Wednesday, May 31, 2023

The Wagging Tails Dogs' Home by Sarah Hope.

Boldwood Books, May 2023

Ginny ended things with her fianc√©, Jason, a few years ago, after catching him cheating on her. He then kicked her out of their house and moved his new girlfriend in. Ginny then moved from London to the little, seaside village of West Par, giving up her career in real estate.

At the Wagging Tails Dogs' Home, she found Flora, the owner, and a new way of life. First as a volunteer, and then as a valued employee, Ginny devotes herself to giving dogs a new start in life, and finding them new homes. She's an organizer, and very good at some of their most important fundraising activities, including organizing their biggest annual fundraiser, the Family Fun Day.

But as they are coming up on their next Family Fun Day, they realize they haven't either heard from the local reporter who normally includes the fundraiser in his weekly column, nor seen the event mentioned. Ginny heads off to the newspaper offices--and discovers that the old reporter had retired a few months ago. He's been replaced by a reporter from London, who thinks the Family Fun Day story is too minor for him.

Monday, May 29, 2023

The Strange Case of the Moderate Extremists (Detective Varg #0.8), by Alexander McCall Smith

Penguin Random House, ISBN 9781984898524, February 2019

Detective Ulf Varg is the head of the Department of Sensitive Crimes for the Malm√∂ police. It's important to understand that this is not the Special Victims Unit. The cases they get are...strange. Odd. Possibly a bit weird, sometimes.

The case that comes to them, one fine morning, involves a champion pedigreed cat, a Burmese, belonging to a breeder of Oriental cats. The breeder, with this particular cat, attended a cat show. The cat was bred to a champion male, and the entire expected litter was pre-sold.

When the kittens were born, they were clearly not purebred Burmese, and the breeder has a huge problem.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Max and Neo Freeze Dried Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon Dog Treats - Single Ingredient, Wild Caught Pacific Northwest Sockeye Salmon, Human Grade

 I, Cider, received this package of Max And Neo SOCKEYE SALMON Treats, from a friend. Lis says the package is a pretty blue color. Me, I don't get much beyond, "it's blue," because dogs don't have all the same stuff in our eyes.

I carefully checked out the packaging.

Next, I asked Lis to open it. That proved to be a challenge for her! Why? Pro tip! Don't cut where it tells you to cut! You'll still have a sealed bag! Turns out, Lis found, you have to cut just barely above the spot where you can feel the thingy that makes it resealable. Finally, she got it, though.

Then she got me a small piece,

And I started right away, eating it. As you can see, it was unexpectedly chewy, but it was really tasty.

I put it down for a few seconds several times, but I didn't stop!

When I was done, what I had was this little piece, that was small and thin--Lis calls it "paper thin."

Lis asked me a couple times if I wanted to eat that last bit, but I thought it had a wrong texture, and Lis wondered if it was like the rind on an orange--not there to be eaten! 

Overall, I found it really tasty, and it gave really good chew quality. There are lots of different size pieces, too, so you can take different size pieces depending on how long you want to keep busy with it. Just tell your humans you want they need to pay extra attention opening it the first time, and that they'll probably need to pick up that rind piece when you're done.

As I said at the beginning, this was a gift from a friend.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Honey, Maple, Gold, & Brown, by Emmitta Jane Lewis

Emmitta Jane Lewis, ISBN 9798391444244, April 2023

This is a lovely picture book about a young African-American girl asking questions, and learning about color differences and other differences within the African-American community. Tai asks about the range of skin colors, and why they're all described as "brown." Along the way, she also learns about cultural differences, and some African-Americans prefer to identify one way, and some another, and the history of where different groups come from. And, of course, different degrees of race mixing in the history of African-Americans in America. 

Monday, May 15, 2023

A House with Good Bones, by T. Kingfisher (author), Mary Robinette Kowal (narrator)

Macmillan Audio, ISBN 9781250886361, March 2023

Samantha (Sam) Montgomery is an archaeoentomologist, returned for a rare extended visit to her mother's home in North Carolina. She's been looking forward to it, is excited as she approaches the house, and initially not that worried by her brother's warning that "Mom seems off."

Then she walks inside, and the cozy clutter and lively colors of her mother's house are gone. Most of the walls are various shades of white (Sam is especially horrified by the ecru), while her own old room is rose. Her mother seems oddly timid, and has reimposed her own mother's, Gran Mae's, rules, of no swearing, grace before meals, and suggesting more modest clothing. What is she afraid of?

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Downward Sizing Dog: A Reformed Big Dog Snob Defends the Small Dog Life, by Karen Lena Izzo

Small Dog Press, LLC, January 2023

Karen Lena Izzo gives the reader a practical, honest, realistic account of her transition from a lover of big dogs, mostly hunting breed dogs, which really negative views of small dogs (with all the insulting views anyone with small dogs has heard ad nauseum), to someone who not only loves her two Havanese dogs, but happily and knowledgeably explains the advantages of small dogs.

First, of course, it's necessary to establish that small dogs are actually dogs, real dogs, with all the traits of dogs, not a failed attempt at a cat. (Whose own advantages, let me point out, not only many big dog owners, but Ms. Izzo, seem not to appreciate.) Small dogs, like big dogs, are people-oriented, loyal, ready to please if you take the time to show them how. They're resilient and adaptable.

Friday, May 5, 2023

The Last Moriarty (Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James #1), by Charles Veley

Thomas & Mercer, November 2015

Mycroft Holmes takes the unusual step of visiting his brother Sherlock and Dr. Watson at 221B Baker Street, to summon them to an important meeting at the Diogenes Club. The meeting will involve the Prime Minister and other senior ministers, and concern a planned conference with important American businessmen--for highly sensitive reasons. 

At the meeting at the Diogenes Club, they learn the Prime Minister believes word has leaked and there may be an attack planned on this conference. It would be a major embarrassment to the government--and as events unfold, Holmes and Watson become increasingly irked that avoiding embarrassment appears to be the biggest consideration. Little of Holmes's security advice is headed; his brief is simply to prevent the attack while his advice is ignored.

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Unity Con (A Spade/Paladin Conundrum), by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

WMG Publishing, November 2021

Spade is in Garland, TX, hanging out with people he likes instead of going to Unity Con, a convention he has sworn not to attend, because it's been organized by a group, or rather two groups, of people at the heart of a major brouhaha around the Hugo Awards a few years ago. They've now decided to start a new convention, uniting fandom--and they're all sf pros, not the fans these two groups look down on as mere amateurs. It isn't just that Spade doesn't like most of these people. It's that he sees a disaster that could create problems for all convention-running fandom if they have anything to do with it.

Spade is staying away. Far away.

Then he gets a call from Paladin, who is at Unity Con.

There's been a murder. 

Monday, May 1, 2023

The Mystery of the Homeless Man (SeeMS Detective Agency #3), by Gina Cheyne

Fly Fizzi Ltd., ISBN 9781915138088, May 2023 

Miranda is walking in the woods when she finds a homeless just waking up from sleep. He has no idea what he's doing in the woods near the village of Owly Vale. He remembers falling asleep in Billington, and only wants to get back there. Miranda feeds him breakfast, but since he wants nothing else, gives him twenty pounds, and her husband gives him a ride to London, since he's going there anyway.

It's 15 years later when Miranda and her partners in the SeeMS Detective Agency are hired to find out why the cottage called Wild Garlic just won't sell. There are mostly shorter-term leases, a lot of initial offers, but those offers always fall through, for reasons that aren't apparent. So Miranda, Cat, and Stevie set out to investigate the cottage and its history.