Friday, April 27, 2018

Hell's Princess:

Hell's Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men By: Harold Schechter
Non:Fiction: History, E-book
E-Book Count:9
Book Count:12

This book is about Belle Gunness also called Bella Gunness who was born Brynhild Paulsdatter Storset.  She was from Norway, but spend much of her life in La Porte,  Indiana.  She was born in 1859 and officially died in 1908 in a house fire. (There were questions on if the body found was her.)  After her death, many bodies were found hacked to pieces and buried around her farm.  It was found out that she had murdered both her husbands, a number of children that she adopted or were step-children.  (There are also questions on if she started the house fire, if so she killed the 3 children living with her  as well.)  So also used ads in papers to get men to come to her farm as business partners/ love interests/ help and then take all of there money, then kill them.  She was called the female Bluebeard and killed 20+ people.  This story covers both her life as well the aftermath.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Return to the Lost World:

Return to the Lost World: A Luke Challenger Adventure by: Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore
Fiction: Children's, Mystery, Sci-Fi,  Classics, 329 pages
Physical Book Count:3
Book Count:11

This book is first in a series.  It takes place a few decades after the book "The Lost World"  by: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and features the grandson of the man character of the original story and his cousin.  Their family is now leaders of innovative equipment design that is used by England, America, and other countries in the time between the two world wars.  Luke, the main character, is a teen as is his cousin Nick.  They made their own flyer and enter it into a competition.  While in the competition Luke is almost killed by another pilot, a German Nazi with a mysterious tattoo of a snake coiled around a spear.   
When they get back to England they find out that Luke's mother, a paleontologist, has gone missing.  Luke knew that the trip that she was on was to refind the Lost World and study living dinos.   Luke also has the diary with the directions on where the Lost World was.  So he, Nick, and Nick's father set out to find Luke's mother.  Along the way they find out that the German pilot was part of an international group set on world power and killing to get it.  So not only do they need to find Luke's mother, they must survive many attempts on their lives and find out who this group really is and what they want.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


Indexing by: Seanan McGuire
Fiction: Mystery, Fantasy, E-book
E-Book Count:8
Book Count:10

Imagine a world where fairy tales are true, but not the Disney version, the scary, dangerous, Grimm version.  And there isn't just a single story of Snow White, or Cinderella,  or Sleeping Beauty, but they are archetypes where many people with key elements of the story in their life might become one of those Characters, acting out the story against their will and not even necessarily knowing what is happening until it is too late.  Dad a widower who remarries a women with a couple of daughters?  You might end up Cinderella. 
Now imagine a government group that is in charge of stopping or containing all the evil that these stories cause.  And a team within that government group that is lead by an inactive Snow White (who as a daughter of a Sleeping Beauty is freakishly pale with hair as black as possible and bright red lips, which in real life is a lot scarier then pretty, ) with a halted evil step-sister, a cobbler (as in the shoemaker and the elves, he being the elf of the story) and a normal person who learned all this is real when his brother died do to a sleeping beauty that wasn't caught in time.  (as being in a coma with out medical aid in getting water and nutrients in will do to a human after a few days.)   
In this first book of the series they start out on a case that dispatch called in as a Snow White (the book gets it's title from a real index of fairy tales and so each type has a number much like a real life police force would call crimes by their number of the crime in the books.) When they get there they start to deal with the case as such, because they also agree that she looks like a snow white. (Some people who's parents are already connected with a tale will always look like the way a fairy tale character does,  but many take on the characteristics both physically and  mentally when their story is activated.)   But after they follow her to a large hospital that they couldn't evacuate when they got the call, they find out that she is in fact a sleeping beauty, with a way of transmitting the sleeping of people around her that is very strong.    
This is just the first of many cases that they end up getting where the story is messed with, changed, or a mix up of more then one story.  So they have to find out who is doing this, why, and how they can stop them before the whole world turns into the worst part of every fairy tale.  

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Honest Spy:

The Honest Spy by: Andreas Kollender Translated by: Steve Anderson
Fiction: History, E-book
E-Book Count:7
Book Count:9

This is the next book that I picked out as part of the reading challenge that I am doing this year.  This time I went for the fictionalized account of a true story.  
This book is based on the life of Fritz Kolbe, a German diplomat, who lived with his daughter in South Africa at the start of WWII.  He gets called back to Berlin, and after being told by a friend that they can do more good to stop the craziness of the Nazis from inside, he agrees to leave his daughter (who would not be welcomed in Germany,) and go back.  In Germany he goes from being a diplomat to an office worker and works his way up to being the person that is in charge of destroying important documents, without joining the Nazi party.  Once he gets to this important job, he both sees the horrors happening that even he didn't know about and uses his contacts to become a spy.  He tried to get connected with the British,  but ended up working with the Americans and the OSS (later called the CIA).  
As a spy he shares many important documents and information with the Americans in the hope that it will stop the war and killings quicker.  He even shares the exact location of Hitler's Wolf's Lair, in the hopes that they will bomb it.  (Of course, unlike modern readers of WWII history, he doesn't know about the failed attempts to kill Hitler with a bomb in the Wolf's Lair.)  Both his double life and the horrors of war wear on him and there are many times he is in danger or wants to quit.  The story is ended after the war, but as it is based on real life there are still unanswered questions.