Articles — Fiction

Book Review: A Light on the Veranda

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Book Review: A Light on the Veranda

Daphne Duvallon had been raised in the south but was the harpist in an orchestra in New York when her brother called her. He was getting married on the weekend and wanted her to be in the wedding party. Daphne knew that there was an important performance on the weekend but had no intention of missing the wedding of her owning sibling so, without hesitation, agreed to attend. She was shocked, however, when her conductor, Rafe Oberlin, gave her an ultimatum. Either she attend the performance or she was fired. Rafe had hurt her before. In fact, he had lied...

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Book Review: A Race to Splendor

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Book Review: A Race to Splendor

It was rather unusual in the early 1900s to find a woman with architectural training. To find two of them, therefore was indeed unique. Amelia Hunter Bradshaw had just returned to San Francisco after graduating from an architectural course in France. Her mother had remained in France and her grandfather, who had been the owner of the Bay View hotel had died. Amelia knew that her father, who was a gambler, would not be the best person to take over operation of the hotel but was prepared to do her best to protect the beautiful building that her grandfather had...

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Book Review: The Litigators

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Book Review: The Litigators

Oscar Finley and Wally Figg are lawyers who have been running an "ambulance chasing" law firm for a number of years. Neither of them is happy with their personal lives or careers. Oscar is married to a woman who no one likes but can't afford to divorce her. Wally is a recovering alcoholic who has had four divorces and just can't seem to let go of booze or women. David Zinc at first seems to have it all. He is happily married and works for a very large Chicago law firm where his income is so large that he can't...

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Book Review: The Perfect Christmas

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Book Review: The Perfect Christmas

Debbie Macomber has been dubbed the "Official Storyteller of Christmas". She is also a number one New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author. "the Perfect Christmas" is a fictional story that is supplemented by a bonus story entitled "Can This Be Christmas" as well as a Christmas interview with the author. Cassie Beaumont, the main character of "The Perfect Christmas", is thirty-three years of age and single. She has made efforts to find a mate because she truly wants to me married and have children. The internet and blind dates have not worked and so, when her friend tells...

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Book Review: Learning to Love

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Book Review: Learning to Love

Debbie Macomber is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author who has written more than two dozen fictional books. This one, "Learning to Love" actually consists of two stories that she wrote early in her career and then "refreshed". "Sugar and Spice" tells the story of a librarian, Jayne Gilbert who is invited to attend her school reunion. She wants to go to it but feels that it would be best if she could attend with a handsome date. The bad news is that she doesn't know who that person might be as she doesn't have anyone in...

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Book Review: Full House

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Book Review: Full House

Janet Evanovich wrote Full House in 1989. Her fans wanted to see what some of her earlier work was like and so she asked Charlotte Hughes to help her enlarge and enhance the book. They published the revised copy in 2002. Evanovich claims that her writing has changed over the years and now has more intricate plots and less kissing between the characters. She also states, however, that humour has continued throughout her works as she enjoys a good laugh herself. In Full House, one of the main characters, Billie Pearce, is a divorced mother with two children. She is...

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Book Review: Matchmaker

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Book Review: Matchmaker

Dabney Kimball Beech was always very popular and loved to live in Nantucket. She grew up with her father who was a policeman because her mother had abandoned Dabney and her father in a planned but strange manner when Dabney was a young child. Dabney had a special gift. She seemed to be very good at matching people. In fact, there were forty-two happy couples who credited Dabney with initially matching them with each other. When Dabney was in high school she was very much in love with Clendenin Hughes. His dream was to be a journalist and even though...

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Book Review: Olive Kitteridge

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Book Review: Olive Kitteridge

This book is a Pulitzer Prize winner by best-selling author Elizabeth Strout. The fictional tale has Olive Kitteridge as the main character. She is a retired schoolteacher who lives in Maine with her husband. Because she had been a math teacher and lived in Crosby for many years, Olive knows the people well - or thinks that she does. In fact, Olive seems to think that she even knows herself well but, as the storyline progresses, she becomes aware of a number of things that bring her new insight and subsequently a different perspective about herself and others. Olive has...

