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'Death of Bees' part horror story, part coming-of-age tale

“Today is Christmas Eve. Today is my birthday. Today I am fifteen. Today I buried my parents in the backyard. Neither of them were beloved.” What a powerful beginning to a story of family dysfunction at its absolute freakiest. “The Death of Bees,”...

Virgil Cole battles outlaws in 'Ironhorse'

Robert Knott is the newest author to continue one of the series started by the late Robert B. Parker. Knott co-produced and co-wrote the screenplay for the film version of “Appaloosa” that starred and was directed by Ed Harris, who played Virgil...

Koontz's Odd Thomas still fighting evil

“Odd Interlude” by Dean Koontz comes chronologically between “Odd Hours” and “Odd Apocalypse” and was originally published in three different parts as e-books. Thankfully, the three individual parts were turned into one paperback, since I love the...

Young adult series set in dystopian world

Fans of dystopian fiction have a new young adult series to enjoy as author Ally Condie creates a world in which Society dictates what is best for its citizens. Naturally there are a few who don't like being told what to do. They band together,...

'Rudy' an inspirational autobiography

Most people became aware of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger because of the film “Rudy,” which is based on his struggles of getting into Notre Dame and onto its football team. The majority of those who have seen the movie are blown away by how he persevered...

'Columbus Affair' not Berry's best, but still good

The fantastical trips through history never seem to end for Steve Berry. The Florida author has written more than 10 books that combine real events, conspiracy theories and Indiana Jones-style adventures. They’re usually exciting, well-written...

'Columbus Affair' not Berry's best, but still good

The fantastical trips through history never seem to end for Steve Berry. The Florida author has written more than 10 books that combine real events, conspiracy theories and Indiana Jones-style adventures. They’re usually exciting, well-written...

'Hobbit' film: The good and the dreadful

After seeing "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" at one of the celebrated midnight showings earlier this month, I experienced the following: joy, frustration, bewilderment and excitement. In the last two years, I've written two blogs about how I...

'Beautiful Lies' a mesmerizing tale

Secrets, lies, deceit and love swirl throughout the life of a Victorian-era politician's wife in Clare Clark's mesmerizing novel "Beautiful Lies." In 1887, the society and community of London is in for some major changes, and for Maribel Campbell...

'Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan' doesn't disappoint

When I was a little girl, I can remember my father loving action-adventure novels. He devoured books such as the Doc Savage series and many of the James Bond books. His absolute favorites though were the Tarzan stories of Edgar Rice Burroughs. He...

'Devil Said Bang' best Sandman Slim novel yet

Buckle up all you demons, hellions and assorted other creepy bad things that live in Hell — there’s a new Devil in town! The Devil has taken off on an extended “leave of absence” and left Richard Stark, aka Sandman Slim, to take his place as the new...

Koontz's Odd Thomas back in 'Odd Apocalypse'

It’s hard to believe four years have passed since the last Odd Thomas novel, “Odd Hours,” came out. I’m not counting the three-part e-book, “Odd Interludes.” I’m waiting for that particular story to come out in paperback before I read it. I have to...

'Safe Within' a touching read

It’s not often a book comes along that is set in a treehouse. In Jean Reynolds Page's "Safe Within,” Elaine Forsythe has brought her husband, Carson, back to her North Carolina childhood home, a fanciful treehouse built by her unorthodox parents, to...

Speculation continues about 'Hobbit' movies

When I read two months ago that the upcoming “Hobbit” film was going to be split from two into three parts, I almost got as angry as Smaug did when Bilbo Baggins stole a small part of the dragon’s treasure in the Lonely Mountain. I originally...

Eastland's 'Archive 17' best yet in mystery series

Take a bow, Sam Eastland. The latest installment in his Inspector Pekkala mystery series, "Archive 17," may be the best one yet. "Eye of the Red Tsar" and "Shadow Pass" are novels that take place in Russia in the early decades of the 20th century (...

Author examines life of Queen Isabella of Spain

Queen Isabella of Spain is well-known for her encouragement of Christopher Columbus’ expeditions to the New World, as well as for uniting her fractured country, transforming Spain into a world player in Europe. But there has been little written...

Atkins perfectly captures Parker's Spenser in 'Lullaby'

Ace Atkins has hit the nail squarely on the head with his book “Robert B. Parker’s Lullaby: A Spenser Novel.” Atkins captures Spenser and the supporting characters perfectly. This time around, Spenser is hired by a 14-year-old girl, Mattie Sullivan...