Have You Heard

Post date: Tuesday, August 2, 2011 - 1:47am

Have You Heard About... Death by Diamonds

…the great cozy mystery series set in a vintage boutique? Death by Diamonds* is the third in this series by Annette Blair. The Vintage Magic clothing boutique, owned by Madeira “Maddie” Cutler, is located in Mystic Fall, Connecticut, in what used to be a funeral parlor. The mostly-remodeled shop comes with its former owner who is now a ghost.

Maddie has a very unique talent. When she touches the vintage clothing worn by people, she has visions of something troubling in their lives and this leads into the mystery of the book. Her best friend Eve totally freaks out when Maddie sorta zones out with these visions. These scenes make for some really interesting reading as Maddie becomes the person who is in trouble. If you are into designer fashions of past, this book has beautiful descriptions of all types of clothing imaginable. Each chapter heading has a small saying by a famous designer or fashion editor, from Coco Chanel to Miss Piggy to Diane Vreeland. Each heading relates to that chapter is some way. The highlight in the book, after the ‘death by diamonds’ part is resolved, is when Maddie gets to wear the original ‘little black dress’ designed by the famous Coco Chanel.

While this book isn’t quite as interesting or mysterious as the first two, it’s well worth your time.

* The first two books in this series are A Veiled Deception and Larceny and Lace.


Reviewed by Terry (staff)

Post date: Thursday, July 28, 2011 - 1:08am

Have You Heard About... The Stuff of Legend

… the Boogeyman who steals children? The Stuff of Legend. Book 1: The Dark is a graphic novel about a group of toys who try to rescue their Boy after he is stolen by the Boogeyman. When the toys go into the Dark, they become larger and more lifelike – the stuffed bear becomes a full-sized bear (although he keeps the bow around his neck), the metal soldier looks like a human soldier and can use the items stored in his pack, and so on. However, they quickly learn that their new forms can be hurt, even killed, and their Boy is no longer directing the action to ensure that they always win. The Dark is filled with other enlivened toys, some independent and some who owe loyalty to the Bogeyman.

The story is set in 1944, and the style of the toys reflects that. The artwork is realistic and highly detailed, although limited to sepia tones in color, which adds to the historic flavor. Some dark themes and violence aim this book at adults, or at least older children. The excellent writing, developing characters, and attention to detail make this book hard to put down, and I am eager for the next in the series.


Reviewed by Fran (staff)

Post date: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - 1:05am

Have You Heard About... Megamind

… the mega-villain who’s trying to take over Metro City? Megamind is one of the best animated films I’ve seen in a long time. A reluctant super hero, a “mega-villain” and his pet fish, a cute girl reporter, and a nerd make the messages of “evil vs. good” and “yes, you can change and be someone special” into an extremely moving and very funny movie.

If animation and a good story line aren’t enough for you, just sit back and enjoy the fantastic songs of George Thorogood, AC/DC, Michael Jackson, Ozzy Osborne and Guns N’ Roses. Be sure to watch the DVD to the end of the first round of credits or you’ll miss the very end of the movie! The “mega” features are also a must watch.


Reviewed by Terry (staff)

Tags: DVD, family, review
Post date: Thursday, July 21, 2011 - 1:19am

Have You Heard About... American Artist

… the magazine for artists and art lovers? Each issue of American Artist shows work from a variety of today’s artists. They give tips about the media and techniques used to create the realistic paintings. The artists also explain the inspiration behind their work. Enjoy taking a trip through an art gallery with the artists as your personal tour guides.


Reviewed by Rose (staff)


This magazine has been discontinued, so it is no longer in our collection.

Post date: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 - 1:17am

Have You Heard About... Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

… how to save money at the grocery store? Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America’s Cheapest Family, by Steve and Annette Economides, guides you past clipping coupons and watching for sales, though that’s a good start.

