Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Silence Once Begun by Jesse Ball Amazingly Unnecessary...

The Narito Disappearances occurred in the villages near Sakai in the year of 1977. They began around June and continued up until the capture of Oda Sotatsu. The newspapers eagerly followed the case and it drew national press attention, culminating in a furor at Oda Sotatsu's arrest. What was it?

Eight people disappeared, roughly two per month. There was no evidence of a struggle; however, it was clear that the disappearances were effected suddenly (food set out on the table, no personal objects missing, etc.) The people who disappeared were all older men and women, between the ages of fifty and seventy, who without exception lived alone. On the door of the residence a playing card was discovered, one per residence. No fingerprints of any kind were on the cards. No one witnessed the departure of any of the disappeared individuals. It was a powerful and gripping mystery, and as more and more people
Sakai City Hall
disappeared, the region went into shock. Patrols were even created to visit the homes of isolated or widowed individuals. But the patrols were never in the right place at the right time...

Silence Once Begun

By Jesse Ball

If there had been some esoteric value I could have learned, I might have been better able to recommend that you read this novel. It is somewhat based upon fact, but the dates, names, and actual location have all been changed. This means that unless you sought some legal reason for the author to release the exact names involved, this story will remain forever with the unanswered question: Why?

I do understand why the author started the research, given what was happening in his love life--his lover had withdrawn and became silent. Certainly we would do whatever it took to discover what might cause this... But, if, when you have reached a point in your research, would you continue, even knowing you will never understand? I could not. I've always asked the question Why? It is easy to understand why I choose mystery, suspense, etc., as my favorite fictional genre. Quite simply, I could not accept the underlying story, thus the book has little value to me.

Certainly I am not questioning that it did happen, nor that Jesse Ball has not done an outstanding job in his research and reporting thereof. But why did he do it--finish the book? Anything that I, the reader, would garner would be guess work, based upon his reporting... To me it was unsatisfactory. Still, there will be some who may feel it provides a thought-provoking theme over which to discuss with colleagues. Alas, at my age, this didn't even tempt me.

There is no way to give away anything about this novel; it is simply a statement of what happened after the journalist got involved in the research. What I wondered after finishing is whether or not he tried to impress to the two participants that it was time to be truthful--and why didn't they try to stop it... Please, don't try to tell me it was all a politically motivated conversation...

In any even, here is the novel in a nutshell. Three young adults got together and discussed a concept, during which there was drinking and drugs to some extent. One individual was selected at the end and he signed a confession...

The confession was turned into the police, he was arrested, tried and convicted...of murder...

He started in jail in silence and although he did begin to talk, it apparently was way too late. He went to death, not ever having read the confession he supposedly wrote.

There was a woman involved, who later claimed they were soulmates...OMG...May I never find such a soulmate! His family I can understand somewhat. He had never been a child to do anything like what it was being said he did and, after all, he had confessed.

Now here's the kicker, not only did he sign a confession for murders he did not commit, those murdered had never been committed. Some joke huh? Some study, huh, sure if you're stoned???  

Are we so immune to death and dying that, on a lark, an individual is willing to go through it all, and not once claim, "I signed something that I didn't know I was signing..." There was no honor gained that we could see???

Sorry, Jesse Ball... it's not your book that I'm deploring, so much as the futility of what happened. And the people who participated not only in doing it, but hiding it under the carpet.  I'd rather you blogged about it, shouted, screamed, wrote about it for every newspaper...but to simply put it out there???

No, this should have been an emotional roller-coaster...or nothing...


A Final Note: After reading the interview linked below, I wondered about my review--but not for long. No, I have not become an information ager, desiring to know anything and everything... No, I did not want to view the photos that I, too, had found on the Internet, finding nothing really I could connect to the story--merely the strangeness of any country that exists with both the past and the present in photographic form... And, no, I didn't want to mull over this story in my mind. Will that accomplish anything? Is it the purpose of a book merely to elicit acknowledgment or to force somebody to wonder about something? I would like to see this journalist take a giant step forward, not merely to report, but to press for the background of this man, this thread seller in Japan, to discover how and why this would ever happen... I would want to ask a woman who claimed the man as a soulmate, but could or would not be able to talk him into, and then collaborate his story with her part in it...