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Book Review: The Heist

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Book Review: The Heist

Kate O'Hare is a very well-trained FBI special agent who works in the area of international crime. She worked hard to develop her skills and reach a point where she could do her job with expertise. Kate is thrilled when, after considerable effort and cunning she was able to capture Nicolas Fox who is con man extraordinaire. Fox is known for creating scams to trap the rich and famous into giving him what he wants. What Kate didn't want was to find out that Nick has actually conned the FBI into hiring him and assigning him to work with Kate....

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Book Review: Takedown Twenty

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Book Review: Takedown Twenty

Stephanie Plum works as a bounty hunter for her cousin Vinnie. She isn't very good at her job and often ends up in ridiculous situations. When she needs help, she often turns to Lula the woman who used to be a "ho" but now also works for Vinnie. This often makes matters worse because Lula usually thinks more about food than the situation they are dealing with. She also is impulsive in her behaviours Stephanie has two individuals in her love life. Joe Morelli is a Trenton New Jersey police officer who has a commitment problem. He doesn't, however, have...

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Book Review: Rebecca

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Book Review: Rebecca

Daphne Du Maurier lived most of her life in Cornwall, England. She first published "Rebecca" in 1938 which is part of a very long list of novels, short stories, plays and biographies that she has written. This fictional tale begins when the main character, who is a young woman, is employed as a lady's companion with a rather dull existence. During a trip to France, however, they meet Max de Winter, a widower who owns the estate called Manderley. Due to unforeseen circumstances this man and the younger lady spend some time together and in a very short period of...

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Book Review: Sizzling Sixteen

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Book Review: Sizzling Sixteen

Stephanie Plum works as a bounty hunter for her cousin Vinnie. She doesn't always like the work is definitely not very good at it but it does pay the bills. Stephanie had to blackmail her cousin into giving her the job because she was desperate after losing her employment as a lingerie purchaser. In this book, Stephanie finds out that she has inherited a "lucky" bottle from her Uncle Pip but she doesn't have any guarantee that it will help her with her life or work. Vinnie has run the bond agency for years but, without anyone knowing, he has...

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Book Review: Smokin' Seventeen

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Book Review: Smokin' Seventeen

Stephanie Plum is a divorcee who has problems in several areas of her life. After losing her job as a lingerie purchaser, she was desperate and, as a result, blackmailed her cousin Vinnie into letting her work for him as a bail enforcement officer. She isn't very good at it and, in fact, doesn't like to carry a gun. Frequently she goes after someone who has skipped out on their Court date, only to fail in her attempts to capture that person. Sometimes it is worse and she either loses a vehicle in the process because it was stolen, bombed...

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Book Review: A Is For Alibi

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Book Review: A Is For Alibi

"A is for Alibi" is the first novel in a series written by number one New York Times bestselling author Sue Grafton. Even though it was written in 1982 the work does not feel the least bit dated. Nor is there any hint of gender inequality. The main character for the series is Kinsey Millhone, a young woman, who has been divorced twice. She is a former police office and private investigator who has set up a small detective agency in the fictional town of Santa Teresa California. Kinsey doesn't have many material possessions and actually lives a rather simple...

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Book Review: Lean Mean Thirteen

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Book Review: Lean Mean Thirteen

In the thirteenth book of the Stephanie Plum series, the heroine is asked by her mentor and love-interest Ranger to find out some information for him. The bad news is that the one who has the information is Stephanie's ex-husband, Dickie Orr. Their marriage was very short because Stephanie caught him having sex with a woman who had been her enemy since childhood, Joyce Barnhardt. Now, Stephanie wants to help Ranger but is shocked to find out that her ex and Joyce are an item again. And then, wouldn't you know it, Dickie disappears and everyone suspects that Stephanie is...

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Book Review: Fearless Fourteen

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Book Review: Fearless Fourteen

Stephanie Plum has been trying to earn a living as a bounty hunter working on commission from her cousin Vinnie Plum since she was fired from her job as a lingerie purchaser. The problem is that she really isn't very good at it and everyone is worried about her because her actions often result in dangerous situations where her life is at risk. Since childhood, Stephanie has been attracted to Joe Morelli who is now a police officer in Trenton New Jersey. There are times when he wants commitment and other times when she wants it but so far they...

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Book Review: Finger Lickin' Fifteen

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Book Review: Finger Lickin' Fifteen

At the start of this book, Lulu, the former prostitute turned filing clerk is shocked to witness a murder in which a famous chef is decapitated right in front of her. She got a good look at the two murderers but they also could identify her. Then they begin stalking her and are determined to kill her. Stephanie has been working with Lulu as they are both employed by Vinnie Plum and frequently search for bail skippers. They are also friends who have gone through a lot together. It's a good thing that they have two very different but very...

