AC team member Stephanie Jones has been serving the nation tasty literary treats with her weekly book reviews on Coast FM. You can scroll through the archives here, tune into Coast FM or follow her on twitter @parsingthepage to get her take on the latest in the bookshelves.
AC delivered on their promise,did a great job of raising awareness,introducing new relationships and building profile for us
Dr Paul Winton,Principal, Temple Capital Investment Specialists
Posts Tagged ‘Stephanie Jones’
Find out more about Stephanie Jones on Alexander Communications, the PR Experts. Posts that are tagged as being relevant to ‘Stephanie Jones’.
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
How does a lightly sweetened bildungsroman portray the experience of loss with conviction but without evoking the paralyzing misery of grief – which might ruin a story like Saving CeeCee Honeycutt? (After all, the title suggests CeeCee must be rescued, which can’t happen if she goes down a mental rabbit hole.) Fortunately, Beth Hoffman knows, and it’s all to the good for readers of her charming debut novel.
When 12-year-old CeeCee’s mother dies and her incapable father sets about dispatching her to the home of distant relatives in the southern United States, the girl is crushed – but in a scant few chapters, Hoffman shows us a child of uncommon steeliness, wise beyond her years but hungry for knowledge.
CeeCee has already endured her parents’ turbulent union and the gradual erosion of her mother’s sanity – not unrelated matters – and when she arrives at the home of her widowed great-aunt Tallulah ‘Tootie’ Caldwell in Savannah, Georgia, she observes more with curiosity than trepidation an iron fence resembling “countless yards of black lace” surrounding a house “the colour of lemonade.” There are no such romantic descriptions of the Ohio home CeeCee has left behind, and already she is half in love with her exotic new habitat.
Encounters only become more memorable from here, as CeeCee is introduced to new friends and neighbours: the disliked, “flap-jawed” town gossip, blowsy Violene Hobbs; glamorous, eclectic Thelma Rae Goodpepper, who bathes in an outdoor tub, keeps a peacock named Louis, espouses Buddhism, and plays Mozart, Puccini and Chopin to her plants; and Tootie’s faithful factotum Oletta.
CeeCee’s wit and intelligence echoes that of Flavia de Luce, the motherless young heroine of the Alan Bradley series, and, self-aware and humble, she is able to draw in the mother figures she needs. With such bonding comes real warmth and even the odd slapstick set-piece; few will fail to be amused by a scene involving catapulted slugs, gauzy nightwear and the literal downfall of ‘Miz Hobbs’.
But the South has a blood-soaked past, and tragedy is never far away. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt is pitched by the publisher as ‘perfect for fans of The Help’, Kathryn Stockett’s bestseller, and Hoffman is prone to didactic moments, in one instance juxtaposing the story of a slave ancestor with an ugly mugging during with the assailant spits out a notorious racial epithet. From this incident CeeCee learns that “in some ways things really hadn’t changed all that much for coloured folk.”
Closer to home, it is revealed that Oletta lost a daughter CeeCee’s age to meningitis, and another great-aunt, Lucille, succumbs to an aneurysm moments after entering the story.
There is no way to marry a light, coming-of-age-of-sorts tale with a real sense of place and time, and here, the malign bigotry afflicting the 1960s South is shown more as inconvenience than mortal threat. There is no chilling moment to equal the fate of a young black man who uses a whites-only bathroom in Stockett’s story.
Nevertheless, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt is so essentially good-hearted that one is inclined to forgive any flaws. Composed with skill, a sincere appreciation of character and an utter lack of cynicism, it leaves the spirits lifted.
3 / 5 stars: A sweet and deceptively sharp bildungsroman.
Click here for more Coast book reviews.
Believing the Lie by Elizabeth George
“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way” goes the famous line from Anna Karenina, and the Faircloughs, the fractured Cumbrian clan of Elizabeth George’s superb new crime novel Believing the Lie, energetically illustrate Tolstoy’s adage. Secrets and lies make for quality British drama, beginning here with the sudden death of Ian Cresswell, the nephew of industrialist and patriarch Bernard Fairclough, a productive member of the family firm, and, as a child, a resident of the Fairclough home.