Wait, my friend readers, for that book...

Read Interview with Publishers Weekly!

Jesse Ball is the author of three previous novels including Samedi the Deafness, and several works of verse, bestiaries, and sketchbooks. His prizes include the 2008 Paris Review Plimpton Prize; his verse has been included in the Best American Poetry series. He gives classes on lucid dreaming and lying in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's MFA Writing program. His most recent novel, Silence Once Begun, will be published by Pantheon Books in January 2014.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Our Christmas Gift From Adolfo....


by Adolph Caso

To devine is to discover:

The blazing sunset
At my back,
Its multi layered colors
Suffusing the air
In front and around me,
The horizon opening to infinity
I stand on top of this earth
Gazing everywhere
And to nowhere special,
Neither on any plant
Nor on one specific creature,


And both measurable
And immeasurable,

By the gilded light
n continuous change,
Without prediction,
Or consideration
On good or evil—

Of and within my mind
Feeling my feet
Anchored to the ground
And the imminent suspension
Of my body
In a trajectory into space:

I am



In me!

Adolfo Caso, Friend,
Poet, Author, Photographer, Publisher
is a regular contributor to
Book Reader's Heaven...
Christmas 2013

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Bethlehem's Baby Visits! Spend Christmas with Sheila Deeth and Others Wishing You God's Love...

One day Mary was praying among the storage jars in her bedroom, which was really the store room in her parents’ home. She asked God to look after Joseph and help him build the house. She asked God to look after her parents and keep them healthy and strong. She asked God to look after her friends and give them happy children, and to look after her country and send a Messiah. Then she asked God to teach her to be a perfect wife and mother. “Amen,” she said. 
And suddenly there was an angel standing next to her. Mary jumped back and almost fell over a jar of fruit by the door. Her heart beat as fast as if she’d just run all through the valley to Cana and back. “Who are you?” she asked. “And how did you get in here?” 
“Don’t be scared, Mary,” said the stranger. “God is with you and he’s sent me to you. God has blessed you and you’re going to have a baby.” Mary guessed the stranger must be an angel. Maybe there was light shining all around him, or flames like wings on his back, or a halo over his head—she never said and nobody ever asked. But Mary listened and stared at the angel and whispered, 
“I don’t understand.” She couldn’t possibly have a baby. She wasn’t even married. So maybe the message was meant for one of her friends. But the angel said, “No, Mary, God’s sent me to you. God’s going to give you a baby son. If you say yes, you’ll be the mother of the Messiah.” 
“Wow!” thought Mary. But what would her mother say? Her father? Her fiancĂ©? What would her friends and the villagers say when they found out Mary was pregnant before she was married? Couldn’t God wait a bit? Still, Mary smiled and nodded her head, trusting God to have the timing right and make it all work out. She felt scared, excited, calm, trusting, relaxed, and terrified, all at the same time, which was really quite confusing. And she said to the angel, “Yes, okay, if that’s what God says, then that’s exactly what I’ll do.” Which is what we all should say in our prayers I suppose.

Bethlehem's Baby
By Sheila Deeth

What better way to spend Christmas than to read stories from Sheila Deeth's Bethlehem's Baby! 

If you haven't read any of her Five-Minute Bible Story Series, this is a perfect one to begin... Not only because of the season, but because many of you will know some of the names mentioned and, still, may find you are reading with total understanding and identification of who these people are in relation to others, and, specifically, in this case, Jesus...

Aunts, Uncles, Grandfather and Grandmother--do you know the name of, for instance, Mary's father? Don't be surprised or ashamed to say you don't. 

