As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust, by Alan Bradley

 

 

I would not spill too many beans were I to say that in volume 007, Flaiva is older (12), wiser (IQ = 134) and exiled to the frozen tundra (Toronto.) Sad and virtually alone, Flavia, nevertheless, quickly returns to her “A-game” as murder goes “thump” in the night. The autodidact expat reaches out to the reader for solace as she bobs about in a sea of chilled intrigue and indifference. Bereft of home laboratory advantage, she artfully finagles local facilities and, in fact, does more with less.

“Chimney Sweepers” seemed to break slowly from the blocks, but once it hit its stride it managed to raise the pulse and reach a delightful conclusion. As the final pages turn, the author drops clues that romance and intrigue await in volume 008.

One of the most rewarding aspects of volumes 001-006 was the author’s extraordinary display of creative word-play. His unique figures of speech blessed every page if not paragraph. He made “getting there, more than half the fun.” Not so much in volume 007. The polish lacked the expected luster. I trust that the remaining volumes in the Flavia de Luce series will return to the meticulous craftsmanship of the initial half-dozen.

The Rosie Effect, by Graeme Simsion

NY bridge

Don Tillman’s loyalty, self-sacrifice, and problem solving genius, make him welcome as a friend. We first met Don in the “Rosie Project,” the story of a high functioning Asperger’s individual in search of a “mate.” Don exhibits marvelous STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills, a phenomenal memory, but he woefully lacks social skills. He holds to an extraordinary rigid moral-ethical code, based on logic and conventional norms rather than religion. Among his virtues or symptoms, Don could not tell a lie. Paul Levine, who also includes Asperger’s spectrum characters in his novels, subscribes to the same truth-telling characteristic. However, in “The Rosie Effect, Don, the compulsive truth-teller and honest man, learns to spare the feelings of others by shielding them from the truth. Unfortunately, he hopelessly tangles himself in the thickest web of deceit. His growing cohort of friends risk all to assist him extricate himself before the authorities and Rosie catch up with him.

In his first two and extremely successful novels, author, Graeme Simsion brings moments of genuine hilarity as well as deep pathos. His intense research allows his characters the freedom to walk, jog and subway about New York City, Columbia University, genetics, nutrition, human development, psychology and the pub scene. Ask Don to make you a cocktail sometime.

The devious Simsion snaps snares, large and small, catching his readers off guard. Just when Don seems to have escaped one threat, the trapdoor drops Don, and often his friends, into a deeper quandary. Through the Rosie Effect, Simsion takes the reader for a ride to a most unpredictable destination. Getting there is more than half the fun. Looking forward to the further exploits of Don Tillman and company.

 

Review (© 2015 Donald J. Mulcare)

Brooklyn Bridge, Nancy Ann Mulcare, Alcohol ink on yupo (© 2015 Nancy Ann Mulcare)

Book Tour: Chasing Liberty by Theresa Linden

Friday, January 2, 2015

Book Tour: Chasing Liberty by Theresa Linden

Book Blurb:

Liberty 554-062466-84 of Aldonia lives in a responsible society that cares for the earth and everyone on it. They have learned to balance resource consumption with replacement initiatives, unavoidable pollution with clean-environment efforts. Science ensures that every baby born is healthy. The government ensures that every baby born is needed. All are cared for, taught, and given a specific duty to perform, their unique contribution to society. Why is Liberty so unsatisfied?

In less than two weeks, Liberty must begin her vocation. Every girl in Aldonia wishes she had Liberty’s vocation. Liberty would rather flee from Aldonia and live on her own, independent of the all-controlling government, the Regimen Custodia Terra. The high electrical Boundary Fence crushes any thought of escape. The ID implant imbedded in her hand makes it impossible to hide. She has no choice but to submit. Liberty is slated to be a Breeder.

As vocation day draws near, a man with an obsession for Liberty attacks her and injects her with a drug. She’s about to lose consciousness when someone comes to her rescue, a man in a mottled cape and dark glasses. She wakes in an underground facility where people watch over Aldonia with an array of monitors and surveillance equipment. These people are full of secrets, but she discovers one thing: they rescue a man scheduled for re-education. They rescued him. They can rescue her.

Author Bio:

Theresa resides with her husband and three boys in northeast Ohio. She was born in California and moved every three years (her father was in the Coast Guard). This probably accounts for her love of traveling and desire to see the world. Living by the ocean, under the palm trees in Guam and Hawaii, helped spur her imagination. She began writing illustrated short stories with her sister in grade school, borrowing characters from favorite movies and shows. Now, writing is her passion. Her favorite genres include Fantasy, Western, Contemporary, Supernatural and Futuristic. Other interests: painting with acrylic, drawing with ink, hiking, traveling and American History. Theresa is a member of the Catholic Writer’s Guild, a local writers’ group, and Critique Circle, an online critique group. She has an Associate’s Degree in Electrical/Mechanical Drafting and a Catechetical Degree from Catholic Distance University.
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7537721.Theresa_Linden

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theresalindenauthor

Website: http://theresalinden.webs.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindenTheresa
Available on Kindle as a pre-order, to be delivered on the release date:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OTNRZ16