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July 22, 2013

Book Twenty-Seven of my 2013 Goal

Chop Suey: A Darby Stansfield ThrillerChop Suey: A Darby Stansfield Thriller by Ty Hutchinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I started to read Chop Suey: A Darby Stansfield Thriller by Ty Hutchinson and put it down because I just couldn't get into it. Months went by and I picked it up again and I am so glad I did. I don't know if it was the mood I was in the first time I tried to read it or what but this imaginative and well written story had me turning page after page.

I admit that I did not find Darby, the main character such a likeable person. To me he appeared lazy and one of those people that don't want to 'work' for a living but wanted things handed to him simply because he was there. I understand he was a bit down because when he did work to get an account another person in the office ended up signing it right from under his nose and then rubs it in his face. Instead of getting over it and plugging away at it, he comes up with this scheme to make a fake company to hide the fact that he is working with organized crime overseas to help make them successful. Not only is he putting himself in risk but others as well. With all that being said, I do know people like this, not people that work with organized crime but I mean people that always looking for some easy way to do something no matter how legal or what it cost them or anyone else. Sorry to say Darby's do exist and although he isn't my favorite character, he certainly is believable and gets himself into some deep water.

The secondary characters were much more likeable. His co-worker/friend really adds the humor and then there is his girlfriend and I use that term loosely. Even the owner of the restaurant was developed nicely but for sake of writing any spoilers I won't say any more about these characters.

The plot is a great one. Not necessarily believable but then again the author never claimed this is a true story. I found some parts very surprising as it twists and turns along the pages while other parts were quite expected. So many elements were included in the story that it never was boring. I found humor, suspense, and of course there were murders. These murders were not only being done by the organized crime overseas (no surprise there but who is doing it and why was) but by a serial killer in CA. I guess you can say this is really a three part plot because there is the Darby trying to save his job and dealing with the organized crime, Darby with his 'girlfriend', and of course this serial killer in Chinatown, San Francisco. All these came together to keep the pace moving forward.

I totally enjoyed the book and look forward to reading the next one in the series to see what Darby comes up with next.

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July 14, 2013

Book Twenty - Six of my 2013 Goal

Demi Chat And The Kent Street MysteryDemi Chat And The Kent Street Mystery by Toni Brisland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

DemiChat and the Kent Street Mystery by Toni Brisland is a very cute story. The main characters are Flannery and DemiChat. Flannery is a beagle who worked with the police department in Scotland Yard. He retires and is sent to live on Kent Street in London. When Lord Flannery arrives in his new home he is greeted by the beautiful DemiChat who is a French cat (loved Sherlock Holmes) and use to work modeling expensive jewelry for a jewelry store until the store was taken over by new owners and one of them was allergic to cats. As DemiChat was showing Flannery around they noticed a mystery right outside their window and off they go to solve it.

This fast paced story is sure to keep the attention of the young readers. The characters were all developed so complete that you can even see in your mind's eye how DemiChat stretches and hear her french accent as well as see Flannery with his big floppy ears. There are illustrations throughout the book to give visual reinforcements of the characters. You can also feel the sadness, excitement and other moods that the characters feel through the writing.

Since DemiChat is French and they come across Italian crooks, there are some French and Italian words used in the story. These words are few and very simple ones. They are either translated at the time of the writing such as DemiChat saying, "Oui, yes" or you can look up what someone saying "Manna mia" means in the list of translations at the beginning of the story.

I recommend this for young readers (my 10 year old granddaughter loved it) who like animals and mysteries.

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