Though Bernard and Valerie Fairclough have a legitimate heir to show for their long marriage, Nicholas is a dissolute recovering addict who long ago fell out of favour with his parents and sisters. Though now sober and married, most doubt the security of Nicholas’ abstinence, and some are likewise skeptical of the disability of his sister Mignon, a manipulator of the highest order who relies on her father’s largesse. This leaves a third sibling, Manette, to carry the flag, but she is distracted by regret over the recent dumping of her amiable husband Freddie, who is easily the most normal in the bunch.
Other featured players in a cast of rare richness include Ian’s lover Kaveh, for whom the dead man abandoned his marriage and with it the pretence of heterosexuality; Niamh, the wronged wife acidic with rage and bitterness; Ian and Niamh’s tormented teenage son, Tim; and Deborah and Simon St James, close friends of protagonist DI Thomas Lynley with troubles of their own.
Though an inquest declares Ian’s death accidental, Bernard asks Lynley, sagacious hero of 16 previous George novels, to travel from his London home to conduct a confidential review of the matter. Lynley isn’t alone in kicking over the traces; accompanying him, and soon espying a possible personal sensitivity in common with Nicholas’ wife Alatea, Deborah unwittingly lights the spark that will lead to an explosive conclusion. Meanwhile, a green tabloid reporter is dispatched by his editor to sniff out a tale of money and murder. Whether either are there to be found is just one of the novel’s sombre delights.
In its narrative intricacy and refusal to hew to tired crime fiction conventions, Believing the Lie bears comparison to Val McDermid’s 1999 peerless A Place of Execution. Though George’s work does not address an historical crime, both stories centre on investigators who journey to pastoral idylls to poke doggedly at family and community secrets. And like McDermid’s story, Believing the Lie elevates the genre and its possibilities: the writers delight in the intelligence of their readers and recognize that the ‘whodunit’ can be less compelling than what’s going on besides.
The story skips along at a pace belying its 560 pages. It marries the velocity of a Jilly Cooper novel – truly! – with the gravity of P D James. If this is the standard of 2012’s crop of crime writing, George has set a dauntingly high bar for all-comers. Believing the Lie may be the masterwork of an assured and inspired craftswoman, and it deserves every plaudit it will receive.
4 / 5 stars: A masterful crime thriller; possibly George’s finest work yet.
Click here for more Coast book reviews.
No One Left to Tell by Karen Rose
In taking a workmanlike approach to her 13th thriller, No One Left to Tell, Karen Rose opts for the tried-and-true wrongful imprisonment theme and produces something akin to a Mills & Boon / James Patterson mash-up. The best and most plausible element of the book, which clocks in at an unwarranted 530 pages, is the spine of the storyline, the reasons for the conviction and imprisonment of one Ramon Munoz for a murder in a bar more than five years earlier.
In the opening pages Ramon’s wife Elena, determined to clear his name, hands exculpatory evidence to private investigator Paige Holden. Moments later, Elena is shot dead, and Paige, now joined by assistant state’s attorney Grayson Smith, who led the Munoz prosecution, recognizes a conspiracy to which all supporting parties are vulnerable to summary execution.
Wisely, Rose eschews red herrings when it comes to the hook of her plot – the guilt or innocence of Ramon Munoz – and makes clear to investigator and reader alike that the man was framed. The central perplexity, then, is the identity of the faceless puppet-master. Who set up Munoz, and who is now offing, with clinical ease, all who knew the truth? And, as Paige might think to herself in one of the reflective inner musings of which Rose is tediously fond, ‘For the love of God, why?’
When it emerges that the murdered woman was acquainted with the grandson of a retired United States senator, Paige and Smith begin to suspect that the scheme goes, as they say, all the way to the top. However, the pair’s progress isn’t made with quite the speed that either we or Munoz might hope for, owing to interminable episodes of flirtation and ascetic mutual self-denial on the part of the investigators.