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Book Review: Ten Big Ones

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Book Review: Ten Big Ones

Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter who is not very good at her job. In fact, the vehicles that she has been driving are often blown up or started on fire by her enemies. Stephanie forced her cousin Vinnie into hiring her when she lost her job as a lingerie buyer She didn't have any experience or training so she is really quit incompetent but her bills keep her motivated. In this novel, Stephanie is a big trouble because she is dealing with gang members from a dangerous area of Trenton New Jersey. They have threatened to hurt her and...

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Book Review: Eleven On Top

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Book Review: Eleven On Top

When Stephanie lost her job as a lingerie buyer, she begged her cousin Vinnie to give her a job as a bounty hunter. Because she didn't have any training or experience, she wasn't very good at it. After being threatened, shot at, bombed, attacked by dogs and constantly being hurt, she finally decided that she had enough. It was time to change careers. First she gets a job at the Button Factory but is fired the first day because she was late for work. Then she applies at Kan Klean Dry Cleaners where she is constantly watched by an older...

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Book Review: Twelve Sharp

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Book Review: Twelve Sharp

Stephanie Plum has two love interests. She has been in an "on-again, off-again" relationship with Joe Morelli since childhood. Now he is a Trenton New Jersey police officer. She has lived with him at times but always moves back to her apartment when she misses her independence. Carlos Monoso, better known as Ranger, has been a mentor and protector for Stephanie since she lost her job as a lingerie buyer and moved into a contract job as a bounty hunter. Stephanie is inexperience and incompetent so Ranger often steps in to help her find individuals who skip Court and risk...

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Book Review: To the Nines

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Book Review: To the Nines

Vinnie Plum runs a bail bond business in Trenton, New Jersey. He posts bail for individuals who are charged with crime. When they do not appear for their Court hearings, he becomes worried that he might not get his money back so he offers ten percent of the amount to bounty hunters who can find and bring the skipper to the police station. Vinnie's cousin, Stephanie, is one of his contracted workers. She doesn't have any training and her lack of experience often leads her into serious and/or hilarious situations. She has been doing this since she was laid off...

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Book Review: Seven Up

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Book Review: Seven Up

Eddy DeChooch is a older man who was caught smuggling a truckload of cigarettes from Virgina to New Jersey. After he was caught, Vinnie Plum, helped him to post bail but, when it came time for Eddy to appear in Court he skipped. That was how Stephanie Plum, a bounty hunter got involved in searching for him. She has been working for her cousin Vinnie since she lost her job as a lingerie buyer. Stephanie doesn't have any training for her job and tends to b a disaster waiting to happen. Often her vehicles are blown up and she is...

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Book Review: Hard Eight

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Book Review: Hard Eight

Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter who doesn't seem to be very competent in her job. In fact, she often does things that cause the police to make fun of her - like frequently having her vehicles blown up or causing damage to the environment where she is looking for those who have skipped appearing for their Court dates. But Stephanie does the work because she needs the money to pay her bills. In "Hard Eight", however, Stephanie is asked by the neighbour of her parents to find the lady's granddaughter and great-granddaughter who have disappeared. Stephanie knows that she...

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Book Review: Ada's Rules

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Book Review: Ada's Rules

"Ada's Rules" is the fictional story of a preacher's wife who has always thought that big is beautiful. She and her husband are so involved in the needs of their congregation and the work of the church that their own relationship begins to drift. Ada is concerned about her aging parents who seem to need her to cook and clean for them. Although her twin daughters are adults now, they tend to rely on her for support. The families at the daycare where she works depend on her. There is little time for Ada and Preach to be together and...

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Book Review: Four to Score

Posted by Dr. Linda Hancock on

Book Review: Four to Score

Stephanie Plum was laid off from her job and ended up becoming a bounty hunter is desperation. In each of the fictional stories written about her, she sets out to capture someone who has sought help with bail money from her cousin Vinnie and then not appeared in Court when required to do so. Vinnie doesn't want to lose the money that he lent and therefore gives Stephanie a deadline as to when she is to turn the offender into the police. In this book, Stephanie is looking for "skippers" such as Maxine Nowicki, a waitress, who apparently stole the...

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