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By Kaitlyn Dunnett

Published by Kensington Publishing

Copyright © 2011

Liss MacCrimmon and the Moosetookalook crew are back in another deadly tale. Moosetookalook is hosting the first annual Maine-ly Cozey Con, a mystery writer’s conference, and murder is the Maine event.

The Maine-ly Cozy Con was lured to Moosetookalook by Liss’ aunt Margaret who knows the producer of the event. This mystery conference is the brainchild of a former town resident, Nola Ventress.  Nola has a disreputable past in town, but she agreed to bring the event to The Spruces Hotel as a favor to Margaret and because The Spruces has the unusual distinction of being the site of a real life murder.  Nola makes one big mistake though, in an effort to get some publicity she sends program information to a well known mystery book blogger. While the idea is well intentioned, she didn’t stop to realize that this blogger was mostly well known for her scathing book reviews; she rarely had anything good too say.

When this blogger shows up in person and begins to snoop around and hassle various writers and residents of Moosetookalook, it isn’t long until Nola realizes her mistake and Liss has more murders to investigate. This time however, Liss goes barking up the wrong tree when she is looking for a suspect. This mistake might just save her life in the end though.

While it is slightly far-fetched for such a small town to have so many murders, the reader must let themselves be taken by the fantasy to enjoy the Dunnett’s stories. Dunnett of course alludes to this in “Scotched” when she draws a parallel between Moosetookalook, Maine and Cabot Cove, Maine of “Murder She Wrote” fame. If one can allow this to pass they are in for an enjoyable murder mystery. While one would never mistake the Liss MacCrimmon series as being hard core, suspenseful murder mysteries, it can be said that she writes a solid story that has you guessing till the very end.

I have to say, I don’t know how many more murder mysteries you can squeeze a 27 year old former Scottish dancer, current Scottish Emporium owner, bride to be, and resident of small town Moosetookalook into. If I could, I would recommend a Scottish Wedding Murder for Liss and Dan. If Dunnett wishes to continue writing about Liss’ meddling, Liss is going to have to travel much more. Portland would be nice. How about Aroostook County?! I hear they grow great potatoes up there, and who knows maybe she could dig up a Skeleton while she’s digging in the dirt.


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Filed under Adult Fiction, Murder, Mystery, Romance, Strong Sense of Place, Writers

All My Patients Kick and Bite

All My Patients Kick and Bite: More Favorite Stories from a Vet’s Practice

By Jeff Wells, D.V.M.

Published by St. Martin’s Press

Copyright © 2011

Jeff Wells is a Veterinarian living in rural Colorado. He cares for dogs and cats, but he also cares for horses, mules, llamas, sheep, and etc. In his second book of veterinary tales Wells opens a little window into what the life of a vet is like. He gets calls for help at all hours of the night, he often gets covered in odoriferous fluids, and he has to deal with people who are stupid and rude. When you read these stories though, you realize that he does it because he truly loves animals and he understands how animals bring people joy.

One of the things I love the most about this book is his choice of stories. With most animal stories the animal dies in the end (e.g. Marley and Me, Wesley the Owl, The Eighty Dollar Champion, etc.); animals have short life spans even when treated well. Wells has kindly selected humorous tales that celebrate helping animals live. We all know that you can’t save them all, but it is more uplifting and joyful to hear about the ones he does save.

“All my patients kick and bite” is an uplifting and humorous look at a vet’s life. Jeff Wells the writer is no James Herriot, of course nor is he attempting to be. Wells shares his recollections in a brief non-chronological way. While the stories taken together give a good depiction of what this vet’s life is like; read by themselves they are just as warm and amusing. I highly recommend this book to animal lovers everywhere, especially if you are thinking of becoming a veterinarian.

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Filed under Adult Non-Fiction, Biography, Humor, Memoir, Nature/Animals, The Great Outdoors, Western U.S.

The Library

The Library

By Sarah Stewart

Illustrated by David Small

Published by Farrar, Straus, Giroux

Copyright © 1995

Oh my! A woman after my own heart. Elizabeth Brown loved to read nearly from birth on. She didn’t much care for doing anything, unless it involved a good book. If there was something she just had to do then she found a way to incorporate reading into it. Elizabeth Brown couldn’t pass a book store without buying a book, but eventually she wouldn’t have room for even one more. What will she do!?

Sarah Stewart has written a picture book for the book worms of the world (I title which I too carry) that encourages reading as a lifelong endeavor, and shows just how much joy The Library can bring. “The Library” is a light and airy story written in rhyme that is accompanied by the illustrations of David Small whose line and watercolor art could be described as light and airy as well. As an aside, the story and art also depict a beautiful, intelligent, and independent girl/woman who know what brings her happiness, and it shows her sharing it. However, this is a great book for boys and girls, of any age.  Useful for independent reading and read-alongs.

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Filed under Children's Picture Books, Hobbies, Independence, Libraries, People & Places, Rhyming