Jane and the 12 days of Christmas

Author: Stephanie Barron

Published: 2014

I started this book hoping to it to get me more in the Christmas spirit. I had a selection to choose from mainly romances and pets themed books but this one was the only bookthat I though might challenge my mind and possibly learn something from seeing that’s it is historical and about Jane Austen.

The book is a murder mystery and it takes place over the 12 days of Christmas. There is much history and detail that went into the history at the time and this also Applies to the mystery. There are a great deal of characters each with distinct backgrounds and personalities which makes it easy to identify with and see through the lenses of each character. The setting was set in the 1820s in Britain and most of the story was captured within a mansion with gave an exiting and thrilling place for a group of guests to spend there Christmas. The traditions, ways of living, what they did for entertainment, and customs for that time and culture were very interesting and fun and which gave the story some extra spice and flavor. The mystery itself was very good and hard to figure out. I especially liked the detective work and the putting together of the pieces to solve the case.

On the other hand what I didn’t like was the conclusion of the murder mystery and who the why they did the crime. Also I had a difficult time following most of the conclusions drawn in finding the murderer when they had to do with the current events at the time. Not just this but the language was neat but I also had a harder time following it and had to read more slowly because of the old style.

After finishing it I wasn’t unhappy but I think I could have picked a better movie for Christmas, I should have went with one of the ones about a pet dog. Can’t go wrong with that.



The Dark Tower and Others Stories

The Definitive Collection of Lewis’s Short Works of Fiction

CS lewis


This collection of stories features some of Lewis’s incomplete manuscripts that he himself never got a chance to see published. That is he passed away before they ever hit the shelves. Its never even mentioned that he wanted them published but a fan of his or probably even more so a pupil or a mentee of his found collected put published it for him, probably wanting the world too know about his other great works.

Stating that they are incomplete I do not lie in the least, though some may be complete they just do not conclude well. Yet there are some especially the longer titles that have missing pages in between and certainly end somewhere in the middle of the story. But this is what makes the book all that much more cool to own.

The Collection includes foremost ‘The Dark Tower’ which comprises the bulk of the pages and some other shorter stories: ‘The Man Born Blind’, ‘The Shoddy Lands’, ‘Ministering Angels’, ‘Forms of things unknown’, and ‘After Ten Years’. My favorite by far had to be the ‘The Dark Tower’ and ‘The Shoddy Lands’. These not only made the most since to me but the offered some sort of futuristic psychological theme that had me quite entertained. the others fell short in the way of mostly being hard to understand and not having much of a conclusion to wrap of the plot of the whole thing.

I have read two others of C.S. Lewis’s works, that being the ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ and ‘The Screw Tape Letters’ with the last of these mentioned being my all time favorite. I could clearly see the the Christian theme in the ‘Screw Tape Letters’ which I imagine why C.S. Lewis is so held highly for. Yet in the collection I am reviewing now it was seldom and hard to draw out a christian theme if he intended one anyways.


The Cold Dish: The First Novel In The Longmire Mystery Series (Book Review)


Mark: This book looked like a good one from the Barnes and Nobles and i knew it would have potential. The story unfolds with Walter Longmire, the sheriff of a small town in Wyoming.  I love Wyoming after visiting there so this made the story even better for me. Walter is hilarious to me, but also i feel sympathy for him, as he doesn’t have any family around and has been through some dark times.  He does have a good friend in Henry, a bar owner and indian in the town.   There are many other diverse characters as well as some that made you scratch your head.

Parker: I agree, the scenery depicted and the towns talked about paint a beautiful picture of the WY country side and small town life. In the beginning you are a little fuzzy on what the layout is and the ground to be covered in this book but as the story unfolds get a clear picture in your mind of setting the story is placed in. The towns and where they are at become real to you as if you were taking along with LongMire himself.

The book really didn’t catch my interest at first it was slow to start out and it really didn’t start to get interesting infill about page 120. But as the story progresses it gets more and more interesting leaving you with exciting cliff hangers at the end of every chapter.

Mark: I really like the dynamic between Vic the deputy and Walter.  She really is a firecracker she says whatever she wants and does whatever she wants. Walter really doesn’t know how to handle her and her style. As the story progressed i felt like Henry was the killer.  The story in the background is about four young men who did something mean to Melissa, an Indian back when they were in high school. Cody, George, Keller, and Jacob.  These young men play a vital part in this story throughout, so pay close attention readers.

Parker: The mystery was hard to solve but I am glad because the clues were always leading to a bigger more complex case. You can see the excitement in the characters when ever they get a new lead that re-vitalizes the cold dish. One thing I really appreciated about this book was the break of comedy it added to make the intermittent scenes fun and relaxing. Then there was all of the women that wear starving over Longmire, he basically had the whole woman population in his district of WY courting him. Remarkably he is a classy man and would never take advantage of a women, though that is hard to say about the women drooling over him.

Mark: In closing, let me just say that this book is not by any means a short read.  It took me a month.  400 pages, so not Lord of the Rings or anything that daunting. Midway through, you will become very engaged in the book and will have trouble setting it down.  It gets to be quite exhilarating and you will have to pay close attention to the details.  I did not like the first half, but the last half really was much better.  The characters are strong, and the author really puts his insights into it and you can feel him driving the narrative in the direction he wants it to go, which is quite a gift.  Put down the iPhone and read this and get lost in the story! I give this book a Six out of Ten.

Parker: Well it is my first book to read that is a series and is also a TV series. I can’t wait to see how this is going to play out on Netflix. So many firsts. ‘tears’.. This book gets a Seven out of Ten.

Rating: 6/10

Rating: 7/10

Total Rating: 6.5/10