Though both exposition and prose are plodding, the breathless tone and pacing owes a debt to Dan Brown’s kinetic style. Perhaps it’s coincidental, but I’d like to think that the name of No One Left to Tell’s obedient hitman, Silas, is a nod to the self-flagellating antagonist of The Da Vinci Code.
Rose maintains the tension at simmering point through the periodic staging of violent events, each of which prompts seemingly endless pages of debate among the investigators. At first stirring, this technique becomes tiresome and distracting – particularly when Rose wastes dramatic gunpowder on, for instance, the attempted murder of Paige early in the novel.
I thought I had the whodunit solved halfway through, but missed the mark completely. With primary plot being Rose’s strong suit, No One Left to Tell should be a firecracker – but the heavy-handed writing makes for a damp squib. Readers seeking masterful suspense or true, stomach-churning thriller noir would be better off turning to Ian Rankin or Mo Hayder. Those content with consistent daffiness punctuated by sporadic madcap foolishness will be satisfied by this endeavour.
1/5 stars: Turgid and overlong.
Click here for more Coast book reviews.
For a Fee of Two Shillings by Faye Whittaker
It was her role as a court clerk after leaving school that lit the spark of what became Faye Whittaker’s debut novel, For a Fee of Two Shillings. There she met a “tubby, amiable man”, a lawyer who curated the courthouse library and encouraged the young clerk to study the law herself. That early mentor remained a fixture in her memory, and reappears in the fictional form of Thomas Gregory, a sagacious small-town attorney who deftly turns around the lives of a vulnerable young girl and those in her orbit within a tiny coastal Taranaki community.
Emma Hammond, whose steely sweetness is so affecting that one hopes Whittaker has more stories to tell of her, is a teenager who has endured the death of her Maori mother, Miri, and the explosive, violent unpredictability of her Pakeha father. Little is known about Joe Hammond, who bears an accent that hints at American origins. The community views him as an oddball, and with the birth of Emma his behaviour becomes extreme. Obsessively protective and clearly not all there, he segregates the family, raising Emma separately from her mother and two elder brothers.
To give away anything further about the plot would deny the reader a rewarding experience, and the author her due, so we shall turn to the characterization, one of the strongest elements of a well-conceived but sometimes flawed book.
People and the relationships they form are what Whittaker depicts most nimbly. Emma draws people in: first her father, then, as the family dissolves, her older brother Hemi (this bond is especially well-drawn), and finally Thomas Gregory, to whom she presents her sole possession, two shillings, in a humble bid for aid.
The insubstantial nature of Joe and Miri’s union is contrasted with her deep ties to her home marae and its people, who are rightly alarmed by the marriage but unable to prevent it. And Miri’s own angst, shared fully only with the reader, is genuinely saddening. Levity comes in the form of Gregory’s polite interactions with his longtime secretary, Miss Crisp, in scenes which possess an appealing authenticity.
Whittaker’s writing does let her down: there are distracting idiosyncrasies, such as conflations of nouns and verbs. One character “hollow-sighed”, another “seal-waved”, a particular sensation is a “swoon-float”. Sometimes words are misused – a hut shown to be Spartan in design and furnishings is then described as “certainly [not] the most ascetic of woodland cottages.”
The exposition at times verges on heavy-handed, most notably when a reverend’s expression of regret over his failure to recognize Miri’s cultural insecurity veers into verbal self-flagellation. And for some readers, suspension of disbelief may be required: a tohunga (shaman or high priest) and other elements of Maori and Christian spirituality are integral to the story.
But to harp on flaws is churlish, and worse, is to disregard the many triumphs of For a Fee of Two Shillings. It is difficult to write about cross-cultural relations and intermarriage, and such events as a British lawyer stepping on to a marae for the first time, with delicacy and an absence of condescension (either to reader or subject), but Whittaker does it.
2.5/5 stars: A competent debut from this Kiwi writer.
Click here for more Coast book reviews.