There was once a man called Joachim whose wife sent him on a long journey. “Take our daughter to visit my sister Elizabeth,” she said, as if she were just talking about walking down the street, maybe stopping for a quick mug of beer and a sandwich before going home again. 
But Cousin Elizabeth didn’t just live down the street. She lived miles and miles away in the hills near Bethlehem. Joachim and Mary would have to travel on rotten Roman roads, with rotten Roman soldiers shouting and marching, and passers-by complaining. They might even get attacked by bandits too. 
But Joachim didn’t say any of this to his wife. All he said was, “Yes Dear. When shall we leave?” 

Deeth's use of POV and redundancy, plus the very important translation into everyday words, sometimes adding a little humor, to tell us stories that some of us may have heard all our life. But just by changing the character, we now have the opportunity to see Joachim take Mary's hand and guide her to safety. Hearing Gabriel's story, of telling Mary is different so that we look at it more closely--from a different perspective:

Six months later, God sent Gabriel with another message, this time to a tiny little nowhere place called Nazareth, to see a teenage girl. Gabriel just knew this job was going to go badly. After all, everyone knows teenagers never listen, don’t believe what they’re told, and are totally incapable of obeying anyone. Still, Gabriel went to Nazareth because angels always listen, always believe what God tells them, and are totally incapable of disobeying God. 
“Hello Mary,” Gabriel said as he appeared in the teenage girl’s bedroom while the girl was praying. Then the teenager, whose name was Mary, hid her face in her hands and trembled with fear. “Don’t be afraid,” said Gabriel. “God’s sent me with a special message for you.” 
Mary peeked out between her fingers and said, “Okay?” “God says he’s sending your people a Messiah and you’re going to be the Messiah’s mother.”
“You mean I’m going to have a baby?” Mary looked even more frightened now and asked how, since she wasn’t married yet. So Gabriel explained that nothing’s impossible for God. Then Mary asked, “Why me?” since she didn’t think she was important enough to be the Messiah’s mother. And Gabriel explained that God had called her blessed. “Okay,” said Mary, standing up straight and tall, though she was really rather small. “If that’s what God wants, then that’s what will happen, and I’ll do just what God tells me.” 
Gabriel smiled at her. This visit had gone really well after all.

When Baby Jesus was born in a manger, his mother and father had nowhere to stay so they lived in a stable with him. Joseph made a door across the entrance to keep out the wind, but the cave was still cold. Joseph’s family gave Mary and her baby woolen shawls to wrap themselves in. And Mary cuddled her child, peeking under the covers where she sniffed his newborn smell of warm milk and honey. 
Jesus’ tiny fist was bunched just beneath his chin, his thumb still damp and his lips still puckered into a tiny oh as he blew milky bubbles. Mary smiled, feeling warm all over with love for her child. 
Upstairs, in the house above the stable, footsteps stirred. Voices murmured. Someone called out, “Good night and be blessed,” while someone else said, “Shush. We’re sleeping.” Mary felt very blessed indeed as she fell asleep as well. 
Then something startled her awake. Ragged voices whispered outside the stable door. Heavy feet scraped and scratched in the sandy soil. And a sheep began to bleat. But sheep should really be up on the hills with the shepherds, not trying to get back into the stable. Mary poked her face out from the blankets and wondered if she was dreaming. 
Next to her, Joseph crawled over a pile of hay, muttering, “Who’s there?” Knuckles rapped against the wooden door—rat-tat-tat—and Joseph struggled to his feet. He stumbled through the dark toward where the door should be and groaned loudly when he stubbed his toe on the big stone manger. “Just a minute. Just a minute,” he called. 
Then white light flooded into the room as Joseph pulled open the door. Was it morning already? Mary stared at shapes of people and buildings brightly outlined in the street. It was neither moonlight nor sunshine that she could see. Instead the light seemed to flow from a single bright star overhead. She wondered what it meant. Then strange men crowded into the room. “We’ve come to see the baby,” said an excited little boy. “Angels came and told us. Up on the hill.” The child jumped up and down as he spoke, making Mary feel quite ill. “Please. Please. Where’s the baby?”

God Bless Us One and All... Merry Christmas!

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Friday, December 20, 2013

I Missed the McGunnin...and Couldn't Find it Anywhere...

