The Complete Father Brown, by G.K. Chesterson ★★★
Summary: G. K. Chesterton’s Father Brown may seem a pleasantly doddering Roman Catholic priest, but appearances deceive. With keen observation and an unerring sense of man’s frailties–gained during his years listening to confessions–Father Brown succeeds in bringing even the most elusive criminals to justice.
This definitive collection of fifteen stories, selected by the American Chesterton Society, includes such classics as “The Blue Cross,” “The Secret Garden,” and “The Paradise of Thieves.”
I enjoyed this collection of mysteries. The second half of them were a little less enjoyable, but I still liked them for the most part.
The Phoenix and the Carpet, by E. Nesbitt ★★★
Summary: It's startling enough to have a phoenix hatch in your house, but even more startling when it talks and reveals that you have a magic carpet on the floor. The vain and ancient bird accompanies the children on a series of adventures through time and space which, magic being what it is, rarely turn out as they were meant..
These stories are pretty cute. Very easy to read and finish. There's a bit of uncomfortable prejudice in it unfortunately, the only reason why it doesn't get a higher star rating from me.
The Magic Misfits, by Neil Patrick Harris ★★★
Summary: When street magician Carter runs away, he never expects to find friends and magic in a sleepy New England town. But like any good trick, things change instantly as greedy B.B. Bosso and his crew of crooked carnies arrive to steal anything and everything they can get their sticky fingers on.
After a fateful encounter with the local purveyor of illusion, Dante Vernon, Carter teams up with five other like-minded illusionists. Together, using both teamwork and magic, they'll set out to save the town of Mineral Wells from Bosso's villainous clutches. These six Magic Misfits will soon discover adventure, friendship, and their own self-worth in this delightful new series.
This book was pretty darn cute, guys. A tale of finding friendship among outcasts. Cliche as I'll get out, but still a fun and engaging read. I will be looking forward to reading the next one!
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee ★★★★★
Summary: One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than thirty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country. A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father-a crusading local lawyer-risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.
I'd wanted to read this book forever, and I found it and To Go Set a Watchman for only $14 dollars at B & N. I see why so many people talk about. Wow. Such a beautiful and powerful book. Wow. So moving and true, and raw. Definitely a new favorite.
As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust, by Alan Bradley ★★★
Summary: Banished! is how twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce laments her predicament, when her father and Aunt Felicity ship her off to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy, the boarding school that her mother, Harriet, once attended across the sea in Canada. The sun has not yet risen on Flavia’s first day in captivity when a gift lands at her feet. Flavia being Flavia, a budding chemist and sleuth, that gift is a charred and mummified body, which tumbles out of a bedroom chimney. Now, while attending classes, making friends (and enemies), and assessing the school’s stern headmistress and faculty (one of whom is an acquitted murderess), Flavia is on the hunt for the victim’s identity and time of death, as well as suspects, motives, and means. Rumors swirl that Miss Bodycote’s is haunted, and that several girls have disappeared without a trace. When it comes to solving multiple mysteries, Flavia is up to the task—but her true destiny has yet to be revealed.
I was a tiny bit disappointed in this book. I felt like Bradley repeated himself a few times which irritated me. But Flavia is still her morbid and brilliant self. She's a little more subdued in this one. Sad because she's cut off from her family. She faints and cries which disappointed me. But the way he wrote it did feel real and raw. Not one of my favorites of the series, but still good. Yeah, still good.
The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow, by Katharine Woodfine ★★★
Summary: You are cordially invited to attend the Grand Opening of Sinclair's department store! Enter a world of bonbons, hats, perfumes and Mysteries around every corner. Wonder at the daring theft of the priceless Clockwork Sparrow! Tremble as the most Dastardly criminals in London enact their wicked plans! GASP as our bold heroines, Miss Sophie Taylor and Miss Lilian Rose, Crack Codes, Devour Iced Buns and vow to bring the villains to justice.
A fun little mystery. A quick and easy read. Enjoyable!
The Mystery of the Jeweled Moth, by Katharine Woodfine ★★★
Summary: The Honour Of Your Company Is Requested At Lord Beaucastle's Fancy Dress Ball. Wonder at the puzzling disappearance of the Jewelled Moth! Marvel as our heroines, Sophie and Lil, don cunning disguises, mingle in high society and munch many cucumber sandwiches to solve this curious case! Applaud their bravery as they follow a trail of terrible secrets that leads straight to London's most dangerous criminal mastermind, and could put their own lives at risk..
Another fun little mystery. I figured out who the bad guy was pretty early, but it was still fun and easy to read.
The Lost Realm, by J.D. Reinhart ★★★- ★★★ 1/2
Summary: The kingdom of Toronia is being torn apart by civil war. The kingdom’s only hope comes in the form of illegitimate triplets, who are prophesied to kill the king and rule together in peace. Separated at birth and scattered throughout the realms, the triplets face a desperate fight to secure their destiny. Will they survive long enough to rule?
The resurrected King Brutan and his army of the dead control the city of Idilliam. Outside, Eloide and Tarlan are trying to hold their own army together and find a way to rescue their brother Gulph who is trapped inside the city. Or is he? Gulph has found a passageway to the lost realm of Celestis, which lies beneath Idilliam. There he is reunited with the mother he has never known—but she can’t remember him. If Gulph stays in Celestis, will he also forget those above ground whom he loves?
Meanwhile, Tarlan and the wizard Melchior set out on a quest to restore the wizard’s powers, leaving Eloide and her army to keep watch. But Eloide is betrayed, her troops are slaughtered, and she is taken captive by Lord Vicerin, her former guardian, who is determined to use her to take the throne.
Seemingly further from the throne than ever, the triplets will need to use all of their strength and abilities if they are to survive—let alone rule.
Wow. This book was dark and intense. Armies of undead, lost cities with a giant serpent guarding it, strange powers, people being executed. It was so intense and enthralling. Wow! It really caught me off guard how fast it sucked me in.
The Art Forger, by B.A. Shapiro ★★★ 1/2- ★★★★
Summary: Almost twenty-five years after the infamous art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum—still the largest unsolved art theft in history—one of the stolen Degas paintings is delivered to the Boston studio of a young artist. Claire Roth has entered into a Faustian bargain with a powerful gallery owner by agreeing to forge the Degas in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. But as she begins her work, she starts to suspect that this long-missing masterpiece—the very one that had been hanging at the Gardner for one hundred years—may itself be a forgery. The Art Forger is a thrilling novel about seeing—and not seeing—the secrets that lie beneath the canvas.
This was a beautiful book. Especially the way art was described. The way the colors and light was described. Wow. Like word porn. Gorgeous, lush, rich and deep. The only thing was the plot itself. It was intriguing and fun to see the mystery unfold, but honestly the way that the relationship with Isaac is portrayed and the way that her budding relationship with Aiden unfolds, it was disappointing at times. They had such little chemistry. But the ideas, the beauty of the description of even stripping a painting. Man, I wish I was an artist, because wow. Gorgeous.