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Tonstant Weader Reviews

Opinionated Book Reviews.

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Four Stars

Spells Trouble by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

Spells Trouble is the first in a new series, The Sisters of Salem. The prologue begins long in the past when the village of Goodeville is founded by a survivor of the Salem Witch Trials, one who was sentenced to... Continue Reading →

All the Children Are Home by Patry Francis

All the Children Are Home is a story about a family, foster parents Dahlia and Louie, and the four children who stayed long enough to burrow deep into their hearts, Jimmy, Zaidie, Jon, and Agnes. The first three had been... Continue Reading →

Her, Here by Amanda Dennis

Her, Here is the story of Elena who is hired to find Ella, a woman who is missing and presumed dead, by reading her diaries and turning them into a narrative. It seems a dangerous task for a woman who... Continue Reading →

Land of Big Numbers by Te-Ping Chen

Land of Big Numbers is an anthology of ten stories by Te-Ping Chen. They are either set in China or feature Chinese emigres abroad. Chen is a journalist who has lived in China and provides an acute sense of place... Continue Reading →

Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia

Of Women and Salt tells the story of several women spanning several generations. With one important exception, the men in the story are more a source of pain, an impetus to drastic action, anger, or addiction. We don't know their... Continue Reading →

The Year’s Best Science Fiction by Jonathan Strahan

The Year's Best Science Fiction: Volume 1 is a huge anthology of science fiction short (and not-s-short stories) that was refreshing in its breadth and speaks to a bright future for science fiction. With twenty-eight stories, it's about twice the... Continue Reading →

Vera by Carol Edgarian

Vera is a fast-paced historical fiction about a young girl who is 15 going on 45 in many ways. She is the secret daughter of San Francisco's most infamous madam, Rose of The Rose and is being raised by an... Continue Reading →

The Memory Collectors by Kim Neville

Many of us have seemingly worthless objects we treasure because they hold memories of their owners. A father's hat, a mother's ring, a child's old shoe, we connect with them emotionally. In The Memory Collectors, Kim Neville takes this idea... Continue Reading →

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle Cosimano

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It begins with one of those mornings, Finlay is in a frenzied rush trying to make an appointment while her nanny is late and her kids are not cooperating, to say the least. She is in extremis,... Continue Reading →

How I Learned to Hate in Ohio by David Stuart MacLean

How I Learned to Hate in Ohio tells the story of  Barry (Baruch) Nadler as he goes from a much-bullied adolescent in high school and ends when he's a young adult. His father is a college philosophy professor and his... Continue Reading →

The Flavor Equation by Nik Sharma

The Flavor Equation approaches cooking and recipes from a scientific viewpoint, explaining how flavor is made up of several different qualities that can be combined and balanced. He suggests there are seven elements to consider: emotion, sight, sound, mouthfeel, aroma,... Continue Reading →

Miami Noir: The Classics ed. by Les Standiford

Miami Noir: The Classics takes a long look back at noir stories from the past. Editor Les Standiford cleverly excerpted novels to provide a broader view of classic noir from Miami. The stories were published between 1926 and 2006, eighty... Continue Reading →

The Helios Disaster by Linda Boström Knausgård

The Helios Disaster is a story of mental illness. It begins with a young girl being taken from her father and placed in foster care. Her father is diagnosed with schizophrenia, but this is all fractured in the telling. The... Continue Reading →

Undaunted by James O. Brennan

Undaunted is the memoir of John O. Brennan, the CIA director for the last half of President Obama's term. Since his retirement, he has been critical of Trump and the Republicans who refused to act to punish Russia for intervening... Continue Reading →

Tampa Bay Noir edited by Colette Bancroft

Tampa Bay Noir is an excellent addition to the Akashic Noir series of anthologies. Each edition of this series is edited by a local, usually an author, a bookseller, or book critic. In this edition, the editor is Colette Bancroft,... Continue Reading →

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