Death by Misadventure

By E. E. Smith

The beautiful cover for this book encouraged me to pick it up--to start reading. Its setting in the 40s was something that I looked forward to settling into--it was even before Mickey Spillane brought us Mike Hammer where his secretary, Velda, was seen as the important woman behind the P.I. Of course, Agatha Christie had brought forth Miss Marple much earlier, but I was happy to realize that women were breaking tradition then as well as now...

Still, it was brave for Alexis Smith to be considering learning to be a P.I. right out of high school. She had gone to school for Forensics Investigation, almost got kicked out when she was spotted in the back of class--she had got a "Bob" short cut, but hadn't thought to start wearing trousers...

When the instructor talked to her and reviewed the exam paper she had just completed, he decided to give her a chance. She now had her own agency--or at least an office, a secretary and a young male assistant. 

Or... was she already on her way to failure...

I sat down behind my desk. "I'm sorry...Mrs. Faraday.
Yes, I see that now. It's here on your card...So, tell me.
What can I do for you?"
"I want you to find my husband," she said, opening
a silver cigarette case.
I passed an ashtray over to her and took a yellow pad
out of the top drawer of my desk. Unscrewing the cap
from my fountain pen, I said, "Name?"
"Frank Faraday," she said, and when I looked up in
utter astonishment, her cold sardonic smile sent a
chill through me. You don't recognize me, do you?"
Readers, you either have to accept that this is not a mystery--that the inexperienced P.I., had no idea what she was doing, or that she was a fool, albeit, a dedicated one...

Now, on the other hand, maybe if you call it something else, like a ghost story, historical literary fiction...I don't know, just anything but a mystery... then you have a decent story, with good characters, and a perfect ending, for even a thriller!

The problem is that it is a very well written story, worthy of the author's past credentials. But there are so many issues of content that, if you're like me, you'll spend the majority of the time searching--where is that "something" that even the author talks about in the book, although I'd never heard of it before...

Where is the McGuffin? I'm not even going to touch that!

The setting is the first item--it's unrealistic. If you're just starting a business, you're not going to be able to hire staff, especially if the story itself indicates that bills are not being paid...  At the same time, the overall environmental era flows well, including getting into the political and war issues of the time. Soooo, out of the blue, in walks the dame, which is what Mike Hammer would have called her...

Actually, it turns out to be a one-time girl friend of Alexis. As I thought about the story, I realized that the potential new client would have kept track of Alexis, perhaps, so that she would know that she had now opened a business... But Alexis didn't recognize her...

Kate got up and pirouetted around
her chair to model for me. Until then
I hadn't paid much attention to what
she was wearing. Now I saw that her
Jacket, in a soft white wood, had natural
and a nipped-in waist. The wide, calf-
length skirt was navy blue, with
unpressed pleats. Everything, down to
her Penaljo shoes, looked expensive.
"You want to be well dressed. You'll
be talking to officials in London. Yes,
I suggest you start there. Scotland Yard,
or maybe even Interpol!"

And when she offers her a large check, more than really necessary, which is only referred to as Alexis' need for new clothes... Well Alexis goes right out, spends lots of money she doesn't even keep track of, and flies away, first-class... Need I go on...

Ok, here was the assignment.  Find the woman's husband. Kill him... Alexis bargains--I'll find him, but won't kill him... Really?

The only thing realistic is how London Yard treated this American girl... And fortunately for Alexis, one of the blokes fell head over hills in love with her...

And the ending was beautifully crafted... Almost so good that you want, really want, to overlook the fact that the plot and main character fail miserably...  

Alexis' father really hadn't pushed the trust concept into his daughter's mind enough...

Were women really as foolish as this back when they weren't allowed to think for themselves? Top grades hadn't helped her.
Only Scotland Yard officials knew that an American girl with a licensed gun, in a country where not even the police carried, just had to bring trouble!

My final disappointment was that I couldn't find any historical reference to the ghost in Norwich... So does that mean that Agnes  DeVere really didn't...