The Thread by Victoria Hislop
The most shocking thing I, a grateful beneficiary of New Zealand’s social progressiveness, learned from The Thread was that it was not until 1952 that women in Greece were given the vote. Political commentary is not the purpose of Victoria Hislop’s impressive third novel, but this datum gives a taste of the delights that may be found within its pages, which relate the events befalling residents of Thessaloniki between 1917 and the early 1960s.
Though Greek’s second-largest city, I would venture that little about Thessaloniki is widely known beyond Europe. At the time of the first world war, it was a place of remarkable and peaceful diversity, where Christians, Muslims and Jews lived harmoniously side-by-side.
But things fell apart, beginning with tension between Turkey and Greece that devolved into war and a massive population exchange. Soon after came the rise of Nazi-driven anti-Semitism and the departure of many Jews from Thessaloniki, then the second world war and the round-up and exportation to Poland of those who remained.
Hislop’s story, fortunately, is not conveyed in quite such archly factual terms: she hews to the conventions of historical fiction by blending the lives of her front-of-stage characters, Katerina and Dimitri and their families, evenly against the backdrop of serious strife. It is much harder than it looks to knit small lives into history in a way that is plausible and affecting but free of melodrama, and she does so much more ably than many others.
The Thread opens with a prologue featuring Mitsos, the grandson of Dimitri and Katerina, who meet as children in a melting-pot neighbourhood of Thessaloniki. Katerina has fetched up there with Eugenia, a Pontic Greek who fled from Turkish nationalists and scooped up the little girl, lost to her mother in a crush of refugees, on her way. Dimitri is well-to-do, the son of distant, work-obsessed industrialist Konstantinos and loving Olga, driven to agoraphobia by her husband’s emotional cruelty. We know the two survive the upheavals of their youth and middle age, so Hislop foments suspense by packing her tale with suffering and strife on scales small and large.
First Leonidas, Konstantinos’ brother, and later Dimitri fight in defence of their country – the latter on the side of the Communists, a shooting offence at the time and the cause of estrangement between father and son. Elsewhere, Dimitri is caught up in a notorious police action against protestors that left 12 dead and triggered a dictatorship, while behind closed doors and in response to the German threat, a sewing circle gathers to disguise and preserve the parochet, a Torah fragment thousands of years old.
Unspeakable loss is endured, and among many shattering instances is when we see how knowledge we now take for granted was first conveyed to a stunned populace, as a gendarme in a café relates the monstrous infrastructure of the Final Solution to a horrified, disbelieving young Jew.
To speak so much of conflict is not to call The Thread depressing: rather, in the final judgement it is a novel to restore faith, familiar in the characters’ love of an often besieged city (we all know the feeling of ‘no place like home’) and gently sentimental in its portrayal of the unbreakable bonds of love and family.
3 / 5 stars: A vivid and evocative portrait of a city upended.
Click here for more Coast book reviews.
The Bomber by Liza Marklund
Some of her compatriots prefer roaming through vast tracts of anonymous countryside, with barns, shacks and empty garages serving their nefarious ends; others enjoy the dynamism of high-speed highways, airports and international travel; still others favour exposing the secrets and lies of life in suburbia.
In her latest Annika Bengtzon thriller, The Bomber, Liza Marklund sticks fast to her favourite urban zone, the Swedish capital, where Annika lives with her husband Thomas and their two young children and works – every hour that God sends, seemingly – as a top crime reporter for a leading daily newspaper.
Though it was written around the same time as Red Wolf, released here in 2010 but published in original Swedish seven years earlier, The Bomber is a better read – the writing is sharper and Marklund’s instincts for character development more honed.
Its premise is almost dangerously uncomplicated, as Scandinavian thrillers go. (It bears noting that for her pains, Marklund is in the unenviable position of having to compete in this thriving subgenre with some of the finest practitioners around, including Jo Nesbo, Henning Mankell and the late Steig Larsson, whose fourth novel may yet be released.)
The Bomber opens action-movie style, with the murder of a woman and Annika leaping out of bed in immediate pursuit of both victim’s and killer’s identities. That Annika and not the police will find the bomber is never much in question. The deceased turns out to be Christina Furhage, the head of the Olympic Games soon to be held in Sweden, and her end came via explosive device inside Victoria Stadium, one of the prime Olympic venues.
