Monday, October 16, 2017

The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World, by Abigail Tucker (author), Arden Hammersmith (narrator)

Simon & Schuster Audio, October 2016

Such a promising title.

And such a disappointment.

Tucker says she's a cat lover, and I think she probably is. Yet she conveys an impressively negative tone in this book, as if she feels guilty about liking our favorite little carnivores. She's very insistent that cats serve no real, practical use in human settlements, citing for instance studies that seem to show that cats are not very effective ratters. Nowhere does she mention that in fact cats are primarily thought of as mousers. For serious rat killing, yes, you mostly want the smaller terrier type dogs.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Home is Where Your Boots Are (MisAdventures of Miss Lilly #1), by Kalan Chapman Lloyd (author, narrator)

Lloyd Words, June 2015

Lilly Atkins left small town Brooks, Oklahoma to be a big city lawyer in Dallas, and was quite successful at--until everything came crashing down with the discovery of her fiancé in their shared bed with his secretary. Now she's home in Brooks, setting up a local law practice.

She knows she's got trouble when her high school on-and-off boyfriend walks in the door, wanting her to handle his divorce. She just doesn't know how much trouble.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Swing Vote (Safe Harbors #3), by Donna K. Weaver

Donna K. Weaver, October 2017

Marc North and Ike Gordon are two ex-Marines who need to build new lives. Ike came home to a new life waiting for him; his father and stepmother died within weeks of each other, and his stepsister, Mackenzie Terkildsen, needs his help raising their two younger half-brothers, Noah and Caleb. He resigned his Marine career, and went home to Utah.

Marc, on the other hand, lost his Marine career to a devastating injury in an IED explosion. He didn't lose his leg, and defying expectations, he is walking well again. He's not alone; his sister Lyn was part of the cruise that was interrupted by a pirate hijacking, and he is now part of the extended, chosen family that formed out of the survival of that disaster.

But that doesn't give him a career, and both he and Ike need to work. They're helicopter pilots, and Ike's home town of Canyonland, Utah, is now a boomtown, with a new launch site and new industries. They join together to start a new business, giving helicopter tours of the picturesque and currently underserved area, for tourists and new residents alike. What Marc isn't prepared for is how tense the clashes between Newcomers and Oldtimers have made the small town politics they'll have to negotiate to get their business fully permitted and off the ground.

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Heiress of Linn Hagh (Detective Lavender Mysteries #1), by Karen Charlton (author), Michael Page (narrator)

Brilliance Audio, June 2015 (original publication 2012)

Detective Stephen Lavender and Constable Ed Woods, of the Bow Street Magistrates' Court are summoned to Northumberland to solve the disappearance of a beautiful young heiress, Helen Carnaby, from her locked bedroom in a tower.

The local residents have already decided it's witchcraft, the better to blame their favorite villains, the gypsies who reside in Hareshaw Woods. Neither the gypsies nor the servants at Linn Hagh, home of the Carnaby family, want to talk to the authorities.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Geekerella, by Ashley Poston (author), Eileen Stevens (narrator), Tristan Morris (narrator)

Blackstone Audio, ISBN 9781455116379, April 2017

Cinderella, with a side dish of The Shop Around the Corner/She Loves Me/You've Got Mail (depending on your generation and movie viewing habits.)

Plus the joy of science fiction fandom and geek culture.

Elle Wittimer isn't just a dedicated fan of cult sci-fi show Starfield; she's also the daughter of two big name fans. Her mom and dad met at a convention, and her father was one of the founders of what's now one of the biggest conventions, Excelsicon. But her mother died, and her father remarried, giving her a stepmother and two stepsisters. Then her father died, too.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Murder in an Irish Village (Irish Village Mystery #1), by Carlene O'Connor (author), Caroline Lennon (narrator)

Dreamscape Media, February 2016

It's been a year since the O'Sullivan parents died in a terrible car crash, and their six children are still struggling a bit, both emotionally, and in keeping their restaurant, Naomi's Bistro, open and running. Siobhan, the eldest daughter, is guardian of the four younger children, and manager of the bistro, putting aside for now her plans to attend university. The eldest O'Sullivan, James, is not doing these jobs because he slipped into alcoholism after his parents' deaths. At six months sober, Siobhan is not ready to rely on him too far yet.

With the anniversary of the deaths approaching, it's not a good time for them. It gets worse when, on the morning of the anniversary, they enter the bistro to find Niall Murphy, brother of the young man who was driving drunk and is now in prison for killing their parents, sitting at one of the tables, quite dead, with a pair of scissors in his chest.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars, by Dava Sobel (author), Cassandra Campbell (narrator)

Penguin Audio, December 2016

In the mid-19th century, the Harvard Observatory began employing women as computers, to do the calculations that were the necessary next step after observations were made and recorded. It was considered inappropriate to subject women to the rigors of nighttime observation work, but there was no reason they couldn't do the essential mathematics. Initially, these women were often family members of the director or other astronomers, introduced to the field by their husbands, brothers, or fathers. As time went on and the demand for good computers grew, though, it became a field of science unusually open to women who were increasingly able to pursue formal scientific education.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Woman in Black, by Susan Hill (author), Paul Ansdell (narrator)

Long Barn Books, October 2006

Arthur Kipps is a young lawyer in a law firm in London when the owner of the firm, Mr. Bentley, sends him to the remote English countryside to settle up the affairs of a client, an elderly woman who has just died. Kipps introduces us to the story, many years later, on a Christmas Eve when his stepchildren, now young adults themselves, are telling ghost stories.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Any Witch Way But Dead (A Hedgewood Sisters Paranormal Mystery #2), by Ruby Blaylock

Ruby Blaylock, September 2017

The Hedgewood sisters--Twyla, Ree, and Sissy--are still adjusting to the unexpected return of their fae father, Joe Embriar, after an absence of over twenty years. That to him it's been more like a few weeks doesn't make it any better.

He's also brought along two friends, fae men named Napoleon and Eldon, who are living in the Hedgwood home. The young women's mother, Loretta, seems happy about Joe's return, and doesn't seem to mind his friends, but the sisters are unconvinced

Oh, and the Hedgewood sisters, all witches, are adjusting to Joe's announcement that they are the most powerful witches to be born in centuries. There's a prophecy connected to them.

This is all well and good, but they really want no part of prophecies, and would like more explanation than they're getting from Joe about why he's back, and what the current political conflict in the fae homeland has to do with them.

Then fae and other "supes"--supernatural beings--start being murdered by a fae weapon.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Why They Do It: Inside the Mind of the White-Collar Criminal, by Eugene Soltes (author, narrator), Johnny Heller (narrator)

Highbridge, a Division of Recorded Books, October 2016

Eugene Soltes examines the problem of white collar crime--what makes some of the most successful and respected businessmen in the country (and the world, but his focus is mainly on the US) commit financial crimes that destroy their careers and land them in jail. He takes a hard and detailed look at how our views of white collar crime have evolved, as well as why white collar criminals do it.