Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Floors by Patrick Carman

In the book Floors by Patrick Carman, Leo is the son of the maintenance man at the Whippet Hotel. The two of them live in the basement of the hotel. This building stands in Manhattan on some of the most valuable real estate in the country. It is only a few stories high and is surrounded by a large garden with a pond for the ducks. The hotel was built by Merganzer Whippet who specializes in strange inventions. His hotel has rooms like the Cake Room, the Train Room, and the Robot Room. The eighth floor is built like a haunted house. The guests are odd to say the least.

Mr Whippet is good friends with Leo, but he has been missing for 100 days. Suddenly, Leo starts finding boxes that present him with a puzzle and the answer to the puzzle. There are floors between the floors unlike anything one would find in any other hotel in the world. Often the puzzles have to do with rings. Someone keeps sending Leo messages to help him with the puzzles.

Between his box adventures, the hotel is being sabotaged and Leo and his dad have to fix things. Ms. Sparks, the hotel manager is mean.  She is looking for any reason to fire the employees. A couple of men in a limousine are trying to buy the hotel out from under the missing Mr. Whippet.

Leo manages to survive all the tests and in the end he is rewarded for his love of the hotel he helps take care of.

Kathi Linz

The Chocolate Cupid Killings by JoAnna Carl

I admit to having a bad habit about reading mysteries. I tend to read bout 50-75 pages and then look at the end to see who did it.  If no one is dead by page 50, I'm likely to turn the book back in to the library without finishing it.

However, when I started reading The Chocolate Cupid Killings by JoAnna Carl, I got so involved in the story so quickly, that I just kept reading without peeking at the end of the book. This is the ninth book in her series, but it is the first I've read by this author.

Valentine's Day starts with a dilemma for Lee the owner of the TenHuis Chocolade shop. One of her recent employees is a woman running away from an abusive husband on the Underground Railroad. This is not approved by local law enforcement, which is another part of the dilemma, since Lee and Aunt Nettie are married to local law.

In the process of helping this woman, two people are killed and the chocolate shop ladies find themselves on the wrong end of the law - including FBI - for impeding an investigation.

I had no idea who were the good guys and who were the bad guys until the end. I didn't guess who did it and I was glad that I hadn't peeked.

Thank you, JoAnna Carl, for this engrossing mystery. I'm certain to pick up more of this series.

Kathi Linz

The Gold Shoe by Grace Livingston Hill

The Gold Shoe by Grace Livingston Hill has the spoiled rich girl, Tasha Endicott, going to a "Great Gatsby"-type house party in the middle of a blizzard. She gets off the train at an unmanned, locked train station, dressed for a house party, but absolutely unready to be outdoors in winter weather.

Fortunately for her, Thurly MacDonald, a young preacher, is trying to get to another town where he has been invited to preach. He arrives at the station, finds her, and hauls her bodily to his mother's house where she can be cared for until the weather passes.

Oddly enough, after a few chapters, both of the young people go their way and the story rests with Thurly's mother and another young lady who comes to stay with her while Thurly is out of town. The story builds but not in the usual romance way. A good deal of the story revolves around a gold dance slipper with a diamond-studded buckle which Tasha leaves behind after the storm. Finally, everything works out as a romance story should.

If you are a fan of literature which has come to us from an earlier time, you may well enjoy this.  If you prefer contemporary romances, I can't suggest that you read this one.