Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Book 9

Book 9: Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn

So the heroine, Iris, is one of the terrible musicians of the Smythe-Smith quartet and the hero is named in the title.  Richard is looking for a bride and he intends to get married with all haste.  It is implied he's a fortune hunter but his reasons for a hasty marriage are so much worse.  I am still a little amazed Iris didn't club him to death and bury him under the roses.  

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Book 8

Book 8:  Open Season by CJ Box

As a big fan of the Longmire books and the Holmes on the Range series, I was hoping to find another Cowboy Detective series.  I picked up this one, the first in the Joe Pickett series based on recommendations online.   I found the ending a bit predictable in terms of whodunnit.

I am not sure if Joe Pickett is a smart enough detective for me. Joe is a game warden in WY, who has made a couple of dumb mistakes on the job.  I myself have made my share of dumb mistakes, so I tried to give ole Joe the benefit of the doubt.  It was apparent to me in Chapter 1 that he's 2 strikes in.  Needless to say, it's not exactly a career enhancer when a guy picks Joe's lawn as his final resting place.

Joe's clearly married above himself and his wife is a bit flat and martyry for my taste.  As bland as she seemed, her mom was downright annoying.  Joe's daughter, Sheridan is the most believable female in the story.  Also, there are bimbos.  Terribly drawn bimbos.

Joe kind of blunders his way into the cross hairs here and there are casualties as a result that I found tough to swallow.  Joe's internal assertion that his family was stronger at the end seemed completely artificial to me and unbelievable.  I also thought the resolution of events for the first victim's family to be a bit of a stretch.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Books 6 and 7

Book 6:  As You Wish by Cary Elwes and  Joe Layden

The making of The Princess Bride is detailed by Elwes with some backup from Layden.  There are also sidebar commentaries by the other actors, the writer and director.  Who doesn't love this movie?  People who are DEAD INSIDE.  I have seen it probably a dozen times and I would see it another dozen more.  Everyone involved in this book describes it as magical-- a great script, a great setting, a great director, and a great ensemble.  Elwes is totally charming, grateful and endearing from start to finish.

Book 7:  Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare

This is the second in Dare's Castles Ever After Series.  I enjoyed it mostly, but there was no exposition of how the heroine came to inherit her castle. Supposedly she inherited it from the same dead guy as in the previous installment, but there was no connection made.  It just seemed an odd omission. On the plus side, you could read these out of order without a problem. The hero was a little bit of an alphahole for my taste,  I didn't really care for the secondary characters.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Two Berets

I refuse to use Picassa So Google Can Suck It  You will have to click for a picture.  I tried to open up rights entirely on the picture but flickr and blogger just don't play nice.

I made these berets, one for a 12 yr old girl, one for her American Girl Doll, from Berocco Comfort DK Print. I tend to wing it on hats a lot and use the kind of yarn that does the talking instead of a pattern.  I consider my hat method more of a recipe than a pattern since you are adjusting as you go.

This is how I do a beret/tam.  I guess the number of stitches to cast on from my Ann Budd book or free patterns on ravelry.  Then I knit a short 2x2 ribbed brim, An inch for the doll, 1.5 inches for the girl.  To increase I do a round of kfb, with a couple of  spread out kfbf  (if I need to) to get the total number of stitches to a multiple of 10.  I knit an inch and a half before decreases on the doll hat, I think 3 on the girl's hat.  At that point, I do 5 paired decreases, evenly spaced, every other row. Use stitch markers and you can't go wrong.  I use a K2tog on one side of the marker and a Knit_Return_Pass (that is my left leaning decrease since I am a mirror knitting lefty).  At 10 stitches remaining, I do a  round of k2tog all around then I turn the hat inside out and thread the tail through the stitches from the inside and pull to close.  If you pull too tight, you get a hat nipple, at that point, you either need to loosen it up or make a pompom.  I hate making pompoms, so I am pretty careful not to make a hat nipple.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Book 5

Book 5:  Daring Miss Danvers by Vivienne Lorret

I read this book in a little over a day of reading.  It clocks in at 212 pages on the nook.  I have to say, I rushed a little hoping there would be either some heat between the two characters or at least some sort of conflict that would make the HAE (happily ever after, for the n00bs) a little more rewarding. Ultimately, it was just a meh for me.   I don't think I will read the others in the series.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Books 3 and 4

Book 3:  The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian by Lawrence Block.

Bernie Rhodenbarr is at it again-- breaking, entering and neglecting to get a good alibi for the murder that is pinned on him.  So many twists as Bernie steals some stamps but is framed for murdering a tenant in the same building, who had paid ole Bern to appraise his book collection.  And worse yet, Carolyn (Bernie's BFF) gets a call that her cat is being held ransom for a rare, expensive painting by Mondrian.  Naturally, Bernie manages to clear his name, but it's a close call.

Book 4:  The Burglar Who Traded Ted Williams by Lawrence Block

This installment was published 11 years after Mondrian.  Bernie is still knocking about with his used bookstore and he and Carolyn are still BFFs.  In this adventure, Bernie is framed for the theft of some baseball cards, he finds a corpse in a locked room, and he has a dispute with his landlord.  It's all quite convoluted.  Ultimately, I found the end of this one less than spectacular from a justice standpoint.  I did like how the landlord storyline worked out though.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Books 1 and 2

Book 1:  Another Man's Moccasins by Craig Johnson

This is probably my favorite of the Longmire books so far, though book 2 was pretty  close.  When a young Vietnamese woman is found dead near the squatters camp of homeless, mentally ill veteran of the Vietnam war it stirs up the past for Walt.  While he works this case, he recalls his first case as an MP in Vietnam.  I will say that with this book it was apparent to me that the series does need to be read in order.  I found the ending to be a bigger surprise for me than it was for Walt.  Some mystery writers are good enough to tell a story without it being a surprise or a twist and Craig Johnson is one of those writers.

Book 2:  Sweet Disorder by Rose Lerner

I really liked In For A Penny by the same author.  This book left me a bit soured though.  The supporting characters were all unlikeable and the resolution of the story of the heroine's sister's problems was too easy and not very plausible.