Christina had received death threats and was under the highest level of protection – but, as the police disclose to Annika (suspension of disbelief is a prerequisite whenever a Marklund cop wanders into the scene), all alarms at the stadium had been deactivated. Moreover, Christina had no obvious reason to be there in the middle of the night. Annika’s investigation will of course reveal that there was little clear about the Olympic chief, and that following the trail of debris through her mysterious past will lead to her killer.
The presence of a villain offers invigorating possibilities to a storyteller, but when the titular character inevitably is revealed, Marklund spends little time exploring the motives of the bomber, who isn’t nearly as interesting as the protagonist. Indeed, by the climactic point, Marklund – and the reader – have been overtaken by affectionate irritation with Annika, whose workaholism once again threatens the stability of her personal life, but who, as ever, grittily yanks her marriage back from the abyss. And as fictional analyses of unions go, it’s pretty even-handed.
Though it’s unusually straightforward for a crime thriller, The Bomber is no less powerful for it. And it’s satisfying in large part for the evident fondness Marklund feels for her longtime heroine. The author, herself a former reporter, subjects Annika to the brutal unpleasantness of newsroom politics and takes evident satisfaction in her woman’s refusal to be cowed. She knows she’ll always come out on top.
2.5 / 5 stars: Scintillating sabotage, Swedish-style.
Click here for more Coast book reviews.
Treasury by Maeve Binchy
After the underwhelming experience that was Irish writer Maeve Binchy’s most recent new work, 2010’s Minding Frankie, I approached her latest, Treasury, with trepidation.
However, it’s not really fresh writing, but a compilation of 43 short stories, 38 of which have previously been published (in The Return Journey and This Year It Will Be Different). And the nearly 550 pages add up to diverting, at times delightful, escapism.
A preponderance of the first half of Treasury’s stories are Christmas-themed, reflective of the seasonal nature of its issuance, and its fair to say repetitiveness is the book’s greatest weakness: Binchy has a few tried-and-tested plotlines and tends to variations on the same theme. ‘Gerald and Rose’ records a brief encounter between strangers who pay the price for their mistaken assumptions about one another, while ‘The Christmas Barramundi’, a more cynical version of the same tale, though one of much greater pathos, features a young teacher who segues from intense happiness to heartbreak in a handful of carefully wrought pages.
But it’s a very small failing. Many of the Christmas stories are excellent, and the best of the others may be the opening tale, ‘Golden Willow’, a suspenseful piece about a weekend in the life of an ostensibly privileged wife and mother. Her innermost thoughts are tracked as she comes abruptly and vocally to terms with her dissatisfaction with her life, and with the behaviour of her distant, status-obsessed husband.
This kind of woman – one who starts out meek and discovers her inner lioness – is presented also in ‘A Civilized Christmas’ and ‘This Year It Will Be Different’, and such rapid evolution might be considered a flaw. Binchy is also prone to resolutions too pat, too uncomplicated to properly reflect the messiness of life – but there is something immensely satisfying about her female characters’ propensity to wash their hands of problems, of unsuitable circumstances/men/relatives, and plough on unfettered. In the weight of a single volume, it becomes self-helpish, as if the writer is saying, over and over again, with different players, “Well, here is a recipe for living.”
Binchy writes for women, and places them front and centre. Many stories have a bittersweet tone, such as ‘The Apprenticeship’, which follows an accomplished young woman as she attends the wedding of her childhood best friend, who has bestowed on herself a new name and invented past in order to fit in with her aristocratic new in-laws.
In others Binchy shows off her knack for fomenting splendid comic tension, most ably in ‘Excitement’ when an embryonic affair devolves into a scene of near-slapstick involving a hateful mother and her purse-lipped acquaintance.
And there are some stock characters, with ‘Season of Fuss’ and ‘A Hundred Milligrams’ among the most notable stories to star curmudgeonly elders against whose misanthropic assaults other, good-hearted sorts battle to maintain the true spirit of Christmas.