You know, it's always fun to find a series that you "think" you would really enjoy. Perhaps. E. E. Smith will take some time to read other mysteries of the era. Agatha Christie still holds in for many of us even after all this time. The complexity, the sleuthing, the suspense, and the thrill of hunting down a mystery could happen within this story and characters. But Ms. Alexis J. Smith of Discreet Investigations will have to take some lessons from older, experienced Miss Marble. There was no way that a P.I. could spend weeks on one case, lazing around in the Old Vicarage, keeping company with the Scotland Yard officer who was fascinated with her... only to find that the husband has indeed been living right there all along, under her nose--with her too hesitant to...face the man she searched for... LOL... A shame really, it's kinda a "nice" book to read if you don't need a plot... A little romance, a little history, a little walk down memory lane...


Evelyn Eileen Smith resides in the San Francisco Bay area and is an award-winning playwright of more than a dozen plays. The debut novel, Boardinghouse Stew, was inspired by her own real-life experiences working in a boardhouse in Satramento during World War II. Times Like These is based on more real-life adventures through the end of WW II, six years of peace, and the beginning of the Korean War. In her last work, In Love and War, Evelyn shares her experiences as a young bride during the Korean War and how life decisions made in haste impacted her entire life.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Collaborative Novel, Rubicon Ranch: Riley's Story Presents Complex, Creative Mystery...


Rubicon Ranch:
Riley's Story

A Collaborative Novel

Lazarus Barnhill, Nichole R. Bennett, Eric Beetner, J. B. Kohl, Pat Bertram, J. J. Dare, Christine Husom, Deborah J. Ledford, Nancy A. Niles

I must have been one of the few individuals whose time did not permit watching and/or participating online as this book was written. Nevertheless, I was still surprised that it had not been reviewed! Wow, you need to check it out now while it's only 99 cents for Kindle! Actually, the group is now writing their third novel, so I probably won't ever catch up with this prolific group...

First of all, a collaborative novel meant one thing to me--continuity. Would the story read as if it were written by only one author. Yes! In fact, I was amazed how well it did, so I'm guessing maybe one author acted as editor as well...but that really doesn't matter for readers!

Interestingly, the group decided to write as the characters in the story, so that it is only when that character is involved, do you have the chapter announcement indicate whose POV this chapter will relate to. It seemed unusual, but didn't disrupt the story in any way. Think Columbo and consider that each of the characters are being interviewed and, of course, suspected...LOL

For murder...

And, believe me, it would take a Columbo-type investigator to follow and figure out this case. One thing for sure, when you have a collaborative novel, you will never want for the number of suspects needed to keep the story weaving and bobbing right in front of your head, and readers thinking, stop, I need to think through this! Actually, it is really quite fun! Ok, I have to say fun because I didn't have a clue--that must be what happens when you've got a whole group working to ensure the mystery will not easily be solved!

Or Maybe we need Miss Marple for this mystery since we have someone who can play the part right at the Ranch!

Melanie stopped by an overturned sofa, pointed the camera, and clicked the shutter. How could she ever fool the publisher? He’d know immediately that these photos came from someone without artistic vision. A horn beeping in the distance caught her attention. A white SUV slowly traveled along a narrow road, following two massive dogs. Whenever the dogs strayed too far afield, the horn sounded, and the creatures loped back to the vehicle. She snapped a photo of the scene, then headed for the rocky trail that would take her to the other side of the knolls. 
A man and woman jogged by in tandem, he running heel to toe, she running toe to heel. Melanie photographed their footprints so she wouldn’t have to look at the couple. Is this the way the rest of her life would be? Alone, trying to avoid the pain of seeing people in pairs? Keeping her gaze on the trail, she climbed the knoll. When she reached the top, a faint breeze stirred her clothes, and she could feel the coolness of her drying sweat. She lifted her head and jutted out her chin. I can do this. She’d never understood the lure of photography, but now, snapping image after image of the desert and the distant hills, she could appreciate how much simpler and cleaner the world appeared when seen on the screen of a camera. 
Some of the photos actually seemed passable. She really could do this. She turned around to get shots of the trail she’d just climbed and saw a glint of metal reflecting the sun. She squinted. What was that? A television? She found herself smiling—her first smile since Alexander died. She scrambled back down the trail. 
The television console had been dumped a long time ago judging by the creosote bushes that had grown up around it, but footprints leading to the box suggested it had been visited recently. She took several shots from the trail, about fifteen yards from the television, then moved closer. The television had no screen, and she could see that something had been stuffed inside. A doll? 
She crept closer. Ten feet away, she stopped to take another photo, and the truth washed over her. Not a doll. Crammed inside the cabinet was a child, a girl, her eyes half-eaten by some desert predator. A scream of rage gathered in her chest, but the only sound she made was a whimper. No! Not more death! Feeling tears gathering behind her eyes, she sucked in air and blew it out. It would be hard enough dealing with the cops without blubbering like a fool. When she got control of herself, she called 911, told the dispatcher where she was, who she was, and why she was calling. After stowing the cell phone in her pocket, she took another photo of the dead girl, then stepped back to get a wider view of the scene.