Most of this book is common-sense, but there are lots of small tips you might not have thought of. It’s a lot of reading to absorb, but even if you just skim through it, at the end of each chapter are three ways to slowly start saving more money when you shop. Also, at the end of the book are a few penny-wise recipes to try.


Reviewed by Terry (staff)

Post date: Thursday, July 14, 2011 - 1:49am

Have You Heard About... Rose Daughter

… the Beauty who fell in love with a Beast as she worked to resurrect his precious rose garden? This is the third in our series of reviews of novels based on “Beauty and the Beast.”

 Robin McKinley wrote Rose Daughter as well, which also focuses on Beauty but manages to tell the story in a completely different way. In this version, Beauty is given the task of resurrecting the Beast’s dying rose garden. As the Beast says, “It is the heart of this place, and it is dying.” McKinley fills the story with details, from the people who live in the town near Beauty’s family, to the ever-changing decorations in the Beast’s home.


Reviewed by Fran (staff)

Post date: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 11:54am

Have You Heard About... Beauty

… Beauty and her courtly Beast? The second review in this set looks at very different style of novel based on “Beauty and the Beast.”

Robin McKinley’s Beauty is an elegant version of the classic tale, with a more conventional focus on Beauty. The story follows the familiar outline, with a kind-hearted and book-loving Beauty gradually falling in love with the Beast. In this story, Beauty is a bit of a tom-boy who loves spending time with horses and digging in the garden, and she grew up feeling shy and awkward next to her sisters. The rich descriptions in this story and Beauty’s strength of character make this a delightful read.


Reviewed by Fran (staff)

Post date: Thursday, July 7, 2011 - 1:41am

Have You Heard About... Beastly

… the Beauty who fell in love with a Beast? Some form of “Beauty and the Beast” is found in cultures throughout the world, and you can find many wonderful versions from picture books to movies. Over the next week, we will feature three great novels based on this classic tale, all filled with roses and romance.

Alex Flinn’s Beastly is the most modern of the three adaptations. It features a handsome, spoiled, self-centered high school student who is turned into a beast for his cruel, thoughtless treatment of a witch (and everyone else). Because he did one kind thing the day she cursed him, the witch gives him two years to learn how to love a woman and to earn her love in return. If he can’t, he will stay a beast forever. This version focuses more on the “beast” than the “beauty,” showing how he changes from being one of the pretty people and leading a charmed life to being rejected by his father and having to hide from his former friends.


Reviewed by Fran (staff)

Post date: Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - 1:36am

Have You Heard About... Ghost in Trouble

… the ghost who solves mysteries? A ghost’s work is never done in Ghost in Trouble* by Carolyn Hart.

Bailey Ruth is trying to help her oldest enemy but doesn’t have much luck. While doing her best to follow the “rules” of the Dept. of Good Intentions (avoid public notice is #1), Bailey Ruth just has to do things her way, which of course gets her into all kinds of laugh-out-loud situations.

This is a standalone book as it includes some back story on how Bailey Ruth got into the Dept of Good Intentions in the first place. The first two books* should be checked out so as not to miss any of the action in this set of cozy mysteries.

* The first two books in this series are Ghost at Work and Merry, Merry Ghost.


Reviewed by Terry (staff)

Post date: Thursday, June 30, 2011 - 1:58am

Have You Heard About... Merry, Merry Ghost

… the Department of Good Intentions? Bailey Ruth is back in Merry, Merry Ghost* by Carolyn Hart.

On her second mission as an emissary of the Dept. of Good Intentions, she helps catch a greedy killer who just doesn’t seem to get the message of the Christmas season. This is a standalone book, as it includes some back story on how Bailey Ruth ended up in the Dept. of Good Intentions in the first place. You might also like to read book one* so as not to miss any of the hilarious things that Bailey Ruth is capable of doing.

* The first book in this series is Ghost at Work; the next book is Ghost in Trouble.


Reviewed by Terry (staff)