But in the end – similar to the adage that people remember less what you say than how you make them feel – Binchy’s storylines are secondary to the moods her tales provoke. Her Treasury may leave you melancholy, quizzical, nostalgic or teary-eyed, but it won’t leave you unmoved.
2.5 / 5 stars: Many happy returns of the season.
Click here for more Coast book reviews.
The White Pearl by Kate Furnivall
In 1941 Malaya, a local woman is hit by a car while walking, and dies at the scene. The driver is Constance Hadley, the British wife of a plantation owner and mother of a seven-year-old boy.
The opening scene encapsulates, in a few neat pages, the virtues and flaws that make reading The White Pearl such a discombobulating experience. While Furnivall has put great energy into setting her scene and conveying the socioeconomic, cultural and political complexities of the time and place, when it comes to language and story, she seems to not know when to stop.
Seconds before dying, the woman curses Connie, who, troubled and guilty, seeks out her two children, Maya and her twin brother Razak. The latter will come to play an role in the disintegration of Connie’s already moribund marriage, but the promise Furnivall instills in the character of Maya – that she loathes Connie and is plotting against her – comes to naught. The bid for vengeance simply trails off.
There may be good reason for that, however: the Japanese are advancing, and the novel commences under the threat of invasion and eventually evolves into a boys’- own-adventure story in which Connie, Nigel and their son Teddy flee with some acquaintances on their boat The White Pearl toward the beckoning safety of Singapore.
Do they make it? What happens in the interim? These are the plot’s most important questions, but Furnivall exhausts most of the overweighted 430 pages before she even starts to address them.
First, we experience life on a rubber plantation through Connie’s eyes. The product, referred to as ‘white gold’, is tremendously lucrative, and Nigel is extremely proud of his familial possession.
His dual devotion to productivity and appearances is juxtaposed by a singular lack of interest in his wife (for reasons semaphored to the reader if not apparent to her), though he is enamoured of his son. Connie yearns for home, and much of the novel is given over to her musings on the inhospitable environment: “. . . no one had warned her that it was a country of sweltering nights and fierce smells . . . of the stink of bad drains . . . of ferocious insects that would devour you alive, and of jungle sounds that haunted your dreams.”
Overpopulated and hyperkinetic, The White Pearl is bogged down by a trilogy’s-worth of plot. Infidelity, murder, double-crosses, surprise confrontations . . . it’s all here.
Imagination and research are Furnivall’s strong suits, but I wish she’d directed more energy toward the development of character. With all the people roaming in and out of the pages, not one is truly, fleshily human, either sufficiently villainous to provoke the reader’s ire or noble enough to make you care about their fate. In particular, Connie has the makings of a memorable heroine, but through all her travails remains somehow opaque.
For all that, Furnivall’s gift for evoking mood is remarkable, and she provides a rare fictional portrayal of an often-overlooked place in history at a time of profound disintegration.
2 / 5 stars: An historical novel that reads like a maximum-velocity fun-park ride.
Click here to read more Easy Mix book reviews.
”I don’t feel so good,” Lula said. “It was that last doughnut. There was something wrong with it. It was one of them cream-filled, and I think they used old cream.”
”You ate ten!”
”Yeah, and none of the others bothered me. I’m telling you, it was that last doughnut. I’d feel better if I could burp.”
A typical exchange in Explosive Eighteen between Janet Evanovich’s stalwart bounty hunter Stephanie Plum and her loyal offsider, zaftig ex-prostitute Lula involves junk food. Lula nabs her prey with an aplomb that matches her appetite, and breaks for reviving fried-chicken lunches several times a day. (Shortly after the above conversation, the two women use the scent of a fresh pizza to apprehend an FTA (failure to appear) – but not before Lula packs away several slices: “I thought it might settle my stomach, but I was wrong.”)
The funny thing about the Plum series, now 18 books deep, is that while there’s nothing new under the Jersey sun, the set-pieces are so sharply written, the dialogue so snappy and the supporting cast so deliciously batty that the lure is as irresistible as that pizza.