Melanie Gray acts as the investigator--just because she's nosy? I don't know, but there always seems to be at least one individual living somewhere who, when a murder occurs, turns out to be inquisitive enough to ask the questions. She's there on site, knows many but not all the residents, and doesn't mind putting herself out there, even when, yes it could be dangerous. Ahhh, otherwise, there'd be no cozies for we fans!

Besides, she found the body of the little girl and would not soon forget it, especially since she had also recently lost the love of her life and was still trying to adjust to a life without him. And so, a sheriff has to come into the picture, right? Actually, there were three cops in the area who made up an interesting group that I think you will enjoy.

Rubicon Ranch was somewhat enclosed but fairly far from any town. Most of the occupants were artists and some not too friendly. Individuals moved in and out through a central management arrangement... So it was natural to assume that whoever did this was an occupant of the community...one of the neighbors! Unfortunately, it could even be another child...

 A day did not go by that Dylan McKenzie did not think about the lyrics to Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall.” His mother had given him nightmares telling him stories about how the large companies were poisoning the environment. “Someday even the rain will be made up of poisonous, toxic chemicals,” she’d told him. “And it will fall on everyone and cause horrible diseases and painful deaths.” She spoke of the future violence to come when children carried weapons and fought in the streets. He’d once read the lyrics, but it had been like a Rubik’s cube to his young brain and he’d latched onto his mother’s wisdom and had turned Bob Dylan into his own personal idol and prophet. 
As he grew older he began to wonder why nobody stopped the chemical companies, why the people of his mother’s generation were so intent on peaceful solutions, when obviously they didn’t work, and why did they spend so much time smoking pot and wiling away the days when so much work needed to be done? Flower Power. What a cop out that turned out to be. Fear and intimidation were the only ways to get people to do what you wanted. 
He had learned that much from his dad, who’d once been a flower child himself, but had since learned the real ways of the world. He’d seen his dad push people around and noticed how they backed off and let him get his way. Dylan knew the shame of letting his dad intimidate him. But he’d always just been a kid. The day would come when the old man wouldn’t be pushing on him anymore. I’ll show you, Dad, like I showed that silly kid, Riley.

Funny, when you think of places located far away, you'd never think of Facebook in connection with it, yet there was a connection that had been found and noted...a family had created a page for their daughter who had been taken... and then they had received a response... Were the parents of the dead child guilty?

Obviously that was a lead, but as questions start, there seemed to be many people in this community who had secrets--secrets they didn't want to share! So, of course, Melanie Gray had to figure out how to gather their information much more courteously... LOL

Seriously, I believe this mystery is well worth your time. I had read a number of the authors so I knew the writing would be great! The individual life stories of the "suspects" were especially interesting as we learn about them... I'm just happy I thought to get a copy even though it took me so long to read it! Highly recommended!


