emma, who had a powerful impact on everyone around her. When she dies, her personal “Living on Purpose” journal goes missing. The story shows how we live our lives affects other people. It was a quick read, but the bad guy was so over-the-top bad, and there were just so many clichés that it really took away from it.
29. One Perfect Day – 3 – Lauraine Snelling – Nora is trying to make Christmas perfect this year – her twin children are seniors in high school, and she’s afraid this will be that last Christmas Day that she can count on them all being together. Jenna is also trying to make Christmas perfect for her 20-year-old daughter, Heather. Heather is on the list for a heart transplant, and failing fast. The book is the two stories running parallel – Nora’s son Charlie dies in a car accident a few days before Christmas and his heart is given to Heather. It is about Nora’s family picking up the pieces and Jenna and Heather being able to start planning to live. Good, not great.
30. Living On The Devil’s Doorstep – 3.75- Floyd McClung – from YWAM’s International Adventures series. Story of Floyd McClung and his wife who began ministering to American and European young people in Kabul in the early 70s. During this time thousands of young people were “dropping out” and becoming heavily involved with drugs and Eastern religions. Kabul was a stop-off on “The Trail”, a path from Amsterdam to Nepal. Later they moved to Amsterdam and established ministries serving the Red Light District. Interesting book about a family getting truly involved with the people they are ministering to.
31. Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey In Healing Autism – 3.25 – Jenny McCarthy – this is a hard one to rate. On one side, it is an extremely interesting story – nowhere near as good as her later book Mother Warriors, though. BUT – I could not get past the person of Jenny McCarthy. Every other page of the book was filled with profanity, and she is just a crude person. Plus, she is very into all kinds of New Age things (tarot cards, “energy”, etc.) that she combines with praying to God, a healing service performed in her home by Mormon missionaries, praying to her grandfather and other people who have passed away…….just weird combinations. She has “faith in the universe” would probably be the easiest way to describe it. Anyway, a good story but all the profanity really took away from it.
32. Mother Warriors – 4 – Jenny McCarthy – I think I read this back in January or February, but I don’t see it on the list, so I will include it here. This was an excellent book, telling the stories of families who are dealing with autism and the steps they have taken to lead their children to recovery. A whole lot of anger at the medical establishment, that is for sure! Goes into a lot of detail about the effects of the immune system, vaccinations, “gut” issues, diet, supplements, etc. The profanity was toned down quite a bit from the previous book, but the “f” word is still sprinkled liberally. A lot of talk about her relationship with Jim Carrey, some New Age-y stuff (energy of the universe stuff). Aside from just the “personal” don’t care for Jenny McCarthy stuff, though, a very good, very informative book.
33. The Revolution: A Manifesto – 3 – Ron Paul – good information, pretty boring in its’ overall presentation. I kept falling asleep while reading it. Took me 4 days to read +/- 150 page book.
34. A Time Of Murder At Mayerling – 3.75 – Ann Dukthas – interesting premise. A mysterious man, Nick Segalla, never dies or grows older. His name is mentioned in connection with various courts and governments through European history. In the early 1990s, he approaches historian Ann Dukthas and provides her information solving some of the greatest murder mysteries of history. This one is set in Vienna, 1889 when the heir to the Hapsburg throne is found murdered along with his mistress. Segalla was sent there as an envoy of the Pope to investigate the Crown Prince’s death. A different sort of story from the usual period-mysteries.
35. Evan and Elle: A Constable Evans Mystery – 4 – Rhys Bowen – next in the series of the Welsh Constable. This time there is a serial arsonist and a mysterious French woman who has come to the small village of Llanfair. This was pretty good – more of a detective story with plot twists (though if you’ve ever watched a soap opera, you knew how some of this was going to turn out!). Pleasant, easy read.