Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Plain Death by Amanda Flower

A Plain Death is Amanda Flower's third book with more on the way.  Her first book, Maid of Murder, was nominated for an Agatha Award.  I was sure I had this mystery figured out by page 4.  I was partly right and mostly wrong. 

Chloe Humphrey is a young computer whiz who moves to a small middle-of-Ohio town complete with a thriving Amish community.  Her first two friends are an ex-Amish brother and sister, Timothy and Becky Troyer.

All is not well in Appleseed Creek.  Chloe's first task as head of the computer department at the local college is to fire one of her staff.  Since she doesn't know any of them, she is hard pressed to make a decision.

Chloe's house needs work and, since she rescues Becky from a pair of bullies before she hits the city limits, she ends up with an unplanned roommate on day one.  This ends up as an unexpected blessing, because Becky's brother is a carpenter.  It also ends up as less than a blessing because Becky borrows Chloe's car without permission.  When the brakes fail, Becky runs into the Amish bishop's buggy and he is killed instantly. 

Accident?  Murder?  How could it be murder unless someone knew Becky and the bishop would be on the same road at the same time?  Will Becky be shunned by her family?  Will she end up in jail?  How is Chloe going to find her way in a new job and a new town in the middle of all this chaos?

I thought this was an excellent book.


Teach Yourself Visually Color Knitting by Mary Scott Huff

Here's a new book just in at Jackson Co. Public Library for knitters is Teach Yourself Visually Color Knitting by Mary Scott Huff.

Mary shows you how to knit more than one color in any project. She explains stripes, slip-stitch, stranded colorwork, intarsia (cool looking cardigan patterns), entrelac, modules, and embellishments.

This is, in fact, a very visual book loaded with photos and charts to show you exactly how to accomplish the design you've always wanted to knit. After each explanation, there are several patterns for assorted projects you can make using that technique.

Stop by the library and grab it off of the New Books shelves.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sabotaged by Margaret P. Haddix

The adventures of Jonah and Katherine continue as they join forces with another adoptee named Andrea.  JB sends them back in time with a dog named Dare to the Roanoke Colony.  Andrea was actually the first English child born in the Americas, Virginia Dare.  Since she had been kidnapped, she was unable to finish one critical part of her life.  The children needed to put history to rights.

Andrea acts somewhat strange from the very beginning.  It comes out that she had been approached by another time traveler who calls himself Second.  He originally had been working for JB, but decided that there were parts of history that could be improved.  His changes upset time itself.

The children hit one disaster after another.  Even though the first two book ended on something like a cliff-hanger, each story came to a conclusion.  This book falls - you'll understand the term after you read the book - straight into the next one.  I could almost "Dare" you not to grab the next book as soon as you finish this one.

JB, Andrea, and her grandfather Governor John White are left in 1600 in dire straits.  It's up to Jonah and Katherine to complete the next leg of the quest in order to save Andrea and JB from being stranded there for the rest of their lives.

More to come.


Sent by Margaret P. Haddix

Jonah and Katherine find themselves flung back into medieval England along with Chip and their new friend Alex.

JB the time traveler sends them back on a mission to fix some loose ends in history.  It seems that Chip and Alex were kidnapped out of their own time, and history has to be returned to its proper course by them finishing out the life they should have led.

Chip's original identity was Edward the V of England and Alex was really his younger brother Richard, Duke of York.  Technically, at the time the children arrive in England, Chip is the king of the whole country.  However, his scheming uncle determines to become king in Edward's place.

If you are a student of history, you will recognize this story as being based on the two princes in the Tower of London who mysteriously disappeared.  It is thought that they were murdered by Richard III or that they died of something natural while they were in the Tower.  The bones of two children were discovered buried in the Tower of London, but no one can prove whose bones they were.  Hence one of the great disappearance mysteries of history.

This is an excellent, page-turning story.  I'm on to the next book in the series.  My compliments to Margaret Haddix.


Found by Margaret P. Haddix

Thirteen-year-old Jonah is adopted.  He has a natural-born ten-year-old sister, Katherine.  He has always known he was adopted and his parents frequently tiptoe around him as if his emotions are about to fall apart. 

Jonah and his friend Chip begin getting mysterious letters with no return address.  They say things like, "You are one of the missing," and "They're coming back to get you."

Until now, Chip had no idea that he was also adopted.  The idea seems to damage his usual clear thinking.

Katherine begins a quest to find out what is going on and drags the two boys along with her.  They discover STRANGE things like stories about an appearing and disappearing airplane with 36 babies on it and no adults, people who seem to pop in and pop out of nowhere, and someone searching through their private stuff.

At a meeting for parents of adopted children, 36 teens are separated into a group and taken on a short field trip.  They had no idea that the trip involved time and their real identities.

This book is the first in a series.