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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

J. D. Robb's Still Pleasing This Series Fan... A Lighter Look...

Who better to play J. D. Robb as she hits The Red Carpet in Calculated in Death. This is for another book, and this certainly isn't Robb's husband, Roark... I can only do soooo much, you know! LOL

"Don't worry." Leonardo put his big arm around Mavis. "I'll take care of her."
"Oh, honey bear."
"No kissy-face, we're about to pull up. You mingle, and until this goes down I don't want you too close to me."
"We're all good. You stay that way," Mavis warned, and gave Eve a quick hug. "And you can follow my lead," she told Peabody. "Well, Dallas's for the op, but mine for the show. Remember?"
"Smile, but keep it easy and natural. Shoulders back, don't slouch. It's okay to wave. If I pose, oh God, shift my weight to my back foot. And looking-over-the-shoulder shots are usually flattering."
Trick Question for Fans
Would Roark Pick This Dress for Eve?

"Nailed it in one." Mavis patter Peabody's arm. "Here we go. Catch this bastard quick, okay, so we can have some fun...
Leonardo stepped out first, offered Mavis his hand. And when she slid out, the sea of sound crested. Despite the circumstan-
ces, despite the tension, it gave Eve a boost to hear the crowds should out Mavis's name.
"She's kind of a sensation," Eve observed. Then shifted modes. "Exiting vehicle now, Peabody to follow."
At her nod, Roarke got out, offered Eve his hand. Another crest of sound, and a stunning galaxy of lights greeted her. Faces and flashes and the bright red river of carpet...

Calculated in Death
By J. D. Robb

Surely anybody who routinely reads top fiction authors have at least tasted J. D. Robb. Norah Roberts has faithfully kept this series going for many years and this book is the 36th for the "In Death" series. I've read them all, so thought it was time to at least acquaint the few that are not already reading this fabulous series. LOL This is the truth--I have not found even one of this series that did not hold my interest through the entire book! Amazing, given that the main characters remain the same, and some of the actions of Eve Dallas are by now predictable... Yet, it happens, the "bad guy" is created and the whole group is off again! Yahoo!

Now you may have been able to predict that, by the title, Roark is going to play a role... He now owns most of the world and other worlds, and he knows the big money players! So Eve doesn't think twice about getting him involved, now with her boss' blessings...

As the elevator began its smooth climb, Peabody
let out a sigh of pleasure. That was fun."
"I hate getting dicked around by electronics."
"Well actually you're getting dicked around
by the programmer."
"You're right." Eve's eyes narrowed. "You're
fucking-A right. Make a note to do a search and
scan. I want to find out who programmed that
officious bastard.
"That could be even more fun." Peabody's
cheerful smile faded when the elevator stopped.
"This won't be..."
"Listen to me, you half-assed, chip-brained dipshit, this is official business. Scan the badges and clear access. Otherwise I'll have warrants issued immediately for the arrest of the building manager, the head of security, and the owners on the charge of obstruction of justice. And you'll be in a junk pile by dawn."
"Inappropriate language is in violation of...
"Inappropriate language?" Oh, I've got plenty more inappropriate language for you. Peabody, contact APA Cher Reo and begin processing warrants for all appropriate parties. Let's see how they like getting dragged out of bed at this hour, cuffed, and transported to Central because this computerized tin god refuses access to police officers."
"All over that, Lieutenant."
"Please submit your badges for scan, and place your palm on the palm plate for verification.
Eve held up her badge with one hand, slapped her other on the palm plate. "Clear the locks. Now."
Identification is verified. Access granted.
Eve shoved through the door, strode across the black marble lobby floor to the glossy white elevator doors flanked by two man-sized urns exploding with red spiky flowers.
Please wait here until Mr. and/or Mrs. Dickenson is notified of your arrival.
"Can it, compu-jerk." She walked straight into the elevator, Peabody scurrying after her. "Penthouse B," she ordered. "Give me any shit, I swear to God I'll stun your motherboard.

Ok Ok, I've gone a little overboard with the excerpts about talking back to computers... But I do so love to do that, do you? When you are calling a prescription in, do you push the next button before she has a chance to say her sentence? If so, you are just like me and enjoy winning over those "officious programmers..." Actually, I'm trying to get over a sore throat, cough, etc., and really don't plan to post this review to many places, especially Amazon... I read a couple of those--geesh, sometimes I would like to tell some of them to "get a life"... Why would you read a whole book that you're going to rate as lousy...

