My Week . . .

Hi everyone. Thanks for stopping by to check out my week. I read two good ones this week – one to complete a series – so far – and one to start a new series.  Here’s what I read:

The Devils Triangle by Catherine Coulter and T.J. Elison

Last week I told you about the first three books in this “Brit In the FBI” series. I’d felt compelled to read them before starting on this fourth book. I’m glad I did because it was fun seeing how the two main characters got to where they are with Book #4.

When Book 3 (The End Game) ended Nicholas Drummond (the Brit) and his partner Michaela Caine, Mike for short, were asked to form their own team, Covert Eyes, within the FBI. They were given authority to handle cases all over the world. With a handpicked team of the best agents, they are now ready for their first case. And – what a case it is!

A highly skilled international thief, the Fox who we met in Book 2, asks for the team’s help. She has just stolen a rare artifact, the staff of Moses, but now her client is trying to kill her. This case takes the team first to Venice and then to the Bermuda Triangle. We encounter ancient myths, archeological digs, unbelievably wacky “magic” tricks and super-crazy bad guys. It felt like I was in an Indiana Jones movie. In fact, Indiana Jones was referred to several times.

I thought some of the events in this book were a bit over the top. They were a little hard to believe. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the story. I just think the authors went a bit too far. The part about controlling the weather was too much. I will still recommend this book and the series to my friends as the characters on the team, especially Nicholas, Mike and Adam are so enjoyable. That was, for me, a great week and a half of reading all four books. All I can say is: Bring on #5!

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The second book I read this week was Raven Black. I was so excited to read this – My FIRST Ann Cleeves novel. And this one was a great introduction to the setting — Shetland Island — and the characters. It was not done in a slow and obvious way. It moved at a steady pace and moved from one character to another. I really liked it this way. First I got to meet and know the main detective, Jimmy Perez, and see a bit of the department politics involved. I also got to know so many other people involved in the murder of a teenage girl. There were so many people (10+) who could have done the deed which left me completely surprised at the very end.

The setting of Shetland Island is an important part of this story. It is so far north (way above Scotland) that the cold and dark days sets a mood that infects the characters and the reader. I’m not implying that it was depressing. It wasn’t, but I could feel the despair of many of the people. The small population and the remoteness of the island added to it as well. I can’t wait to watch the TV version that is based on this series. I want to see how they set the mood in the PBS version of Shetland Island.

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The exciting news around here this week was the grand opening of our new playground on our Town Green. My grandson, TJ, and I have been watching all the progress going on behind the fences around the new playground. We could tell that it was getting close to being done. TJ was so impatient that he finally got one of the workmen to talk to him and let us know the possible opening date.

And we were right there when they cut the ribbon. TJ, along with about 75 other children, clamored through the balloon archway into the exciting new playground. The picture above doesn’t show all the exciting new strutures, but it does show TJ’s favorite — the big blue slide. I’m not exaggerating when I say that he went down that slide 50 to 75 times in that first hour. We’ve been often after that first day and its still exciting. Such is the life of our 3-almost-4-year-old and his Nana.

Happy weekend ahead everyone.

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Wondrous Words #388

WWWEvery week word-lovers post new words they’ve discovered while reading. It’s called Wondrous Words Wednesday and was created by Kathy at Bermuda Onion’s Weblog.

I was reading an interesting article by Andrew Sullivan in the New York Magazine when I found these new-to-me words:

1. apparatchik: That first press conference when Sean Spicer was sent out to lie and fulminate to the press about the inauguration crowd reminded me of some Soviet apparatchik having his loyalty tested to see if he could repeat in public what he knew to be false.

Apparatchik (äpəˈräCHik) is a noun (chiefly historical) that means a member of the communist party apparat.

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2. ad hominem: Any lie is usually doubled down by another lie — along with an ad hominem attack.

Ad hominem (ad ˈhämənəm) is a logical fallacy in which an argument is rebutted by attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.

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That’s it for me this week. I hope you found some words worth celebrating. Feel free to join Wondrous Words Wednesday. Be sure to visit Kathy for the details.

