The Late Show

The Late Show (Renée Ballard, #1)The Late Show by Michael Connelly

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Renee Ballard is one determined detective who has been through some rough times, like sexual harassment by a former boss, followed by ostracism by the LAPD and demotion to the graveyard shift. She is always under scrutiny while doing her best, trying to make a difference. Connelly brings us non-stop action as we enter Ballard’s world.
First in a series.
This would make a great movie!

Fitness Junkie

Fitness JunkieFitness Junkie by Lucy Sykes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fun and funny, Janey Sweet is thrown into the plight of the temporarily unemployed by her unfeeling business partner – is this even allowed? – for being overweight and nibbling a “bruffin” (brioche muffin/sounds delish) while representing their bridal wear company on camera during a fashion show.
Janey does some soul searching as well as fitness class searching while contemplating what she wants to do with her life.
Will she comply with Beau’s wishes and her actual contract stipulations and lose 30 pounds in three months?
Does she even want to continue to work with Beau, who is mean and controlling and weighs his food at restaurants.
Lots of name and fashion dropping in this book.
Lots of poking fun at outrageous food and fitness fads, too.

Joplin, Wishing

Joplin, WishingJoplin, Wishing by Diane Stanley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Part magical, part mystery, mostly realistic fiction, this book is a treasure.
Upon returning to school after her grandfather’s funeral, Joplin knows she is facing two tormenting dilemmas – her ongoing friendless state and the certain harassment from her classmates about her famous, eccentric, all-over-the-news grandfather. Kids get suspended, a teacher handles things poorly and Joplin takes a few days off, too.
Joplin brought home a broken antique platter from her grandfather’s house as a memento and has it restored with her aunt’s help. While feeling sad and lonely she longingly looks at the girl in the platter and wishes for the girl to be her friend and to have a friend at school. The next morning she notices a girl in her garden who looks like…the now missing girl from the platter! And Joplin makes a friend at school. Life gets complicated with this friend who has no home of her own and needs food, shelter and truly wants to get back to the mid 1600s. Life gets dangerous when a man from the 1600s wants Joplin’s magic platter.
Author Stanley brings us a main character who grows and develops, strong secondary characters, a good sense of place, and mystery and magic.
Starred review from Booklist is right on target.

Young Jane Young

Young Jane YoungYoung Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thank you, NetGalley, for this ARC in return for an honest review.
Young Jane Young is a hit for Gabrielle Zevin from start to finish.
Jane’s story is a tough one, after her affair with a handsome, popular, married congressman is exposed and made public. Worse, Jane, really Aviva, kept a blog of the affair. Life went on for the congressman, forgiven by the press and his wife. Aviva found life again only by a legal name change and by fleeing her home town while pregnant.
Zevin tells Jane’s story with humor, tenderness and through the honest wide eyes of young Ruby, Jane’s daughter, whose first word was hilariously, “canapé.”

Beach Lawyer

Beach Lawyer (Beach Lawyer Series)Beach Lawyer by Avery Duff

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lawyer Robert Worth is about to make partner at a prestigious Southern California law firm, after only five years of practice. He studiously stays away from partner Jack Pierce, who is nasty and vindictive. Things change when he discovers a client is being treated strangely unfairly and may have been sexually attacked.
The book opens with a prologue and Robert is in jail.
This book is difficult to read – until about the last third where it seems like the author hits his stride. The plot is what keeps the reader going.

I plan to continue reading this series.  🙂

Mangrove Lightning

Mangrove Lightning (Doc Ford, #24)Mangrove Lightning by Randy Wayne White

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

White’s best Doc Ford to date, I believe, Mangrove Lightning combines Florida prohibition history with present day bringing Marion and Tomlinson to a remote location in order to help a former legendary fishing guide keep his claim on land wanted by the federal government.
Tootsie Barlow needs to have a family member live on his land for 9 months every year. Tootsie’s problem is that he is running out of family members, due to death or injury in strange accidents. Gracie Barlow is his last hope – and she is missing.
This plotline is scary, creepy and confusing. I found myself wanting to re-read some parts; I found myself having to put the book down a couple of times due to Gracie’s dilemma.
The other plotlines are intriguing and I wonder if they will be revisited in future books:
the British royalty element;
Hannah Smith’s last thought.

Turtle Tug to the Rescue

Turtle Tug to the RescueTurtle Tug to the Rescue by Michael Slack

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Turtle Tug is a turtle-powered tug boat, who performs daring sea rescues on perilous waters.

This rhyming story is filled with rich vocabulary and vivid illustrations – showing animated facial expressions of the sea creatures he helps.

Turtle Tug is a hero and his adventure is perfect for the preschool crowd!