Review: Haunt Flashes: A Ghost Cozy Mystery

Haunt Flashes: A Ghost Cozy Mystery
Haunt Flashes: A Ghost Cozy Mystery by Leigh Selfman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Finally, an interesting concept from this author. Sure, the ghost-wants-help-solving-own-murder trope has been over done, but at least the author tried to wrap it in something a bit more modern and (almost) believable. Unfortunately, the execution was a bit lame and hurried. I was hard pressed to even care about the ghost, much less any of the other one-dimensional characters in the story.

This was a stand-alone story, FYI. I don’t see any series coming out of this one.

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Review: Éclair Case Of Murder

Éclair Case Of Murder
Éclair Case Of Murder by Leigh Selfman
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Horrid. Simply horrid. Poor follow-up to a rather dreadful series start. There were some twists and turns in the story, but few of them made sense so it was all a wash. Poor characterization on all fronts, and a serious lack of sense. One point that isn’t fleshed out was if this is the main character’s business is/is in the same bakery/building from the previous novel. I have to assume it isn’t, since that would explain several missing characters, and the speed with which the main character created this new business (two months), but it is not explained at all, besides giving the new name of the bakery.

Also, one does NOT use numbered lists in a NOVEL! One might say “Well, first we did this.” But never “1) The sprocket was in the gearbox.” This is dialogue and exposition, not stereo instructions! Oh, and one does not use numbered lists and then screw them up, so a number appears before a random word! Sweet Raptor Jesus! So unprofessional.

Well, there’s one book left in this box set. Will things get better for this poor reader? Find out in my review for “Haunt Flashes” … same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel.

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Review: Nothing Bundt Murder: A Culinary Cozy Mystery

Nothing Bundt Murder: A Culinary Cozy Mystery
Nothing Bundt Murder: A Culinary Cozy Mystery by Leigh Selfman
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I’m sorry, but this one just feels thrown together. At least the Senior Snoops books started like a proper detective series, and seemed to have a bit of research. This one reads like a mediocre TV show – basically four sets and five major characters, all cardboard, and a bunch of trite circumstances. Plus, the murder mystery with a bakery setting has already been done a bunch of times. Compound that with a pretty obvious mystery, and it’s not a very good read. I’m just glad the author didn’t Christie the book and make the investigating officer or the narrator the murderer.

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Review: But Wait! There’s More!: The Irresistible Appeal and Spiel of Ronco and Popeil

But Wait! There's More!: The Irresistible Appeal and Spiel of Ronco and Popeil
But Wait! There’s More!: The Irresistible Appeal and Spiel of Ronco and Popeil by Tim Samuelson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fun book on the career and pitch-making of Ron Popeil and his companies and family. It’s more interesting than you would think, and there’s a lot of cool photos of many of the various sundries Popeil has put out over the last eighty years.

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Review: Celebrity Vinyl

Celebrity Vinyl
Celebrity Vinyl by Tom Hamling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not a bad collection of albums covers; I wouldn’t want to pay full cover price for this one (I got it on sale at Oldies.com for around a $1.50), but it’s an interesting sojourn down memory lane for anyone who’s into the “golden throats” type of music (TV and movie celebrities singing when they probably shouldn’t), and there’s a few albums in here I’d never realized existed.

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Review: The Amazingly True Adventures of Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack: The Creators of King Kong

The Amazingly True Adventures of Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack: The Creators of King Kong
The Amazingly True Adventures of Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack: The Creators of King Kong by Michael H. Price
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An interesting graphic novel, covering the careers of the two men behind the original King Kong movie, starting with the first World War, and their involvement in various humanitarian efforts of the time period, as well as covering their yen for exploration. The art is interesting, being like posterized versions of old photographs. It’s a quick, five-minute read for most, and reveals some facts that even a Kong aficionado like myself had never bothered to seek out.

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Review: John Carter, Warlord of Mars Omnibus

John Carter, Warlord of Mars Omnibus
John Carter, Warlord of Mars Omnibus by Marv Wolfman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This omnibus is definitely worth the price tag! Marvel’s John Carter series was a fun comic book, but one I’d never think to ever see reprinted. The entirety of the series featured adaptations of two Edgar Rice Burroughs novels, along with some shorter tales. Lots of great artwork, from Gil Kane, Dave Cockrum, Mike Vosburg, Ernie Colon and many more. Well over 30 issues of sci-fi goodness reprinted in full color!

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