Stephanie is a Jersey-fied, loosely mob-linked, grown-up Trixie Belden. She works at Vincent Plum Bail Bonds, the business owned by her erstwhile cousin, who has so much trouble staying on the right side of the law long enough to get any straight work done that Stephanie basically runs the show.
The plots of the Plum books are beside the point, and in Explosive Eighteen Evanovich has barely bothered. Between skits involving the captures of FTAs and bone-crunching takedowns of anonymous bad guys, she makes a stab at a putative storyline: on a flight from Miami to New Jersey, Stephanie is seated next to a man who, by mistake, puts an unmarked surveillance photograph of an unidentified man in her carry-on bag. On discovering it at home, she traces it back to her aircraft companion . . . who has since been found murdered and stuffed in an airport rubbish bin. The photograph is of value and is sought by many, but Stephanie has already disposed of it.
You’ll forget how the matter is resolved even as you’re reading. What constant readers will relish are Stephanie’s encounters with longtime paramours Ranger and Morelli (both of whom feature in the sojourn to Miami), and the family-dinner interludes, which are hilariously discomforting to all but her elderly grandmother:
”You need Annie to help you,” Grandma said. “She’s real smart. She’s fixing everyone up at bowling. She even had a man in mind for me, but I told her he was too old. I don’t want some flabby, wrinkled codger to take care of. I want a young stud with a nice firm behind.”
My mother refilled her wineglass and my father put his fork down and hit his head on the table. BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG.
“Go for it,” I said to Grandma.
“I’m not so old,” Grandma said. “There’s parts of me don’t sit as high as they used to, but I’ve got some miles left.”
My father pantomimed stabbing himself in the eye with his fork.
There’s no shortage of pace left in her granddaughter either. Evanovich is on a good wicket, and with the first movie adaptation of a Plum novel, One for the Money, coming soon with Katherine Heigl in the lead role, the series is likely to remain high-octane for a while yet.
2.5 / 5 stars: Frivolity that stays on just the right side of profane.
Click here to read more Easy Mix book reviews.
- alexandercomms: GFNZ on it's way ... http://t.co/WYvfB6wx31
- alexandercomms: RT @IPREX_Global: Interested in the latest discussions on social media, comms strategies and crisis management? http://t.co/oc9ocRazZq
- alexandercomms: Josh kicks off world tour-in special Kiwi Pukeko socks from @TaylaSongbird RT @joshgroban: @TaylaSongbird they gave me good luck! @
- alexandercomms: RT @TaylaSongbird: Hi @joshgroban. In NZ it's okay to wear your socks like this... sometimes. :) http://t.co/9oINrg5MdU
May 7, 2013
Jenny Ruth at Radio New Zealand spoke with GFNZ (formerly Geneva Finance) managing director ... read more
Space Studio’s latest projects have made headlines thanks to their innovative and refreshing take ... read more
March 26, 2013
Jeff Walters, partner at law firm Lowndes Associates took on the hot topic of ... read more
March 7, 2013
Gill South of the New Zealand Herald spoke with Space Studio’s Vee Kessner on ... read more
February 21, 2013
AC team member Stephanie Jones has been serving the nation tasty literary treats with ... read more
February 1, 2013
GFNZ, formerly Geneva Finance, has used a structure developed in-house to raise $1.66 million ... read more
January 14, 2013
Be.Leadership was started by the New Zealand social change enterprise, Be.Accessible. Created to address ... read more
Campaign Overview: The Big Event was the second annual ... read more
Campaign Overview The Guardian Trust Rose Hellaby Maori ... read more
Campaign Overview: AMP Capital Shopping Centres (AMPCSC) briefed Alexander ... read more
Andrew Christie and engineers Stuart Monteith and Owen Youngof ... read more
Campaign Overview Widespread international food shortages, all-time-high prices, and ... read more
Campaign Overview In February 2012, the NZ Pops Orchestra ... read more
Campaign Overview Space Studio is an award winning New ... read more