Oh well, I do digress...By now, however, you do know that Eve and Peabody are heading to view a body--a homicide and soon starts her routine, calling out who she would need... 
As she spoke, she pulled pulled open the car door, got behind the wheet. "I requested Harpo--self-proclaimed queen of hair and fiber--to process the fibers on the vic's pants. I'll follow up on that...She pulled out, made the turn for downtown. "I want Uniform Carmichael to pick a team for a canvass. He'll meet Officer Turney at the scene at oh-seven-thirty, so get on that. Contact Sergeant Gonzales at the one-three-six, tell him I requested Turney for the duty."
"You want the first on scene?"
"I want Turney. She's god good instincts. There's a little Peabody in there."
"Yea?" Peabody puffed up, then immediately pouted. "Is she--"
"Don't even think about asking if she's got a smaller ass, prettier face, tougher chops, or whatever you're thinking. Just get it done."

My choice for Roarke -
Who would be your choice?
"Follow the money."
"It's always an interesting route. Beat it."
"Beating it."
Eve drove away, glanced at the time, then used her in-dash 'link to contact Roarke. Maybe it was dawn, but she knew damn well he'd been up at least a solid hour, and had probably already bought a minor solar system.
And there he was, filling her dash screen, those staggering blue eyes alert in a face created on a day God had felt particularly generous. As that many of silky black hair was tied back, she recognized work mode.
I figured I should let you know I won't be back."
"I assumed as much." His native Ireland cruised through the words, like
music. Eat something."
"I think I'll wait until after this trip to the morgue. Their Vending seriously blows.
"It's bad. I can see it."
"Murder's never good, but this one wasn't particularly messy. But...mother of two, with a husband I broke into pieces at notification. Well-heeled Upper East Side family, both of them with careers in finance, living in a penthouse condo. But without the flash, you know? Homey, pictures of the kids everywhere. And she was Judge Yung's sister-in-law..."
"Ah...corporate accounting primarily, or serving those who have as much money as a corporation."
"Not yours?"
"No, but I'd take a good look at them if I decided to make a change in the area. They have a steady, straightforward reputation. Victim or husband....
I don't know them, but I can see what I can find out."
"Shouldn't be hard. Their offices are in your headquarters bui8lding..."
"That does make it simple..."

A man in unrelieved black with white-blond hair and nearly as many earrings as McNab stepped out of wide blue doors.

"Please come in. "Candidate will be with you shortly. We're serving catnip tea today."
"We'll pass on that...
"I'd be happy to prepare another choice." He gestured them into a huge space that looked like a small palace under a snow storm. Every inch was white--sofas, tables, rugs, lamps, pillows. The only spot of color came from the white-framed portrait--their hostess recliining naked on a white bed. Her endless tumble of blond hair and deeply red lips humped out of the canvas.
Even the curtains on the wall of windows were filmy white so the city beyond seemed to float on clouds.
But not, in Even's mind, in a good way...
Something moved in the snowbank. She realized a huge white cat, its eyes blinking vivid green, stretched on some sort of divan. It watched them while its tail flicked lazily.
Slim and strong, he thought.
Shadows of fatigue doggoing her eyes,
but energy revving in her body. His
Eve, his gift at the end of a long,
hard day.
When he flipped her he heard the
laugh in her throat, heard it go
to a purr as he replaced his hands
with his mouth...
She liked cats. She had her own. But this one, like the room, like the filmed windows, gave her the creeps...
It's sort of giving me a headache. It hurts my eyes, and I have to keep blinking to see where things actually are. Oh Jesus, that's not a pussycat."
"Huh?" Eve glanced back. No, not just a cat. A cat. Maybe a lion--small scale, but...or a tiger, or--
"A white panther cub...

These are a few of why J. D. Robb is one of my favorite things...

Hey, there's over 1000 reviews out there on Amazon.
If you want to know about the book, please take a look...


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