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What Am I Reading? Raven Black

I am currently reading my first Ann Cleeves novel. I love the PBS show Vera which is based on one of Ann Cleeves’ book series. This book, Raven Black, is the first book in Ann Cleeves’ Shetland Island series. Have you read any of her books or watched the TV series?

Here’s the first paragraph:

Chapter One

Twenty past one in the morning on New Year’s Day. Magnus knew the time because of the fat clock, his mother’s clock, which squatted on the shelf over the fire. In the corner the raven in the wicker cage muttered on the shelf over the fire. In the corner the raven in the wicker cage muttered and croaked in its sleep. Magnus waited. The room was prepared for visitors, the fire banked with peat and on the table a bottle of whisky and the ginger cake he’d bought in Safeway’s the last time he was on Lerwick. He could feel himself dozing bur he didn’t want to go to bed in case someone should call at the house. If there was a light at the window someone might comer full of laughter and drams and stories. For eight years nobody had visited to wish him happy new year, but still he waited just in case.

What do you think?

Would you keep reading?

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firstparagraphEvery Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea shares the first paragraph of a book currently being read. Feel free to join the fun.

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A Look At My Week

Hi everyone. Thanks for joining me. I’ve had a super-busy reading week. I read three books plus half of another book. They are all by the same authors, Catheerine Coulter and J.T. Ellison. I got myself into this whole reading mania by not paying close attention when choosing a book on NetGalley. I saw The Devil’s Triangle by Catherine Coulter and the discussion about it being a part of the “Brit in the FBI” series. I saw this as the beginning of a series. Imagine my surprise when I learned this was the fourth book! Since I’d already agreed to read The Devil’s Triangle I started in on it. Right away I really liked it so I decided I’d pause and go back and read the first three books. I’m really glad I did. Let me tell you about them.

The “Brit” in the FBI is Nicholas Drummond, a Scotland Yard Detective Chief Inspector. He’s quite the dashing dude, often compared to James Bond. He is paired with Michaela (Mike) Caine. Mike is not a wimp. She’s the female version of James Bond. Nicholas and Mike are good partners and there’s a hint of a spark between them. They are the main characters in each novel, but there are a couple of other FBI agents from Ms. Coulter’s previous FBI books that show up occasionally. Here’s a summary of each of the first three novels:

The Final Cut introduces Nicholas and Michaela. They meet each other in New York and work together when the major diamond in the Queen’s crown is stolen. It’s on loan to a New York museum. Its an intricately planned theft. In addition there’s an ancient story and a subplot involving the history of the diamond and features all the thieves. Very interesting. The two FBI agents find themselves up against a very crafty thief, the Fox. At the end Nicholas is asked to join the FBI.

The Lost Key  reads like a complicated spy novel with plenty of action. It all starts with the killing of a simple ancient-book seller. It turns out that was just a cover. The man was part of a secret international cartel of highly placed men. Their goal has been to find a sunken U-boat that is hiding gold bullion and a secret scientific formula that could lead to someone’s world domination. There’s also a super-evil guy who has no qualms about taking advantage of all of this.

The End Game is just plain scary because it involves the bombing of U.S. power grids and oil refineries. One group is responsible, but the FBI is having a hard time zeroing in on them. Fortunately Nicholas is a world-class hacker whose skills are well known among other key hackers. That and good detective work will hopefully help the FBI stop them before a rumored big job is launchrd and the Vice President is assassinated.

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In addition to all that reading, I watched the fifth season of Vera staring Brenda Blethyn. I borrowed the Dvd’s from my local library. Someone at the library must be a big Ann Cleeves fan because the library has purchased quite a few copies of Ann Cleeves books (the two main series) and Dvd’s for the two TV shows based on Ann Cleeves books.

The stories for Vera are always terrific – complicated and creative, but there are two things I really love: the North Umberland scenary and the amazing Brenda Blethyn. She has such a unique way of getting suspects to open up to her. It’s hard to believe she is the same actree who played Mrs. Bennet in my favorite movie version of Pride and Prejudice (the 2005 version with Kiera Knightly). There are two more seasons of Vera, according to IMDb, but I’ll have to wait for those. The library doesn’t have them. Does anyone know if they’re been shown on PBS yet?

That’s what my week was liker. What have you been reading and/or watching? Anything you canrecommend?

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